IAN Bailey has lodged an appeal in France against the decision by a French magistrate to have him indicted over the death of French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39), who was murdered at her holiday home in Schull over 20 years ago.
Mr Bailey (60) revealed this week that he had instructed his French lawyer, Dominic Tricaud, to lodge an appeal against the charge of voluntary homicide.
‘We would say this is an absolute abuse of process, but I informed Dominic Tricaud that I had been served with this nonsense (the French indictment) and I asked him could he put in an appeal on my behalf,’ said Mr Bailey.
Mr Bailey said that on foot of his decision to lodge an appeal, his lawyers will now be given access to the full file that the French have prepared on the case.
This week Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald sought to have a second European Arrest Warrant, issued by the French authorities for Mr Bailey’s extradition to France, endorsed by the High Court. A European Arrest Warrant has to be first endorsed by the High Court before it is transferred to An Garda Siochána, who execute the warrant and arrest the person named on the warrant.
Last Tuesday, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said he believes he will endorse a European Arrest Warrant, but he adjourned the matter until Thursday week, to allow him hear submissions from Mr Bailey’s legal representatives before making his final decision.
‘I believe I will endorse it because I feel it complies with the Act,’ said Mr Justice Hunt before stressing that endorsing the warrant ‘is not an endorsement of anything else and I want that to be clearly understood.’
The lawyer for Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family, Alain Spilliaert, explained that the first warrant referred to a ‘murder’ charge, whereas the new warrant is for the different crime of ‘voluntary homicide’.
He added that murder implies pre-meditation which was what an earlier judge, Judge Patrick Gachon, had sought before concluding his investigation, but that the Parisian DPP, Francois Molins, had advised a charge of voluntary homicide after reading the completed file.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Mr Bailey will go before the Court of Appeal next week, to appeal against the outcome of his unsuccessful High Court case two years ago, in which he sought damages against the State for wrongful arrest and conspiracy to frame him for Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder.
The seven men and four women took just over two hours to reach their unanimous verdict dismissing Mr Bailey’s civil action for damages over the conduct of the investigation into the murder and the claim that gardai conspired to implicate him in Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder. Mr Bailey has consistently denied any involvement in her killing and has denied ever making any admissions in relation to her death.
This week Mr Bailey also published a poetry book, ‘The West Cork Way’ which includes a poem dedicated to his solicitor, Frank Buttimer.