Accused foreign fighter contacted media, court hears

SIX men who allegedly bought a boat in Bendigo with a plan to leave Australia and join a violent jihadist group have faced Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Kadir Kaya, Robert "Musa" Cerantonio, Paul Dacre, Antonio Granata, Murat Kaya and Shayden Thorne were in court on Friday for a committal hearing over allegations they planned to join IS sympathisers in the southern Philippines.

​All six have been charged with making preparations for incursions into foreign countries to engage in hostile activities.

The court heard the Australian Federal Police seized correspondence between radio station 3AW and Kadir Kaya, 22, that allegedly took place in 2015.

It's understood he contacted 3AW by email in October 2015 and was later interviewed on air.

During the interview, broadcast on October 15, 2015, Kadir Kaya told radio presenter Neil Mitchel he wanted to renounce his Australian citizenship and leave the country to become a foreign fighter.

A month earlier he had tried to fly to Turkey from Melbourne on a Turkish passport, after his Australian passport was cancelled, the court heard on Tuesday.

But border officials confiscated his Turkish passport and he was prevented from boarding his one-way flight to Turkey.

Murat Kaya, 25, allegedly helped his five co-accused – including his brother Kadir – buy a boat that they were allegedly planning to use to leave Australia so they could join violent jihadist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines.

Cerantonio, Dacre, Thorne, Granata and Kadir Kaya were arrested near Cairns on May 10, 2016, towing a seven-metre boat en route to Cape York.

The men had been under surveillance by the Australian Federal Police for several months before they were intercepted in far north Queensland.

More than 90 exhibits – including material seized from 3AW and items the men allegedly posted on social media – have been tendered as evidence in the pre- trial hearing, which started on Monday.

The hearing before Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg continues.