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

Glass ceilings...

by Gonçalo Amaral*

The United Kingdom,‭ ‬a country that finds it difficult to respond to cooperation requests,‭ ‬has asked for access to our prime minister’s bank accounts.

It seems that said request is imperious due to mere hypotheses and few or no indicia of illegal practices in the Freeport case. In the 'Maddie case' we only requested the registries of the parents' and the friends' credit cards.

The reply was hilarious: "Bank accounts and credit cards are not known." Those doctors had mortgages and used credit cards to travel and to acquire goods and services, yet the information was denied, not even a rogatory letter managed to obtain something that was considered essential for the investigation, which was based on strong indicia and not on mere speculation.

If at the moment, for political reasons, the death of that child is considered, in England, a matter of national security, what can be said about the British attack against the prime minister of an independent, democratic country? Do the English continue to see Portugal as a banana republic where we always say 'yes'? It's about time to say 'no'.

What we expect is a reply that complies with the principle of reciprocity: bank accounts or credit cards belonging to our prime minister are not known...

source: Correio da Manhã, 31.01.2009

* former PJ inspector


  1. A matter of national security? I'm shocked.That's why the British ambassador showed up the day after.Not simply because the McCanns were British.
    In this case, Tapas 10, the carrier of the body, could not be a common British man living by chance in Algarve and keeping a freezer at home.I believe he lived in Algarve, not far away from Luz,he knew the surroundings and he could have being an important person. But who?

  2. Bloody well said, Mr Amaral!

  3. Diz-se no Brasil:

    Debaixo deste angu ainda tem muito caroço.

  4. if i may add this here, Mr Amaral unfortunately is a pretty dubious character, seeking his very own publicity and 10 min of fame through his book about the McCann case (in which he was a leading figure representing the Portuguese authorities. at one crucial point of the investigations he was fired, rightly or wrongly, but nonetheless with quite an amount of reasoning which did not really flatter his professionalism). anyway.
    but that only leads me to what i actually wanted to say about your reporting, Joana (or Astro), in particular your reporting the Freeport affair. i am a bit worried about the sources you are almost exclusively referring to. so, for all who are not familiar with the Portuguese media scene, let me give a little overview here:
    Correio da Manhã can be compared to the British Sun. it is the big-letter daily mass-outlet.
    Sol is a sort of split-off of Expresso, a solid conservative weekly newspaper. the founder of Sol is a former director of Expresso who left the paper to establish a sort of populist competition to Expresso, which became Sol. the paper, also a weekly, ran, as expected, pretty soon into financial trouble that turned out so severe that the paper faced bankruptcy only some weeks ago. it was finally and for now saved by an Angolan investors' group.
    and the 3rd of your main sources is Diário de Notícias, probably the biggest and oldest Portuguese daily, a sort of Prawda (always right leaning) for various regimes, not to forget the Salazar regime, and today, after changing ownership and a period of (failed) ambitious relaunch approaches on both levels, content as well as layout, returned to the populist mainstream under the leadership of a former Correio da Manhã director.

    all three have--if various--reasons of their own to toss the Freeport story, as Mr Francisco Moita Flores rightly points out in his commentary, "to be judged and assassinated on the village square.".


  5. Malik :
    Mr Amaral wasn't fired, he was forced to leave the investigation about Maddie "disappearence".He chose to quit his job so that he could defend himself against all the vile acusations from the Mccanns and their supporters.
    Writting a book was the easiest and the most effective way for him to tell his side of the story.He doesn't force anyone to invite him to go to the television or to interview him for a newspaper.People invite him because they want to, because they are interested in what he has to say, because they don't believe the Mcanns version is the absolute truth.
    If that bothers you, then you will have to deal with it because Mr Amaral is going nowhere.His 10 min of fame will be alot more than that.
    Relativamente às fontes e visto que tem um conhecimento tão profundo e seguro sobre os jornais portugueses que têm feito a cobertura do caso Freeport qual seria,na sua opinião, a fonte mais credível relativamente a este caso?

  6. 'Malik',

    it's 15 minutes of fame. 15 minutes.

  7. So Malik, what sources are we left with, then? The Portuguese media have ALL turned right-wing extremists overnight?
    Because they are ALL reporting on the Freeport case, and the tone seems to be unanimous.
    Also, you compare Correio da Manhã to the 'Sun', which is a comparison that I don't agree with for one minute - not even 24Horas reaches the editorial 'standards' of the Sun - how do you explain that CdM hosts commentators such as Moita Flores?
    Astro and Joana have been doing a great job, reporting from many different sources, like Lusa for example.
    As far as Mr Amaral is concerned, he is entitled to his opinion, and as far as anyone can tell, he's still waiting for that lawsuit from the McCanns. I mean, he's supposedly defaming them...?
    As we say in Portuguese, pode esperar sentado...

  8. Os McCann, processarem Gonçalo Amaral e correrem o risco de pôr o pézinho num tribunal português? Cruzes canhoto!
    Tira o cavalinho da chuva!...

  9. Talking about Correio da Manhã, in todays edition,2n Feb, an article titled "As contas secretas de Kate e Gerry", The secret(banking) accounts of K.and G.
    Very interesting...a good example of how the british reluctancy in cooperate with other police forces, it's a case of "don't do as we do, BUT DO AS WE SAY!


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