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Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

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Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Mikey on 12.11.13 18:55

Can anyone please explain the scope to which the judge or indeed the defence can go to with their questioning?

The reason I ask, is that it seems fairly obvious to me, that if either of the MC's takes to the stand, they may be open to some rather direct/pointed questions!?  After all, the defence case is or would be somewhat proven, if they were to be able to prove guilt or prove any lies have been told, or other form of deceit, etc, i.e. they could surely question all statements, etc, and even repeat the famous previously unanswered questions!?

Hardly as if either MC's could refuse to answer... again surely!?

I would like to know where the law stands, and I suppose that means Portuguese law...

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 12.11.13 19:09

I have no idea, but it raises a good point.

Is there a line of questioning a Judge cannot pursue? There are guidelines for Judges and this may well be covered in a dusty tome somewhere, but as the Judge is in charge of the whole shebang, s/he can push boundaries beyond those which anyone else present in the room may - after all the Judge can cut in and put a stop to any questions, so I presume they can also ask pretty much what they want.

The Judge in the libel trial, having read the summaries online, is having none of the McCann nonsense IMO. As none of their witnesses said anything of substance with one of them actually lying, I hope the summarising segment DOES include a few rapier sharp questions.

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Casey5 on 12.11.13 20:11

The judge won't be asking any questions except those that would help her ascertain whether Goncalo Amaral has libelled them or not - i.e has the book prevented the continuing search for Madeleine and did Mr Amaral base his premise that Madeleine is dead on the police case files and opinions of himself and the other policemen involved. Or has he besmirched their good names and character by writing the book.

You wouldn't see either of the McCanns within a hundred miles of the courtroom if there were any chance whatsoever that they would be asked - or have to answer- any questions that could compromise them or make them appear guilty.
They won't have gone into this trial without having many consultations with their very expensive, renowned English lawyers that's for sure.

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by aquila on 12.11.13 20:15

@Casey5 wrote:The judge won't be asking any questions except those that would help her ascertain whether Goncalo Amaral has libelled them or not - i.e has the book prevented the continuing search for Madeleine and did Mr Amaral base his premise that Madeleine is dead on the police case files and opinions of himself and the other policemen involved. Or has he besmirched their good names and character by writing the book.

You wouldn't see either of the McCanns within a hundred miles of the courtroom if there were any chance whatsoever that they would be asked - or have to answer- any questions that could compromise them or make them appear guilty.
They won't have gone into this trial without having many consultations with their very expensive, renowned English lawyers that's for sure.
I agree Casey5 and as for the part of your post I've highlighted it amazes me that the McCanns can afford such lawyers. I recall Gerry McCann telling everyone they're just an ordinary family.

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Casey5 on 12.11.13 20:36

Aquila said:-"I agree Casey5 and as for the part of your post I've highlighted it amazes me that the McCanns can afford such lawyers. I recall Gerry McCann telling everyone they're just an ordinary family."

Yes Aquila, very ordinary:biggrin: , but then David Cameron says exactly the same. I'm of the opinion that the vast majority of the money amassed in the fund has been used to pay their lawyers. The rest on their little bunch of inept searchers. Oh and Kate's salary of course.
But I think the money left may well be running down rapidly; that million they're suing Goncalo Amaral for would come in very handy I bet.

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by sami on 12.11.13 20:47


I read on the court transcript the other day that they had asked to appear as plaintiffs and not witnesses.  I am guessing this will benefit them in terms of questioning, or rather the lack of it, but maybe a legal expert from Portugal here could explain.

When they were arguido it allowed them the right to refuse to answer questions, so I'm wondering if there is a similar benefit to being plaintiffs as opposed to witness ?

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When they were arguido it allowed them the right to refuse to answer questions, so I'm wondering if there is a similar benefit to being plaintiffs as opposed to witness?

Post by Mikey on 12.11.13 20:55

This is what I am wondering also (but didn't perhaps state so clearly)... if only that the 'truth' potentially exonerates a particular party of any such wrong doing, therefore surely almost any form or avenue of questioning may apply in seeking whether anything stated in the book actually was defamatory, etc...

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 12.11.13 21:08

@Mikey wrote:This is what I am wondering also (but didn't perhaps state so clearly)... if only that the 'truth' potentially exonerates a particular party of any such wrong doing, therefore surely almost any form or avenue of questioning may apply in seeking whether anything stated in the book actually was defamatory, etc...
Well, quite. Assuming one or both of the fragrant duo appear on 27th November…..

Judge: "You claim the conclusions drawn by Snr Amaral in his book are libellous, defamatory, and left you mentally broken wretches?"

McCann: "Indeed you Honour, he tried to destroy us. Can you imagine? What a rotter!"

Judge: "So when he draws to the attention of the world, the indications of the cadaver dog, your changes of story and weird demeanour, your refusal to answer question put to you by investigating officers, he is not raising very valid questions? He has no reason to believe you may not be telling the truth?"

McCann: "As we have already made clear, we had clear objectives about how the investigation should be conducted. The wider agenda of hosting global concerts to bring about the best financial outcome for ourselves, our wider family oh, and Margaret….."

Judge " Fu****g T0$$3rs"


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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by PeterMac on 13.11.13 8:51

@Smokeandmirrors wrote:
Well, quite. Assuming one or both of the fragrant duo appear on 27th November…..
I would bet quite a large amount that neither will ever be seen in the witness box.

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by sami on 13.11.13 9:00

V
@PeterMac wrote:
@Smokeandmirrors wrote:
Well, quite. Assuming one or both of the fragrant duo appear on 27th November…..
I would bet quite a large amount that neither will ever be seen in the witness box.
Do you think the Judge will refuse their application, or do you think they will wiggle out of it ?  Wiggling out of it will not look good or can they even attempt to do that ?  Or will they withdraw proceedings altogether ?

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by plebgate on 13.11.13 9:07

I am hoping that the Judge will allow them to appear in person, none of this testimony in writing business.  

If she does grant them their request, how can they not attend?

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Re: Scope of the Judge/Defence - Libel case

Post by Mikey on 13.11.13 9:24

@sami wrote:Do you think the Judge will refuse their application, or do you think they will wiggle out of it ?  Wiggling out of it will not look good or can they even attempt to do that ?  Or will they withdraw proceedings altogether ?
Interesting questions.  I believe partly that it has already been or is being answered; by that I mean the Judge is refusing to allow questions that 'could' conceivably effect the ongoing investigations.  Equally, the infamous pair could possibly use the same argument?

That said, I think I know where I would put my money... some variety of excuses not to take to the stand... we shall see.

If one of the expected happens, I wouldn't complain at a counter-claim for damages and costs!  That would be very interesting to follow.  All very puzzling.

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