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Death quiz man shrugs off extradition woes

Former journalist Ian Bailey, who has been questioned in relation to the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in the Republic, has refused to talk about the French extradition move against him.

Mr Bailey looked like he didn't have a care in the world as he wandered around a farmers' market in Schull, west Cork, despite the threat of extradition hanging over his head.

Authorities in France have issued an arrest warrant for Mr Bailey to face charges in connection with filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier's murder.

But the 53-year-old did not let that stop him enjoying a day out as he joined his partner Jules Thomas at the busy market.

The couple were selling a selection of breads as well as paintings by Ms Thomas.

Mr Bailey is in the final year of a law degree at University College Cork.

When contacted yesterday, he said he had nothing to say about the latest legal move.

“I don't have any comment. I'm not making any statements. If you have anything (to ask), you can put it to (my solicitor) Frank Buttimer,” Mr Bailey said.

Asked how he felt about the issuing of the warrant, he said “you can probably imagine” but added Mr Buttimer would answer any questions.

The application for Mr Bailey's arrest was received by the Department of Justice last month and has been sent to the Attorney General.

The probe in France is being led by Paris magistrate Patrick Gachon. Judge Gachon is trying to break new legal ground in Europe by issuing the warrant.

He believes sufficient evidence exists to continue the investigation of Mr Bailey under the different approach used by the French judicial system.

However, there is no precedent in the EU for a murder suspect being extradited from the country where the crime was committed to the home country of the victim.

Mr Buttimer described the issuing a European arrest warrant for his client as “a nonsense”.

He said neither he nor Mr Bailey have had any contact or communication from Judge Gachon.

Mr Bailey, who has lived in west Cork since the early 1990s, is originally from Manchester.

He has always denied any involvement in Ms du Plantier's death.

The filmmaker's body was found outside her holiday home at Toormore near Schull in west Cork on the morning of December 23, 1996.

Belfast Telegraph