As Gerry and Kate McCann lose their libel case in the European Court of Human Rights, it is time for the pointless and totally wasteful £14 million search for their daughter to finally wind down
This morning in Strasbourg, the European Court of Rights unsurprisingly ruled against Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of the ‘missing’ since 2007 child Madeleine McCann, and in favour of the “thorn in their side” ex PJ police coordinator Gonçalo Amaral.
Bringing an end to an almighty and very costly charade where costs and damages will likely run into the hundreds of thousands for the McCanns and their foundation, Mr Amaral’s victory in this highest of courts ends the prospects of the British couple being able to pursue him further.
In a judgment issued online, “the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: no violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
Going further, the court added:
“The case concerned statements made by a former detective inspector – in a book, a documentary and a newspaper interview – about the applicants’ alleged involvement in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine McCann, who went missing on 3 May 2007 in southern Portugal. Before the Court, the applicants alleged that there had been a violation of their right to reputation and to their right to be presumed innocent.”
“The Court considered that, even assuming that the applicants’ reputation had been damaged, this was not on account of the argument put forward by the book’s author but rather as a result of the suspicions expressed against them, which had led to their being placed under investigation in the course of the criminal investigation (the prosecutor’s office decided to take no further action in July 2008) and had led to intense media attention and much controversy.”
“The information had thus been brought to the public’s attention in some detail even before the investigation file was made available to the media and the book in question was published. It followed that the national authorities had not failed in their positive obligation to protect the applicants’ right to respect for their private life.”
“The Court also considered that in the Supreme Court’s judgments of January and March 2017 – concerning the civil claims lodged by the applicants – it had not made comments implying any guilt on the part of the applicants or even suggesting suspicions against them with regard to the circumstances in which their daughter had disappeared. The applicants’ complaint concerning their right to be presumed innocent was thus manifestly ill-founded.”
Responding, journalist and anti-corruption in charity campaigner Matthew Steeples, who has written extensively about the case since 2007 and who was introduced to Mr and Mrs McCann by the “Chanel-clad” former charity boss Baroness Meyer remarked:
“The vexatiously litigious McCanns have failed in their efforts to sully the name of Gonçalo Amaral. They have, with clear tenacity, gone after this Portuguese police officer again and again since 2008 and when Portugal’s highest court ruled that he was entitled to ‘freedom of expression’ in 2017, they still did not give up.”
“Today, having wasted yet more money in regard to a case of a ‘missing person’ who will likely never be found on top of the £14 million ($16 million, €15.9 million or درهم58.8 million) of public money already squandered, I suggest that it is time for this merry-go-round to stop and it is also time for Mr Amaral to be left in peace.”
“Whatever occurred on the evening of 3rd May 2007 in Praia da Luz, Portugal was most certainly a tragedy and a tragedy most definitely for Madeleine McCann – a 3-year-old child who had a full life ahead of her. It was right that the case was investigated, but over 15 years have passed.”
“As I have said again and again, there are other missing people out there and there are cases that with resources could and can be solved. These cases get little to no support and the disproportionate allocation of resources to the search for Madeleine McCann – a child who would by now be an 18-year-old adult – is clearly never going to lead anywhere.”
“Enough is enough. The end of the road has been reached and it is time that the Metropolitan Police finally wound down the disgraceful waste of money and resources that is Operation Grange.”
Meanwhile elsewhere, again today, we remind readers that Christian Brueckner – the current main ‘suspect’ in the case – has still not been charged. Strange that; very strange indeed.
Pictured top – ‘Missing’ since 3rd May 2007 Madeleine McCann (left) as a child and her parents out running in the days after their daughter supposedly vanished off-the-face of the planet.
Missing Madeleine – Questions STILL without Answers
Many questions about what happened on the evening of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann remain. Some that have been highlighted by the press and discussed online include:
- Why did Kate McCann refuse to answer 48 questions put to her by the Portuguese police?
- Why were certain records of phone calls on the evening of the disappearance “whoosh-clunked” from the memories of the phones of Mr and Mrs McCann and the ‘Tapas 7’?
- Why were relevant mobile phone records never handed over to the authorities in spite of them potentially being useful to the search?
- Why did the couple not use the babysitting service on offer in the holiday resort on the evening of 3rd May 2007 when they went out on the razzle dazzle with friends?
- Why was the door to the apartment – which opened directly onto a public highway – left unlocked with three children aged under three years old alone inside?
- Why did a British sniffer dog sense the smell of a corpse in a cupboard in the apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared?
- Why did a sniffer dog also supposedly sense the smell of a corpse in a vehicle hired by the couple a month after the disappearance of their daughter?
- Why did the McCanns repeatedly try to discredit the work of the sniffer dogs and their handlers?
- Why did Mr and Mrs McCann go jogging and play tennis in the days after their daughter’s disappearance?
- Was it acceptable for Mr and Mrs McCann’s mortgage to be paid by the fund established to search for their missing daughter?
- Why have the McCanns attempted to ‘gag’ anyone who disputes their version of events – most especially Gonçalo Amaral?
- Why given over £14 million has been spent on this search to date has nobody come forward with any sighting of ‘missing’ Madeleine McCann given the rewards on offer?