countries abusing the search via Interpol

German extradition lawyer in communication with "Commission for the Control of Interpol`s Files". The Commission has granted our request and informed us on 12 July 201 that an international arrest warrant of the Russian Federation against our client has been deleted from the Interpol database by the "Interpol General Secretariat".

German extradition lawyer reports on cases from the United Arab Emirates, from Qatar, from the Russian Federation and from Turkey

This message from the "Commission for the Control of Interpol`s Files" concerns one of many cases in our practice in which it has been proven that certain states are literally abusing the search via Interpol with constructed arrest warrants. In the last three years alone, we have had several such cases from the United Arab Emirates, from Qatar, from the Russian Federation and from Turkey, and before that, individual cases from other states.

But beware: The decision of the "Interpol General Secretariat" ordering the deletion in the Interpol database cannot remove the international arrest warrant, but only takes it out of the Interpol search. That does not exclude the danger that the international arrest warrant will be executed in any country in the world after all. The issuing State can continue to search for the person being pursued even without Interpol, and is particularly effective if it has information about the countries to which the person being pursued intends to travel. Without assistance by  Interpol, the issuing State may request the country in question to conduct a so-called "joint search". Deletion from Interpol does not therefore bring back limitless freedom. I know of several such cases in which, despite being deleted from Interpol, persecuted persons were confronted in other countries (for example in Argentina, Croatia and Oman) with the international arrest warrant that had previously been removed from the Interpol search.

The international arrest warrant of the Russian Federation concerned a case in which a German Higher Regional Court had previously declared extradition from Germany to the Russian Federation to be inadmissible. The higher court's refusal of an extradition from Germany is a circumstance that decisively facilitates the substantiation of an application to the "Commission for the Control of Interpol`s Files", although this is not a mandatory requirement.

German extradition lawyer sees Interpol improving self-regulation

Interpol has indeed tried to improve its self-regulation in recent years. This process led in 2011 to the introduction of the rules for data processing (RPD), which replace the hitherto fragmented regulatory system. In 2015, an Interpol Working Group on Information Processing (JIT) was set up to further review Interpol's information processing mechanisms. For the purpose of reviewing the misuse of search requests for political persecution, Interpol established a seven-member "Notices and Diffusion Task Force" (NDTF) on 1 August 2018.
Nevertheless, cases such as the Russian Federation case referred to here show that Interpol`s internal arrangements - namely internal monitoring and ex-post verification procedures - are far from sufficient to prevent individual member countries from abusing the instruments provided by Interpol.

Although Interpol's Constitution strictly prohibits interventions in connection with politically, militarily, religiously or ethnically motivated requests, the European Parliament and NGOs in particular have noted a tendency to instrumentalise calls for tender for the prosecution of human rights defenders and critical journalists (see European Parliament study PE 603.472). In this context, the persecuting states deliberately use red alerts at Interpol or so-called "red corners", which are used to locate and temporarily arrest a person being persecuted in other states on the basis of an arrest warrant.

It is true that the General Secretariat at Interpol carries out a preliminary check on the alerts issued by the national central offices, and formally speaking there are already certain requirements for inclusion in the Interpol database. In any event, the Statutes require that the request be accompanied by a statement of the facts and a valid arrest warrant or judicial decision. But the information and documents on which the examination is based are provided by the national central offices of the respective prosecuting States. Accordingly, this examination must remain superficial and the actual violation of the Interpol Statutes can in many cases only be established after an arrest in the subsequent extradition procedure.

In response to a parliamentary question on 25.9.2017, the German Federal Government declared that the BKA always checks a request for searches transmitted by Interpol first ( BT-Drs. 18/13652, 4. ). The BKA only implements a search request if, on the basis of the foreign search request, the order of extradition or extradition detention by a German court appears admissible. And if the case is particularly important, the BKA must first obtain the approval of the Federal Office of Justice and the Foreign Office. It must be said, however, that a police check - whether by Interpol or by the German BKA - cannot have the right depth, especially since the objections of the persecuted person are regularly not heard there.



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