Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Interpol issues Red Notice for WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Interpol, the international police organization, has issued a global arrest warrant Red Notice for WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. Interpol's Red Notice "seek the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition."

It looks like the 39-year-old Australian who is known as the founder of WL was added to Interpol's "wanted" list for alleged "sex crimes" committed in Sweden this year on 1 December 2010.

See the screen capture of the notice below:

Follow link for original Red Notice

Meanwhile, BBC  reports that Ecuador has offered the WikiLeaks founder residency in that country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said his country's government wanted to invite Mr Assange to Ecuador to give him the opportunity to speak publicly, saying "We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions."

Read more here.

Mr. Assange could do worse.  Ecuador has beaches and mountains and used the US dollars for its currency. If he should accept the offer, he should beware of the "secuestro express" or at least has money put aside for taxi kidnapping ransom money. Crime is a severe problem, nonetheless since he is the government's guest, he probably will be provided a guard or two. But unfortunately, no protection against its 19 potentially active volcanoes, half already showing signs of activity.

Update on the Red Notice:

Mark Leon Goldberg at the UN Dispatch (probably the only full time blogger to ever have worked at Interpol he says),   explains "What An “Interpol Red Notice” Actually Means":

A Red Notice is NOT an international arrest warrant.  Likewise, there are no such thing as globe trotting Interpol police officers who can execute arrest warrants.  Rather, the Red Notice is simply a request for the arrest and extradition of an individual for whom an arrest warrant has been issued in the requesting country.

Some countries routinely ignore notices; some countries treat the Red Notice as good as an arrest warrant itself; some countries require further action before arrest and extradition.  It is really up to national authorities to decide how they treat the Red Notice.  But from a law enforcement perspective, it does have the advantage of the quick and reliable global distribution of the basic fact that an individual is wanted for arrest in an Interpol member state.  (And it should be noted that Interpol does turn down requests for Red Notices in cases that seem overtly political, though Assange has claimed this prosecution is politically driven.)

In addition to the potential for wide police cooperation, it is also my understanding that there is some diplomatic advantage to issuing a Red Notice.  That is because some countries have Red Notices built into extradition treaties, so having a Red Notice may help to expedite the extradition of wanted persons.

Sweden presumably has these kinds of extradition treaties with a number of countries. And if Assange is arrested by police in any country with this kind of treaty with Sweden, his extradition may be expedited in some way.

Read his entire post here.

We stand corrected. Corrections appended above.

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