A Melbourne man who became the most-wanted Australian member of the Islamic State terror group has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail in Turkey.
The 27-year-old has been in jail in Turkey since October 2016, when he was caught crossing the border from Syria.
With time already served and good behaviour, he could be released in under two-and-a-half years.
His lawyer Resat Davran said Prakash also would appeal the sentence.
“I was expecting that he would be sentenced for being a member of a terrorist group but I was also expecting his sentence to be reduced for his remorse,” he said.
“Our appeal will ask for his sentence to be reduced due to his expressing remorse.”
Raised by a Cambodian Buddhist mother in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, Prakash converted to Islam after attending the controversial and now closed Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Springvale.
He travelled to Syria soon after and joined the Islamic State group, taking the name Abu Khaled Al Cambodi.
Prakash spoke of his conversion and journey in an IS propaganda magazine and promotional videos, encouraging other Australians to join him and to attack non-Muslims.
“My beloved brothers in Islam in Australia, now is the time to rise, now is the time to wake up,” he said in one video.
“You must start attacking before they attack you.”
The Australian Government had called Prakash the number one person reaching back from the Middle East to recruit people for the Islamic State and incite terror attacks.
The Australian Federal Police are still seeking to extradite him to face six charges, including providing support to a terrorist organisation and engaging in hostile activity in a foreign country.
Prakash was allegedly involved in planning terror plots, including one to bomb an Anzac Day service, and was linked to Melbourne teenager Numan Haider, who attacked counter-terrorist police with a knife.
The Australian Government stripped Prakash of his citizenship in December 2018, but Fijian Immigration authorities denied he had Fijian citizenship through his father, raising the issue of whether he had been illegally rendered stateless.
The revocation of Prakash’s citizenship led the Turkish trial judges to express some confusion about what would happen to Prakash upon release and they asked to speak to an Australian official present.
Mr Davran said his client did not know what would happen when he finished serving his sentence.
“He knew that he lost his citizenship but he’s saying he doesn’t know why and he says that he doesn’t know what he will do with his life, he has no idea,” he said.
Mr Davran said the appeal process could take more than two years, in which time Prakash could be due for release anyway.