Report on flawed Bailey case to be raised in court

A report from the office of the DPP detailing serious flaws in the prosecution case against Ian Bailey is to be raised in court next month as part of his compensation claim against the State.

The report, compiled in 2001, highlights the lack of forensic evidence linking Mr Bailey to the 1996 murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier; dismisses almost all witnesses as unreliable; accuses gardaí of adding to local “hysteria” about Mr Bailey, and says the arrest and detention of his partner was “unlawful”.

The report only came to light last year when Mr Bailey was appealing a High Court decision to allow his extradition to France.

He won his appeal in the Supreme Court and is now taking a civil case for damages for wrongful arrest twice in the early years of the murder investigation, and the consequences for his reputation, liberty, and livelihood, which he says continue to the present day.

A full day’s hearing on the discovery of documents still in the possession of the State and on matters arising from the DPP’s report, will take place in the High Court on Apr 22. A full hearing of the compensation case will be scheduled for a later date.

Relatives and friends of Ms de Plantier were said to be dismayed this week when they discovered the DPP’s report was available for public viewing online.

They have insisted French authorities continue in their attempts to bring Mr Bailey to France.

They said the report contained potentially legally sensitive information.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor for Mr Bailey, said he did not know how the report ended up on the website.

“It was certainly not anything which was facilitated by Mr Bailey,” he said.

“On the other hand, it is of no surprise to me that it is now in the public domain because it was filed in court and referred to extensively and indeed quoted in various responsible media organisations and referred to by the Supreme Court.

“I am also satisfied that it would have been in the possession of the so-called French authorities for a lengthy period of time and that perhaps the real concern of the family is the exposure to public scrutiny of the non-existence of any evidence against Mr Bailey.”

Malachy Browne, the journalist who posted the report on scribd.com, said: “The reason I posted it is because it contained information that I felt was in the public interest, specifically in relation to the behaviour of certain gardaí.”

He said if there were sections Ms du Plantier’s family felt were personally sensitive and were not necessarily in the public interest, he would be happy to remove them.


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