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Bailey could face a second French murder trial

June 10th, 2019 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

Ian Bailey at Bantry Market. Photo - Andy Gibson

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IAN Bailey could face another trial in France for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier if Ireland decides to extradite him, following his conviction last week for the 1996 killing.

The lawyer for Sophie’s family, Alain Spilliaert, said he could not predict what will happen when France issues a new European Arrest Warrant for Mr Bailey’s extradition, but the case is likely to go before Ireland’s Supreme Court.

And he added that if Mr Bailey was to be extradited to France, then he would be entitled to a new trial where he would not only be present, but would also be legally represented.

Last Friday in Paris, Judge Frederique Aline and her colleagues, Judge Didier Forton and Judge Geraldine Detienne, found Mr Bailey guilty, in his absence, of the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) at Toormore near Schull on December 23rd 1996.

‘The court considers that there is sufficient evidence to establish that Ian Bailey committed the crime he is accused of,’ said Judge Frédérique Aline, as she sentenced Mr Bailey to 25 years for the offence and ordered the issuing of a new European Arrest Warrant for his extradition.

Judge Aline said that Mr Bailey’s ‘borderline personality’, his attacks on his partner Jules Thomas, and ‘an obsession with his own sexuality, as shown in the notebooks seized by police’ all contributed to the decision to find him guilty of the voluntary homicide of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Judge Aline referred to the conclusions of former Irish State pathologist Dr John Harbison and French doctors who re-examined the remains when Ms Toscan du Plantier’s body was exhumed in 2008.

‘The intention of homicide is clear from multiple wounds to the vital region of the head,’ said Judge Aline, adding that cuts from thorns attested to the victim’s flight and struggle.

Mr Bailey’s conviction was warmly welcomed by Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family, including her son Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud who paid tribute to the judges for their attention to the case and the comprehensive nature of their judgment.

Speaking to The Southern Star at Schull Farmers’ Market on Sunday, where he and his partner Jules Thomas operate a stall, Ian Bailey said: ‘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.’

His solicitor, Frank Buttimer, was dismissive of the verdict and said the outcome was entirely predictable and a ‘rubber stamping exercise’.

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