Briton wanted over French murder in Ireland seeks appeal

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Lawyers for a British man wanted for questioning over a 1996 murder of a French woman in Ireland said Tuesday they had sought permission to appeal a decision to extradite him to France.

Ian Bailey, 54, was the subject of a European arrest warrant over the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, 39, the wife of the late Daniel Toscan du Plantier, the former chief of France's Gaumont film studios.

She was found beaten to death on December 23, 1996 in County Cork, southwest Ireland, close to her holiday home. Bailey, who lived nearby, has always maintained his innocence.

At Ireland's High Court in Dublin Tuesday, "we told the judge what the points of appeal are likely to be," Bailey's lawyer, Frank Buttimer, told AFP.

The judge adjourned the case and set the next hearing for Monday, when he will hear the defence lawyers' arguments and decide whether to allow them to appeal to the Supreme Court, Buttimer said.

On Friday, High Court judge Michael Peart ruled that Bailey could be extradited to France, saying: "I am satisfied that there is no reason why surrender must be refused."

Speaking to AFP Tuesday, Alain Spilliaert, the lawyer for the victim's family, said the court's decision was a "perfectly sound masterpiece of judicial decision-making".

Irish police questioned Bailey, a former journalist, twice but released him without charge on both occasions.

The Irish police file on the murder investigation was handed over to French authorities in 2008 in an unusual move that was cleared by an Irish judge.

© 2011 AFP

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