THE decision by a French magistrate investigating the murder of French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier to return to West Cork has been welcomed by a lawyer acting for her family.
Alain Spilliaert, who acts for Ms Toscan du Plantier elderly parents, Georges and Marguerite Bouniol, and her son, Pierre Louis Baudey, said it was a good move by Judge Patrick Gachon to visit West Cork.
‘We see this visit by Judge Gachon as indicative of the seriousness with which he is approaching his task and hopefully now it will help him conclude his investigation into the murder,’ he said.
‘The case has gone on for nearly 20 years now and it is in everyone’s interest that a file be prepared on the matter and presented to the public prosecutor in Paris for a decision,’ he added.
Vice-president of campaign group, the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (ASSOPH), Jean-Antoine Bloc-Daudé also welcomed the decision by Judge Gachon to return to West Cork to visit the scene: ‘We have always felt that it was a wise decision by Judge Gachon to examine the scene as happens in France in contradistinction to the DPP who never visited where Sophie was murdered.’
Judge Gachon spent eight days in West Cork earlier this month, meeting some key witnesses and revisiting where Ms Toscan du Plantier was murdered at her holiday home outside Schull.
Judge Gachon arrived in West Cork on October 1st, three days after a team of French policemen arrived in Ireland to carry out interviews, and he spent eight days in the area directing inquiries.
It’s understood that Judge Gachon, whose visit was not announced by the French authorities, had a meeting with senior gardai investigating the 1996 murder before then beginning his own inquiries.