US backs South Korean Kim Jong-yang to lead Interpol: Pompeo

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Prokopchuk, who heads Russia's national Interpol Bureau, is widely seen as the favorite to be elected president of the organization.

"This is a ideal way for Putin to basically breathe the fear of God into all of his enemies so they know they can't even escape Russian Federation if one of his guys is at the head of Interpol".

A senior Russian police official is one of only two candidates put forward for the role of president of the organization, which coordinates police forces across the globe, in a vote scheduled Wednesday in Dubai.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also officially endorsed Kim Jong Yang, now serving as interim president.

Russia's Interior Ministry spokesman Irina Volk, for her part, accused foreign media of running a smear campaign against Prokopchuk, adding that politicising Interpol was "unacceptable".

Kim was chosen by the worldwide police body's 194-member states at a meeting of its annual congress in Dubai.

Interpol's interim president, South Korea's Kim Jong Yang, is also seeking the post.

Based in the French city of Lyon, the 95-year-old policing body is best known for issuing "red notices" that identify suspects pursued by other countries, effectively putting them on the world's "most-wanted" list. They and other Kremlin foes have warned against naming a top Russian police official to lead Interpol.

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The new president will serve for the remaining two years of the term. Amnesty International criticized "China's longstanding practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees overseas". Interpol did not respond directly to accusations of abuse of its red notice system by the Kremlin. As part of the changes, an worldwide team of lawyers and experts first check a notice's compliance with Interpol rules and regulations before it goes out. Lithuania also said it would consider withdrawing from the network.

USA lawmakers have been lobbying President Donald Trump's administration to oppose Prokopchuk's candidacy, charging that Russian Federation has been abusing Interpol, trying to use it to settle scores and harass dissidents by issuing warrants for their arrest. "We intend to begin a legal process to have Russian Federation suspended from their use of Interpol".

Politicians and human rights groups in Britain, Europe and the...

A lawyer who wrote a book on Interpol, Christopher David, hailed Kim's election as "a solid, uncontroversial choice".

The Kremlin on Tuesday denounced "interference" in the election for a new Interpol president after critics including United States senators objected to a Russian becoming chief of the global police body.

Prosecutors said investors in Browder's Hermitage Capital fund donated nearly $2 million to the Democratic Party from earnings that avoided USA taxes. "We encourage all nations and organisations that are part of Interpol and that respect the rule of law to choose a leader with integrity".

"He is therefore unsuitable as president for the worldwide police authority, which we urgently need as a politically-independent institution to meet challenges such as global terrorism", Röttgen said.

Interpol's general assembly is made up of its 192 member states, each of which has an equal vote. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The move would have boosted Kosovo's efforts at recognition of its statehood.

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