THU, 30 JUN, 2022 – 07:45
Mr Bailey’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, has said that his client will fully co-operate with the new inquiry “to the extent that he is required to co-operate”.
Speaking following the news of the review, Mr Buttimer said as far as he is aware there are no firm indications that the review could yield new information.
However, the Cork-based solicitor said that he is aware of a new witness who claims to have seen a suspect on the night. There are reports that the individual has signed an affidavit to that effect.
The body of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found outside her West Cork home in December 1996. She had been beaten to death with a concrete block.
“I believe it is something that has come to the attention of An Garda Síochána. Its evidential value or its evidential reliability would clearly be a matter for An Garda Síochána.
“It is probably one of the lines of inquiry which will be pursued.”
Mr Bailey believes the decision to conduct the review is because he asked the Garda Commissioner to do so. He said that he first heard that there would be a review through the media.
“I wrote to Drew Harris as a clean pair of hands to do with this case because he was obviously not involved in the previous investigations,” said Mr Bailey.
“I asked him to carry out a cold case review and I welcome the news.”
Speaking about what he hopes the review will achieve, Mr Bailey said he hopes his name is cleared.
I hope there will be an acknowledgement, if not the discovery of who was the murderer of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, an acknowledgement that it wasn’t me.”
He said he has been praying for the past 25 years that the truth would come out before he dies. Mr Buttimer said that uncovering the truth is a mammoth task but he hopes there is a possibility of success.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Buttimer said that he hopes the review will be properly resourced and structured.
One of the problems with the case, according to Mr Buttimer, is the manner in which the initial investigation was conducted.
Ian Bailey said that he first heard that there would be a review through the media.
“Crime scene matters, forensic matters… matters concerning pathology and so on. Which, if they had been more carefully addressed at the time, might have led to lines of inquiry or might have led to evidential gathering at that time.
“That is not necessarily a criticism by the way because one must remember the location of the dreadful crime. It is of a remote nature. All of those things had a relevance at the time.”
He continued: “I suspect that that level of material if it had been available, would probably have been regarded as being useful by now. One can never rule it out, obviously.”
Meanwhile, former sergeant-in-charge of the Cold Case Unit, Alan Bailey, said the crime can be solved after over a quarter of a century.
“The passage of time doesn’t affect cold case reviews, if anything it would have the opposite effect insofar as people may have changed loyalties or may no longer be in fear. There may also be advances in science.
“All of those things put together can make a huge difference in crime investigation.”