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Brian Lawless

Ian Bailey: 'I have asked the DPP to charge me for murder so that I may have the chance of a fair trial'

Last week, it emerged that the French authorities were set to charge him with the murder and likely try him in absentia.

JOURNALIST IAN BAILEY has said he is willing to go on trial for the murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier – but only in Ireland.

Bailey has twice been arrested over the murder of the French woman in Schull, Co. Cork in 1996 but he has never been charged in connection with the case.

Efforts by French authorities to extradite Bailey have also been unsuccessful.

Last week, it emerged that the French authorities were set to charge him with the murder and likely try him in absentia.

Speaking to Philip Boucher Hayes on RTÉ’s Drivetime today, Bailey was asked whether he had killed Toscain du Plantier, firmly answering “no”.

I never considered myself a suspect in any true meaning of the word because I had nothing to do with this.

“I don’t know what to make of (the fact that gardaí still consider him a suspect).”

He said that he believed that French police must have some new evidence to “give credibility to this false accusation”.

However, Boucher Hayes said that Toscan du Plantier’s family told him there was no new DNA evidence.

Bailey said that the original French arrest warrant was based on a “factual inaccuracy” which said he had been charged with the murder here in Ireland. He said the contention that he had pointed out Sophie’s house to a friend was “complete fiction”.

He added that French police had ignored facts.


Sophie Toscan du Plantier A cross marks the spot close to where Sophie Toscan du Plantier died. Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland Eamonn Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Bailey said he would be willing to stand trial for the murder, if the French hand over their evidence and he is tried here.

He said there has been no contact from authorities to him or his legal team.

I am expecting and anticipating that I am likely to be re-arrested under a European Arrest Warrant.

He said this would put him in a similar situation as he was in in recent years, making him a “prisoner in Ireland”.

I have written a letter to the DPP to ask her to charge me so that I may have the chance of a fair trial.

“I, objectively, believe there is no chance of fairness in France.”

Bailey said he wanted to stand trial in Ireland in order to put the issue to rest.

“We have been subjected to a 20-year nightmare. It really is a torture.

“I have total sympathy for (Sophie’s family). I understand that a false narrative has been communicated to the French 20 years ago. I am sympathetic to them.”

Read: Ian Bailey set to be charged by French authorities over du Plantier murder