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0Hungary Frees Murderer of Armenian Officer, Aids Azerbaijan's Ramil Safarov: Armenia Furious

The diplomatic confrontation between Armenia and Hungary worsened this week as Armenian community leaders added their voices to demands that Budapest be held accountable for its role in freeing an Azerbaijani man convicted of murdering an Armenian officer in the Hungarian capital. Speaking to JN1, the influential head of Russia’s Armenian Union, businessman and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ara Abrahamyan, labeled Hungary’s role in the scandal as ‘treacherous’. Abrahamyan said the Hungarian authorities ‘need to recognize that they have made a huge mistake and do everything in their power to rectify it, whatever the cost.’ Armenia is furious with Hungary following Budapest’s decision last week to extradite Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov back to his homeland. The extradition went ahead despite the fact that Safarov was only eight years into a life sentence which he was serving in Hungary for the premeditated murder of an Armenian officer during a NATO conference in the Hungarian capital in 2004. Armenian officer Gurgen Markaryan was bludgeoned to death by Safarov as he slept. As widely anticipated in Yerevan, convicted murderer Safarov was accorded a hero’s welcome in Baku, receiving an official pardon before being showered with praise and state honours. This lavish reception provoked anger and indignation in neighbouring Armenia, with Yerevan officials claiming that the incident threatened to undermine the fragile peace of the region. Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war in