New Delhi | Updated: June 26, 2015 8:31:04 am
An American law-enforcement officer, Ronald Noble was the secretary general of Interpol for three terms, ending 2014. Last week he was back in the news when Lalit Modi posted pictures of them both on Twitter and also showed him on the guest lists of his successor, Rajiv Shukla. In detailed e-mail responses, the 59-year-old former Interpol boss said he recently got married and has spent his time mostly travelling. Excerpts:
Your name has been repeatedly cropping up in cases such as those of meat exporter Moin Qureshi and now Lalit Modi. Doesn’t that make you out to be a controversial figure?
It is impossible to respond to each and every false allegation that surfaces in the Indian media. One false story is repeated and retransmitted 24/7. For example: I did not meet Lalit Modi until 2013 which is long after he stepped down from his post in the IPL. So he could never have invited me to an IPL match or event. But it is a matter of public record that I attended the IPL opening ceremony in April 2012 on the invitation of IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla and one more match the same time. This invitation followed meetings I had in Delhi with Rajiv Shukla and others in December 2011 to identify ways that Interpol could collaborate with the IPL to fight match-fixing.
But I do not understand what is newsworthy about my having been invited by Rajiv Shukla to attend the opening ceremony?
It is Lalit Modi who tweeted this. Was he ever on the radar during your three terms as Interpol secretary general?
The Indian media consistently states that he is “wanted by the Enforcement Directorate”. Is this the same Enforcement Directorate that falsely claims there is something called an Interpol light blue notice? There is no such thing as a light blue notice. The Enforcement Directorate never gave Interpol any information about Lalit Modi. Therefore why does the Indian media, including yourself, constantly mistake that Lalit Modi is wanted for arrest when you know that to be false? If he is wanted then publish the arrest warrant they claim was issued in 2010. It is undisputed that Lalit Modi’s passport was taken from him in 2010/2011. It is also undisputed that he was in Lodon the entire time. So why didn’t the Enforcement Directorate seek his arrest if he was wanted by them?
Lalit Modi has referred to you as his “brother” and now you are strongly defending him…
The fact is that during my tenure as Interpol secretary general, Lalit Modi was never wanted by Interpol and Indian authorities never entered information about him in the Interpol databases. Therefore there is no basis to falsely accuse Lalit Modi of having asked for a nonexistent Interpol notice to be removed. It is my understanding that he is not wanted for arrest even though Indian government officials state to the contrary. Sooner or later the Enforcement Directorate will need to prove that Lalit Modi has been wanted for arrest since 2010.
What about the Moin Qureshi BBM messages? They show that you were introduced to him by former CBI director Ranjit Sinha and your help was sought in removing red corner notices for two persons. Is this true?
There were never any red corner notices for these two individuals, so how could I have removed them?
But do you agree that some of these associations with your Indian friends have become a source of discomfiture for you?
There are 1.2 billion plus Indians and I love them all. I do not care what their political affiliation is or whether they are friends with Rajiv Shukla or Lalit Modi. I loved and continue to love the diversity and beauty of each and every one of Interpol’s 190 member countries.
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