Friday, 27 September 2013

Historic Registry 3

See also: Historic Registry and Historic Registry 2 posts.

From the Anne Guedes transcriptions.

Libel trial McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 4 Witness No 2

The testimony as it happened...

(20.09.2013, 3:30pm) Maria Isabel Stilwell is a writer and the editor of Destak, the first free daily newspaper in Portugal. She says she interviewed Kate McCann in May 2011 when she launched the Portuguese translation of the book "Madeleine". She only knows Gonçalo Amaral by reputation and has never had any dealings with any of the other defendants. The witness is asked about libel judgements she is or has been part of. She answers that she presently has no process with Gonçalo Amaral.

The Judge asks if the witness has read Gonçalo Amaral's book.
IS says she has.

The Judge asks whether IS has watched his documentary.
IS says "yes".

The Judge asks whether the witness' public controversial position concerning Gonçalo Amaral will influence her testimony.
IS says her conscience tells her "no", but then adds she hopes it will not.

1) The McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is the first to question the witness.

ID - Are you a writer?
IS says "yes".

ID - Are you familiar with all the files in this case?
IS says she is aware of the contents of the Attorney General’s Final Report and adds that she wrote about it.

ID - What was your job then?
IS says she was the editor of Destak. She adds that the book campaign was massive.

(The Judge overrules the comment as off topic for now)

ID - What was the effect of the Amaral book on the public?
IS – Any person who announces he/she will tell people all the truth is very successful.

ID - About the audience share of the documentary, how did you obtain that data?
IS doesn't know but thinks Destak may have found the information online.

ID - It had over 2 million viewers! Is that normal?
IS apologises for being trivial but draws a parallel to a major football competition.

ID - Did the attention of the media and the people diminish after the publication of the book?
IS believes so. She says the issue which had most focus was whether Madeleine was alive or dead. She refers to people in Portugal who believe that bad things happen to bad people and that good things happen to good people. People think that "criminals are always different from us and since the McCanns aren't like us, they are widely considered cold and uncaring.".

(Dr Santos de Oliveira, lawyer for Gonçalo Amaral listening to this exchange has become increasingly exasperated, reacts saying that it is nothing to do with his client. ID's assistant also reacts vehemently. The judge tells them to stop immediately.
SO dictates the court clerk a protest saying that the witness exhibits a hostile demeanour towards his client and asks that her statement not be admitted by the Court. ID obviously protests.
The Judge cites an Article from Chapter 6, section I of the CPC which can preclude a witness from testifying. She adds that SO presented none of these arguments. Therefore nothing prevents IS from testifying. But the Judge requests that the questions be more objective)

ID - Did the attention of the public and the media decrease after the publication of the book and the broadcast of the documentary?
IS says she "has a feeling" it did.

ID - Are there numbers, notes supporting this?
IS says that as a newspaper editor she knows when an issue is important. She resumes her narrative about beliefs that bad things happen to bad people and observes that everything (in the media) tended to make the McCann couple more distant than they were. When finally the book was published, the issue appeared to be resolved and closed.

ID - The Maddie case has been deeply and amply treated, there have been many other books...
IS interrupts objecting she read none of these books. She thinks they're not of much concern and adds that none of them has the credibility or impact of a book written by an ex-inspector who was initially in charge of the case.

ID asks if she knows that former PJ inspector Moita Flores commented on the Maddie case and the book on TV.
IS knows that the book was commented on TV, on the news. She remembers that MF praised Gonçalo Amaral and she adds that a child can be missing without the parents being guilty. She remembers the title "PJ inspector agrees with homicide". She wrote on the providencia cautelar (the Injunction) because the people imagined that the issue was to examine whether the parents were guilty or not, she wanted to speak on freedom of expression versus the right to a good name.
She resumes her narrative about newspapers which publish anything just for a story, people who accept anything as the truth, etc.

ID asks whether the facts mentioned in the book and the documentary were facts established in the Final Report.
IS thinks they're not, otherwise the parents would have be tried. She says that none of the allegations were proved. She says it is typical Portuguese provincialism to believe the opposite of what a Final Report says.

ID - Were the facts mentioned by Gonçalo Amaral ascertained?
IS thinks "no". The Final Report says there is no proof. She adds that it is not legitimate to speak of freedom of expression without limits.

ID - asks whether the witness speaks of a paragraph in the book or of the insinuations in the conclusions.

(The Judge overrules, she requires more precision)

ID - says she refers to the paragraph containing the words, “fraud or abuse of trust...” ("burla ou
abuso de...")
During a moment of relaxation at one of these meetings, I did a side step or I might have been inopportune and rather undiplomatic. Worried with the possibility that the McCann couple were somehow involved in their daughter's disappearance and reflecting about the kind of crime they might have committed, something occurred to me. If, really, any type of responsibility of the McCann couple was confirmed, then the fund set up to finance the search for Madeleine that had reached nearly €3 million could be a crime of fraud or abuse of trust. This question was debated and, in fact, with such premises the crimes of qualified fraud or abuse of trust could exist, but Portugal would have no jurisdiction to investigate and judge it. The fund being legally registered in England, it would be our English colleagues who would deal with the case. Our English colleagues then realised a hard reality: the strong possibility that they would have a crime to investigate in their own country, with the McCann couple as the main suspects: a prospect that left them rather reluctant.
IS interrupts and says she didn't read any reference to that fact in the Final Report.

(SO objects that this isn't a fact and the Judge concurs.)

ID - asks how she can explain the effect of...
IS interrupts and says that whoever reads it sees all the pieces fall into place, the theory seems genuine, it doesn't leave room for doubt. She says it is written from the perspective of a victim.

(The Judge again overrules...)

IS interrupts saying it's her reading of the book. She adds that if it was true the McCanns would be in jail.

2) Defence lawyers.

a) TVI lawyers’ questions.

TVI - You're not sure about the over 2 millions of audience share?
IS says that at the time she thinks an article was written on this but it's easy to check.
(She makes a gesture towards her bag but stops as nobody reacts)

TVI - Are you speaking as a journalist?
IS says "yes".

TVI - asks a conclusive question about freedom of expression versus good name.

(The Judge again overrules)

IS resumes her narrative criticising the documentary where the group is shown drinking and a little girl left alone without any alternative point of view. How could parents agree with fifty minutes of that? She says that after 33 years of professional work she's allowed to value judgements.

TVI - wants to know if the witness has evidence comparisons on the topic of decreasing interest.
IS says she has.

b) Valentim de Carvalho (DVD production/distribution) lawyer's questions

VC - Do you remember when the Final Report was released?
IS thinks it was in June 2008.

VC reminds her that the Final Report states that the definition of the crime was not established from the available evidence.
IS says she didn't read that.

(The Judge intervenes and points out that the case was shelved for lack of evidence.)

VC asks whether IS remembers the conclusions of Gonçalo Amaral book and starts to quote an extract...
The results my team and I have arrived at are the following:-
1. The minor, Madeleine McCann died inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Vila da Luz, on the
night of 3rd May 2007;
2. There was simulation of abduction;
3. Kate Healy and Gerald McCann are suspects of involvement in the concealment of their daughter's body;
4. The death could have occurred as a result of a tragic accident;
5. There are clues about the parents’ negligence concerning the care and safety of the children.
VC - asks in what way those are facts or conclusions.
IS starts to claim vehemently and loudly that Gonçalo Amaral had no right to, he has an obsession... She mentions the Intermediate Report that he signed (10th September by Tavares de Almeida). She insists that it is worse than the book. She says the book is very well written, easy to read.

VC - Are the facts of the criminal investigation the same as close expressed in the book? If the conclusions...
IS again interrupts, but not to answer. She speaks with a great volubility which renders her speech difficult to understand. She speaks of the newspaper Correio da Manhã and of delirious theories of conspiracy. 
c) Guerra & Paz's lawyer's questions

GP - asks since when did IS commence working in journalism.
IS says she started in 1981 and starts listing everything she did in a sarcastic manner.

(The Judge intervenes to remind the witness this is a judgement and not to be sarcastic by entering into such minute detail)

GP - was the decrease of news related to the fact it was a book?
IS answers it's obvious that news may emerge when, for example, there's a judgement. The feeling is that people think that what happened is already known.

GP - but...
IS interrupts GP again saying that when there are doubts, people speak a lot. She starts describing how a journalist works.

GP - asks if someone was in charge of marketing of the book.
IS says that marketing actions, to-day, can't be bypassed. She resumes a narrative about the marketing of books, including books for children, cooking, novels, etc.

GP - mentions the three other books written on the case and asks about their marketing.
IS says she didn't read them.

GP – Do you know how many copies the Correio da Manha sells?
IS knows, but asks "what has that got to do with the issue?"

(The Judge overrules the witness's question and observes the witness is continuously attempting to give meaning to what she says. IS interrupts the Judge and protests. The Judge concludes she can't help it)

GP – In your editorials you mentioned the position of Gonçalo Amaral...
IS again interrupts saying there are two kinds of things in a newspaper, facts and articles of opinion.

GP – Didn't you say your objective was to clarify things in order to inform the public?
IS answers that from the beginning, in May 2007, she claimed she would be objective and wouldn't necessarily be on the side of the parents, known to be the initial suspects in this kind of case.

GP reminds her that the book was published on the 24th July while the Final Report was released on the 21st July. She wants to know if GA could be aware of the Final Report's conclusions.
(The Judge overrules)

d) Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions

SO - Are your opinions only based on news?
IS says "not only". She mentions TV programs, books.

SO - Have you read all the Final Report?

IS says "no".

SO – Are you aware that the Final Report indicates the child to be most likely dead?

IS says she is.

SO – Since this hypothesis exists in the Final Report, the book...

IS interrupts again saying the fact of death doesn't mean that the parents are guilty.

The Judge – The Final report doesn't say the homicide is due to the parents.
She reads this part from the Report:-
No respeitante aos outros crimes indiciados não passam disso mesmo e pese embora se nos afigurar não ser de descartar, dado o seu elevado grau de probabilidade, a verificação dum homicídio, tal não pode passar de mera suposição por carência de elementos de sustentação nos autos.
Translates into:
Concerning the other indicated crimes, they are no more than that and despite our perception that, due to its high degree of probability, the occurrence of a homicide cannot be discarded, such cannot be more than a mere supposition, due to the lack of sustaining elements in the files.
(Astro translation)

SO - But the book doesn't say that the homicide was due to the parents. If the book doesn't say anything else that what's in the...
(IS interrupts, but in turn is immediately interrupted by the Judge.)

Judge: Let me do this part!

Evidence ends.

End of day 4.


  1. IS writes as a journalist about a report she hasn’t read???? What planet are these people on??? They all come to court to give evidence and none of then have read what they are giving evidence about? Unbelievable!

  2. Still Not Well is an " expert" in pinky and very soft magazines.
    Still has bad temper and not behave in Court.
    Reading the transcript , IS is worst than I could imagine.

  3. This witness is very arrogant, she is very rude about Portuguese ordinary people, making them seem stupid.
    She hasn't read certain documents. She is over emotional, which means she doesn't feel she's putting her case well.
    She expresses opinion in a place where she should produce facts.
    Overall, not an impressive witness testimony

  4. I remember Stilwell's column in Destak, she was disgustingly biased, she defended the McCanns tooth and nail!
    I could never understand how this lady, who's a mother of several children and one of the founders of a "good-parenting" magazine (Pais & Filhos) defended a pair of self-confessed neglecting parents, how she was not a little bit disturbed by the fact that they recurrently left three kids under 4 all alone at night, in an unlocked apartment the whole week! I wrote many a comment on the subject in her articles in Destak.
    Maybe it has nothing to do with it, but...Stilwell is a catholic, from an english catholic family ("true" catholics, unlike "you know who", one of her brothers is a priest), and in an anglican country, with all the tragic history between the two faiths, catholic families stick together and defend their own. Poor Isabel, she too got fooled by the McCanns pretense "devoute catholicism"...I bet Isabel Stilwell doesn't have an anglican vicar as the family priest...

  5. From reading this it seems that Isabel Stilwell has come across in court as the arrogant and snob little b**** that she is! She interrupts others, she argues with the Judge, oh dear! Loved the: "the Judge concludes she can't help it", lol! The arrogance of someone from a superior british family in the land of the sardine munchers...they just can't help themselves, can they...? The Sahibs and the natives syndrome...

  6. Anonymous Sep 27, 2013, 11:51:00 AM

    Disagree with you completely!! What poor Isabel Stilwell??? She doesn't show any ignorance on the matter. She shows denial. She spins fact that she doesn't know to fit the McCanns theory. That's not ignorance, that's attempting to manipulate the court.
    I bet she knows very well that the children weren't neglected and that she knows what exactly went on when Maddie died. No editor/reporter reacts with such arrogant passion just to defend two people she supposedly doesn't know.
    Like the cover-up involves the higher class in Britain, I'm certain that it involves the Portuguese higher-class too and Isabel Stilwell belongs to it.
    I wonder what her brother, Father Peter Stilwell, Macau's Catholic Univeristy's Dean as of last year, and I think, an openly assumed Opus Dei member, must be thinking about his sister obstructing justice by going to court to corroborate the false story of the parents of an innocent dead girl.
    Extremist Catholics, as Opus Dei is proud to be, are deeply respectful of life and this arrogant show put on by his sister is the absolute opposite this religious organization stands for.

  7. "ID - Did the attention of the public and the media decrease after the publication of the book and the broadcast of the documentary?
    IS says she "has a feeling" it did."

    Oh well, it's proved then! Pay up Amaral!

  8. I think Emma Loach should be registering this trial instead of Anne Guedes (who I thank such hard work in letting us know the reality of the inside of the court-room!).
    I say this because Loach is an expert in Mockumentaries... and McCanns' witnesses are continuing to make a mockery of the Portuguese legal system.

  9. What's with the Friday's on this trial?
    I hope nothing serious has happened to Oliveira Santos' kid.

  10. McCann libel hearing postponed

    Gerry McCann has said he is "disappointed" after hoping to give evidence at the family's libel trial against a former Portuguese detective - only for the hearing to be postponed.

    Gerry McCann said that he was "disappointed" after a hearing at a Lisbon court was delayed but added that he "would come back" to give evidence in the family's libel case against a former detective.


    Gerry McCann: 'Damage caused to search for Madeleine'

    Gerry McCann said that he was not expecting the hearing to be delayed at a Lisbon court. He was in hoping to give evidence in the family's libel case against a former detective. The hearing was postponed because the defence lawyer had to care for his ill son.

    Mr McCann said: "The law has changed, and I think that Kate and I know better than anyone else what we have experienced, and what we have gone through, the facts of the file and the damage that has been caused to the search for Madeleine."


  11. "Só eu e a Kate é que sabemos o que temos passado"Atualidade - CMTV

  12. What is happening in this court room is ridiculous. It baffles me that the judge finds it important to determine the impact the book had on the public. Is it the public’s responsibility, duty to search for the child? And if you believe you have the right to litigate someone because his right to free expression changed public opinion, how are you going to prove it? Saying that x million people watched a documentary or read a book does not prove how the opinion of the public was influenced, neither does referring to articles in the media going to prove anything, or is telling the court that the opinion of some Portuguese nurse was swayed by what she saw or read. What are you going to come to court with, a poll of the public’s opinion that was taken by a public relations firm of your choice? And what is the defendant going to present, a poll of his own? And before the court determines that Mrs. McCann hurt her pinky when she read Mr. Amaral’s book shouldn’t the court first prove that what he wrote is libelous? Do you see the absurdity of this whole process?

    The decisions of the Lisbon Appellate court are clear they should have precluded this trial from ever taking place. Why is money being spent on this farce?

  13. guerra,

    It's a pleasure to see you back!

  14. CdM say G only made the application to court yesterday. So his appearance is all a charade. He knew before he set out that he couldn’t be heard but what wonderful publicity he will get from this. It will be spun that the courts wouldn’t allow him to testify after he made such an effort to be present.

    I have to say he didn’t seem his usual ebullient self in the video of him coming out of the court today, he didn’t make eye contact with anyone and looked to ID to answer the questions for him but he remained tight lipped.

  15. Esta Isabel S é um nojo. O jornaleco q/ edita é tão paupérrimo que nem gratuito a maioria das pessoas pega nele. Agora já sei que destino lhe hei-de dar- papel higiénico.
    Deve ser o apelido, o que a prende à ilha e a faz defender de forma tão bacoca e tão obviamente manipulada, os Mccann.
    O que é que vale o testemunho dela? Uma opinião, como milhōes de opiniões....nao vale nada. Ainda por cima, quando lhe pedem para justificar com dados objetivos aquilo que defende, faltam-lhe os coelhos na cartola, as luzes apagam-se e a sra fica a palhaçar( sem desprimor para os palhaços a serio que sao artistas 5 estrelas)).

  16. Thanks. And again many, many thanks to Anne. Regarding Stilwell, obviously a hostile witness with no manners. But I'm waiting on the JusticeUK forum to find out whether the judge called a halt to shut her up or it was the end of the session. Since it rather leaves the defence with no summary - although...... I think it's game, set and match for this witness if she doesn't return.
    I have my doubt at the beginning of the hearing, regarding the 'ad hoc' distribution of days, which hasn't helped with the Judge having to leave and yesterday, the Lawyer for GA also have a family emergency.
    I just hope all these fragmented witness statements don't lead to lack of spontaneity and the ability to give, dare I say advantage to TM to re-forumulate their submissions, which is after all what we are seeing with Mr McC stepping in. OK there may be a legal loophole here, with the change in laws, but that was up to the lawyers to have resolved on day one, asking for a renewed witness list etc.
    I think, as with not answering the 48Qs, the failure to get the reconstruction - and we have to read between the lines it was the T7 & JW who refused, but you can hardly pinch yourself to believe that the McCs didn't dissuade them to assist. Failure to secure a renewed effort rather than archiving the process, legging it off back to the UK & now this. That the legal teams are failing Madeleine.
    All is fair in love and war, if the McCanns <<< note that McCanns, not just Mr McCann isn't allowed to give his statement, you'll never hear the end of it. But's there is always the game play. Mrs McCann turns up for the hearings, but he is prepared to turn up to give evidence. Someone has to look after the twins and it is fit and proper if they are aware now of what is going on, that each parent leaves in turn. So have they a plan?

    All anyone wants for Madeleine is the truth and for those who have knowledge to be able to express this. Wouldn't it be fitting if during this hearing the PJ - get the LUCKY BREAK, they so desperately need, since that is how many cases get solved - that one luck piece of the jig saw puzzle. Rather than someone trying constantly to keep them in the box!



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