State will try to block Bailey's extradition appeal
Published 31/03/2011 | 05:00
THE State will this morning attempt to block a bid by self-confessed murder suspect Ian Bailey to appeal his extradition.
Mr Bailey, a former journalist, is facing extradition to France, where he is wanted for questioning by an investigating judge in connection with the murder of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
The Irish Independent has learned that the Irish authorities will argue that there is no public interest in allowing Mr Bailey to appeal his extradition order to the Supreme Court.
Earlier this month, the High Court in Ireland ruled that the Manchester-born law graduate should be extradited to France to face questions by French investigators.
But he is seeking a Supreme Court appeal in a bid to revoke the order.
Supreme Court extradition appeals are rare and only a handful of contested extradition cases are granted permission each year.
If Mr Bailey fails in his court application to have his appeal certified, he could be placed in custody immediately and extradited to France within days.
Ms Toscan du Plantier was killed in Schull, Co Cork, in 1996. Mr Bailey, who is currently on bail, was twice arrested and questioned by gardai in connection with the killing, but has never been charged.
His legal team is expected to argue today that the case should be heard by the Supreme Court because it raises points of law of exceptional public importance and because it is in the public interest to do so.
But the State will argue that it does not, despite the fact that no one has ever been extradited from Ireland to another country for proceedings in relation to an alleged offence committed here.
This is in stark contrast to France, where authorities are allowed to investigate, prosecute and put on trial anyone suspected of murdering a French citizen, even where it occurs outside of France.
Under the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, an appeal against an extradition order may only be brought if the High Court certifies the case raises points of law of such exceptional importance that the public interest requires those points should be determined by the Supreme Court.
Some 320 new extradition cases were started in the High Court in 2009, the last year for which figures are available, and an estimated five or six are certified each year, according to legal experts.