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Libel trial discussion

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by MaryB on 14.01.10 23:37

I have a question. If a person wrote a book about this court case and repeated what the witnesses said in court would this be libel or not.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Kololi on 15.01.10 8:00

Hi MaryB
Common sense would tell me that if it was written so that it relayed the facts of the case as they happened then libel wouldn't be able to be claimed by anyone.

Mind, after having recently completed a diploma in law, the biggest lesson that I learnt while studying was that there is little common sense in the law.

And thanks Vaguely for supplying us with the twitter reports, much appreciated.

Take care

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Ruby on 15.01.10 8:50

Yes thanks to Vaguely, our intrepid reporter, it has taken mere minutes to catch up with what I missed instead of having to trawl the web flower


2:59
jondipaolo:
The final verdict in this preliminary hearing will be released to the lawyers on each side but will not be made public.


thinking Seems odd (to me, anyway) wonder if it's the norm...

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Autumn on 15.01.10 9:17

Thanks Vaguely for the twitter reports, have changed to a new broadband which, annoyingly, has been playing up - thanks to your tweet posts, I'v been able to catch up this morning. :)

Lets hope that justice prevails and that Snr Amaral's book will be made available to all who want to read it.

Surely the final verdict will have to made public?

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by MaryB on 15.01.10 10:48

Hi Kololi, thanks for answering my question. Really if this libel trial can be reported freely then the information will be in the public. So even if the book is banned the trial can be quoted. So if somebody produced a booklet just stating what was said in court over the last few days . That wouldn't be libel. And I don't think it's common sense to say someobody is innocent till they are prove guilty. That is just not right. So Fred West then is still innocent because he was never tried. What rubbish.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 15.01.10 10:56

@MaryB wrote:Hi Kololi, thanks for answering my question. Really if this libel trial can be reported freely then the information will be in the public. So even if the book is banned the trial can be quoted. So if somebody produced a booklet just stating what was said in court over the last few days . That wouldn't be libel. And I don't think it's common sense to say someobody is innocent till they are prove guilty. That is just not right. So Fred West then is still innocent because he was never tried. What rubbish.

Innocent until proven guilty is at the very heart of our legal system. And should be.

Fred West was at least charged and went on to make a confession to the murder of 10 people.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Ruby on 15.01.10 11:33

Thinking on, whichever party wins this case is going to be shouting from the rooftops to make sure they make it well known.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by MaryB on 15.01.10 11:53

Well I don't agree with the concept innocent till proven guilty. It doesn't make sense. And in any case is it at the heart of the Portuguese system. Not sure about that.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 15.01.10 12:06

@MaryB wrote:Well I don't agree with the concept innocent till proven guilty. It doesn't make sense. And in any case is it at the heart of the Portuguese system. Not sure about that.

I don't understand how it would work if it didn't exist.

There is a 14 year old lad who lives in my town. An 11 year old girl made an allegation of rape against him over Christmas.

Under your system would he be presumed guilty, before it came to court, based on the say so of the alleged victim?

I only ask, because after investigation it was established that he was in Spain for a fortnight and therefore not even in the country. The girl of course admitted that she had made it up. But are you saying that in the intervening period between accusation and retraction of accusation that this 14 year old boy was guilty of rape?

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 15.01.10 12:19

(part post deleted)

In relation to suggestion that Portugal doesn't work off the same principle, I'm sure they are included in the below, but I could be wrong:


This right is so important in modern democracies that many have explicitly included it in their legal codes and constitutions:

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Kololi on 15.01.10 12:58

Hi
I agree with Vaguely on this and am glad that we follow the innocent until proven guilty principle.

If English criminal law didn't work on that basis, as part of the EU, I understand that it could be challenged and if found to not comply with EU legislation it could be declared as ineffective.

It also makes sense from a person's personal point of view as shown in the example that Vaguely has given. How would it feel if somebody made an allegation against any one of us and an allegation with no proof was enough to secure a conviction against us and the consequences that could bring with no opportunity for it to be shown to be rubbish?

It is for our protection so that heavy handed officials can't just say willy nilly "yep you're guilty - off to prison with you". They have to prove it first.

Take care

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by MaryB on 15.01.10 13:09

I was looking up this concept of innocent until proven guilty. Please bear in my that I have not studied law and only giving my opinion of it as a concept. Now it seems that innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept and not to do with fact. The facts remain as they are. And it is the burden of proof. And even if considered guilty by a court of law does not make the person guilty in fact. As has been proven by miscarriages of justice.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 15.01.10 13:20

Of course. If someone has committed a crime then they've committed a crime -. But conversely there are people who are accused of crime that they haven't committed. That is why human beings have a fundamental right to be presumed innocent until a qualified court has shown, beyond reasonable doubt, that they are indeed guilty.

Sometimes (in the case of Fred West following his confession) this may appear ridiculous - but in the case of the lad accused of rape - thank god we stand by it.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Pascal on 15.01.10 15:15

Also Mary under your system Mr Amaral would go straight to prison for his part in the Joanna affair. Imagine if we lived in a society where someone could make false allegations about you and depending on whether they were more adept at arguing their case, you would be locked up without question. Of course there have been miscarriages of justice but do you not think there would be even more if your system was in place?

__________________________________________________________

Has anyone checked those dates yet? It is bothering me:( Did Isobel Duarte mean the Channel 4 docu or the TV1 docu when saying it was aired on Madeleine's birthday? The TV1 was actually aired in April.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Pascal on 15.01.10 16:44

Is it me or this forum not loading up properly?

Vaguely, have you read Martin Brunt today? Apparently Mr Amaral did not day 'F*ck the McCanns'. What he actually said was “Fala com McCanns” which means “Ask the McCanns”.

I'll get you a link if you need it.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Cath on 15.01.10 16:51

I don't think Blunts Portuguese is that good, is it?
Just mention the 100% DNA match, that should shut him up. :)

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 15.01.10 18:12

@Pascal wrote:Is it me or this forum not loading up properly?

Vaguely, have you read Martin Brunt today? Apparently Mr Amaral did not day 'F*ck the McCanns'. What he actually said was “Fala com McCanns” which means “Ask the McCanns”.

I'll get you a link if you need it.

Yep, I've seen that, but it is at odds with what Mr Amaral himself and Mr Bennett are saying, never mind what the BBC have said.

I'm going to choose to believe Mr Amaral....that he never spoke to the journalist in the first place. Innocent until proven guilty. Wink

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Pascal on 15.01.10 21:07

Oh ok, What does Mr Bennet say?
See, I can't see Mr Amaral saying that to a passing journo. There was a beep though wasn't there?

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Cath on 15.01.10 22:37

Yes, I'd like to hear Tony's opinion also. He's had contact with mr Amaral, didn't he? I'm sure he wouldn't have posted that and sent a complaint if he didn't talk to GA first.
And Grenville went to that dinner, perhaps he's talked to mr Amaral as well.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 16.01.10 11:25

There's 5 versions of what Mr Amaral said.

His own.
The Foundations.
Mr Brunts
The BBC
And a journalist close by to the BBC at the time.

One is that nothing was said.

one is that it was Strength to the McCanns

One is that it was I'm not talking about the McCanns

One is Ask the McCanns

And we know what the 5th one was.

I'd have thought the best starting point would be for all those who wish to support Mr Amaral to actually ask Mr Amaral what he said, rather than making up a version to fit. If someone wasn't there, and didn't hear the comment then they shouldn't be trying to put words in to his mouth.

This all reminds me of the ridiculous weeks of speculation over the Do you want to say anything to whoever's got her/don't say anything until they turn off the camera fiasco.

Mr Amaral and the BBC are the only people who know what was said. Mr Amaral is/was saying that nothing at all was said.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Pascal on 16.01.10 12:12

I take your point Vaguely, but Martin Brunt went to the trouble of dedicating his latest blog entry to the subject. He seems to think their own translators were certain of what was said. I can't see why he would do that without being sure. I know he's a journo, but I don't think he is as incompetent as many out there.

Mr Amaral may well have dismissed the comment as 'nothing' simply because that is what he feels 'ask the McCanns' is. Nothing.

I would like to see Mr Bennets take on it please.

I'd have thought that those supporting the McCanns would abstain from accusing Mr Amaral of using abusive language on the say so of a BBC journalist, especially as those same people insist on proof, links and back ups to anything they deem derogatory about the McCanns.

You're right. People make up versions to fit. Only it happens on both sides.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 16.01.10 12:20

Mr Bennett wrote a letter demanding an apology, and stating that Mr Amaral said something completely different to what Mr Brunt is stating.

It's on here....will look for it.

I agree, it is perfectly possible that Mr Amaral didn't consider a passing sentence as having spoken to journalists. He probably didn't even remember saying whatever it was he said.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 16.01.10 12:23

Sorry, it appears to have gone. It might be on the foundation website...I don't have a link.

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by vaguely1 on 16.01.10 12:27

Sourced it elsewhere:

Dear all – members, supporters and followers,

AMARAL LIBELLED BY BBC AND MANY OTHER MEDIA

Today it has become clear that BBC TV East Midlands lied when they
broke the story that Goncalo Amaral had said ‘F___ the McCanns’.

In fact, he said: ’Não, força aos McCanns’, which translates as ‘No. Good luck to the McCanns’.

We have been in touch today with BBC East Midlands, the BBC, the
Mirror and the Sun and other newspapers in an effort to ensure that
they apologise for ths serious slur on Goncalo Amaral.

We are getting hints that there may be an apology; we shall soon see.

Our letter which has of course been copied to OFCOM and the Press Complaints Commision is below.

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation

— On Thu, 14/1/10, ANTHONY BENNETT wrote:
From: ANTHONY BENNETT
Subject: LISBON: Amaral said LISBON: Amaral said ‘Não, força aos McCanns’, Not ‘F___ the McCanns’, Not ‘F___ the McCanns’
To: OCCbroadcast@ofcom.org.uk, feedback@mirror.co.uk,
scott.langham@pcc.org.uk, Catherine.Martin@ofcom.org.uk,
emma.agnew@bbc.co.uk, emt@bbc.co.uk, editor@the-sun.co.uk,
mirrornews@mirror.co.uk
Cc: ajsbennett@btinternet.com
Date: Thursday, 14 January, 2010, 17:43






Dear Emma Agnew – Editor BBC TV East Midlands
Dear Editor – The Sun
Dear Editor – The Daily Mirror
COPIES TO:
OFCOM
Press Complaints Commission

From Tony Bennett, Secretary. The Madeleine Foundation

LISBON:
Amaral said ‘Não, força aos McCanns’, Not ‘F___ the McCanns’

I refer you to conversations with Fiona at BBC East Midlands this afternoon and also with James in the ‘Daily Mirror’ news room.

I am attempting to contact other media and TV and press who have published this disgraceful allegation against Goncalo Amaral.

This complaint is copied to OFCOM and to the Press Complaints
Commission as a formal complaint to those bodies about the serious
defamation of Mr Amaral by many media and newspapers..

Our friends in Portugal have told us that Goncalo Amaral, who does
not speak English, did not say ‘F___ the McCanns’ as incorrectly
reported first by BBC East Midlands TV, then by the BBC nationally,
then by the Daily Mirror and The Sun,the Daily Mail and several other
British newspapers.

His actual words, in Portuguese, were .”Não, força aos McCanns”,
which our Portuguese friends tell us means: “No. Good luck to the
McCanns”.

We would expect the most wholehearted and fulsome apology from all
those who have libelled Mr Amaral in this way. We believe that OFCOM
and the Press Complaints Commission should take a proactive role in
ensuring that all the media who have printed this disgraceful lie are
made to publish an apology of equal prominence.

We would add that the continued portrayal of Mr Amaral as a
‘disgraced cop’ is wholly inaccurate. It was he and his detective
colleagues who exposed the lies of the mother and uncle of 8-year-old
Joana Cipriano,who claimed she had been abducted. Thanks to Mr Amaral,
those two are now behind bars for 16 and 20 years respectively for the
murder of Joana.

Mr Amaral and some of his detective colleagues have tried to bring
us the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann. It is time
the British media and press took an objective view of this man’s
achievements.

Would all those who receive this e-mail please tell me how and
when Mr Amaral is going to receive the public apology he deserves over
this issue,

Yours sincerely

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation

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Re: Libel trial discussion

Post by Pascal on 16.01.10 12:41

Cheers Vaguely.

Why are the foundation asking for an apology?

'We would expect the most wholehearted and fulsome apology from all
those who have libelled Mr Amaral in this way..'


Surely if an apology is forthcoming it should be directed to Mr Amaral himself with a public acknowledgment that a mistake was made.

Can Mr Bennet or someone from the foundation provide a reliable source that corroborates ”Não, força aos McCanns” is what was actually said?

Is Mr Amaral aware that the foundation have requested an apology?

I'm just very confused as to what extent the Foundation is acting for Mr Amaral.

Thanks very much.

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