Interpol elects South Korean as its president in blow to Russian Federation


Global police organization Interpol will elect a new head Wednesday, and the front-runner appears to be a Russian general who does not have the support of some US lawmakers.

Interpol has elected South Korea's Kim Jong-yang as its president, in a blow to Russian efforts at naming one of its own.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also officially endorsed Kim Jong Yang, now serving as interim president.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that opposition to Prokopchuk's candidacy by USA senators had amounted to election meddling.

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

Human rights groups raised the alarm two years ago when Interpol's general assembly approved Meng Hongwei, a longtime senior Chinese security official, as president.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been repeatedly jailed, also attacked the move. Likewise, Lithuania also said it would consider withdrawing.

The White House came out Tuesday against the election of Prokopchuk, with National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis saying that "the Russian government abuses Interpol's processes to harass its political opponents".

Once one of the country's largest foreign fund managers, Browder has led a campaign to impose sanctions on alleged human-rights violators in Russian Federation for more than a decade.

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'I don't think that a president from Russian Federation will help to reduce such violations'.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the USA senators' letter as a "vivid example" of an attempt to interfere in the vote.

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

But two foes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have been targeted by worldwide arrest warrants sought by Moscow, also said Tuesday they were launching a bid to get Russia suspended from Interpol for abusing the agency.

Bill Browder, who runs an investment fund that had once operated in Moscow, and oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky told reporters in London that Putin has tried to use Interpol to hunt down critics such as themselves. "The Interpol constitution has very specific rules, which forbid countries who are serial abusers from using the system".

Russian prosecutors said he would be put on an worldwide wanted list "in the near future".

Bill Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital, is being checked for involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow detention center, said the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation.

Magnitsky, a lawyer working for Mr Browder, was arrested in 2008 after uncovering evidence of large-scale tax fraud among Russian officials. The reason? Russia, they say, has a track record of using Interpol's systems to crack down on and pursue the Kremlin's political foes.