A SOLICITOR for the man who was accused by French courts of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier's murder expressed hope that a new suspect can be identified following the announcement of a cold case review.
The crime which occurred 26 years ago rocked the community of Schull and has since become a source of fascination for people around the world. Solicitor for Ian Bailey-who was found guilty of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier's murder in a court in Paris-Frank Buttimer said he believes there is a chance the cold case review will uncover a suspect.
Speaking to RTÉ RADIO 1's Morning Ireland Mr Buttimer said:
"There is always a possibility or a chance that something will emerge. I think people should always remember that since this dreadful crime was committed- and leaving aside all the activity that has happened over the years involving Mr Bailey- there is an ongoing Garda file of investigation in relation to this matter. That file has never been closed. It is active up to recently in the West Cork area. It has never been a closed file and I have spoken to senior members of An Garda Síochána in relation to that for one reason or another."
The solicitor described the proposed review as a "mammoth task."
"It has been said to me directly that nothing would give An Garda Síochána more satisfaction than to identify a suspect in relation to this matter who might then be prosecuted and brought to justice. It's a mammoth task but Mr Bailey has called for this for obvious reasons. He has been wrongly associated with this crime for 26 years His association with it over the years has diminished and people have realised what his real position is in relation to it, but I hope that there would be some possibility of success. I have no doubt that lines of inquiry will be pursued by the cold case investigation team. Their purpose is to view the entirety of the file to see what lines of inquiry may be pursued. This is a mammoth task. There is no doubt about it. I hope it's properly resourced and structured but I'm sure that with the modern policing we have in an Garda Síochána those matters will be relatively easily addressed.”
Mr Buttimer said that his client will cooperate in any way that he can to assist An Garda Síochána.
"He has written to the commissioner to ask that it be done. I spoke to him yesterday when we both learned that this review had been announced He's looking forward to cooperating to the extent that he can cooperate. Anybody with any knowledge of this case should furnish that information to the police no matter how limited it might seem. Mr Bailey will cooperate in any way that he can to assist An Garda Síochána in this matter."