NewsCourts

Alleged ISIS fundraiser tells bail hearing he has changed

Alleged ISIS fundraiser tells bail hearing he has changed

An Irish Muslim charged with providing funding for Isis said he has changed and would not commit any offences or communicate with Islamic fundamentalists if released on bail.

Hasan Bal (25), formerly living at an address at O'Connell St in Waterford said that he thought he was a devout Muslim in 2015, around the time of the alleged offences, but he is now more involved with his family, community and multi-faith groups in Waterford.

He told Justice Aileen Donnelly that, if released, he would not contact Islamic State or commit any offences, adding: "On the Koran, 100 per cent."

Justice Aileen Donnelly adjourned the High Court bail application saying that she wants to hear evidence from members of Mr Bal's community as to his behaviour since he was first arrested in 2015.

Mr Bal faces charges of providing funding for a foreign terrorist group on 2 October 2015, and attempting to collect funding for a foreign terrorist group on 23 October 2015.

Chief Superintendent Dominic Hayes told the court that he was objecting to bail under Section 2A of the Bail Act. The section allows the Chief Superintendent to give evidence that the refusal of bail is necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence.

Mr Bal's mother, Dr Caroline Ward-Fahy, told Justice Donnelly that if granted bail her son would live with her at her home and added that she would be willing to offer her life's savings, about €7,000, as a surety. She said she has noted a "massive difference" in her son since 2015, saying he got a shake-up and did a lot of soul searching since being taken in by the gardai.

He engages more with his family and she said her family has made efforts to spend more time together, having family dinners and sharing their problems.

Mr Bal will be in court again for the conclusion of the bail application on May 26.