has denied making up an account of meeting a French journalist as she and her partner
du Plantier’s house in west
after hearing of a murder in the area.
Counsel for the State, Paul O'Higgins SC, read through an account written by Ms Thomas on August 17th, 1997, in which she told how she and her partner, Mr Bailey had learned of the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home in Schull on December 23rd, 1996.
The account, which ran to over 20 pages, was seized by gardaí when they searched the couple’s house at the Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, on January 27th, 1998, following the second arrest of Mr Bailey for questioning about the murder of the 39-year-old French film producer.
Mr O'Higgins read through parts of the document and put it to Ms Thomas that it was "a trial account" which she had prepared after her first arrest on February 10th, 1997, and dealt with a variety of matters relating to the events of December 23rd, 1996. He related how Ms Thomas recorded in the document how Cork Examiner reporter Eddie Cassidy rang their house seeking to speak to Mr Bailey to tell him that a woman had been murdered in the Toormore area and asking him to make further inquiries.
Ms Thomas wrote that Mr Cassidy told her partner the victim was French.
However, it was put to Mr Bailey during his evidence that he had testified in both his libel actions that while Mr Cassidy had only said the victim was a foreign national, he had said he had a recollection of a mention that she was French.
Mr O’Higgins pointed out to Ms Thomas that she failed to make any mention in the account of how she and Mr Bailey waited to hear the 2pm local radio news on December 23rd in which it was stated that the murder victim was French as they have stated earlier in their evidence in the case.
Ms Thomas replied that she wrote the account eight months after the event and could not remember every detail.
In her account, Ms Thomas wrote that when they reached a gap at the top of the hillside off the Dunmanus Road, they saw “a non-local woman sitting in a car at the bend”.
She said Mr Bailey approached this woman as she looked lost and they often helped people who are lost in the area.
Ms Thomas wrote that Mr Bailey returned to their car and told her the woman was a French journalist.
She said he wondered how she had heard of the murder and how she had been able to get to the scene of the killing so quickly. Mr O’Higgins put it to Ms Thomas that “the French journalist” was an invention which she had created to explain how they knew the murder victim was French.
Ms Thomas replied that she had simply got the days mixed up.
She insisted they met a French journalist at that spot on another day and they had heard the murder victim was French on the radio.
She also said Mr Cassidy had already told Mr Bailey the victim was French.
But Mr O’Higgins put it to Ms Thomas that if they had listened to the radio news which reported the victim as French, then they would have said that in their statements to gardaí when they were arrested on February 10th, 1997.
Mr O’Higgins put it to Ms Thomas they only learned the 2pm radio news reported the murder victim was French many months later and, in August 1997, Ms Thomas was intent on “inventing” a French journalist to explain how they knew the victim was French. Ms Thomas disagreed.