Bailey ‘cannot testify by video link’ in Toscan du Plantier trial

Alain Spilliaert
Alain Spilliaert

Lawyers for murdered French film producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier have ruled out the possibility of Irish citizen Ian Bailey testifying by video link in his French trial for her murder, The Irish Times reports.

Alain Spilliaert, who represents Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family, said the French criminal code does not allow such an arrangement.

He said: “Under French law, a main focus of the criminal court, the cour d’assises, is the questioning of the accused person who is required to physically appear in court but if the person refuses to attend in person, then they can be tried in absentia as is the case with Ian Bailey.”

Mr Spilliaert added: “However, under French law in the case of a trial in absentia, the accused person is not questioned because he is not there and he has no legal right to participate by video link and the procedures for a trial in absentia conform to the standards required by the European Court of Human Rights.”

Mr Bailey, 60, said he would explore the possibility of testifying by video link after he failed to prevent the prosecution in France.

He denies involvement in the death of Ms du Plantier, who was found dead outside her holiday home in Schull in December 1996.

French authorities sought the surrender of Mr Bailey in 2010 but the application was refused by the Supreme Court in 2012.

A second extradition request transmitted to Ireland, seeking the surrender of Mr Bailey for alleged voluntary homicide, was refused.

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