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Dutton wants IS terrorist Prakash to serve lengthy jail time in Turkey


Following a tip-off from Australian authorities, Turkish law enforcement arrested Prakash in October 2016 trying to cross the border from Syria. He is the subject of an Australian government extradition request for his service with the terror group.

Under laws introduced in 2015, the government can strip dual nationals of their Australian citizenship for involvement in terrorism. Prakash is understood to have Fijian citizenship through his father.

“Mr Prakash faces what I hope will be a long jail term in Turkey,” Mr Dutton said on Saturday when asked if the government was still pursuing extradition.

He said the government would wait to see what happened in the Turkish proceedings and consider other nations’ interests in Mr Prakash for his alleged offences before taking any further action.

“The priority for us is to make sure that people like Neil Prakash don’t come back to Australia. We don’t want them here. These are people that would kill Australians.”

It is understood the government is treating the extradition request as a backup option pending the outcome of the Turkish process, which could see Mr Prakash imprisoned for up to 25 years.

Radicalised in Melbourne, Prakash became a foreign fighter for Islamic State in Syria in 2013, adopting the nom de guerre Abu Khaled al-Cambodi.

He was responsible for recruiting a number of people to join Islamic State, and inciting others via social media to launch terror attacks in Melbourne and Sydney.

He is believed to have been involved in influencing the alleged Mother’s Day pipe bomb plot, the Anzac Day plot in Melbourne, and an alleged Anzac Day plot in Sydney.

He also helped radicalise Numan Haider, who launched a stabbing attack on police in Melbourne in 2014 before being shot dead.

Australia issued an arrest warrant for Prakash in August 2015. In a surprise ruling in July this year, a Turkish court knocked back Australia’s extradition request, a decision that was met with disappointment from former foreign minister Julie Bishop.

On Saturday, Mr Dutton said: “Let’s wait and see what the future holds for him but hopefully he won’t see the light of day for a long period of time to come.”

He said the government was currently considering actions against other dual nationals alleged to be involved terrorism overseas.

Fergus Hunter is a political reporter for Fairfax Media, based in Parliament House.

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