The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

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Goncalo Amaral's Court Hearing (Day Three)*

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Day Three of Gonçalo Amaral's Appeal Hearing

Tapas Seven Friend Flies Out To Kate McCann, 14 January 2010
Tapas Seven Friend Flies Out To Kate McCann Sky News

12:03am UK, Thursday January 14, 2010
Jon di Paolo, Sky News Online reporter, in Lisbon


Kate McCann is to be joined by Fiona Payne, a member of the so-called Tapas Seven group of friends, for the third day of a libel trial in Portugal as husband Gerry has flown home.

The McCanns are in court to try to ensure a ban is upheld on a book written by former policeman Goncalo Amaral in which he suggests their daughter died in the apartment from which she vanished in May 2007.

Mr Amaral was originally in charge of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's whereabouts after she disappeared during the family trip to Praia da Luz in the Algarve.

However, he was taken off the case five months later after criticising the British police, and went on to write Madeleine: The Truth Of The Lie, published the following summer.

The book and a subsequent documentary prompted the McCanns to launch a legal fight for a ban and £1m compensation, which they say would be put towards efforts to find Madeleine.

The trial has so far consisted of witnesses called on behalf of Mr Amaral, mostly current or former policemen who back his version of events.

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Monday he believed Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and that her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.

On the second day Francisco Moita Flores, a former senior policeman who is now a politician, criminologist and writer, told the court it would be impossible to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat.

Their testimony has been challenged by the McCanns' defence lawyer, Isabel Duarte, who pointed out there were other ways in which the youngster could have been taken from the apartment.

The Amaral witnesses have also repeatedly insisted that the case represents an attack on the Portuguese constitution and freedom of speech.

They have also brought up the hostile attitude of sections of the British media towards the local detectives who worked on the case and Mr Amaral in particular.

Mr McCann and his wife Kate, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have sat together in court throughout, but on the trial's second day Mr McCann left early, saying he had to fly back to the UK to honour work commitments.

Outside court, he said that despite the hostile testimony there was still no evidence whatsoever that Madeleine was dead.

He said: "From our point of view, what's happened in the last two days is in many ways what's expected. These are Goncalo Amaral's witnesses.

"I think it is particularly disappointing that certain police officers within Portimao who considered us as possibly involved in Madeleine's disappearance have not been able to change their minds despite a lack of evidence.

"It is these officers we are dependent on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal."

Her place at Mrs McCann's side in the courtroom will be taken by Mrs Payne, a member of the Tapas Seven group of friends who were dining with the McCanns on the night of the disappearance.

The group were awarded libel damages of £375,000 in October 2008 following untrue reports in two British daily newspapers that they had not told the truth about what happened that evening.

Mrs Payne is a close friend of Kate's and recently ran a charity fun run with her in Leicestershire during which Mrs McCann wore a T-shirt pleading for people not to give up the search for her daughter.

Speaking in court in Portugal, former detective and criminologist Moita Flores said: "I have spoken to respected experts on crime and none of them agrees it would be possible to pass a child through the window.

"It would have been a very stupid person who tried to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat."

Mr Flores is the first witness called on the second day of a three day libel trial, brought by the McCanns, to permanently ban a book written by a senior figure in the investigation that claims Madeleine died in the family's apartment.

Former detective Goncalo Amaral is trying to overturn the ban on his book Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

Mr Amaral initially led the Madeleine investigation but was taken off the case in October 2007 after criticising the British police in a newspaper interview.

Mr Flores defended the police inquiry and Mr Amaral's book.

He said: "It is not true to say that the police only pursued the line of inquiry that the McCanns were guilty.

"Many, many hours were spent by officers checking every other possible line of inquiry.

"This case is pathetic. A citizen is being prevented from freely expressing his opinions in a responsible way."

Speaking outside court Gerry McCann told journalists he had heard no evidence that Madeleine was dead.

He said: "This is the legal process we're going through to protect our daughter and our family. Anyone else with children would do the same."

Sky News Online reporter Jon di Paolo, who is reporting from inside the court said: "The McCanns are both in conversation with their interpreters. Gerry looks relaxed and smiles as he talks."

Yesterday a senior detective called as a witness by Mr Amaral told the court he believed Madeleine died in her family's apartment.

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida claimed the main evidence for this was the findings of British police sniffer dogs sent to Portugal to examine the flat.

He said the animals detected traces of blood inside the dining room of the holiday flat and in the car the McCann's were using.

The McCann's lawyer Isabel Duarte challenged the claim, saying the sniffer dog results did not constitute proof.

Local public prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses was also called as a witness. When asked if he believed Madeleine was dead, he said it was "50-50".

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from a holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Kate and Gerry McCann were made "arguidos" or formal suspects four months in to the investigation, but this status was lifted when the case was shelved the following summer.

In seperate legal proceedings in Portugal, the couple are seeking over £1m in compensation from Mr Amaral for defamation.

The McCanns have always strenuously denied allegations they were involved in their daughter's disappearance, and say they will never stop looking for her.

The trial continues.

BBC East Midlands Today speak to Gonçalo Amaral, 13 January 2010

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Dominic Heale: Well let's go live to Lisbon now and our reporter Mike Sullivan. Good evening, Mike.

Mike Sullivan (to camera): Yes, good evening, Dominic. There's been huge interest, errr... in this story today in the British and Portuguese media, as the McCanns came to Lisbon. They want this civil court here to uphold the ban on a book written by a former police chief in the Madeleine investigation; a police chief who unfortunately seems to havea very low opinion of the McCanns.

MS (to Gonçalo Amaral): Is your book hurting the McCanns?

Gonçalo Amaral: No [words bleeped out] McCanns

MS (voice over): This is the former police officer whose book "The Truth of the Lie" has caused so much heartache for the McCanns.

DH: So, Mike, an amazing outburst from the man who was in charge of that inquiry. What did you think, errr... when he made that comment to you? 

MS: Well, frankly Dominic, I was astonished, and so was my cameraman as well, that, you know, that a former, errr... senior police officer could... could use a term like that aimed at the McCanns. Errr... I had to check back the tape to make sure that was what he'd said, using that... that four letter word and I had to ask senior colleagues at East Midlands Today to check it as well be... before we could, errr... use it, because it... it really is crude.

Vile cop: F*** the McCanns, 14 January 2010
Vile cop: F*** the McCanns The Sun

Upset ... Kate McCann
Upset ... Kate McCann

By TOM WELLS and ANTONELLA LAZZERI in Lisbon
Published: Today (14 January 2010)

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.

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.

The Sun (paper edition): 'Vile cop: F*** the McCanns', 14 January 2010

The Sun, 14 January 2010

Disgraced Portuguese detective in four letter outburst at Kate and Gerry McCann, 14 January 2010
Disgraced Portuguese detective in four letter outburst at Kate and Gerry McCann Daily Mirror

By Martin Fricker in Lisbon
14/01/2010


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."

Daily Mirror (paper edition): 'Ranting Rat', 14 January 2010

Daily Mirror, 14 January 2010

McCanns' fury at death claim, 14 January 2010
McCanns' fury at death claim Daily Express

Daily Express, 14 January 2010

By Nick Fagge in Lisbon
Thursday January 14, 2010


DEFIANT Gerry McCann yesterday hit back at courtroom claims that his daughter Madeleine is dead and that he and wife Kate concealed her body.

In an emotional outburst, Mr McCann blasted Portuguese police for their blinkered theory that is harming the search for the missing youngster.

His patience snapped on the second day of a hearing in Lisbon at which ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral is seeking to overturn a ban on his book questioning the McCanns' account of what happened to Madeleine. Mr McCann, 41, was asked if it was worth the emotional cost for the couple to attend the court case.

He replied: "Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through the same process." Dismissing suggestions that Madeleine was dead, he said: "I think if you're rational, objective and interested in proof of burden and law then there is none.

"The key thing for me was the prosecutor. He had all the evidence and he said there was no evidence that Madeleine was dead. We're confident that the law is on our side."

Yesterday Gerry and wife Kate were forced to listen to allegations that Madeleine’s abduction was a "fairy tale" made up by the McCanns to cover up for their neglect of their daughter.

On the courtroom steps, Mr McCann said: "I'd like to remind everyone that it's the book that's on trial and not Kate and I.

"As you all know, the trial over the last two days and tomorrow is really about Mr Amaral's book and DVD and how we feel that relates to the ongoing search for Madeleine. There is a little girl missing who still needs to be found and we will keep going until Madeleine is found and also until whoever has taken her is brought to justice."

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from the McCanns' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, in May 2007 while her parents were having dinner at a nearby restaurant.

The McCanns were later named as suspects in the case only to be cleared when the Portuguese authorities said there was no evidence against them.

Mr Amaral led the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance until he was sacked for criticising British detectives. He later resigned from the police after he was found guilty of professional misconduct in relation to a separate child abduction case.

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, are determined to pursue their bid to silence Mr Amaral – part of a £1million libel claim against the former detective.

The couple say their main motive is the fear that people will stop looking for their daughter if they think she is dead.

Mr McCann yesterday stressed there was no evidence to back up claims from Portuguese detectives that Madeleine died in their holiday flat after a tragic accident and that he and Kate then faked her abduction.

He said: "Over the last two days I think you've heard a lot about Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead and I hope you've also heard that there is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis.

"A thesis without evidence is meaningless and that is what we are challenging."

Mr McCann singled out for criticism former family liaison officer Dr Ricardo Paiva who told the court Kate believed Madeleine was dead. He said: "He [Dr Paiva] believes that Madeleine is dead. How can he investigate thoroughly if he believes that?"

He then went on to contradict Dr Paiva's evidence that Kate had seen Madeleine on a hillside in a dream. He said: "I'd like to make it absolutely clear that Kate has never had a dream that Maddie has been buried somewhere, and I don't know if something's been lost in interpretation, but that didn't happen – not with those words, that's for sure."

Mr McCann stressed that the couple were still devastated by the mistake they made in leaving their children unattended for up to half an hour on the night Madeleine went missing.

He said: "What is done cannot be righted. We made a mistake, in hindsight we made a mistake, by leaving Madeleine and we have to live with the consequences of that."

Mr McCann was expected to leave Portugal last night to return to work in Britain, leaving Kate, 41, to attend the third day of the hearing today.

Earlier the court heard from Portugal's leading criminologist who said the McCanns should have been prosecuted for leaving their children alone on the night Madeleine disappeared.

Francisco Moita Flores said: "How could the McCanns not be accused? We must never forget that at the beginning of all this children had been left alone."

Mr Moita Flores, who hosts a Crimewatch-style TV show in Portugal, also claimed it would have been "impossible" to carry a sleeping child out of the holiday apartment window.

He said: "No one believed it was a kidnap. The theory was a fairy tale. I spoke with my colleagues, all criminal experts, and no one believed it was a kidnapping.

"From the first day I believed she was dead, although we all wished she was alive.

"But the McCanns have been trying to convince police since the beginning that abduction was the only line of inquiry worth pursuing."

The hearing continues.

Maddie snatch story was a fairytale that saved McCanns from being charged with neglect, libel trial told, 14 January 2010
Maddie snatch story was a fairytale that saved McCanns from being charged with neglect, libel trial told Daily Mail

By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 9:17 AM on 14th January 2010


The 'fairytale' of Madeleine McCann's abduction saved her parents from being charged with neglecting their children, it was claimed yesterday.

Kate and Gerry McCann did not face negligence charges because police were too 'distracted' by claims their daughter had been snatched, a former policeman said.

Francisco Moita Flores told the second day of the McCann libel case how police hadn't believed three-year-old Madeleine was abducted from her parents' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

Ordeal: Gerry and Kate McCann talk to reporters as they arrive at court yesterday
Ordeal: Gerry and Kate McCann talk to reporters as they arrive at court yesterday

They were forced to investigate the theory because of the 'media circus' surrounding the case and the political pressure it created, the Portuguese court heard.

He suggested the couple should face neglect charges because they left their children sleeping while they went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant.

After yesterday's hearing a clearly angry Mr McCann conceded that he and his wife had been wrong to leave their children, but said mistakes had been made by all involved.

He said: 'We're not harking over mistakes which were made, and particularly mistakes that were made early on and cannot be redeemed.

'What is done cannot be righted... in hindsight we made a mistake by leaving Madeleine and we have to live with the consequences of that. We can't change it.'

Earlier, Mr Moita Flores had told the court: 'No one believed it was an abduction. It was a fairytale, a fable. If the police only worked on that theory then they would be a bunch of idiots.'

Pressure: The McCanns, seen yesterday, were negligent, Portuguese police say
Pressure: The McCanns, seen yesterday, were negligent, Portuguese police say

He said he believed it would have been impossible for an abductor to break into the McCanns' apartment and carry away Madeleine.

'The McCanns should be judged for the neglect of their children. In Portugal this is huge negligence,' he said.

'The accusation was not made. Justice was distracted. How could they not be accused?'

Mr Moita Flores did not work on the investigation and had already left the Portuguese police when Madeleine disappeared in May 2007.

But he was giving evidence on behalf of Goncalo Amaral, the detective accused of libelling the McCanns in his bestselling book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

Madeleine's parents took legal action against Mr Amaral over accusations they faked their daughter's abduction to cover up her death while on a family holiday.

They won a court injunction banning the sale of the book worldwide and preventing him from repeating the allegations.

But the injunction did not stop him from publishing a second book in December, called The English Gag.

The libel case has provided the police officers who investigated the McCanns with a public platform on which to air their suspicions.

Unlike a criminal trial, the detectives have not had to provide evidence to support their allegations.

Mr McCann, 41, left Portugal last night to return to his job as a hospital heart consultant.

His wife, also 41, a former GP who has not returned to work since Madeleine's disappearance, is expected to stay in Lisbon until the end of the court hearing.

The latest courtroom accusations came as Mr Amaral was forced to deny claims he had launched a foul-mouthed attack on the McCanns.

The 50-year-old was caught on camera as he was asked if his book had hurt the couple, and appeared to snarl: 'No, **** the McCanns.'

His outburst was shown by the BBC's regional news programme in the East Midlands, which bleeped out the offending word.

A source said producers were convinced he had sworn, but lawyers for the detective denied he had spoken in English.

His lawyer Antonio Cabrita said: 'I have never heard him use that kind of language.' Asked if he had made the comment, Mr Amaral, 50, replied: 'Never.'

The detective is believed to face financial ruin if the McCanns succeed in their £1million libel action.

Gerry McCann in courthouse clash

Gerry McCann yesterday lashed out at accusations that the couple had faked their daughter's abduction.

Sickened by police slurs that he and wife Kate were involved in Madeleine's disappearance, the grim-faced father confronted journalists on his way into court.

Asked why they had taken legal action over the claims, Mr McCann turned on a Portuguese television reporter and demanded to know if she was a mother. 'Do you have children?' he snapped. 'Anyone who has children would go through the same process.'

Mr McCann appeared to struggle to control his anger as he returned to hear a second day of allegations.

He said: 'There is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead. Let me finish please.

'There's absolutely no evidence that Madeleine's dead, and there's absolutely no evidence that we are involved.'

Madeleine: TVI denies bias, 14 January 2010
Madeleine: TVI denies bias ionline

By Lusa Agency
14 January 2010
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation


Yesterday, TVI denied any bias in broadcasting the documentary that is based on Gonçalo Amaral's book "Maddie – The Truth of the Lie", which has temporarily been removed from the market after an injunction was filed by the parents of the English child that went missing in the Algarve.

Margarida Teotónio Pereira, the television station's international programming director, who was heard as a defence witness during the third injunction trial session, asserted that "TVI tried to buy a documentary in which the McCann couple presented their version" about the disappearance of their daughter, in 2007, in the Algarve.

The channel's senior official recalled that in April 2009 the station's then general director, José Eduardo Moniz, "didn't want TVI to be connected to a documentary that defended Gonçalo Amaral's thesis", thus they advanced towards buying the programme "with exclusive and original images", in which Kate and Gerry McCann reconstructed the facts.

That documentary in which the McCanns intervened, which was produced by British television Channel 4, would allow, as the witness mentioned, to oppose the one that had been produced by Valentim de Carvalho, based on the former Polícia Judiciária inspector's book, which was broadcast by TVI for the first time on the 13th of April 2009.

Both Margarida Teotónio Pereira and the station's market studies technician Paulo Gonçalves Soares said that the documentary had been preceded by a written explanation about the existence "of other points of view" about the matter, not binding TVI, at a time when it "was known that another documentary would be available on the international market".

The channel struck an agreement with the British distributor to buy the Channel 4 documentary, but on the 28th of April, Margarida Teotónio Pereira received an e-mail that confirmed a phone call from a few days earlier, in which the McCann couple impeded the broadcast on the Portuguese channel.

"We wanted to have the opportunity to show another story about a matter that was of major interest and that was very important to TVI, not only because of viewer shares", she said, stressing that the British couple vetoed the Portuguese channel because they were not satisfied with news that had been broadcast before.

At the judge's request, the written communication from the distributor, refusing the broadcast, was annexed to the process, because it was deemed important for the channel's opposition to the McCanns' argument, that the spreading of the thesis of Kate and Gerry's involvement in their daughter's disappearance damages the investigation.

The Channel 4 programme ended up being acquired and broadcast by SIC only days later, on prime time, with TVI repeating the broadcast of Gonçalo Amaral's documentary at the same time, merely for "share reasons".

Both on the first and the second broadcast, Margarida Teotónio Pereira said that at TVI "it was not discussed; the fact of the documentary being broadcast" on a date that preceded the PJ investigation's archiving dispatch, from the Republic's prosecutor in Portimão, which was written on the 1st of July of the same year, and notified on the 29th.

That matter was raised by the McCanns' representative, Isabel Duarte, who is going to file a criminal action against Gonçalo Amaral over breaching the judicial secrecy.

The nest session has been scheduled for the 10th of February, with closing arguments.

In this process, Gonçalo Amaral stands accused of disseminating conclusions that the McCanns consider to be unsustainable, of the little girl's death in the apartment, simulation of abduction by the parents, and concealment of the cadaver.

Kate McCann 'Confident' Of Winning Libel Case, 14 January 2010
Kate McCann 'Confident' Of Winning Libel Case Sky News

10:48am UK, Thursday January 14, 2010
Jon di Paolo, Sky News Online reporter, in Lisbon


Kate McCann said she was "confident" of winning a libel case in Portugal as she arrived for a third day in court.

The McCanns are trying to ensure a ban is upheld on a book written by former policeman Goncalo Amaral, in which he suggests their daughter died in the apartment from which she vanished in May 2007.

Arriving at court with Fiona Payne, a member of the Tapas Seven group of friends, Mrs McCann stopped briefly to speak to the waiting press pack.

"I believe this was the right course of action," she said. "I have confidence in the Portuguese justice system."

She added: "We need to find Madeleine. That's why we're here."

Mr Amaral was originally in charge of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's whereabouts after she disappeared during the family trip to Praia da Luz in the Algarve.

However, he was taken off the case five months later after criticising the British police, and went on to write Madeleine: The Truth Of The Lie, published the following summer.

Kate McCann outside court in Portugal
Kate McCann outside court in Portugal

The book and a subsequent documentary prompted the McCanns to launch a legal fight for a ban and £1m compensation, which they say would be put towards efforts to find Madeleine.

Sky News' Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "What we are going to hear today is testimony from witnesses for the book publishers and from witnesses for the TV company.

"As far as police witnesses are concerned, that part of the case is over."

The trial has so far consisted of witnesses called on behalf of Mr Amaral, mostly current or former policemen who back his version of events.

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Monday he believed Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and that her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.

On the second day Francisco Moita Flores, a former senior policeman who is now a politician, criminologist and writer, told the court it would be impossible to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat.

Their testimony has been challenged by the McCanns' defence lawyer, Isabel Duarte, who pointed out there were other ways in which the youngster could have been taken from the apartment.

The Amaral witnesses have also repeatedly insisted that the case represents an attack on the Portuguese constitution and freedom of speech.

They have also brought up the hostile attitude of sections of the British media towards the local detectives who worked on the case and Mr Amaral in particular.

Mr McCann and his wife Kate, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have sat together in court throughout, but on the trial's second day Mr McCann left early, saying he had to fly back to the UK to honour work commitments.

Outside court, he said that despite the hostile testimony there was still no evidence whatsoever that Madeleine was dead.

He said: "I think it is particularly disappointing that certain police officers within Portimao who considered us as possibly involved in Madeleine's disappearance have not been able to change their minds despite a lack of evidence.

"It is these officers we are dependent on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal."

His place at Mrs McCann's side in the courtroom was taken by Mrs Payne, a member of the Tapas Seven group of friends who were dining with the McCanns on the night of the disappearance.

The group were awarded libel damages of £375,000 in October 2008 following untrue reports in two British daily newspapers that they had not told the truth about what happened that evening.

Mrs Payne is a close friend of Kate's and recently ran a charity fun run with her in Leicestershire, during which Mrs McCann wore a T-shirt pleading for people not to give up the search for her daughter.

McCann hits out at Madeleine claim, 14 January 2010
McCann hits out at Madeleine claim The Press Association

(UKPA) – 14 January 2010, 12:10pm

Kate McCann has admitted that listening to claims that she faked her daughter Madeleine's abduction was difficult - but said nothing could be as bad as losing her child.

She and her husband Gerry have sat through two days of court hearings in which former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral has called witnesses to support his allegation that the little girl died in her family's holiday flat.

Mrs McCann insisted that the couple were right to take legal action against Mr Amaral and said she was confident they would win.

Speaking as she arrived for a third day of hearings at the main civil court in Lisbon, she acknowledged that this week had taken its toll. "If I'm honest, our daughter's been taken and nothing's ever going to be as bad as that," she said.

"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."

Mr McCann flew back to Britain to return to work and his wife was accompanied to court by Fiona Payne, one of the friends on holiday with the couple when Madeleine disappeared.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007.

He has called a series of top Portuguese law enforcement officials as witnesses in his attempt to overturn the McCanns' injunction on his book about the case, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Tuesday he believed that Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping. Former detective Francisco Moita Flores also dismissed the theory that the child was abducted and said the McCanns' legal challenge was "pathetic" when he gave evidence.

Mrs McCann was asked whether she now felt it was a misjudgment to bring legal action against Mr Amaral. She replied: "This is definitely the right course of action. I truly believe we are doing this to help the search for Madeleine. I believe in the Portuguese judicial system and that we will get justice, and that we can take the search for Madeleine forward."

McCanns accuse Amaral of violating judicial secrecy, 14 January 2010
McCanns accuse Amaral of violating the judicial secrecy Correio da Manhã

Couple's lawyer moves for criminal action

P.M.C.
14 January 2010 - 15h54
Thanks to 
Joana Morais for translation

The McCann couple will file a criminal action against Gonçalo Amaral for allegedly violating judicial secrecy when he published facts concerning the investigation, in his book "Maddie – The Truth of the Lie".

According to Lusa Agency, the British couple's lawyer, Isabel Duarte, stated that the action will be filed after a certificate from the trial of the book's prohibition is extracted, which is expected to happen as soon as next week.

The accusation of violation of judicial secrecy is based on the date when the former inspector’s book was ready, which happened three days after the Republic's prosecutor wrote the process' archiving dispatch.

Isabel Duarte defends that "Gonçalo Amaral diffused the process to Guerra & Paz [the book's editor] when the process was still under judicial secrecy. He diffused facts and he was not authorised to do so".

The lawyer recalled that the video that was broadcast on TVI is evidence of that infraction, because it was an important piece within the investigation and stated that she is going to file a criminal complaint against the former inspector herself, over "false statements" to the court. According to Isabel Duarte, this accusation is based on statements by Gonçalo Amaral that he has "no real estate [nor any] participation in a firm", when in reality such is not true.

The former inspector is thus being accused over false statements, of violating the judicial secrecy, and of defamation by the McCann couple and by their lawyer.

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detective 'won't be silenced', 14 January 2010
Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detective 'won't be silenced' Telegraph

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann face years of torment after the detective accusing them of covering up their daughter's death insisted he would never be silenced.

By Fiona Govan in Lisbon
Published: 4:33PM GMT 14 Jan 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann could be forced to endure hearing repeated allegations of their involvement in their daughter's disappearance in courts across Europe for years to come, it emerged.

Speaking on the third day of a libel hearing outside the main civil court in Lisbon, the detective who led the initial investigation into the missing girl said he would take his battle "all the way to the European Court of Human Rights."

Goncalo Amaral is fighting to lift an injunction banning a book in which accuses the McCanns of concealing Madeleine's body and faking her abduction after their daughter accidentally died after being left unattended.

The former detective, who led the initial investigation into the three-year-old's disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, called a series of top Portuguese law enforcement officials as witnesses to support his theory.

Mrs McCann, 41, admitted that listening to the claims presented in court had been difficult but incomparable to the pain of losing their child.

"It's not easy," she said during a break in proceedings. "But it's never going to be as bad as what we've been through already."

But she expressed no regret in bringing the libel action even though it had provided their detractor with a public platform on which to air his suspicions.

"I'm pleased we took this action," said Mrs McCann. "It's been shown again that there is no evidence that Madeleine came to any harm and no evidence that we’re involved.

"The bottom line is that Mr Amaral's book is based on opinion but not on fact and as it's a child's life we need facts and evidence."

Only minutes before her statement, Mr Amaral said that whatever the outcome of the hearing he would fight to get his book, "Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie" back on the shelves.

The ex-policeman's lawyers argue that the material in his book is contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public in August 2008.

The police case was archived and the McCanns, both doctors from Rothley, Leics, were removed as suspects in their daughter's disappearance after police failed to provide any evidence.

"No matter what happens I will go wherever I need to guarantee freedom of speech of the Portuguese people," the former Algarve detective said outside court. "I believe that this injunction goes against the Portuguese constitution."

He said if the judge ruled in the McCanns' favour he would appeal within Portugal and even take the battle to Strasburg.

"If I need to I will go all the way to the European court of human rights."

The McCanns lawyer, Isabel Duarte, admitted that the process could continue for years to come and likened it to a "Pandora's box".

"I am most confident we will win" she said. "I'm just sorry that my clients have to be submitted to this pain and distress but we knew a Pandora's box was opening so we have to expect these things - we have to face the enemy."

The hearing, which is one step in a lengthly legal battle in which the McCanns are seeking libel damages worth at least 1 million euros, has been adjourned until February 10.

McCanns Face Years Of Fighting Madeleine Book, 14 January 2010
McCanns Face Years Of Fighting Madeleine Book Sky News

6:32pm UK, Thursday January 14, 2010
Jon di Paolo, Sky News Online reporter, in Lisbon


An emotional Kate McCann has left court in Lisbon facing the prospect of hearing allegations that she and her husband covered up their daughter's death repeated in courtrooms across Europe for years to come.

Speaking in a low voice, Mrs McCann told waiting reporters she believed in the Portuguese justice system and that bringing the libel action against former policeman Goncalo Amaral was the right thing to do.

However, Mr Amaral has now declared that if he loses his bid to overturn their injunction on his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, he will appeal all the way through the country's courts and on to the European Court of Human Rights - a process that could take years.

The book, which was also made into a documentary on Portuguese TV, claims that Madeleine McCann died in the holiday apartment from which she vanished in May 2007.

In it, Mr Amaral - the lead detective on the investigation into the three-year-old's disappearance until being removed from the post five months later - goes on to say that the McCanns covered up the death.

Mr and Mrs McCann, who have always strongly denied the claims, launched a defamation case - saying they feared that if people believed their daughter was dead they would stop searching for her.

The past three days has seen a court in Lisbon debate whether an injunction obtained by the McCanns suspending further publication of the book and documentary should be allowed to stand.

Mr Amaral's lawyers have called a series of witnesses who have backed up the claims he made in the book, saying they believed them to be based on the facts of the investigation.

They have also tried to characterise the legal action as an attack on the Portuguese constitution and freedom of speech, a charge the McCanns deny.

The witnesses made many references to the hostile treatment of Portuguese detectives in general and Mr Amaral in particular at the hands of certain sections of the British media.

During the second day of the trial it was reported by the BBC that Mr Amaral had said "F*** the McCanns" - a claim he strongly denies, saying it was a misinterpretation of his Portuguese.

Earlier Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' lawyer, accused Mr Amaral of trying to put the couple on trial in this week's hearings.

She said: "They are trying to judge in a civil court what they could not judge in a criminal court."

Ms Duarte said the McCanns were not surprised by the witnesses called by Mr Amaral.

"I am sorry my clients had to be submitted to this pain and this distress," she said.

"This is awful, but we knew that Pandora's Box was open. We are prepared to hear what they say."

A ruling in the current series of hearings, which will determine whether the temporary injunction on Mr Amaral's book will stand, will be made following further statements from two further witnesses on February 10.

However, the McCanns must then go back to court to make the ban permanent at a date yet to be confirmed.

They are also fighting a separate case claiming more than £1m in damages from Mr Amaral.

Fiona Payne: 'This wasn't the plan', 14 January 2010
Fiona Payne: 'This wasn't the plan' TVI

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Kate McCann: I believe it's important to be here to prove that there is no basis to Goncalo Amaral's theories; that there is no evidence Madeleine has come to any harm; there is no evidence that myself and Gerry are involved in her disappearance; that there's a really good chance that Madeleine is still alive. I believe that the results of this trial... I believe we'll get... get justice.

(...)

Fiona Payne: It was to be made available to the public to help jog memories and bring in information about Madeleine. This wasn't the plan.

Gonçalo Amaral: 'McCanns are getting desperate', 14 January 2010
Gonçalo Amaral: 'McCanns are getting desperate' ionline

By Pedro Sales Dias
Published 14 January 2010
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation


The former coordinator of the Judiciary Police, Gonçalo Amaral, responsible for investigating Maddie's disappearance said the "McCanns are getting desperate". Amaral therefore responds to the accusations made by the couple who today guaranteed that they would bring a criminal action against the former coordinator of the PJ Criminal Investigation Department in Portimão for the alleged breach of judicial secrecy by reproducing facts pertaining to the investigation in the book "Maddie - The Truth of Lie" before the decision to archive was made.

Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' lawyer, said today that the action of Kate and Gerry McCann will be made "next week" after extracting a certificate from the trial that banned the book by the former Inspector of the Judiciary Police (PJ), taking place at the Palace of Justice, in Lisbon.

"The McCann couple were badly advised by their lawyers, things are going the worst possible way in court, even their own British press has begun to review its position on the Maddie case and now the tactic is one of despair, 'fuite-en-avant' [headlong rush] and make another complaint against Gonçalo Amaral to see if the little girl appears", said the former coordinator ironically, surprised by the news of a new complaint.

The couple's lawyer recalled that it was established at Wednesday's hearing that the book, which defends the thesis of the involvement of the McCanns in their daughter's disappearance on 3 May 2007 in Praia da Luz, Algarve, was finished on 24 July 2008 at the publishers Guerra & Paz, also a target in this process as well as TVI.

Kate McCann: It's hard being told I faked Madeleine's abduction, 15 January 2010
It's hard being told I faked Madeleine's abduction Daily Express

Kate McCann sat through three days of accusations that she faked Madeleine's abduction
Kate McCann sat through three days of accusations that she faked Madeleine's abduction

By Nick Fagge
Friday January 15, 2010)

THE strain was etched across Kate McCann's face yesterday after she sat through three days of accusations that she faked Madeleine's abduction.

As she left court – having faced the last day of the hearing without ­husband Gerry – she was close to tears, looking pale and exhausted.

But she said confronting ex-police chief ­Goncalo Amaral – who ­alleges in a banned book that the McCanns ­concocted a kidnap story to cover up their daughter's death – was nothing compared to ­losing Madeleine.

Kate McCann was speaking on the steps of Lisbon's Palace of Justice during the hearing to decide whether the ban on Amaral's book should be overturned. She said: "Our daughter's been taken and nothing's ever going to be as bad as that."

But later it emerged the couple's agony could continue regardless of the verdict in this week's hearing, due at the end of February. If his book is banned Amaral, 50, has threatened to drag the couple through the courts for years, submitting constant appeals and taking his case to the ­European Court of ­Human Rights.

He told reporters yesterday: "This is about the fundamental right of freedom of speech, not just for me but for ­everyone in Portugal. The book ban is against the ­constitution. If I lose I will take my case to the constitutional court and even to the European Court of ­Human Rights."

The McCanns flew out to Portugal on Monday to fight Amaral's legal bid to overturn an injunction banning his book, The Truth Of The Lie.

In it he claims Madeleine died on the night of her alleged disappearance at the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007.

The McCann's injunction is part of a £1million libel case against Amaral. Earlier Kate responded to questions about how she had coped with three days of listening to the ­allegations against her and Gerry.

She said: "I'm OK actually, I'm fine. It's not easy but its never going to be as bad as what we've been through already, I feel its been quite positive actually. Certainly, I think it's been shown again that there is no evidence that Madeleine came to any harm and no evidence that we're involved which is what we've been saying all along."

She said she believed it was vital the couple had attended the hearing. "Madeleine is still missing so she doesn't have any voice, or presence in court," she explained.

Asked about what part of the ­evidence heard in court was false, she replied: "I've been through it before. The bottom line is what we've said all along is that Mr ­Amaral's book is based on opinion, not on fact."

Then Kate, 41, fought back tears as she made an emotional appeal for people to keep searching for Madeleine. "At the bottom of all this is a lost little girl and I think it's important that we don't forget that."

Work commitments forced Gerry to return early to the UK.

Daily Express (paper edition): 'It's hard being told I faked Madeleine's abduction but nothing's as bad as losing her', 15 January 2010

Daily Express, 15 January 2010

They're right to fight for their innocence, 15 January 2010
They're right to fight for their innocence Daily Mail

Jan Moir
Last updated at 12:13 AM on 15th January 2010

How strange it was to see Kate and Gerry McCann, this time wrapped up in winter clothes, dominating news bulletins once more. Walking together towards a Portuguese courtroom, they looked gaunt and emotionally scalded; still haunted by their poor, missing Madeleine.

It was a reminder that while time has moved on for us, for them the clocks stopped on a sunny evening in spring nearly three years ago when their daughter disappeared from their holiday apartment and vanished from the face of the earth.

This, of course, was the beginning of an enduring nightmare for the couple, who also have four-year-old twins. For the sake of these other children, more than anything else one suspects, they have had to somehow carry on as normal.

Christmas, they said recently, was a particularly painful time. It is scarcely credible that they manage to get through it all, although their matching pinched expressions tell their own story.

For the McCanns, the dread fight continues, not only to find their daughter, but - even now - to try to clear their names. For out there in the internet ether brews a persistent whispering campaign against them, fuelled by the fireside fanatics who take a voyeuristic delight in every child-in-peril story, from Baby P to Sarah Payne.

And across the courtroom from them sits another man who seeks to do them harm.

The McCanns are back in Portugal, peeling open old wounds as they continue their libel case against Portuguese investigator Goncalo Amaral.

He is trying to overturn the banning of his book The Truth Of The Lie in which he questions the McCanns' account that Madeleine was taken while they were eating with friends. Indeed, he goes further and accuses them of covering up their daughter's death.

The McCanns' great fear, they say, is not just what people think of them, but that if they think Madeleine is dead, they will stop looking for her.

'It is the book that is on trial, not us,' said Mr McCann.

Yet that is not quite true, is it? Nothing in the Madeleine McCann case is ever that simple.

Part of the problem is that the McCanns can be difficult to like. His belligerence and her icy composure don't play well with an audience looking for histrionics and emotional meltdowns on camera. It's not like this in the movies!

And there are moments when, even though his wife clearly sees publicity as a necessary evil, Gerry McCann can appear to enjoy the limelight a little too much for comfort.

There were - and are - moments when the energy and occasional fury he ploughs into the campaign to find his daughter seem to be a conduit for his own feelings of guilt. Sometimes, as he rages, it is almost as if it was our fault that Madeleine had gone missing.

Yet, faced with the sullen recrimination of the Portuguese police which continues to this day, what was his option?

And if the McCanns really are guilty of accidentally killing their own daughter and covering it up - and I don't for a moment believe this to be the case - would they be embarking on this new, difficult, high-profile legal fight? Would it not be more likely that they might dismiss the book as rubbish and just get on quietly with their lives? Proving innocence is most important to the innocent.

The couple made a terrible mistake. They left their children alone. Yet although thousands of parents have done this, the McCanns - despite what Gerry says - will for ever be on trial in the court of public opinion until Madeleine is found, dead or alive.

Or - and this is a long shot - whoever did this is finally shamed by a sudden, flaming spark of decency in an ossified soul, and somehow finds it in their conscience to supply a piece of information, anonymous or otherwise, that might end the living torture of this wretched, blighted family.

Maddie slur cop piles on the pain, 15 January 2010
Maddie slur cop piles on the pain The Sun

Heartache ... Kate
Heartache ... Kate

By TOM WELLS in Lisbon
Published: Today (15 January 2010)

MADELEINE McCann's shattered parents face YEARS more heartache after ex-cop Goncalo Amaral yesterday vowed to take his book fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

He said he would carry on trying to overturn a ban on the book even if he lost the hearing that ended in Portuguese capital Lisbon last night.

Amaral, axed after leading the early probe into Maddie's 2007 disappearance, grandly claimed he wanted "to guarantee freedom of speech for the Portuguese people".

His book claims the child's parents Kate and Gerry, both 41, faked an abduction after Maddie died in an accident in their holiday flat.

A verdict from the hearing is expected next month. Before flying home Kate said: "It has been shown again there is no evidence we're involved."

I'll face these slurs if it helps my little Maddy, 15 January 2010
I'll face these slurs if it helps my little Maddy Daily Mirror

By Martin Fricker
15/01/2010


Kate's court ordeal for her daughter

Kate McCann last night broke her silence after three days of hearing sickening slurs that she faked her child's abduction.

The mum-of-three insisted the court ordeal was worth it because "getting justice here will help our search for Madeleine".

Kate and husband Gerry, both 41, have been in Portugal while former detective Goncalo Amaral tries to overturn their ban on his book about the case. He says Madeleine, six, is dead and alleges her guilty parents staged her disappearance, in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Yesterday Kate said: "Hearing it has not been easy but this action will benefit Madeleine, which is our aim. It's been positive because it's shown again there is no evidence that Madeleine came to any harm or that we are involved."

Amaral's appeal against the injunction banning him from repeating his claims was adjourned.

Outside the Lisbon court he vowed that if he lost he would take it to a European human rights court to defend "freedom of speech".

Last night the BBC stood by a claim Amaral had told their crew "f*** the McCanns". His lawyer had claimed he was mistranslated.

BBC in cursing 'foul-up', 15 January 2010
BBC in cursing 'foul-up' Daily Star

By Daily Star Reporter
15th January 2010


BBC bosses sparked a row after accusing Goncalo Amaral of a four-letter tirade against Kate and Gerry McCann.

They insisted the ex-detective said: "F*** the McCanns," when asked by a BBC reporter if he felt his allegations were hurting the couple.

But last night it was claimed he said: "Fala com McCanns," which means: "Speak to the McCanns".

Asked if he had sworn, Mr Amaral replied: "Never. I don't know what you are talking about."

Rival TV companies refused to broadcast the footage after their translators studied it.

But it was broadcast, with the key word bleeped out, by the BBC in the East Midlands.

A BBC spokesman said: "The exchange was recorded on camera. The swear word was bleeped out for transmission as it was clearly unacceptable to broadcast such language at 6.30pm."

McCanns to lodge ex-detective complaint with Portuguese police, 15 January 2010
McCanns to lodge ex-detective complaint with Portuguese police Ireland Online

15/01/2010 - 09:21:46

Madeleine McCann's parents will lodge a complaint with Portuguese police alleging that former detective Goncalo Amaral broke his country's strict judicial secrecy laws, the couple's lawyer has said.

Kate and Gerry McCann are already embroiled in legal action against Mr Amaral in an attempt to ban his book which claims their daughter is dead.

Now the couple intend to accuse him formally of passing on information about the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance before the case was closed – a criminal offence in Portugal.

The McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte, alleged that Mr Amaral broke the law by sending a draft of his book to his publishers several months before the judicial secrecy period in the case was lifted in July 2008.

She said: "It seems that Goncalo Amaral passed information in the case files before the secrecy was lifted."

The lawyer also alleged that the ex-policeman released facts about the investigation that were not in the case files.

It will be for the Portuguese public prosecutor to decide whether the former detective has a case to answer.

Mr and Mrs McCann, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire in England, flew to Portugal this week to hear Mr Amaral attempt to overturn their ban on his book, 'Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie'.

The ex-policeman called a series of witnesses to support his allegations that Madeleine died in her family's Algarve holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction.

The McCanns admitted sitting through the evidence at Lisbon's main civil court was painful but insisted they were right to bring the case.

The couple could have to endure years of legal battles after Mr Amaral vowed yesterday to fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if he loses.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

A judge granted the McCanns a temporary injunction in September last year banning further sale or publication of his book and a TV documentary he made about the case.

Mr Amaral's lawyers argue that the material in the book is contained in the official Portuguese police files for the investigation, many of which were made public in August 2008.

The McCanns say their main motive for challenging the former policeman is the fear that people will stop looking for their daughter if they think she is dead.

The hearing was adjourned until February 10 when two further witnesses will give evidence for Mr Amaral before the lawyers make closing speeches.

The judge, Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues, is expected to send her ruling directly to the McCanns and Mr Amaral before the end of February.

There will then be a full trial on whether the injunction banning the book should be made permanent at a later date, Ms Duarte said.

The McCanns are also seeking €1.2m in compensation for defamation in separate proceedings against Mr Amaral in Portugal.

My New Best Friend, 15 January 2010
My New Best Friend Sky News

Goncalo Amaral

Martin Brunt
January 15, 2010 10:28 AM

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.

She's terrifyingly thin, he's boiling with rage: So why HAVE the McCanns put themselves on trial?, 15 January 2010
She's terrifyingly thin, he's boiling with rage: So why HAVE the McCanns put themselves on trial? Daily Mail

By DAVID JONES
Last updated at 8:16 PM on 15th January 2010


During the first few weeks after Madeleine McCann's disappearance, Goncalo Amaral came to symbolise all that was wrong with the abysmally mishandled Portuguese police investigation into the case.

A portly provincial CID chief who was plainly out of his depth and had a penchant for long, wine-fuelled lunches and leaking favourable stories about himself to the Press, he was removed as head of the investigation after six months.

And when he was later revealed to have perjured himself to cover up a brutal interrogation by members of his team, detractors scoffed that his name ought to have been spelt with an 'o', as in 'amoral'.

In an extraordinary transformation of fortunes, however, he is now a Portuguese national icon, 'courageously' fighting for the right to express his bombshell theory: that Madeleine was not abducted, but died accidentally, and her parents, Gerry and Kate, covered up her death.

As Amaral arrived at a Lisbon court this week for the cause celebre case that has turned him into an unlikely hero, he clearly revelled in his new-found popularity.

Mobbed by cheering, flag and banner-waving supporters (mainly women of a certain age), he smiled and signed autographs before a barrage of cameras.

Though he is 50 and a father of three daughters, Amaral sported a faux diamond ear-stud recently given to him by his (much younger) second wife, Sofia Leal: surely a ludicrous accessory for a balding, middle-aged man in a gumshoe's mac and trilby.

Yet for Gerry and Kate, who froze with contempt as the star witness sashayed past them to take his seat in court, this unedifying spectacle was just the start of a week that has once again tested their powers of resolve to the limit.

For three long days, the couple were forced to listen as a procession of witnesses supported the distressing central assertions in the controversial memoir Amaral has written about the hunt for their daughter.

Melodramatically titled Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, the book had become a best-seller in Portugal by September, when the McCanns won an injunction ordering it to be removed from the shelves.

Up to 330,000 copies of the £10 paperback are said to have been sold in Portugal and Europe before it was withdrawn, reportedly netting Amaral more than £1 million.

In the book, which has been turned into a TV documentary and DVD, the former police chief states with absolute conviction his belief that three-year-old Madeleine was not abducted from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, as her parents have always claimed.

Instead, he claims she died by accident, after falling from the sofa and hitting her head on the floor while the McCanns dined with friends in a nearby tapas bar.

When they realised what had happened, according to his shocking theory, they panicked and concealed her body, thus precipitating the biggest and most perplexing missing person inquiry of modern times.

Regardless of whether they believe these unsubstantiated views, the majority of the Portuguese people insist that Amaral has every right to express them.

For in a country that threw off the shackles of dictatorship only 35 years ago and where state censorship is still remembered by the older generation, freedom of speech is sacrosanct.

Having been pilloried for leaving their three children alone on the night their elder daughter vanished, Kate and Gerry find themselves under vitriolic attack from the Portuguese media yet again.

This week's court case was brought by Amaral, who is seeking to have the injunction lifted so he can sell thousands more copies of his book, which his publishers hope to launch on the huge U.S. and British markets.

But the hearing would never have come about had the McCanns not sought the ban in the first place and instead allowed the public to make up their own minds about the unsubstantiated theories of a failed police chief with many axes to grind.

This week's skirmish is not the end of the McCanns' battle to silence Amaral.

Win or lose, they are intent on suing him for libel damages to recoup every penny he has earned from the book, promising to donate the money to the fund they set up to find Madeleine.

For his part, should the Lisbon courts find against him, Amaral has pledged to fight on, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

Though this case will be decided within two months, the McCanns seem certain to be trekking back and forth between their home in Leicestershire and Lisbon for many months - or even years - to come.

Watching the couple suffer more attacks on their reputations this week - Kate painfully thin and close to breaking point; Gerry pugnacious, as always - you have to ask why they have chosen to put themselves in the firing line yet again.

Why have they embarked on a course of action that has effectively placed them - rather than the man who bungled the police investigation - on trial?

And worse, in a court where they can be subjected to the most damaging and baseless slurs without recourse to rigorous cross-examination.

Many PR experts would have advised them to simply ignore Amaral and his unproven 'theory', so depriving his book of the global publicity the case has received this week.

Before answering the questions about the McCanns, it is worth recounting the former police chief's part in the flawed inquiry and how his book came to be written.

On May 3, 2007, when Madeleine vanished from Apartment 5A of the Ocean Club, Amaral was in charge of CID at the nearest big town, Portimao.

As he recalls in the memoir, he was informed about her disappearance just after midnight.

The McCanns were adamant that Madeleine - who had been left alone with her twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie, then 18 months old - must have been snatched. But he quickly became sceptical.

When I spoke to him at length this week, he claimed to have approached the case with professional dispassion, but his opinion appears to have been influenced at least partly by deep cultural differences between him and the McCanns.

As a traditional Portuguese father with three daughters, he was appalled to discover these British parents had left their three small children alone while they enjoyed dinner with friends, even though the restaurant was only yards away.

As the hours and days passed, however, other factors coloured his views, not least the McCanns' apparent determination to whip up publicity via what one witness this week described disdainfully as a 'media circus'.

Though Amaral insists he has no time for conspiracy theories, it seems he began to see them everywhere.

For example, why had the couple's holiday friends trampled all over the apartment, tarnishing potentially vital evidence: was this ' contamination' deliberate?

Then there was the behaviour of the British authorities, including the police officers who arrived in Praia da Luz four days after Madeleine vanished. Why were they seemingly so unco-operative with the Portuguese police and protective of the McCanns?

He remains convinced that his team was systematically obstructed by the British in some arcane plot orchestrated from on high, and he has just published a second (not banned) book expounding this theory, titled The English Gag.

According to the court testimony of the McCanns' liaison officer, Ricardo Paiva, the suspicions of Amaral and his team were hardened by what was seen as a turning point in the police investigation.

It came when a weeping Kate phoned Paiva, in late July 2007, to report a disturbing dream in which she had seen Madeleine lying on rocks overlooking a beach at Praia da Luz. The detectives took this to be a clear signal that the McCanns knew full well that their daughter was dead.

Soon afterwards, sniffer dogs were called in to the search, but though they were said to have detected 'the scent of death' in the couple's holiday apartment and Renault Scenic hire car, no forensic evidence was found to support this.

There are serious questions about the reliability of these dogs, which also seemed to sniff out human remains at a Jersey children's home, which has since been discounted.

Furthermore, Gerry McCann insists Kate never had the supposedly incriminating dream, let alone reported it.

'I don't know if something has been lost in translation, but that didn't happen,' said the 41-year-old heart specialist, struggling to maintain his composure during a break in the proceedings. 'These are Goncalo Amaral's witnesses.

'I think it is particularly disappointing that certain police officers who considered us as possibly involved have not been able to change their views, despite the lack of evidence.'

Speaking to me during the court lunch-break on Thursday, however, Amaral remained defiantly on the offensive. With a female supporter acting as interpreter, he said he wrote his 200-page book in just two months, fuelled by endless cigarettes at his home on the Algarve.

He didn't work from police documents or diaries, but purely from memory, he told me, tapping his head for emphasis. And he used a personal computer kept disconnected from the internet for 'security' reasons.

But what possible justification did he have for writing the memoir, the profits from which have been frozen by the court (though not before he could acquire a new Jaguar), if it wasn't to get rich and settle scores in the process?

The decision was not taken lightly, he says, but came after he had discussed the likely fall-out with his wife, a civil servant who has suffered clinical depression attributed to the stress of the case. (However, Mrs Amaral had recovered sufficiently several months ago to pose on the beach for a Hello-style photo-shoot with her husband, for which they chose to wear matching white outfits).

'This case finished my career and the British newspapers just vilified me. I saw it was necessary to defend myself,' he told me, insisting that though he lost a third of his pension by resigning early, money was not a factor.

'If everything had gone properly, I wouldn't have needed to write the book. (But) it was a need for me to write a testimony of all that was done.

'That was my intention: to make public that part of the investigation that was unknown, and defend myself before all those who were saying the Policia Judiciaria (Portuguese police) were incompetent; that I was incompetent.'

Mindful-of the injunction, he declined to elaborate on his theories about Madeleine's disappearance. Whatever her fate that night, though, didn't he have some degree of sympathy for a couple who had lost their daughter?

'As a policeman I can't have sympathy or empathy because I have to be objective and leave my feelings apart,' he said.

'As a father, I sympathise with them and their pain and loss. It's not about blame or recrimination.'

This response is hardly convincing. As the case goes on, he will doubtless set aside his 'fatherly' sentiments to renew his damaging accusations.

Yet for all the torment the McCanns have endured this week (at one point, Madeleine's abduction was described as a 'fairytale' that saved them from prosecution for child neglect) and the harrowing accusations to come, they maintain they are right to fight this case.

'I'd like to remind everyone that the book is on trial - not Kate and I,' said Gerry.

While he believes in the principles of free speech, the rights of his family - including the daughter he and Kate steadfastly believe to be alive - have to be defended, too.

Though some will question the McCanns and their motives, according to the family's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, the hope that Madeleine will be found alive is the main reason they dragged themselves back this week to a country that offers them scant welcome and has brought so much heartache.

'Obviously they were aware some of the old allegations and charges by certain police officers would be rehashed, but they feel this was a case that just had to be brought,' he says.

'They believe it's important not only for their good name and reputation, and the damage Mr Amaral continues to do to it, but also because his allegations are damaging their continuing search for Madeleine.

'People won't believe she is alive if they read this book and that could stop them coming forward with vital new leads.

'One of the things that greatly worries Kate and Gerry is this: if, as we now know, the Portuguese police did not investigate her disappearance properly from the outset because they didn't believe it had happened, then what has happened to all the information they received?'

What indeed? And assuming it was retained and is gathering dust in a police archive, might it conceal that one little clue upon which Kate and Gerry's hopes rest?

The clue which, if meticulously examined, could bring back their little girl after so many false dawns?

Even if this is only a remote possibility, surely it should be explored - but not by a flashy detective who is so cocksure he knows all the answers he can't see beyond his own giant ego.

• Additional reporting by Vanessa Allen

Updates, 15 January 2010 (date update appeared online)

 
Update, 15 January 2010

Court Case( Injunction) in Lisbon 14th January 2010

We are currently in Lisbon for the trial to determine whether the injunction against Mr Amaral's book and DVD should remain in place. This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance and whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations.

Mr Amaral's book and DVD contains some information from the PJ files but there is a lot in the files which is not in Mr Amaral's book. Hence it is highly selective and therefore biased. Mr Amaral's book contains his opinions rather than fact. His opinions differ from the findings in the PJ file. The conclusions of the latter are: 1.there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and 2. there is no evidence that Gerry or I are involved in Madeleine's disappearance. This is very different to the theories and conclusions of Mr Amaral. It is logical and common sense that spreading these theories as Mr Amaral did (and continues todo) damages the search to find our little girl. If the general public (and the Portuguese people in particular) are bombarded day in and day out with such theories, this will eventually 'colour' their understanding and judgement -lies and inaccuracies become fact. If people subsequently believe that Madeleineis dead and that we are involved in her disappearance then they will not look for Madeleine, will not consider any suspicions about others which they may have and will not come forward with information. We consider this highly detrimental to the search for Madeleine.

There are few points which have been raised in the last few days which I would like to address specifically:

Abduction theory:
For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself. It is obvious and right that the police should consider other theories initially.

The window:
I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'

The dogs:
We realise that the behaviour of the dogs was the turning point in the investigation for the PJ. The use of dogs has proved to be problematic and unreliable in previous cases

(please refer to the Jersey 'Haut de La Garenne' case and other research published about their use and reliability). It is vital to note that alerts by such dogs are classified as intelligence rather than evidence, as police officers familiar with their use will verify. These alerts must be supported by forensics in order to be used as evidence. The results of the forensic examinations did not identify any blood or Madeleine's DNA. To suggestor use the dogs´ reactions as evidence is simply wrong and abusive.

The proposed reconstruction:
The suggestion of a reconstruction of our movements and other key witnesses at the crime scene and/or surrounding area in the early days following Madeleine's abduction was declined by the PJ as 'not usual' for Portugal. When the PJ finally requested a reconstruction to take place in 2008, Gerry and I were still arguidos and as such would have attended for a reconstruction. Some key witnesses (including some of our friends)declined to attend the planned reconstruction as they were not convinced of the aims and usefulness of it. In particular, as the reconstruction was not to be shown to the media (and hence the general public), they did not feel it would help to find Madeleine. Had the intention been to show it to the general public, it may have 'jogged' memories and encouraged people to come forward with information. It should be added that other key witnesses were not invited to attend.

Our team is confident that the injunction will remain in place because none of thewitnesses thus far have been able to prove in court that Mr. Amaral's right to express his opinion is superior to the rights of our family to peace, respect and protection of reputation, and above all, the right to continue the searchfor our daughter Madeleine effectively and without hindrance. As has been made clear this week, Mr Amaral's 'thesis' is not supported by any evidence. The search for Madeleine must go on until we find her and bring her abductor(s) to justice.

Kate McCann

McCann TV snub, 16 January 2010
McCann TV snub Daily Star

McCanns turned down offer of Portugese TV chiefs to screen Madeleine documentary

By Jerry Lawton
16th January 2010

TELLY chiefs in Portugal offered to pay £35,000 to screen a documentary made by Madeleine McCann's parents.

Bosses at TVI were willing to fork out the sum because they were desperate to "balance" their coverage of the Brit girl's disappearance.

But Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41, refused permission for the show because the channel had already shown a rival documentary by ex-detective Goncalo Amaral.

The evidence came out in Mr Amaral court's bid to overturn an injunction banning his book. The case will resume next month.

So will this really help find Maddie?, 16 January 2010
So will this really help find Maddie? Daily Mail

By Amanda Platell
Last updated at 12:06 AM on 16th January 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann say they have no regrets in taking a Portuguese policeman to court for libel, thus subjecting themselves to weeks of lurid accusations in court.

They claim Goncalo Amaral's accusations in his book Maddie - The Truth Of The Lie have hindered the search for their daughter.

For his part, Amaral warns that he will drag the McCanns though the European courts for years.

While I pray the McCanns are victorious, I fear they will never put an end to the vile rumours about them. For however just their grievances against Amaral, the tragedy of the ongoing court case is that it will only give oxygen to the conspiracy theorists.

Are Kate and Gerry really sure that this will help find Madeleine?

Maddy McCann cop adds insults to injury, 16 January 2010
Maddy McCann cop adds insults to injury Daily Mirror

 
Daily Mirror, 16 January 2010

By Tony Parsons
16/01/2010

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.

Kate McCann hits back at Maddie detective, 17 January 2010
Kate McCann hits back at Maddie detective Daily Star Sunday

Daily Star Sunday, 17 January 2010

By Jonathan Corke
17th January 2010

FURIOUS Kate McCann has branded the ex-detective who led the hunt for her daughter a liar.

And she said the wild allegations aired in court by Goncalo Amaral were damaging the search for Madeleine.

The anguished mum had to sit biting her lip as Amaral made the sickening claim that Madeleine is dead and that she and husband Gerry faked her abduction.

But she hit back last night, saying Amaral's book, inset, was full of "lies and inaccuracies". She said in a statement: "Spreading these theories as Mr Amaral did (and continues to do) damages the search to find our little girl."

"If the general public (and the Portuguese people in particular) are bombarded day in and day out with such theories, this will eventually 'colour' their understanding and judgment – lies and inaccuracies become fact."

"If people subsequently believe that Madeleine is dead and that we are involved in her disappearance then they will not look for Madeleine, will not consider any suspicions about others which they may have and will not come forward with information. We consider this highly detrimental to the search for Madeleine."

Kate and Gerry, both 41, are battling in a Lisbon court to have Amaral's book The Truth Of The Lie permanently banned. Amaral, 50, who initially led the search for Madeleine, called "witnesses" to back up his claims the McCanns covered up Madeleine's death.

But Kate said the only explanation for her disappearance from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, was that she was kidnapped. She said: "For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself."

And Kate said Amaral's reliance on the findings of British sniffer dogs, which indicated a scent of death and traces of blood in the apartment, was "wrong and abusive".

She said: "The use of dogs has proved to be problematic and unreliable in previous cases. It is vital to note that alerts by such dogs are classified as intelligence rather than evidence, as police officers familiar with their use will verify." She added: "To suggest or use the dogs' reactions as evidence is simply wrong and abusive."

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, will return to Lisbon for the conclusion of the hearing next month.

----------------------------

Our Maddy was taken Sunday People

Tracey Kandohla
17 January 2010


Kate McCann yesterday insisted missing daughter Madeleine was kidnapped and didn't just wander off.

She said: "Abduction is the only possible theory because we weren't involved in her disappearance and we know she didn't go off by herself."

Gp Kate, 41, slammed the ex-police chief whose book accuses her and husband Gerry of faking Maddy's kidnap in Portugal and hiding her body.

Goncalo Amaral, who the pair faced this week in a Lisbon libel case, is trying to end a ban on the book, The Truth Of The Lie.

But Kate, of Rothley, Leics, said it is biased and gives "his opinions rather than fact". She said: "There's no evidence Madeleine is dead or that we are involved in her disappearance.

"His theories damaged the search for our little girl and continue to do so."

Maddie vanished days before her fourth birthday in May 2007. The Mc-Canns' lawyers are confident the book ban will remain. The case resumes next month.

---------------------
 


Kate McCann defiant on Maddie allegations Sunday Mirror

By Tracey Kandohla
17/01/2010


Kate McCann yesterday remained insistent that her daughter Madeleine had been kidnapped.

"There is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know she did not wander off by herself," said Kate, 41, writing in her web diary.

She criticised Portuguese ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral, who she and husband Gerry, 41, faced this week over a libel hearing in a Lisbon court.

He is seeking to overturn a ban on his book, The Truth Of The Lie, in which he accuses the couple of faking Madeleine's kidnap and hiding her body.

Kate said his book was biased and contained "his opinions rather than fact". She added: "His theories continue to damage the search to find our girl. If people believe she is dead they may not come forward with information."

Police chief could face charges, 17 January 2010
Police chief could face charges Sunday Express

By James Murray
Sunday January 17, 2010

FORMER police chief Goncalo Amaral could face criminal charges if it is found that he breached secrecy laws in his book and documentary about Madeleine McCann, writes James Murray.

According to the McCanns' lawyer, Mrs Isabel Duarte, he published and broadcast information which should have remained private in an attempt to prove his theory that Madeleine died in the family's holiday apartment.

In the documentary, a police dog is seen barking by a cupboard where it is alleged Madeleine's body was put.

Mrs Duarte said Mr Amaral had no right to show film of police dogs in the apartment.

"It is a criminal matter to reproduce the film of the dogs,so he could be prosecuted," she said.

Mr Amaral, 50, was in court last week trying to lift an injunction banning his book, The Truth Of The Lie.

McCanns' pain doesn't justify censorship effort, 17 January 2010
McCanns' pain doesn't justify censorship effort Sunday Independent

Ridiculous claims need to be rebutted, not suppressed. That's the real tragedy, says Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday January 17 2010

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, as Kate and Gerry McCann have discovered to their cost. It only takes five minutes on the internet to uncover a web of rumour, half truth and innuendo which would convince even the couple's most fervent supporters that they are hiding something about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine in Portugal in May 2007, or, worse, that they actually killed her, either by accident or design, and then concocted the story of her abduction from a holiday complex in the Algarve to cover their tracks.

Which version one chooses to believe is a matter of personal taste. When it comes to outlandish conspiracy theories, there really is one for everyone in the internet's global audience of nutters, giving ever greater credence to the old line about a lie getting round the world before the truth gets out of bed. But if you're on the receiving end of it, like the McCanns and their friends, you certainly don't expect the police to add fuel to the fire.

Say what you like about the gardai, but it's impossible to imagine a senior Irish police officer behaving like Goncalo Amaral, the former investigating officer in Portimao, who was so stung by criticism he received for his handling of this case that he marked his own dismissal from the investigation by writing a book alleging that Madeleine died accidentally in the family apartment on the night of May 3, 2007; that Gerry then disposed of his daughter's body on the beach; and that the holiday party all colluded in a cover-up to prevent possible charges being laid against them for child neglect.

The controversy surrounding Amaral's book, Maddie: The Truth of the Lie, finally reached the courts last week, as the author sought to overturn a ban on its publication, previously won by the McCanns. This could well be the closest the McCanns' Portuguese tormentors ever get to their wish of putting the couple on trial.

"They are trying to judge in a civil court what they could not judge in a criminal court," the couple's lawyer points out.

The case has now been adjourned until next month, when two more witnesses, currently unavailable, will give evidence; but even if the former police officer loses this one, it won't stop there. He insists this is about the right of free speech under the Portuguese constitution, and has pledged to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights to defend his freedom to publish his allegations.

And here's hoping he ultimately wins. Goncalo Amaral might be a disgrace to the name of detective, whose book, far from being the fearless expose which it boastfully purports to be, is a shoddy cut and paste job that is shamelessly selective in its use of evidence, cynically exaggerates the significance of DNA traces found in the McCanns' apartment and hire car, makes leaps of logic which would embarrass Inspector Clouseau, never mind a supposedly senior policeman, pads out its thesis with silly cod-historical digressions on the "turbulent" ancient history between England and the Algarve, and the proud noble independent spirit of the Portuguese people; and which ultimately resorts to ludicrously overblown paranoia about political interference in the case (though naturally Amaral struggles to explain why so many powerful people, up to and including the British prime minister, would go to such extraordinary lengths to protect a bunch of obscure doctors on holiday from being held to account for neglecting their children).

But even bad detectives and worse true crime writers should be free to speak about their experiences and conclusions in a case whose ongoing lack of resolution is clearly not in the public interest. Not least when all the material contained in The Truth of the Lie comes from the official police files, which, since the investigation was archived, have largely been in the public domain anyway. What contrary right are the McCanns asserting here, after all? The book has already sold 200,000 copies in Portugal, been translated into six other languages including Spanish, Italian, Swedish and German, and is freely available in English versions over the internet. Ten seconds on Google and it's yours to read, whatever the courts decide.

The documentary which Amaral helped make for Portuguese TV can also be seen, subtitled, on YouTube, while numerous websites continue to rake over the same small disputed scraps of evidence which he uses in his book to crudely smear the McCanns. Indeed, he will soon be visiting Britain to give a talk at the invitation of a virulently anti-Kate and Gerry group known as the Madeleine Foundation. All of which sounds like healthy free speech to me. The McCanns' pain shouldn't give them carte blanche to silence those who say things they don't want to hear.

Unfortunately, this is what they have done from the start. These are people who issue solicitors' letters the way other couples send out wedding invitations. There's even a website now devoted to people who claim to have been "Gagged By (The) McCanns", with the tagline: "Has Team McCann tried to silence you?" Free speech isn't so free when you're working on a shoestring and your opponents have multi-million pound funds at their disposal.

The McCanns insist they act this way only because they don't want a sense of defeatism about Madeleine's fate to dilute the continuing effort to find their daughter. That's understandable, though Kate McCann's claim last week that the proceedings have "shown again there is no evidence that Madeleine came to any harm" are bewildering, to say the least. Sniffer dogs who had been trained to detect the presence of cadavers and blood both reacted strongly in the couple's holiday apartment. Something bad happened there, even if there is not a scrap of credible physical evidence that it had anything to do with them. It seems like another example of a couple who have never exactly come across as warm or likeable in the public imagination doing themselves no favours, especially when so many questions remain to be answered about that awful night and the following weeks.

They can't have it both ways, demanding that interest in the disappearance of Madeleine remains high while also continually asserting their right to control the tenor and nature of that interest.

Goncalo Amaral's claims need to be rebutted, not censored. That's the real tragedy. It's coming up to the third anniversary of this little girl's disappearance, and the effort to find out what happened to her has become swamped in an unseemly battle among people desperate to protect their own reputations. It could drag on for years.

The McCanns will soon be back in court seeking €1m in libel damages against Amaral. By the time all this is concluded, Madeleine McCann might as well be known as, "Madeleine Who?" for all the progress which will have been made to bring closure to the saga.

"Trial has already caused more damage than the book", 18 January 2010
"Trial has already caused more damage than the book" Diário de Notícias

Gonçalo Amaral

By Carlos Rodrigues Lima
18 January 2010
Thanks to Astro for translation


"Three days of court hearings have been enough to cause more damage to the McCann couple's cause all over the world, than my book during the 14 months that it was in the shops." This is how Gonçalo Amaral – a former Polícia Judiciária inspector – answers Kate McCann's latest statements about the development of the trial about the injunction that the couple placed against the book "The Truth of the Lie".

In the latest update on the "findmadeleine.com" website, Kate McCann considered that "Mr Amaral's book and DVD contains some information from the PJ files but there is a lot in the files which is not in Mr Amaral's book. Hence it is highly selective and therefore biased. Mr Amaral's book contains his opinions rather than fact." Nonetheless, for the former PJ inspector, who led the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, in May 2008 [sic], "a book about a criminal process, just like a police report, a dispatch from the Public Ministry or a sentence from a judge, is always a selective exercise, a summary of the process, without being biased because of that".

Adding: "I wasn't biased, and the witnesses from the Polícia Judiciária that testified in court weren't biased."

In one of the most recent sessions of the trial that opposes Gonçalo Amaral to the McCann couple, members of the PJ that were connected to the investigation, and prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes, from the judicial circle of Portimão, admitted to the possibility that the child is dead – which is to say, stances that meet the thesis that Gonçalo Amaral defended in the book "The Truth of the Lie", whose sales have been suspended by an order from Lisbon's Civil Court.

One of the investigation's most striking episodes were the two English dogs that detected the cadaver and blood odour. "We realise that the behaviour of the dogs was the turning point in the investigation for the PJ", says Kate McCann, refusing, however, the notion that the diligence may be used as evidence: "To suggestor [sic] use the dogs' reactions as evidence is simply wrong and abusive", one can read on the website.

Gonçalo Amaral replies: "Other indications that are part of the process and of my book were excluded from Kate's analysis. She has the right to evaluate the window's indications and the dogs' work in her own way. But the PJ also has the right to evaluate them, and to evaluate them within the set of produced evidence."

Concerning the present ongoing lawsuit, the former inspector synthesises it in the following way: "Columnist Manuel António Pina wrote that the McCanns' arguments could be used to burn the entire press on a daily basis. In a democracy, arguments are not burned, they are opposed."

McCanns vow to fight Madeleine death claims, 19 January 2010
McCanns vow to fight Madeleine death claims Hello! magazine (paper edition)

 
Hello! magazine, 19 January 2010

Number 1107
25 January 2010 (published 19 January 2010)


Kate and Gerry McCann last week pledged to continue to fight claims made by a Portuguese policeman that they were involved in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance in 2007.

The couple travelled to Lisbon as Gonçalo Amaral appeared in court to try to overturn a ban on his book Maddie: The Truth of the Lie. The former detective, who was sacked from the case, claims the McCanns faked their daughter's abduction in order to cover up the death of Madeleine, who was three at the time.

Kate, 41, insisted they will continue to challenge the claims as they fear people will stop looking for Maddie if they think she is dead. "It is difficult to hear something that is incorrect and inaccurate - but this is the right course to take," she insisted.

Last month, the mum-of-three said she had longed to return to Praia da Luz, where the family were holidaying at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. "Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time, as we feel closer to Madeleine," she said.

ECU Ruling: East Midlands Today, 30 May 2011
ECU Ruling: East Midlands Today, BBC1 (East Midlands), 12 January 2011 BBC Complaints

 
BBC Complaints ECU Ruling East Midlands Today

Publication date: 30 May 2011

Complaint

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. A viewer complained that this was inaccurate and unfair to Sr Amaral.

Outcome

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

Further action

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.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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