UK suspect for French woman murder sues

10th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

DUBLIN, Dec 9 (AFP) - An English journalist told an Irish court on Tuesday he was stunned when police arrested him for questioning about the 1996 murder of a French TV producer in the southwest of the country, RTE state radio reported.

DUBLIN, Dec 9 (AFP) - An English journalist told an Irish court on Tuesday he was stunned when police arrested him for questioning about the 1996 murder of a French TV producer in the southwest of the country, RTE state radio reported.

Ian Bailey, 46, is suing seven Irish and British newspapers for defamation for articles they published in the weeks and months following his arrest in 1997.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found battered to death within metres (yards) of her holiday home on December 23, 1996 in the Toomore valley on the Mizen peninsula in west Cork.

The 38-year-old victim was the third wife of producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, a leading figure in the French film world until his death at age 61 in February.

Despite an intense investigation by Irish police, no one has ever been charged with her murder.

The killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier was the first murder in living memory in the area and the eve-of-Christmas attack shocked the quiet rural community.

Her body, dressed in night-clothes and wearing boots, was discovered by a neighbour.

She had flown into Cork airport alone on 20 December and hired a car to travel to the two-storey holiday home she had purchased in 1991.Bailey had covered the murder for a number of publications.

RTE said Bailey claimed in Cork Circuit Court he was bombarded with a pre-rehearsed barrage of accusations from policemen as he was being taken in a patrol car to Bandon police station for questioning.

One policeman, he alleged, said they had enough evidence to put him away for life.

If they could not pin the crime on him then he was finished in Ireland.

When he asked if this was a threat he claimed he was told he would be found dead with a bullet in the back of his head.

According to RTE, Bailey told the court the media were tipped off about his arrest.

When he was released after 12 hours of questioning he was shocked to find that he had been identified in news reports.


 © AFP

                                                                Subject: France news

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