Friday, November 19, 2010

'it is the book that is on trial and not Kate and I' Hearing, Gerry hearing, not trial

Madeleine McCann's parents have spoken out against Portuguese detectives who accused them of covering up their daughter’s death.
Mr McCann said the determination of police investigators to pursue the “mistaken” theory, despite a lack of evidence, had harmed the search for his missing daughter.
“It’s disappointing that certain police officers who considered us as possibly involved in Madeleine's disappearance have not been able to change their mind, despite a lack of evidence,” he said outside court in Lisbon.
"It is these officers who we’re dependent on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal."

Mr McCann was asked by a Portuguese reporter whether it was worth the emotional cost for the couple to attend the court.

He replied: "Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through the same process."

His comments came on the second day of a tense legal battle with the former head of the investigation, Goncalo Amaral, who has written a book about the case.

The couple heard a series of allegations made against them by former detectives involved in the initial investigation as they closed ranks around the ex-police chief.

Four detectives on the case, the public prosecutor and a leading criminologist were all called to testify in support of Mr Amaral’s claims that Madeleine died in a tragic accident in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

But the McCanns dismissed claims that their daughter was dead and they had concealed her body and faked an abduction.

“I’ll like to remind everyone that it is the book that is on trial and not Kate and I,” Mr McCann said outside court.

“Over last two days we have heard a lot about Amaral’s thesis that Madeleine is dead,” he told reporters. “but we have also heard that there is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis.

“A thesis without evidence is meaningless – and that is what we are here to discuss,” he said.

On Wednesday a court heard how the McCanns, both 41, had woven “a fairytale” to divert police and should have been prosecuted for neglect after leaving their children in the holiday apartment unattended.

Portugal’s leading criminologist Francisco Moita Flores told the court that the abduction theory pushed by the McCanns should have been dismissed immediately as it was “totally implausible”.

He also accused British police of failing to follow up leads that could have led to the couple’s arrest.

"No one believed it was a kidnap. The theory was a fairy tale invented by the McCanns,” he said.

He said Mr Amaral, who he admitted had been a friend for almost 30 years, was a good policeman and that the investigation had been carried out correctly.

He branded the injunction banning the book "pathetic" because it prevented a citizen expressing his opinions in a responsible way.

"This trial is bizarre - an aberration,” he told the court by video link.

The testimony came as Mr Amaral, 50, expressed his total disregard for the couple suing him for libel following the publication of his book “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie” in July 2008.

“F*** the McCanns,” he said on camera when asked by BBC East Midlands news team what he thought of the case.

But Mr Amaral's lawyer, Antonio Cabrita, has denied that he made the comment/

Regional news programme East Midlands Today broadcast the exchange with the allegedly offending word bleeped out.

A BBC spokesman said: "The reply was clearly 'f*** the McCanns'.

"The entire exchange was recorded on camera, and the swear word was bleeped out for transmission as it was clearly unacceptable to broadcast such language at 6.30pm."

But Mr Cabrita said his client had not said anything in English to a camera crew, because he does not speak the language.

Portuguese journalists who heard the exchange reported that he had said “Nao (SQUIGGLE OVER A) falo com os McCanns” which means "I'm not talking about the McCanns", in Portuguese.

In an attempt to clarify what was actually said he was asked about the incident at a press conference outside the court on Thursday

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” he said in response to the question posed through a Portuguese interpreter.