MAHATHIR PROTECTS ‘HATE PREACHER’ ZAKIR NAIK: ‘BEFORE WE SEND HIM BACK, WE ARE ENTITLED TO DETERMINE IF HE WILL BE GIVEN FAIR JUSTICE’

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has likened the status of controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik to Malaysia’s request to Australia to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted of murder.

“Before we accept an extradition request (for Zakir from India), we need to know what will happen to the person who is to be extradited.

“We have a prisoner (Sirul) who fled to Australia. We asked Australia to send him back, but Australia said he would be hanged if sent back. So Australia has disagreed to do so until now.

“So we are also entitled to determine if the person we send back would be given fair justice as well,” he told reporters in Malacca this evening.

Sirul, who is being held at an immigration detention centre in Melbourne, fled Malaysia after the Court of Appeal acquitted him.

However, the Federal Court later overturned the decision and upheld his and Azilah Hadri’s conviction and death sentence for the slaying of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Mahathir was commenting on a news report that India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to secure an arrest warrant against Zakir and others in an ongoing trial heard by a special court in Mumbai under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002.

According to the report, the Mumbai court would decide whether a non-bailable warrant of arrest should be issued against Zakir at its next hearing scheduled for June 19.

The ED will then request for an Interpol red notice against the Indian-born preacher, as well as extradition from Malaysia after obtaining a non-bailable warrant from the court.

Zakir, who has claimed that the allegations against him are false, is now a Malaysian permanent resident.

MKINI

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