From top: Sophie Toscan Du Plantier; Ian Bailey (left); John D Fitzgerald SC
On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Barrister John D Fitzgerald SC spoke to Rachel English about the decision yesterday by Mr Justice Donald Binchy, in the High Court, to endorse a European Arrest Warrant issued by France for West Cork-based British former journalist Ian Bailey.
Mr Bailey was arrested and released on bail following the endorsement and will appear in the High Court again on January 20th, 2020, but his case will be up for mention this Friday.
The endorsement of the warrant marks the third time that French authorities have sought Mr Bailey’s surrender in relation to the death of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, who was found dead outside her holiday home in Schull almost 23 years ago, in December 1996.
The issuing of the warrant, and yesterday’s endorsement of the same, followed Mr Bailey being convicted of Ms Du Plantier’s murder in his absence in a Paris court earlier this year.
The three-judge Cour d’Assises in Paris imposed a 25-year prison sentence on him in his absence. Mr Bailey did not attend the French court and had no legal representation. He described the proceedings as a “farce”.
Documents which emerged in November 2011 showed that the late former Director of Public Prosecutions Eamon Barnes believed the Garda investigation into the murder was “thoroughly flawed and prejudiced” against Mr Bailey.
Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in Ms Du Plantier’s death.
Further to this…
Rachel English: “This isn’t the first time that France has requested Ian Bailey’s extradition. What happened before?”
John Fitzgerald: “No, it’s not the first time. And this is in fact the third. This represents the latest in a series of requests by the French authorities stretching back almost 10 years.
“The Supreme Court refused to surrender Mr Bailey for the first time in 2012 on a number of grounds, the most important perhaps, for present purposes, of which was that we [Ireland] at the time didn’t prosecute for extraterritorial offences, unless those offences were committed by an Irish citizen.
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