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The son of murdered Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier says he hopes a full cold-case review of her murder will finally bring her killer to justice.

Pierre Louis Baudey-Vignaud spoke out on Wednesday night after gardaí confirmed that his mother’s case will be subjected to a full review by members of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team.

Mr Baudey-Vignaud, who was 15 when his mother was battered to death at her holiday home near Schull in West Cork in December 1996 said this new review could be Ireland’s opportunity to bring an end to this tragic story.

“It is a good day for my mother, and for people living in West Cork, in Ireland, to maybe bring this story to an end,” he said.

“I have high hopes now that the Irish investigation into this case is now moving in the same direction as the French investigation. I think there are enough elements in the case to hold a public trial.

“It’s accepted that there were some mistakes in the Irish investigation 26-years ago, and I hope this review will reveal those, and maybe find new evidence, or use new technology, that will help bring this to an end. Ireland must end this story.” 

He said gardaí contacted him yesterday afternoon at his home in France to tell him that they planned to announce that his mother’s case will be subject to a full review.

In a statement later, gardaí said their investigation into the murder has remained active and ongoing and that following a review by Assistant Commissioner of Organised and Serious Crime, John O’Driscoll, the crime review team, headed by Detective Superintendent Desmond McTiernan, will now conduct a full review of this case.

Undated family handout photo of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Undated family handout photo of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

The specialist team conducted a scoping examination of the case some years ago, which included a visit to West Cork.

However, it’s understood that a decision to move to a full review was delayed because Garda resources in Organised and Serious Crime were required to tackle the Kinahan crime gang.

It is understood that the full review will include a detailed examination of every file, witness statement and items of evidential interest which were gathered by the original investigation team.

The crime review team will also examine the accuracy and credibility of some new information which emerged in the wake of Jim Sheridan’s film  Murder at the Cottage and the Netflix production Sophie: A Murder in West Cork which were screened recently.

A source said: “This will be a deep, deep dive into the case. That is not to say that there is a golden bullet to solve this crime but there is enough to justify a full review.” 

It’s hoped that advances in forensics and DNA may also be able to recover evidence from samples taken at the time.

The crime review team was also involved in the recent review of another notorious cold case in West Cork which led on Monday to the arrest and charging of a man with the murder of Nora Sheehan, whose body was found in woods near Innishannon, Co Cork in 1981.

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