May 06, 2009 1:27 PM
If you were wondering why there was no interview with former Algarve police chief Goncalo Amaral in our recent Madeleine coverage, here's why.
His agent emailed us: "Since he left Policia Judiciaria his main concern is to reveal to the general public the facts (which) occured during the investigation."
Then he wrote: "He will be available, but will charge a fee of 80.000 euros VAT."
Yeah, we wondered if he meant 80 euros, too.
We didn't wonder for long.
Nem pensar, Jose!
The 3 arguidos:
The cost of a Madeleine interview by Martin Brunt. 6Th May
Gonçalo Amaral: The truth about the charges
Martin Brunt's profile - the crime correspondent who won't report fairly on the Madeleine McCann case.
Martin Brunt's classic McCann quote of the year:
"When most of us initially heard what had happened we all thought "chavvy family from some estate in Essex who weren't looking after their children properly" but the fact that these were two middle-aged, middle-income or, even high-income professionals, doctors, it did rather take on a different hue."
REMINDER by Tony Bennett:
Rupert Murdoch, most powerful media magnate in the world, owns SKY. Employs Brunt.
Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth married to another powerful media/celebrity/PR man, Matthew Freud, owner and boss of Freud Communications.
Freud Communications employs Clarence Mitchell, former head of the 40-strong government Media Monitoring Unit, who said his job was 'to control what comes out in the media'.
Clarence Mitchell has been the chief PR agent of the McCanns for a continuous period of two years.
Rupert Murdoch-Matthew Freud-Clarence Mitchell-The McCanns
Nigel Moore, mccannfiles: Gonçalo Amaral: The truth about the charges
by Nigel Moore
Two days ago, Martin Brunt, Sky News Crime Correspondent, decided to use his blog to reveal the contents of an email Sky News had received from Gonçalo Amaral's agent.
The private email stated that it would cost 80,000 euros to facilitate an interview with the former PJ co-ordinator.
With unsurprising relish, Jerry Lawton, of The Daily Star, has today regurgitated the information contained in Mr Brunt's blog into a full-blown article.
Speaking exclusively to mccannfiles.com today, Gonçalo Amaral revealed the reasoning behind the decision.
He said: "I want you to know that I made the decision to get paid for any interview given to any British media, but that doesn't apply to anywhere else in the world.
"Its quite simple. I have given so many "free" interviews to the British media that were never published. They were censored and thrown to the trash. Next time they do it, I'm sure they will think twice about the money they pay."
Only this week, in Amsterdam to launch the Dutch version of 'the Truth of the Lie', Gonçalo Amaral and Sofia Leal gave their time freely to members of the public and press. In a 'question and answer' session, scheduled for 30 minutes, they stayed for 1 and a half hours discussing the case.
Mr Brunt, who has published details from a private email, and Mr Lawton, who, like so many Britsh journalists, is unable to write the name of Gonçalo Amaral without prefacing it with 'axed', 'disgraced' or 'shamed', need to question what they are doing to help find the truth about what happened to Madeleine. And how much do they get paid for doing it?
Clarence Mitchell raged in The Daily Star: "It is scandalous that anyone should seek to make money out of Madeleine's abduction?" But should a man currently taking wages from Madeleine's Fund - which, let's not forget, draws from the pocket-money and savings of children and pensioners, and was donated in good faith - really be adopting such a high moral tone? And why do the McCanns even need a PR person? Can they no longer speak for themselves outside of a scripted TV studio or film set?
And, as Columbo would say, one final thing...
This interview with Gonçalo Amaral didn't cost one penny. Or euro.