Wednesday 21 March 2018

We live in hope of justice, say Sophie's family

Ralph Riegel

THE family of murdered French film executive Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) said yesterday they retained full confidence in the Irish justice system.

Sophie's parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol, and her aunt, Marie-Madeline Opalka, yesterday marked the 14th anniversary of her death with a ceremony in west Cork.

The family laid a wreath of white lilies at the stone Celtic cross below Sophie's Toormore holiday home, outside Schull, which marks the spot where their daughter's body was found on December 23, 1996.

They then attended Mass in Sophie's memory in the nearby village of Goleen.

Speaking after the Mass, Ms Opalka said her family remained hopeful that, ultimately, justice would be done.

"We have confidence in Ireland and the justice system," she said.

She said it was still difficult for the family, knowing that no one had been held to account for Sophie's terrible death.

She also said that the family thought of her every day -- and felt particularly close to her when they visited her beloved west Cork holiday home. "We can still feel her presence in the house," she said.

Sophie's mother said their Irish visit was about remembering their daughter and had nothing to do with a court hearing in Dublin last week.

The High Court has reserved its judgment until January 21 on an extradition hearing by the French authorities for former British journalist, Ian Bailey (53).

The High Court staged a two-day hearing last week on the French application for Mr Bailey to be extradited to Paris for questioning over the "willful homicide and serious assault and battery" of the French film executive and socialite in 1996. Mr Bailey has consistently maintained his innocence and claimed that "sinister" attempts had been made to frame him for the crime.

Irish Independent

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