Alleged IS terrorist Neil Prakash charged with six offences
Accused Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash has refused to appear in a Melbourne court after being charged with multiple offences carrying a life sentence if proved.
The Melbourne-born former rapper rose to prominence over his use of social media to allegedly lure potential Islamic State recruits after reportedly joining the group in 2013.
Neil Prakash is removed from an extradition flight from Darwin to Melbourne on Sunday morning. Credit:AFP
The now 31-year-old is facing six terrorism charges over his alleged involvement with Islamic State in 2014 and is accused of travelling to Syria and undertaking hostile acts in 2016.
Two of the charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment — engaging in a hostile activity in a foreign state and engaging in a hostile activity in a foreign country.
He was also charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation, advocating terrorism, providing support to a terrorist organisation, and entering or remaining in a declared area.
The 31-year-old was flown from Turkey to Darwin on Friday morning, before he appeared in the Darwin Local Court in front of Northern Territory Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris, who granted his extradition to Victoria.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) confirmed Prakash had arrived into Melbourne on Sunday ahead of his expected appearance in Melbourne Magistrates Court.
But Prakash refused to appear in front of magistrate Donna Bakos, who was told the accused terrorist was suffering from burning pain and schizophrenia, according to Nine News.
This is the first time the 31-year-old has been in police custody in Australia. A warrant for his arrest was issued in November 2016.
Neil Prakash is escorted by Australian Federal Police officers in Darwin.
AFP acting assistant commissioner Sandra Booth said her organisation and Victorian authorities had worked “tirelessly” together on the investigation since March 2015.
She said there was no imminent risk to public safety as a result of Prakash’s return to Australia.
“The AFP and our partners are committed to keeping Australians safe,” she said.
Prakash was remanded in custody and will next appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 23.
With Nick McKenzie, Marta Pascual Juanola
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