Lawyers for journalist Ian Bailey have sought more time from the High Court in order to mount their case to contest a request by French authorities seeking his extradition in connection with the murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan du Planiter in Cork 13 years ago.
At a special sitting of the High Court last Saturday Mr Justice Michael Peart granted bail to Mr Bailey, of ‘The Pararie”, Toormore, Schull, Co Cork.
The 53-year-old, who is currently studying law at UCC, is wanted by the French authorities for the alleged "wilful homicide and serious assault and battery" of Ms Toscan du Plantier.
The body of Ms Toscan du Plantier (aged 39) was discovered at her holiday home in Cork in late December 1996. Mr Bailey has always denied any involvement in her death and is expected to contest the extradition request.
In the High Court today Mr Ronan Munro BL, for Bailey, said his client had “strong grounds” for fighting a request for his extradition, including that there had been an abuse of process.
The court heard that among the points of objection which will be raised are an unlawful attempt to “subvert” the DPP’s decision not to prosecute Mr Bailey in connection with the investigation here and an unlawful interference with Mr Bailey’s constitutional right to liberty .
Lawyers for Bailey said they “anticipate” discovery would be required. The court was told that the French inquiry in the victim’s death may be “tainted” by “evidence of garda misconduct”.
There was also the “extraterritorial” issue of whether, in the circumstances, a legal basis existed allowing France to extradite Mr Bailey at all.
Mr Bailey was not in court for this morning’s mention. The court heard he is currently studying for his final year college exams. It’s expected these will be over by the end of May.
Mr Justice Michael Peart adjourned the case until Wednesday June 2, by which time he said he would expect “point of objection” to have been filed on Mr Bailey’s behalf and “progress to have been made” and he remanded Bailey on continuing bail.
As part of the terms of bail Mr Bailey has entered into his own bond of €15,000 none of which had to be cash.
Also part of the bail conditions are that Mr Bailey would also have to reside at his home address, sign on once a week with the gardai in Bantry, surrender his passport, and gave undertakings not to leave the jurisdiction or seek new travel documents.
The warrant seeking Mr Bailey’s arrest was endorsed by Mr Justice Peart at the High Court last Friday.
The Judge endorsed the warrant after lawyers from the Chief State Solicitors Office presented the court with the original EAW issued by French Magistrate, Judge Patrick Gachon last month.
Ms Toscan du Plantier was the wife of renowned French film producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, who died in February 2003.
In 2008, her body was exhumed from her grave in the southern French region of Lozere and taken to Paris for DNA testing.