Paris (CNN)A French court has found a British former journalist guilty of murdering French television producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier in southwest Ireland in 1996.
Ian Bailey was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 25 years by a three-judge panel at the Paris Criminal Court on Friday. It is unlikely however, that he will serve the sentence, as he lives in Ireland, which has twice refused a French extradition request. The Paris court has now issued a new warrant for his arrest.
Bailey's Irish solicitor Frank Buttimer described the trial as "a rubber-stamping exercise of a predetermined position that Bailey was guilty," and told CNN that the ruling was a "grotesque miscarriage of justice ... This was not a trial in the sense that anyone understands it."
Bailey has denied involvement in Toscan du Plantier's death. CNN has reached out to him for comment.
A spokesperson from Ireland's Department of Justice and Equality told CNN that they would not comment on individual cases.
Two decades of questions
Thirty-nine-year-old Toscan du Plantier was found bludgeoned to death on December 23, 1996 near the gate of her holiday home near Toormore, in the country's West Cork region. Police found some 50 wounds on her body.
Days after her murder, local police began questioning Bailey, who lived nearby and had been tasked with reporting on the murder for a national paper. He was twice arrested: first in February 1997 and then again in January 1998.
No forensic evidence linked Bailey to the scene of the crime, and he was released without charge.
The 62-year-old, who has lived in Ireland for nearly three decades, has long denied any involvement in Toscan du Plantier's death.
His actions throughout the investigation, however, raised questions about his alleged involvement.
Weeks after the murder, Bailey's editor at the now defunct Sunday Tribune told police that he told her that he killed Toscan du Plantier to resurrect his career. According to police documents Bailey admitted it but said it was a joke.