Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

11 - NOV 23 - Audition de G. et K. MC (2)

The Leveson Inquiry into 
the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press


Audition MC (2)   - 23.11.201
(première partie ici)

Début vidéo 3 à 1'50

 Vidéo 3
RJ : There's a fair bit more, I don't want to rush this, but we'll see how we get on. Paragraph 82, the first anniversary. You explain that you agreed to an interview with Hello magazine. Just tell us a bit, please, about why you did that?
GMC : I think the first thing to say, it was very specific and we had -- clearly we've talked about our prime objective, which is finding Madeleine, and what we've hoped is that some good would come out of what happened to us. And one of the things, through our own research and having been to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the USA, was to talk about AMBER Alert, and we decided that we would start campaigning for a joined-up alert system for missing children within Europe, particularly on the continent of Europe. For that very specific reason, because Hello is distributed, I think, in 14 European countries, they did approach us and said that they would promote the campaign, and at the time we were lobbying MEPs to sign declarations supporting an alert system, so we agreed to do an interview on that basis, which, just for clarity, of course, we were not paid for.
KMC : Many of the media outlets didn't really want to run with the work we were doing for the child rescue alert, which in itself is disappointing because it is important but obviously it's not as exciting, or whatever the word is, when it comes to headlines and stories. So we saw this as an opportunity of improving things for the greater good really.

RJ : One rival however wasn't best pleased and you touch on this in paragraph 84. Maybe this is quite understandable, but tell us a little bit about the call you received from the then editor of the News of the World.
GMC : I think it would be fair to say that Mr Myler was irate when he learned of the publication which happened and was berating us for not doing an interview with the News of the World and told us how supportive the newspaper had been, the news and rewards, and a time of stress for us on the first anniversary, where we were actually launching a new campaign, we were still arguidos at the time, a new call number for people to come forward so we could continue the search for our daughter, and we were interacting with the media to get that message out. He basically beat us into submission, verbally, and we agreed to do an interview the day after.
KMC : Can I just emphasise, this is at an extremely stressful time. It was the run-up to one year of not having our daughter with us. Emotionally as well as logistically, everything we were trying to do, it was incredibly hard. So to get a call like this, and you actually almost feel guilty, you know, because they're saying, "We helped you, we got a reward", and you almost say, "I'm sorry", and it's almost like somebody won't help you unless you give something back.

GMC : And of course we were trying to make the distinction between interacting with the media for what we thought was something helpful for the search, and simply doing an interview, which we knew would focus on the human interest aspects and not necessarily the search for Madeleine.

Robert Jay : The News of the World come into the narrative a few months later, as you rightly say at paragraph 86. It may be that Dr Kate McCann would like to deal with this, but I'm in your hands. Out of the blue, 14 September 2008, transcripts from your personal diary appear or purport to appear in the News of the World. Can you tell us a bit about that, please?

 Kate MC : You're right, this was totally out of the blue. It was Sunday lunchtime, we'd just got back from church and I got the text message from Gail, who works in the nursery where Madeleine, Sean and Amelie went, and it just said, "Saw your diary in the newspapers. Heartbreaking. I hope you're all right." And it was totally out of the blue, and I had that horrible panicky feeling, confusion and, you know, what's she on about? I didn't have a clue. We rapidly found out, it was the News of the World. I went and looked at it online, which was five pages, including the front page. I got my original handwritten copy of my diary out and sat there, and it was lifted in its entirety and put in the newspaper without my knowledge. Apart from the odd word, which was -- I think it was a translational error, that had obviously been taken -- translated into Portuguese, and then a Portuguese copy had then been translated back to English, which was slightly different from the original, but pretty verbatim and it had been put there. I felt totally violated. I'd written these words and thoughts at the most desperate time in my life, most people won't have to experience that, and it was my only way of communicating with Madeleine, and for me, you know, there was absolutely no respect shown for me as a grieving mother or as a human being or for my daughter, and it made me feel very vulnerable and small and I just couldn't believe it. It didn't stop there. It's not just a one-day thing. That whole week was incredibly traumatic and every time I thought about it, I just couldn't believe the injustice. I actually just recently read through my diary entries at that point at that week and I talk about climbing into a hole and not coming out because I just felt so worthless that we'd been treated like this.

RJ : Can we be clear as to the provenance of the diary. You mentioned a Portuguese translation, which may be a clear indication of provenance but perhaps I can take this quite shortly, that the judicial or police authorities in Portugal had obtained or had seized a copy of your diary, or perhaps it was the original, in August 2007; is that right?
KMC : Yes, it was --
RJ : We're talking about a hard copy, manuscript document?
KMC : It was just handwritten. They'd come and said they had taken clothes from the villa and we had to leave, and when we got back later that day, they said they'd also taken my diaries as well, which I have to say was a little bit of a shock, but it did come back to me about 24, 48 hours later, so I obtained the original copy. Obviously, photocopies were taken during that period.

RJ : Yes. It wasn't clear from your statement, but it now is. It was within quite a short space of time that the original was returned to you, you believe by order of a Portuguese judge, so it sounds as if the initial seizure had been a step too far, or whatever. But a copy of the original must have been taken by someone, presumably someone within the Portuguese police or judicial authorities; is that correct?
Gerald MC : I think it's clear that the police had copied the journal and had it translated, and of course at the time we didn't understand why the journal could have been relevant because Kate only started keeping it a couple of weeks after Madeleine was taken, so we didn't know there was a copy until the file was released the following summer, but within the file, the Portuguese judicial file, there is an order from the judge, who's read the translation and says, "This is of no interest to the investigation, it's Kate's personal thoughts and should not ..." and he actually used the word "violation".
KMC : He used the word "violation". He said use of which would be a violation of its author.
GMC : And ordered that any copies be destroyed.

Lord Justice Leveson : And further investigation of that has revealed, if anything? To unpick where this came from?
GMC : I would like further investigation as to where it came from.
KMC : An investigation.
GMC : Because clearly it was an illegal copy.
RJ : I think what it relevant, and I think this has already come out from Dr Kate McCann's evidence, is that one or two things were lost in the translation, or changed, which indicates that the piece in the News of the World was a translation from the Portuguese.
GMC : Yes.
RJ : Because had it been precisely verbatim, it might have led us --
KMC : Very subtle changes but things like where I said I was "really upset", it says I was "fed up". It does change the meaning slightly.
RJ : It may be we can investigate that or it may be that we will receive an admission as to --

LJL : I'd like to know whether there is a byline. 
KMC : It would be nice to know the source.
LJL : Is there a byline on the article?
RJ : It says "in her own words".
LJL : Yes, yes, yes, I understand that, but is there a reporter's name associated with it?
RJ : Pardon me, yes, there is.
LJL :There you are, there's a potential line of inquiry.
RJ : It's a point I'd like to think can be dealt with very quickly by someone. It can be confirmed, because it's pointless denying it really. There's only one reasonable inference here.

RJ :You do refer in paragraph 93 to a conversation which was reported to you from Clarence with the deputy editor of the News of the World as he then was, Mr Ian Edmondson. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
GMC : I think the first thing to say is that Clarence would speak to Ian Edmondson, who was deputy editor and was probably responsible for most of the stories about Madeleine at that time. So Clarence spoke to Ian on a regular basis and one or two of the News of the World reporters. Clarence had mentioned it to me, just saying that the News of the World had indicated that they would do a supportive story, mainly attacking the Portuguese police, but generally supportive. That was it. There was no mention of having a copy of Kate's diary, no mention that they were intending to publish it verbatim. So as Kate has already said, it was a complete shock when we heard that it was printed.
RJ : Yes. They have breached a number of tortious obligations which it's not necessary to spell out. It culminated in a complaint, the possibility of litigation, but that was avoided by an apology from the News of the World and the payment of a further donation to the fund for the search for Madeleine; is that correct?
GMC : Mm.

RJ : I'm just going to touch upon the section continuing the relationship with the press. I am not going to cover paragraph 97 unless I'm asked to specifically. If you wish me to I will, but I wasn't minded to. I was going to ask you though about paragraph 100.
GMC : I mean, I think 97's probably important.
RJ : Okay, well tell us about it in your own words.
GMC :For one of the stories that was not published and isn't libellous, not defamatory, but we were alerted to it and it was done by a freelance journalist who has written many inaccurate stories, and had submitted it, I think it was to the People, if I'm right, the People on Sunday, and the editor or the deputy editor called Clarence just to say they were running this, this was on the evening of the Saturday, and Clarence phoned us and it was complete nonsense, but it was basically saying that we were undergoing IVF treatment with a view to getting a new baby to replace Madeleine.

KMC : I think the important thing, this demonstrates it's not just the articles that have been published that have been a problem. We've had many weekends destroyed because we've had to try and stop articles like this from actually ending up in the press. And weekends are important for Gerry, that's our only family time. We've had to involve lawyers on --
GMC : Friday nights. Another example there which I don't think is in our evidence, but again it transpired on a Friday evening, is journalists had gone to speak to my mum, I think they said even -- you know, Clarence said it was okay and my mum let them in and a lady journalist took a copy of an unpublished photograph of Kate, myself and Madeleine when we lived in Amsterdam that was very special to us and they were going to publish it in a Scottish newspaper on the Sunday and we had to involve Adam and Isabel from Carter Ruck to get that stopped. I think the only way we managed to get a very stroppy interaction with the editor was that we own the copyright of the picture and they were not in the least apologetic.
KMC : They were fighting it, actually, saying, "We've got the picture". It was like, "It's our daughter." Incredible.
GMC : The impact that these things have in what should be a little bit of respite, but there have been several occasions where we've gone behind the scenes at the eleventh hour.

RJ : Thank you. Then paragraph 100, you deal with a piece in the Daily Mail, quite recently, July of this year, about an alleged reported sighting in India. What are your feelings about that, please?
GMC : It's probably one of the most recent examples of what I would say is the contempt for Madeleine and her safety. There was no check. This sighting had been reported to the police, I think we were actually on holiday. They emailed us a photograph and we quickly indicated that it was not Madeleine, and as far as we were concerned, it was dealt with. And then a day or two later, it's published and the newspaper on that occasion have chosen to publish it and they may want to justify why, but from our point of view, they don't know whether it's true, they haven't contacted us, and additionally we have the issue that if this really was a genuine sighting of Madeleine, then her captors may be alerted and move her. So the story has precedence over the safety of our child. And that's clear. And that has been done by, I think, every single newspaper, as well as similar instances of amateur sleuthing and details about the investigation which should only be known to the witnesses and the potential to contaminate evidence by having read something that you shouldn't really know about, and all of the newspapers and broadcasters have been guilty of it.

RJ : Thank you. Out of sequence, I'm then going to come back to the PCC because it's a more general point, I think, under the heading "Kate's book", paragraph 111. It may be in your hands as to which of you would like to deal with this piece of evidence.
GMC : Sure.
RJ : Book published in May of 2011, so we're at the fourth anniversary, it was to mark that, to coincide with that. Obviously a difficult decision. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?
KMC : You're right, it was a very difficult decision for obvious reasons, for all the reasons we've been discussing. But ultimately we are responsible for conducting and funding the search to find our daughter.
RJ : Yes.
KMC : And ultimately I had to make the decision, we needed to raise money, I knew this was something that I could do that could maintain the search and possibly help us find our daughter, and that's why I took the decision then to do it. Obviously in the ideal world, you wouldn't choose to do anything like that.

RJ : There was serialisation of your book in two News International titles, the Sun and the Sunday Times?
GMC : Yes.

RJ : You talk about a meeting with Rebekah Brooks, which led to a review of your case, a formal review. Just to assist us a little bit with that, can you recall when that was?
GMC : I think it's probably worth just elaborating a little bit because it's quite a complex decision-making process in terms of agreeing to serialise the book. News International actually bid for the rights to the book, along with Harper Collins, and one of their pitches was the fact that they would serialise the book across all of their titles, and we were somewhat horrified at the prospect of that, given the way we'd been treated in the past, and the deal was actually done with the publishers, Transworld, that excluded serialisation. Now, we were subsequently approached by News International and Associated to serialise the book, and after much deliberation, we had a couple of meetings with the general manager and -- Will Lewis and Rebekah Brooks and others, and what swung the decision to serialise was News International committed to backing the campaign and the search for Madeleine. And that passed our test of how it could help, and we had been lobbying behind the scenes for two and a half years, with successive Home Secretaries, to try and get a review of Madeleine's case, and we felt that having News International helping in that, and ultimately where I think the media have helped in this situation, of galvanising the public, having them re-engaged with us and Madeleine, is what tipped the balance.
RJ : Her intervention was successful?
GMC : It was.

RJ : There may not be a module three issue.
LJL : Yes.
RJ : It's right to say in terms of the sequence of events, I think the Prime Minister was involved just a bit before, and then the Home Office the day after?
GMC : Yes, I think --
RJ :  The same day announced --
GMC : We had written to the Home Secretary saying that we'd be launching the book, and asking her to update us on where they had got, and we got one letter which really didn't say very much, and then we did the open letter to the Prime Minister, which was published on the front page of the Sun.

RJ : Turn back to the issue of the involvement of the PCC. This is covered both in your witness statement and in evidence you gave, Dr Gerald McCann, to the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee in 2009, and then it was picked up in the second report, I think, of that committee. There's a whole section of the report that goes to that issue.
The position I think is -- I'm back in your statement, paragraph 101 -- the PCC's position is that at an early stage they put a message out that they were ready, willing and able to assist you. This was in May 2007. Do you follow me?
GMC : Yes.
RJ : I think your evidence is, well, you never got that message. Was that right?
GMC : If I did, it was lost in the time when we were obviously dealing with lots of things, and I would say probably similar to Mrs Gascoigne who gave evidence earlier this morning, that I was only vaguely aware of the PCC at that time.

RJ : In paragraph 103 you say: "We have on a number of occasions had cause to contact the PCC. The PCC was extremely helpful in dealing with the unwanted intrusion into the privacy of our twins." Are you referring there to the business with the paparazzi taking photographs when you're back in the United Kingdom?
GMC : Yes.
KMC : That's right.
GMC : I think we had also indicated earlier in the summer of 2007 that although we tacitly agreed to having photographs of us taken in Praia da Luz, largely because we felt that we couldn't stop it, particularly with international media being there, that as the situation dragged on over months, we didn't want continued photographs of Sean and Amelie to be published, and we were obviously concerned at the time, they were just 2, but as they got older, they could be recognised. So there was an agreement -- and I can't remember exactly if the PCC were involved in that, but we asked the media not to publish photographs of Sean and Amelie, and that was adhered to with pixelation up until we arrived back in the UK and then it went out the window again.

RJ : In terms of the PCC assisting you in relation to the wider issue of inaccurate, unfair and sensationalist reporting, it may well be that there isn't a factual dispute between you and the PCC at that time, of course, speaking through Sir Christopher Meyer. If you kindly look under tab 9, Dr McCann, you'll see relevant extracts from the report of the Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee published on 9 February 2010. I invite your attention -- the pagination is working -- on the top right-hand side of each page, to page 87.
GMC : Yes.
RJ : You should find a heading, "The role of the PCC", I hope, and then paragraph 354. There we deal with the message which they say they gave to you and you've told us really, well, you don't recollect it, and of course a lot was going on, but there was a meeting, and this is 355, on 13 July 2007 --
LJL : That was just accidental.

RJ : Yes. The general thrust of what you were told by Sir Christopher Meyer during the course of an informal conversation, is this correct, is that if you wanted to deal with the issue of libel, well, then the route was legal recourse, legal action. But if you wanted to deal with it in some other way, then the PCC might be able to help? 
GMC : Yes.
RJ : Does that capture the sense of that meeting?
GMC : It's probably fair to put in there that I had a number of conversations with Sir Christopher, primarily because we became friendly with his wife, Lady Catherine, through her work with PACT, so on that first occasion I met Sir Christopher and he broadly asked, "How are the media treating you?" and we were very open and at that point we said, "Considering the interest, not too bad", and we didn't really have too much in the way of specific complaints.
I did have further informal conversations and they also dealt with correspondence from Kingsley Napley over the period, but the gist of the conversations, and most of my dialogue with him, informal rather than written, was that we agreed with our legal advice and we took the best legal advice we could get, that the way to stop this was to take legal action and not to go to the PCC, and I think Sir Christopher agreed with that.

RJ : That's a fair summary, Dr McCann. It's what the committee think as well, although Paul Dacre expressed disappointment that you didn't make a formal complaint to the PCC, although Sir Christopher disagreed with Paul Dacre so we have two views --
GMC : I think the ultimate thing was we discussed a course of action and our advice, which was given in no uncertain terms, this is legal advice, was that the PCC were not fit to deal with the accusations, the nature of them, the number of them and the severity.
RJ : The Inquiry will note, but it's not necessary for me to read it out, the conclusions of the Select Committee on these issues. They start at paragraph 364 and 365 in bold. And the direct criticism is made by the Select Committee of the PCC that the press were beginning to ignore the requirement of the code and the PCC remained silent. Then under the heading "Lessons learnt", they review your case. They rightly point out that this was a very unusual case. They state that the coverage was
"freakish", and then their conclusions are set out at paragraphs 373 and 375. Perhaps I should read those out?
LJL : The word "freakish" is the committee saying it's far from clear that the McCann coverage was really so freakish.

RJ : Paragraph 373: "The newspaper industry's assertion that the McCann case is a one-off event shows that it is in denial about the scale and gravity of what went wrong and about the need to learn from those mistakes. In any other industry suffering such a collective breakdown, as for example in the banking sector now, any regulator worth its salt would have instigated an inquiry. The press indeed would have been clamouring for it to do so. It's an indictment on the PCC's record that it signally failed to do so. "The industry's words and actions suggest a desire to bury the affair without confronting its serious implications, the kind of avoidance which newspapers would criticise mercilessly and rightly if it occurred in any other part of society. The PCC, by failing to take firm action, let slip an opportunity to prevent or at least mitigate some of the most damaging aspects of this episode and in so doing lent credence to the view that it lacks teeth and is slow to challenge the newspaper industry." Is there anything you wish to add or subtract from that?
GMC : I think I would agree with it, and it's probably for others to decide whether the PCC could have changed it. I think that's a moot point.

RJ : Can I deal now with some general points, including the four general points you made at the start? But before I deal with those four points, I'm back to your witness statement at paragraph 116. You refer to the or a culture change which is required. May I invite you, please, to put that in your own words, both to identify the existing culture and then the change which you think is required?
GMC : I think we can speak with experience about how powerful the media are, and how much damage they can do. We've already said how many good things that they have done as well, so there is power, there is no doubt about it. But what we see on a daily basis are front page tabloid headlines in particular, sometimes followed by a clamour with 24-hour news channels and Internet and a blurring of the media, of stories which appear to have no factual basis, or exaggerated, or distorted. You've heard about several of hundreds that were written about us, but we see them, I walk into the shop in the hospital every day and I see front page headlines, whether it's about Chris Jefferies who is going to give evidence, or contestants on the X Factor, and I think information has been written and lives are being harmed by these stories, and something has to change. A commercial imperative is not acceptable.

RJ : Thank you. The four specific headings you've given us, in one sense you've largely covered these but it's helpful if we can bring the strands together. The first is libel. Might it be said, and can I just invite you to deal with this, well, this in fact is an example, your case, of the system working to the extent that you decide at a certain point that enough is enough. Obviously as professional people you're not going to put your house on the line to fund legal action, but conditional fee arrangements were available, you took advantage of that. Within a reasonably swift time-frame, and it's for others to decide whether it was quick enough or whatever, the position of Express Newspapers changes, they admit liability, they make a statement in open court, they pay £550,000, which in the scale of things is a significant amount of money with modern libel awards, and there's a front-page apology. Is that an example of the system working or do you have a different take on what I've just said?
GMC : I think it is an example of the system working in part, however we would much rather we weren't awarded any damages and the stories had not been published, and I think it's very important to emphasise that we have experienced long-lasting damage as a result of the headlines and the media coverage, including recent trips to Holland and Spain where our taxi driver said, "Oh, you're the parents who are accused of killing your own daughter, what happened?" and secondly in Spain where they showed a film that supposedly had us showing tablets that were tranquillisers that we'd supposedly given to children, stated as virtually fact. So although we've worked incredibly hard to change things in the UK, the damage is more widespread. So the money is only for me -- and I understand that the costs may be more of a deterrent than the damages, per se, but it's only a partial compensation, and once it's there, yes, the apology goes part of the way, but as we've seen, often the reporting is much wider than the original offending outlet, and the damage is long-lasting. And if you go on the Internet now, which our nearly 7-year-old twins will be doing, most of these allegations are still there and we will have to continue dealing with them going forward.

RJ : You make two points there, I think, Dr McCann. The first is the point damages are never proper recompense, and it's right, the judges recognise that, whether it's a reputation case or personal injuries case, the money can never provide reparation. The particular point in your case is there's an
international dimension and whatever happens in the United Kingdom in terms of statements in open court, they're not going to carry any mileage or impact outside this jurisdiction.
GMC : No.
RJ : Hence your experiences in Spain and the Netherlands.
GMC : Correct.

RJ : That's a helpful observation. What about your second heading, which was privacy laws? Could you help us a bit more with that, please?
GMC : Yeah. I think it's something obviously we probably hadn't thought too much about before we found ourselves in the situation that we are. You take your anonymity for granted. What I find disturbing, clearly, when you're being followed, you're being put in danger by either reporters' or photographers' behaviour and secondly I think it is probably an anomaly within the legal system that a commercial organisation can take a photograph of you, use it in their product, which they sell and make a profit without your consent, and I think that should be remedied. I think if I'm here, I know I'm in public, I'm giving evidence, I understand that images will be used, I fully understand that and I'm implicitly consenting to it, but whether it's us going for a run or driving out of our front drive, and particularly with children, I don't think it should be allowed. I think you should not be allowed to publish photographs of private individuals going about their private business without their explicit consent, signed.

RJ : The existing PCC Editors' Code speaks of either a private place or a public place where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy. I think your evidence is suggesting that that latter concept is quite a difficult one to understand and in particular to apply.
GMC : Mm-hm.

RJ : So that indeed further thought need be given to that. The third issue we may or may not have brought out adequately but please expand it if you wish to. Contempt for the judicial process, namely the secrecy implications of the Portuguese law, I think, and for your child's safety.
GMC : Yes.
RJ : You have addressed that issue, but is there anything you would like to expand, bring any strands together?
GMC : Yes, it wouldn't be explicit to judicial secrecy in Portugal, and by judicial I meant the whole process which in Portugal is obviously overseen by a judge. So you have information. We were told we were under judicial secrecy not to give details of events. What became very apparent was, you know, the media were trying to create a time-line of what happened, and we had obviously created a time-line and given it to the police and tried to narrow down to the closest minutes when we think Madeleine was taken to help the investigation. But when that information goes into the public domain and the abductor shouldn't know it, or the only person who should know it were the people who were there, then that's a concern. It can contaminate evidence. You could incriminate yourself by knowing something that you shouldn't have known. So that's the first process, and I think clearly, as again I'm not a lawyer and I may be speaking out of turn, but it's probably clear when there is a court case on in the United Kingdom, about what's to be reported and what not, and the police are very careful about which information they give to the media in this
country, but for me there was contempt about that whole investigative process. There was no regard for the outcome. It was much more important for the media outlets to have the detail or perhaps to have the contradictions, and the salacious aspects that followed it. And then the point about Madeleine has never been raised, I think, before, and clearly every outlet, I think, has been guilty of this, about reporting sightings, suspicious people, without giving it to the proper authorities. And that is of grave concern, and obviously our concern and focus is Madeleine, but it applies to other cases as well.

RJ : Your fourth heading is quite a broad one: acceptable standards.
GMC : Yes. I did have a quick look at the National Union of Journalist's submission and there are standards, but there are no penalties for not sticking to them, and whatever your profession is, particularly in this country, then there is fairly strong regulation which we have to abide to, and I have seen no individual journalist or editor brought to account over the stories, be it within Express Newspapers Group or Associated or any of the other groups and I think if there are repeated offenders, then they should lose their privilege of practising as a journalist.

LJL : Quite difficult, that. I understand exactly why you're saying that, but just let me share with you the difficulty, that what journalists do is exercise the right of free speech, and whereas you as doctors require licence to practise medicine, and if you are taken to the GMC then the GMC have all sorts of sanctions available, it's quite difficult in relation to the exercise of free speech. That's not to say that there shouldn't be penalties there shouldn't be some mechanism whereby there's a holding to account for what you've done.
GMC : Sure.
LJL : But --
GMC : Thank you, sir. I would like to emphasise that I strongly believe in freedom of speech, but where you have people who are repeatedly carrying out inaccuracies and have been shown to do so, then they should be held to account. That is the issue. I don't have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, suggestions, but clearly we've got to a stage where substandard reporting and sources, unnamed, made-up, non-verifiable, are a daily occurrence.
LJL : Yes. I wasn't criticising you at all, but I was simply seeking to explain why that particular remedy may be very difficult to apply in this context. But it's not to say there shouldn't be something. Now, I'm not saying what, because that's part of what I'm here for, if anything, I say immediately, but you've doubtless read that different people have been suggesting different models.
GMC : Sure.
LJL : And it's actually that question which is the burning part of the job that I have to do, which only underlines how extremely valuable your experience has been, and how very grateful I am for you sharing it with us 
GMC : Sure.

RJ : I have no more questions, Dr McCann, Dr McCann. Is there anything you want to add? Maybe Mr Sherborne has a point, but that concludes all I have to ask.
GMC : No, I think we've covered all our points, thank you.
LJL : Thank you very much. Mr Sherborne, 8 did you want to ask something?
David Sherbone : Sir, I realise that we all need time properly to digest the very uncomfortable evidence that the McCanns have given. As I mentioned last week, we say it's nothing short of a national scandal, but there's one point I do formally want to raise. It was touched on earlier. We've seen representatives of the media organisations stand up very quickly to respond to the criticism of their newspapers --
LJL : Is there going to be a question, Mr Sherborne?
David Sherbone : There is.
LJL : Then I'd like to hear the question.
David Sherbone : It's not a question. I raise this. It was mentioned by the McCanns and you mentioned it as well, and that is in relation to News International, and what we do ask is they provide a response, sir, as you mentioned, in relation to the publication of Kate McCann's diary --
LJL : Mr Sherborne, I think that is a speech. We can discuss what we should do, and of course I'm in a position to do something about it, because if there's a name, then I can issue a request, and I put the word "request" in inverted commas, under Section 21 of the 2005 Act, and I can find out.
David Sherbone : Sir, I understand that. It's not just the byline, if I may say, with respect, because that's the person who wrote the story. There is also the question, which I'm sure the McCanns would like to be dealt with, if possible, which is who obtained and in what circumstances they obtained the diary from the Portuguese police.
LJL : I understand.
David Sherbone : That's a decision at a higher level.
LJL : That's a thread, and I'm absolutely alert to the point. I really am.
David Sherbone : I'm very grateful.
LJL : Thank you.
Dr McCann, Dr McCann, thank you very much indeed. I can only wish you everything well in your continuing search for Madeleine.
GMC : Thank you.
KMC : Thank you. (fin vidéo 3)