18 Aug 2022

Lawyers for Dundalk woman Lisa Smith challenge legality of arrest

Lawyers for ex-Defence Forces soldier Lisa Smith challenge legality of arrest

Lawyers for ex-Defence Forces soldier Lisa Smith challenge legality of arrest

Lawyers for former Defence Forces soldier Lisa Smith today (Monday January 31) challenged the basis for her arrest on her return to Ireland.

The Co Louth woman, 39, has pleaded not guilty to charges of membership of so-called Islamic State and providing funds to benefit the group. 

Legal representatives for Ms Smith challenged the legality of her arrest under the Offences Against the State Act 1939, after she returned to Ireland in 2019.

Defence counsel Michael O’Higgins asked judges in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin to consider whether the anti-terrorism legislation under which Ms Smith was arrested could be applied to alleged offences carried out “extra-territorially”, beyond Ireland. 

Prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane rejected any such proposed interpretation, saying that different pieces of anti-terrorism legislation needed to be “read together”.

He also said that what the court should instead consider is what the Garda who made the arrest believed at the time of the arrest of Ms Smith, noting that suspicions may change over the course of an investigation.

The court had earlier heard from the Irish police officer who met Lisa Smith on her return to Ireland in December 2019.

Taking questions from prosecuting counsel Sean Gillane, Detective Sergeant Gareth Kane confirmed the details of Ms Smith’s arrival in Dublin Airport in December 2019, as well as her subsequent arrest and charging.

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 the Islamic State.

She has also been accused of financing terrorism by sending 800 euro (£670) in assistance via a Western Union money transfer to a named individual in 2015.

The trial resumes at 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday February 1). 

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.