Sunday 17 December 2017

DPP agrees to hand over names of three gardai to Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey
Ian Bailey

Tim Healy

THE Director of Public Prosecutions has agreed to give Ian Bailey the names of three gardai alleged to have asked a state solicitor to put pressure on a former DPP to prosecute the journalist for the 1996 murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The three gardai were referred to by former DPP Eamonn Barnes in a document expressing concern about aspects of the garda investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey's lawyers previously received a copy of that document but the names of the gardai, and certain other parts of the document, were blacked out.

The High Court heard yesterday they will now get an unredacted copy, along with other documents sought.

Mr Barnes's document was put before the Supreme Court in 2012 in extradition proceedings concerning Mr Bailey, which culminated in a refusal to extradite him to France.

Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder, and has sued the State and garda authorities for damages arising from his arrest.

His civil action before a High Court judge and jury is unlikely to take place before late this year at the earliest.

His partner Jules Thomas has also sued for damages arising from her arrest during the murder investigation.

As part of preparations for the civil action, Mr Bailey brought an application seeking the unredacted document of Mr Barnes.

Martin Giblin SC, for Mr Bailey, told Mr Justice John Hedigan yesterday that agreement had been reached on the application for non-party discovery.

The documents were to be discovered within one week, the court heard.

Sunniva McDonagh SC, for the DPP, confirmed the agreement.

Later this month, the court will deal with another pre-trial application by Mr Bailey to inspect recordings of phone calls between various individuals, including journalists, with gardai in Bandon garda station.

Ten people, including a retired Detective Garda, have written to the State concerning the application, asking that, if the discovered communications relate to them in any way, they should be given prior notice before any permission is given to Mr Bailey to inspect them.

Mr Justice Hedigan previously directed such notice should be provided and listed the recordings application for hearing on May 26.

Yesterday, the judge granted a formal order to Paul Anthony McDermott BL, for the Garda Commissioner, allowing his side release to Mr Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer the addresses of those persons who had sought prior notice of the May 26 application for the purpose of informing them about it if they feature in the recordings.

Mr Giblin said he was not to be taken as conceding those parties had any legal standing.

Some of those involved were gardai and others may be journalists, he said.

Irish Independent

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