International Criminal Law
Being accused of a crime is never a pleasant experience. And it gets even more complicated if that crime was allegedly committed across national boundaries. In such cases, you need a lawyer who understands and is experienced in dealing with the uniqueness of international criminal investigations and prosecutions.
What Is The Interpol?
The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) is an inter-governmental organization. Officially founded in 1923, it currently has 194 member countries. Its major purpose is to serve as a platform through which police from all over the world can unite to fight crime and make the world safer.
The Interpol connects and coordinates a network of police and experts on crime from all over the world. In each of its member states, there are INTERPOL National Central Bureaus (NCBs). These bureaus are operated by national police officials.
Interpol aid in the investigation and forensic data analysis of crimes, as well as in tracking down fugitives of the law. They have central databases containing extensive information on criminals that are accessible in real-time. Generally, this organization supports nations in their fight against crime. The major areas of focus are cybercrime, organized crime, and terrorism. And since crime is always evolving, the organization also tries to develop more ways to track down criminals.
Image Credit: interpol.int/en
What Is A Red Notice?
A Red Notice is a lookout notice. It is a request to international law enforcement worldwide to carry out a provisional arrest on an alleged criminal. This notice is a request by the law enforcement of a country, asking for help from other countries to solve a crime or catch a criminal. Without this notice, it is impossible to track criminals from one country to the next. They make this provisional arrest pending surrender, extradition, or some other legal action.
INTERPOL generally issues this notice at the behest of a member country. This country does not have to be the home country of the suspect. However, it must be the country where the crime was committed. The issuance of red notices is handled with utmost importance across the countries. It implies that the suspect in question is a threat to public security and should be handled as such.
The red notice is, however, not an international arrest warrant. It is simply a wanted person’s notice. This is because INTERPOL cannot coerce law enforcement in any country to arrest a person who is the subject of a red notice. Each member state decides what legal value it places on a Red Notice and the authority of their law enforcement authorities to make arrests.
Image Credit: interpol.int/en
7 Kinds Of Interpol Notice
- Orange: When an individual or event poses a threat to public safety, the host country issues an orange notice. They also provide whatever information they have on the event or on the suspect. And it is the responsibility of that country to warn Interpol that such an event is likely to occur based on the information they have.
- Blue: This notice is used to search for a suspect whose whereabouts are unknown. The other member states in Interpol conduct searches till the person is found and the issuing state is informed. An extradition can then be effected.
- Yellow: Similar to the blue notice, the yellow notice is used to locate missing persons. However, unlike the blue notice, this is not for criminal suspects but for people, usually minors who cannot be found. It is also for persons who are unable to identify themselves due to mental illness.
- Red: The red notice means that there was a severe crime committed and the suspect is a dangerous criminal. It instructs whichever country the suspect is in to keep an eye on that person and to pursue and arrest the suspect till the extradition is effected.
- Green: This notice is very similar to the red notice with similar documentation and processing. The main difference is that the green notice is for less severe crimes.
- Black: The black notice is for unidentified corpses who are not citizens of the country. The notice is issued so that any seeking country will know that the dead body is in that country.
- Children Notification: When there is a missing child or children, the country issues a notice through Interpol so that other countries can join in the search.
The red notice is the most severe of all the notices and issuance can cause ripple effects among nations of the world. It shows that the person is a threat to public safety and should be handled as such. The goal of a red notice is usually an arrest and extradition.
What Is An Extradition?
Extradition is defined as the formal process through which one State (the requesting State or the country) requests another State (the requested State) to hand over a person accused of a criminal case or crime in the requesting State for criminal trial or conviction. It is the process by which a fugitive is handed over from one jurisdiction to another. Typically, the person resides or has taken refuge in the requested State but is being accused of criminal offenses committed in the requesting State and punishable by the same State’s laws.
The concept of extradition is different from deportation, expulsion, or banishment. All these connote the forceful removal of persons but under different circumstances.
Persons who are extraditable include:
- those who have been charged but not yet faced trial,
- those who were tried in absence, and
- Those who were tried and convicted but escaped prison custody.
The UAE extradition law is governed by Federal Law No. 39 of 2006 (Extradition Law) as well as the extradition treaties signed and ratified by them. And where there is no extradition treaty, law enforcement will apply local laws while respecting the principle of reciprocity in international law.
For the UAE to comply with an extradition request from another country, the requesting country must meet the following conditions:
- The crime that is the subject of the extradition request must be punishable under the laws of the requesting country and the penalty must be one that restricts the offender’s freedom for at least one year
- If the subject matter of extradition relates to the execution of a custodial penalty, the remaining unexecuted punishment must not be less than six months
Nonetheless, the UAE may refuse to extradite a person if:
- The person in question is a UAE national
- The relevant crime is a political crime or is related to a political crime
- The crime relates to the violation of military duties
- The intent of the extradition is to punish a person due to their religion, race, nationality, or political views
- The person in question was subjected to or may be subjected to inhuman treatment, torture, cruel treatment, or humiliating punishment, in the requesting country, which does not pertain to the crime.
- The person was already investigated or tried for the same crime and was either acquitted or convicted and has served the relevant punishment
- The UAE courts have issued a definitive judgment concerning the offense which is the subject of extradition
What Crimes Can You Be Extradited For In The UAE?
Some crimes which may be subject to extradition from UAE includes more serious crimes, murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, terrorism, burglary, rape, sexual assault, financial crimes, fraud, embezzlement, breach of trust, bribery, money laundering, arson, or espionage.
6 Common Red Notices Issued
Amongst many red notices that have been issued against individuals, some stand out. Most of these notices were backed by political motives or to defame the person in question. Some of the most popular red notices issued include:
#1. Red Notice Request For The Arrest Of Pancho Campo By His Dubai Partner
Pancho Campo was a Spanish tennis professional and businessman with established businesses in Italy and Russia. While going for a trip, he was detained at the US airport and deported on the grounds that he had been issued a red notice from the UAE. This red notice had been issued due to a dispute between him and a former business partner in Dubai.
The business partner had accused Campo of shutting down his company without her permission. This led to a trial conducted in his absence. Eventually, the court declared him guilty of fraud and issued a red notice through INTERPOL against him. However, he fought this case and redeemed his image after 14 years of fighting.
#2. The Detention Of Hakeem Al-Araibi
Hakeem Al-Araibi was a former footballer for Bahrain and was issued a Red notice from Bahrain in 2018. This red notice was, however, in contradiction of INTERPOL’s regulations.
According to its rules, a red notice cannot be issued against refugees on behalf of the country they fled from. As such, it was no surprise that the issuance of the red notice against Al-Araibi was met with public outrage as he was a fugitive fleeing from the Bahraini government. Eventually, the red notice was lifted in 2019.
#3. The Iranian Red Notice Request For The Arrest And Extradition Of Donald Trump- Former President Of The US
The Iranian government issued a red notice against the United States president, Donald Trump, in January 2021. This notice was issued to prosecute him for the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The red notice was first issued while he was on seat and then renewed again when he stepped down from office.
However, INTERPOL rejected Iran’s request for a red notice for Trump. It did so because its Constitution clearly restricts INTERPOL from involving itself with any issue backed by political, military, religious, or racial motives.
#4. The Russian Government Red Notice Request To Arrest William Felix Browder
In 2013, the Russian government tried to get INTERPOL to issue a red notice against the CEO of Hermitage Holding Company, William Felix Browder. Before then, Browder had been at loggerheads with the Russian government after he filed a case against them for violation of human rights and the inhumane treatment of his friend and colleague Sergei Magnitsky.
Magnitsky was the head of tax practice at the Fireplace Duncan, a firm owned by Browder. He had filed a suit against the Russian interior officials for the illegal use of company names for fraudulent activities. Magnitsky was later arrested at his home, detained, and beaten by officials. He died a few years later. Browder then began his fight against the injustice meted to his friend, which led to Russia kicking him out of the country and seizing his companies.
After that, the Russian government made an attempt to place Browder on a Red notice for tax evasion charges. However, INTERPOL rejected the request since political motives backed it.
#5. Ukrainian Red Notice Request For The Arrest Of Former Ukrainian Governor Viktor Yanukovych
In 2015, INTERPOL issued a red notice against the former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. This was at the request of the Ukrainian government for charges of embezzlement and financial wrongdoing.
One year prior to this, Yanukovych had been ousted from the government due to clashes between the police and protesters, leading to the death of several citizens. He then fled to Russia. And in January 2019, he was tried and sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment in his absence by the Ukrainian court.
#6. Red Notice Request By Turkey For The Arrest Of Enes Kanter
In January 2019, Turkish authorities sought a red notice for Enes Kanter, a Portland Trail Blazers center, accusing him of having ties to a terrorist organization. The authorities cited his alleged link to Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Muslim cleric. They went on to accuse Kanter of providing financial aid to Gulen’s group.
The threat of arrest has prevented Kanter from traveling out of the United States for fear that he will be arrested. Nonetheless, he denied Turkey’s claims, stating that there was no evidence supporting the allegations.
What To Do When INTERPOL Issued A Red Notice
Having a red notice issued against you can be devastating to your reputation, career, and business. However, with the right help, you can be granted a diffusion of the red notice. When issued a red notice, these are the steps to take:
- Contact the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF).
- Contact the judicial authorities of the country where the notice was issued to have the notice removed.
- If the notice is based on insufficient grounds, you can request through the authorities in the country where you live that your information be deleted from INTERPOL’s database.
Each of these stages can be complex to handle without the help of a qualified lawyer. And so, we, at Amal Khamis Advocates & Legal Consultants, are qualified and prepared to assist you through every stage of the process until your name is cleared. Call us now for an urgent appointment at +971506531334 +971558018669
How INTERPOL Uses Social Media
Social media has proven instrumental for the INTERPOL or any law enforcement agency in playing their roles. With the aid of Social media, INTERPOL can do the following:
- Connect with the public: INTERPOL is on social media networks such as Instagram, Twitter, and the likes. The purpose of this is to connect with the masses, pass across information, and receive feedback. Furthermore, these platforms enable the public to report any individual or group suspected to be involved in illegal activities.
- Subpoena: Social media has been instrumental in finding wanted criminals. With the aid of a subpoena, the INTERPOL can uncover criminals hiding behind anonymous social media posts and accounts. A subpoena is an authorization by the law court to obtain information, especially private ones, for legal purposes.
- Track location: Social media has made it possible for INTERPOL to track the location of suspects. Through the use of images, videos it is possible for INTERPOL to pinpoint the exact whereabouts of suspects. This has been useful in tracking even large criminal syndicates thanks to location tagging. Some social media such as Instagram majorly make use of location tagging, making it easy for law enforcement to get access to photographic evidence.
- Sting Operation: This is a code name for an operation where law enforcement disguises to catch a criminal red-handed. This same technique has been used on social media and has proved effective. Law enforcement agencies can use fake social media accounts to uncover criminals such as drug traffickers and pedophiles.
The INTERPOL does this for criminals seeking refuge in a country that’s not theirs. INTERPOL arrests such individuals and finds a way to return them to their home country to face the law.
Four Common Mistakes You Can Make About Interpol
Many misconceptions have been created around Interpol, what they stand for and what they do. These misconceptions have caused many people to suffer consequences they would not have suffered if they had known better. A few of them are:
1. Assuming that Interpol is an international law enforcement agency
While Interpol is an efficient instrument in achieving international cooperation in the fight against transnational crime, it is not a global law enforcement agency. Instead, it is an organization that is based on mutual assistance among national law-enforcement authorities.
All Interpol does is share information among the law enforcement authorities of member countries for crime-fighting. Interpol, in itself, functions in total neutrality and with respect for the human rights of suspects.
2. Assuming that an Interpol notice is equal to an arrest warrant
This is a very common mistake people make, especially with Interpol’s red notice. The red notice is not an arrest warrant; instead, it is information about a person suspected of serious criminal activities. A Red Notice is simply a request for the law enforcement agencies of member countries to be on the lookout for, locate, and “provisionally” arrest an accused person.
Interpol does not make the arrest; it is the country’s law enforcement agencies where the suspect is found that do it. Even so, the country’s law enforcement agency where the suspect is found still has to follow the due process of their judicial legal system in apprehending the suspect. That is to say that an arrest warrant still has to be issued before the suspect may be arrested.
3. Assuming that a Red Notice is arbitrary and cannot be challenged
This is a close second to believing that a red notice is an arrest warrant. Typically, when a red notice is issued about a person, the country where they are found will freeze their assets and revoke their visas. They will also lose any employment they have and suffer damage to their reputation.
Being the target of a red notice is unpleasant. If your country issues one around you, you can and should challenge the notice. Possible ways to challenge a Red Notice are challenging it where it contravenes Interpol’s rules. The rules include:
- Interpol cannot intervene in any activity of a political, military, religious, or racial character. Thus, if you feel the red notice was issued against you for any of the above reasons, you should challenge it.
- Interpol cannot intervene if the red notice offense originates from a violation of administrative laws or regulations or private disputes.
Aside from those mentioned above, there are other ways in which you can challenge a Red Notice. However, you need to retain the services of an expert international criminal lawyer to access those other ways.
4. Assuming that any country can issue a Red Notice for whatever reason they deem fit
Trends have shown that some countries appropriate Interpol’s vast network for purposes other than which the organization was created. Many people have fallen victim to this abuse, and their countries have gotten away with it because the concerned individuals did not know any better.
Possible Legal Defenses Against An Extradition Request In The UAE
Judicial or Legal Conflict
In some cases, there exist contradictions between the requesting jurisdiction laws or extradition procedures and those of the UAE. You or your lawyer can use such differences, including with countries that have not signed an extradition treaty with the UAE, to challenge an extradition request.
Lack of Dual-Criminality
According to the principle of dual criminality, a person can only be extradited if the offense they are accused of committing qualifies as a crime in both the requesting and the requested State. You have the grounds to challenge an extradition request where the alleged offense or violation is not considered a crime in the UAE.
A requested State is under no obligation to extradite a person if they have reasons to believe that the requesting country will discriminate against the person based on nationality, gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, or even their political stand. You can use possible persecution to challenge an extradition request.
Protection of Nationals
Despite international laws, a country can reject an extradition request to protect its citizens or individuals holding dual nationality. However, the requested State may still prosecute the individual under its laws even while protecting them from extradition.
Different countries may differ politically, and extradition requests may be viewed as political interference, hence the rejection of these requests. Additionally, different States have different views on issues such as human rights, which makes it difficult to agree on extradition requests, especially those touching on the differing issues.
Contact An International Criminal Defense Lawyer In The UAE
Legal cases involving red notices in the UAE should be treated with utmost care and expertise. They require lawyers with vast experience on the subject. A regular criminal defense lawyer may not have the necessary skill and experience to handle such matters. Call us now for an urgent appointment at +971506531334 +971558018669
Fortunately, the international criminal defense lawyers at Amal Khamis Advocates & Legal Consultants have precisely what it takes. We are committed to ensuring that our clients’ rights are not infringed on for any reason. We are ready to stand up for our clients and protect them. We provide you with the best representation in international criminal cases specializing in Red Notice matters.
Our specialization includes but not limited to: Our specialization includes: International Criminal Law, Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance, Judicial Assistance, and International Law.
So if you or a loved one has a red notice issued against them, we can help. Get in touch with us today!