Not punishing killer of Gurgen Margaryan is example of fostering impunity – PM Pashinyan
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 19, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan commented on the killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest by Azerbaijani c villain Ramil Safarov. “Today we honor the memory of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan, who became an innocent victim of hatred, racism and anti-Armenian propaganda. We express solidarity with the family and friends of Margaryan.
The murder of Gurgen Margaryan and the future pardon and glorification of the convicted killer is a brilliant example of fostering impunity. We have to prevent identity-based crimes”, ARMENPRESS reports Pashinyan as saying.
The murder happened during NATO Partnership For Peace English-language courses.
In the night of February 19, 2004 Safarov, armed with an axe, broke into the dormitory room of Gurgen Margaryan and attacked the Armenian officer while he was asleep. He delivered multiple blows to Margaryan with the axe.
After nearly two years of trial, a Budapest court sentenced Safarov to life imprisonment.
However, on August 31, 2012, Safarov was extradited to Azerbaijan, where he received a state-level hero's welcome. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev promoted Safarov to the rank of major and provided him with over eight years of back pay. The same day, Armenia severed diplomatic ties with Hungary.
Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan