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Bailey extradition judgement delayed

A judgment on whether former journalist Ian Bailey can be extradited to France for questioning over the murder of a film-maker was adjourned today.

Mr Bailey, a British national, is wanted by authorities in Paris over the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, who was violently beaten to death in Co Cork 14 years ago.

Mr Justice Michael Peart, in Dublin's High Court, told barristers he wanted more submissions on a recent ruling which found it was not permissible to extradite a person for the purpose of an investigation.

Ms Toscan du Plantier, 39, was found dead outside her holiday home in Toormore, near Schull in west Cork, two days before Christmas 1996.

Bailey, 53, was arrested twice over her murder but never charged. He denies any involvement in her death.

Under French law, authorities can investigate the suspicious death of a citizen abroad but they cannot compel witnesses to go to Paris for questioning.

Mr Justice Peart told the parties he now had to consider the recent Supreme Court appeal by Swedish national Thomas Olsson who lost a legal challenge against his extradition.

However, the Olsson judgment stated there must be proof that a suspect will be charged with a crime and not surrendered for purposes of investigation only.

He will hear submissions from the State and Bailey's legal team on Thursday February 10.

An investigating magistrate, Patrick Gachon, was appointed by officials in Paris more than two years ago to conduct an inquiry into Ms Toscan du Plantier's violent death after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Ireland announced that nobody would be charged.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Bailey, who is wanted for questioning in relation to his investigation.

During a two-day hearing at the High Court in December, senior counsel for Bailey argued that there was no new evidence against his client to support an extradition.

He also maintained that the application was an insult to the Irish State and the DPP, who has repeatedly directed that no prosecution be taken.

Manchester-born Bailey, a recent law graduate, was not in court for the short hearing.

PA Media