THE family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier is awaiting a decision by the European Commission on a response from Ireland to criticisms about Ireland’s handling of European arrest warrants.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice told The Echo that Ireland has responded to the EC’s criticisms, after being granted a two-month extension in December to do so.
The family of murdered Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier is waiting for Ireland’s response to the European Commission, hoping it could be their last chance to have Englishman Ian Bailey sent to France.
He was found guilty in his absence of the 1996 murder.
Last October, a third attempt by France to have Mr Bailey extradited in connection with the murder was rejected by the Irish High Court.
Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder.
He was arrested twice as part of the murder investigation but was never charged.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice said: “On 22 February the Department of Justice sent a detailed response to the Commission’s letter of Formal Notice regarding infringement No 2020/2072 which was received in respect of Ireland’s transposition of the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision (2002/584/JHA).”
French solicitor Alain Spilliaert, who represents the family of Ms Toscan du Plantier, said they are waiting to be advised on the outcome in the hope that they can move “the legal situation” forward.
A response from Ireland was requested by the end of December, but an extension was granted, according to the Department of Justice, “due to the legal complexities of the matter and the Covid-19 pandemic”.
In October, the European Commission said: “Ireland has failed to comply with the mandatory time limits to execute a European Arrest Warrant.
“Moreover, Ireland has provided additional grounds for refusal of a European Arrest Warrant, which affect judicial cross-border co-operation in criminal matters.
“This is why the Commission decided...to send the letter of formal notice to Ireland, giving it two months to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings identified.”