Thursday, 3 October 2013

Has the McCann vs Gonçalo Amaral libel trial become a comedy of errors?

Written by John
Senior Editor of UK Justice Forum

Day 6 at the McCann vs Gonçalo Amaral and Others libel hearing in Lisbon couldn't have been much worse for McCann family lawyer Isabel Duarte and her faithful assistant Ricardo Alfonso.

Kate McCann's mother, Susan Healey, was scheduled to testify on day 2 of the trial but the Judge never made it back to the Court for the afternoon session. Worse was yet to come as an oversight by Mrs Duarte meant that although Mrs Healey again returned to the Court yesterday she was refused the opportunity to take the stand. Third time lucky perhaps you might say but that is not how the Portuguese Justice System works. Truth is that Mrs Healey may not now have an opportunity to give evidence to the trial.

For his part, Gerry McCann has now appeared at the hearings over two days, he attended last Friday and again yesterday accompanied by Mrs Healey and his sister Patricia Cameron. Gerry never intended to testify but following a change in the Law (a plaintiff can now give evidence in a libel case) he decided to do so. Off course all of this might well be academic since it is the Judge who interprets the rulebook as to who will or will not give evidence and she appears to be becoming increasingly irritated at events. Whether Gerry McCann will ultimately be allowed to testify is as yet still to be determined.

And as if it wasn't complicated enough, it now appears that former PJ Coordinator, Gonçalo Amaral, also wants to get in on the act and has applied to testify on his own behalf. Whether the good Judge will allow it is akin to so much in this case, an unknown quantity.

Finally, it seems the action is not confined to the courtroom if events outside the Palace of Justice yesterday are anything to go by with McCann lawyer Isabel Duarte launching a screaming tirade towards our own correspondent. The reason? Simply because she dared take a photo of the disheveled Duarte and her assistant Ricardo Alfonso.

It wasn't to end there though. Several hours later this exchange of words took a sinister new twist with Alfonso posting an ominous threat against our correspondent on twitter. One has to wonder is this really the conduct one would expect from professionals involved in such a high profile case?

The McCanns have been plagued throughout their search for Madeleine by incompetents and unprofessional conduct by those they have contracted. By the looks of it they have managed it all over again

Tweets by Ricardo C Afonso

@aacg @xklamation Sra. Anne Guedes agradeço retire do UK justice forum a foto que bem sabe nao lhe foi autorizada. Tem ate as 12h de amanha

Google Translation:

"Mrs. Anne Guedes thank remove the UK justice forum the photo and not know it was allowed. Have until 12am tomorrow's"

@aacg @xklamation se nao a retirar, reagirei em conformidade.

Google Translation:

"if not to remove, will react accordingly."


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