PETALING JAYA: The Indian government said it has been informed by Putrajaya that its request for the extradition of Dr Zakir Naik is “under consultation”.
Its external affairs ministry said New Delhi was continuing to pursue the matter not only through the Malaysian government but also through its high commission in Kuala Lumpur.
“We have requested for his extradition time and again not only through our consultation with the Malaysian government but also through our high commission,” the ministry’s spokesman, Raveesh Kumar, said on Thursday in response to questions.
“We have asked them to expedite the process. We have been told that it is under consultation and it is a process that will take time.”
The Indian authorities have filed money-laundering charges involving about RM115 million against the 53-year-old preacher, who has been granted permanent residence in Malaysia.
Naik has also been accused of inciting enmity and hatred between different religious communities in his preaching.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said last month that Malaysia had the right not to extradite Naik if he was not going to be accorded justice.
He said the situation was the same with Australia not sending Sirul Azhar Umar, a former bodyguard sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, back to Malaysia.
“We requested Australia to extradite Sirul and they are afraid we are going to send him to the gallows,” Mahathir was quoted as saying.
“Zakir in general feels that he is not going to get a fair trial (in India).”
In Parliament on Thursday, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Naik was not listed on Interpol’s Red Notice of wanted criminals or fugitives.
Muhyiddin also said that Naik was 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 PAS Kubang Kerian MP Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.