Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Gerry and Kate McCann in Lisbon: Day 2 of the proceedings.(pm session)


Above: Kate and Gerry McCann at Lisbon airport, December 2009.

Afternoon session of the proceedings, Wednesday January 13th 2010

2.30: Waiting outside the courtroom for the afternoon's proceedings to begin. Mr Amaral is here too, chatting on a mobile phone.

2.41: We're back in the courtroom, as are the legal teams, Mr Amaral and the McCanns. No sign of the judge yet though.

2.42: We're expecting to hear from three witnesses involved in the publishing of the book this afternoon.

2.57: Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues has arrived, so the afternoon's proceedings can begin.

3.00: JondiPaolo Jose Manuel Enes, a former forensic laboratory chief in the Portuguese police, is the next witness.

3.00: Mr Enes is giving evidence in person, rather than via video link as Mr Flores did this morning.

3.00: Mr Enes has an associateship in chemistry and a doctorate in anthropology, but has now retired from the police force.

3.04: Mr Enes was interviewed by a Portuguese journalist for a book about Madeleine's disappearance.

3.12: JondiPaolo Mr Enes says that the immense media interest in the Madeleine case was unhelpful for the investigators trying to solve it.

3.13: JondiPaolo Mr Enes compared the Madeleine McCann case to that of OJ Simpson, saying that allegations of contamination of evidence had compromised it.

3.15: JondiPaolo Mr Enes' phone has just gone off, drawing laughter from the court. The judge is smiling too as the clerk has to turn it off for him.

3.17: Mr Enes tells the court he has been called to give evidence in several other cases as an expert witness.

3.17: Mr Enes says his conclusions are often relied upon completely by the courts in which he gives evidence.

3.22: Mr Enes: I strongly respect the convictions and work of Mr Amaral.

3.22: Mr Amaral has suddenly got up and walked out of the courtroom, causing a murmur among the onlookers on the public benches.

3.37: JondiPaolo Mr Amaral has left the court building, stopping to give a few comments in Portuguese before climbing into a waiting car.

3.39: JondiPaolo Mr Amaral said he was pleased with Mr Flores' testimony earlier, adding that for the first time it had been explained why he wrote the book.

3.39: Mr Amaral added that he wrote the book to protect his honour and set the record straight.

3.40: The former policeman said what he described as a campaign against him in the British press is continuing.

3.40: JondiPaolo He added that he had only this morning been described as 'incompetent' in one British newspaper.

3.43: jondipaolo: Right. Back to the courtroom. Mr Enes is still giving evidence.

3.45: jondipaolo: Mr Enes says the Madeleine investigation was the victim of 'friendly fire' from the media that hampered its course.

Comment: Yes, one wonders whether the media had an interest in helping to solve the case, or just in denigrating the Portuguese police for some reason.

3.47: jondipaolo: Mr Enes says that just because people put forward their own theories, it does not prevent other lines of inquiry being investigated.

3.49: JondiPaolo Mr Enes: Some parts of the book were put too strongly - it's not the way I would have done it, but that's because I'm from another era...

3.49: JondiPaolo ...the course of justice should not be diverted by books or films, it should be deaf and blind to them.

3.52: Jondipaolo: Mr Enes has left the witness stand, and has been replaced by Mario Sena Lopes, former chief editor at the book's publisher, Guerra e Paz.

4.01: jondipaolo: Mr Lopes tells the court that Mr Amaral's book had been ready to publish in the last week of July 2008.

4.01: jondipaolo: The book was published very quickly to take most advantage of marketing opportunities, the court hears.

Comment: I am assuming a response from the McCann legal team about this just being a marketing exercise to make money, in which case the reply would refer to Gerry's having been asked in an interview for Vanity Fair if he thought publishing details of Madeleine's eye defect could have placed her at risk. Gerry's response was yes, but it was a 'good marketing ploy.'

"Although initially reluctant, the McCanns finally informed the media of Madeleine’s unique right eye—a risky revelation. Whoever had taken the child now held a universally recognizable little girl.

Gerry understood that. But, he says, the iris “is Madeleine’s only true distinctive feature. Certainly we thought it was possible that this could potentially hurt her or”—he grimaces—“her abductor might do something to her eye.… But in terms of marketing, it was a good ploy.”

4.05: Jondipaolo: The marketing plan for the book was much smaller than normal, because we are a small publisher, Mr Lopes tells the court.

4.46: jondipaolo: Sorry about the pause - we had a brief intermission during which Gerry McCann left the court.

4.50: jondipaolo: He explained that he was leaving the court case as he had unavoidable work commitments in the UK, but that Kate would stay on until the end.

4.50: jondipaolo: Despite the avalanche of testimony favouring Mr Amaral over the past two days, Mr McCann seemed to be quite upbeat.

Comment: The man's a nutter! Just my opinion, of course! His theory about the window as an escape route has been trashed and Amaral's witnesses agree that the book is based on the investigation, but Gerry is "quite upbeat."

4.50: jondipaolo: "I think it's important that things have been debated in a court of law," he told reporters.

Comment: Well, they haven't really been debated yet, since only one side has been put forward so far.

4.50: jondipaolo: "From our point of view, what happened here in the past few days is to be expected."

4.58: jondipaolo: "I think it's particularly disappointing that the police officers who considered us responsible for Madeleine's disappearance...

4.59: jondipaolo: "...are the same officers that we are depending on to carry on the search for Madeleine."

Comment: Well, slap my thigh, knock me down and call me Jeffrey! Didn't Gerry say, just this morning, in his rant on Sky News, that no one else was looking for Madeleine?

And if he wants those officers to be searching, why not ask for the investigation to be re-opened?

4.59: jondipaolo: "The search for Madeleine is ongoing. We don't have any leads and we need to keep searching."

Comment: All that money spent, other people's money from donations, and they've got no leads? Have they ruled out the very ill paedophile, Raymond Hewlett and the VictoriaBeckham Looky-Likey?

5.01: jondipaolo: Mr McCann added that mistakes were made during the investigation that now cannot be righted - but that was not the point of the court case.

Comment: What mistakes and how can they be righted? You can go back and finally take part in a reconstruction? Kate can answer the 48 questions she refused to answer?

5.04: jondipaolo: "We made a mistake by leaving Madeleine alone in the apartment, and we have to live with that. We can't change it," Mr McCann said.

Comment: Finally, an admission that this was a mistake. However, the real victim here is Madeleine, not Kate and Gerry McCann.

5.04: jondipaolo: He also rejected the testimony yesterday that Kate had had a dream about Madeleine lying buried somewhere, saying "that never happened"..

Comment: So, Snr Paiva was lying?

5.07: jondipaolo: "I hope that everyone remembers that there is a little girl missing that still has to be found," Mr McCann continued.

Comment: Play to the emotions of the audience, Gerry!

5.07: jondipaolo: "That's why we carry on. We have other children who miss Madeleine dearly."

Comment: Now, early on in this case, just after Madeleine vanished into thin air, Kate was asked how the twins were coping. She said they were OK because they had never spent much time with Madeleine. So, how come, after nearly three years, those same twins, who hardly spent any time with Madeleine, are missing her dearly?

5.09: jondipaolo: He added that although the testimony had favoured Mr Amaral's version of events, it still had not produced any evidence Madeleine was dead.

Comment: The present court process is about whether Snr Amaral's book is libelous and that hinges on whether it is based on the police investigation. If there were evidence that Madeleine was dead, then: a) you wouldn't be facingSnr Amaral in court, and b) the chances are that someone would be languishing in prison. This is not about producing evidence, but about proving that the theory put forward byGonçalo Amaral is not simply his personal belief, but a record of an investigation.

5.10: jondipaolo: Mr McCann also rejected the charge that the trial was a bid to restrict freedom of speech, as has been claimed by Mr Amaral's supporters.

Comment: I really don't know what to say about someone who hires Carter Ruck, libel lawyers, threatens bloggers and others, and claims the above!

jondipaolo: That's the last update from court for today. Back tomorrow morning.

Gerry McCann returning to Britain this afternoon.

(The above image produced by 'Himself,' is from either The McCann Gallery or Good Quality Wristbands I can't find it now to provide the proper artistic credit and reference, but if 'Himself,' should happen along, perhaps he'll forgive me for filching one of his images and direct me to the page so that I can give proper credit!)

The Scottish Herald reports that Gerry McCann will return to Britain this afternoon because of work commitments.

"Mr McCann will return to Britain this afternoon because of work commitments, a spokeswoman for the couple said."

"Fiona Payne, one of the friends who was on holiday with the McCanns when Madeleine disappeared on May 3 2007, is flying out to support Mrs McCann"

This is all a bit sudden and was not indicated yesterday at the start of proceedings in the Civil Court in Lisbon. I am sure the McCann couple stated that they were going to be in Lisbon for the week, but today Gerry has to leave because of work commitments? Gerry's a cardiologist, not a surgeon and surely the NHS can arrange cover for him? Work commitments didn't seem to get in the way when Kate and Gerry went to Strasbourg to push the American-style Amber Alert system or when they went to the US to appear on the Oprah Show.

"Mr McCann was asked by a Portuguese reporter whether it was worth the emotional cost for the couple to attend the court case.

He replied: “Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through the same process.”

And yet, suddenly, with no prior notice, Gerry has work commitments?

I am wondering, and this is just my opinion, pure speculation, that Gerry may have been advised by his legal team that he was getting himself rather worked up, that this was not conducive to his being called to the witness stand tomorrow, and that perhaps he should take leave of absence from the proceedings.

Kate and Gerry McCann: Day 2 Of Court Process In Lisbon.


Above: Kate and Gerry McCann arriving for day 1 of the court hearing in Lisbon.

(For a detailed report on day 1 of the proceedings see: Joana Morais)

Day 2 of the hearings in which Dr Gonçalo Amaral presents further witnesses in defence of his book "A Verdade da Mentira," The Truth Of The Lie.

J. di Paulo is reporting from the court on behalf of Sky News.

9.59: Gerry McCann outside court: we've heard no evidence Madeleine is dead.

Comment: There seems to be no evidence that Madeleine is alive, apart from "sightings," all over the world, on all 5 continents, sometimes on the same day. No sighting has led to a reliable source.

10.00: Gerry McCann: we're not denying the existence of the dogs, or anything else. It's evidence we're interested in.

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac? Lay awake all night wondering if there was a dog!

Comment: I think there may be a problem with translation. The dogs obviously do exist. And as for evidence, the fact that the dogs alerted to cadaver and blood odour in various places occupied by the McCanns and in their hired car may not in itself be evidence, but both dogs, Eddie, the Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog (Cadaver dog) and Keela, the CSI (blood-sniffing dog) have an almost 100% success record in hundreds of cases all over the world.

10.02: Gerry mccann: this is the legal process we're going through to protect our daughter. We're looking for more information to help the search.

Comment: Pity your daughter wasn't protected when you were enjoying your meals out every evening in Praia da Luz, when she and her siblings were left alone in an unlocked apartment. More in formation? You won't find that in the court room. You have had the police files for over a year. The process being reviewed in court is based on those files.

10.03: Gerry McCann: anyone else with children would do the same.

Comment: The same as what? Leave them alone, set up a fund within days, sell tacky wristbands and T shirts, make a child's eye defect into a "marketing ploy," scarper when made suspects, refuse to return for a reconstruction, return for a court case demanding £1 million? Well, I wouldn't!

10.15: Mr amaral claimed victory outside court, saying the witnesses had borne out his argument.

They do seem to have done, with yesterday's witnesses bearing out these facts: that the police suspected the McCanns from the beginning; that the thesis of Madeleine's having died in the apartment was reached by the investigating teams, following the visits by the two English sniffer dogs. Thus, the evidence presented bore witness to Amaral's book having been based on the investigation, details being in the police files which are in the public domain.

10.38: We're back in court. The first witness is Moita Flores, former senior policeman and noted public figure.

10.41: Flores: this case involves a question of freedom of speech.

10.44: Flores is an acquaintance of Amaral's and wrote the preface to the sequel to his book about Madeleine.

Gonçalo Amaral's second book is "The English Gag," in which he recounts his experience of interference in the investigation by British authorities and lack of co-operation by the British police, who, when asked for background information on the McCanns, provided a report which was one side of A4. This was corroborated by witnesses in court yesterday.

10.50: Flores: PJ investigation was based on well-established principles of police work adhered to all over the world.

10.54: Flores: McCanns have been trying to convince police since the beginning that abduction was the only line of inquiry worth pursuing.

Comment: within hours of Madeleine's disappearance, Kate and Gerry had phoned friends and acquaintances, telling them that the shutters had been "jemmied," the window opened, and Madeleine had been abducted. The Portuguese police subsequently confirmed no evidence of a break-in.

"The McCanns curious behaviour, as witnessed by Inspector Ricardo Paiva, 03 September 2007

To: Coordinator of Criminal Investigation, Lic. Gonçalo Amaral
From: Ricardo Paiva, Inspector
Subject: Disappearance of Madeleine McCann."


"Gerald McCann on the other hand, insisted constantly on delivering to Ricardo Paiva, letters and e-mails that he received and selected, most of them from psychics and mediums, and that in general held no credible information about the whereabouts of Madeleine and of her alleged abductor."

"Today" (03/09/07), when Ricardo Paiva went to their residence to notify them to be present at the police headquarters to make a deposition, accompanied by their lawyer, if they wished, Kate McCann immediately reacted negatively, making comments like "what will my parents think" and "what will the press say when they find out" and that the "Portuguese police are suffering pressure from the Government to end the investigation immediately".

-" More recently, even before Kate McCann was questioned, in a phone contact between Gerry Mccann and Ricardo Paiva, when referring to the investigation, Gerry stated that he was certain that the Police didn't have any proof that might incriminate them on the death of Madeleine McCann, and added that the police were wasting their time directing the investigation toward the parents."

11.02: Flores: I have spoken to respected experts on crime and none of them agrees it would be possible to pass a child through the window

11.03: Flores: It is not possible to ask an investigator anywhere in the free world to follow the abduction line only.

11.03: Flores: We would all like to find Madeleine alive, but that is another thing.

11.03: Flores: Our constitutional rights cannot be attacked.

11.05: Flores: The good name of the McCann family is not attacked by Mr Amaral's book. The book is about the investigation.

11.11: As on the first day of the case, the McCanns are sitting on the front bench, listening impassively to the proceedings.

11.12: Flores: No judge should be able to order people not to think about a case just because the police investigation has ceased.

11.17: Flores: No-one should be allowed to steal our constitutional rights - rights that were very hard to win. That is what this trial is about.

"Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º"

11.24: Mr Flores is being cross-examined by a lawyer from a Portuguese television company that aired a documentary based on Mr Amaral's book.

Comment: The documentary is available as a video on YouTube, under, "The Truth Of The Lie."

11.26: Flores: It is not true to say that the police only pursued the line of inquiry that the McCanns were guilty.

Comment: See link at the top of this page to the English translation of Gonçalo Amaral's book, which describes in detail the lines of inquiry.

11.26: Flores: Many, many hours were spent by officers checking out every other possible line of inquiry.

Comment: Refer to English translation as above.

11.27: Flores: A detective has to think about what went through the head of the victim and the criminal.

11.30: Flores: It would have been a very stupid person who tried to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat.

Comment: the opening of the window to the childrens' bedroom of apartment 5A in Praia da Luz was very narrow.

11.30: Flores: The theory about passing the child through the window makes it seem as though someone is trying to fool the police.

11.41: The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte , is repeating the same question to Mr Flores. Yesterday, she became quite impassioned on their behalf.

Comment: The question itself is not noted in this part of the report from the courtroom.

11.42: The McCanns are both in conversation with their interpreters. Gerry however looks relaxed and smiles as he talks.

Comment: However confident a parent might feel about being in the right in a situation like this, I doubt that many parents would find much to smile about in the tense atmosphere of an important courtroom session.

11.47: Flores: I worked in a different part of the police to Mr Amaral but I know him from the investigation and I respect him a lot.

12.00: Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' top lawyer, leaves the bench and approaches the couple for a quick huddled chat before returning to the fray.

12.04: Flores: This case is pathetic. A citizen is being prevented from freely expressing his opinions in a reponsible way.

Comment: Well said Snr Flores! From my reading of Dr Amaral's book, the opinions are indeed expressed in a responsible way.

12.06: Flores: The McCanns have every right to do everything they can beyond what the Portuguese police did in order to find their daughter.

Comment: That right has never been denied to them. I consider that questions arise concerning how they have gone about this search and the various teams of private investigators they have engaged. When Madeleine disappeared, some local people in Praiada Luz took a week off work to help look for Madeleine: the McCanns themselves did not physically search for their daughter.

See: Who Searched For This Little Girl: Part 1

12.12: Flores: The documentary (based on Mr Amaral's) book is a hypothesis that believers take to be the truth.

12.13: Flores: The book is autobiographical, it traces a period of Mr Amaral's life.

12.16: Flores: Sections of the British media spread propaganda about Mr Amaral.

12.20: Glamorous judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues halts the cross-examination of Mr Flores by the McCanns' lawyer, saying it is not relevant.

Comment: No details about the nature of the cross-examination. "Glamorous judge."? If this were a young male judge, would the reporter describe him as handsome or attractive etc?

12.22: Flores: It was a scandal to see such nasty portraits painted of the Portuguese investigators by the British media.

Comment: The British media went overboard with stories about long "boozy lunches," and described the investigators as, "incompetent," and "sardine munchers," as well as describing Portugal itself in terms more appropriate to a Third World Country.

12.27: Flores: Mr Amaral was the victim of a smear campain. He is a good professional with a good technical background.

Comment: Gonçalo has an excellent record in criminal investigation and has a PhD in Law.
(Refer to English translation above.)

12.27: Flores: Mr Amaral was the co-ordinator of the investigation. He was not in the field.

12.40: Duarte: What does the title of the book (by Mr Amaral) mean? Flores: The book is a thesis, not the absolute truth.

12.41: jondipaolo: The proceedings have adjourned for lunch. Back in an hour's time.

(Will be updated regularly as the hearing progresses.)