Ian Bailey to face drug-driving charges after arrest last year

Mr Bailey is due before Bantry District Court, most likely on March 12.

Ian Bailey to face drug-driving charges after arrest last year

Ian Bailey is to face drug driving charges in the district court arising out of his arrest near Schull last August.

Mr Bailey is due before Bantry District Court, most likely on March 12 next, on a charge of drug driving, two summonses in relation to possession of cannabis, and for allowing a vehicle to be used for a drugs offence.

The journalist and writer, 62, was found guilty in absentia by a court in France last year of the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier near her holiday home in Schull in December 1996. Mr Bailey has consistently denied any involvement in her death and refused to attend the trial, the holding of which was also strongly criticised by his solicitor, Frank Buttimer.

Late on August 25 last year, Mr Bailey was arrested not far from his home on a Sunday evening. While not referring to Mr Bailey by name, at the time gardaí said the arrest was in relation to an alleged drink driving offence. Mr Bailey was later released without charge.

The following day Mr Bailey told reporters that he had been stopped at a garda checkpoint and failed a roadside breathalyser test. He said when he was taken to Bantry Garda Station he passed the electronic test.

It has now emerged that he faces four summonses in connection with that August 2019 arrest.

It is understood one of the charges for possession of cannabis relates to having the drug at Bantry garda station.

It is expected he will appear before a sitting of Bantry District Court in March.

His solicitor, Frank Bailey, told the Irish Sun his client would not be making any comment on the matter.

More recently Mr Bailey has faced a fresh threat of extradition after French authorities renewed their attempts to bring him to France.

Last December, following the endorsement of a European Arrest Warrant by Mr Justice Donald Binchy, Mr Bailey was arrested outside a courtroom at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.

The High Court was subsequently told that the warrant was on foot of his conviction in absentia in France, where he was subsequently sentenced to 25 years for the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey has reiterated that he had no involvement in the death of the Frenchwoman and he and his solicitor have both described the legal proceedings in France last year as a "show trial".

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