Interpol reviewing 40,000 wanted notices for political abuse

The international police agency Interpol is examining tens of thousands of wanted person notices submitted by member countries to determine if investigations are politically motivated.

The figure of up to 40,000 notices under review is cited in a confidential memo detailing a Nov. 20 meeting between European Union diplomats and Interpol, based in France.

The memo, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, records Interpol representatives saying the review will take "some time" and welcoming support from members.

Interpol declined to confirm the number, but said in a statement that new procedures were put in place last year to prevent so-called "Red Notices" from being abused to persecute dissidents.

Several recent cases, including the arrest of a German national in Spain at Turkey's behest, raised concerns about political misuse of the Interpol system.