17 September 2009

McCann Lawyers (Carter-Ruck) Attempt to Shut Down The Madeleine Foundation

JOINT STATEMENT BY DEBBIE BUTLER (CHAIRMAN) AND TONY BENNETT (SECRETARY) ON LEGAL LETTERS RECEIVED FROM CARTER-RUCK

Released 7.00pm. Thursday 17 September 2009

On 1 and 2 September in the post Debbie Butler and Tony Bennett received legal letters from Carter-Ruck, sent by staff working under the direction of Adam Tudor, Partner. As most of you will know, Carter-Ruck is universally acknowledged as the leading and most expensive firm of libel lawyers in the country and successfully obtained nearly £1 million in libel damages against various British media and newspapers on behalf of the McCanns and their ‘Tapas 7’ friends during the early part of 2008.

Both of us have received letters making the following six key demands:

1) To permanently take down our website at www.madeleinefoundation.org
2) To deliver up to Carter-Ruck all outstanding copies of the booklet “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 Reasons which suggest that she was not abducted”
3) To deliver up to Carter-Ruck all outstanding copies of the leaflet: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 10 Key Reasons which suggest that she was not abducted”
4) To erase all electronic copies of both the booklet and the leaflet
5) To use our best endeavours to remove all allegedly defamatory postings by either of us on any website, forum or blog, and
6) To permanently cease from making any further allegedly defamatory statements about the McCanns.

The nature of the alleged defamation is that we have publicly suggested that Madeleine McCann died in the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz and that the parents bear at least a degree of responsibility for her death. In this respect we adopt the conclusions of Goncalo Amaral in his best-selling book published last year, ‘The Truth About The Lie”.

In addition, Tony Bennett received a separate legal letter in relation to postings he made about Brian and Patrick Kennedy on the now-defunct 3Arguidos website in July this year.

We cannot hide the fact that these letters and how to react to them have created some uncertainty and pressure as we decide how to reply. We are taking legal advice on what are clearly highly complex legal issues.

This pressure was increased when on Tuesday 15 September we received further legal letters from Carter-Ruck informing us for the first time that under something called the ‘Pre-action Protocol for Defamation’ we were expected to reply in full to their demands within 14 days. They have now insisted that unless we reply in full to all letters by tomorrow (Friday 18 September 2009) they will immediately instruct a barrister to draw up a libel writ.

It may be recalled that on 27 October 2008, Debbie Butler as Chairman of The Madeleine Foundation wrote to the McCanns themselves, Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns Chief Public Relations Officer, Carter-Ruck themselves and two of the McCanns’ many other lawyers, offering to withdraw or amend any statement we had made on our website in our ‘30 Reasons’ article or that was in our forthcoming book, ‘60 Reasons’ (which we published on 7 December 2008) that they could demonstrate to be untrue. No reply has ever been received to any of those five letters, until the letters we received on 1 and 2 September.

We regard it as wholly disproportionate to demand replies from us within 14 days when these letters did not arrive until 310 days after we wrote to them on 27 October 2008 - and we have said so in no uncertain terms.

We are consulting with lawyers and until we have received their advice which could include having to seek a barrister’s opinion, we cannot yet say how we will respond.

It is against this background that Debbie and Tony jointly admit to a misunderstanding between them during the course of 15 September which led to Debbie posting a notice on a Madeleine forum that she would not be working with The Madeleine Foundation ‘until further notice’. That misunderstanding has now been fully cleared up and we remain united in our commitment to the work of The Madeleine Foundation. Debbie will remain as Chairman and Tony as Secretary. We both wish to say sorry to our members and supporters who were troubled at the news that Debbie might be leaving and at the same time thank all of you who have been kind enough over the past two days to send us messages of goodwill and encouragement.

At the same time, Tony Bennett, having received appropriate legal advice, has already replied, earlier today, to the legal letter received by Carter-Ruck on behalf of Brian and Patrick Kennedy. Accompanying this statement is Tony’s on-the-record reply to that letter.

We should just like to add this. Any fees incurred for legal advice will be met personally by ourselves and the funds in The Madeleine Foundation’s bank account will not be used.

Our plans continue with our meetings in Cardiff on 3 October, south Manchester on 14 November, and of course our 2nd International Conference in the East Midlands on 27 & 28 February 2010.


Debbie Butler and Tony Bennett


Please take a moment to write a support message at The Madeleine Foundation, thank you.

Related: WEBSLEUTHS.COM feel the COSH



49 comments:

  1. Tell me:Are the Mccanns in UK like Sadamm Hussein war in Irak?

    In wich kind of planet they live?

    Tell me please when Gerry will take Europe .
    We must leave this continent asap.

    Thanks for HELP.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The McCanns have never given proof that Madeleine was ever abducted,and the only authority on this case, besides Dr Amaral and his book, was in the form of the Portuguese Official Enquiry which concluded that Madeleine had died in the apartment.

    The dogs were also indicating a death in the apartment. Yet the McCanns want people to ignore these findings without giving any proof of an abduction.

    The McCanns were not charged with neglect for leaving their children and one having come to serious harm because the Prosecutor felt sorry for them having lost their daughter.

    So what happened to Madeleine after that? How did she leave the apartment and who took her and hid her?

    These questions have yet to be addressed and cannot be swept under the carpet.

    Stick to your guns, it sounds like these people are trying to run you off from voicing anything about this, especially so as Dr Amaral is going to be speaking in UK, and they are doing everything to silence him.

    But he wont be silenced, he has made that very clear.

    And don't forget that Kate McCann has yet to answer those forty plus questions regarding the disappearance of her daughter.

    Why is she being given a pass on that one when presumably the McCanns are saying they are willing to do anything to help find their daughter?

    Why have they not yet gone back for the reconstruction of that night?

    The McCanns are asking people to look for Madeleine, and they have a Fund for contributions to be sent, yet are avoiding answering why they are not doing these basic things that have been requested of them and their friends who were there that night.

    No wonder so many people are wanting answers when so many questions are left hanging.

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  3. The papers were pressured to back down, there was no case, the lawyers did not win a libel case as it did not get that far.

    Dont let them bully you into folding, we are all here to support you both, there is so much fact on the net that you cannot fail to win.

    Debbie your letter, was genius. The silence for 310 days is deafening, by not coming back to you it is admittance that all was ok to publish.

    Goncalo and now you guys, team up and jointly bring this to the masses. Democracy is dead, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion all gone due to this neglectful Team Mccann.

    We are with you, stay strong. Can you get legal aid??????

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  4. just who the f*** do the mccanns think they are,THERE IS NO EVEIDENCE THAT MADELEINE WAS ABDUCTED,BUT THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF A DEAD BODY IN 5A.so anwser the me that mccann if it wasnt madeleine who was it.

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  5. ''the Portuguese Official Enquiry which concluded that Madeleine had died in the apartment.''

    It concluded no such thing.
    Therein lies the rub for the Foundation.

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  6. and these are innocent parents,i think not,answer the questions kate, if you really think your 3 year old daughter madeleine was abducted why didnt you want to help the pj.boy your time is a comming and you can try and shut every blog down that does not conformed to your abduction theory but we will not let madeleine down and will keep on fighting for justice for her LIKE YOU SHOULD BE DOING BY ASKING THE PJ TO REOPEN THE CASE.YOU THOUROUGHLY DISCUST ME

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  7. The conclusion of the investigation is that Madeleine died in the apartment, and the case shelved, and even the PJ are telling journalists that the reason they are not searching for Madeleine is because she is dead.

    If you know different and can PROVE there was an abduction then a lot of people will be interested to know how you know this.

    Don't expect people to believe this simply on the say so of the McCanns.

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  8. The McCanns are not telling the truth when they say they were 'cleared of all charges'.

    There were no charges, as they were not indicted, and no trial.

    What they are omitting to say is that the Prosecutor said that it was beleived they were not there when Madeleine died (being as how they had gone out for the night and left the kids alone), but because they have suffered because of what happened to her he would not charge them with neglect.

    Hardly the same as the way the McCanns are telling it, and sounds like the McCanns have put some spin on this 'cleared of all charges' mantra they keep spouting.

    More like, the Prosecutor has not pressed charges at this time, and the case has been shelved until further information turns up which can reopen the case.

    It is still possible for this to happen.

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  9. This response from the McCann lawyers comes as it is announced Mr. Amaral is planning on speaking out in England. As for "now defunct 3 Arguidos website" - is that accurate???? Am I to give up hope that it will be back when all the difficulties have been resolved?

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  10. Stange!

    Either there was ground for suing TB and Debbie Butler for libel, or there was not. If there was, how is it that Carter Ruck prefer to make them stop their campaign right now, instead of suing them for libel?

    Maybe they can't expect to get get much money from them. Or maybe they don't wish to sue them, possibly for fear of a court trial with an ugly exchange of arguments and, mostly, for fear of all the not so good ensuing publicity around their clients.

    If, on the contrary there is no ground for suing them, what allows them to make such demands, on their own terms, telling them they have only so many days to answer etc.... I suppose Carter-Ruck know what they are doing, but I wish we had a lawyer telling us if TB and DB's statements were really defamatory in the eyes of the law, or if, as they say, they were only giving facts and opinions.

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  11. Very disturbing news, my goodness, what will they go after next? The police files, the archival dispatch? Mr. Amaral's book and the publications of The Madeleine Foundation are only the reflection of the said official documents! I notice the difference in how they chose to approach the matter in England and in Portugal, they did not go directly to the british courts to get an injunction against the foundation's work, first they are sending threaths via their highly expensive lawyers. I wonder why...maybe they're trying to scare the pants off Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Buttler and force them into an out-of-court settlement, like happened with the Express group? And maybe that's why they did things differently in Portugal, no chance in hell that Mr. Amaral and his publishers would pay them a single Euro unless it was decided by a judge in a court of law!
    From the text, I single-out the following:
    "Any fees incurred for legal advice will be met personally by ourselves and the funds in The Madeleine Foundation’s bank account will not be used."
    This says it all about the integrity and good-faith of The Madeleine Foundation and those in charge of it, unlike the McgreedyCanns, they will use their own money (and their assets if necessary, I'm sure) to pay for legal fees. To this day have the McCanns or anyone from their loyal extended family taken a mortgage on their houses or a lown from the bank to pay for their legal expenses? Have they even considered doing so? NO! It's so much easy, comfortable and safe to ask for the public's money or demend compensation from those evil people who dare to challenge their "truth"!
    May God bless and help Mr. Gonçalo Amaral, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Buttler. May they keep their strenght to fight this evil.

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  12. I bought the leaflet and have passed it around people I know who were on the fence re the McCanns part in the disappearance and all are astounded that the British new media are not relaying the facts.
    Im glad the Cradiff meeting is to go ahead and further would gladly stick my hand in my pocket if a fund were to be set up to help Debbie and Tony fight the action against them.
    The McCamns are not just evil cbastards...they are powerfull evil bastards.

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  13. Libel defense - I cannot fail to see how Tony and Debbie can fail as various points fall under the main defenses below.

    I also think that we can all become resources to them both, digging to find cases that may help. Carter-Ruck have the money. Money equals man power, we have the man power, lets do this together.

    * Truth - but it's not enough to believe something is true. You have to be able to PROVE it.

    * Fair Comment - which means essentially that you're writing your honest opinion. But you have to be able to show that your opinion is reasonable and genuine.

    * Privilege - which means that you're fairly and accurately reporting statements given inside a court of law, governmental inquiry, or similar official proceeding.

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  14. Defense - is it in the public interest to disseminate the information.

    Yes, the Mccanns have set up a fund, a fund asking for money from the very same public that have a right to read the other side of the case, the facts from the case, the police files, the contradicting statements from various interviews.

    If you ask for money and spin spin spin in the papers, you must expect the people you are asking to form an opinion.

    I form my own opinion, using various things I see and hear. I have a need to hear and debate FACTS, they cannot say FACTS are libel.

    Carter-Ruck dont want a case, they are bullying with the 14 day deadline. All libel cases have a jury if I am correct, where would this unbiased jury come from???

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  15. O desespero paira no ar...Porquê só agora decidiram tomar medidas legais(?) contra o Sr Gonçalo Amaral e o Sr Tony Bennet?Os livros de ambos já circulam no mercado há imenso tempo, o documentário já foi transmitido em pelo menos dois países (Portugal e outro país europeu onde bateu recordes de audiência-penso que foi na Dinamarca).Terão sido os folhetos distríbuidos em Rothley, será apenas devido à publicação do livro "A verdade da mentira " em Inglaterra que se torna cada vez mais próxima ou existe outro motivo para estas medidas?O que se passará em Inglaterra?Ambiente hostil na vizinhança?Problemas com os gémeos na escola?

    Kate and gerry, you have the power in your hands to end this.Go to the police and tell them what really happened to your child.Let her rest in peace.You have ruined your lives.Are you willing to ruin the twins' lives too?Because that's what will happen.Don't make them pay for your mistakes.It's not fair.This farse won't last much longer.Do the right thing.End this NOW.Before it's too late.

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  16. Nobody seems to know exactly what happened to Madeleine. Or if they do they are unable to prove it. Surely this must mean there is no more evidence for an abductor than there is for any other scenario. And because of all the publicity and media interest it is natural that people should have formed opinons. And it is curious, that if there is indeed a dangerous child snatcher in the Algarve, this person is not being actively looked for. Especially as was suggested they could even be holding Madeleine not 10 miles from where she disappeared.

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  17. What is going on here?? I've been asking myself the same questions for over 2yrs now...Just who are the McCanns and their 'mates'? Are we all being used as some kind of huge social experiment...those that will believe any old rubbish because 'they're doctors' and those that can see straight through the tapas lot and their lies!! Their power is becoming scarey....very scarey indeed!!

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  18. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/journalist-in-irish-libel-case-admits-trying-to-kill-his-lover-576314.html

    Ian Bailey took 8 papers to court over a them saying, there was a possibility he killed his lover, 8 years later he withdrew the case. It is a much documented case, and the papers have called on the libel laws to be changed. The most interesting fact though was the one below: The Director of Publie Prosecutions wanting the transcript to build a criminal case, this is exactly what we want.

    DPP requests transcript of Ian Bailey libel trial

    The Director of Public Prosecutions has requested a transcript of the Ian Bailey libel trial in the hope that it may lead to a breakthrough in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier murder investigation.

    Mr Bailey has accused seven Irish and British newspapers of defaming him by linking him to the December 1996 murder in west Cork.

    The English journalist was arrested twice in connection with the murder, but no charges were ever brought.

    The DPP is now planning to examine the transcript of the libel trial in the hope that it may provide further evidence about the murder and lead to a criminal prosecution.

    Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2004/0119/ireland/kfmhaucwgbmh/#ixzz0RP6tPA6c

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  19. Dr Amaral has said in the past that he has other information that he has not yet revealed.

    The McCanns are taking a risk by challenging him in a defamation case in a court of law where he would be willing to reveal it.

    And, presumably, he can call witnesses.

    I think his visit to the UK will be causing them quite some concern as there may be journalists who turn up and could be won around by the way Dr Amaral presents himself as he is very cool, calm, and logical. And, he comes across as utterly truthful.

    It sounds like it may be this visit that has been the catalyst for the McCanns to try and get the Madeleine Foundation to close down.

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  20. Fellow posters,I can announce the INQUISITION is back.
    It is not about on which planet the mccanns leave but rather on which century....
    If the mccann woman has refused to answer 48 questions and if it was her right,she cannot go on silencing other people.
    They have been flirting with the media and now they are taking them to court.Everybody.
    Hey! mccDICTATORS is this going to bring Madeleine back? Will this help finding the person who has taken her do you think?

    We will not be silenced until the truth is known and justice made to Madeleine.
    AS SIMPLE AS THIS

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  21. Is all this because Mr Amaral is to speak at the next meeting of the Madeleine Foundation? Sounds like it to me. They appear very scared of allowing Amaral's voice to be heard and most likely the thought of him and Tony Bennett together terrifies them.

    This bullying attitude is par for the course, as we already know. Do they think they can silence everyone - all the posters in forums, all the bloggers, the people in the street, everyone who doubts there ever was an abduction? They'd have to be mad to think so, as with no evidence of any abduction many, many people refuse to believe any such thing ever occurred. The McCanns may not like this, but they can't force people to believe them, nor can they force people to stay silent. This isn't the Middle Ages or Stalinist Russia or Maoist China, though sometimes it feels like it with these enemies of freedom of thought and speech on the loose.

    Why are they bothering about sending threatening letters instead of getting themselves and all their relatives and friends over to Portugal to search that area near Praia da Luz where Dave Edgar 'knows' Madeleine is being held in a cellar? Do they really wonder that people don't believe them when they show at every opportunity how disgracefully wrong their priorities are?

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  22. I'm back from my holidays.
    Is the book banned from the stores
    or not yet?
    Who can tell me?
    The video documentary is still there.

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  23. They can use the libel laws and a ruthless legal team to beat the media into acquiescence, shut down blogs and stifle public debate, but by this means they can neither clear themselves of the suspicion which their own behaviour has generated nor repair their ravaged reputations which they themselves have destroyed. With every repressive action the list of their enemies grows longer and the likelihood of achieving their wider agenda is diminished.

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  24. This is not a surprise after the court ruling on Amaral's book and documentary, but still it is disheartening to read of the McCanns' latest attempt to stifle free speech.

    I hope Ms. Butler and Mr. Bennett will stand firm and fight this effort to shut them up and close down The Madeleine Foundation.

    Too much is at stake. This is about much more than a little girl named Madeleine and her insufficient parents. This is about the ability to freely communicate in society.

    These efforts at stifling free speech must be battled against.

    I will very gladly contribute to a legal fund set up for the purpose of defending Ms. Butler, Mr. Bennett, and the Madeleine Foundation against libel charges.

    I hope Joana, Astro, and Kazlux will be prepared in advance for potential similar actions taken against them and this blog by the McCanns and their lawyers. Again, if that would occur, I will be glad to contribute to a defense fund for them, as well, if needed.

    Do you think news editors and op-ed writers in America (where I live) would be interested in this attempt by the McCanns and supporters at stifling free speech in England and Portugal?

    I think this news should be spread like wildfire through the general population. People should be up in arms.

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  25. To the person who said they were from America, pardon me, if I am skeptical. America also has very strict liable laws - how many stars have successfully sued the tabloids? Quite a few.

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  26. "It sounds like it may be this visit that has been the catalyst for the McCanns to try and get the Madeleine Foundation to close down".

    IF they succeed in closing down the Madeleine Foundation to stop Mr Amaral speaking, there is always Speakers Corner.. so the Foundation members and sympathisers can hear Mr Amaral, and it will be even more public. It is still a free country after all, isn't it? Or is it?..

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  27. So Mr.Mrs.McCann,why are the British and Portuguese Police no longer looking for Madeleine?
    Are you going to sue them as well?
    Why have you not requested that the case be re-opened?

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  28. September was a very good month!

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  29. UK is back in a dark scary midieval time, with their Queen and King of Darkness, and the Prince of Fools and carterruck, a scum magnet

    Book burning,
    it's 2009, what's wrong with UK ??
    And Portugal ??

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  30. Well if anyone thought they would stop with Amaral they were sadly mistaken. They are seeking to suppress all discussion of the case, except that licensed by them.

    This is a serious threat to our liberty and our democracy. Where are the journalists and commentators prepared to defend our freedom of speech?

    It is absurd to claim that to say Madeleine is dead is to libel the McCanns.

    Next they will say it is libellous to draw attention to the failure of the Tapas 9 to speak or to offer any sort of explanation for various acts and omissions.

    All the best to Debbie and Tony. They will get a lot of support. I for one won't blame them if they bow to the legal action. (It's the equivalent of the Chinese man with his shopping bags facing the People's Army tank in Tienanmen Square.) But if they fight it, I am sure there will be a great deal of support, moral, financial and otherwise coming their way.

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  31. So this is the true face of the search?
    This is what a compassionate and generous public donated their money for?
    Is the parents' version of events now to be considered sacrosanct and all who dare to question it crushed into submission?

    T4two

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  32. Freedom of thought and speech, the right to communicate freely with other people and the right to read published works are all freedoms that were hard fought for, all things that we who live in democracies cherish, especially when we think of repressive regimes where these things are forbidden. Are our so-called democratic governments going to stand by and see these rights removed at the behest of people who didn't even want the responsibility of looking after their own children properly, who preferred to go off to a nearby bar to staying at home to look after their own very young children?

    The more these pathetic people try to stop discussion the more they encourage it. They're no longer just the people who left their children alone without anyone there to protect them, they're no longer just the people whose child vanished off the face of the earth in very suspicious circumstances, they're no longer just the people who thought it was ok to leave a door unlocked so that their 3-year-old could leave the apartment and go looking for them in the dark; they're now the people whose name is linked with censorship and repression and denial of fundamental human rights. They denied their daughter the right to be properly supervised and kept safe by their presence; they're now trying to deny other people the right to even mention this and other very damning facts.

    By drawing attention to themselves by their unsavoury actions they're at least ensuring one thing: their own behaviour will increasingly come under the spotlight, especially with regard to their daughter's disappearance and their attempts to stop anyone looking too closely at the circumstances surrounding that mysterious event.

    They're making a big mistake. There is such a thing as nemesis.

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  33. The maccanns have lots of lawyers and lots of money thanks to the public television interviews and from newspapers. I think they have one law firm that the queen uses. how on earth is Mr Amaral Mr Bennett and Mrs Butler going to get this sort of money. Mr Bennett and Mrs Butler say they will not qualify for legal Aid in the uk. A fund needs to be set up for these people, they are dealing with a very powerful couple. who will not back down untill they force everyone to say they are as white as snow. Its a form of terrorisim.

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  34. I wonder who and which interests are behind those "medicos da treta"(nobody doctor) to have such a power in Uk and in Portugal. Remenber people from the 2 main polical parties in Portugal seem in some way defending those defendless parents.See which newspapers are stcking for them....

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  35. The reason we are all on sites like this, talking about this, is because the McCann’s themselves, by their very actions, have brought this situation about. Right from the outset they refused to take any blame, right from the outset they have had scripted answers to read from, right from the outset they have had a spokesperson, right from the outset they tried to manipulate the press, right from the outset they refused a Police Liaison Officer (British I think) and right from the outset if they were unhappy with questions they walked away from the interview. I know that others in similar situations have taken great comfort from a Police Liaison Officer’s presence, keeping them up to date with everything the Police are doing and I would have especially thought in Madeleine’s case, this would have been a good idea, but I think the McCann’s knew from the off that the Police were viewing them suspiciously and did not co-operate. They can only blame themselves now if everyone sat up and took notice of this and their ever-changing stories. They cannot silence people on this because it is of their own doing. They have never co-operated with anything either the Portuguese Police or British Police have tried to do and now they have the audacity to try to silence anyone who questions their version. Its not a case of survival of the fittest, it’s a case of survival of the richest!

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  36. Regarding publishing in the US, there have been people who have signed 'confidentiality clauses' with the Royal Family not to discuss personal details with the press, who have then gone to the US and spilled the beans there.

    It is a different jurisdiction.

    The question is, why have the McCanns requested an injunction in Portugal in order to stop Dr Amaral's book being published in the UK.

    Were they afraid they would not get it in the UK as they might find it hard to prove that though it may be in their interest to get the book banned, it is certainly not in the interests of the public.

    This is because it is the public who are being asked to contribute money to a Fund to search for a living Madeleine, supposedly abducted.

    This contrasts to the version of the authorities in Portugal who are not accepting of the abduction theory.

    The British public, like the public of quite a number of countries in Europe should be allowed to hear it as it directly affects them and their decision as to whether or not to donate money to the McCanns.

    Mr Amaral's book will give them that insight to help them make that decision.

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  37. This case and all the conflicts that have emerged from it has only ONE solution: to re-open the case and re-evaluate all the elements concerning Madeleine's disappearance.
    The public is more and more aware of this "hot" case and there are more and more people interested on it. "It's to late to save a drawn witch" and McCanns lost their opportunity to shut up the enemy, earlier, when they had strength. Now the entire world knows about it and they also want to know what really happened to Madeleine McCann. To forbid something or someone might have the opposite effect.
    Alexandra

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  38. Since the 4th of May 2007 and their first piece to camera. I have waited for a sign from these parents that would dispel my suspicions. I hoped that they would eventually reach out to the ex-policeman in Portugal, Mr. Amaral, who has demonstrated his determination to find out who is responsible for their daughters disappearance, when it seems all others have turned their backs, including the Portuguese AG. They could have chosen to work with him and not against him.

    I hoped that once they recognised that they are not universally thought to be innocent they might contact The Madeleine Foundation, tell them how they have got it all wrong and look for a mutual way forward, culminating in a push for a British Investigation.

    I hoped that having cost the tax-payer, who had no choice but to stump up, more than a million pounds, to fund the British element of the now shelved Portuguese investigation, that they might feel somewhat indebted to the Public, who also generously donated to their company.

    I hoped that above all else they would demonstrate the sure and certain knowledge that the only way to find their daughter would be to join the chorus of voices clamouring for Justice.

    I’ve lost all hope now. I’m cynical that they have chosen so well in terms of their own protection, with their team of expert and "feared" lawyers the best that money can buy, but that they have chosen so poorly for their daughter, from the out-set of their holiday and their appalling child-care, to their refusal to cooperate fully with the Portuguese Police, to the half dozen or so Private Investigators with no experience in Missing Children cases, to their failure in taking advantage of the opportunity to request the case not to be shelved in Portugal, to their constant manipulation of public opinion through media and television, but most of all their intent that we should be allowed to hear only their version of an unsolved crime, with no right of reply.

    I hope that TMF have the necessary wherewithal to defend this utter contempt for our right to freedom of thought, opinion and expression.

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  39. This has everything to do with Madeleine Foundation meeting next February and the invitation endossed to Amaral to join the meeting. They know that the case is going out of the Media and the Blogs, into the streets.

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  40. In response to Anonymous who wrote "To the person who said they were from America, pardon me, if I am skeptical. America also has very strict liable laws - how many stars have successfully sued the tabloids? Quite a few."

    The suits are successful if what is printed by the tabloids can be proven to be untrue, which so often is the case with tabloid stories about celebrities. This is not the circumstances of Mr. Amaral's and The Madeleine Foundation's publications, which are based on factual evidence contained in official Portuguese investigation files.

    The press is not always truthful and unbiased in the US. Hardly. The media moguls push their own agendas here as well. Public support here for the initial invasion of Iraq, while not unanimous, was largely due to the disinformation spread by the media and their unbalanced promotion of the US administration's propaganda.

    The American people, though, as a whole, do believe in freedom and the right to free speech and thought. They would be very interested in this case, from that standpoint.

    The question is, are there political, influential connections in the US to the powerful persons protecting the McCanns' story of abduction in the UK? If so, the real story of this attempted suppression of free speech may never get published in the US, either, and it will have to be spread person to person and online.

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  41. Recently Clarence Mitchell and the McCanns dismissed The Madeleine Foundation out of hand as being unimportant to the investigation. Now they want to stop the meeting to which Goncalo Amaral has been invited. So the Foundation is not so unimportant after all then! Again they made a comment which was far from the truth of how they really feel. Their powerful solicitors will be doing all they can to stop the meeting - you can bet your bottom dollar!

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  42. They are certainly very afraid of something and of course their fear means they will act in their own best interests. Madeleine's best interests, on the other hand, would be best served by them deciding to begin a search for her, obviously near Praia da Luz where their PI says she's being held. But when have they ever put Madeleine's safety above their own? Not on the holiday certainly, and not now, even if they believe what their chief PI is saying.

    No wonder so many people want to hear the other side of this most peculiar story, as anyone can see when someone's behaviour is downright weird. Either they care about Madeleine and they'll go to Portugal to demand the reopening of the case, for Madeleine's sake, or they'll stay here in the UK threatening all who have an opinion which doesn't agree with their assertion that Madeleine was abducted.

    It'll be interesting to see which it'll be, very interesting indeed. Madeleine or themselves - who is most important to them?

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  43. The McCanns are bullies - like bullies they are cowards.

    Do they seriously think we didnt notice that they sought priests and lawyers when they should have been searching for their child...this proves that they knew there was no search required. Answer the questions McCann, forty plus of them!

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  44. THE fund is almost dry. Without Brian Kennedy and the public donnations, the Mccann's cannot pay so high salarys to a huge team of lawyers, detectives and a spoke-person. They desesperatly need to close up the case and save money. I hope Benneth and Amaral keep strenght to fight that team. The Mccann's are almost over, victims of their own errors.

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  45. not to worry, when all this finally does come out in the open, maybe you can instruct a solicitor to send the mccans and carter-ruck. ;)
    the truth will out as my mother says...

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  46. On September 18, Jolie said...
    "I will very gladly contribute to a legal fund set up for the purpose of defending Ms. Butler, Mr. Bennett, and the Madeleine Foundation against libel charges."

    Please, if anyone does hear of a fighting fund would they let us know. I haven't had chance to check TMF website yet to see if one has been set up, if not, come on Stevo, do your stuff.

    In the Idependent on Sunday, there was a very small article reporting this story. I knew it must have been something special as the Indy rarely comments on tittle-tattle and popular 'gossip' type stories (no offense intended, just did not know how to phrase it).

    Mr B

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  47. Be bold and resolute - there's always a silver lining .... if you had not received the threat to take you to Court we would never have come across your webpage (legal threat of action reported on the BBC's website) and we would never have come across the evidence that damns the McCanns - the dogs.
    The film of the sniffer dogs behaviour fills in many gaps in the probable scenarios of events that night and subsequent days. We believe the McCanns should have been charged with neglect at the very least and subjected to examination by the Portuguese courts. We also believe that the truth will be discovered and justice will eventually be done in this disturbing case.

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  48. The Madeleine Foundation website is "temporarily unavailable"

    ?????

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  49. Keep going the truth will out!

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