Hungary's decision to extradite Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov was disgusting from moral and legal aspects, Vartan Oskanian, ex-foreign minister of Armenia and MP of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), wrote on his Facebook page.
From a moral point of view, Hungary was to consult with the Armenian side, let alone the centuries-old friendship between the two countries, the existence of the Armenian community in Hungary, Armenia's contribution to the struggle for the liberation of Hungary, etc.
From a legal point of view, Hungary has violated the provisions of the European Convention on Extradition, fully realizing that the moment Safarov stepped his country, he will not serve his remaining sentence in Baku as was envisaged by the Convention.
Hungary's decision was inadmissible; there cannot be two opinions. But let us speak about the shortcomings of the Armenian side as well. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security Service have stumbled in their work. There cannot be two opinions in this issue either. The fact is that everybody was aware of the pending extradition two weeks before Hungary made the decision. Both the Armenian community in Hungary and Armenian NGOs had warned about the possible extradition but to no avail. They all met complete indifference in Armenia. In fact, our state agencies were to warn everyone, including the community, NGOs and ordinary people about it. Today, we become more convinced that the clamour raised in Armenia, Hungary and international community was to precede the incident. I do not even doubt that in that case we would be able to avert Safarov's extradition to Azerbaijan.
This is really lamentable," said Mr. Oskanian.
While undergoing instruction at NATO's courses in Budapest in 2004, senior lieutenant Safarov killed Armenian army serviceman Gurgen Markarian, who, as he claimed, had insulted the Azerbaijani flag. In April 2006 a court in Budapest sentenced Safarov to the life imprisonment. On Friday, August 31, he was extradited to Baku, where he was pardoned and set free. Safarov had served more than eight years of his term.
Later the same day, Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan said that Yerevan was suspending diplomatic relations and all official contacts with Hungary in response to Budapest's decision to repatriate Safarov.