Malaysia refuses to extradite Dr Zakir Naik to India

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KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Malaysia has the right not to extradite Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik if he is not going to be accorded justice in India.

He said the situation was the same with Australia not sending Sirul Azhar Umar, a former bodyguard who was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, back to Malaysia.

“We requested Australia to extradite Sirul and they are afraid we are going to send him to the gallows,” he said.

“Zakir in general feels that he is not going to get a fair trial (in India),” Dr Mahathir said after opening the affordable homes scheme at Lipat Kajang in Jasin here on Monday, NDTV reported.

Indian authorities had earlier charged the popular Islamic preacher with laundering INR193 crore (RM115 million) in illicit funds, a charge he strongly denies.

Dr Zakir Naik said, “The Indian agencies are desperately trying to pin something on me. Some charges, any charges. Which is why when terror charges did not work with the Interpol, they’ve moved on to money laundering. The Interpol refused to accept the Indian government’s charges against me on two different occasions in the last two years, and I don’t see that stance changing.”

“Any rational mind will see that the Indian agencies are not being driven by their duty of solving a crime but by the will of their political bosses. Fortunately for me, Interpol is not driven by Indian politics. Somehow they are not convinced about my crime the way Indian agencies have been claiming.”