Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Murder case extradition ruling due

Ian Bailey, who is fighting extradition to France where he is wanted for questioning over the murder of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996

An Irish court is due to decide if a Briton can be extradited to France for questioning over the murder of a film-maker.

Former journalist Ian Bailey is wanted by authorities in Paris over the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, who was beaten to death in the Irish Republic 14 years ago.

She was found dead outside her holiday home at Toormore, near Schull, west Cork, two days before Christmas 1996.

Bailey, 53, was arrested twice over her murder but never charged. He denies any involvement in her death.

Under French law, authorities can investigate the suspicious death of a citizen abroad but cannot compel witnesses to go to Paris for questioning.

Investigating magistrate Patrick Gachon was appointed by officials in Paris to conduct an inquiry into Ms Toscan du Plantier's violent death after the Director of Public Prosecutions in Ireland announced nobody would be charged. A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Bailey.

During a two-day hearing in December barrister Martin Giblin, senior counsel for Bailey, argued there has been no new evidence against him to support an extradition.

He also maintained the application was an insult to the Irish state and the DPP, who has repeatedly directed that no prosecution be taken.

Mr Justice Michael Peart will deliver his judgment in the High Court in Dublin.

Manchester-born Bailey, a recent law graduate, lives in Schull with his partner Jules Thomas. He worked as a journalist in Gloucester and Cheltenham before moving to Ireland in 1991.

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