[JURIST] Chief of the South African Police Services Jackie Selebi [official profile] resigned as president of INTERPOL [official website] on Sunday, in the wake of news that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) [official website] of South Africa would be filing charges of corruption [JURIST report] against him. In his brief letter of resignation [PDF text], Selebi wrote that he did not want the charges against him to tarnish INTERPOL's reputation, and a media release [text] from the global police group quoted INTERPOL's secretary general Robert Noble [official profile] defending Selebi and the organization:
Based on my experience of working with Mr Selebi in his capacity as Delegate, Vice President and ultimately President of the organization, he has always conducted himself and acted in a way to enhance global security and police co-operation worldwide... Corruption is one of the most serious offences that any police official can be accused of and INTERPOL has taken a number of significant steps to help law enforcement in our member countries investigate and fight this type of crime... INTERPOL believes that any such allegations should be prosecuted thoroughly, and the proper manner is for charges to be brought promptly before a court of law and not through media leaks and speculation.Selebi is alleged to have to received $170,000 from Glenn Agliotti [Mail and Guardian report], a convicted drug smuggler suspected of involvement in the murder of South African mining head Brett Keeble. The NPA has also said that Selebi had turned a blind eye to Agliotti's drug trafficking, and that he had warned Agliotti that he was a identified in the Keeble murder investigation. Selebi has denied any wrongdoing and has unsuccessfully tried to block the charges from being filed in court. BBC News has more. AP has additional coverage.