Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family to continue fighting for the extradition of Ian Bailey


Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family has pledged to take her battle for Ian Bailey’s extradition to France to European courts.

His brother Bertrand Bouniol and uncle Jean Pierre Gazeau were speaking to The Echo after the High Court found that the Irish state did not challenge the High Court’s decision not to hand him over to France on 12 October.

France had requested his extradition after he was found guilty, in his absence, of the murder of Mrs du Plantier in West Cork in 1996.

Mr. Gazeau said: “We cannot accept it, that Ian Bailey is protected by an EU state. Ireland is part of the EU and there are very strong agreements in terms of judicial cooperation.”

He welcomed the High Court’s decision to allow Ms du Plantier’s family access to the judgment handed down on 12 October.

He added: “Sophie’s son is very upset by this news – we have a feeling of total denial of justice.”

He said the family and his legal team will now consider their options regarding taking their battle before the European courts.

An angry Mr. Bouniol stated: “The Paris court found him (Mr. Bailey) guilty of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and sentenced him to 25 years of criminal imprisonment. That Irish justice refuses his extradition for the third time it does not surprise us.: the Irish judges do not want to back down and Ireland has no interest in a retrial in Paris in the presence of the convict “.

He added: “The criminal court has indeed found Ian Bailey’s guilt by pointing out the shortcomings of an Irish investigation then overwhelmed by the horror of the crime committed.”

He continued: “We acknowledge that Ireland refuses to turn this sad page in its legal history with dignity, but our family no longer needs it to do so: our family has been recognized as a victim of Ian’s murder. Bailey from the French court after an irreproachable trial. And the extradition of Ian Bailey does not affect the recognition we have been waiting for decades. “

Mr. Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder. He was arrested twice as part of the Garda investigations but has never been charged.

The trial in Paris followed an investigation by French investigators, who traveled to Ireland to interview witnesses who had previously been interviewed as part of the garda investigation into the killing.

Two previous attempts by the French to extradite Mr Bailey have been rejected by the Irish courts. Those attempts predated the French trial that took place in May 2019.

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