THE French president has said that a new trial could be arranged for Ian Bailey if he travelled to France.
President Emmanuel Macron was speaking at Government Buildings on a visit to Dublin today and paid tribute to the family of murdered French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier, who died nearly 25 years ago in West Cork.
In May 2019, a French court convicted Mr Bailey in his absence of Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder.
While French law and jurisprudence are recognised in Ireland, the High Court here has decided the 64-year-old Englishman may not be extradited.
Mr Bailey, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison in France, has repeatedly insisted he is innocent of the murder.
“Should the person condemned agree to come to France, a new trial could be organised but so far, he has been refusing to do so,” said President Macron.
President Macron said that on foot of the Dublin High Court refusing to extradite Mr Bailey to France on an international arrest warrant, “the French court is now considering what to do next and is leaving a window, a period of time for the Irish and French courts to discuss, to decide what to do next”.
“All of that should be based on the mutual trust of our courts, that is at the heart of the European project, so that a solution can be found,” he said.
President Macron said his thoughts go to Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family and friends on “such a tragedy” and that “so much suffering” still remains.
“The trial is still ongoing and accordingly, the family could not mourn,” he said.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he has watched recent documentaries about Ms Toscan du Plantier and that he was struck by the “nobility and the dignity” of her family.
“It’s a terrible stain in terms of our country and in terms of what happened to a person of great substance, who loved her visits to West Cork,” he said.
“It’s incomprehensible what happened on that particular evening and it does continue to grip the Irish public.”
He also appealed to anybody with information who can “contribute” to justice to do so.
Mr Martin said that “great grief and great pain” occurred in a “lovely community” in Cork.