Government should bring Lisa Smith home and prosecute her here if necessary, says solicitor

The solicitor representing Irish woman Lisa Smith who travelled to join Islamic State in Syria, is calling on the Irish government to bring her home and if necessary prosecute her under Irish law.

Government should bring Lisa Smith home and prosecute her here if necessary, says solicitor

The solicitor representing Irish woman Lisa Smith who travelled to join Islamic State in Syria, is calling on the Irish government to bring her home and if necessary prosecute her under Irish law.

Darragh Mackin, who was asked by Ms Smith’s family to represent her interests, told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show that “she is a victim of radicalisation.”

If Ms Smith is a threat then she is a “greater threat” in Syria than in Ireland, he added.

She should have a fair trial in her home jurisdiction. Bring her home, then investigate.

Mr Mackin also called on the FBI and other international agencies to share any information they have on her case so she can respond rather than go through “trial by media.”

Ms Smith, 37, is being held in the Al-Hawl displacement camp in Syria for the wives and children of Islamic State fighters.

She moved to Syria, via Tunisia, in 2015 shortly after leaving the Air Corps where she worked as a flight attendant on the Government jet and as a driver to senior officers.

She served for a time with the Army as part of the 27th Infantry Battalion.

The legislation is already in place to prosecute a person under the Offences Against the State Act for a crime committed outside the jurisdiction, said Mr Mackin.

When asked why Ms Smith has not spoken out against Isis in her television interviews from the camp, Mr Mackin pointed out that she is in a very vulnerable and dangerous situation and that recently an Indonesian woman was killed in the camp.

It is unfair to ask that she make a comment in circumstances where she is surrounded by extremists. We should slightly reserve judgment until we know the full story. I understand it is human nature to jump to criticise.

“The best chance this woman has is in the Irish criminal justice system. If there is any evidence then she should be prosecuted.”

He acknowledged that the situation is unique and this is “unchartered territory in Ireland”. He pointed out that the Australian government has organised the repatriation of a number of radicalised women and children. Ireland could learn from the experience.

“Remember her life is at risk where she is, and her child too.”

Last month, Leo Varadkar confirmed there are no plans for Irish officials to travel to the war-torn nation to help Ms Smith.

However, the Taoiseach did say he is

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He stressed there will be no direct intervention from Ireland and that Ms Smith will face questioning from gardaí and security personnel if she arrives back in this country.

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