'We have a feeling of complete denial of justice': Family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier to continue fight for Ian Bailey extradition

'We have a feeling of complete denial of justice': Family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier to continue fight for Ian Bailey extradition

Ian Bailey looks on as his solicitor, Frank Buttimer (Left) speaks to the media on leaving the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) on Parkgate Street in Dublin earlier this month. Pic: Collins Courts

THE family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier are pledging to carry their fight for the extradition of Ian Bailey to France to European courts.

Her brother Bertrand Bouniol and uncle Jean Pierre Gazeau were speaking to The Echo after it emerged in the High Court that the Irish State did not appeal the High Court decision not to surrender him to France, on October 12.

France had sought his extradition after he was found guilty, in his absence, of the murder of Ms du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.

Mr Gazeau said: "We cannot accept this, that Ian Bailey is being protected by a state of the EU. Ireland is part of the EU and there are very strong agreements in place in terms of judicial cooperation."

He welcomed the decision by the High Court to allow the family of Ms du Plantier access to the judgement made on October 12.

He added: "The son of Sophie is very disturbed by this news - we have a feeling of complete denial of justice".

He said the family and its legal team will now be considering their options regarding taking their fight to the European courts.

An angry Mr Bouniol said: "The Paris Court declared him (Mr Bailey) guilty of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and sentenced him to 25 years of criminal imprisonment. That the Irish justice refuses his extradition for the third time does not surprise us: the Irish judges do not want to back down and Ireland has no interest in a new trial being held in Paris in the presence of the convict."

He added: "The criminal court indeed has established the guilt of Ian Bailey while highlighting the shortcomings of an Irish investigation then overwhelmed by the horror of the crime committed."

He continued: "We take note that Ireland refuses to turn with dignity this sad page of its legal history, but our family no longer needs it to do so: our family has been recognized as a victim of the murder committed by Ian Bailey by the French court after an irreproachable trial. And the extradition of Ian Bailey does not affect the recognition that we have been waiting for decades."

Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder. He was arrested twice as part of the Garda investigation but was never charged.

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

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.

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