Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Boston remembers Marathon bombings

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

DR Congo's reconciliation farm

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

  • Wheelchair-bound Bouteflika votes in Algerian election

    Read more

  • Films by four French directors short-listed for Cannes' top prize

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

France

British murder suspect to fight French extradition 'tooth and nail'

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-04-12

A Paris judge has issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant for British journalist Ian Bailey, who is the prime suspect in the murder of Sophie Toscan de Plantier (pictured). Bailey spoke out today to vehemently protest his innocence.

A Paris-based investigative magistrate issued on Feb. 19 an arrest warrant for freelance British journalist Ian Bailey over the 1996 murder of a Frenchwoman in Ireland, judicial sources have confirmed. Bailey, who protested his innocence in a leading British newspaper on Monday, is the prime suspect in the murder of Sophie Toscan de Plantier, the wife of famed French producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, whose productions include the 1989 film ‘The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover’, by British director Peter Greenaway.

Toscan de Plantier’s battered body was discovered in a country lane in 1996 outside her holiday home at Skull village, in the south-west of Ireland. She was wearing only nightclothes and boots, and the preliminary inquest revealed that she had suffered severe head and facial injuries caused by a blunt instrument. The murder weapon has never been found.

'Tooth and nail'

Leading British daily newspaper the Daily Telegraph published an interview with Bailey Monday in which he declared he would fight extradition from Ireland “tooth and nail.” He also forcibly declared his innocence.

Bailey said that there “is absolutely no foundation to any of the allegations made against me”, and argued that he had been framed by the Irish police. He claimed the entire investigation had been riddled with corruption and errors.

Bailey also told the newspaper that the last 14 years had been “hell.”

He said, “I just want to be able to get on with my life.”

French vs Irish investigation?

Reacting to the news of the arrest warrant in the case of the murder of a French citizen on Irish soil, Bailey’s lawyer Frank Buttimer, told the Daily Telegraph, "The arrogance of the French authorities is astonishing.”

According to French media reports, the French investigative magistrate, Judge Patrick Gachon, had found what appeared to be “inconsistencies between the explanations provided by the journalist and evidence collected by the Irish investigators" and therefore felt able to take action.

Under French law, juges d'instructions, as they are known in France, also have investigative powers.

Bailey, who lived near the victim at the time, became the prime suspect after a neighbour told the police that she had seen him in the area on the night of the murder. But the neighbour later retracted her claim saying she had been pressed into making the statement by local police.

Bailey has been questioned twice by police but has never been charged. He has always maintained his innocence.

14 years waiting for justice

The family of Toscan de Plantier have been campaigning for justice ever since her murder 14 years ago. A pressure group (The Association for the Truth About the Murder of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier) has been set up to keep the investigation alive. The pressure group, which is backed by Sophie’s parents and powerful figures within France, has voiced its immense frustration that despite high-profile investigation and wall-to-wall press coverage, little real progress has been made.

The Irish High Court is now considering whether to endorse the warrant. It is thought that the entire process of extradition could take many months and possibly even a year.

 

Date created : 2010-04-12

  • CRIME

    France issues warrant for English journalist, accused of 1996 murder

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)