Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lord Justice Leveson - Arguido

Am I being uncharacteristically pedantic here, in highlighting this particular passage, or do you too feel that there is something not quite right in Justice Leveson quoting Gerry McCann as to just what the definition of Arguido might, or might not be?

It wasn't many minutes after this, that I shut up shop for the day and went out. I had heard quite enough by this time.

Watching someone openly pursue an agenda, does tend to have that effect on me.

Robert Jay Q.C.

David Pilditch

Lord Justice Leveson

Page 63

3 Q. The McCanns were given arguido status under Portuguese

4 law I think on 7 September 2007?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. It might be said, well, you could not write the story.

7 There was no imperative to write stories which you knew

8 wouldn't stand up to legal scrutiny. Do you see that

9 point?

10 A. Yes. But the position that we were in was that this was

11 probably the most significant development that had

12 happened up to that time in the investigation.

13 Q. Sorry, what was, Mr Pilditch?

14 A. Well, when the McCanns were named arguidos. It's not

15 something you could ignore. It's not something where

16 you could just present a story that was based on

17 a comment from the McCanns' official spokesperson.

18 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: Did you do any work to find out

19 precisely what that meant in Portuguese law?

20 A. Yes, a lot of work, yeah. We spoke to lawyers in

21 Portugal, and it was explained to me that there were

22 subtle differences between arguidos and suspects.

23 There's no legal equivalent.

24 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: They're merely entitled to have legal

25 representation and have other advantages, isn't that

P 64

1 right? That's what Dr McCann told us, I think.

2 I remove the word "merely" from what I just said.

3 A. No, we were given a completely different version by the

4 lawyers in Portugal. We were told that effectively an

5 arguido is a suspect. It gives the police an

6 opportunity to put much tougher questions than they

7 could to a witness, and they were allowed legal

8 representation and I think the McCanns themselves were

9 given some very, very tough questions from the

10 Portuguese police.

11 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: So proceedings in English terms would

12 be active?

13 A. There are subtle differences, but I don't think they

14 were arrested or anything like that. But effectively

15 that was the -- was what was explained to us by the

16 lawyers in Portugal.

17 MR JAY: Yes. I'm not sure whether you fully saw the point Blah blah