European Court oversteps its authority

European Court oversteps its authority

10 February 2016, 16:19 986

Armenian media has once again brought up the killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan due to his insulting behavior by the officer of Azerbaijani army Ramil Safarov. Armenian media outlets report that, European Court Of Human Rights has recognized Azerbaijan and Hungary as the responsible parties for the murder of Margaryan. The verdict of the European Court demands that Azerbaijan and Hungary officially respond to the claims of Armenian officer's relatives. They state that, Margaryan's relatives want Ramil Safarov to be imprisoned again. According to them, Azerbaijan, as well as Hungary has violated the law. Hungary gave permission for Ramil Safarov to be extradited before getting a guarantee that he would serve full- time determined by the court. One of the claimants is Hayk Makuchyan. He has claimed that Ramil Safarov wanted to kill him during the incident in Budapest. It appears, the enemy state is showing zeal on a state level. But can Armenians achieve anything? How valid are their claims?

The member of Azerbaijani Parliament's Committee on Legal Policy and State Building Chingiz Ganizade commented on the issue and told "Kaspi" that despite Armenian efforts, European Court cannot adopt a decision to send Ramil Safarov to prison once again. According to him, the decision that European Court made or will made on this matter will only apply to countries in Europe: "To order someone to be imprisoned or extradited is not under the jurisdiction of European Court of Human Rights. European Court can only suggest that a certain case to be reviewed again. But there are some cases where European court has given direct orders. From time to time, we - lawyers, human rights defenders have responded to it and said they are overstepping their authority. As for the Ramil Safarov's case, it is not the business of European Court of Human Rights or the Council of Europe. This is a part of the campaign Armenian lobby is waging against Azerbaijan. They are bringing up certain issues in order to create problems for Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani president has the Constitutional right to pardon any prisoner. President Ilham Aliyev used this right when he pardoned Ramil Safarov. But if Hungary has violated any procedure when transferring our officer or hasn't obtained guarantees beforehand, this factor cannot affect Ramil Safarov now. Because the reversal of the decision made has never happened before. It is the same in the world practice too. It is impossible to reverse a verdict and apply it to aggravating cases. This is not only the case in Azerbaijan, but also in Europe and the world as a whole. The principles of humanism was the basis for pardoning Ramil Safarov. That's why Ramil Safarov cannot be arrested again".

 Ganizade stated that, Azerbaijan had taken right steps in bringing Safarov to Azerbaijan and pardoning him. Therefore their claims are baseless: " The tantrums Armenians are throwing can never result in the arrest of Ramil Safarov. It is unambiguous. The other side of the story is that Armenians have acted unlawfully in the past. The terrorist who committed several terror acts in Europe and killed civilians and political leaders were later brought to Armenia and not only were they pardoned but also monuments were raised for their honor and they were granted privileges. If Armenians are persistent on the issue of Ramil Safarov, we should as well raise the issue of Armenians who committed mass killings, terror acts in Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabagh at European Court of Human Rights. For instance, the current and former political leadership of Armenia was directly involved in many war crimes and Khojaly massacre during the Karabagh war. We can raise that issue on the international level".


Human rights defender, lawyer Sahib Mammadov also stated in his interview with our newspaper that, it was impossible for Ramil Safarov to return to jail as a result of Armenia appealing to European Court of Human Rights. In his opinion, they may be referring to article II of European Human Rights Convention -violation of the right to live and compensation set in connection to this: "European Court may raise the issue of paying compensation to the family of the victim by either Azerbaijan or Hungary. That is the most they can get out of it. But if Azerbaijani side prepares well for the court, serious arguments can be made. For instance, Armenian side claims that despite being sentenced for killing Gurgen Margaryan, Ramil Safarov was pardoned and released without doing his sentence. From the point of view of European Convention, pardon is not considered a legal institution. But according to Armenians, Ramil Safarov has committed a serious crime and he was given a life sentence and he can only be released after serving at least 30 years in prison. But we also have powerful counter-arguments. First of all, Ramil Safarov was in a highly emotional state when he committed the crime. Under the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, 9 years maximum prison sentence is determined for this crime. Ramil has served most of this sentence. He could use his right for conditional release. By citing this and other valid arguments, it is possible to defeat Armenians at European Court".

We should note that, in February of 2004, while participating in NATO's "Partnership for peace" program in Budapest, the Armenian officer behaved in such a manner that Ramil Safarov had no choice but to kill him. On 13 February, 2006, Ramil Safarov was sentenced to life in prison by the Budapest Court. He was extradited to Azerbaijan on 31st of August 2012 and pardoned by the president. Armenians are still objecting to this.

Rufik Ismayilov