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Court ruling set in drug driving case against Ian Bailey (64)

Garda right to process prosecution challenged


Ian Bailey. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Ian Bailey. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Ian Bailey. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

JUDGEMENT in the challenge by Ian Bailey (64) to the statutory right of Gardaí to process a drug driving prosecution against him will be delivered next month.

Bantry District Court has set May 13 for finalising the case against the freelance journalist and law graduate who last year successfully fought extradition to France over the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39).
Mr Bailey has consistently protested his innocence in relation to the December 23 1996 killing of the French mother of one at her west Cork holiday home.
The Manchester-born poet was convicted in absentia by a French court of the killing in 2019 - but has repeatedly claimed that attempts were made to frame him for the crime.
Mr Bailey described the Paris proceedings as "a farce" and "a show trial."
Three times the French have sought and failed to secure his extradition since 2010.
Bantry District Court has now adjourned the drug driving matter to next month to allow Judge John King finalise his ruling.
Last November, Judge King heard detailed legal submissions on Mr Bailey's behalf from Emmet Boyle BL instructed by solicitor Ray Hennessy.
Written legal submissions were made last February on various matters arising.
The counts all arise from an alleged incident on August 25 2019 outside Schull.
Mr Bailey was stopped by Gardaí while driving at Skull town land outside the west Cork village and was later taken to Bantry Garda Station.
He was subsequently released without charge.
Mr Bailey appeared before Bantry District Court on four summonses on the basis of samples which were taken by Gardaí and sent for further analysis.
He faced one summons over allegedly driving while under the influence of cannabis, two summonses over the alleged possession of cannabis and one summons for allegedly allowing his vehicle to be used for the possession of drugs namely cannabis.
The court was told a small tin of cannabis was allegedly recovered after Mr Bailey had been stopped in his Toyota Verso car by Gardaí at a checkpoint - and three rolled-up joints were allegedly later found in his vehicle when it was searched the following day.
Mr Bailey has pleaded not guilty to a total of four charges.
Mr Boyle, on Mr Bailey's behalf, challenged a number of issues in respect of the matter including how the alleged drugs were found, why the keys of Mr Bailey's car were retained by officers, why the vehicle was moved from the roadside field entrance where it was parked to the garda station and why it was only searched the following day.
Mr Bailey has published two successful volumes of poetry and is now the focus of a number of books and two high-profile documentaries.
A long-awaited TV series on the 1996 tragedy by Academy Award nominated director, Jim Sheridan, and investigative journalist, Donal MacIntyre, is scheduled to get its world premiere next month.

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