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Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

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Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  margaret on Fri 25 Jan - 21:40

From Jill's site:

Tony's discovered it WAS the McCanns who asked to negotiate and adjourn case for 6 months.

Tony Bennett wrote:Below is a letter sent today to Carter-Ruck and to the High Court regarding the implications of the McCanns suddenly withdrawing from the final trial of their action against Dr Goncalo Amaral and, instead, seeiking a settlement with him.

COURT DETAILS 5th & 6th FEBRUARY

The trial is likley (but not absolutely certain) to be before Mr Justice Tugendhat, who adjudicatedat a Case Management hearing in February, and issued a ruling in the case (published on this forum) on 24 October 2012.

It is likely (but not absolutely certain) to start at 10.30am on Tuesday 5 February and is scheduled to last 1.5 days.

I have to check with the Queen's Bench Listing Clerks after 2pm on Monday 4 February to find out which court the hearing is in, and for confirmation of the name of the judge.

For anyone thinking of attending part or all of the trial:

* The hearing is at the Royal Court of Justice, The Strand

* To find out where the case is to be heard, report to reception (just after you've cleared security) or check the noticeboards just behind reception

* The case is in open court. Anyone can attend

* Mobile 'phones, blackberries, smartphones and laptops are all ALLOWED within the Court precincts. In the Court room itself, mobile 'phones and anything esle with a ringtone must be switched off. No audio or visual recording may be made of the proceedings. Laptops are normally allowed and may be used in Court although the judge has discretion to refuse that depending on the circumstances

* Lunch break is normally 1pm to 2pm, courts normally rise at 4.30pm

* There are various cafes around. I hope to meet with known supporters for breakfast at around 9am on the first day of the trial, for more details of the vensue please contact me by e-mail or 'phone below.

FINALLY, at the last hearing, the eight people who kindly came to support me behaved impeccably, which is as it should be. The only person who misbehaved in Court was McCann-supporter Justine Spencer who was reprimanded by Mr Justice Tugendhat for using her rmobile 'phone. The rule is: keep quiet, no talking or whispering, no tut-tutting of other audible gasps or sounds

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

TONY to CARTER-RUCK 25 January 2013

This letter was sent earlier today:

======================



From: Tony Bennett
Tel: 07835 716537
e-mail: ajsbennett@btinternet.com

Mr Adam Tudor,
for Carter-Ruck,
Solicitors
6 St. Andrew Street
LONDON
EC4A 3AE

Your ref: Adam Tudor/Isabel Martorell, formerly Hudson
AT/IH/SVL/HMP/13837.5
For the attention of Adam Tudor & Isobel Martorell
At adam.tudor@carter-ruck.com

Copied to:

Mr James Tipp
Deputy Court Manager
Queen's Bench Division Listing Office
Strand
LONDON
WC2A 2LL

Claim No HQ 09 D 05196 Gerry McCann & Kate McCann v Tony Bennett
For the attention of Mr Green or Mr James Tipp

At: qbjudgeslistingoffice

Dear Mr Tudor

re: McCanns v Bennett: Committal Proceedings - YOUR CLIENTS' LETTER TO SNR SANTOS E OLIVEIRA, SOLICITOR FOR DR GONCALO AMARAL, early January 2013, offering Dr Amaral a settlement and asking for an adjournment

On this occasion, and for the first time in a four-year history of correspondence between your firm and myself, I am writing to you personally, on behalf of your firm, because of the significance of the issue concerned.

You are a Senior Partner of Carter-Ruck and have many times been publicly associated with your clients Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, not least when you attended the DCMS Select Committee on press freedom and standards in March 2009, and more recently in the book, ‘madeleine’, written by Dr Kate McCann. On page 289 of her book, she paid personal tribute to you, explaining that you and your colleague Ms Martorell “continue to do a vast amount of work for us, without payment, most of it quietly behind the scenes”. She praises you there for your “invaluable advice”, whilst on page 382 she pays further tribute to you as someone who “has laboured faithfully out of the goodness of his heart…regardless of the day or the hour”. She adds how much she has appreciated your “priceless expertise and commitment”. These are rare words of tribute from a client to her lawyer.

The matter I wish to raise with you as a matter of some urgency arises from your clients’ conduct in withdrawing, at the last minute, from pursuing their libel claim at the final trial of their action against Dr Goncalo Amaral, which was due to have started in the Lisbon Civil Court yesterday.

After your clients have been pursuing him in the Portuguese civil courts for nearly four years, it has become clear in the past few days that your clients have requested a six-month adjournment of the case, in order to reach an out-of-court ‘settlement’ with Dr Amaral. This raises, in my judgment, significant questions in relation to their conduct, both against him - and now, in 11 days’ time, in continuing to press the High Court to impose a term of imprisonment on me for alleged contempt of court.

These are questions also for yourself, as your firm and you personally have been advising them throughout. No doubt your firm and Ms Isabel Duarte, your clients’ Portuguese lawyer, have been in very close contact with each other throughout the four years of your clients’ claim against Dr Amaral.

The history of the McCanns’ claim against Dr Goncalo Amaral

This has been the subject of much correspondence between us, but in the current situation I will briefly set out the key events:

· In July 2008, Dr Amaral published a book, the English title of which was ‘The Truth About A Lie’. In summary, the book gives a history of the investigation into Madeleine McCann’s reported disappearance, under his leadership, for the five months May to October 2007. The subsequent release on DVDsby the Portuguese Police of the vast majority of the huge amount of documentation in the case backed up the assertions of fact he made in his book. He reached three key main conclusions, and explains in the book precisely why:

a) That Madeleine McCann died in your clients’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz

b) That your clients lied about what had happened to Madeleine, and

c) That your clients covered up her death and, with or without the help of others, hid her body.

Your clients maintain, as stated in one of your letters to me, that ‘there is not one scintilla of credible evidence’ to support his conclusions. As you know, many people disagree, contending that there is credible evidence to support Dr Goncalo Amaral’s claims. I am one of them, and that is why your clients are applying to the Court on 5 & 6 February to impose a term of imprisonment on me.

I consider that my publications do not go beyond Dr Amaral’s hypothesis as set out briefly above. For example, Dr Amaral suggests, in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, that it is likely that Madeleine died as the result of an accident, possibly when your clients were not present with her. The same conclusion was set out, as you know, in the interim report of Inspector Tavares de Almeida. As you know from your firm’s extensive perusal of my many lengthy articles and internet postings, I have never ventured beyond Dr Amaral’s own main conclusions on what really happened to your clients’ daughter.

· Your clients threatened at the time to sue Dr Amaral for libel, claiming the book was untrue, extremely hurtful and would ‘harm the search for Madeleine’. However, they did not do so until either June or July 2009, around one year later. By that time, Dr Amaral’s book had sold some 200,000 copies, an hour-long documentary based on his book had been seen by 2 million Portuguese people, and several editions of his book in different European languages were in print or being prepared.

· Your clients claimed 1.2 million euros damages (£1 million) against Dr Amaral, his publishers and the TV company which showed his documentary. They both claimed to have suffered emotionally and physically in a number of ways, adding that they were ‘irreparably damaged’.

· In September 2009, your clients obtained a draconian order against Dr Amaral, banning his book, and requiring him and his publishers to return all copies of it and physically hand them over to the custody of your clients’ Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte. I believe some sort of financial order was also obtained against his assets.

· After four days of hearings in January and February 2010, the Lisbon High Court dismissed an appeal by Dr Amaral against the order made in September 2010.

· In October 2010, the Portuguese Appeal Court reversed that decision. It determined that in considering the delicate balance between freedom of speech and the right to preservation of one’s reputation, Dr Amaral’s right to free speech under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated. They ordered the immediate unbanning of his book. They also ordered your clients to pay Dr Amaral’s costs.

· Your clients appealed this decision to the Portuguese Supreme Court. They lost again, in March 2011. The court dismissed their appeal. Dr Amaral’s book remained unbanned. As I understand it, your clients were again required to pay his reasonable costs associated with the hearing.

· Your clients nevertheless continued with their claim that Dr Amaral’s book libelled them, continued to seek the banning of his book, and continued to seek 1.2 million euros damages. The final trial was scheduled to begin yesterday, 24 January. Both sides continued to prepare for this ‘final showdown’.

The letter sent by your clients’ Portuguese lawyer to Dr Amaral’s lawyer and the Portuguese Civil Court earlier this month

Just over a week ago, rumours circulated that your clients had asked the Court and Dr Amaral’s lawyer for an adjournment so that a settlement could be reached. In the Affidavit of your colleague Isabel Martorell sworn and served on me today (paragraph 13), she states the following:

“…I understand that the trial, which had been due to take place in January 2013, has been postponed at the request of the Claimants’ lawyer, to allow the parties to explore whether a settlement may be reached which gives the Claimants sufficient vindication and protection in the future”.

However, information I have now received this week, confirmed in writing, from a source who has been very close to Dr Amaral for many years, and to his solicitor, Snr Santos e Oliveira, gives a fuller - and more concerning - picture.

The source spoke personally to Snr Santos e Oliveira earlier this week. He confirmed thatyour clients’ Portuguese lawyer wrote to him and to the Civil Court, on or about 8 January, with these proposals:

1. To adjourn the trial for 6 months

2. To seek a settlement with Dr Amaral.

I am informed that after taking Dr Amaral’s instructions, Snr Santos e Oliveiraagreed. That letter is significant in relation to the parallel proceedings against me. I believe that this letter is relevant to your clients’ attempt to jail me for contempt and, as requested in a letter written by hand at your offices today, I should be grateful if you could forward me a copy of it without delay by return. If I do not receive a copy, I shall ask the judge if it ought to be produced.

The current position vis-à-vis Dr Amaral and myself

For five years your clients and their spokesman have regularly denigrated the Portuguese police and of course Dr Amaral in particular. Using their legal might, they have pursued Dr Amaral for four years, no doubt costing themselves and Dr Amaral tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process. Nor is there any doubt that the legal onslaught on him has been emotionally, as well as financially, very costly.

In addition, your clients have pursued Dr Amaral in the criminal courts, arranging via Metodo 3 for lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia to represent Ms Leonor Cipriano, the convicted murderess of her own child, 8-year-old Joana, in a claim of alleged torture against him and four other detectives.

For the past 2 years and 3 months, Dr Amaral’s book has been unbanned, based on the Portuguese Courts’ interpretation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Your clients have maintained that Dr Amaral is a wicked man who has libelled them and done untold damage to themselves and the search for Madeleine. They have been claiming £1 million damages from him and his publishers.

Yet now, just two weeks away from the beginning of the final trial of the action, as Snr Santos e Oliveira and Dr Amaral were completing their extensive preparations for that trial, it now seems clear that your clients are unwilling or unable to prosecute their claim and are suing for peace.

A claimant seeking to settle a case is most unusual - and I suggest, with respect, that the prospects for your clients achieving any of their goals in this very expensive litigation have as a result, without doubt, receded significantly.

The prospect of your clients succeeding in banning Dr Amaral’s book must surely now be rated as negligible. As you know, in the Court Documents submitted in this action, I have pointed out that Dr Amarals’ book has been:

* read by many in Portugal, with over 200,000 copies sold,

* has been translated into 9 European languages,

* is available to read in over 30 countries, and

* has been translated into English (albeit without the publisher’s consent) and is available at several places on the internet (as you and your clients must be aware), and

* has been allowed by the top two courts in Portugal to go back on sale, consistent with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The primary facts and arguments on which I rely for all my publications about the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann are essentially derived from Dr Amaral’s 220-page book, ‘The Truth About A Lie’. His conclusions (as set out above) can be freely read and discussed in many countries and in England. Your clients have been powerless to stop its widespread distribution, yet you are pursuing one individual, myself, for doing no more than what thousands of others are also doing, namely, repeating Dr Amara’s central three allegations.

Your clients have tried to sue him for libel, but have failed after 4 years of litigation to do so, and their prospects of succeeding look increasingly remote.

Your clients have tried to ban Dr Amaral’s book (albeit that they left it a year before suing him), and failed - but not only failed, they have incurred large costs in doing so.

Many people doubt your clients’ version of what happened to Madeleine and openly say so on a regular basis. As is clear from the Exhibits in my Affidavits, books have been written by professionals in their field, such as criminologists, police officers and psychologists, echoing the views of Dr Amaral in one form or another. The list of websites, forums, blogs and videos, including those on the popular video-sharing website, YouTube (as per my Affidavit), which openly doubt your clients’ account of what happened to Madeleine is large, and growing all the time. Your clients are powerless to stop this amount of open dissent. You and your fellow-lawyers at Carter-Ruck must know this as well. Yet your firm persists in trying to convict me of contempt of court, knowing that if they succeed, quite apart from any term of imprisonment, payment of even a significant proportion of your costs to date will inevitably involve personal bankruptcy.

Your recorded costs in pursuing the committal application against me were already ‘well over £120,000’ by 19 April, and may well be reaching £200,000 by now.

I invite you to consider that given the circumstances outlined above, a judge might well consider that to continue to prosecute me for contempt, against the background I have set out above, when only a few days ago your clients have withdrawn from the final libel trial against the author of what your clients maintain is the source the original libels, might be considered an abuse of process. That is why I believe the Court should see the letter sent on or about 8 January 2013 to the Court and to Snr Santos e Oliveira.

Yours sincerely


Tony Bennett

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Guest on Fri 25 Jan - 22:06

This is pleasing beyond words.

My gob is well and truly smacked.

And how brilliantly expressed by Tony.

Can't wait for the next episode.


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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  SteveT on Fri 25 Jan - 22:11

I like it!

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  margaret on Fri 25 Jan - 22:38

I know! I bet Mr.Tudor has steam coming out of his ears when he reads that.

Tony...

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  matthew on Fri 25 Jan - 22:42

More confirmation of the climbdown

I wouldn't like to be a judge in this case,could you send this man to prison aware of an ongoing review here & in Portugal that could possibly implicate the McCanns

Goodluck Tony

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Guest on Fri 25 Jan - 22:47

I suspect even though imprisonment (for Tony) was within the permitted scale, it has never been a realistic option:

Put the foot in the other boot, though, and we may well see Healy & McCann and a few others entertaining Madge in the relatively near future.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  cass on Fri 25 Jan - 22:51

wow gobsmacked --well done tony

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  interested on Fri 25 Jan - 23:38

WOW - good for Mr. Bennett. He has stated his well grounded position in an articulate manner. This letter requires a response from Mr. Tudor; I hope Mr. Bennett keeps us up-to-date. Go Tony - I do admire how you have put yourself out there for Madeleine. It is one thing to sit at a computer and comment, but Tony Bennett has continued to fight for justice for Madeleine by risking his very freedom.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  weissnicht on Sat 26 Jan - 11:05

Tony

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Krisy22 on Sat 26 Jan - 15:20

My admiration for Tony just grows by the day. What a very determined gentleman he is. Well done

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  malena stool on Sat 26 Jan - 15:42

Tony

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  whatsupdoc on Sat 26 Jan - 16:42

Good luck Tony. Excellent job with your letters.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  wantthetruth on Sat 26 Jan - 18:32



I'm eagerly awaiting the response to that!

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Lillyofthevalley on Sat 26 Jan - 21:43

Excellent Tony and I do hope you get a quick reply...

Well done

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  tabs on Sun 27 Jan - 10:14

excellent Tony! Await the reply with baited breath

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Vindication

Post  mahlersghost on Sun 27 Jan - 12:06

I’m not going to add anything original to the forum but the climb-down by the McCanns at the eleventh hour although unexpected makes sense.
The Funchal lawyer’s successful defence of his libel case against Dr Amaral scuppered any chance of the McCanns winning against Dr Amaral – they kept up the brinkmanship but had to draw back from the cliff edge. The fact that UK papers have not been doing some pre-covering of the libel trial is interesting – all Madeleine coverage has been the usual nonsense when the McCanns are in trouble – the McCann PR machine didn’t want any climb-down reported. This means that seeking another outcome has been paramount to the McCanns for some time now – as stated above at least since Dr Amaral lost his libel case.
The knowledge that all was up in going to trial has left the McCanns with trying to salvage something to give to the British public and media – vindication/vindicated would be the new buzz words – up there with exoneration/exonerated in the vocabulary used by the McCanns’ PR man. They want something to save face and if I was Dr Amaral and the other defendants I wouldn’t give it to them.
Tony Bennett is the ‘butterfly on the wheel’ of the McCann’s vindictiveness (and I do not believe it is just the McCanns driving this) – I hope he wins out in the end because he seems to be a just and honest man. All of this, of course, is just my opinion based on what is available to comment on in the media.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  cherry1 on Sun 27 Jan - 12:34

They want something to save face and if I was Dr Amaral and the other defendants I wouldn’t give it to them.


I think Amaral has the upper hand and cant see him dancing to their tune.


[i] Tony Bennett is the ‘butterfly on the wheel’ of the McCann’s vindictiveness (and I do not believe it is just the McCanns driving this) – I hope he wins out in the end because he seems to be a just and honest man. All of this, of course, is just my opinion based on what is available to comment on in the media.



I certainly hope truth and justice prevail in the end, Tony has been involved in a number of causes of injustice apart from this case, and helped to highlight corrupt police officers in one case and all the nastiness that has been thrown at him, he has never resorted to the behaviour of those who attack him. I dont see how any sane judge could possibly find him guilty of what he has been accused of. The Mccanns have shown themselves up in pursing Tony, strange how they did not pursue the PJ into court isnt it! The Mccanns have never taken responsibility for anything, but continually blame and lash out at other people. But as has been said many times there can only be one version of the truth and ultimately the Mccanns will be condemned by their own words so may wish they didnt give so many interviews, may wish they didnt write a book, may wish their police statements were not riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. When you dont tell the truth sooner or later you slip up and I think we have lost count of all the "slip ups" the Mccanns have made!

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Guest on Sun 27 Jan - 12:41


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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Chris on Sun 27 Jan - 12:47

mahlersghost wrote:I’m not going to add anything original to the forum but the climb-down by the McCanns at the eleventh hour although unexpected makes sense.
The Funchal lawyer’s successful defence of his libel case against Dr Amaral scuppered any chance of the McCanns winning against Dr Amaral – they kept up the brinkmanship but had to draw back from the cliff edge. The fact that UK papers have not been doing some pre-covering of the libel trial is interesting – all Madeleine coverage has been the usual nonsense when the McCanns are in trouble – the McCann PR machine didn’t want any climb-down reported. This means that seeking another outcome has been paramount to the McCanns for some time now – as stated above at least since Dr Amaral lost his libel case.
The knowledge that all was up in going to trial has left the McCanns with trying to salvage something to give to the British public and media – vindication/vindicated would be the new buzz words – up there with exoneration/exonerated in the vocabulary used by the McCanns’ PR man. They want something to save face and if I was Dr Amaral and the other defendants I wouldn’t give it to them.
Tony Bennett is the ‘butterfly on the wheel’ of the McCann’s vindictiveness (and I do not believe it is just the McCanns driving this) – I hope he wins out in the end because he seems to be a just and honest man. All of this, of course, is just my opinion based on what is available to comment on in the media.

I agree it is now most likely face saving mode in the face of a trial where the odds are heavily against them. Given that the only real confirmation of events is in an affadavit presented by their own lawyers (albeit it backs up the original rumours and information from Portugal) it would be surprising if they weren't to present the best possible intrepretation for their clients benefit. I would hazard a guess that if the application to the court followed any approach by the defendant(s) it would have been stated since it would place a completely different complexion on the state of play rather than effectively concede it was their clients' looking for a way out.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  almostgothic on Sun 27 Jan - 13:02

Good post, mahlersghost!

If the McCanns insist on pressing on with the case against TB, then it could be assumed that they are still concerned about the court of public opinion in the UK. Although putting a positive spin on threatening a man in the autumn of his years with prison (and/or the removal of the roof over his head and/or his life savings) might prove a little tricky for their PR guy.
The British people, even in these mercenary times, will always stand up for the underdog and they abhor bullies. Those bullies can wear as many green and yellow wristbands as they like and as many 'pity me' expressions as they like, but this will not go down well.
And some people might actually start asking questions as to where exactly their 'fund' donation has gone.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Carolina on Sun 27 Jan - 13:15

Ditto: Great post Mahlersghost.

The McCanns are now trying to find a way out of this libel case because they know they are going to lose and they can't withdraw their complaint without serious legal and punitive consequences. They could charges of litigaçáo de má fé (vexacious litigation) and I'm sure that wouldn't be able to keep that out of the press. They are obviously trying to play for time to find a way out of the corner they have painted themselves into. They are in panic mode.

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  Guest on Sun 27 Jan - 13:26

Well I'm glad to hear you confirm the Vexatious Litigation angle, Carolina: It's something I've brought up many times since Healy & McCann were badly advised to launch the action, but I'm only familiar with English Law - It's good (but perhaps not surprising) that the concept and remedies are reflected in your neck of the woods.


Last edited by The End Is Nigh on Sun 27 Jan - 13:27; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Dyslexia getting the better of me)

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  jd16 on Tue 29 Jan - 22:53

NEWS UPDATE: (From Tony)

I have just finished reading the McCanns' lawyers' 'Skeleton Argument', which runs to 15 pages.

Up until now, I thought I was just up against:

Isabel Martorell, Partner of Carter-Ruck and her support staff, including an Assistant Solicitor

PLUS

Adam Tudor, Senior Partner of Carter-Ruck

PLUS

Jacob Dean, barister.

Apparently these already mighty legal resources are not considered strong enough to overwhelm me.

So, at the hearing on Tuesday 5 February, Jacob Dean will merely be the Junior barrister in the proceedings.

The McCanns have also appointed a Senior barrister to lead their case to impriosn me...

Adrienne Page, Queens Counsel

All this 'legal might' against one single man standing alone in court.....mmmmmm

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  kitti on Tue 29 Jan - 22:56




I have been quietly beavering away today preparing my notes for the trial and for my cross-examination of Isabel Martorell and Mike Gunnill, which will probably take place on Tuesday.

Carter-Ruck are similarly beavering away. An hour-and-a-half ago a courier, da Silva by name, knocked at my door with another two bundles for the hearing: one, a fat bundle with about 250 pages of case law they are throwing at me at the last minute, and another one with their 'Skeleton Argument' of their legal submission to the Court.

My equivalent went in to the Court on Friday, in good time.

I am buying a new toothbrush on Wednesday, since, at a contempt of court hearing, they have officers of the High Court ready to 'take the contemnor down' to the High Court cells - and then on to the nearest available prison.

All for repeating what Tavares de Almeida said, what Dr Goncalo Amaral said, what Dr Ludke is saying, what Pat Brown is saying, for listing the 48 questions that Dr Kate McCann refused to answer in her book, for reproducing Martin Grime's full report and rogatory interview by Leicestershire Police, for 'selling' one book to Michael Sangerte = Peter Tarwin = Jason Peters = Michael Gunnill - and for sundry and similar 'crimes' worthy of punishment.


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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

Post  kitti on Tue 29 Jan - 22:58

The Mccanns must be really pissed........taking it out on Tony

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Re: Tony B's letter to CR - abuse of process

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