Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.1 / Trend /
Both Hungary and the Republic of Azerbaijan fully complied with the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons when dealing with the issue of Safarov's transfer, Head of the Department on Work with Law-Enforcement Agencies of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Fuad Alasgarov told Azerbaijani media. He was commenting on the statements of press services of the U.S. National Security Council and the U.S. State Department on the transfer of Safarov to Azerbaijan and his subsequent pardon.
"The procedure of transfer of sentenced persons to serve their sentences is regulated by the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, adopted within the Council of Europe in 1983. Hungary and the Republic of Azerbaijan have ratified the Convention.
According to this Convention, a person convicted in one of the Contracting Parties may be transferred to another Contracting Party in order to serve his sentence," the head of the department of the Presidential Administration said.
He said the Convention does not even prevent the transfer of a sentenced person immediately after his judgment became final.
"Both Hungary and the Republic of Azerbaijan fully complied with the Convention when dealing with the issue of Safarov's transfer. Azerbaijani side has provided all the necessary legal information related to continuation of the enforcement of the sentence. Based on this information, the Hungarian side has given their consent to Ramil Safarov's transfer," Alasgarov said.
The representative of the Presidential Administration said that in connection with Safarov's pardon it is necessary to note that the Hungarian court in its judgment prohibited only the sentenced person's release on parole within 30 years from the date of pronouncement of the judgment. This restriction did not concern the possibility of pardon or amnesty for the sentenced person.
"Safarov was pardoned in line with the Constitution and laws of Azerbaijan, and the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The Convention provides that each Party may grant pardon, amnesty or commutation of the sentence in accordance with its Constitution or other laws," Alasgarov said.
He said that according to the Constitution of Azerbaijan, the power to pardon belongs exclusively to the President. The penal legislation of Azerbaijan provides that the sanction of a person sentenced to life imprisonment, may be replaced by way of pardon with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 25 years.
"Ramil Safarov has been in custody since February 19, 2004, that is, he has served more than eight and a half years of his sentence. The act of pardon should be considered as the replacement of the sentenced person's life imprisonment with the sanction of imprisonment equal to the term already served by him. Ramil Safarov was accordingly released," the head of the department of the Presidential Administration said.
Alasgarov stressed that both the procedure for Ramil Safarov's transfer to Azerbaijan and his subsequent pardon were in full conformity with the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the domestic legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.