The European Court of Human Rights has issued a judgement in the case of Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary, concerning the presidential pardon of Azerbaijani convicted military officer Ramil Safarov who murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in 2004 during a NATO training course in Hungary.
ECHR delivers judgement in case concerning Gurgen Margaryan
STEPANAKERT, MAY 26, ARTSAKHPRESS-ARMENPRESS: Margaryan was asleep in his room when Safarov attacked him with an axe.
Safarov admitted in court to having killed Margaryan because of his hatred towards Armenia and Armenians. He was sentenced to life in prison by the Hungarian court. However, in 2012 Hungary extradited him to Azerbaijan. He was released upon arrival, glorified on the state-level and pardoned by President Aliyev.
The ECHR found “that there had been no justification for the Azerbaijani authorities’ failure to enforce the punishment of R.S. and to in effect grant him impunity for a serious hate crime”.
The ECHR found that “Azerbaijan had clearly endorsed [Ramil Safarov’s] acts, not only by releasing him but also by promoting him, paying him salary arrears and granting him a flat upon his return.”
The court unanimously voted that there had been a procedural violation by Azerbaijan of Article 2 (Right to Life) of the Convention, by six votes to one, that there had been a violation by Azerbaijan of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 2. The ECHR found that there were no facts to suggest that the Hungarian authorities could’ve been aware about Safarov’s future release.
The applicants had not expected financial compensation: in an earlier interview they said they seek justice and Azerbaijan’s condemnation. They only requested the court 15,143 pounds compensation for covering the expenses of lawyers. The court found that Azerbaijan must make the payment.