Interpol rejects Suriname’s request for an international arrest warrant against the former finance minister

French society international police organization (Interpol) has rejected a request by the Surinamese judicial authorities to place the fugitive ex-finance minister, Gillmore Hoefdraad, on its international wanted list.

Local authorities were officially told by Interpol headquarters in Lyon last week that law enforcement would not cooperate in any way with what has been described as a “political pursuit of a former minister”.

Justice and Police Minister Kenneth Amoksi confirmed Interpol’s response and in response to Interpol’s decision, the Suriname Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that the decision has no influence on the criminal case against the former minister.

Interpol recently addressed the arrest warrant for Hoefdraad during its 120and session, which took place from 11 to 15 April. After examining the Hoefdraad case, the France-based organization determined that Suriname had seriously violated the rules and that the ex-minister’s rights had been violated.

On April 14, INTERPOL released a detailed 11-page decision confirming that Suriname’s prosecution of Hoefdraad is politically motivated and in violation of the Constitution.

The ex-minister is characterized as a victim of political persecution and that his human rights have been seriously violated by the Surinamese government, claims the team of lawyers assisting Hoefdraad. According to the lawyers, the Interpol decision confirms that Suriname has no evidence of personal enrichment but has pursued the charge of embezzlement.

The decision, which has been transmitted to all INTERPOL services, indicates that no international police cooperation should take place through Interpol channels.

Hoefdraad was sentenced in absentia by the Suriname Court of Justice to 12 years in prison for violating the anti-corruption law and the banking law. He had been accused of cooperating in the sale of real estate to the detriment of the Central Bank of Suriname.

The ex-minister appealed the conviction and his lawyer, Murwin Dubois, said Interpol’s decision means Hoefdraad, who had been in hiding since July 2020, can now move freely anywhere internationally.