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Ex soldier denies plan to ask Bailey to 'give himself up'

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Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey

A FORMER British soldier has denied he told gardai in 1997 that he and another man were thinking of going to journalist Ian Bailey's house to ask him to "give himself up".

Martin Graham denied the claim under cross examination on his second day of his evidence in Mr Bailey's High Court action.

Paul O'Higgins SC, for the State, said Det Garda Jim Fitzgerald will give evidence Mr Graham made the "give himself up" comment, or words to that effect, while Mr Graham was walking a dog near Russell Barrett's house outside Skibbereen.

Mr Barrett's house was where Mr Bailey had gone on the night of February 10/11, 1997 after he was released from his first arrest by gardai in connection with the late 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Mr O'Higgins said the evidence would be that Mr Bailey was in Mr Barrett's house until February 12, 1997, and Det Fitzgerald will say, when he met Mr Graham walking the dog, Mr Graham had said words to the effect, after all that happened in the house, Mr Barrett thinks Ian is guilty too and they were thinking of going down and asking him to give himself up.

Mr Graham, who has told the jury he overheard conversations between Mr Bailey and others while Mr Bailey was in Mr Barrett's house, said that was "rubbish" and he and Mr Barrett "never colluded in anything at all".

Murder

He was being cross-examined in the continuing action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State who deny all his claims, including wrongful arrest and conspiracy, over the conduct of the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Earlier yesterday, Mr Graham said he had a mental breakdown while serving with the British Army in Northern Ireland between 1980 and 1982 and is still suffering from that.

He could not remember events of ten and 20 years ago but could recall events in west Cork in 1997 because he had spent 18 years "hiding from it".

Mr O'Higgins said gardai would say he rang them on March 11 saying he wanted to go and ask Mr Bailey to give himself up. Mr Graham said it was the gardai who asked him to go out to Mr Bailey's house and he himself would not have suggested anything "so preposterous".

Mr Graham said he was helping the gardai because they asked him to. Asked was he interested in money, he said he had a "vague interest in money, purely to survive".

When Mr O'Higgins said gardai would deny Mr Graham's claim they gave him quantities of cannabis, Mr Graham said he was given cannabis, including about seven ounces when going to a music festival in Kilcrohane in west Cork in March 1997. The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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