Ian Bailey's solicitor: 'The French want a head on a plate'

Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Ian Bailey's solicitor has said he will not face a fair trial in France.

Mr Bailey has been served with a murder indictment by a French court in connection with the death of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier in West Cork more than 20 years ago.

Irish courts have ruled he cannot be extradited due to lack of evidence, but a trial can go ahead in his absence in France.

Ian Bailey.

Ian Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer said he believed the French system would not give Mr Bailey a fair hearing.

He said: "In so far as being tried in France, I wouldn’t be too sure about one's chances over there. My view of the French is that they want a head on a plate.

"What this is actually about is the French justice system telling us our justice system is not up to scratch (and) theirs is better, that they'll be able to get a result where we haven’t been able to get a result - that's what this is about."

Yesterday, Ian Bailey said it is likely that French courts will convict him of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and that a fresh arrest warrant will be issued to hand him over for sentence.

But he said he would fight any such warrant and said he was being subjected “ongoing mental torture” by French legal authorities.

Mr Bailey received the French indictment last Thursday and on Friday wrote his fourth letter to the DPP Claire Loftus, “pleading” with her to try him for the murder here so he could "defend his name".

He said he would send his second letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny today.

Ms du Plantier, 39, was discovered fatally beaten outside her holiday home in Schull, west Cork, on December 23, 1996.

Mr Bailey, originally from Manchester, was arrested twice in connection with the murder, in 1997 and 1998. The 60-year-old has always protested his innocence.

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