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Amaral support petition launched on the net

Original Source: PORTUGAL NEWS: SAT 21 NOVEMBER 2009

A support group created for former police inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who once headed the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, has this week launched two on-line petitions that they intend sending to Portugal’s Parliament, the European Parliament, and the European Human Rights Court.

In a press release, the ‘Citizens Support Gonçalo Amaral’ group indicated the two petitions were already circulating on the Internet and that their objective was to “reinforce the constitutional right to freedom of speech, carried out in a responsible manner and without any other limitations unless defined by law”.

“Our first line of action is to put these two petitions online, one aimed at Portuguese citizens and foreign residents in Portugal, the other aimed at foreign citizens, and we intend to submit them to the Portuguese Parliament, European Parliament and the European Human Rights Court”, the statement read.

The ‘Citizens Support Gonçalo Amaral’ movement was created following the launch of an Internet site entitled ‘Project Justice Gonçalo Amaral’ the purpose of which is to ‘give back the freedom of speech’ to the former police chief.

According to the movement, ex-inspector Gonçalo Amaral has done no more than “publish, in a book, the report of a criminal investigation: a report based on facts, which translates the conclusions of an extensive team of investigators, a clear result of a procedure that has already been made public”.

Published in 2008, sales of Gonçalo Amaral’s book, ‘Maddie: the Truth of the Lie’, were banned in September this year by Lisbon’s Civil Courts.

The theme of the book is Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Then aged three, Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3rd 2007 from a bedroom in an apartment at the Ocean Club tourist resort, Praia da Luz, Algarve.

She had been sleeping in the apartment with her two younger siblings, twins Amelie and Sean.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were at one point made official suspects in the investigations, but later cleared.

Ex-inspector Gonçalo Amaral has maintained he believes Madeleine’s parents are involved in her disappearance.

The McCann family is demanding compensation of at least €1.2 million from Gonçalo Amaral for his declarations, which they consider to be defamatory.

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