IS cham­pion Prakash tries to ex­cuse ac­tions

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS | NATION -

TER­ROR­IST Neil Prakash has failed in his bid for re­lease from a Turk­ish prison, hav­ing apol­o­gised for “all the trou­ble I have caused in the world”.

The Mel­bourne-born 26-year-old ap­peared by video-link in Kilis Court, Turkey, near where he was ar­rested as he tried to sneak across the border from Syria in Oc­to­ber on false iden­tity pa­pers.

Prakash re­peat­edly tried to ex­cuse his ac­tions as a pro­moter of Is­lamic State and a re­cruiter for them, say­ing he was a “new Mus­lim” who didn’t fully un­der­stand what he was be­ing taught.

He ad­mit­ted he had called for at­tacks in Aus­tralia.

“I was a new Mus­lim and didn’t have the knowl­edge so when they taught me I trusted them,” he told the judges.

“While I was (in Syria and Iraq), I learned to learn knowl­edge for my­self and when I learned the truth I tried to leave.”

He has been charged with be­ing a mem­ber of the ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion IS and is also ac­cused of fight­ing against the Turk­ish state, seek­ing to bring down the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment and crimes against hu­man­ity.

If con­victed, he faces a jail term of more than 20 years.

That would most likely be fol­lowed by de­por­ta­tion to Aus­tralia to face fur­ther charges.

The case was ad­journed to De­cem­ber 26.

Prakash spent 2013–16 in Iraq and Syria en­cour­ag­ing for­eign fighters to join IS or carry out at­tacks in their home­lands in the West.

He fa­thered two chil­dren who could be el­i­gi­ble for Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship.

PHOTO: NEWS CORP

CHANGED HIS TUNE: Neil Prakash.

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