Thursday, 9 February 2017

Kate and Gerry McCann: No Longer The Teflon Two?

Since Madeleine McCann disappeared into thin air nearly 10 years ago, her parents Kate and Gerry McCann have clearly felt confident enough to sue anyone who criticised them in print. They confidently repeated the mantra that there was no proof that Madeleine had come to harm, although more recently they have added the word physical: there is no proof that Madeleine has come to any physical harm. Perhaps they reconsidered that mantra because if Madeleine had been abducted, were we to accept that they truly believed that abduction did not harm a child?

Kate and Gerry have courted the media for 10 years, being able to grab the media's attention with a comment whenever a child who had gone missing many years before turned up safe and well. This gives us renewed hope bla bla bla....

We know that the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance was archived in 2008, at which point some, but not all, of the Portuguese police files of the investigation were made public. Soon after this, Gonçalo Amaral's book about the investigation was published. It then took Kate and Gerry nearly a year after the publication of that book to decide that they had been seriously harmed by it and to take legal action in the Portuguese courts.

Eight years on and the Portuguese Supreme Court has decided in Gonçalo Amaral's favour. The text of the Supreme Court's decision has been translated and the British media is on a wave. Kate and Gerry were not cleared of involvement in their daughter's disappearance. The lifting of their arguido status with the archiving of the case did not mean they had been declared innocent.

Thanks to Joana Morais, we have the translation of what are probably the most important parts of the Supreme Court's statement.

This is Joana's introduction to her translation: "Court acquits Gonçalo Amaral and points out that the couple was constituted as arguidos (suspects) with a "well-founded suspicion" of having committed a crime."

Several British newspapers, including the Sun, the Mirror, the Mail and the Metro, have picked up on certain important aspects of the decision by the Supreme Court.

The Judge-Counsellors continue: "It is true that the criminal investigation was eventually archived, in virtue of none of the evidence that led to the constitution of the claimants as arguidos was confirmed. Nonetheless, even in the archiving dispatch serious reservations are made about the verisimilitude (reality of) of the allegation that Madeleine had been abducted."

The theory of abduction is called into question.

As to the presumption of innocence invoked by the parents, they (Judges) consider that one should not say "that the claimants were acquitted through the order of archiving the criminal proceedings (investigation). The archiving was determined because it was not possible to obtain sufficient evidence of the practice of crimes. It does not seem reasonable to consider that said archiving dispatch, based on insufficient evidence, should be equated as substantiation (proof) of exoneration".

Kate and Gerry were not cleared of involvement in their daughter's disappearance.

So, what now? None of those newspapers can be sued for what they have printed this week because they are quoting the published text of the Portuguese Supreme Court's decision. Up to this point, Kate and Gerry have been able to repeat their mantra about having been cleared. They haven't been. They have used money from the fund that was supposedly set up to search for their daughter to drag Gonçalo Amaral through the courts and they have been given an easy ride by the British press, even though they admitted to having left three small children alone in an unlocked apartment in a foreign country. Maybe the Teflon has worn off!

I imagine that in their arrogance they thought they were free and clear and they were going to leave the Portuguese court with loadsa money. Nope! If they are now contemplating taking their case to the European Court, perhaps they should bear in mind the recent decision by that court that a Portuguese journalist had the right to express his opinion. Taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights could see this case taking several more years and end up costing the McCanns even more in legal fees than they are already liable for. I guess their other mantra, "It's up to our lawyers," will come into play here once again, but if they have been guided by those lawyers for eight years, maybe it's time to engage new legal advisors.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

And Kate and Gerry McCann are....disappointed!

Kate and Gerry are "extremely disappointed." Well, I can appreciate that having spent 8 years and thrown a great deal of the search fund for their daughter at suing the police officer who was trying to find her, they must be disappointed. Coulda made a million €s there folks! Drat! This is so disappointing!

Eight years since they brought the action. Rather a long time to be waiting for that payout from Gonçalo and now it's not coming. Drat!

And in that time "the landscape has dramatically changed." It sure has. While the mainstream media have jumped on every trivial utterance from their mouths, linked them to every high profile missing child case anywhere in the world, the McCanns have seriously lost credibility in the eyes of the general public as can be seen by reading comments, where they are allowed, on the web sites of major newspapers.

While Kate and Gerry state that they have always wanted a joint investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Policia Judiciaria, the original investigation was carried out jointly by a team of British police officers working with the PJ in Portugal. In the years since the Metropolitan Police have been involved, hundreds of people have been interviewed, millions have been spent, but the original people involved in the case, the McCanns and their friends, have not been interviewed. Now, why didn't the Met Police go back to the beginning?

Both police authorities involved in the present investigation believe there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to physical harm? Well, I guess adding the word "physical" there makes the McCanns looks slightly less like they're living in La La Land. For years, they have been repeating the mantra that there is no evidence that Madeleine has been harmed. Right! They wanted the police and the public to believe that Madeleine had been abducted but that abduction does not harm a child? Taking a child from everyone and everything she knows is not harmful! If they believed that themselves, they really were/are deluded, but then there is no evidence that Madeleine was in fact abducted. The McCanns have to keep it up, though, especially now that the Supreme Court has decided in Gonçalo's favour.

While I think the Met Police have been looking in all the wrong places to find what happened to Madeleine, I do not believe the Portuguese police believe that Madeleine has not been physically harmed. I believe the PJ are still hoping for justice for Madeleine and justice for themselves too, after years of offensive reporting about a "botched investigation," and articles describing them as "sardine munchers,"

As for the "disgraced police officer," as the British press described Amaral on many occasions, he has finally been exonerated in court. If the McCanns are looking to take this to the European Court, maybe they should bear in mind the recent decision of that court that a Portuguese journalist had the right to express his opinion. They could end up even more disappointed.

Justice has prevailed: Kate and Gerry McCann have lost their appeal to Portugal's highest court

It's been a long time coming, but today justice has prevailed. The Supreme Court in Portugal has turned down the McCanns' appeal for a review of the decision on Gonçal Amaral's book and Snr Amaral will not have to pay any money into the McCanns' hands.

The court's decision very quickly hit the mainstream media. Why? Because Madeleine McCann became the world's most famous missing child, thanks mainly to her parents need to keep her name in the world's media. On return from Portugal, after being made suspects, arguidos, they hired a PR spokesman, Clarence Mitchell. Why would parents of a missing child need PR? Why would they have such a great need to keep their names in the media?

The mainstream media loved the McCanns because any story about them or about Madeleine sold newspapers and I'm sure the fund set up by Kate and Gerry, allegedly to help find their daughter, but used for, in my opinion, dodgy detectives and suing anyone who criticised them, benefitted from media attention. And remember folks, the fund is not a charity: it's a company limited by guarantee.

Kate and Gerry McCann have made the most of the opportunities presented by publicity given to other stories about missing children, especially those who have been found safe and well after many years. Get in there, newspapers and get a quote from the gives us renewed hope...bla bla bla. However or whenever a child disappeared and was found years later, it gave the McCanns hope!

Madeleine, according to her parents, disappeared into thin air from an unlocked apartment in a foreign country.  No evidence of abduction, though: no forced shutters and absolutely nothing left behind by this supposed abductor. There are witnesses though. Two dogs, who had had over 200 successful cases before the McCann case, alerted only on places and on items belonging to the McCanns or which the McCanns had used. Well, Gerry said "Ask the dogs, Sandra," and maybe it's time to go back to what the dogs actually said: they said there had been human blood and cadaver odour on items and in places connected to the McCanns.

The dogs said it loud and clear. Justice has prevailed for Gonçalo and now we want justice for Maddie. It has been a long time coming.

Força Gonçalo.