| 6.5°C Dublin

French request for Bailey's extradition papers 'unorthodox'

Close

Ian Bailey faces 25 years

Ian Bailey faces 25 years

Ian Bailey faces 25 years

French authorities have made an "unprecedented" and "unorthodox" request to view the leg-al submissions on Ian Bailey's objections to his extradition there, the High Court has heard.

Mr Bailey (63) is facing a 25-year prison sentence for the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier after being convicted last year by a French court.

Surrender

A three-day hearing at which he will contest the request for his surrender was scheduled yesterday to begin before the High Court on July 15.

Ronan Munro SC with Marc Thompson BL, for Mr Bailey, said the legal submissions were very close to finalisation and came to around 40 pages.

He would need around two weeks to finalise them, Mr Munro added.

However, he said a request had been received from French authorities to view the submissions from both the State and Mr Bailey ahead of the extradition hearing.

He noted that the issuing of such documents seemed to be outside the statutory procedure.

Mr Munro further said he was not aware of any "free-wheeling" statutory right that the issuing state had to ask for this.

"I can say to the court with confidence that it is an unorthodox application, but the court is well able to deal with it," he said.

Counsel for the justice minister, Leo Mulrooney BL, said two letters, dated March 18 and April 14, had been received from the French authorities. These were handed in to the court.

Mr Justice Paul Burns said they seemed to be letters from the French authorities requesting submissions from both parties.

However, Mr Mulrooney said the justice minister would not release the submissions without a ruling from the court.

This is the third time French authorities have sought the surrender of Mr Bailey, of The Prairie, Liscaha, Schull, in relation to the death of Ms du Plantier, whose body was found in Schull in December 1996.