Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Ian Bailey. Picture: Dan Linehan

Ian Bailey has been ordered by a French judge to pay €115,000 in compensation to the family of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey has declined to comment on the latest development in the case stating that he is “trying to stay calm in the eye of the hurricane.”

When contacted Mr Bailey said that he did not have “any reaction to it” before referring all questions to his solicitor Frank Buttimer.

Mr Buttimer also declined to comment on the order at this juncture.

Earlier this month, Mr Bailey said that the ruling to convict him, in his absence, of the murder of French film producer Sophie Toscan Du Plantier in Schull in West Cork in December 1996 was something that he knew would happen.

He told RTÉ that he remains hopeful that the real culprit in the case will be found.

I know there are people in this country that know it wasn’t me and I know they are sitting on that, and my prayer has been that the truth comes out.

Extradition proceedings are expected to follow the French murder conviction.

Mr Bailey previously fought two attempts by the authorities in France to extradite him to the country.

He also unsuccessfully sued newspapers for allegedly defaming him and Gardaí for allegedly trying to frame him.

He lodged a complaint with GSOC in early 2012 regarding his treatment by gardaí investigating the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

The GSOC report last year indicated grave issues of concern but said there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Bailey was framed for the murder or that evidence was falsified, forged, or fabricated by members of An Garda Síochána.

The report revealed that 22 exhibits in relation to the case can no longer be located.

These include a blood spattered gate taken from close to where the body of the French national was found, a wine bottle discovered in a field next to the scene of the crime and a black overcoat belonging to Mr Bailey.

Ms Toscan Du Plantier was murdered at her holiday home at Toormore near Schull in west Cork in the early hours of December 23, 1996.

Her battered body was found in a laneway near her cottage.

Sophie’s son Pierre Louis Baudey Vignaud

Ms Toscan du Plantier is survived by her parents and her son Pierre.

Her husband filmmaker Daniel Toscan du Plantier died in 2003 without seeing justice done in the investigation into the murder of his wife.

Her home in Toormore near Schull had served as a quiet retreat from a high-profile life in France where she was a well-known filmmaker.

She loved the rugged coastal surroundings in west Cork, describing Toormore as her spiritual home.

Gardaí twice arrested Mr Bailey for questioning about the murder.

No one has ever been charged in connection with her violent death.

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