Ian Bailey may seek injunction over extradition bid

Frank Buttimer says authorities have not informed him or his client about warrant

A solicitor acting for journalist, Ian Bailey has confirmed that he may seek a High Court injunction in a bid to stop a French magistrate from obtaining his extradition to France to go on trial for the murder of French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Frank Buttimer said neither he nor Mr Bailey (59) had heard anything from either the French or Irish authorities about a possible extradition request, receiving the information only through the media, but Mr Bailey was naturally concerned about attempts to link him to the murder.

Extradition denied

Mr Buttimer pointed out that the

Supreme Court


had ruled against a similar extradition request in 2012. The court had ruled that a European arrest warrant (EAW) was invalid on two distinct grounds. He said he believed that ruling should also apply to any new request.

All five judges of the Supreme Court ruled that the warrant was invalid because it did not specify that Mr Bailey was wanted for the purpose of charge as opposed to questioning and Irish law only permits extradition for the purpose of charge.

They also ruled by a 4-1 majority that it was not valid on the grounds of reciprocity, as Ireland did not have a corresponding piece of legislation to that in France which allows the French authorities to prosecute someone for the murder of a French citizen abroad.

The only provision in Irish law for the prosecution of an offence committed abroad is if the accused person – not the victim as in French law – is an Irish citizen .

Mr Buttimer acknowledged that any new French warrant was likely to be for the purpose of charge, thus addressing the first issue of refusal by the Supreme Court but he said he could not see how it could address the second reason, namely the failure to meet the reciprocity requirement.


Mr Buttimer said the only logical position the Department of Justice could take in relation to this latest French EAW for Mr Bailey was to inform the French that the warrant was unlawful here on foot of the Supreme Court ruling and refuse to accept it.

“This latest attempt to extradite Mr Bailey is outrageous, and one option which we could look at – if the Department of Justice does entertain this latest extradition request – is for us to go into the High Court and get injunctive relief for Mr Bailey as a protective measure against this ongoing persecution.”

Mr Bailey was twice arrested for questioning about the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier at her holiday home at Drinane, Toormore near Schull in west Cork in December 1996. He has always denied any involvement in her death and denied ever making any admissions about killing her.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times