'Complex' legal issues in Bailey extradition
Published 03/06/2010 | 05:00
FORMER journalist Ian Bailey was back in court yesterday as the State admitted plans by France to extradite him in connection with the murder of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier have raised "complex" legal issues.
Mr Bailey missed his last court appearance in May as he was excused to allow him to sit his law exams, but he attended a brief hearing at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin's Parkgate Street yesterday morning where his case has been adjourned once again.
Yesterday the State agreed to a further adjournment in the extradition action to allow for further contact with legal representatives in France after counsel for the State said the case raised a number of complex issues.
French authorities are seeking the surrender of Mr Bailey with an address 'The Prairie', Toormore, Schull, Co Cork, in connection with the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier thirteen years ago. The 53-year-old journalist has always denied any involvement in the film producer's death, whose body was discovered at her holiday home in Co Cork in December 1996.
Mr Bailey, who has claimed that the proceedings are an "abuse of process" and has made allegations of misconduct against the gardai, has been arrested three times in connection with the 39-year-old's murder but has never been charged.
The matter was adjourned until next month, when the court said it would be "anxious" to fix a hearing date for the request. Lawyers for Mr Bailey said their client's points of objection to the French request would be completed shortly.
The court was told these points of objection include preliminary issues; an abuse of process claim concerning the Irish courts and allegations of misconduct against the gardai.
The court heard France was seeking to extradite Mr Bailey, despite a declaration before Cork Circuit Court that he was no longer a suspect in the investigation of Ms Toscan du Plantier's death.
Counsel for Mr Bailey said it would be argued that the request for an Irish court to send a person to another jurisdiction in such circumstances amounted to an abuse of process. The court also heard there was a possibility of a "split hearing" of the extradition request in light of the preliminary issues raised.
The judge scheduled the matter for July 8 and remanded Mr Bailey on continuing bail.