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 lose Appeal to Supreme Court

Supreme: Judges acquit Gonçalo Amaral
Decision: Book about Maddie will return to the news-stands


by Magali Pinto/Ana Luísa Nascimento

Unsatisfied with the decision of the adjudicating judges of the Lisbon Court of Appeal, which acquitted the former coordinator of PJ Gonçalo Amaral to pay them 500,000 euros, Kate and Gerry McCann - parents of three-year-old Maddie, who disappeared in the Algarve in May 2007 - turned to the Supreme Court. But yesterday, the British couple was faced with a new defeat. The Supreme Court of Justice vindicated Gonçalo Amaral, who is thus free from the payment of the compensation claim of half a million euros. The book Maddie: The Truth of the Lie' can return the news-stands.

"The Supreme Court judges consider that, in a situation of conflict between the right to honour and the right to freedom of expression, the criterion for balancing interests, acting in accordance with the principle of proportionality and the specificity of the case, points to the fact that it is the freedom of expression of the defendant (Gonçalo Amaral), that is a creditor of greater protection - taking into account the European context in which Portugal is inserted and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

At stake is the book in which Gonçalo Amaral argues that the girl died in a "tragic accident" and that the body was concealed by the parents who simulated an abduction. The McCanns were aggrieved by the presentation of this thesis.

Amaral was ordered to pay 500,000 euros in January 2015 for damages. In April, the Lisbon Court of Appeal recognized Gonçalo Amaral's Constitutional Right to express his opinion and also annulled the prohibition of commercialization of the book. The Supreme Court has now agreed with the Court of Appeal.

Details

Lawyer
Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, Gonçalo Amaral's lawyer told CM that he learned of the Supreme Court's decision in the media, and mentioned that he did not had access to the ruling "which should happen in the coming days".

180 thousand copies
Overall, 180,000 copies of the book 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie' were published, the book launch was on July 24, 2008. It was also sold with the CM as well as the DVD of a documentary on the same theme. In the book, he writes the whole thesis about what happened to the English girl.

Interviews
The judges of the Court of Appeal in Lisbon understood that the fact that the couple Kate and Gerry McCann by giving numerous interviews about the disappearance of their daughter, abdicated the right to privacy, which paved the way for anyone to rebut their thesis of abduction the girl.

in Correio da Manhã, February 1, 2017 (paper edition)

Opinion article

Justice for Gonçalo Amaral was late but arrived

by Eduardo Dâmaso

Justice for Gonçalo Amaral was late but arrived. The former inspector of the PJ saw recognized by the Supreme Court of Justice (STJ) his right to freedom of expression and therefore to defend what he had always said about the Maddie case: the girl died in an accident at home and that the McCann couple concealed the body simulating an abduction.

The two decisions - of the Lisbon Court of Appeal and then by the STJ - represent, however, much more than Amaral's defence of freedom of expression. They give a strong endorsement to the investigation of PJ de Portimão, which was subjected to political pressures and demonized in the media.

Ten years later, there is always some justice in this unfortunate case.

in Correio da Manhã, February 1, 2017


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