- 02 Feb 18
The former journalist is to be charged with the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Ian Bailey’s long legal nightmare continues with the news that a French court has rejected a bid by the 60-year-old former freelance journalist to halt his Paris-based trial for the 1996 murder of 39-year-old film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Last year, the French court (the three judge 'Chamber d'Instruction') heard detailed arguments from Bailey's legal team as part of his appeal against the decision to charge him in relation to the unsolved death of the mother-of-one in west Cork on December 23, 1996.
The charge followed a lengthy investigation by Paris-based Magistrate Patrick Gachon. The investigation involved the exhumation of Ms du Plantier's body, a battery of high-tech forensic tests and re-interviewing all the west Cork witnesses in the original Garda murder investigation by a team of French detectives.
French officials ordered the investigation after the Irish authorities acknowledged that a prosecution here was extremely unlikely in relation to the case. In 2012 the French failed to have Bailey extradited after it was rejected by the Supreme Court. A fresh European Arrest Warrant was issued by the French in 2016.
Yesterday the Paris court rejected Bailey's appeal against being charged in France and returned him for trial. The decision has effectively cleared the way for French prosecutors to try Bailey – who vehemently denies the charge – in absentia in relation to her death. However, he still has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. French officials indicated that they now expect a challenge to be lodged with the higher court, the 'Cour de Cassation'.
In an in-depth interview with Hot Press senior editor Olaf Tyaransen last year, Bailey claimed never even to have laid eyes on Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
You can read the full interview here: hotpress.com