Republic of Ireland news

Bid by terror-accused Lisa Smith to have charges dropped to be decided on Monday

Lisa Smith, a former member of the Republic's Defence Forces, travelled to Syria three years ago to join Islamic State
James Ward, PA

A ruling is to be made next week on a legal bid by former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith to have terror-related charges against her dropped.

The 39-year-old, from Co Louth, is accused of being a member of so-called Islamic State (IS) and financing terrorism.

A pre-trial application, brought under section 4.e of the Criminal Procedure Act, to have the case against her thrown out was heard at the Special Criminal Court this week.

At a hearing today, Justice Tony Hunt adjourned the matter until 10.30am on Monday, after final submissions from the prosecution and the defence were made.

The defence, led by Michael O’Higgins SC, has made an application for the case to be dismissed on the grounds that there is not sufficient evidence to convict her on any of the charges.

Sean Gillane SC, for the prosecution, has maintained there is enough evidence to proceed.

The details of Wednesday’s hearing cannot be reported by the media.

If the application is not successful, the trial will go ahead and is likely to last 12 weeks.

Smith has appeared in court throughout the application, arriving on Tuesday in a dark coat and black face covering.

The case received widespread attention in 2019 when it emerged that Smith, a former Air Corps soldier who had worked on the government jet, had been detained in Syria over alleged links to IS.

Smith was arrested at Dublin Airport in 2019 on suspicion of terrorist offences after returning from Turkey in November with her young daughter.

She had travelled to Syria a number of years ago after she converted to Islam.

Smith is charged under Section Six of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 which makes it an offence to join a foreign unlawful organisation.

It is alleged that between October 28 2015 and December 1 2019 at a location outside the State, she was a member of a terrorist group styling itself as the Islamic State.

She has also been accused of financing terrorism by sending 800 euro in assistance by Western Union money transfer to a named individual in 2015.

She has denied the charges.

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