1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

McCanns could only submit a criminal complaint against Portuguese newspapers within the limit of 6 months after publication

The lawyer Miguel Reis, specialist in the area of media, explained that the McCann couple could only present a criminal complaint against the Portuguese newspapers 6 months after the publication of the news which considered them to be guilty of the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine

When this period of time ended, if Kate and Gerry McCann did not used « their right to reply or submitted any criminal complaints », they can only expect that the Portuguese newspapers are obliged to publish apologies - as it happened with two British newspapers- but only, « if they resort to civil actions and if it is proved that the newspapers and the journalists acted with liability ».

Two British newspapers were asked to publicly apologize to the McCanns, recognizing in their first page that they were mistaken when they suggested that the parents of the lost girl in the Algarve were guilty.

The spokesperson of the couple advanced that Kate and Gerry McCann did not intend, for the time being, to prosecute Portuguese newspapers that have published defamatory news on the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, but they did not exclude totally that possibility.

However, the lawyer who led the process against the two British tabloids, Adam Tudor, left the hypothesis in the open, stating, outside a court in London that «these issues continue in analysis».

In late August, the BBC broadcasted the intention of the McCann’s lawyers to prosecute the weekly newspaper Tal&Qual due to a piece of news on the alleged conviction that Portuguese police believed that the McCanns were responsible for the Madeleine’s disappearance and death.

« If the McCanns did not submit a criminal complaint in the space of six months or they did not even use their right to reply, 30 days for daily newspapers and 60 days for all the other publications as stated in the Portuguese Law, they will loose the right to complain and will not be viable any decision in this sense », declared Miguel Reis.

Source: Lusa / SOL

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