Interpol Director referred to International Criminal Court
A criminal referral has been made to the ICC by human rights group, Due Process International. The claim, prepared by Dr Jonathan Levy, accuses Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, the current Director of Interpol, of carrying out the orders of Sheikh Mohammed to intercept US flagged yacht Nostromo, retrieve Princess Latifa, and neutralise the crew. The claim alleges that Al Raisi was responsible for acts of torture and includes witness testimony from a Dubai palace insider and whistleblower.
Al-Raisi, in his role at the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, is also accused of filing a false report with Interpol to persecute one of his victims, Hervé Jaubert, captain of Nostromo who helped Princess Latifa escape Dubai. In January 2022, Al-Raisi became president of Interpol. In addition to Captain Jaubert there were other credible allegations made against Al-Raisi during his tenure with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior. A coalition of 19 human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Center for Human Rights, wrote an open letter to Interpol advising against his appointment. Further, anti-terror prosecutors in France opened an inquiry into Al Raisi for acts of torture. Before his appointment as head of Interpol, British academic Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad testified against Al-Raisi, alleging he was responsible for their own torture in detention.
In the latest complaint, Dr Levy outlined his concerns regarding the safety of the witnesses, seeking “appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victim witnesses, and their legal counsel.” One of the witnesses is a Dubai palace insider who was there before, during and after the attack on Nostromo. After the kidnapping of Sheikha Shamsa from British soil, of Princess Latifa from international waters and the execution of Khashoggi, there is serious concern for the witness’s safety. “He is exposing these crimes at great personal risk”, explains Dr Levy.
“The case of Princess Latifa is just one of many incidences of the systematic abuse, torture, and confinement of women practiced in the UAE by the royal families. Of equal concern is the infiltration of INTERPOL and by association the International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor by accused human rights abusers.”
Witness statements provided to the ICC accuse the high ranking officer of orchestrating and ordering the attack on Nostromo, encompassing multiple unlawful acts, including assault, conspiracy to murder, kidnapping, wrongful detention and torture. If the allegations are proven to be true and upheld by the ICC, it could have far-reaching ramifications on multiple fronts. Firstly, it could lead to international sanctions against the UAE and prompt other countries to reassess their relationships with the nation. Secondly, it might significantly impact the reputation and leadership of Interpol if its current Director is found to be involved in such serious offences.
Additionally, the case should serve as a catalyst for broader conversations about human rights, the treatment of individuals seeking asylum, and the role of international organisations in upholding justice. It could also spark discussions about the efficacy of current systems in holding high-ranking officials accountable for their actions.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Due Process International comments, “Not only is this referral an attempt to seek justice for the victims of the Nostromo raid, and for the many other victims of torture, wrongful detention and abuse under the tenure of Major General Al-Raisi as Interior Minister of the UAE; it is also about preserving the integrity of international institutions of justice. The involvement of Al-Raisi in the Nostromo incident raises serious concerns about the neutrality and credibility of Interpol itself. Interpol plays a crucial role in promoting international cooperation in combating crime, but the grave crimes in which Interpol’s director is complicit, undermine public trust in its integrity.
"In the pursuit of justice, we have embarked on a journey to uncover the truth behind the Nostromo incident. Our criminal referral to the ICC marks a pivotal moment in holding accountable those who abuse power and commit heinous acts. This case is not just about the allegations against Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, but about the broader implications for human rights and international cooperation. The courageous witnesses who have come forward to testify exemplify the strength it takes to confront darkness and pave the way for transparency and accountability. As we seek justice for Princess Latifa and the crew of the Nostromo, we are reminded that every voice matters and that no one is above the law."
Interpol and Extradition Reform (IPEX) is a comprehensive initiative to address the widespread and multilayered problems with the current framework of the extradition process, including the many flaws in Interpol itself as an organisation.
For more information on the further aspects of this and other initiatives spearheaded by Radha Stirling please follow any of the selection of links provided further down this page. (If you would like to become involved or require business or crisis related advice, are in need of our wide ranging professional expertise, or advice for more personal or financial affairs please do not hesitate to get in touch with us). Radha Stirling has successfully lobbied Australian Parliament to include human rights provisions in their extradition treaty with the UAE, appeared for the defence as an expert witness in several high profile extradition cases and has worked tirelessly to remove wrongfully listed clients from Interpol’s database. She has led the call for greater Interpol transparency and reforms to end abuse by an emerging “authoritarian nexus” which misuses the Interpol Red Notice system to circumvent due process.
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