Du Plantier lawyer claims "a lot of elements" have been found to charge Ian Bailey

Mr Bailey is set to be tried in absentia over the 1996 murder

Du Plantier lawyer claims "a lot of elements" have been found to charge Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey leaving the Four Courts in Dublin in 2015 | Image: RollingNews.ie

A lawyer for the family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier says a French judge has found "a lot of elements" to charge Ian Bailey.

It has emerged that Mr Bailey is to face criminal proceedings in France in connection with the murder of Ms du Plantier.

He can be tried in absentia - meaning he will not be present, but if he is convicted a European warrant could be issued for his arrest.

Ms Toscan du Plantier was found dead outside her holiday home near Schull in West Cork in December 1996.

Mr Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer says his client has always denied any involvement in her death.

"It's outrageous that the French continue with their persecution of Mr Bailey - this matter has been going on for 20 years."

"He has spent that period of time associated with a crime with which he has absolutely no connection."

"There has been no communication from any authority."

Alain Spilliaert is a lawyer for the Du Plantier family.

"The French inquiry is now over and what has happened is the decision has been made by the judge to charge Mr Bailey for murder and send him for trial - and issue, (at) the same time, an arrest warrant," he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Asked why this is happening now, Mr Spilliaert explained: "The French inquiry has progressed through the study of the criminal file coming from Ireland."

"A lot of corroborative evidence has emerged, and in fact there is a lot of elements which goes to charge Mr Bailey - according to the French judge," he added.