Hungarian PM admits he knew Azeri killer would be released

Hungarian PM admits he knew Azeri killer would be released

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán admitted in a closed party meeting last week that he had ordered Ramil Safarov to be transferred back to Azerbaijan despite the fact that he was aware that Safarov would be released sooner or later, Politics.hu reported citing Origo.hu.

The Hungarian-language website, which for its part cited two separate unnamed sources close to the government and Fidesz, said Orbán had been repeatedly warned by his fellow party members and advisors of the risks such a move involved but the Prime Minister was looking to make a gesture toward the Azeris in an effort to secure new creditors to buoy up Hungary’s ailing budget.

During the meeting, which turned into a heated debate, Orbán acknowledged that he knew “there would be trouble” but expected Safarov to be pardoned only months later for “health reasons.”

Despite protests by Tibor Navracsics, the Minister of Public Administration and Justice, and repeated warnings by justice ministry experts, Orbán in August went ahead and ordered the transfer agreement to be signed.

Origo said the government politicians it asked for comment agreed that the incident was “awkward” but shared the Prime Minister’s opinion that the best way to handle the situation was to practically ignore the whole case.

Gurgen Margaryan

On February 19, 2004, Lieutenant of the Armenian Armed Forces Gurgen Margaryan, 26, was hacked to death, while asleep, by a fellow Azerbaijani participant, lieutenant Ramil Safarov, in Budapest during a three-month English language course in the framework of Partnership for Peace NATO-sponsored program. In accordance with Budapest District Court sentence dated April 13, 2006, Ramil Safarov was life imprisoned for murdering the Armenian officer.

On February 22, 2007, Budapest Court rejected the Azerbaijani military officer's appeal against a life sentence. The appeal court ruled that the decision brought by Budapest District Court against 30-year-old Lieutenant Ramil Safarov, should stand.

On August 31, 2012, Hungary extradited Safarov back to Azerbaijan, where he was promptly pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev.

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