by Nigel Moore
Two days ago, Martin Brunt, Sky News Crime Correspondent, decided to use his blog to reveal the contents of an email Sky News had received from Gonçalo Amaral's agent.
The private email stated that it would cost 80,000 euros to facilitate an interview with the former PJ co-ordinator.
With unsurprising relish, Jerry Lawton, of The Daily Star, has today regurgitated the information contained in Mr Brunt's blog into a full-blown article.
Speaking exclusively to mccannfiles.com today, Gonçalo Amaral revealed the reasoning behind the decision.
He said: "I want you to know that I made the decision to get paid for any interview given to any British media, but that doesn't apply to anywhere else in the world.
"Its quite simple. I have given so many "free" interviews to the British media that were never published. They were censored and thrown to the trash. Next time they do it, I'm sure they will think twice about the money they pay."
Only this week, in Amsterdam to launch the Dutch version of 'the Truth of the Lie', Gonçalo Amaral and Sofia Leal gave their time freely to members of the public and press. In a 'question and answer' session, scheduled for 30 minutes, they stayed for 1 and a half hours discussing the case.
Mr Brunt, who has published details from a private email, and Mr Lawton, who, like so many Britsh journalists, is unable to write the name of Gonçalo Amaral without prefacing it with 'axed', 'disgraced' or 'shamed', need to question what they are doing to help find the truth about what happened to Madeleine. And how much do they get paid for doing it?
Clarence Mitchell raged in The Daily Star: "It is scandalous that anyone should seek to make money out of Madeleine's abduction?" But should a man currently taking wages from Madeleine's Fund - which, let's not forget, draws from the pocket-money and savings of children and pensioners, and was donated in good faith - really be adopting such a high moral tone? And why do the McCanns even need a PR person? Can they no longer speak for themselves outside of a scripted TV studio or film set?
And, as Columbo would say, one final thing...
This interview with Gonçalo Amaral didn't cost one penny. Or euro.
in McCann Files 08 May 2009
Just a personal note to my friend Nigel: Amaral has a wicked sense of humour.