The final decision to uphold an injunction to prohibit the
publication of a book claiming that Kate and Gerry McCann tried to cover
up the tragic death of their daughter Madeleine in an Algarve holiday
apartment in May 2007 was made by a Lisbon Court today (Thursday,
The session, held behind closed doors in the morning, lasted little more
than half-an-hour, yet the smiling face of the McCanns’ lawyer on
emerging from the closed session said it all.
Isabel Duarte, whose normally ice-blue eyes and stern expression before
the world’s media have been a hallmark throughout this injunction case,
lit up with smiles as she silently hugged supporters, friends and
colleagues outside the Legal Secretary’s Office of the 7th Chamber of
Lisbon’s Civil Court.
“The judge’s decision upholds absolutely the first decision (i.e. the
first court injunction). The book and the video can neither be
reproduced nor sold, neither can Goncalo Amaral, TVi, Valentim de
Carvalho Films or publishers Guerra e Paz reproduce or give interviews
or statements about the thesis defended in the book,” said Isabel Duarte
outside the court house.
“The book will remain retained (in storage) and the prohibition to
divulge Goncalo Amaral’s thesis is still in place. They cannot give
interviews or publish books that promote the thesis,” she stressed
“Today, the decision was upheld because the book was deemed to have
violated the rights of Madeleine and the children, and the good name of
the McCanns. It’s a decision that was very extensive but we have not
been able to read all of the documentation yet and we are still very
much dealing with last minute events,” she said.
Isabel Duarte confirmed that although the ban was “total”, it was not a
“definitive decision” although it was “a very extensive one”.
“This is only a confirmation of the first decision. The definitive
decision will only be made in a main legal (defamation) action that is
still (lodged) in the court.”
The lawyer also added that the judge had made no significant changes to
the first ruling but had made some fine tuning adjustments in the
Portuguese legal wording to the initial decision to prohibit publication
or dissemination of Goncalo Amaral’s thesis.
“I would like to say that this decision is one that protects all
Portuguese citizens because the decision says that you cannot harm in
this way the reputation and good name of a citizen that is not convicted
in court. This is a decision that is a victory for every one involved,”
adding that the case was initiated “without any other intention than to
help the continued search for Kate and Gerry’s daughter”. But “in truth,
this decision states to all of us that a person’s rights cannot be
violated and injured in the way that they were because of this book and
Kate McCann immediately sent a text message to Isabel Duarte, which the
Algarve Resident read and which opened with the words “you are amazing”.
“I sent a text message straight away to my clients saying that ‘we had
won’,” the lawyer said.
“My client (Kate McCann) sent me a message which states: ‘Dear Isabel,
You are Amazing! Thank you so much! Pass my thanks on to Jorge and
Ricardo (the legal assistants). Hopefully this will be the start of good
things for Madeleine. We are so pleased. Thank you. Big Hug. Kate.’”
The couple were also said to be “pleased and relieved” at the decision
to uphold the ban and in a statement issued immediately after the
ruling, Kate and Gerry McCann said: “By upholding the injunction against
Goncalo Amaral’s book and DVD, the judge has rightly agreed that there
has been significant, ongoing damage to the search for our beloved
daughter Madeleine and to the rights of our family.
“We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not
continue. The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no
evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.
“It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for
Madeleine, even, shockingly, when they are presented with new
information and leads. As painful and personally damaging as the
slanderous claims of Mr Amaral and his supporters have been to us and
our family, our primary focus has always been, and will always be, to
find Madeleine through our own best investigative efforts.”
With regards to reopening the police investigation into Madeleine’s
disappearance from the Ocean View holiday apartments in Praia da Luz on
the night of May, 3, 2007, the lawyer said: “We have, since last week,
been selecting documents that we brought with us from Portimao, because
there are documents which are of no interest at all and others that are.
“We will sift through the documents, select them and meet with my
colleagues in the United Kingdom, probably in the coming week,” she
added, calling the decision a “just one” because “my clients don’t know
where Madeleine is” and “every day there are blogs and articles stating
that my clients are liars and that they were involved in some way.”
Goncalo Amaral called the decision a “disappointing one” but said that
it was just a “setback” and not the end of the story. Stating that he
would now appeal against the decision in the courts, he said that it was
a bad day for “freedom of expression in Portugal”, which was “rather
disturbing, very serious and worrying”.
“This decision calls into questions and limits my freedom of expression,
and my legal team will examine the arguments and we will move forward
with an appeal,” he said.
Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Ines Lopes at