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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:42 am 
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Summary of the claim that was filed by applicants

1. Kate Marie Healy McCann
2. Gerald Patrick McCann
3. Madeleine Beth McCann
4. Sean Michael McCann
5. Amelie Eve McCann

against Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral, at Lisbon's Civil Court on the 24th of June, 2009.

The claim opens with several statements of facts, including quotes from the Archiving Dispatch by the Prosecutor and the date on which the archiving of the case was announced, as well as the date on which the book ‘Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira’ was published, which was three days after the archiving.

The claim lists the international editions of the book, as well as sales figures and sales prices, concluding that the author of the book must have earned at least 598.500€ from book sales in Portugal alone. At least another 498.750€ would have been earned by the author from international sales, according to the claimants’ reasoning.

The claim continues with a quote of the book’s conclusions, adding quotes from an interview that Mr Amaral gave to newspaper Correio da Manhã on the 24th of July, 2008, which further elaborate on the author’s thesis.

Then the claim focuses on the documentary that was based on the book and broadcast by TVI on the 13th of April and on the 12th of May of 2009, stating that the defendant reiterates his thesis: that Madeleine is no longer alive, that her death took place inside the Ocean Club apartment and that her parents are responsible for her death, having hidden their daughter’s body to escape their responsibility.

The claim alleges that the defendant profited from all of this both from a media coverage and a financial point of view. Furthermore, by not opposing the broadcast of the documentary on the day of Madeleine’s 6th birthday, the defendant failed to respect the child’s situation and the family’s pain, adding to it.

The documentary was also produced for sale, and the claim alleges that Mr Amaral earned at least 112.500€ from those sales.

Here, the claim concludes that (article 51 of the writ) “the entire strategy and practical actions of the Defendant point, therefore, towards the only goal of developing and multiplying, into infinity, of the commercial and financial lode that the story of Madeleine McCann’s parents’ guilt has constituted, with the use of aggressive marketing strategies, fables, lies and abusive inductions”, and that “all communication media about “the guilt” of Madeleine’s parents in the death and disappearance of their daughter and in the simulation of an abduction have been minutely programmed so they would be most effective for the exclusively financial, media-oriented and social interests of the Defendant”.

The writ then lists several interviews given by Mr Amaral in the aftermath of the publication of the book and the broadcast of the documentary, and comments on some of the statements produced in those interviews. The claim concludes that the defendant’s attitudes are “manipulative and perverse, false, destructive, libelous, deeply damaging and, therefore, illegal, as are the contents of the documents and interviews that are now being analysed”.

The claim states that the parents, who already find themselves in an “emotional dead end” for not knowing their daughter’s whereabouts for two years [this writ was filed in 2009], now have to suffer even more by being “publicly attacked by an amoral and obsessed man, who has at his disposal all of the information channels that have been offered to him by the media, which have realized the economic potential from the contents authored by the Defendant and from the interviews that he gives”. The claim accuses Mr Amaral of doing to the McCanns “what he had already done in his professional life and which is publicly known: manipulating reality, to forcefully prove his theses, jumping over fundamental rights, choosing the weakest or most fragile victims and the best circumstance to attack”, all in order to hide “the ineffectiveness and the lack of useful results from the investigation work that he leads, whether or not those are his responsibility, as happened in the so-called ‘Joana Case’”, in which “he was condemned to one and a half year of a suspended prison sentence, for having committed a crime that can be summed up, in common language, to the fact that he lied to the Court”.

The writ concludes that Mr Amaral also lies “in the book that he has authored and in the video that is based on that book, where he intervenes, lying to the public, just like he lies in the interviews that he gives”.

The claim continues by listing the Defendant’s CV, to conclude that he knows the contents and the meaning of the archiving dispatch, that he knows who holds the power over an investigation, and that he knows “what it means not to be at the service of criminal investigation anymore, but nonetheless using that same criminal investigation for purposes that the law does not allow”.

It is once more stressed that Mr Amaral made “a lot of money at the expense of the five Claimants and their unfortunate situation, which he ruthlessly exploits” – an attitude that helped him “publicly free himself from the obligations and responsibilities that he had, as an investigator, which were to find Madeleine alive”.

The publication and spreading of the author’s thesis led to there being no motivation, within criminal investigation, to find Madeleine alive, or her abductors, but merely a cadaver, which “eases collective conscience and gives a lot less work”.

Therefore, “the credibility of his "public figure", now adorned by the rich man's enclosure that he is already and that is unashamedly shown in some of the photos contained in the appended documents, does, however, hide the perversity that sprouts from the contents and the sense of his gestures and his messages”. The writ continues with an analysis of Mr Amaral’s personality, detecting “traits of righteous populist and demagogue”.

Other character traits “that reveal low conscientiousness and antagonism” include “grand sense of his own worth; manipulative style; affective superficiality, masked by apparent generosity or altruism; non acceptance or failure to comply with responsibilities for his actions or omissions; poor behavioural control according to the average citizen's parameters; lack of realistic goals; impulsiveness”. In conclusion, “these features that clearly sprout from what the Defendant writes or says and the way in which he does it deeply worry the Authors [of the claim] and make us fear the worst, concerning the unstoppable cavalcade, of nefarious consequences for them and profitable at all levels for the Defendant, which he has embraced, with the support of the means that profit millions with him."

The claim also uses a passage from the archiving dispatch that the claimants think applies to the defendant, concluding that even the prosecutor considers that Mr Amaral does not produce “intellectually serious, or honest, reasonings”.

According to the claim, Mr Amaral “steps on and further destroys an entire family, harming their most dear goals, which are to find Madeleine and to become, once again, a family”, and “especially harms the investigation that is based on the abduction hypothesis, destroying the strength and the hope that may still exist, which are essential to find Madeleine, destroying Madeleine’s chances of survival and of growing up in a healthy environment, within her family, and endangering the future of the 4th and 5th Claimants [Sean and Amelie], that one wishes to be balanced”.

In summary, the claim says that the facts or conclusions that have been stated by the defendant, directly or indirectly or authorised by him, are “objectively false, treacherous, offensive and destructive of the credit and the good name of any person”, and that Mr Amaral know that they are false and that he deliberately misguides the public for his own gain.

The writ states that said gain has reached, at the date this claim is filed, at least 1.200.000€, also stating that the author knows very well the emotional damages that he has caused the claimants.

Furthermore, “the claimants are sure that the actions that have already been committed [by the Defendant] are nothing more than a preparation for new actions and subsequent damages, as serious or even worse than those already perpetrated, in the foreshadow of the creation of much bigger evils”.

The claim also states that the public has been convinced that Mr Amaral is “a righteous man, reasonable and, above all, that he speaks the truth, and that, like a super-man, against the forces of evil, he alone can find the truth”.

As a consequence of all of this, the damages that have already taken place and will take place in the future, include that “Madeleine is deprived of a just and adequate investigation into her disappearance, in the present and in the future, which places at serious stake her moral and physical integrity, her emotional and sexual development and her academic training”, as well as “her return to her family environment, of which, as a consequence, she may be deprived forever”.

Sean and Amelie suffered damages to their moral integrity, to their good name and to the good name of their family, which places their right to freedom and safety at risk.

Kate and Gerald McCann find themselves “because of the Defendant’s behavior, totally destroyed from a moral, social, ethical, sentimental, family point of view, in the present and far beyond the pain that the absence of their eldest daughter causes them”. The seriousness of the Defendant’s allegations prevent them from having “any possibility of a successful, stable life, both in the present and in the future”, and they feel deeply ashamed and indescribably bad because of what people that know Mr Amaral’s thesis think of them.

Their “anger and sadness necessarily extend to the conclusion that has been advanced by the Defendant, that the third Claimant is dead”, and they live under constant pressure to keep their younger children from finding out about Mr Amaral’s “conclusions”. Their good name and reputation are “totally damaged, with a degree of lesion that is unquantifiable and irreparable”, and they fear for their “right to freedom and safety, the right to their moral integrity, the right to not being considered or treated in a degrading, cruel or inhumane way, the right to enjoy, just like any citizen, the guarantees offered by the penal process and the practical enforcement of the principle of presumed innocence”.

The couple also suffers “constant anguish, insomnia, lack of appetite, anxiety and irritability, preoccupation and undefinable fear”.

All of these damages are perceived under an “undefined time perspective” by the Defendants, but they know that “the marks that they will leave will be indelible”.

Kate McCann also finds herself in “a serious and deep depression”, a situation that results from the evil that the Defendant has been doing to her.

The claim states that the damaging consequences that have been described are irreparable, even more so as they “are perpetuated in time and thicken in their perversity”. This does not mean, however, that they cannot be compensated and “if possible, minimized through pecuniary compensations”.

Said “pecuniary compensations” must not be inferior to 500.000€ for Madeleine, 100.000€ for each of the twins and 250.000€ for each of the parents, in the total amount of 1.200.000€.

Nevertheless, the claim stresses that future damages are “highly likely, clearly predictable” and need to be covered by additional compensation in an amount that must be calculated at the end of the trial.

Said compensation must take into account that the Defendant has profited economically, financially and socially “at the exclusive cost of the character assassination of the Claimants and the debilitation of the future investigation into the 3rd Claimant’s whereabouts”, as well as the “perversity” of the Defendant’s accusations, the degree of intent that he demonstrated and his “lack of moral scruples”.

The compensation must be an effective punishment but it must also be so high as to prevent “future and identical behavior” not to be repeated.

Nevertheless, the claim also states that more than any financial compensation, the Claimants demand public moral reparation and wish to see the condemnation of the Defendant published “on two consecutive days and at the Defendant’s expense, in one of the most read daily newspapers in Portugal and in one of the most read daily newspapers in the United Kingdom”, as well as once in one of the most read weekly newspapers in Portugal and in the UK, chosen by the Claimants.

In summary, the Claimants demand that:

“1. The present action is proven in favour of the claimants, and consequently

2. The defendant will be condemned to pay to each of the claimants, compensation for past, present and future moral damages, which is up to this date not inferior to €1.200.000,00, paid as follows €500.000,00 for the third claimant, €100.000,00 for each of the twins, Sean and Amelie and €250.000,00 for each of the first and second claimants,

3. The defendant will be sentenced to pay, at the current legal rate, interest on the global value of these compensations, already paid, as from the date of notification until to the end of present action,

4. Furthermore, the defendant will be sentenced to pay the claimants any emerging material damages, constituted by all of the costs that will have been paid in the execution of the sentence and which are directly and necessarily inherent to the judicial initiatives which are shown to be necessary and which were and could be carried out on the basis of the contents, interviews and news items in question, in the acts,

5. The defendant should be sentenced to publish the conviction, in a summary, at his expense, for two consecutive days, in one of the most read newspapers in Portugal and in one of the most read in the UK, and, as well, in one of the most read weekly magazines in Portugal and in the UK, in the 15 days immediately after the verdict,

6. The defendant will also be sentenced to pay all of the legal costs, including those of the legal team (lawyers) of the claimants.”


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