Libel trial McCann v Gonçalo
Amaral - Day 12 – Kate McCann's deposition
The hearing as
Maria Emília de Melo e Castro
starts by asking the lawyers for the defence whether they intend to
speak out about a request that was made by the plaintiffs on the
26th of June. They say they give up.
The judge then
refers to the fact that the plaintiffs appealed against the decision
not to hear the parties whereas Gonçalo Amaral didn't and that
therefore only Gerald and Kate McCann will be heard to-day.
finally clarifies what was her first point: the plaintiffs had asked
for information about the financial situation of GA on the 6th of
January but didn't obtain it, Dra Isabel Duarte having requested on
the 26th of June a Court's order for the Autoridade Tributária e
Aduaneira (HM Revenue and Customs) to disclose confidential
documents concerning GA.
decides to grant this request, which was opposed only by the
Guerra&Paz lawyer who finds it unnecessary and increasing the delay
up to the end of this trial. The plaintiffs have ten days to obtain
the documents and release them to the tribunal.
hearing scheduled for this afternoon (Dra Duarte) and the hearing on
the 10th (the defence lawyers) will have to be postponed. Sine die,
1) the tribunal holidays (starting on 16 of July and ending on 31 of
2) A new
judiciary organization that will be implemented in the whole country
in the beginning of September.
plaintiff to be heard is Kate Healy (name on her passport).
Standing, as any witness did, she indicates her identity, address,
profession (says she is a doctor but doesn't work any more), etc.
Finally the judge claims that the plaintiff is here to make a
statement on some facts of this trial. The plaintiff is expected to
speak the truth about those points. Then she's invited to sit down.
that the new CPC authorises is in fact not a voluntary and
deliberate oral deposition, but consists of replying to the judge's
questions. After that questioning, the lawyers are invited to submit
their own questions, but those are themselves questioned by the
judge who will reformulate or possibly reject some of them.
Do you remember when you first learnt about the book by Gonçalo
Amaral and when you read it?
learnt that the book existed through the media and read parts of it
that were quoted. She read it completely around the end of 2008.
– How did you feel when you read the book?
she was devastated. She already had an idea of what was in that
book, but when she read it all she felt desperate because of the
injustice against her and her family as a whole and also felt
anxious because of the damage that this book was causing to
Madeleine. She gives as an example the fact that the book accuses
her and her husband of being somehow involved and of faking an
abduction. The book smears her and her husband throughout.
– What data are you now referring to?
says that the book had many negative effects in Portugal. She says
that this book sounds credible and if people believe what it says,
that Madeleine is dead, they will not search for her and bring more
information about her. She says that it is a particularly serious
matter that such a theory is published in Portugal, because it is
from there that Madeleine disappeared.
– Do you remember the documentary?
says that Portuguese and non Portuguese friends told her that it had
been horrible, they didn't dare to tell her on the night it was
broadcast, but the following day they gave her details.
– Did you happen to watch it?
says that she watched it when it was available on the Web.
What new element does this documentary bring? How did you feel
watching it compared to what you felt when you read the book?
finds that the destructive power of the documentary is bigger, it is
yet more damaging.
– Did you
feel worse and why?
explains that the documentary is more definitive and cutting than
the book. She felt despair because of the injustice towards her
family as a whole and she was anxious that it would damage the
search since there was no official investigation and they were the
only ones working very hard. As it was jeopardising their efforts,
she felt pain and fear.
asks whether KMC knows about an interview given by Gonçalo Amaral to
the Correio da Manhã, whether she remembers a particular
remembers an interview about the documentary, she remembers in
particular one where it was said that Madeleine was dead, that they
had kept her body in a freezer and transported it in the car boot.
asks how KMC was made aware of the interviews.
replies that she has friends in Portugal and that those friends sent
her the articles and indicated the essential points.
– When did you learn of that interview?
doesn't remember the date but thinks it was soon after... (Suspended
– How did you react?
says that her friends in Portugal were a big support.
– How do you feel concerning the perception that the majority of
Portuguese are against you?
says that negative claims are very distressing and bothering.
– Do you feel rather uncomfortable, ashamed?
that "ashamed" is not quite the right word for it. She clarifies
that it makes her lose confidence.
asks whether she suffered because the people thought that they were
cowards for having hidden the body.
after a silence, says that people thought much worse than that.
– Did that cause you insomnia?
says that it happened obviously, but that she isn't no more as she
was, destroyed. She says that she cried, that the book brought her
pain and emotion while she was desperate to find Madeleine.
– Do the twins know about the book, the documentary?
answers that of course they use computers at school and at home and
she has to be very careful and try to supervise the information they
– Do they have a global idea about what people say?
mentions that her son, in October asked her why Mr Amaral said that
they hid Madeleine. She answered that there were many stupid things
in his book.
– How did your son know about that? How was it possible if you were
careful to prevent access to the book?
thinks he heard it on the radio, in the school bus.
– So what did you do?
says that they spoke to David Trickey who advised them to let the
twins make comments and just answer when they ask questions. She
says that they had to contact the school in case a child would tell
the twins about something that is in the book. She says that the
book is noxious for adults and must be even more damaging for
Judge asks if
KMC had a depression.
says no, but of course she had been depressed.
– Did you publicly say that you wished you were in a coma to forget
– In what circumstances? Was it linked to the disappearance of
Madeleine or to the book and the documentary?
replies that the pain was increased by the book.
The judge asks
how old the twins are (9) and when they started school (2009).
(for the plaintiffs) – Was there a reaction to the book and the
documentary in the UK?
reformulates but keeps the question
says that there were a bit less reactions than in Portugal and that
it was because of the media who accepted what the book said and
published reports upon it. People on the Web and through e-mails
were stimulated to insult them, like the Madeleine Foundation, and
created a lot of damages. As Gonçalo Amaral was the coordinator of
the investigation, it provided him credibility and it intensified
the vilification of them.
– What is
the Madeleine Foundation?
explains that it's a group of people who essentially promotes
theories up to the point of trying to manipulate people in their
– What relation is there between this group and the book?
says there is none, but they invited Gonçalo Amaral. She thinks that
he didn't go.
– This group was created because of the book?
– No, it existed before the book was published. She says that
obviously the book strengthened them.
says she wants KMC to speak of the threats. The judge asks from who,
from where, but as Isabel Duarte doesn't known the judge rejects
this question because it is not within the scope of the trial.
gets back to the conversation with Sean and asks whether he left it
says it occurred only then, after that they followed the Trickey's
– Did Sean speak again to you about it?
Amaral's new lawyer, Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, wants to know
what caused more distress to KMC.
rephrases – What disturbed you more: the disappearance of your
daughter, the fact you were made arguido or the reason for this
trial, i.e the book and the documentary?
says there's nothing worse than the abduction of a child, but that
the rest intensified the pain and that there are limits to what a
person can bear.
mentions the topic of the social (image) destruction. The judge
confirms that it is an issue to establish or refute.
– Did you have the support of famous people like Angelina Jolie?
says that she has no idea about Angelina Jolie, but knows that
renowned people supported them.
mentions a celebration that gathered 20 thousand people in order to
pray on the 8th of December 2008
doesn't remember and asks where it was.
says it was in the UK.
says that there are obviously people who pray.
mentions that KMC became an ambassador for Missing People in July
2012. Judge repeats the question.
mentions a gala party in January 2010 to commemorate 1000 days. Does
tells KMC that she's free to leave or to remain in the Court room.
She remains there, sitting next to her lawyer.
And so it
thanks to QV and Astro for review