Jack*, a foreign national but permanent Australian resident, was formerly employed at an executive level with a major development company in a gulf nation. The company had strong ties to the nation’s monarchy and political hierarchy.
INTERPOL Red Notice
Whilst on a trip home to visit his parents in Asia for Christmas, Jack was stopped by airport officials who notified him that the nation in which he was formerly employed had placed him under an INTERPOL Red Notice.
A Red Notice is a request made through INTERPOL for the provisional arrest of a person who is wanted for prosecution.
It became apparent that the Red Notice in respect of Jack stemmed from a dispute over repayments to his former employer in the gulf nation concerning the circumstances of his resignation. Adding a further layer of complexity was the fact that this Red Notice appeared identical to another Red Notice in respect of Jack that had previously been deleted by INTERPOL.
Needless to say, although officials in his home country did not arrest Jack at the time, this caused him serious distress. The existence of a Red Notice would have severe implications for his freedom of movement around the world, placing Jack at risk of arrest and surrender for criminal prosecution in the gulf country.
The involvement of Nyman Gibson Miralis
Upon return to Australia in early 2018, Jack engaged Nyman Gibson Miralis to provide representation in this matter.
Nyman Gibson Miralis set about investigating the circumstances of Jack’s case in the gulf nation. Essentially, the gulf nation’s complaint against Jack concerned a dispute over the sum of payments made to him as part of his former employment contract. This subject matter also formed the basis of the identical Red Notice that was placed and then deleted in respect of Jack previously. In the course of this investigation, it was also revealed that certain work associates of Jack with similar employment connections to the gulf nation’s hierarchy had been tried, convicted, and sentenced to terms of imprisonment up to 15 years.
Nyman Gibson Miralis then proceeded to prepare a request and extensive submissions to INTERPOL arguing why the Red Notice in respect of Jack should be deleted from the organisation’s records.
These submissions focussed upon four main points:
- The Red Notice related to a civil, not criminal, dispute. INTERPOL only deals with criminal complaints. However, under Australian law, disputes over monies to be paid under a contract are only of a private or civil character. Moreover, there was nothing to support any suggestion that Jack had acted fraudulently in this matter.
- Any request to extradite Jack from Australia would fail the double criminality requirement. Red Notices are for the purpose of seeking a person’s extradition. As Australian law does not contain any criminal offence for standard employer/employee contractual disputes, Jack would never be extradited to the gulf nation from Australia in relation to this allegation.
- The Red Notice had a predominant political character. INTERPOL, including the use of its notices, is strictly required to be apolitical. In Jack’s case however, the close proximity of his employment to senior political and monarchical figures in the gulf nation, combined with the lack of proper foundation for a criminal complaint led to the conclusion that the Red Notice was politically motivated.
- Deletions of Red Notices are final and binding. As an identical Red Notice in respect of Jack had been previously deleted by INTERPOL, a second Red Notice based on the same situation should never have been issued.
A successful outcome – removal of the Red Notice
In late 2018, Nyman Gibson Miralis received correspondence from INTERPOL advising that, on the basis of the request made on Jack’s behalf, the Red Notice had been deleted. INTERPOL advised that the gulf nation in question had not responded to requests from INTERPOL in relation to issues raised in the request made on Jack’s behalf.
This was a significant outcome for Jack, allowing him in future to travel to visit his family without fear of arrest by foreign authorities.
* Not client’s real name.