10-year libel case brought by a journalist and involving the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier has come to an unexpected end.
Ian Bailey, 50, had claimed that he was erroneously linked in print to the French film producer's death in 1996, but has abandoned the case after reaching an agreement with the newspapers whom he was suing.
The cessation of court proceedings in the High Court in Cork came after Mr Bailey has spent the last three years appealing against an earlier court decision that had rejected his claim.
The newspapers, which included the Times and the Independent, will pay £47,000 contribution to Mr Bailey's legal fees and have issued a statement that they never intended any libel, but Mr Bailey will receive no damages.
Commenting on the settlement in a statement, Mr Bailey's solicitor Frank Buttimer said: "[Mr Bailey] is happy that the defendants have acknowledged that he was in no way responsible in any fashion whatsoever in respect of the appalling killing of Madame Sophie Toscan du Plantier."
In spite of a vast investigation du Plantier's murder is still unsolved. Her body was found near her home at Toormore, near Cork in 1996 having died from a series of blows to her head.