Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has confirmed that the Malaysian government received an extradition request for preacher Zakir Naik from India.
Saifuddin said Putrajaya has, for now, decided not to extradite the Indian citizen despite the extradition request, according to Free Malaysia Today.
“We received the application from the Indian government. I don’t remember when.
“For now, there is no new decision. We are sticking to the original decision,” he was quoted as saying.
On June 16, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Putrajaya had yet to receive a formal extradition request from India.
Zakir is being charged with laundering more than 1.93 billion rupees (RM115.66 million) from “proceeds of crime in India and overseas”.
Zakir 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.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had previously also likened Zakir’s position to that of fugitive Sirul Azhar Umar.
Sirul, along with Azilah Hadri, were the two police commandos convicted of the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu and sentenced to death.
However, Sirul fled to Australia, which has refused to extradite him if the death sentence is not commuted due to its policy against capital punishment.
Mahathir had said that the government wants to know that Zakir will receive a fair trial in India.
However, the prime minister has also faced criticism for supposedly not applying the same standards to other cases – including Thai activist Praphan Pipithnamporn, who was deported to her home country where she faces lèse-majesté charges.