Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol as It Seeks to Secure Presidency

Highly likely’ that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder’s orders – Moscow

Interpol is due to elect a new head on November 21 and four U.S. senators, including Marco Rubio, published a joint statement on Monday urging the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.

He had been acting president since the previous head of the global police co-operation body was detained in China over bribery allegations.

Kim, a police official in South Korea, was serving as interim president after Meng's departure from the post and was senior vice-president at Interpol.

Both the USA and United Kingdom had stated their preference for Mr Kim, who has been acting president since Mr Meng's disappearance.

"We encourage all nations and organizations that are part of Interpol and that respect the rule of law to choose a leader of credibility and integrity that reflects one of the world's most critical law enforcement bodies".

Tom Tugendhat and Yvette Cooper, chairs of the influential Commons foreign and home affairs select committees, had said that having Mr Prokopchuk being elected would be "the latest nail in Interpol's coffin".

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

Alexander Prokopchuk, a veteran of the Russian interior ministry, had been seen as the favourite to be elected president today.

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Kim will serve out Meng's term until 2020.

And officials in Ukraine and Lithuania said they would consider withdrawing from Interpol if he was elected.

Fears are rife that Moscow could abuse the Interpol presidency to target political opponents.

US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis echoed the endorsement for Kim.

To Moscow, the complaints are all part of a Western-led campaign to weaken a resurgent Russian Federation.

In addition, a new case has been opened against Browder under Art. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (creation of a criminal group): companies in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland laundered hundreds of millions of dollars.

Russian dissident and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday gave a news conference in London alongside US -born Kremlin critic Bill Browder at which both warned against Prokopchuk's election, saying it would make it easier for the Kremlin to manipulate Interpol.

"The Interpol constitution has very specific rules which forbid countries who are serial abusers from using the system", Browder told reporters. After the claims, Magnitsky was arrested in a tax evasion case against the hedge fund and died in a pre-trial detention center in 2009.

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