Wednesday 23 August 2017

Parents' 'fury' over Sophie case delay

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) have insisted the extradition hearing of Ian Bailey should proceed irrespective of the shock new material that has come to light.

The warning came as the family admitted they were "both furious" and "astonished" at the 11th-hour developments that have thrown the entire extradition process into turmoil.

A Supreme Court appeal by Mr Bailey -- an English freelance journalist and self-confessed suspect in the case -- was postponed after it dramatically emerged last week that the State had provided new material to both the defence legal team and the French authorities.

Mr Bailey -- who has vehemently protested his innocence in the case -- is wanted by the French authorities for questioning and a possible trial in relation to Sophie's death on December 23, 1996.

The French mother of one was found battered to death at the foot of a laneway leading to her isolated holiday home at Toormore outside Schull in west Cork.

Paris-based magistrate Patrick Gachon issued a European Arrest Warrant for Mr Bailey in April 2010.

However, Mr Bailey's legal team claimed the new material hinted at "breathtaking wrongdoing" by officers of the State.

But Alain Spilliaert, lawyer for Sophie's parents George and Marguerite Bouniol, insisted that the new file was not relevant.

"The family are fighting for 15 years to get justice -- and (they are) astonished and disappointed and furious about what happened last week," Mr Spilliaert said

Ms Toscan du Plantier's family plan to travel to Ireland to mark the 15th anniversary of her death.

Irish Independent

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