The 7.500 book copies of "Maddie
the Truth of the Lie"
are being returned today to their rightful owners,
the book publisher "Guerra & Paz". The McCann's
libel lawyer, Isabel Duarte, has finally complied
with the superior court ruling that ordered the
"immediate return of the books" last month. It
should be recalled the McCann couple attempted to
ban the book of the first coordinator inspector of
the Maddie case in 2009 with an injunction that was
deemed as going against the Constitutional rights of
Freedom of Expression and Information by the Court
of Appeals of Lisbon. More on this later.
«We conclude that the applicants voluntarily decided
to limit their right to the intimacy of private
life, certainly envisaging higher values like the
discovery of their daughter Madeleine’s whereabouts,
but upon voluntarily limiting that right, they
opened the doors for other people to give their
opinion about the case, in synchrony with what they
were saying, but also possibly in contradiction with
their directions, yet always within the bounds of a
legitimate and constitutionally consecrated right to
opinion and freedom of expression of thought.
We do not see that the right of the book’s author,
the defendant, can be limited by a right to the
reservation of intimacy that suffered voluntary
limitations by their holders, the applicants.
In the same way, concerning the applicants’ right to
image and a good name: upon placing the case in the
public square and giving it worldwide notoriety, the
applicants opened all doors to all opinions, even
those that are adversarial to them.
In any case, we understand that the allegation of
facts that are profusely contained in the judicial
inquiry and that were even published through an
initiative of the Republic’s Attorney General’s
Office, can in no way be seen as an offence against
the right to image and a good name of the subjects
in the process.
Finally, concerning the damage to the right to
usufruct from the penal process’ guarantees, namely
the right to a fair investigation and the right to
freedom and safety, we still cannot understand how
it is possible for said rights to be offended by the
contents of a book that describes facts from the
investigation, although it parts from the
interpretation that the Public Ministry’s
Magistrates made of those facts, yet offering based,
solidly built and logical interpretations.
We thus reach a point where it seems to be important
to stress the following: the indicative facts that
led to the applicants’ constitution as arguidos
within the inquiry were later on not valued by the
Public Ministry’s Magistrates in order to lead to a
criminal accusation, but those very same facts, seen
through another prism and with another base, may
lead to a different conclusion from that which was
attained by those same Magistrates – those are
indications that were deemed to be insufficient in
terms of evidence in a criminal investigation, but
they can be appreciated in a different way, in an
interpretation that is legitimate to be published as
a literary work, as long as said interpretation does
not offend any fundamental rights of anyone involved
– and we have written above already why we
understand that said interpretation does not offend
the applicants’ rights.
In a concise manner:
The book at stake in this process – “Maddie – the
Truth of the Lie” – which was written by the
defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, has the main
motivation of defending his personal and
professional honour, as the author points out right
away in the preface and throughout his text.
The contents of the book does not offend any of the
applicants’ fundamental rights.
The exercise of its writing and publication is
included in the constitutional rights that are
secured to everyone by the European Convention on
Human Rights and by the Portuguese Republic’s
Constitution, namely in its articles 37 and 38.
As we arrive at this point, we conclude that the
decision that was made by the Court a quo must be
revoked, and the analysis of the other issues that
are placed under appeal are not justified, as they
are considered prejudiced.
The appeal by defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral is
The other appeals are not taken into consideration,
as it is understood that their appreciation is
prejudiced – article 660, number 2, of the Civil
Extract from 'Lisbon Appeals
Court Decision on the McCann Couple Injunction'
October 24, 2012