Interpol elects South Korean as new chief
Interpol announced yesterday that Kim Jong-yang of South Korea had been chosen as its new president, beating a Russian official whose candidacy had unnerved Western nations.
The US-backed Mr Kim, acting president of the global police body, was picked at a meeting of delegates from member nations in Dubai to replace Meng Hongwei, who went missing in his native China in September.
Beijing later said Mr Meng resigned after being charged with accepting bribes.
There had been growing calls within Western nations for Interpol to reject candidate Alexander Prokopchuk - a Russian interior ministry official and current Interpol vice president - over fears that Moscow could abuse the role to target political opponents. This week, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo backed Mr Kim, who will serve out Mr Meng's term until 2020.
"We encourage all nations and organisations that are part of Interpol and that respect the rule of law to choose a leader with integrity. We believe Mr Kim will be just that," Mr Pompeo said.
Critics have raised concerns over Russia's previous applications for Interpol 'Red Notices', or international arrest warrants, to target those who have fallen foul of the Kremlin. In an open letter, a group of US senators said choosing Mr Prokopchuk would be like "putting a fox in charge of a henhouse".