KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's highest court has refused to free an Afghan carpet seller expected to be extradited to Australia on charges of people smuggling.

Kuala Lumpur police arrested Said Mir Bahrami last August on the request of Australian officials, who believe he organized the travel of illegal immigrants to Australia through Indonesian waters.

Bahrami had denied the accusation and sought to be released on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Malaysia's Federal Court cleared the main obstacle to his extradition Wednesday by ruling the Home Ministry was empowered to hold him under extradition laws.

Officials could not immediately be contacted for details on when Bahrami might be extradited.

More than 7,000 asylum seekers — many from war-torn countries including Afghanistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka — have reached Australian shores so far this year.