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McCann Lawyer: Knew Trial Was 'Pandora's Box

 TRUTH OF THE LIE LEGAL PEOPLE SUN-13-01-2012 Kate-McCann-dreamt-Maddies-body-was-on-a-hillside.
Original Source: SKY: THURSDAY 14 JANUARY 2010
5:47pm UK, Thursday January 14, 2010 Jon di Paolo, Sky News Online reporter, in Lisbon

McCann libel trial Twitter jondipaolo 12-13-14 January 2010

The McCanns' lawyer has accused the opposing side in a Portuguese libel trial of trying to "do in civil court what it could not do in criminal court".

Kate and Gerry McCann are trying to ensure a ban is upheld on a book written by former policeman Goncalo Amaral, in which he suggests their daughter Madeleine died in the apartment from which she vanished in May 2007.

After witnesses called on behalf of Mr Amaral backed his version of events, Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' top lawyer, said that the team had known they would open a "Pandora’s box".

Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt commented: "They always said it was not going to be an easy court case to sit through, but I think even they have been surprised

Nonetheless Mrs McCann said it had been shown once again that there is no evidence to support Mr Amaral's claims.

Mr Amaral was originally in charge of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's whereabouts after she disappeared during the family trip to Praia da Luz in the Algarve.

However, he was taken off the case five months later after criticising the British police, and went on to write Madeleine: The Truth Of The Lie, published the following summer.

Kate McCann outside court in Portugal

The book and a subsequent documentary prompted the McCanns to launch a legal fight for a ban and £1m compensation, which they say would be put towards efforts to find Madeleine.

The first witness to speak on the third day of the trial was Antonio Paulo Santos, general manager for a video production industry body, and a former investigator for Portuguese police, making him a colleague of Mr Amaral.

Mr Amaral, he told the court, never accused the McCanns of guilt, either in the documentary or the book.

Next up was Carlos Coelho da Silva, TV director at VC Films, the production company behind the film based on Mr Amaral's book.

Mr da Silva said he did not include the public attorney's verdict that the conclusions arrived at by the investigators were incorrect, because he was telling a story.

Earlier, as Mrs McCann arrived at court with Fiona Payne, a member of the 'Tapas Seven' group of friends who dined with them on the night Madeleine disappeared, she paused to speak to the waiting press pack.

"This is definitely the right course of action," she said. "I truly believe we are doing this to help the search for Madeleine.

"I believe in the Portuguese judicial system and that we will get justice, and that we can take the search for Madeleine forward."

Meanwhile Mr Amaral has denied a report that he said "f*** the McCanns" in response to a question from a reporter about whether his book was hurting the couple.

He has also pledged that if he loses the case he is prepared to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

The trial has so far consisted of witnesses called on behalf of Mr Amaral, mostly current or former policemen who back his version of events.

The 'Tapas Seven'

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida told the court on Monday he believed Madeleine died in her family's holiday apartment and that her parents covered up the death by inventing a kidnapping.

On the second day Francisco Moita Flores, a former senior policeman who is now a politician, criminologist and writer, told the court it would be impossible to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat.

Their testimony has been challenged by Ms Duarte, who pointed out there were other ways in which the youngster could have been taken from the apartment.

The McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, sat together in court until on the trial's second day Mr McCann left early, saying he had to fly back to the UK to honour work commitments.




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