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Azerbaijani Politicos: Extradition and Pardon of Safarov Met International Standards

While Armenians are condemning the extradition and pardon of Ramil Safarov, convicted for the 2004 murder of Armenian army officer Gurgen Margaryan, Azerbaijani political figures are praising both steps, stating that nothing improper happened.

Fuad Alasgarov Head of the Department on Work with Law-Enforcement Agencies of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, stated that according to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, adopted by Azerbaijan and Hungary, a person convicted in one of the Contracting Parties may be transferred to another Contracting Party in order to serve his sentence.

"Both Hungary and the Republic of Azerbaijan fully complied with the Convention when dealing with the issue of Safarov's transfer. Azerbaijani side has provided all the necessary legal information related to continuation of the enforcement of the sentence. Based on this information, the Hungarian side has given their consent to Ramil Safarov's transfer," Alasgarov said.

Alasgarov noted that in its decision, the Hungarian court only prohibited the sentenced person's release on parole within 30 years from the date of pronouncement of the judgment. This restriction did not concern the possibility of pardon or amnesty for the sentenced person.

"Safarov was pardoned in line with the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan, and the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The Convention provides that each Party may grant pardon, amnesty or commutation of the sentence in accordance with its Constitution or other laws," Alasgarov said.

Ali Ahmedov, Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, went even further and described President Aliyev’s pardon of Safarov as “a triumph of determination, courage and justice.”

Ali Akhmedov remarked that the release of Safarov will herald the liberation of Karabakh, because the fates of Karabakh and Safarov are similar. 

"Both Karabakh, and Ramil became victims of saboteurs. The first is occupied by the enemy, while the other for so many years was imprisoned. Ramil was released, next is the liberation of Karabakh. Please God; let the day come when President, Supreme Commander Ilham Aliyev announces the liberation of Karabakh. All believe and wait for it. One injustice has been relegated to history, the other, I believe, will also be eliminated," Ahmedov said.

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