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16.45 3 May 2018


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Journalist Ian Bailey is to go the European Court of Human Rights to challenge a French decision to charge him over the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

It comes after he lost an appeal to the French Supreme Court, Cour de Cassation.

Mr Bailey (61) confirmed that he had been informed by his French lawyer, Dominque Tricaud, that the French equivalent of the Supreme Court had rejected his appeal following a hearing in Paris on Wednesday.

Mr Tricaud had made an appeal on Mr Bailey's behalf against the decision of the French appeal court, the Chambre d'Instruction, to reject an appeal against the decision by the French authorities to charge Mr Bailey with the voluntary homicide of Ms Toscan du Plantier in Schull on December 23rd 1996.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Bailey said that he was not surprised by the latest French ruling, which was the final avenue open to him under French law.

"Dominique Tricaud tells me he is surprised by both the decision and the speed at which it was given.

"I am less surprised although clearly disappointed that a prosecution file rejected by the Irish authority could make muster in France," he said.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier | File photo

Mr Bailey also expressed anger at the fact that the Irish Department of Justice, liaising with the French authorities, failed to pass on a request from investigating French magistrate, Judge Patrick Gachon in 2013 to interview him as part of his investigation.

Mr Bailey added: "I am also angry that as part of the French investigation, somebody here in Ireland took the decision not to inform me that I had a right to participate in the French investigation.

"So where do I go from here?. My French lawyers will now prepare to challenge the false allegation that I had something to do with the death of Madame Sophie Toscan du Plantier in the European Court of Human Rights."

"Even if I am tried in absentia in France and found guilty of voluntary homicide, all the French authority will have done is convict an innocent party."

Reporting from Barry Roche


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