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Mon Nov 19, 2018, 08:21 PM

Putin is about to gain control of the world's main law enforcement organization

By Vladimir Kara-Murza
DemocracyPost contributor
November 19 at 5:23 PM

On Sunday, delegates of the general assembly of Interpol — the International Criminal Police Organization, the coordinating body for law enforcement from 192 countries — met in Dubai for their 87th annual session. The most important agenda item will come on the final day: on Wednesday, delegates will elect the organization’s new president to replace Meng Hongwei, who went missing in China in October. (The Chinese authorities later announced that Meng had been arrested on “corruption charges,” and sent what was purported to be his resignation letter to the agency’s headquarters in Lyon, France.)

The leading candidate to become the next president of Interpol is Alexander Prokopchuk, a police general in the Russian Interior Ministry who has for the past seven years headed Interpol’s Russian bureau. Prokopchuk’s candidacy was kept under wraps until the last moment — and, presumably, until the Kremlin was confident of securing enough votes. The British government has determined that Prokopchuk’s victory is assured to the extent that “there is no point in trying to stop him.” A British human rights group, Fair Trials, wrote to the Interpol secretariat strongly protesting the nomination and noting that “it would not be appropriate for a country with a record of violations of Interpol’s rules (for example by frequently seeking to use its systems to disseminate politically motivated alerts) to be given a leadership role in a key oversight institution.”

“Politically motivated alerts” have been a favorite Kremlin tactic, used to legitimize its prosecution of political opponents and make their lives more difficult by limiting their movements. Despite the explicit ban in Interpol’s constitution on “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,” the organization happily accepted Moscow’s requests to issue “red notices” — in effect, international arrest warrants — against prominent Kremlin opponeAmong the most recent targets of Kremlin-inspired “red notices” was Bill Browder, a U.S.-born financier who has spearheaded the international campaign for targeted sanctions on corrupt officials and human rights abusers in the Russian government. Sentenced in absentia to a prison term in Russia, Browder was most recently arrested in Spain on an Interpol warrant in May of this year. (He was quickly released.) He is unable to visit several countries because of the ongoing legal risks.

With a Putin-appointed police general at the helm, the Kremlin would no longer need to abuse Interpol to pursue its goals; it would be able to place the organization at its service. One should look no further than the federal wanted list from Russia’s Interior Ministry, which includes the likes of longtime Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian lawmaker Mustafa Dzhemilev, to guess what names could be singled out for future “red notices.” (Disclaimer: Khodorkovsky is the founder of the Open Russia movement, of which I serve as vice chairman.) Americans who helped the passage of the Magnitsky Act — and whose questioning Putin demanded from President Trump in Helsinki — are likely candidates as well.


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Reply Putin is about to gain control of the world's main law enforcement organization (Original post)
octoberlib Nov 2018 OP
CincyDem Nov 2018 #1

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2018, 08:24 PM

1. Certainly going to curtail Bill Browder's global travel schedule...

...of course, I'm just being alarmist thinking that Interpol will be much more amenable to Russia's false charges. Never happen.

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