Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Amaral to appeal McCanns' libel action

amaral2The McCanns partially won their libel action against the author and former lead detective Gonçalo Amaral, but the matter is far from over.

Amaral intends to appeal. In his first comment on the verdict he said today: “I find that the court’s decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen's right to freedom of expression and of opinion. For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance.”

Apart from Amaral’s assertion on the “unfairness” of the court’s decision, there were two remarkable features about the verdict and the way in which it was announced that got little or no mention in the mainstream media coverage.

The first unusual aspect was the huge sum awarded. It may be normal in the UK, but not here. Amaral was ordered to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann half a million euros in damages, plus interest, currently calculated at €106,000 and rising.

Kate and Gerry McCann had sought a total of €1.2 million. In addition to €250,000 each, they claimed €500,000 for Madeleine and €100,000 for each of their twins. The judge ruled against the claims on behalf of the children.

The McCanns successfully claimed that Amaral’s book, Maddie, the Truth of the Lie,  caused them great personal distress. The judge did not agree, however, that the book had hindered the search for Madeleine or had caused damages to the twins.

Should Amaral on appeal get the verdict overturned, or the compensation figure greatly reduced, the McCanns may lodge a counter appeal. The deadline for appeals is 40 days. The legal battle that has been going on for more than five years looks like continuing for some time yet.

A defiant Amaral supporter noted that, “a decision from a Portuguese court can only be enforced after all appeals are exhausted. No money will change hands until a final decision is reached by the very last appeals court.” With this in mind, other well-wishers are being urged to make donations to a Gonçalo Amaral defence fund.

The second oddity was the way in which the announcement of the verdict was handled. The judge’s ruling was not read out in court. It was contained in a 52-page report, which was received by the McCann’s Lisbon lawyer Isabel Duarte who swiftly passed it on to media organisations in Portugal and abroad.

Soon after the news appeared on media websites, Kate and Gerry McCann said they were “delighted” with the outcome.
In a statement issued by their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, they said the case had never been about money. “It was entirely focused on the effect of the libels on our other children and the damage that was done to the search for Madeleine.”

When contacted by journalists the same day, Gonçalo Amaral chose not to comment because neither he nor his lawyer, Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, had received a copy of the ruling. They only received it the following day, by which time to many in the mainstream media it was old news.

© Len Port 2015


Also from Portugal newswatch:



Pin It


-1 #4 Denzil 2015-05-01 14:35
Mr Wilkinson is presumably not Portuguese or he would be well aware of the high success rate of child traffickers in Portugal.

Interpol telling us of some 1500 'events' a year. Allow say 500 to the Algarve given its proximity to North Africa.

So a lot of money to be made - over the years. Every year. And divided up amongst those who actually do the business and those who, through their professions, make it possible.

Two questions :

After so many years as the Algarve's top investigator of missing children - does Amaral really need these donations towards his legal fees?

And is Financas tracking, on behalf of the Troika - the sources of these obviously surplus funds? How much can be traced back to Amaral's old mates in his old stamping ground - the Algarve ?
© Denzil
-2 #3 Adam Wilkinson 2015-05-01 10:54
Often asked by foreigners here but never answered by Portuguese ...

How is it, with gems like Amaral investigating crimes, Portugal has long been in such a poor state? Entirely failing to meet even the most basic policing and judicial standards required by the EU.

4 out of 5 Portuguese police so depressed they are contemplating or discussing suicide with their colleagues ! Which neatly matches the 4 out of 5 Portuguese who have no confidence in their judges and courts.

And in the crime ridden Algarve, of all places - how did Amaral rise above it all ? To be made a PJ Inspector no less !

If not - in an otherwise unremarkable career - by routinely looking the other way, like so many other Portuguese police do ?
0 #2 Ed 2015-05-01 10:23
Quoting chez:
I would be more than happy to contribute to a Gonçalo Amaral defence fund and perhaps when it is up and running, the address be published here?

This is the web address for the 'Project for Justice for Gonçalo Amaral'


-1 #1 chez 2015-05-01 09:59
I would be more than happy to contribute to a Gonçalo Amaral defence fund and perhaps when it is up and running, the address be published here?

You must be a registered user to make comments.
Please register here to post your comments.