A French magistrate investigating the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork has written to the Irish authorities seeking permission for investigators to return to Ireland to interview further witnesses in the case.
Judge Gachon wants his team to interview up to 30 named witnesses in West Cork and elsewhere around the country.
If permission is granted by the Irish authorities, the French police will meet with the witnesses on a voluntary basis.
This is expected to be the last step in the French inquiry before a file is submitted to the Public Prosecutor in Paris.
The file will either recommend no further action or could suggest a trial against the main suspect.