In the last post, we began a discussion on the issue of confidentiality in requests for Red Notice removals to the CCF.
When a Red Notice subject requests removal of a Red Notice, he is obliged to explain to the CCF why he is entitled to relief, and that explanation often involves reference to illegal action taken by officials in the INTERPOL member country seeking to capture him.
Naturally, many Red Notice subjects who seek Red Notice removal have left behind not only a corruptly obtained criminal charge and corrupt local officials, but they have also left behind family and friends about whom they are concerned. The Red Notice subjects are often reluctant to disclose information regarding corruption, because those same corrupt officials are also capable of taking action against the subject’s family or friends.
This is where the issue of confidential information in an application requires some thought and analysis.
The CCF advises as to confidentiality issues on INTERPOL’s website, and confirms that all requests are confidential, and will not be recorded in INTERPOL’s databases, or be used to assist in international police searches. It clarifies, however, that:
The Commission may nevertheless need to communicate some information to the INTERPOL General Secretariat or the National Central Bureaus in order to obtain information, which is necessary for the processing of a request.
Experience tells us that the CCF can and does reach out to National Central Bureaus (NCB’s), and not only to verify court rulings and case status. There are also times when the CCF explains in some detail the arguments that have been asserted by Red Notice subjects in an effort to learn the NCB’s perspective on those matters. Obviously, some Red Notice subjects would prefer for such arguments, and the evidence offered in support of those arguments, NOT to be brought to the attention of the NCBs. For example, if a subject has fled a country where a bogus criminal charge has been filed as the result of political persecution, that subject would be reasonable to believe that the persecutors, who are connected with law enforcement officials, may also persecute their family members. In this situation, a subject has to make the difficult decision to disclose information and request heightened confidentiality, while also possibly risking a negative effect on the CCF’s review of the matter, as addressed by the CCF here:
However, any item of information specifically identified by the Applicant as confidential will not be communicated. This may be detrimental to the Applicant, as it restricts the Commission’s ability to fully process a request.
Therefore, in such instances when a subject does request heightened confidentiality, the subject must rely on the CCF’s request chamber members, all of whom are attorneys, to evaluate the application based upon the evidence submitted, with an eye toward individual protection and and the ability to appreciate the very real dangers that can accompany a request for protection to the CCF.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.