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Published: Sunday February 12, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday May 24, 2013 MYT 10:26:46 PM

Hishammuddin: Saudi columnist will be repatriated

KUALA LUMPUR: Saudi Arabian newspaper columnist Mohammad Najeeb A. Kashgari will be repatriated, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

The nature of the charges against Kashgari are a matter for the Saudi Arabian authorities to decide, he added.

"Malaysia has a long-standing arrangement by which individuals wanted by one country are extradited when detained by the other, and Mohammad Najeeb A. Kashgari will be repatriated under this arrangement" Hishammuddin said in a statement Sunday.

The statement also confirmed the Malaysia Government's detention Kashgari, 23, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) last Thursday.

The detention was made at the request of the Saudi Arabia authorities.

The columnist was said to have infuriated Saudi Arabians for posting a series of tweets on Prophet Muhammad's birthday last week.

This resulted in Twitter registering nearly 30,000 tweets on the topic in less than 24 hours.

Some clerics have called for the columnist's death. Blasphemy is punishable by death under Saudi laws.

Following Kashgari's detention, international groups have urged Malaysia to refrain from sending him back to his home country.

Malaysia does not have a formal extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that Malaysia had deported Kashgari on Sunday, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Related Stories: Do not deport Saudi columnist, urge groups Saudi columnist detained for insulting Islam

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