Top official: European Parliament’s resolution on Ramil Safarov distorts facts
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.19 / Trend /
Facts in the European Parliament's resolution on extradition and pardon of Ramil Safarov were distorted to achieve certain political goals, Head of the Department on Work with Law-Enforcement Agencies of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Fuad Alasgarov said in an interview with Azerbaijani media outlets.
A few days ago, the European Parliament adopted a resolution related to Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov's extradition from Hungary to Azerbaijan and his pardoning.
According to the resolution, Safarov's pardon is considered as breach of diplomatic assurances by the Hungarian authorities that Ramil Safarov could be released only after serving 25 years of punishment (the resolution refers to a letter of Deputy Justice Minister, on who's authority these assurances were given to the Hungarian side).
As Alasgarov said, the letter mentioned in the resolution was disseminated in the European Parliament before the voting.
In this case, request of the Hungarian side, response to which was the letter, was not disseminated, meaning that the response of the Azerbaijani side was taken out of the context.
"In this regard, it is necessary to clarify some requirements of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, with which the correspondence between the relevant authorities of Azerbaijan and Hungary was connected in the first place, including the associated letter. Under the Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Convention, the State to which the convicted person is handed over, may fulfill enforcement of the sentence via two ways: it can continue carrying out the sentence passed by a court of a foreign state, or it may convert the sentence, through a judicial or administrative procedure, that is, simply speaking, it may pass a new sentence, but considering the facts established by a foreign court, and type of punishment imposed in his sentence," Alasgarov said.
He said under Paragraph 2 of Article 9, the State to which the convicted person is handed over, if requested, shall inform as which of these procedures it will follow.
"Namely, a letter mentioned in the resolution of the European Parliament, has been sent in response to such a request. In its request, the Hungarian side requested to notify which of the two procedures will be applied in connection with transfer of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan. The request asked to inform the Hungarian side, in case of applying the procedure of converting the sentence, about the provisions of the Azerbaijani legislation on parole of persons sentenced to life imprisonment. It was due to the fact that the Hungarian court in its verdict stated, that the parole issue of Ramil Safarov could be considered in the court only after he serves 30 years of his sentence," Alasgarov said.
He said in its letter of response, the Justice Ministry of Azerbaijan informed the Hungarian side about the requirement of Article 57.3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, under which a person sentenced to life imprisonment by the court may be released on parole only after serving 25 years of his sentence.
At the same time, the letter of response stated that Azerbaijani side will not be applying the procedures envisaging convert of the sentence.
"Thus, it is clear that the letter of response of the Azerbaijani side did not contain any "diplomatic assurances" that Ramil Safarov will be released only after serving 25 years of his sentence. It was only a clarification of the rules of national legislation, specifically the norms which were not to be applied within the procedure, chosen by Azerbaijan. It is also important to emphasize that Safarov was released by Azerbaijani President's pardon order. Pardon and parole are different legal mechanisms, and the ban imposed by the Hungarian court on parole of Ramil Safarov until serving 30 year of his sentence, does not extend to the possibility of his pardon. So I would like to repeat once again that transfer and pardon of Ramil Safarov was implemented flawlessly," Alasgarov said.
As he said, one of the reasons that the resolution contains such distorted facts, may be that the European Parliament members were not aware of the legal and other nuances of the issue. Or the facts may be distorted to achieve certain political goals.
"In this or other cases, this situation does not help to increase the authority of the European Parliament. In fact, it actually misleads the international community by means of the document. So it is not surprising that a number of influential political groups of the European Parliament refused to support such a biased document," Alasgarov said.