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July 24 2017 11:36 AM
A court in Dublin has refused to extradite a former journalist to France over the unsolved murder of a film producer in Ireland more than 20 years ago.
Ian Bailey was wanted by authorities in Paris as part of their investigations over the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Her badly beaten body was found on an isolated hillside in Toormore, near Schull, west Cork, two days before Christmas in 1996.
Under French law, investigators can look into the death of one of their citizens overseas and seek a prosecution.
It is the second failed attempt to have Mr Bailey extradited.
The first was refused by the Supreme Court in Dublin in 2012.
Originally from England but living in west Cork since the mid 1990s, Mr Bailey was twice arrested in Ireland in connection with the murder.
He was never charged and has vehemently denied any involvement.
Judge Tony Hunt refused the extradition application, which was sought after a European Arrest Warrant was issued last year.
"The surrender of the respondent is refused," the judge said.
Judge Hunt also described the application as "abuse of process".
"The surrender of the respondent is refused on the basis that the minister is estopped from obtaining such a warrant by the judgment of the Supreme Court in the previous proceedings," the judge said.
"It is also refused because, in the unique circumstances of this case, further proceedings seeking surrender on the fresh warrant constitute an abuse of process.
"Lastly, surrender is precluded because of the general precedential effect of a final and conclusive Supreme Court decision on the High Court in deciding a subsequent case involving identical facts whether or not the parties to the case are identical."