High Court refuses to surrender Ian Bailey to France in relation to death of Sophie Tuscan du Plantier

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Reporter:

Ruaidhrí Giblin

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

The High Court has refused to order the extradition of Ian Bailey to France in relation to the death of Sophie Tuscan du Plantier on grounds that it would an abuse of process, among other reasons.

Mr Bailey (60) of The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, west Cork, denies any involvement in the death of Ms du Plantier, who was found dead outside her holiday home in Schull in December 1996.

French authorities previously sought the surrender of Mr Bailey in 2010 but this application was refused by the Supreme Court in 2012. A second extradition request was transmitted to Ireland in recent months, seeking the surrender of Mr Bailey for alleged voluntary homicide.

French authorities have previously prosecuted people for crimes committed against French citizens outside of France. Mr Bailey, who claims gardaí tried to frame him for the killing of Ms du Plantier, could be tried in France in his absence.

Refusing the surrender of Mr Bailey today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said Minister was “estopped” from obtaining an order for Mr Bailey's surrender in light of the Supreme Court's judgment on identical relevant facts.

Mr Justice Hunt said he would also refuse surrender on the unique circumstances of this case.

Further proceedings would be an “abuse of process” for five reasons, he said.

Mr Justice Hunt said he did not need a reference to the European Court of Justice, as had been requested by the State.

Accordingly, Mr Bailey was discharged from the proceedings.

Opposing surrender at a High Court hearing in May, counsel for Mr Bailey, Garrett Simons SC, said his client had a “very straightforward and obvious case”.

Mr Simons had said there was “no way around” the Supreme Court decision in 2012 which identified an “absolute jurisdictional bar” to Mr Bailey's extradition to France in relation to the alleged offence.

He said section 44 of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003, which implemented the European Framework Decision on extradition between member states, was determined by the Supreme Court as an “absolute bar” to Mr Bailey's surrender and that continued to apply.