Budapest Case - the history of the murder of Gurgen Margaryan
Lt. Gurgen Margaryan
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Kuti Balazs, an eye-witness


Armenian citizen Gurgen Margaryan, 26 years old, was hacked to death while asleep by Ramil Safarov, a Lieutenant of the Azerbaijani Army. Both were participants of an English language training course within the framework of the NATO-sponsored “Partnership for Peace” program held in Budapest, Hungary.

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Interrogated is the eye-witness Kuti Balazs, Hungarian, the victim’s roommate.

WARNING: the following text was first translated from Hungarian into Russian, then into English and is provided 'as is' with no warranties of absolute accuracy. However the translators did their best to provide an accurate translation.

To the questions posed to me I would like to respond that at present I am attending an English-language course at the Institute of Zrini Mikli from January 12 to April 7, 2004. Afterwards I will be serving in the Hungarian Army. During the study I will live in the dormitory complex located at the Institute territory, more specifically – in the second building, on the second floor, room 218/a.

I was placed as a roommate with another course participant from Armenia, Armenian by nationality, whom I called Gugo as a nickname, although his full name was Gurgen. Yesterday evening, from 8 p.m. I was watching a football match between Armenia and Hungary. By the end of the first half Gugo returned from the gym. I would like to note that we communicated only in English as we did not master the language perfectly, there were moments when we might not understand each other completely. I was lying on my bed watching football, while Gurgen sat at his desk preparing his homework. Naturally, we discussed the interesting moments of the football game. Both of us made some remarks concerning the game. These talks passed in a totally friendly atmosphere, nobody said any offensive word towards one another, there was a complete military friendship among us. On our floor, besides the Hungarians, there were also Serbs, Uzbekistanis, and people of other nationalities, but no conflict ever occurred. When we just got acquainted, there was a conversation about different international issues, but nobody spoke of it afterwards. Gurgen spoke very little about Armenian-Azerbaijani questions, but after that there were no talks like that even among us. A guy named Anar studied in the group as well, and after what had happened I found out that he was an Azerbaijani. I had noticed that he and the accused used to talk to each other frequently. Returning to the yesterday's evening – after the football match I also started doing my English lessons, and asked Gugo to go to the second Armenian's room to boil hot water, as he had a boiler, and I was having a soar throat so I wanted to take medicine with hot tea.

I drank my tea and went to take shower, while Gurgen stayed in the room and continued studying. Then I went to bed and watched TV for another hour, and he went to his compatriot's room at around 9:30 p.m. This all happened after the football match, I cannot say the exact time, only approximately. I left the remote control at the desk and switched on the table-lamp. I don't remember when (Gurgen) came back, but as he came he continued studying till around midnight.

After the medicine, tiredness, and the temperature I fell asleep fast. Somewhere around the morning it seemed to me that the light was switched on, as I was sleeping with my face turned to the wall. Suddenly I heard a strange muffled noise, around two or three times. Then, without thinking of something bad, I turned round; being still half asleep I opened my eyes, and only then understood what had happened. By Gugo's bedside I saw the Azerbaijani classmate with a long-handled axe in his hands. I got up from my bed and in Hungarian, no, in English, said to him: 'Stop it! What are you doing?' When I saw that my roommate was lying on his back and his head and neck were bleeding, while he was wheezing as if he was short of air (those were very low sounds) I was simply shocked. I understood that I could not help any longer, but I had to stop the further events so I went downstairs and called for help. I knew that I could not help my friend any more.

The investigator showed Safarov's photograph. I explained that it was not the person I attended the course with, but it was the person who was standing with an axe in his hand in my room and was stabbing my friend.

When I shouted at that person, he turned to me and said (or I understood it from his gesture) that he had no problems with me and even after that he made two or more blows, after what he left the room, and I left after him. He left with such an expression on his face as if he had completed something important well enough. I went to look for help, and he turned right to the corridor, while I turned left. I didn't know where he planned to go.

I did not notice any strain in the relationship between Gurgen and Azeri, Gurgen didn't mention about it either.

The question of the investigator: Please answer, how was he standing, how was he holding the axe, and have you seen any other weapon in his hands?

He stood with his back to me, closing the lying one with his body, just the way that he could make a blow exactly between the head and the neck. He had an axe in his right hand, held it up and made the blow. As I said before, I heard two or three muffled sounds of the blows. I didn't see anything else in his hands, neither a knife nor a Finnish knife.

Answering your questions, I should say that we never locked our doors at night, only when we were leaving for a long while.

I cannot remember or tell anything else. The Protocol has been compiled according to my words, and after reading it, I am putting my signature. I do not need any expenses to be covered concerning the interrogation.

The Protocol has been signed on 19.02.2004 at 11:20 .a.m.


The text of the first interrogation of Ramil Safarov
Responses to the murder of Gurgen Margaryan