Tuesday 20 March 2018

Murder suspect Bailey awarded top law degree

Former reporter passes with honours

Ralph Riegel

Self-confessed murder suspect Ian Bailey, who faces extradition for questioning over the death of a French woman, was yesterday awarded an honours law degree.

The former British journalist graduated with an honours Bachelor of Civil Law degree from UCC.

However, the 53-year-old refused to comment on the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case, or his upcoming extradition hearing in the High Court on December 16.

"That is not something I am going to say anything about," he said. The French want Mr Bailey to be extradited for questioning in relation to the death of the 39-year-old mother-of-one near her west Cork holiday home on December 23, 1996. Mr Bailey has consistently protested his innocence in the matter and has repeatedly claimed that efforts were made to frame him for the killing.

When asked yesterday if this was a difficult time of year for him, Mr Bailey said it was tough for lots of people.

"It is a difficult time of year for everybody. Everybody has something they have to deal with, injury, illness," he said.

Mr Bailey -- who was joined at the UCC graduation by family and friends -- said he was very pleased with his law degree.


Mr Bailey acknowledged that the court case did not help his studies for his final exams.

"It certainly was not made easier. But I have had great support from the faculty and the students. They have been immensely supportive," he said.

"It is a good feeling and I would like to say that the standard of tuition in the academic fraternity here is exceptionally high," he added.

The Manchester-born former freelance reporter said he would not be indulging in any major celebrations as he had four hours of lectures in the afternoon and also had a project to prepare for submission.

The French authorities want to question Mr Bailey in relation to the alleged "willful homicide and serious assault and battery" of the French mother-of-one 14 years ago.

Mr Bailey's legal team has consistency rejected the bid as "a nonsense". Mr Bailey -- who lives in Schull in west Cork -- was arrested last April on foot of a warrant issued by a Paris magistrate investigating the death of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

The extradition case represents a potential landmark in Irish law because, to date, no-one has ever been extradited to face proceedings in a foreign country for an alleged offence in this jurisdiction.

Irish Independent

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