Armenians in Hungary to Sue Government over Safarov Extradition

Hungarians protest government's decision to extradite Safarov

BUDAPEST—The national council of Armenians in Hungary plans to file a legal claim against the Hungarian government’s controversial decision to transfer convicted Azeri murderer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan, the local Blikk newspaper reported. The publication quoted council head Szeván Sarkisian as saying the charges include abuse of power and bribery.

There are an estimated 3,500 to 30,000 Armenians living in Hungary, half of whom speak Armenian as their native language, and there are currently 31 Armenian “self-governments” operating in the country.

Ramil Safarov, the Azerbaijani army officer who was serving a life sentence in Hungary for axing to death Armenian Lt. Gurgen Margaryan, was extradited to Azerbaijan and pardoned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Official Yerevan reacted by suspending diplomatic ties with Hungary.

Hungary, however, states 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 2 to 3 billion euros, 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 Tuesday September 11 that he had been aware that Azerbaijan would release the life-sentenced Ramil Safarov after his repatriation.

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