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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:46 pm 
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Thanks to Astro.

"Same judge"
All in all it went very well, in my opinion. Some excellent points were made by the defence lawyers after Ricardo Afonso spoke for almost two hours.

But first, a little detail that escaped me until today: Isabel Duarte is the lawyer for the McCann couple while Ricardo Afonso is the lawyer for the children.


What does this mean? It means that we were going to be subject to allegations by Isabel for 1.5 hours and allegations by Ricardo for another 1.5 hours.



Isabel wasn't able to attend today's session, which means we only had to go through one half speeches. Still, Ricardo had to cut his allegations short by what I estimate was one-third as he ran out of time and the judge had to cut him short.



We got a different court room today, not the usual one. This one was less freezing... And on the wall, just above the judge, this quote: "A injustica feita a um é ameaca para todos". Injustice done to one [person] is a threat to everyone.



The next session takes place on the 21st of January.

It will serve the purpose of the judge reading out what has been established as "matéria de facto" by the court. So potentially we may sense from what she will see as proved, or not, where the verdict may be going. But it will be only speculation... although I foresee an interesting discussion afterwards.

Then we start counting 30 days that the McCanns have to produce the document from the High Court judge in London that will certify that they are allowed to represent Madeleine. We think that although they may have the document already, they will let this period run to the end to gain time. But of course they could produce the document before the 30 days run out.

If they don't produce the document that enables them to represent Madeleine, only the part of the case that relates to her is thrown out. Everything else goes on.

Then all lawyers have 10 days to hand in their "alegações de direito" which are written allegations about specific aspects of the law, as for example if the book's existence is illegal or not. And this potentially brings us to early March. So potentially we may have a verdict in March... or later.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Ricardo Afonso (lawyer for the McCann children) spent almost two hours talking about numbers, comparing the book with selected bits of the case files and trying to discredit Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ and the dogs, while insisting that the British police didn't agree with the PJ's conclusions that led to the McCanns being made arguidos.

One example of his reasoning: the book starts with a mention of hunters hunting rabbits, which allegedly is out of season. So if the reference to the rabbit hunting season is wrong, everything else in the book is wrong, too.

It just went on and on and downwards fast.

He tried to dispute the dogs, the DNA tests, Mark Harrison's report which he said was only focused on the death possibility. The PJ, he alleged, was hell bent on accusing the McCanns and made the evidence fit the accusations.

In short, he was discussing stuff that was never subject to discussion; large parts of his allegations were focused on discussing the investigation and the McCanns' arguido status, with several references to Alipio Ribeiro and his "precipitation" quote.

He also attacked the Smiths' credibility and questioned why they were seen as credible by the investigation while Jane Tanner was discredited. He said that Tanner's sighting corroborated the Smiths' sighting, but the coordinator, Amaral, and his team simply wouldn't investigate anything except the death thesis and the McCanns.

The defendant, he said, just wanted to "sell blood, sweat and tears".

He added that the investigation deviated from any objectivity and that the British police, Martin Grime and Mark Harrison realised this and feared that the McCanns were going to be subject to an impulsive, unfounded making of arguidos.

He also recalled that Stuart Prior was "very worried" when he met with the PJ on the fourth of september, just days before the McCanns were made arguidos. And that he was worried because he knew it was wrong to accuse them of anything because there was no evidence and the DNA reports were being misread, for the PJ's convenience.

This is roughly where he was interrupted by the judge. He didn't spend two minutes addressing his own witnesses' testimonies.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:52 pm 
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Isabel Duarte (lawyer for the McCanns) was busy today, presumably another trial. She tried to get the session postponed but did not succeed. She missed her chance but will be allowed to present written allegations (alegações de direito, like all of the other lawyers) after the 30-day suspension runs out. The judge cannot interrupt allegations based on relevance, it's the lawyer's problem - and choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Gonçalo Amaral's lawyer, Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, stressed that this court case was nothing but an exercise to try to rid the couple from guilt. Guilt of being neglectful on the night of the disappearance, and then guilt of not having cooperated with the investigation.

The lack of cooperation from the couple and their friends led to the shelving of the case, a shelving that they never opposed, as they could have done.

He added that it would be very strange if they didn't feel depressed, anxious, sad; if they didn't feel a lack of appetite and sleep deprivation. But where is the causal link to the book? It was not proved. Their anxiety could be due to any other cause, like for example the guilt that they must feel about their lack of surveillance of their children and their behaviour during the investigation.

In summary: vague allegations from the couple and no evidence of any effect being caused by the book.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:54 pm 
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Fatima Esteves, lawyer for Guerra e Paz, made the more emotional allegations today. She stressed a few relevant (side?) points:

- the almost absence of journalists in the room today, in contrast with full audiences whenever the couple attended the trial, proving that the McCanns are the motor behind the media movements and that they define the media agenda

- the parents should have been made arguidos since the start, as is customary in cases of missing minors

- the accusation's witnesses made vague depositions, and two of them even added reports afterwards, without being subject to questions from the defence (she was referring to reports that were handed in by Pike and Trickey long after their witness statements; these reports were correctly refused by the judge because this is highly irregular; the accusation appealed to a higher court which overturned the judge's decision and allowed both reports to be included in the case; the judge is free to value said reports or not, of course, but we also need to keep in mind that this case is certainly going to be appealed so the reports may be valued differently later on - or not)

- the alleged damages were not proved to result from the book

- SY appears, coincidentally, whenever there is a trial session in Lisbon

- the McCanns sued Gonçalo Amaral to protect the twins from a book which they cannot read (because it is in Portuguese) but failed to sue the websites that published the English translation, which the twins can read

- the McCanns never requested the case to be reopened in Portugal

- copies of the fund's accounts were requested by the defence but refused by the couple

Fatima Esteves became quite emotional sometimes, using words like unbelievable, incredible, unimaginable, etc.

astro wrote:
Montclair wrote:
According to DM, the lawyer for Guerra & Paz stated, in her allegations, that the book was full of "inventions" by GA. Is this true or a distortion by the DM, which wouldn't surprise me.


DM failed to detect that she was being ironical.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Miguel Coroadinha, representing TVI, started his allegations with a copy of today's Correio da Manhã and an article about the Faro questioning sessions, using it to make the following points:

- the visits by SY deviate attention from the trial, repeatedly and conveniently

- the case has already been subject to studies about its exceptional media exposure

- the McCanns have pushed the case into the media spotlight and do everything they can to keep it there

- the media attention has never diminished and the book had no impact on media attention or on the investigation

- witnesses for the McCanns stated that media attention increased with the book's publication

- TVI did not broadcast the McCanns' documentary because the couple did not want that (the channel had already negotiated the broadcast when the couple backtracked)

- concerning the alleged damages, it is impossible to prove a causal link to the book

- this court is not the place to discuss the investigation's mistakes (like Ricardo Afonso did), but if one major mistake can be pointed out it's the mistake of not making the McCanns arguidos on the very next day after the disappearance, and if that had been done, we might not be here [in this court room] today

- the witnesses that were brought by the couple were too emotionally involved and too close to the couple to be credible

- the two "expert" reports were used for their authors to evade any questioning about said reports

- the couple is trying to rewrite history, making everyone believe the only theory is their own, but the book is already part of the case history


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Henrique Costa Pinto, lawyer for VCI Filmes, was the last one addressing the court.

He stressed that the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine ended the way it ended (archived in July 2008) because of the lack of cooperation from the parents and their friends. The parents then tried to make it look like they had been acquitted, which they were not. The archiving dispatch mentions the death theory as the most likely.

Concerning the alleged damages, he stated that no evidence had been produced by the accusation.

And he closed by concluding that the McCanns sued over the book merely because they were enraged and irritated by Gonçalo Amaral's thesis.


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