WEST Cork-based Ian Bailey is set to learn next month whether he is to be tried in absentia in France over the killing of French film producer and mother of one, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, at her holiday home near Schull over 20 years ago.
Mr Bailey’s French lawyer, Dominique Tricaud, has confirmed he has lodged an appeal to the French Supreme Court – the Cour de Cassation – against the refusal by the French Court of Appeal, the Chambre d’Instruction, to strike out a charge of voluntary homicide against Mr Bailey.
Mr Tricaud said the hearing before the Cour de Cassation is scheduled for May 2nd and he would be arguing strongly that the Chambre d’Instruction was wrong not to allow Mr Bailey’s appeal against being charged by the French authorities with the 1996 killing of Ms du Plantier.
He would be arguing that Ireland was ‘the natural judge’ of the case and the French decision to carry out its own investigation and subsequent decision to charge Mr Bailey with the killing had shown little regard for the Irish system of justice, which found Mr Bailey had no case to answer.
Mr Tricaud said that the decision by the French authorities to charge Mr Bailey with the voluntary homicide was tantamount to ‘double jeopardy’ given that the Irish DPP had carried out an extensive review of the case in 2001 and decided there was not sufficient evidence to charge Mr Bailey.
Mr Tricaud acknowledged that Mr Bailey can only base his appeal to the Cour de Cassation on a point of law or procedure, rather than an issue of fact, but said that if Mr Bailey were to lose this appeal, he could not see his trial proceeding for up to two years.
However, lawyer Alain Spilliaert for Ms Toscan du Plantier’s parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol and her son, Pierre Louis Vignaud Baudey, predicted that a trial would proceed quite quickly if the French court rejects Mr Bailey’s appeal against the decision to charge him.
Meanwhile, journalists behind the hit West Cork podcast on Amazon’s Audible platform, Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey, said they are ‘already exploring new episodes.’
Named by Time magazine as one of the 50 Best Podcasts to listen to currently, and tweeted about by Louis Theroux, the podcast has been hugely successful.