Friday, 6 July 2018

The Indian foreign ministry confirmed formal request made to Malaysia for extradition of Preacher Zakir Naik.

Zakir Naik extradition request filed, says Indian official

FMT Reporters | July 5, 2018

India's High Commissioner in Malaysia is in touch with authorities, says foreign ministry spokesman.


Controversial Indian televangelist Zakir Naik is wanted by Indian authorities.

PETALING JAYA: The Indian foreign ministry is reported to have confirmed that a formal request has been made to Malaysia for the extradition of controversial preacher Zakir Naik.

Foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a weekly media conference that New Delhi had made a formal request for Naik under an extradition treaty with Malaysia.

“At this stage, our request is under the active consideration of the Malaysian side. Our High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur is in touch with Malaysian authorities,” he said in a video recording provided to FMT by the satellite news channel Republic TV.

The Hindu newspaper and the Times of India also reported that the extradition request was made in January and the Indian government had pursued the matter through diplomatic channels.

Naik, a televangelist, is wanted by Indian authorities over allegations of money laundering and spreading extremism.

Last year, the then home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Malaysian government had not received any extradition application from the Indian government. He said Malaysia would fulfill the request and deport Naik if an application on the basis of mutual legal assistance was made.

Yesterday, Indian media reported that Naik was being deported but the report was denied by Naik and his lawyer Shaharuddin Ali, as well as the Inspector-General of Police Mohamed Fuzi Harun.

“We are yet to receive official confirmation in this regard from Malaysian authorities,” a foreign ministry official was quoted as saying.Ads by AdAsia

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 investigating Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, over allegations of money laundering.

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

Republic TV, a one-year-old free satellite channel, is funded by an MP of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

‘Naik idolised in Putrajaya by top govt officials’
Minderjeet Kaur | July 5, 2018

A government director says some of these top officers even had Naik as their WhatsApp profile pictures when Barisan Nasional was in power.

Many top officials in Putrajaya are said to be proudly displaying pictures taken with Zakir Naik. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: A director from a government department in Putrajaya has revealed that many senior government officials idolised Zakir Naik, the controversial Muslim preacher from India, and even used his mugshot as their WhatsApp profile picture.

The director, who asked to remain anonymous, said some of these officials were director-generals of government departments.

“After Pakatan Harapan formed the federal government, they quickly changed their profile pictures.

“Suddenly, they put up their selfies or pictures of their families.

“I was quite surprised at how fast they did that. It means they know what they had done was not right,” he told FMT.

He said Naik, who lives in Putrajaya, still had close contacts with many senior officials, including in the police force, as he had been going around preaching Islam in the capital city.

“Some of them idolise him. I am not active in Facebook but in WhatsApp, I can see them putting pictures of Zakir Naik. Sometimes, the officer and Zakir are together in the profile pictures.”

The director said it would not be difficult for any enforcement agency to locate those who were in close contact with the preacher as all that was needed was to check the history of profile pictures in their WhatsApp.

So far, police have denied reports in Indian media that Naik was to be deported to India, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of money laundering and spreading extremism.

Inspector-General of Police Mohamed Fuzi Harun had told FMT that police had not received any information on the matter from the home ministry.

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

‘Time for government to work with India on Naik’

Klang MP Charles Santiago has urged the Pakatan Harapan government to revisit allegations linking Naik to extremism and money laundering.

He said it was timely to revisit the case to ascertain these allegations by the Indian government.

“We should revisit the case of Zakir Naik, whether he is a fugitive, if he is involved in money laundering, if he has links with terrorist groups or if he is an extremist.

“Our government should work with the Indian government on the matter,” he told FMT.

Naik was given permanent resident status in Malaysia by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

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

On March 31, it was reported in Times of India that the Indian government has officially sought Naik’s extradition.

This came after India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) had completed all formalities, including collection of evidence and filing of the charge sheet.

NIA investigates offences related to terrorism and several other acts that have national ramifications.

NIA is also probing Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation, over allegations of money laundering.

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