Friday, 8 January 2010

Gonçalo Amaral: Here's to the glorious twelfth!


As most of the world knows, in September, the McCanns obtained a temporary injunction on the sale of Gonçalo Amaral's book, the English title of which is "The Truth of the Lie."

The hearing, at which Gonçalo Amaral was due to present witnesses in an attempt to overturn the injunction was postponed due to staff sickness in the office of Snr Amaral's lawyer. Outside the Civil Court building in Lisbon, Kate and Gerry did a 1-2 double act about how they weren't disappointed and Kate MCann asserted the rights of "human beings," above the right to freedom of speech. She sounded like she was trying hard to remember the words used by her lawyer in some kind of pep talk. "Mrs McCann your human rights are being infringed," but Kate asserted the rights of human beings, which being a rather pedantic person led me to wonder if she was therefore stressing the rights of human beings over the rights of, say, jelly fish or orangutans. Free the Chiltern Hundreds I say. They have rights!

Anyway! The delayed hearing has been rescheduled for Tuesday January 12th. In the past week or so, there have been interesting developments, both in the mainstream media and on various blogs.

On Sunday January 3rd, the Express

"Thousands of British police files detailing the hunt for Madeleine McCann will not be released unless those behind her disappearance are brought to justice." (Emphasis mine.)

.......and in the Monday 4th January edition of the Express, we were given...

"THOUSANDS of police files detailing the British involvement in the hunt for Madeleine McCann will remain secret until her kidnappers are brought to justice, it emerged yesterday." (Emphasis mine.)

Those behind Madeleine's disappearance are not necessarily kidnappers and this appears to be what the original press release, presumably from the police force "Operation Task," investigating Madeleine's disappearance, is stating by their more generalised phrasing. What happened in the 24 hours between those editions? A press release from the McCann team? "You promised Mr Express editor, to make sure our comments were published on any news story relating to Madeleine."?

The question arises about why this statement now. Is there a connection between the timing of this press release and the upcoming hearing in the Lisbon Court? If so, what? Several theories have been mooted: the McCanns made a request to Leicestershire police for access to the files and they were turned down; the Leicestershire police were sending a message to Gonçalo Amaral that if he had wanted to use anything contained in those files, he could whistle Dixie! In all likelihood, this is just coincidence, because in the UK, police files would never be released while, as the press release states, the investigation is ongoing. Also, I would have thought that the court in Lisbon would have the power to requisition the information from Leicestershire police in what is, after all, a Portuguese police investigation.


On Thursday January 7th, John Blacksmith reported on his blog, The Blacksmith Bureau
, that next week's hearing would be behind closed doors. John does not reveal a source for this news, but he does go on to say that the details will emerge from behind those closed doors, bit by bit, inexorably.

"Whatever the verdict, the key elements of the court proceedings will come out, one way or another, during the coming months, like a dripping wound.

In July 2008 the Coffin and Gerry McCann, the latter with a spring in his step, the former lurching behind, shedding pine chips, were able to twist the meaning of the Portuguese prosecutors’ report because they had privileged access to it in translation. This time? Oh, no - there are plenty of Portuguese civil libertarians, volunteers for a cause they believe in, to ensure that the information will flow freely. The Team, from next week on, are going to be unable to stop the bleeding."

If John Blacksmith's information has come from a reputable source and the hearing is to be held in camera, for whose benefit is this likely to be? The McCanns' because they have reason to be concerned about how this is reported in the Portuguese media and the presence of members of the Portuguese public, who were vocal in their dislike of the McCanns in December? Gonçalo Amaral's in that his lawyer may wish to ask Snr Amaral's witnesses certain question which would touch on information contained in the thousands of files which have not yet been made public by the Portuguese police?

Outside the court in Lisbon in December, Snr Amaral appeared to quite relaxed, composed and confident: no ummms, errrrs, or you knows from him! He has always affirmed that his book, "A Verdade da Mentira," is nothing more than a narrative about the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, which was carried out by teams of Portuguese and English police officers. As far as I can tell from reading the said book, that is exactly what it appears to be.

Gerry McCann's assertion is that people will stop looking for Madeleine if they believe Amaral's thesis that, "an innocent little girl is dead." (Gerry's words.) There's something about Gerry's words that makes me decidedly uncomfortable. Implicit in the phrase, " innocent little girl is dead," seems to be some kind of implication that a little girl was being blamed for her own demise. Why does Gerry have to keep stressing, "innocent."? Could a little three-year-old girl be described as guilty? And if so, would her death not be such a crime or so significant? The use of the "innocent little girl," mantra would, in my opinion, be a plea to the mentality of the tabloid-reading public. "Innocent grandmother of 4 bitten by viscious unemployed teenage hoodie's ferret."

The MCanns and their backers have thrown oodles of dosh at expensive legal firm Carter Ruck, (They of the Trafigura injunction in which they sought to prohibit an MP's question in the House being made public), Portuguese PR firm "Lift Consulting," and Portuguese lawyers, in an attempt not only to ban Snr Amaral's book and prevent him from even talking about it, but have sought to silence bloggers who have dared to question their abduction theory. To me, though, in spite of all that, for all his posturing and ranting through his puckered, spaghetti-hole mouth, Gerry McCann's threats still sound as scary as Achmed, the dead terrorist! I keeeel you!

The McCanns' abduction theory has as much substance as Achmed's body. There is no substance to it. In nearly three years they have tried to pad it out with Jane Tanner's still being updated story and description of an elusive abductor, with sightings from all over the world, and simply their repeated protestations that it is so.

And finally, the television programme, which was broadcast on Portuguese TV, released on DVD, and included in the temporary injunction obtained by the McCanns, is available (of course!) on the internet. Here for the convenience of my readers, is the video with English sub-titles.

For more excellent videos and commentary on the Madeleine McCann case, see:

Thank you, Joana, for allowing embedding of this video.

And to Dr Gonçalo Amaral, my very best wishes and hopes that the 12th of January will indeed be the glorious twelfth, when at least some of the truth behind all the lies will come out. Let's hope that very soon the world will be able to distinguish the truth from the lies.