Interpol Presidency Election: Urgent question as candidate accused of corruption

20 November 2018

Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrats, asked an urgent question allowing the Commons Chamber to debate the potential appointment of a controversial Russian official, Alexander Prokopchuk, as Interpol President.

Following the arrest, detention and subsequent disappearance of the former President, China's Meng Hongwei, the international police agency has been temporarily led by South Korean, Kim Jong Yang.

Kim is the only other candidate for the Presidency, but early indications suggest that Prokopchuk is likely to win the vote, prompting international concerns as to the integrity of the organisation.

Prokopchuk has been accused of using his current position as Vice-President of the organisation to allow Russia to circumvent international human rights law via the misuse of Interpol procedures. The Financial Times called his election to the vice-presidency "extraordinary" while Forbes went further. They say,

"At its core, Interpol rests on the belief — or the assumption — that its member nations are willing to abide by its rules. If a majority of them vote to elect Prokopchuk, that can only prove they do not care about those rules."

Sir Vince Cable asked the Government about the Interpol presidency election on Wednesday 21 November 2018.

Minister of State for the Foreign Office, Harriett Baldwin confirmed that the election is to take place on Wednesday and that the UK would not speculate on the outcome of the election but did confirm that the UK does support the candidacy of acting President Kim Jong Yang.

Sir Vince Cable expressed concern about the candidate Alexander Prokopchuk and his links to the Putin regime. He also stated that if he were to be selected as the President, it would be an insult to the victims of Salisbury and that Interpol would become a branch of the Russian mafia.

Image: Massimiliano Mariani

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