Will continue efforts for Zakir Naik’s extradition: MEA

Malaysian PM had said the country reserved the right to not send the preacher to India

June 12, 2019 09:44 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Zakir Naik. File photo: Deepak Salvi

Zakir Naik. File photo: Deepak Salvi

Stating that fairness of the Indian justice system had never been in question, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said the government had made a formal request for preacher Zakir Naik’s extradition and would continue to pursue the matter with Malaysia.

The MEA statement came after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said the country reserved the right to disallow Mr. Naik’s extradition to India if he was not going to be accorded justice.

Many successful cases

In response to queries about Mr. Naik’s extradition, the MEA official spokesperson said: “India has extradition arrangements with many nations. In the past, there are numerous cases of successful extradition to India. The fairness of the Indian justice system has never been in question. The Government of India has made a formal request for the extradition of Zakir Naik. We would continue to pursue the matter with Malaysia.”

As reported by The Star , a Malaysian daily, Dr. Mohamad had said that the situation was the same with Australia not sending Sirul Azhar Umar back to Malaysia. Umar, a former bodyguard, was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Sirul’s case

“We requested Australia to extradite Sirul and they are afraid we are going to send him to the gallows,” Dr. Mohamad was quoted as saying. He said Mr. Naik “in general feels that he is not going to get a fair trial [in India].”

The Enforcement Directorate, which is probing money laundering charges against Mr. Naik, is preparing to secure a non-bailable warrant against him on June 19.

Non-bailable warrant

The court has already taken cognisance of a chargesheet filed in the case. Based on the warrant, the Directorate can request Interpol to issue a Red Notice and also approach the Malaysian authorities seeking Mr. Naik’s extradition.

The ED investigation is based on an FIR registered by the National Investigation Agency of allegedly spreading communal hatred by making provocative speeches.

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