Australia’s most wanted ISIS fighter Neil Prakash has been put back behind bars to face local terror charges just moments after a judge ordered his release and rejected Australia’s extradition bid
Australia’s most wanted ISIS fighter Neil Prakash has been put back behind bars to face local terror charges just moments after a judge ordered his release and rejected Australia’s extradition bid.
The Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey freed the 27-year-old from Gaziantep H-Type Prison on Thursday, despite the self-confessed Islamic State member’s bizarre rant at the judge, who he labelled the ‘enemy of Allah’.
But just two hours later, Prakash was taken back to his cell after a second hearing decided he must answer charges of committing a crimes against the state of Turkey, The Australian reported.
The former Melbourne rapper faces 25 years to life behind bars if convicted and dealt with as a senior member of Islamic State, or seven to 15 years if found to be a regular member.
Prakash, who was arrested in 2016 when he crossed the Syrian border into Turkey after fighting in Syria and Iraq, launched a rambling attack on the judge who originally freed him.
‘Allah is the legislator, not him… He is not a judge, he is the enemy of Allah and he will always be the enemy until he repents,’ he said, according to the ABC.
‘Allah, he’s the judge, I will never be judged by you.’
Prakash was taken back to his cell after a second hearing decided he must answer charges of committing a crimes against the state of Turkey
The Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey freed the 27-year-old (left) from Gaziantep H-Type Prison and rejected Australia’s application to have the self-confessed Islamic State member extradited
Prakash had been held in the special prison with about 1,500 others, including terrorists, since his arrest almost two years ago.
He was accused of being part of a terrorist organisation involving recruiting, promoting and financing a terror group and urging attacks on foreign soil.
Prakash has been living in a unit block behind prison walls along with 20 men with free reign of the kitchen, living room complete with a television and exercise yard, an observer told Daily Telegraph.
‘They have television. They receive food by the prison and they can make breakfast, lunch and dinner. The guards do not have guns inside the prison,’ they said.
‘There’s a market inside the jail house … it’s a normal, standard market where you can buy mince meat or juice.’
NEIL PRAKASH: FROM MELBOURNE BUDDHIST TO IS FIGHTER AND RECRUITER
Prakash was arrested in 2016 when he crossed the Syrian border into Turkey after fighting in Syria and Iraq
- Neil Prakash is born in Melbourne, of Fijian and Cambodian descent. He was raised a Buddhist
- He converts to Islam and attends the controversial al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne
- Prakash leaves Australia to join the Islamic State in Syria. Takes the jihadi name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi and appears in IS propaganda videos. Recruits would-be terrorists in Australia
- His Australian passport is cancelled
- Australian federal police issue a warrant for his arrest through Interpol
- Prakash is linked to a failed Melbourne plot to behead a police officer on Anzac Day 2015
- Prakash publicly praises Numan Haider, the 18-year-old who was killed after stabbing two police officers outside a Melbourne police station in 2014
- The US – incorrectly – announces Prakash has been killed in a drone strike
- Prakash is captured by Turkish authorities trying to cross from Syria using false documents and imprisoned on terrorism-related charges
- A Turkish court rejects Australia’s application for his extradition and a judge orders his release. Moments later, he is back behind bars to face local terror charges
Despite the lenient luxury of the prison, Prakash reportedly has no money to even afford a bottle of water, no friends and only has the clothes on his back.
The Muslim convert became radicalised at a Melbourne bookshop and moved to Syria in 2013 after allegedly plotting foiled terrorist attacks in Sydney.
After three years fighting with the caliphate, Prakash paid a people smuggler to take himself – along with two women and three children – across to Turkey but because of an Australian tip off, the ISIS recruiter was arrested in October 2016.
Prakash was accused of being part of a terrorist organisation involving recruiting, promoting and financing a terror group and urging attacks on foreign soil (file image)
‘He is a coward trying to keep a low profile. He’s pretending he’s not ISIS,’ an observer told News Corp.
Prakash is the most senior Australian member of ISIS to be captured alive after appearing in a number of Islamic State propaganda videos in which he encouraged other followers to launch deadly attacks.
Prakash admitted to being an Islamic State member during a court appearance in February, but denied he any Australian terror link.
‘The charge of being a member of Islamic State, I admit to it, I was,’ he said at the time.
Australia’s most wanted ISIS terrorist, Neil Prakash (pictured), will likely never be extradited to face trial in Australia
He was apprehended in 2016 when he crossed the Syrian border into Turkey after fighting in Syria and Iraq , but walked free Thursday after nearly two years behind bars
‘But on the other charge of being a leader of an organisation in Australia, that I had nothing to do with.’
At this stage it is unknown what kind of rights, if any, Australia has to appeal the decision not to extradite him.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said she ‘disappointed’ by the decision.
‘We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,’ she said in a statement on Friday.
Prakash has been held in Gaziantep H-Type Prison (pictured) since his arrest about two years ago
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said she ‘disappointed’ by the decision not to extradite Prakash