UN chief implicitly criticizes Azerbaijan
UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is implicitly criticizing Azerbaijan for pardoning and freeing a military officer despite promising Hungary that his life sentence for killing an Armenian lieutenant would be enforced.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky expressed Ban's concern Thursday at developments following Lt. Ramil Safarov's transfer from Hungary last month. Safarov confessed to killing Lt. Gurgen Markarian while both were in Hungary for a 2004 NATO language course.
Nesirky said Ban emphasizes that all U.N. members have a responsibility "to adhere to international standards and principles of rule of law in criminal cases in order to ensure accountability and fight impunity."
Azerbaijan and Armenia are ex-Soviet neighbors locked in a conflict over the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Nesirky said the U.N. hopes the incident won't damage the peace process.
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