Arrest warrant issued for 1996 Irish murder
A French judge is trying to break new legal ground in Europe by issuing a warrant for the arrest of a British suspect in an unsolved murder in Ireland in 1996.
The judge, Patrick Gachon, wants to extradite a former journalist, Ian Bailey, to France to face questions about the murder of a French cinema executive Sophie Toscan du Plantier, (39), near Schull, County Cork more than 13 years ago.
Mr Bailey (53), now training to be a lawyer, has twice been arrested and questioned by gardai about the murder of his French neighbour on a remote peninsula just before Christmas 1996. No charge has ever been brought against him.
The French magistrate believes that sufficient prima facie evidence now exists to continue investigation of Mr Bailey under the different approach used by the French judicial system.
He has issued a European arrest warrant to which the Irish authorities have one month to respond.
There is no precedent in the European Union for a murder suspect being extradited from the country where the crime was committed to the victim's home country.
Mr Bailey's lawyer insists that such a legal move would be contrary to Irish law.