A British former journalist has been arrested in Dublin and ordered to face an extradition hearing in connection with his conviction in France for murdering a French film producer in Ireland more than 22 years ago.
Ian Bailey, 62, was sentenced in his absence to 25 years in prison by a French court in May for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, whose battered body was found on an isolated hillside in Toormore, near the Irish village of Schull, in December 1996.
Bailey has always denied any involvement in the crime and Irish authorities have never prosecuted him for it. Irish courts have previously blocked his extradition to France, where the law allows suspects to be tried for murdering French citizens abroad.
He was ordered arrested on Monday by the Irish High Court, then immediately released on bail. The court ordered him to appear for an extradition hearing on January 20.
“I knew that this was going to almost certainly happen, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to me,” Bailey told reporters outside court.
Bailey, who lived about three kilometres (1.8 miles) from Toscan du Plantier’s holiday home, was arrested twice in connection with the death but was never charged.
Marie Farrell, the only witness to put him at the scene at the time of the killing, later retracted her evidence, claiming she had been groomed and bullied by investigators into giving false evidence.