Malaysia has the right not to extradite Zakir: Mahathir
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Malaysia has the right not to extradite controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik if he is not going to be accorded justice, reports India Today.
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.
India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier charged Zakir Naik with laundering INR193 crore (RM115 million) in illicit funds. As per reports, it is trying to get a non-bailable warrant for his arrest from a Mumbai court by June 19.
If the warrant is issued would ED will send petition to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for a red notice to member countries including Malaysia, asking them to return him to India under the two countries' extradition treaty.
Dr Zakir Naik responded to ED's claims and 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."
He added, "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."