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Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

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Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by sharonl on 26.04.16 23:08

Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television



                    
A new ‘mood’ has emerged following the successful appeal by former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral against €500,000 libel damages awarded to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann.

For the first time “serious figures” formerly connected to the government and PJ are questioning the political pressures that effectively shut-down the original Portuguese investigation - allowing nothing to move forwards other than the abduction theory.

Without naming names or pointing fingers, it is clear that Amaral’s victorious return from the cold of litigation has paved the way for less-than-habitually-guarded discussion. While here CMTV screened a four-way interview late on Saturday night which threw up the issue of ‘plausible leads’ nipped in the bud in the early days - as they simply did not fit with the abduction profile - in Edinburgh former ambassador and human rights activist Craig Murray has weighed onto the scene, outlining the sort of pressure with which Portugal had to contend. “I am going to come straight out with this”, he wrote in a post following news of Amaral’s appeal court win.

“British diplomatic staff were under direct instruction to support the McCanns far beyond the usual and to put pressure on the Portuguese authorities over the case. “I have direct information that more than one of those diplomatic staff found the McCanns less than convincing and their stories inconsistent.

Embassy staff were perturbed to be ordered that British authorities were to be present at every contact between the McCanns and Portuguese police. “This again is absolutely not the norm. On a daily basis more British citizens have contact with foreign authorities than the total staff of the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

It would be simply impossible to give that level of support to everybody”. John Buck, Murray’s direct boss in the FCO when he was head of Cyprus Section, was the British ambassador in Portugal when three-year-old Madeleine went missing in May, 2007. “He and his staff were concerned by contradictions in the McCann’s story”, Murray continues. “The Embassy warned, in writing, that being perceived as too close to the McCanns might not prove wise.

They demanded the instruction from London be reconfirmed. It was.” Murray’s post does not dwell on the reasons for this “far beyond usual” support, but he concedes “that it might have put some psychological pressure on the Portuguese investigators and prosecuting officers in their determinations”.

Talking on CMTV in the early hours of Sunday morning, former PJ director Manuel Rodrigues left little doubt that it had. In a one-hour “special” which went out between 11.30 and 12.40, Rodrigues and former Minister for Internal Administration Rui Pereira both lamented British interference which, Rodrigues concedes, may ensure that “blame” in this apparently unsolvable nine-year-old mystery “dies a spinster”.

Why a faithful reconstruction of the night of Madeleine’s disappearance was never achieved he still does not know, he explained. “Someone stopped it. Don’t ask me to name names. We have already talked about all the assistance the (McCann) couple received from people directly connected with the British government. We have talked about the British government and the British police.

I can’t interpret it any other way”. Rodrigues referred to the “pure ingenuousness” of Portuguese authorities, allowing forensic tests on evidence recovered to be allowed to take place in a British laboratory so that there was no whiff of uncertainty.

In the first report, 15 alleles out of 19 that made up Madeleine’s DNA appeared, he said. Then, in a second report, all the alleles had “disappeared completely”. Amaral too had his moment to outline some the ‘plausible hypotheses’ that emerged in the early days as his team shifted its focus from the likelihood of an abduction.

A late-night sighting of three figures entering Luz church with a large bag coincided with the existence of a coffin inside the church, he said, into which Madeleine’s body could have been placed. The coffin - holding the remains of an elderly British resident - was taken the following day for cremation in the Alentejo.

Amaral stressed nonetheless that the book ‘Maddie: The Truth of the Lie’ that the McCanns have sought to ban is not ‘his truth’ - nor indeed factual truth - but the opinion of the PJ in September of 2007 when it became clear their efforts were about to be archived. Since that time - and even when Scotland Yard became involved in 2011 and vowed to ‘peel back the layers’ of the mystery as if peeling an onion - none of those original lines of investigation have ever been revisited, resulting in the situation in which millions of pounds have been spent getting nowhere, or as Amaral put it: “going down a one-way street”.

That the four-way interview went out at such a late hour suggests CMTV is still being careful about how it presents this case, but Amaral’s ‘victory’ for freedom of expression would appear to have lifted the lid on a Pandora’s Box shut tight from mainstream media for almost nine years.

In UK, the Sun leaked a lurid colour page promising an exposé on “Maddie Cop’s Sick Secret” on Sunday morning.

It turned out to be nothing more than the rehash of an ‘Amaral-bashing’ story by the Express a year before in which British people donating to his legal expenses were tarnished as ‘online trolls’. But it served to highlight that ‘pressure’ in Britain to stick to the abduction theory and demonise everything else could still be at work. natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by Verdi on 26.04.16 23:19

@sharonl wrote:Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television



                    
A new ‘mood’ has emerged following the successful appeal by former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral against €500,000 libel damages awarded to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann.

For the first time “serious figures” formerly connected to the government and PJ are questioning the political pressures that effectively shut-down the original Portuguese investigation - allowing nothing to move forwards other than the abduction theory.

Without naming names or pointing fingers, it is clear that Amaral’s victorious return from the cold of litigation has paved the way for less-than-habitually-guarded discussion. While here CMTV screened a four-way interview late on Saturday night which threw up the issue of ‘plausible leads’ nipped in the bud in the early days - as they simply did not fit with the abduction profile - in Edinburgh former ambassador and human rights activist Craig Murray has weighed onto the scene, outlining the sort of pressure with which Portugal had to contend. “I am going to come straight out with this”, he wrote in a post following news of Amaral’s appeal court win.

“British diplomatic staff were under direct instruction to support the McCanns far beyond the usual and to put pressure on the Portuguese authorities over the case. “I have direct information that more than one of those diplomatic staff found the McCanns less than convincing and their stories inconsistent.

Embassy staff were perturbed to be ordered that British authorities were to be present at every contact between the McCanns and Portuguese police. “This again is absolutely not the norm. On a daily basis more British citizens have contact with foreign authorities than the total staff of the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

It would be simply impossible to give that level of support to everybody”. John Buck, Murray’s direct boss in the FCO when he was head of Cyprus Section, was the British ambassador in Portugal when three-year-old Madeleine went missing in May, 2007. “He and his staff were concerned by contradictions in the McCann’s story”, Murray continues. “The Embassy warned, in writing, that being perceived as too close to the McCanns might not prove wise.

They demanded the instruction from London be reconfirmed. It was.” Murray’s post does not dwell on the reasons for this “far beyond usual” support, but he concedes “that it might have put some psychological pressure on the Portuguese investigators and prosecuting officers in their determinations”.

Talking on CMTV in the early hours of Sunday morning, former PJ director Manuel Rodrigues left little doubt that it had. In a one-hour “special” which went out between 11.30 and 12.40, Rodrigues and former Minister for Internal Administration Rui Pereira both lamented British interference which, Rodrigues concedes, may ensure that “blame” in this apparently unsolvable nine-year-old mystery “dies a spinster”.

Why a faithful reconstruction of the night of Madeleine’s disappearance was never achieved he still does not know, he explained. “Someone stopped it. Don’t ask me to name names. We have already talked about all the assistance the (McCann) couple received from people directly connected with the British government. We have talked about the British government and the British police.

I can’t interpret it any other way”. Rodrigues referred to the “pure ingenuousness” of Portuguese authorities, allowing forensic tests on evidence recovered to be allowed to take place in a British laboratory so that there was no whiff of uncertainty. In the first report, 15 alleles out of 19 that made up Madeleine’s DNA appeared, he said. Then, in a second report, all the alleles had “disappeared completely”. Amaral too had his moment to outline some the ‘plausible hypotheses’ that emerged in the early days as his team shifted its focus from the likelihood of an abduction. A late-night sighting of three figures entering Luz church with a large bag coincided with the existence of a coffin inside the church, he said, into which Madeleine’s body could have been placed. The coffin - holding the remains of an elderly British resident - was taken the following day for cremation in the Alentejo. Amaral stressed nonetheless that the book ‘Maddie: The Truth of the Lie’ that the McCanns have sought to ban is not ‘his truth’ - nor indeed factual truth - but the opinion of the PJ in September of 2007 when it became clear their efforts were about to be archived. Since that time - and even when Scotland Yard became involved in 2011 and vowed to ‘peel back the layers’ of the mystery as if peeling an onion - none of those original lines of investigation have ever been revisited, resulting in the situation in which millions of pounds have been spent getting nowhere, or as Amaral put it: “going down a one-way street”. That the four-way interview went out at such a late hour suggests CMTV is still being careful about how it presents this case, but Amaral’s ‘victory’ for freedom of expression would appear to have lifted the lid on a Pandora’s Box shut tight from mainstream media for almost nine years. In UK, the Sun leaked a lurid colour page promising an exposé on “Maddie Cop’s Sick Secret” on Sunday morning. It turned out to be nothing more than the rehash of an ‘Amaral-bashing’ story by the Express a year before in which British people donating to his legal expenses were tarnished as ‘online trolls’. But it served to highlight that ‘pressure’ in Britain to stick to the abduction theory and demonise everything else could still be at work. natasha.donn@algarveresident.com
Natasha Donn leaves no stone un-turned does she?  Is she the only journalist reporting on the case from Portugal that's prepared to tell it like it is?

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The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by lj on 27.04.16 2:30

very good piece

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http://whatreallyhappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by mysticmeg on 27.04.16 5:41

And what remained in Pandora's Box?.......................HOPE!

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by Lance De Boils on 30.04.16 17:30

@sharonl wrote:

A late-night sighting of three figures entering Luz church with a large bag coincided with the existence of a coffin inside the church, he said, into which Madeleine’s body could have been placed. The coffin - holding the remains of an elderly British resident - was taken the following day for cremation in the Alentejo.


Do we have more info on this? I don't remember anything about it.

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by MayMuse on 30.04.16 17:34

@Lance De Boils wrote:
@sharonl wrote:

A late-night sighting of three figures entering Luz church with a large bag coincided with the existence of a coffin inside the church, he said, into which Madeleine’s body could have been placed. The coffin - holding the remains of an elderly British resident - was taken the following day for cremation in the Alentejo.


Do we have more info on this? I don't remember anything about it.
http://joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-secret-visits-of-mccanns-to-church.html

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by Lance De Boils on 02.05.16 15:52

Ok, thanks. I thought I'd missed a specific witness statement. Could you point me to the bit where it says people were seen entering the church that night with a bag? And about there being a coffin in the church at the time? I'm a tad short on time. Cheers.

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by MayMuse on 02.05.16 17:53

@Lance De Boils wrote:Ok, thanks. I thought I'd missed a specific witness statement. Could you point me to the bit where it says people were seen entering the church that night with a bag? And about there being a coffin in the church at the time? I'm a tad short on time. Cheers.
If you read the information as per the above link provided, that may assist you.

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Re: Amaral’s libel win opens Pandora’s Box on national television

Post by aiyoyo on 02.05.16 18:17

@Lance De Boils wrote:Ok, thanks. I thought I'd missed a specific witness statement. Could you point me to the bit where it says people were seen entering the church that night with a bag? And about there being a coffin in the church at the time? I'm a tad short on time. Cheers.

LanceDeBoils, below is extracts of Amaral interview on Portuguese TV station

Full transcript can be read on http://joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/

Gonçalo Amaral - No, in that book there isn't anything concerning what we just saw me saying on the news piece that was shown. Because these are elements, these are information that appeared afterwards and were never investigated. It's just an hypothesis, and when considering that hypothesis...

Anchor - An hypothesis that Madeleine's body could have been hidden, could have been incinerated, right?

Gonçalo Amaral - There's an information here, in the police, that mentions that. That in a night, three figures were seen carrying a bag, entering the church...

Anchor - In the Praia da Luz church.

Gonçalo Amaral - In that church was a coffin of a woman, a woman from the United Kingdom...

Anchor - Of a British woman.

Gonçalo Amaral - ... and in the following day that coffin was transferred to Ferreira do Alentejo to be incinerated. But no one is saying that the parents did that, or saying who did that. It's something that someone who is on the field investigating has to ascertain, must investigate thoroughly.

Anchor - But you concede that hypothesis, that possibility of Madeleine's cadaver being taken to the church, and then incinerated is a plausible hypothesis...

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