Sunday, May 19, 2019

Ian Bailey’s solicitor, Frank Buttimer, has said Mr Bailey will not be attending the trial in France for Sophie Du Plantier’s murder.

Mr Buttimer, who was interviewed on RTÉ radio this morning, said Mr Bailey was in a “living nightmare”, since Ms Du Plantier’s murder in Schull, West Cork, in 1996.

Ian Bailey at the country market in Schull, Co. Cork, recently. Pic: Dan Linehan

Mr Buttimer said: “It’s a show trial for the purpose of satisfying certain persons in relation to their own beliefs in relation to the matter.”

He added that Mr Bailey had been subjected to “this sort of situation” for almost 23 years.

“He can’t escape from it. He has been entirely exonerated in this country. The Director of Public Prosecutions has long since decided that there is no evidence upon which he can be put on trial.

“The French have decided that exact same evidence is sufficient to put him on trial.

“The situation is, quite frankly, farcical and, of course, extremely unjust.”

Mr Buttimer said Mr Bailey would not be mounting a defence to the charge when the trial gets underway in Paris on Monday, May 27.

He said: “He doesn’t recognise that the proceedings are, in fact, valid or just. He will not be attending. He will not be represented.

“Assuming that there is a conviction, which is probably going to be the case, I suspect that the French will probably come back to this jurisdiction for a third time to seek his removal from the country to face a sentence which will probably be imposed.

“We will resist that. The Irish courts have twice determined that he is not liable to be removed from this jurisdiction and that the application of the French was in accordance with law.

“It would be quite farcical to come back to seek his removal from this jurisdiction to face his sentence for a crime for which he is then found guilty, but in respect of which the Irish Supreme Court has determined that he can’t be removed in the first instance even to face trial, so we would have a quite farcical situation at that point in time.”

Frank Buttimer.

Mr Buttimer said the case was bigger than Ian Bailey in the sense that what they were dealing with here was “an act of gross disrespect” by the French jurisdiction to the Irish criminal justice system.

He said: “If the courts uphold the decision which they have made – that he cannot be removed, I suspect that there will be a case taken against Ireland by France to the European Court to see whether that decision by the Irish court stands up to European scrutiny.

“Now that’s so far down the line that it is very, very difficult to predict. And, of course, you must remember that throughout all of that Mr Bailey will be continuing to live the exact same nightmare which he has been living for nearly 23 years.

“He’s devastated. He finds it extremely difficult to deal with this situation on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis, simply not knowing what is going to happen to him where throughout all of this he has protested his innocence.”

“There is no evidence to link him with the offence in so far as this jurisdiction is concerned and he continues to live the exact same nightmare.

He agreed that there was a lot at stake.

“Yes. It is an unprecedented case,” he said. “It is one jurisdiction telling another jurisdiction that its criminal justice system isn’t up to standard and that it is the standard that is measured by the other jurisdiction where I personally think that their system isn’t up to the standard that we have, but we respect their system.

“They clearly have no respect for ours.”

Asked if he had any idea where it was going to end, he replied: “It will be with Mr Bailey till his grave.”

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