Bulgaria’s Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsartsarov, has confirmed that the identity of the perpetrator of the 2012 Burgas bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists has been discovered.
Tsartsarov was quoted on Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) saying Friday that while he could not yet divulge the identity of the suicide bomber who targeted Israeli tourists at Burgas's Sarafovo Airport, investigation material and findings, including the bomber’s identity, had been transferred to the Burgas prosecutor for the preparation of indictments.
He estimated that the indictments against the suspected culprits would be ready in several weeks.
“The trial of those involved in the attack was supposed to be opened at the end of February or early March, but recent findings about the about the identity of the third perpetrator will require a little more time to complete the preparation of the updated indictment," said Tsartsarov.
The prosecutor added that new data received from various foreign intelligence services through mechanisms for international legal assistance led to the new development in the investigation.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry announced last July the identities of two Lebanese civilians suspected to be behind the attack: 25-year-old Hassan El-Hajj Hassan, and 32-year-old Meliad Farah, who held Canadian and Australian citizenship respectively.
Bulgarian authorities said that the two were members of the terrorist group Hezbollah, and that they fled to Lebanon after the attack. Bulgaria has already filed an extradition request to the Lebanese government. According to Bulgarian investigators, the two entered Bulgaria before the attack using faked identities.
Last month, Bulgarian media reported that a third suspect in the case had been identified, but Tsartsarov's statement represents the first official confirmation.