Friday, 29 August 2014

The End Game: it's all on the record


 “Mr Amaral’s views about our clients have been discredited by the Portuguese Court which found no evidence to support his thesis whatsoever.”

That’s from the well-known letter sent by Messrs Carter-Ruck in 2009 to the owner of a website that archived the Gerry McCann Blogs, and it formed part of a legal demand that the blogs  should be taken down. The owner replied with her own version of the famous  Arkell V Pressdram  response* and no more was heard from Carter Ruck.

One can forgive Carter-Ruck almost anything for having humiliated and eventually silenced the star of that classic movie The Tramp who Entered Parliament (2009) but we still think this was a bit heavy-handed and not, well, completely accurate. And the  world would be a poorer place if the blogs vanished and we lost forever their unique and unmistakeable literary style – Lobotomy Victim’s Diary, one wag called it. Gerry would have made a brilliant journalist, wouldn't he? Just imagine what he might have written:

September 11 2001

An eventful day. Went to the chiropodist in the morning. I was greeted by several people in the street. Later I helped free Philomena after she became jammed in the Sauchiehall Weight Loss Clinic entrance. They are very nice there. Lots of pictures of Americans sky diving off buildings on the television. How do they do it?  Tomorrow we are going to have our weekly curry. Not too hot I hope!

But  Gerry is too modest to keep his classics  on-line, even such brilliant summaries as his August 2 2007 entry, describing that dramatic day when the couple  were turfed out of their home by the police as they searched for traces of Madeleine's body. Phew!   The turmoil they must have felt as they paced the streets of Praia da Luz wearing the only  clothes that the PJ hadn't seized!  Can you imagine what they were feeling? Gerry’s report is a lesson to all journalists, an elegant  model of restraint -  here it is  in its entirety:

Thursday. Today was a bit of a write off for me as I was laid low with a probable viral illness which meant I could not stray too far from the house! I did manage to get through some e-mails, telephone calls and some paperwork. Feeling a bit better tonight so hopefully be back to normal tomorrow. Kate did manage to put up some of the new Madeleine posters in shops around Praia da Luz. It is noticeably busier, now that we are in August, with lots of tourists many of whom are from Portugal.

The figures from the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children show that one in six kids are recovered after being recognised from a poster.Such statistics do encourage us that relatively simple measures may be effective in helping us find Madeleine.

Some have claimed that the blogs are solid evidence against the foul and untrue rumours that have, like badly cooked Gorbals cabbage, hung around poor Gerry over the years. Surely, they say, surely, such utterly open and self-revealing entries as the one above  prove that the idea of Gerry acting normally on May 3, while knowing that his daughter's corpse  was dumped at the bottom of a well or wherever, is just crazy. And hate-filled. And ludicrous.  

Anyway, back to Carter Ruck. It’s good to see them accepting the judgement of a Portuguese Court as definitive as well as significant, even though that judgement in the preliminary injunction hearings  - the ambush - did not actually examine any evidence.

Instead the judge accepted the sworn  statements of the McCann family as sufficient  in themselves. Of what exactly? Why, of their terrible sufferings, of course. And? Ah, of the harm that Amaral and his grossly brandished Big Thesis was doing to the [wait for it] search.  They could take the aspersions but it was the damage to the search that was causing them the terrible suffering.
A hint of common sense broke briefly into this performance when the judge  admitted that the McCanns' evidence statements that she had used to determine her judgement consisted  "essentially of opinions, personal convictions and deductions” rather than anything tangible. There was no supporting evidence.

In other words they provided for the civil court in 2009 exactly what  they provided to the police and, via their leaks, to the public in  their "abduction claim" in 2007: their unsupported words alone. The abduction claim and their claims against Amaral are two sides of the same coin. And both are unravelling under legal scrutiny.

Of course they told the court that the supporting evidence did exist. Just like Kate McCann told the public  that supporting evidence existed for the “I knew that she’d been abducted immediately” claim. And the judge, like many before and since, apparently believed them.  

Concerning the statements [of the McCann family demanding the injunction]  it has to be noted that these were  essentially their opinions, deductions and personal convictions. But these statements  revealed that they manifested direct knowledge [our italics] of the increase in difficulties and obstacles to the ongoing private investigation into the child’s disappearance …each time that new editions or  announcements of future editions of the book or  interviews with Goncalo Amaral  or showings of his  DVD take place.

So much for the finding by this judge that  supposedly “discredited” Amaral’s thesis and found “no evidence” to support it, quoted by Carter-Ruck.

Now, finally, judgement is near in the libel case at which this evidence, the evidence that the judge accepted did exist  when she authorized  the wrecking of Amaral’s life, was due to be produced.

Where is it?

Read the internet record of the current case for yourselves, as well as yesterday’s Bureau summarizing what the judge has to determine. The court record shows and the judgement will demonstrate that they never provided any.
Read this from the judgement again. The McCanns claimed and the judge accepted that:
[the McCanns sworn statements] manifested direct knowledge [our italics] of the increase in difficulties and obstacles to the ongoing private investigation into the child’s disappearance …each time that new editions or  announcements of future editions of the book or  interviews with Goncalo Amaral  or showings of his  DVD take place.
Dave "Strangler's Hands" Edgar  was in charge of the "ongoing private investigation " in 2008/9. In 2013 he finally appeared to testify to the "difficulties and obstacles" that his investigation met each time Amaral's thesis was widely plugged. He didn't.  Our own copy of the proceedings  reads:
DE: [sighs] yes, but not much information originated from Portugal. He thinks that Madeleine can be in Portugal and therefore the Portuguese information is important. But adds that the Portuguese public believed Madeleine was dead.
ID  You interviewed people. Did you feel the impact of that belief or not?
DE says it is difficult to say in terms of volume of information and of facts. He thinks there was less information being received by the time he got involved in October 2008.
ID  Did the interest of the public increase or decreased after the publication of the (Amaral) book?
DE says it's difficult to say. He says there was a lot of information when he started to work on this case...[mumbles]
There weren't any difficulties or obstacles for the private investigation, according to the McCanns' chief witness. The McCanns had made it all up. The central claim that destroyed Amaral's life was a pack of lies. Read the full witness statement for yourself.

That is why we repeat  that the end game is indeed beginning: the records - not the gossip, not the hate - are all starting to come together with the same consistent and converging  messages of proven lies, lies, lies. There is a direct linkage between the non-existent evidence to support the McCann’s hateful lies about Amaral and the non-existent evidence (after seven years!) for the “abduction” now being studied by Scotland Yard  – as well as the non-existent virus that Gerry McCann’s blog invented to conceal the fact of the police investigation - in which, as he so honestly said, he and his wife were "not suspects".

We repeat also: In other words they provided for the civil court in 2009 exactly what  they provided to the police and, via their leaks, to the public in  their "abduction claim" in 2007: their unsupported words alone. The abduction claim and their claims against Amaral are two sides of the same coin. And both are unravelling under legal scrutiny.

 
_______________________________________________________________________________
*
Dear Sirs,

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr. J. Arkell.

We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

Yours,

Private Eye