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Bailey's extradition hearing over Sophie murder set for May

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Ian Bailey said trial was ‘farce’

Ian Bailey said trial was ‘farce’

Ian Bailey said trial was ‘farce’

A hearing into the proposed extradition of Ian Bailey to France, where he faces a 25-year prison sentence over the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, is expected to take place in early May.

It is the third time French authorities have sought his surrender in relation to the death of Ms du Plantier, whose body was found outside her holiday home in Schull, Co Cork, in December 1996.

Mr Bailey, of The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, was convicted of the murder in his absence in a Paris court last May.

The three-judge Cour d'Assises in Paris imposed a 25-year prison sentence.

The Englishman (63) denies any involvement in the mother-of-one's death.

He did not attend the French court and had no legal representation in the proceedings, which he described as a "farce".

Lawyers for the Minister for Justice told the High Court yesterday that they had received an affidavit from Mr Bailey's solicitor, Frank Buttimer, which was "voluminous", and they required time to consider it.

Counsel for Mr Bailey, Marc Thompson, asked the court to reserve May 5 as a date for the hearing of the case.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy fixed that provisional date for the hearing in the High Court.

He remanded Mr Bailey on continuing bail.

Mr Bailey's senior counsel Ronan Munro previously told the judge that they will be opposing surrender on grounds related to "fundamental rights", and that the authorities' previous two extradition attempts were "relevant" to points of objection to the present attempt.

The court also heard that Mr Bailey swore an affidavit setting out certain matters, particularly in relation to his health.

Abuse

The Supreme Court refused to extradite Mr Bailey in 2012, and a second French extradition request was dismissed as an "abuse of process" by the High Court in 2017.

On that occasion, Mr Justice Tony Hunt held that the "unique features" of the case justified "termination" of the proceedings.

He said the Director of Public Prosecutions had concluded "long ago that there is no basis for either charge or trial on this matter in this jurisdiction, and unusually, a comprehensive statement of reasons for this prosecutorial decision came into the public domain during the previous Supreme Court" case.


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