Libel Trial > McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 1 Witness No 2
The session was delayed because a journalist (TVI) was caught recording the session on her cell phone, the fear, according to the judge, being that it interferes with the Court's own recording. It seems that although the phone was "active" it wasn't recording. In any event, this incident had to be reported and dictating to the clerk which all takes time. All this appeared to be very much of an aside since many cell phones were on in the court room (switching ones phone off completely seems to equate to an amputation).
The testimony as it happened...
(12.09.2013, 3pm) Emma Loach is a documentary film maker and gives evidence in English. The interpreter translates the lawyers' questions for EL and then translates her responses from English to Portuguese for the lawyers and the judge who, in fact, do understand to the extent that they sometimes helped the interpreter, an English lady.
EL first met the McCanns in 2008 in order to make the first documentary (Madeleine, one year on), since then their professional relationship has expanded to that of friendship and to the extent that she sees the family including the twins on a regular basis.
1) McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is the first to question the witness.
ID – Reminding the objective is to establish the effects, if any, the book had on Kate and Gerald McCann, she asks what EL has to say about the subject.
EL answers that the book had a devastating effect on the McCanns, says it was like falling into a black bottomless hole, because the people thought Madeleine was dead. In July 2008, according to the Attorney General (AG) Report, there was no evidence that Madeleine was dead and the AG agreed she could be alive. This was the scenario which was accepted before the book was published.
ID – Why did the McCanns let this book undermine the findings of the AG report? There were elements in the file which clearly indicated that Madeleine could still be alive.
EL doesn't seem to have understood the question (translated in English by the interpreter), because she answers as if the question concerned the public and not the McCanns.
She speaks of the style of the book – agreeable and easy to read – and the simplicity of the proposed answers.
A lawyer objects that the issue isn't to appreciate the literary qualities of the book. Overruled.
EL adds the fact that the author was the head of the investigation led the people to conclusions where there's no room for doubts. Only someone who knows very well the files is able to see the big failures of the book.
ID – The McCann couple didn't react immediately to the book, why?
EL explains their priority was looking for Madeleine, not to be concerned by the publication of this book. In the beginning they had no idea about its possible effects. But it became clear in the following months.
ID – Question missing, likely "To what is due the effect of the book?"
EL thinks that the "nice, easy conclusion" explains the success of the book. There were many interviews and articles about the book, it was a kind of media tsunami. This upset and harmed more and more the McCanns. The documentary that claimed their daughter was dead and that they concealed the body created a lot of pain. It spread rapidly on the internet, with subtitles, millions of people watched it.