Interpol elects South Korean Kim Jong Yang President over Russian front-runner

Russia's ambitions to ...

Posted: Nov 21, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 2:09 PM

Russia's ambitions to head international police agency Interpol were dashed Wednesday after delegates chose acting head South Korean Kim Jong Yang to take the role.

Alexander Prokopchuk, a former Russian Interior Ministry official, had been expected to be elected president, but critics opposed his nomination, accusing Moscow of using Interpol's systems to target and pursue the Kremlin's political foes.

Asia

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

East Asia

Government organizations - Intl

Interpol

Law enforcement

South Korea

Eastern Europe

Europe

Grace Meng

Political Figures - US

Russia

China

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Heads of government

Heads of state

Politics

Elections and campaigns

On Monday a bipartisan group of US senators released a letter saying the election of Prokopchuk would be "akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed to the "strong" pressure on the assembly on "the eve of the election."

"It's a pity, of course, that our candidate did not win, but on the other hand, if you look at a number of statements from a number of countries on the eve of the elections impartially, then, of course, the pressure was strong, it's obvious.

However, he conceded that he was "not aware of any facts that could lead to a discussion about their legitimacy. The election took place and this is the result."

Kim was elected at the 87th session of the organization's general assembly in Dubai, which gathered around 1,000 senior law enforcement officials from across the globe. Kim will serve as president for the remainder of the current mandate, until 2020.

He pledged to ensure that member countries most in need would receive Interpol's full support.

"Our world is now facing unprecedented changes which present huge challenges to public security and safety," Kim said. "To overcome them, we need a clear vision: we need to build a bridge to the future."

Kim had previously been serving as Interpol's vice president for Asia since 2015 and was head of the organization's National Central Bureau in Seoul from 2011 to 2012.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had endorsed Kim, a South Korean police official, to replace Interpol's former president, Meng Hongwei, who was recently detained on his return to China.

Meng went missing in late September. His wife Grace Meng raised the alarm 10 days later and said she'd received threats via social networks and telephone.

Chinese authorities later announced Meng was being held and investigated for alleged corruption. Meng, who was also a vice minister of public security in China, has been accused of accepting bribes and committing unspecified other crimes.

A statement from Interpol's Secretary General Jürgen Stock dated October 6 said the organization had requested "clarification" from the Chinese authorities on Meng's status.

"Interpol's General Secretariat looks forward to an official response from China's authorities to address concerns over the President's well-being," the statement said.

The following day the international law enforcement agency released another statement, confirming it had received Meng's resignation.

In his first public comments since Meng disappeared, Stock told a news conference earlier this month that the organization had to accept its former president's resignation.

"There's no reason for me to suspect that anything was forced or wrong," Stock said, according to reports.

On Monday, ahead of the general assembly, Human Rights Watch criticized the police organization's "curious unconcern about its disappeared ex-chief."

"This is extremely disappointing and worrying behavior from an organization that is supposed to protect people from abuses of power, not aid and abet such infringements," a spokesperson for Grace Meng said.

While the president's role is "to chair the general assembly and executive committee sessions," rather to run the organization day-to-day, it remains an influential position, according to a statement released by Interpol.

The appointment establishes the agency's working committees and "has an influence on policy," Louis Shelley, a transnational crime expert and director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University, told CNN ahead of Kim's election.

"It's not as if it's just some figurehead," Shelley said at the time, arguing that, had the Russian been elected it would have "totally (politicized) the organization" turning it into "a political tool of an authoritarian government."

Prokopchuk's candidacy also drew criticism from Russia's embattled opposition. Leading Putin critic Alexei Navalny tweeted earlier this week that his supporters had "suffered from abuse of Interpol for political persecution by Russia."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515504

Reported Deaths: 10296
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34999558
DeSoto33360432
Hinds32743643
Jackson24906392
Rankin22565405
Lee16455245
Madison14954283
Jones14158248
Forrest13834260
Lauderdale12311323
Lowndes11357193
Lamar10693140
Pearl River9748244
Lafayette8868143
Hancock7849132
Washington7559169
Oktibbeha7229138
Monroe7068179
Pontotoc7033110
Warren6885178
Panola6791135
Neshoba6744210
Marshall6707142
Bolivar6468151
Union643598
Pike5942157
Alcorn5921107
Lincoln5540136
George510680
Prentiss508285
Tippah495683
Itawamba4884107
Scott478999
Tate4777117
Adams4776125
Leflore4749144
Copiah458195
Yazoo458092
Simpson4566117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4319106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4244110
Leake414191
Newton396182
Tishomingo386894
Grenada3789109
Stone366166
Jasper341266
Attala340490
Chickasaw318367
Winston318392
Clay312978
Clarke301695
Calhoun286850
Holmes272889
Smith270552
Yalobusha244947
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220242
Perry214556
Amite210357
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175441
Jefferson Davis174343
Tunica163539
Benton153139
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132239
Franklin126530
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97134
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847659

Reported Deaths: 16172
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163752005
Mobile743371381
Madison53434738
Shelby38413371
Baldwin38171589
Tuscaloosa36131643
Montgomery34571782
Lee25664264
Calhoun22622519
Morgan22527408
Etowah20059520
Marshall18821318
Houston17769426
St. Clair16946359
Limestone16192220
Cullman16140305
Elmore15948295
Lauderdale15055307
Talladega14244302
DeKalb13061271
Walker12138380
Blount10765193
Autauga10545157
Jackson10204195
Coffee9435192
Colbert9363210
Dale9038192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell710165
Chilton7078170
Covington6967197
Escambia6962144
Franklin6364108
Chambers5795142
Marion5435130
Dallas5302210
Pike5128109
Clarke485686
Lawrence4845130
Winston4785110
Geneva4650136
Bibb435495
Barbour370180
Butler3444101
Marengo342793
Monroe338366
Randolph337767
Pickens334790
Fayette331485
Henry321066
Cherokee319964
Hale318889
Crenshaw261678
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay252069
Macon245767
Conecuh193562
Coosa185847
Wilcox178338
Lowndes178268
Bullock152745
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130345
Choctaw94328
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
Oxford
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: °
Starkville
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Rain coming in this weekend as a cold front moves through the area bringing cooler temperatures on into the start of next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather