A FRESH translation of a ‘difficult to follow’ French court judgement, in which Ian Bailey was found guilty of Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s murder in absentia, was handed back to the State after the High Court heard there were continuing issues with it.
Mr Bailey was not in court for the brief hearing.
On Monday, Dec 23rd Mr Justice Donald Binchy endorsed a European Arrest Warrant for Mr Bailey at the High Court, where the British man was subsequently arrested and remanded on bail to appear again on January 20th next.
The endorsement marked the third time that French authorities have sought Mr Bailey’s surrender in relation to the death of Ms du Plantier, who was found dead outside her holiday home in Schull in December 1996.
At the same hearing on Monday, Ronan Munro SC, for Mr Bailey, said that in terms of presenting points of objection to Mr Bailey’s extradition, Mr Bailey’s legal team needed a better translation of the judgement of the French court annexed to the arrest warrant, saying there are portions of the translation that are ‘difficult to follow.’
He asked for the court to request that someone from the Minister for Justice’s office or the issuing state translate the judgement into the “mother tongue”.
Mr Justice Binchy subsequently told the court that he also had “great difficulty reading” it and requested “in short, a better translation” of the judgement.
Leo Mulrooney BL, for the State, told Mr Justice Binchy that he was in a position to hand a fresh translation of the judgement into the court.
However, minutes later, Mr Mulrooney returned to the court and told Mr Justice Binchy: “I haven’t had a chance to read it [the fresh translation] yet but I’m told that unfortunately there may be translation issues in that document as well.
‘So maybe the court shouldn’t trouble itself to read it and a better translation will be made in due course.’”.
Mr Bailey, with an address at The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, west Cork, was convicted of the Frenchwoman’s murder in his absence in a Paris court earlier this year.
The three-judge Cour d’Assises in Paris accordingly imposed a 25-year prison sentence on him in his absence.
The 62-year-old Englishman denies any involvement in the mother-of-one’s death on December 23rd, 1996.