Lisa Smith’s lawyers claim using old Facebook chats with extremists as evidence is an ‘infringement’ on her rights

ASSOCIATES for Lisa Smith have argued that using ten-year-old Facebook discussions between her and Muslim extremists as evidence in her trial is a “very substantial infringement” against with her rights.

The Special Criminal Court also heard that this data retention was a wholesale breach that appeared to be “systematic” and “calling attention”.

Smith, 40, is on trial for membership of the Islamic State (IS) and conspiracy to finance terrorism.

The no-jury court has heard legal arguments in a stern trial, or heard in a trial, about the acceptance of private messages between Ms Smith and others since 2012 .

These conversations include conversations with John Georgelas aka Abu Hassan, a US-born IS propagandist, and Robert “Musa” Cerantonio, a convicted extremist preacher from Australia. planning a violent incursion into the Philippines.

This morning, Michael O’Higgins SC, the defense, said he opposes social media messages being admitted as evidence for a number of reasons, including that they were illegally kept. and how Gardaí got them.

He said the idea of ​​private conversations being produced 10 years later and “tried only in one trial” was a “very, very important violation” of people’s rights.

Mr O’Higgins said the wholesale breach appeared to be systemic and was “calling attention”, adding that it was the “peak” of any breach.

The messages were also sent to Ms Smith during interviews about her gardening after her arrest in December 2019.

Earlier, the Special Criminal Court heard that an FBI agent received a wanted warrant for data on Facebook accounts linked to Ms. Smith and others before the information was passed on to the gardaí on Facebook. a USB key.

Mr. O’Higgins filed that the way this was passed to gardaí on a “police-to-police” basis was not in compliance with the Data Protection Act.

He also argued that the grounds given in the order to take records from Facebook Ireland were inadequate.

Counsel says people have the right not to store their chats in an electronic bank that could be produced ten years later to give their political and religious views.

When told that there is a company that electronically records every sentence from ‘Happy Birthday Ma’ and up, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said it is not “the job of the court, fortunately, to take care of Zuckerberg”. “.

Mr O’Higgins also added that Gardaí should not be allowed to benefit from evidence, which he said was stored under “deeply illegal and unconstitutional” conditions.

Negotiations continue before Mr Justice Hunt, presiding, with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Cormac Dunne tomorrow morning when prosecutorial attorney Sean Gillane SC will give his answer.

Ms. Smith, with an address in Dundalk, Co Louth, is being tried for membership of an illegal terrorist group from October 28, 2015 to December 1, 2019.

The former soldier is also accused of attempting to finance terrorism by attempting to provide €800 in assistance, via Western Union money transfer, to a named man on May 6, 2015. for the benefit of the same terrorist organization.

She has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Prosecutors allege that she emigrated, or worked as a hegira, for IS to support the terrorist group that had established a caliphate. Lisa Smith’s lawyers claim using old Facebook chats with extremists as evidence is an ‘infringement’ on her rights

Fry Electronics Team

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