Friday, March 16, 2012

#MCann vs Bennett : Update On The Committal To Prison Application


I post this update in the McCanns -v- Bennett committal-to-prison application for information - but will be unable to take questions on it.

Following the Case Management hearing before Mr Justice Tugendhat in the High Court on 8 February, I wrote on 13 February making proposals to Carter-Ruck for this matter to be settled without the need for what would undoubtedly be a stressful, and costly, High Court trial, now fixed for 9 and 10 May.

My proposals were not accepted.

Instead, Carter-Ruck replied on 20 February setting out the McCanns' terms for settling this matter before 9 May:

1. I admit that I have breached the undertakings given by me to the High Court on 25 November 2009

2. I formally acknowledge that these undertakings are binding on me

3. I agree to be bound by a Court injunction (instead of undertakings) in exactly the same terms as those I agreed to in 2009

4. That I 'use my best endeavours' to remove all publications, articles and postings by myself, wherever they are, to which the McCanns object, and specifically all of the 153 publications which they claimed in the original committal bundle on 1 December were breaches of one or more of my undertakings. That would include their demand that I cease to sell the book 'The Madeleine McCann Case Files: Vol 1'

5. I pay the McCanns' 'reasonable costs' of bringing the application, those costs to be assessed by the court if they cannot be agreed between me and the McCanns.

If all of that is agreed by me, they will, in return, agree not to press the court for me to be sent to prison, fined, or have my assets seized, although they point out (correctly) that despite any agreement between me and the McCanns, the court would have the right, if it saw fit, to impose any sanction that the judge saw fit to do so under the circumstances.

Carter-Ruck's letter (which by the way is not marked 'Private & Confidential' nor is it 'Without Prejudice') concludes:

"If you are not willing to agree to such terms, then our clients will be left with no choice but to pursue their application against you and to seek a final determination from the court".


I now have until Friday 23 March to submit to the Court and to Carter-Ruck a sworn Affidavit setting out in full my reasons for the application I issued at Court on 22 February to be released from Part C of my undertakings, namely that part which in effect required me not to libel the McCanns any further.

I have now completed a first draft of that.

I have one or two people advising me on the contents. If any of you here have some time during the next 5 days to look over the Affidavit (or a part of it, it's quite long), and offer comments and suggestions, please 'pm' me ASAP or e-mail me at:

Once again, I'm sorry, but this posting is for information only, I won't be joining any discussion about it.