Ex-Defence Forces soldier makes bid to have terror charges dropped

·2-min read

A legal bid by former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith to have terror-related charges against her dropped will be heard by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin next week.

Co Louth woman Smith, 39, is accused of being a member of so-called Islamic State (IS) and financing terrorism.

Her trial before the non-jury court was due to start this week.

At a hearing on Tuesday, lawyers for Smith sought to make an application for the case to be dismissed on the grounds there is not sufficient evidence to convict her on any of the charges.

The three judges presiding over the case agreed to consider the application next Monday.

Ms Smith appeared in court while her senior counsel Michael O’Higgins, outlined the basis of the application, under Section 4(e) of the Criminal Justice Act.

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

Former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith (Niall Carson/PA)
Former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith (Niall Carson/PA)

Ms Smith, wearing a dark coat, grey hat and black face covering, is currently on bail.

Her lawyers have claimed that there is not sufficient evidence against Ms Smith, however this was rejected by prosecution.

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

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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