A Sydney man who admits to knowingly being a member of a terrorist organisation says he wants to settle down in Australia, live a normal life and work as a journalist once his case is resolved.
Renas Lelikan told the NSW Supreme Court he never applied to be part of the Kurdistan Workers' Party and wasn't a formal member but he continues to support their political objectives overseas.
He faced a sentence hearing on Thursday after pleading guilty to being a member of the group, also known as the PKK, which is included on the Australian government's list of terrorist organisations.
The 40-year-old was also previously accused of travelling to the Turkey-Iraq border area to fight for the PKK but a jury was discharged after a 2018 trial over the allegation.
Lelikan told the jury he was reporting on the Kurdish guerrillas and didn't take part in terrorist warfare.
At his sentence hearing on Thursday, he said he supported the PKK's struggle for the rights of Kurdish people in Turkey.
"I believe most of the Kurdish community in Australia, they have sympathy and they support the struggle of the PKK," he said.
But Lelikan said he wouldn't provide money to the group, had no intention of engaging in military or guerrilla activity and he didn't see himself as a threat to Australians.
"I would like to settle down here ... I want to live a normal life in Australia," he said.
His barrister, Philip Boulton SC, said his client's membership didn't threaten the community and it was "entirely unlikely he would ever do anything to hurt anyone".
He said the PKK was founded on democratic autonomy and wasn't like other terror groups such as Islamic State, al-Qaeda or Jemaah Islamiah.
But crown prosecutor Paul McGuire SC said that while not all terrorist organisations were the same, the PKK was listed as one at the time of the offence in 2012, and still is.
He said Lelikan at the relevant time was an active and committed informal member and was in the region of the conflicts between the PKK and Turkey.
Lelikan is scheduled to be sentenced by Justice Lucy McCallum in May.
Australian Associated Press