YEREVAN — Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and other High-ranking military officials paid tribute today to the memory of Armenian Officer Gurgen Margaryan, who was brutally killed by Azerbaijani Ramil Safarov during NATO-sponsored English language courses in Budapest.

“Ten years have passed, and we have come here to pay tribute to the Armenian Officer. He was killed only for being Armenian, and the murderer has confessed he had been prepared to kill an Armenian,” Seyran Ohanyan said.

The Defense Minister also visited Yerablur Pantheon and laid flowers at Gurgen Margaryan’s grave. Later he visited Margaryan’s family and talked to his parents.

On this occasion the “Azerbaijan: Crime and Racism without Borders” video-footage in Russian and English has been released as part of the “Common Genocide” project.”

The film presents the story of the brutal murder, the axe-killer’s extradition to Azerbaijan and his glorification. The Hungarian version of the video will be posted on the web in the near future. The “Common Genocide” project is being realized by the Public Relations and Information Department of the President’s Staff.

On February 19, 2004 Lieutenant of the Armenian Armed Forces Gurgen Margaryan was hacked to death, while asleep, by a fellow Azerbaijani participant, Lieutenant Ramil Safarov, in Budapest during a three-month English language course in the framework of NATO-sponsored Partnership for Peace program.

In 2006, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary with a minimum incarceration period of 30 years. He was extradited on August 31, 2012 to Azerbaijan where he was greeted as a hero, pardoned by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev despite contrary assurances made to Hungary, promoted to the rank of major and given an apartment and over eight years of back pay.

Following Safarov’s pardon, Armenia severed diplomatic relations with Hungary.

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