Somali-born Amin Mohamed will fight four charges of preparing to enter a foreign state to engage in hostile activities at Melbourne Supreme Court in Australia.
Mohamed came to New Zealand as a refugee in the 1990s, attended Lynfield College and graduated with a business degree at AUT.
He is determined to fight the charges and prove his innocence but the Crown will argue the evidence suggests otherwise, TV3 reported.
Pre-trial arguments were heard in the Supreme Court today.
Prosecutors in Australia allege he booked a flight to Turkey and made plans to travel from there to Syria on a New Zealand passport in 2013.
He was arrested in 2013 after being connected to an extremist criminal syndication alleged to be recruiting people from Australia to fight jihadists in Syria.