The Irish Times

Isis suspect faces new charge of financing terrorism

- TOM TUITE

A charge of financing terrorism has been brought against Isis suspect Lisa Smith.

The 38-year-old former Irish Defence Forces member from Co Louth also intends to challenge a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutio­ns (DPP) that her trial will be in the non-jury Special Criminal Court, a judge was told yesterday.

She had been charged in December with an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences), which carries a possible 10-year sentence, for being a member of Islamic State (Isis) from 2015 to 2019.

The accused appeared again at Dublin District Court yesterday for a book of evidence to be served and a trial order, but an additional charge was put to her instead.

The new charge is under the same legislatio­n and relates to financing terrorism with ¤800 in assistance via a Western Union account in 2015.

Special Detective Unit Sergeant Gareth Kane told Judge Paula Murphy that Ms Smith was charged at 10.28am at the courthouse.

He said, “she made no reply”. There was no objection to the existing bail terms to be extended to the new charge.

The book of evidence could not be served and a trial order could not be made because Ms Smith’s independen­t surety was not present.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan told the court he would have the surety in court next week. He also said the decision by the DPP to grant a certificat­e for trial in the Special Criminal Court will be challenged.

“The defendant has been denied her fundamenta­l right to a jury trial,” he said. His client would not be getting the book of evidence until the issue of the trial venue has been dealt with, he submitted.

State solicitor Jonathan Antoniotti confirmed the DPP has directed trial on indictment. There was consent from the DPP and the Attorney General in respect of the venue, he said.

Internet ban

Ms Smith stood at the side of the court holding the new charge sheet, but did not address the court. Her solicitor said, “We have only been notified of the transfer to the Special Criminal Court”.

In reply, Mr Antoniotti said the defence was told last Thursday and he added that the District Court did not have jurisdicti­on to hear arguments in relation the trial venue.

Serving a book of evidence and making a trial order did not prejudice judicial review proceeding­s which can be brought at any stage, the State solicitor submitted.

Judge Paula Murphy ordered Ms Smith to appear again next Friday.

The mother of one was brought back to Ireland on December 1st when she was arrested. It followed a trek from war-torn Syria to Turkey with her two-year-old daughter. She was questioned for three days before she was charged. After a four-week stint in custody on remand, she was released on High Court bail with strict conditions including an internet ban.

Her solicitor had pleaded with the DPP to drop the case due to lack of evidence. Mr Corrigan said Ms Smith was anxious to prove her innocence.

 ?? PHOTOGRAPH: COLLINS ?? Lisa Smith appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday.
PHOTOGRAPH: COLLINS Lisa Smith appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday.

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