IS fighter Neil Prakash’s apology is a ploy: Victoria Police minister

The 26-year-old jihadist appeared via video link from prison in the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey overnight, where he is being held on terror-related charges.


The top IS recruiter was arrested trying to cross the border from Syria into Turkey on false documents in October last year and during his short court hearing, admitted calling for terror attacks in Australia.

But the Muslim convert also said he was not “100 per cent responsible”, that IS had forced him to do it, and he was “sorry for all the trouble I have caused in the world”.

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

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


Victoria’s Police Minister Lisa Neville reacted with contempt.

“I would say he’s using a court strategy. I don’t think we would take that very seriously,” she told reporters on Friday.

“Regardless, his involvement is significant enough that Australian authorities will continue to seek his extradition back here to Australia.”

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Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Aston said police had compiled a brief of evidence against Prakash, and he would wait for Turkey to deal with him first.

Prakash has been linked to a failed Melbourne plot to behead a police officer, and another attack that saw two officers stabbed outside a Melbourne police station.

Australia has formally sought his extradition but under international protocols, Turkey has the right to deal with him first.

Also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, Prakash left Australia for Syria via Malaysia in 2013. He has featured in a number of Islamic State propaganda videos calling for attacks on Australia and the United States.

Prakash was denied bail and his case was adjourned to December 26.