Accessibility links

Breaking News

Hungarian Court Jails Azerbaijani Officer For Life

Azerbaijani soldiers in action in 1992 during the war for Nagorno-Karabakh (file photo) (AFP) April 13, 2006 -- A court in Budapest today sentenced an Azerbaijani serviceman to life in prison for the murder in 2004 of an Armenian army officer.

Lieutenant Ramil Safarov had confessed to killing Gurgen Markarian with an ax during a NATO seminar in the Hungarian capital.

Safarov reportedly said he killed his Armenian classmate in the heat of a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.

But the court ruled that the murder was premeditated. It also found Safarov guilty of planning to kill another Armenian soldier, a plan he did not act on.

Azerbaijan's Turan news agency quotes Safarov's lawyers as saying they will appeal the verdict.

(Turan, APA,, Interfax-Azerbaijan, AFP)

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Click on the image to view an enlarged map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

In February 1988, the local assembly in Stepanakert, the local capital of the Azerbaijani region of NAGORNO-KARABAKH, passed a resolution calling for unification of the predominantly ethnic-Armenian region with Armenia. There were reports of violence against local Azeris, followed by attacks against Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. In 1991-92, Azerbaijani forces launched an offensive against separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Armenians counterattacked and by 1993-94 had seized almost all of the region, as well as vast areas around it. About 600,000 Azeris were displaced and as many as 25,000 people were killed before a Russian-brokered cease-fire was imposed in May 1994.

CHRONOLOGY: For an annotated timeline of the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94 and the long search for a permanent settlement to the conflict, click here.

Click on the icon to view images of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (Flash required)

To view an archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh, click here.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.