Bulgaria court delays trial of Burgas bus bomber accomplices
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Bulgaria court delays trial of Burgas bus bomber accomplices

Trial in absentia for suspects on the run pushed off to November due to failure to inform families of Israelis killed in 2012 attack

These head-shots provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan, right, and Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, left, both suspected of being involved in the July 2012 Burgas bombing. (photo credit: courtesy Bulgarian Interior Ministry)
These head-shots provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry shows Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan, right, and Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, left, both suspected of being involved in the July 2012 Burgas bombing. (photo credit: courtesy Bulgarian Interior Ministry)

SOFIA, Bulgaria — The trial over a deadly 2012 bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, due to start on Monday, has been pushed back to November because of a procedural error, prosecutors said.

The opening was delayed because the Sofia court had failed to inform the victims’ families of the start date, prosecutors told AFP.

The proceedings against two alleged suspects in the attack, who are on the run and being tried in absentia, will now start on November 10.

A Franco-Lebanese national, identified as Mohamad Hassan El-Husseini, blew up a bus carrying Israeli tourists at the airport of the Black Sea coast resort of Burgas on July 18, 2012.

Five Israelis, their Bulgarian driver and the bomber himself died in the attack, which left 35 other Israelis injured.

Bulgarian investigators stage a reenactment of the bus bombing in July 2012 that killed five Israeli tourists at the Burgas airport, on Friday, April 26, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Valentina Petrova)
Bulgarian investigators stage a reenactment of the bus bombing in July 2012 that killed five Israeli tourists at the Burgas airport, on Friday, April 26, 2013. (AP/Valentina Petrova)

Bulgarian authorities identified the attacker’s alleged accomplices as two Lebanese men with links to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, named as Australian passport holder Meliad Farah and Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan.

The attack — which both Israel and Bulgaria blamed on Hezbollah — was the deadliest hit against Israelis abroad since 2004.

It played a role in a subsequent European Union decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization.

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