Belfast Telegraph

Extradition 'insult to Irish state'

A British man has claimed he has been unable to live a normal life after being implicated in the unsolved murder of a French woman 14 years ago.

Former journalist Ian Bailey said he had suffered huge trauma since he was arrested over the killing of film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Ireland.

Mr Bailey is fighting extradition to France, where he is wanted for questioning over the violent death of the 39-year-old from Paris.

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

In an affidavit read to the High Court in Dublin, Mr Bailey said being implicated in her murder had been extremely traumatic. "Events surrounding the arrest have caused me great personal damage and distress. I was unable to live a normal life in the way I'd otherwise have done," he said.

Mr Bailey said his arrest by six officers from the Garda extradition unit in April as he prepared for his final law exams at University College Cork was distressing.

Manchester-born Bailey worked as a journalist in Gloucester and Cheltenham before moving to the Irish Republic in 1991.

The 53-year-old was arrested twice over the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier but never charged. He has denied any involvement in her death and is taking civil action against the State for wrongful arrest.

Martin Giblin, Mr Bailey's barrister, told the court there was no new evidence against his client to support an extradition.

"It's an insult to the Irish legal system, an insult to the Irish State, and a profound insult to his statutory constitutional human rights and it would be an insult to justice to surrender in a general sense," added Mr Giblin.

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