Ian Bailey will not go to France for Toscan du Plantier murder case, says Irish lawyer

DPP had decided there was no evidence to warrant prosecution, says Buttimer says

“There are absolutely no circumstances in which Ian Bailey will set foot in that country to validate the unjust procedure as he sees it which is going on in that country,” says Frank Buttimer, Irish lawyer for Ian Bailey (above).  Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

“There are absolutely no circumstances in which Ian Bailey will set foot in that country to validate the unjust procedure as he sees it which is going on in that country,” says Frank Buttimer, Irish lawyer for Ian Bailey (above). Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

 

Journalist Ian Bailey has no intention of travelling to France to participate in his trial next May for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork over 20 years ago, as to do so would be simply to validate an unjust process, according to Mr Bailey’s Irish lawyer, Frank Buttimer.

Mr Bailey’s French lawyer, Dominique Tricaud told The Irish Times on Wednesday that his client was considering travelling to France to defend himself in the Paris assize, or high criminal court, against a charge that he murdered Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home at Toormore in west Cork in December 1996.

Mr Bailey declined to comment on the prospect of him travelling to France when contacted by The Irish Times on Thursday and referred the query to Mr Buttimer, who emphatically ruled out any such move by his client, who had twice contested European Arrest Warrants to have him extradited to France.

“There are absolutely no circumstances in which Ian Bailey will set foot in that country to validate the unjust procedure as he sees it which is going on in that country – the entire French investigation is based on a discredited garda investigation as it was deemed by the DPP in 2001,” said Mr Buttimer.

“The DPP decided after reviewing the garda file on the case there was no evidence to warrant a prosecution against Mr Bailey but the French authorities have decided to ignore that decision and proceed with this spurious prosecution of my client in what is nothing more than a charade.”

Mr Buttimer said that Mr Bailey had received no official notification from the French authorities that he is to be tried in May but instead was reliant on anecdotal information that he had gleaned from contacts with the media that the trial is to take place in May.

“I consider the conduct of the French authorities to be an affront to the Irish justice system and I also consider that any continuing co-operation furnished by the Irish State to the French counterpart is as much as an affront as the French advancement of their prosecution,” he said.

Mr Bailey (62) who lives at the Prairie, Liscaha, Schull was twice arrested by gardaí for questioning about the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home in Toormore near Schull in 1996 but released without charge on each occasion.

A British citizen, Mr Bailey, who has successfully fought two attempts by the French authorities to extradite him to France, has denied any involvement in the killing of the French film producer and denied ever making any admissions that he was involved in her death.