Controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik has reiterated that he is willing to return to India provided there is a guarantee he would not be arrested or jailed.
“Let me make my previous offer again.
“If the Supreme Court of India gives me in writing that I will not be arrested and jailed until I am convicted, I will return to India, and I will make myself available to the courts,” he told the Sun.
The Indian-born preacher, who is a Malaysian permanent resident, was responding to the order for him to appear before India's special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on July 31.
The court had warned that a non-bailable arrest warrant would be issued against him if he failed to show up.
However, Zakir, who has maintained that the accusations against him are false, described the order as necessary.
“I don’t understand the need for another warrant against me when a similar warrant was issued in the courts twice in 2017.
“There was no need for this, especially in the absence of any evidence or proof of wrongdoing. This is merely to keep me in the news and take away focus from important matters facing the country,” he added.
Previously, it was reported that India has made a formal request to Putrajaya for Zakir's extradition.
Following this, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed concern if the preacher would be accorded a fair trial.
Yesterday, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said no extradition request has been received by his ministry or the Foreign Ministry.