Red Notices, INTERPOL, and Diffusions FAQ’s Part 3

by | Aug 9, 2022 | extradition, international fugitive, Interpol Red Notices and Extradition, US extradition


Minimum sentence requirement – Only Red Notices (Article 83)

Red Notices cannot be issued or maintained if they are not of sufficient gravity. This is determined by examining the sentence length. There are two strategies: If you have already been convicted, a Red Notice cannot be issued to request your return to serve your sentence unless it is at least six months. If you have not been convicted, a Red Notice cannot be issued to seek your return for prosecution and trial unless the offense in question carries a minimum two-year sentence. To determine whether this is the case, you may need to call a local attorney and inquire about the ‘legal maximum’ penalty for the offense. Otherwise, you might try browsing the Internet for your country’s Criminal Code.

Q20. What else should I consider when composing the letter?

Attempt to be as explicit as possible, mentioning dates, names, and locations whenever possible. Avoid making broad, unspecific generalizations about the nation that is oppressing you. Try to cite evidence and explain how it demonstrates your correct position.

Q21. What will be done with the information I provide to the CCF?

It is unclear how much information the CCF shares with the NCB in question in response to your request. The CCF is required by its rules to safeguard a request’s confidentiality. However, it also recognizes that it may be required to share certain information with INTERPOL; this information could then be shared with the applicable NCB. Consequently, if the request contains sensitive information, such as the fact that you have been granted asylum or documentation demonstrating your association with people remaining in your home country, you should consider that there is a danger that the NCB will obtain this information. Nonetheless, the material may be crucial for contesting the Red Notice/Diffusion, so you may feel compelled to submit it. There is no harm in explicitly requesting that the CCF maintain the confidentiality of the information you give. Similarly, if there are names of individuals in the documents that you feel uncomfortable sharing, you may omit them; nevertheless, this may diminish the persuasiveness of the document.

Q22. What steps will the CCF take after reading my request?

The CCF will review the facts you provide and, depending on what you say, may pose questions to the NCB that issued the Red Notice or Diffusion against you. It may also request a copy of the arrest warrant that the NCB has issued against you.

Q23. Will the Red Notice / Diffusion remain accessible for the duration of my challenge?

The CCF has adopted the practice of recommending that INTERPOL prohibit access to a Red Notice / Diffusion while investigating a complaint. If it does so, other NCBs consulting INTERPOL’s systems will be unable to find it. Consequently, the public extract of a Red Notice may be removed from INTERPOL’s website while your complaint is evaluated. Do not assume that the Red Notice has been permanently removed if you observe that it has vanished. Wait until the CCF provides a written response. No explicit method exists for requesting that the CCF adopt this course. However, because it is capable of doing so, there is no reason why you shouldn’t specifically request this in your letter.

Q24. Will I be aware of the questions the CCF poses to the NCB?

In our prior experience, the wording of any questions posed to the NCB is not revealed, although the CCF may provide an idea of the questions posed.

Q25. How quickly must the NCB respond?

The CCF can set timelines within which it expects to receive a response from the NCB. However, we do not know how long these are typical. The CCF may want answers before its next session (three to four months).

Q26. Will I be informed of the NCB’s response?

Based on our prior experience, this information is not disclosed. However, the CCF may contact you with more inquiries.

Q27. What happens if the NCB fails to respond?

When an NCB fails to respond, we realize that the CCF has no choice but to infer that the material contained in INTERPOL’s files complies with the standards.

Q28. Will a hearing be held?

No. The CCF has the authority to meet with individuals, but it has never done so in the past. The CCF will base its decision on the written facts provided to it.

Q29. When can I anticipate a response from the CCF?

The CCF meets three times per year, and a judgment on a complaint often requires at least two meetings. Therefore, you can anticipate waiting at least six to eight months for a response. The intricacy of the claim and the necessity for the CCF to collect information from the NCB will also impact the duration of the entire procedure.

Q30. What authority does the CCF possess?

The CCF will provide a recommendation to INTERPOL after it has completed analyzing all the material you have submitted. INTERPOL can then contest the suggestion, although we understand that the CCF’s opinion is typically adopted.

Q31. What are the various potential outcomes?

The CCF will make one of three recommendations. First, it may suggest that the material be removed entirely. Second, it may indicate that a “caveat” or “addendum” be added to the Red Notice or Diffusion (see Q below). Thirdly, it may determine that the information complies with INTERPOL’s regulations and propose no change. Based on the replies we have received, it is probable that you will not be provided with explicit explanations for the CCF’s findings. If this occurs, you should respond to the CCF with a request for clarification.

Q32. I informed the CCF that I am a political refugee and supplied supporting documentation, will the Red Notice / Diffusion will be eliminated?

Perhaps not necessarily. Even if one country determines that you are in danger of harm in your home country for political reasons, this does not always entail that your home country’s Red Notice / Diffusion against you is also political, according to INTERPOL’s interpretation of Article 3. If the CCF is of this opinion, it may recommend the addition of an “addendum” indicating that you have been recognized as a political refugee. The same holds if your extradition is denied.

Q33. What exactly is an “addendum” or “caveat”?

An ‘addendum’ or ‘caveat’ is an additional piece of information that INTERPOL includes in the file. It contains pertinent information, such as that you were granted asylum or that your extradition was denied. A supplement aims to ensure that police in other nations are aware of the facts, as it may impact their decision regarding whether or not to arrest you.

Q34. Will I see the ‘addendum’ or ‘caveat’ text?

Although we have requested this, we have not yet seen the language of an amendment, so we are unaware of the level of specificity it contains. We invite you to inquire about the supplement’s actual substance. Unlike the initial Red Notice / Diffusion, it does not belong to the NCB. Thus, you have a legitimate right to view it.

Q35. If the Red Notice against me shows on the INTERPOL website, will an “addendum” also appear?

No. If the CCF recommends adding an “addendum” to a Red Notice, the public extract of the Red Notice will be deleted from INTERPOL’s website. However, the Red Notice itself will be visible to law enforcement and border patrol.

Q36. What options do I have if the CCF denies my request?

There is no appeal against a CCF decision. In addition, if you file a second complaint, the CCF will only re-examine the case if you bring to its attention a new fact that, had it been known to the CCF at the time it considered the initial complaint, “would likely have led to a different decision.”

Q37. Red Notice / Diffusion has been eliminated. What then?

Standard operating protocol dictates that all INTERPOL member nations are notified when a Red Notice or Diffusion is erased. However, if you are not specifically informed that this has been completed, you should write back to the CCF and request confirmation.

Q38. Red Notice / Diffusion has been eliminated. Am I, therefore, free to travel?

Even if the Red Notice/Diffusion has been removed, and even if all INTERPOL member countries have been notified of this, you still face possible hazards. This is because the information from INTERPOL’s files may have already been downloaded and transferred onto national police databases worldwide. Even if INTERPOL deletes its own information, this does not imply that local computers will also delete the information. Therefore, you could still be detained when crossing a border or presenting a passport when checking into a hotel. You may wish to bring a copy of the letter stating that the Red Notice/Diffusion has been removed with you on your travels. You may also choose to contact a lawyer in the nation you are traveling through, either having your name deleted from the local police database or to be prepared in the event you are arrested. The legal structure of INTERPOL is intricate and murky. In addition, what happens to you depends on the country in which you find yourself, as different nations respond differently to requests received through INTERPOL’s channels; as a result, and because every case is unique, we cannot guarantee that the information provided in this article applies to your situation. Obtaining specialized and expert guidance as soon as feasible is crucial when dealing with an Interpol notification.