YEREVAN, September 6. /ARKA/. “We are perplexed that the reactions by the Armenian Diaspora in the United States, following the extradition by the Hungarian authorities and subsequent pardoning by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev of Ramil Safarov, who had been serving a life sentence in a Hungarian jail for killing an Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan during a NATO training event in Budapest are also being directed at Turkey,’ Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
”These efforts and baseless claims targeting Turkey, which has not been involved at any stage of the process, are nothing more than another attempt at defamation by ill-intentioned circles that habitually confront Turkey in every platform,’ it said.
Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani army Lt. convicted by a Hungarian court to life in prison for killing an Armenian colleague, Gurgen Margarian, had been sent by Hungary back to Azerbaijan to serve his prison sentence where he was pardoned by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Lt. Ramil Safarov was given a life sentence in 2006 by a Hungarian court after he confessed to killing Lt. Gurgen Margarian, an Armenian, while both were in Hungary for a 2004 NATO language course. Azerbaijan’s president decision prompted Armenia to suspend diplomatic ties with Hungary.
Some Armenian analysts suggested that Turkey not only knew about the imminent extradition of Safarov but was also involved in the process as a mediator. -0-