Thursday 5 December 2019

'Evidence of the state is inherently weak', says Lisa Smith's lawyer as his client continues to be quizzed by gardaí

Darragh Mackin said the current evidence against Lisa Smith is ‘inherently weak’ (Niall Carson/PA)
Darragh Mackin said the current evidence against Lisa Smith is ‘inherently weak’ (Niall Carson/PA)
Lisa Smith is led to a waiting vehicle. Photo: Mark Condren
Fachtna Kelly

Fachtna Kelly

Lisa Smith's solicitor has said he believes that "the evidence of the state is inherently weak" in the case against his client. 

"We believe that Lisa has a very strong case to make and is making that case," said human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin, speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland.

Ms Smith is being questioned in Kevin Street Garda Station on suspicion of terrorist offences.

The former Defence Forces member was arrested by Special Branch officers in Dublin Airport as she was escorted home on a flight from Turkey with her two-year-old daughter.

When asked if Ms Smith had admitted to joining Islamic State, Mr Mackin said it "wasn't as clear as that".

"The process of radicalisaton is inherently focused on religious belief and unfortunately in this day and age there are extremist organisations which target particular people, vulnerable people on their religious beliefs to lure them to particular areas," he said.

Lisa Smith faces questions
Lisa Smith faces questions

"Going to that area in itself is not a terrorist offence. Going to a particular area is not a terrorist offence. You must be actively engaged in a terrorist organisation or a terrorist grouping. Lisa categorically denied being involved in any terrorist offence or grouping," he said.

Ms Smith is currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows detectives to detain her without charge for an initial 48 hours, and which can be extended to 72 hours on the agreement of a judge. Mr Mackin said it wasn't clear yet if a file would be sent to the DPP.

"Going to a particular area is not a terrorist offence," he said. "You must be actively engaged in a terrorist organisation or a terrosits grouping. Lisa categorically denied being involved in any terrorist offence or grouping."

Ms Smith moved to Syria, via Tunisia, in 2015 shortly after leaving the Air Corps, where she worked as a flight attendant on the Government jet and as a driver to senior officers.

Mr Mackin said he was "satisfied that the investigation is progressing at a reasonable way".

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