Europe

Lisa Smith: Irish IS accused granted bail by Dublin court

Lisa Smith was interviewed by the BBC in July
Image caption Lisa Smith, seen during a BBC interview in July

Former Irish Defence Forces member Lisa Smith, who is facing trial accused of Islamic State membership, has been granted bail with strict conditions.

The conditions include an internet and social media ban.

The 38-year-old, from Dundalk, County Louth, travelled to Syria eight years ago after she converted to Islam.

She was deported from Turkey on Sunday 1 December 2019, along with her two-year-old daughter, who was born in Syria.

When she arrived back in Ireland she was arrested and questioned for three days before she was charged with being a member of the terror group.

Bail for her was refused on 4 December at Dublin District Court, and she has been held at Limerick Prison since then.

Family members have been caring for her child.

Ms Smith brought her renewed bail application to the High Court in Dublin on Thursday.

Gardai (Irish police) objected to bail citing the seriousness of the case and possible flight risk.

Ms Smith pleaded for bail to be with her child and said she would comply with any order made by the court.

In his ruling, a judge said Ms Smith was accused of membership of a terrorist organisation. It was a serious offence that could result in an eight-year sentence, he said.

However, he said she was entitled to the presumption of innocence and the presumption of bail, which precedent states must be granted in most cases.

Phone call warning

Ms Smith must sign on at a police station twice daily and must answer her phone if called by gardai.

If she failed to do so it would be a breach of bail and would result in her going back into custody.

He told her she cannot leave the jurisdiction or apply for new travel documentation, having already lost her passport.

He also banned her form accessing the internet or using any social media.

Ms Smith will face her next hearing on 8 January at Dublin District Court.