Ian Bailey: French murder trial was 'an extreme form of torture built on a bed of lies'

Ian Bailey: French murder trial was 'an extreme form of torture built on a bed of lies'
Ian Bailey said the French trial was "frightening and an extreme form of torture." Picture Dan Linehan

IAN Bailey has described his conviction in a French court of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier as being "bonfired on a pyre of lies".

In a collection of his poetry, which is now on sale in west Cork, the former English journalist also writes that the court case and conviction, in his absence, "felt like a slow motion car crash-which came to pass".

The book is called: A John Wayne State of Mind.

He is currently awaiting arrest on foot of a European Arrest Warrant as a result of the French conviction for the 1996 murder. 

Mr Bailey was arrested twice as part of the garda investigation into the 1996 murder in Goleen, at the holiday home still used by her son. Mr Bailey was never charged in Ireland with the murder of the 39-year-old French film producer. However, a French court convicted him of the murder, in his absence, last May.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Bailey said writing is very cathartic for him, adding: "I have lived with this for 24 years now and live with it every day. There is a constant threat that I feel hanging over me."

In a footnote to one of his poems, called I Remain Calm in the Eye of the Hurricane, Mr Bailey writes: "I was subjected to a trial in Paris and found guilty of a murder I had nothing to do with. I had known this dreadful miscarriage of justice was almost certain to manifest itself for over ten years."

He adds: "It was frightening and an extreme form of torture which had been built on a bed of lies and malicious intent."

Mr Bailey has always argued his innocence and has fought against his extradition to France for the trial. However, his fight to prevent a French trial was rejected in France's Supreme Court last year.

Investigators came to Ireland a number of times to question people who were witnesses in the garda investigation.

The case has gone through several twists and turns since the murder.

In 2005, a woman originally thought to be a key witness, Marie Farrell, withdrew her statements that she had seen Ian Bailey at Kealfadda Bridge, near the murder scene. She said gardaí had pressured her into making the statements.

After she withdrew the statements implicating Ian Bailey, a garda team was set up to investigate the circumstances under which they were withdrawn.

In late 2014, Ian Bailey took a High Court action for wrongful arrest against the State, which he lost.

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