Home News ‘Suspect’ loses Toscan murder libel claim

‘Suspect’ loses Toscan murder libel claim

Published on 13/02/2004

CORK, Ireland, Feb 13 (AFP) - An Irish court Friday ordered British journalist Ian Bailey to pay up to EUR 250,000 (USD 320,000) costs to six newspapers after he lost a libel case against them for calling him the prime suspect in the murder of Sophie Toscan de Plantier.

 The 38-year-old woman, wife of the late French movie director, Daniel Toscan de Plantier, was found brutally beaten to death near her vacation home in Cork County on December 23, 1996.

Bailey, 46, was twice detained and questioned in the murder, but no charge was brought against him.

Saying that “Mr.Bailey has certainly not won first prize,” Judge Patrick Moran ordered him to pay costs to The Independent on Sunday, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Irish Star and The Sunday Independent.”

As a result of the libel trial, hundreds of pages from the investigation carried out by the Garda, the Irish police, were brought into the public domain, including testimony from several witnesses who said Bailey boasted about the killing.

The family of the murdered woman has asked its lawyer to launch a civil suit for murder against Bailey, and has sought the opening of new criminal proceedings as a result of evidence brought forth in the libel trial. Civil proceedings require less stringent proof of guilt.

Court sources said the Irish prosecution service was examining the evidence that appeared in the libel case to determine whether Bailey can be charged with a crime.

Bailey won a libel action against two tabloid newspapers, the Sun and the Mirror, for saying that he beat his ex-wife. They were ordered to pay EUR 4,000 each in damages and costs.


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