Thursday

Gonçalo Amaral: “The apprehension of my book only gives me more strength to discover the truth about the Maddie case”


Gonçalo Amaral: An interview with Semanário Privado


Gonçalo Amaral is going to request the political parties and the Republic’s President an audience, after his book “Maddie – The Truth about the Lie” was ordered apprehended by a judge at Lisbon’s Civil Court. The former inspector thinks that freedom of expression is under threat, at a time when new facts concerning Maddie’s disappearance may come to light

by José Leite

How do you comment on the apprehension of your book, “Maddie – The Truth about the Lie”? Do you think there’s the “hand” of the McCanns in this? Has the book started to be apprehended from the stores?

My comment is a concerned one, as an author and as a citizen who still holds his full civil rights. I remind you that I left the PJ in June last year, in order to recover my freedom of expression and that, 15 months later, they want to strip me of that freedom. The “hand” is evident: those persons filed the request for the injunction. I have no idea if the book has started to be apprehended, the fact is that it hadn’t been sold for months and now it seems to be sold out.

How many copies have been sold?

I don’t know the number of copies that have been sold, it seems that those persons know more than I do, they must hold privileged information.

If your appeal wins, do you intend to sue the judge who prohibited the sale of your book, and the McCanns, over the damages?

As you know, it is not yet possible, in this democratic, lawful country, to notify judicial decisions through the media, at least when those affect and restrict fundamental rights. I will not pronounce myself about the illustrious judge, because I respect, obey and believe in the judicial system, and mainly because I do not know the fundament and the contents of the decision. As far as the authors of the injunction are concerned, I will exercise my rights, whether in a civil or in a criminal court.

When you mention limitations on the freedom of expression in Portugal, are you solely referring to your case, or also to other recent cases, like that of TVI? Or the processes that were filed against “bloggers” who disturbed the socialist power, especially José Sócrates?

It’s not me that says it, it’s the politicians who speak about an asphyxia of democracy in this 21st century Portugal, 35 years after the [revolution of the] 25th of April. There are limitations to the freedom of expression, there are journalists who are prevented from informing, this is a tragic reality. On the other hand, I do not point my finger at any specific party, the limitations come from those in power, who are possibly disturbed by the objectivity and the freedom that assists those who write and who have the duty to inform. As an attentive citizen, my opinion is that the concentration and the monopoly of the media have prompted a crisis and are limiting the freedom of information, of opinion and of expression. The journalists have become employees of corporations, more interested in profit than in informing (maybe not in its entirety, but it is close).

Has anyone at the PJ shown his or her solidarity with what has happened to you?

My friends stand with me. As far as others are concerned, it needs to be recalled that the PJ, just like other institutions, is going through an electoral period and some fear changes, therefore no major solidarity should be expected from there.

When will the English version of the book be launched?

It will be launched, that is all that I can tell you right now.

Read the full interview on Joana Morais

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