Malaysia to deport Zakir Naik today?

Dr Zakir Naik. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Zakir Naik, the controversial Muslim preacher from India, is being deported today, Indian media have reported, but his Malaysian lawyers have denied being served with any extradition notice.

“It is not true. We have not received any extradition notice,” Shaharuddin Ali, who represents Naik, told FMT, adding that a formal request to deport his client must come from the home ministry or the foreign affairs ministry.

He said the notice should not come from the police or the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“As at this moment, we still have firm instructions to challenge any action to extradite our client to India. We need to be served with the papers.

“If you got the papers, we want to see them,” said Shaharuddin.

Meanwhile, Naik was quoted by India’s Republic TV as saying that news of his extradition was “totally baseless and false”.

“I have no plans to come to India till I feel safe from unfair prosecution. Insha Allah when I feel that the government will be just and fair, I will surely return to my homeland,” he said.

Indian media outlets today reported that Naik, under investigation in India over allegations of money laundering and spreading extremism, “will be taking a flight to India today”, according to the report by English news channel, Times Now.

India’s NDTV meanwhile said Naik would be “out of the country tonight”, quoting Bukit Aman’s counter-terrorism officer Mohammed Raby Abu Bakar.

Naik is accused of giving provocative speeches, which were cited as a reason by Bangladesh for an attack in Dhaka which left 22 people dead.

India’s National Investigation Agency is also probing Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation, over allegations of money laundering.

He was given permanent residency status in Malaysia by the previous Barisan Nasional government.