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IrelandSophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears

18:35  28 may  2019
18:35  28 may  2019 Source:   independent.ie

France asks Cork witnesses to testify over Sophie death

France asks Cork witnesses to testify over Sophie death French prosecutors are believed to have summoned an estimated 30 Irish witnesses to a Paris court to testify against the man they accuse of murdering Sophie Toscan du Plantier. The summonses were delivered last Friday afternoon to local people in west Cork who provided witness statements to the original investigation into the French film producer's murder. Ms Du Plantier was beaten to death outside her holiday home in Schull in December 1996, but no one was charged with the killing.

Journalist Ian Bailey is on trial in Paris ‘in absentia’ accused of the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier . “Daniel and I spent the day together and saw on TV that a French woman had been killed in Ireland. We didn’t believe it was Sophie ,” said Jacob Gilbert, a friend of Mr du Plantier ’s.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier is seen in this undated handout photo. Days after her murder , local police began questioning Bailey, who lived nearby and A memorial marks the spot where Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed outside her holiday home in County Cork, Ireland. 'Don't be surprised if you

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: Family Handout/PA Wire

Sophie Toscan du Plantier suffered multiple fractures, lacerations and was killed with “extreme violence”, a Paris court heard today.

The accused, 62-year-old journalist and poet Ian Bailey, is being tried in absentia after Ireland refused successive extradition requests from the French authorities. He has repeatedly denied the charges.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears A general view of the Palais de Justice de Paris, where the trial of Ian Bailey will take place, who is accused of the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire Expert medical witness Marc Taccoen said the 39-year-old mother-of-one suffered fractures to her skull, defensive fractures to her hands and multiple lacerations to her brain and body, after she was hit repeatedly with a “heavy object”. He said that “considerable force” was used to wield the object, which could be either a breeze block or a large flat stone, both of which were found near her body.

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Sophie Toscan du Plantier seen in an undated file picture taken in the French southern village of Combret. Photograph: Patrick Zimmerman/AFP via Getty Images). The experts concluded: “Ian Bailey had a tendency presenting a personality constructed on narcissism, psycho-rigidity, violence

1993: French film producer, Sophie Toscan du Plantier buys a holiday home in the isolated townland of Drinane near Toormore outside Schull and she uses it as a quiet retreat from her busy life in Paris where Undated file picture of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in the southern French village of Combret.

Mr Taccoen was part of the French team that re-examined evidence from the 1996 murder following Ms du Plantier’s exhumation in 2008.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears Journalist Ian Bailey is on trial in Paris ‘in absentia’ accused of the murder of filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire Investigators believe she died while trying to flee an attacker who called to her remote holiday home in west Cork on the night of 22-23 December 1996.

She lay undiscovered for several hours, Mr Taccoen said, and her body remained at the scene of the crime for at least 24 hours after discovery - covered with plastic sheeting - until the state pathologist could attend.

The second day of the French trial into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier did not add any new DNA evidence to the findings of the then-state pathologist John Harbison.

French court to begin trying Ian Bailey 'in absentia' for murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier

French court to begin trying Ian Bailey 'in absentia' for murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier French court to begin trying Ian Bailey 'in absentia' for murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in a Paris court today, 22 years after the French film producer’s killing in Co Cork. However, the 62 year-old former freelance journalist, who denies involvement in Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s killing, will be tried in absentia following a ruling by a French court last year. Bailey’s lawyers Dominique Tricaud and Frank Buttimer told reporters that he will not appear or be represented during the trial, which is expected to last a week.

Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found murdered outside her country home in Paris (AFP) - A trial got under way in Paris Monday of a British man accused of murdering the wife of a Ian Bailey, a 62-year-old former freelance journalist, denies killing Sophie Toscan du Plantier on

Du Plantier was wearing only her nightclothes and had been beaten to death with a concrete block. Audible to release documentary series on unsolved Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder https After interviewing senior Irish police in Paris and inspecting the Irish murder scene himself, Gachon issued

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Photo: AFP/Getty Images After a decade-long search, investigators are still unable to determine her specific time of death and have failed to find any physical evidence linking Ian Bailey to the  crime scene.

The 1997 evidence of two Gardaí, Bart O’Leary and Kevin Kelleher, was read out the court on Tuesday. The men said they remember seeing Mr Bailey looking pale, his hair messy and his hands covered in scratches in the days following the attack.

Mr Bailey says he got the injuries - including a “deep” head wound noted by Mr O’Leary - from cutting down a tree and killing a turkey for Christmas.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears Sophie Toscan du Plantier The Gardaí also said there were conflicting stories of the night of the murder given by Mr Bailey and his partner Jules Thomas, who lived just a few kilometres from Ms du Plantier’s home in Schull, Co Cork.

Mr Bailey denies ever having met or known Ms du Plantier, but has said that he remembers seeing her.

Lawyers describe Irish legal system as 'farce' for letting alleged murderer Ian Bailey go free

Lawyers describe Irish legal system as 'farce' for letting alleged murderer Ian Bailey go free French barrister Laurent Pettiti was speaking on the third day of 62-year-old Bailey’s trial in his absence at the Paris Assizes on Wednesday. Mr Pettiti, who was representing the victim’s surviving family, said Ms Toscan du Plantier had loved Ireland, but its handling of the most high-profile unsolved case in the country’s recent criminal history had been a joke. ‘It was a place she had chosen,’ said Mr Pettiti. ‘It was a place where she recharged, and worked. She loved the people around her, because they made her relax.

Ms Toscan du Plantier was assaulted near a holiday home her husband had bought near Schull in west County Cork more than 22 years ago. Her badly beaten body was discovered by neighbours in a laneway near the house on 23 December 1996. During the trial , judges were shown photographs of

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was found beaten to death near her cottage in Schull, County Cork, on 23 December 1996. Ian Bailey, a neighbour of the victim, was arrested in Ireland over her killing but was never charged. A magistrate in France has decided he should stand trial in the country.

Her best friend, Agnès Thomas, later recalled Ms du Plantier telling her about a man who wrote poetry and who had asked to meet her to collaborate on a project together.

“She thought he was strange,” Ms Thomas told the court. “She was wary of him. If she ever met him, it would have been professional,” she said, adding that Ms du Plantier was working on a documentary at the time of her death. However, she did not recall being told the man’s name.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears © Provided by The Press Association Family handout photo of Sophie Toscan du Plantier (family/PA) Family and friends told the court how they only found out about the murder via the media. Even her late husband, Daniel Toscan du Plantier, saw the news on television while visiting a friend in the French countryside.

“Daniel and I spent the day together and saw on TV that a French woman had been killed in Ireland. We didn’t believe it was Sophie,” said Jacob Gilbert, a friend of Mr du Plantier’s.

Mr Gilbert described Ms du Plantier as elegant, chaste and a natural beauty, but said she was very deep and reserved, and often needed time alone to recharge.

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That’s what brought her to Schull just before Christmas in 1996, where she told friends she was going to read and relax.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier was killed with 'extreme violence' - Paris murder trial hears Sophie Toscan du Plantier She had just come out of a “complicated crisis” in her marriage, her friend Agnès Thomas said, but had planned to rejoin her husband, son and parents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Ms Thomas described her friend as vibrant, generous and passionate about her work as a film producer. She was also fearless and very protective, a characteristic Ms Thomas believes may have led her to answer the door to her attacker on that December night.

“Sophie took care of other people,” Ms Thomas said. “If someone needed help and knocked on her door during the night, she [was the kind of person who] would open the door.”

The case is still ongoing at the criminal court in Paris. The panel of three judges (a jury trial is not possible under French law, due to Mr Bailey’s absence) is expected to return a verdict on Friday.

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