Monday, 23 September 2013
McCann v Amaral (19 Sept 2013) Cláudia Nogueira Transcript
Libel Trial Day 3.
Cláudia Nogueira (Witness No. 4)
(Media Consultant )
By Anne Guedes of the UK Justice Forum
Libel Trial McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 3 Witness No 4
The testimony as it happened...
(19.09.2013, 15 pm) Cláudia Nogueira, Managing Director of the Portuguese Public Relations and Communications Company, Plus - People Development. From 2009 to 2011 – she was the Executive Director of the Portuguese private agency Lift Consulting, a Company engaged by the McCanns.
Her relationship with the couple was initially professional but with time it became personal. She knows Gonçalo Amaral only "publicly" (they never had personal contact).
1) McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is the first to question the witness.
ID – Why did you leave Lift Consulting?
CN answers that the media pressure was too great and that her work in support of the McCanns was very difficult. They were very worn down.
ID – In the course of your profession did you have access to statistics?
CN said she had.
ID – Do you know if at least 2.2 million people watched the documentary in Portugal?
CN says she doesn't remember the exact number but she knows it was 50% of the audience share.
ID – Do you still work as a communication manager?
CN says she does. She says that people focused on this program, which is rare.
ID asks if the attention of social communication decreased afterwards. (note: she might have meant "care for Madeleine")
CN thinks there were thousands of news items about the Amaral book and documentary. There were about 2000 for the book and about 1000 for the documentary.
ID – Were these news items suggestive of any other solutions for the case?
CN No unfortunately. It wasn't well balanced. All the focus was on the book's conclusions.
ID – Did you try to offer a counterpoint?
CN – Yes, but the social communication wasn't looking for contradictions.
ID– Was the documentary copied in English on the Web without authorization?
CN says it was.
2) Defence lawyers.
a) TVI lawyers’ questions.
TVI – Did you know that TVI wanted also to broadcast the Channel 4 documentary (Emma Loach's one, "Madeleine was here")?
CN says she knows.
TVI – You said the attention associated with the book didn't diminish after the publication. Was that everywhere?
CN says she meant "in Portugal". She adds the attention was focused mainly on Gonçalo Amaral and this included the UK.
TVI – What about the news on the governmental support for the case?
CN – The news in Portugal were interpretations of the various facts.
TVI – But the facts never were clarified.
CN – They should have been.
TVI – But there are not many facts.
b) Valentim de Carvalho (DVD production/distribution) lawyer's questions
VC – Before 2009, were the McCanns clients of Lift Consulting?
CN says "no".
VC – Did they contract Lift Consulting in order to spread their initiatives and positions?
CN says they wanted to remind the public of the facts of the disappearance. They were trying to counter the propaganda and the theories that some newspapers were printing.
VC says it's the first time he has heard such a thing.
c) Guerra & Paz's lawyer's questions
GP asks whether she did some research when she started to work for the McCanns
CN says "yes".
GP here refers to the Sept 2009 Providencia Cautelar (Injunction) that led to the ban of GA's book. She alludes to the fact there was a need for witnesses.
GP – You spoke of over 2 million people watching the documentary corresponding to 50% of the audience share, but MarkTest's published share was 23%.
CN says the content of some news was favouring definitively Gonçalo Amaral.
GP – Do you have a number concerning the news on sightings which mention the GA's theory?
CN says they're many, but she doesn't know how many.
GP's lawyer asks to dictate a request. She observes the witness indicated an approximate number for the news reports about the book (see above, approx 2000). The witness couldn't say how many news reports were published in relation to sightings or leads to the whereabouts of Madeleine or which reported a summary of GA's thesis.
GP asks the Court to instruct the witness to produce the documents she refers to.
The Judge asks CN if she has access to these news reports.
CN responds that they are kept at the agency (Lift Consulting). She says she has only got a few documents with her.
The Judge asks if she will be able to get the others.
CN says she can.
The Judge then agrees to give her 15 days to produce the documents.
The judge points out that the issue under consideration is whether the attention of the media and the public decreased with the publication of the Amaral book. This is a question to which the Court will have to give an answer. Nevertheless the Judge doubts the documents the witness has will be helpful in this or would contribute positively in any way to the resolution of the case. However, since all parties agree, she agrees the request.
The Judge reminds the Court that there are two types of news reports:
•Those related to the publication of the Amaral book.
•Those related to the sightings, etc. that also mention the Amaral thesis of death and cover up.
The argument being that the "sighting" part is good for the McCanns who try to communicate positive things while the other is counterproductive to the search.
d) Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions
SO – Was your job the transmission of information (to the media) or the management of the public image of your clients?
CN says it was the transmission of positive information about the issues concerning Madeleine.
SO – Were all your publications published?
CN – No, some weren't.
SO – You said to dra. Isabel Duarte that the news concerning the book wasn't contradicted. You also said that the sightings news had a contradictory part. How do you equate all this?
CN says that when the news was about the McCanns, it was always contradicted. When it was on Gonçalo Amaral, it wasn't.
SO – How did you work on the news?
CN says she translated the British news in Portuguese and adapted it for the Portuguese public and the Portuguese culture. This was her job.
SO – Did the Amaral book not boost the debate on the disappearance?
CN answers "no".
SO – Did you read the book and think that whoever reads might think that GA speaks the truth?
CN says she read the book.
Day 1 - 12th September 2013
Witness 1 Susan Hubbard (friend of Mrs McCann)
Witness 2, Emma Loach (Documentary film maker)
Witness 3, David Edgar (Private Investigator for the McCanns)
Day 2 - 13th September 2013
Witness 1, David Trickey (Psychologist)
Witness 2, Angus McBride (Lawyer)
Day 3 - 19th September 2013
Witness 1, Alan Pike (Trauma Consultant)
Witness 2, João Melchior Gomes (Former Deputy Attorney General)
Witness 3, Alípio Ribeiro (Former National director of the Polícia Judiciária)
Day 4 – 20 September 2013
Witness 1, Michael Wright (Administrator) – his wife is Kate McCann's cousin.