Lisa Smith’s lawyers question legality of arrest

Lawyers for former defense soldier Lisa Smith on Monday questioned the basis for her arrest on her return to Ireland.

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

On Monday, Ms Smith’s legal representatives questioned the legality of her arrest under the Offenses Against the State Act 1939 after she returned to Ireland in 2019.

Defense attorney Michael O’Higgins has asked judges at Dublin’s Special Criminal Court to consider whether the anti-terrorism legislation under which Ms Smith was arrested could be applied to alleged “extraterritorial” crimes committed outside Ireland.

Lisa Smith in Dublin Special Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

© Provided by PA Media
Lisa Smith in Dublin Special Criminal Court (Niall Carson/PA)

Prosecutor Sean Gillane opposed such a proposed interpretation, saying that various pieces of anti-terror legislation needed to be “read together”.

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

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

Answering questions from Prosecutor Sean Gillane, Detective Sergeant Gareth Kane confirmed the details of Ms Smith’s arrival at Dublin Airport in December 2019 and her subsequent arrest and charge.

Smith is charged under Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offenses) Act 2005, which makes it a criminal offense to join a foreign unlawful organisation.

It is alleged that between October 28, 2015 and December 1, 2019, she was a member of a terrorist group calling itself “Islamic State” at a location out of state.

She was also accused of financing terrorism by sending 800 euros (£670) in support via Western Union money transfer to a named person in 2015.

The trial will resume at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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