Schull resident says he has ‘no doubt’ that he will be found guilty in Paris
By BRIAN MOORE
IAN Bailey has told The Southern Star that, despite the ‘absolute torture’ of the last 20 years of his life in West Cork, he loves living here and wants ‘to die’ here.
He also said that he wants to face trial in Ireland for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, so that he can clear his name.
Speaking to The Southern Star this week, after a French decision to try Mr Bailey in Paris for the voluntary murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier on December 23rd 1996, Mr Bailey said he has no doubt that he will be tried and found guilty by the courts in Paris.
‘This has been a form of mental torture that my partner and myself have endured now for many years and it is a torture that only gets worse year-on-year,’ he said.
Mr Bailey said that two detective gardaí from Bandon arrived at his home last Thursday and served him with the French indictment file.
‘The detectives were very polite, and were with me for less than 10 minutes,’ Mr Bailey said. ‘They handed me a file with over 100 pages with a covering letter, sanctioned by the Justice Minister Francis Fitzgerald, and then left. I copied the documents and wrote a letter to the DDP requesting once again that I be tried here in Ireland for this crime.’
Mr Bailey has also written to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. ‘I have written to Enda Kenny asking is there anything he can do within his powers to ease our suffering,’ Mr Bailey said.
‘My basic fundamental human right to travel is non-existent. I have missed family events, weddings and funerals. I cannot leave. I have lived in West Cork for over 25 years and I love it, and I will die here. Even though Jules and I have been through absolute torture, which continues every day, the people we meet have been very supportive and we will always be grateful for that,’ Mr Bailey continued.
‘The only way I am able to deal with all this is to be as proactive as I can and to try and remain as emotionally detached as possible.’
When Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s son, Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud, was in West Cork on January 15th last for a mass, marking the 20th anniversary of her murder, he told The Southern Star he believed the justice system in both Ireland and France was ‘very close to the truth’ and that the matter was coming to a head.
The French magistrate’s decision to indict Ian Bailey was delivered to the Department of Justice in Dublin on October 19th, but the papers were not served on Mr Bailey until Thursday, February 2nd last.
The papers included a covering letter saying the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald had agreed to assist the French authorities.
Ian Bailey is to be indicted at the Criminal Court of Paris on a charge of the voluntary murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996, as well as a second charge alleging that he engaged in witness tampering.
A person suspected of a crime against a French citizen can be tried in France even if the offence is committed outside of the country. French courts also allow for cases to be heard even if the accused person is not present.
Ian Bailey was arrested by gardaí in 1997 and again in 1998, and questioned about the murder of Ms du Plantier, but he was never charged with any offence, and he has always denied any involvement in the murder.
Ian Bailey’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, has described the actions of the French authorities as ‘an insult to the Irish criminal justice system.’
He told The Southern Star: ‘The indictment contains not one line of new evidence – evidence which was roundly rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions as far back as 1997 and again in 1998, causing there to be no reason for Mr Bailey to be put on trial.’
The solicitor also described the indictment proceedings as being ‘thoroughly flawed and prejudiced’.