French Police to interview Sophie murder witnesses in Cork
Published 15/08/2011 | 07:39
FRENCH detectives are to travel to Ireland to interview witnesses in connection with the unsolved murder of Sophie Toscan de Plantier.
Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Irish Times journalist Barry Roche said members of the French police force will arrive in Ireland next month to interview up to 30 witnesses as part of their inquiry into the murder of the French woman in Schull, Co Cork, almost 15 years ago.
The investigating French magistrate Judge Patrick Gachon has told the Irish Times that the French investigators will have no powers to compel anyone other than French citizens to speak to them.
However, it is believed gardai have already approached the witnesses and the majority have said they are willing to speak to the French officers.
Ms Toscan du Plantier, a film producer, was found beaten to death outside her holiday home near Schull in December 1996. She was aged 39.
Despite an extensive Garda investigation, during which English journalist Ian Bailey, was arrested twice, nobody has ever been charged with the murder.
Mr Bailey, who has described himself as the chief suspect in the case, is currently appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn a High Court decision to extradite him to France in connection with the murder.