Lt. Gurgen Margaryan

Armenian MP Calls for PACE to Disclose Hungary-Azerbaijan Corruption Deal

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STRASBOURG (Armenpress) — Naira Zohrabyan, a member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), called on the members of the Council of Europe to reveal the involvement of their fellow lawmakers in the recent corruption scandals linked with the Assembly. The Armenian member of parliament also urged the representatives of Hungarian delegation at PACE to find out how the government of Hungary allegedly released convicted murderer Ramil Safarov to Baku for a reported sum of $7.6 million.

(Safarov in 2004 was convicted of murder after he killed with an ax Armenian Army Lieutenant Gurgen Margaryan when both were in Hungary taking part in a NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace English-language course. Safarov struck Markaryan 16 times with an ax, almost decapitating him. Safarov was transferred from Hungary to Azerbaijan in 2012, assuring Armenia that he would serve his sentence in full in his native country. Instead, Safarov received a heroes welcome and was immediately pardoned, as well as receiving a promotion in his army rank. No explanations were offered by Azerbaijan or Hungary, at the time.)

Zohrabyan delivered her remarks at the PACE autumn plenary session touching upon the resignation of Pedro Agramunt and the recent corruption scandals involving European lawmakers and the need to disclose them.

“Pedro Agramunt, known as ‘Don Corruption,’ resigned on October 6 after calls by his political handlers. I congratulate those PACE lawmakers who didn’t allow the PACE name to be identified with corruption where someone can buy, sell, resell a lawmaker and force to serve his country’s authoritarian agenda. But whether putting an end on Pedro Agramunt is enough to clean up the corruption cobweb from the PACE face? It becomes clear that different European figures are involved in the famous corruption scandal and for years have received huge amount of money from the Danske Bank Estonia branch. I hope our colleagues from the Hungarian delegation will address a question to their country’s political leadership over the scandalous disclosure according to which Hungary has sold murderer Ramil Safarov for $7.6 million. [Safarov] killed Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan with an axe while he was sleeping. I think our Hungarian colleagues will be interested in how millions of dollars have been transferred to a bank account opened by Metastar Invest in the Hungarian MKB bank and how these bank accounts are linked with Hungary’s political leadership,” Zohrabyan said.

The Armenian lawmaker said during the PACE June session they have supported the creation of independent investigative body which impartially investigates all corruption cases linked with the Assembly’s activity.

“There are numerous similar facts which have recently been the subject of international media. I join the statement of the President of Transparency International who said ‘it’s just shocking to see how certain political figures are being sold in a respected structure like PACE and close their eyes on corruption and human rights violations.’”

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