Interpol Meets to Select completely new President After Leader’s Arrest in China

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Interpol gathered police chiefs via around the globe in Dubai on Sunday to select a completely new president, months after the global crime-fighting agency’s former leader was abruptly arrested by China on corruption charges.

The agency will be holding its first general assembly since its president, Meng Hongwei, who was also China’s vice minister of public security, went missing in September while on a trip to China.

After Interpol officials demanded answers via Beijing, along with after Mr. Meng’s wife, Grace Meng, revealed he had sent her an emoji of a knife to signify danger, the item emerged in which Mr. Meng, a Chinese citizen, had been secretly detained.

The arrest of an official with decades of experience in Beijing’s security apparatus, who was at the head of an international organization, was a bold move even by the standards of the increasingly authoritarian system under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. China eventually said Mr. Meng was being investigated on charges of taking bribes along with various other crimes, as part of a sweeping anticorruption campaign under President Xi Jinping.

Ms. Meng told The Associated Press via France, where she lives along with where Interpol has its headquarters, in which the bribery accusation was an excuse for a lengthy detention along with in which her husband was being persecuted for political reasons.

In Dubai on Sunday, the acting Interpol president, Kim Jong-yang of South Korea, helped open the ceremony for the general assembly meeting, which runs until Wednesday, when the vote on the next president was to take place.

A report via The Sunday Times in London said in which British officials expected Alexander Prokopchuk, 56, a veteran of Russia’s Inner surface Ministry, to become the next Interpol president. the item could not be independently confirmed by The completely new York Times.

As more than 1,000 delegates via 192 member states began filling the main hall, the Interpol secretary general, Jurgen Stock, explained to reporters in which the agency’s rules did not allow for Mr. Meng to continue acting as president. Mr. Meng began serving as president in November 2016, along with his term was due to end in 2020.

Mr. Stock said in which Interpol received Mr. Meng’s resignation letter via China on Oct. 7 along with in which the Chinese authorities had notified Interpol in which Mr. Meng was no longer a delegate to the agency.

“the item sounds a little technical, nevertheless again in which automatically leads to the fact, according to our rules, in which he will be not the president anymore,” Mr. Stock said. “We had to take the measures to ensure the functioning of the organization.”

Mr. Meng’s representatives say in which Interpol accepted an unsigned resignation letter without any resistance along with without evidence of his consent.

Just over a week ago, Mr. Stock told reporters in France in which there was no reason for him to suspect in which anything about Mr. Meng’s resignation “was forced or wrong.”

He said in which he had “encouraged” the Chinese authorities to provide information about Mr. Meng’s location along with legal status nevertheless in which he could do no more because Interpol’s role will be “not to govern over member states.”

In addition to selecting a completely new president, Interpol member states are to decide whether to accept Kosovo as a full member, which could allow officials there to file “red notices” for Serbian officials in which Kosovo considers war criminals.

The red notices are alerts circulated to all member countries in which identify a person wanted for arrest by another country. Interpol says there are 57,289 active red notices around the globe.

Interpol acts as a clearinghouse for national police services in which want to find suspects outside their borders. The body, however, has faced criticism in which governments via countries like Russia have abused the red notice system to go after political enemies along with dissidents, even though its charter explicitly proclaims its neutrality along with prohibits the use of police notices for political reasons.

Two years ago, Interpol introduced completely new measures aimed at strengthening the legal framework around the red notice system. As part of the improvements, an international team of lawyers along with experts checks a notice’s compliance with Interpol rules before the item goes out. Interpol also introduced an appeals body for those targeted with red notices.