herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Bailey seeking transcripts of Garda tapes

Ian Bailey (56) will today seek the release of the full transcripts of calls automatically taped between gardai, witnesses and journalists at a west Cork garda station.

Mr Bailey's application to the High Court will be made as part of his accelerating action against the State for wrongful arrest as part of the Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39) murder investigation.

A trial date for Mr Bailey's High Court action is expected to be set within weeks.

However, it is unclear whether full details of the calls made at Bandon Garda Station will be publicly released given that Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice Nial Fennelly, is now heading a commission of inquiry into the phone recording revelations.

INQUIRY

Mr Justice Fennelly was appointed to head a commission of inquiry into the practice after it emerged during an investigation into the 1996 murder of the French film executive that there was an automatic recording system in place at several garda stations around the country.

Bandon Garda Station in west Cork, where the du Plantier investigation was headquartered, had a total of 133 calls relating to the du Plantier murder probe secretly and automatically taped.

These recordings involved conversations between gardai, between gardai and witnesses and between gardai and journalists.

The recordings emerged during the course of Mr Bailey's action against the State.

Today's application will focus on redacted or withheld elements of the transcripts which came to light last year.

SUING

Manchester-born journalist and law graduate, Mr Bailey was twice arrested by gardai in 1997 and 1998 for questioning.

He was released without charge on both occasions and has consistently protested his innocence.

Mr Bailey has also claimed attempts were made to frame him for the crime and is now suing the State for wrongful arrest.

Sophie's badly beaten body was found at the foot of the laneway leading to her isolated holiday home at Toormore outside Schull on December 23 1996.

Despite one of the biggest investigations in Irish history, no-one was ever charged in relation to the murder of the French mother-of-one.

hnews@herald.ie

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