Once again the Daily Mirror lays the blame for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, firmly on the shoulders of the Portuguese detective who led the initial police investigation.
This week's vitriolic piece comes from Martin Fricker, who desperately attempts to paint a portrait of a broken man, a down and out, ostracised from society, who still remains defiantly unrepentant. Wishful thinking and projection on MF's part methinks, Goncalo Amaral is the victor of one of the lengthiest and most malicious misuse of libel law, the world has ever seen. Far from being a shadow of himself, he has shed the unhealthy pounds and is looking much fitter and far more dapper than he did 10 years ago. He has emerged as the winner, he can hold his head high.
The bitchiness of MF's article is not worthy of a mainstream journalist and explains why nobody wants to buy their grubby tabloids anymore. But let's expose MF's article for the nasty little piece that it is.
What does Goncalo Amaral have to be repentant about Martin? He is not personally responsible for Madeleine's disappearance no matter how you twist it. That chain of tragic events began with Gerry and Kate's decision to go out to dinner and leave their 3 toddlers alone in the holiday apartment. Let that sink in. Goncalo Amaral and his team of detectives worked around the clock searching for Madeleine, which is why they looked tired and dishevelled. I expect all those out there trekking over the wastelands and physically turning over every stone, looked much the same.
The McCanns by contrast, always looked shower fresh, rested and neatly attired, does that make them better people? The allegations that he regularly worked 4.5 hours in the early days and took 3 hour lunches is pure spite. Using the same techniques as the McCanns themselves, he attacks the former detective personally. And he cites the case of murdered child Joana Cipriano as 'evidence' of GA's past incompetence. MF clearly knows nothing about the case of Joana Cipriano, or the short tragic life she had. He uses one of the world's most evil killers, Leonora Cipriono as an example of police brutality, despite the fact that Leonora had 8 months added to her sentence for lying about her allegations against the police.
'He [Goncalo] cruelly (note the emotive adjective) said he had no sympathy for the McCanns....'. drum roll..... well good heavens Martin, why on earth would be have sympathy for the parents? They have spent 9+ years (and millions) on a vendetta to destroy his life and make him feel misery and fear. You want him to apologise to them for not handing over his family home, life savings and all his future earnings to Gerry and Kate? Just how far in on that 'misery and fear' contract are you Martin?
You state Goncalo Amaral should apologise for the mistakes that were made in the early stages of the investigation. The most significant of those of course, was the trashing of the crime scene. But the police weren't responsible for that were they Martin? It was the McCanns and their party, who declared the crime of abduction had taken place and in the circumstances, it is remarkable that none of the 6 doctors thought to protect any traces or fingerprints the abductor may have left. Presumably, during their extensive training as doctors, they would have touched on forensics.
Let's be realistic here. When a child goes missing, the first police on the scene do not automatically presume stranger abduction. It would be like a doctor going to the worst prognosis possible, without mentioning any of the options or stages. It just doesn't happen because abduction is so rare.
The idea that roadblocks should be set up and borders and airports locked down every time a child disappears is ludicrous. Can you imagine the chaos this would cause? The majority of children turn up. And apart from that, I doubt any of us could name a single case of a child being stolen from their bed and immediately taken out of the country. In the very, very rare cases of child stranger abduction, their bodies are found nearby, and that of course is where all the searches should have been concentrated. Why were the McCanns so determined to make the case international?
The McCanns waited a year after the release of Goncalo Amaral's book to sue him, enough time for the royalties to accumulate some might say. But their campaign to destroy his life and career had begun much earlier than that. Goncalo had no option but to record his side of the events that occurred in the summer of 2007. His reputation was at stake.
And finally Martin Fricker finishes off his little hatchet job with a sneering reference to Goncalo Amaral (the detective who stood up for the truth) being so broke that he had to rely on £50k in donations to defend himself, some it coming from anti-McCann trolls. Shame he didn't mention the £1k given by an anonymous group of Metropolitan police officers.
MF fails to mention that when Gerry and Kate were totting up how much to demand in damages from Goncalo, that they had all his assets frozen, including his family's home or that they destroyed any employment he undertook. The parents wanted £1.25million in damages. £250,000 each, their lawyer told us, 'and they are 5'. Yes, they wanted a quarter of a million for their missing child too. That is they wanted to make the wife and children of the former detective homeless, in order to compensate a child who hasn't been seen in 10 years. As for the last little jibe, Goncalo is set to sue the parents. Says who Martin? And will they have anything left when the final (probably record) costs of their malicious vendetta are revealed?
The sheer vindictiveness of the McCann's legal actions and articles such as this one, should make all those involved hang their heads in shame. Martin Fricker's article could not be more biased and distorted, and for what purpose? Goncalo Amaral has not worked on the investigation for over 9 years, why is he the enemy? Surely the anger and rage of Gerry, Kate and Martin Fricker, would be better directed at the 'abductor'! And perhaps a little at themselves for being stupid enough to believe that babies and toddlers can be left unsupervised.