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Saturday 25 November 2017

French press ahead with Sophie probe

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE French authorities are to press ahead with their four-year probe into the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier despite a fresh garda 'cold case' review.

The developments came as the head of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team met with representatives of Sophie's family in Dublin.

The meeting included the Paris-based lawyer for Sophie's parents and their Irish solicitor.

Last September, Sophie's parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol, requested a fresh review of the unsolved killing.

The proposed review will mark the fourth time the case file has been re-examined.

Sophie was found bludgeoned to death in the laneway leading to her isolated holiday home outside Schull in west Cork, just hours before she was due to fly back to Paris.

The Irish Independent understands that central to the new garda review will be the agreement by the judge leading the French probe, Patrick Gachon, to provide any new information to the garda team.

Judge Gachon's investigation has included seeking the extradition of former freelance journalist Ian Bailey (54).

Mr Bailey's solicitor has claimed that the French will attempt to try his client in absentia.

The Supreme Court heard that a 2001 briefing memo by a DPP official said there was no evidence against Mr Bailey.

Mr Bailey and his partner, Jules Thomas, are now suing the State for wrongful arrest.

Irish Independent

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