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)

10 - JAN FÉV - Rapports audiences

Hercule et les juments de Diomède ? Ces mangeuses de chair humaine qu'Hercule rendit dociles ?

The hearing starts with the reading of a letter from the lusophone Liaison Officer (sent by SOCA, the Serious Organized Crime Agency, to PDL) called to testify by the defense, informing that, given the British interests and the reserve duty associated to an official mission, the decision to appear does not belong to him.

Tweets from Court (day 1)
12.01.2010 - Jon di Paolo pour Sky News
8:40-- Good morning, I’m outside the palacio da justica in lisbon where the mcann libel trial will take place. Camera crews and photographers are gathering outside the court. The police have put barriers up outside the court entrance - they're obviously expecting large crowds.
9:52-- The McCanns have arrived at court. Word so far is that Gonçalo Amaral is still yet to get here.
10:20-- We're in court awaiting the arrival of the judge and legal teams. The McCanns are sitting in the front row at the centre. We're sitting two rows behind the McCanns. The benches at the back of the courtroom are full of journalists from the UK and Portugal.
10:25-- The legal teams have arrived. Gonçalo Amaral is sitting on one of the benches at the side of the court, around 15ft away from the McCanns.
10:28-- On the wall above the judge's chair is a large 3D frieze depicting the judgement of Solomon - complete with baby being held up by swordsman.
10:36-- A clerk carrying a large bundle of files has just come in, but we're still waiting for the judge.

10:39-- The judge has arrived - a young woman! Proceedings should now be able to get under way. One of the policemen set to give evidence will do so by video link tomorrow, we are told.
10:46-- Mr Amaral's lawyer addresses the court, speaking very slowly and deliberately. He says that the McCanns should take the stand in order to answer questions. He is declaring the 'principle of contradiction' - the legal basis for Mr Amaral's argument to be made. 
10:51-- The McCanns' lawyer replies that the couple are prepared to give evidence but only after Mr Amaral has done so.
10:52-- The McCanns are having proceedings translated by interpreters seated either side of them.

11:00-- A new witness, Luis Frois, is being called by the McCanns' legal team on a date to be scheduled on the 14th. The mention of 'a date to be scheduled on the 14th' indicates proceedings are set to last longer than the three days set for them.
11:07-- Mr Amaral's lawyers want a CD containing police case files to be submitted as evidence because it would corroborate the claims in his book. 
11:11-- The McCanns' lawyer is arguing against allowing the police CD to be submitted to the court.

Jose Magalhães e Menezes
11:20-- The first witness is being called by videoconference.It is the prosecutor who was in charge of the original inqury into Madeleine's disappearance, Jose Magalhães e Menezes.
11:25-- His testimony is marred by a high-pitched whine of feedback from the microphone - and the fact the screen can't be seen by the public. The McCanns can't see the person giving evidence. Mr Amaral can, but doesn't seem to be looking at him.
11:26-- Mr Amaral's lawyer is cross-examining the witness. Mr Menezes is saying that English police sniffer dogs were brought to Portugal to help in the search for Madeleine. He says that the decision to make the McCanns 'arguidos' - suspects - was taken by the police and then confirmed by the public attorney. The decision to designate Kate and Gerry as 'arguidos' was taken after the sniffer dogs carried out their searches. There were several possible charges that could have been brought against the McCanns: kidnapping and selling a child were among them. The witness was asked what the probability was of Madeleine still being alive. He replied that he thought it was 50/50. Mr Menezes said that a claim made by the McCanns on the first day after Madeleine's disappearance was not true. The witness said that Kate and Gerry's report that they had been checking on their daughter every half an hour was inaccurate. He claimed that although the parents had been checking on Madeleine, it was not as often as every 30 minutes.
12:01-- Police intercepted text messages sent by the McCanns because they were suspicious of the parents' role in Madeleine's disappearance. The text messages sent by Kate and Gerry were never admitted as evidence gathered as part of the investigation.
12:08-- Mr Menezes said he has not read the book written by Mr Amaral that triggered this case, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie. A report signed by Chief Inspector Tavares De Almeida said that Madeleine died in the flat in Praia da Luz, the witness adds.
12:19-- Now it's the turn of the McCanns' legal team to cross-question the witness. The McCanns' lawyer makes the point that 'evidence' usually sightings - has suggested Madeleine is still alive. He says that the McCanns are not responsible for generating any of this 'evidence' that their daughter is not dead. Another of the McCanns' lawyers moves to quiz the witness - literally. She gets out of her seat and walks right up to the video screen. She says that the McCanns were always totally prepared to come back to Portugal to take part in a reconstruction of the disappearance. The McCanns' lawyer asks the witness whether he understands the title of Mr Amaral's book to imply some sort of dishonesty by the McCanns. Who suggested the checking of the McCanns' text messages, Mr Menezes is asked. The police, he replies. The text messages were never considered as part of the investigation because the judge did not allow it, the court hears.

12:45-- The senior lawyer for the McCanns has approached them on the front bench of the public gallery for a quick huddled conversation.

Tavares de Almeida
12:48-- He was involved in the case from the beginning, but taken off it in September 2007. Tavares de Almeida, chief inspector of police at the time of Madeleine's disapperance, has taken the stand to give evidence. He tells the court that he is still working as member of the Portuguese police. He tells the court that British police took an active part in the investigation. He says the Portuguese detectives found the co-operation given by their British counterparts useful. The British police told the Portuguese officers what the capabilities of the sniffer dogs being used in the investigation were. One of the dogs used to search the apartment in Praia da Luz identified blood and another identified the smell of a human body. The dogs detected the traces inside the dining room of the holiday flat and in the car the McCanns were using. The animals also found a scent on a piece of cloth in a flat rented by the McCanns after they left the apartment where Madeleine vanished. A report by the British police stated that one of the sniffer dogs was in a nervous, excitable state, and wanted to get into the room. British police would have found it very difficult to charge the mccanns. We were controlled by the british police, says TdV. British police kept information about the mcanns to themselves. Forensic lab technicians from Birmingham came to Portugal so it is strange concerns were raised about contamination. British authorities other than police hindered investigation by withholding information. When we asked the UK for info on MCs we got a single side of a4.
2:05-- The mcanns' lawyer is getting quite worked up in her cross examination of TdA. She is rebuked for saying de almeida was accused of torturing suspects - he was never charged.

2:10-- The court is adjourning for lunch. Back at 3pm
3:28-- We're back in court. The MCs are here. GA just walked in and we're under way.

Ricardo Paiva
3:33-- Inspector RP, of the portuguese police, has taken the stand. He says he was the family liaison officer for the case but was taken off at the mcanns' request. Paiva is asked whether he ever got the impression from the mccanns they thought maddie could be dead. He says yes.
3:47-- Kate whispers something in Gerry's ear and gives him a little smile. He stays looking straight in front. Gerry has put his arm round kate as they listen to Paiva's testimony.
4:03-- Paiva also says the MCs were made suspects after the British sniffer dogs were brought in. There was total collaboration between British and Portuguese police on the case. It was SY who first thought it could be a murder case. Amaral's theories are based on the facts of the investigation. Amaral's thesis hasn't prevented other theories from being investigated. RP says that MCs never pointed him towards any evidence that MMC was still alive.
4:16-- GA looks like he's dozing off.
4:29-- RP says they found the 'merchandising' operation with wristbands and so on very strange. If she was being held somewhere, publicity would be more likely to hasten her death.
4:55-- The MCs' lawyer is taking an aggressive tone as she cross-examines RP.

5:08-- Proceedings have ended for today.

En fait ce n'était pas fini, ce n'était qu'une pause avant d'entendre Luis Neves, mais Jon di Paulo n'a pas le temps et ne dira rien de ce témoignage. Dommage.

Tweets from Court (day 2) 
13.01.2010 - Jon di Paolo pour Sky News
9:54-- The MCs are sitting outside the court, only a few yards away from where GA and his team are standing.
9:59-- GMC outside court: we've heard no evidence Madeleine is dead.
10:00-- GMC : we're not denying the existence of the dogs, or anything else. It's evidence we're interested in. This is the legal process we're going through to protect our daughter. We're looking for more information to help the search. Anyone else with children would do the same.
10:15-- GA claims victory outside court, saying the witnesses had borne out his argument.

Francisco Moita Flores
10:38-- We're back in court. The first witness is Moita Flores, former senior policeman and noted public figure.
10:41-- FMF : 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.
10:50-- FMF : PJ investigation was based on well-established principles of police work adhered to all over the world. MCs have been trying to convince police since the beginning that abduction was the only line of inquiry worth pursuing. I have spoken to respected experts on crime and none of them agrees it would be possible to pass a child through the window. It is not possible to ask an investigator anywhere in the free world to follow the abduction line only. We would all like to find Madeleine alive, but that is another thing.
11:03-- FMF : Our constitutional rights cannot be attacked. 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-- FMF : No judge should be able to order people not to think about a case just because the police investigation has ceased. No-one should be allowed to steal our constitutional rights - rights that were very hard to win. That is what this trial is about.
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.
11:26-- FMF : It is not true to say that the police only pursued the line of inquiry that the McCanns were guilty. Many, many hours were spend by officers checking out every other possible line of inquiry. A detective has to think about what went through the head of the victim and the criminal. It would have been a very stupid person who tried to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat. 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. The McCanns are both in conversation with their interpreters. Gerry however looks relaxed and smiles as he talks.
11:47-- FMF : 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-- FMF : This case is pathetic. A citizen is being prevented from freely expressing his opinions in a reponsible way. The McCanns have every right to do everything they can beyond what the Portuguese police did in order to find their daughter. The documentary (based on Mr Amaral's) book is a hypothesis that believers take to be the truth. The book is autobiographical, it traces a period of Mr Amaral's life. 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.
12:22-- FMF : It was a scandal to see such nasty portraits painted of the Portuguese investigators by the British media. Mr Amaral was the victim of a smear campain. He is a good professional with a good technical background. 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? 

FMF : The book is a thesis, not the absolute truth.

12:41-- The proceedings have adjourned for lunch. Back in an hour's time. 

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. 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.

Jose Manuel Enes
3:00-- Jose Manuel Enes, a former forensic laboratory chief in the Portuguese police, is the next witness. He is giving evidence in person, rather than via video link as Mr Flores did this morning. Mr Enes has an associateship in chemistry and a doctorate in anthropology, but has now retired from the police force. He was interviewed by a Portuguese journalist for a book about Madeleine's disappearance. He says that the immense media interest in the Madeleine case was unhelpful for the investigators trying to solve it.
3:13-- Mr Enes compares the Madeleine McCann case to that of OJ Simpson, saying that allegations of contamination of evidence had compromised it.
3:15-- 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.
3:15-- Mr Enes tells the court he has been called to give evidence in several other cases as an expert witness. He says his conclusions are often relied upon completely by the courts in which he gives evidence. He strongly respects 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. He leaves the court building, stopping to give a few comments in Portuguese before climbing into a waiting car. 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. He added that he wrote the book to protect his honour and set the record straight. The former policeman said what he described as a campaign against him in the British press is continuing. He added that he had only this morning been described as 'incompetent' in one British newspaper.
3:43-- Right. Back to the courtroom. Mr Enes is still giving evidence.
3:45-- Mr Enes says the Madeleine investigation was the victim of 'friendly fire' from the media that hampered its course. He says that just because people put forward their own theories, it does not prevent other lines of inquiry being investigated. 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... the course of justice should not be diverted by books or films, it should be deaf and blind to them.

Mario Sena Lopes

3:52-- 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-- Mr Lopes tells the court that Mr Amaral's book had been ready to publish in the last week of July 2008. The book was published very quickly to take most advantage of marketing opportunities, the court hears. The marketing plan for the book was much smaller than normal, because we are a small publisher, Mr Lopes tells the court.

4:46-- Brief intermission during which Gerry McCann left the court.
4:47-- GMC held an impromptu press conference outside the front of the court where he was beseiged by journalists' questions. 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. Despite the avalanche of testimony favouring Mr Amaral over the past two days, GMC seemed to be quite upbeat.
4:50-- "I think it's important that things have been debated in a court of law," he told reporters. From our point of view, what happened here in the past few days is to be expected. I think it's particularly disappointing that the police officers who considered us responsible for Madeleine's disappearance...are the same officers that we are depending on to carry on the search for Madeleine. The search for Madeleine is ongoing. We don't have any leads and we need to keep searching.
5:01-- 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. "We made a mistake by leaving Madeleine alone in the apartment, and we have to live with that. We can't change it".  He also rejects the testimony yesterday that Kate had had a dream about Madeleine lying buried somewhere, saying "that never happened".. "I hope that everyone remembers that there is a little girl missing that still has to be found. That's why we carry on. We have other children who miss Madeleine dearly". He adds that although the testimony had favoured Mr Amaral's version of events, it still had not produced any evidence Madeleine was dead. He also rejects the charge that the trial was a bid to restrict freedom of speech, as has been claimed by Mr Amaral's supporters.

5:41-- That's the last update from court for today.

Tweets from Court (day 3)
14.01.2010 - Jon di Paolo pour Sky News
 9:23-- Good morning. We're outside the courthouse for the third day of the mccann libel trial. We've had rain every day so far - but this morning the sun has come up and cast a rainbow over the court building. A good omen for someone?  Cameras are out in force again outside the court today - interest in the trial shows no sign of waning.
9:53-- Kate MC has arrived at court. She stopped briefly outside to speak to the waiting press pack.  She said she was still confident of winning the case.
9:56-- KMC : There were mistakes made in the investigation but we need to look forward really. I believe this was the right course of action. I have confidence in the portuguese justice system. We need to find madeleine. That's why we're here.

10:18-- We're back in court and proceedings are under way. KMC is sitting on the front bench of the public seating with Fiona Payne, a close friend and member of the so-called 'Tapas Seven'. There are far fewer people in the court today. Journalists, campaigners and members of the public packed the benches for the past two days. There are only eight or so people other than Mrs McCann, Mrs Payne and the McCanns' translators. Another notable absentee is Goncalo Amaral, the former policeman whose controversial book sparked the libel action.

Antonio Paulo Santos

10:32-- The first witness is being called - Antonio Paulo Santos. He is a lawyer and general manager for the video production association, a nationwide industry body. He is also an ex-investigator for Portuguese police, making him a colleague of Mr Amaral's, although they worked in different departments.
10:38-- Mr Amaral has arrived in court and has taken a seat in between two lawyers.
10:39-- Mr Santos tells the court he considers himself an acquaintance of Mr Amaral's.
10:42-- The judge stresses that this hearing is separate to the action being brought by the McCanns for £1m in damages. She stresses that this trial is solely about the publication and distribution of the book and the documentary upon which it was based.
10:51-- Mr Santos is discussing the details of the contract between Mr Amaral and the makers of the documentary. APS : I read Mr Amaral's book and watched the documentary on television. Mr Amaral never accused the McCanns of guilt, either in the book or the documentary.. As a former policeman, I think Mr Amaral's conclusions are based on the evidence gathered during the official investigation. Mr Amaral's personal honour prevented him from publishing the book before his retirement from the police force.
11:00-- The contract between the documentary maker, VC Films, and Mr Amaral was signed in March 2008. While Mr Amaral was in charge of the investigation he came under attack from sections of the British media.
11:03-- Mr Santos is becoming quite impassioned and raising his voice as he gives his testimony. Sections of the British media portrayed Mr Amaral as an alcoholic. Mr Amaral was given no support by his superiors in the Portuguese police. Mr Amaral was pursuing the truth, and only the truth, no matter what conclusions it led to. Mr Amaral decided to publish the book to clear his professional reputation. I am a father too. God prevent that I ever lose any of my children. I understand the pain felt by the McCanns. I don't think the book or the documentary increased the pain felt by Madeleine's parents. There is no greater pain than losing a child. If there is evidence that Madeleine has been seen, then the investigation will be re-opened. But up to now, none of the information published by the media has been strong enough to make the police re-open the case. The facts of the investigation can be found on the internet and are available to everyone. Pirate copies of the documentary based on Mr Amaral's book were put on the internet and a copyright complaint was made to police.
11:25-- The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, asks Mr Santos if he remembers the colour of the first page of the police investigation file.
11:25-- Mr Santos says he doesn't remember. Ms Duarte says she finds this strange.
11:30-- The judge is sitting slumped in her chair, her chin resting on one hand as she listens to the exchanges between Ms Duarte and Mr Santos.
11:37-- Mr Amaral has got up and left the courtroom without any explanation. He leaves the court building through the back entrance.

Carlos Coelho da Silva
11:47-- Carlos Coelho da Silva, TV director at VC Films, the production company behind the film based on the Amaral book, has taken the stand. He says he has a professional relationship with Mr Amaral. CCS : We reconstructed some scenes in order to facilitate the understanding of the events surrounding Madeleine's disappearance. It was crucial that Mr Amaral was involved in the production of the documentary. Mr Amaral's theory is that the McCanns hid Madeleine's body.
11:57-- Mr da Silva appears uncomfortable under the line of questioning he is facing.
11:59-- Mr da Silva: The documentary is based on the book. I didn't add anything else.  When we consider making a new film we think in terms of profits, as we are a commercial company. When we carried out a reconstruction I realised Mr Amaral's frustration at the McCanns' account of Madeleine's disappearance. In my opinion, the documentary does not provide the last word on the case. Its conclusion calls for further investigation.
12:23-- Isabel Duarte asks Mr da Silva whether he has seen the official case files. He says no.
12:23-- ID, the McCanns' top lawyer, then asks how Mr da Silva can say Mr Amaral's book was based on the case, if he hasn't read the file.
12:29-- Isabel Duarte: Why didn't you include the public attorney's verdict that the conclusions arrived at by the investigators were incorrect?
12:31-- Mr da Silva: Because I was telling a story.
12:32-- Mr da Silva has finished giving evidence and left the courtroom.

12:35-- Proceedings are breaking up for lunch.

1:33-- Kate MC outside court: it has been shown again that there is no evidence to support Amaral's claims.
1:34-- KMC says having her friend FP here has been a big support.
1:36-- Isabel Duarte: we knew we would open a pandora's box and that we had to face the enemy. The Amaral side is trying to do in civil court what it could not do in criminal court.
1:39-- There will be a further hearing in this case on february 10 when two more witnesses are being called.
1:43-- Amaral says that if he loses this case he will appeal to the supreme court and the european court of human rights.
1:49-- Amaral denies a report that he swore when speaking about the mccanns yesterday.
2:54-- The court has re-started for the afternoon session - but Goncalo Amaral, Kate McCann and Fiona Payne are all absent.
2:58-- The McCanns' senior lawyer, Isabel Duarte, said during the lunchtime break that this is only the first part of the injunction process. This week's hearings are only to decide whether the temporary injunction should be sustained, ahead of a main trial for the full injunction. The judge may make a decision after hearing the two extra witnesses on February 10, or she may take more time to consider her verdict. The final verdict in this preliminary hearing will be released to the lawyers on each side but will not be made public. However, it should be easy to tell who has won - by seeing whether Mr Amaral's book goes back on sale.
3:01-- Ms Duarte also said she has made a an official complaint to the police about Mr Amaral, alleging that he has abused the legal aid system.
3:17-- Kate McCann and Fiona Payne have returned to the courtroom and resumed their positions on the bench at the front of the public seating.

Luis Cunha Velho
3:23-- Luis Cunha Velho, from Portugal's biggest TV channel, TVI, has taken the witness stand. LCV : The amount of people who saw the documentary based on the book was far smaller than the audience for the McCanns' Oprah interview.
3:26-- Isabel Duarte : How many people in Portugal saw the Oprah interview with the McCanns?
3:29-- LCV : Not very many people saw the Oprah interview because it was broadcast on cable television.
3:29-- ID : Did you know that the documentary was broadcast on Madeleine's birthday?
LCV: No, I didn't know that.
ID : Did you kow the content of the documentary before it was broadcast?
LCV: No.
ID : Why was your channel interested in the documentary?
LCV: Because we wanted a documentary about the case.
3:36-- Mr Velho's testimony has ended and he has left the court.

Paulo Soares

3:36-- The next witness to take the stand is Paulo Soares, another executive from TVI.  

PS : We tried to buy the documentary produced by (British) Channel 4 but were unable to. I received an email from a British production company advising me that they were going to produce another documentary on Madeleine. I took the email in to the usual weekly executive meeting in order to decide whether or not to buy it. I did not know what material the British documentary contained. I heard the McCanns were involved in the production of the documentary. Though there were lots of cameras in the Algarve there was no in-depth analysis of the case. Suddenly, the production firm lost interest in selling the documentary, because the McCanns didn't want it broadcast on our channel. Channel 4 bought the rights to the documentary, which covered its broadcast in Portugal. The deal with Channel 4 would have restricted the amount of time available for us to broadcast the documentary. That's why we chose the Portuguese documentary instead. We had allocated a specific time slot to broadcast a documentary about Madeleine - whether it was the British or Portuguese version. The marketing and communication plan was unaffected by the version chosen.
4:26-- Isabel Duarte, is cross-examining Mr Soares on the subject of the channel's decision-making.

4:47-- Proceedings have been put on hold for a short break. Kate mccann has left court. She said she believes in portuguese justice and these proceedings will go a long way to help find madeleine.

Ana Teixera
5:21-- We're back in court and Ana Teixera, international programming director for TVI, is the next witness to take the stand. She tells the court that the channel's general programme director had wanted to buy the Channel 4 documentary on the mccanns.
AT : They signed the deal to screen the Channel 4 documentary, but a time slot was not assigned. It was pencilled in for 9.15pm. A few days later we received a call from Channel 4 saying the documentary was not to be sold to TVI because the McCanns opposed it. We requested via their lawyer that the McCanns take into consideration the fact that TVI is Portugal's biggest broadcaster. We then acknowledged that another Portuguese channel, SIC, was going to broadcast the documentary. TVI tried to stop the broadcast by SIC but their attempt was rebuffed by a court. All this means that TVI did everything it could to broadcast the documentary. There are three main reasons to broadcast both documentaries. Firstly, audiences; secondly, to get two versions of the case; thirdly, to prevent rival channel SIC getting the audience share.

6:13-- Proceedings are finished and will start again on the 10th of February.

Tweets from Court (day 4)
Dernière audience (10.02.2010)  - Hannah Thomas-Peter pour Sky News
8:39-- Mr Amaral's lawyer just arrived at court. He thinks the hearing will start at around 10.

8:53-- McCanns expected anytime between 9 and 10. Assembled press shivering and smoking to pass time. Portuguese police putting up serious crowd control barriers outside court. Must be expecting rowdy press.
9:26-- Freedom of speech protesters at the court. They think the book should be published.
9:40-- McCanns have just arrived. Gerry said he expected this hearing would be the same as the last one.
9:41-- Protesters were shouting loudly as they arrived. Kate had her hood up and was holding Gerry's hand.
9:49-- MCs are inside court house and are smiling and look relaxed, with lawyer Isabel Duarte.

10:04-- Senior judge has just arrived. Looks like hearing is about to start.

Luis Froes
10:13-- Luis Froes is first to give evidence. He has been called by Mr Amaral's lawyers. He's a lawyer from VC Films, the company that made a documentary based on Mr Amaral's book, will ask Froes six questions. Froes is the general manager of VC Films.
10:23-- LF : VC Films were preparing to allow VC Multimedia to publish the documentary on DVD but once it was banned that did not happen.VC Films were going to show the programme in France, Spain, Poland and Andorra, but could not after it was banned.
10:31-- Pause in proceedings while judge checks documents. Isabel Duarte also wants to check the documents brought by witness Luis Froes.
10:37-- Froes has explained that a DVD of the film was made and given away in a special edition of a Portuguese daily newspaper. Froes says around 10,000 copies of the DVDs were sold with the newspaper. Remember, the film was based on Mr Amaral's book Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, and is also subject to a temporary ban.
10:44-- The atmosphere in court is quite muted. The evidence is very technical. Kate and Gerry are whispering with their PR representative. Isabel Duarte's turn to question the witness now.
10:56-- She is not impressed with the answers about when and why the film was broadcast. She is pressing Froes to be clearer.
11:01-- Isabel Duarte wants to know why VC Films destroyed around 65,000 DVDs of the film after giving 10,000 away with a newspaper. LF answers "They were destroyed because they were not bought" (laughs in the court room)

Eduardo Damaso
11:10-- Eduardo Damaso, editor in chief of Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha is next to give evidence. It was his newspaper that gave away the DVDs of the documentary based on Mr Amaral's book.
11:13-- ED : There are other former investigators that have published books, mainly related with criminal cases.
11:15-- Remember Damaso has been called by Goncalo Amaral's lawyers to support his case. The lawyers are trying to establish Damaso's knowledge about the Madeleine investigation.
11:21-- Damaso says he understands, as a journalist, that the case is not closed, but no further inquiries by the police since it was shelved.
11:22-- Very abruptly, court says it is finished with the two witnesses. Goncalo Amaral has left room.

11:23-- The court is to break until 2pm, when we will hear the lawyers make their final arguments. Legal experts and journalists huddle to discuss the morning's proceedings. It is agreed that the evidence was quite dry and technical. It centred on trying to establish who exactly was responsible for the decisions to make, distibute and broadcast the film. Kate and Gerry said they were waiting with interest to hear the closing arguments this afternoon.

1:47-- The McCanns have launched new criminal proceedings against TVI, a Portuguese tv station. The McCanns' lawyer says the company that broadcast a documentary on Madeleine McCann have broken the terms of an injuction banning it. The McCanns think TVI broke the injunction by continuing to discuss the content of a book written by Goncalo well as a documentary based on the book.
2:04-- Amaral just arrived. Speaking in Portuguese he said he was confident about the final legal arguments.
2:13-- Kate, Gerry and their lawyer are not back at court yet. Press pack waiting outside eagerly for their return.
2:46-- Kate and Gerry McCann have arrived back in the building but proceedings have started and they were not present.

Plaidoiries finales

Dr Antonio Cabrita
2:49-- AC : Portuguese citizens must be concerned that a court may forbid Goncalo Amaral to talk or think about the case. This is too serious. Several journalists have published books about the Madeleine case. What is it about Goncalo Amaral's book? Amaral has authority to talk about the case because he was the chief investigator. Maybe there is a problem because what is written in the book is very close to the truth.
2:57-- Cabrita is on his feet, gesturing to the court and occasionally brandishing papers. He's reading out the documents detailing the police's decision to shelve the Madeleine case.
3:00-- Kate and Gerry are here now, sat behind me and listening intently.
3:04-- AC : The McCanns should not feel offended by the book, but by the prosecutors. I ask now, where is the offence? In the book or in the process? If the judge that decided on the injunction had read through the police process, we would not be here.
3:15-- Cabrita is emphasising that the book contains the same facts as the police and prosecution files. There is some laughter in the court as Cabrita makes quips during his speech. Cabrita is holding a copy of the book as he talks. Amaral is sitting down next to him.
3:35-- AC : I refute the idea that any Portuguese citizen is forbidden to talk about this case. I hope that you (judge) will give me back the pride of being Portuguese, to live in freedom.
3:37-- Cabrita has finished. Someone tried to applaud. Amaral has left the court room.

Dra Fatima Esteves
3:38-- The lawyer for the publisher of Amaral's book is speaking now.
3:41-- FE : The media were used by the couple in order to serve their own purpose.
3:46-- FE is repeating many of the points made by AC.
3:48-- FE : This company has published another book called "McCann's Guilt" (translation), but that was not banned.
3:50-- The publisher's lawyer has finished. Lawyer from TVI television channel is talking now.

Dr Miguel Coroadinha
 4:03-- MC : The McCanns have presented us with another process (the new criminal proceedings) to try to control the media. The McCanns want to take advantage of all the media work done.
4:06-- TVI lawyer has finished his speech,
thanks the court judge for the way she has organised proceedings. Lawyer for VC films, the company that made the documentary, is on his feet.

Dr Henrique Costa Pinto
4:15-- ACP : I believe if the judge who decided on the injunction had seen the police and prosecution files, it would not have happened.

Dra Isabel Duarte
4:41-- Isabel Duarte is on her feet now, and is giving an impassioned speech.
4:42-- ID : Goncalo Amaral is using the book to take revenge on the McCanns. The book has been organised and written in order to prove the McCanns are guilty.
4:45-- Duarte is reading out a report on the book by a Portuguese language expert. She is questioning the motives of a witness for Mr Amaral, chief investigator Ricardo Paiva. She says Paiva received reports from across Europe with new info about Madeleine, but he still kept case shelved. ID says Paiva has lied to the court during these proceedings. She says he has been inconsistent about the accuracy of sniffer dogs. ID says that during the Madeleine investigation Paiva stated the sniffer dogs had failed at least once.
Where ???

5:23-- Court proceedings have finished. The ruling on the ban is to be delivered on the 18th of February at 1030.
5:26-- It was an emotional performance from the McCann's lawyer Isabel Duarte. She said at the start that she was very attached to this case.
5:50-- Kate and Gerry McCann have issued a new plea to the Portuguese people to come forward with any information they might have. Speaking outside the lisbon court they also said they would like the whole case reviewed by the police.Kate and Gerry McCann said the most important thing to remember is that there is still a little girl missing.

Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall

18.02.2010 - Voir ici