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Amaral defiant about his Maddie book

amaral2Former detective Gonçalo Amaral has responded defiantly to the outcome of the civil action brought against him by Kate and Gerry McCann over his book about the investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.

The McCanns were awarded €500,000 plus interest in damages, but Amaral is adamant the book was not defamatory and was within his rights to freedom of expression. His views on the case are contained in an interview published in the Portuguese weekly magazine Nova Gente and reproduced on the website of Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral.

“With my book I did not defame, nor did I have the intention to defame anyone, but merely to report what happened during the first five months of the investigation, thus replying to the attacks against my good name and my professional dignity.”

The information in the book is all in the Portuguese police case files and this was not in question during the McCann’s civil action, he said.

Asked if he felt wronged by the McCann’s legal action against him, Amaral insisted the parents were primarily responsible for their daughter’s disappearance because “they practiced a crime of exposing and abandoning defenceless children. The fact that they lost their daughter did not give them the right to sue anyone or to be compensated,” he said.

“They can’t escape their guilt, which is enough to rob them of their sleep, to provoke a lack of appetite and even rage, but against themselves and not against someone who only wrote down what happened during the first five months of the investigation, according to what is in the case files.”

That Madeleine’s younger siblings may someday read his book and become traumatised by it did not concern him, he said.

“Those two children were also abandoned for over five nights in a row and surely they will understand that what is written there is the result of a criminal investigation. There is a question that those two children will certainly ask when they grow up ,but that question will be directed at the parents: why were they abandoned, left to their own devices?”

As to what really motivated him to write Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira (Maddie, the Truth of the Lie), Amaral said he wrote it because his good name and professional honour, as well as that of those who worked with him, had been severely attacked.

Essentially the book was a way to reply to the insults he and his colleagues had been subjected to by the British press and others. “Deep down, that was it: they say we are incompetent, they say we are a third world police force, drunkards, fat, lazy, etc., etc., and the Judiciary Police does not set out to defend us. Therefore I turned to writing, reporting the investigation that had been carried out, so people could draw their own conclusions.”

In his latest interview, Amaral had no qualms about stating his views on the civil action or the McCann couple: “I am a free man and like any other citizen in this country I have the right to express my opinions.”

He agreed that as a result of the court action he and his family had suffered greatly. “My life is gone. If I am alive, it’s due to the heart that I have.” But he does not intend to let the matter rest there or give up without a fight.

He reiterated that he will fight “until the last legal instance.” He intends to appeal the €500,000 damages verdict and is considering suing the McCanns.

“Each thing in its own time, it won’t be only the McCanns, but their group of friends, and other people and entities that will be sued. There is an illicit action that was indeed performed, the neglect in guarding their children, which caused direct damages to many people, not only to myself, but for example to the Ocean Club workers who were fired and saw their lives change, many of them unjustly, passing from mere employees and heads of family to suspects in a criminal investigation while they had nothing to do with the matter.”

Meanwhile in the UK, the Mirror newspaper reports that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, as saying that the search for Madeleine will not end until all avenues are exhausted. He was reacting to concerns raised by the Police Federation about the millions of pounds of public money devoted to the case.

Sir Bernard said of the investigation: “It’s moving on apace at the moment in terms of the relationship with the Portuguese and that is to be welcomed. As long as there’s a basis for doing the investigation we will continue.”

© Len Port 2015



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-3 #3 Desmond 2015-05-17 10:04
As long as there’s a basis for doing the investigation we will continue ....

This is the encouraging message for all us British in this distressing and needless squabble that only ever required 'proof' that no stone was being left unturned.

And all Portuguese must live with the British returning as long as it takes to keep turning over as yet 'unturned stones'. Or re-turning stones again, previously turned, but needing a second look under. Or moving stones to get to other stones that could usefully be turned over. For years ....

Here we have todays DT article on the missing Ben Needham - 23 years after he disappeared on the island of Kos, Greece. Over 30 Greek locals helpfully supplying new leads including a possible sighting photo following a Greek TV appeal by the parents.

The McCann's have long since given up on expecting such helpfulness here in Portugal !

-5 #2 Gerald Davies 2015-05-16 17:44
Time and again lately the full pain of Portugal's self-perceived inferiority viz a viz the UK is coming out.

But why so late in the day ? Why were so many of us lured here so misleadingly ? And when we needed help - like the McCann parents - why is it so 'difficult' to come by ?

Would any of us Brits have come to such a country if we knew that deep down all Portuguese felt this way?

So allowing professionals like lawyers, accountants, architects - not just the man in the bar - to give us a 3rd class service.

And, from Amaral, we now know that 'even' the Police have this bitterness! So much so that it warps them from an EU generally accepted level of Police performance.

But then - as the previous poster points out (I paraphrase because Daphers has copyright protected her comment) .... if Portugal had even a 2nd Class Police Service surely criminal and anti-social misbehaviour would be rare enough to mention.

Not colouring all aspects of a Portuguesers life !

(Un-copyrighted so pass this around Planet Earth)
-6 #1 Daphne 2015-05-16 11:56
The fundamental weakness in Amaral's argument has always been the combination of the book being based on "what is in the case files.” with -
“ (being) an incompetent, .... third world police force, drunkards, fat, lazy, etc., etc." - and thirdly the reality of the mess Portugal is today.

Laws are there - but so rarely applied. And not having regulators who actually 'regulate'. Backed up by an effective judiciary and policing. So two thirds of (real) police ill with stress. With lost appetite but never 'Is it Lunchtime yet ?' Amaral !

Also consider the thousands of sick Portuguese trolls causing such additional and unnecessary pain to the McCanns. And the earlier, parallel missing Ben Needham case in Greece with no internet trolls masquerading as British.

The Greeks, with a similar pre-EU history of also being a police state clearly demonstrating they are a more developed society than Portugal! Fully aware that their police selection process, like all selection processes in their country - can employ mediocrity.

Now remind yourself of Amnesty International having its roots in Portugal !

© Daphers

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