The 1,100,000,000 people who can buy,
read and discuss ‘The Truth About A Lie’ -
and the ‘free speech’ nation which cannot
A discussion document issued by the Madeleine McCann Research Group, 14
On 20 October 2010, the Portuguese Appeal Court made a historic decision
in the long-running case of Dr Gerald McCann and Dr Kate McCann -v- Dr
After a lower Portuguese Court had banned his book for 13 months, the
Appeal Court decided, having regard to the right to freedom of speech
and expression, that it was not libellous for his book, once again, to
be freely sold in Portugal (and other countries, such as Brazil), where
Portuguese is spoken.
We reproduce relevant extracts of the judgment below.
Not only has Dr Amaral’s book on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann,
‘The Truth About A Lie’, been freely available in Portuguese-speaking
countries for the past 16 months, it has also, since various dates from
September 2008 onwards, been available in no fewer than eight different
languages, and all the countries that speak those languages.
We’ve done a calculation as to which countries have Dr Amaral’s book on
sale in their main language. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
We estimate that around 1,100,000,000 people live in those countries:
1.1 billion, or nearly one-sixth of the world’s population.
Madeleine McCann was a British girl, born and bred in England, a land
famed the world over for its freedoms, including the right of free
speech. Yet Dr Amaral’s book cannot be published and sold in this
country. Indeed, not only that, former Madeleine Foundation Secretary
Tony Bennett currently faces a term of imprisonment for, amongst other
things, referring to that book. In July 2010, for example, the Madeleine
Foundation published a leaflet about Dr Goncalo Amaral, in which this
“In ‘The Truth About A Lie’, Dr Amaral explains why he and his team had
good grounds for believing Madeleine had died in her parents’ apartment
and covered up her death”.
That was and is a true - 100% factual statement. Yet as The Madeleine
Foundation reported last year, the McCanns believe that the British
public should not even be able to read that sentence. Carter-Ruck told
the Madeleine Foundation that that sentence in their leaflet was
The world has turned upside down. Over a billion people worldwide can
read the account by the initial senior detective in the case of the
history of, conclusions arrived at, in his investigation.
But the people in the land where Madeleine was born, so the McCanns say,
should not be allowed to read it.
There are in fact translations of Dr Amaral’s book available on the
internet. Such is the power of the McCanns’ lawyers, Carter-Ruck,
however, that we are not sure if we can give you the links here. So we
But what we can and will do is reproduce those parts of the Portuguese
Appeal Court’s judgment which explain just how widely in the world Dr
Amaral’s book can be bought and read:
EXTRACTS FROM THE
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF APPEAL
- IN THE CASE OF McCANNS -v- AMARAL
On 24 July 2008, the defendant Dr Goncalo Amaral first published his
book, through publishers Guerra e Paz.
In that book, Dr Amaral put forward the following hypothesis:
That the child
Madeleine McCann died in the Ocean Club apartment G5A in Vila da
Luz, on the evening of 3 May 2007
That the McCanns
and their friends fabricated an abduction
That Dr Kate
Healy and Dr Gerald McCann are suspected of involvement in the
concealment of their daughter’s body
That the death
may have been the outcome of a tragic accident
That there are
indications of neglect of the care and safety of the children.
Dr Amaral’s book was published in four editions by the end of July, a
further nine by the end of August, and another 12 by end of September.
Each edition was of around 10,000 copies. [Thus, in all, around 250,000
copies were printed]. At the time of our decision, the book had been
sold out at practically all points of sale.
When the book was published, Dr Amaral gave an interview to the
newspaper Correia da Manha, published on 24 July 2008. In that
interview, he explained his analysis of the case. He also gave
interviews later to all other media that asked him for an interview,
each time defending the book’s thesis.
At the beginning of May 2009, Dr Amaral published his book in France,
this time under the title: ‘Maddie, L’Enquete interdite: Les revelations
du commissaire portugais charge de l’enquete [The revelations of the
Portuguese co-ordinator of the investigation].
Dr Amaral also gave countless interviews to several media in France,
including the one that was published by Le Parisien newspaper in
both its paper and online editions. In those interviews, Dr Amaral
continued to promote his hypothesis on the case. The book’s French
edition was, and continues to be, systematically and prolifically
promoted on the internet, for example on the following websites: [a long
list of websites follows] .
Between the date when the Portuguese edition was published [24 July
2008] and the date of the book’s French edition [May 2009], Televisao
Independente (TVI) broadcast a TV programme produced by Valentim de
Carvalho for the company Filmes, Audiovisuais, SA [FASA], who
hold the copyright of the documentary.
The first transmission of that programme was on 13 April 2009, the
second on 12 May 2009. This programme was essentially based on the
contents of Dr Amaral’s book: ‘Maddie: The Truth About A Lie’. In that
documentary, Dr Amaral appears and continues to advance his theory (a)
that Madeleine is no longer alive (b) that her death occurred within
their Ocean Club apartment, and (c) that her parents, the McCanns,
concealed their daughter’s body.
At least 2,200,000 people viewed the first screening of this programme.
At the end of April 2009, a DVD of the programme was made, with the
following title and subtitle: ‘Maddie - The Truth About A Lie: A
powerful documentary based on the best-seller ‘The Truth About A Lie’ by
Goncalo Amaral. Already, 75,000 copies of this DVD have been distributed
for sale. The DVD is published on FASA’s website.
All the actions within the investigation that Dr Amaral reports in his
book are documented within the investigation file. Not only that, but
the investigation documents were also made available in electronic
format, not only to the national media, but to international media.
These media proceeded to divulge the contents of the reports and
statements from the investigation file. This publication of the
electronic reports naturally enabled knowledge of the facts of the
investigation to be circulated. Public comments were made and soon there
was universal discussion of the contents of the investigation file. Any
individual in the world can have access to these facts and to the
documents of the investigation which enabled the facts of the
investigation to be verified. All of this was only a click on the mouse
The friends of the McCanns did not make themselves available in Portugal
to attend a reconstruction [of the events of 3 May 2007]. This is all
documented on pages 4,636 to 4,638 of Volume XII of the ‘Investigation
Processos’ files, complied by the Prosecutor’s office.
Dr Amaral’s book was published, through other editors, in several
countries, as well as in France, as we referred to above.
The publications occurred as follows:
September 2008, titled ‘Maddie - La verdad de la mentira’
distributed in the Spanish/Castilian language in Spanish-speaking
Latin American countries
In Denmark, in
November 200, titled ‘Maddie - Sandheden on Lognem’.
edition was then published in the Nordic countries of Norway and
December 2008, titled ‘Maddie - La Verita della Menzonga’.
That edition was
distributed in Italian-speaking countries all over the world
In Holland, April
2009, titled ‘Maddie - De Waarheide Achter de Leugen’.
distributed in Dutch-speaking countries throughout the world
In Germany, in
June 2009, with the tile: ‘Maddie - De Wahrheit uber die Luge’
This was also
distributed in German-speaking countries, including Austria and
There is also an
English version circulating on the internet, on the web site
www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/PJ/TRANSLATIONS.htm where a
Portuguese version can also be found.
Published by the
Madeleine McCann Research Group, 14 February 2012