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Gardai gave me black and tan shirt, claims Bailey

IAN Bailey claims gardai gave him a black and tan shirt as a "coded message" because he is English after he was questioned in connection with the murder of French film-maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Mr Bailey told the High Court that gardai said to him that he was wrong if he thought an Englishman could come over here and "get away with this" during the questioning.

And he was then given a black and tan shirt as a replacement for his own clothing sought by gardai, which he interpreted as a "coded message" because he is English.

When Luan O Braonain SC, for the State, put to him gardai never said anything to him about being English, Mr Bailey said there was "very strong, complete xenophobia".

eccentric

When counsel noted gardai had asked him during an interview about reports he was seen out at night on one occasion with "nothing on but jocks and a hat" and "shouting and singing", Mr Bailey said he had "a reputation of being eccentric" but could not understand why people would say those things.

He denied suggestions part of him enjoyed giving interviews to the media two days after being released following his arrest by gardai on February 10, 1997, in connection with the December 1996 murder.

He denied he "fuelled" publicity surrounding his arrest despite a statement issued on his behalf by a solicitor appealing for privacy for him.

Counsel said a photo in one newspaper showed him "leaning nonchalantly" against the door and looking "cool and quite well" and suggested "a part of you enjoyed the attention".

Mr Bailey said he believed staying silent would achieve nothing and what he was doing was "stating my innocence and putting the record straight".

Mr Bailey's cross-examination will enter its sixth day when his case resumes on Tuesday.

He has sued the Garda Commissioner and State over the investigation into the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier.

arrest

Yesterday, asked about events during his arrest and questioning over 12 hours at Bandon Garda Station on February 10, 1997, Mr Bailey agreed he was asked did he want a solicitor and, when he said he did, a solicitor came and they had a consultation.

Mr O Braonain put to him his interviews with gardai ranged over several matters, including his assaults on Ms Thomas, his behaviour generally, his knowledge of Ms Toscan du Plantier and his movements.

Counsel suggested he had given a false impression that the interviews were hostile and put to him gardai were entitled to adopt different tones when questioning a person arrested on suspicion of murder. Mr Bailey replied the tone was not reflected in the garda notes.

hnews@herald.ie


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