My worry was that this huge media furore would wreck the ongoing libel trial in Lisbon. Goncalo Amaral deserves his day in Court. I am outraged at the cruel and systematic way in which the McCanns have set out to destroy Goncalo Amaral's life, using their 'Britishness' to give the impression that we are all complicit.
Their motives are spite and greed. They have nothing to do with searching for their child. I want the Court to reject their 'poor me' claim for 1.2m Euros, and I want the world to see that Goncalo Amaral is a good man. A police detective who began an investigation into the disappearance of a little girl 6.5 years ago, and who won't write 'file closed' until that little girl gets justice.
Far from assisting the McCanns with their current libel trial in Lisbon, I think the recent publicity has had the opposite effect. Amongst other things they cannot prove, they are claiming that their search was harmed by Goncalo Amaral's book. This is clearly not the case, the headlines have never gone away, and there are plenty right now.
However, what will be particularly damaging to the Libel trial, is the fact that the McCanns, never used the Smith sighting in any of their campaigns or fund raisers. And worse, some might say they perverted the course of justice, by focussing the world's attention on the shaky sighting of Jane Tanner who only got a glimpse of the 'abductor', from a distance and in poor light. The description given by Jane Tanner was hopelessly unreliable. Within days she changed it completely by identifying Robert Murat as the man she saw carrying the child, a man with light brown hair, a detached retina, and wearing glasses, and immediately following her identification of Robert Murat, 3 of the tapas group suddenly remembered that they had seen him that night too. Jane has said 'it could be' to almost every face publicised in a long list of Madeleine's abductors, from large eggs with hair, to George Harrison lookalikes. Dave Edgar 'the only professional' investigator employed by the McCanns said Jane could even have seen a woman - though in his defence, it was during the time they were touting the e-fit of Posh Spice.
The McCanns employed an ex FBI artist to draw a composite sketch of Tannerman and released it with a great fanfare, using it thereafter as the face of the man who took their daughter. Ahh, but they didn't know about the Smith sighting you may say. Not true, it was a line of enquiry being pursued by Goncalo Amaral immediately prior to his being removed from the investigation. The Smiths were contacted by representatives of the McCanns, but honourable people that they are, they preferred to stick with the official investigation. Off musing, I'm beginning to see a film here, The Incorruptibles, an honourable detective who never gave up and a lovely Irish family who know the meaning of integrity.
But back to the Smith sighting. How could the McCanns not know about it? They spent £100k from the Fund on having the PJ files translated and Kate has been reading them for years. They also spent a lot of money on private investigators, possibly in excess of £1m, are we to believe that these 'big boys'* (as described by Clarence) missed this vital evidence too?
Those of us glued to this case have always questioned why the McCanns never publicised this sighting, the most credible they had - it came from outside the group of friends, and it supported their claim that Madeleine was abducted. The Smith family group consisted of at least 3 adults who saw the 'abductor' in close proximinity. So close in fact, that Mrs Smith asked the man if the child was sleeping. He did not reply. Their statements are indeed a revelation, and will probably top the list should anyone care to google them, and I suggest if you have got this far that you do. This story seems to have a new director, and the bits that had previously been discarded on the cutting room floor are now being restored.
*Big boys now facing criminal charges.