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ISIS suspect Lisa Smith faces new charge of financing terrorism


Alleged ISIS member Lisa Smith arriving at a previous hearing at the Central Criminal Court, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Alleged ISIS member Lisa Smith arriving at a previous hearing at the Central Criminal Court, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Alleged ISIS member Lisa Smith arriving at a previous hearing at the Central Criminal Court, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

A NEW charge has been brought against ISIS suspect Lisa Smith, accusing her of financing terrorism.

The former soldier, who is already charged with membership of the group, is now also accused of providing financial assistance under the Terrorist Offences Act.

The Co Louth mother-of-one, who is facing trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court, had her case adjourned for another week for the service of a book of evidence.

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.

She is charged with being a member of a terrorist group outside the state between October 28, 2015 and December 1 last year.

The charge alleges she 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.

At Dublin District Court today, she was further charged with providing financial assistance to another in the sum of €800, under Section 13 of the Terrorist Offences Act. This offence is alleged to have happened within the state in 2015. She is denying the allegations.

Detective Sgt Gareth Kane told Judge Paula Murphy he charged the accused before the court at 10.28am today. She made no reply after caution and was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Det Sgt Kane said there was an application to extend bail to the new charge. Judge Murphy said the accused would be subject to the same bail conditions.

State solicitor Jonathan Antoniotti said directions were for trial on indictment and it was intended to serve the book of evidence today. A certificate for the trial venue had been issued, with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General.

However, he said, it appeared that the accused's bail surety was not present and this would be needed before a new bond could be entered.

Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan said he was also seeking an adjournment because Ms Smith "has been denied now her fundamental right to a jury trial" and he would be seeking to challenge "the validity of the cerificate that has been issued."

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He said the defence had just been notified of the transfer of the case to the Special Criminal Court.

Mr Antoniotti said the defence had been notified last Thursday. He also said the district court had no jurisdiction to hear the argument on the serving of a book or return for trial. The book could be served and the accused returned for trial and this did not prejudice Judicial Review proceedings, he said.

Mr Corrigan also asked the judge to vary bail conditions as the accused had been sigining on twice daily, saying Ms Smith had been on stringent bail conditions for the last seven months.

Judge Murphy said on the bail issue, this was set in the High Court and any application to vary it would have to be made there.

The judge extended the time required for the service of the book of evidence and adjourned the case to July 31. Ms Smith stood at the side of the court holding the charge sheet and was not required to speak during the hearing.

She was arrested at Dublin Airport on December 1 last year, charged on December 4 and denied bail at the district court before being granted it later in the High Court. She remained in custody before taking up bail on December 31.

She has since been before the district court several times, and on previous occasions the court heard it was a "complicated, substantial case."

Her lawyer has 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. Ms Smith is also anxious to "prove her innocence," her lawyer has said.

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