The South Korean assured the interim since the mysterious disappearance in early October of his former boss, Meng Hongwei, accused of corruption and jailed in China. In a general meeting since Sunday in Dubai, the delegates of the Interpol have elected Kim Jong-yang at the head of the organization. The South Korean was not yet the favorite of the election. But the concerns raised by the nomination of a Russian general, Alexander Prokoptchouk, have been due to the latter. Although the position of president is more honorary than operational, its detractors feared that the international organization may become a tool in the hands of the Kremlin to fight against its political opponents if the Russian were to be elected.

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Shortly after his election, the new president of Interpol has estimated that “the world today faces unprecedented changes which represent enormous challenges to the security and public safety. We need a clear vision: we must build a bridge to the future”. Kim Jong-yang will have to complete the term of office of four years as his predecessor had to be completed in 2020, but the real boss of Interpol is in fact its general secretary, the German Jürgen Stock, whose mandate ends next year. The Argentinean Néstor R. Roncaglia, for its part, was elected vice-president for the Americas, for three years, has also said the organization.

“A leader integrates”

Moscow has expressed its disappointment. “It is a pity, of course, that our candidate did not prevail. But on the other hand, if we look at it impartially, the statements of a number of countries on the eve of the vote, it is obvious that there has been strong pressure,” denounced the spokesman of the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov. On the eve of the election, the candidacy of south korea had received the support of the american secretary of State, Mike Pompeo: “We encourage all nations and organizations who are part of Interpol and respecting the rule of law to select a leader of integrity. We believe that this will be the case of Kim Jong-yang.” Ukraine and Lithuania had even threatened to pull out of Interpol in the case of the election of the Russian general.

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Several opponents of the russians had also expressed their concern. The number one enemy of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, said on Twitter that his team had “suffered abuse from the Interpol due to political persecution by Russia. I don’t think that a Russian president will help to reduce these violations.” “I fear seriously that if Alexander Prokoptchouk is elected president of Interpol, then, on the orders of the Kremlin, it will be ready to do absolutely anything”, confirmed Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The oligarch became opponent-in-exile and the british financial William Browder, the ex-boss of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in a Russian prison in 2009, have announced on Tuesday their intention to initiate a procedure to “suspend” the Russian Interpol.

(With branches)