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Man indicted over death of film producer 20 years ago

A man who was questioned in connection with the death of film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Co Cork 20 years ago has been indicted in France for her murder.

Ian Bailey, 59, an English journalist living in Co Cork, has been served with papers by gardai, on behalf of the French authorities.

Mr Bailey's extradition to France has been refused by the courts in Ireland because of the lack of evidence connecting him to the murder.

He is now likely to be tried in France in his absence.

Mr Bailey told the Sunday Times that gardai had called to his home in Schull, west Cork, on Thursday to serve him with a 95-page indictment outlining the case against him.

"I thought the gardai had come to arrest me. They were very polite. I'm constantly on alert as the French are determined to extradite me and am always preparing for the worst.

"I still can't leave Ireland, or cross the border, in case I'm arrested on foot of a European arrest warrant. This ordeal just goes on and on," he said.

Frank Buttimer, a solicitor who acts for Bailey, told the paper on Saturday he was considering the indictment.

Ms Toscan du Plantier's badly-beaten body was found outside her holiday home near Toormore outside Schull on the morning of December 23, 1996. No one has ever been charged in Ireland in connection with her death, despite an extensive Garda investigation.

Mr Bailey was twice arrested by gardai and questioned about the murder.

He has always denied any involvement.

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