Friday, 24 February 2017
Textusa: The complaint
On Saturday, Feb 18, we were surprised by Correio da Manhã, informing us all that the McCann legal team was, or had, requested the annulment of the ruling (acórdão) of the Supreme Justice Court because it considered it frivolous (leviano) “because it was not possible for the Public Prosecutor to obtain sufficient evidence of crimes by the appellants”.
We, like everyone else, were caught by surprise. The surprise being that we, like everyone else, thought the Supreme Justice Court ruling of Jan 31 2017, had put an end, once and for all, to all legal business of the McCann v Amaral trial as we said in our post “Square One”.
We even said that “this is the first time hearing of a Supreme Justice Court being contested”, that’s how surprised we were.
Once we found out that it was possible to request an annulment, we started to doubt that frivolity would be the legal grounds for such a request.
We subscribed fully to what Joana Morais said:
“An annulment can only be considered on points of law, which would never include frivolity as an allegation.
In no way do we believe that frivolity may be invoked regarding the explanation of what a shelving of an investigation process means, about three Supreme Court judges when writing a structured and impartial decision which is available to read in its entirety and due context.”
Finally, it is possible the judges will consider the frivolity allegation as defamatory and take legal action against the couple.”
2. The mechanism
We didn’t even think it was possible to contest a Supreme Justice Court acórdão.
We knew that a decision by this court cannot be appealed.
What we didn’t know is that it could be annulled.
Stopping to think about it, it does make sense that such a mechanism exists, in this court and in every other one, whereby a citizen is able to defend him or herself against possible technical errors.
But if we understand that such a mechanism exists and then it makes sense it is possible to be used at the level of 1st Instances Courts, due to the inexperience of younger judges, it seems unthinkable for such a thing to be used at the Appeal Court level.
Really not seeing how experienced judges, as those are in these courts, would make technical errors.
If we think that about Appeal Courts, then the reader can guess our opinion about that happening at the Supreme Court.
They say that only death and taxes are certain and we would say that the Supreme Justice Court not making a technical mistake is as close to certainty as one can get.
But the mechanism is there, and if it’s there it can be used and that’s what the McCanns did, they used it.
3. The complaint
The English speaking media decided to give the issue a very significant amount of attention.
We noted the silence from BBC, Sky News and the Guardian.
By the way, we owe an apology to the Guardian. In our last post we said that they hadn’t spoken of the Supreme Justice Court decision. They did, in their article of Feb 1 2017 “Madeleine McCann's parents lose libel case appeal in Portugal”.
What that paper didn’t report on was the ‘not cleared’ detail of the acórdão. That was only known on Feb 7 and after the article above the Guardian has remained silent about the McCanns.
One could not help notice that it was the Daily Mail that opened the hostilities on the British side and it was the one that closed it.
The Telegraph, that published the last article on the McCann complaint, was just a copy of the Mail’s article.
The Mail, seemed to be the one that had exclusive access to the 9-page complaint:
“The couple's fight-back was laid out in a nine-page complaint revealed today, which was lodged with the Supreme Court last Friday in a bid to invalidate its ruling rejecting the McCanns' libel appeal against Amaral and the makers of a TV documentary based on his book.
The document, drafted by the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte and and her colleague Ricardo Correia, says: 'The appellants understand the archiving of the case took place because during the inquiry, sufficient evidence had been collected to show the 'arguidos' had not committed any crime.'
They said the removal of the McCanns' 'arguido' status had legally-binding connotations and claimed the Supreme Court judges' argument it could be easily altered 'lacked foundation.'
Accusing them of acting 'frivolously' and contradicting themselves with their statements about the reasons for the 2008 probe archive, they added: 'It cannot be stated that it is not acceptable that the archiving of the case is considered the equivalent to proof of innocence.'”
It confirms that the Supreme Justice Court was accused of frivolity.
And it now reveals that the Supreme Justice Court is explicitly accused of contradicting itself.
We have read the acórdão attentively and fail to see any contradiction by the court.
When we, in our “Counter-attack” post criticised the article by by Neil Tweedie of the Daily Mail published on Feb 11 2017 “When will the McCanns’ tormentor in chief stop adding to their misery? The Portuguese detective whose book pointed the finger at Maddie's parents is now writing a second volume” of contradicting itself, we explained why we said it.
We then said that saying “He made that clear in his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, written soon after he was hauled off the case in 2008 and took early retirement. He uses evidence garnered in the police investigation to question the kidnap theory and pin suspicion squarely on the McCanns” was not compatible with saying in the same article this: “Few will weep tears for Amaral, seeing an angry man locked up in his own bitter and baseless theories.”
Mr Couzens just says the McCanns accuse the Supreme Justice Court of being contradictory and doesn’t even give a hint as to where that is supposed to have happened in the acórdão.
4. The accusation
To accuse a Supreme court, of whatever country, of technical incompetence is quite extraordinary.
A Supreme Court is not made up of a bunch of judges who one day decided to get together to form a band and because of a lack of musical instruments at the time decided to set up a court instead. A Supreme one to boot.
In Portugal, after a law degree and applying for it, one enters the Judiciary Studies Centre (CEJ – Centro de Estudos Judiciários.
Two years there and an internship of 10 months and when approved, one begins career as a judge.
For 16 to 20 years one will be a judge of a lower court. Then s/he can move forward, if one has the necessary requirements, and if approved transit to one of the 5 Appeal courts.
After 10 years in the Appeal Courts one can progress to the Supreme Justice Court.
So, a minimum of 26 years of experience in courts before being a judge in the Supreme Justice Court. And a lot of filters to get there.
To accuse a collective of 3 judges of a Supreme Justice Court of technical incompetence by frivolity is, we would say, folly. Not even audacious but borderline crazy.
But to accuse the Supreme Justice Court of not knowing all what means legally to be an arguido, is not only defamatory but really very insulting.
The arguido status is to the Portuguese law what addition is to math. Very, very basic.
Telling the Supreme Justice Court that they don’t know what being an arguido or stopping being one entails, is like a 1st grader telling a University Math professor that he doesn’t know how to add up 2 and 2.
The biggest difference is that one can say that a 1st grader does not possess the capability of judging the insult he’s professing, so he’s forgiven.
That cannot be with a lawyer with years of experience when behaving like a snotty 1st grader.
Joana Morais in her post “Waging wars on all fronts” has explained very well how arrogant and insulting this all is.
We certainly are not literate when it comes to law, be it Portuguese or British.
We don’t pretend to know more than any legal professional and the opinions we write here on legal matters are obviously subject to correction.
In fact, we welcome all corrections because we, in no way, wish to mislead anyone.
However, even we are able to debunk the lifting of the arguido status versus being cleared question.
We just ask one question: who is possible to be considered an arguido in an open case?
Answer is everyone. And in that ‘everyone’ the McCanns are included.
As far as we know the PJ has an open case about Maddie’s disappearance. That means everyone, including the McCanns, can be arguido in it.
A very well-known principle of law is that one cannot be judged twice for the same crime.
If one is cleared of a particular crime by the justice system then one cannot be judged again for it even if new evidence arises.
If the McCanns can be named arguidos in the current open process, and they can, than it means they were not cleared.
What they enjoy is the right to be presumed innocent, like any other citizen and like any other citizen can be considered arguidos if reasons for such to happens to arise.
And these words, presumed innocent, show how wrong the McCanns are in their claim. If presumption of innocence meant innocence then why use the word ‘presumption’?
If it’s presumed, as it is, then it leaves a margin for one not to be innocent. It that margin exists, as it does, then one has definitely not been cleared.
This is to say that this complaint is heading for more than certain defeat.
It’s not about if but about how big the defeat will be and how sternly the Supreme Justice Court will react to this.
This is a King Canute standing in front of the waves, ordering the tide not to rise when he and everyone knew that he wouldn’t be obeyed.
The chances of success are the same as those of someone jumping off a cliff surviving in the hope of crossing flight paths with an eagle and grab its paws.
5. Stirring the pot?
To do such a thing could only mean one of 2 things, either an arrogance in terms that cannot be qualified or quantified in any medical book of psychology or an ulterior motive.
As it isn’t the first, it can only be the second.
Our first thoughts were about this being stirring the pot.
The accusation against the Supreme Justice Court was so ridiculous and so destined to doom that a possibility was that it was all to cause angry reactions that would to be collated and used in a media campaign in which the McCanns would be martyrs and all of us just a heartless and cruel lynch mob.
But 2 things didn’t add up.
The first is that there was no added value to go down this particular lane.
If they wanted to collate angry messages against them, as of January 31st there are enough of them to populate dozens of dossiers.
No need for such a folly stunt.
The second thing was our own words. We were contradicting ourselves as we have defended here – and will continue to do so – that in any scenario it was useful for both government and the other side that the McCanns be portrayed as really bad.
Having them as martyrs is simply not befitting the game we have witnessed this far.
The game the way we see it needs the McCanns to be the really bad guys.
Only a bad negligent McCanns allows for an abduction and it has to have that for the mystery to be prolonged, as in to be unsolved.
No, after thinking about it, we have come to the conclusion that it isn’t about stirring any pot.
But then it dawned on us that the game does indeed need them to look bad as much as it does BUT it also needs them to have been cleared by the Portuguese justice system.
Bad, bad, really bad as in negligent but not as bad as in involved in her death.
Nothing to do with sparing the McCanns any damage but because recognising Maddie died under parents watch rules out abduction and abduction is an absolute requirement for all to be an unsolved crime.
As we said in our post “Game-changer” before the Supreme Justice Court acórdão everyone on the game board was expecting for the McCanns to lose.
That was a given.
But everyone involved was expecting they would only lose in the battle of rights between having the right to a good name, derived from the presumption of innocence, losing to the right of free speech. And that would be it.
Losing this battle in this way would keep intact what the McCanns, or others for them, have claimed for years and which we will call the ‘innocent-look’.
‘Innocent-look’ is the image created, with the help of a friendly media and also of a friendly government, police and judicial system, when it was stated that with the archival the McCanns had been cleared. Officially the McCanns have been ‘innocent-looking’ all these years.
‘Innocent-look’ was the other side, with the help of the media, government, police and judicial system confusing, on purpose, between the McCanns having been told they stopped being arguidos because the process was archived, which is true, with them being told they stopped being arguidos because they were innocent, which is false.
The Supreme Justice Court stating, in black and white, that the McCanns had not been cleared just blew to smithereens this ‘innocent-look’.
We have been admonished by a friend for, even if unwittingly, misleading our readers into thinking that the Supreme Justice Court acórdão has taken away the McCanns right to presumption of innocence.
If we did, now is the time to apologise.
The McCanns didn’t lose anything because what is being said they lost is something they never had as we explained above: that they had been cleared.
The Supreme Justice Court didn’t make up the fact that they weren’t, that fact existed since July 2008, when the process was archived, with the possibility of being reopened in case new evidence appeared.
The Supreme Justice Court acórdão only put in black and white what already existed.
The ‘innocent-look’ existed because before the acórdão but as it wasn’t expressed explicitly anywhere that it didn’t, that allowed for ambiguity.
The other side has used this ambiguity to spin it into their false claim of innocence, or the official ‘innocent-look’.
They did this so efficiently, that it became the base stone for their legal bullying all these years.
That bullying always stopped short of discussing facts in a court of law because then they knew that this fallacy, of them claiming they had been declared innocent, would be exposed.
And now, very unpleasantly for them, the Supreme Justice Court has written it down, ending all speculation, exposing the reality to all. We repeat that it did not create anything, only clarified what already was.
As we said in our “Game-changer” post having an official judicial document saying explicitly the McCanns were never cleared by the Portuguese justice system made the official hoax, the ‘innocent-look’ unsustainable.
The other side needs for that lie within the lie, the one that stated the McCanns had been cleared, to persist because without it, it will be completely ridiculous to try anything that does not involve the parents.
You see, up until now, although the files stated that the dogs signalled blood in the apartment living room and hired car, and human death scent in the living-room, the bedroom closet, the backyard and the car, the McCann’s ‘innocent-look’ made it possible to pass the message that all that was indeed in the files but the authorities deemed that they had nothing to do with Maddie otherwise the McCanns would have been charged and that didn’t happen, they say, they were cleared.
The ‘innocent-look’ in a nutshell.
We, who are familiar with the case, know the McCanns weren’t charged because the FSS was outrageously specious, and wrote up a report that made doubts to be raised where there were none, causing the desired in dubio pro reu.
With the Supreme Justice Court acórdão, the Portuguese judicial system blew the ‘innocent-look’ right out of the water.
It said, taking away all ambiguity, that “let not be said, too, that the appellants were cleared by the order of filing the criminal proceedings”. And it said that after having said this:
“1.2. In the appealed acórdão the following facts are considered proven :
“6. The dogs Eddie and Keela, from the British police, have detected human blood and cadaver scent in the apartment 5A of the Ocean Club.
7. The dogs Eddie and Keela, from the British police, have detected human blood and cadaver scent in the vehicle rented by the applicants Kate McCann and Gerald McCann after Madeleine's disappearance.”
However, even in the archiving dispatch serious reservations are raised as to the verisimilitude [verosimilhança] of the allegation that Madeleine had been abducted, in view of the doubts raised by the Jane Tanner/Kate McCann version.”
And the ‘innocent-look’ sank to the bottom as the rock it was that had been only kept afloat by the helping hands of the media, the government, the police and the judicial system.
Expecting to lose on the battle of rights and ending up with the McCanns losing their ‘innocent-look’ was a fatal blow for the other side.
7. Current options
As things stood, before the McCann complaint against the Supreme Justice Court, or the McCanns without their ‘innocent-look’ it would be unacceptable to pin it all on a vague patsy such as the preposterous European human trafficking gang.
That would, we think, cross the line of trust citizens are to have for their national institutions and it may be one too dangerous to cross.
To archive with the McCanns without their ‘innocent-look’ and without them having been questioned is the same as saying that when it comes to British justice the Orwellian saying that we’re all equal, only some are more equal than others, applies totally.
Even to question the McCanns and then archive, not only all of the above continues to be valid as is it’s even worse for the government as it can no longer be used as an excuse to say that only the Portuguese were fooled by the couple.
Questioning them and letting them go would mean the British were equally fooled by those more equal than all other equals.
So it seems that it’s absolutely essential for the other side that the McCanns regain their ‘innocent-look’ at all costs.
Without it the McCanns unsolved abduction is doomed, and if it suffers that fate , so will others.
Is reconquering of the McCanns’ ‘innocent-look’ the reason for this stunt?
The answer is that it is partly so but it could not be the full reason because the complaint is destined for evident failure and all involved know that very well.
No way that the McCanns will regain their ‘innocent-look’ through this complaint, or, in fact, any other way. Once the decision made by the Supreme Justice Court comes through it will be lost forever.
8. Joining pieces
In fact, the full reason comes when one joins these 2 pieces of the puzzle: the need for the ‘innocent-look’ with the fact that the complaint is destined to fail.
Currently, after the complaint has been filed, in terms of the McCanns being cleared on not, the situation is quite ambivalent.
To the legal purists, we ask you to spare us for a moment and please understand that we are speaking of what is perceived and not of what is real.
And it’s important to understand that there’s a perception that before the Supreme Justice Court’s acórdão the McCanns could claim that they were cleared and after it they can’t.
We know this perception is wrong but it is true that it exists and we think this entire complaint exercise is based exactly on that perception.
Wrongfully, the general public has the idea that with this complaint the McCanns are trying to regain their ‘innocent-look’.
We are saying this because it is exactly what has been stated as the objective of the complaint: that the McCanns want to overturn the decision that said they were not cleared.
So, in terms of public perception, that decision has been put on hold, meaning the McCanns have regained, for now and until the Supreme Justice Court decides, their ‘innocent-look’.
If our reading of this is right, then taking into account that the complaint is going to flunk, whatever is to be achieved is to be during the period of time when the public has the perception that the McCanns were able to put a halt to the fact – yes, an existing fact and not one created by the Supreme Justice Court so nothing will alter it – that they had not been cleared.
And what is expected to happen in that period of time? The end of the fiscal year in April and the decision to continue or not to fund Operation Grange.
9. Critical period
The ambivalence lies on the fact that the Supreme Justice Court gave an incontrovertible visibility to the fact that the McCanns had never been cleared by the Portuguese justice system.
The media echoed it and everyone saw it, no one can claim that they didn’t see it, and in this particular instance, the government is included in that everyone.
The word Supreme said it all.
So, even though the public feels the McCanns were able to temporarily glitch the machine, that same public feels, not to say knows, that the Supreme Justice Court is right in having said what it did, that the McCanns were not cleared.
So we are at a situation, in terms of perception, in which the Supreme Justice Court’s decision cannot be taken into account but certainly it cannot be ignored.
Or, to be specific, it cannot be taken into account for NOW and it cannot be ignored because all know the reason lies with it.
And it is this conundrum that the other side is betting all their chips on.
That’s why they’ve made the McCanns jump off a cliff in the hope of catching an eagle.
The jump is indeed hopeless in the objective it alleges it aims to achieve, to regain the ‘innocent-look’, but is far from being pointless.
As we said in our post “Square One”, the other side’s main objective for now is to be able to not have a decision before the end of the current fiscal year.
To be precise, to force the government to concede more funds after April and this evidently will have to be done before the next fiscal year begins.
As we have explained, we are currently in a period in which there’s a perception that until the Supreme Justice Court decides again the McCanns have officially regained their ‘innocent-look’.
All the other side has to do is hope the Supreme Justice Court doesn’t decide before when a decision about next fiscal year’s fund has to be made in Britain.
As the current one ends in April, we would say that milestone, the funding decision, will happen from the end of March until the end of April.
The other side is counting on the slowness in deciding that is characteristic of the Portuguese justice system.
That’s what this whole move is about, to stall the ‘not cleared’ thingy just long enough to when the government has to decide about giving more money to Operation Grange.
That’s why they used a toothpick for a spanner and threw it into the engine. It’s not meant to stop it, just halt if for a little while, the critical period.
10. Twisting government’s arm
This manoeuvre places the government in a very uncomfortable position.
As far as we can see it has 2 options in case the Supreme Justice Court doesn’t decide about the complaint in time.
The first is to go ahead and make a move before things are definitely closed in Lisbon.
With this complaint, when we all thought all was tied up, the other side was able to create a new loose end.
The other option is to grant Operation Grange further funds, that uniqueness of British criminology whereby a crime is only a crime if funded by government.
The inconvenience of the first option is to go for what it has avoided for years, and unlikely to change that in the very, very last inches of the final stretch.
We have here said that the odds of the complaint having any success are the same of a pig growing wings and flying but as the saying says, it’s only over when the fat lady sings and she hasn’t sung yet. She did open her mouth and filled her chest with air on Jan 31 but because of this complaint hasn’t uttered a sound yet.
We believe that any action to be taken by government is to be based on a final decision from Lisbon and that was halted, momentarily, by the complaint.
So the other side is counting on, and we agree on that, that the government won’t make a move before the complaint is decided.
If the government concedes further funding to Operation Grange, the other option, it will be seen as supporting the claim made by the McCanns that they were indeed cleared.
But, as we said, the Supreme Justice Court’s decision looms in the air. It cannot possibly be ignored.
To continue the funding without bringing in the McCanns would compromise the government into being seen as believing in the McCanns ‘innocent-look’.
After all, it would be ignoring, or at least setting it aside the Supreme Justice Court acórdão and so show agreement that what the Portuguese court had said about the McCanns not being cleared was all biased and would be seen continuing to be willing to spend money looking for culprits elsewhere.
Or, to be clear, having the Supreme Justice Court’s decision in the air and continuing to fund the chase after human traffickers in Europe, the British government will be seen by siding with the ‘innocent-look’ of the McCanns.
That would show that it thought that whatever the Portuguese justice system has said was not to be taken that seriously because there were mistakes made by both nations which made Portugal biased against Britain.
And once that is achieved, having the government been seen siding with them, the next step would be to work on a way to give the case a Ben Needham kind of ending: we are certain she was taken, we think most likely that it was a European human trafficking gang and will now close shop and reopen if anything new surfaces, thank you, now go home and forget about this.
Forget about the cadaverine and the outright lies as they won’t be mentioned.
The blood to justify the signalling of dogs will be said to have been from an animal, nose bleeds, a shaving accident or from a leg cut on a step of a plane’s ladder.
The numerous inconsistencies will be considered natural and none will ever be detailed.
And the McCanns will continue to search for their daughter until they get lost in the darkness away from spotlights and we all forget about them.
If one adds to this complaint stunt, the very, very early planning for the 10 yr anniversary and the alleged commitment of Kate McCann in a prolonged contest via the Missing People Choir in ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, one can clearly see the effort that is being made to push things beyond April.
So it comes as no surprise seeing Kate McCann being deeply and so altruistically involved, as a Missing People ambassador in an event that takes place at the end of April, on April 23rd to be precise, the London Marathon.
This was in the Sun article by Tracey Kandohla, published Feb 22 2017 “FIGHTING FOR THE CAUSE, Kate McCann offers support to missing persons charity just hours after top cop claims new theory to Madeleine’s disappearance”.
This time, to help raise £2,000 – yes, that much and it is national news it seems – to sponsor one Matt Curtis who, running in the middle of just a mere 40,000 other people, is supposed to give visibility to the Missing People charity.
Money well spent if one is a fool we would say. The country is still reeling from the effects of the visibility given by Kate McCann’s 2015 cycle run and now will be hit with this outstanding presence of this very well unknown marathon runner in the London Marathon.
Could this be to replace the Missing People Choir stunt, because after the backlash it suffered in being associated with Kate, we haven’t heard any more of its progression on Britain’s Got Talent.
10. Media surge
The first thing that was needed to be done to achieve all this was to give big importance to what had none. Thus the media surge in Britain:
#1. The Daily Mail: “Madeleine McCann's parents 'plan to fight Portuguese court ruling that they haven't been cleared of involvement in their daughter's disappearance' “ by Gerard Couzens, published Feb 18 2017 09:40nd updated that day at 10:34.
#2. The Mirror: “Kate and Gerry McCann lodge complaint after court ruled couple were 'not formally in the clear' over Madeleine’s disappearance”, by Gerard Couzens and Anthony Bond, published Feb 18 14:19 and updated that day at 14:23.
#3. The Portugal Resident: “Hysteria mounts as McCann parents revealed to be “fighting” defeat in Portugal’s Supreme Court”, by Natasha Donn, published on Feb 18, 2017.
#4. The Mirror: “McCanns launch new court battle against cop's claims they faked Maddie abduction - amid fears his case could leave search fund broke”, by Alan Selby, published Feb 18 2017 updated on Feb 19 2017 00:32.
#5. The Metro: “New legal battle for McCanns against claims they faked Madeleine’s abduction”, by Charles White Sunday, published Feb 19 2017 12:22.
#6. The Liverpool Echo: “Madeleine McCann’s parents fighting to overturn court ruling over disappearance” by Lorna Hughes, published Feb 19 2017 16:01.
#7. The Independent: “Madeleine McCann's parents launch fresh legal battle over police claims they faked daughter's abduction” by Lucy Pasha-Robinson, published Feb 19, estimated around 18:40.
#8. The Mirror: “Madeleine McCann's parents say they will keep fighting libel battle with ex-cop and bring their daughter home” by Tracey Kandohla, published Feb 19 2017 21:25 and updated that day at 22:18.
#9. The Daily Mail: “Madeleine McCann's furious parents say judges' ruling that they have not been cleared of any involvement in the girl's disappearance is full of 'contradictions' as they launch legal fightback” by Gerard Couzens, published: Feb 21 2017 08:39 2017 and updated that day at 08:51.
#10. The Telegraph: “Madeleine McCann's parents attack Portuguese judges for acting 'frivolously' in ruling over ex-police chief” by Telegraph Reporters, published Feb 21 14:16.
We have listed the Portugal Resident because it did report the story but we exclude it in intention from all the other 9 stories above.
A huge difference when compared with the Portuguese media where all the issue got was a minor piece on the last page of the Correio da Manhã (above in yellow).
We are once again excluding the Portugal Resident, although it is in Portugal but as it’s in English we’re not considering it as Portuguese media.
If one was to put this British media output side-by-side with the one about the McCanns not having been cleared, we would say that it would be a shoulder-to-shoulder race.
No question about it, this was made to seem significant.
Like if when little Gerry had piled up a little sand in a sandbox and the media was shouting that he had built a Mount Everest or if when little Kate scribbled a doodle on a wall and was credited by that same media for having replicated the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
That’s how ridiculous all is.
For starters the media says it’s a legal battle, when it is but a request to whomever is to decide. It’s like saying that when an employee requests from his employer paper for a printer he’s engaging in a legal battle.
A legal battle is between two entities, individual or collective, with a court overseeing and deciding as the legitimate independent entity it is to the conflict.
A conflict between a citizen and a court and where said court is the decider is not exactly a battle but a procedural clarification and nothing more than that.
The only, and it is very unfortunately a lot, involvement of Mr Amaral in this is that he was notified of the filing of the complaint as his assets remain seized because of it.
He will also have to be notified of the decision on the complaint.
Never, we think, has a request for annulment because of a technicality got so much attention and was given so much importance.
Time to quote Tracy Kandhola in her article in the Mirror: “They have now made a complaint over the ruling to that court, it is sort of like an appeal.”
See? According Ms Kandhola, It’s as important as an appeal.
Only it is not. They know that but want the general public think that it is.
Comparing a complaint with an appeal is like comparing a molehill with a mountain.
By doing this, the media is legitimising the McCanns’ claim of ’innocent-look’ and making sure the general public perceives that it has been restored for now.
That done, then it passes the image that it will cost plenty.
They have to push the idea of an “all-in”. For those not familiar with poker, “all-in” is when a player bets all his money on the hand he’s holding. It’s the ‘all-or-nothing’ concept.
By claiming that this complaint will be what will completely drain the Fund, is a falsity but is quite effective in selling it as being really important.
Pass the image that it is something worth risking all for.
Say it will cost plenty and another notch for ‘innocent-look’.
It won’t cost that much.
It’s just a complaint. If it reaches a 1,000€, we would be surprised. A pebble on the beach within the global costs involved.
But what this exaggeration in the cost is really about is to convey the idea it will be a really long legal battle.
If it’s going to cost plenty it’s because it’s going to last a really, really long, long time.
And that links up to what really matters about this entire thing, the question of when will we have a decision on this. How long will this last?
This is the crux of this whole exercise.
So much so that a reader, Unknown, asked us that question in our previous post and we withheld the comment. Here it is now:
“Unknown has left a new comment on your post "Counter-Attack":
Dear Textusa, with regard to the complaint against the Portuguese Supreme Court ruling, do you happen to know the usual timeline expected for a response from the Supreme Court? OR have a contact that might know? Thank you!
Desperately looking forward to your next blog!
Posted by Unknown to Textusa at 20 Feb 2017, 14:14:00”
Before answering Unknown let us first look at what the media have said about how long it would be, adding to the suggested time associated with the bogus large costs.
Quoting Ms Kandhola, the Lazzeri wannabe: “a family friend added: “It’s been ¬dragging on for nearly nine years and they’re not giving up for the sake of a few more months.”
The other side is clearly saying it will take a few months, or the reader has guessed it, after April.
Things are quite clear when decontructed, aren’t they?
Only problem for the other side, is that this is just a complaint, not an appeal.
It does not require any contradictory from the opposing side’s legal team as the opposing side is the Supreme Justice Court, the decider.
It does not involve a collective of judges to decide, it’s up to the Court President.
The complaint entered the court, has been given to its President for decision which, once made, will be communicated to the complainer.
The only thing we are see delaying this decision in any way is the time the court will take to come up with the appropriate wording – which we hope will be followed by action – to dissuade other lawyers in other cases to not follow this example so highly denigrating and insulting to the court.
Not being an appeal, there is much less to be decided, involving less people, so naturally will take significantly less that it it were one.
We think that a few months is an exaggerated hope on the other side’s part.
It isn’t an appeal, it won’t cost money, it won’t take long and is heading for defeat, but all that is needed is it just to last until the government decides to concede to funds.
So important they deemed this that they didn’t hesitate throwing Isabel Duarte under the bus in her own country.
Another example to all those who have helped all these years. The moment you cease to be useful, do have your first-aid kit handy. In fact, best have 112 on speed dial.
We don’t see this as any pressure on the Portuguese court – outside that minor piece in the Correio da Manhã this has had no echo in the Portuguese media – as we know that an acórdão by the Supreme Justice Court is done with the care, professionalism and seriousness that the court represents.
It’s ridiculous to think it would be pressured by a complaint and one questioning one of the most basic elements of Portuguese law, and in such disrespectful terms.
No, we think the McCann legal team was thrown to the lions in Lisbon, to pressure the British government.
Some may say that Theresa May has much more important things to decide, with all ongoing Brexit issues, than about the Maddie case.
Again, not because we write about it and have dedicated parts of our lives to it and would like to have its importance recognised.
It is important because it is really important.
Saying it matters little to the British Prime-Minister is like saying that winning the Euro 1016 mattered little to Portugal
Maddie and McCann have become a British ‘brands’ known around the globe.
They certainly are a global household names.
Maddie is very relevant to the image the UK intends to project about itself worldwide.
We would say that it comes second to Brexit when the world thinks of Britain.
Then, like Brexit, and evidently not nearly as relevant, Maddie is history. Criminal history is being made. All decisions made now and the names of those who made it will be registered forever.
And it’s factual that people through time search more to know about Jack the Ripper, the Moors murders or other famous crimes than about relevant historic milestones like the creation of the United Nations, NATO or the European Union or even, nationally, the Miner’s strike or the Falklands War.
Lest we forget, Operation Grange was launched by a Prime-Minister. We think that alone makes it relevant for the UK.
Lastly it was launched when Theresa May was in the Home Office, so she has a personal interest in it.
We would think that this decision ranks high in Theresa May’s priorities.
For some reason Whitehall was involved directly in this case last summer.
11. Why is this good?
Sometimes the answer to a question is so self-evident and close that one fails to see it.
It is good because it’s happening.
The other side is not eliminating nor avoiding the ‘not cleared’ official moment, it’s just postponing its inevitability.
If things had been decided and agreed between the government and the other side, we would not be witnessing a campaign which the end result will be to confirm even more ‘not-cleared’ status.
When the Supreme Justice Court rejects the complaint it will further confirm that the ‘innocent-look’ has been a fake all these years and so make things much more difficult to not involve the McCanns in whatever Operation Grange has to conclude.
Note, nowhere have we said we think this tactic is destined for success, we have just described it.
In fact, it may even infuriate government as no one likes to be forced into a decision.
In fact, nothing stops the government continuing the funding of Operation Grange and then exposing the truth.
There’s even a reason to do this: with this complaint the other side has scored one huge own goal.
Indeed, the Supreme Justice Court has put in black and white what always had been but, unfortunately, was ambiguous. And it did it because the plaintiffs raised that point not in the form of a question but as an affirmation. They said, in their appeal to this court that they had been cleared and the court reminded them that it was not so.
But, as we have said the whole overarching background was the battle of rights. The point raised by the plaintiffs was an argument used within that debate.
But now the McCanns have asked Portugal directly: have we or have we not been cleared?
A direct, blatant, outright, overt, clear and unambiguous question.
The answer it is to get will leave no margin for doubt or for any further questioning and will eliminate any and all ambiguity.
We think it’s an answer worth waiting for.
So, to say Operation Grange is continuing to be funded, the media may spin it that the government is setting aside the Supreme Justice Court acórdão of January 31, and they won’t really be far away from the truth, if one looks at it under the perspective that they indeed are as government is to give preference to the answer to the direct question put by the McCanns.
Then there’s Brexit. The government may continue the funding because it simply wants to use the McCann case as an image of a post-Brexit Britain.
A just and fair one, decided in the pursuit of justice, if it moves towards truth or nepotism that protects its nationals, even if only a couple of upper-middle class doctors, independent of justice if it goes for archival or European gang.
Because whatever the government decides, the whole world knows what the truth is so it will read correctly the option taken.
But the fact is that currently, the other side is desperately fighting means, to us, that there’s no agreement between them and the government.
And if there’s no agreement, as such desperation shows, the time to agree has gone, so, in our opinion a decision has been made.
A decision in which any solution not involving the McCanns was ruled out, taken after the Supreme Justice Court’s ‘not-cleared’ moment and subsequent propagation like wildfire of Maddie’s death.
Or a decision to inform the other side that without an official ‘innocent-look’ there’s no possibility to indulge an unsolved abduction. Get it back, or it is what it is.
12. Next week
It was out intention to address this week something that is worrying us very much: the neglect campaign against the McCanns.
We felt that it was more important to tackle first the complaint stunt, explaining it to our readers before doing that.
This post has become quite long even for our standards. Because of that we have decided to write about said campaign next week.
Then, we will speak about, among other things, Mark-Williams-Thomas’ fascinating appearance on ITV's This Morning.
And why the apartment 5A is strangely news.
Apologies to those who were expecting us to do it this week and we hope you understand.
The game is being played fiercely and enthusiastically.
The resourcefulness, the determination and resilience shown by the other side is not surprising.
We continue to note the continued deafening silence from “Kneel all ye unfaithful who have failed to be in awe before Operation Grange” corner of the internet.
Not even to congratulate Mr Amaral on the Supreme Justice Court ruling.
One must stress that the government hasn’t made a move as far as we can see. All of the above is from the other side.
Please note that it hasn’t made a move towards or against the truth and, as we write, we have no clue outside the fact that we are seeing the other side really putting their foot down on the gas pedal.
Last week we overlooked mentioning the silence from the Ben Needham front.
We are doing so this week. When was it that Ben was declared dead? Only 129 days. And 131 days since the toy car that triggered all was found.
To say beforehand that one expected resistance and then one cannot falter, dishearten or hesitate when before it.
King Canute teaches us that if the tide starts to get our feet wet one only has to take a few steps back and not worry seeing it rise as sooner or later it will fall, and as far as we know, wet feet has never deterred anyone from battle.