Bailey lawyers seek Garda documents
Ian Bailey (56), a former journalist and law graduate, last year won his Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to France in connection with the 1996 murder. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Lawyers for Ian Bailey want court orders requiring the Garda and State to hand over documents. They claim these documents support claims of malice against Mr Bailey in the Garda investigation into the murder in west Cork of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Mr Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer said materials disclosed by the State for Mr Bailey's successful appeal against extradition were "highly relevant" to the civil action and suggested at least one senior Garda may have tried to put pressure on the DPP to prosecute Mr Bailey.
The materials also referred to the Garda Síochana "engendering hysteria" in the local community due to portrayal of Mr Bailey, via leaks to the media and otherwise, "as a ruthless and unrestrained killer", Mr Buttimer said in an affidavit.
That induced "blind panic" in at least one witness as early as February 1997 and caused concern in the DPP's office a climate would be created in which witnesses "became suggestible", he said.
The disclosed material was also probative of Mr Bailey's claim of malice as it was suggested a named garda may have offered "cash, clothes and hash" to a witness to obtain incriminating evidence against Mr Bailey, he added.
Following from that disclosed material, Mr Buttimer is seeking additional documents for Mr Bailey's his civil action against the Garda Commissioner and State claiming damages for alleged wrongful arrest and personal injuries.
The document sought include all correspondence concerning Mr Bailey between former DPP Eamonn Barnes (from his retirement); Mr Barnes' successors James Hamilton and Claire Loftus; the Minister for Justice and any Garda.
All documents contradicting or inconsistent with a 45-page analysis by the DPP's office in 2001 of the Garda investigation, which criticised aspects of it, are also sought.
The State defendants are opposing the discovery sought and say it appears to reflect "a wide-ranging fishing expedition" and is also inappropriate on grounds including the investigation into the murder of Ms Du Plantier is continuing.
Mr Bailey (56), a former journalist and law graduate, last year won his Supreme Court appeal against his extradition to France in connection with the 1996 murder, has always denied any involvement in it. As well as his civil action, he has made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman.
The material disclosed for the extradition appeal included the 2001 analysis of the Garda probe and an email of October 12th 2011 from former DPP Eamonn Barnes to the DPP.
In that email, Mr Barnes said there was "now an apparently real possibility that [Mr Bailey]..may be charged in France and perhaps receive a lengthy prison sentence, presumably on the basis inter alia of 'evidence' and conclusions provided by what I regarded at the time as having been a thoroughly flawed and prejudicial investigation culminating in a grossly improper attempt to achieve or even force a prosecutorial decision which accorded with that prejudice."