Thursday, August 30, 15:04

Armenia must prevent Ramil Safarov's extradition to Azerbaijan by
all means possible. To recall, Safarov viciously killed a sleeping
Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest in February 2004.

Larisa Alaverdyan, the first Ombudswoman of Armenia, Executive Officer
of the Fund Against Legal Outrage, ex-parliamentarian from Heritage
Party, made such statement in a press conference in Yerevan, Thursday.

"Safarov's extradition is quite probable, as Hungary is experiencing
negative political processes starting from transition from democratic
to authoritarian government up to economic crisis. In such situations,
countries often resort to the forms of economic assistance. Taking
advantage of its possibilities, Baku traditionally uses corruption
methods to 'redeem' Safarov," she said.

Recently Armenian mass media cited Hungarian newspapers reporting
that Azerbaijan is expected to buy Hungarian government bonds in the
amount of 2-3 bln EUR. Analysts say that Baku may use that deal to
achieve Safarov's extradition. In this light, 80 Armenian public and
non-governmental organizations and public figures have united and
addressed a statement to the Hungarian authorities urging them not
to allow Safarov's extradition to Azerbaijan.

Alaverdyan is sure that the Defense, Justice and Foreign Ministries
of Armenia must immediately make official requests to the relevant
structures in Hungary to verify reliability of the reports of Armenian
and Hungarian mass media on the negotiations for Safarov's extradition.

"If the extradition process is launched, the Armenian party will no
longer be able to stop it. If extradited, Safarov will be set free as
he enjoys glory in Azerbaijan and has become an example to follow,"
Alaverdyan said.

For her part, Nazeli Vardanyan, the lawyer representing Gurgen
Margaryan's family in Budapest, said that Safarov fulfilled
Azerbaijan's state order by killing Margaryan. She said that
Azerbaijan even opened an Embassy in Budapest and representatives
of the Azerbaijan and Turkish embassies in Hungary were present at
all the trials. The Azerbaijani authorities were trying to soften
Safarov's sentence by all means possible. The lawer said that there
is no precedent of extradition of convicts for such heavy crime.

Nevertheless, the Armenian public must be vigilant and not rely on
lack of such practice.

To recall, on February 19 2004, R. Safarov viciously axed sleeping G.
Margaryan in Budapest. Both the officers were undergoing an English
language course under the NATO PfP program. On April 13 2006 the First
Instance Court of Budapest sentenced Safarov to life imprisonments
without the right to pardon for 30 years. In February 2007 the Court
of Appeal left the verdict unchanged. President of Armenia Robert
Kocharyan decreed awarding Gurgen Margaryan with Gallantry Medal