Thursday 23 January 2020

Du Plantier murder suspicion will end only when I'm dead, says Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey. Photo: Courts Collins
Ian Bailey. Photo: Courts Collins

Ralph Riegel

Journalist Ian Bailey has said he fears the focus on him over the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier will end only when he dies.

British-born Mr Bailey (59) who has protested his innocence over the 1996 killing of the French mother of one vowed to fight "tooth and nail" against a second extradition warrant from Paris.

"I believe this will all only end with my death," he said.

"Or, the second alternative is if the French convict me of murder in my absence at a Paris trial."

A High Court extradition hearing today will deal with an application for enforcement of a second European Arrest Warrant (EAW) from the French against the west Cork-based journalist and poet.

The EAW was signed by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A first EAW was sanctioned by the High Court, but rejected by the Supreme Court in 2012.

Last August, the Paris authorities issued a second EAW against Mr Bailey.

The warrant was formally received by the Irish authorities last November.

However, an application for High Court enforcement of the warrant only commenced earlier this month.

Mr Bailey was notified by gardaí last month that the French intended to prosecute him for murder at a Paris trial later this year.

Under French law, Mr Bailey can be tried in absentia.

"It has been like a rollercoaster for the past 20 years," Mr Bailey said. "I'm afraid that all of this will only end when I am dead."

Mr Bailey queried the timing of the second EAW case - with his appeal against a High Court rejection of his wrongful arrest case due to open on March 28 before a three-judge panel.

"Why has this taken so long when the Government received the French warrant last November?" he said.

He also queried why a hearing about the latest EAW was staged in camera before the High Court two weeks ago. "The judge quite correctly said that I had a right to know about this [submission details], so why wasn't I told about it?"

Mr Bailey vowed to vehemently contest the second EAW application - and said the 2012 Supreme Court ruling remained in his favour.

"I don't do confident - I do determined. You can never be confident of anything in court. I know that from my own law degree studies.

"But I am determined and will fight this every step of the way," he said.

Irish Independent

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