Tag Archives: Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Ian Bailey leaving the High Court this afternoon


Former journalist Ian Bailey cannot be extradited to France in connection with the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier, the High Court has ruled.

Mr Justice Paul Burns ruled in a 61-page judgment that a recent change in the law in Ireland on extraterritorial jurisdiction to include persons ordinarily resident in Ireland did not create a situation where Ireland and France had reciprocal laws that would allow Mr Bailey’s extradition.

Ian Bailey cannot be extradited to France in connection with Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder – High Court (Independent.ie)


This afternoon.

Central Criminal Courts, Dublin.

Ian Bailey arrives to hear the High Court deliver its ruling on a bid to have him surrendered to French authorities in relation to the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

More as we get it.


From top: Sophie Toscan Du Plantier; Ian Bailey (left); John D Fitzgerald SC

This morning.

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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This afternoon.

The 62-year-old, with an address at The Prairie, Toormore, County Cork, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison – the maximum sentence for murder under French law is 30 years.

He has repeatedly denied any involvement in the killing, and his solicitors have dismissed the proceedings in France as a ‘show trial’, claiming they were invalid and unjust.

Bailey convicted in absentia in France of Toscan du Plantier murder (RTÉ)


From top: Ian Bailey; The home of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier  Schull, County Cork in December, 1996

The GSOC report states that in 2013 its investigators received documentation from the gardaí which outlined an extensive list of significant documents — including witness statements and 22 exhibits — that can no longer be located.

These include a blood-spattered gate taken from close to where Ms Du Plantier’s body was found; a French wine bottle discovered in a field next to the murder scene; and a black overcoat belonging to Ian Bailey.

A total of 139 original statements are missing from witnesses and include original memos of interviews with Jules Thomas and Marie Farrell.

…GSOC investigators also discovered that other “miscellaneous items” are missing which include a diary belonging to Ian Bailey and tape recordings/transcripts of conversations between Ian Bailey and a foreign journalist.

The GSOC report also expressed concern that there are pages missing from the original garda ‘Jobs Books’ in relation to the murder investigation.

…GSOC said their concern is further compounded by the fact that the specific pages missing are from the time when Mr Bailey seems to have first been identified as a potential suspect and as such they are potentially very significant.

Latest: Report says no evidence to suggest Ian Bailey was framed (Irish Examiner)

Pics Rollingnews/Southern Star

Following the High Court refusal this morning to grant the extradition of Ian Bailey to face trial in France for the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (top)….

Anne-Louise Foley writes:

In The Du Plantier Case, a new RTÉ One documentary which airs tonight, the son of Sophie Toscan du Plantier talks about the impact of her death on him and his family. Pierre-Louis was 14 when the French film producer was found brutally murdered in West Cork.

The programme also hears unprecedented testimony from Sophie’s mother Marguerite Bouniol and her brother Bertrand.

The High Court refused to order Ian Bailey’s extradition to France. However, it is still possible that he will be tried ‘in absentia’ in Paris.

Reporter Philip Boucher Hayes also interviews Mr Bailey along with his partner Jules Thomas.

The Du Plantier Case airs tonight on RTÉ One at 9.35pm

Earlier: Meanwhile, In The High Court

Pic: RTÉ


This afternoon.

following yesterday’s High Court jury decision regarding allegations about the gardai treatment of Ian Bailey.

A press release from the Association For the Truth About The Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, a campaign group of “friends and relatives of Sophie helping support her parents, Marguerite and Georges Bouniol, in their quest for justice”.

Yesterday: Meanwhile At The High Court

In an interview this evening with Paul Byrne of TV3 news, Maire Farrell, a key witness in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder case, claimed she was was forced to perjure herself by Gardai in order to incriminate Ian Bailey.

She had previously told a 2003 libel trial that she had seen Mr Bailey the night Ms. du Plantier died but retracted her evidence in 2005.

Paul Byrne: “Why did you make that statement, when you say that you knew it wasn’t Ian Bailey?”

Farrell: “Well, I panicked. Initially, I panicked because I had actually been out that night and I was somewhere where my husband didn’t know I was. I just thought the guards know what they’re talking about, there’s no way they’d say it was Ian Bailey if it wasn’t. And I just thought, I’ll do what they’re saying and that’s the end of it for me.”

Byrne: “So, from 1997 to 2003 when the libel trial took place, you knew or you say you knew that you had made a false statement?”

Farrell: “Well between 1997 and the libel trial I had made, I had signed numerous statements. A lot of them I didn’t even know what was in them, I was just asked to sign statements. I found out afterwards you know that they had been saying Ian Bailey had been harassing me and all sorts of things like that and none of that was true. But the Gardai just kept putting more and more pressure on me. I was just getting in deeper and deeper and it was just like, getting out of control”

Byrne: “Moving along to 2003, the beginning of the libel trial – you received a subpoena to attend, how did you feel about that?”
Farrell: “For the whole week of that trial I kept saying, you know, that I wasn’t going. There was no way I was going to court. But I had certain Gardai ringing me, sometimes three or four times a day telling me that I had to go to the court. My husband was telling me I wasn’t to go. I was adamant I wasn’t going, I told them. There was no way I was going to court and telling lies. But then I got a phone call the day before I appeared at the libel trial, and a garda told me that if I didn’t go an application would be made to the court to have me arrested. He said “You’ll probably be brought there in handcuffs, which is worse.” So he said I had to meet a different garda that morning and that he’d run through everything with me and that I had nothing to worry about, stick to the story and there was nothing to worry about. So the morning that I did appear at the libel trial, I met a garda just outside Cork city. He told me what I had to say, and stick to it, and there would be no problems. When I got up on the stand I was panicking, and I was thinking ‘Will I tell the judge the truth here?’ and then I looked down to the back of the court and there was, you know, the Gardai standing there watching me with their arms folded and I thought, you know ‘I have no way out of this’, but at the same time I couldn’t remember what I was meant to say. So it was a relief then when that was over.”

Byrne: “Why did you go through with it?”

Farrell: “”Because I was being put under so much pressure from the Gardai.”

Byrne: “What was the breaking point for you when you decided to retract your statements? What made you do that?”
Farrell: “I got a phone call from a garda, and we were just talking in general and then he said to me that Sophie’s parents were taking a civil action against Ian Bailey for Sophie’s wrongful death. And he said: ‘You know that’s going to end up in court and you’re going to have to go in there again?’ And I said there is no way that I would ever, ever go to court and tell lies for the guards again. And I said, you know, if you keep pushing me now I’m going to go and see Frank Buttimer [Ian Bailey’s solicitor]. He said: ‘You know, no one is going to be interested in what you have to say.’ And I said, ‘You know, maybe Ian Bailey will be interested?’ And I said I’m going to tell them the whole truth about what happened. And he said “if you go down that road you will never again have a day’s peace as long as you live.”
Byrne: “Can we believe Marie Farrell?”
Farrell: “I know I’m telling you the truth. I did it because I knew it was the right thing to do. I had to come forward and tell the truth. I’ve gone through years of, I don’t know how to say it, harassment? Hardship? And stress. Because of doing the right thing. What I did in 1996, 1997 was stupid. I was naive. I really really thought that the guards could do no wrong.”

Watch here.

Thanks Ellen Coyne