03 dezembro 2012

O inquérito Leveson e Portugal

Lord Justice Leveson opened the hearings on 14 November 2011, saying: “The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?

Do Executive Summary: There were many other examples of egregious behaviour on the part of the press each one seen, at the time, as free-standing. The most serious were the treatment of Drs Kate and Gerry McCann following the disappearance on 3 May 2007 of their daughter, Madeleine, in Praia da Luz, Portugal...

Do Relatório, o volume dois tem várias referências ao caso McCann (o três tem algumas sobre Portugal, num outro caso), algumas curiosas (negritos meus):
- In short, the NoTW had come into possession of the personal diaries of Dr McCann, via a Portuguese journalist who had, himself, acquired them from the Portuguese police. It chose to publish highly personal excerpts from the diaries without the consent of Dr McCann.

-  The diary was seized by the PJ in August 2007 pursuant to its investigations, but the Portuguese court ordered its return to Dr McCann, as well as the destruction of all copies in its possession. The PJ had translated the diary into Portuguese and unfortunately one of the copies of the translated version found its way into the hands of a Portuguese journalist.
A former NoTW journalist told the Inquiry how a copy of the diary was acquired by the paper on payment of a substantial sum
and then translated back into English. As Dr McCann pointed out in her evidence, the re-translated text did not completely match the wording of the actual diaries...

- By the summer of 2007, however, what had begun as a sympathetic approach by the press to an ongoing personal tragedy had altered; this change had been prompted by ‘leaks’ from the Portuguese police to the local and British media representing their version or speculation of what might have happened to Madeleine. [...] One title prided itself in the fact that it was apparently fair minded because on one day it would print a hostile story while the next it would provide a more sympathetic portrayal. The defamatory reporting continued for approximately four months...

- It is well known that British newspapers were relying on reports in Portuguese journals and other sources which were either associated with, close to, or directly part of the PJ.

- For present purposes it is necessary to draw attention only to a short extract from the witness statement of one of the journalists: “Although I was confident of the veracity of the reports I was writing, due to the secrecy of justice laws they were impossible to prove, to any satisfactory legal standard, at that time...Due to the restrictions of the Portuguese law, anyone who was unhappy about something that had been written or said about them and wished to take action would almost certainly have been successful. As a journalist this is a wholly unsatisfactory position which, in my view, leaves news organisations at the mercy of potential litigants. They simply are unable to defend themselves.”

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