Melbourne schoolboy turned ISIS terrorist Neil Prakash has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in a Turkish prison.
Appearing before the Kilis Criminal Court via video link from jail on Friday, Prakash, 27, was found guilty of being a ‘pivotal’ member of Islamic State.
His sentence was reduced from nine years after Prakash offered information about the ISIS faction he’d served under in Syria for the three years before his 2016 arrest.
Australian-born ISIS terrorist Neil Prakash has been sentenced to more than seven years jail
Prakash appeared in court via video-link from a maximum-security jail cell (pictured)
Prakash had been held in a maximum-security jail cell in Gaziantep, southern Turkey, since he was caught trying to sneak across the border from Syria in October, 2016.
With good behaviour, he may be eligible for parole just three to four years into his sentence.
Accounting for time already served, he could be freed within two years.
Turning down a translator, Prakash spoke to the judge in fluent Turkish.
He admitted to conspiring with ISIS, but ‘regretted’ that he was forced to, according to The Herald Sun.
‘They (Islamic State) forced me to do it. I didn’t do it under my own free will.’
Judge Ismail Deniz told Prakash he would also be able to appeal the verdict.
Prakash (pictured in a still from an ISIS propaganda video) could be freed in less than two years
Prakash had appeared in several propaganda videos for ISIS, repeatedly encouraging attacks against Australia.
However, what happens when he is released from prison remains to be seen, with the Australian government renouncing him and Fiji claiming they’re not obligated to take him in.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton stripped Prakash of his Australian citizenship because of his affiliation with ISIS in January.
It remains to be seen whether Australia will have to take in Prakash (left) at the end of his sentence
The Federal Government said the Melbourne-born terrorist, who has a Fijian father, was entitled to Fijian citizenship and therefore could be removed of his Australian citizenship.
But Fiji’s immigration director Nemani Vuniwaqa told the ABC there was no evidence of Prakash or his parents ever being citizens of the Fiji.
There was, however, an unsuccessful attempt to have Prakash extradited so he could be tried in Australia.