The federal government could help Australia’s most wanted terrorist find a defence lawyer as he faces extradition from Turkey.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Neil Prakash is receiving “standard” Australian consular assistance while in maximum-security prison in Turkey.
It is understood this could include helping Prakash contact family members, liaising with Turkish authorities about the 26-year-old’s well-being while in custody and assisting him to find legal representation.
Australian officials have visited him twice in jail, News Corp reports.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told Seven’s Sunrise program the government’s focus was gathering the intelligence information Mr Prakash could share about ISIS.
A spokesman for the attorney-general’s department told AAP Prakash is subject to a formal extradition request from Australia but Turkish “processes need to be respected and allowed to be completed.”
In May, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to lock up the Islamic State terrorist for life and said Prakash was likely to be extradited from Turkey within months.
The Melbourne-born Islamic State recruiter is also reported to have told Turkish authorities he married a Dutch jihadi bride while fighting in Syria and the couple have two children, who are eligible for Australian citizenship.
Prakash was arrested trying to cross the border from Syria into Turkey using false documents on October 24. He has spent the past 10 months in custody on terror related charges.
Also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, Prakash left Australia for Syria via Malaysia in 2013. He has featured in a number of IS propaganda videos in which he calls for attacks on Australia and the United States.
His Australian passport was cancelled in October 2014 and federal police issued a warrant for his arrest through Interpol in August 2015.
Prakash has been described by the government as the most senior Australian operator in IS.
He has also been linked to a failed Melbourne plot to behead a police officer on Anzac Day in 2015 and Numan Haider, an 18-year-old who was killed after stabbing two police officers in 2014.
Neil Prakash: From Buddhist to terrorist
– A Melbourne-born man of Fijian and Cambodian descent and was raised as a Buddhist
– Converted to Islam and attended the controversial al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne
– Left Australia in 2013 to join the Islamic State in Syria
– Went by the jihadi name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi and appeared in IS propaganda videos
– His Australian passport was cancelled in October 2014 and federal police issued a warrant for his arrest through Interpol in August 2015.
– Recruited would-be terrorists in Australia
– Linked to a failed Melbourne plot to behead a police officer on Anzac Day in 2015 and Numan Haider, the 18-year-old who was killed after stabbing two police officers in 2014.
– The US announced Prakash was killed in a drone strike in April 2016
– Captured by Turkish authorities trying to cross from Syria using false documents on October 24
– Currently in prison in Turkey on terror related charges
– Awaiting extradition to Australia