UN Concerned Over Azerbaijan’S Pardon For Ax-Murder Soldier

UN CONCERNED OVER AZERBAIJAN’S PARDON FOR AX-MURDER SOLDIER

Agence France Presse
September 6, 2012 Thursday 5:00 PM GMT

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Thursday added his voice to criticism of
Azerbaijan for pardoning a soldier who axed to death a rival from
Armenia.

The United Nations called on Azerbaijan to keep to “international
standards and principles of rule of law,” said UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky.

Tensions have mounted between Armenia and Azerbaijan since Ramil
Safarov was given a hero’s welcome and freed in Baku after being
extradited last week from Hungary. He had been serving a life sentence
for hacking the Armenian officer to death during a NATO training
exercise in Budapest in 2004.

“The secretary general is concerned about the developments surrounding
the case of Mr Safarov since his transfer on August 31 to Azerbaijan
and subsequent pardon by Azerbaijani authorities,” Nesirky told
reporters.

“The UN underscores the responsibility of member states to adhere
to international standards and principles of rule of law in criminal
cases in order to ensure accountability and fight impunity.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan are in dispute over the Nagorno Karabakh and the
United Nations hopes the latest wrangle will not “damage the Nagorno
Karabakh peace process and trust between the sides,” Nesirky added.

“There is no alternative to a peace settlement to the Nagorno Karkabakh
conflict,” he said.

NATO, the United States and European Union have all expressed concern
about the Safarov case.

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