Confirmed by journalist Len Port today, Gonçalo Amaral is set to appeal against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by the parents of Madeleine McCann.
As we revealed yesterday, Amaral told us: “We are in the face of a mere battle in a war that is far from over”.
But today, reaction from Portugal and elsewhere to the ruling by judge Emília Melo e Castro has started pouring in, both via mainstream and social media.
Sol’s columnist João Pinto Costa write: “Former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral was condemned to pay €500,000 to the parents of Madeleine McCann because of the publication of his book ‘Maddie: The Truth of the Lie’. Finally, we found one person who will not make any money from the disappearance of the English girl.”
Lawyer João Grade is quoted on Facebook as saying: “I read his book and I was convinced, as I had been before anyway, that it was not an abduction. The book does not defame the McCanns, Gonçalo Amaral does not express his opinion, but an investigative thesis.”
And in the US, criminal profiler Pat Brown, who has followed the case to the extent that she travelled over to Portugal three years ago to lend her support to Amaral, wrote that the “devastating ruling” had “nothing to do with Madeleine. It has been and is about the state. This is the way the world works. When there are no compromising issues like incompetence, misconduct or corruption, killers are caught, cases are properly closed and the community is safer. When it goes awry for whatever reason, the state and who controls it will make sure they don’t go under because of one unfortunate situation.”
Certainly the way the news was leaked to the press – not from any official court announcement, but via the McCanns’ lawyer in Portugal Isabel Duarte – opens the door for an official complaint by Amaral’s legal team, writes the laidbare blog under the title “the plot thickens…”
Meantime, Amaral has posted these words on the Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral website: “I find the court’s decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen’s right to freedom of expression and of opinion.
“For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance.
“If I am able to continue on counting on your support, I will continue to fight within the judicial system for the Truth and achievement of Justice.”
Pledges of support are already coming through, with even our own site eliciting comments like the one posted by a reader by the name of Scargill who states: “The amount of compensation seems vastly at odds with non-British European definition awards and you have to wonder if there are greater forces at play here.”
“I feel very sorry for Amaral,” the reader continues. “He understandably believes that the McCanns have a case to answer and he has been very brave in publishing his opinions.”