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Du Plantier investigators sourced equipment and recorded conversations 'on purpose'

The equipment was placed on a specific phone in Bandon Garda Station according to documents seen by RTÉ.

The memorial heaqdstone to Sophie Toscan du Plantier outside Toormoor on the Mizen Peninsula in West Cork.
The memorial heaqdstone to Sophie Toscan du Plantier outside Toormoor on the Mizen Peninsula in West Cork.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

PHONECALLS RELATING TO the Sophie Toscan Du Plantier murder investigation were recorded on purpose claims an internal garda statement.

RTÉ’s The Week programme reports that the document was written in 1997 by a West Cork based garda who detailed how he was approached by a garda from Bandon Garda Station who inquired about the feasibility of recording phonecalls from specific people.

It is alleged that the request was made with reference to the Du Plantier murder investigation.

The garda further alleges that he was asked in May 1997 about whether phonecalls with a certain individual could also be recorded.

The garda who made the statement was not involved in the murder investigation but did tell the garda who approached him the he was confident that the recording would be possible.

Phone tapping equipment was subsequently placed on a particular phone in Bandon Garda Station according to the memo.

It is alleged that this equipment was used to secretly record a number of conversations with one key witness in the investigation.

The garda who made the statement says that he then observed the taped recordings being gathered and placed in sequence onto a single C90 tape.

The claims would seem to contradict the assumption that the recordings were the result of recording equipment that was placed on garda phones in the 1980s to record emergency calls.

When former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan infomred the Department of Justice in March of the recordings, he outlined how this procedure had been put in place but did not specifically say whether or not the recordings in the Du Plantier case arose from this.

The new documents have come to light as a result of the civil action being taken against the State by Ian Bailey and his partner Jules Thomas over their wrongful arrest over the 1996 murder.

Read: Witness threatened to “blow the Bailey case out of the water” if any attempt was made to arrest her >

Read: Witness says garda cried on the phone to her about Ian Bailey >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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