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Russia says US meddling in election of Interpol president

Russia says US meddling in election of Interpol president

Russia says US meddling in election of Interpol president
November 20
19:50 2018

Russia says public opposition by a group of American senators to a Russian candidate for the position of the head of the international police organization Interpol amounts to election meddling, in an apparent dig at an investigation into allegations that Moscow interfered with the 2016 US Presidential Election.

The Russian statement was made by the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday, one day ahead of Interpol’s general assembly, where it is scheduled to elect its new head during a meeting in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alexander Prokopchuk, 57, a general in the Russian Interior Ministry who has been the vice president of Interpol since November 2016, is the front-runner to become the organization’s new president. He had also been the head of the National Central Bureau of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation since June 2011.

On Monday, four American senators issued a statement that urged US President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Prokopchuk. They accused Moscow of abusing Interpol to settle “scores and harassing political opponents, dissidents and journalists” by issuing warrants, known as red notices, for their arrest. They also said the election of Prokopchuk would allow the Kremlin to step up such “abuse.”

Peskov, however, hit back in a press conference, saying that “this is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an international organization.”

American intelligence agencies claimed in January that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to try to help Trump defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence agencies said Moscow’s interference included a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her campaign.

The Kremlin has since strongly rejected the allegations.

Back in November 2016, Interpol elected Chinese Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei its new president.

In early October, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Supervisory Commission, said Meng was under probe on suspicion of  “violating the law.”

Meng left Lyon, France, where Interpol is headquartered, on September 25, prompting a media fanfare suggesting his suspected disappearance.

Soon after the watchdog’s announcement, Interpol said it had received Meng's resignation “with immediate effect,” and that the body would elect a new president at its general assembly in November.

Founded in 1923, Interpol now has 190 member states, making it the second largest international organization after the United Nations in terms of international representation. It has nearly 800 staff and its annual budget, some 80 million euros, is provided mostly by its member states.

The organization acts as a network linking the law enforcement agencies of its members, but it does not employ agents of its own with an authority to arrest.

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