A FRENCH COURT has found Ian Bailey guilty of murdering Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Co. Cork in December 1996.
The court handed down a 25-year prison sentence and will now issue a new warrant for Mr Bailey’s arrest.
After a three-day trial in Paris, Bailey was convicted in absentia but the 62-year-old’s solicitors have dismissed the legitimacy of the court’s findings describing the proceedings as a ‘show trial’.
Bailey has repeadedly denied any involvement in the murder of French film producer du Plantier.
The former journalist has been investigated by gardai, but was never prosecuted in Irish courts.
Despite this, there are now fresh calls for Bailey’s extradition from Ireland following the decision in Paris today.
Previously Irish courts had prevented french requests for his extradition back in 2016.
Under french law, anyone found guilty of a crime in absentia can demand a second trial, but they must be present for it.
After a five hour deliberation, presiding judge Frederique Aline and two other judges returned the verdict, recapping the details of what she described as an “extremely violent” murder.
She said that due to the violence of the crime, it was “undeniable” that Ms du Plantier had been killed with “homicidal intent”.
Just two days before Christmas in 1996, du Plantier’s badly beaten body was found near a holiday home her husband had bought near Schull in Co. Cork.
Neighbours discovered her body, and a blood stained rock and concrete block, in a small lane just around the corner from the house.
There were no signs of a struggle from within the house, so investigators concluded that she must have known the killer and let them into her home.