Ian Bailey has told the High Court he experienced a “growing sense” that “something was going on” and he was “chosen to be targeted” when hair and other samples were taken from him.
The Englishman, under cross-examination, said his position is that he was not in any way involved in the killing of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork in late 1996.
Cross-examined by Luán Ó Braonáin, SC, for the State, Mr Bailey said he has taken his civil action against the State and he disagreed that the question whether or not he was involved in the killing is not part of the case.
He had been “falsely framed” and had come to court “to prosecute Garda corruption”, he said.
He said he believed gardaí regarded him as a suspect from either December 26 or 27, 1996, when he saw two gardaí “scrutinising” him in a shop in Schull. He agreed he had scratches on his hands on that occasion.
In retrospect, he believed one of those gardaí, the since deceased Det Garda Bartholomew O’Leary, “who described himself as Cracker,” thought he had “got the killer”.
When hair and other samples were later taken from him, he experienced “a growing sense” there was “something going on” and he was “chosen to be targeted”.
He agreed he did not know Marie Farrell, a shopkeeper in Schull, in late December 1996. The jury has been told Ms Farrell will claim she was put under pressure by gardaí to make false complaints that Mr Bailey harassed her.
Mr Ó Braonáin said the focus of Mr Bailey’s claim that gardaí manufactured evidence, relates to matters involving Ms Farrell and the jury would hear from her later.
When counsel suggested the core of a Garda probe is acquisition of information, Mr Bailey said it should be “factual” information. He accepted gardaí will, during investigations, be provided with information and will inquire into that, make inquiries, and seek and test information.
When counsel suggested the investigation process would also involve raising suspicions, Mr Bailey said that was fine, except when suspicions are raised “on false grounds”. A garda told Paris Match magazine they knew from day one who was the killer, he said.
Mr Bailey agreed he had written some newspaper articles related to the killing but could not recall if he mentioned in those that he was a suspect. He agreed people can be suspects irrespective of innocence or guilt, but said the category of suspect was “put on him” and it was only in that regard he accepted he was a suspect.
Yesterday was the fifth day of his action against the Garda Commissioner and the State, who deny claims of wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, and assault, arising from the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier whose body was found at Toormore, Schull, on December 23, 1996.
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