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A request by Ukrainian authorities for an INTERPOL Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert, for the arrest of Victor Yanukovych on charges including abuse of power and murder has been received by INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France.
The request, received on Wednesday 5 March 2014, is being assessed by INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs to determine whether it conforms with the Organization’s constitution and rules.
All INTERPOL member countries have been informed of the ongoing review and all references to the Ukrainian Red Notice request have been blocked from visibility to INTERPOL’s 190 member countries until the legal review has been completed.
No further comment will be made by the INTERPOL General Secretariat until this review is complete and member countries have been informed of INTERPOL’s decision.
General explanation about Red Notices
Red Notices are one of the ways in which INTERPOL informs its member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority. A Red Notice seeks the location and arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition or similar lawful action. It is not an international arrest warrant.
The individuals concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions (or International Criminal Tribunals, where appropriate) and INTERPOL’s role is to assist national police forces in identifying or locating those individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition.
Red Notices are only issued to INTERPOL member countries if the requesting National Central Bureau (NCB) has provided all the information required by the General Secretariat, including details of a valid arrest warrant for the country in question.
Any request by a member country for INTERPOL to issue a Red Notice is subject to the Organization’s rules and regulations. This includes Article 3 of INTERPOL’s Constitution, according to which it is ‘strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.’ This prohibition is taken extremely seriously by INTERPOL.
Many of INTERPOL’s member countries however, consider a Red Notice a valid request for provisional arrest, especially if they are linked to the requesting country via a bilateral extradition treaty.
INTERPOL’s General Secretariat does not send officers to arrest individuals who are the subject of a Red Notice. Only the national authorities of the INTERPOL member country where the individual is located have the legal authority to arrest.
In cases where arrests are made based on a Red Notice, these are made by national police officials in INTERPOL member countries.
INTERPOL cannot compel any member country to arrest the subject of a Red Notice.