Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter to immediately clarify his role in the Ian Bailey case.
It was revealed today that, according to court documents seen by RTÉ’s This Week, gardaí recorded phone conversations with two main witnesses during the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder investigation.
Mr Bailey claims accused gardaí of tried to frame him for the murder of Ms Du Plantier, who was killed near her holiday home in west Cork in December 1996.
Mr Bailey and his partner, Jules Thomas, are suing the State.
This evening, Deputy MacLochlainn commented: “I am calling on the Minister for Justice to immediately clarify his role in the Ian Bailey case over the last few years.
“ Following the Supreme Court decision in March 2012 not to extradite Ian Bailey to France, the Minister confirmed that he was consulting with the Attorney General with regards to the documentation that had been handed over to Mr Bailey’s legal team in November 2011, including a 44 page DPP report that found no grounds for the prosecution of Bailey for the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in 1996.
“The Minister needs to now clarify what was the outcome of that consultation? Also when did the Attorney General become aware of the tape recordings in relation to the Ian Bailey case, now the subject of public controversy and a Commission of Investigation and did she inform the Minister and if not, why not?”
He added: “The Minister’s Department continues to defend the civil action taken by Ian Bailey and his partner, Jules Thomas despite serious concerns about the Ian Bailey case, not least the concerns that the emerging information gives rise to fears of Garda activities similar to those revealed in the Morris Tribunal.
“Further questions arise as to why the state agreed to allow the garda investigation files related to the case to be handed to the French authorities. That decision may now result in serious damage to our state’s international reputation,” Deputy MacLochlainn concluded.