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Rebuttal of "Fact" 49

Page history last edited by Chinagirl 9 years, 5 months ago

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49. The McCanns took legal action to ban Mr Amaral’s book on the case: ‘The Truth About A Lie’. They succeeded in September 2009. But in October 2010 the Portuguese Appeal Court lifted that ban. The McCanns are carrying on with their libel action against Mr Amaral, using their Fund to do so.


Verdict - Partially true but misleading.

Sources - Court documents, Madeleine website, media articles and a TV interview.



Summary of Verifiable Facts

  1. In  May 2009, the McCanns took legal action against Gonçalo Amaral for his book "The Truth of the Lie".
  2. In September 2009, A Portuguese Court decided in favour of the McCanns.
  3. In February 2010, a Portuguese Appeal Court upheld this decision.
  4. In October 2010, a Lisbon court overturned the ban saying that the decision to block sales of the book had broken "a constitutional and universal right: that of opinion and freedom of expression."
  5. The McCann's libel action against Snr Amaral is separate from the book banning and is ongoing.
  6. The assertion that the legal fees are being paid for from the FindMadeleine Fund, is entirely unsubstantiated.  However, even if it was, it would be within the scope of the Fund's purpose.



Yet again, this "fact" consists of several independent statements, each of which must be addressed separately.

  1. That the McCanns took legal action to ban Amaral's book "The Truth of the Lie".
  2. That they successed in this action.
  3. That Snr Amaral subsequently succeeded in having the banning overturned.
  4. That the McCanns are using the FindMadeleine fund to pay for the legal action against Snr Amaral.


1. That the McCanns took legal action to ban Gonçalo Amaral's book "the Truth of the Lie."

 This is true.



From the FindMadeleine Website on 16th May 2009- an official and reliable source:-


In a statement, Kate and Gerry McCann said: "We - together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie - are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims - made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond - that Madeleine is not only dead, but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body.
"This decision has been taken to prevent any further publication of Goncalo Amaral's deeply offensive book "The Truth Of The Lie", his so-called television 'documentary' and any repetition of his disgraceful thesis that we are somehow involved in the disappearance of our much loved daughter, Madeleine.
"The primary reason for our legal action is simple: to stop any negative effect that these absurd and deeply hurtful claims may be having on the ongoing search for Madeleine. We can no longer stand back and watch as Mr Amaral tries to convince the entire world that Madeleine is dead. Nor can we allow this blatant injustice to Madeleine, with its obvious risk of hindering our attempts to find her, to continue.
"Mr. Amaral's entirely unjustified claims have not only brought indescribable devastation and suffering to our lives, they have hugely compounded the already immense pain and anxiety we have endured since Madeleine's abduction.
"Our three children are joint complainants in this action because of the detrimental effect Mr Amaral's continued assertions will undoubtedly have on their future lives. Sean and Amelie require protection as they prepare to start school this autumn. Madeleine requires protection from those who are obstructing the possibility of her being found. 


2. That they successed in this action.

This is true


From the FindMadeleine website in September 2009:-


We are pleased with the Judge's decision today preventing further distribution and sale of Mr Amaral's book and dvd -'The Truth of the Lie'. 


Mr. Amaral's central thesis has no evidence whatsoever to support it. To claim as he did, that Madeleine is dead,  and that we, her parents, were in some way involved with her disappearance, has caused our family incredible distress and it continues to do so.


Without doubt, Madeleine will have suffered as a result of the negative effect this book and dvd will have had on the search for her.


Sean and Amelie need protection too from such awful claims.


Hopefully this injunction today will go a long way towards reducing further unnecessary and unjust distress to us all and allow people to concentrate completely on what is important - finding Madeleine.





3. That Snr Amaral subsequently succeeded in having the banning overturned.

This is true


From the Guardian on 19th October 2010:-


The book by former police detective Gonçalo Amaral, who led the Madeleine investigation in the first five months after the three-year-old's disappearance, can now go back on sale.


In September last year the McCanns obtained the ban on Amaral's book Maddie – The Truth about the Lie, in which he claims they were involved in the toddler's disappearance.


Amaral claims Madeleine died accidentally in the Algarve holiday apartment at Praia da Luz, where she was first reported missing in October 2007, and that her parents fabricated the abduction story. The McCanns, who have never ceased in their search for the missing girl, are suing him for defamation.

Portugal's attorney general, having reviewed the investigation, has ruled there is no evidence to suggest that the McCanns are anything other than entirely innocent.


The court said the decision to block sales of the book had broken "a constitutional and universal right: that of opinion and freedom of expression."


*Note that this court does not rule on whether Snr Amaral's opinion is correct, but merely on his right to have an opinion and to express it. 


4. That the McCanns are using the FindMadeleine fund to pay for the legal action against Snr Amaral.

This is unsubstantiated. 


TV statement by Clarence Mitchell:-

However, in a TV interview, The McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell made the following statement (starts at 5.45);-



Reporter - A lot of people would say that quite a lot of money has been made from Madeleine's disappearance with the various court cases. How much has been made and is it being used in legal proceedings like the one we've seen in Portugal.

CM - The Fund is there to assist Kate and Gerry in whatever way necessary. There are a number of other backers as well outside the Fund who also assist at times. The bulk, in fact all of the public money that came in in the early stages was all spent entirely properly on the search for Madeleine on the investigative costs and everything else around that. Most of the monies that are still in the Fund now are actually there from either the settlements against the Express Group newspapers and other media outlets that have also defamed them and so that is money that was brought in through court action, not the public and on top of that, the most recent monies ... come in have been through supporters kindly donating at a fund raising event and again, they would be more than happy as supporter to see the money spent in any way that assists Kate and gerry and the wider family and their investigators in the search for Madeleine 



Libel Action against Gonçalo Amaral.

The McCanns' libel action against Snr Amaral is separate from the book banning and is ongoing. 


From the Lisbon Appeal court documents:-


That brings us to the DECISION on page 15.
As we get to the DECISION there are two important things to note:

- this hearing is NOTHING to do with defamation or libel - which is the Principal Action to be heard at some date in the future. It limited itself to deciding which of two sets of fundamental rights in Portuguese Law should hold sway in the specific circumstance presented, which circumstance was that each rendition of the proposition of a dead child and the hiding of her body impeded the search for a live child, and this impediment caused additional suffering to the parents who are behind the conduct of that search. 





The McCanns have made it clear that their focus is the search for their missing daughter and that their legal action against Snr Amaral is to prevent his book from harming their search for Madeleine. 


The legal action against Snr Amaral is not just by the McCanns, but also on behalf of their three children.  In the McCanns' own words, the twins need protection from the detrimental effects of false allegations and Madeleine requires protection from anything which obstructs the possibility of her being found.


As the purpose of the fund is to help the McCanns search for their daughter in any way that is necessary, surely that would also include taking action against efforts to impede the search. 


It is unfortunate in this day and age of human rights, that any parents should find it necessary to take legal action against someone's efforts to obstruct their search for their missing child.


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