What was supposed to be a procedural day of the trial – big question was if facts were to be read in court or not – and with the expected discussions about them as they became known, turned out to be quite an intense and interesting day because some just came to conclusions in a hasty manner.
Wednesday’s activity was so frantic on both sides of the fence that it was like watching a crowd doing a standing ovation to an orchestra that was just tuning its instruments before a concert.
The concert was far from starting and the various critics were already acclaiming or criticising the orchestra’s performance.
Fascinating how some people failed to understand the expression “more to follow” and came to definite conclusions even before that “more” arrived.
And even more fascinating was how on the sound of the first notes played – we repeat in tuning instruments only – some just hailed the magnificence of the entire evening.
To be clear, very clear, Wednesday, in terms of the actual McCann v Amaral trial no one has won and no one has lost.
However one cannot but note, as we will explain, that the sounds made by some instruments during the tuning do make things look good for Mr Amaral but it’s never enough to stress again and again that only when the sentence is read can a definite conclusion be made about this trial.
The date of the concert is yet to be set. And it won’t be for the next 40 days at least, it seems. Up to 30 for the WoC issue, to hand, we suppose by Correia Afonso, over the London Court's authorisation to have Madeleine McCann represented by her parents in this trial and the following 10 for the “allegations of law” from all parties.
The Portuguese justice system has made us be very wary, so until then we will refrain from making conclusions about it.
As we explained in our post “Losing v Winning”, Mr Amaral cannot win this process. He can only not lose it.
But the fact that people are already stating that Mr Amaral will win, is very symptomatic.
That is done because there is indeed a sense of victory in case he doesn’t lose and because there’s a sense that if the McCanns don’t win they will have suffered a heavy defeat.
But both sensations only exist due to the fragile situation in which the McCanns have been since 2011. In fact as of 2010 as we’ll explain.
If all this took place in 2010, when Jim Gamble ran the show as we think he did, it’s our opinion that if the McCanns didn’t win we would simply get a repeat of what happened with the unnoticed overturning of the book’s banning by the Appeal Court.
Only now, years later and with this trial, are people realising that the book hasn’t been banned for years.
The Portuguese justice system would have been slandered, Portugal called an insensitive, cruel and fascist country and the McCanns would continue to be beatified in the UK.
But Jim Gamble was convinced to “relieve” himself of duties since 2010.
With their man removed from any official structure, the Swinging BH lost hold of the case and that control was then taken by the Government BH.
And it’s in the interest of the Government BH that the McCanns fall and fall hard in this trial as we’ll also explain.
For the Swinging BH, the McCanns matter only as much as they serve their interests. If there’s the possibility of having them prosecuted without implicating anyone else besides their group of friends, then it’s fine the McCanns and friends are taken away and locked up somewhere. That not being possible then the only other option acceptable is the whitewashing and that means that’s in their interest the McCanns remain above the waterline.
For the Swinging BH closure it can only be one of these two options: T9 only or whitewashing. Any other isn’t acceptable to them, and they will put up a fight.
Wednesday had the virtue to bring victories to both Government BH and GA. Both have won decisive victories. Independent of sentence.
All because the McCann ship as of Wednesday is beyond repair. It took a fatal blow to its hull. If the McCanns have always counted for little up to now, now they count for even less.
The Swinging BH side are now only worried about their own skin.
Let’s rewind a bit and contextualise things.
In 2010, Government BH decided to get closure on this issue. Convinced by the Media, as in News International and more specifically NOTW, that prosecuting the McCanns would be a piece of cake, decided to reopen the case as soon as Kate wrote her self-damning book.
Along the way they retook control by making sure Jim Gamble no longer ran the show as we’ve said.
Not having anyone in the structure of command – Government had meanwhile changed from Labour to Conservative – is not to be in the loop and not to be in the loop is always fatal.
The reopening caught the swinging BH by surprise and prompted them to react.
And they quickly reminded the Government BH that UK was up to its neck in the mess and arresting McCanns implicating others would only pop open very inconvenient Pandora’s Boxes.
Government BH quickly realised that they couldn’t hasten things up and that the only solution to closure, as there simply is no scenario possible to incriminate only the McCanns and the T7 without involving external help, it would have to be with the Swinging BH on board.
To have them on board meant closure would have to be whitewashing. The only other one that served them.
But reality doesn’t play games, and as we have explained, whitewashing was impossible from the start.
The closest they could get to such a solution would be the bungled burglary.
On the drawing board it looked good but as anyone could see from a mile away, the casting was completely impossible.
For a long time the case remained stalemate as we know. Until up to a certain point in time when Government BH decided to proceed for closure via the only viable solution: the partial truth.
Knowing this was unacceptable for the Swinging BH all had to be done without haste. And keeping the Swinging BH on board the longest time possible.
As whitewashing looked good on the drawing board, Government BH pursued it publicly and so appeased the Swinging BH, while discreetly, without haste, eroding without remedy the hoax their “allies” had created back in 2007 with the collaboration of the UK Government in power then.
Few noticed how the noose was slowly, slowly tightening around the Swinging BH necks. We kept telling people but many thought we were just seeing things.
One of the first things that needed to be done, was to stop all “business” the McCanns had in Portugal.
Team McCann was ordered to not win.
But not just not win – for that all they had to do was find a “humane” excuse to spare Mr Amaral of further distress and drop the case – but to not win in a vexatious manner.
This was in January 2013. When they offered Mr Amaral to settle out of court.
One could try and say “when prosecution offers defense a settlement outside court it’s because they are certain they will not win” but one simply cannot do that because it’s something completely unseen before the McCanns did it.
This was the first move to humiliate the McCanns.
It was obvious that Mr Amaral would not accept the offer. If anything, it gave him positive signs that things were going to go his way.
The trial was rigged from then on.
No, not even suggesting anything about the Portuguese courts or about the judge. The trial was rigged by the prosecution. When one of the contenders is determined in not winning then the whole thing is rigged.
From September 2013 up to now, we have been forced to watch this pathetic show with one side going through the motions with no conviction whatsoever.
In September 2014, may we remind you, the Swinging BH launched their major last offensive, the Hater Campaign, which was stopped by the disgraceful reporting done by Martin Brunt for Sky News, which led, in our opinion, to Brenda Leyland’s death.
This Black Hat September episode showed how Jim Gamble remained an influential element for the Swinging BH.
But, notwithstanding Brenda’s death, the fact that SY stood its ground by standing behind their Crèche Dad against Bundleman during this crucial period showed that the Swinging BH were much less influential than they thought.
Plus, if the Black-Hat September was turbulent, it would have been much more if all had gone as planned: the SY questionings were supposed to have taken place during that month, which means it would have been in that period that the Robert Murat card – or the death of the whitewashing – would have been played by the Met.
Also it was supposed to have been during that month the final allegations of the McCann v Amaral were to have happened. When prosecution would bring such valid arguments as off-season rabbit hunting and Sunday Carnival.
With the software problem that afflicted it's justice system then, Portugal unwittingly “boycotted” 2/3 of the Government BH's moves for that month. Swinging BH had their path practically unhampered.
Thank goodness for the collective incompetence of the Gamble – Summers & Swan – Brunt trilogy who were able to implode themselves without any help.
The significant and humiliating defeat of this campaign allowed the Government BH to take advantage of the upper hand and anticipate a move: the forensics. Asking publicly for it before even sending the required rogatory letter-
The Swinging BH on a steep slope on their way down while the Government BH marched on.
SY questionings brought all groups into the spotlight: Swinging organising structure, Ocean Club, guests and ex-pats.
Final allegations was an absolute shame for the McCanns, as desired by Government BH.
So the expectation for Wednesday was great. Would, although all the efforts to the contrary, the Portuguese find proven facts that could provide the McCanns a victory?
The first report to come out, as far as we know, was this one from Lusa and published by Diário de Noticias Online:
This report was quickly translated by Joana Morais on twitter:
As it said “Court accepts as proven damages caused by Gonçalo Amaral’s book to Kate and Gerry McCann” it disheartened many reading this.
Some despaired. Some, very unjustly, simply shot the messenger, Joana Morais. She simply translated a piece of news. Yes, it was bad news to our side of the cause but it was but a translation.
Why no UK reporters in situ?
What we found interesting was what happened next based solely on this little piece of information.
The UK Media, starting with Sky News and Martin Brunt, started to spin this without waiting any further confirmation.
The McCanns had won, it was announced.
There hadn’t been any sort of sentence but the McCanns had won, that simple. That straighforward.
Based on a false assumption that the trial was under judicial secrecy the UK started to sell the story of victory. Swinging BH were boasting before confirming facts. They have so little to hold on to that anything will do.
Supposedly, they thought, the judicial secrecy would stop details of Proven/Not Proven facts to be publicly known much like we still don’t know who was and who wasn’t arguido in the SY Questionings.
The problem is that the SY Questionings are under judicial secrecy while the trial isn’t.
Once those papers that were handed out by the judge were in the hands of the defense lawyers it was inevitable that the proven and unproven facts would quickly appear on the internet.
And when they appeared they completely contradicted what had just been spun.
Martin Brunt, having learned his lesson from the Brenda Leyland episode, did a 180º turn and started to tweet the truth. He has proven us wrong on one thing. We thought he was allergic to the truth but as far as we know, his fingers haven’t fallen off his hands after he tweeted it.
So let’s look at the facts as listed here:
These were the clearly NOT PROVED facts:
#03. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of the book “Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira” an amount that is not less than € 621.000,00? and #04. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of editions in foreign languages of the book an amount that is not less than € 498.750,00? [not proven as the estimated by prosecution (1,119,750€) is more than 3 times reality (342,112€)].
#05. The book was sold in Brazil by defendant “Guerra e Paz, Editores, S.A.”
#07. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of the DVD an amount that is not less than € 112.500,00 [not proven as the estimated by prosecution (112,500€) is 2.8 times reality (40,000€)].
#09. Defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” has already made the DVD, in an English version, available for immediate delivery via internet order.
#11. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, the Polícia Judiciária stopped collecting information and investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
#12. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, authors Kate McCann and Gerald McCann are completely destroyed, from a moral, social, ethical, sentimental, family point of view, much beyond the pain that their daughter’s absence causes them.
#16. Namely because of defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s statements in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, author Kate McCann is immerged in a deep and serious depression, which has already made her state publicly “I wish I was in a coma, to relieve the pain”
#21. The criminal inquiry was reopened due to the appearance of new evidence [we consider this “not proved” as a statement by the court claiming ignorance as to the reasons case was reopened rather than stating that the case was reopened just on “old” evidence”].
#22. The attention of the media and of people in general diminished when defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s book was published.
#35b. The distribution for sale of book took place in conjunction with the distribution for sale of the newspaper Correio da Manhã’s edition of April 24, 2009.
So, completely clear that it was NOT PROVED to the couurt that Mr Amaral caused moral, social or ethical damages on the McCanns.
Completely NOT PROVED that Mr Amaral didn’t stop PJ from collecting information and investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
These were the clearly PROVED facts::
#01. Gonçalo Amaral made the statements that are attributed to him under item Z - item Z is the Correio da Manhã interview
#02. The cover price of the book “Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira” in Portugal is € 13.80, including VAT [we consider irrelevant a 0.47€ difference (real price 13.33€)].
#06. The DVD has a cover price of € 6,00 [we consider irrelevant the difference of 0.95€ - real price 6.95€)].
#08. The DVD that is mentioned under AN) has been edited and the edited copies have been sold by defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.”
#10. At least two million and two hundred thousand people have watched the programme that was broadcast on 13.4.2009
#15. Authors Kate McCann and Gerald McCann live under enormous daily pressure due to the need to keep their younger children away from the knowledge of defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s opinions about their moral integrity
#18. 63.369 copies of the DVD were not sold, having been destroyed afterwards
#19. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has gone into retirement from the Polícia Judiciária on 1.6.2008 [we consider irrelevant the difference of one month (1,7,2008), as either dates are before archiving of process and book's publication].
#20. On 22.6.2008, the Attorney General’s Office published a note for the media, announcing the archiving of the inquiry, awaiting better evidence [we will disregard that as on June 22, 2008, there was no decision about the conditions in which case would be reopened, but consider a note with that content was issued on July 21, 2008. Besides this the note also prompted relevant diligences].
#23. The sale of the books was made on consignment, being subject to devolution for various reasons, like handling, manufacturing defects or their non-transaction [we consider irrelevant "partly sold on consignment, and partly firmly sold with a right to return for various motives"].
#24. The so-called “Maddie Case” has been profoundly treated within the Portuguese and foreign society, whether by the media, or through books, like those authored by Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, Manuel Catarino and Hernâni Carvalho.
#25. The so-called “Maddie Case” was commented upon by Dr. Francisco Moita Flores, former inspector, writer, criminalist and commentator, in various media.
#29. The social capital of defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” is held, in 60%, by the firm “Estúdios Valentim de Carvalho, Gravações e Audiovisuais, S.A.” and, in 40%, by the Fundo de Investimento para o Cinema e o Audiovisual.
#30. Has defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” ceded the rights to sell, distribute, exhibit and broadcast all of the cinematographic and audiovisual work that it creates, develops and produces to the firm “Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, S.A.” [we consider irrelevant the fact that these rights were only sold for a period of 5 years].
#31. Until today, has the documentary been reproduced only once to be edited, published and sold in Portugal under video format, in this case a DVD.
#32. The reproduction and edition of the documentary in video format have been authorised by “Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, S.A.” to firm “Presslivre, Imprensa Livre, S.A.”, the owner of the Correio da Manhã newspaper, according to a contract between both.
#33. Under which [contract], the DVD, its covers and packages would be, as they were, manufactured on behalf of, under order of and under the responsibility of Presslivre, in order to be distributed and sold together with newspaper Correio da Manhã.
#34. And the entire process of registering and classifying the video edition (DVD) of the documentary with ICAG would be, as it was, developed by Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, a process whose cost would be carried by Presslivre, as it did.
#35a. The distribution for sale of documentary took place in conjunction with the distribution for sale of the newspaper Correio da Manhã’s edition of April 24, 2009.
#36. The documentary was reproduced, and even subtitled in the English language, by third parties that published it on the internet, without permission and against the will of the defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.”
#37. That illicit diffusion damages not only the rights that are held by defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” over the documentary, but also its commercial exploration, because any citizen can watch the documentary, also only one “click” away.
Clearly PROVEN that there were many more than the defendants that spoke publicly about the case in terms not favourable to the McCanns
These were the facts that are of UNCLEAR proof:
#17. Sean and Amelie McCann will soon become aware of the conclusions that are mentioned in J), because they will go to school. It was affirmed that it was proved that Sean and Amelie started school in August of 2010 and have not learned about Mr Amaral's thesis yet, but that doesn’t clarify when does the court think the twins will be aware of conclusions of book.
#26. Authors Kate McCann and Gerald McCann have hired communication firms and spokespeople through the Madeleine Fund – for unknown reasons, the judge does not mention this item at all.
This leaves us with the following facts:
“13. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, authors Kate McCann and Gerald McCann suffer permanent anguish, insomnia, lack of appetite, anxiety and irritability, preoccupation and indefinable fear?
Proved. The judge adds that this psychological state is pre-existent to the book, the documentary and the interview and was not caused by the book. Nonetheless, it cannot be reasonable to believe that the book, the documentary and the interview had no effect on the couple, i.e. It had an effect but that is perfectly normal.”
The PROVED fact that spawned all the haste. However, the court by stating on the same paragraph that the effect caused is “perfectly normal” it emptied out completely any possible claim for provoked distress.
“14. Authors Kate McCann and Gerald McCann feel a deep shame and an indescribable ill-being because they are considered, by most people who know the theories of defendant Gonçalo Amaral, as having responsibility in the death of their daughter, being so cowardly that they have hidden her cadaver, simulating abduction, all of this to avoid criminal accusations?
Proved that the couple felt badly about being considered responsible over the hiding of their daughter's body and simulating her abduction by those who believe in Mr Amaral's thesis.
The judge states that it is not possible to determine what most people who have read or seen Mr Amaral's thesis actually think.
She adds that the plaintiffs failed to prove shame, even with Kate stating it was not shame that she felt.
The judge once more believes it is expected that the plaintiffs would feel badly about being considered responsible for hiding the body and staging an abduction - not, the judge stresses, about being responsible for their daughter's death, as is commonly, and mistakenly, believed.”
Not only the plaintiffs weren’t able to prove shame as the court finds obvious, or proved, that it was expected for them to feel bad in case they were considered responsible for hiding the body and staging an abduction.
The court is not considering them responsible for either. And uses very wisely the expression “as is commonly, and mistakenly, believed”.
To believe they are responsible for hiding the body and staging an abduction is as wrong, legally, as to believe they aren’t. The process has been archived and reopened. No one has been accused or declared innocent to this day by the ongoing investigations.
The judge says only it was expected they felt bad because they were accused of doing something they denied, in present case, hiding the body and staging an abduction.
Last but not least, for us the most the fundamental facts listed:
“27. Are the facts that are reported by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book and in the aforementioned interviews, like he himself writes and said, facts that were established during the inquiry?
28. Does the documentary only contain facts that are also in the inquiry files?
(Both articles) It is proved that the facts in the book and in the documentary, concerning the investigation, are mostly facts that took place in the investigation and are documented as such.
The judge does note that some of the facts in the book are not complete, and some facts that are in the book are not in the case files, including Jane Tanner's "informal" recognition of Robert Murat.”
The judge took the book and PJ Files as consolidated pieces of evidence and read them herself. For that reason didn’t allow any discussion about them in the court-room.
The court has now officially considered “proved that the facts in the book and in the documentary, concerning the investigation, are mostly facts that took place in the investigation and are documented as such.
It’s in writing in an official document produced by the legitimate Portuguese Court.
For Mr Amaral it’s a victory, independent of sentence the court has considered proven that what Mr Amaral says, or better, concludes in the book is based on facts documented in the investigation.
If he happens to lose, which we see as highly unlikely but will repeat that the Portuguese system has surprised us more times than we would care for, then he has a very powerful argument to use in the appeal.
If he happens to not lose, then he has the exact same argument to use when and how he decides to act against the McCanns in the future.
Ironically, the only fact listed as not being in the files, the “Jane Tanner’s "informal" recognition of Robert Murat” is pretty much well detailed in Kate’s book, so, certainly, NOT something they can say Mr Amaral has lied about.
We think Mr Amaral has every reason to feel satisfied at this point in time.
To those questioning why we say the Government BH has linked the pouncing on the McCanns with the Lisbon trial, here is the answer.
They needed an official ruling connecting the McCanns to whatever happened to Maddie and her body.
As we have said, the trial was rigged for the McCanns to lose. Rigged by the Government BH by ordering the McCanns to take the fall.
The court, caught in all this would have to justify why the McCanns didn’t win. It would have to declare why Mr Amaral didn’t have to pay a single cent to the McCanns.
And the only reason for that could only be because Mr Amaral didn’t cause any damage to the McCanns with what he wrote in his book.
They got more than they bargained for. What Amaral wrote IS NOW A PROVED FACT that it is documented in the investigation.
It couldn’t get any clearer. Or more damning for the McCanns.
The McCann ship is beyond repair. Impossible to recover. Impossible to whitewash.
Everyone is happy.
Oh, except some people, of course.