The Irish High Court has, for the third time, refused French authorities’ request to extradite Ian Bailey to serve a 25 year sentence for the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Planitier in Schull, West Cork in 1996.
The first request for Mr Bailey’s extradition was made in 2010 but the decision to order his extradition was appealed successfully to the Supreme Court in 2012, on the grounds that the double criminality test was not met. Mr Bailey is a British citizen resident in Ireland and under Irish law at the time it was not possible to prosecute a non-citizen for crimes committed outside the jurisdiction. A second request in 2017 was refused by the High Court as an abuse of process.
This most recent attempt to extradite stems from 2019, when a French court convicted Mr Bailey in absentia and a European Arrest Warrant was issued for him. Refusing the French request and discharging Mr Bailey, Mr Justice Burns relied on the differences between French and Irish law relating to the right to prosecute. Under French law, the nationality of the victim determines whether a right to prosecute arises. This is not mirrored under Irish law.