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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Bailey extradition appeal adjourned due to ‘highly relevant’ new material

Ian Bailey: appealing extradition ruling
Ian Bailey: appealing extradition ruling

Ralph Riegel and Aoife Finneran

IAN Bailey's appeal against an extradition order to France - in connection with the killing of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier - has been adjourned by the Supreme Court.

This is due to "highly relevant" new material, just provided by the State to his lawyers.

This comes just five days before the court is due to hear the full appeal by the journalist against a High Court extradition to France order issued last March.

Today’s hearing, at the request of Mr Bailey's legal team, was told that material has been handed over this week from the Department of Justice and the DPP on the advice of the Attorney General.

Bailey’s senior counsel said the information revealed “significant Garda misbehavior” and added the extent of wrongdoing by state officers was "breathtaking, even by the lowest standards encountered by the courts".

Speaking outside the court, Mr Bailey’s solicitor Frank Buttimer said his client would continue to fight the extradition order.

Mr Bailey has consistently protested his innocence of any involvement in the killing of the French mother-of-one on December 23, 1996.

Ms du Plantier was found battered to death at the foot of a laneway leading to her isolated holiday home at Toormore outside Schull in west Cork.

No murder weapon was recovered, there were no witnesses to the killing and no-one has ever been charged.

Counsel for the State last week signaled to the Chief Justice Ms Susan Denham that there may be "some developments outside the control of the State".

Mr Bailey previously vowed to fight the extradition process all the way to the European Court of Justice.

The Manchester-born law student was twice arrested by gardai in connection with Ms du Plantier's death in 1997 and 1998 but was released without charge on both occasions.

The State has since indicated that Mr Bailey (54) has no case to answer in this jurisdiction.

Mr Bailey's legal team has vehemently opposed the French extradition bid, arguing that he should not be sent to Paris for possible trial for an offence which occurred in Ireland but which the Irish authorities say he has no case to answer over.

Mr Justice Michael Peart in the High Court allowed Mr Bailey to appeal the extradition order.

The core issue is whether the surrender of a person is prohibited by Section 44 of the European Arrest Warrant Act (2003) where the offence for which surrender is sought is committed here and where the victim is a national of the State requesting extradition (France) which seeks to exercise an extra-territorial jurisdiction to prosecute the offence under its own laws when the DPP here has decided not to prosecute the person.

Last October, a team of French detectives and forensic scientists spent 12 days in Ireland interviewing garda murder case witnesses and examining evidence.

The French are planning a final trip back to Ireland.

The trip -- which may take place in December or early January -- will also give the detectives an opportunity to follow up on any issues arising from the 31 interviews already conducted or the forensic tests on of over 70 pieces of evidence in the garda murder file.

Irish Independent

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