Afternoon session was canceled
Only two witnesses, a psychologist and a criminal lawyer, were heard today on the second day of the trial of the civil lawsuit that was filed by the McCann couple against former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral, as the afternoon session was cancelled.
According to Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' lawyer, the cancellation of the audience that had been scheduled for the afternoon was due to a "personal problem" of judge Maria Emília Melo e Castro. Nevertheless, the impediment is of temporary character and does not compromise the course of the trial.
Isabel Duarte, the McCann couple's lawyer in the civil suit, over defamation, against the former PJ inspector who investigated the disappearance of the English child in the Algarve (2007), told Lusa agency that due to this unforeseen problem with the judge, the court was not able to hear the other three witnesses, all of them relatives of the British couple.
With Kate McCann and the grandmother of the missing little girl seated in the area that is destined for the public, the morning session was used to hear an English psychologist who accompanied Madeleine McCann's twin siblings after the tragic disappearance of the child from a hotel apartment in Lagos, in the Algarve.
The other witness that was heard was a criminal lawyer who helped the McCann couple in an attempt to decipher the mystery that surrounds the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who spoke about the media impact that the public statements of Gonçalo Amaral, involving the child's parents in the disappearance, had in England.
Isabel Duarte mentioned that the following sessions are scheduled for September 19, 20 and 27, then continuing on October 2 and 8, and concluding on the 5th of November.
According to the lawyer, Kate McCann will not testify during the trial, despite the fact that the new Civil Process Code already foresees that possibility, given that the process was worked upon and elaborated under another presupposition.
The same happens with Gonçalo Amaral, who will not make a statement during the trial.
Earlier, the parties failed to reach an extrajudicial agreement within the civil case, in which Madeleine McCann's parents requested compensation in the amount of 1.2 million euro over the alleged defamation by the former PJ inspector (who investigated the child's disappearance). The trial started with the questioning of three witnesses - a Canadian and two Englishmen - who are "friends" of the McCann couple.
In statements to Lusa on Thursday, Isabel Duarte said that since the beginning, the McCann couple was open to reach an extrajudicial agreement with Gonçalo Amaral, but it was not possible to reach an agreement with the arguido.
Nonetheless, she stressed that the McCann couple's main goal was that the investigation into the child's disappearance was restarted, which, according to her, has already happened, without adding any further details or leads.
In a related process, the Civil Court of Lisbon decided, in January of 2010, to keep the prohibition of the sale of the book "Maddie: The Truth of the Lie", authored by Gonçalo Amaral, and of the video with the same title, based on a documentary that was broadcast by TVI.
The ban of the book and the video, which presents Gonçalo Amaral's thesis on the involvement of Kate and Gerry McCann in the disappearance of their daughter by concealing the cadaver, had been provisionally ordered on the 9th of September of 2009.
On the 19th of October of 2010, the Appellate Court of Lisbon annulled the decision of the Civil Court, after which the McCann couple appealed to the Supreme Court of Justice. In a ruling dated March 18, 2011, the Supreme Court confirmed the Appellate Court's decision.
Madeleine McCann disappeared on the 3rd of May of 2007, in an apartment in a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, where she was spending a vacation with her parents and her twin siblings.
At that time, Gonçalo Amaral was the coordinator of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Judiciary Police in Portimão.
Kate and Gerry McCann, who have always stated that the child was abducted, were made arguidos in September, 2007.
The investigation was archived due to a lack of evidence in July of 2008, although the Public Ministry admits reopening it if new data concerning the child's disappearance surfaces.
in: TVI24, 13.09.2013