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Zakir has lawyer on standby
Published on: Saturday, November 11, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Indian preacher Zakir Naik has appointed his lawyer in Malaysia as New Delhi inches towards formally requesting Putrajaya to extradite him over allegations of money-laundering and terrorism.

Lawyer Shaharudin Ali said he had also informed the inspector-general of police and the attorney-general to refer to him in the event such a request is made.

This comes as India's external affairs ministry said the process for Naik's extradition was almost finalised.

"The formal request for assistance of a foreign government in such cases requires a legal process.

We are nearing the completion of this exercise. Soon an official request will be made to the Malaysian government," a spokesman was quoted as saying by The Hindustan Times.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Putrajaya was prepared to deport Naik if there was a request from the Indian government.

Authorities in India have accused Naik of funding terrorism, and India's National Intelligence Agency (NIA) last week filed charges against him in court.

Naik, 52, was reportedly charged under India's Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, with inciting youths to engage in terror acts and join groups such as the Islamic State (IS).

NIA had previously requested Interpol to issue a "red notice" for the arrest of the preacher.

Naik is believed to be residing in Putrajaya, although this could not be confirmed.

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