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Accused 'tinnie terrorist' stays locked up

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 Jacqueline Le

A Melbourne man who allegedly played an "instrumental" role in a plot to sail from Australia to join Islamic State will remain behind bars indefinitely.

Plumpton father Murat Kaya was arrested during counter-terror raids in May after five men were arrested near Cairns towing a boat as part of an alleged plan to join IS.

Kaya has been in custody since May and this week applied for bail but Magistrate Belinda Wallington on Friday refused his application.

The 25-year-old is charged with preparing to enter a foreign country with intent to engage in a hostile activity.

Kaya did not appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday, but learned of the decision via video link. His wife's family, who had promised to put up a surety for his release, were present in court.

The Australian Federal Police had opposed his bid for bail at a hearing on Tuesday, saying he could commit an act of violence in the community if released.

Police allege Kaya helped buy the boat from a seller in Bendigo, but stayed in Victoria while the other men drove north.

"It's alleged he was instrumental," said Ms Wallington.

Kaya's co-accused - Paul Dacre, Musa Cerantonio, Shayden Thorne, Kadir Kaya, and Antonio Granata - were allegedly on their way to join Islamic State's growing faction in southern Philippines when they were arrested near Cairns on May 10.

Police raided Kaya's Plumpton home twice before his ultimate arrest on May 27.

All six men are charged with making preparations for incursions into foreign countries to engage in hostile activities.

The AFP alleges the group's plot began taking shape in February, when Dacre and Kaya drove to Darwin to inspect a 25-metre former naval vessel.

The men left Victoria with about $50,000 cash, but did not purchase the boat as planned because they were unhappy with its condition.

Defence said Kaya faced a lengthy delay until his trial, which could be two years away.

With the family's sole earner locked up, his wife had fallen into debt trying to make ends meet.

But Ms Wallington said a committal hearing set for May 2017 did not constitute an exceptional delay, and said any estimate of a trial date was speculative.

Earlier in September, co-accused Paul Dacre was also denied bail amid police fears he could endanger public safety.

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