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Lisa Smith challenges legality of her arrest after her repatriation to Ireland


Lisa Smith at the Special Criminal Court today. Photo: Collins Courts

Lisa Smith at the Special Criminal Court today. Photo: Collins Courts

Lisa Smith at the Special Criminal Court today. Photo: Collins Courts

Lawyers for alleged Islamic State (IS) member Lisa Smith have challenged the legality of her arrest after she was repatriated to Ireland in 2019.

The Special Criminal Court has this afternoon been hearing submissions on her detention in a voir dire, or a trial within a trial.

Earlier Detective Sergeant Gareth Kane, of the Special Detective Unit (SDU), gave evidence that he detained Ms Smith on December 1, 2019, at Dublin Airport under the provisions of Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939.

Det Sgt Kane said he arrested the accused on suspicion of membership of an unlawful organisation under the same act and conveyed her to Kevin Street garda station.

The court heard she was later charged on December 4 and brought before Dublin District Court.

Defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC this afternoon submitted that the alleged membership and activity occurred outside the jurisdiction and as such was not an offence under the Offences Against the State Act 1939.

He told the voir dire that his client was initially arrested on suspicion of committing an offence under that act but later charged with a different offence under the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005.

Mr O'Higgins questioned whether Ms Smith could be arrested under Offences Against the State Act 1939, for alleged offending outside of Ireland.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, said they would consider the matter and deal with it tomorrow afternoon.

Lisa Smith (39), with an address in Dundalk, Co Louth, is on trial charged with membership of an unlawful terrorist group, IS, between October 28, 2015, and December 1, 2019.

The former Defence Forces member is also accused of trying to finance terrorism by attempting to provide €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6, 2015, for the benefit of the same terror organisation.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

It is the prosecution's case that she made hegira, or emigrated, to IS to provide support to the terror group who had established a caliphate.

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