NICOSIA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- A court in the southern Cypriot city of Limassol passed a guilty verdict on Thursday against a Swedish-Lebanese Hezbollah member accused of plotting to attack Israeli interests in Cyprus.
A three-man Assize Court found Hossam Taleb Yaccoub guilty on five counts for participating in a criminal organization, agreeing to commit a crime and legalizing money obtained by a criminal organization.
The court's decision said 24-year-old Yaccoub had been tracking movements of Israeli tourists in Cyprus, including the arrival of flights from Israel and the registration numbers of buses taking Israeli tourists to hotels.
The court said in its verdict it could not find any rational explanation which could render his actions innocent.
The court set March 28 for hearing mitigation pleas by attorneys representing Yaccoub before passing on a sentence, which could be up to 14 years in prison.
Yaccoub was arrested two weeks before a suicide attack which killed five Israelis in Bulgaria last year.
Iran-backed Hezbollah has been declared a terrorist organization by the United States and some other countries. Among EU countries, it is considered to be a terrorist organization only by the Netherlands and a guilty verdict on Yaccoub will strengthen calls for the EU to declare it as one.