KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has yet to receive any formal request from India to have controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik extradited to his home country to face money laundering charges there.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said as such, the government will at the moment share the stand of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, that Malaysia has the right not to extradite the fugitive Indian national.
“I have also been questioning, but as of now, the government has not received any application from India to extradite Zakir,” she told reporters after attending an Aidilfitri Open House for the Pandan constituency, here, today.
“The prime minister (Mahathir) has answered on this issue previously, and that is similarly our (government) answer,” she added, without elaborating further.
Mahathir had, on June 10, claimed that the country has the right not to extradite Zakir if it felt the latter would not be accorded justice back home.
He compared the situation to Australia refusing to allow former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar to be repatriated back to Malaysia after he was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu,
“Zakir, in general, feels that he is not going to get a fair trial in India,” Mahathir had said.
India had earlier requested for an Interpol Red Notice against Zakir and his extradition from Malaysia after securing a non-bailable warrant against him from the court.
In response, the preacher had said that he was prepared to return to India on the condition that the Indian Supreme Court could assure him in writing that he would not be arrested and jailed until he was convicted.
Zakir is being charged in relation to laundering more than 1.93 billion rupees (RM115.66 million) from proceeds of crime in India and overseas identified by its enforcement agency.