Interpol logo 88.
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Jackie Selebi, national commissioner of South Africa's Police Service, resigned Sunday as Interpol president effective immediately, Interpol said.
In his resignation letter to the Interpol secretariat, Selebi said his decision to resign was made in the unit's best interests and out of respect for the global law enforcement community that it serves.
The head of South Africa's police forces, Selebi is facing charges by the country's National Prosecuting Authority for corruption and obstructing justice.
On Saturday, President Thabo Mbeki granted Selebi an extended leave of absence following Friday's revelations by the NPA that it was ready to charge Selebi.
Selebi's name is muddied with links to organized crime bosses, and he faces arrest on charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering and defeating the ends of justice.
In 2003, the Mail & Guardian newspaper revealed Selebi's alleged links with various underworld figures. Prime among the alleged syndicate chiefs was Glenn Agliotti, who would later be linked to the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble.
Selebi denied all knowledge of Agliotti's alleged involvement in the crime world.
"The allegations against Mr. Selebi relate to his capacity as commissioner of police for South Africa and have nothing to do with his position as president of Interpol or the work of the organization," Interpol said in a statement.
"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 cooperation worldwide," Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble said.
"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," Noble said.
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