|Larmes > cadeau. Argument non sequitur ? Cette gravure semble le démentir.|
I can say that we are going to sue the McCanns and others that, for the moment, I am not saying who they are, because we have a team of lawyers who are studying the case because we feel defamed and slandered, and we will move forward.
I have my anger well-guarded. No feelings for revenge. Like I say, they will pay for what they have done to me and my family – but through the courts. Even after everything that has happened, I still have faith in the Portuguese justice system.
That's it folks, it's that simple: no need for hidden allies, protection or political help. That is the plan that they have consistently followed and it's worked a treat. But only by keeping the lid on Amaral and the hard core of truth about the PJ investigation. Bit by bit the contents have dribbled out and the pair have struggled to screw the lid down even tighter. The steam started to rise in Lisbon in 2010 and spouted out with Kate McCann's ill-conceived Madeleine. Now, after five years, the pot has finally burst in their faces. Their proven lies about the course of the PJ investigation go back not to May 2007, where so much is still uncertain or a matter of opinion, but to the beginning of August of that year. That is when the proof of Kate and Gerry McCann's attempt to prevent the UK public finding out about the details of the investigation at any cost becomes visible. And that's why the end of the case against Goncalo Amaral – for it will not be resumed in six months – is so crucial. That's why the Bureau splashed it. Leaving aside the couple's role earlier in the investigation, at all the subsequent crucial junctures of the affair the parents have either lied or deliberately misrepresented or muffled events to deceive the British public about the interrupted investigation.
The Portuguese police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was condemned in the strongest terms by the country's public prosecutors, new documents revealed today. [a deliberate lie; it was not.]
Detectives were criticised for establishing "no element of proof" about what happened to Madeleine or even whether she was alive or dead. [a deliberate lie; they were not]
A source close to the McCanns' legal team said action against the Portuguese police was now increasingly likely. He said: "Given this blatant misrepresentation of evidence, legal action against the Portuguese police is very much on the agenda. [another deliberate lie; there was no "misrepresentation of evidence". We still await the legal action against the PJ].
The lawyers are considering very seriously whether action needs to be taken against individual officers when evidence was clearly misrepresented in such obvious ways at such crucial times. [see above].
"The latest verdict was that Amaral’s poisonous allegations did not damage our investigation in any way." That's one of the three libel claims dead. She and Gerry McCann had known since 2009 that proving Amaral's interpretation of events in the apartment, the subject of the main claim of the three would be very difficult. When announcing the dropping of the libel case against Tal y Qual then Mitchell had said: "The libel action against Tal & Qual has been dropped for a number of reasons. Firstly, the newspaper went bust some time ago. Secondly Tal & Qual could probably have mounted a defence, as they were reporting what a certain police officer believed at the time." Which is the same 100% defence –"genuine belief that something is true" – which worked for Mad Marcos and would work for Amaral in court. So much for Clarence's version. The Telegraph, to whom he had given the story, was rather more blunt: "This week the couple withdrew their defamation action after being advised that the newspaper had a strong defence under Portuguese law. It could argue the story was published in good faith because senior police officers did at the time believe the McCanns may have been implicated in the case." That's two of the three claims dead – but they had to keep the lid on, didn't they?
Which actually means that the debate about who blinked first isn't trivial at all. The fact of Amaral's withdrawal and the parents' victory, if true, as they say, really is a huge development. It will finish the job that the archiving summary began and it will demonstrate that the parents' critics have not only lost the focus of their hopes but have been shown up as both wrong and, worse, as either naive or as fibbers who are still trying to pretend that this hasn't happened. Joana Morais and her crowd and the drug-taking fantasist Blacksmith and his crew of losers will have been caught out in their deceptions and are going to have to fall silent. It's big, big stuff. You know what? We agree with them. It isn't just a matter of a futile guessing game. It's a key moment for credibility. If Goncalo Amaral is found to have pleaded for terms and withdraws all his claims against the McCanns then yes, whatever Joana might do, we'll accept the reality, accept that our information and judgement hasn't been good enough, accept that maybe we've been used, apologise and close the Bureau down. Now what about the other side of the coin? Let us suppose that any settlement, in or out of court, clearly shows that Amaral wasn't wriggling, hadn't pleaded for terms, doesn't withdraw his interpretation, doesn't settle on the parents terms and demonstrates that if anyone has won it isn't Kate and Gerry McCann. First, what will it say about the truthfulness of these supporters? The claims they've explicitly made that we've listed above. That one's easy: they will either be shown to be truthful or outright f****** liars, no ifs and buts. And their information about the case? Well that one will be easily answered too, won't it? Either invented or they've been deliberately misled. Of course that in turn might bring up the question who has been doing the misleading? And why. Lastly, what will it say about the balance of reliability and judgement of the two sides over the last five years, about whether the active supporters of the parents, including those who have had direct access to the couple, have had the right end of the stick all along? And about the reliability and truthfulness of the McCanns' own site, which came out with its own authorised statement on the rumours? But that's just speculation. The uncomfortable fact is that the active McCann supporters have got us right where they wanted us: they know the truth and they can sit back and laugh that the truth, when finally acknowledged, is also going to close the little Bureau down. It's a very big moment. Another one gone. What more could they want?
Ils ne pouvaient vraiment pas savoir que les PJFiles seraient publiées sur DVD ! Même leurs enfants, d'ici à quelques années, pourront lire leurs interviews "rogatoires".
Any rebuttal? You know the answer. We've published the transcript where prosecutor Menezes states under oath that the nine "did not tell the truth" in their statements about their movements on May 3, something he somehow forgot to mention in his archiving summary. Refutation? Discussion of the implications? Acknowledgement? Nothing. Il parle de "non-vérités".
Not beginning to fidget yet? - 28.02.2013
…by giving journalists positive stories to report, coverage turned from hostility to the McCanns to sympathy about their ordeal. This campaign won the crisis communication category at the 2008 CIPR awards.
Then I'll begin – 01.03.2013
With that Amaral went into seclusion. He refused to enlarge on his comments or discuss the details of his own case, as far as I could tell, with anyone outside his legal team for the rest of the year. People I'd known who were close to his thinking found that their relations with him remained affable but uninformative and were able to tell me nothing.
Cette équipe a pour principe de base de se méfier de tout. Le public qui a pitié du sort de GA contribue financièrement, mais ne bénéficie d'aucun éclaircissement ni ne peut faire savoir ce qu'il pense. Comme si on attendait du public "payez et fermez-la".
What was clear was that he and his new legal team were now giving the McCanns zero to use or spin; on the contrary the parents and their lawyers, who had known nothing about the Oporto and liaison teams, were reduced to a panicky attempt at damage limitation themselves by using, yet again, the one UK newspaper still fully committed to their support – the Mirror. The price of this restraint by Amaral and his team, of course, was that he had to accept without response the continuing mud and filth that was calculatedly thrown at him, part of a renewed (and increasingly desperate) campaign of defamation which those who organized it may well come to regret. So when I tried to find confirmation of the parents' request for terms I found, just as the press had found for the previous few days, that nobody could give it. There was no trace of a source and Amaral's team said nothing, not "no comment" but literally nothing. Amaral himself remained in seclusion. Readers of this blog may never know just how murky the waters surrounding this affair really are. Trying to sort the real from the fictional in an environment where people are constantly providing misinformation, sometimes amateurishly, sometimes with disturbing professionalism, is a nightmare and even when you've satisfied yourself about a source you can't quote it without damaging the information supply or the people providing it. As with all leaks the questions were the old ones – what's the reason for leaking, who stands to gain? And who has suddenly gone silent and why? In this case everybody was bloody silent and trying to get your head round the possible gainers led you into a long chain of dizzying "what ifs". But I had one little advantage. I had been so shocked by the incredible winner-take-all malice of the McCanns towards the officer who had worked on the case that for a brief period in late 2009 I decided that commenting alone wasn't enough: I would take that pair on at their own game of spin to try and do something, anything, to counter what I saw as a piece of wickedness on the part of the parents. For me it wasn't the Madeleine McCann Affair anymore but the McCann Affair in which the pair attempted to inflict pain on another person as great as any pain that they had suffered in 2007.
Une façon comme une autre de mettre quelqu'un du côté de ceux qui souffrent, leur côté.
C'est le juge qui décide. En septembre 2013, c'est Amaral and Co qui a demandé que l'audience se déroule à huis clos. La juge a refusé.
The McCanns were totally unprepared for this and never caught up, indeed they hadn't even briefed Mitchell to provide the summaries I expected, so convinced were they that there'd be a repeat blackout. It was the shock that the UK public was hearing all these horrible details through the Sky twitter commentary that eventually produced Gerry McCann's memorable meltdown outside court. Once the court had been opened Sky moved very quickly, much more quickly than the couple, and put Jon de Paolo in, so for the very first time since 10pm on May 3 2007 the UK public had access to unspun information about the affair. People have their concerns, or hatreds, about Murdoch and his editors, particularly the adventuress Rebekah Brooks, as well as reservations about the somewhat equivocal Martin Brunt; as I've said before, however, we owe an immense debt of gratitude to Murdoch-controlled Sky for what they did in Lisbon in the interests of truth. If only others had done as much! At the same time I began the same game that the couple had been playing incessantly for years, feeding information first via the blog and then direct to the UK nationals. And that was the little advantage I had in February this year. Being briefly at the centre of a news triangle involving Gonçalo and the couple I knew exactly what the press were reporting before and during the case because I'd given it to them. I was the only one who knew about the additional material I gave the press over and above what I put on the blog so I was able to compare the facts I'd given with the attempted responses from the Team and with the versions that the "activist supporters" of the couple were posting up. There wasn't a lot of it but what there was made some headlines as well as some sizeable waves at Scotland Yard and Leicester police headquarters. As far as the underprepared Team McCann was concerned I discovered that they were attempting to respond daily to the stuff on the blog and making a hash of it. Mitchell, in particular, was in many ways an amateur when confronted with new stories, very slow to think on his feet, despite the relentless self-publicity that had enabled him to convince people of his hidden power.
I found, to my great surprise, that I was able to predict the way the team would respond day by day and put in a counter story before they'd even got their feed published. It was a very strange, indeed weird, feeling to be involved in this way and for the first time I understood the secretive sense of power that behind-the-scenes briefing gives to people like Mitchell. Of rather less importance, but still significant for February 2013, was what I found out about the activist supporters and their methods. Anyone who dismisses my description of them as decent but suggestible, unable to see the McCanns in the round and therefore susceptible to having their strings pulled, as mere insult needs to think again. I made the charge based on some years' insights into their activities but most of all on that January 2010 experience, because time and again that month they were exposed making stuff up to cover their own ignorance and the psychological fixation with the couple that had made them incapable of independent judgement. I had the grim and slightly disturbing pleasure of reading their numerous withering posts about my blog "lies", which they repeatedly compared with the alternative truthful versions of the "real journalists" covering the same stories on the nationals. But both versions came, every time, directly from me! We all know that Amaral lost that round and for the time being there was little more I could do to help, so my brief period manufacturing the news came to an end. But I'd learned my lessons and I'd learned enough about the methods of Team McCann to feel pretty sure that I'd be able to analyse whether the 2013 rumour was true or not before deciding whether to put it out. Always accepting, of course, that I might end up being wrong.
...and conclude – 05.03.2013
We'd never lied about anything – not to the police, not to the media, not to anyone else. But now we found ourselves in one of those tricky situations where we just didn't seem to have a choice.
Still living in the past – 12.03.2013
Now we're talking... - 15.06.2013
As the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales the CPS is responsible for criminal cases beyond the police investigatory stage. The CPS will advise the police on cases for possible prosecution, review cases submitted by the police, determine any charges in all but minor cases, prepare cases for court and present cases at court. Primarily, the CPS will review the evidence gathered by the police and provide guidance. [Bureau italics] During pre-charge procedures and throughout the investigative and prosecuting process the CPS may assist the police by explaining what additional work or evidence could raise the case to a viable charging standard thereby rectifying any evidential deficiencies. Once the evidence is gathered the CPS will then decide, on the basis of this evidence, whether a case should be pursued or dropped.
In normal parlance a crime scene is a specific location where a crime is known to have taken place. There was not then, and there still is not now, any evidence that 5A was the scene of a crime between 9.15pm and 10pm on May 3 2007 demanding immediate forensic precautions. None. Ever. Perhaps the Yard will tell us.Kate McCann: "It's inexplicable, of course, that we should ever have been left in what was now a crime scene." Her statement, made in 2011 in Madeleine, has precisely the same value as her claim that she "knew" it was a crime scene at 10pm. She has never provided evidence to justify either of her assertions.
People had been in and out of the apartment for the last three hours, [i.e from 10pm] and until one of the PJ officers "stuck a piece of police tape" [note the intentionally contemptuous language about the people who were simple enough to try and help her] across the doorway of the children's room, it was Gerry who tried to make sure everyone kept clear of it.
Soul Food Issue – 06.12.2013