Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Du Plantier uncle urges case review

Jean-Pierre Gazeau, the uncle of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, wants a full and fresh investigation into her violent death

The uncle of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has urged cold case chiefs to bring in scientists and specialists to reconstruct investigations into her violent death.

The Frenchwoman was murdered 16 years ago, two days before Christmas, close to her holiday home in Schull, west Cork.

Jean Pierre Gazeau and his solicitors held talks with the Garda cold case unit in a bid to have the controversial investigation reviewed and someone brought to justice.

He believes the family are victims of major contradictions between gardai and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who ruled there was not enough evidence to prosecute their suspect, Ian Bailey.

"It is necessary to clear this problem completely," said Mr Gazeau. "So we'll ask for a complete reconstruction of the case in a scientific way. It's like a kind of review, but it's an even more comprehensive review. We put scientists, we put many people together, specialists, in order to really reconsider the whole case."

Mr Bailey, who vehemently denies any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier's death, was arrested and questioned twice by investigators but never charged.

Mr Gazeau met Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan, who heads up the Serious Crime Review Team, at a conference in Dublin where calls were made for a Family Justice Centre to open in Ireland.

The one-stop-shop would give vulnerable women a place to report attacks as well as seek medical, legal, welfare and housing support.

Mr Gazeau maintained several pieces of evidence and witness statements must be forensically reviewed, and claimed there were also contradictions by Mr Bailey which need to be examined.

Earlier this year Mr Bailey, 54, won a two-year legal challenge against his extradition to France for questioning, but Mr Gazeau is confident a trial will be held in Mr Bailey's absence.

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