'No order to halt repatriation of Saudi columnist'

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SUBANG JAYA: Claims that there was a court order issued to prevent the repatriation of Saudi Arabian columnist Mohd Najeeb Kashgari was not true.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said there was no such order issued by Malaysian High Court to prevent the sending back of the 23-year-old columnist, better known as Hamza Kashgari, as claimed by several parties.

"If a court order was issued to prevent his (Hamza Kashgari) deportation, we surely would have obeyed it. We have never failed to obey the justice system.

"The columnist is a Saudi Arabian national, who is wanted by his home country to be tried in the justice system for his offense.

"The ministry will never let Malaysia to be perceived as a haven for terrorists, criminals and wanted person, who want to seek hiding or as a transit for them (to evade the laws)," he told reporters at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa here earlier today.

Hishammuddin was at the hotel to launch the International Conference on Principled Policing jointly organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) and the police.

He said allegations made by several parties that the columnist would be killed if he was deported was also "illogical" (tak masuk akal").

"This is a credible country that they are talking about, and allegations that 'blood is in my hand' and such for sending him back - were baseless.

"Do not bring politics of Malaysia to Saudi Arabia."

"There were also claims that the request for Kashgari's deportation was made by the Interpol, which is not true. The request was made by the Saudi government," he said.

Hishammuddin said the decision was not a matter of the government's policy, but about wanted person navigating in the country's landscape.

"Deportation decision is made on case-by-case basis. Not all whom we apprehend were sent back, and also not all whom we let free."

Kashgari was nabbed by Malaysian police soon after he arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday.

He was wanted by the Saudi authorities to be charged in court allegedly following a series of tweet which insulted Prophet Muhammad last week.

Kashgari was picked up by Saudi officials yesterday afternoon and was flown back in a private jet, which departed from KLIA at 12.06pm.


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