Shatter seeks legal advice on whether gardaí can assist French probe into du Plantier murder

The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he is taking legal advice after the French authorities sought more help investigating the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Alan Shatter said police in France had asked for more help from their Irish colleagues to investigate the murder, which happened near Ms du Plantier's west Cork holiday home in December 1996.

However, the minister said he was not sure whether he could help the French because of the legal questions over the Bailey tapes.

"The French authories have sought further assistance and this is under consideration at presnet," he said.

"The French authorities were informed in early April…that material had emerged in the context of a related civil case. Legal advice has been sought in relation to the request for further assistance."

Mr Bailey's lawyers informed the High Court earlier this month that, as part of the pre-trial disclosure process, they had recently received 12 boxes of documents and 130 tapes of phone recordings relating to the case.

All the material is entirely new, Mr Bailey's legal team said.

While they have not yet had a chance to process the information, Mr Bailey's lawyers say it is of huge relevance and discloses an extraordinary level of communication between the gardaí and media in relation to Mr Bailey's case.

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