Interpol's New President May Be Russian - Yes You Read That Right

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 21, 2018

At the helm of Russia's National Central Bureau - an office held by every Interpol member state - he is believed to have been responsible for the controversial arrests and harassment of British hedge fund manager Bill Browder and a number of other journalists, businessmen and politicians.

"Interpol electing Maj. Gen. Alexander Prokopchuk as its new President is akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse", the senators wrote in a statement.

The election has been prompted by the sudden detention in China last month of Interpol's former president Meng Hongwei, who was snatched without warning by authorities, plunging the organisation into crisis.

What Is The Issue With His Possible Appointment?

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has faced a flurry of detentions and criminal charges, tweeted Monday that his associates "have suffered abuse" from Interpol officials who were complying with Russian warrants to persecute Kremlin opponents.

RT's video agency was refused accreditation for a press conference held by United Kingdom businessman Bill Browder, who is warning that if a Russian is elected to lead Interpol, democracy and freedom will suffer. Writing on social media, he cast them as a vendetta waged by Mr Putin for his lobbying, which in 2012 led to U.S. sanctions on Russian Federation in what is widely known as the Magnitsky Act.

The act was named after Mr Browder's lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who was killed while in custody after investigating a web of corruption involving more than $200 million and slew of Kremlin-linked figures.

They added that the Red Notice procedure had been used as an "instrument of persecution".

Hedge-fund owner and Moscow critic Bill Browder has called on the worldwide community to consider a "plan B" after mounting evidence that Interpol's "red notice" arrest warrant program had been systematically abused by Russian Federation, and other states.

On Monday a bipartisan group of U.S. senators released a letter saying the election of Prokopchuk would be "akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse".

While its charter explicitly proclaims its neutrality, the organization has faced criticism that governments have abused the "red notice" system to go after political enemies and dissidents.

There is one other contender running against Prokopchuk for the job - Kim Jong Yang, the acting head of Interpol from South Korea.

"We continue to call on our administration to use its voice, vote and influence to ensure that Interpol can no longer be co-opted by Putin and other dictators for their own nefarious purposes".

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