Thursday 22 August 2019

Bailey says he will be 'sacrificed' in murder probe to placate French

Trial in absentia: Ian Bailey. Photo: Collins
Trial in absentia: Ian Bailey. Photo: Collins

Ralph Riegel

French prosecutors will move "immediately" to demand Ireland complies with European extradition and judicial agreements if freelance journalist Ian Bailey (60) is convicted of murder at a high-profile Paris trial later this month.

Mr Bailey faces trial in absentia over the killing of French mother-of-one Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) in west Cork almost 23 years ago - and last night claimed he has been effectively "sacrificed" by Ireland to placate the French over a crime which has gone unsolved.

The Manchester-born journalist, who has been living here for 27 years, said he has "absolutely no intention" of travelling to Paris, having successfully fought a French bid to extradite him in 2012.

Mr Bailey said he was convinced the French will convict him of murder in absentia despite having protested his innocence since 1996. "As far as I can tell, I have already been convicted," he said.

The murder trial is scheduled to open on May 27. It will take place before a panel of three judges and is expected to last at least a week.

Under France's Napoleonic Code, prosecutions can be taken against individuals who are not within the jurisdiction and for alleged offences which occurred overseas.

The Irish Independent has now learned that French prosecutors intend to act immediately if there is a conviction in the trial.

Ireland will be formally asked to comply with its international judicial commitments and act on an existing European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued for Mr Bailey. The French will, if a conviction is secured, demand that Ireland extradite Mr Bailey to Paris.

Irish Independent

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