11 January 2010

McCann’s parents to attend libel case against police officer


McCann couple, 9 days after the alleged abduction of their daughter, Maddie

Madrid, Spain (CNN) -The parents of missing Madeleine McCann are due in Portugal this week as plaintiffs in a case seeking 1.2 million euros ($1.7 million dollars) in libel damages against a former Portuguese police investigator, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell told CNN.

The ex-officer, Goncalo Amaral - who worked for a time on the case after Madeleine was reported missing in May 2007 - wrote a book that "indirectly alleges Madeleine is dead and implies" the parents must have known, Mitchell said.

Madeleine vanished from the family's holiday villa at the Portuguese beach resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007 as her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann of Britain, dined in a nearby restaurant. She was 3 years old at the time.

The McCanns maintain that Madeleine is alive and have garnered international support in an effort to find her, enlisting the aid of celebrities and Pope Benedict XVI.

Kate and Gerry McCann are due to fly to Lisbon Monday afternoon and plan to attend the full hearing, which starts Tuesday and is expected to last three or four days. A verdict is likely soon after the conclusion, possibly by the end of next week, Mitchell said.

The McCanns accepted $1.1 million in libel damages in March 2008, and front-page apologies from the London newspapers the Daily Express and the Daily Star, over stories alleging the parents were involved in the disappearance or death of their daughter.

The money went to Madeleine's Fund, a nonprofit company set up to find the girl and bring to justice anyone who played a role in her disappearance.

At one point, authorities in Portugal had named the girl's parents as suspects, along with a British man living in Portugal, Robert Murat. But a spokesman for the Portuguese prosecutor's office said in July 2008 that authorities found no evidence of involvement by any of the three and were no longer considering them suspects.

Portuguese investigators closed the case in July 2008.

Amaral's book, "A Verdade da Mentira," ("The Truth of the Lie") was published in Portugal in 2008.

It has since been published in France, Germany and Spain, with excerpts and its allegations repeated on the Internet, Mitchell said.

A Portuguese judge has granted an injunction against Amaral, freezing some assets, and ordering him not to repeat his allegations. The judge also ordered unsold copies of the book to be returned to the publisher, and "many thousands" have already been returned, Mitchell said.

But Antonio Cabrita, a lawyer for Amaral, told CNN he will argue the right to "freedom of speech," under the Portuguese constitution in seeking to lift the judge's injunction against the book and Amaral.

The injunction, issued in September 2009, also extends to the book's Portuguese publisher and a Portuguese TV station that reported on the book's allegations, said Cabrita, who represents only Amaral, not the other defendants.

Amaral is expected to testify first, on Tuesday, about his book's allegations that Madeleine may have died accidentally at the Portuguese resort and that her parents were aware of that, Cabrita said.

"Now there is a chance to present new facts" to the judge, Cabrita said, adding that Amaral's book basically contains allegations that were part of the police investigation before authorities closed the case.

Mitchell said such allegations, which can't be proven, hurt the parents' search to find Madeleine.

The McCann couple "didn't start this fight" with Amaral and were reluctant to bring the lawsuit, but felt compelled because "he can't prove his points," Mitchell said.

Amaral was a lead investigator on the case when he gave an interview to a Portuguese newspaper, despite an order of judicial secrecy surrounding the investigation, and his superiors then removed him from the case, Cabrita said.

CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman contributed to this report

in CNN

From Sky News

McCanns Return To Portugal For Libel Case

11:05am UK, Monday January 11, 2010
Neal Walker, Sky News Online

Kate and Gerry McCann will return to Portugal later for the libel trial of the former policeman who led the investigation into their daughter's disappearance.

The McCanns say any damages they are awarded will fund private investigators

The couple launched legal action against former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral after he published a book questioning their account of what happened to Madeleine.

Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, will fly to Lisbon today ahead of the three-day trial, which is due to start at the main civil court in the Portuguese capital tomorrow.

The couple plan to attend all the hearings, but do not intend to go back to the Algarve resort where Madeleine vanished more than two-and-a-half years ago.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "I can confirm that Kate and Gerry McCann will be returning to Portugal on Monday to attend the resumption of the Amaral trial on Tuesday.

"The details of their travel plans and itinerary will remain private at their request."

Madeleine was nearly four years old when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Four months after her disappearance, Mr and Mrs McCann were made 'arguidos', or formal suspects, but this was lifted when the investigation was shelved in July 2008.

Mr Amaral led the investigation in the first six months following Madeleine's disappearance.

But he was taken off the case in October 2007 after criticising the British police in a newspaper interview.

n his book Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, which was published in July 2008, Mr Amaral claimed that Madeleine was dead, and questioned the McCanns' account that she was abducted.

A Portuguese judge granted an injunction in September last year banning further sale or publication of the book.

The former policeman was also prohibited from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents.

The McCanns travelled to Lisbon for the opening of the libel trial in December, but the hearing was adjourned until this week after Mr Amaral's lawyer failed to turn up for health reasons.

The couple have previously said any money awarded in damages by the courts would go towards paying for private investigators to look for their daughter.

Sky News Online will be covering the libel case with line-by-line live updates from inside the courtroom in Portugal.





60 comments:

  1. Please hurl abuse and soggy tomatoes at them for me...I can't be there.

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  2. "...authorities found no evidence of involvement by any of the three and were no longer considering them suspects." Well that's not quite true is it Clarence? That's not quite what the Portuguese Judiciary says is it? What about the neglect issue and the likelyhood that something happened in the apartment? How convenient to dream up a 'spokesperson' from 2008. The Clarence strategy is to flood the media with "the police said we never done it" stories unchallenged throughout the trial period no doubt. Also that the McCanns are important people and winners, "we had help from Celebs, the Pope" you notice, though not now McCanns. And any damages "will fund private investigators" surely not, freudian slip? what personally? did you mean "investigations"? and finally the Big Lie.

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  3. NOW! go go go Gonçalo! YES NOW...you have the chance to bring some evidence...THEY cant bring ANY evidence of abduction,
    Clarry pinko,any SERIOUS evidence of "abduction" by any chance????

    @ Anon 1
    No, the best would be to make huge posters of them SMILING 9 days after the "abduction",the pic on this page..the suffering "peirents",the distressed "peirents",the poor "peirents",the frail aspect of this "human" entity denominated kate mccScum.....I"ll go for that as it is much more impacting.You can wash a putrid egg or soggy tomatoes but images stay in your memory.Like that one. :D

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  4. "live updates from inside the courtroom in Portugal."
    ???

    Can they do this? Will they report EVERYTHING or just what's "good" for the mccanns?

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  5. PLEASE anyone going to watch the circus come to town print off the smily photos above and make them into giant posters ,and PLEASE shout abuse at them ,they have got away with being the "poor victims"long enough

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  6. Saw Gerry at the airport off on another junket, even had a flunkie to w3heel his suitcases[why so much luggage?]
    Wonder if they are flying Business Class.

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  7. 'Sky News Online will be covering the libel case with line-by-line live updates from inside the courtroom in Portugal.'

    I thought it was a closed court?

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  8. Please refrain from throwing soggy tomatoes.
    I would agree with pictures such as this blown up large with large lettering saying when they were taken.
    I would also suggest silent atendees with banners and some form of light - candles if it is not windy.

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  9. Jo (No.3) that is an absolutely brilliant idea. A very quiet parade of large posters of the McCanns leaving church like two popstars days after "losing" their daughter - that would speak volumes imo.

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  10. Anon 6

    Hope the McCanns' luggage is checked before they are allowed into Portugal, or back into the UK.

    It is about time the luggage of these characters was checked. They have been given a pass on too any things.

    After all, a small child is missing and they do like to wander around at night.

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  11. Anon 9
    Of course a very silent protest: everybody with a gag on...what do u think? ;)

    Shame I cant go this time for health reasons but will next because there will be a "next time" although clarry the pinko says "a verdict is likely soon after the conclusion possibly by the end of next week"
    ;))
    Clarry the Cunt forgets this is not the UK and things take time in Portugal...of course,I have a nasty thought: if the mccDictators pay a little money then things may go quicker,one never knows but the result of all this only shows ONE thing: they are shit scared and with reasons....
    Força Gonçalo!
    Un abrazo Corazon de Leon

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  12. For me, the most interesting and probably most important detail in those reports is this:

    ""Now there is a chance to present new facts" to the judge, Cabrita said"

    ;;) :D

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  13. For those attending the hearing, please DO NOT HURL ABUSE OR THROW THINGS AT THEM! This is probably what they want to seal/authenticate their victimhood. Don't fall for it!

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  14. I think posters saying 'TELL THE TRUTH MCCANNS' or 'MCCANNS ARE LIARS' or 'STOP THE SPIN MCCANNS' would be more appropriate.

    After all, Gerry thought the red carnations given to him were a nice gesture.

    They might think smiley pics of them are being carried by fans of theirs who like the look of them.

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  15. ShuBob 12

    Thanks for that reminder.

    Here's hoping that will be the clincher, and that 'got ya' moment.

    If so, the McCanns wont be able to get out of Dodge fast enough, just like last time.

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  16. Jo @ No. 3
    What an excellent idea ! Please please someone who is thinking of attending try your very hardest to get that photograph enlarged and push it in the face of the tv cameras for all the world to see.

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  17. Its a shame no one knows what time the gruesome twosome are arriving at Lisbon airport. They could be met with the banners of them smiling. No doubt their travel plans will be kept secret.

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  18. And write across the top of the pics

    'LYING MCCANNS'

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  19. Anon 7...that was a 'Blacksmith' prediction...Blacksmith is like a gypsy...he tells your fortune or tries to...Blacksmith predicted that De Freitas would not attend...because he would be on leave...well he got one bit right..but the second half wrong..We hear de Freitas is not allowed to testify. The hearing will be held in closed session said Blacksmith...he got that part wrong...Blacksmith later admits he is not always right...just like a fortune teller...50..50..odds on De Freitas would attend or not.

    I prfere the Source here on this forum than listen to a betting man.

    It was obvious that someone who has gone to so much trouble for nearly three years to pretect Mommie Dearest and her Husband Brady that they are not going to throw it all away now. Corruption and sleaze along with whores who fight for the mccanns on the internet.

    Money buys you everything.

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  20. Shu ..going by the thug that is the mccanns PR man I am afraid they will have arranged something of this nature. The Mccanns are evil bastards and will do anything to make the peace keepers look bad. So all who will be present watch your backs...get everything on film.

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  21. I hope nobody hurls abuse at them, it would just be reported as being Nutters, if i was able to be there i would be asking 'have you come to get the case reopened'

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  22. I am hoping that Amaral will be able to make reference to the 'tapped phone calls' made by the McCanns ... the ones that the PJ were prevented from presenting in evidence in a case 'against' them ( on a legal technicality )

    I have always wondered if those phone-calls were the 'stand alone' evidence that we heard of.

    In truth though, I think the McCanns must be extremely confident that things will go their way this week ( in fact it almost appears they they already KNOW it ) . They simply wouldn't be in Portugal at all otherwise ... and they certainly wouldn't be using Clarence Mitchell to whip up interest in the media ( particularly the proposed line by line coverage of the hearing )

    I fear it is a 'done-deal' unless the new facts Cabrita speaks of are of great significance. Let us hope that they are.

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  23. Sr Amaral indicates there has been political interference in this case.

    Did this happen not only when he was taken off the case, but also because the McCanns would definitely have been charged.

    Was there political interference from the UK because somebody had said there was a risk of suicide or something on the part of a person involved, and that is why it was called off and shelved?

    There was suicide talked about just after the McCanns returned back to UK.

    Are the Portuguese still waiting for the right time to reopen it?

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  24. They could shout 'When are you going to answer the 48 questions Kate'.

    That would most likely be the closest anybody will get to asking that question.

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  25. Bet the McCanns don't object to their investigators snooping on the private and financial affairs of others though on the pretext of looking for that phantom abductor of theirs.

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  26. @ post #22, I don't think it's a done deal at all! I think the McCanns are there out of fear- fear of what may come out in court. It's probably better for them to be present where they can attempt to refute some of the evidence than let their lawyer do it herself especially when do not know what evidence Amaral is presenting.

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  27. 22. Must be confident of their success.
    It reminds me of a joke.
    A teacher asks her young class to give a sentence using the word definitely.
    Kate puts up her hand and says well she is definitely going to Portugal tomorrow.
    The teacher says not a good example. You might have the ticket, the intention and everything else, but you could be snowed in or worse still get the flu - so I am afraid not kate - it is not a definite.

    So little Clarence puts up his hand and says that he knows that they are definitely going to silence that sardine munching cop.
    Again the teacher says well Clarence it would appear that you have had help from the prime minister of Britain himself including every newspaper editor has been sprouting your side of the story. But some person who has been silence up till now might just be sickened by the whole show and have given some evidence that will not only see your clients not winning the injunction but actually being arrested.

    And finally little Gerry puts up his hand - I know I know.
    What Gerry says the teacher.
    I think I definitely shat in my pants.:))

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  28. The McCann spin machine has done a remarkable job by managing to present the hearing this week as 'a libel trial'

    It is not, of course. There is a temporary 'injunction' on the sale of Goncalo Amaral's book UNTIL a real libel trial takes place. The hearing this week is merely an appeal by Amaral against that injuntion.

    You wouldn't think it to read the press coverage though would you ? and there is no doubt at all that should the Judge decide to keep the injunction in place, ( as seems likely ) it will be hailed as an absolute victory by the McCanns ... and, wholly inaccurately, presented as 'proof' that Amaral defamed and libelled them.


    It is so disappointing that no-one in the media is reporting the REAL purpose of this hearing ( and of the injunction itself ) ... that of starving Amaral of any funds with which to 'fight' any genuine libel trial.

    They ( the media ) are universally overlooking the obvious ... that the McCanns are doing all they can to PREVENT any 'real' libel trial. The current manouvering by the McCanns and their lawyers is designed to back Amaral into a corner, where he will be without the funds or means to defend himself. At that point, they expect him to buckle and 'settle out of court' ... just like everyone else who has ever crossed them has.

    The sorry little exercise we are about to witness is all to do with the McCanns AVOIDING having to take Amaral to court for libel.

    It is despicable.

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  29. why not just stare with hands over mouths in defemse of Sr Amarals gag. that would look better on tv then if there were some provocatuers out there they would be shown up instantly? just a thought and thats what i would do if i saw them cos i would probably not like what would come out my mouth!!

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  30. I wonder that the Leicestershire police and Scotland Yard, who seem to be supporting the McCanns, are not offended or suspicious, by their using Private Investigators at great cost rather than getting trained authorities to re-open the case. Why does everyone roll over for the chavs?

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  31. I think the best would be every supporter to limit his/her support in holding the GA's book in an obvious way. Those who don't have one could be given one : the proibition is to sell, not to give. Silent bookholders seem to me the most efficient and peaceful.

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  32. aacg

    I think the suggestion that supporters of freedom of expression should hold up a copy of Amaral's book, for the gathered media to see, is an excellent one.

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  33. 6, anon, why so much luggage?
    They have dyarrhee.

    where did you see Gerry?

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  34. Freak Show

    I pity Dr. Amaral having to have put up with this circus for the last 2 + years... it's bad enough following on the net

    good luck tomorrow

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  35. Joana, did the Mccanns arrive already?

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  36. Clarence, Clarence, Clarence!!! The McCanns may have enlisted the aid of Pope Benedict as they positioned themselves, as you arranged, as he walked by but it would be a huge stretch of the imagination to say he actually aided them. The video of the event speaks for itself.

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  37. I see Clarence Mitchell has been "shaping" stories again. When was the last time he fed a story to CNN? He seems to have specifically picked them for this story!

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  38. As well as the 'newly-weds coming out of church' photos, radiating happiness and glee, it might be a good idea to give some prominence to the photo of the McCanns and another man (can't remember his name) holding up the t-shirt with Maddie's photo on it and grinning like two Cheshire cats. They looked for all the world like two people who'd just won the lottery and were holding up the winning cheque, done large for publicity purposes. That photo is sickening, especially in view of the 'taken by paedophiles' line they were busy promoting around the same time. Imagine poor little Madeleine, if she HAD been abducted, catching sight of that on a tv somewhere, seeing her supremely happy mum and dad smiling broadly and seemingly without a care in the world.

    Maybe a new web site is called for: one for the photos alone.

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  39. ShuBob

    Yes, Clarence Mitchell seems to have been busy 'shaping' the news in the last couple of days doesn't he ?

    Why though ?

    Over in Dubai, back in November, he confirmed that ... "I needed to get positive mesages out into the media and rebuff the lies. We had to challenge the preconceptions - this was done privately with editors. We had to establish our own narrative and key message"

    Why is it suddenly necessary to start 'shaping' the news with added vigour ?

    Why must the McCanns always have to be 'in control' of the information getting out to the public ?

    I wonder what further distractions we can expect over the coming days, should there be a need to bury 'unhelpful' news coming out of Lisbon.

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  40. What charming pictures of Mr and Mrs McCann you have chosen to illustrate this piece. They look so happy - I wonder what they're celebrating?

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  41. You can leave comments on that Belgian site as well :
    http://www.7sur7.be/7s7/fr/1732/Disparition-de-Maddie/article/detail/1052463/2010/01/11/Les-parents-de-Maddie-reclament-1-2-millions-d-euros.dhtml#reageerTag

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  42. It's sickening really, to think that the donations sent to the McCanns by so many pensioners and children has been used to employ Clarence Mitchell ... and that instead of helping Madeleine, as they thought it would, their money was used to enable Mitchell to create favourable 'narratives' whenever it became nesessary to distract attention away from unfavourable facts.

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  43. Back in UK, the Scum are publishing their usual pro-McScam garbage:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2802255/Anti-McCann-group-plan-to-host-summit-just-7-miles-from-their-home.html

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  44. Hi 43, Thanks for the link. Go Tony!!! Wish I could be there at the summit or in Portugal supporting Dr Amaral.

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  45. I just had a thought as to why the cops in UK are standing back and letting the McCanns do just what the hell they want.

    Could it be they think they themselves might be able to get a job with 'McCanns Incorporated, Find the Phantom Abductor', when they have retired?

    Sounds like it is well paid, with plenty of travel to nice climes.

    I am not joking either.

    Why do you think our politicians have not objected to the EU Dictatorship, or allowed us to have a vote on it.

    For exactly the same reason.

    They also can get good jobs there within their 'old boy's club' recommendation,(no need to be voted in by anybody), when they finish in Westminster.

    All expenses paid.

    Nice big earner. What a racket it all is.

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  46. Anon 43 - stupid paper - still saying that GA was sacked - wish they`d at least get their facts right. GA has more right than anyone to sue the british press with the garbage they write about him.
    Louise

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  47. To the author of post 11
    I really admire your name for Clarence Mitchell
    LOL

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  48. Mitchell didn't mention how quickly the Pope's website removed references to the McCanns!

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  49. Anon 38. You mean John McCann, Gerry`s brother. You know, the one who even though he has a family, QUIT his job in order to live off the FUND Clever man to be able to foresee the growth of said FUND.
    All this within a very short time of Madeleine vanishing.
    Look how happy they all are to get rid of the poor child. SCUM.

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  50. A useful strategy would be to bring to attention to the public areas that are not been reflected in the media.
    The posters should reflect the WHY's

    1. Why Has the witness De Freitas been prevented from appearing.
    ( a huge deal has to be made of this ).

    2. Martin Grimes and the Dogs ....Why cant we hear more from him and his experience of what the dogs showed.

    3. John Lowe....why can't he explain about the FSS findings and their role ?

    4. Prof Barclay ...why can he not be called to elaborate more on his beliefs of the "break in" situation.

    5.Maybe also posters of pictures of the Editors of all mainstream papers ...who have consistently allowed one sided reporting.

    If there are going to be live cameras there you need to make sure you are seen and heard, granted it should be a peaceful protest...but you MUST fight NOW.....do not allow the media to edit what is happening.

    You need to pressure the powers that are surpressing the Information.
    Why are some Files kept from the public.
    What has been established in terms of the Private Investigation.

    Good Luck
    Ps I wished the book was called the British Gagg. As most involved are not technically English.
    Take that as you wish.

    mojo

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  51. "Mitchell said such allegations, which can't be proven, hurt the parents' search to find Madeleine."

    It is not an allegation it is a personal deduction by the lead detective based on the facts of the case, now if these facts on which his conclusion is based upon are not true then the book is libelous. Mr. Amaral is being charged with libel, the burden of proof should be on the McCanns not Mr. Amaral. If during the trial, the McCanns only refer to Mr. Amaral's conclusion as libel and nothing else then you know the proceedings are a sham, nothing more than a PR exercise.

    "A verdict is likely soon after the conclusion, possibly by the end of next week, Mitchell said."

    This man's confidence says it all. I honestly don't think the McCanns would show up in a Portuguese court unless they were assured of the outcome. I can hear some of you say: "there he goes again, the pessimist," but look back at what has transpired since May of 2007 and you will understand why I feel this way. I sincerely hope that I'm wrong but I doubt it.


    In my opinion, this case against Mr. Amaral was facilitated by those who arranged for him to be taken off the case in October of 2007. What infuriates me is that this couple and their friends have besmirched Portugal internationally and yet Portuguese citizens are helping them get their way.

    I think Portugal worries too much about what the world thinks and this is one of the reasons the Madeleine investigation didn't proceed as it should. I think that we are at the point where hurling tomatoes is not such a bad idea.

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  52. Along with so many other things it is particularly revolting that the money donated to the Fund, with the best intentions, by ordinary people, is now being used to finance the prosecution of the man who, also with the best intentions, headed the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

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  53. I've just taken a look at the latest news on the mccanfiles.com. Clarence Mitchell confirmed that the McCanns would be travelling to Lisbon on Monday (today) He also said that the McCanns travel plans and itinerary, would remain private at the McCanns request.

    Why am I not surprised, this cowardly couple are afraid of meeting protesters at the airport, especially if the protesters are carrying enlarged posters of the "gruesome twosome" laughing, as if they had won the lottery.

    I hope the McCanns enter the court in the same way that Mr Amaral does, as long as they have to walk amidst the poster carrying protesters.

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  54. Hi 28. Thank you for reminding me this is not a libel trial. It's so easy to forget when reading the British papers. I am also glad that Tony B is going ahead with the summit.

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  55. Good luck to all who are going tomorrow. Keep it peaceful but strong - don't let the press slap the "nutter" label on any protesters.

    But what really matters is what happens inside the courtroom. For that, I have only one request: May Justice Prevail.

    --Trismegistus

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  56. I wish Sr Amaral great success and the best of luck for the days of the hearing and beyond!

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  57. I too, want to give my good luck wishes, to all of you who will be stood outside the court, in support of Mr Amaral.

    Hopefully the judge, will wipe the smiles off the McCanns faces, once and for all and Mr Amaral will emerge from the court, smiling, knowing that common sense has prevailed.

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  58. Good luck to Goncalo Amaral tomorrow ... and good wishes and gratitude to those who will be there in person to offer him encouragement and support.

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  59. Sadly, the outcome is already known by the diabolical politicians and police forces of both countries.
    Shame on them all.

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  60. post 59

    I fear you may be right ... but do not despair, this is merely an appeal against an unjust injunction ( despite the fact that the McCanns and their entourage will hail it as a great victory )

    Providing Amaral keeps heart, ( and providing the necessary funds are made available ) this is just a preliminary joust in anticipation of the main event.

    I am strongly of the belief that the McCanns do not WANT to face Amaral in an 'actual' libel trial ... which is the real reason for this injunction ( to financially cripple him to the extent that he is not ABLE to take on such a legal challenge )

    It is up to those of us who cherish freedom of expression ... and who admire a man who has been willing to sacrifice so much in order to find justice for a child who is not 'his' child ... to show our support in practical ways.

    The McCanns and their lawyers are endeavoring to prevent Goncalo Amaral from having the means ( money ) to withstand their coming onsaught ... and it will be a great shame on us if we allow a lack of funds to determine the outcome of this battle.

    If the McCanns succeed in keeping this injunction in place, and thereby cut off all financial resources available to Amaral, then we must dig deep, and offer what we can to finance a defence team.

    Then we can hold our heads up.

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