McCann versus Amaral – Supreme Court Verdict

(Better late than never.)

The initial court ruling was in favour of the McCanns.


This decision was appealed by Snr Amaral, and in April 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in his favour.


This ruling was appealed by the McCanns, but the appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court in January 2017.


Simply (and I may be wrong – I’m no lawyer), the court viewed Amaral’s right to free speech as overriding the McCanns’ right to a good name. To paraphrase, it seems they took the view that, because the McCanns had proclaimed their innocence from the rooftops, then someone who actually knew what they were talking about had the right to say “Well actually ….. ” even if this meant casting the McCanns in a bad light.

The above decision was again appealed by the McCanns, but resulted in the following ruling in March 2017, in favour of Snr Amaral.


In addition to confirming the earlier decision by the Supreme Court, the appeal court also clarified the issue of whether the filing of the case in 2008 implied that the McCanns had been cleared of any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance (it didn’t, and they hadn’t). They also addressed the issue of the “presumption of innocence”, ruling that it does not in this case restrict the “freedom of expression”.

(Thanks to Anne Guedes for the translation of the documents, and to Pamalam for publishing the documents and Anne’s translation on her blog.)


Goncalo Amaral Defence Fund

Defence Fund Press Release

“Freedom of expression is an inalienable constitutional right, for which the Portuguese people have fought hard, and that cannot be placed at stake, namely when it is exercised with responsibility and with civility.

Citizen Gonçalo Amaral presently finds himself in the front line of a struggle for freedom of expression. An unequal struggle, in which the parties have access to disparate financial resources – citizen Gonçalo Amaral is forced to exhaust all and any personal resources that he may possess, and which are manifestly insufficient to meet the expenses that are inherent to his defence.

His opponents, who are well aware of this limitation, and who are financed by third parties to place considerable resources at their disposal, risk little or nothing, and gamble everything to silence the former Judiciary Police coordinator.”

For those wishing to contribute to the Defence Fund, this can be done in two ways :-

Via PayPal > > > > > > > > > > > Goncalo Amaral Blogspot

Via Credit or Debit Card  > > > GoFundMe : Legal Defence for Goncalo Amaral

Coincidence or what?


In her book “madeleine”, Kate McCann wrote the following :-

“As a lawyer once said to me, apropos another matter, ‘One coincidence, two coincidences – maybe they’re still coincidences. Any more than that and it stops being coincidence.’”

Kate’s Koincidences lists several more coincidences she may not have considered. (And as I’m sure there are more out there, I’ll be adding them to the page as I come across them.)

A Man on a Mission

At around the time that Kate McCann was raising the alarm about Madeleine’s disappearance, so there was an encounter between a family heading home after an evening out and a man carrying a child. This man (“Smithman”) has never been identified leading to much discussion about whether it was an abductor or whether it was Gerry McCann (as one of the family thinks it was). What seems to have received less attention is where this person was actually going.

Assuming that they didn’t just jump in a car and head out of town (unlikely, given the fact they’d already carried the child 430 metres), Where’s Smithman Going? sets out the 5 possibilities of where this person may have been heading and assesses the likelihood of each.

On your marks – Get set – Go!

“The timing and location [of the Smith Sighting] speak for themselves.” – DCI Redwood of Operation Grange referring to the time of the Smith Sighting being around the same as the moment Madeleine’s disappearance was discovered, as reported by the McCanns.

I went to Praia da Luz at the end of February for a week, and whilst there, thought it a good idea to take some timings between various places. All were done on foot, carrying just a camera bag, and five are shown on Praia da Luz Timings . The obvious one was between the McCanns’ apartment and the Smith Sighting. Also to test a theory, timings were then taken between the Smith Sighting and Rocha Negra and back to McCanns’ apartment. And finally, timings were taken between the Mirage Restaurant and the central reception and then to the McCanns’ apartment (I can see Mark Warner staff taking this route after word of the disappearance had gone out).

Timings were taken on an iPhone running the Endomondo Sports Tracker app.

And at what time was that?

“…. at about 22.20 – 22.30 he noticed that there was only one person sitting at the group’s table ….” –  Jeronimo Salcedas, 6th May, 2007

Jeronimo Salcedas worked as a barman and waiter at the Tapas Bar and was on duty the evening Madeleine went missing. He made two statements adding to the detail of what is known about what happened that night – one statement was made a couple of days later, and one the following year.

Whilst the two statements are broadly in agreement, as shown in the page Jeronimo Salcedas Statements, they differ in one important point, specifically the time it all took place.

In my view, both times are wrong. But that discussion is for another day.