10 Dec 2007


As the article below confirms Kate's Portuguese solicitor confirmed the next day this was incorrect. We also heard Philomena telling us on Panorama that Kate was screaming and raving about this at 3 am. Plainly she was not - but obviously had other things to be upset about! So what is the motivation ? Is it to point out how unstable Kate is and after all even the police believe it is her to make sure her brother does not take any of the blame or is this McCann family' s apparent fascination with courting the media and making a fast buck in the process?

The rest of this article from the Guardian is also very interesting re the media and Gerry's favourities Sky News and the News of the World - no surprises there then!



With prejudice
Unofficial sources and the demands of 24-hour news have led to a media storm around Gerry and Kate McCann that gets darker by the day

Giles Tremlett
The Guardian,
Monday September 17 2007
Inside the drab, tile-clad police station in Portimao, there is a television tuned to Sky News. Officers are monitoring the UK news network, which has mounted rolling coverage of the case they are investigating, for one reason: they want to know what the world is saying about them.
That explains the outrage 10 days ago, on the evening that Gerry and Kate McCann were declared formal suspects, or arguidos, in the disappearance of their daughter. Police were still questioning Gerry McCann when, already, his sister Philomena was telling Sky they had offered Kate McCann a reduced two-year sentence if she admitted to killing her daughter accidentally, hiding the body and then secretly disposing of it weeks later.
On this occasion the police officers were right to be angry. Like many things said about the McCann affair over the past days and months, the story was wrong. There was no offer of a plea bargain. It had all been "a misunderstanding", the McCann lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, explained the following day.
That did not mean, of course, that Philomena McCann - one of many people speaking for what might broadly be called "the McCann camp" - was wrong about the rest of it. Portuguese police do seem to be considering accidental death followed by disposal of the corpse as a possibility in this most bizarre of cases. In this story without on-the-record sources, however, they have not even publicly confirmed that much.
It now seems incredible, however, to recall that the McCanns started suing Portugal's Tal & Qual magazine for saying just that a little over two weeks ago: Philomena McCann's statement gave British journalists the green light to start reporting the allegations against the McCanns - even though, if they are found not guilty in any future trial, editors could be sued.
The scene inside the police station helps explain something of the nature of what has become one of the world's biggest media storms. The journalists watch the police, the police watch the journalists and the world watches them all - showing an insatiable appetite for even the flimsiest reports about the McCann case.
Stir into the mix the relentless demands of 24-hour rolling journalism and some bitter, nationalistic warfare between sections of the British and Portuguese press and you get a messy, and occasionally nasty, story.
"The British press ... treats Portugal as a place full of incapable, careless incompetents," complained Francisco Moita Flores in Correio da Manha after a recent round of criticism of the Portuguese police.
Frustration reigns among journalists covering the case. Everybody who knows anything worthwhile is bound by Portugal's judicial secrecy laws not to talk. That includes the police, lawyers, court officials, the McCanns and almost anyone who has given evidence. That has not, of course, prevented the media providing a daily feast of "details". So where do these come from?
Kate and Gerry McCann might not be able to talk, but their extended family and a network of friends can, and do. Philomena, with her colourful Glaswegian vocabulary and willingness to attack the police, is among the most quoted - but there are many more.
The Portuguese police also talk, though the few gruff words issued by official spokesman Chief Inspector Olegario de Sousa rarely add anything to the story. Like any police force, however, they leak - especially to Portuguese journalists. Unfortunately the things they leak are often contradictory. For every "police source" claiming the evidence against the McCanns is strong, for example, another is ready to say it is not.
The McCanns have their own favourite journalists. Gerry McCann, for example, likes Sky's Ian Woods - who conducted the first television interview with them back in May. It was Sky who told the world the McCanns were leaving Portugal on September 9.
Although many commentators have professed amazement at the McCanns' supposedly skilful media management, this has, at times, proved chaotic. It was naive, for example, to believe that the respect showed to them in the days immediately after three-year-old Madeleine vanished would hold.
Muck-raking stories
In the early days the McCanns were allowed to set the rules for the press. They decided what happened, and when. The British media succumbed, largely, to a bout of communal sympathy. Police had said it was a kidnap. Robert Murat, an expatriate Briton, had been declared a formal suspect. He, as the McCanns do now, denied any involvement. That did not stop, however, pages and pages of muck-raking stories about him from appearing in newspapers in both Portugal and the UK.
The McCanns' early success with the press can be put down, in part, to the media experts they found working alongside them. The Mark Warner company, whose holiday apartments they had been staying in, already had a deal with PR company Bell Pottinger. That meant that Alex Woolfall, the company's crisis management head, was in Praia da Luz the day after Madeleine disappeared. When Woolfall left 10 days later, the Foreign Office stepped in. Media handlers arrived from London. They included former Daily Mirror journalist Sheree Dodd and, later, former BBC man Clarence Mitchell. Both Woolfall and Mitchell are remembered by reporters as key and immensely helpful sources as the McCann phenomenon took off.
After they left, however, things started going wrong. Portuguese newspapers started to publish unsympathetic stories at the end of June. As Portuguese journalists caught the mood music from police the relationship disintegrated further. Sandra Felgueiras, a feisty state television journalist obsessed by the family's supposed use of Calpol, became a particular bete noire.
Some Portuguese commentators are aware that their press, like some of their British counterparts, have gone too far. "The crowd now wants the parents to be the murderers because they are British (and, therefore, not Portuguese) and so that the worst of the British press has to surrender to the worst of the Portuguese press and admit that the latter were right," commented Mario Negreiros in Portugal's Jornal de Negocios.
Justine McGuinness, the campaign manager who took over after Mitchell left, stood down from the job last week; she is understood to have been exhausted by the intensity of the campaign. The McCanns have talked to, among others, former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall about their future media needs, but seem to be finding it hard to hire a permanent replacement. Hanover PR, run by John Major's former press secretary Charles Lewington, was taking calls over the weekend, but stressed it was not working for the McCanns permanently.
It is hard to overestimate the global reach of the McCann story. The Associated Press, which rivals Reuters as the world's biggest global news agency, took reporters away from a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in northern Portugal to cover the McCanns' sudden change of fortune at Portimao police station. The decision paid off. The AP story was the most-read story on many US newspaper websites that day.
The strain on journalists in the Algarve has been immense. Working days have stretched for up to 18 hours or more. The McCann story has provided the British print media with the same test of modern, 24-hour, seven-day web-driven journalism as Virginia Tech gave their US counterparts.
Editors at newspaper websites realised back in May that McCann stories quickly shot to the top of their "most read" rankings. The best summary of the McCanns' current situation came from a Portuguese commentator, Joao Marques dos Santos of Correio da Manha. "The theory of the presumption of innocence for an arguido is a joke. When someone is declared an arguido, the exact opposite occurs. That person, whether innocent or not, is considered by investigators to be potentially guilty. The effects are devastating and irreparable."
The media, said McCann lawyer Pinto de Abreu, may be doing even more damage than that. "The media coverage could prejudice not just people's reputations but also the investigation itself," he told journalists last week


Anonymous said...

Daily mail reporting today that the Macs and Tapas crew met last month...........suspects and witnesses!!!
Thought one of the Tapas lot had broken ranks?

eureka said...

The DM yesterday reported that Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith have 'snubbed' the parents and lawyers request for an audience, and offered only a meeting with a junior consular official. They must realise that if they were to use 'influence' with all the evidence now, that there would be a public outcry.

felicity said...

Hi Anonymous

I think it is likely that one of the Tapas has broken ranks and this is in part why we are hearing such determined talk about the case proceeding against the McCanns. I note there is even a piece in the Mail from a senior barrister stating British Justice would have been better - well he is bound to say that! That comment I believe confirms the McCanns will stand trial in Portugal.

So far as the meeting the hotel is concerned - this sounds highly odd to me. The McCanns have a big house and you dont need to hire a hotel ro entertain your friends. How come they had an "emotional reunion". If those friends believed Kate and Gerry are innocent why have they been ignoring them for months? Quite often when solicitors are requesting a meeting like this they suggest a "neutral destination" so as not to make people feel pressurised. It is clearly possible they were prepared to be cajoled into this but not to attending Kate and Gerry's home in a friendly way and certainly not to attending their solicitors - they have their own! This is because they now have a conflict of interest with the McCanns and clearly could not expect the McCanns solicitors to also act in thier best interests. The friends have committed criminal offences - some, it would appear, very serious. I do not think them agreeing to meet in a hotel should be taken as any great gesture of solidarity. If I were in the friends position I would think it would help me by meeting with Kate and Gerry.their lawyers to hear what they had to say - the more knowledge I could glean - the safer I would feel in protecting my own position. It is quite likely the McCanns no far more about the state of play than the friends and just imagine how terrified they must be? Not knowing and being left wondering can be really, really frightening.


felicity said...

Hi Eureka

YOu comment kind of links to my response above to anon. The McCanns position is now critical and it is highly likely they are going to stand trial. The wealthy backers and the solicitors are desperately fighting trying to save this couple from prosecution. It is being uncovered by the Daily Mail (of all papers !!!) that in pursuit of this they have been trying to arrange a number of high level meetings to get people "on side". The friends who they want as witnesses for the defence - not witnesses for the prosecution or defendants themselves! That would not help the McCanns. We also see an unprecedented move in law where the solicitors /backers quite bizarrely were seeking to demand a meeting with the PM and HS to "present their evidence". We have a very clear separation of powers in the UK - politicians are politicians, not judges and they do not perform judicial functions such as hearing evidence in a case. If the solicitors have a problem with the way that UK police are behaving then they do have a lawful procedure in UK law called "judicial review" - they would apply to a High Court Judge to review the conduct of the police to see whether they are properly acting within their powers. The fact that they have not sought to go down this road but to try and go to the PM instead speaks volumes as to how weak they know their position is.

Gordon Brown aspired to the top job for years - he craved the job. People criticised his personality style and ability to do it. Whist in waiting we have a beautiful little girl disappear abroad. He jumped in with both feet saying he was going to help find her, no doubt thinking this was a populist move that would improve his political standing. It was an unwise move to get so heavily involved which has brought a lot of doubt and criticism to his door. I did not particularly like Tony Blair and certainly not Margaret Thatcher but both were natural born PMs who would not have handled the situation in the same way and brought criticism to their own door. It would have occurred to them that the McCanns may be involved and they would have been very discreet as to their own level of involvement. Mr Brown is now up against a man who is ranked as one of the 100 most powerful men in the world - Branson - if he genuinely is still supporting them. He is valued at about £4BN. He supported the labour government getting into power in 1997. The Labour Party need people like Mr Branson and simply cannot afford to fall out with him. Having said all that - Mr Brown is a very determined sort of individual who dearly loves children. Even if it costs him his job I do not believe he will back down to save the McCanns, even if it costs him that coveted job. He will, I believe, be quite determined to see that Justice prevails for little Madeleine and all other children with parents like hers.


dolores said...

Thought you mind find this interesting on voice analysis

Have you heard anything about products found in the barn to preserve bodies.

felicity said...

Hiya Dolores

Lovely to hear from you again. I will listen to the link you have given me and come back and let you know what I think.

I HAVE NOT HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT PRODUCTS IN THE BARN TO PRESERVE BODIES AND CERTAINLY DO RELY ON OTHERS TO KEEP ME UP TO DATE. THAT IS FASCINATING AND EXTRAORDINARY - CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME MORE OR PROVIDE A LINK. I certainly do recall when Dr Rebelo and others re-attended 5a not long back they were rolling along a large chemical type of drum and wondered what that was all about! and the fact it was allowed to be filmed on TV - offering us some sort of clue - I am not sure what? Cleaning fluids? Acid? Preservative type of chemical weird - if you can fill in the fog a bit here I would be very grateful - you seem to do a lot of research.

No doubt the PJ could do tests for the presence of certain chemicals in the apartment. Clearly the McCanns and their gang would know an awful lot about pharmacology, chemistry, physics etc - far more than the average person!


docmac said...

Anonymous and Viv

One of the 7 has apparently broken ranks and there are now reports that this person may have been wired during the meeting at the hotel. This is getting very, very interesting.

Viv, is it usual or accepted practice for official suspects to meet with potential state witnesses over there nowadays? This is forbidden by bail conditions over here as a matter of routine and it is regarded as a criminal offence to do so in cases where a serious crime may have been committed.

Anonymous said...

Viv and docmac, thanks for your comments...........interesting!

sosmaddie.blogspot.com also reporting similar.

dolores said...

Hi Viv,
I get so tired of the childish bickering and back biting that goes on in the DE forum I try to get more knowlegde in other places if I can.
I read about this last night. concerning the embalming fluid,I think its a Portuguese journalist informing us of this,I find the translations hard to follow, and need to read a couple of times. This one is on..

I am amazed that Tapas 9 would be permitted to get together like this, it surely can't be legal Viv.

I'll look in later

felicity said...

Hi Docmac, Dolores and Anon

Very minimal bail conditions were set against the McCanns by the Portuguese. This did not include any condition that they were not to contact witnesses and so they are not breaking the law. It is certainly a standard bail condition in the UK that defendants are not permitted to interfere with or contact prosecution witnesses and it is a very serious offence to do so. At present, the McCanns are not defendants and of course this case is not being dealt with under our own legal procedures.

Viv x

Anonymous said...

Viv Dolores the mirror link re preservatives is


There is a poster on DE who says that some relative who is a journalist says that something BIG is about to break and PJ know much more than people know.

Hope there is some substance to this post.

dolores said...

Iforgot to put in the topic title for the miirro forum
If you go to the 'huntfor maddie forum'the title to look for regarding products is
Letters are ready!Products found in barn to preserve a body.

felicity said...

Dolores and Anon

Thanks very much for the links that I will be checking out.

I have no doubt the PJ know a heck of a lot more than we do and to me the writing is very clearly on the wall for the McCanns. Look at the comments of the QC! Is that suggesting he believes they are innocent or that there was an abduction - of course not. He is saying wish it was being dealt with here but clearly telling us it will be dealt with in Portugal. That is where the offence was committed and that is where poor Maddie died. I want the Portuguese to deal with it, in their own way and in their own time. I know that they will and Honour our little Maddie with all the effort they make to secure justice for her and all the effort they continue to make to secure her precious little body.

Be confident and wait. It will not be too long now!


Anonymous said...

Daily Star

Cops probe Tapas meet.........


CKH_formerly_of_DE-forum said...

I certainly HOPE that one of the T7 was wired for this touching little reunion and I can't understand that certain pro-Mc are still in denial about the nature of this little tete-a-tete. "Oh, no, they weren't meeting to get their stories straight! It was just a group of friends trying to support eachother!" I've stopped commenting on the DE forum because there are a few certain posters that make want to lunge through cyberspace and shake some sense into them as they spout their Mc-worshipping rubbish and trash-talking anyone that DARES to disagree with the Saints McCann so I'm glad to find out that Viv started her own Maddie discussion where rational people can discuss their opinions on this tragedy without fear of being personally-attacked.

Anyway, I'm so relieved to hear that the noose is slowly being tightened around those who brought harm to that poor little mite.

If Portugues prisons are anything like those in the US, with any luck, the McCanns will be warmly welcomed in prison by the other inmates who will have a special "ceremony" especially to demonstrate to K&G exactly where child abusers fit into the prison hierachy!

I apologize in advance to anyone that might find the above sentiment offensive, but I'm afraid I'm one of those that believes an eye-for-eye when it comes to justice.

Anyway, I wonder if dear ole Gerry will be wearing his habitual smirk when the PJ lead him away in handcuffs...?

felicity said...

Hi CKH and welcome to the forum!

We clearly cannot underestimate the ability of the Portuguese and UK Police in the methods they will use to entrap this bunch. At Leicestershire Police they have a very top man in charge - a Detective Superintendent. He clearly has the power to authorise high level surveillance and bugging of the McCanns and their friends in order to gather evidence egainst them. I do hope it is true that one was wired but even if is not firmly believe they have detailed evidence against them utilising all the technology available including plotting their locations at various times with mobile phone technology. So Gerry has insisted he was 25 km away during June from where they know that he was. It is this sort of evidence they are just not going to be able to deny! Dr Rebelo is the second most senior policemen in Portugal and you cannot even join the PJ unless you have a law or criminology degree. How futile do attack the ability and integrity of officers working on this case who are at the very highest levels of education and training. Only ignorant people underestimate a person's ability and intelligence in this way!

Below a couple of comments concerning the meeting we now know was held at the end of November. If it was just a friendly get togther between the friends - why wait until end November; why hold it in a hotel and perhaps most tellingly why have the McCanns solicitors there - just who is he trying to kid? Given what they all face how on earth could it have been "uneventful and insignificant". What utter rubbish this man talks - Ludicrous!!!

"It was uneventful as far as we are concerned and it's not significant.

"It is the first time the nine have sat down face to face. It was really just a get-together to discuss where they are at.

Speaking of the smug look that Gerry McCann almost permanently wears - the photograph on here of him at the Whitehouse is a good example. This power hungry little man would be so excited to be so close to the hub of world power! The ectatic smirk displays no sadness for his missing little girl. One of the most upsetting scenes for me was to see him really laughing on the beach amid some hideous spectacle with balloons and very shcoked Portuguese onlookers on Maddie's birthday - only a few days after she "disappeared". Kate also looks smiling and happy - as she says "we are not as happy now". What makes them less happy now? The only occasion I have seen Gerry look genuinely distressed was in September just outside the police station following his lengthy grilling. Distress for himself of course and losing ocntrol of the situation, clearly not for Madeleine! As for Kate - I have never, ever, seen a look of genuine distress on her face. When she exited the police station it was a look of pure defiance!

I understand your comments about what they may expect in custody and entirely sympathise. Ordinary criminals find this sort of behaviour just as appalling as we do. If they think they are lacking in sympathy at the moment things are set to get far worse for them!

Thanks again for your very interesting and forthright comments.

Kind Regards
Viv x

felicity said...

Hi Anon

Thanks for the link to the Daily Star story. It says that cops are to probe this meeting to see whether it was an attempt to pervert the course of justice by getting their stories straight prior to being re-interviewed. I had earlier posted the view that I did not think they were breaking the law because they were not breaching any bail conditions. Unless they do actually have a wire of what took place in this meeting they would find it very difficult to prove there was any such intention, I think. Additionally the solicitors were present. Solicitors have to adhere to very strict rules of professional conduct and so I am not sure they would be prepared to take such a huge risk as to their own professional careers by becoming involved in such a conspiracy. They would have obviously weighed up the situation carefully before acting. Without knowing who may be a proseuction witness and who may be a defence witness it is difficult to say any more than that, at present. If some of the friends are to be witnesses for the prosecution the solicitors could have got themselves into some very hot water, but, on the assumption it was the top London crew - find that very hard to believe.

Personally I would not think it matters that much if they do attempt to get their stories straight now. They would be telling a different story to what they said at the outset which proves they are telling lies. Additionally I think there wil be a lot of evidence gathered that they are just not going to be able to explain. Many other witnesses in PDL, forensic and mobile phone evidence for example.

At the end of the day you just cannot explain away the inexplicable. Letting them get their heads together could be just offering them mor rope to hang themselves with! Solicitors can and are struck off for seeking to coach a witness!

WE will have to await more details - I am sure it will be forthcoming.

Kind Regards
Viv x

felicity said...

Hi Dolores

I have found the French articles that the Daily Mirro readers seem to be relying on translated some of them and posted them on a separate thread so as not to stop the continuity of the discussion on here - they are interesting but we need to use discretion as to what can be accepted.

I would not want to be accused of being one who believes everything I read - when it gets into our top papers like the Times, Telegraph and Guardian then it is approaching the truth for me to a lesser extent DM and DE - in their case based on truth but given a lot of spin! I look for the bits in inverted commas e.g what the barrister actually said in the DM The Sun/NOW and the Mirror - utter rubbish! although it would seem some of the Mirror readers get nearer to the facts!

The new of the world (gerries favourite) "knew maddie was abducted (6 weeks later!) Cuddlecat was on a high shelf - THERE WAS NO SHELF! If the McCanns think they can feed us this sort of RUBBISH and we are going to swallow it they had better think again!

Keep on digging - you come up with some interesting stuff - there does seem to be a genuine story developing around the barn! Even if we are wrong = we are breaking no laws by discussimg the possibilities = contrary to what rosie and co would have us believe - at least we try and stick to the case instead of endless inane rubbish about christmas shopping, ice on windows, the war etc just go straight past their barmy wittering on the DE now! I know their names and avitars!
Viv x

felicity said...


People are saying they could have done this via phone or email - but could they with the fear of being bugged? (a very real and likely fear!) Does this also explain hotel location rather than K& G home which may also be bugged by the police. I undertand they can put a tiny device on the outside of the house.