Monday 22 July 2019

Bailey to raise Sophie case failings in court

Ian Bailey has consistently protested his innocence. Photo: Collins Courts
Ian Bailey has consistently protested his innocence. Photo: Collins Courts

Ralph Riegel

Ian Bailey will raise the watchdog report into alarming police failings over the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder investigation in the European courts.

However, Mr Bailey (60) fears the European Court of Human Rights challenge will not deter the Paris authorities from proceeding with a trial.

He faces trial in absentia in connection with the death of the French mother of one in west Cork 22 years ago.

Ms du Plantier (39) was found battered to death on an isolated laneway leading to her holiday home at Toormore.

The French trial is likely to be staged early next year.

French solicitor Alain Spilliaert, who acts for the du Plantier/Bouniol family, insisted that last week's Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) report verified what they always knew - that "the Garda criminal investigation was not corrupted".

Mr Bailey has consistently protested his innocence and maintained that repeated efforts were made to frame him for the crime.

But he lost his last legal avenue of challenge in France to the proposed trial last May.

"Even if I am tried for murder in France and found guilty under their Napoleonic Code of law, all they will have done is convict an innocent person and merely managed in France what the members of An Garda Síochána tried to do and failed," Mr Bailey said.

He also warned it was "astonishing" that the French could proceed with a prosecution based on material already rejected by Ireland's DPP.

Mr Bailey and his legal team, including leading Cork solicitor Frank Buttimer, acknowledged their disappointment at the failure of the six-year Gsoc investigation to find any evidence of high-level Garda corruption over the du Plantier probe.

However, Gsoc did raise what it called "grave concerns" over various aspects of the Garda investigation, ranging from potentially key evidence having gone missing to deliberate changes to official reports and documents.

Gsoc said it does not envisage any further action in light of its report findings.

Irish Independent

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