Tabloid scramble cranks up pressure on “second Maddie book”

No sooner had former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral seen his right to freedom of expression upheld by the Supreme Court than UK tabloids have been scrambling themselves into a froth of indignation about a “second Maddie book” in the wings, threatening to pile yet more agony on the pain caused by his first: “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie”.

The fact that Amaral revealed he was writing a second book almost a year ago appears to have passed unnoticed (click here).

Tabloids have been full of the “McCann warning” that lawyers employed by renowned legal firm Carter Ruck “will be watching” in case Amaral publishes anything about the mystery in UK.

While the Sunday Express claims Amaral is looking for a “new publisher”, the Daily Mail describes him as “jubilant” and “finishing off the final chapter of his newly-penned book while taking a break in Switzerland”.

The paper also claims that “Truth of the Lie” was “never translated into English for publication in the UK because it would have breached strict libel laws”.

These are all more than likely to be reports that need to be taken with large quantities of salt.

Carter Ruck’s lawyers may well be watching, but the reality is that the finding of the appeal court last year – and dismissal of the subsequent McCann appeal by the Supreme Court last month – means that “Madeleine: The Truth of the Lie” is not considered defamatory after painstaking and rigorous legal challenges.

Indeed the 76-page decision taken by Supreme Court judges shows just how thoroughly the McCann’s various claims were studied, and why they were thrown-out as not being sufficient to see Amaral fined vast quantities of money.

What the flurry of stories is more likely to be about is the fact that no-one really knows what Amaral proposes to do next.

He has refused requests for interviews, he has neither confirmed nor denied whether he will be counter-suing the McCanns for damages (as he intimated last year that he would), and he has not revealed when his next book will be ready.

It is the kind of suspense that British media outlets do not enjoy.

Meantime, as Correio da Manhã headlines on how much the McCanns have made by “selling stories about their pain” to media outlets, bystanders have been predicting a new Madeleine sighting, or indeed sightings “any day now” and “as soon as the weather improves” a new visit to Portugal by officers working on Operation Grange – the Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance said to have cost the British taxpayer around €15 million and which has purportedly been working on a “last throw of the dice” for the last three months.

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