3 Jan 2019

Australia steadfast in Fiji citizen spat

3:22 pm on 3 January 2019

Australia remains steadfast in its assertion that an Australian Islamic State fighter who had his citizenship revoked is also a Fijian citizen.

This is despite Fiji immigration officials insisting 27-year-old Neil Prakash had never held or sought Fijian citizenship.

Neil Prakash appeared in IS propaganda videos.

Neil Prakash appeared in IS propaganda videos. Photo: YouTube

On Friday, Mr Prakash was stripped of his Australian citizenship, but international law prohibits rendering a person stateless.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton reiterated the government's position to reporters.

"The legal advice available to the government based on all of the intricate detail and fact of this particular matter is that Mr Prakesh is by operation of law a citizen of Fiji, and as I say, the Fijians were advised some time ago and we've been working with the Fijians and we'll continue that relationship," he said.

Mr Prakash was captured in Turkey in 2016 and was now in a maximum security prison there facing terrorism charges.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told the Fiji Sun that Mr Prakash "cannot come here because he does not qualify."

"At any rate, he is a terrorist and a member of ISIS," Mr Bainimarama said.

"We don't entertain them nor do we accommodate them."