The High Court ruled that Ian Bailey could not be extradited to France to serve a 25-year prison sentence imposed on him by a French court for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork ago 24 years.
Judge Paul Burns delivered his judgment this afternoon to the High Court of the Criminal Court in Dublin this afternoon and said Mr Bailey could not be surrendered to France under a European arrest warrant the year last.
The French authorities issued the European arrest warrant against the English national Mr. Bailey (63 years old) in June 2019 following his conviction before the Paris court on May 31, 2019 for the murder of Ms. Toscan du Plantier.
The three judges of the Paris Assize Court found Mr Bailey guilty in absentia of the intentional homicide of Ms Toscan du Plantier (39) in his isolated holiday home at Toormore near Schull in Co Cork on 23 December 1996 .
Judge Frédérique Aline handed down a 25-year prison sentence against Mr. Bailey – who was not legally represented at the Paris trial – for “the extreme gravity” of the murder of the French producer and mother of a child.
On Monday, before delivering his 70-minute judgment, Judge Paul Burns said he would simply deliver the judgment and adjourn the formal ruling at the end of the judgment for two weeks to allow the parties to comment on an appeal.
Mr. Bailey is released on continuous bail to appear on October 27, but his presence is required on that date. Mr. Justice Burns will issue his official order and the state may seek leave to appeal.
He has been arrested twice by guards for questioning about the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier, whose severely beaten body was found near the entrance to his holiday home.
However, he was never charged with the murder and the DPP ruled in a 2001 analysis of the Garda case against Mr Bailey that there was insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and ordered Mr Bailey not to be charged.
Mr Bailey, who lives in the Prairie, Liscaha, Schull with his partner, Jules Thomas, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the murder of Ms Toscan du Plantier and has denied ever making a confession in connection with her death.
Mr Bailey showed little emotion when Judge Burns delivered his judgment, his face obscured by an Afghan-style scarf that he used as a face mask in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines for those attending court hearings.
Mr Bailey had previously been in remand on bail since Friday July 17.