herald

Thursday 23 January 2020

IS suspect Smith's case delayed to give time to prosecutors

Lisa Smith was arrested on arrival at Dublin Airport
Lisa Smith was arrested on arrival at Dublin Airport

Prosecutors have been given more time to prepare their case against former soldier Lisa Smith, who is charged with membership of Islamic State.

The mother-of-one (37) was further remanded in custody after a court heard a book of evidence was not ready yet.

Judge Colin Daly adjourned the case to a date in January, when the accused will appear by video link, at her lawyer's request.

Yesterday was Ms Smith's second appearance at Dublin District Court after she was charged and refused bail last week.

Arrested

She had been deported from Turkey and arrested on arrival at Dublin Airport.

The charge alleges that Ms Smith, of Aghameen Park, Muirhevnamor, Dundalk, was a member of a terrorist group outside the State between October 28, 2015, and December 1 this year.

It is alleged it was an organisation styling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), also known as Dawlat al-Iraq al Islamiya, Islamic State of Iraq (IS), 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.

The court has heard she will be denying the charge, on which the DPP has directed trial on indictment.

Judge Daly said yesterday the case was in court for the service of a book of evidence and asked if it was ready.

A State solicitor said the book was not ready and he was seeking a four-week adjournment.

The book of evidence is required before the accused can be sent forward for trial to a higher court.

Defence barrister David Leonard said there was consent to the adjournment and asked the judge if the next appearance could be via video link from Limerick Prison, where the accused is detained.

Ms Smith, dressed in a black robe with her face uncovered, stood at the side of the court during the brief hearing with her hands held in front of her and was not required to speak.

Judge Daly previously recommended Ms Smith was separated from the rest of the prison population for her own safety.

At last week's bail hearing, Detective Sergeant Gareth Kane said it was alleged the accused had been radicalised in Dundalk, travelled to Syria in 2015, married an IS member and "pledged allegiance to Islamic State in the full knowledge of its brutal regime".

Support

It was also alleged she provided financial support to named individuals.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan had said Ms Smith "never joined Isis", was "vulnerable" and only went to Syria to live in the Islamic State as a loyal Muslim after converting to Islam.

He said during the bail hearing she had been told Muslims were obliged to do so when a caliphate was declared.

Living there did not make someone guilty of an offence, Mr Corrigan said.

There was no evidence of her training anyone, or that she "ever held a gun". She had not provided financial assistance to IS, but gave money "to people living in poverty", he said.

Ms Smith condemned Islamist terrorists and had walked through "bombs, poverty and cesspit camps" with her young daughter, Mr Corrigan said.

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