Alex Segbefia writes: Interpol alert a “red herring”, ploy to embarass Mahama
A Red Notice is usually issued against a criminal fugitive on the run who seeks actively to evade justice.
It is a notice published by Interpol to law enforcement agents across the world requesting them to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending his extradition.
When it is published, it is not Interpol seeking the location and arrest of the person, but rather the country that requests the publication. Procedurally, Interpol would publish a Red Notice at the request of a member country provided the request meets the constitutional requirements of Interpol.
A Red Notice is however, a voluntary system. A state is therefore not obliged to make an arrest based on its publication, and can decide to ignore it. This is because it is not an arrest warrant, and countries can themselves determine what weight to give such notice.
What is unusual about this particular Red Notice is that Ghana Government knows where Samuel Mahama lives in the UK up to his exact residential address. One needs to bear in mind that all the hula-baloo about Airbus emanated from the UK courts, who have dealt with it and settled it. And yet even though he and the other persons named in the Red Notice are British Nationals, the UK government has not thought it fit to proffer any charges against them.
He is not considered a flight risk so no restrictions have been imposed on him and he has not been asked to hand over his passport. Why would the UK Government, based on the same facts as are narrated in the Red Notice, arrest him for Ghana government? Besides, Ghana has an extradition treaty with the UK. It also has a Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement with the UK.
Why publish Red Notice when the Ghana Government can formally ask for his extradition through regular channels?
The Special Prosecutor must be aware that it is a forlorn hope that the UK government would extradite the three named persons.
It is interesting how recently the scurrilous story found its way unto the front pages of the controversial Sun newspaper in the UK. Individuals behind that publication are suspected to be closely tied to the family of Akufo-Addo.
This so-called arrest warrant is a red herring. It is an extension of their game plan to embarrass President John Mahama because of the impending elections.
Alex Segbefia is a former Crown Prosecutor in the United Kingdom