IAN Bailey believes he has ‘no chance’ of getting a fair trial in France and wants to be charged in Ireland with the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
His solicitor, Frank Buttimer, told The Southern Star this week: ‘It is my client’s belief that he has already been found guilty in France.’ He added that, as a result, the French ‘have Mr Bailey living in an open prison on this island.’
The comments were made following the issuing of a new European arrest warrant, which seeks to have Ian Bailey extradited to France to stand trial on a charge of the ‘voluntary homicide’ of the 39-year old film producer at her home in Toormore in Schull on December 23rd 1996.
Mr Buttimer has described the situation as ‘farcical’. He said: ‘Their last application was illegal. They made an application to Ireland to remove Ian Bailey from this jurisdiction and they knew – or ought to have known – it was wrong of them to do so, and contrary to Irish law.
‘The Supreme Court made it clear that it is impossible to extradite Ian Bailey in any event because there is no recognition in Irish law of the offence they are proposing to charge him with.
‘There are,’ Mr Buttimer added, ‘other issues at hand here. Ian Bailey has had to suffer this persecution for 20 years. It is my belief that this is nothing more than State persecution of Mr Bailey – not only by France but also, unfortunately, by our own country, which appears to be willing to provide assistance to the French in a matter which has already been decided by the Supreme Court.’
Mr Buttimer said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has repeatedly said Mr Bailey has no case to answer. ‘The family of the victim are attempting to have their cake and eat it too. On the one hand, they are proposing that the Irish police made a complete mess of the investigation, but on the other hand acknowledge that there is no other evidence gathered on foot of the so-called French investigation, and are looking to rely on the Irish evidence as the basis of their case.’
Meanwhile, Mr Bailey – who in recent years trained as a solicitor – has taken the unusual step of writing to the DPP, Claire Loftus, suggesting that if he is to be tried he should be tried in Ireland instead of France.
Mr Bailey made the suggestion on the basis that it would afford him the opportunity to ‘clear my name once and for all.’
‘I want the DPP to reconsider the case against me with a viewing to trying me in Ireland so that I can clear my name once and for all in relation to this murder which I had absolutely nothing at all to do with,’ said Mr Bailey.
He said that he has heard nothing from either the French or Irish authorities regarding the issuing of a second European Arrest Warrant for his extradition to France over the death of Ms Toscan du Plantier.
But he said that he remains on standby for ‘a knock on my door’ by An Garda Siochana has happened late on April 23rd 2010 when the gardai executed a European Arrest Warrant and brought him before the High Court triggering a two year legal battle in the High Court and Supreme Court.
‘I am now living on standby for that knock on the door – it’s just another shadow hanging over my life like the one that’s been hanging over me for the past 20 years – it’s like living with a permanent nightmare situation you try to keep dealing with it and not to get overcome by it.’