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Hungarian intellectuals in Yerevan to apologize for Safarov extradition

Hungarian intellectuals in Yerevan to apologize for Safarov extradition

PanARMENIAN.Net - Four Hungarian intellectuals (historian, political analyst Zoltán Biro, rector of the John Wesley Theological College Gábor Iványi, journalist/publicist Gabor Deak and writer Rudolf Ungváry) have arrived in Armenia to apologize for the extradition of Azerbaijani criminal Ramil Safarov.

“We organized the journey to inform of most of Hungarian people’s disagreement, and our discontent with the authorities’ decision to transfer a sleeping officer’s assassin back to his homeland. Though most Hungarians negatively reacted to what happened, not all of them were able to fully express their standpoint,” Gabor Deak told a press conference in Yerevan.

“We have come to express our regret and shame. Hungary didn’t even officially recognize the Armenian Genocide as the country was in need of Turkish support then. As for the prime minister having allowed for the extradition, he would have resigned his post,” Mr. Iványi said.

Dwelling on the suspension of diplomatic relations with Hungary and Armenia’s tough policy on the issue, the intellectuals said they acknowledged that the measures were taken against the authorities, rather than the people.

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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