BAGHDAD, A Turkish court has rejected a request for the extradition of an Australian man believed to be one of the most prominent fighters responsible for recruiting terrorists, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Friday, in a setback to Canberra's efforts to prosecute him in Australia.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to plans for attacks in Australia, as appeared in a number of videos and magazines of the hardline organization.
Australia says that he has recruited men, women and children from Australia and encouraged militant activities, according to Reuters.
"We are disappointed that the criminal court of Kels in Turkey has refused to request the extradition of Neil Prakash to Australia," Bishop said in a statement.
"We will continue to communicate with the Turkish authorities while considering whether to appeal against the deportation decision," she said.
Australia has been pressing Turkey to deport Prakash since he was first arrested nearly two years ago.
The Turkish Daily Telegraph reported that the Turkish judiciary initially ordered the release of Prakash, but later accused him of being a member of Daesh organization under Turkish law.
Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Istanbul did not immediately comment, and the Turkish Embassy in Australia did not respond to a request for comment.
The Australian government announced in 2016 the killing of Prakash in an air strike in the city of Mosul, in Iraq, based on US intelligence wrong information, but later confirmed that Prakash is detained in Turkey.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency