We summarise two 2017 cases in which the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files (CCF) reviewed requests to delete an Interpol Red Notice.

These cases illustrate a range of factors taken into consideration by the CCF in the decision making process, including the existence of political factors.

Case 1

The Facts

  • The Requesting Party (RP) is a national of country B
  • He used to be residing in Country A, and has family connections to the former President. He has held senior positions in companies linked with the former government of Country A, until he fled the country after the fall of the former President
  • He is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice issued at the request of the National Central Bureau (NCB) of Country A, on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the General Prosecutor’s Office
  • The RP was arrested upon arrival at the airport in Country C, on the basis of the Red Notice. He was detained shortly, and then released by Country C authorities
  • He was arrested at the airport in Country D, on the basis of the Red Notice. He was detained shortly, and then released on bail, pending the outcome of the extradition proceedings

The RP’s request

The RP requested a removal of the Interpol Red Notice, contending that:

  • The case was of a predominantly political character
  • Country A authorities had repeatedly failed to request his extradition, despite knowing his whereabouts, and therefore the Red Notice had lost its purpose

The Commission’s findings

The CCF found that:

  • There were political elements surrounding the case, but they were not able to establish that they were predominant over the common law crime elements of the case
  • Although the RP’s extradition had been successively denied by Country C and Country D, these national decisions were not grounded on a lack of extradition efforts from Country A. It also noted a recent comprehensive extradition request transmitted by Country A to Country D, showing its willingness to abide by the rules and to seek genuinely the RP’s extradition

The Result

The CCF:

  • Concluded that the data challenged was compliant with INTERPOL’s rules applicable to the processing of personal data, subject to the following recommendations:
    • that the RP’s file and the Red Notice be updated with an addendum on the extradition refusal by the authorities of Country C
    • that should the extradition denial be confirmed by the authorities of Country D, the RP’s file and the Red Notice be updated with a relevant addendum

Case 2

The Facts

  • The RP is a national of Country B, where he resides. He was wanted by Country A on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the judicial authorities of Country A
  • He was the subject of a Red Notice issued at the request of the NCB of Country A for issuing dud cheques

The RP’s request

The RP requested a removal of the Interpol Red Notice, contending that:

  • The dispute was of a civil nature
  • He was not aware of the charges against him

The Commission’s findings

The Commission found that:

  • The conduct forming the basis for the charges against the RP was based on the RP’s failure to have had sufficient funding in his bank account to honour a cheque that he signed as representative of a company in the framework of a contractual agreement, which is seen as a commercial dispute rather than a criminal offence
  • the minimum criteria for the publication of a Red Notice, according to RPD Article 83(1)(a)(i) had not been met:
    • “Red notices may not be published for offences relating to private matters and for offences originating from a violation of laws or regulations of an administrative nature, unless the criminal activity is aimed at facilitating a serious crime or is suspected of being connected to organized crime”

The Result

The CCF:

  • Concluded that the data challenged was not compliant with INTERPOL’s rules applicable to the processing of personal data
  • Recommended that the data provided by the NCB of Country A concerning the RP is deleted from INTERPOL’s file

Conclusion

There are many factors taken into consideration by the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files (CCF) when being asked to delete Interpol Red Notices. These include the involvement of political factors and examining the inherent nature of the offence.