Suberbo! Thanks to Textusa.
"I now see my name involved in something that not only displeases but really and truly saddens me.
Let me very clear that my involvement in the issue in question was by my doing when I decided that I should give my opinion about how negatively I thought JH Forum was being affected because of this unfortunate, totally unprovoked and completely out of context sentence by Mr Tony Bennett: “this case has now been running in the incompetent and corrupt Portuguese judicial system for 6 years and 1 month.”
I thought the moment I read the words incompetent and corrupt it was out of order, unnecessary but above all untrue. In my opinion the exact same idea could have been said without resorting to degrading insult: “this case has now been running in the Portuguese judicial system for 6 years and 1 month.”
I gave this opinion in a private conversation and in my opinion private conversations should remain private. This is what saddens me.
The sadness has nothing to do with any sort of shame or regret about what was said in confidence but of the trust and personal respect lost.
This conversation in confidence was not with Mr. Bennett and was I warned beforehand that he was going to be told of its contents. It never crossed my mind that I would be seeing it published publicly as I did.
I immediately expressed my disappointment and the thread on JH in which it was published was deleted.
From that private conversation I will quote myself:
“I'm sorry to see such a disgraceful behaviour of your Forum Jill. T's remarks about the PJS is out of order and insulting no better than calling the Portuguese sardine-munchers. I have been following now both threads, and I must protest, it is indeed disgraceful"
I was then invited to reply to Mr Bennett first by registering on the JH Forum and then by private FB conversation. I refused to do either:
“Am protesting to you as the Forum owner and giving my opinion as to what I see a damage to your Forum's image to the outside. I do not wish to engage in public argument with Tony. The Pro's/BH would love that. Make of my opinion what you wish and one option is to ignore it If you would, tell Tony the argument is not about Portugal being corrupt but about its judicial system is or not corrupt and is or not incompetent (the latter much more insulting than the first)”
A poster, naming himself Portuguese, had put the following question to Mr Bennett: “Based on what have you come to the conclusion that the Portuguese judicial system is either incompetent or corrupt?”
Portuguese was banned from the Forum because, apparently its admin determined he was Pedro Silva from JATYK who to everyone familiar with the case knows is as much Portuguese as Mr Bennett is. JATYK/Pedro or Pedro “your-words-are-my-words” Silva prides himself in writing in very bad English (except in certain moments when emotions make him forget that he’s supposed to be Portuguese) but doing a really very bad impression of a Portuguese who doesn’t know English trying to express himself in the language.
But now, Mr Bennett is quite clear that I’m the poster Portuguese.
I can understand why and will grant him the right to associate my anger and outrage about his phrase with the one expressed by that poster as well as asking for him to be told that the discussion on corruption and incompetence was about the Portuguese judicial system and not about the country itself.
However I do think the person posting as Portuguese on JH should be given respect for their own opinion.
The request from me to tell Mr Bennett to refocus – made in confidence – came after seeing Mr Bennett answering the question put to him by basically, if not only, addressing how corrupt (better said, how it was perceived to be corrupt) Portugal was.
Thus my request for him to focus on what mattered and on what I as a forum reader was eager to see him answer.
His “full answer” was made up of many words but it was only about the possible corruption of a country and not about factual criticism of its judicial system.
And it’s only about a perceived corruption and not factual.
I’m not saying the studies quoted by Mr Bennett are untrue but if one takes a citizen from any country (including the UK) and one asks him if he thinks his country is corrupt or not he will most probably answer that it is one of the most corrupt in the world.
The citizen is not being dishonest. On the contrary. He’s being absolutely honest and responding with the knowledge he has and that is the reality of his life.
His opinion is based on his experience and with the ignorance of what the reality of other countries truly is. He doesn’t know how to compare his country to others and will exaggerate the problems that affect him directly.
The closest Mr Bennett came to addressing the issue was in these words he quotes, “scandals of corruption, recurring obstacles in pending investigations, crimes that go unpunished and new anti‐corruption policies that have no effect on these issues”.
However this happens to be said about Portugal but it could be said about UK or almost any other country in the world.
Portugal’s judicial system record against corruption seems to be impressive:
The Casa Pia process, sentenced a diplomat Jorge Ritto, the most popular TV presenter Carlos Cruz – active and alive – known at the time as “The TV Man”, and 2 other prominent members of society - Manuel Abrantes (deputy responsible for Casa Pia) and Ferreira Diniz a doctor known as the “Ferrari doctor”. In this process, a former minister Paulo Pedroso was under preventative prison and was released without charges. Pedroso was a member of parliament when he was arrested.
The process of purchasing submarines, in which the current Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister of Defense Paulo Portas was involved. It was archived, no charges.
The Freeport process, which involved José Sócrates. No charges.
The Face Oculta process, in which a former minister Armando Vara and José Penedos, ex-president of the public electrical company REN, sentenced both to 5 years in prison.
The Homeland process, which sentenced Duarte Lima to 10 years in prison for fraud. Lima was a prominent PSD politician having been this party’s parliament leader. This process is independent from the one he has ongoing in Brasil for homicide.
The BPN process, involving former ministers Oliveira e Costa, then banker, and Dias Loureiro. They were charged but acquitted in court. Oliveira e Costa was under preventative? prison.
In the Isaltino Morais process, he was the most popular head of a township in the country (he was President of Oeiras township at the time), he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for money laundering and fiscal fraud.
The Monte Branco process, in which Ricardo Salgado is currently an arguido. Salgado, banker and head of BES, was considered the most powerful man until exactly a year ago.
The ongoing Operação Marquês, in which ex-Prime Minister José Sócrates is under preventative prison, the former minister Armando Vara under house arrest with electronic monitoring among other very wealthy men who are also arguidos in this process.
It clearly shows that the Portuguese judicial system is fighting corruption at the highest levels of political and economic powers.
The politicians of a country may be corrupt but that doesn’t mean that the judicial system of the country also is. Safeguarding the presumption of innocence of all the above listed who are awaiting the outcome of their processes seems to point to the contrary when it comes to Portugal.
To make such an extrapolation is absurd.
With the post “13 July - McCanns respond to Goncalo Amaral's appeal against Lisbon Court judgment”, on JH Forum Mr Bennett has finally addressed the question that was asked of him.
Mr Bennett uses one person to exemplify how corrupt and how incompetent the Portuguese judicial system is according to him: Gonçalo Amaral.
Let’s for a minute suppose Mr Bennett is right in ALL 18 points he lists, which he’s not, one must ask if what happens to a single person, in the case Mr Amaral, should represent an entire system? I don’t think it should.
Mr Amaral has been involved within the Portuguese judicial system in the following processes, that we are aware of:
#1 – Death of Joana Cipriano, investigation and trial. Closed.
#2 – Disappearance of Maddie McCann, investigation. Archived and re-opened. Mr Amaral no longer has any relationship with it.
#3 – Torture of Leonor Cipriano, trial. Closed.
#4 – Libel against Marcos Aragão Correia, trial. Closed.
#5 – Book “A verdade da Mentira”. Ongoing.
Mr Bennett says that #2 to #4 represent clearly that the Portuguese judicial system has been unfair to Mr Amaral (note although the initial question is about corruption and incompetence, Mr Bennett deflects the issue to unfairness which is neither).
But as we will see, not even in #2 is he right and in all others he’s completely wrong.
Mr Bennett says “I rest my case” about the incompetence of the Portuguese judicial system because the Book trial has taken now 6 years and 1 month and one simply cannot foresee when it will end.
As a man of the law Mr Bennett should know, and apparently doesn’t, that each country has its own legal system and to establish parallels between any 2 is absurd.
For example, in the UK in a libel process the offending party has to prove it has not offended while in Portugal the burden of proof lies with the offended one. In criminal law, Portugal is inquisitorial while in the UK it’s an adversarial system. UK has juries in higher courts, Portugal doesn’t. UK has a life sentence, Portugal the maximum sentence is 25 years.
Besides, each country has its own legal schedules and timelines.
To accuse someone of incompetence because it follows them is wrong and is insulting. One may be baffled by them but they are what they are.
Unless Mr Bennett has evidence that a schedule was not adhered to by any of those involved he should be silent about linking the time the process has been going on to a possible case of incompetence.
It has taken 6 years, it could be more, it could be less, and it simply is what it is.
In my post “Nobel Prize for Stupidity” in 2009, I warned very clearly of this. To consider this a problem, which I do, is to give an opinion but to consider it incompetence is just wrong.
A system that safeguards personal guarantees to the extreme is permeable to legal games. However the Portuguese judicial system was set up legitimately that way by those rightfully elected to do it. Just to give an example, José Sócrates hasn’t been charged yet but by now over THIRTY judges have taken a legal decision about him, on various appeals and habeas corpus since he was arrested in November last year. His legal team has used all possible legal tools available to them by the system. This depletes resources, both human and time.
It’s true the process involving Mr Amaral’s book has been ongoing for 6 years but it has to be said it has been delayed by both sides of the fence in legal games.
One may not agree with the system as it exists and is designed. One may say it’s inefficient but that is only an opinion and one has to respect that but it’s worth all that it’s worth.
What one may not do is to insult it just because where one lives things are done differently.
Using Mr Bennett as an example. He saw himself in a legal situation in which he felt had to sign an agreement. He breached that agreement and was sentenced because of that. Was the system corrupt? No. Was it unfair? Probably but it’s the law.
One must not confuse an unfavourable decision with a corrupt or incompetent one.
One is entitled to an opinion but to call the Portuguese justice system corrupt and incompetent without material proof of corruption and incompetence is not to give an opinion but to insult.
Mr Bennett insulted the Portuguese justice system. Thus my outrage expressed privately.
One must however note that the corrupt and incompetent system is the same which Mr Bennett recognises has decided wholly in favour of GA. A system Mr Bennett seems to say is after Mr Amaral like a vicious dog.
And it’s the same corrupt and incompetent system Mr Amaral says he trusts.
I would also like to point out that if Mr Bennett’s intent was to help Mr Amaral, by calling the Portuguese judicial system corrupt and incompetent he’s doing exactly the opposite.
If the system is indeed corrupt and incompetent as stated by Mr Bennett (which I will say again it is NOT) would it be wise to call it corrupt and incompetent now just BEFORE it is taking a major decision that directly affects the life of a person we all care about?
In what way would that help Mr Amaral if indeed Mr Bennett was right? Wouldn’t that make a corrupt and incompetent system even more resolute in deciding against Mr Amaral?
As I said, fortunately Mr Bennett is not right as I will proceed to show by going over the points Mr Bennett has listed in his post, so little harm is done.
The 18 points:
“1. Frustrating Amaral’s investigation. The Portuguese judicial system hampered Amaral’s investigation by restricting his ability to look at the historic ’phone records of the McCanns and their ‘Tapas 7’ friends.”
The law is clear and it states that telephone tapping of any private communication interception can only be made with a court order and it applies only AFTER that decision is taken.
Retroactive intrusion by the state in private communications is illegal. The judge allowed a record of telephone traffic ie, numbers called and numbers dialled but not any its contents which is what the law states.
Mr Bennett’s expectations are that the judge should have gone against the law of the Portuguese Republic.
This was decided by the judge in Portimão and further validated by the Évora Appeal Court.
Not seeing any form of corruption and incompetence here.
“2. The long-running libel trial. After 6 years and 1 month, the Portuguese judicial system still cannot decide (a) whether Amaral libeled the McCanns and/or (b) whether his book ‘The Truth about A Lie’ should be banned.”
It is not a libel trial.
Libel is the equivalent of defamation and is a criminal offence and hence the competence of a criminal court. Mr Bennett should kindly check the verdict and court details.
About the time the process is taking we have already addressed and will address again.
Fail to see corruption and/or incompetence.
“3. He was denied ‘Legal Aid’ for the trial.”
Mr Amaral does not fulfil the criteria for legal aid. In a country where the minimum monthly wage is now 500 €uros it would be insulting to those in need, to those for whom legal aid was conceived to give such legal aid to Mr Amaral.
The criteria is determined by law and the law was simply followed. No corruption or incompetence.
“4. It is probably the longest-running libel trial in the history of the earth; even now the appeal probably won’t be heard until October, and almost certainly, it will run for some good time after that.”
Again not libel. It is fascinating how persistent Mr Bennett uses the term even after Mr Amaral coming out publicly to clarify that it is not libel.
The civil law suit for damages was filed by plaintiffs who live outside Portugal (who have complained how bothersome it is to go to Portugal) and who have convened witnesses who also live outside the country.
This fact alone implies a complex logistic operation on notification and confirmation of presence.
It also requires translation services that are time consuming.
The appeal will probably take time, and rightfully so, as it means it is being properly studied and analysed in legal terms by a collective of Judges.
Like it or not, there are far more urgent cases than this in Portugal that need to be decided.
The world does not revolve around Kate and Gerry McCann or this case. Although it does make the news that is mostly due to media marketing than of priority given in legal terms. In fact when there was the computer glitch last year, the process was given a low priority.
In terms of visibility the case has much more relevance in the UK then it does in Portugal.
There is a limited number of judges responsible for both criminal and civil cases in first instance courts as well as the number of courts which has been reduced due to the economic crisis. Time consuming, yes, but with good reason.
The process is taking the time any other process in similar circumstances takes. No corruption or incompetence.
“5. That is fair neither to Amaral nor to the McCanns. Only the lawyers benefit, in terms of vastly increased fees. ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ is a popular saying here. So too for Amaral. The continuing uncertainty and anxiety. The rising costs. The inability to ‘move on’. And on.”
Judicial costs in Portugal are a mere fraction of those in many other countries.
Mr Bennett shouldn’t judge, as I think he is doing, the costs based on his experience in the UK.
I’ll compare the British popular saying quoted with a Portuguese one: “to rush is the enemy of perfection”.
In the ideal world each country would have an abundance of judges and courts, such is not the case in Portugal or anywhere in the world.
As mentioned above the trial has been delayed by both sides of the fence on several occasions, requires translation and availability from witnesses and plaintiffs to go to Portugal.
Is it fair? No, it is not but it can’t be done faster and one either follows what the law states or then uses google translate in court and a Star Trek “beam me up Scottie” system for all those convened.
The uncertainty, anxiety, costs and inability to move on are the consequences of the way the system is designed and not because of corruption and incompetence as stated by Mr Bennett.
Mr Amaral is not being treated any different than any other person would be.
“6. The ex parte proceedings that Amaral never knew about. Three months after the McCanns issued their writ for libel damages, the Portuguese judicial system allowed the McCanns an ‘ex parte’ hearing (that is, the other party (Amaral) is not even told about it). Amaral wrote about it in Chapter 6 of ‘The English Gag’ (see ‘TERRIBLE NEWS’ thread, here: http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t8856-terrible-news... ). He was in a restaurant when the owner ran out to him and said ‘I’ve just heard about it on the radio – your book’s been banned!’ This was a wholesale denial of natural justice and fairness to Amaral.”
Mr Bennett should please not confuse trials. This was a "Providência Cautelar" or an Injunction as it has been called, nothing to do with libel again.
I should clarify the term injunction that is being used when describing what happened in 2009/2010.
The procedural term in Portuguese is Providência Cautelar. Would translate it into Cautionary Action.
A Cautionary Action is requested by individuals and the other individual notified afterwards in several cases. It is a temporary measure until a full audience decides the case.
Unfortunately as reality shows that processes do go on for a significant period in time, it is a legal procedure used very often.
The system basically recognises it’s slow and provides the parties the possibility to request an “anticipation of the decision” to ensure that the effects desired are those that are achieved when the decision is finally taken.
To exemplify, 2 examples from Mr Amaral:
- banning of book, in case it is decided it is to be banned, then to do it only when final decision made then meanwhile the book would have been sold and read and the effect of banning would be nil in terms of dissemination of the information it contain;
- seizure of assets, same logic, if one was to wait until the end then the defendant upon realising he would lose the case would have time to change the property of his personal assets.
The procedure for the application of a Cautionary Action is a simplified one and is of an urgent nature, so much so that in many cases it does not require the presence of the person(s) to whom the injunction is against, should the judge decide that would risk the object or efficiency of the Cautionary Action.
Mr Amaral was not singled out by Cautionary Actions. As said, it’s a procedure commonly used.
What happened with the book ban Cautionary Action was that the 1st Instance court decided to implement it and so the book was banned, the Appeal Court decided against that decision and allowed the book to be put on the stands again.
The McCanns appealed to the Supreme Court. After the appreciation of the Appeal Court’s decision the higher court decided that the Appeal Court’s decision was correct and that there were no grounds for appealing its decision, so refused the appeal.
The fact that Mr Amaral first heard of the decision from the media is because as experience has shown it seems that the connection to the media seems to work really fast when it comes to decisions that don’t favour Mr Amaral. It has nothing to do with corruption or incompetence but with the way “sound waves” travel.
“7. Not only was this secret hearing grossly unfair (it would be unlawful in such proceedings in the U.K.), but it also took several truly draconian steps:”
a. immediate banning of his book
b. impounding all books printed but not sold
c. ordering delivery of the books by Amaral and his publisher to the lawyer acting for the McCanns
d. sequestering many of his property and other assets
e. denying him about one-third of his income”
Please see reply to 6. I stress by the appeal court decision. Some of the items listed above are part of the current Civil law suit (d. and e.) and not of the Cautionary Action.
The draconian steps are but what is stated in the law states and Mr Amaral was not singled out. No corruption and no incompetence.
There are no such things as “secret hearings” in Portugal. Not only would they have no legal value as they are absolutely illegal.
To make such a statement is to show ignorance about how the Portuguese judicial system works and about its limitations set by the Portuguese Constitution.
“8. The failure of the Lisbon Civil Court to follow the rulings of the Portuguese Appeal and Supreme Courts. Both courts were clear that Article 10 of the European Human Rights Convention: ‘Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression’ favoured Amaral’s right to publish. For whatever reason - corrupt or otherwise – the judge in the recent trial found a way to ignore these two rulings.”
The constant decisions of the Appeal Court and Supreme Court are jurisprudence and a source of law or law.
However, since we are talking about a case of a conflict of rights the judge decided totally within the law, although I personally don't agree with her decision.
That does not make it illegal, much less corrupt or incompetent. She applied the law as per her legal duties and boundaries and did not in any way circumvent this.
There are cases where what is being analysed that not everything is predicted in the written law and the judge has a margin for interpretation.
The fact is that here is a case of two conflicting rights. Freedom of expression and the right to a good name.
It’s on this point that the judge deemed necessary, which she was legitimately entitled to do, to source other jurisprudence to decide which right should prevail, in her legitimate opinion.
If law was simply black or white there would be no need for courts, judges or lawyers. It isn’t.
Disagree as I do, the judge acted within the law.
Especially since the matter being analysed, damages inflicted to individuals, is a very subjective one.
Moreover, one must not forget that on all other points the judge ruled in favour of Mr Amaral.
The damages awarded are in my opinion excessive and the decision is subject to disagreement but I STRESS, a legal one. Neither corrupt nor incompetent.
This is now a matter for the appeals court to decide with its collective of Judges.
“9. The removal of Amaral as Investigation Co-ordinator. The Policia Judiciara (PJ) is part of the Portuguese judicial system, run by the Ministry of Justice. It was senior officials in the PJ, certainly influenced by the British Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, who ordered Amaral to be removed from his post.”
Here Mr Bennett is right. I totally agree, although I do not know who the participants were, it was a clear manoeuvre to avoid a diplomatic clash.
However it must be said that when Mr Amaral gave his interview while heading the investigation he was aware that he would suffer some sort of consequence.
“10. The inadequate Attorney-General’s Report. In July 2008, the Attorney-General’s final report was published. It recommended that the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance merely be archived. It showed every indication of being a politically watered-down report, bearing little relation to the robust, well-evidenced and well-argued interim report of Tavares de Almeida, dated 10 September 2007.”
Firstly, it was not the Attorney General, it was the District / Local Prosecutor. And it’s not a report but a dispatch.
Everyone knows my opinion about this but here I must play the devil’s advocate.
The prosecutor considers that as it stands, there is no evidence to bring the case to a court of law and I must agree with him.
There are leads that were not fully investigated and uncertainties left that could easily have become certainties. But they were left as uncertainty.
The Maddie case is too peculiar and specific so I don’t think corruption and incompetence are adjectives befitting enough to qualify the interference it has suffered from outside the judicial system.
It is much more serious than that and cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the Portuguese judicial system as Mr Bennett does.
So as it stands, or how it was made to stand, there isn’t enough evidence to charge, that’s a fact.
Portuguese courts do not allow cases to be brought based on circumstantial evidence alone. And rightly so. "In dubio pro reo ".
What precisely did Mr Bennett expect the prosecutor to do when there is not even any knowledge of what crime it really was?
Was it manslaughter, was it homicide, with or without intention, was it the couple, were theT9 collectively responsible, was a third party responsible, what was the cause of death, where is the body, was there an abduction or did the child wander off and have an accident?
Tavares de Almeida says that all points to, but doesn’t say it is enough for the prosecutor to deem not enough evidence. The final report basically does not alter anything but in pure terms of analysis if Tavares de Almeida had figured it all out with certainty then why did the investigation continue?
It continued because there were things that needed to be clarified. If they weren’t clarified in July, then the correct interpretation to make is that what was uncertain in September 2007 remained so in July 2008.
This is where the prosecutor can always allege that evidence for this kind of crime needs either forensic corroboration, a body, a witness or a confession. At the moment we have none, sadly.
The decision is not dodgy. What was dodgy was the way the process was prepared for such a decision and that was the doing of both the Portuguese and British judicial systems.
To say that it was just the Portuguese one is wrong. But again must stress that the Maddie investigation doesn’t serve as an example for anything.
However, one thing must be said clearly, the prosecutor failed when not charging them with abandonment and exposure, something I don’t believe happened but it’s a fact that they claimed publicly to have done on more than one occasion.
On this aspect I must subscribe that the decision (or non-decision) on the part of the Portuguese judicial system was highly irregular to say the least.
“11. Allowing the lying murderess-of-her-own-child to bring a criminal prosecution against Amaral. Leonor Cipriano murdered her daughter in 2005, pretending that she had been abducted. She lied about this and was shown to be a serial liar on many other occasions. Yet the Portuguese judicial system allowed her to bring a state-funded criminal prosecution against Amaral and 4 other detectives, alleging she had been tortured.”
Even a murderess has a right to bring a judicial action against another.
The decision of the court was that there was no torture and Leonor Cipriano had more time added to her sentencing due to perjury in court. Justice was done.
“12. The prosecution failed to prove that any of the 5 detectives she had named had tortured her.”
The Court decided that there was no torture. Justice was done.
If the system was corrupt and set its cross-hairs on Mr Amaral, wouldn’t this be easily “proved”?
“13. During the proceedings, the lawyer representing Leonor Cipriano, Marcos Aragao Correia - who was paid by the McCann Team - was barred from continuing to represent her any more because of his conduct in court and due to his having been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Lawyer’s Association in his native Madeira. The judicial system miraculously ordered the judge to reinstate him two days later.”
The lawyer represented Leonor Cipriano till the end. Marcos Aragão Correia was suspended by the order of lawyers but this did not reflect on his representation of Leonor Cipriano.
Mr Correia was suspended in January 2009 preventatively and provisionally by the Lawyer’s Order.
This had nothing to do with the judge, it was a decision applied by and lifted by the Lawyer’s Order.
This Order represents the lawyers but is not part of the Portuguese judicial system. His suspension was a professional problem, not a legal one.
While he was provisionally suspended the judge denied his presence in the trial. As the names states the preventative provisional measure was lifted and he represented Ms Cipriano till the end. Kindly see a translation posted several times:
“Leonor Cipriano was defended by João Grade dos Santos up until her trial. She dismissed him before the trial started and hired Marcos Aragão Correia . According to both Lawyers they were contacted by Método 3 (The McCanns PI agency) in order to represent Leonor Cipriano in the torture case: I quote from the publico article below in the link available in the Portuguese version:
João Grade dos Santos “ At this stage Método 3 stated their availability and communicated me that money for expenses would not be a problem and mentioned the Gonçalo Amaral issue. Only month slater , after I refused to work for the Spanish company did he realise that Método 3 had an agenda.”
According to SIC this agenda was to get a lawyer that would put Gonçalo Amaral out of the picture once they thought that in both cases the detective seemed to want the same, the culpability of the parents”
Faced with Grade dos Santos refusal, Método 3 approached another lawyer, young Marcos Aragão Correia . This lawyer had participated in the search for Madeleine as a medium and later got involved in the Joana case investigation, accepted the mission of defending Joana Cipriano in Trial against the 5 PJ inspectors.
“ The Metodo 3 detectives came to meet me and told me - we are very worried since there is a common element (individual) in both cases - Gonçalo Amaral – who is not interested in looking for the children, he is only interested in incriminating the parents” It happened in the Maddie case and also in Joana case”, explained Aragão Correia to SIC.
The young lawyer accepted the Método 3 proposal immediately to do what João Grade dos Santos had refused to do. “I was shocked – I thought that Mr Gonçalo Amaral had a hidden motive to systematically incriminate the mothers, without having prove against them. “
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, former PJ inspector and one of the 5 arguidos in the Faro Court, accuses Marcos Aragão Correia of trying to make an arrangement with the Inspectors , that deal was “accuse Gonçalo Amaral and I will make sure that Leonor Cipriano states that none of you are involved in this matter”
Marcos Aragão Correia, in an interview with journalist Pedro Coelho, does not deny the existence of this proposal, but said it was related to an email sent by one of the arguidos to a friend of mine where he pointed that gonçalo Amaral was to blame”
Shielding himself behind a secrecy agreement with Método 3, Marcos Aragão Correia does not give the reporters any more information, but he still stated that: “ If I am taking sides for one of the intervenients , it is obvious that that intervenient is morally supporting me”
Both Método 3 and the McCanns spokesperson were contacted by SIC and refused to issue any statement. “
To quote Marcos Aragão Ferreira outside court after trial “Target was hit, Gonçalo Amaral was convicted'... Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano's Lawyer"
As can be seen, there is no relationship between the Portuguese judicial system being corrupt or incompetent and the McCanns using a lawyer without scruples to pursue their intent against Mr Amaral.
“14. These proceedings lasted 7 months with 7 hearings from October 2008 to May 2009. In the U.K. the trial would have been heard over 7 continuous days. Spreading the hearings over several months significantly increases the lawyers’ costs.”
Mr Bennett says In the UK these proceedings would last 7 days...
Looking at current murder cases, many months elapsed before one has a trial date or the trial date is set for months in the future, lawyers are engaged from the beginning.
Where is the difference? Portuguese lawyers are not paid by the time a trial lasts, it is the fees for their legal work they are paid for.
For example, Mr Amaral’s lawyer after having submitted the appeal is not getting paid. If the decision is taken tomorrow or in 6 months, his fees between submission and decision will be exactly the same.
“15. At the end of the proceedings, and based solely on the testimony of a serial liar who murdered her own child in cold blood, the court convicted Amaral of the offence of ‘filing a false report’.”
Already answered. Mr Amaral was made accountable for what he did wrong. Justice was done.
Does that tarnish his reputation? He who has never made mistake please pick up the first stone…
“16. Those who are utterly opposed to Amaral have ‘milked’ this perverse judicial finding for all that it’s worth, labelling this as ‘perjury’and constantly referring to him as a ‘convicted perjurer’.”
Is the Portuguese Judicial system now to be considered corrupt and incompetent because of the manipulation of information done by third parties? Mr Amaral was not convicted of perjury.
“17. Amaral brought a perfectly proper case for ‘criminal libel’ against Marcos Aragao Correia, after he made a series of libelous statements about Amaral. The Portuguese judiciary would not allow him to proceed with this claim.”
Yes, this was a libel case, defamation and with the trial in a criminal court.
Amaral did go to court and lost. He lost his case on the 17 July 2012 in Faro Court.
So he did go to court and the judicial system did not deny him to proceed with his claim. He simply lost in court.
An unfavourable decision, not a corrupt or incompetent one.
“18. As a result of the way the Portuguese judicial system has treated him, Amaral has at times seemed close to being a ‘broken man’, he and his wife divorced, and he has had to rely on donations for Portuguese, British and other people even to be able to afford to carry on defending himself.”
Maybe more as a result of how the McCann machine has treated him. Also by using the Portuguese judicial system in a perfectly legal and legitimate manner.
It’s called legal games and the harsh reality is that he who has more money gets better legal help. Nothing to do with corruption or incompetence. Just the way it is.
I agree that he appears to be a broken man (although I really do think he still has a lot of fight in him and doesn’t seem to be wavering in his resolution).
Mr Amaral has unquestionably suffered enough, more than any man ever should. But not due to corruption and incompetence of the Portuguese judicial system but rather because of an efficient mean legal machine he has working against him.
The evil is not in the system that Mr Bennett accuses without any basis to be corrupt and incompetent but the use evil people make of it using its known and public rules.
Mr Bennett himself has been a victim of the exact same thing in the UK.
I, like Mr Amaral, trust in the judicial system to deal with this in the appeal. I also trust that in the future evidence will surface that will allow charging those responsible for the demise of a helpless child.
Then that same judicial system Mr Bennett now criticises will be blind as it must be and apply a severe sentence to those responsible, in a criminal court.
It will be then up to UK courts to deal with them for financial fraud. In justice I trust. Dura lex , sed lex.
To end, just two corrections to what Mr Bennett has stated also regarding this issue.
Mr Bennett claims were that the former Prime Minister José Sócrates (who Mr Bennett calls “country's former President” in another instance) is in a high security prison and charged with crimes: “Does he not know for example that the country's former President, Jose Socrates, who met Gordon Brown, our Prime Minister, twice, and personally discussed the Madeleine McCann case with him, is now remanded in a top security Portuguese jail charged with all manner of corruption?”
Besides finding it natural for 2 Prime-Ministers of 2 European nations to meet and to discuss a very hot topic at the time, Sócrates has not been charged with anything nor is he in a high security prison. In fact he is in preventative prison and has NOT been charged to date.
He was given the opportunity to have his coercive measure changed to house arrest with electronic monitoring and he has refused. He preferred to stay under preventative prison in Évora.
The prison in Évora is not a high security prison but one for the police forces, military and people with special status, such as being a former Prime-Minister. That’s why he’s in Évora and not in Lisbon.
He will remain there until it is legally decided for him to be released.
Must add that the preventative prison is one of the most arguable coercive measures the Portuguese judicial system use. But however one may or may not agree with it, one has to accept it. It is the law.
Second correction is to say as Mr Bennett has said, that the British government has let down Mr Amaral. That is as correct as saying the Portuguese government lets down any British citizen in the UK under a judicial process in his country.
This is the only time I will address this issue. I do not wish to debate this with anyone. I do not wish to partake in any sort of inter-blog fighting.
I have written this post because I felt compelled to protect against insult another party that has also taken a real hard beating with the Maddie case: Portugal and its judicial system.
I would like to thank Isabel Oliveira in helping put together the stated in the 18 points listed above. Isabel shares both my outrage about the insults and my views on this particular matter."