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Ian Bailey: Years after du Plantier murder 'awful' due to 'torture of false allegation'

Ian Bailey says he expects a French court would find him guilty of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Cork.

He is to face trial in France in connection with the death of the French film producer near her holiday home in Schull in 1996.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier

Mr Bailey spoke to The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM about the French investigation.

[quote]I've already been effectively convicted in advance, and I also know from my studies of law that the French system of law is basically that if you're accused of something, you're guilty, and unless you can prove that you've got nothing to do with anything, you'll be convicted.[/quote]

The 60-year-old has been arrested twice but has always denied any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier's death.

Mr Bailey also spoke about the impact of the case on his life.

[quote]The first ten years were particularly awful, and the subsequent twelve years haven't been as bad.[/quote]

He went on to earn a Master's degree in law, which he says helped him to "close out a lot of the external things that were going on".

He has maintained his innocence since 1996.

"I had nothing to do with the murder, and since the implication was made that somehow I did, my life has gone in a very peculiar direction."

Ian Bailey

Mr Bailey said he received a death threat after he was arrested.

"I knew right from the beginning that there was no arguing with these people. They were just convinced that I was the murderer and they were going to somehow try to put me in the frame."

Mr Bailey says he is always tortured by the "false allegation".

"All the time my life is hanging in the balance," he said.

"It's very difficult to make any long-term plans.

"On one level my life is lovely: we have a garden, I sing in a choir, we produce a lot of our own food and we do markets.

[quote]But on another level I'm always tortured by this false allegation.[/quote]

He also discussed his participation in Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde's 'West Cork' podcast series into the unsolved murder.

"I met them, listened to them and felt I trusted them. They interviewed me at various stages about what was happening in my life," he said.

He says the podcast does not solve the case.

"What it does do is put together a lot of the pieces of it, and it's a good introduction to the narrative."

He added that he has "absolute sympathy" for Sophie Toscan du Plantier's family.

[quote]I've got absolute sympathy for the family and I can only imagine what their suffering is like, but I've got nothing to do with it.[/quote]