KUALA LUMPUR: The home ministry today revealed that controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not listed on Interpol’s Red Notice of wanted criminals or fugitives.
Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin also said that Naik, who has been charged with money laundering in India, is not listed as a terror suspect by the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).
“A search by the ministry found that Zakir Naik is not listed as a wanted man.
“He was also not named as a suspect when we checked the UNSCR terrorist list,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS-Kubang Kerian).
Muhyiddin also maintained that Putrajaya has the right to refuse the provisional arrest request from the Indian government in its diplomatic note dated Dec 29, 2017, as well as January’s extradition request for the preacher who has permanent resident status in Malaysia.
He said there is a provision in the extradition treaty between Malaysia and India which stipulates a restriction on the return of fugitive criminals if the charges against the individual are “political or religious in nature”.
“Malaysia has the right to refuse the extradition request as it is political in nature, as stated under Article 6, Paragraph (1)(a) of the extradition treaty, without giving any reasons for the refusal,” Muhyiddin said.
He also cited a provision which allows Malaysia not to proceed with the extradition if the wanted person will not be accorded justice, or if there is a threat to his life.
Last month, Wisma Putra confirmed that Malaysia had received a request from New Delhi to extradite Naik. However, it maintained its decision not to send the preacher back to India where money laundering charges involving some RM115 million have been filed against him.
He is accused of inciting enmity and hatred between different religious communities in his preaching.
Muhyiddin today denied that Naik is being given preferential treatment.
“We will not bar his movements into and out of Malaysia, or within its borders, as he has followed all procedures and obeyed the country’s laws,” he said.