So I Pardoned an Axe Murderer
September 10, 2012 9:12 PM Subscribe
posted by orrnyereg (31 comments total)
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In 2004, Gurgen Margaryan (from Armenia) and Ramil Safarov (from Azerbaijan) were in Budapest attending a NATO-sponsored language training. While Margaryan was sleeping, Safarov hacked him to death with an axe. Safarov, who never denied his culpability and stated he only committed the crime because Margaryan was Armenian, was sentenced to life in prison in 2006.
Late last month, the Hungarian government led by Viktor Orban extradited Safarov to Azerbaijan
with the understanding that he would continue his sentence there. When Safarov arrived in Baku he was promptly pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev
and given a hero's welcome
The Armenian government is understandably furious and has broken off diplomatic relations with Hungary
. Overwhelmed by bad press, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry's internal research department suggested this response: "Let's Dare to Be Stupid!"
. To wit, that no one in the Foreign Ministry had any expertise in the Caucasus region and didn't bother to get any assurances from the Azeris.
The decision to extradite Safarov was being considered in tandem with negotiations for the Azeris to purchase 2-3 billion Euros'-worth of Hungarian government bonds
. The purchase did not go through, however, because the relevant Azeri government agency could not purchase such a large amount of junk bonds.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have a long-standing conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh, which began in 1988 and ended in a ceasefire in 1994. During the conflict approximately 800,000 Azeris from Armenia and Karabakh and 230,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan were displaced
. Safarov's pardon and the possibility
it raises for future conflict
in the region
has been criticized by NATO
, the United States
, and others
Hungarian Spectrum has been all over this, as you'll see from the links. The Contrarian Hungarian
has more on the blowback against Hungary here
On Viktor Orban and Hungary--previously