My Hub on the brutal murder of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier has been well read and so it is good that I ma able to bring an update in the case as reported below in this mornings irishtimes.com
Journalist Ian Bailey was arrested shortly before midnight last night after the High Court earlier endorsed a European Arrest Warrant.
Mr Bailey is being sought by the French authorities in connection with the murder of French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork 13 years ago.
Officers from the Garda Extradition Section in Dublin travelled to West Cork last night where they arrested Mr Bailey shortly before midnight at his home outside Schull and brought him to Bandon Garda Station arriving there at around 1.15am.
It's expected that Mr Bailey will be brought before the High Court today where he's likely to apply for bail pending a full hearing in which the decision of the French authorities to issue a European Arrest Warrant for his arrest will be contested.
Last night's arrest came after Mr Justice Michael Peart sitting in the High Court in Dublin endorsed the European Arrest Warrant for Mr Bailey issued last month by French magistrate, Judge Patrick Gachon who is investigating Ms Toscan du Plantier's murder.
Lawyers from the Chief State Solicitors Office went before the High Court in Dublin yesterday afternoon with the original European Arrest Warrant issued by French Magistrate, Judge Patrick Gachon last month and presented it to Mr Justice Michael Peart.
Last week, Mr Justice Peart had asked for the original warrant and upon receipt of the document yesterday afternoon, he endorsed it, paving the way for the arrest last night of Mr Bailey (53) who is currently studying for his final law exams at his home near Schull in West Cork.
Mr Bailey's arrest is likely to trigger a protracted legal battle as Mr Bailey's solicitor, Frank Buttimer has already indicated that his client will vigourously contest the validity of the warrant and any attempt to extradite him to France when he is brought before the High Court.
And Mr Buttimer is on the record as saying that, in what he believes is the unlikely event of his client losing in the High Court, then he will appeal the matter to the Supreme Court as he believed granting a warrant in such circumstances would raise broader constitutional issues.
However the news that Mr Justice Peart had endorsed the European Arrest Warrant was last night enthusiastically welcomed by relatives and friends of Ms Toscan du Plantier who have campaigned to have her killer brought to justice.
Ms Toscan du Plantier's uncle, Jean Pierre Gazeau described the news as "fantastic" and congratulated the Irish justice system for its speedy endorsement of the European Arrest Warrant to facilitate the arrest of Mr Bailey.
"This is fantastic and it is so heartening for Sophie's parents, Georges and Marguerite because they have been waiting for 14 years for something like this," said Mr Gazeau who is also President of the Association for the Truth about the Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier
"Of course we know and fully expect Mr Bailey to fight this in the Irish High Court and the Irish Supreme Court if necessary so we still have many more steps to travel but tonight our hope grows a lot stronger," he told The Irish Times .
Mr Gazeau commended Judge Gachon on his work to date and he re-iterated his challenge to Mr Bailey to come to France to face the magistrate if, as he has continually claimed, he is innocent of any involvement in his niece's death.
"Ian Bailey has always said that he had nothing to do with the murder of Sophie - if that is the case, then he should to come to France to answer the many contradictions between his testimony and those of other witnesses in his libel action - let him come to France," he said.
Lawyer, Alain Spilliaert who advises the family and ASSOPH, also welcomed the news that European Arrest Warrant had been endorsed and described it as "a historic moment in the long and very determined struggle by the family to get justice".
"I am surprised because I had read that it would take several weeks for the judge to decide but the Irish authorities had shown great urgency and the investigation is now at a critical time but for us now there is a ray of hope in the distance and it's brightening all the time."
This case has been put back in the High Court to await an application for bail......
It is news over here in some of the English papers, I will be watching to see if the Irish justice system will extradite him.
Yes it will be interesting to see how the Extradition proceedings work out.
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