|Birth date||25 August 1977|
AZERBAIJANI OFFICER SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR MURDERING ARMENIAN. A Budapest district court on April 13, 2006 sentenced Lieutenant Ramil Safarov to life imprisonment for the "premeditated, malicious, and cruel" murder in February 2004 of Lieutenant Gurgen Markarian, an Armenian fellow participant on a NATO language-training course, dpa reported. Safarov will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence. In Baku, the Karabakh Liberation Organization staged a demonstration on April 14 to protest the verdict, day.az reported. Some 100 students tried to stage a similar protest in Baku on April 17, but were forcibly prevented by police who briefly detained up to 50 of them, day.az reported the following day. The Azadliq opposition bloc released a statement on April 15 terming the verdict unjust in light of Safarov's youth and the fact that members of his family died in the Karabakh war, but warning at the same time against feting Safarov as a hero, day.az reported on April 17. LF
Hungary Frees Azeri Officer Jailed For Brutal Killing Of Armenian
The Hungarian government defended the extradition later in the day, saying that it stems from the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, to which both Azerbaijan and Hungary are signatories. “Under the Convention, a person sentenced in the territory of a Party may be transferred to the territory of another Party … in order to serve the sentence imposed on him,” the Hungarian Ministry of Public Administration and Justice said in a statement posted on its website.
The statement said the Azerbaijani Ministry of Justice had assured the Hungarian side that Safarov’s life sentence “will not be converted but will immediately be continued to be enforced.” “Persons sentenced to life imprisonment [in Azerbaijan] may, at the earliest, be conditionally released after serving a period of twenty-five years,” it added, citing the ministry.
A Hungarian court convicted Safarov, now aged 35, in 2006 of murdering a 26-year-old Armenian lieutenant, Gurgen Markarian, in a “premeditated, malicious and an unusually cruel” way by nearly decapitating him with axe in February 2004 while the victim slept in a dormitory used by participants in a NATO language course.
Safarov was also found guilty of planning the murder of another Armenian, which he did not carry out. He was supposed to be eligible for parole in 30 years.
“Compassion and remorse were completely missing from [Safarov's] testimony,” the judge in the case, Andras Vaskuti, said upon announcing the verdict that was subsequently upheld by an appeals court in Budapest.
Safarov said during his trial that the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was at the root of his act. He also claimed that the Armenian officer had repeatedly provoked and ridiculed him.
Safarov was reported to thank Aliyev for the “humane act” on his return to Baku. “This is a triumph of justice,” he told the APA news agency. “It was somewhat unexpected to me.”
“I hail the entire Azerbaijani people,” he said, according to the official AzerTaj news agency. “I express deep gratitude for the attention and care shown towards myself and my family members during all these years.”
Official Baku, meanwhile, praised the Hungarian authorities for effectively freeing Safarov. “The Azerbaijani side has worked in that direction for a while, and we highly appreciate the Hungarian side’s cooperation on this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev told the Trend news agency.
Predictably, Safavor’s release sparked outrage in Armenia where many people had attributed Markarian’s brutal murder to what they see as anti-Armenian hysteria fanned by the Baku government. Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), condemned the development, saying that the Hungarian side knew that Markarian’s murderer will walk free if repatriated.
In a written statement, Sharmazanov also described the pardon granted by Aliyev as “appalling.” He said it “once again proved that a policy of anti-Armenian fascism is implemented at the state level in Azerbaijan.”
There was no immediate official reaction from the Armenian government, though.
European Court: Azerbaijan and Hungary Answerable Over Release of Ramil Safarov
STRASBOURG, France (Armradio.am) - The governments of Azerbaijan and Hungary have been asked by the European Court of Human Rights to respond formally to a case brought by the relatives of Armenian army officer Gurgen Margaryan, who was murdered by Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov in Budapest in 2004.
Margaryan's relatives are represented by European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (based in Middlesex University), Legal Guide (Armenian NGO) and Nazeli Vardanyan
Margaryan was attending a NATO-sponsored English-language course in Budapest. On February 19, 2004, Safarov murdered Margaryan who was sleeping by decapitating him with an axe. In April 2006, Safarov was found guilty of murder by the Budapest City Court, and was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the possibility of conditional release after 30 years.
The court found that Safarov had intended to kill two Armenian participants at the course on the anniversary of the beginning of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. After the Court of Appeal upheld this judgment in February 2007, Safarov began serving his sentence in a Hungarian prison.
In August 2012, the Hungarian Minister of Justice approved Safarov's transfer to Azerbaijan with a view to his serving his sentence there (under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners, 1983). However, a few hours after Safarov was transferred on August 31, 2012, he was granted a pardon by the Azerbaijani President and set free. He was also promoted to major, awarded eight years' salary arrears and offered an apartment.
In a December 2012 report, the Hungarian Ombudsman criticized the Hungarian Government for approving the transfer before any assurances about the treatment of Safarov had been received from the Azerbaijani authorities. The victim's family argue that Gurgen Margaryan's right to life has been violated by Azerbaijan - both because of his murder, and also because Ramil Safarov's pardon has prevented the full enforcement of his sentence. They also argue that Margaryan was the victim of an ethnically-motivated hate crime, which was later endorsed by Safarov's pardon and release. In addition, they argue that Hungary has breached Article 2 of the Convention because it allowed Safarov to be transferred to Azerbaijan, without having obtained assurances that he would be required to complete his prison sentence in Azerbaijan.
The case is also brought by Hayk Makuchyan, an Armenian military officer whom Ramil Safarov was convicted of intending to murder during the same incident in Budapest.
Both governments are required to lodge their responses with the Strasbourg Court by May. The Court has also invited the Armenian Government to submit its comments, given Margaryan's nationality.
California Courier Online, Feb 4, 2016
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Budapest Case - information about the murder of Gurgen Margaryan, including eyewitness' testimonies.