In keeping with this week’s theme of Blue Notices, this post addresses the question of whether a Blue Notice can eventually lead to a Red Notice. The answer is that old lawyer favorite: it depends. When a Blue Notice Application Form is completed, the requesting country supplies a “purpose” for the request. The purpose may be to obtain information about someone’s identity, criminal records, and activities; or to locate and trace a person’s movements, or for other stated reasons.
Just as with a Red Notice request, a Blue Notice request may be denied by INTERPOL if the request does not comply with the organization’s rules. A request for Blue Notice issuance was denied and the denial was actually explained back in 2009 when INTERPOL refused Equador’s request for a Blue Notice. However, if the request satisfies the rules of INTERPOL, then it may be issued.
If a Blue Notice is issued for investigative purposes or for identifying the witnesses to a crime, the witnesses may never be suspected of, nor sought for, criminal prosecution. They may simply be sought for whatever testimony or evidence they have to provide.
Likewise, if the Blue Notice is made for the purpose of simply locating or tracing the movements of a person, the Notice may be being used for an overall criminal investigation which does not eventually target the subject of the Blue Notice. Obviously, this type of request could also lead to evidence of criminal activity.
In the case of Indian Premier League Chairman Lalit Modi, a Blue Notice was requested based upon the BCCI Disciplinary Committe’s investigation of financial irregularities during the dealings of the Twenty20 League. (The BCCI is the Board of Control for Cricket in India. I know- lots of cricket references lately.) If this, or any, investigation were to reveal sufficient evidence of criminal activity as to justify the filing of criminal charges, then a request for a Red Notice may certainly be made.
While a Blue Notice will not magically transform into a Red Notice, it could very well eventually lead to an application for, and issuance of, a Red Notice. Whether this happens or not will depend on the initial purpose of the Blue Notice and the information that is gathered as a result of the Blue Notice.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.