Ian Bailey expects to be arrested under European warrant

Bailey pleads for ‘powers that be’ to intervene following French court’s murder verdict

After his conviction in France for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, Ian Bailey was back at his stall in Schull selling Pizza and copies of his poetry. Video: Enda O'Dowd


Ian Bailey says he expects to be arrested this week under a European arrest warrant following his conviction in Paris last week for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork.

Mr Bailey (62), of the Prairie Liscaha, Schull, Co Cork, was tried in absentia for the murder of the 39-year-old whose body was found by her neighbour near her holiday home in Toormore two days before Christmas in 1996.

Speaking at the Sunday morning farmer’s market in Schull, where he and his partner, Jules Thomas, operate a stall selling pizza and poetry, Mr Bailey said he expected to be arrested.

“I’m just going to wait and see what is going to happen next. I’m expecting to get arrested for a third time on a European arrest warrant some time next week. That may not happen but I am expecting it.”

Mr Bailey also said he was not surprised when the three judges delivered their guilty verdict at the Cour d’Assises and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

“No, I predicted this 12 years ago. This was the worst scenario I was facing into – where I become a convicted person in France. I was in no way surprised at the verdict,” Mr Bailey said.

“I’m stoical, I’m a poet and I use metaphors – that’s why I’ve said that I was in the eye of a hurricane all week. I suppose I’ve been in this hurricane for 23 years. Who knows: I might end up in a French prison or not, and I’m not using dark humour here.”

Photograph: Enda O’Dowd
Photograph: Enda O’Dowd

Plea for invervention

Mr Bailey also called on “the powers that be”, whom he claims are aware of the facts of the case and of his innocence, to intervene.

“Somebody might want to tell the truth over here, by the way, because there are people over here who do know that I had nothing to do with it. I know there are people who know I had nothing to do with it,” he said.

Asked who and where these people were, Mr Bailey replied: “In places of power, like, up in Dublin and in Phoenix Park.”

Mr Bailey said he had sympathy for the Toscan du Plantier family and their ordeal.

“If they feel they have gotten justice, they have gotten a pyrrhic form of justice, an empty form of justice, and I am sympathetic, but if they feel they have gotten justice that is up to them,” he said.

Local reaction in west Cork to the conviction was mixed, with most people not wanting to comment.

One local man said the case had left a “black mark” on west Cork and that many people he knew were sympathetic to Mr Bailey and Ms Thomas, who was also arrested twice in connection with the murder investigation.

“We’ve had the most amazing support from lovely, wonderful people and it is keeping us going, both Jules and myself, and it is very humbling and touching,” Mr Bailey said.

Returning to his stall, Mr Bailey said his whole life is a “bit odd”.