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Niall Carson/PA Wire

Bailey to face extradition to France over du Plantier killing

The High Court allows Ian Bailey to be sent to France to face questioning over the murder of the French filmmaker 14 years ago.

Updated, 11.19

THE HIGH COURT has ruled that Ian Bailey should be extradited to France to face questioning over the 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home.

Justice Michael Peart this morning ruled that Bailey, a British national who was twice arrested by Gardaí in connection with the death of the 39-year-old, should be sent to France to allow authorities there question him in relation to the murder.

The BBC notes that French law allows authorities to investigate any suspicious death of a French citizen while overseas, but that French authorities could not compel witnesses to be sent to France for questioning.

A European warrant had been issued for his arrest, but the 53-year-old had tried to resist extradition over the warrant, with his counsel arguing that it was unfair to have Bailey sent to France “just to ask him some questions”.

His counsel, Ronan Munro, had also said there was no firm indication from France on whether Bailey would face any charges in relation to the murder.

Toscan du Plantier was found dead outside her home in Schull, Co Cork on December 23, 1996. Her late husband was a close friend of former French president Jacques Chirac.

Bailey, a former freelance journalist, had moved to Ireland in 1991 and is a recent law graduate. He has previously successfully sued a number of British and Irish newspapers for libel over its coverage of Toscan du Plantier’s death.

Bailey can appeal the decision to the Supreme Court; his representatives had previously indicated he would be prepared to take the case as far as the European Court of Justice.

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