Thursday 19 April 2018

Bailey to challenge conduct of gardai in probe


GARDA misconduct may have tainted investigations into the murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier 13 years ago, a court was told yesterday.

Former journalist Ian Bailey is wanted by authorities in Paris over the killing of the film-maker, who was beaten to death in west Cork.

Bailey, who has been arrested three times in connection with the 39-year-old's murder but never charged, faces an extradition battle after French police issued a European arrest warrant.

Lawyers for the Englishman told the High Court yesterday they had strong grounds for challenging the proceedings but said they needed more time.


Barrister Ronan Munro said that his team was looking into a series of issues, including the possibility that alleged garda misconduct in the original investigation could have affected the French investigation.

Mr Munro, who did not elaborate on the accusation against gardai, said there may also have been an unlawful attempt to subvert the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) not to prosecute Bailey.

The barrister told the court the proceedings could interfere with Bailey's constitutional right to liberty and said his team also needed time to obtain legal advice from a French lawyer.

Bailey has previously denied involvement in the death of Ms Toscan du Plantier, whose body was found outside her holiday home at Toormore, near Schull in Cork, two days before Christmas 1996.

The High Court was told that Bailey, now a law student who runs a weekend stall with his partner at a farmers' market, was not present for the short hearing because he was studying for final-year exams.

Mr Justice Michael Peart remanded Bailey on continuing bail and adjourned proceedings until June 2.

Two years ago, investigating magistrate Patrick Gachon was appointed by authorities in Paris to conduct his own inquiry under French law into Ms Toscan du Plantier's death, after the DPP announced that nobody would be charged following the garda investigation.

Irish Independent

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