Friday, 29 October 2010

Reflections on That Court Ruling

By honestbroker

Comments may be read or made here: Chaos Raptors.

Logically and reasonably, Portuguese judges outright refused to grant an injunction on grounds of libel – not because they considered that the book wasn’t libellous, but because they refused to make a judgment on the question before a long-scheduled court hearing to determine precisely the answer to that question. So the McCanns had to vary the grounds of their application, and the one finally accepted was an appeal to that conflict in the Portuguese constitution that guarantees the right of free speech and the part that protects citizens from malicious falsehood and slander. It was originally held, on the basis that the investigation had cleared the McCanns of all blame, while video and book implicate them in Madeleine’s disappearance, that the McCanns’ right to a good name should outweigh Amaral’s right to free speech. It was also (originally) held that advancing a thesis that Madeleine is dead might prejudice the search for the girl, as people will feel less motivated to search for a body than for a living person.

The ruling was always likely to be controversial, as reference to questions of libel are unmistakably present . The judgement that replaced and overturned it found that some prevailing condition must determine whether or not a particular pronouncement should be considered reasonable expression within bounds of free speech, and that condition had to be the presence or absence of a court ruling on whether or not a thing is libellous. There is, now, no court ruling on that question. Therefore (the appeal judges reasoned) Amaral’s right to free speech should prevail. The judges found, further, that as the McCanns have courted publicity, they must expect it, adverse as well as supportive. That is, perhaps, fair comment, though it is worth noting that the McCanns, in their interviews, have never been particularly critical of Amaral or the PJ, while Amaral, in his interviews (which will form a part of the libel trial) has been highly pejorative of the McCanns and their friends.

Still, the key point of controversy in this appeal court ruling is the finding that Amaral, in his book, has kept faithfully to what is in the official police files, or has departed from them only where he places his own interpretation on what is written. As I will illustrate, that is simply not true – and where Amaral does interpret what’s in the files, he frequently goes way beyond bounds of what can be considered (in respect of questions of libel) fair comment.

Inexplicably, Amaral makes reference to the drug calpol night. Nowhere in the file is Calpol night mentioned. And whilst it’s true (as Amaral says) that calpol night contains a sedative antihistamine, it came onto the market fully 4 months after the McCanns’ holiday.

So why does Amaral mention it?

Calpol is mentioned in the file. Both Gerry and Kate told the PJ frankly that they had it with them on that holiday, but didn’t use it. Amaral says that Kate’s father, Brian Healy, confirmed that the McCanns gave Madeleine Calpol as a sedative. Brian Healy did no such thing. A Sun reporter interviewing Mr Healy added words of his own, not Mr Healy’s, to help her Madeleine sleep, which gave birth to both a police file and forum myth. Calpol is straight paracetamol for children, nothing else. It has no sedative properties, but does have an excellent track record of safety in use with children. Yet Amaral makes reference in his book to a generation of parents in Britain hooked on their reliance of a dangerous drug for children.

Amaral’s foray into interpretation of the forensic results is disastrous for him. In chapter 18 of his book, bearing the misnomer of a title Preliminary results (there were no preliminary results!) he recites that Stuart Prior flew over to Faro to brief the PJ on the forensic results that would be soon forthcoming from the FSS in Birmingham. Amaral describes Prior as being disappointed with the results and adds that we (presumably Amaral) disagree with Stewart’s disappointment.

That is the launching pad of Amaral’s own interpretation of the results. He says, about Lowe’s email sent in advance of the main body of the report and dealing with analysis of material recovered from the boot of the car, that half the DNA identified from the car is from Gerry, indicating the presence of DNA from at least one of the McCanns’ offspring. Amaral, there, confuses Lowe’s reference to the control DNA profile of Madeleine, where he explains that the 20 markers of her profile appear as if 19 because two are shared equally between the DNA of Kate and Gerry and appear as one peak – nothing to do with material recovered from the boot.

Amaral notes that incomplete profiles from at least 3 people are present in material from the car, and also Lowe’s comment that markers from profiles of FSS workers are the same as those found in the sample from the car. But then he asks why so many more markers from Madeleine’s profile than from workers at the FSS are found in the sample from the boot. The answer is simple. DNA from four of Madeleine’s blood relatives, her siblings and her parents (all with very similar profiles to her) are likely to be in the mix of material recovered from the boot. Hence the fairly high correlation of markers from Madeleine’s control profile with markers in that mix. The gist of Lowe’s email is that, while it is technically possible that Madeleine’s DNA contributed to the mix of material from the boot, it is highly unlikely, and also that, even if it did, it would be impossible to determine how her DNA got there or whether that would be indicative of any crime committed against her.

Amaral also notes (accurately) that what is dealt with in detail in that first email is glossed over in the main body of the report that follows. But Amaral’ own interpretation of this is that the FSS cannot face up to the idea of Madeleine dead having been in the boot of that car. In short, he accuses the FSS of bottling it. The truth is much more mundane -- Lowe saw no point in repeating himself. So in the main body of his report, he says simply about findings from the car that there was nothing significant in them (true!)

Still, evidently Amaral’s powers of persuasion swayed Prior, because in that chapter of the book we are told that Amaral instructed a (presumably converted!) Prior to phone the FSS and give them a piece of his mind. During the course of this conversation, Prior is, apparently, overheard saying that in England, people have been arrested for less than the PJ had against the McCanns. Amaral recounts that that caused PJ officers to look at one another in astonishment because in Portugal, apparently, concealment of a cadaver and simulation of an abduction are not offenses for which people can be detained in custody. That’s what Amaral says. I assume that there is a record of this telephone call? Later on in the same chapter, Prior is cast in the role of villain as standing in the way of the McCanns being detained.

The examples I cite, here, are by no means comprehensive. Amaral says that Eddie reacted to the boot of the car. Grime, in the file, says that he did not deploy Eddie in the car. In common with all his PJ colleagues, Amaral misses that Eddie, like Keela, will react to blood lost by living people. In the book, Amaral hypothesises that the Smith family saw Gerry whisking the body of his dead daughter past their noses. In the final PJ report, written by Joao Carlos, it is explicitly stated that, at the time of the Smith sighting, Gerry was in the Tapas restaurant.

I don’t know whether Amaral intends putting his book or video back in the shops, or whether reputable retail outlets (anywhere around the world) would contemplate taking them. But if he does, and they do, they should [i]all[/i] heed the words of the Portuguese Attorney General, reported by the Algarve Resident, that the McCanns are entirely innocent of any crime. Particularly in the light of so much of what Amaral says in his book, and has said in interviews, that should leave Amaral with a sense of foreboding about the libel trial, and very wary about how he decides to use his new-found freedom.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Truths and Rights

Just as unlawful guilt has to be proved, unlawful death has to be proved.

The universal declaration of human rights.
Article 11.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
The McCanns are not just presumed innocent. They ARE undoubtedly innocent, as there has never been a charge brought against them to question that fact and to afford the right of presumption. Therefore also, the argument that there is no proof that Madeleine is alive is meaningless, as there are no charges brought considering her unlawfully dead.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
The investigation is shelved because the police could not convince the prosecutor that there was valid evidence for a case to be answered. That is the legal situation. So a book and documentary that informs the public that Madeleine is dead through the involvement of her parents because of what ‘Sr Amaral knows’, can only be a false accusation. False because the justice system says 'Goncalo Amaral does NOT know' enough to have even charged anybody of any crime.

Morally and democratically the only body that has to be convinced, by the PJ, that charges are brought and suspects tested in court is the justice system and the door to a court case is the prosecutor. That is democracy. If the prosecutor decides that there is no case to be answered then the police must either accept his decision, or find more evidence. It is not morally right or democratic for a policeman to retire from the PJ and publically propagate suspicion at those who the justice system concluded has no case to answer. That is challenging the justice system by disregarding it, challenging the McCanns by false accusation and damaging to Madeleine's right to be considered alive and not unlawfully dead and worthy of being searched for with the invitation of information to facilitate finding her.

This article 12 of the universal declaration of human rights also questions the appeal judge that revoked the book ban. The judges reasoning that the McCanns lost their entitlement to privacy and public opinion about them because they had no choice but to publicise the case for Madeleine’s sake did not also consider that the declaration states ‘nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation’ This categorically makes the statement that honour and reputation is not discriminated by publicity or privacy.

The writing is on the wall for Sr Amaral.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

My Way or No Way

The Portuguese prosecutor digested the information available in the investigation files and concluded that no crime could be determined. Therefore there could be no identifiable suspects and no evidence to bring a court case. Goncalo Amaral digested the information in the investigation files and concluded that he believes strongly that Madeleine is dead and that her parents concealed the body. The two, vastly different, conclusions from the same information. What could be the difference?

The prosecutor had an objective and balanced contribution to the conclusion. Amaral has revealed by his words in the introduction of his book, the Truth of the Lie, that he has grudges against the institution, grudges against the media and a wish to get his own way by whatever means. Yes, the book reveals that Amaral has prejudices driving his conclusion.

With ingredients such as prejudice and the excuse of conspiracy, Amaral has decided to do everything to ensure his own belief of what happened leads to a conclusion befitting his own thesis. That is dealing prosecution, judgement and sentence all in one book. He openly admits that he had to retire from the PJ to mete out his justice. The regulations specify that he remain silent while still employed by that institution. I would understand that for him to accuse publically without charging would have prejudiced any case. So he retired to force his opinion and gather support from publicity to further force his opinion. The legal system does not agree with his thesis and he can’t respect that.

Goncalo is used to getting his way.


The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was in chaos last night after the detective coordinating the hunt for her abductor was charged with criminal offences over another notorious missing child case.

Goncalo Amaral and four other Portuguese police officers were charged over the weekend with offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano from a village seven miles from where Madeleine was abducted.

The nine-year-old girl has not been seen since her disappearance three years ago but her mother and uncle were convicted of murdering and dismembering Joana because she caught them having an incestuous relationship. Joana’s mother, Leonor, has alleged that she was beaten into a confession during a police interrogation that took place without her lawyer or the knowledge of the public prosecutor.

Portugal’s Ministerio Publico, the district attorney, confirmed last night that it had charged three police officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents. It did not reveal who had been charged with which offence.

So is this what Amaral means by getting justice without being politically correct, as he states in the introduction of the Truth of the Lie?

If the law states that no crime or criminal could be determined. Then that person who is selling a book stating that there is a crime and identifies his suspects, has committed libel. Trial by book and publicity.  Sadly the victim who has lost most from Amarals agenda is Madeleine Beth McCann. I sincerely hope the libel case judges do the right thing and stand up for the proper course of justice by making an example of Sr Amaral's mersenary justice.

Goncalo Amaral’s justice. My way, or no way.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Madeleine. A Reprise.

Let us not forget that this case is about a missing child, Madeleine McCann. What we know is that the Portuguese investigation could not find evidence to establish a crime. Therefore all previous suspects are clear, innocent of involvement in criminal activity that has lead to the disappearance of the child.

In the absence of an ongoing investigation by the police, there is only one avenue left to invite justice and truth for Madeleine McCann. It does not involve a book written by an ex policeman with a chip on his shoulder insinuating that he knows more than the shelved investigation had found. Goncalo bears a grudge against the institution and all involved, including the McCann's and the media. This is not seeking justice for Madeleine, it is indeed seeking justice for his perceived victimisation.

The only avenue currently available is common to missing loved one's cases. Very evident and common is the finite funding law enforcement agencies are willing to spend before tucking cases under the carpet. This to an unattached observer can be logical, but to the parents it is closure on a mystery that will never be closed until the missing person is found. Emotionally and gut-wrenchingly irreconcilable.

The search continuity is left to the parents once law enforcement reaches a stop. The McCanns have been a shining example of keeping the search up for their daughter. Raising awareness, inviting information, employing their own detectives all require financial support as well as the volunteer support to help with the logistical nightmare that such a search presents. It would not be possible for the family alone to practically manage such a campaign on their own. It is an absolutely shining example how the McCanns campaign for their beloved daughter, Madeleine and for the greater good they have highlighted all cases of the missing, encouraged even more volunteers to help and publicised the plight of searching for the missing without police support. This is the life of a family with one member missing.

How cruel it is then, that the campaign to search for Madeleine is paralysed by one ex policeman's grudges. Yes, paralysed. The McCanns find themselves accused of being involved in the death of their missing child and hiding her body, not by the police, just by insinuations and misinformation in a  book authored by a paranoid ex policeman. The book being sold internationally strives to convince the public that the McCanns are criminals and that Madeleine is dead. Kate and Gerry have nothing to prove as there is no case against them. Yet they must spend precious time, money and extreme stress dealing with the vigilante accusations in court to prevent Amaral from corroding the search for Madeleine and their own good name through his book.

If there is any justice, Goncalo Amaral will be stopped, lawfully, from interfering with the case he was removed from and allow every avenue of inviting information which could lead to finding Madeleine to continue as the priority focus. Seeking information is the path to Madeleine. Not Gonacalo's unfounded thesis.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Greater Purpose?


An article studying Amaral's 'Greater Purpose' of the book.

Goncalo states that his book does not question the work of his colleagues or other police officers, nor does it compromise the current enquiry. Yet he attempted to go against the regulations that required him to remain silent and retired from the PJ, to publicise his opinions on the case!! He was removed from the case which he associates with an institutional lie. Is he suggesting that the regulations were not from his beloved police force or that the PJ are not part of the institution?

Goncalo Amaral's greater purpose is to release information to the public for the greater good of, justice for Madeleine. Does releasing information include the many leaks preceding the book from a source within the investigation that were sent to the Portuguese press while the investigation was progressing? What information would he be talking about I wonder. The case files are in the public domain and have been studied by the Portuguese prosecutor concluding that no crime or criminal could be determined from the current investigation before it was shelved. What possible information could Amaral have that he could release beyond the information gathered by the PJ? This smacks off suggesting his beloved Police force had been withholding information. Yet he suggests he is not questioning the work of his colleagues or compromising the case.......Which is it Goncalo?

One has to wonder at an author who contradicts himself so seriously within the introduction of his book.

Finally, on the book introduction. A quote from Amaral.

A criminal inquiry is precisely dedicated and committed to the search for the absolute truth, the pursuit of material fact; it is not the place to be politically correct.

Any respectable person would agree with that sentiment. Why then, did Goncalo write a book which totally contradicts that righteous sentiment? Goncalo is no longer a policeman or involved in this case and his book indicates that he believes it is quite right to bypass the legally recognised law enforcement agencies and ignore the official investigative findings to sell his own opinion as more important than that of the police, the Portuguese prosecutor and the correct escalation route of justice. Why Goncalo Amaral could be considered a vigilante, no less!! He now answers to nobody, pays himself by selling his personal investigation and employed himself as head of justice for Madeleine McCann, policeman, press agent, judge and juror all in one and in one word, vigilante.

The greater purpose...... Vigilantism?

The Lie of the Truth?

An article studying Amaral's primary reasons for writing the book.

Goncalo Amaral states that he wrote his book to restore his good name. Damage to his name from what he describes as an institutional lie. Quite what he means by this, I don’t fully understand. Perhaps he is suggesting an institutional conspiracy?

He then goes on to state that he applied for official permission to speak out and received no reply. Amaral admits to rigorously conforming to the regulations that he remains silent, this indicates that he was well aware of regulations gaurding against what he wanted to to do. These regulations not just specific to him, but official regulations obviously in force to protect those involved in a case and the integrity of an investigation. This need to speak his mind against the rules and regulations reveals a lack of respect for the integrity of the investigation and his own police force. Not surprisingly Goncalo Amaral was subsequently removed from the investigation and decided that he needed to defend himself because of that. Quite what he was defending himself from is unclear. Perhaps this indicates the paranoia of a conspiracy against him?

Amaral then resigned from the police force altogether, in his own words, a necessity to have the opportunity to speak out about matters which seriously concern him. We shall examine his concerns as we progress with this blog. There is no doubt in my mind that the behaviour of Amaral’s supporters, on line, believe that this case is part of a conspiracy to the extent that Goncalo and his supporters are more concerned with that conspiracy theory than what happened to Madeleine. The child and her family nothing but jigsaw pieces in an imagined institutional agenda. Madeleine, the family, the official case files, the prosecutor’s conclusion, the police investigation all disregarded with an amazing lack of respect or integrity to publicise, through his book, while manipulating propaganda via a network of supporters to present Goncalo Amaral’s opinions as facts beyond the actual facts.

Goncalo’s lie of the truth!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The court of appeal in Lisbon on the 19th day of October, 2010,  revoked the ban imposed by the civil courts placed upon Sr Amaral's book, The Truth of the Lie.

The question being tested is one of free speech. The appeal court has decided that Amaral's book is allowable as a publication under the European understanding of human rights and free speech.

The book was written by the former inspector leading the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The ban was invoked after the parents of Madeleine, Kate and Gerry Mccann, challenged the book which contains the inspectors opinion that the child was killed and the body hidden with the parents involvement. The evidence the inspector presents is flawed. His main 'facts' pointing to a reason leading to proving a death being the use of Calpol to induce the child into a deep sleep, the sniffer dogs indicating the presence of Cadaver and misunderstandings of 15 out of 19 markers in Madeleine's profile being a percentage indication of a dead Madeleine.

Only 'Calpol Night' can induce sleep and that had not come into production at the time Madeleine vanished. Basic Calpol is not a sleep inducer. The internationally renowned forensic organisation, FSS, concluded that the dogs findings indicate no conclusive evidence of death or presence of Madeleine. Possibly dried body fluids which can indicate the same as cadaver scent being equally as possible of actual cadaver scent. Not withstanding that Madeleine's DNA was not conclusive in the results either. 15 out of the 19 markers in Madeleine's profile were found within 37 markers. That is 37 markers contaminated by several known alive people and no conclusive indication of Madeleine's identity in the results as contamination included the family who share her markers. That puts a different picture on evidence showing 15 out of 19.  Therefore the forensics proved a false positive and in layman's terms the Dogs evidence canceled itself out.

Commonly the argument is being used that presenting evidence of 15 out of 19 markers indicating Madeleine's cadaver is enough to convict the parents by circumstantial evidence and probability. Enough evidence to test Amaral's theory in court. Yet after the explanation by experts that the math is actually 15 out of 37 markers also contaminated by people who would share those 15 markers, the thesis has not been revised and the argument, totally flawed, is still being promoted.

All the former inspector Amaral could gain from the book is money. Not the truth, not the sharing of evidence, just monetary gain. That to any fair minded person is offensive, but free speech does not define offense. That definition is tested by the law if the offended take it to court. Currently Sr Amaral is being tested in court for libel and damaging the search for Madeleine. Personally I view his book as an exploitation of a child......abuse. To make money from a tragedy yet to be solved using the name of a child and misinformation for monetary gain.

In short. The appeal court has decided the publication is acceptable within the boundary of free speech. That is,  one can say whatever they want in the Portuguese constitution. But the human right to test such a publication's value of defamation, libel and damage to the search for a child who may well be alive is still in the hands of the Portuguese judiciary. The result of that case will be more telling of the complete speech with responsibility.

If we are to gain any positives from this. I would like to think that a book being sold internationally, trying to convince people a missing child is dead and therefore there should be closure on searching for an alive child, will have more weight for it's author being successfully sued than a book not being sold to the public. The biggest positive being the funds raised from the book will help find Madeleine!!

It is important to remember that despite opinions about what happened to Madeleine The Portuguese prosecutor studied the case files, including Amarals conclusion and gave us the legal conclusion to the unsolved mystery.

Quote from:

Therefore, after all seen, analysed and duly pondered, with all that is left exposed, it is determined:

a) The archiving of the Process concerning arguido Robert James Queriol Eveleigh Murat, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code;

b) The archiving of the Process concerning Arguidos Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code.

Mr Amaral, freedom of speech is no defense against exploiting Madeleine McCann.