In recent times, one of the most important areas of international cooperation for Ukraine is Interpol, in particular - its search database. Now 1,763 persons out of 10,000 are wanted by Interpol at the request of Ukraine.
How does this search base function and whether it is possible to remove a notice of international search?
The Interpol’s management bodies are the General Assembly and its Executive Committee, and the General Secretariat. The General Secretariat is the actual management body, which makes key decisions.
A special place is taken by an independent body - Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (hereinafter – the “Commission”). Its function consists in supervising over compliance with the rules processing data in the Interpol’s base.
The Interpol’s search database means the scope of all data about the wanted objects / subjects, depending on the purpose of search:
- Red notice means a search of the convicted or accused to extradite;
- Yellow one means the retrieval of missing persons;
- Blue means the need to collect information about a person in the interests of investigation;
- Orange means possible danger to health and property of person;
- Green means potential and repeated offenders;
- Purple means the instruments of crime or criminal schemes;
- Black means unidentified bodies.
It is important to remember that the process of notice publication is not automatic, a request should go through several stages of checking by the National Bureau and General Secretariat. For example, Interpol has recently rejected the Russian Federation’s request to place the "red notice" of V. Muzhenko.
Meanwhile, there is a procedure of "preliminary appeal" against the decision on publication in search as was used by Alexander Onishchenko. This procedure provides for considering by the Commission the complaint about illegality of search of person before publishing the "red notice".
In practice, the most common reasons to reject placement of the "red notice" or its removal are:
- Expiration of sanctions, amnesty, etc. For example, as the Head of Ukrainian Bureau has recently stated, tracing requests will be canceled, if information about termination of criminal proceedings against Yu. Ivanyushchenko is confirmed.
- Political motives of persecution (this ground is being actively used by the defenders of Viktor Yanukovych, V. Zakharchenko, Klyuiev brothers, S. Arbuzov, A. Klimenko, S. Kurchenko and other);
- This cause is a strong argument both at the stage of publishing the data about person (as an example – the "red notice" in view of I. Kolomoisky), and at the stage of appeal against the already published notices of search (in particular, D. Yarosh).
- On the other hand, the Commission found no political component in the search of E. Stavitsky.
- Commercial motives of persecution - criminal prosecution of a person aimed at taking possession of his/her assets (case of Jordanian businessman F. Almhairat).
- Risk of violations of human rights - freedom of speech, right to a fair trial, prohibition of torture, etc.
- Purpose of "notice" placement was reached - location of a person was identified, the person in question was seized or extradited. For example, today we do not see the "red notice" of Yurii Kolobov, H. Guta, B. Timonkin.
The person, information about him/her is in the Interpol database, (his/her representative) has a right to apply to the Commission for correcting or deleting the information.
It should be noted that the Commission’s meetings are held rarely. Since 2017, the number of the Commission’s members has been increased from 5 to 7, and the number of meetings has been increased from 4 to 6, which, however, cannot significantly accelerate the consideration of thousands of complaints.
Therefore, Interpol is the structure, cooperation with which may bring many advantages to Ukraine. At the same time, the key of efficient interaction should become the proactive work of Ukrainian law enforcers.