Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family to press on with their anniversary visit

Ian Bailey

The family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier will travel to Ireland to mark her anniversary, despite a setback to hopes of staging a Paris trial next year over her killing.

The elderly parents of the slain French mother of one, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol, will travel to west Cork for Christmas or the new year to mark the 15th anniversary of her murder.

Their lawyer, Alain Spilliaert, said the couple have yet to finalise dates.

Their decision comes after a planned Supreme Court hearing for today of Ian Bailey's appeal against an order to extradite him to France was postponed after Mr Bailey's legal team claimed new documents brought to their attention hint at "breathtaking wrongdoing" by officers of the State.

Mr Spilliaert said the Bouniols feel it is important to honour Sophie's memory on her anniversary each year.

Each year, the elderly couple lay a wreath of white lilies at the stone Celtic cross that marks the spot where Sophie's body was discovered. They then attend Mass in nearby Goleen.

Mr Spilliaert added that the family are concerned by the recent developments.

He said they urgently needed answers to a number of questions including how long will the case be postponed for, why this new material has only come to light now, and why is it deemed relevant?

"This matter is going on now since the European Arrest Warrant was first sought in (April) 2010," Mr Spilliaert.

Their daughter's battered body was discovered at 10am on December 23, 1996, at the foot of a laneway leading to her isolated holiday home at Toormore outside Schull in west Cork. She was 39.

Mr Bailey -- a self-confessed suspect in the case -- has vehemently protested his innocence and claimed that repeated attempts were made to frame him for the crime.

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