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Anorak | Madeleine McCann: The Truth Of The Lie, The Missing Pages And Blonde Lawyers

Madeleine McCann: The Truth Of The Lie, The Missing Pages And Blonde Lawyers

by | 24th, July 2008

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

A girl has disappeared. We spent over a year watching the parents via the press. The McCanns have been formally cleared of involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance. But we are still watching them

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “Maddy’s parents turn to their lawyers as book hits shelves”

Kate and Gerry McCann consulted lawyers yesterday after the publication of extracts from a book by a former senior Portuguese detective containing allegations against them. Goncalo Amaral, former head of the investigation into the disappearance of the couple’s daughter Madeleine, affirms that the young girl died in her family’s holiday flat.

His book, entitled ‘The Truth Of The Lie’, will be published today but excerpts were printed in the Portuguese paper ‘Correio da Manha’ yesterday.

Do we dare repeat what the book says? Is any publicity bad publicity?

The McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Mr Amaral will face immediate and swift legal action if he in any way implies, either directly or indirectly, that Kate and Gerry were involved in the disappearance or harming of their daughter.”

SKY NEWS: “Ex-Cop’s Madeleine Book Published”

He criticises the McCanns, their friends, Gordon Brown and the British police.

Many do. Any other key facts?

The book’s publishers remind readers that Mr Amaral was a successful detective and top of his class of police cadets 27 years ago. But they make no mention of the perjury charge he faces over another missing child investigation.

But Sky News does.

THE SUN: “How could he?”

He is now facing perjury charges over an earlier case involving the disappearance of a girl.

The cad. The Sun just sticks to the facts.

But the ex-cop still churned out his 214-page book Maddie — A Verdade da Mentira, which translates as Maddie — The Truth of the Lie.

Isn’t it 224-pages long? We demand to know what happened to the 10 missing pages. We demand the truth! Are there two books?

The £10 book — with an initial print-run of 40,000 — is being published only in Portugal for fear of libelling the couple. In March doctors Kate and Gerry, both 40 and from Rothley, Leics, received £550,000 from Express Newspapers for printing false claims.

The Express. Libel. For shame. The Sun would never get it so utterly wrong, would it?

In any case, the Portuguese police case is over, the papers told us so:

Though the case has been shelved, Portugal’s top cop Almeida Rodrigues insisted yesterday: “We will continue to chase up every credible lead we receive. We will travel to the ends of the Earth if needs be.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Kate and Gerry McCann threaten legal action over Madeleine book”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “Amaral is seeking to make money out of Madeleine’s situation and is seeking publicity – it’s quite disgusting,” he said admitting that legal advice had been taken.”

Does Clarence Mitchell get paid to be the McCanns’ spokesman, to speak on behalf of the parents of a missing child? And now the McCanns are no longer suspects, and all too used to dealing with the media, do they need him?

Does he need a new job. Do you have a missing child?

DAILY MAIL: “I took my little grandson to plaiy in the woods. So how on earth did we end up being frogmarched home by police?”

Writes Dorothy Judd, a “pensioner”:

We are in woods bordering a vast park in a suburb of a northern city. Wild and muddy, they are sordid with litter, but nature triumphs with abundant fungi, ivy, brambles and the extraordinary roots of vast trees that Max climbs on…

Earlier, in a supermarket, Max was obscured for a second behind someone else. I felt a panicked ‘What if . . .’ before seeing him again.

Quick, granny, it’s the rozzers:

‘Police!’ says Max, sitting up in astonishment.

I turn around to see a large policeman in a fluorescent jacket approaching across rough ground. He asks what we are doing. ‘This is my grandson, Max. We’re making a den, as you can see. But I was just saying we should be getting back for tea.’

‘You all right, Max?’ he asks. The little boy looks bemused and rather shy. ‘Yes,’ he says quietly, glancing at me inquiringly. The policeman says there have been two reports from people who are worried or suspicious as to what is going on.

‘I’ll have to take down a few details.’ The policeman opens his notebook and asks my name, date of birth, Max’s date of birth and my address. I say I live in London, but am staying with my son and daughter-in-law’s family. Again, he asks: ‘You all right, Max?’

‘Yes,’ the little boy says apprehensively. Perhaps he is picking up my increased heart rate. ‘Why is he asking questions, Granny?’

‘He’s making sure we’re OK, Max. That’s all,’ I say, as nonchalantly as possible. But I don’t feel calm. The officer talks into his walkie-talkie.

‘Well, then, I’d better see you on your way. You know, complete the inquiry. I’m sure it will be all right. I’ll just pass by the house. You said you were going back anyway.’

And then the clincher:

Perhaps I have not moved with the times or fully realised that childhoods before the Seventies were different from the world we inhabit: that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, CCTV, greater awareness of child abuse, more self-consciousness, have altered the climate.

Yeah, because in the 1940s, the UK was much safer place for children, right?

Changes for the better, in many ways. But increasingly society is losing, especially for our urban children, a sense of freedom, an unstructured and ‘safe-enough’ physical environment, with dangers that can be tamed through play and imagination, where worlds – even a kind of magic – can be created.

Well, no. Lots of children are about in the urban sprawl after dark. Some wear hoods to keep out the chill.

TIMES ONLINE: “Lawyer of the Week: Lucy Moorman”

Yayyyy!. Let’s here it for the lawyers.

Lucy Moorman, an in-house barrister at Simons Muirhead & Burton, represented Robert Murat, who sued 11 British newspapers for libel over allegations that he was involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Last week the papers apologised in court and announced a record damages payout of £600,000.

Lucy is blonde.

What were the main challenges and the possible implications?
We were presented with three clients with devastated reputations (Michaela Walczuch and Sergey Malinka also recovered six-figure sums), a torrid tabloid media campaign spanning nine months and more than 100 seriously defamatory articles. It required great focus and formidable teamwork to get into a position to present the claims at the High Court. To have achieved such resounding vindication for the clients within just three months is immense.

Lucy is blonde.

Madeleine McCann: No end in sight



Posted: 24th, July 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (729) | TrackBack | Permalink