Hungarian ombudsman slams govt. over Azeri axe-killer extradition

Hungarian ombudsman slams govt. over Azeri axe-killer extradition

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hungarian ombudsman Laszlo Szekely addressed a report on extradition of Azeri axe-killer Ramil Safarov to his Armenian counterpart Karen Andreasyan.

In his report, the human rights defender slammed the actions of Hungarian government, specifically those of the Minister of Justice, leading to Safarov's extradition. He also criticized the government for failing to demand guarantees that the criminal will continue serving his sentence in Azerbaijan, as well as turning a blind eye to differences in Azeri and Hungarian stance on the crime perpetrated.

As Szekely stressed in his report, "the minister's actions jeopardized the principle of the supremacy of law, undermining his compatriots' trust in justice in his own country."

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 NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace program.

On April 13, 2006, Budapest District Court sentenced Safarov to life in prison for murdering Margaryan. On February 22, 2007, Budapest Court rejected the Azerbaijani military officer's appeal against the verdict, precluding possibility of pardon for the initial 30 years.

In 2012, Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan and pardoned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Official Yerevan reacted by suspending diplomatic ties with Hungary. Hungary, however, stated that it had sent Safarov back to Azerbaijan after receiving assurances from the Azerbaijani Justice Ministry that Safarov's sentence, which included the possibility of parole after 25 years, would be enforced.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban first stated that he transferred the prisoner to Azerbaijan on the understanding that he would serve out the rest of his life sentence in his home country. In later statements, Orban admitted that he not only signed the extradition agreement himself, but that he had repeatedly been warned that if Safarov were extradited to oil-rich Azerbaijan, he would be pardoned and even celebrated by Ilham Aliyev's brutal dictatorial regime. According to some reports, Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan in exchange for Azeri purchase of Hungarian securities worth Euro 2-3 billion, an information official Budapest denies.

“Hungarian prime minister is “morally bankrupt” and should resign after admitting that he personally approved the transfer of the Azeri axe murderer while knowing the likely consequences,” the leader of the opposition Socialists said.

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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