Just as the parents of Madeleine McCann are reported to be taking their legal dispute with former PJ detective Gonçalo Amaral to Portugal’s Supreme Court, the Resident has learnt that millions of Brits have been reading the book at the heart of the fight by accessing it online.
Since “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie” was once again cleared for sale following a ruling by the Appeal Court in Lisbon last month (click here), over two million one hundred and thirty eight thousand people have visited the Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann forum – the site that carries a translation of the book into English – and related blogs.
Moderators say that following the ruling by three Lisbon judges that Amaral was within his right to self expression in publishing his thesis about what may have happened to Madeleine, visits to the three sites have been exceeding 200,000 – 300,000 a day.
In all, over 11 million people have viewed “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie” – while the global number of visits now stand at over 81 million.
What all this means in terms of a legal fight that is concentrated on outlawing the book is unclear.
It is not banned in any country of the world, and even though the McCanns are apparently intent on suing any publisher who takes it on for the UK market (click here), it appears to have been read by well over 11 million English-speakers.
This news comes in a week when the British press has suddenly opened the floodgates to celebrity criticism of the McCann parents.
Sharon Osbourne, the outspoken media personality and wife of heavy-metal singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne, labelled the couple “insane” to have left their children unattended while on the fateful family holiday to Praia da Luz nine years ago, while former model Katie Price, speaking on the Loose Women chat show, backed her comments saying the couple shouldn’t have gone on holiday if they weren’t prepared to take their children out with them.
Osbourne’s remarks were labelled “ill informed” and “ignorant” by a friend of the McCanns, but the retort got nothing like the same kind of media coverage.
Meantime, blogs in Portugal following the McCanns legal fight have stressed that the couple’s appeal to the Supreme Court is by no means a ‘done deal’.
The “next step” will be to find out if the court accepts it. This decision is unlikely to be taken before the end of June, reports Textusa (one of the blogs most active for what it calls “the right to exercise the duty of being a citizen), with “expected notification around a week later”.
“If there are no technical mistakes” – Textusa explains that the appeal has to follow certain rules – Amaral will then have his own time-scale to submit counter-arguments, all of which will take the case well past the judicial holidays in August.
“We don’t see a decision from the Supreme Justice Court on this case before Christmas, and even then we’re being optimistic”, says the blog that writes all its posts in English.
Also writing in English for the benefit of non-Portuguese visitors, the Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral blogsite has revealed that contributions raised largely from Brits last year (click here) will cover Amaral’s latest call to defend what he maintains is an issue of the right to freedom of expression.
Says the blog: “We remain confident, as always, that Justice will be served and Freedom of Speech, of Opinion and of Information will prevail”.