11 December 2009

McCanns face-to-face with Amaral in court



The parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann are to be present at the first hearing in the trial that could see sales of ex-police inspector Gonçalo Amaral’s controversial book ‘Maddie – The Truth of the Lie’ being banned for good. This around the same time that the former police chief is set to launch a new book titled ‘The Gag’.

Published in 2008, Gonçalo Amaral’s first book is currently unavailable, having been removed from shelves following an injunction imposed earlier this year, on September 9th, as the result of opposition from the McCann family. He is soon set to launch his second book – ‘The Gag’ – which is being published by a Spanish editor and is aimed at ‘all those who want to silence him’.

‘The Gag’ reportedly recounts Gonçalo Amaral’s day-to-day life since working on the Madeleine McCann case and includes passages on such topics as his leaving the police force; his role in the Leonor Cipriano case and the effects of the McCann’s injunction on the sale of his book ‘Maddie – The Truth of the Lie’.

Amaral’s first book is based on his conclusions reached from investigations that at one point he headed. One of the most controversial conclusions is the ex-inspector’s indication that Madeleine’s parents were in some way involved in her disappearance.

Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry, were expected to be at the first court hearing in the trial against the book’s sale, in Lisbon, this Friday.

During the hearings on Friday next Monday and Wednesday, the Portimão-based Gonçalo Amaral will present his argument to the court.

Kate and Gerry McCann, who are being represented by Isabel Duarte, allege that Gonçalo Amaral’s theories, which are published in the book and in the video based on the book, are in their opinion, unsustainable.

The family therefore asked that the book and the video, which were released after a documentary broadcast on Portuguese TV channel TVI, be removed – albeit temporarily – from the market.

Also named in the litigation is publisher ‘Guerra & Paz’, Production Company Valentim de Carvalho, and TVI, for divulging Gonçalo Amaral’s theory that the parents were involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.

The McCanns are requesting the protection of their rights and freedoms, as well as having instigated a second course of legal action against the former police chief in which they claim he made ‘defamatory declarations’ and for which the family is asking compensation of at least €1.2 million.

According to the McCann family’s British lawyer, Ed Smethurst, the couple claim Amaral made ‘continuous and damaging’ affirmations, in Portugal and abroad, about the child’s disappearance.

Gonçalo Amaral is accused of having profited by “obscene amounts of money for selling his theory via his book and in interviews”, as well as having damaged “donations, new leads, investigations, information and witnesses” relating to Madeleine’s disappearance.

The action against Amaral was filed by Kate and Gerry McCann, along with Madeleine and her twin siblings, Sean and Amelie.

The McCanns have so far received around €700,000 in damages from British newspapers, though Gerry McCann told The Portugal News back in April that he believed the cash in the Find Madeleine Fund will have run dry by the end of the year.

In the ruling in September that banned Amaral’s book, the judge at Lisbon’s main civil court outlawed any further sales or publications of the book.

Mr Amaral has insisted since being taken off the case back in 2007 that there were a number of discrepancies in the accounts given by the McCanns as to what happened on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The order bans the former detective from repeating any of his claims about the McCann family and also applies to a television programme, later produced as a DVD, he made earlier this year in conjunction with TVI.

In May, the McCanns had said they were looking to sue Mr Amaral for defamation over the “hurtful” book’s “unfounded and grossly defamatory claims”.

Mr Amaral has since said he will counter-sue the McCanns, he has a clear conscience and is more than willing to face them in a court of law.

Following the September decision, Kate and Gerry McCann released a statement praising the Portuguese court’s decision.

“We are pleased with the Judge’s decision preventing further distribution and sale of Mr Amaral’s book and DVD –‘The Truth of the Lie’.

“Mr. Amaral’s central thesis has no evidence whatsoever to support it. To claim as he did, that Madeleine is dead, and that we, her parents, were in some way involved with her disappearance, has caused our family incredible distress and it continues to do so.

“Without doubt, Madeleine will have suffered as a result of the negative effect this book and DVD will have had on the search for her.

“Sean and Amelie need protection too from such awful claims.

“Hopefully this injunction today will go a long way towards reducing further unnecessary and unjust distress to us all and allow people to concentrate completely on what is important - finding Madeleine,” the statement read.

In the first and only extensive interview granted to an English-language publication, Gonçalo Amaral told The Portugal News back in 2007 that his premature removal from the case hampered the search for the truth.

“We should have continued investigating the parents in order to either charge them or rule them out as suspects. If I had represented this couple, I would have insisted the police investigations continue. Not everything we do is to incriminate a suspect”, he reasoned, adding: “Often a phone will be tapped in order to obtain information that will clear a suspect”.

When questioned over legal action he would face over his views, Mr Amaral said: “My book is based on facts. It could be a good occasion to take all the case files to court and compare what I wrote with that which is contained in the files.”

Arguing the opposite to be true, Gerry McCann told The Portugal News: “There’s one thing that has been revealed in the case files which is that there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is no evidence to suggest that Kate and I were involved in any theories. It’s about Madeleine. As her parents, I hope people understand that we have to do what we are doing.”

Madeleine McCann was last seen alive sleeping in the same room as her twin siblings Sean and Amelie in an apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz.

Her disappearance took place on May 3rd 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday, and immediately attracted unprecedented international interest.

Gonçalo Amaral holds the opinion that Madeleine McCann died in the apartment where she was staying; that a kidnapping was simulated; her parents are suspects in the involvement of concealing her body; her death could have been the result of a tragic accident and that there are indications of negligence in the safekeeping of the children.

Portugal News Online, Edition: 1040



12 comments:

  1. I hope it wont be long before the truth about the investigation will emerge, and that people will see that Dr Amaral is not the only person holding the view that Madeleine died in the apartment.

    It is the McCanns who should be made to prove an abduction before they are allowed to collect more money from the trusting public.

    Reopen the case Portugal. Stop this farce.

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  2. " As her parents, I hope people understand that we have to do what we are doing.”

    yes we all understand perfectly Gerry... you are liars and you have to keep up the pretence...
    keep going mate, you're digging yourself deeper and deeper

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  3. Why are they really in PT? The hearing today did not need them. They did not see fit to go to a reconstruction. Are they there to settle with Amaral? The witnesses would all be credible as Police Officers and a lot would be said in Testimony and the press would hear it all, the facts of the process. Maybe a bit too uncomfortable for the duo for the facts to be verbalized in court?

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  4. The McCanns are there because they want to get their four pennyworth in before Dr Amaral's side is put.

    Control is the name of the game.

    And, notice how nobody ever asks them the right questions, like CAN YOU PROVE THERE WAS AN ABDUCTION or are we expected to believe there was just because you say so.

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  5. #3...please no. no out of court settlement. let the truth out in court...please.

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  6. The thesis of abduction is groundless; there is not one shred of evidence supportive of it, except that Madeleine McCann is missing and the statements of the McCanns and their cohorts. There have been no confirmed sightings of Madeleine since the 3/5, not one person has come forward with credible or significant information despite there being a substantial reward; perhaps with the exception of the Smiths sighting, but that was quickly quashed as it sailed against the McCanns wind.

    The PJ investigation commanded by Amaral failed to discover the truth, but not through want of trying. For example - Statements were made by two Dr friends of the McCanns, the Gaspers, these presented suggestion that both Gerald McCann and David Payne had made inappropriate gestures and comments about Madeleine at a previous time, yet this matter was seemingly brushed under the carpet by Leicestershire police! It is well know fact that Gerald McCann has powerful friends who mingle with the UK’s elite and government figure heads. It is also a well know fact that these circles are not untouched by paedophilia disgrace and to put it quite bluntly child pornography is a lucrative goods capital. For me this begs the question of why then was the case meddled with at every opportunity by aforesaid, why is it they do not want the truth to be known.

    I wish Mr Amaral every bit of success, I think he will need it; he is Madeleine, Sean and Amelie's only hope now for the truth to be known and justice to be deservedly served.

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  7. This is very good.I notice a subtile change of tone in the british media.Take a look at the daily express: after the usual "disgraced Portuguese policeman" and the " They have been cleared of any wrongdoing..." we can read (and I am shocked) "Mr Amaral, who enjoys ­widespread sympathy in Portugal, has said he will call high profile witnesses including British police officers." ,"Mr Amaral defends the publication of his original book and claims he was gagged by the British establishment" and "Portuguese detectives have claimed their investigation into Madeleine's disappearance was seriously hampered by the publicity campaign run by the McCanns and their supporters.

    Senior police officers have claimed they were unable to carry out their inquiries properly because the couple were protected by a network ­of powerful people that included millionaires, celebrities and politicians."

    No one would dare to write this a year ago.

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  8. @7
    I can`t believe that has been printed in any british newspaper... :-o

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  9. Don't worry, the Daily Mail is still at it....this from the online edition:

    "Kate and her husband were there for a legal hearing linked to their continuing libel action against Goncalo Amaral, the disgraced former head of the botched police investigation, but the case was adjourned until next month"


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234603/Distraught-McCanns-accused-offs-Portuguese-police-chief-led-failed-search-Madeleine.html#ixzz0ZQxKDCS1

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  10. Anon at 7

    Thanks for that info.

    That should make some people sit up and listen.

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  11. What must have hampered the investigation of the case to a great extent is that although there is the impression that the Tapas crowd are being less than honest in their timeline, they nevertheless end up all giving statements giving alibis for each other.

    How neat and tidy is that, with all the supposed toing and froing that was going on!

    Mind you, they did have plenty of time to get together to work on it.

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  12. Gordon Brown's relationship with the McCanns is not going to go down too well if it is revealed he has been interfering in a criminal case on their behalf.

    There is an election coming up soon, and this kind of thing is considered a disgrace. I doubt they will be having cosy informative phone chats in future.

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