A French magistrate has formally served charges on Ian Bailey, accusing him of murdering Sophie Toscan du Plantier, and witness tampering.
The papers, which were served on Ian Bailey at his home in Schull last Thursday, February 2nd, also included a covering letter from the Department of Justice.
The letter stated that Minister Frances Fitzgerald had agreed to assist the French authorities under a mutual assistance programme.
Previous attempts by French authorities to extradite Ian Baily were deemed unlawful in the Irish courts, but the indictment means that Ian Bailey could now be tried for Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder in absentia.
In France, the courts may prosecute a person suspected of a crime against a French citizen even if the offence is committed outside of France, and even if the accused is not present in court.
When Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud was in West Cork on January 15th last for a special commemorative mass marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of his mother, he told The Southern Star he believed the justice system in both Ireland and France was ‘very close to the truth.’
Ian Bailey was arrested by Irish authorities on two occasions, but never charged, and he has always maintained that he is innocent.