FRENCH authorities investigating the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork 20 years ago have issued a new arrest warrant for Schull resident Ian Bailey regarding the violent death of the French film producer.
According to a campaign group, the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, (ASSOPH), the French authorities issued a new European Arrest Warrant for Mr Bailey on July 13th.
Ms Toscan du Plantier’s badly beaten body was found outside her holiday home near Toormore outside Schull in West Cork on the morning of December 23rd 1996 but no one has ever been charged in Ireland in connection with her death despite an extensive Garda investigation.
English journalist, Ian Bailey (59) was twice arrested by gardai and questioned about the murder but he has always denied any involvement in Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death and he has also denied ever making any admissions that he killed her.
According to campaign group, ASSOPH, Judge Nathelie Turquey, who took over the investigation earlier this year from Judge Patrick Gachon, delivered an indictment order on July 27th to start a criminal case at the Court of Assizes in Paris on the ground of voluntary manslaughter against Mr Bailey.
Under Article 113.7 of the Penal Code of France, the French authorities can prosecute a person for an offence against a French citizen committed outside of the territory of France – a provision which dates back to Napoleonic times.
Speaking on radio this evening, Mr Bailey's solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said the move was a 'farce' as his client was 'an innocent man' and had been declared as such by the Irish courts.