An Interpol Red Notice severely restricts the freedom of the person affected. They are at risk of arrest and extradition whenever they cross a border or during police controls. If you are being searched for under an Interpol Red Notice, you will need the help of a specialised law firm. We can assist you in challenging the notice. In most cases, we will proceed against Interpol directly on the one hand, and have the German entry deleted on the other.
Our firm has comprehensive experience in representing victims of political persecution, Members of Parliament, oligarchs, civil servants, military personnel, business professionals, and other high-level individuals who were facing extradition on the basis of a red notice from Interpol. We have offices in Aachen, Cologne and Düsseldorf and conference rooms all over Germany, and offer our services on a nationwide basis. We are your reliable and competent partner in all matters pertaining to Red Notices and Extradition Proceedings.
What is an Interpol Red Notice?
An Interpol Red Notice enables an Interpol member country to enter into national police databases a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual with a view to extradition. The Red Notice is issued by the General Secretariat at the request of the member country in question. This does not involve a comprehensive legal analysis by Interpol. The latter only considers whether the extradition request is in breach of any part of the Interpol Constitution. Article 3 of the Interpol Constitution provides that it is strictly forbidden for the Organisation to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.
If there is no indication of the request being illegitimate, the Interpol General Secretariat publishes the extradition request on the Search Database. However, this does not amount to an international arrest warrant. Neither Interpol nor the requesting state have the power to compel a member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice.
Every member country has a National Central Bureau. The German National Central Bureau is the Federal Criminal Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA). As soon as an extradition request has been received by the BKA, it decides, together with the Federal Office of Justice, on the national implementation of the extradition request.
Are the individuals searched for wanted by Interpol itself?
No, if there has been a national implementation, the person subject to a Red Notice is wanted by the relevant member country. When Interpol publishes a Red Notice, this simply serves to inform member countries that the individual is wanted based on an arrest warrant or equivalent decision issued by the requesting state. When borders are crossed, and during police controls, the Red Notice becomes visible, which normally leads to an immediate arrest with a view to extradition.
How can I learn whether I am the subject of a Red Notice?
The Interpol website contains a partial list of who is affected by a Red Notice. However, this is not an exhaustive list of all entries, as some can only be viewed by law enforcement agencies. To be certain as to whether there is a Red Notice against a person, it is possible to assert a right to information at the National Central Bureau
Is it possible to have an Interpol entry deleted?
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to apply to the Interpol General Secretariat to have a Red Notice deleted. This is subject to the condition that the search request breaches a part of the Interpol Constitution. This question is in turn determined by the “Commission for the Control of Files” (CCF). The CCF is an independent organ and is responsible for ensuring that the Notices issued by the Interpol General Secretariat conform to the Interpol Constitution. If the CCF comes to the conclusion that the Red Notice breaches the Interpol Constitution, the Interpol General Secretariat will delete the Notice immediately and inform the individual affected in writing. However, this does not mean that the individual can now move through the world freely and without a risk of being arrested. Every member country can decide for itself whether to delete the search request or to leave it in its national police database.
What actions can be taken on a national level, in particular in Germany, against a Red Notice?
The German legislators did not provide for a way to challenge a mere notice for arrest (Red Notice) on a national level. There is however the option of making an application for deletion to the Federal Criminal Office or the Federal Office of Justice. In the past, our firm has been very successful in having international search requests deleted from the German system.
If the Federal Office of Justice and the Federal Criminal Office refuse to delete the search request, the only remaining solution is to apply to the relevant Higher Regional Court to have the request set aside. This is subject to the condition that the Higher Regional Court must have issued an extradition warrant on the basis of the Red Notice. This national extradition warrant is generally only issued where the person searched for has been arrested.
In many cases, our firm is contacted before an arrest has been made, and is asked to delete the Red Notice. It is possible in principle, even in the absence of an arrest, to bring about a legal decision on the extradition request by the General Prosecutor’s Office and the relevant Higher Regional Court. In the past, we have been able to obtain a decision by the relevant Higher Regional Court as a preventative measure, and have been able to bring about the deletion from the German INPOL system with the help of an order by the Higher Regional Court.