ISIS terrorist Neil Prakash won’t be allowed into Fiji
Fiji’s prime minister says Islamic State jihadist and recruiter Neil Prakash will not be allowed in the country, as the federal government stands by its decision to strip the 27-year-old of his Australian citizenship.
Melbourne-born Mr Prakash – who is in jail in Turkey facing terrorism charges – was notified at the weekend his citizenship had been annulled because of his connections to IS.
The government believes the 27-year-old is a dual national as his father was Fijian.
However, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, says Mr Prakash “cannot come here because he does not qualify”.
“At any rate, he is a terrorist and a member of ISIS. We don’t entertain them nor do we accommodate them,” he told the Fiji Sun newspaper on Thursday.
His comments come after head of Fiji’s Immigration Department said Prakash was not one of its citizens.
But Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says a thorough process was conducted by the Citizenship Loss Board and legal advice from the Australian government solicitor-general has been followed.
The government isn’t allowed to revoke an Australian’s citizenship if it will leave them stateless.
“It cannot be assumed even though Prakash and his family may have some connections with Fiji, that his Fijian citizenship would be recognised by the Fijian government,” Professor Rothwell said.
Mr Prakash has been in custody near the border with Syria since 2016 after attempting to enter Turkey with false documents.
His Australian passport was cancelled in 2014 and he was added to a sanctions list in 2015.
Mr Prakash has previously admitted being a member of Islamic State but said he had nothing to do with the group in Australia.
He faces a potential life sentence if convicted in Australia of terrorism offences.