'It has been a very great strain on myself and Jules': Ian Bailey relieved by court decision to deny extradition

'It has been a very great strain on myself and Jules': Ian Bailey relieved by court decision to deny extradition

Ian Bailey with his solicitor Frank Buttimer speaking to the media outside the Central Criminal Courts.

IAN BAILEY says he is relieved by the High Court’s decision not to grant an extradition application by the French in connection with the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

However, the family of Mme du Plantier are hoping the Irish State will appeal the decision made in the High Court on Monday to reject a third attempt by the French authorities to have Mr Bailey extradited.

France had sought his extradition after he was found guilty in France last year, in his absence, of the murder in west Cork in 1996. A 25-year sentence was handed down by the French court.

“I am relieved,” Mr Bailey told The Echo. “It is a resounding decision in my favour. It has been a very great strain on myself and Jules (his partner).”

However, the family’s solicitor, Alain Spilliaert, said they are now waiting on whether an appeal will be taken against the decision “since it is a matter of public interest”.

The trial in Paris followed a probe by French investigators, who travelled to Ireland to interview witnesses who had previously been interviewed as part of the garda investigation into the killing.

Mr Bailey, who has always protested his innocence, was arrested twice during the garda investigation but was released without charge on both occasions.

Two previous attempts by the French to have Mr Bailey extradited were rejected by the Irish courts. Those attempts were prior to the French trial held in May 2019.

The first rejection was by the Supreme Court in 2012, with the second rejection being in 2017 by the High Court.

After the French probe got underway, Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s remains were exhumed from her grave in France and reinterred after a fresh autopsy.

Mr Bailey’s fight to prevent a French trial was rejected in France’s Supreme Court in 2018.

Investigators came to Ireland to question people who were witnesses in the garda investigation.

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