Arrest alert issued for ousted president
INTERPOL is studying a request by Ukrainian authorities to issue an alert for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych for abuse of power and murder.
A statement by the Lyon-based organisation said it received a request from Ukrainian authorities to issue a 'Red Notice', which informs Interpol's 190-member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued. A Red Notice is not an international arrest warrant.
The request "is being assessed" to see if it is in line with Interpol's constitution, the statement said.
Yanukovych fled to Russia after disturbances in which more than 80 people were killed in Kiev, but insists he remains president. Ukraine risks division after Russian troops took over Crimea. Lawmakers said yesterday they want to join Russia and would put the question to a vote in 10 days by Crimeans – 60pc of whom are ethnic Russians.
Issuing an Interpol Red Notice is a way to inform members that a person is wanted in his home country, and seeks their location and arrest and eventual extradition. Details of a valid arrest warrant by Ukraine are among the things needed to trigger a Red Notice.
The newly installed government in Kiev blames the protest deaths on Yanukovych. Interpol said its legal department is trying to ensure that the request is in conformity with its rules.
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych and described it as an "unconsti-tutional coup and armed seizure of power". (© AP)