Friday 22 March 2019

State decision means Bailey will not be extradited to France

Ian Bailey said he was pleased with the decision. Picture: Collins
Ian Bailey said he was pleased with the decision. Picture: Collins

Ed Carty

Ian Bailey has welcomed a decision that will ensure he is not extradited to France over the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The former journalist, originally from England but who has been living in west Cork since the early 1990s, will not face any costs from a lengthy High Court action either.

The Chief State Solicitor's Office yesterday told Judge Tony Hunt it did not intend to challenge his order not to extradite Mr Bailey to Paris.

Authorities in the French capital want the 60-year-old from The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, on charges of voluntary manslaughter over Ms Toscan du Plantier's death.

The 39-year-old's badly beaten body was found on an isolated hillside in Toormore, near Schull, two days before Christmas in 1996.

Mr Bailey was arrested twice in connection with the filmmaker's killing.

He was never charged and has vehemently protested his innocence. The DPP decided he should not be prosecuted. But under French law, authorities have the power to investigate the death of a citizen overseas and seek a prosecution. Investigators in Paris have unsuccessfully sought to extradite Mr Bailey on two occasions over the last five years.

Judge Hunt branded the latest attempt an "abuse of process" when he ruled against it last month.

At a brief hearing in the High Court yesterday, the Chief State Solicitor's Office said there would not be an appeal and that there was no objection to Mr Bailey's application for costs.

Mr Bailey was not in court but later welcomed the decision. "Obviously myself, my partner Jules Thomas and my legal team, we are very pleased," he said. "We are pleased with the result but there are many challenges ahead."

Last year in Paris, an indictment of voluntary homicide was issued by investigating magistrate Nathalie Turquey against Mr Bailey and a European Arrest Warrant sent to Irish authorities. The penalty for the offence is up to 30 years in jail.

A ruling on the indictment is expected in a Paris court in September. It is understood that will determine if Mr Bailey can be put on trial in his absence.

In a separate legal case, also last month, Mr Bailey was denied a full retrial in his lawsuit against the Irish State over the investigation into Ms Toscan du Plantier's death.

He was granted an appeal on one claim of alleged wrongful disclosure of information by gardaí.

Irish Independent

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