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23 May 2022

Ex-Defence Forces soldier in court bid to have terror charges dropped

Bid by ex-Defence Forces soldier to have terror charges dropped heard in court

A legal bid by former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith to have terror-related charges against her dropped has been heard at the Special Criminal Court.

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

At a hearing on Monday, Michael O’Higgins SC for Ms Smith, made 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 claim was rejected by Sean Gillane SC for the prosecution.

The hearing was adjourned on Monday and will resume on Tuesday at 10.30am at the SCC.

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

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

Ms Smith appeared in court on Monday wearing a grey jacket and black face covering.


Lisa Smith, accused of terrorism offences, arrives at the at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

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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