Then again, I never understood how or why the Injunction was granted in the FIRST place. After all, Amaral’s book was effectively no more than a synopsis of some of the key investigation points carried out by the Portuguese Authorities, information which was, (and still is), already in the public domain.
In my own country, (here in the UK), there is currently NO news of the lifting of the ban. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the BRITISH media to report the matter, and then even more interesting to see which newspaper first chalks it up as a scandalous victory for the “disgraced former Maddie Cop”.
For herein lies the rub. Ostensibly, this little procedure in a Portuguese Court is fairly inconsequential in relation to the material that was the subject of the ban in the first place. For the book was, and still is, freely available online, in many languages.
But it is a HUGE victory, (not just for Amaral who was ALSO facing the consequences of losing his HOME to another action been brought by the McCanns), but for the Portuguese authorities, the Police, their press, and most of all, their PEOPLE.
Whatever happened to Madeleine McCann in May of 2007 may forever be a mystery. Whatever crimes took place may never be solved. But the crimes that have since been perpetrated against PORTUGAL, the country with whom the UK has held one of the longest alliances in the World, must not only be solved, but atoned for. Not least, the crimes perpetrated against it by its own Government, or at least factions of it.
Rumours of political skulduggery and interference have been circulating in Portugal pretty much since Madeleine was first reported missing. Key decisions, both in the case itself and on how it was conducted, can be traced back to direct interference from UK Government Ministers, including the then Premier, (and fellow former Glaswegian), Gordon Brown. Reports of spooks, British Intelligence, and senior Special Branch officer’s presence and involvement have been recorded in the Portuguese press since the early days of the enquiry.
Even Portuguese judges dealing with the investigation and court proceedings in the early stages would appear to have acted completely out of character and seemingly against the legal Statutes, procedures and practises that govern them, (especially where Kate and Gerry McCann were allowed to flee Portugal, 72 Hours after having asserted they would never leave Portugal without their daughter, and a mere 48 hours after being made Arguidos).
Such BRITISH influence and involvement can NOT have occurred without the complicity, (and DUPLICITY), of at least some senior Portuguese Office.
Whatever deal was struck, I hope the Office thinks it was worth it.
It would not be the first time, of course, that a Nation has been let down by its Government. However, such occasions generally benefit from a judicious, fearless, accurate and observant PRESS, bringing to the attention to the rest of the world the injustice and deceit that is ensuing. If the Portuguese had hoped that their oldest allies, the BRITISH, would use their Press to highlight their cause, then they were about to be disappointed.
I have recorded elsewhere the catalogue of journals, newspapers, television documentaries, news programmes, British Government Ministers, ‘B’ list Celebrities, Gossip Columnists and bulletins that have all not only perpetrated and propagated the ABDUCTION story, but have ridiculed, abused and vilified the Portuguese people in the process.
“Up Yours, Senor”, “Useless Porto Plod” and “keep your stupid, sardine munching mouth shut”, were just some of the more fragrant lines written by the UK’s finest scribes.
“Pigs” and “Filth”, were how one Tabloid luminary described the Portuguese Police.
“Bumpkins” was how he referred to the Portuguese people of the area where Madeleine went missing. Presumably he meant those who took time off from their work places and normal lives to search the ground, for HOURS, on their hands on knees, looking for clues as to the little girl’s whereabouts.
Just in case there was any doubts as to the integrity or calibre of the Portuguese people, Piers Merchant, assistant to Member of the European Parliament Roger Knapmann, clarified the situation regarding the British perspective on our oldest ally.
In November 2007, I wrote a letter to the former leader and Home Secretary of the UK Conservative Party, Michael Howard. In the letter, I explained that I was concerned that conflict and potentially irreparable damage was being caused between the two countries concerned, Britain and Portugal, much of which appears to have been caused by the Press and Government of this country. I further questioned the use of the British Government Media Monitoring Unit Director, Clarence Mitchell, as not only a spokesman but as an apparent MENTOR of sorts; resigning from his Government job and allying himself with the McCann's when they were made Arguidos. I suggested this to be somewhat an unprecedented and unusual state of affairs.
I also explained my concerns that Gordon Brown had not only personally intervened in the case by persuading the Portuguese authorities to permit the McCann's to make an appeal for information concerning the 'abductor', as 'witnessed' by Jane Tanner, (even though the Portuguese placed NO significance or, more likely, credibility in this sighting'), but that some factions of the credible Portuguese Press were suggesting that Government Pressure was being brought to bear on the case.
Certainly, I considered it inappropriate and unusual for Gordon Brown to have made the personal communications and offered the assistance that he did to the McCann's.
Clarence Mitchell himself had already confirmed that he, via the Prime Minister, had been instrumental in not only co-ordinating the visit to the Vatican, but also visits to other world leaders and dignitaries. My letter concluded that I felt it essential that the Prime Minister clarified his position and involvement with regards to the McCann's case.
The response I received was a standard, if not unexpected one, advising me that the letter would be forwarded to the Prime Minister for his comments, which would be communicated to me if and when he made them. (He never did).
I published my original letter on an Internet Forum, inviting any like minded individuals to either use it as a template or to modify it for their own purposes and forward it to their own local, Members of Parliament. A lady from Bristol did just that, and the response that it elicited made headline news, both here and in Portugal.
Piers Merchant wrote an astonishing and lengthy response that firstly warned the author to be 'careful' of what she writes, referring to the laws of Libel. It then went on to state, somewhat pompously, that
'‘One of the first duties of the British government is to support its citizens abroad. It is therefore entirely correct that the government should do this in the case of Kate and Gerry McCann".
He then sensationally declared,
'The Portuguese police and judicial system is known to be suspect. Elements of the police are corrupt and indeed in this case the senior detective involved has been charged with corruption? "
''The Portuguese judicial system does not assume innocence before guilt in the way the British system does and operates an interrogatory process in which people are denounced as suspects without any proof?."
Merchant explains why this shocking state of affairs is so:
"It is important to realise that Portugal has no real history of citizen's rights and liberties or democracy. From the 1920s to the mid 1970's Portugal was ruled by a fascist dictatorship, first under Salazar and then Caetano. Political opposition was repressed and the police and judicial system was used to achieve this. A stable multi-party democracy only came into existence in the late 1970's and is still very young. Many of the police were trained under fascism and the institutions still bear the impact of this long period of dictatorship".
The letter concludes by stating,
''In all the circumstances it is entirely right that British citizens should be protected against an unreliable foreign system. In any event I think you can rest assured that the British police and intelligence services have long had a better grip on the facts of this case than the Portuguese police".
Merchant later tried to deny that he had written this, protesting that his letter had been ‘altered’. However, I STILL have the original source file, and can assert that it is entirely as it was created. Additionally, he refused an invitation to submit his WEB based email system to cursory examination.
Some three years after this particular response, I am still intrigued as to how much of that inexplicable retort was Merchant’s own work, and whether he genuinely wrote it of his own volition.
Piers Merchant died, in September 2009, taking the answers with him.
So today, Tuesday the 19th October, 2010, IS a victory for Portugal.
It is a victory for the Policia Judiciaria, who conducted themselves throughout with professionalism and determination, despite the horrendous, abusive labels and accusations of incompetence, (completely unfounded), which still plague them to this day. Their ‘crime’?. To assert that Madeleine McCann is dead and that her parents are at least complicit in her disappearance. Presumably for reasons of space, the same newspapers were unable to repeat and reserve the same criticisms for the BRITISH factions who shared that self-same opinion:
a/The Leicestershire Police Constabulary who, (according to PJ files), were instrumental in proposing that Maddie had died at the apartment. Clearly they saw no point, either, in lambasting:
b/The specialist South Yorkshire Police ‘enhanced victim recovery dogs’, Eddie & Keela, instrumental in solving DOZENS of cases across 17 Police Forces across the UK, who signalled the scent of Cadavarine and other body fluids, in the McCanns apartment and in a vehicle hired by the McCanns, as well as on other personal items belonging to the McCanns.
c/So too, the Birmingham Forensic Science Services, (who have built a “global reputation for excellence in forensic solutions”), who, according to many sources, including SKY NEWS, reported that DNA extracted from a sample taken from the McCanns Hire Car was a “100% MATCH” to Madeleine McCann.
For whatever reasons, these 3 facets of the investigation, the Leicestershire Police, The specialist dogs and the Birmingham FSS results all made obvious significant contributions to the Portuguese Authorities conclusions regarding the case, yet they have thus far avoided the same derogatory attention afforded to them.
BUT most of all, it is a VICTORY for the Portuguese PEOPLE. Those who gave their time, energy, money, resources and heartfelt support, love and wishes to a “nice” British couple in their quest to find their missing daughter. Those whose lives were blighted, (and some who still ARE), and turned upside down by a tidal wave of media vileness , together with a Government who abandoned them and stood by while this character assassination on a NATIONAL level unfolded.
It is for THEM, that this little bit of Court decision making will go a little way towards restoring their faith in the Democracy, spirit and traditional values of their homeland.
As for the McCanns themselves? Who knows? It may well be that they will manage to overturn, yet again this current state of affairs. No doubt they will embark on ANOTHER course of legal action, certainly against Amaral and possibly someone else as well as, no doubt, several Newspapers, Media Outlets or anyone else who repeats the Books' words.
Some might suggest that they will NEED to.
For they have spent MILLIONS of pounds in donations, pledges and personal backing, in convincing the world that Madeleine McCann was abducted; Either by one of several infamous characters as described by Jane Tanner, or by one of the MANY bizarre, colourful and ludicrous suspects that inhabit various corners of the globe as reported widely in the British Press, (courtesy of the McCanns own private police force, Metodo 3 and Clarence Mitchell).
Or by one of the many faceless, nameless and shameless paedophiles that apparently walk the streets of every Portuguese village, (courtesy of a seemingly innumerable number of High Ranking British ‘EX’ Police Officers/Experts, some of which have financially benefited quite nicely from the McCann Gravy Train) .
And that kind of "LOOKING FOR MADDIE" doesn’t come cheap.
But, as has always been the case in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, there are more QUESTIONS than answers. And as I have been wont to say on more than one occasion, unless those questions are firstly ASKED, they can never be answered.
And today, in a Court room in Lisbon, at least the asking has started again...................
God bless Madeleine Beth McCann, wherever you are.................
Guest author: Spudgun at Spudguns' Spoutings
Journalist & Film Maker
Original link & publishing date 19.10.2010