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Bailey mulls legal action to stop French probe of Sophie murder


Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Ian Bailey is considering taking legal action to stop French detectives from resuming their investigation in Ireland into the murder of the film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

A team of three French police officers is to arrive in Cork tomorrow to interview an estimated 15 witnesses after Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald resumed cooperation with the French authorities.

It is understood Mr Bailey's lawyers wrote to Ms Fitzgerald last week, raising concerns about allowing the French investigation to proceed at a time when he plans to appeal his failed civil action against the State, and while the Fennelly Commission is under way. The Commission's terms of reference spans the investigation into the murder of Ms du Plantier, as well as recordings at Bandon Garda Station.

Mr Bailey is understood to be considering his legal options in order to stop the French inquiry from resuming.

The French authorities launched their own investigation into Ms du Plantier's murder when gardai failed to apprehend her killer. Under a mutual assistance agreement, French detectives were allowed to interview 30 witnesses in 2011 and were due back in Ireland last year.

The Government suspended that visit because of Mr Bailey's High Court action.

Ms Fitzgerald resumed co-operation with the French in recent months, after Mr Bailey lost the case.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) was bludgeoned to death at her holiday home in Schull in the early hours of December 23, 1996.

Ian Bailey, a local freelance journalist, was twice arrested for questioning and released without charge.

In his High Court action, the journalist claimed that he was wrongfully arrested by gardai.

The High Court ruled against him.

Sunday Independent