Wednesday

Dr Gerry McCann's libel action


Posted on NHS exposed

A libel case has commenced between the McCanns and Goncalo Amaral. A summary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann can be read here.

"A libel trial will start today of a former senior Portuguese detective who published a book alleging that Madeleine McCann died inside her parents' apartment"

A more interesting report is listed here. A further detailed report of the trial is listed by the Telegraph.

The issue of superinjunctions was addressed by Private Eye in this article.

It is probably always a bad idea to sue in Libel given a loss could be extremely damaging. The McCanns have accused Goncalo Amaral of "making money". Making money appears to be done bilaterally.

Many people have donated to the McCann cause.

"The News of the World and businessmen including Sir Richard Branson have jointly pledged £1.5m. Scottish tycoon Stephen Winyard has offered £1m".

Four newspapers paid damages for the McCanns. So all in all, a lot of money has been flying around. A blogger detailed the transcripts of a very interesting documentary called The Truth of the Lie. Various blogs dedicate themselves to the detectives investigation. here is one of them. The Truth of the Lie [ the website] is even more fascinating. It appears that everyone has something to say about the McCanns.

The Mirror states

"The McCanns are asking for £1million compensation which they plan to donate to the Find Madeleine fund."

Amaral is not taking this lying down and has amusingly issued a second book . Amaral yesterday released a second book which details the legal wrangles over the publication of the first". The English Gag was reported here. Amaral answers further questions here.

From our point of view, it is interesting that Amaral has not referred the matter to the General Medical Council for investigation. If he is so convinced of his theories, he should test them under the GMC's Good Medical Practice. After all, the case law as it stands makes it clear that a dropped police investigation or cleared court case does not mean the GMC cannot investigate the medical obligations of a doctor. If he is alleging the McCanns did something wrong, he should test his evidence.

We discussed this aspect of dropped police investigations and court hearings here. The case law is crystal clear. A dropped police investigation does not ban the GMC from investigating professional misconduct.

These days misconduct by the GMC's own definition is "anything" that can be "capable of being so". This is an argument provided by Mark Shaw QC in the case R v General Medical Council Ex Parte Pal. and accepted by Collins J. Afterall, a police investigation dropped in the case of GMC v Gopakumar was taken up by the General Medical Council. Dr Gopakumar was struck off. The General Medical Council admitted themselves that they did not require a complaint to strike up an investigation.

The above is the law as it stands. It is now up to the General Medical Council to uphold the law. At some point Mr Amaral ought to ask the General Medical Council why they opted not to conduct an investigation into the evidence he has presented in the public domain.

Of course, it isn't that I have no sympathy for the McCanns, I am simply pointing out the law of the land as delivered and executed by the General Medical Council. We are not responsible for the law. The GMC and the judiciary are responsible.

We are just interested in the discriminatory way in which it is applied. While the McCanns are able to diss the Portuguese Police force, by their own admission, the Portuguese Police are not entitled to defend themselves publicly. Similarly, while legions of doctors stand at the GMC with lesser allegations than that laid against the McCanns, it appears no GMC investigation will be conducted into them. We then ask the question why?

The McCanns have gagged many people who have simply had the temerity to question their story. Is this correct in a democratic society?