French authorities want to charge him over Sophie Toscan du Plantier's death

Ian Bailey is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in his bid to stop the French authorities trying him for the killing of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

It's after the French Supreme Court rejected his application to have the charge dropped.

France's highest court rejected his appeal following a hearing in Paris yesterday.

Mr Bailey's charged with the 'voluntary homicide' of the film French producer in Schull in West Cork in 1996.

Sophie Toscan du Plantier | File photo

Under French law he can be tried in his absence.

Mr Bailey has always maintained he had nothing to do with the murder, but has described himself as the gardaí's chief suspect.

Speaking today, Mr Bailey (61) said he was not surprised by the latest French ruling, which was the final avenue open to him under French law.

He said while his French lawyer Dominique Tricaud was surprised "by both the decision and the speed at which it was given", "I am less surprised although clearly disappointed that a prosecution file rejected by the Irish authority could make muster in France".