Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday has said that his country has the right not to extradite controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to India,
Naik, a 53-year-old Islamic preacher, reportedly left India in 2016 and later moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. Indian national Dr. Zakir is wanted by New Delhi to face money laundering charges.
The Star Newspaper quoted Malaysian PM who said: “Zakir, in general, feels that he is not going to get a fair trial (in India)”.
While comparing the situation to Australia refusing to extradite former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar, who was sentenced to death in Malaysia in 2015 for killing a Mongolian model.
Malaysian Prime Minister said, “We requested Australia to extradite Sirul and they are afraid we are going to send him to the gallows,”
Dr. Zakir Naik has been booked by the Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2016 based on a National Investigation Agency FIR that was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
It was reported that India’s enforcement directorate would seek Interpol’s cooperation to detain Zakir with an eye on extraditing him from Malaysia to face money laundering charges back home.
According to the Indian Enforcement Directorate, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Mumbai-based charity trust promoted and controlled by Naik.
“Allegedly received funds in the form of donations and zakat (a form of almsgiving in Islam) from domestic as well as overseas donors from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Malaysia among others,” the ED statement said.
In October 2014, Zakir Naik was charged by India’s National Investigation Agency with inciting terror and delivering hate speeches.