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Blow for Russia as Interpol elects new President

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:28s - Published < > Embed
Blow for Russia as Interpol elects new President

Blow for Russia as Interpol elects new President

International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president on Wednesday (November 21), beating a Russian national whose candidacy had raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.

Rosanna Philpott reports.


Blow for Russia as Interpol elects new President

Interpol - the world largest international law enforcement organisation - has elected a new president.

And it isn't the expected Russian candidate that was raising alarm in Europe and the U.S. over Kremlin interference, but instead a South Korean one.

The surprise move came at an annual meeting in Dubai on Wednesday (November 21).

Interpol's 194-member states appointed Kim Jong-yang, rejecting Russia's frontrunner Alexander Prokopchuk who had been widely tipped to win.

He's currently one of four vice presidents but was facing strong opposition from Western lawmakers.

They accuse Russia of already abusing Interpol to settle scores and harass dissidents.

Other Kremlin critics say Prokopchuk - a former major general in Russia's interior ministry - takes orders directly from Putin.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FUND MANAGER AND KREMLIN CRITIC, BILL BROWDER, SAYING: "If a Russian is in charge of Interpol then the West will have to look for a plan B." And earlier this week a group of U.S. senators had publicly opposed the candidacy of Prokopchuk.

The election itself was an impromptu one after the former Chinese President Meng Hongwei disappeared in September.

He'd been on a trip to China.

Days after his wife reported him missing Chinese authorities said he was being investigated for taking bribes.

He has not been seen since, but sent a letter to Interpol resigning.

Kim takes over what would have been the final two years of his presidency.

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