Libel trial McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 1
The testimony as it
Hubbard Occupation mid-wife. She speaks in a
combination of Portuguese (more) and English (less).
Mrs Hubbard admits her friendship with Kate McCann
can influence her evidence.
1) McCann family lawyer is the first to question
ID – In this trial we're discussing the effects
on the McCann family of the publication of GA's book
and the documentary inspired by this book. As a
close friend of KMC, can you tell how this family
reacted to the thesis of the book?
SH answers that they are very strong persons,
but any claims that their daughter is dead is
terrible for them because it means she isn't looked
for any more. She says the book finishes like it
starts, not offering an alternative theory.
One of the defence lawyers asks precise questions
and answers. The judge overrules.
ID – What impact had the book on their life, on
their personal life, health, relationships?
SH answers that they were angry in having to
spend a lot of energy due to the allegations in the
book instead expelling their energies looking for
Madeleine. She stated that everybody in Portugal
believed the book.
Defence lawyer protests and this time the judge
admits the question is too vague.
ID – How did they find out about the book ? What
did they feel when they saw the book and the
SH doesn't know how they found out about the
book, but says the people who saw the documentary
believed a man who stated he said the truth. She
says it made the McCanns angry, sad, scared and
destroyed their hope.
ID – What have you
observed in relation to the McCanns and the twins?
SH states they are good parents, the twins
are happy, they have a normal life. She wonders, if
in the future they read the book, what they will
think about their parents.
ID – The book is
published on the Internet, in English.
SH remarks the access to the book is very
ID – This book and
the documentary arouse suspicions? Could the twins
have doubts about what happened ?
SH thinks so.
ID reads an extract
from GA's book (p.193)
Burla ou abuso de confiança?
Num momento de relaxe de uma destas reuniões,
terei cometido um deslize ou, quiçá, terei sido
inoportuno e pouco diplomático. Preocupado com a
possibilidade de o casal McCann estar, de
alguma forma, envolvido no desaparecimento de sua
filha, e quando raciocinava quanto aos tipos de
crime que os mesmos pudessem ter praticado,
apercebi-me de um facto. Se, realmente, se viesse a
confirmar qualquer tipo de responsabilidade do casal
McCann, então poderia estar em causa, relativamente
ao fundo criado para as buscas por Madeleine, que
atingia mais de 2 milhões de
libras, um crime de burla ou abuso de confiança.
Abriu-se então o debate e, de facto, com as
premissas indicadas, os crimes de burla qualificada
ou abuso de confiança poderiam existir, mas Portugal
não teria jurisdição para investigar e julgar por
tal crime. Esta pertenceria ao Reino Unido, por o
fundo se encontrar registado naquele país. Os
colegas ingleses aperceberam-se então de uma dura
realidade: a forte possibilidade de terem um crime
para investigar no seu país, tendo como eventuais
suspeitos o casal McCann, coisa que parecia não lhes
Translates as >
Fraud or abuse of
During a moment of
relaxation at one of these meetings, I did a side
step or I might have been inopportune and rather
undiplomatic. Worried with the possibility that the
McCann couple were somehow involved in their
daughter's disappearance and reflecting about the
kind of crime they might have committed, something
occurred to me. If, really, any type of
responsibility of the McCann couple was confirmed,
then the fund set up to finance the search for
Madeleine that had reached nearly €3 million could
be a crime of fraud or abuse of trust. This question
was debated and, in fact, with such premises the
crimes of qualified fraud or abuse of trust could
exist, but Portugal would have no jurisdiction to
investigate and judge it. The fund being legally
registered in England, it would be our English
colleagues who would deal with the case. Our English
colleagues then realised a hard reality: the strong
possibility that they would have a crime to
investigate in their own country, with the McCann
couple as the main suspects: a prospect that left
them rather reluctant.
ID – Did they react badly to
this extract ?
The judge criticizes the suggestion of the answer
in the question.
SH doesn't know. She doesn't think they
concluded anything from this paragraph. She thinks
the McCanns didn't fear a UK investigation and hoped
their truth would be spoken about in Portugal.
2) Defence lawyers.
a) TVI lawyers’ questions.
TVI – You said that "everybody in Portugal
believes the book". What makes you think this?
SH says that in PDL some people believe Kate
and Gerald, but outside they don't.
TVI – Do you
suppose so? Have you any objective basis to think
SH says she has knows a Portuguese nurse, in
the hospital where she works in Canada, who believes
what the book says.
TVI – Do you know
if this book and the documentary were broadcast at
the same moment ?
SH says when one and the other were launched.
TVI – Are the
SH notes that in the documentary the actors
representing Kate and Gerald were depicted drinking
a lot, but the underlying theories are similar. She
adds one must pay for the book whereas the access to
the documentary is free.
TVI – Have you seen
"Madeleine was here"?
SH did, as many people.
TVI – Then why
should one believe more a documentary than the
SH argues the Amaral documentary had more
TVI – Why?
SH doesn't know. She hasn't watched all the
TVI – Then why do
you think that one is more watched than the other?
The judge overrules : the issue is "what kind of
b) Valentim de Carvalho (DVD
production/distribution) lawyer's questions
VC : You don't know if Madeleine died. Your
conviction is she's alive. The idea that something
happened to her other than abduction is also a
possibility. Do you think the McCanns are angry
because such a theory exists that is different from
SH hesitates, then says she doesn't think so,
refers to the loss of hope.
VC – Have you seen
the TVI documentary, have you read the final
The judge overrules.
c) Guerra & Paz's lawyer's questions
GP first asks if SH knows GA and when she met the
McCanns for the first time.
SH answers she once saw GA somewhere in PDL
and met the McCanns a few days after her arrival in
PDL (3 days after Madeleine disappeared).
GP – How did the
couple react when they were made arguidos?
SH says the McCanns didn't fear the
arguido status because they knew they were
GP – We could then expect
the same reaction after the book was published.
You, as a close friend who
saw them almost every day, must know better than
anyone. How did they react when they were made
SH answers they wanted to protect the twins
and didn't know what to do. They thought of taking
them to Spain. They reacted with sadness (GMC with
anger) because the police wouldn't be looking for
GP – Did the Fund
and the private investigators go on searching for
SH answers yes.
GP – And after the
book was published?
SH answers yes.
GP – There's a
website with an English version of the book. Do you
know to whom this site belongs?
SH answers no.
GP – Do you know
the Oprah Winfrey TV program?
SH answers no.
d) Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions
SO – How many times a week did the McCanns come
to your place?
SH says about once a week. She adds she saw
mainly Kate and that Kate cried when she was with
SO – Was there a
difference between the sorrow due to the
disappearance and the sorrow due to the loss?
The judge reacts, the lawyer argues the feelings
can be the same and the motives different. The judge
agrees but warns that the question shouldn't imply
SO – Do you recall the interview they gave in
October to the Expresso ?
SO – Do you know
who Clarence Mitchell is?
SO – Do you know if
they spoke about the possibility that their daughter
had died ?
SH says they did.
SO – Then why were
they angry with the book?
SH says they don't fear what the book says.
SO – Do you know if
the book hampered the investigation?
SH says she can't answer.
SO – Have you
talked with the McCanns about the book?
SH says yes, 3 months later.
SO – What did they
say about the book?
SH answers they were worried about what the
people would think and, if they did nothing, the
people would think the book was telling the truth.
They spoke of the effect on the search for
Madeleine, the public attention diverted. They
didn't want to waste energy on this issue. They
spoke about the way to protect the twins from what
was in the book.
SO – Did they feel
indicted by the book?
SH apparently doesn't understand.
The judge (Maria Emília de Melo e Castro) is now
MC – Did they feel ashamed, anxious?
SH doesn't (doesn't want to?) answer.
MC – Did they feel
SH sighs then says they were surprised by the
MC – Did the
documentary change something?
SH says it increased the damage. She says
that, after the book was published, some people
turned their back on them. And some people wanted
the tragedy to stop there.