Ian Bailey has slammed Netflix’s new documentary, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, calling it ‘a piece of demonising propaganda’
The new three-part series focuses on the murder of French filmmaker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork in 1996.
English journalist Bailey, now 64, was the prime suspect in the case. In 2019, a French court found him guilty of the murder in his absence and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
He successfully battled multiple extradition demands from the French government and remains in West Cork to this day. Bailey was never charged in Ireland as there was no forensic evidence found linking him to the site and he has always maintained his innocence.
Bailey features in the new documentary and gives a ‘brief interview’. However, he has now criticised the film and claims he contacted Netflix twice asking for it to be removed.
‘From what I have seen of it – and I have seen clips from it – yes, unfortunately, I think it is a piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda,’ Bailey told Newstalk.
Bailey also features in Murder at the Cottage: The search for Justice for Sophie, a documentary from director Jim Sheridan on Sky.
‘The thing about the Jim doc is that Jim undertook to make an objective documentary,’ Bailey said.
‘From all I can see from the Netflix production is there is very little objectivity in it. It is written from a biased slant.’
Toscan du Plantier’s violent murder sparked one of the country’s largest investigations. In the following two and a half decades, it became a national obsession for both Ireland and France.
‘The victim’s house is about three miles down the road or about a mile as the crow flies,’ he said in the documentary.
‘I’d done some work for her neighbour, Mr Alf Lyons, I was never introduced to her, but I was aware of her but I didn’t know her name.
‘It was alleged, unexplainedly, that a lady saw me down at Kealfadda Bridge in the early hours of the morning. It wasn’t me, it’s completely untrue, at the time I was asleep in the prairie cottage.’
Sophie: A Murder in West Cork is available to stream on Netflix.
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