Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

14 - OCT 02 - Affaire Portraits-robots (GMC/BBC/Press G))





Leveson has changed nothing– the media still put ‘stories’ before the truth
by Gerald McCann - The Guardian - 02.10.2014


Nearly three years ago my wife, Kate, and I appeared before the Leveson inquiry to talk about the campaign of lies that was waged against us after our daughter Madeleine went missing. We described how our lives had been turned into a soap opera so that newspapers could make money, with no regard for truth, for the distress they were inflicting, or for the damage caused to the search for Madeleine. We asked Lord Justice Leveson to ensure that in future things would be different and that nobody would ever again have to endure the dishonest reporting we experienced, or at least that there would be some quick, effective way of correcting false reports in newspapers.
Voeu pieux, car c'est sans compter avec la rumeur, un phénomène d'une persistance invraisemblable, comme ont pu le constater les MC lorsque, à la suite de leurs récits téléphoniques sur le volet et la fenêtre forcés, leurs proches ont désinformé, sans le vouloir, les médias.

Nothing has changed since then. Big newspaper companies continue to put sales and profit before truth. The protection for ordinary people is as feeble as it always was.



A year ago, when Kate and I were experiencing a time of renewed hope as the Metropolitan police stepped up its new investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, we received an email late on a Thursday night from the Sunday Times. Its reporter asked us to comment on information he planned to publish. This turned out to be a claim that for five years Kate, I and the directors of Madeleine’s Fund withheld crucial evidence about Madeleine’s disappearance. We rushed to meet his deadline for a response. In the vain hope that the Sunday Times would not publish such a clearly damaging and untrue story, we sent a statement to the newspaper. We denied the main tenet of the story and emphasised that since Madeleine’s disappearance we had fully cooperated with the police and that the directors of Madeleine’s Fund had always acted in her best interest.
C'est oublier les 48 questions et la reconstitution avortée.



However, the Sunday Times went ahead and published the report on its front page, largely ignoring our statement. We tried to settle this matter quickly and without legal action. I wrote to the editor asking for a correction, but all we got in response was an offer to publish a “clarification” and tweak a few lines of the article – but still to continue to publish it on the newspaper’s website. Indeed, further correspondence from the paper only aggravated the distress the original article had caused, created a huge volume of work and forced us to issue a formal complaint to get redress through our lawyers.



Eventually, two months after the article was published, a correction was printed, retracting all the allegations and apologising. But even then – and despite the grotesque nature of what it had falsely alleged on its front page – the apology was on an inside page and the word “apology” was absent from the headline. Since then, it has taken 11 months and the filing of a legal claim to get the Sunday Times to agree to damages, all of which we are donating to charity, and to get our right to tell the public that we had won the case. But the cost to the paper is peanuts – the fee for a single advertisement will probably cover it. And there will be no consequences for anyone working there. Nothing will be done to ensure that in future reporters and editors try harder to get things right. And so the same people will do something similar, soon, to some other unfortunate family – who will probably not have our hard-earned experience of dealing with these things and who will probably never succeed in getting a correction or an apology. Sûr que Carter-Ruck n'est pas à la portée de toutes les bourses.



So what has changed in the newspaper industry since the Leveson report two years ago? Absolutely nothing. Newspapers continue to put “stories” before the truth, and without much care for the victims. They treat the people they write about as if they don’t exist. Wild animals are given more respect. They hide behind talk about the rights of the press while they routinely trash the rights of ordinary people. They constantly claim to stand up to the powerful, but they are the ones with the power, and they use it ruthlessly.



Legal action should be a last resort. A final route when all else has failed. I don’t blame Leveson. He recommended changes that would make a big difference. He wanted a press self-regulator that was not controlled by the big newspaper companies and that had real clout. If a paper told lies about you, you could go to this body and count on fast and fair treatment: it would not just let papers off the hook. More than that, Leveson wanted a cheap, quick arbitration service so that ordinary people did not need to resort to the law. Our experience shows this is a vital reform. Parliament backed Leveson’s plan. The public backs it. So do we, and almost all the other victims who gave evidence to Leveson. Only one group of people is opposing this change – the perpetrators themselves, the same editors and newspaper owners who were responsible for all that cruelty. Instead of accepting the Leveson plan, these people, including the owner of the Sunday Times, have set up another sham regulator called Ipso, which is designed to do their bidding just like the old, disgraced Press Complaints Commission.



If in another year’s time the press still rejects the royal charter – itself already a compromise – then it will be time for parliament to deliver on the promises the party leaders made, and ensure that what Leveson recommended is actually delivered. Otherwise elements of the press will go on treating people with total contempt. This time, once again, it was Kate and I who were the targets. Next time it could be you.
Gerry la menace n'est jamais loin.



Quid du superintendant en chef de Wrexham, Gordon Anglesea, par exemple ?

Le 21 octobre 2016, un superintendant en chef, Gordon Anglesea est condamné pour pédophilie. Les actes remontent aux années 80 et il a été démontré qu'il utilisait ses galons pour faire plier ses victimes. Mais ce qui est extraordinaire est que M. Anglesea a gagné, il y a 22 ans, une action en diffamation contre The Observer, the Independent on Sunday, Private Eye and HTV, le détenteur de la franchise ITV du Pays de Galles, pour avoir allégué qu'il avait abusé d'enfants lors de visites dans un pensionnat. M. Anglesea obtint 375,000 livres de dommages.. Une des victimes se suicida après le procès, ne pas avoir été cru était insupportable.

Ce ne serait pas mal si le monde médiatique revenait au journalisme d'investigation, fort de la liberté d'expression et du sens de ses responsabilités. Parfois les rédactions ont de difficiles décisions à prendre sur des contenus controversés, mais il y aura toujours des gens en colèreMieux vaut vivre comme cela plutôt qu'avoir des journaux qui craignent d'imprimer. Gerald MC devrait être honnête et admettre qu'ils ont "proactivement" instrumentalisé les médias pendant des années afin de promouvoir la cause qu'ils ont dénommée "recherche de Madeleine". Ils ont à cet effet maintenu l'histoire à la une des journaux. Selon eux,  cela, comme l'emploi de chargés de communication et d'avocats haut de gamme, se justifie dans les circonstances qu'ils insistent, en dépit des réserves du rapport du procureur portugais, à qualifier de "enlèvement", et ils ont les fonds pour ce faire.

Mais tout cela ne peut faire taire les critiques sur des actes, les leurs, qui pourraient avoir mis leur enfant en danger. La célébrité est à double tranchant et qui n'y est pas préparé doit parfois se sentir mal à l'aise. Que penser du stockage des portraits-robots au fond d'un tiroir pendant tant d'années ? Ils auraient pu expliquer sur leur site, le site officiel, pourquoi ils ne les avait pas publiés, histoire de rassurer le public.  Ou bien ont-ils pensé que toute publicité, même la mauvaise, est bonne à prendre ?





The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have said press regulation is still not working, after receiving £55,000 in libel damages from the Sunday Times. The payout came over claims they had withheld details about their daughter's disappearance from the authorities.
Kate and Gerry McCann said the paper did not provide them with a proper opportunity to comment and chose not to publish key parts of their response.

The Sunday Times said it had agreed a settlement with Mr and Mrs McCann.

"It has been a significant period since the Leveson Inquiry finished and I don't see any change in culture. Gerry McCann
The McCanns said the allegations were "grotesque and utterly false", and in effect suggested they had deliberately hindered the search for their daughter Madeleine, who went missing in Portugal in 2007. Last December the paper printed an apology which the McCanns said was on an inside page and inadequate. After instructing lawyers to sue for damages they received the payout which will be donated to two charities for missing people and sick children.


Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Mr McCann said the story "should never have been published", saying his family had given the Sunday Times a statement to that effect when the allegations were first put to them.

"This damaged us, it damaged the reputation of the [Madeleine's Fund] fund and it quite potentially can damage the search for Madeleine," he added. He said it showed the continued failure of the press - which Mr McCann said was causing damage to ordinary people on a "daily basis" - to act responsibly. "It has been a significant period since the Leveson Inquiry finished and I don't see any change in culture," Mr McCann added.


The allegations in the Sunday Times were made at a time when the paper was arguing there was no need for the independent regulation proposed by the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.The McCanns described the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), which started its work last month as the successor to the Press Complaints Commission, as the "latest industry poodle". It is not the first time Mr and Mrs McCann have taken legal action against the press. In 2008, they accepted £550,000 libel damages and front-page apologies from Express Newspapers over allegations they were responsible for Madeleine's death.

The McCanns have been prominent in the Hacked Off group which campaigns for press accountability following the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. At the Leveson Inquiry, the McCanns were critical of their treatment by the press, saying they were left distraught by suggestions they were responsible for Madeleine's death. Mr McCann told the inquiry many of the stories were untruthful, sinister or, he believed, made up. Mrs McCann said seeing her private diary published in the News of the World made her feel "totally violated". Lord Leveson's report recommended an independent, self-regulatory press watchdog backed by legislation.


The three main Westminster parties agreed a Royal Charter that established a panel to independently verify a new regulator, although Ipso has not sought recognition from this.

A rival independent self-regulator, Impress, has been set up by a group of high-profile campaigners with the aim of becoming compliant with Leveson's requirements.




September 19, 2014

The parents of missing child Madeleine McCann have sued The Sunday Times for libel over a story which they said gave the impression they had hindered the investigation into her disappearance.
According to publisher News UK the claim has been settled. Kate and Gerry McCann took issue with a front-page story from last year, which the couple said suggested they had kept "secret from investigating authorities a crucial piece of evidence concerning the disappearance of their daughter".

In addition to the article, which was published on 27 October and remained online until 8 November, the McCanns also made reference to readers' comments left on the article – in High Court papers seen by Press Gazette. The story, for which the paper apologised on 28 December, said: “The critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.” The title reported that an intelligence report produced for the McCanns contained “crucial E-Fits” of a man who was identified as the prime suspect last year. The paper said that the “McCanns and their advisers sidelined the report and threatened to sue its authors if they divulged its contents”. The Insight story also quoted a source close to the McCanns as saying that the report was “hyper-critical of the people involved”. In their claim form, in which they were claiming unspecified damages, the McCanns said that the story was understood to mean that they had hindered "the search for [Madeleine] and the investigation into her disappearance by allowing the trail to go cold".

They said that the story led to them having “suffered serious damage to their reputations and severe embarrassment and distress”. They also claimed that the paper's Insight team, which wrote the story, had not told their spokesman the full extent of the allegations which were to be made against them.
The McCanns also said that the story did not include several points made to Insight by their spokesman. They said this denied them "a proper opportunity to inform the readers of The Sunday Times of the falsity of the allegations against them".

On 1 November, the couple sent editor Martin Ivens an email headed: “Complaint letter – urgent”.
They said that the email, outlining what was wrong with the story with a “detailed rebuttal”, was responded to by executive editor Bob Tyrer six days later. The McCanns said in their claim form that he told them “we could have made some facts clearer in the story” and that “we could have published more of your pre-publication statement” but largely rejected their complaint. They said Tyrer offered them “three limited revisions” to the online article, publication of the statement from their spokesman and “an extremely limited” clarification in the corrections and clarifications column.

On 8 November Gerry McCann wrote back noting his disappointment that the article remained online and he pointed to the readers’ comments below. The McCanns then consulted lawyers Carter Ruck, who wrote to The Sunday Times on 15 November “with proposed wording for an apology”.

The Sunday Times published the following apology on 28 December:
In articles dated October 27 ("Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years" and "Investigators had E-Fits five years ago", News) we referred to efits which were included in a report prepared by private investigators for the McCanns and the Fund in 2008. We accept that the articles may have been understood to suggest that the McCanns had withheld information from the authorities. This was not the case. We now understand and accept that the efits had been provided to the Portuguese and Leicestershire police by October 2009. We also understand that a copy of the final report including the efits was passed to the Metropolitan police in August 2011, shortly after it commenced its review. We apologise for the distress caused."