Bailey: extradition warrant

A TWO-DAY High Court legal battle will begin on Thursday to determine whether Ian Bailey will be extradited to France to answer questions about the
1996 murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Co Cork.

Film producer Du Plantier was murdered at her holiday home at Toormore, near Schull in west Cork, in December 1996. Bailey was arrested and questioned twice by gardaí in 1997 and 1998 and released without charge in both instances.

Bailey has always denied any involvement in Du Plantier's death and is contesting the extradition request.

The 54-year-old was once the chief suspect in the killing and has launched proceedings to sue An Garda Síochána and the state for allegedly conspiring to wrongfully convict him of the Frenchwoman's murder.

The High Court hearing, to be presided over by Justice Michael Peart, will begin on Thursday at 10.30am. Bailey's legal team will argue that the extradition is unconstitutional on the basis that the DPP already decided in 1997 that Bailey should not be prosecuted. Several other arguments contesting the extradition will also be put before the court.

In 2003, Bailey took a libel action against eight newspapers claiming they defamed him. Six of the eight newspapers were cleared of defaming him.

In his judgement, Judge Patrick Moran described the former journalist as a violent man who sought out the limelight and enjoyed notoriety.

In April, it emerged that the French extradition warrant was sent to the Department of Justice in March and was under consideration by attorney general Paul Gallagher.