For reasons that are remaining very quiet, the friends and supporters of former “Maddie cop” Gonçalo Amaral have called time on the gofundme online appeal set up to fund his legal expenses as he challenges the court decision ordering him to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann over €500,000 in damages.
The Legal Defence for Gonçalo Amaral page will be closing on Wednesday, October 28.
At time of writing, it had already raised over €69,860 and donations were still coming in.
The latest, as of lunchtime today (Thursday), was for €100.
Over the last five months, 2,757 people have responded to the gofundme campaign, set up by a young single mother from Birmingham who was only 14 when Madeleine went missing.
Leanne Baulch, 22, explained to us back in May that she had never imagined the response her initiative received, but she felt compelled to do it as she was “desperate to help” a man she felt was being “persecuted”.
But as the money flowed in, so too did the unpleasantness, including slurs in the British press that the fund was powered by “sick online trolls”.
With Ms Baulch considering her position as a single parent of a toddler, she removed herself from the process altogether a few months ago.
The fund then transferred into the hands of the friends of the former PJ detective whose book, “A Verdade da Mentira”, landed him in the hot seat of litigation – with all his assets, including bank accounts “frozen” – in 2008.
Unpleasantness appears nonetheless to have continued, with internet manipulation of the appeal’s online code so that a few weeks ago, it virtually disappeared from sight (see http://portugalresident.com/online-intrigue-as-mccanns-close-twitter-page-and-amaral%E2%80%99s-fund-%E2%80%98goes-missing%E2%80%99).
Now those in charge of the fund have decided it should close.
Using the headline “Suficiente” – which translated into Portuguese also stands for “Enough” – they have said: “We believe that it is time to close the gofundme page, as the bank account currently stands at an amount that seems largely sufficient to face eventual future expenses”.
A source has confirmed to the Resident that other forms of fundraising remain open, while Amaral’s fundraisers are aware that whatever the result of the latest appeal being considered by Lisbon’s Appellate Court, litigation will continue.
“If Amaral is successful, for example, we remain fairly certain that the McCann’s would appeal that decision. And so it continues. The next step would be the Supreme Court and then after that the Constitutional Court”.
And should Amaral lose the fight which he feels centres on his right to freedom of expression then a new online appeal will be needed to fund a case against Portuguese justice in the European Court of Human Rights.
Thus, for now, it is a case of “serenely awaiting” the next judicial decision, while Amaral’s supporters are no less determined to keep funding avenues open.
Sending out the latest message to subscribers, the group of friends writing collectively said: “May we use this moment to wholeheartedly thank those who have expressed their support for Gonçalo Amaral’s right to an appropriate defence. Whether you have contributed financially or by sending a support message, you have made an impact. You have made a difference. Thank you so very, very much”.
As we wrote this article, more donations flowed in as the six-day countdown to closure begins.
Meantime, fund organisers continue to confirm that they will donate any money left unused on legal expenses to a Portuguese children’s charity.