McCann Case: Complaint against biased BBC East Midlands report uphold
BBC East Midlands, Mike O' Sullivan, broadcast in January 12, 2010
Back in January 2010, on the second day of the book injunction trial in Lisbon, BBC East Midlands reporter Mike O' Sullivan asked the former Judiciary Police coordinator Gonçalo Amaral if his book was hurting the McCanns, Amaral's answer was "Não, fale com os McCann", which literally translated means "No, speak with the McCanns". In what appeared to be a pathetic attempt to smear Amaral's character, Mike O'Sullivan, who clearly doesn't know Portuguese, decided to bleep Amaral's reply (see the above video at 0:30) and broadcast to the world that Amaral had said "Fuck the McCanns". Though several other UK, Portuguese, Spanish reporters were present at the book banning trial Mike O'Sullivan was the only one who made that (intentional?) assumption. It took 16 months and several complaints to the BBC complaints department, to the PCC, and to Ofcom for the BBC to finally admit that Mike O' Sullivan was wrong [see bellow] and that Gonçalo Amaral reply was twisted, however no formal apology was issued.
The vilification of Amaral's character was regurgitated by the usual biased & xenophobic UK tabloid churnalists:
Vile cop: F*** the McCanns by Tom Wells and Antonella Lazzeri, published on January 14, 2010 in The Sun
THE ex-cop who led the Madeleine McCann probe sparked new outrage last night after launching a four-letter tirade against the missing child's parents.
Brazen Goncalo Amaral spat, "F*** the McCanns" when asked by a BBC TV reporter if he felt his wild claims about their daughter were hurting them.
Producers bleeped out the slur when a report was broadcast in the East Midlands region where Kate and Gerry McCann live.
Amaral, axed after leading the abortive early investigation into Maddie's disappearance in 2007, flipped before entering a court in Portugal's capital, Lisbon.
Yesterday he denied making the outburst, claiming he had not even spoken to a British TV crew.
But the BBC insisted he had used "inappropriate language". And a source said: "It would not have been bleeped out had there not been sufficient cause for concern."
Amaral, 50, is trying to have a ban overturned on his book The Truth of the Lie.
In it, he makes lurid claims that Kate and Gerry faked an abduction and hid Maddie's body after the three-year-old died in an accident at their holiday flat in Praia da Luz.
And today he vowed to appeal to Europe if he loses the legal battle — saying his case is about "fundamental rights" for all Portuguese citizens.
Maddie's parents are tonight facing the prospect of years of court hearings if Amaral takes his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Yesterday he appeared to deliberately provoke the McCanns before the second day of the hearing began.
He sauntered into court brandishing a copy of his SECOND book on the case, The English Gag, in which he claims the parents tried to "silence" him.
He sat yards from Kate, 41, and began leafing through its pages. Upset Kate shook her head in disbelief.
But then she steeled herself and told a friend: "He's just promoting it."
She and Gerry, also 41, were forced to endure more insulting evidence as former Portuguese police chief Francisco Moita Flores backed Amaral's view and branded the abduction a "fairytale".
Outside court heart specialist Gerry, who is heading back to Britain to fulfil work commitments, cracked when asked by a female Portuguese reporter if the ordeal of the hearing was "worth it".
He barked: "Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through this."
He added: "I'd like to remind everyone it's the book that's on trial and not Kate and I."
Gerry claimed the Portuguese cops' blinkered view that Maddie was dead - for which there was NO evidence, making it "meaningless" - was damaging the search for her.
And he said they were STILL ignoring leads passed on to them by the family's private investigators.
Speaking outside the civil court in Lisbon this morning, Kate said the case was "taking its toll".
She said: "If I'm honest, our daughter's been taken and nothing's ever going to be as bad as that.
"But it's still been difficult, it's been emotive, because I know what's in the case files, I know what the conclusions are.
"So it's difficult to hear something that's incorrect and inaccurate.
"At the bottom of all this is a little girl, and I think it's important that we don't forget that."
Last night, a visibly frustrated Gerry told reporters: "Over the last two days, we've heard a lot about Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead.
"And I also hope you've heard that there is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis. A thesis without evidence is meaningless and that is what we are challenging."
Disgraced Portuguese detective in four letter outburst at Kate and Gerry McCann by Martin Fricker, published January 14, 2010 in The Mirror
Disgraced detective Goncalo Amaral yesterday let rip at Kate and Gerry McCann with a foul-mouthed outburst.
The former policeman was asked if his book about their daughter Madeleine was hurting the couple when he barked: "No, f*** the McCanns."
Amaral then laughed as he walked off, despite being caught on camera insulting a couple who have suffered so much anguish in recent years.
The disgusting slur came as Kate and Gerry had to listen to yet more accusations by Portuguese officers that they were involved in the youngster's 2007 disappearance.
It was made to BBC East Midlands Today reporter Mike O'Sullivan who confronted smirking Amaral outside the Lisbon court where the McCanns are suing him for libel over his book.
Mike said: "I was astonished, and so was my cameraman, that a former senior police officer could use a term like that against the McCanns. It really was crude."
A family friend of Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, added: "It's disgraceful and gives a true measure of the man."
After Amaral's tirade, Gerry laid into Portuguese detectives over their ridiculous claims he and his wife killed three-year-old Madeleine and dumped her body to cover their tracks.
The angry 41-year-old said: "The prosecutor had all the evidence and he said there was no evidence Madeleine was dead.
"If there was evidence of our involvement in Madeleine's disappearance then the prosecutor would have charged us.
"Officers who considered us as involved in Madeleine's disappearance have not been able to change their mind, despite a lack of evidence."
And the heart specialist insisted the blinkered theory by former police liaison officer Ricardo Paiva that their daughter has been killed was hindering the ongoing search for her.
Gerry added: "How could he investigate thoroughly if he believes that?
"We've also heard Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead. There is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis.
"We are not harking on over mistakes that were made and cannot be redeemed.
"What is done cannot be righted. We made a mistake, in hindsight, by leaving Madeleine and we have to live with the consequences of that. We can't change it."
Gerry vowed to keep up the search for their little girl, who vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz as they ate nearby with friends.
He said: "There is a little girl missing who still needs to be found.
"We will keep going until Madeleine is found and until whoever has taken her is brought to justice. It's not good enough that the search stops."
Gerry revealed three new pieces of information had been sent to investigators in Portugal from their team.
But the McCanns faced more accusations yesterday. The court was told Madeleine's abduction was a "fairytale" concocted by the couple.
Criminologist Francisco Moita Flores, a friend of Amaral, said: "No one believed Madeleine was kidnapped. I saw that window. It was impossible.
"The McCanns should be on trial for not guarding their children."
Maddy McCann cop adds insults to injury by Tony Parsons, published January 16, 2010 in The Mirror
If, as has been suggested in Portugal, there was a "media circus" around the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, then it is the Portuguese police who are the clowns.
Cruel, stupid, spiteful clowns.
You would never guess it but Kate and Gerry McCann are not actually on trial in Lisbon.
Madeleine's parents have brought legal action against detective Goncalo Amaral, who they accuse of libelling them in his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.
But the Portuguese plods have used the libel case to declare open season on the McCanns. One former policeman, Francisco Moita Flores, told the court that only the "distraction" of the "media circus" prevented the McCanns from being charged with negligence.
"No one believed it was an abduction," he told the court. "It was a fairytale, a fable."
But if Madeleine was not abducted, then what happened?
The Portuguese police were shown up as a bunch of clueless amateurs by the Madeleine case, and – shamed, embarrassed, infuriated – they turned their rage on the McCanns.
Even now, the Portuguese cops treat Kate and Gerry McCann with a grotesque lack of respect.
Asked if he cared that he had hurt the McCanns, Goncalo Amaral told a BBC reporter: "No, f*** the McCanns."
A class act, that fat copper, who has sought to make money out of a stolen child – and the endless grief of her parents.
And what a shock to see the faces of Kate and Gerry McCann back in our newspapers.
The indelible pain is stamped on their faces for ever.
The greatest tragedy is, of course, that a little girl was stolen from her family.
But it is also genuinely tragic that the Portuguese police did not seriously look for the bastard who stole her.
And that's because they have always been far too busy slandering that little girl's parents.
Martin Brunt, from Sky News who was in Lisbon covering the book banning trial was the only reporter who tried to set the record straight, he wrote the following in his Sky News blog on January 15, 2010:
Life of Crime - My New Best Friend
Spare a thought for my new best friend Goncalo Amaral.
I’m beginning to think the former detective in the Madeleine McCann case has a point when he complains about the British media attacking him.
My Beeb colleague accused him of saying “F*** the McCanns” in an alleged off-guard moment when we all followed him out of court the other day.
What he actually said was “Fala com McCanns” which means “Ask the McCanns”.
The rest of us, through our interpreters, understood perfectly what he was saying.
I think he needs a good libel lawyer.
Isabel Duarte may be free when she has finished pursuing him over his book on the Madeleine case.
ECU Ruling: East Midlands Today, BBC1 (East Midlands), 12 January 2011[sic]
Publication date: 30 May 2011
The programme included a brief exchange between a reporter and Gonçalo Amaral (a former policeman who had worked on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and had since written a book on the case). One word in the exchange was bleeped, and the report gave the impression that this was because Sr Amaral had used offensive language about the MrCanns[sic]. A viewer complained that this was inaccurate and unfair to Sr Amaral.
The reporter's belief, reinforced by others on the programme team who viewed the recording, was that Sr Amaral had indeed used an English phrase which included an offensive term applied to the McCanns. On further examination, however, it became clear that Sr Amaral had been speaking Portuguese, and that an inoffensive phrase had been misconstrued. Upheld
The Editor of the programme has discussed the outcome with the producer and reporter involved. In future, the team plans to use interpreters if clips from interviews are unclear.
in BBC Complaints
Thank you note: UK tabloids scannings via McCannFiles, with thanks to Nige