In the aftermath of their libel case defeat, the parents of missing Madeleine McCann are reported to be threatening people found selling the damning book “Truth of the Lie” that has been once again freed from censorship.
The UK’s Daily Mirror claims Kate and Gerry McCann “have warned anyone caught selling ex-police chief Gonzalo (sic) Amaral’s book in the UK would face legal action”.
But the story fails to address the fact that, right now, there is no legal basis for this tactic.
Amaral’s thesis will be returning to bookstores in Portugal next week as both he and his publishers Guerra e Paz have won the civil action lodged against them.
It is possible the McCann’s lawyers will argue that the appeal they claim to be lodging with Portugal’s Supreme Court could cover threats of legal action – but this is also debatable, say legal experts.
“The book is not held to be defamatory in any jurisdiction in the world”, said one – pointing out at the same time that an appeal to the Supreme Court in Portugal is equivalent to an appeal to the House of Lords in Great Britain.
“These courts only listen to cases involving important points of law, of general public importance”, he told us. “They are not interested in facts, nor minor squabbles – nor whether the Court of Appeal has made a good or bad decision.
“They are only interested if they have to clarify something which the substantive law has not made entirely clear”.
In other words, an appeal by the McCann’s to continue their action against former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral “may not even be entertained”, said the source.
Be that as it may, the fallout from Tuesday’s decision is reverberating through the world’s media channels, particularly as Amaral has hit back almost immediately with the news that his lawyers will now be suing for compensation.
The bill “could run into the hundreds of thousands of euros”, writes the Mirror, explaining that Amaral is said to be suing for “years of financial losses in which his good name has been called into question”.
Negotiating with his publishers today, the former detective confirmed to the Resident that “what the McCanns are doing is illegal. I am in talks with my publishers for a book in the English language, as there is as yet no publisher in the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand – not even Amazon – that is selling it.
“The McCanns will learn to respect the right to opinion and freedom of expression”, he added – stressing that “any version” of Truth of the Lie in English that can be found on the Internet is also illegal, as neither he nor Guerra e Paz publishers have given their authorisation to translations.