February 19 marks the 9th anniversary of the killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan.
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.
By a decree of then-President of Armenia, Robert Kocharian, officer Margaryan was awarded with a posthumous Medal for Courage on February 19, 2005.
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.
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 earlier.
Attila Mesterhazy said it was clear from Orban’s comments at a news conference on September 11 that he had been aware that Azerbaijan would release the life-sentenced Ramil Safarov after his repatriation.