Maddie cop thanks all those who have supported him this far

In a statement that points to the agony endured through five horrendously difficult years, former PJ detective Gonçalo Amaral has written a public statement to thank all those who have stood beside him, and stood up for him, with donations of support that have made his court battle possible.

As we reported last week, the long-running civil case for defamation against Amaral taken out by Kate and Gerry McCann looks at last like coming to a close (see:

On Monday, Amaral posted a personal message on the “Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral” blogspot, reiterating the fact that the judge’s decisions on “the material facts” would appear to run in his favour.

“The period for legal allegations ensue” before a verdict, he explains, which he “envisions” will translate into his “longed-for acquittal and the consequent lifting of the attachments that have caused me such extensive financial difficulties over the past five years”.

What none of the mainstream news stories have ever really tackled is the extent to which Amaral has been financially hamstrung since the McCanns lodged their civil action in 2009.

Talking to me in 2011, he said: “I’ve been left with no chances; no way of paying my debts; liens on my property. I’ve had to move away from my family in order to protect them.”

In this week’s message – only the fourth to be posted during the five-year battle – he reiterates the fact that the case has sought to “asphyxiate” him financially and push him to a “civil death”, a position where he would be “unable to react judicially”.

“After five years, the parents of the child that mysteriously disappeared on the 3rd of May of 2007 in the Algarve were not able to fully achieve what they intended. I am alive, I’m able to financially sustain the civil suit, although not much more than that…,” he says.

Set against a side-bar that gives the banking details for the Lisbon bank that holds his Legal Defence Account, Amaral tells his supporters “it has been only due to your help that I have been able to financially sustain the ongoing lawsuit, which nonetheless cannot be said about my extremely strangled personal life”.

Stressing that he is battling on both financial and emotional levels, the former university graduate in juridical and criminal sciences concludes: “Concerning my emotional crisis, I ask you to understand that this whole struggle is not, for me, about the fundamental discovery of the truth – because, no matter how optimistic I may be, I can never forget that the demand for damages amounting to €1.200.000 that was filed by the couple, if absurdly it is granted, will completely destroy me on all levels.”

It is a statement that shows that no matter what the decision of Judge Emília Melo e Castro, there will be no winners in this agonising chapter of the case that has taken up so many column inches over the years – and which has cost two police forces well over €12 million and rising.

For Gonçalo Amaral’s full message in English, see:

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]