Lisa Smith loses appeal over severity of sentence

Lisa Smith loses appeal over severity of sentence

The former member of the Defence Forces Lisa Smith has lost her appeal against the severity of her sentence for membership of the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS.

The 41-year-old mother of one was jailed for 15 months at the Special Criminal Court last year.

She is the first person to be convicted in an Irish court of membership in another country of an Islamic Terrorist organisation.

Lisa Smith was brought to the Court of Appeal from Limerick prison today where she is serving a 15 month sentence for membership of the terrorist organisation ISIS.

She appealed what she believed was the severity of that sentence and claimed it was “too high”.

She submitted that she was not given enough credit for the mitigating factors including time already spent in custody, the conditions and time spent in the Al Hawl camp, the assistance she gave to the prosecution and her co-operation with the gardaí.

However the Court of Appeal found today that the Special Criminal Court took all those factors into account, there was no error and the sentence was not excessive.

Mr Justice John Edwards pointed out that the greatest mitigating factor was not available to her because she pleaded not guilty, as is her right. She was therefore not eligible for that substantial remission.

“Islamic State challenges our fundamental democratic values, our human rights and respect for the law,” he said.

“The terrorist organisation is subversive of our values and committed to destroying them by engaging in torture, beheadings, drownings and other outrageous acts, the most egregious crimes known to man.

“ISIS is an exporter of terrorism. Its adherents are radicalised and represent a grave security threat to Ireland and other democratic states,” he added.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The court cited the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan attacks and said that criminalisation of a terrorist group represents part of the Irish State’s response to terrorism.

It accepted that there was no evidence to the contrary that Lisa Smith was a passive adherent in Syria but found she had “travelled with her eyes open” with knowledge of what the organisation was.

“Not every member participates actively, they may provide comfort and support through membership,” the court found.

“There is an intrinsic moral culpability and potential for harm as encouragement” for those who would carry out acts of terrorism.

‘Scrupulous fairness’

The Court of Appeal was also satisfied that the three judges at the Special Criminal Court acted with “scrupulous fairness” and with appropriate regard to the evidence to the expert reports.

It dismissed all Lisa Smith’s grounds of appeal against the severity of her sentence.

Lisa Smith has already served almost eight months in prison and is due to be released in another three months.

However she is still appealing her conviction and that case is due again before the Court of Appeal later this month.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.