Russia loses Interpol presidency vote

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Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as its president, rejecting the controversial Russian frontrunner.

Mr Kim was chosen by Interpol’s 194 member states at a meeting of its annual congress in Dubai.

He beat Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk, who has been accused of using Interpol’s arrest warrant system to target critics of the Kremlin.

Russia’s critics welcomed his defeat. Moscow blamed it on “unprecedented pressure and interference”.

The election follows the disappearance of Interpol’s former president Meng Hongwei, who vanished on a trip to China in September. Beijing has since confirmed he has been detained and is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes.

Mr Kim, 57, is a former South Korean police officer who once served as head of police in Gyeonggi, the country’s most populous province.

He was already senior vice-president of Interpol and had been serving as acting president since Mr Meng’s disappearance. He will serve out the remaining two years of Mr Meng’s term.

Although his role as president is largely ceremonial – the day-to-day running of Interpol is led by Secretary-General Jürgen Stock – it does wield influence.

Upon his election, Mr Kim said: “Our world is now facing unprecedented changes which present huge challenges to public security and safety.

“To overcome them, we need a clear vision: we need to build a bridge to the future.”