Madeleine McCann: an entertaining libel and Danie Krugel
MADELEINE McCann: a look at today’s media coverage of the missing child.
The Star (front page): “MADDIE: Mums begs court: Let me clear my name.”
“Mum” is, of course, Kate McCann. That she should have to prove her innocence is absurd.
Jerry Lawton writes:
FURIOUS Kate McCann wants to defend herself in court against Portuguese police “smears” that she covered up daughter Madeleine’s death. She has asked a judge for permission to address her family’s £1million libel hearing against former police chief Goncalo Amaral over his book The Truth Of The Lie.
Not police. One ex-policeman.
In it he accused Kate and husband Gerry, both 45, of faking their daughter’s abduction to cover up her death in their Algarve holiday flat in 2007.
Kate’s bid to give evidence was revealed yesterday as Mr Amaral’s former police colleagues spoke in his defence at the court in Lisbon, Portugal. Luis Neves, head of a national police unit, said Mr Amaral’s conclusion Madeleine was dead was accepted by her parents.
That’s not what the parents say. They say she could be alive.
He said Kate was the driving force behind a search by ex-South African detective Danie Krugel, who said he had a machine that could find a body.
It was back in October 2007, we first met Mr Krugel. News was brisk:
The News of the World’s front page thundered: “Maddie was alive on beach”
“A renowned international manhunt expert, dubbed The Locator, sensationally revealed he has uncovered a telltale DNA trail left by snatched toddler Maddie McCann”
The Sunday Mirror added: “MADELEINE SENSATION – BOYFINDER CALLED IN”
• McCanns hire leading DNA expert
• He pinpoints area on local beach
• New cops urged to start digging
Back to today’s Star:
“”The McCanns convinced us we should bring in the South African man with his equipment,” Mr Neves said. ”We didn’t want to place any obstacles in the way so the investigating officers allowed it. During this part of the investigation our British colleagues said there was a team made up of dogs and their handlers that could help us. The Algarve police decided to allow the dogs to come and the idea of Madeleine’s death began to form.”
Retired officer Francisco Moita Flores said the new probe by the Metropolitan Police was based only on “the hypothesis of abduction”.
Well, yes. That much is true.
The Mirror (front page): “MADDY MUM AGONY – I’LL TELL ALL IN COURT”
She will “tell all”? Hasn’t she already done that? Isn’t the headline suggestive?
Martin Fricker writes:
Struggling to cope after the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine, Kate McCann was horrified by lurid claims made in a book by a former police chief. It said Madeleine had died in an accident which her parents then covered up before hiding her body.
Yesterday it emerged that Kate, 45, now wants to appear in court to confront former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral who wrote the book, and to tell him the emotional trauma that it caused.
The mum, who has asked for permission to give evidence in the £1million libel trial against the ex-officer, hopes giving an emotional account will help her and husband Gerry win the court case.
This is about winning the case, then. That’s a matter of Portuguese law. It’s not for the British Press to decide.
A source close to the couple said: “Kate is desperate to show the court just how much hurt the book and Mr Amaral caused her. Kate and Gerry feel the search for Madeleine was hampered by the false claims made in the book. The claims caused a great deal of distress to them both. That’s what Kate wants to tell the court. She wants to look Mr Amaral in the eye so he can see the pain he caused to her and her family.”
Why are we hearing from an anonymous “source”?
The sight of ex-GP Kate revealing what she felt about the book would bring the trial in Portugal’s capital Lisbon to a remarkable conclusion.
No. The conclusion would be the verdict. It’s not a show. It’s not entertainment. It’s a trial. If you want to be entertained by a missing child read the book and the papers.
It had already emerged that Gerry, also 45, had asked to be a witness during the case at the Palace of Justice.
Such are the facts…