Ian Bailey’s bid to get Garda files adjourned

A HIGH Court application by journalist Ian Bailey to get detailed Garda files for his action for alleged wrongful arrest in connection with the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier will be heard next February.

High Court president, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, yesterday adjourned until February an appeal by Mr Bailey against a decision of the Master of the High Court to reject his application for disclosure of documents – known legally as “discovery” – as part of the preparation for the hearing of his action.

Mr Bailey is currently fighting a separate application to have him extradited to France where authorities there want to question him in connection to the death of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home in Schull, west Cork, on December 23, 1996.

Arising from his arrest in February 1997 and January 1998, Mr Bailey brought a civil action in 2007 against the Garda Commissioner, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and the state.

He claims he suffered severe personal injuries and is seeking damages, including aggravated and punitive damages, for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault, battery and trespass to the person.

He also alleges intentional infliction of emotional and psychological harm, harassment, intimidation and terrorising and oppressive behaviour.

As part of his action for alleged wrongful arrest, Mr Bailey is also seeking the report of the review by Assistant Garda Commissioner Ray McAndrew into the garda handling of the murder investigation.

An internal garda review was ordered in late 2005 by then Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy after Mr Bailey’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, expressed concern that Mr Bailey was arrested on foot of a statement made by a shopkeeper Marie Farrell, which she later withdrew.

In July 2008, the DPP decided there would be no prosecutions on foot of the McAndrew report.

Mr Bailey wants the state to provide discovery of all documents, reports, records, statements, notes and memoranda of interviews generated by gardaí in their investigation.

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