Libel Trial >
McCann v Gonηalo Amaral - Day 1 Witness No 2
The session was delayed because a journalist (TVI)
was caught recording the session on her cell phone,
the fear, according to the judge, being that it
interferes with the Court's own recording. It seems
that although the phone was "active" it wasn't
recording. In any event, this incident had to be
reported and dictating to the clerk which all takes
time. All this appeared to be very much of an aside
since many cell phones were on in the court room
(switching ones phone off completely seems to equate
to an amputation).
The testimony as it happened...
(12.09.2013, 3pm) Emma Loach is a documentary
film maker and gives evidence in English. The
interpreter translates the lawyers' questions for EL
and then translates her responses from English to
Portuguese for the lawyers and the judge who, in
fact, do understand to the extent that they
sometimes helped the interpreter, an English lady.
first met the McCanns in 2008 in order to make the
first documentary (Madeleine, one year on),
since then their professional relationship has
expanded to that of friendship and to the extent
that she sees the family including the twins on a
McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is the first to
question the witness.
Reminding the objective is to establish the
effects, if any, the book had on Kate and Gerald
McCann, she asks what EL has to say about the
answers that the book had a devastating effect on
the McCanns, says it was like falling into a black
bottomless hole, because the people thought
Madeleine was dead. In July 2008, according to the
Attorney General (AG) Report, there was no evidence
that Madeleine was dead and the AG agreed she could
be alive. This was the scenario which was accepted
before the book was published.
Why did the McCanns let this book undermine the
findings of the AG report? There were elements in
the file which clearly indicated that Madeleine
could still be alive.
doesn't seem to have understood the question
(translated in English by the interpreter), because
she answers as if the question concerned the public
and not the McCanns.
She speaks of the style of the book agreeable and
easy to read and the simplicity of the proposed
lawyer objects that the issue isn't to appreciate
the literary qualities of the book. Overruled.
adds the fact that the author was the head of the
investigation led the people to conclusions where
there's no room for doubts. Only someone who knows
very well the files is able to see the big failures
of the book.
The McCann couple didn't react immediately to the
explains their priority was looking for Madeleine,
not to be concerned by the publication of this book.
In the beginning they had no idea about its possible
effects. But it became clear in the following
Question missing, likely "To what is due the
effect of the book?"
thinks that the "nice, easy conclusion" explains the
success of the book. There were many interviews and
articles about the book, it was a kind of media
tsunami. This upset and harmed more
and more the McCanns. The documentary that claimed
their daughter was dead and that they concealed the
body created a lot of pain. It spread rapidly on the
internet, with subtitles, millions of people watched
How do you know that millions of people watched
knows that two million watched it in the UK, but
doesn't know how many outside of the UK.
She says before the book and the documentary, Kate
and Gerald lived calmly, many people in the world
were ready to help them, they were strong and stoic,
they didn't allow themselves anxiety because they
had to find Madeleine. Then the book was published
and they fell into despair because the people whose
help they needed thought Madeleine was dead. It
became very difficult to be strong enough to go on
looking for Madeleine.
Did they lose the energy they had to search for
answers they lost the hope but couldn't desist.
What was the first preoccupation for this couple?
says it was the fact people believed Madeleine was
And in relation to the twins (after the
says they worried a lot for the present day and also
for the future. The twins were about to go to school
and they could hear rumours. It was important that
they understand that everything was done to find
their sister (note: this is one of the main
worries of Psychologist David Trickey, witness 4)
In which documentaries did you participate?
corrects that she is actually the documentary maker.
One was broadcast in May 2008, Madeleine McCann,
one year on (ITV) and the other in May 2009,
Madeleine was here (Ch4). In the first one she
didn't use the word "abduction" and the McCanns, as
arguidos, couldn't speak. The documentary is
about the McCann European campaign.
They were broadcast in how many countries in the
Are they based on the McCann couple's thesis (the
answers that in the second documentary an
investigator (David Edgar, witness 3) says
there are many theories but they investigate it on
the basis that it was an abduction.
TVI lawyers questions.
TVI Was the 2009 documentary a reconstruction?
says the main characters didn't take part. Those who
did were the private investigators.
TVI But it was presented as a reconstruction?
Didn't the McCanns collaborate?
The Portuguese word was "reconstitution", and not
"reconstruction". The difference is important: a
reconstruction is a current practice in Common Law
UK ; it's done in front of cameras with actors and
the purpose is to jog people's memories. In the
Romano Germanic System (Portugal, France, etc.), a
"reconstitution" is only done by the police, with
the real protagonists, without TV cameras and for
says they were interviewed but weren't involved in
the film making.
TVI Did you know that TVI wanted also to broadcast
the Ch4 documentary?
says she didn't know.
TVI Do you know that the McCann couple participated
in other programs?
says she knows.
TVI Do you know they were in Oprah Winfrey Show?
says she knows.
TVI Do you know that the Oprah shows audience is
much more important?
says she doesn't know the numbers; they're not
available on the web.
TVI Do you know that Oprah productions are much
more watched than any other?
admits they are but adds they have no future on the
What are the worries about the twins and what's
done to protect them from the internet?
says the twins aren't allowed to surf on the
Internet; there are no discussions about the book in
front of them, though Madeleine issue is discussed a
TCI Have they seen your documentaries?
thinks they didn't.
Valentim de Carvalho (DVD production/distribution)
: Who wanted to make the documentary?
says she suggested it to ITV, the idea was hers.
What is the difference between the crime files and
says the book is easier to read.
Do you know the case well? Do you remember the
says she did know the process but forgot about it,
forgot the details.
In what manner has the book changed the prevailing
criticizes the method used to launch the book. It
had no benefit in the search for Madeleine.
Do you know the final Report?
says she does.
Is there a difference...
The judge says that comparing is the job of the
doesn't remember a passage (of the final Report) in
particular but considers the final Report disagrees
with GA's thesis. She says the book wasn't written
in the Report's language but as an account, the
conclusion of which being totally different to that
of the Report.
Guerra & Paz's lawyer's questions
I understand that, from 2010, you and the McCanns
met once every three months. Do you know when the
book was published? Do you know how the McCanns had
access to the book? Did they speak about it in
says they spoke of the conclusion in particular.
Do you know if the book was published in the UK?
says she saw it in bookshops.
And on the internet?
doesn't know. She ignored who introduced this book
and if it was legal.
About the effect, when did you speak to the
McCanns about the book?
answers "in January"
Did you see then that they were hurt?
When the twins went to school, did they hear about
Madeleine's disappearance? Do they speak of it at
home? Do the parents fear the internet?
says they speak of Madeleine at home.
Have the twins any idea that other theses
circulate in the UK? Is their access restriction due
to the book or to these other theses?
says that before the book was published nobody
thought that Madeleine could have died in the
How do you know about the audience of 2 millions?
Have you a special access to these data?
Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions
You said that three days after the AG report was
published everything went down. What, the
says no. She was referring to the McCanns.
Did you refer to the book hampering the search for
says yes, sometimes. She witnessed Kate incapable of
doing anything. She knows the files extremely well;
she studied them after they were specially
translated for them.
How do you know that the police weren't looking
says she was present, having visited the McCanns two
days after the publication of the book.
Do you know the date on which this action started?
Do you know why they reacted so late?
says she never was involved in such discussion.
The judge (Maria Emνlia de Melo e Castro) is now
How did the book hamper the investigation?
says that if everybody thought Madeleine had died
then nobody would look for her. If people thought
the parents were involved, they wouldnt help.
But when the book was published the McCanns were
no longer arguidos.
says the public, according to the US, is very
important to find missing children.
If some people suspect, from where is their
says it is mainly through the internet. GA's book is
the first thing that appears on internet. The
people don't know these allegations aren't true
according to the criminal investigation.
People don't know?
hesitates, she says the majority don't.
Are the McCanns ashamed of what is said in the
says the public believes they had covered up and
then asked for money to search for Madeleine.
The fact they are innocent didn't suppress this
says the fact they are innocent necessitates they
must find Madeleine. They were more ashamed to be
arguidos than because of what the book says.
In which way is it different?
doesn't answer, she is obviously upset. The judge
says she may leave. Previous witness Mrs Susan
Hubbard gets up immediately and follows EL out of
the court room.