Ian Bailey’s solicitor has denounced the latest moves by French prosecutors to try his client in relation to the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, claiming all the allegations had already been dismissed in this country, writes Ian Bailey.
Frank Buttimer also said the French indictment, delivered to Mr Bailey at his West Cork home last week, did not contain any new charges, while Mr Bailey, speaking to TV3, said the latest moves from French prosecutors to bring a trial against him in absentia was yet another form of “torture”.
Mr Bailey, speaking later on RTE radio, also claimed any allegation that he had photographs of Ms du Plantier’s body was “a total and absolute lie and fiction”.
Mr Buttimer said the indictment produced by French prosecutors was “a complete rehash” of what gardaí had initially submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions here after the death of the French filmmaker at her home in Schull which the DPP subsequently rejected.
On the witness-tampering allegation, Mr Buttimer said it referred to Marie Farrell, who had initially claimed to have seen Mr Bailey in the vicinity of Ms du Plantier’s home on the night of her death but later retracted the claim.
“They maintain that at some point in time Ian Bailey created that scenario by prevailing upon her,” Mr Buttimer said. He added that towards the end of the indictment it is pointed out that prosecutors are not proceeding with that charge.
Of the content of the indictment, Mr Buttimer said: “It’s like we are back in 1997 and 1998”, adding that it ignored subsequent developments which had discredited the allegations against his client, who had always maintained his innocence.
“Our office, our DPP, has looked at the exact same material repeatedly,” he said. “This is thoroughly flawed and prejudiced.”
Speaking to TV3, Mr Bailey said he had written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny asking if there was anything that could be done to help him. “What I am facing into is a trial probably in my absence where I will be convicted of murder in France,” he said. “And I suspect there will be yet another European arrest warrant application. This is a form of torture at this stage. It is a form of mental torture that never ends. I am asking the Taoiseach if there is anything he can do to abate our suffering.”
Later, on RTE’s Drivetime, Mr Bailey offered explanations regarding some of the allegations levelled at him in the indictment, including that he had taken photographs of the victim, and said he had sympathy for Ms du Plantier’s family.
“At this stage it feels nothing less than a torture,” he said. “It’s a very hard thing to have to handle and deal with.”
He said there was nothing he could do to change the point of view of the du Plantier family and added: “They have suffered greatly and we have suffered greatly, differently.”
The Department of Justice said it was obliged under international arrangements to facilitate the conveying of the French indictment to Mr Bailey.
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.