The transfer of axe-murderer Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan was a “correct and right” decision, enabling Hungary to get out of the Azeri-Armenian conflict, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Parliament on Monday.
The premier responded to critical remarks by Socialist MP Laszlo Kovacs, former Socialist foreign minister, politics.hu reports.
Kovacs noted that both the foreign and the justice ministries had opposed the move, arguing that the murderer was celebrated as a national hero in his homeland and would be immediately released upon his repatriation.
Kovacs asked why the government was satisfied with the Azerbaijani pledge of not to change Safarov’s sentence and failed to ask about the chance of a presidential pardon.
Orban said the government had made a correct and right decision that complied with the rules of international law and Hungary’s legal practice.
“We would have done the same if an Armenian had killed an Azerbaijani. Hungary should follow its own interests rather than those of Armenia or Azerbaijan,” he said.
Orban said that the decision had not been motivated by the promise of any short-term benefits. In the long term, however, it will have a benefit, the premier said. The Azeri-Armenian conflict, he said, is expected to last for a while but “Hungary has got out of it by transferring the Azeri convict. As long as he was here, he caused plenty of conflicts and difficulties and the situation would not have changed in the future either,” he said.
The Hungarian authorities repatriated Azerbaijani national Safarov on August 31 on the understanding that he would continue to serve the life sentence he received in February 2004 for murdering an Armenian in Hungary.On returning to Azerbaijan, Safarov was pardoned by his country’s president Ilham Aliyev.