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Timeline: The murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier


Scene of murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier a Frenchwomen  who was murdered in Schull, West Cork

Scene of murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier a Frenchwomen who was murdered in Schull, West Cork

The cemetery where Sophie is buried

The cemetery where Sophie is buried


Scene of murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier a Frenchwomen who was murdered in Schull, West Cork

FOR two decades, the murder of French film executive Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) has dominated headlines in both Ireland and France.

September 1992: Ms Toscan du Plantier views a house at Toormore, Schull, in west Cork, and buys the property months later.

1993-1996: Ms Toscan du Plantier enjoys regular weekend breaks and annual summer holidays in Toormore, often bringing her family with her for her Irish vacation.

December 20, 1996: Ms Toscan du Plantier flies into Cork Airport for a brief pre-Christmas break alone at Toormore. She intends to fly back to Paris on December 23 for a holiday in West Africa with her husband, film executive Daniel du Plantier.

December 23, 1996: Ms Toscan du Plantier's beaten body is discovered at the foot of the laneway leading from her Toormore home. She had apparently tried to flee from an assailant at her home but was caught.

February 10, 1997: Ian Bailey, a Manchester-born freelance journalist living in Schull, is arrested by gardaí for questioning in relation to the killing. He is released without charge after 10 hours.

January 27, 1998: Mr Bailey is arrested a second time by gardaí for questioning. He is again released without charge.

December 8-19, 2003: Mr Bailey sues eight Irish and British newspapers in Cork Circuit Civil Court for libel arising from their coverage of his arrests. He insists he is an innocent man and claims sinister attempts are being made to frame him for the crime.

January 19, 2004: Mr Bailey loses his claims against six of the eight newspapers. Total damages of €8,000 are awarded to him against the 'Irish Sun' and 'Irish Mirror'. However, Mr Bailey faces estimated legal costs of €200,000.

October 13, 2005: Marie Farrell, a shopkeeper who gave dramatic evidence at the circuit court libel action, retracts her evidence after claiming she was put under pressure to make the claims by gardaí.

October 14, 2005: Gardaí order an inquiry into the matter under Assistant Commissioner Ray McAndrew.

February 13-16, 2007: Mr Bailey appeals the libel defeats to the High Court but the action is settled. He confirms he is now to sue the State over his treatment.

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October 2007: Ms Toscan du Plantier's family press French authorities to launch their own probe into her killing. Paris-based magistrate Patrick Gachon is appointed to lead a new inquiry.

July 1, 2008: Ms Toscan du Plantier's body is exhumed from a French cemetery (pictured right) for a fresh post-mortem examination.

April 7, 2010: Mr Gachon issues a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for Mr Bailey. The legal team for Mr Bailey confirm he will vigorously contest the extradition request.

April 23, 2010: The High Court endorses the EAW and Mr Bailey is arrested at his home at The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull but released the following day.

March 1, 2012: The Supreme Court unanimously upholds Mr Bailey's appeal against extradition. Mr Bailey claims he had been through "hell" over the allegations.

December 2013: It emerges that telephone calls at some Irish Garda stations, including Bandon, where the Sophie Toscan du Plantier probe was based, were automatically recorded.

June 2014: Ms Toscan du Plantier's son, Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, appealed to Ireland via the Sunday Independent to continue to co-operate with the Gachon probe, despite the recent controversies.

November 2014: Mr Bailey's High Court action for wrongful arrest against the State opens in Dublin. It ultimately takes five months - including more than 90 witnesses and 64 days at hearing.

March 2015: High Court jury finds against Ian Bailey on the two Garda conspiracy charges they were asked to consider.  The jury was not asked to consider any wrongful arrest issue, because it was not taken within a specified legal period.

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