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Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

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Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

Post  Panda on Sat 28 Jul - 13:28



Just found this among my "saved stuff".....interesting.


Dr Martin Roberts - 2010




Continuing look at the McCanns' media interviews, and other issues related to Madeleine's disappearance, by Dr Martin Roberts

See also: Dr Martin Roberts - 2009 and Dr Martin Roberts - 2011

Libel To Become Unstuck, 09 January 2010

Libel To Become Unstuck



EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
09 January 2010


LIBEL TO BECOME UNSTUCK


What price legal lunacy? Well, it's probably an outlay best estimated with reference to Carter-Ruck's fees menu, or the hourly charge-out rate of partner Adam Tudor.

Whatever the fiscal damage, there is unquestionably an element of lunacy (a large element in fact) attaching to next week's showdown at the 'not O.K.' corral in Lisbon.

First, a couple of relevant observations regarding libel: (i) Repeating another's libel, however unwittingly, is no less a libel for that. (ii) When Oscar Wilde went unwisely to court to challenge the Marquis of Queensbury's insinuation that he was homosexual, it was on the strength of words written for, and ultimately delivered to, Wilde himself, on the reverse of a calling card left for him at the Albermarle club ('To Oscar Wilde, posing as a somdomite.' [sic]). Although 'Bosie's bullying father may well have made his adverse opinion of the flamboyant Oscar even more well known among London society, he did not otherwise commit himself to print on the matter. Hence, although he may have slandered his adversary on any number of occasions, his libel was precisely targeted and thus limited in its published scope.

Goncalo Amaral's putatively libellous book (published), followed the official police report containing exactly the same data and interpretation (unpublished). On the basis of historical precedent however, publication for the benefit of a wider audience is, as we have just seen, not a necessary criterion in cases of libel. Thus, Goncalo Amaral's book, if held to be libellous, cannot be considered so independently of the assessment upon which it draws, but only on account of its repeating an earlier libel by whichever member(s) of the PJ signed off on the original report. And yet Goncalo Amaral is the only party now required to defend himself.

Stranger yet is the circumstance which has led to the forthcoming 'showdown'; one which prompts recollection of a personal anecdote from childhood.

During a verbal altercation with a rough character in the school playground, a school prefect with a perfect set of teeth was overheard to say, 'Go on, hit me then.' That this instruction was, shall we say, imprudent, can be decided on the basis of the event which took place immediately afterwards, and the rather expensive orthodontic treatment which followed that.

And what does this have to do with Kate and Gerry McCann?

Until their legal representatives secured the lifting of their arguido status and release of the process files, there can have been no act of libel entailed in Portuguese police procedures. No one at the time had taken it upon themselves to 'publish' accusations of any kind. But just like the impetuous prefect, the McCanns got exactly what they asked for. Public access to the police files came about largely because they had demanded it.

If, therefore, Goncalo Amaral's writing is libellous, then it constitutes a repeated libel, predicated upon comparable conclusions previously written and attested by Portuguese colleagues. But this set of primary conclusions cannot be construed as libellous either. The material was written to record an investigative process. This record was in turn 'published' at the instigation of the individuals discussed within it; individuals so oblivious of the 'sauce for the goose' epithet that they arrogantly supposed 'public access' to be a term applicable to themselves uniquely. If Goncalo Amaral, or anyone else, should choose to include such findings within a general discussion of the investigation in question, are we now to subscribe to the view that statements, once written, can be rendered libellous merely through their repetition by others?

Of course, Goncalo Amaral has made money from the sale of his book. So what? The McCanns have made money from the continued sale of T-shirts and other ephemera. Profits from the sale of a book cannot be interpreted as confirmation of libel. A book sale after all is transacted before the purchaser reads the contents (otherwise the book would not sell at all). Reference to Goncalo Amaral's commercial success as an author is completely and utterly irrelevant therefore. Sales/circulation figures could perhaps be taken to indicate the extent of any influence which might be ascribed to libellous remarks, but the precedent afforded by the Wilde case allows us to conclude that libel is absolute, not relative. Unjustified derogatory remarks are not rendered more or less libellous depending upon the number of persons who might read them.

So we await then the impending presentation at the theatre of legal lunacy, Carter-Ruck no doubt directing the production. One wonders exactly what proportion of FindMadeleine Fund resources will have been diverted in support of this particular pantomime, and whether it will be itemised in accounts for the end of the current financial year. In the same column as 'leaving no stone unturned' no doubt.




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Re: Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

Post  Panda on Sat 28 Jul - 17:22



"Of course, Goncalo Amaral has made money from the sale of his book. So what? The McCanns have made money from the continued sale of T-shirts and other ephemera. Profits from the sale of a book cannot be interpreted as confirmation of libel. A book sale after all is transacted before the purchaser reads the contents (otherwise the book would not sell at all"

That's an interesting observation As regards the McCann claims that Amaral's book affected their families health , how can they say that when the Book was published in Portugese.????

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

Post  Oldartform on Sat 28 Jul - 19:35

Panda wrote:

"Of course, Goncalo Amaral has made money from the sale of his book. So what? The McCanns have made money from the continued sale of T-shirts and other ephemera. Profits from the sale of a book cannot be interpreted as confirmation of libel. A book sale after all is transacted before the purchaser reads the contents (otherwise the book would not sell at all"

That's an interesting observation As regards the McCann claims that Amaral's book affected their families health , how can they say that when the Book was published in Portugese.????

Exactly. And I wonder if GA will be bringing a case against the Mcs for affecting his health?


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Re: Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

Post  Panda on Sat 28 Jul - 20:01

Oldartform wrote:
Panda wrote:

"Of course, Goncalo Amaral has made money from the sale of his book. So what? The McCanns have made money from the continued sale of T-shirts and other ephemera. Profits from the sale of a book cannot be interpreted as confirmation of libel. A book sale after all is transacted before the purchaser reads the contents (otherwise the book would not sell at all"

That's an interesting observation As regards the McCann claims that Amaral's book affected their families health , how can they say that when the Book was published in Portugese.????

Exactly. And I wonder if GA will be bringing a case against the Mcs for affecting his health?


I think Gerry took the advice of Smethurst, Kennedy's Corporate Lawyer, and travelled with Gerry to Portugal to presumably hire Isobel Duarte.
Their case is very weak , they even included Madeleine until advised she is a Ward of Court so her name was hastily removed. I would be very surprised how they intend to prove the twins health was affected when they were only 2 yrs old when Madeleine disappeared and like their Parents , could not read Portugese. The only valid complaint could have been it hindered the search for Madeleine but Amaral's plea to the Appellate was upheld.

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Re: Dr Martin Roberts 9th January 2010

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