GARDAÍ investigating the murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork eliminated her former lover from their list of suspects for her killing after he proved he was in Paris at the time of her death.
Artist Bruno Carbonnet was one of the original suspects identified by gardaí after Ms Toscan du Plantier unexpectedly ended their year-long relationship in 1993 and gardaí travelled to France to interview him in January 1997.
But gardaí eliminated Mr Carbonnet from their list of suspects after French police established through a receipt which he signed for the installation of a telephone at his apartment that he was in Paris on December 23rd, 1996, the day Ms Toscan du Plantier was murdered.
Details of the alibi evidence offered by Mr Carbonnet are contained in the French file served on English journalist, Ian Bailey who has been charged in France with the voluntary homicide of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home near Toormore outside Schull in December 1996.
Lawyers for Mr Bailey lodged an appeal last March against a decision by French magistrate, Judge Nathalie Turquey, to have him indicted for the voluntary homicide and last Thursday, lawyers for Mr Bailey appealed the decision to indict him at a special appeal hearing in Paris.
Lawyers for both Mr Bailey and for the du Plantier family each had around 45 minutes to plead their case and the hearing lasted just over two hours.
Mr Bailey’s lawyer, Dominic Tricaud, argued his client should not be charged given the Irish DPP had found there was insufficient evidence to charge him with the killing, and proceeding with a trial in France would mean that Mr Bailey would be subject to double jeopardy.
However, lawyer Alain Spilliaert, who represents Ms Toscan du Plantier’s parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol and her son Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud, pointed out that the indictment of voluntary homicide against Mr Bailey followed an extensive investigation by the French authorities.
Together with Laurent Pettiti, Mr Spilliaert argued there was compelling evidence against Mr Bailey and the Irish authorities would not have transferred the Irish file to the French authorities if they had felt he had did not have a case to answer over Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death.
The three judges have reserved their judgement which they will deliver on January 25th when Mr Bailey will discover whether or not he has been successful in his challenge to being charged in France.