INTERPOL has removed the Red Notice in the name of Ex-Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych from its website. The removal of a name from INTERPOL’s online wanted pages is not indicative of a final decision, but it is significant.
In 2014, likely due to the public nature of the case, INTERPOL took the unusual step of publicizing the fact that it was reviewing the Ukrainian Red Notice request for Mr. Yanukovych.
Earlier this year, INTERPOL reportedly agreed to issue the Red Notice, based on charges of embezzling public funds. Mr. Yanukovych challenged the notice, and today it was announced that his name no longer appears on the online wanted list. Mr. Yanukovych’s attorneys reportedly took the position that the Red Notice should be removed because the underlying criminal charges were part of a pattern of political persecution against him.
Mr. Yanukovych is no doubt encouraged by the report that Interpol suspended the Red Notice; removed the extract of the Red Notice showing Yanukovych as a “wanted person” from the Interpol website; and blocked access of Interpol member countries to Interpol data concerning him. While a suspension is not a permanent removal, it is a good sign that the matter is being seriously considered by the CCF, and that it may be permanently deleted from INTERPOL’s files.
As always, comments and thoughts are welcomed.