A DETECTIVE Sergeant involved in the investigation of the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier said in 1997 "all we have" against journalist Ian Bailey was "very weak circumstantial evidence", a High Court jury has heard.
In a recorded conversation on June 25, 1997, Det Sgt Liam Hogan, now deceased, said "...even to have him there at 3 o'clock in the morning, he is still a mile and a half from the scene, he roams the f***ing place all the time".
Sgt Hogan told Supt Sean Camon, also deceased, they had to "break" Mr Bailey's partner, Jules Thomas. "I tell you now, unless we break Jules, who I think must have f***ing something for us, we need her broken and we need to have it because if you stand back from it, it is a very arguable 50/50."
Earlier in the conversation, when discussing a file for the then DPP Eamon Barnes, Supt Camon said: "That auld interim file that came up was a load of gobbledygook." Sgt Hogan replies: "...that was written in a day."
Supt Camon said: "Kelleher had a memo on that too which was real Pudsy Ryan (a cartoon character) entirely."
Sgt Hogan replies: "You see there are statements here that I have to go back to fill it in, I have to talk to them, one man put in here 'I believe she was attempting to tell the truth and trying to recall'... when the evidence clearly shows... she is anything but, she has been out there working, conniving, twisting."
When Supt Camon says: "That is not f***ing evidence", Sgt Hogan replies: "I know but it is in the statement, it has to be taken f***ing out of it."
When Sgt Hogan later says: "Barnes is not going to... go out on a limb on this one", Supt Camon says: "He doesn't go out on a limb on anything."
Sgt Hogan also says Mr Bailey, after his release (following his first arrest on February 10, 1997), "went to the Jacksons the next day and questioned them about what they said to the guards, himself and Jules did, and that wasn't picked up to a great degree".
Sgt Hogan also says: "Bailey has been saying... 'The guards are saying I got a blackout, sure maybe I did and I did it' and that Mr Bailey had said in the local pub he would 'take the pension... off a couple of Guards yet'."
The recorded conversation between the two men was among six made at Bandon Garda Station and played in court in the civil action by Mr Bailey against the Garda Commissioner and State over the conduct of the investigation into the murder on December 23, 1996.
Mr Bailey, who has always denied any involvement in the murder, has alleged wrongful arrest and conspiracy among various claims. The defendants deny all the claims.
The action has adjourned to resume on January 13.