Gardai ask Interpol to help track possible Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder suspect potentially known to late husband

GARDAI have asked Interpol to help track down a possible suspect in the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The man is a foreign national who lives in France and was known by Sophie’s late husband Daniel.

The possible suspect is a foreign national who lives in France and was known by Sophie’s late husband Daniel

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The possible suspect is a foreign national who lives in France and was known by Sophie’s late husband Daniel
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered on December 23, 1996

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Sophie Toscan du Plantier was murdered on December 23, 1996Credit: PA:Press Association
Gardai at the scene of the murder in December 1996

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Gardai at the scene of the murder in December 1996Credit: Getty Images – Getty

The police have his name but no address. He was spotted following Sophie in Schull, Co Cork by shopkeeper Marie Farrell, on the day before she was murdered on December 23, 1996.

Both filmmaker Jim Sheridan and Ms Farrell made a full statement on the matter to the Gardai last summer.

Mr Sheridan reported the incident and Marie Farrell was subsequently interviewed for two hours by detectives.

Last night the Academy nominated director, who made the five part Sky documentary on the case, Murder At The Cottage, the Search for Justice for Sophie, said it was very frustrating that the authorities had so far failed to track this individual down especially since he could be the killer.

He said: “I asked the Gardai if they had made any progress and they said they had passed the information onto Interpol and they were looking for him.

“I believe this is crucial evidence that needs to be checked out but it is taking forever. Everything just seems to be so slow.

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“We gave the Gardai his name so they need to track him down. My understanding is this man is in France. If they gave me a budget I would find him.”

Mr Sheridan said he doesn’t believe for one moment that Ian Bailey, the self-confessed prime suspect, killed Sophie.

He insisted: “It is all bulls***, Bailey is being framed to suit a certain narrative.

“I can not for the life of me understand why Sophie’s family refuse to consider any other suspects other than Bailey.

“It is a bit like the Ghislaine Maxwell case where certain powerful people are afraid of a can of worms being opened.

“I find it all very frustrating especially when you see the French President Macron getting involved and trying to interfere in Irish justice. He has absolutely no right to be telling us what to do. It is a farce that this man has not been located yet.”

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

Ian Bailey has been arrested twice for Sophie’s murder but never charged. The DPP ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

He was subsequently tried in absentia in France and convicted of her murder in 2019. Most of the evidence against him was hearsay and would not be admissible in an Irish court.

Bailey, who denies any involvement in the murder, was sentenced to 25 year jail.

But Ireland has refused to extradite him to France to serve the sentence.

Gardai have now competed a preliminary cold case review into the murder. Four detectives were sent down to west Cork to go through the evidence.

The Garda top brass will now decide in the coming weeks if a full cold case review will go ahead.

DISCREDITED WITNESS

Both Bailey and Sophie’s son Pierre Louis have asked for it. Jim Sheridan said he may yet do another episode on the murder for Sky.

It is something he would like to do but it is up to the TV company. His team has interviewed Marie Farrell at length.

She was a discredited witness before when she initially claimed she saw Ian Bailey washing blood off his boots on the night of the murder at Kealfadda Bridge, but years later retracted it.

Ms Farrell is now adamant she is telling the truth and that man she saw at the Bridge was foreign with sallow skin.

In the initial investigation, Gardai never took seriously claims a hitman was hired to kill her. They never got to interview her late husband Daniel face to face.

Sophie was violently attacked and struck with a concrete rock on the driveway of her holiday home.

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