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IS suspect Lisa Smith sent forward for trial accused of terror group membership

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Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith

CollinsPhotoAgency

Lisa Smith

Former soldier Lisa Smith has been sent for trial accused of being a member of Islamic State (IS) and financing terrorism.

The Co Louth mother-of-one had a book of evidence served on her when she appeared in Dublin District Court yesterday.

Judge Marie Quirke sent her forward to the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

Ms Smith (38), who left Ireland and married after converting to Islam, was returned here from Turkey last December after spending time in a Syrian refugee camp.

An ex-member of the Defence Forces, she is charged with being a member of terrorist group IS outside the State between October 28, 2015, and December 1 last year.

Inadequate

She is also charged with providing financial assistance of €800 to a man alleged to have been involved in the terror group, via Western Money Transfer on May 6, 2015. She is denying the allegations.

Yesterday, a State solicitor said a book of evidence was ready and had been served on the accused. The DPP had certified for trial at the Special Criminal Court and the Attorney General had signed a certificate and letter of consent.

The State solicitor said the DPP's opinion was that the ordinary courts were inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice.

He said exhibits had been placed on a USB key and provided to the defence.

Ms Smith stepped forward when her case was called and was handed the book of evidence, in a large stack of thick, printed volumes.

She stood as the judge gave her the formal warning that she must provide any alibi details to the prosecution within 14 days. The judge granted legal aid.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan said there would be a challenge in relation to reasons for sending his client for trial to the Special Criminal Court.

"The current available evidence points to the defendant not being part of any illegal groups" and that it was solely "for religious purposes", he said.

Judge Quirke noted his position, and said the Attorney General had provided a certificate and his opinion and "that is a matter for you to consider".

She said she was satisfied to make the order sending the accused for trial, remanding her on bail under existing conditions already agreed.

Ms Smith nodded to indicate that she understood the alibi warning.

The terrorist group membership charge alleges the accused was "a member of a terrorist group styling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), also known as Dawlat al-Iraq al-Islamiyya, Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) and Dawlat al Islamiya fi Iraq wa al Sham, otherwise known as 'Da'esh' and the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham".

Last week, Mr Corrigan said Ms Smith would be seeking to challenge the decision on the trial venue.

Ms Smith "has been denied now her fundamental right to a jury trial" and would be challenging "the validity of the certificate that has been issued", he said last week.

The prosecution argued on that date that the district court had no jurisdiction to hear the argument on a trial venue.

The book could be served and the accused returned for trial and this did not prejudice Judicial Review proceedings, a State solicitor said.

Her defence also previously asked for the case against her to be reviewed and for the original charge to be discontinued, but a judge has said this was a matter for the DPP and not the courts.