Sunday, 6 September 2015

Goncalo Amaral, an appealing situation.

On the 3rd of September 2015, we finally got the news we'd been waiting for, Goncalo Amaral, the coordinator of the original investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was granted permission to appeal the damages ruling that resulted in the banning of his book, The Truth of The Lie, the banning of the documentary of the same title, and the decision to award Kate and Gerry McCann 250,000 euros each.

Click here to read, The Truth of The Lie, English translation.

Click here to watch, The Truth of The Lie, full documentary.


Courtesy of http://pjga.blogspot.co.uk/

When news of the original decision broke on the 28th April 2015, the McCanns were said to be "delighted". Of course they would be, Kate McCann has made no secret of her hatred for Goncalo Amaral, the man who, despite Kate's best efforts to the contrary, tried to solve the case of her missing daughter. When speaking of Goncalo, she said "he deserves to be miserable and feel fear". 

I wonder if Kate and Gerry will be delighted at the news of the appeal though? Their loopy supporters frothed at the mouth when news of the fund, set up by Leanne Baulch to assist Goncalo with his legal fees, broke. As is par for the course for the more sinister of the pros, a dirty tricks campaign started, with the sole intention of stopping the fund, and attempting to stop the legal process. Of course the pros would never publicly state that an appeal is the last thing they would want for their child abusing idols, but it is.

On the 9th of September 2009, the McCanns succeeded in their bid to have Goncalo Amaral's book, The Truth of The Lie, banned from sale. Gerry McCann released the following statement:

 "I'd like to read this statement on behalf of Kate, myself and our three children:

We're pleased with the judges decision today preventing further distribution and sale of Mr Amaral's book and DVD, 'The Truth of the Lie'.


Mr Amaral's central thesis has no evidence whatsoever to support it.

To claim, as he did, that Madeleine is dead and that we, her parents, were somehow involved in her disappearance has caused our family incredible distress and continues to do so.

Without doubt Madeleine will have suffered as a result of the negative effect this book and DVD will have had on the search for her.  

Sean and Amelie need protection too, from such awful claims.


Hopefully this injunction today will go a long way towards reducing further unnecessary and unjust distress to us all and allow people to concentrate completely on what is important; finding Madeleine.
Thank you."

Gerry and Kate's happiness was short lived though. Goncalo Amaral appealed the decision, and on the 19th of October 2010, duly won. The following is a report from The Guardian dated Tuesday 19th October 2010:

 
Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing Madeleine, suffered a setback today in their legal battle with a Portuguese police officer when a Lisbon appeal court overturned a ban on his book about the case.
The book by former police detective Gonçalo Amaral, who led the Madeleine investigation in the first five months after the three-year-old's disappearance, can now go back on sale.
In September last year the McCanns obtained the ban on Amaral's book Maddie – The Truth about the Lie, in which he claims they were involved in the toddler's disappearance.
Amaral claims Madeleine died accidentally in the Algarve holiday apartment at Praia da Luz, where she was first reported missing in October 2007, and that her parents fabricated the abduction story. The McCanns, who have never ceased in their search for the missing girl, are suing him for defamation.
Portugal's attorney general, having reviewed the investigation, has ruled there is no evidence to suggest that the McCanns are anything other than entirely innocent.
The court said the decision to block sales of the book had broken "a constitutional and universal right: that of opinion and freedom of expression."
"The contents of the book do not breach the basic rights of the plaintiffs," the court said, according to the Jornal de Noticías newspaper's website.
"The book is an exercise in freedom of speech," Amaral told Portugal's Lusa news agency. "Portuguese democracy has won, as banning the book was unconstitutional."
A spokesman for the McCann family said the decision did not stop the defamation case. "The defamation action against Mr Amaral is very much continuing," he said. "Kate and Gerry's lawyers are now examining the detail of this latest ruling and are considering an appeal."

With the latest appeal now looming, Kate and Gerry must be sweating over what the result may be. The Appellate (appeal) court, concluded their previous findings in the following report, with thanks to Astro for the translation, and taken with thanks from McCannfiles:

"We conclude that the applicants voluntarily decided to limit their right to the intimacy of private life, certainly envisaging higher values like the discovery of their daughter Madeleine's whereabouts, but upon voluntarily limiting that right, they opened the doors for other people to give their opinion about the case, in synchrony with what they were saying, but also possibly in contradiction with their directions, yet always within the bounds of a legitimate and constitutionally consecrated right to opinion and freedom of expression of thought.

We do not see that the right of the book's author, the defendant, can be limited by a right to the reservation of intimacy that suffered voluntary limitations by their holders, the applicants. 

In the same way, concerning the applicants' right to image and a good name: upon placing the case in the public square and giving it worldwide notoriety, the applicants opened all doors to all opinions, even those that are adversarial to them. 

In any case, we understand that the allegation of facts that are profusely contained in the judicial inquiry and that were even published through an initiative of the Republic's Attorney General’s Office, can in no way be seen as an offence against the right to image and a good name of the subjects in the process.

Finally, concerning the damage to the right to usufruct ['Usufruct' is the legal right to use and derive profit or benefit from property that belongs to another person] from the penal process' guarantees, namely the right to a fair investigation and the right to freedom and safety, we still cannot understand how it is possible for said rights to be offended by the contents of a book that describes facts from the investigation, although it parts from the interpretation that the Public Ministry's Magistrates made of those facts, yet offering based, solidly built and logical interpretations.

We thus reach a point where it seems to be important to stress the following: the indicative facts that led to the applicants' constitution as arguidos within the inquiry were later on not valued by the Public Ministry's Magistrates in order to lead to a criminal accusation, but those very same facts, seen through another prism and with another base, may lead to a different conclusion from that which was attained by those same Magistrates – those are indications that were deemed to be insufficient in terms of evidence in a criminal investigation, but they can be appreciated in a different way, in an interpretation that is legitimate to be published as a literary work, as long as said interpretation does not offend any fundamental rights of anyone involved – and we have written above already why we understand that said interpretation does not offend the applicants' rights.

In a concise manner:

The book at stake in this process – "Maddie – the Truth of the Lie" – which was written by the defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, has the main motivation of defending his personal and professional honour, as the author points out right away in the preface and throughout his text.

The contents of the book does not offend any of the applicants' fundamental rights.

The exercise of its writing and publication is included in the constitutional rights that are secured to everyone by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Portuguese Republic’s Constitution, namely in its articles 37º and 38º.

As we arrive at this point, we conclude that the decision that was made by the Court a quo must be revoked, and the analysis of the other issues that are placed under appeal are not justified, as they are considered prejudiced.

The appeal by defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral is sustained.

The other appeals are not taken into consideration, as it is understood that their appreciation is prejudiced – article 660º, no 2, of the Civil Process Code.

III – Decision

In harmony with what is written above, under the terms of the cited dispositions, the Judges at this Appeals Court declare the validity of the appeal filed by defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, and the sentence of the Court a quo is revoked, its disposition replaced by the following:

The injunction is deemed not valid because it was not proved.

Furthermore we deliberate that we do not acknowledge the rest of the appeals.

Costs to be paid by the appellants*.

Lisbon and Appeals Court, 14.10.2010

The Appellate Court Judges,

Francisco Bruto da Costa
Catarina Arelo Manso
António Valente

*On an appeal, the party who must respond to an appeal by the losing party is called 'appellant' in the appeals court."


So despite the pros claiming that the McCanns will beat Goncalo Amaral in the appeal courts, the history books tell a totally different story. Is the appeal court really going to contradict the findings of the three judges named above? You wouldn't bet your last quid on it would you. Fact is, the McCanns got very lucky with the ruling earlier this year. I do hope they didn't have the cash earmarked for anything in particular, mortgage repayments, a European tour, some pampas grass for Pam Gurney perhaps, because from where I'm sitting, I can't see them getting a penny. A view clearly shared by the pros, who did their level best to shut down the fund, and attack the person who started it. I wonder what prompted that............



4 comments:

  1. Did the judge bottle it? The McCanns' involving Gordon Brown et al in their daughter's disappearance has laid them open to all kinds of theories of political interference. They would court the media, wouldn't they? Is there not an old fable about keeping a viper in one's bosom?

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  2. Congratulations to Goncalo this man has put truth before everyone. .

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  3. Is there any recent news re Goncalo Amaral's appeal. Everything has gone quiet

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    1. Hi, no news yet. We weren't expecting anything to happen quickly to be honest. As soon as we hear anything, we'll post an update here.

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