Murder suspect Ian Bailey could face fourth extradition bid from France over Sophie Toscan du Plantier killing riddle
- 15:15, 21 Sep 2021
- Updated: 15:15, 21 Sep 2021
A FRESH bid to extradite murder suspect Ian Bailey to France could be made early next year.
French native Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, was killed at her holiday home near Schull, Co Cork, in 1996.
A French court found self-confessed chief suspect Bailey guilty of murder and sentenced him to 25 years’ jail in absentia.
The French authorities have failed three times to get the 64-year-old – who has always denied any involvement in Sophie’s death – sent over from Ireland.
The Irish High Court most recently refused to extradite Bailey to France last October – sparking fury from Sophie’s family.
But in a new development, the solicitor for Sophie’s loved ones has revealed another push to extradite the English journalist was imminent.
Lawyer Alain Spilliaert highlighted how the European Commission has raised concerns about Ireland’s compliance with European Arrest Warrants.
And Spilliaert insisted Bailey will soon be shipped to France.
He said: “Because of this dialogue between Ireland the European Commission, Ireland has corrected too slow.
“Then there is an opportunity for the French prosecutor to issue a new European arrest warrant, and start again the whole process before the Irish courts.”
Spilliaert told how the French could make a fourth attempt to extradite Bailey early next year.
The lawyer says the European Commission has raised concerns about how Ireland implements European Arrest Warrants.
Spilliaert continued: “It could be done very quickly in parliament, a change in the law.
“As soon it is done, process will start again. There will be a notification to Bailey, he would be able to lodge recourse before the High Court in Dublin, but the situation would be different.”
The European Commission recently told Ireland it was not compliant with all EAW procedures.
The notice was issued shortly after the High Court ruled Bailey could not be extradited to serve a 25-year prison sentence handed down by a French court.
WEST CORK COTTAGE
The self confessed prime suspect was arrested twice by gardai over the murder but never charged.
The DPP at the time ruled there wasn’t enough evidence against Bailey.
French filmmaker Sophie was found beaten to death at her holiday cottage in west Cork on December 23, 1996.
Bailey, who lived just a few kilometres from the remote house in Schull, became the self-confessed chief suspect in the case.
He was arrested for questioning over the slaying but never charged by gardai.
French officials, who can investigate the suspicious death of their citizens abroad, issued an arrest warrant for Bailey in 2010.
Bailey, who convicted in his absence in the Cour d’Assise in Paris in May 2019, has always denied any involvement in the murder.