Lisa Smith trial to begin in 2022

ireland
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A date has been set at the Special Criminal Court for the trial of former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith, who is charged with membership of the Islamic State terrorist group and with financing terrorism.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge James Faughnan, this morning fixed a trial date for Ms Smith of January 11th, 2022. It is expected to last 12 weeks.

Last December at Dublin District Court Ms Smith, a 38-year-old from Co Louth, was initially charged with an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 which carries a possible 10-year sentence, for being a member of unlawful terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) between October 28th, 2015 and December 1st, 2019.

On July 24 last, a further charge was bought against the mother-of-one under the same legislation for financing terrorism by sending €800 in assistance, via a Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6th, 2015.

At today's brief hearing, prosecution counsel Gerardine Small BL told the three-judge court that she is led by Michael Bowman SC in the case and said that a Section 49 order for the matter to be heard in the non-jury court had been made on August 31st.

Furthermore, Ms Small asked the three-judge panel to fix a trial date for January 2022 and said it would last 12 weeks.

In reply, defence counsel Michael O'Higgins SC said it was "early days yet" and it was "somewhat a diffuse case". "There may be other legal issues arising," he added.

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Mr Justice Hunt fixed Ms Smith's trial date for January 11th, 2022 and made orders in respect of exhibits for that date.

Bail

Mr O'Higgins said his client was signing on twice daily at a garda station and there was no objection from the State to reduce this to once a day.

Ms Smith, who denies the charges, sat in the body of the courtroom for today's hearing. She wore a hijab with her face visible and spoke only to her barrister and solicitor.

Ms Smith was previously sent forward for trial at the Special Criminal Court when she last appeared at Dublin District Court on July 31st, where Sergeant Gareth Kane of the Special Detective Unit served the book of evidence on the accused woman.

In addition to setting the trial date, Mr Justice Hunt listed the case for mention on July 31st, 2021. Ms Smith is not required to be in attendance on that date.

The Dundalk woman was remanded on continuing bail to appear before the non-jury court.

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