Thursday 19 October 2017

Bailey missed mother's funeral in UK over fears he would be extradited

Ian Bailey is suing the State
Ian Bailey is suing the State

Dearbhail McDonald and Ralph Riegel

THE man wanted for questioning in France in connection with the 1996 murder in west Cork of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier could not attend his mother's funeral because of fears he would be arrested.

The Irish Independent has learned that Ian Bailey's mother who had been ill for some time, passed away in the UK last May.

But because the European Arrest Warrant) seeking Mr Bailey's extradition to France remains in force in all countries that have signed up to the EAW Act – including the UK – Mr Bailey did not risk travelling to his mother's bedside owing to fears he would be subject to a fresh extradition battle.

Last year, the Supreme Court refused to extradite Mr Bailey, who has denied any involvement in the brutal killing, ruling that no decision to put Mr Bailey on trial had been taken by the French authorities.

SURRENDER

A majority of the five-judge court also ruled that the Manchester-born former journalist should not be extradited because the offence had been committed outside France and because France would not be obliged to surrender a non-Irish citizen to Ireland in similar circumstances.

Earlier this week, Ms Du Plantier's son, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, issued a fresh appeal to gardai to help bring his mother's killer to justice.

Mr Baudey-Vignaud said that a chance encounter with Mr Bailey in Cork last year fuelled his decision to go public about the ongoing French and Irish investigations.

Mr Bailey is suing the Irish State for wrongful arrest.

And documents sought by Mr Bailey and his partner Jules Thomas for their separate legal actions against the gardai are to be handed over by the end of September.

Mr Bailey is expected to be tried in his absence in France for the killing within six months – even though he will not attend the trial. However, any future bids to extradite him may be challenged if he and Ms Thomas succeed with their claim that the original garda investigation was tainted.

Experts also say it may be impossible to extradite Mr Bailey in the future as amending legislation would be required to allow Ireland to extradite people convicted of a serious crime by a French court, even though the crime happened outside France.

Even if the Government did change the extra-territorial rules, any fresh extradition bid by the French could be deemed an abuse of process as a result of a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court last year in the Ciaran Tobin case.

Mr Tobin resisted a second attempt by Hungary to serve a sentence for his role in the accidental deaths of two children in a case described as "special and unique".

Mr Tobin, a former senior manager with Irish Life and Permanent, previously succeeded in resisting extradition on the ground that he didn't "flee" Hungary.

Irish Independent

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