| 18°C Dublin

French team to meet with witnesses in Sophie case

A TEAM of French investigators will travel here in the next two months to persuade potential witnesses to attend a Paris trial into the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The team, acting on the instructions of Paris magistrate Patrick Gachon, will seek to meet key individuals who made statements to gardai as part of the investigation into the killing of the mother of one in 1996.

The French authorities launched their own investigation three years ago.

In April 2010, they lodged a European Arrest Warrant in a bid to have Mr Bailey (53), a Manchester-born freelance reporter, extradited to Paris to stand trial in relation to the killing.


Mr Bailey is a self-confessed suspect in the case and was twice arrested by gardai -- in 1997 and 1998 -- for questioning as part of the investigation.

He was released without charge on both occasions.

Mr Bailey is contesting the French extradition bid, and is now appealing to the Supreme Court.

The Irish Independent understands the French will look to meet key individuals in Cork who made statements to gardai in the past.

The French team will also seek to secure agreements with key witnesses to travel to Paris for any prosecution mounted in relation to Sophie's death.

The French cannot compel witnesses to travel -- but those willing to go to Paris to assist a prosecution will have their expenses covered.

Sophie (39) was found battered to death at the foot of a laneway leading to her isolated holiday home at Toormore outside Schull in west Cork in December 1996.

Irish Independent