As a direct consequence of publishing the Amaral leaflet and the 48 questions video*, Tony Bennett has since been in receipt of this letter from the McCanns' libel lawyers, Carter Ruck. Please read it carefully, as it threatens dire repercussions against anyone who dares to question the McCanns' version of events.
As you are of course aware, we act for Gerry and Kate McCann.
You will recall that on 13 November 2009 you formally undertook (amongst other
things) not to repeat any allegations about our clients to the effect that they were
guilty of, or to be suspected of causing the death of Madeleine McCann; and/or of
disposing of her body; and/or of lying about what had happened and/or of seeking to
cover up what they had done. These undertakings were enshrined by way of Court
order of 25 November 2009.
You have continued to 'campaign' on issues relating to the disappearance of our
clients' daughter, and while you have purported since then to have abided by your
undertakings, it is clear that you have on a number of occasions breached those
For example, it has been brought to our clients' attention that in a post entitled "A
short letter to Theresa May about her proposed re-investigation into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann" you referred to a letter you apparently sent the
Home Secretary on 4 July 2010. This post continues to be published at the following
The text of the letter you quote states:
"Could you please let me know in writing whether any such re-investigation will
actively pursue the line of enquiry mentioned in the interim and final reports of the
Portuguese Police that Madeleine may have died in the McCanns' apartment and
her body hidden?"
In the post you make it clear that your intention in publishing the letter is to
encourage others to adopt it as a template so that they will send similar letters to the
Home Secretary. You then go on to state:
"Well, the letter-writing to the Home Secretary has begun, let's make the early
trickle into a mighty flow from all those who do not believe that the McCanns are telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann."
Your actions in respect of the so-called "Goncalo Amaral Support Project" have also
been brought to our clients' attention, in particular the so called 'Goncalo Amaral
Awareness Day" which is scheduled to take place this Saturday 17 July 2010 and your
leaflet which has been circulated by way of email and is headed:
"Your questions answered about Gonr;alo Amaral
The man who declared the McCanns suspects over the disappearance of
This publication goes on to state that
"Mr Amaral stunned the world by pulling in the McCanns for questioning as
suspects in the disappearance of their daughter. Three days later, an interim
report from Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, the senior investigating officer
in the case, gave reasons for the police's belief that Madeleine had died in her
"In [Amaral's book, 'The Truth about a Lie], he explains why he and his team
had good grounds for believing Madeleine had died in her parents' apartment
and covered up her death."
The rest of the piece is dedicated to defending Mr Amaral, to correcting the "many lies", and to rebutting criticism made of him generally and in particular in connection with the investigation into the abduction of Madeleine McCann.
There can be little doubt that, as you no doubt intended, readers of this publication will have understood it to mean that there are indeed strong grounds to support Amaral's suspicion that Madeleine McCann died in our clients' care and that they subsequently conspired to cover up her death.
Similarly, our clients are aware of a posting you published at 1:03am on 12 July 2010
in which you state:
"Goncalo Amaral is a Portuguese detective who has sacrificed the rest of his
career to bring us what he sees as the truth about a missing three-year-old
British girl, Madeleine Beth McCann."
As we note above, Mr Amaral is well known for having espoused the view that
Madeleine McCann died in our clients' holiday apartment, and that our clients covered
up her death to evade any liability - this is, of course, a central thesis of his book "The
Truth about a Lie." As such, readers would again have understood this posting to
suggest that Amaral's theory is correct and that our clients did indeed conspire to
cover up the death of their daughter. This theory is, however, completely untrue and
simply does not withstand proper scrutiny.
In case you are labouring under a misunderstanding as to the law, you cannot hide
behind quotes or purported quotes from other people when publishing outrageous
slurs of our clients.
Finally, your video recording entitled "Madeleine McCann: The 48 Police Questions Kate McCann Refused to Answer' has been brought to our clients attention. The video,
uploaded to You Tube on 13 July 2010 continues to be published at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZQOlx7WAMA&feature=player embedded
In light of the conduct to which we refer above, there can be no doubt whatsoever that
notwithstanding your undertakings, you remain intent upon continuing to allege at
every available opportunity that there are strong grounds to suspect our clients of
being responsible for the death of their daughter, and of conspiring to cover it up.
We have advised our clients that your conduct represents a number of clear breaches
of your undertaking to the court.
Our clients have exercised extraordinary restraint to date, and from the outset have
been reluctant to dignify your utterly misguided 'campaign' by engaging with you.
However, they are extremely concerned that your misconceived and deeply offensive
attacks against them are harming the search for their daughter Madeleine. Indeed
your behaviour often appears deliberately designed to do just that. As such, they
cannot and will not allow you flagrantly to continue to libel them and to continue to
breach the undertakings which you gave to the Court.
The purpose of this letter is to require your immediate confirmation:
1) that you will not republish (or authorise anyone else to republish) the leaflet to
which we refer above concerning Goncalo Amaral, and in particular that you
will not distribute (or allow others to distribute) any hard copies of the leaflet;
2) that you will remove the leaflet from your website(s), from where we
understand it can be downloaded;
3) that you will immediately remove the video referred to above from You Tube
and will undertake never to publish it again; and
4) that you will not otherwise breach the terms of the undertaking you gave,
whether by suggesting that Goncalo Amaral's widely-publicised (and entirely
baseless) suspicions about our clients are correct, or in any other way
We look forward to hearing from you by no later than 4pm on 16 July 2010 and in the
meantime must expressly reserve all our clients' rights against you, and in particular
their right to bring proceedings for contempt of Court against you.
No doubt you will show this letter to your fellow members of the "Madeleine
Foundation". Should they, or indeed anyone linked to them, disseminate serious
falsehoods about our clients, we shall advise our clients to pursue those individuals
directly for appropriate legal relief.
We would urge you to seek legal advice upon this letter and in particular on the
consequences of your repeated breaches of the Court undertakings you gave.
This blog and the author are not connected to Tony Bennett, or the Madeleine Foundation, in any way. I do not approve, or endorse, many of their actions; but equally, I can't stand bullies. Or people who think they can buy justice, or silence. I believe in laying out the facts so that everyone can judge for themselves.
My understanding of this letter is that now, no-one is permitted to even question the McCanns' version of events, without the threat of legal action. Since when did the UK become a Dictatorship?
*The letter and video are in earlier posts on this blog.