Lisa Smith’s appeal against the severity of her 15-month sentence to be heard in October

The Court of Appeals this afternoon refused to hear a bail plea for Lisa Smith, a former Irish soldier who was sentenced for joining Isis just five days ago when she traveled to Syria in 2015.

However, the three-judge court agreed to take the “unusual step” of the first hearing of appeals against the severity of his 15-month sentence, when the courts return from their summer vacation on October 4, before their sentencing. Appeal against be heard. ,

Smith watched via video-link from prison as his lawyers asked the court to consider an urgent bail application.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, presiding over the three-judge court, said the application would require “considerable preparation” and said he had not yet received a copy of the verdict and sentencing delivered by the Special Criminal Court.

He added that at this point of time “there is no possibility to adequately deal with all the issues”.

While Smith intends to appeal his conviction, Justice Birmingham said the court would be willing to hear an appeal for sentencing on October 4 before hearing an appeal for conviction.

One basis for an appeal against the severity of his sentence would be that the Special Criminal Court did not give Smith enough credit for the time he spent in refugee camps in Syria before returning to Ireland in 2019.

Her lawyers argued that she spent “terrible conditions” in the al-Haul and Ain Issa camps in Syria, which, combined with the night curfew she has been living in since returning to Ireland, meant she had already nearly Served for four years.

At today’s hearing, Mr Justice Birmingham asked lawyers for both sides to look at the Appeals Court’s recent ruling concerning a man who fled this jurisdiction and ended up in immigration custody in the Philippines before returning to Ireland.

He said it could be helpful to Smith’s lawyers because the verdict said a sentencing court here must “respect” the time spent in detention in such cases.

Earlier this year Smith became the first person to be convicted in an Irish court of an Islamic terrorist offense committed abroad after a three-judge, non-jury Special Criminal Court found that he had been in ISIS during a 2015 visit to Syria. had joined.

Ko Louth, 40, of Dundalk, pleaded not guilty to membership of the Islamic State, an illegal terrorist group, between October 28, 2015 and December 1, 2019.

Sentencing her to 15 months in prison, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that while Smith was at low risk of committing a crime again, she was persistent and determined in her efforts to travel to Syria and join Isis, and she Shown no remorse for actions.

He said it was “serious” for an Irish citizen to have allegiance to and remain with a terrorist organization.

He said that “she could easily be led by circumstances and other people” but that she had also shown resilience and determination to engage and stay with Isis “until the bitter end”.

She had rejected her family and one of her husbands, who refused to take an oath of allegiance to Isis, and aligned herself with terrorists such as John Georgelas, an American Isis fighter and campaigner who fought in Syria. were killed during

He said the custodial sentence was necessary to mark the seriousness of the crime and to deter others from supporting dangerous organizations.

During a Garda interview, Smith admitted that she had traveled to Isis-controlled Syria in 2015, but denied that she had ever joined Isis or any other group. She said she believed she had a religious obligation to live inside the Islamic State created by terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Mr Justice Hunt, delivering the court’s ruling, said he was “opening his eyes” to watching videos of ISIS atrocities and participating in online discussions about IS with jihadists from Germany, Australia, the US and parts of the Middle East. Went to Syria together. East.

She said that her visit to Syria was an act of allegiance in itself and provided evidence that she had sworn allegiance to al-Baghdadi and urged her ex-husband to do the same and that she refused. was divorced.