Thursday 22 August 2019

'There are people in this country who know it was not me' - Ian Bailey says he wants truth to come out in du Plantier murder

Ian Bailey who was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier pictured at his house outside Schull in County Cork shortly after the news came through to him.
Pic:Mark Condren
31.5.2019
Ian Bailey who was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier pictured at his house outside Schull in County Cork shortly after the news came through to him. Pic:Mark Condren 31.5.2019
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A former journalist convicted of the murder of a French director's wife in Ireland more than 20 years ago has said he is praying the truth will come out.

Ian Bailey, 62, was found guilty in a Paris court in his absence on Friday of killing Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, following a trial of only three days after Irish authorities twice refused to extradite him.

Bailey told RTE: "I know there are people in this country who know that it was not me that was the culprit.

"And I know that, sitting on that, my prayer has been that the truth will come out."

Surreal: Ian Bailey at his house near Schull in Co Cork shortly after the news came through that he had been convicted in the Paris trial. Photo: Mark Condren
Surreal: Ian Bailey at his house near Schull in Co Cork shortly after the news came through that he had been convicted in the Paris trial. Photo: Mark Condren

He added he was continuing with life in Co Cork, business as usual, and the trial outcome was "water off a duck's back".

He said Ms du Plantier's family was told a "bundle of lies from the beginning", that somehow he was the culprit.

"They chose to believe that and they still have my sympathy."

Mr Bailey faces the prospect of a new arrest warrant seeking his extradition after being found guilty by a French criminal court of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.

Read more here: 'I’m in eye of hurricane': Ian Bailey breaks silence

A panel of three judges in the Parisian Cour d'Assises handed down a 25-year custodial sentence, with a demand for compensation to come.

The judges also recommended a new warrant be issued for Mr Bailey's arrest - although Irish courts have rejected two previous extradition warrants from the French authorities, the latest in 2017.

However, the trial has been labelled a "farce" by his lawyer Frank Buttimer.

Mr Buttimer said he had anticipated the verdict.

"I am not surprised, I predicted this would be a rubber-­stamping exercise," he said, also branding it a "gross miscarriage of justice".

Mr Bailey was convicted in absentia of the murder of the French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Buttimer criticised authorities here for "allowing foreign police" to come to Ireland and "access our files".

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