Friday, 1 May 2015


1. Introduction

Imagine the reader is a manager of a bank branch and one day the reader receives a letter saying:

“To the bank manager, apologise for the disturbance but I feel obliged to inform you that I intend to rob the branch tomorrow morning at 09:30, if that’s not too inconvenient for you. Best regards.”

To the reader's surprise at 09:30 the next morning a well-dressed gentleman approaches the reader and says,

“Good morning, I’m the robber who wrote you letter tha I hope you have received in time, I do have a gun under my coat but don’t want to pull it out just yet because I don’t want to startle your clients needlessly. Is now ok or do you prefer another time? I can always come back later when it's best convenient. I'll only take 5 minutes of your time but certainly don't want to be a nuisance.”

The first reaction is to say this situation would never happen but we ask the reader to abandon logic momentarily and imagine things happening as described.

How would the reader react? What would the reader think?

Please note that the robber really intends to rob the bank. He's simply being polite and trying to find what is your best schedule to be robbed.

It’s all very real and yet all is so senseless that the reader questions its reality. Is it really happening? What is going on? These questions would be popping into the reader's mind. 

A parody? Something surreal? Both?

It was a robbery because there was a robber and he had the intention to rob but all the rest had no similarity with whatever a robbery is supposed to be.

The paradox of being in situation that presents itself as something completely and absurdly different from what one expects it to be. 

That's exactly what we felt when we read the trial’s decision on the McCann v Amaral damages trial in Lisbon disclosed last Tuesday, April 28 2015.

We would like to start by saying how strange we have witnessed how some people, supposedly very familiar with the legal battle(s) between Mr Amaral and the McCanns, insist on calling it a libel trial.

Not a single word of the referred decision speaks of libel or defamation against the McCanns. In fact the judge recognises that the book is factual and the compensation attributed, as we will see, are all about the intent Mr Amaral had when writing it and if he was, or not, legally able to have written it.

Nothing about its content so nothing about libel, defamation or anything similar.

And yet to some, even before proof that it isn’t about libel, libel it continues to be.

And to them it continues to be about libel even after Mr Amaral himself felt the need to clarify that it was not libel.

Nothing can be done when people breathe stubbornness.

2. The defeat

In our post “Winning v Not Losing” we said that the McCanns couldn’t lose and neither could Mr Amaral win.

The result disclosed on Tuesday was very clear and not debatable: in the 1st Instance Court the McCanns won and Mr Amaral lost.

There's no arguing about that and we shouldn't be like the Black Hats who transform all they can into a victory and what they can't they pretend it didn't happen. This was a defeat (not the defeat), let's acknowledge it.

We warned about this possibility.

We warned readers how the 1st Instance Courts in Portugal have the tendency to give at least some reason to the plaintiffs. It’s as if these courts feel obliged to justify they accepted the case in the first case. If the plaintiff has no reason to his argument then why did the court accept the case?

Add to this the characteristic of the Portuguese to be inventive. To be innovative. To show others how smart they are. How they can see things others are unable to see. How they can think outside the box.

These 2 factors made us wary of our own optimism.

But the way the witnesses brought in by Team McCann, how they behaved and what they said, plus the listed proven/not proven facts made us think it would be impossible for any other decision but one favourable to Mr Amaral , meaning we were convinced he wouldn’t lose and the McCanns wouldn't win.

But the impossible is but the possible yet to be achieved and so when we heard the result of the decision going the other way we were not surprised, just sad. What made us angry was the amount that Mr Amaral was sentenced to pay. But about that later.

The judge had found the impossible it seemed.

But about making the impossible possible is that one can drill a hole in the ground from here to the centre of the Earth looking for oil and not find it.

When there’s no oil to be found no oil can be found and it seems that in this case the judge set to herself she had to find oil where oil wasn’t anywhere near. And when invents oil, it can be made to look like oil, even have its texture and smell but it just isn't oil, it's only an invented version of it.

3. Disclosure

Let’s start with the way it was disclosed.

First it was from Portuguese media, then from the British. Both saying the information had come from Isabel Duarte, the McCanns lawyer. Mr Amaral’s lawyer on that day said publicly he hadn’t been notified.

As far as we know he was only notified 24 hours later. Here we would like to highlight the passive attitude taken by the court about this fact because we deem this relevant as we'll mention later in the post.

It’s a fact there was an inequality in terms of notification.

The term being used as in the sense of the parties knowing the content of the decision.

One of the following happened:

- the McCanns were officially notified before Mr Amaral, an unacceptable situation that benefits clearly one of the sides;

- both parties were officially notified at the same time and that means that Mr Amaral’s lawyer was being untruthful, as if Isabel Duarte had the information so would he have it too;

- Isabel Duarte had access to information she shouldn’t have and disclosed it to the press.

In any of the cases, an inequality existed and the court should have acted as its credibility was seriously questioned, either by its own incompetence (failing to notify both) or by Mr Amaral's lawyer not telling the truth or by Isabel Duarte for using leaked information.

In case it was the court's fault, it should have issued a short statement assuming the error and avoid misunderstandings.

In case it was Mr Amaral’s lawyer to blame for the perception od an inequality that didn't exist then it should publicly inform the court notified both parties at the same time and tell Mr Amaral's lawyer to look better in his inbox before giving interviews stating something incorrect.

In case it was Isabel Duarte who had her information from a leaked source the court should have announced it was going to take immediate action about the case.

But the court did absolutely nothing. It accepted as “natural” this inequity between parties on sensitive information that was disseminated publicly and visibly by the various media.

Before Mr Amaral’s lawyer acknowledged being notified a picture of the document was being shown on TVI.

We cannot see Mr Amaral’s lawyer coming out publicly saying he wasn’t notified when he wasn’t. If for no other reason because it served no purpose. To say he lost then or say on the next day would be perfectly irrelevant and a simple waste of time and of credibility.

4. The basis of the decision

From reading the document one could sum up the judges’ decision in saying she found that Mr Amaral should not have written the book because he was due some sort of reservation about its contents as they were under secrecy of justice when he wrote the book and he knew that perfectly well because of his professional involvement in the case.

That reservation, according to the judge, remained in place even when he retired from the PJ and even after information in question had been disclosed publicly.

The consequence of him not respecting this unwritten reservation was thar he was sentenced to have his book banned and to pay 500,000 € to the McCanns, plus interest, plus his share of court costs.

Just reading the 3 above paragraphs one is baffled by the disproportionality between the findings and the sentence.

We consider that in the XXI century the banning of a book, any book, is an act of aggression. The banning of a book before the age of information was done to avoid the access to biased and untrue information against which the readers had no predictable means to find any other that would contradict it.

Today any subject can be easily searched on the internet and the act of buying a book is a voluntary one, so censoring one has little or nothing to do with content (it can be found elsewhere) but about sending a threatening message to its author and to its possible readers.

A shameful and condemnable attitude on all counts in this age of the internet. The Maddie case is the perfect example of how ridiculous it is to try to prevent people from knowing what is out there to know and easily accessible to all.

We see only one reason to ban a book: state security. When the disclosure of classified information that may result in the risk of loss of human life. Information that for that reason alone cannot and should not be accessed by simply anyone.

If the content of a book is illegal, say the disclosure of classified information that may result in the risk of loss of human life or on how to traffic human beings, then it’s not about banning but about legality.

But is the content of Mr Amaral’s book illegal?

The judge seems, from what we interpret from her words, to think that because book was written while its contents were under the secrecy of justice then, yes, it’s illegal.

Let’s first deal with what is classified information. It is a mechanism to protect information from being known outside those who need to know it. A very simple and straightforward concept.

The secrecy of justice classifies the information making it reserved for only those involved in the investigation. Its creation was not to protect the sensitivity of the information per se (for that there are other mechanisms in place) but to protect the sanctity of the investigation. To ensure that the integrity of the judicial information is maintained.

Once the investigation ends, and because it has ended, that information no longer needs protection as its no longer possible to suffer alterations and so the secrecy of justice of its contents ends with it.

The judge says that because of his profession Mr Amaral should have known that he couldn’t write about those facts when he did because, as we said, they were classified during that time. We say it’s exactly the opposite. We say that the fact that because of Mr Amaral's profession it allowed him to know better than anyone else that the facts he was writing about (and not disclosing) would stop being under secrecy of justice once subject to a dispatch that would put an official stop to the investigation.

Investigations in Portugal have schedules and deadlines so he was in the best position, due to his profession, that it would come any day soon, as it did come on July 21 2008.

Plus, having been the coordinator of the investigation, he would be the best person in the world to know about the information he was writing about, which would be open to the public and which would remain classified.

As we know pages of the PJ Files have been withdrawn and photos altered to protect people. That is the kind of information that continues to remain classified even after the investigation ends. Mr Amaral mentions none in his book. Nothing in his book is confidential after the archiving dispatch. Nothing.

The word  “CONFIDENCIAL” in red on the cover of the book is but a marketing ploy. Who in their right minds places that word on a book with that kind of content? And only now would discover something that Team McCann didn't notice all these years? Because if there was one single word of classified information in that bool we're certain it would have been brough to light by them during the book banning trial that preceded this one.

The only illegality, if one can call it that, the book contains is Mr Amaral’s confession that he didn’t do anything as a policeman about the poachers he heard shooting on that Easter Sunday of 2008.

It is not physically possible to write a book in 2 or 3 days, says the judge, so when writing it Mr Amaral knew he was committing an illegal act.

Is the court ruling on what Mr Amaral can do or not do in his private life, in the privacy of his home and involving only himself? If it is, then the court is not respecting basic individual rights guaranteed by the constitution of the country.

Where is the law that stops one from writing the most sensitive classified information on piece of paper and then destroying it? Classification has to do with avoiding the disclosure information and not about the information itself.

People who deal with top-secret classified information take it with them in their brain. Is a scientist working on a classified project who has an idea at home and jots it down so he’ll remember it the next day committing an illegality? It’s his responsibility to protect the classification of that information, for example in the way he jots it down, and his professional background provides him with the skillset to do just that.

And where is the law that prohibits a person writing about a subject that person has intervened directly in and knows from his profession that one day will no longer be classified as long as he doesn't disclose it?

Let us give you a simple example to demonstrate what we mean. Prohibition in the United States prohibited “the manufacture, storage in barrels, bottles, transportation and sale of alcohol including alcoholic beverages”. Any of it was an illegal thing to do.

However, in December 5 1933 it was repealed.

On December 6 it was legal to drink. And people drank alcoholic beverages that day. Openly and publicly.

However any and all alcoholic beverages drank that day were produced when its production was illegal. Was anyone prosecuted for that? Did it cross anyone’s mind to prosecute? Did people wait for the first bottle of wine to be made from grapes picked only after that day to consume, legally, alcohol?

No, because the time of disclosure of a fact is of the essence.

When those bottles were opened their content was legal. When Mr Amaral’s book was published its content was no longer under secrecy of justice so it was legal to disclose the information. When was it written had stopped to matter the moment the dispatch was signed. The moment in which the secrecy of justice on the facts of that particular investigation was “repealed”.

And on this subject, why wasn’t Kate condemned to pay a similar amount? Her diary was written when the information it contained was under the secrecy of justice.

We know she knew all about that that because they did a lot of complaining about how they couldn’t express themselves because of said secrecy.

Does it cross anyone’s mind to prosecute Kate for writing her diary? No, it doesn't. Then why prosecute Mr Amaral ? Both Kate and Mr Amaral knew information was under secrecy of justice the moment they were writing it. With a difference, with Kate it was publicly known that she was doing it and with Mr Amaral the public was not aware.

Also, is Mr Amaral committing an illegality whenever he answers publicly, as he has frequently, questions put to him about the case since then? Apparently he is. Apparently he should answer always “sorry, I cannot comment on the case, you see, I was the investigator so I cannot utter a word about it for the rest of my life”.

And what about all other former police officers who comment on TV morning shows about cases they have experineced? Should they now be silenced? They should if the law is to be applied to all and not to just one person.

5. Defamation

As we have said, there is no reference to libel in the text of the decision. Only Mr Amaral ’s intent to hurt. We will speak about intent later.

To defame is to allege something false about another and as the judge recognised, the book is based on fact. Fact does not libel. It may hurt but it isn’t defamatory. Fact is fact.

As we said in our post “No longer libel, so stop calling it libel” the trial was not about defamation.

The trial was to ascertain if the book had damaged the McCanns and/or the search for Madeleine. If it had, then calculate how much Mr Amaral was responsible for that and make him accountable for it.

The judge states that the book in no way hindered the search for Maddie and the damages suffered by the McCanns were the “expected”.

It seems to us that 500,000 € is a rather exaggerated amount of money to pay for expected damages and no influence on the disgraceful spectacle put on to search for a girl many know is dead and has been dead since May 3 2007.

6. Intent

The judge sums up her reasoning in the question she puts “how to solve the conflict that exists in the present case between the rights of the plaintiffs Kate and Gerald McCann to their good name and reputation and the right of the defendant Gonçalo Amaral to his opinion as emanation of the freedom of speech that assists him?”

We will speak later about how this question is even put but want to highlight at this point that the judge, per her own words, sees 2 vectors in this issue: the right to a good name v the right to express an opinion.

We want to highlight this because although does speak here of these 2 vectors, from this point onwards she only focuses on 1 of them: the right of the McCanns.

The judge, as she should, no longer addresses the right Amaral has to express his opinion.

The judge comes to the conclusion Mr Amaral’s freedom of speech was diminished because of his duty to be reserved about the information for having been the criminal investigator and even retired he still had such duty.

From there onwards she decides that in the case where there are these two concurring rights, the McCann’s one of good name and honour should prevail and the other one not even considered.

She dismissed the other side, that Mr Amaral’s good name and honour had also been abused, which she should have pondered as part of her professional obligation to be equitable, especially when she relied on jurisprudence to guide her through the prevalence of one of the concurring rights, especially when reminding others of their professional duties.

We find it very strange for her to base her decision on the person of Mr Amaral, or in the legality of his writing and of his intentions after showing during the court sessions that she had absolutely no any intention to summon him to the stand. She even refused his request to testify.

Didn't she deprive the man the right to defend himself? If he was to be such a pivotal character in her decision shouldn’t he be given that chance? Can the court simply decide on a man's intention without giving him the chance to explain himself?

We don't think it can but apparently it did.

But what is pivotal about Mr Amaral and his intentions is this phrase from the judge “the temporal continuity shows well the intention to call for the contradictory, in the public square, of the closing the investigation, confronting it with the thesis of the previous line of investigation, told as truthful by a former responsible for the same investigation”.

The judge is clearly saying that what Mr Amaral wanted was to say publicly that the archival dispatch was wrong.

Can the reader see the importance of this paragraph?

This is the judge saying very clearly and very explicitly, McCanns please step aside this has nothing to do with you, this is between the Public Ministry, who wrote up the archiving dispatch and this gentleman here who is claiming that they don’t know how to do their job, so let me roll up my sleeves and deal with him accordingly.

If Mr Amaral defamed anyone it was the Portuguese state. If Mr Amaral was calling anyone a liar, it was the Portuguese state. All that is said about the McCanns in his book is factual, so said the judge, so the question on whether the book may imply false allegations is only about the Public Ministry.

So if Mr Amaral had to pay any compensation it would have to be, to go according to her own words, to the Portuguese state.

Apparently the McCanns just happened to be in the right place at the right time when the judge decided to make Mr Amaral pay 500,000 € for alleged offenses against the state. Lucky people those McCanns.

However Isabel Duarte represented the McCanns and not the Portuguese state.

7. Banning

Was it only us the banning of the book caught by surprise? Not the fact that it was banned but that it was even on the table for decision?

When ID was interviewed outside the court on the first day she stressed that it was all about Mr Amaral paying for the damages he caused to the McCann family and to the search for Madeleine

During the court sessions we witnessed, not a single reference to any sort of banning or of any request for that.

However we did witness that the judge did not allow any fact in the book to be discussed in court. That means her decision to ban can only be based on the argument of the illegality of the content, as it was under secrecy of justice when written but no longer when the book published, and not of the content itself.

But irrelevant of reason as to why she decided to ban the book she simply she shouldn’t have brought the issue into her area of responsibility. Why?

We go back to the judge’s words already mentioned in this post when she asks “how to solve the conflict that exists in the present case between the rights of the plaintiffs Kate and Gerald McCann to their good name and reputation and the right of the defendant Gonçalo Amaral to his opinion as emanation of the freedom of speech that assists him?”.

We tell her that all she had to do was to look up the Appeals Court decision on that exact same subject and to look at the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold what the Appeals Court had decided.

A higher Portuguese court than hers had already pronounced a decision on the subject. Not about a similar one but about that one specifically. About that exact same question involving the exact same issue and the exact same people.

Maybe she should have searched for these decisions when she went out searching for jurisprudence because all she decided had been decided before.

Now it’s up to the Appeals Court to decide on whether they, the Appeals Court, knew what it was doing when they decided the way they did about the conflict of rights in question or if it will accept the decision of a lower court contradicting theirs.

We do question the legality of a decision of a lower court go against a higher court but will, obviously leave it to the courts to decide.

Independent of what happens next on this issue next, one thing is certain, Portugal is looking really bad in this. This vexatious dance of banning-unbanning-and-banning-again of a book in the second decade of the XXIst century is very prejudicial to the country’s image and to that of the credibility of its justice system.

8. Legality

Let us clarify that we think the decision is legal and legitimate. However it is in our opinion “wounded with an irremediable irregularity” as the Portuguese say, which for us constitutes an illegality because it goes against the country’s constitution.

It’s a basic principle of law that no one can be judged twice on the same matter.

The judge by banning the book has converted this trial about something that has already been subject to previous judgement.

It stopped being about possible damages but it became about the book and this issue and all its arguments for and against, have already been submitted, or they should have, to the Portuguese legal system all the way up to the Supreme Court.

9. Amount

The 500,000 € sentence is an amount that offends the Portuguese. To those arguing that the McCanns didn’t win because they only got half of what they asked, let us be very clear that the if the amount is to be the measure of success then the McCanns didn’t just simply win but won big time. A humongous victory, in fact.

In Portugal for the loss of life or permanent disability the courts usually hand out sentences of tens of thousands, usually between 30,000 € and 50,000 €. Talking about death or permanent disability.

In case of libel, even involving high ranked politicians we have no memory of an amount bigger than 10,000 €.

So, the McCanns got, in our opinion, about 50 times more than the expected in case they won, which they did. If that is not a clear victory we don’t know what is.

But what is the justification for such an unusual amount? This is what the judge has to say “having these vectors present it’s thought adequate and proportionate the compensation petitioned by the plaintiffs, which is of Euro 250.000,00.”

Which vectors are those? The best we can understand are those we have referred, right to good name v freedom of speech which resulted in a decision extracted out of a “legal mosaic” (judge’s words) so not exactly simple or straightforward and much less is objective.

We fail to see where the substantiation is for both adequateness and proportionality of the amount decided nor how this value was calculated. Was it just because they asked for that amount? Then the McCanns must be hitting themselves for not having asked for more. Why not ask a million each and whatever for each of the twins? Why not even more than that?

And where in all her decision taking is there any sort of quantification of damage? And what damage?

The judge speaks only about the offenses to the good name. But those offenses, although existing, shouldn't be considered as the Mr Amaral's right to free speech prevailed so has the Appeals Court decided. So we cannot see any damages for which Mr Amaral should be accountable for.

Could it be because of the sanctity of the judicial information that according to the judge Mr Amaral went against?

If that is the case, then to condemn a man to pay 500,000 € because of it means that the judge really values such sanctity.

But then where is her concern for this sanctity of judicial information when confronted with blatant irregularities in the disclosure of her decision? Is that sanctity important or isn't it?

10. Conclusion

This doesn’t please anyone. There is one unwritten sentence that was effective as of that day: the saga will go on.

The suffering of all involved, directly or indirectly will continue.

We’re in May, so we’re not anticipating a decision from the Appeals Court before next autumn.

We hope that by now the reader understands fully the analogy of the bank robber.

When we first read the decision we were bewildered.

Were we really reading what we were reading? Or what we were reading was it really there? It looks like a decision but where’s the damage? Why such an absurd amount? Why are we reading Mr Amaral’s book again? And the conflicting rights, wasn’t this something done and over with?

All seemed surreal. All seems surreal still. All is, frankly, very surreal.


  1. Maria just one question..if there is going to be an appeal do theMcCann's still get the cash just now or do they need to wait till the appeal is over

  2. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 10:16:00,

    Any decision made by any court is only effective, or executed to be better understood, after what the Portuguese call "transited in judgement".

    What this means is all legal acts must be over for the sentenced to be executed. All legal acts meaning all possible appeals. I do think it's a formal act but may be mistaken.

    Only then, will the last decision be implemented. To answer your question, they won't receive anything now.

    Please don't call me Maria because that is not my name, even though it's a pretty one and as is very common among the Portuguese I do have very good friends with that name.

    Maria Santos was just a name I had to come up with after having Bronte Textusa reported on FB.

  3. Hi
    Thanks for this post. I am just wondering what effects this verdict may have on the ongoing investigations, in your opinion. Maybe it should not, in theory, affect the ongoing investigations at all - but in your opinion, looking at this in context of the whole 'affair' do you think this verdict may have direct or indirect consequences.... ?

    1. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 10:39:00,

      As we think this has become a game, one cannot speak of ongoing investigations as investigations as all that has to be investigated has already been investigated.

      What we think your're asking is about the timelines we think had been set for these so-called investigations to come to their conclusions.

      Note past tense because trial decision will affect them. We think either possible outcome (full truth or archival) need closure on this issue first.

      We msut say the BH have reached a significant victory on April 28 and that was to delay the issue until the UK elections.

      For them, this govenment has been beaten. The next government may not be favourable but that is a problem to deal with when time comes. What matters for them is that this one is practically behind their backs.

    2. Hi again - just want to clarify - when you say that you think that either possible outcome( full truth or archival) requires closure on this issue first - does 'closure on this issue' mean when any final appeals have been made and decided upon - which could take months - or do you mean closure in terms of this recent verdict?
      Thanks again

    3. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 12:08:00,

      Yes, we mean when it can be said "we have put Lisbon behind our backs". That means when all appeals made and decided.

  4. Hi Textusa, congratulations on the recent post,utterly dismayed at the decision by the Judge?
    Going by what the post states, I may be wrong in this(judges quote). That it was in the mind of the former detective(G, Amaral), that the detective who took over the investigation, (Tavares) and the PJ were right on their investigation to archive the case?
    So who was wrong Goncalo Amaral or the PJ if they both concluded about the demise of Madeleine McCann, or is the Judge stating it was in Mr Amaral's brain only?

    1. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 11:02:00,

      To look at the question you put, one has to abandon the passion one has for the subject and not judge whether decision is right or not. One only has to look if it's legal and legitimate.

      The archival dispatch, a legal and legitimate decision, says there's not sufficient evidence to prosecute.

      A citizen, Mr Amaral, has the legal and legitimate right to disagree with that legal and legitimate decision, especially taking into account that such decision affects his reputation as a professional.

      Judge agrees with that. What she disagrees, with us and with the Appeals Court, is that legitimate and legal right that Mr Amaral has, should be silenced when in conflict with the legitamte and legal rights the McCanns have to a good name.

      Basically she is saying that the McCanns are entitled to an immaculate reputation while agreeing that Mr Amaral's is of little importance compared to theirs.

      Judge has agreed that what Mr Amaral has said about the demise of Madeleine McCann is based on facts. She's just saying he can't express that as it offends the McCanns. And because he has, she's sentenced him to pay 500,000 €.

    2. Has the Judge the right to ban the sale of the book if it is based on facts of the case,but the facts of the case are legal,but not tested in a court?

    3. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 12:00:00,

      Yes she has that right. That's why we say he decision is legal and legitimate.

      In case the Appeals Court overturns her decision, it's their right and also legal and legitimate.

    4. Forgive me for my ignorance, so if the Judge was right to uphold the decision on behalf of the appellants(McCanns) and had awarded a derisory amount say,would the appellants then have had the right to appeal the derisory sum awarded, would the McCanns appealed the decision as Clarence has stated,any monies received will go into his funding finding Madeleine of which he is believed to have received in excess of £500,000.00, as their media mouth piece?

    5. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 12:39:00,

      I'm sorry but not sure if I understand your question.

      I thiink you're asking if the McCanns can appeal the amount sentenced. Or if the judge had sentenced a lower amount, if they could appeal that.

      Anyone has long as they have grounds to appeal can. In this instance, and in the case of the amount sentenced being exactly what they asked for, they don't have eny ground to appeal.

      However, they can appeal on the fact that the twins weren't given any compensation.

      Don't know if answered your question.

    6. what i was trying to say was that if the Judge being unbiased of course,had found against the defendant,then ascertained the serious nature of what has potentially happened to the appellants daughter and they having no proof of the well being of the missing child,since the disappearance.
      The PJ being deceived by duplicitous statements made by the parents and Tapas friends(pact of silence) must have had to be considered by the Judge as to the integrity of the people involved in the damages trial?

  5. Is the amount not just a the same amount earned from sale of book and videos and when all costs are met no one group will be any worse as if the book had never been written.

    1. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 11:19:00,

      If that was the case, then the sentence would have to be 382,000 €.

      We say "if that is the case" because, and that is the point, she fails to state whether it is or not the case.

      The judge says it was not possible to determine in what measure the McCanns were affected by the book. She just states they were.

      So, in our opinion and wanting to give reason to the McCanns (which we obviously disagree with), she should have reduced the amount to a symbolic one. Well below the 10,000 € mark.


    McCann Trolls: Police Won't Take Action

    Police say some of the messages sent to the family were "extremely distasteful", but none "constituted a prosecutable offence".

    No further action will be taken against dozens of people accused of directing online abuse at the family of Madeleine McCann, Sky sources have revealed.

    Anti-abuse campaigners had compiled a dossier of names after becoming alarmed at the threatening nature of some tweets, posts and messages on online forums directed at Kate and Gerry McCann.

    The trolls believe - despite no evidence - the McCanns had some involvement in the disappearance of their daughter in Portugal in 2007.

    In a letter to the campaigners, Leicestershire Police Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: "While finding that much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant in nature, it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

    Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "Leicestershire Police had spent about eight months investigating the dossier, which effectively was a catalogue of abuse tweeted and posted online elsewhere by antagonists of Kate and Gerry McCann.

    "There were dozens of such individuals identified in the dossier. They had threatened violence and even death against the couple."

    The online posts included words like petrol and matches, handcuffs, shooting, torture and lynching, Brunt said.

    He added: "Leicestershire Police have decided after consulting with Crown Prosecutors that none of these postings constitutes a breach of the Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act or the Telecommunications Act."

    Brunt said those who compiled the dossier have reacted with "absolute dismay" at the decision.

    "They say it is tantamount to giving the trolls, as they call them, 'carte blanche' to carry on abusing the McCanns," he said.

    "Although we haven't heard directly from the McCanns, I'm sure they too will be astonished, because when Sky News revealed this dossier back in September last year, Gerry McCann said such trolls should be prosecuted."

    More follows...


      Truth seekers vindicated

  7. Textusa, can the 500K€ be an amount to ward off bloggers like yourself?

    1. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 12:19:00,

      No, we don't think it was but even if that had been the objective it failed completely.

      After the initial shock, we must say that what we have witnessed is a higher determination to seek the truth and support Mr Amaral. It is nice to be part in such times.

  8. I see in a report jillhavern site that Mrs McCann is to asisst in a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for missing persons, one wonders if the mysterious Tapas group of cohorts will bring out their tandems for the event,Mirror,mirror on the wal!?

  9. Republishing comment received and deleted for anonymity reasons:

    "Anonymous" 1 May 2015, 12:43:00

    Don't want to flog a pedantic dead horse but thought final figure was something along lines of 382,000 plus interest, hence 500,000.....i won't mention it again promise!

    1. "Anonymous" 1 May 2015, 12:43:00

      As you can see, if judge had justified how she reached that amount you wouldn't have any fear of flogging a pedantic dead horse.

      The problem is she doesn't. The only indication is that the plaintiff's/authors each asked for 250,000€, which added up is 500,000€.

      The interest you refer, is included in the sentence and is to be paid on top of the 500,00€

      Also 382,000€ plus 106,000€ makes it 488,000€ which is still 12,000€ short of the 500,000€ sentenced.

      That difference is greater than we have ever seen sentenced in moral damages in Portugal.

  10. Textusa - thank you, again, for such a clear-headed and precise analysis of the judgment, and its implications. Perhaps it's just me -- I can't help but 'feel' that the judge was 'got at', coerced, guided, given plenty of 'advice'... one wonders who supplied the cases quoted, or did she look them up herself. Either way, the whole thing is a scandal. Shameful.

  11. Isabel Oliveira's translation can now be seen on this link:

    Our heartfelt gratitude to Isabel for such hard work.

  12. Excellent analysis and insight as usual, Bronte. Well done :)

  13. Message from Mr Amaral to someone faking to be him on social networks:

    "I write to you in Portuguese, which is my language and one that I love. That twitter profile with my name and my image is completely false.
    Whomever writes in my name should have the courage to identify him/herself. My freedom and my fundamental rights have been attacked enough already. The lack of money is bad, but the lack of sense is much worse.. and even worse is that whomever is using my name and my image is committing a crime. Be very careful, reality is not going to be virtual. Signed: Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral, Coordinator of Criminal Investigation at the Polícia Judiciária, and Portuguese citizen"

  14. "The characteristic of the Portuguese to be inventive. To be innovative. To show others how smart they are. How they can see things others are unable to see. How they can think outside the box."

    And oops! forgot to add - as you had just aptly demonstrated - "to denigrate themselves!"

    Come on Textusa, aren't the British the same? Just because they are slow and contained does not mean they do not show off.

    Observe the McCann's... even if they often give the impression of being robot-like they are showing off in a manner which their culture finds acceptable.

    Fernando Pessoa spoke of "sensationism". what's wrong with that?

    Your piece is otherwise a masterpiece. I loved it. I am only pointing out that the tendency for us Portuguese to denigrate ourselves - which is exactly what let this well-to-do judge did by seeing the well-to-do McCanns (foreigners) from a better angle by passing a sentence "para Inglês ver".

    Like you I found her decision despicable. I like the way your phrased it: "Basically she is saying that the McCanns are entitled to an immaculate reputation while agreeing that Mr Amaral's is of little importance compared to theirs." I could not have put it better!

    1. Anonymous 1 May 2015, 16:02:00,

      Truth is genderless and without any nationality.

      This issue involves only the Portuguese and the British. We have complimented and criticised each when we felt we needed to do so.

      I can inform you that no member of the team was born in Portugal and one has never been to the country.

  15. We would like to make something very clear. We are not attacking the Portuguese justice system.

    We are disagreeing with one of its decisions. And we have used elements of that same justice system to justify our disagreement.

    To judge the entire Portuguese justice system on how it has handled the McCann case and say it's corrupt and permeable, then one must allow the same to be said about the entire British system, that is as corrupt and permeable, in the way it has handled the same case.

    One just has to look as an example in how it has handled the WoC question concerning Maddie

    Neither system is exempt when it comes to Maddie and whatever has to do with Maddie cannot be transposed and generalised about the respective judicial system.

    Let's understand that this case is specific and special. No other like it has ever happened in any other country.

    1. @Textusa

      You, as many others, have said this case is specific and special.

      Will you be doing a blog post that goes into detail of what that is?

      Keep up the great work.

    2. in regard to the ward of court document, I find it strange that the parents would have applied for the document at such an early time frame, if your daughter had gone missing/Abducted within Eleven days!?
      Why was this not questioned by the Police Forces, if the child was supposedly missing and likely to be found?
      As in the film "All the Presidents Men" Deep throat"Follow the Money Trail"?

  16. Thanks Textusa, another great post.

    I find the whole book banning thing interesting. Being from the UK and having read an English translation of the (somewhat accursed) book, I was struck how it highlighted the co-operation between the Portuguese and British police forces at the time. It would certainly seem that the conclusions that the book presents, and as decided in a court of law to be a truthful account of the facts of the case, would be at the very least a concurrence on the part of the British police, if not a description of the joint decisions arrived at. This alone would be enough to cause embarrassment to Team McCann if the book were to be published and available in bookstores in the UK, or indeed other English speaking countries.
    While the case files and the contents of the book are running wild on the Internet, they are far easier to discredit (often with no actual basis other than a denial). This is not so easily achieved if the facts are printed on paper available in hardback.

    Thanks again for chipping away at this fascinating case…

  17. To all wanting to help GA

  18. If GA did something illegal shouldn't the Portuguese police acted when he published book? If he broke some rule in the book then he should have been then subject to disciplinary or criminal action. The case was only known to the whole world and no one noticed this illegality not even the Public Ministry?

  19. Me personally in my very humble way thinks that this is a grand move.
    When charges are laid and everyone is saying oh but the poor couple have already suffered so much........
    no they have not - as recently as May they have been winning large sums of money at the expense of others. Somehow think this will be to Op Grange's favour.


    'No one has the right to take away a parent's hope'

    In an exclusive extract from the updated edition of their book Looking for Madeleine, award-winning investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan report on the current developments in the Madeleine McCann case

    By Anthony Summers, and Robynn Swan

    7:05AM BST 02 May 2015

    Last August, a group of 10 “concerned citizens” wrote to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, alerting him to “an appalling campaign of abuse directed at the parents and wider family of Madeleine McCann”.

    None of the authors of the letter was related to or even knew Kate and Gerry McCann. It was, rather, they said, the behaviour of an army of online “haters” in recent months that decided them to turn to law enforcement. The abuses against the McCanns had “raged for over seven years now, but have lately become worse”.

    As the McCanns this weekend mark the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of their three-year-old daughter from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal, the daily attacks from trolls on line continue. Yet the police yesterday ruled out taking any action. In a reply to the “concerned citizens”, Roger Bannister, the Assistant Chief Constable of the Leicestershire force – asked by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to look into the issues they had raised – wrote that, on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the evidence submitted of the abuse the McCanns had faced that had been “did not reach the evidential threshold for a successful prosecution”.

    Earlier this week, though, there had been more encouraging news for the McCanns when a Portuguese court ruled - after six years - that Goncalo Amaral, the detective who initially led the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance had libelled the couple. It ordered him to pay them £440,000 in damages. In his best-selling book, The Truth of the Lie, translated into six languages, Amaral suggested that Madeleine died in the family’s holiday apartment, and that her parents were in some way responsible for her death.

    In a statement released on Friday, Kate McCann reiterated the couple’s committment to finding their daughter. ‘‘I’m more driven than ever to continue the search for Madeleine and to help other families who face the pain of a child being missing,’’ she said at the launch of a charity bike ride to raise funds for Missing People.

    The hating of the McCanns began early. Cruel, anonymous letters started to arrive soon after Madeleine went missing. One correspondent claimed to know that the three-year-old was being tortured and that her parents were responsible, another that she was dead and buried. Back home in Leicestershire without their daughter that first Christmas, the McCanns received a card that read: “You ******* thieving bastards. Your brat is dead because of your drunken arrogance . . . If you have any shame you would accept full responsibility for your daughter’s disappearance . . . You are scum.” The couple have also received death threats.


  21. (cont)

    There is, of course, absolutely no evidence at all to support the drip feed of allegations on the Internet about the McCanns’ guilt. And research for our book Looking for Madeleine found nothing to contradict the official line.

    In the years since the disappearance of Madeleine, the rise and rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has allowed many out-and-out foes of the couple to continue to pour out their poison. They can connect more easily than ever before with like-minded individuals, often anonymously, and this is outpacing law enforcement’s ability to police it.

    Most troubling are the posts that have threatened violence against them. “Friends” in one Facebook exchange “jokingly” suggested the fate they wished upon the McCanns. Friend One suggested someone should “shoot the ****ers”. Friend Two, a female, declared that “these 2 should burn in hell”. Friend Three said he would “supply the petrol . . .” Friend Four, who claimed elsewhere that he attended gym classes with Kate and Gerry, babbled about being able to dig out “a box of Swan Vesta” matches.

    Twitter posts also come from people who say they live near the McCanns. One suggested she would “nip round” to their house where they live with their ten year old twins with “handcuffs . . . pass the twins to a loving family and then lynch ’em!!” There was also: “I’m in the mood for some waterboarding, who’s first K or G?”

    The trolling reached a crisis point in July last year when an anti-McCann Facebook page posted a photograph of the McCanns’ Sean and Amelie, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    In their September letter to the Met, one of the ‘‘concerned citizens’’ wrote: “It will only take one mentally unstable person to act out on the fantasies of assaulting the McCanns or contacting their twins, or one pathetic soul seeking praise and affirmation. I personally cannot have it on my conscience that I didn’t at least try to bring these activities to the attention of the police . . . No family should live in permanent fear.”

    It was a month after the complaint had been submitted to the Met, Sky News correspondent Martin Brunt conducted a doorstep interview with the woman who – under the username @sweepyface – had authored many anti- McCann postings on Twitter. She was not named in his report, but acknowledged having posted the messages, and insisted that she was “entitled” to do so.

    Following the broadcast, @sweepyface was quickly identified as 63-year-old Brenda Leyland, a divorced mother of two sons, who lived within 15 miles of the McCanns’ home. It was reported that she had sent more than 4000 tweets since 2010, almost all of them about the McCanns. On October 4, two days after the footage featuring her had run, Leyland was found dead in a room at a hotel on the outskirts of Leicester. At the inquest, one of her sons said his mother had a background of mental illness and had “always struggled with depression”. Her Twitter record for the final weeks of her life indicates that she had sent some 600 tweets, most of them barbs aimed at the McCanns and their defenders, whom she characterised as “shills” – stooges – or “***tards”. She was amused, too, by the fantasy that people who supported the McCanns might “do a Jonestown” and commit mass suicide.


  22. (cont)

    Nine days before her death, Leyland tweeted: “I ‘hate’ cruelty, liars, those who profit from an others [sic] tragedy, ergo my ‘hate for Kate and Gerry’ is justified . . . ‘hate’ [is] a powerful emotion, it is a compliment to Maddie that we ‘hate’ her parents who betrayed her.”

    The advice of the DPP and the decision by Leicestershire police not to pursue action agains those who persecute the McCanns online will, no doubt, lead to renewed abuse. In the meantime, the McCanns must soldier on, their focus as ever the search for Madeleine. Over the past 12 months, Scotland Yard has announced “operational activity’’ in Portugal”, digging in and around Praia da Luz. A number of witnesses have been questioned.

    There has been a development in one significant area. The Met had said previously that it was studying 18 incidents in the vicinity of Praia da Luz in which an intruder had broken into properties housing British families between 2002 and 2010 – well after Madeleine’s disappearance. That number has now risen and police are analysing as many as 28 episodes.

    “The offences are not all the same,” a source told us. “Some involve not little children but teenagers or young women . . . But there are similarities. We’re seeing a sort of consistent theme. Perhaps there is a burglar, a thief, who’s also got a weakness for this sort of thing. We don’t know. We’re not saying all these offences are definitely linked, but there’s potential here.

    “If we dig down into those incidents and find out who’s responsible, if we find that a single person is responsible for a number, if not all, of the events . . . Who knows, that same person may have been responsible for Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.”

    Forensic evidence - a fingerprint or DNA lying forgotten in a police exhibit store in the Algarve - remians the best hope of a conclusion to this case.

    This week, a senior source on the Scotland Yard investigation carefully said, “no comment” when pressed as to whether there is possible progress on the forensic front. Carefully, too, he has said there is still progress and that the case is “solvable”.

    And we believe the McCanns are right to hope. The head of the US-based International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ernie Allen, regards their tenacity as “admirable” and “inspiring”. As he once told another grieving parent, “there are many scenarios under which your child could still be alive…We keep finding abducted children who have been missing for years.”

    In South Africa in February, a child was found alive and well – having been abducted as a baby and been missing for seventeen years. She is now reunited with her parents. “No one has the right,” said Allen, “ to take away a parent’s hope.

    Looking For Madeleine by Anthony Summers is published by Headline priced £9.99. To order your copy call 0844 871 1514 or visit

  23. "The hating of the McCanns began early. Cruel, anonymous letters started to arrive soon after Madeleine went missing. One correspondent claimed to know that the three-year-old was being tortured and that her parents were responsible,"

    Wasn't it Kate who claimed the 3 year old was being tortured? Page 129 of her book describes, graphically and horribly, what she imagined a sex offender doing to her daughter.
    A book written for the benefit of the twins!

    1. Brilliant comment, Anon - Thanks!


    Madeleine Police Probe More Break-Ins

    Detectives are following a new line of inquiry, ahead of the eighth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

    By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent

    British detectives searching for Madeleine McCann have discovered more of the holiday apartment burglaries they believe hold the key to solving the case.

    They had been investigating 18 break-ins in which intruders entered the bedrooms of young, mostly British girls.

    Now they are probing 28 such burglaries, Sky News has learned.

    Forensic evidence is being tested against findings from the apartment from where Madeleine vanished eight years ago.

    The development in the Scotland Yard investigation is revealed by authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan in a new edition of their recent book Looking For Madeleine.

    Summers said: "Our source told us that after stumbling across 18 burglaries last year, they have now discovered a total of 28 in the area of Praia da Luz in the years around 2007 when Madeleine disappeared.

    "It gives them a much better chance of matching evidence against forensics from the McCann apartment.

    "I was told there was great sensitivity around this forensic testing, nobody wants to discuss it, but they are making progress and believe the case is solvable."

    The author said in the past few days the Home Office had agreed to continue its controversial funding of the British investigation which has now cost more than £10m.

    Summers said: "Officials meet the police every three months to review spending and only last week told them there was no financial or political pressure to cut back."

    Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from the family's rented holiday apartment on 3 May eight years ago. It's thought she was abducted.

    Portuguese police abandoned their investigation after 15 months without establishing any clues to the mystery and for three years there was no official search for Madeleine.

    With Home Office backing, Scotland Yard began a review of evidence in 2011 and then launched a full-scale investigation two years ago.

    The London branch leader of the police union the Police Federation said recently that funding of the investigation could not be justified in the wake of continuing public spending cuts which have hit all forces.

    1. Hater Campaign II

      The sequel is usually worse than the original and the original was already pretty lame. Pity it cost Brenda Leyland's life.

    2. I wonder when big Jim Gamble will throw in his comments about the evil nasty vicious persons who must be brought to account for their actions?
      Has one of the relatives appeared at Swan lake for Martin Brunt,dossier?

    3. I note that Brunt makes no ref to trolls or haters.


    Too busy with Madeleine McCann to help you!

    00:00, 3 May 2009
    By Jane Tyler

    A CHARITY set up to provide help and support to relatives of missing people has refused to publicise cases – in favour of Madeleine McCann.

    A CHARITY set up to provide help and support to relatives of missing people has refused to publicise cases – in favour of Madeleine McCann.

    Today is the second anniversary of the Leicestershire youngster’s disappearance.

    In addition to the details of the six year-old’s disappearance, Missing People features a further 24 Midland cases on its website.

    The Sunday Mercury contacted the charity, asking if they could help us to raise the profile of a local family suffering similar turmoil to the McCanns.

    But they told us: “Sorry, we won’t help you.”

    And they added that it would be “too time consuming” for its staff to do, and said they would prefer to keep the focus on Madeleine McCann this weekend.

    Amazingly Missing People is still claiming that more needs to be done to help families whose loved ones disappear.

    And the charity’s director of policy and research, Geoff Newiss, has issued another satement saying: “Two years on and Madeleine McCann’s disappearance from Praia da Luz continues to highlight the need for better services and support for families affected.

    “Families like Madeleine McCann’s need more help with the emotional, social and practical impacts that occur when someone they love goes missing.”

    “Madeleine is a vulnerable missing child. Her family are in the same desperate situation as the 1,000 other UK families the charity currently supports, all living in limbo.”

    A Birmingham councillor has hit out at the charity’s snub and has vowed to raise the issue of missing city children.

    Coun Reg Corns (Con, Northfield), said he will use his position as vice chairman of the children and education overview and scrutiny committee to highlight the problem.

    He said it was all too easy for high profile national cases, such as Madeleine, to dominate the headlines.

    “This results in local cases being brushed under the carpet,” he said.

    “At one time there was a campaign to put the faces of missing children onto the side of milk cartons but that doesn’t seem to be happening any more.

    “I am going to ask the question: how we are currently organising searching for missing children and what arrangements are in place?”

    A spokeswoman for Missing People said: “While the charity continues to assist these families in their search for information, and to raise awareness with the public, Missing People has taken the decision not to contact other families with media enquiries in regards to Madeleine McCann’s specific campaign.

    “The charity feels that doing so would not only take the focus from the individual missing person’s case, but we also feel it would be inappropriate that, while these families have to live with the pain of a loved one’s disappearance every day, the media only recognises the plights of these families on the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.”

  26. I have seen picture of an article from jillhavern siteCMoMM that have a disgusting article calling Mr Goncalo Amaral a Monster profiting from Madeleine McCann, centre pages of the Scum.
    how sad that the so called UK journalists are the epitome of an under class operating in a "civilised society"defaming this man in this way,this man has not harmed any person that I am aware of and the result of this article his to Demonize him is utterly reprehensible to decent UK citizens, they ought to be ashamed of them selves.
    Quite how this kind of writing(Sh**) is supposed to help both countries resolve conflicts to find the Truth is beyond me,Truely Scandalous behaviour, gutter press?


    2. The full story here: Monster who made a mint out of Maddie The Sun (paper edition, pages 36&37)



      Saturday, May 2, 2015

      ADORING women flock around him, chanting his name, throwing red roses and blowing him kisses.

      Smiling and waving, their idol laps up the attention, posing for photos, signing autographs and even giving a lucky few a peck on the cheek.

      For all the world you may have thought the man at the centre of the fuss and flashing a diamond earring stud was an ageing pop star greeting his fans at the stage door.

      In fact the setting was the entrance to Lisbon's Palace of Justice and the man was former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral.

      This is the man Madeleine McCann's parents hold responsible for virtually destroying every hope there was of finding their daughter in the first crucial hours and days after she went missing on May 3, 2007.

      And he is a man who has continued to add to their torment in the years since by claiming over and over that their beloved daughter is dead.

      He has raked in nearly £400,000 from spouting these claims in a book and TV documentary.

      He even hired an agent and was at one time charging £75,000 for an interview.

      Before long he was driving a flashy Jag and living in a plush villa.

      Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three years old.

      The scenes of Amaral preening in front of besotted fans outside court were witnessed by parents Kate and Gerry more than two years after that terrible night.

      'Kate driven to tears by missed opportunities'

      It was December 11, 2009, and incredibly, it was the first time Kate had ever set eyes on him.

      As the mum was to write later in her book Madeleine: "It was also the first time he had laid eyes on me.

      "It is extraordinary that he could have said and written so many awful things about a person he had never met."

      This week the couple finally won their libel battle against Amaral that had begun back on that December day more than five years ago. He was ordered to pay them £433,000 and his book, The Truth of the Lie, was banned.

      Kate, 46, has mostly kept a dignified silence on the subject of Amaral, but in one interview she revealed how son Sean, now nine, had told her: "Mr Amaral said you hid Madeleine."

      When Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, Amaral, now 56, was quickly drafted in as the super-sleuth who would crack the case.

      At the time he was the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria's Criminal Investigation Department in Portimao.

      But during the investigation he only met Gerry once and seemingly had not thought it relevant to even meet, let alone talk to, the mother of the child he was tasked with finding.

      This isn't surprising given Amaral's arrogance and self-importance. Having met him several times he is unlike any police chief I have ever known.

      At court, in his heavy gold chain and with his bulging belly, he conducted himself like a celebrity.

      He gave TV interviews at every opportunity and wined and dined his fans – who all seemed to be women of a certain age with a fondness for bright red lipstick and fur coats – over long lunches.

      Back in October 2007 it was his comments made during a similar lunch that saw him taken off Madeleine's case.

    3. cont

      Journalists overheard him loudly complaining that the McCanns were getting special treatment because they were from the UK, and criticising British police. He was removed after his comments were reported.

      But it was surprising that Amaral was ever in charge in the first place.

      Because at the time he was himself an "arguido" – an official suspect – in a case involving another mother of a missing child.

      He was being investigated for falsifying documents in a case involving three of his officers accused of torturing the missing girl's mum and uncle to get their confessions.

      Little Joana Cipriano, eight, had disappeared in September 2004 from her village seven miles from Praia da Luz. She has never been found. The officers were cleared, but in May 2009 Amaral was convicted of perjury and received an 18-month suspended sentence.

      Years later, as Kate combed through police files, she was to be driven to tears of frustration and rage by all the missed opportunities. So many leads and sightings had simply not been followed up.

      The reason? From an early stage in the investigation, as Amaral later admitted in his book, he decided Madeleine had died in an accident.

      Then, he reckoned, her parents panicked, hid her body and made up the story about her abduction.

      So while Kate and Gerry were clinging to the hope that a huge manhunt would soon bring their daughter back to them, Amaral's team were in fact searching for clues and evidence to implicate them.

      Even the cop assigned to be the McCanns' family liaison officer was in fact looking for hints of guilt, it emerged during the libel case.

      Conclusions based on bizarre 'evidence'

      One night, he told the court, Kate had phoned him to beg for a hilltop in Praia da Luz to be searched, because she had had a dream that Madeleine was buried there.

      From this, he reported back to Amaral, he believed that Kate was admitting Madeleine was dead – further proof of the couples "guilt".

      It seems absurd that a top police chief would base his conclusions on bizarre "evidence" such as this. And yet, much to Kate and Gerry's complete despair, he did.

      No wonder Kate wrote in her book: "What probably galls me the most about Amaral's interviews is the way he presents himself as a person who, perhaps above all others, really wants to find Madeleine and get to the bottom of her fate.

      "I cannot begin to express how much this outrages me."

      Amaral began his attacks on the McCanns soon after being taken off the case and in July 2008 published his book, a bestseller in Portugal.

      Amaral is well thought of in Portugal and his utterings were clearly turning locals against the McCanns.

      As Kate told me despairingly: "If people believe Madeleine is dead they will stop searching for her." Yet she never wanted to enter into a long libel battle against him.

      It was Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte who told Kate and Gerry, 46, that they had no choice but to do it, declaring: "That man has accused you of burying your daughter!"

      Meanwhile, Amaral's second wife Sofia Leal, 45 – with whom he has a daughter the same age as Madeleine – has said he has been "completely destroyed" by the case.

      And recently Amaral himself, who is now retired, said: "It's hard to accept that I have to live this way just because I did my job."

      For Kate and Gerry those words must cut deep.

      Because they believe if Amaral HAD done his job their beloved Madeleine may now be with them.

    4. Sun article is hysterical and quite ridiculous. A very old quote from Sofia Leal, a fantasy description of Mr Amaral and a crowd of fans. When did this happen?

      I don't believe SY have given out any information for months, so other press reports of burglary investigations are old stories re-spun.

      SY told Summers and Swan to use the PJ file translations, so they are not privy to information from the investigation.

      I guess hysterical , inaccurate and exaggerated reporting is required to sell the story in the face of competition from the birth of the royal baby and the forthcoming election.

    5. Anonymous 3 May 2015, 08:20:00

      Anyone who believes a word of that story deserves to be fooled.

      It's counter-productive. That's what happens when one goes over the top, all becomes pitiful


    EXCLUSIVE Maddie libel detective ruined: Retirement retreat seized to cover McCann payout

    THE luxury home where former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, central to the Madeleine McCann investigation, hoped to spend his retirement is boarded up and desolate.

    By James Murray
    PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, May 3, 2015

  28. EXCLUSIVE: Ex-cop who lost libel case against McCanns has British backers…/Trolls-pay-Maddie-lie-cops-court-…

    Exclusive by Benn PERRIN

    Trolls fork out for Maddie lie cop's court bill.

    BRIT trolls are helping pay the legal bills of an ex- cop who said Madeleine McCann's parents were behind her disappearance. Hundreds of donations have flooded into a sick online campaign for shamed Goncalo Amaral 56.

    Today marks the eighth anniversary since Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz, Portugal, when she was three years old.

    An ex-British policeman is among those supporting the "injustice" of Amaral losing a libel case over allegations in his controversial book The Truth of the Lie.

    He claimed that Maddie's parents Kate 47, and Scots- born Gerry 46 faked her abduction after she died .Amaral is set to launch a costly appeal after being ordered to pay the couple from Rothley, Leics, a total of £434,000.

    Leanne Baulch, 22, of Birmingham is listed as organiser of the gofundme webpage "Legal Defence for Goncalo Amaral"- which aims to raise £25,000.

    Some donors called the libel ruling in Lisbon a "perversion of justice" John Green paid £10 and wrote "I am a retired policeman and will never understand how criminal proceedings have never been taken against the McCann's .

    Mary Benusis said her £50 was in memory of a Twitter troll found dead after being exposed as being behind vile social media messages about the McCann's.

    Speaking after winning the six year battle with Amaral ,Kate McCann said" It was about stopping awful lies which hindered the search for Madeleine " Last night a family spokesman declined to comment.

    1. Giving free publicity to the fund. Nice!


    Madeleine McCann police discover more holiday apartment break-ins that could be linked to disappearance

    19:07, 2 May 2015
    By Karen Rockett

    Police are probing 28 such burglaries and forensic evidence is being tested against findings from the apartment from where Madeleine vanished eight years ago in Portugal

    British detectives searching for Madeleine McCann have discovered more of the holiday apartment burglaries they believe hold the key to solving the case.

    They had been investigating 18 break-ins in which intruders entered the bedrooms of young, mostly British girls.

    Now they are probing 28 such burglaries and forensic evidence is being tested against findings from the apartment from where Madeleine vanished eight years ago in Portugal.

    The development in the Scotland Yard investigation is revealed by authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan in a new edition of their book Looking For Madeleine.

    Mr Summers said: “Our source told us that after stumbling across 18 burglaries last year, they have now discovered a total of 28 in the area of Praia da Luz in the years around 2007 when Madeleine disappeared.

    “It gives them a much better chance of matching evidence against forensics from the McCann apartment.

    “I was told there was great sensitivity around this forensic testing, nobody wants to discuss it, but they are making progress and believe the case is solvable.”

    Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann have said they are “more driven than ever” to continue the search for their daughter.

    1. Now it's 28? Was Praia da Luz, former Tombstone and the Algarve the Wild West?

    2. yes with Doc(holiday) Gerry and (Wyatt) Healy, Sorry to be flippant,with the humour but I could not resist the comparison, perhaps in the posse, Big Jim, Martin Brunt and Clarence plus accumulated family Ma big Ankles?

    3. Doc Holliday had a mistress named Big nosed Kate?


    Brits already forking out en-masse for Maddie cop libel appeal

    After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision last week, British supporters of the former Portuguese policeman ordered to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann €500,000 euros in damages are rallying to a “gofundme” online appeal for his legal defence.

    Already widely reported is the fact that Gonçalo Amaral “will appeal to the last judicial instance” against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by Kate and Gerry McCann. But what few in Portugal may be aware of is that an online fund set up by a 22-year-old woman in Birmingham is already seeing money pouring in in Amaral’s defence.

    At time of writing on Sunday morning, 315 people had donated over £5,000 to the Legal Defence for Gonçalo Amaral set up by Leanne Baulch, with all sorts leaving commentaries, including at least one introducing himself as a retired police officer.

    Jill Parkin added her £10 donation to the fund, saying: “Please do not give up in your quest for justice and the truth. I believe you are a honourable man who has been badly wronged. I honestly do not know what happened in this case but someone is lying and someone out there does know”

    Many donors’ comments allude to an article in today’s Sunday Sun that suggests Amaral is being funded by “British trolls”.

    As Emma Mitchell, giving £100 commented: “Shame on you The Sun! ... Keep fighting GA , Madeleine deserves justice and so do you”.

    Kirstene Glynn added her contribution, saying: “From yet another "nasty Internet troll" keep on fighting GA we're behind u all the way”.

    While others stumping up for the appeal that hopes to raise £25,000 pointed out: “There is a battle going on in social media land to force this through to the mainstream” which, they claim, “for some reason” only publishes one side of this seemingly endless and long-running story.

    Thus for now, Amaral is being buoyed by two online appeals both here and in UK as British media persist with 8th anniversary “Madeleine disappearance” stories, including “exposés” on Amaral’s so-called “fall from grace” and new “revelations about a string of burglaries on the Praia da Luz resort from which Madeleine went missing.

    According to the Express on Sunday, a home Amaral had hoped to retire to in a “millionaires development” near Olhão has “been seized to to cover the McCann libel payout” and is now boarded up, the property of the courts.

    The paper quotes an alleged friend, saying that everything Amaral has worked for “all his life, could be lost”.

    As we wrote this article, another three people bolstered the gofundme appeal.

    By the end of the day donations had leapt almost £500.

  31. Before calling witnesses, it could have been established whether GA had authority to write the book.
    If judge decided no, she could have made the award before calling anyone.
    On that basis alone?
    Then it would only be an assessment of damages after hearing witnesses say what effects were.
    And GA could have challenged from the outset.
    I have a feeling she knew what she intended before case started


    Madeleine McCann ‘Trolls’ Fight Back By Donating To Detective’s GoFundMe

    Will Madeleine McCann ever be found? The public focus isn’t currently on the search for her, because most people are focused on the libel suit involving the missing child’s parents and a Portuguese detective who wrote a book about the case. The Sunday Express reports that Goncalo Amaral has gotten a little help from his friends regarding the payment of the settlement the missing child’s parents won from him. Of course, the U.K. media is calling anybody who supports the embattled detective “trolls.” Meanwhile, the folks being called “trolls” say they just want justice for the child that’s been missing for eight years.

    Goncalo Amaral currently has a GoFundMe page, where he is accepting donations to help pay legal fees, and possibly fees associated with the steep settlement that he has been ordered to pay Kate and Gerry McCann. Media reports vary in what the money will go for, while supporters of the man insist it is just for his legal fees. Whatever the money is for, a lot is being donated. At the time of this report, the amount raised for him has reached more than £6,000, and the donation campaign is only a few days old. The page hopes to raise at least £25k for the fallen detective, and the numerous people who are donating want to voice their support for him. Some of the donors have hit back at the media for labeling them as “trolls.” A donor named “Not A Troll” had a lot to say.

    “Thank you MSM for opening my eyes over the last 8 years to how you operate. It’s been an education. Seems that the only way we will ever get to the truth of the never ending lies and distortion you print is through the hard work and tenacity of people like Dr Amaral who will never give up on getting justice for Madeleine McCann.”

    Another donor who gave to the fund also hit back at the U.K. media, shaming them for labeling anyone who wants answers for Madeleine McCann as “trolls.” That same donor was so upset at how they’re being portrayed, they donated a second time to Amaral’s fund.

    “Im donating again, after reading in The Sun tonight that Im a “Troll” apparently. Im incensed that anyone who does not believe the McCann’s lies are being labelled like this. Right at the beginning of this very fishy case, politicians and MSM called me a liar and a fantasist and dragged my name through the mud because I spoke out, all to cover and protect the McCann’s…and now The Sun calls me a troll?? So be it is my troll-money. Thankyou, The Sun, you have made more people aware of this massive cover-up and, more importantly, this fund for a brave, courageous man to end it. [all sic]”

    While Amaral’s supporters speak out against U.K. media reports, investigators are continuing the search for clues behind what may have happened to Madeleine McCann. Sky News reports that British detectives are investigating more reported burglaries and break-ins in hope of somehow finding a connection to Maddie’s case.

    1. Textusa,sorry to sound flippant,one of your posts "Swinging scenario",how were they able to swing, when all these burglaries were in operation!
      The Portugal PJ had better keep a very close eye on "Operation Grange" officers what with their track record of fit ups,make sure none of them are left alone in any potential suspects property's,ask BG, Jill Dando killing,eh Hamish or Ian Morgan's brutal slaying 10 March 1987,Police cover up?
      Any one doubting the MSM reporting, "Hillsborough, Scum reports" Fans robbing the dead!? CCTV evidence disappears of live recordings? Polic Officers told what to write up in their official reports,collusion?

    2. I got the name of the person wrong who was slane it was Daniel Morgan, not Ian! Apologies to any Ian Morgan's.
      The Police costs involved with trying to convict any person with Daniel Morgan's Death is over £30 Million pounds and involves murky underhand dealings with the MSM owned by a well known Austrailian connected to politicians,Prime Ministers,Judges!?


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