Defendants seeking documents from Bailey

 Ian Bailey: Brought legal action seeking damages.

The Garda commissioner and the State are seeking a range of documents from Ian Bailey for their defence of his legal action seeking damages over the handling of the investigation into the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey’s partner Jules Thomas, who has brought a separate case for damages arising from the manner of her arrest in the course of the investigation, has also been asked to provide further details of her claim, the High Court heard yesterday.

Mr Bailey, whose extradition to France in connection with the 1996 murder in West Cork of Ms du Plantier was refused by the Supreme Court, previously obtained an order requiring the State to disclose documents for his action seeking damages over alleged wrongful arrest and personal injuries. He and Ms Thomas claim they were wrongfully arrested during the Garda probe into the murder of the French woman.

Yesterday, Mr Justice John Hedigan, having been told the sides are trying to reach agreement concerning applications for discovery and for particulars, adjourned both applications to Feb 17.

Paul Anthony McDermott, counsel for the defendants, and Ronan Munro, for Mr Bailey and Ms Thomas, said they would engage with a view to “narrowing the issues” between them in both applications.

Mr Justice Hedigan is managing both cases in advance of their trial. Trial dates have yet to be fixed.

Last November, he gave the defendants until Mar 25 to examine new electronic material, described as “phone traffic” material, uncovered by gardaí who have been trawling through a large amount of documents in preparation for the actions. The judge was told it would take considerable time, and international assistance, to unscramble the previously unheard “phone traffic”.

In their actions, Mr Bailey, who has always denied any involvement in the murder, and Ms Thomas have, among various claims, alleged wrongful arrest.

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