Sophie's family 'dismayed' by decision not to extradite Ian Bailey

Family says decision 'not justified' and common legislation between France and Ireland 'not respected'
Sophie's family 'dismayed' by decision not to extradite Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey has consistently denied any involvement in the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Picture: RollingNews.ie

The family of murdered Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier has hit out at the decision of the Irish High Court not to permit the extradition of Ian Bailey, claiming it was "not justified" and that common legislation between France and Ireland was "not respected".

In a statement issued by Jean Pierre Gazeau, Sophie du Plantier’s uncle and the President of the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (Assoph), the family expressed "shock and dismay at the High Court's decision" last Monday.

The High Court rejected what was a third attempt by French authorities to have Mr Bailey, 63, extradited with Mr Justice Paul Burns pinpointing differences between French and Irish law in relation to crimes committed outside their respective jurisdictions as the reason.

He said while France bases its right to prosecute on the nationality of the victim, Ireland bases its right to prosecute on the nationality of the alleged perpetrator, meaning that despite recent changes in the law, Mr Bailey had an "accrued right" not to be surrendered.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered near her home in Schull in West Cork in 1996.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered near her home in Schull in West Cork in 1996.

Ms Du Plantier was murdered near her holiday home close to Schull in West Cork on December 23, 1996.

Ian Bailey, who is originally from England but who has lived in Ireland for almost 30 years, has consistently denied any involvement in her death.

Convicted in absentia

In May last year a French court convicted him in absentia of her murder. Mr Bailey and his solicitor, Frank Buttimer, have repeatedly criticised the French legal actions as unwarranted, labelling the trial a farce.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the du Plantier family expressed its anger at the Irish High Court's decision.

"The family of the victim have always respected the legislation of both countries, and decisions not always favourable for them," it said. "Great attention was given to respect Irish legislation and conforming to European Treaty agreements. To which Ireland and France adhere to on equal terms.

It is not acceptable that this common unilateral legislation is not respected in this instance

"The High Court was not asked to decide if French law complied with European or Irish law. This is already accepted by the terms of the treaty signed by all 27 countries who signed the European Treaty. The nature and reason for the EAW is covered by this.

"The High Court of Ireland is not justified in its decision on this ground. France is entitled to request the presence of a person to reply to the courts for actions contrary to French legislation. 

All guarantees of fair judgment by French legislation in accordance with the European Treaties binding all 27 countries is already acquired. Therefore the Irish Courts may, at the least, be expected to respect this agreement without further discussion

"The EAW [European Arrest Warrant] request for I[an] Bailey's presence in France is legitimate and guarantees respect and fair treatment in this case.

"France could, no doubt, be encouraged to request, by all means, that the Irish courts respect the agreements signed in the name of the Republic of Ireland and in respect of France, its European partner."

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