Wednesday

Gonçalo Amaral forces reopening of 'Maddie case'

The former inspector is going to advance a criminal complaint against the McCann couple. To this process, he intends to annex the investigation into the child’s disappearance. “It’s necessary to discuss what was done and what remains to be done”, he told DN.

by Carlos Rodrigues Lima

Gonçalo Amaral, the former Polícia Judiciária (PJ) coordinator who investigated the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, is going to advance a criminal complaint against the child’s parents, Gerry and Kate. In this process, JN was able to establish, the author of the book “The Truth about the Lie” intends to analyse the investigation that was done in 2007 and to bring new witnesses to Portugal in order to reopen the process of the disappearance that was archived in July 2008. “It is necessary to discuss what has been done and what remains to be done”, Gonçalo Amaral stated to DN.

The former PJ coordinator has already built a team of three lawyers – António Cabrita, Henrique Pires Teixeira and Francisco Almeida Garrett – who will accompany him over the coming times, both in the attack against the McCann couple and in the defence, given the fact that Gerry and Kate have publicly announced their intention to file a civil lawsuit against Gonçalo Amaral.

In statements to DN, lawyer António Cabrita, who has already represented Gonçalo Amaral in the case of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano, Joana’s mother, confirmed that there is an “intention from Gonçalo Amaral to file a complaint over defamation and offences against the good name, against the McCann couple and their spokesperson, Clarence Mitchell”. For now, the lawyers are still studying which court is competent for the filing of the complaint. This is due to the fact that the statements that are at stake, were all of them reproduced in the media, which makes it necessary, as António Cabrita explained, “to define the location where the target gained knowledge about them”, to then determine which court is competent.

When filing the criminal complaint, Gonçalo Amaral will have to justify why he felt offended and defamed by the McCanns. To do that, the former Polícia Judiciária investigator will use the process of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on one hand, and on the other hand, witness statements of persons who, in some manner, may involve Gerry and Kate in their daughter’s disappearance. “I’m going to bring people from England and Ireland to testify”, Gonçalo Amaral told DN, without advancing any further details about the criminal complaint. “What Gonçalo Amaral has been saying concerns an investigation that I, personally, think has stopped half way down”, António Cabrita concluded. Concerning the reopening of the Maddie case, António Cabrita said: “That is a decision under the competence of the Public Ministry”.

Apart from the McCanns, the lawyers for Gonçalo Amaral are also studying the possibility to advance with lawsuits against some English newspapers. For that, the representatives of the former Judiciária coordinator are trying to find a connection with English lawyers that may take care of the matter in England.

In a more advanced stage, concerning lawsuits, stands the McCann couple, Gerry and Kate, “together with their three children, Madeleine, Sean and Amelie”, who have already advanced to court, as they announced.

In May, the McCann couple announced, through a press release, that they would move into Portuguese courts, taking into account the “ongoing and gross statements” by Gonçalo Amaral, in Portugal and abroad, about the child’s disappearance in May 2007.

For this lawsuit, Gerry and Kate McCann hired lawyer Isabel Duarte, an expert in communication law, who has been defending the Expresso newspaper for many years, in cases of abuse of press freedom and defamation.

source: Diário de Notícias, 03.06.2009
Translated by astro
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Related: Gonçalo Amaral's book 'Maddie: L'Enquête Interdite' ('The Forbidden Investigation' is being translated into English) here