“The English Gag” is the name of the new book by Gonçalo Amaral, which has been presented at the ‘LerDevagar’ bookshop at LX Factory, in Alcântara, Lisbon. It is a book in which the former PJ inspector who followed the beginning of the Maddie McCann case tells the story of the persecution by the little girl’s parents and by English justice against the publication of his first book about the case: “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie”, which was removed from bookshops and for which a lawsuit from the McCanns hangs over the former inspector. Coincidentally, the trial started today, despite having been adjourned due to Amaral’s lawyer’s illness.
by Pedro Cunha
The parents of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007, in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, allege that the book and the video that has been on sale after a documentary on TVI, divulge Gonçalo Amaral’s theory, which they consider unsustainable, that both of them are involved in their daughter’s disappearance.
Therefore, through a request that has been presented by lawyer Isabel Duarte, the British couple has requested the court to remove the book and the video from the market, albeit in a provisory way, which ended up being granted on the 9th of September.
There is another action filed against Gonçalo Amaral, with the accusation of defaming statements, in which the couple asks for a compensation of, at least, 1.2 million euros.
Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the English child that disappeared in the Algarve in 2007, arrived at Lisbon’s Palace of Justice at around 9 a.m., while Gonçalo Amaral arrived at 9.20.
Before entering the court, Gonçalo Amaral told the journalists that “Portugal is a country with freedom of expression”.
The citizens’ movement Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral has already gathered approximately three thousand euros to support the former Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspector in the processes that have been filed by the McCann couple, the parents of the child that went missing in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in 2007.
Luís Arriaga, the spokesman for the project that supports Gonçalo Amaral, told Lusa agency that the amount that has been gathered within a month “is manifestly insufficient to sustain several processes”, but asserted that the collection of financial means will continue.
“We want to gather the sympathy of people who can help the creation of a support fund”, Luís Arriaga said, next to Lisbon’s Palace of Justice, where other members of the project met, before the first hearing about the prohibition of the book “Maddie – The Truth of the Lie”, by Gonçalo Amaral.
The trial ended up being postponed to the 12th, 13th and 14th of January due to the illness of Gonçalo Amaral’s lawyer, António Cabrita, but before the adjournment was confirmed, approximately ten of the project’s members symbolically distributed red carnations.
“That is the main focus: to capture the public opinion towards the need to recover the spirit of the 25th of April in freedom of expression. We cannot return to obscurantism, to the rejection of freedom of expression. Everyone can speak, obviously there are no limits. The limit lies within the law”, Luís Arriaga explained.
The spokesman further defended the need for “a new revolution if the Portuguese judicial system is badly designed and is protecting the access of rich people to Justice”.
Apart from the presence of members of Project Justice Gonçalo Amaral, with t-shits that read “Freedom of Expression” and “Censorship Never Again”, other people protested against Kate and Gerry McCann at the moment when both acceded to giving the Portuguese and British journalists a statement.
source: Público, 11.11.2009