8 Feb 2008


Doc gave me a link to this excellant post from Spudgun on Anorak and so I thought I would just share it with you all:

Viv x


Since that hot summer I have returned to Portugal many times and visited many places there, and have always been struck by the genuine warmth, integrity, courtesy and generosity of the Portuguese, qualities that I consider to be generic to the race as a whole. I have always admired the respect that they reserve for their elderly and the dignity that they bestow upon them, together with the discipline and respect which they instinctively instil in their young. These are qualities that are often lamented in my own country, the social consequences of which are plain to see by all who choose to inspect the European tables for youth crime, drugs and teenage pregnancies, to name but just a few of the maladies that effect British society.
So when the tragedy that unfolded, concerning a young child named Madeleine McCann, in Praia da Luz on the 3rd May 2007, I was drawn to this case with perhaps a slightly greater initial interest and concern than my fellow countryman. Here was a child from my own nation, missing from a country that I love and which I consider to be my second home.
My own personal concerns and interests in this case have never particularly related to whether the McCanns are innocent or guilty, but rather, why we have a British Press and Government that appears hell bent on TELLING us that the McCann’s are inarguably innocent, and doing so in a manner that I consider threatens to seriously taint the very alliance that has existed between our countries for 630 years.
By virtue of the secrecy laws that encapsulate the Portuguese judicial system, this was always only ever going to be a case presented entirely by the media with little or next to no ‘official’ input, making it impossible to distinguish between what could be factual, fabrication or just plain speculation. From an early stage in the proceedings, however, apparent doubts and suspicions surrounding the McCanns began to surface in the Portuguese press and media, claiming to be citing Polícia Judiciária sources.
Some of these suspicions were picked up on and reprinted in the British newspapers but only ALWAYS with the added clarification that the stories were “scurrilous lies”, “outrageous allegations” or “ludicrous claims” and NEVER without the statement from “sources/friends close to the McCanns”, asserting that it was all “hurtful and unhelpful speculation“.
Thus, it became an endless cycle of reports and allegations emanating from the Portuguese media, being repeated, ridiculed and rejected by the British media. Of course, we all accept that newspapers, especially the more ‘salacious’ variety, are prone to occasionally, shall we say, slightly ‘modify‘, exaggerate or perhaps even over elaborate certain stories in order to make them more interesting, readable and saleable. That said, particularly in matters and stories of this nature and gravity, I have always held the belief that the media, especially the Broadsheet variety, would fairly rigorously adhere to the basic principles of professional journalism and at least ensure that their reports are as factually based as was possible. I also believe that to be the tenet that any free speaking Democratic Foreign media organisation would operate by. Consequently, I considered the assertion by anyone that EVERY single report being made in the Portuguese press was a LIE to be preposterous.
What ensued was something of a most bizarre and unprecedented state of affairs, to witness on one side, the Portuguese reporting on the possible complicity of Kate and Gerry McCann in the disappearance of their daughter, with the British Press on the other side not only refuting those claims, but stating that what was being reported was being fabricated. Then, when it became increasingly implausible that the Portuguese media were fabricating what was being reported, the British media decided it must be the Portuguese Authorities themselves who were doing the fabricating!.
Of course, in the absence of any true judicial process it should be rightly deemed heartless to speculate about the loss of a child, particularly if one is to try and imagine how any parent would feel if placed in the same situation. However, what then happened over the ensuing weeks and months was, I believe, unique in the annals of any other case in history and I personally believe that it will form the material for many Media based vocational courses for years to come.
What started as simple rebuking and contending amongst the British press and media quickly grew into a mass, concerted ‘war of attrition’ against firstly, the Portuguese press and media, followed by the Portuguese Police, its Government and then, finally, its people.
“Useless Porto Plod!”, “Bumbling Portuguese Cops” and “Lazy, Boozy Porto Police” were just some of the headlines that informed the avid, British public of the progress of this case. Serious and reputable Journalists came out in force to support the McCanns in their ordeal with a reverence that bordered on Canonising in the true sense of the word. Penny Wark of the ‘TIMES’ treated them with a fawning manner reminiscent of the way the late Diana, Princess of Wales was revered. Every other Broadsheet columnist of note penned pretty much the same story; Madeleine was ABDUCTED, the Portuguese police are ineffective and the parents are living Saints.
Perhaps the worst and most offensive article written appeared in the ‘Daily Mirror‘. Under the Header “OH, UP YOURS, SENOR”, Tony Parsons resorts to appalling xenophobic comments and outrageous abuse. He refers to the “stupid, cruel Portuguese police”, adding “I have never much cared for the convention of calling cops “pigs” or “filth”, but I am happy to make an exception”. He goes on to say that the PJ are “fitting up”, the McCanns and advises the Portuguese Ambassador Antonio Santana Carlos to” keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut”. On a Editorial note, I feel his comments would have had more gravitas had he utilised the correct, Portuguese ‘SENHOR’ in his title, rather than creating even greater, unquestionable outrage by implementing the SPANISH Senor! On a more serious level, I would have to suggest that, had similar comments been made by a journalist, concerning any other race or subject, then I feel the full weight of the Authorities, (acting under the austere legislation surrounding Race Relations and the plethora of new ‘Race Hate’ crimes that exist in the UK), would have been dispatched to address the offender forthwith.
Indeed, the disgusting words that were printed by the Daily Mirror appear even more hard to believe when you consider that the UK is famous for its ’political correctness’, considered absurd by most people conversant with it, and especially by those that have faced intervention by the police for inadvertently breaching some obscure legislation relating to it.
I positively shudder with shame when I imagine the good and decent people of Portugal, whom Parsons referred to as ‘Bumpkins’, especially those who took time off from their work places and normal lives to search the ground on their hands on knees, looking for clues regarding the missing girl, using their bare hands.
When Gerry McCann attended the Edinburgh festival in August, on the invite of BBC ‘Newsnight’ presenter Kirsty Walk, to address TV executives on the Media role in the search for his daughter, I considered this to be a most extraordinary turn of events and indicative of just how much power the McCanns yielded in controlling how this case was being reported and thus, potentially, perceived.
At the same time, The Daytime TV news schedules were, (and still are), often dominated by the case, with ‘friends’ and family members of the McCanns lining up to praise them. Minor celebrities too, do not hesitate in telling us how the poor McCanns are being treated despicably by the Portuguese press.
Richard Madeley who, with his wife Judy Finnigan host a popular TV program, vilified and abused members of an internet Forum who voiced possible suspicions surrounding the McCanns, calling them ‘scum’.
Another daytime ‘Queen’ of the ‘GMTV’news programme and tabloid columnist, Fiona Phillips, displays a regular sycophancy towards the McCanns that positively nauseates, and flies in the face of EVERY journalistic trait. Surprisingly, it has recently been revealed that Phillips was offered a ministerial job by Gordon Brown, also suggesting she was also offered a peerage. Fortunately for British politics, the Prime Minister couldn’t match the £400,000 she currently receives for her ‘journalistic’ qualities.Feltz...disgust
Vanessa Feltz, tabloid columnist, ‘social commentator’ and former chat show ‘queen’ expressed disgust at what she called ‘McCann Baiting’, lambasting the deplorable Portuguese Press, and their British counterparts who reprinted their stories. These are just a few of the well known faces of British TV that have unquestionably helped to forge opinions amongst the general public, or at least, those members who have neither the interest in formulating their own opinions, or where they have, allowing this constant media barrage to change them.
More worryingly, and with startling regularity, the newspapers and TV stations here have given column inches and time to fill by retired, notable British Police Detectives, including CID detective Mark Williams-Thomas, (who, by happy coincidence now runs a company dealing with media handling and advice for high profile cases), who became a regular partner alongside Sky News’s Martin Brunt; Mike Hames, the ex-commander who set up Scotland Yard’s paedophilia unit; John Stalker, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and the wonderfully titled Baron Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, formerly John Stevens, former Head of the Metropolitan Police, now International Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. ALL renowned, respected, successful high flying career Police Officers whose stupendous collective powers of detection, pretty much came to the same conclusions, albeit to varying degrees, even though they do not, presumably, have the benefit of any more evidence than any one else outside the Polícia Judiciária; NAMELY, that Madeleine McCann was abducted and that the Portuguese Police are incompetent. Other high ranking ex-police have stated that the likelihood was the Portuguese were framing the McCanns.
But the real and, in my opinion, truly damaging bias was reserved for the mainstream television channels. Both the BBC and SKY news, in particular, have displayed a most obvious and uncomfortable loyalty to the McCanns, in regular news reporting devoid of any impartiality, the presenters frequently making derogatory comments to each other concerning the Portuguese claims. It was a common occurrence for the studio link to engage in derogatory ‘banter’ with the at the scene reporter, invariably Martin Brunt in Praia da Luz when he was giving his latest report about the Portuguese police and their progress in the case, or when commenting on some of the stories appearing in the press there. Kay Burley, a predominant Sky News ‘anchor’, would frequently roll her eyes, shake her head or ‘tut’ in disgust and ridicule at Brunts’ revelations, peppering her responses with asides such as ‘Poor Kate’ or ‘How much more can the poor parents bear?’
However, what I consider to be the most despicable, incredulous and unprofessional piece of reporting occurred on the 7th September when Kate McCann was made an official Arguido. Both Sky and the BBC, reported throughout the whole day, that Kate had been offered a ‘deal’ whereby she would receive a reduced prison sentence if she confessed to the accidental killing and subsequent disposal of Madeleine. It would have taken all of 15 minutes for the back room researchers to establish that, for the interviewing police to make such an offer was an impossibility under the constraints of the Portuguese Judicial system. 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. The quoted ‘source’ of this scoop, was Gerry McCann’s sister Philomena, who revelled in the limelight whilst explaining to all and sundry that this information had been revealed to her over a telephone call with Kate, subsequent to her interrogation.
To this day, this shameful piece of fabricated ‘news’ is still on virtually every online edition of most British newspaper archives. The truth, however, relating to this “misunderstanding”, isn’t.Martin Brunt...DNA matchThen, on the 10th September, Martin Brunt sombrely stated to Sky News viewers that amongst other samples, a FULL, non-transferable DNA match to Madeleine had been unearthed from the rear boot of the car hired by the McCanns. By this time, GERRY McCann had also been made an Arguido and combined with these new ‘developments‘ there was a curious ‘pause’ in the Press and Media, a kind of ’shell’ shock that resulted in the media doing nothing more than reporting the facts, such as they were. The McCanns were suspects, and they were back home .
The huge thong of reporters that had awaited there arrival at the airport asked no questions, appearing to me, almost subservient, as Gerry read out a carefully scripted passage, declaring his and Kate’s innocence.
Almost seamlessly, the ‘Pro McCann’ media wagon was back on the road. As more and more information started to surface and be reported on the mainstream TV news, concerning such unpalatable topics as ‘Body fluid samples’, ‘Cadaver dogs’ and ‘blood spots’, not only did I expect the ludicrous, servile reporting to cease, but I expected the UK Journalists to give at least a modicum of consideration to the possibility of the McCanns complicity in their daughters appearance. After all, ‘speculative’ Portuguese sources weren’t responsible for the apparent evidence in the possession of the Portuguese Authorities.
The Cadaver dogs, that had purportedly detected the ‘Scent of Death’ were BRITISH, with an impressive track record in the fields of evidence recovery. The DNA samples, recovered from the apartment and the boot of the McCanns hire car had been, and were continuing to be, analysed by the Birmingham FSS, the “vanguard of forensic science technology that has an unrivalled reputation for the integrity, impartiality and accuracy of its findings“. It was also revealed that BRITISH police who had assisted the Portuguese in the investigation, also apparently concurred with the PJ that Madeleine had probably died on May 3rd.
It crossed my mind at this stage that a huge and collective sense of astonished embarrassment was potentially about to unfold. Here was a nice ‘middle class’ couple, both Professionals, highly regarded and respectable people who had accrued a huge wave of worldwide public support in the initial stages, (not to mention around £1.3 Million in donations, around £2.5 Million in pledged reward money for information leading to the safe recovery of Madeleine and other undisclosed amounts and contributions, including a private jet to enable the McCanns to more effectively spread their campaign); who had kissed the Papal ring after receiving his personal blessing, met European and other World leaders, accepted an invitation to the Whitehouse, been interviewed on a number of European and American TV stations and had actively taken part in initial discussions designed to launch a new ‘Madeleine’s Law’, aimed at formulating a European database of known Paedophiles. Not to mention cosy, telephone chats with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who has frequently been known to not only pledge support, but actively become involved in the investigation itself.
At the VERY least, the circumstances now surrounding the McCanns, I surmised, would result in a perceptible retreat by the media that would put an end to what I considered to be the celebrity status to which they had been appointed. In fact, I rather thought that the press would now exact a tortuous revenge and would seek to print anything that was derogatory towards the McCanns, at least to the degree of abuse and invasion of privacy that had been showered earlier on the other Arguido in this case, Robert Murat.
Of course, my country is, and always has been instrumental in maintaining that most basic of human rights, the right of ‘Innocent until Proven Guilty’, and I personally believed that never to be more appropriate than in this case. I considered it would be neither suitable nor fair for the Media to comment, speculate or assume anything until a fair and judicial process had been undertaken. Certainly, the tales, theories and assumptions being made and propagated on internet Forums had no place in the realms of anyone’s National press.
However, to my mind, what occurred with the British media, subsequent to this Arguido status being applied to the McCanns, was every bit as offensive, preposterous, irrational and groundless as the most wildest Conspiracy Theory ANYWHERE on the net. The McCanns arguido status seemed to actually harden the resolve of the entire British media, and Kay Burley was back to her acerbic best, making sniggering asides to Martin Brunt when he reported on the Polícia Judiciária officially handing over the 4,000 pages of prosecution evidence to Judge Frias. Burley feigned mock surprise, stating that she couldn’t believe that the Police would miss out on such a “photo opportunity” to present the pile of boxed documents for the cameras, implying that perhaps the documents weren’t quite as substantial and plentiful as was being reported.
Tabloids and Broadsheets alike began producing countless articles explaining how and why Portugal is a haven for paedophiles, especially the Algarve. Column inches were given over to explain how Portugal’s ‘elite’, including Government officials had once been involved in a Lisbon Paedophile ring centering around an orphanage. A Portuguese Investigation into paedophilia, involving a nationwide operation, including the seizing of 150 computers was reported in the UK Press as being an integral part of the McCann case, suggesting that the operation was effected to establish whether any indecent images of Madeleine McCann existed, even though Operation Predator was nothing whatsoever to do with the events that occurred in Praia da Luz. The Daily Mail’s Roger Graef explained that Portugal has “more Paedophile’s than it cares to admit”. He goes on to explain that the Portuguese have “an odd attitude towards underage sex.” erroneously stating the permitted minimum for same age couples.
And just in case we’re not getting the picture, ’Dispatches’ a Channel 4 Investigative Documentary entitled ‘Searching for Madeleine’ is endorsed by David Canter a ‘Criminal Psychologist’ who explains how the alleyways around the Ocean Club apartment where Madeleine went missing, “provide an ideal rat-run that would be well known to local criminals“. He goes on to point out that the most convincing arguments he had heard for an abduction by a local came from his colleague at Liverpool University, Professor Kevin Browne, (who advises many international agencies including the WHO and UNICEF on child protection) He, apparently, made clear that this quiet village could harbour a number of child abusers who had been released into the community rather than convicted, (adding that Portugal convicts a much smaller proportion of child abusers than some other European countries). The Documentary entirely ignores the findings of the Cadaver dogs and completely brushes over the DNA evidence without any elaboration. It gives no consideration whatsoever to the fact that the McCanns are official Arguidos in the disappearance of their daughter.
SKY News has its own, SPECIAL Investigation: ‘Madeleine: The Search For The Truth’, which actually searches for no such thing, but does imply that the Portuguese are so inefficient that apparently a British ‘expert’ in child abduction declined offers for his help in the matter as he didn’t want to ‘risk his reputation’, given the ‘mess’ made by the Portuguese. Yet another British ex-detective gets his chance to solve the mystery, and concluded that the Portuguese police appear to be “trying to make a situation fit round a theory so all these bits lock together in order to show them to be guilty”. He goes on to conclude that “one is left with the only other solution”…… which I’m not going to quote verbatim here, suffice to say that it involves “1 or 2 men”, abuse and an unpleasant ending. Unfortunately, the documentary didn’t appear to have sufficient time to include the evidence, nor the reasons for the detective arriving at this conclusion.MacDonald...pro-active
ITV took an even more pro-active stance in defending our Kate and Gerry, with ‘Tonight with Trevor McDonald: The McCanns, Questions of Evidence”. They interviewed Allan Jamieson, a ‘top British forensic scientist’, who proceeded to rubbish reports that suggested hair recovered from the McCanns hire car showed evidence of containing traces of sedatives, and had been derived from a corpse. The documentary also featured the irrepressible Mark Williams-Thomas, the former CID Detective and SKY News regular, mentioned previously, and who has been one of the most violent critics of the Portuguese Police investigation of Madeleine McCann’s case. He appeared as a “child protection expert” Mr. Williams also concluded that Madeleine was abducted. Unfortunately, what he failed to mention in this Documentary was that, although his company WT Associates Ltd. is A ‘Child Protection and Risk Management Consultancy’, this company also lists amongst its services, “MEDIA MANAGEMENT, providing media handling and advice for high profile cases”, and also “Design or review organisations media crisis policy”. More importantly, he forgot to mention what he subsequently declared to a Portuguese journalist: that he was “involved with advising the McCanns”, although he did later issue a retraction of this, declaring that “there are no conflicts of interest”.
Of course, the social commentators, columnists and media people, especially those that have actively and openly supported the McCanns, are wont to say that this case is an appalling ‘Trial by Media’. My own, personal, response to that is that the case for the DEFENSE definitely has been by media!
With the appointment of former British Government Director of Media Monitoring Clarence Mitchell as the McCanns spokesman in mid September, (although it’s difficult to establish exactly when and how he turned up on the scene in the first instance), it was very quickly made clear in the press that, indeed the Portuguese Authorities and Police had got the case all wrong! Madeleine wasn’t dead at all.
Almost immediately, she was spotted in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh by two unrelated witnesses. A further sighting was reported by another Spanish woman, who is convinced she saw Madeleine in the town of Zaio being led by a Moroccan woman in Muslim dress across a street. In yet ANOTHER sighting, in Zinat, the witness not only photographed Madeleine, but took the precaution of only forwarding the photograph to ‘lawyers working for the McCanns‘, thus avoiding those ‘incompetent’ Portuguese police. The photograph, taken by a Spanish holiday maker, was very widely published. (Proving, if nothing else that the Spanish are surely the most observant, attentive and productive witnesses in the World). Alas, barely 24 hours later, the girl in the photograph was identified as local five-year-old Bushra Binhisa, the daughter of an olive farmer.
Clarence Mitchell commented that the discovery was “disappointing news”. Presumably not least because it remained in the papers for all of a day, and subsequently might reinforce the notion in some peoples’ minds that it couldn’t possibly have been Madeleine in the first place.
Still, help was at hand in the form of a NEW suspect to the ‘abduction’, 24 hours later. This time, a mysterious Englishman, ‘stairwell lurker’ observed by an Ocean Club employee to be ‘hiding‘ in a stairwell beneath the McCanns holiday apartment. The employee, who did not want to be named, exclusively told the Mirror: “I’ll never forget him”. Alas, everyone else did. Not least because there appeared little to suggest he existed in the first place.
Never mind, another day, another witness. According to the Daily Mail, A nanny who worked at the resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared told detectives she saw a man lurking outside the family’s apartment. Or rather, she saw a man’s shoe. Which quickly receded when she questioned it. Lurking in the bushes. Oh, and it was in 2006, a YEAR before the McCanns came to Praia da Luz. Still, the nanny thought that the sighting was on a Thursday, the same day of the week when Madeleine would subsequently go missing. Presumably the Portuguese didn’t place great significance on this sighting. Which would explain why she went to ‘ 3’, the Private Detectives hired by the McCanns to do the job the Portuguese obviously weren’t doing for them. What significance this alleged sighting of an unidentified man has on the McCann case soon becomes clear. According to the nanny, when the man ran out from the shadows, he “bore a striking resemblance” to the man allegedly seen by Jane Tanner on May 3rd 2007, the ’abductor’, walking away from the family’s apartment carrying a child in his arms. In case readers of the Mail were experiencing incredulity and confusion, Clarence Mitchell was on hand to make a clarifying statement:” This nanny’s evidence backs up what we have always said, that Madeleine was taken from her bed by an abductor?
The next suspect appeared courtesy of Royal approval. A ‘tip off’, sent by e-mail to the official website of Heir Apparent Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The email insisted that three-year-old Madeleine was kidnapped from the Mark Warner Ocean Club holiday resort in Portugal by a disgruntled ex-employee. The informant named a maid who was sacked from the apartment complex in Praia da Luz and claimed she snatched the child in a “crazed revenge plot“.
Clearly this plot was not quite as “crazed” as the story itself, as, like all the others, it quickly faded into oblivion.
Throughout these ‘new’ sightings, witnesses, suspects and suppositions, the PJ remained resolute. As they always had done, directly or indirectly they were stating the same, unadulterated points. That they believed Madeleine to be dead and that her parents were in some way responsible. The case appeared to me to be stalemate. The Police by this time were still asserting that they were awaiting further Forensic results from the Birmingham FSS, together with ‘Regoratory letters’ permitting them to further question members of the now infamous ‘Tapas 7’, and probably Kate and Gerry McCann also.
Criminal history is littered with cases where the alleged culprit has dispensed with their Defence Lawyer. The McCanns went one better. They dispensed with the Police. And instated their own……
On paper, Metodo 3, the “elite Spanish Agency” appear ill suited to the task of finding Madeleine McCann, irrespective of whether she is alive or not. They seem to me to be a glorified Debt Collection Agency with positively NO experience of finding missing persons. Still, in late October they are the latest recruits to ‘Team McCann’, and have their own, unique 24 hour ‘hotline’ for anyone with any information regarding Madeleine. Or at least, presumably, anyone who had information that for reasons not stated had not already been imparted to the PJ. Which surely can’t possibly be anyone. Can it?
Alas, within a day or two of its inception, 3 have received “275 calls with many relating to Morocco”. How they relate or differ to the previous Moroccan sightings isn’t explained, but investigators are “reported to be particularly interested in three calls that gave details of a girl matching Madeleine’s description with a middle-class Moroccan woman aged about 60”. Around the same time, Metado 3 release a sketch of a man allegedly seen walking away from the Ocean Club resort carrying a child, as ‘witnessed’ by McCann party member Jane Tanner. It doesn’t explain why this sketch of the abductor differs wildly from the description originally given by Tanner, but given that the Portuguese didn’t place much significance on the original sighting anyway, perhaps they didn’t feel any explanation necessary. Still, Gerry McCann is happy with it. He writes in his blog: “We believe this child was Madeleine . . . Someone else may be aware of a man matching this description who has behaved suspiciously at any time since the beginning of May.”
The Moroccan tip offs seem to be paying off, as Metado’s ‘elite’ announced that they were “closing in” on a farm where Madeleine was being held captive in a lawless Moroccan mountain range notorious for drugs and child trafficking. TEN witness sightings had led them here! Unfortunately, we can only conclude that the lawless child traffickers and drug dealers sneaked out of the back door, because the next big news to develop was by way of that friend to the media, Philomena McCann, who states that 3, have “extended their search to Saudi Arabia“!! Philomena explains that Metado believe that Madeleine “may have been snatched by a millionaire paedophile” from Saudi Arabia.” They are searching everywhere for her and Saudi Arabia is the latest destination - we don’t know why”. Perhaps Metado’s expense account will hold a clue.
However, before our intrepid heroes can unpack their suitcases a NEW sighting has been made . In Medjugorje in BOSNIA!! The witness, an Irishman, (Bosnia presumably not a popular Spanish tourist destination), says “I got very close to her, right up beside them and was about to speak to the child when the man put his hand over her mouth and shoved her into the car”. And, for added effect, “”But my blood ran cold when I heard her cry, ‘I want my daddy’.” Which either explains something about the astuteness of Irishmen or the multi-lingual capabilities of 3 year old Bosnians because in as short a time as it took to identify the Moroccan girl as NOT being Madeleine McCann, the latest sighting is revealed to be 3 year old local, Tea Dedic.
Of this, and other ‘sightings’ the Portuguese police refuse to comment. Presumably they are still bent over double with mirth. I feel it surely only a question of time before some entrepreneur starts selling ‘T’ shirts for blonde haired children worldwide, emblazoned ‘RELAX, I’m NOT Madeleine!’
As I write this, a few weeks before Christmas, I have scanned the leaders of much of the British tabloid Press. The Star, ‘Simply the Best’, explains that 3 have narrowed their search down to a ‘hit list’ of ten paedophiles. It adds that the “ 3 agency are blitzing locations in Europe and Africa to find the known sex offenders”. I can only presume that whoever is footing the bill for this ‘elite Spanish Agency’ is hoping that they’re not expecting a Christmas bonus.
The Sunday Express tells us “A MAN who looks like Robert Murat tried to climb into the apartment where Madeleine McCann went missing at a time when another child was alone inside”. My suspicions on this are aroused when I see that the ‘witness’ is a NANNY who worked at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz!! And that the incident happened 6 Months before the McCanns came to the Algarve! Whether it occurred on a Thursday or not was not made clear.
As in the previous six and a half Months, not one paper, periodical or TV programme gives the slightest consideration to the possibility of the McCann’s involvement in the disappearance of their daughter. EXCEPT……………………………..Kate and Gerry McCann in the Panorama documentary. The Producer David Mills quit in protest before the programme was aired.
A rather curious documentary that was aired a few days ago. ‘Panorama‘, the flagship for so many years of the BBC’s Current Affairs programmes, and rightly deemed by many in the past to be the epitome of excellence when it comes to Investigative Journalism. Their contribution to this case resulted in a documentary ‘Madeleine McCann - separating fact from fiction’. Except it didn’t do so. Nor did it explain which was which. It gave a lot of time to an interview with Jane Tanner, without questioning her on the wide ranging discrepancies both in her testament, and that of other witnesses there at the time, therefore allowing her to reiterate that she ’saw’ Madeleine being abducted. The programme also included lots of ’private’ home footage of the McCanns in the aftermath of losing Madeleine, said to have NEVER been intended for public viewing, except its obvious staging and choreography suggested otherwise. Friend and ’Cameraman’ John Corner was also permitted to make a ’Camcorder’ snippet towards the end of the programme, accompanied by Gerry McCann at the site of the Ocean Club, showing and explaining how and where the ’abduction’ most likely took place. Nothing new here then. EXCEPT…………….. Some rather curious incidental music that punctuated various scenes in the documentary, firstly the theme tune from ‘Twin Peaks’, an American award winning serial drama that was hugely popular in the UK, about a young girl who was murdered by her father and whose plastic-wrapped body is found on a river bank and secondly, ‘HEROIN’ by the ‘Velvet Underground‘. A rather popular theory doing the rounds of the internet to accompany the PJ’s ‘sedation’ claims. There was also some shots of Pampas grass, which I am reliably informed by those more conversant in such matters, is the plant of choice of ‘Swingers’ as a means of advertising their adventurous lifestyles to like minded couples. Appropriate given that the documentary also featured former Chief Inspector with the Portuguese Police,Jose Barra da Costa and his claim on Portuguese television that the McCanns rather enjoyed such practises.
Subliminal messages from the BBC? Wild imagination? Maybe. Perhaps someone at the BBC simply wanted to break the Pro-McCann mould. David Mills, the producer of the Panorama Documentary in question, quit the project before it was transmitted, citing the fact that the programme to be screened did not fit the script that he originally presented. An obvious supporter of the McCanns, he states in his written complaint, “the programme drips innuendos against the McCanns, it does not put a single challenging question to anyone in the Portuguese Police”. Suffice to say that he believes the PJ to be incompetent, and that Madeleine was abducted.
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time“. At least, according to Abraham Lincoln. However, it seems to me that the British Government and the press rather favours a quotation made by George W. Bush: “You CAN fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”
Because anyone who could possibly be fooled into believing that a paltry, inconsequential Spanish detective agency is on the threshold of, not only arresting the culprits involved in abducting Madeleine McCann, (as is now reported in the press on a daily basis), but also presumably recovering the girl herself given that are “100% Certain“ that she is alive; are truly, FOOLS.
But the real question is WHO is doing the fooling?. And WHY?. Are we really supposed to believe that every single editor, producer, commentator, ex-policeman, celebrity and journalist are all singing from the same song sheet, citing opinions, notions and editorial policies that are completely free from external influences?. Are we really expected to believe and share their opinions and conclude that, indeed, not only are the Polícia Judiciária incompetent, bumbling and inadequate, but also that they are deliberately framing the McCanns for crimes that they didn’t commit? Are we really duty bound and morally obliged to accept that, not only are the McCanns entirely innocent of any wrong doing whatsoever, but that the whole country of Portugal, its Police, authorities and its people are all scheming, lying, fabricating third world inhabitants, as some of our more ‘colourful’ commentators have opined?.
Because if that is the case, then those expectations are not going to be fully met. Not by a long shot. Throughout history, the role of the media has played an integral part in influence peoples lives and opinions, especially in times of conflict. Herman Goering once said, “it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy”
What Goering did not have was the benefit of hindsight, because if he had foreseen the INTERNET, he might have not being quite so adamant with his statements.
In August of this year, the COI, the UK government’s communications agency, was reported to be working on a way to monitor what people say about policy on blogs and internet forums. As well they might. There are innumerable Forums, Blogs and discussions on the internet concerning Madeleine McCann. Some of them are pretty ridiculous, providing armchair detectives with a means to voice their theories, a bit like a virtual ‘Cluedo’. (‘It was Mr. O’Brien in 5a, at 20.45, with the sedatives‘). However, the majority DO appear to concur that the case is NOT as is being reported in the Press.
On September 10th a BBC Radio 5 phone-in on the McCanns had to be abandoned after a flood of critical calls. The station was apparently deluged and surprised because of the unexpected degree of anti-McCann feeling voiced by callers. Some newspapers reported this ‘abandonment’ as having been as a result of callers rebuking the BBC because of holding a debate about a couple who are part of a continuing legal process. That didn’t stop innumerable OTHER Radio programmes from subsequently conducting such phone-ins. None ever had to be abandoned however. Any anti-McCann sentiments were dealt with in an entirely different manner. Such callers were simply disconnected, even for asking whether it was acceptable for the McCanns to leave their children alone while they dined in a Restaurant nearby.
And the Leicester Mercury, the journal serving the home Town of the McCanns who had previously raised money for the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund, had to withdraw a website opinion page that was bombarded with comments deemed unsuitable.
In November, I wrote a letter to the former leader and Home Secretary of the UK Conservative Party, Michael Howard. In the letter, I explained that I was concerned that conflict and potentially irreparable damage was being caused between the two countries concerned, Britain and Portugal, much of which appears to have been effected by the Press and Government of this country. I further questioned the use of the British Government Media Monitoring Unit Director, Clarence Mitchell, as not only a spokesman but as an apparent mentor of sorts; resigning from his Government job and allying himself with the McCanns when they were made Arguidos. I suggested this to be somewhat an unprecedented and unusual state of affairs.
I also explained my concerns that Gordon Brown had not only personally intervened in the case by persuading the Portuguese authorities to permit the McCanns to make an appeal for information concerning the ‘abductor’, as ‘witnessed’ by Jane Tanner, (even though the Portuguese placed NO significance or, more likely, credibility in this ‘sighting’), but that some factions of the credible Portuguese Press were suggesting that ‘Government Pressure’ was being brought to bear on the case. Certainly, I considered it inappropriate and unusual for Gordon Brown to have made the personal communications and offered the assistance that he did to the McCanns. Clarence Mitchell himself had already confirmed that he, via the Prime Minister, had been instrumental in not only co-ordinating the visit to the Vatican, but also visits to other world leaders and dignitaries. My letter concluded that I felt it essential that the Prime Minister clarified his position and involvement with regards to the McCann’s case.
The response I received was a positive, if not unexpected one, advising me that the letter would be forwarded to the Prime Minister for his comments, which would be communicated to me if and when he made them.
I published my letter on an Internet Forum, inviting any like minded individuals to either use it as a template or to modify it for their own purposes and forward it to their own local, Members of Parliament. A lady from Bristol did just that, and the response that it elicited made headline news, both here and in Portugal.Piers Merchant...the disgraced former Tory MP who refused to quit after being caught kissing a 17-year-old night club hostess. The liaison was filmed and the pontifical former newseditor was hoist by his own petard... a picture is worth a thousand words...and a political future.Piers Merchant, assistant to Member of the European Parliament Roger Knapmann wrote an astonishing and despicable letter that firstly warned the author to be ’careful’ of what she writes, referring to the laws of Libel. It then goes on to state, somewhat pompously, that “One of the first duties of the British government is to support its citizens abroad. It is therefore entirely correct that the government should do this in the case of Kate and Gerry McCann”. He then sensationally declares, “The Portuguese police and judicial system is known to be suspect. Elements of the police are corrupt and indeed in this case the senior detective involved has been charged with corruption”
He continues; “The Portuguese judicial system does not assume innocence before guilt in the way the British system does and operates an interrogatory process in which people are denounced as suspects without any proof”. Merchant explains why this shocking state of affairs is so: “It is important to realise that Portugal has no real history of citizen’s rights and liberties or democracy. From the 1920s to the mid 1970’s Portugal was ruled by a fascist dictatorship, first under Salazar and then Caetano. Political opposition was repressed and the police and judicial system was used to achieve this. A stable multi-party democracy only came into existence in the late1970’s and is still very young. Many of the police were trained under fascism and the institutions still bear the impact of this long period of dictatorship.”
The letter concludes by stating, “In all the circumstances it is entirely right that British citizens should be protected against an unreliable foreign system. In any eventI think you can rest assured that the British police and intelligence services have long had a better grip on the facts of this case than the Portuguese police”.
A simpler synopsis is as follows: The Portuguese Police are incompetent, they are trying to frame the McCanns and Kate and Gerry are innocent.
Of course, Knapmann and/or Merchant tried to suggest that the email had been modified or altered in some way. I have the original email’s together with their headers and I am entirely satisfied that the response is both genuine and was how it was written. Conversely, it would take all of a minute to establish beyond all doubts the exact response that was made by Merchant, but it requires his computer or his Web Based server to be examined. To date, he has elected not to permit such an examination.
The only positive aspect of this particular debacle was that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was made to deny giving Gerry McCann VIP treatment over his missing daughter. One of the very few occasions when he was forced to make a statement on the case. Of course, given that there isn’t another recorded example in history where some poor unfortunate, let alone the official suspects in a missing child case, have been afforded the privileges, opportunities, attention, Ministerial guidance and support shown by the Government and press of this country, it rather makes a mockery of his statement.
As to what really happened at the Ocean Club resort on or around that day in May, perhaps we shall never learn. How this sad case will conclude, IF it ever concludes at all, remains to be seen. Madeleine McCanns disappearance has become, perhaps, the most famous and mysterious missing person case of all time. But it needn’t have been. For both the British Police and the Polícia Judiciária are rightly regarded as being amongst the finest crime fighting units in the world.
Whatever crimes that took place involving Madeleine may forever go unsolved.
Whatever crimes that threaten to alienate and divide two countries, whose shared beliefs, mutual respect and loyalty is, since 1373 the oldest alliance in the world, must NOT be allowed to remain unsolved; for the sake of both countries, for Madeleine McCann and for us all.
Posted 1 month ago #
Very interesting and well written article AGW.
Hopefully at some point a proper , respected independent investigative journalist will try to get to the bottom of the extraordinary assistance given to this apparently well connected couple.
But , in the meantime , to quote Gerry McCann's first words to his mother in law (as she said on the Panorama program) over the phone immediately after the "disappearance" - "Its a disaster!!".
Maybe not the words I would have used to describe the loss of my daughter (or even her abduction by nasty people )to her grandmother , but certainly that phrase encapsulates events since.
I wonder what really ties this couple to the great , sometimes good and powerful establishment of this country.
And why they matter more than getting justice for their daughter.
Posted 1 month ago #
Spudgun,I have long admired your postings on that other forum, and by the remarkable video you produced. At the time, I too was a poster on that forum, and was around to give some help to the poster who received the Merchant email. Sadly, I am no longer a member, and the circumstances surrounding that are almost as dubious as the handling of the case itself.
Thank you for this excellent piece, which so carefully outlines the concerns that many have, and which I share with you.
A brilliant post.
From a former piece of furniture.x
Posted 1 month ago #
"Well crafted" indeed AGW! Thanks for posting Spudgun's article on here. I don't venture into the MM opinions, so appreciated the opportunity to read this excellent piece.
Spudgun; (if you're around here to pick this up...) that is without a doubt the most rational and informed bit of prose that I've read in this whole sorry saga.
Posted 1 month ago #
Mic , he should see its in here, as it shows up on Opinions, and Paul has it on the Home Page too.Its bloody brilliant , isn't it?
Posted 1 month ago #
It's a wonderfully incisive and well researched post.
No match for my piece about 'farting' though....
*A true masterpiece!!!*
Posted 1 month ago #
At long last, something interesting and factual. Im a bit late in reading it compared to everyone else on here, but what a fantastic read.
Posted 2 weeks ago #
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isis said...

viv,had alook before my computer is taken away, what a piece of writing. Im sure there is a video on u-tube to accompany it,or on themccanfiles. Anyway im off now had a look at the DE forum and left 3 posts, if your in the mood for a bit of light entertainment have a look. The pros are on a roll.

2345 said...


Yesterday evening from Ironside on 3 A's - attached to e-mails with "Invitation" attachment - mentions or shows Osama Bin Laden being hanged.

It's a virus that gives an Olympic torch which "burns" hard disc on computer. Hope you can all understand this - I wrote details in a hurry.

Apologies if Ironside has already alerted you. 2345 (JAB) 8.30 a.m.

2345 said...

DEADLY VIRUS - Viv & All -

Last sentence of last post should read - It's a virus that OPENS and Olympic torch which "burns" hard disc on your computer.
2345 (JAB) 8.40 a.m. (Sat)

docmac said...

Morning 2345

The Bin Laden/Olympic torch virus e-mail is a hoax, as most of these types of e-mail are. It's been around in various forms for a couple of years now. Ignore, the version that Dolores posted on here last night said Microsoft had issued a warning. Microsoft does not issue virus warnings. If you ever get one of these types of e-mails, look on the internet first to check if it is a known hoax and never, ever forward it as it creates panic and hinders the search for true viruses. I've received plenty of this kind of mail in the past and not once has it been true.

Watch out too for those e-mails begging for donations for some poor kid with a brain tumour etc that is 'incurable unless we can come up with two hundred thousand dollars to get her to the only surgeon in the world who can cure her, if you don't help she will die'. There is always an implied threat that either you or someone else will suffer a terrible consequence unless you respond. Remember these are the modern versions of chain letters and begging.

felicity said...

9.45 Morning Isis,2345 and Doc.

Isis why are they taking your computer away. Are you like me - soend a bit too much time on it!

It is a beatiful suny frosty morning here, and I can see the birds scouting around my garden looking for the best des res! I am glad they find the accommodation to their liking and the good supplies at their deli restaurant with a good variety on offer. How fantastic Spring is just around the corner...

Fortunately, most of my emails are from nice people who I gave the address to - apart from the Bank!

I am now going to pop off to have a look at these pros have an over-excited Saturday morning but cannot understand why! Or was that written in the wee small hours when I was actually snoozing for a change!

Luv Viv x

felicity said...

Hiya Isis

Had a quick look at the DE but all I could see was some really good Pro- Madeleine posters including Wizard - did the parent lobby all go off for a cuppa to re-think today's theme for their concerted "argument/mode of attack" I wonder? Funny how Rosie is a retired granny but during the week almost exclusively turns up at night and then first thing in the morning on a Saturday - funny that..almost like someone who has gone back to work full time..


felicity said...

time 10.27!

dolores said...


page 10 06/06/2007

This is a longer version of the German interview.

Good Morning everyone,
What a gorgeous one it is.

luv D

felicity said...

Hiya Dolores

Thanks for that which I am going to have a look at with great interest as I know they got properly challenged - decent bit of reporting!

I also just found an article in Diario from 27 May, the dat when Gerry needed to pop back to the UK for personal reasons/fund.

I see their mornings were spent parading to a service with Father Panchecho who they unceremoniously dumped - good opportunity for the press, as we recall, and then, not content with that they spent their afternoons on their usual walk around the town. So when did they get chance to grieve in private like a normal family would..talk about putting on a show for the cameras!

Viv x

Father of Madeleine leaves Algarve
2007/05/20 | 18:54
For 24 hours. Gerry McCann goes to the United Kingdom "dealing with personal matters" and to meet with organizers of the fund "Find Madeleine. It is the first time since the girl disappeared, on 3 May that the family was separated

Murat seen on the night of the abduction

The father of the girl missing for 17 days in the Algarve, Gerry McCann, part this Sunday for England, where he will remain around 24 hours to help coordinate the international campaign for the child, reported the British television station Sky News.

Citing a source familiar, the British news channel of advances that Gerry will deal with "personal matters" and to meet with organizers of the fund "Find Madeleine" (Finding Madeleine) in Britain, writes to Lusa.

The wife of Gerry, Kate, and the twins Sean and Amelie (both with two years) will remain in the "Ocean Club", tourist resort, where Maddie disappeared on 3 May and where McCann have pernoitado since.

The same source said that "Gerry will be out for very practical reasons and will be back as soon as possible."

Adiantou that the visit to England involve steps which will allow the couple "to remain in Portugal in the near future."

The departure of Gerry McCann of the airport of Faro was scheduled for 22:10 on a flight from Easyjet, and should reach the British airport of East Middland to 01:00 local (same time in Lisbon).

This Sunday morning, the couple McCann attended the Mass at the small church in Praia da Luz, celebrated by Father José Manuel Pacheco. In the afternoon, McCann gave their usual walk around the town.

dolores said...

Hi Viv, They just wallowed in the limelight did'nt they,they definately have delusions of grandeur.And loved the attention.

In the video, you can see all the stumbling and lack of confidence to try and convince these reporters,they did not play a part in Maddie's disappearence.
What a difference today in the arrogant attitude he has in recent tv interviews.
luv Dxx

SueB said...

Morning Viv, Dolores etc.

Spudgun also has an excellent video - watch it if you get the chance.


Has Spring sprung? What a lovely morn.


felicity said...

Hiya Dolores

German interviewer in June;

How do you deal with the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you saying the way you behave is not the way people would normally behave if their child is abducted, and they seem to imply that you might have something to do with it.

Kate - after missing the mic and giving a nervous laugh….
To be honest I don’t actually think that that is the case, I think that is a very small minority of people that are criticising us ermmm, you know, the facts are out there we were dining very close to the children and we were checking on them very very regularly, you know we are very responsible parents and we love our children so much and I think it is only a few few people that are, you know, criticising us.

Gerry then chimes in ..I have never heard before that anyone considers us suspects in this and goes on to give a pretty lengthy statement, clearly choosing his words carefully and demonstrating a politician's ability to smoothly lie in answer to a very difficult question. Going on at some considerable length - a clever technique to bury the question and confuse the maker of it who is hoping for an answer!

- they are defensive about the suggestion they may have something to do with - but the first part of the question I think is even more important and they just do not address it at all..about their behaviour being abnormal for parents who have had their child abducted.

Finally is Kate's idea of checking the children very very regularly, in her case doing so just once all night! And on previous night, not at all…She can put as many "verys" in as she likes but it does not change the reality, does it?

Clarence Mithcell is making damn sure they do not get exposed to such an interviewer again isnt he - they either get the prepared speech or they dont get nothing! Nothing to hide eh!

Viv x

dolores said...

Thanks for the video, I will look in a sec.,
Spring has certainly arrived at last.
My crocus's are in full bloom, and the blue-tits,robins and blackbirds and occasional thrush, are waiting in line for the birdbath, and a furtive squirell waiting to steal their food when I am not watching...lol

felicity said...

hiya both

just an observation that we all seem to be the sort of people who love the garden and the wildlife in it..the same sort of people who are concered about the welfare of little children rather than defending abusive parents..

It is lovely to hear what is going on in your gardens - sadly I do not see any thrushes at this house but do see a kestrel and occasionally goldfinches. The kestrel was even perched up on my trellis the one morning - where I hand the bird feeders!

At my previous house it backed onto a wood and so I saw just about everything going but there are woods very near - that is important to me!
Luv Vivx

Anonymous said...

Docmac - thanks for your words of wisdom and helpful advice. I'm an IT phobic - female and rely (too) heavily on my adult son for guidance! Sue B kindly gave me the hoax link earlier, so lessoned learned. I actually slept on Ironside's post, but I decided I should warn you all when I woke this a.m.! I'm a little too aware of 'dark' influences in this case and forums.

Hello Viv, hope you're well - watching garden birds as I write; also watching our cat watching the birds! Thanks for Spudgun's brilliant article.

Just read posts regarding Gerry's return to UK in the early stages, plus parents 'walk abouts' in Luz during the day, as always minus the twins. In normal 'loss' circumstances, parents would not let remaining children out of their sight or care would they? In retrospect, the McCanns behaviour becomes increasingly chilling in all respects. 1.25 p.m. (JAB).

felicity said...

Hiya Anon

That is what the German interviewer was seeking a view on I guess and just not getting it! She as reflecting what normal parents feel..quite obviously if one has been taken you would cling to the other two quite desperately..that would be normal..these two are the antithesis of normal ..they complacently dump their kids in the creche every day..until asked not to by Mark Warner and then worse still..they leave them completely and go on the European tour. No way could this be excused in terms of publicising Madeleine's disappearance - we live in a modern technological world with satellite link ups! It was necessary to these two to sell brand Kate and Gerry and I am sure they really enjoyed gadding about on a private jet. Did they ever stop to think of the psychological damage to these two little souls..first they lose Maddie and then mum and dad clear off two. Children can suffer immense pschological harm from such loss and desertion by parents. What do they care?

Viv x

dolores said...

I think they were oblivious as to how world perceived them in leaving the twins alone for so long after Maddie disappeared,it's 'the nature of the beast'
They knew it was safe in PDL, and they knew Maddie was not abducted, therein lies there reason.
They were not to smart, thinking the world would not be horrified at their action.
Remember when Kate said'' It was our holiday to''
Why on earth did they have children?

PS I have been doing a little bit of gentle gardening,to refresh my brain....lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Viv,

Am having trouble posting here today ... just testing. 2345 (JAB).

Anonymous said...

Is the news all a little depressing.....Expresso, Portugal.......PJ lacks evidence .........case ready to be shelved?

Sunday Times, investigating Met3.
merc. 15.01

dolores said...

It's probably PJ playing them at their own game.

dolores said...

09.02.08, 3:05pm
a news article focusing on the lawyers discussion referred to below and a Richard (of Richard and Judy) offering slagging off the Antis. I wonder if he or J are one of our regulars??

posted a few hours ago on 3a
Published: Saturday February 9,2008 by Dr_Val
"In Correio da Manha today:

http://www.correiodamanha.pt/noticia.as ... l=10&p=200

Controversy: Joint director comes out to defend Alipio Ribeiro
It was a misunderstanding that will be clarified

The joint director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), Baltazar Pinto, came out yesterday to defend Alipio Ribeiro, who said this week there had been "a certain precipitation" about the constitution of the parents of Madeleine McCann, who has been missing since May 3, 2007, into arguidos.

"It was a misunderstanding, as he was referring to the timing of the constitution into arguidos, which will be clarified in due time", Baltazar Pinto stated in Madeira, five days after the controversial statements from the PJ's director. Alipio Ribeiro remains silent, at a time when it is already known that the Justice minister, his longtime friend Alberto Costa, will not remove him from office and will explain the meaning of the national director's statements in Parliament, next Wednesday.

While Alipio Ribeiro himself does not explain whether his words were precipitated or not, his statements, which have been vastly criticised by members of PS [Socialist Party, the party which holds the Portuguese government at the moment] and within the judicial area, are being increasingly interpreted as an intentional action whose purpose is to "prepare the path to the archiving of the process", as a source told CM. The difficulties that the PJ has faced during the course of their investigations, namely due to the lack of cooperation from the English authorities, are the core of the matter. What is certain is that, when he spoke about a "certain precipitation" in the decision to make Kate and Gerry McCann into arguidos, without further explanation, Alipio Ribeiro generated an ill feeling within the PJ, because that decision was made by the inspector that was then responsible for the case, Gonçalo Amaral - who was demoted after public statements about the process.

"I was perplexed"

AFter the criticism from former directors of the PJ, judges, prosecutors and politicians, it was yesterday the turn for Laborinho Lucio to express his perplexity about Alipio Ribeiro's statements. "I was perplexed", he said during an interview to Antena 1. But the former minister of Justice, who was a member of Cavaco Silva's government, stressed that "there may be a good reason for what was said, and it may only become known at a later point in time", and considered that the reaction from the minister indicates that there "are other reasons".


Lawyers held a meeting

The McCanns' team of lawyers held a meeting yesterday to decide over the best way to appeal for Kate and Gerry to stop being arguidos.

Carlos Pinto de Abreu and Rogerio Alves, the Portuguese jurists, were in videoconference contact with the British Michael Caplan and Angus McBride yesterday, during the afternoon. "The lawyers discussed whether the joint strategy should include a motion for [the McCanns] to stop being arguidos, or a request for the case to be reviewed", Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for Madeleine's parents, stated.

A friend of Kate and Gerry said that the couple "gained a lot of heart from the statements" made by Alipio Ribeiro, and that now all they want is to be cleared from the process so they can find out what happened to their daughter "together with the Portuguese authorities". The McCanns say they do not want the case archived."
• Posted by: Dr_Val • Report Comment

Anonymous said...


Not depressing news, merely confirms Clarence is still struggling to cope with the FACTS available in Forums. I'll guarantee tomorrow's article is an attempt to 'whitewash' M 3's illegal behaviours and history. He's clearly still monitoring Forums and acting accordingly.

Today's DE 'hot air' is McCanns' lawyers are taking legal steps to clear their names. The question is why didn't they do it months ago? The dreaded f ........ word -
forensics - is the damning major obstacle. 2345 (JAB) 4.00 p.m.

dolores said...

Madeleine: Parents in legal bid to clear name
By David Pilditch PDL 09.02.08

Where did he draw his conclusions from – certainly where the sun don’t shine.

The parents of Madeleine Mc are planning to launch a legal bid to clear their names over their daughter’s disappearance.
Yesterday Kate and Gerry McCann’s Portuguese and British lawyers held crunch talks via a video conference between London and Lisbon.
They discussed a bid to formally apply to the courts in Portugal to lift their status as official suspects. The move would allow them to focus on their worldwide search for Madeleine who vanished during a family holiday in the Algarve last May.
The talks follow an admission by Alipio Ribeiro, Portugal’s most senior policeman, that detectives may have been too hasty in implicating Kate and Gerry, both 39.
Mr Ribeiro – national director of the Policia Judiciaria – made his controversial remarks on Sunday sparking anger in Portugal and fresh calls for his resignation.
The McCanns – names as suspects or arguidos in September – have always denied being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.
Friends insist that the couple remain committed to tracking down their daughter. They have hired their own team of private detectives to help in the hunt.
The McCanns’ spokesman CM said last night: “The lawyers are discussing a joint strategy of how
“They also needed to talk about the mechanics of how an appeal would work. It is important something is done to change the situation. It is verging on the inhumane to keep two parents as suspect indefinitely.”
He added: “We want Gerry and Kate to be eliminated from the inquiry so they and their own investigators can work with the police to find out what really happened to Madeleine”.
The McCanns have also secured the services of a formidable team of lawyers, funded by wealthy benefactors.
In Britain, they have hired international law experts Michael Caplan QC and Angus McBride. In Portugal, they are represented by renowned attorneys Carlos Pinto de Abreu and Rogerio Alves, the former had of the country’s bar association, who welcomed the statement by Mr Ribeiro.
“I consider that the PJ director made a serious and honest statement,” he said.
However, police sources said that the comments had caused “irreparable damage” to the Portuguese force as they were seen a way of preparing the public for the prospect the case will never be solved because of a lack of evidence.
Police union leader Carlos Anjos later said the PJ had “bigger problems” then finding Madeleine.
Yesterday Mr. Mitchell said that the McCann, from Rothley, Leics, had “heard nothing officially” that the police investigation was to be shelved.
He added “We want Kate and Gerry to be eliminated from the inquiry and want the police to work with our own investigators to find out what happened.”
Justice Minister Alberto Costa will make a statement on the hunt for Madeleine to Portugal’s parliament on Wednesday and his backing for the beleaguered police chief, if was reported yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Dolores, really hope so.

One gets a little weary of all the spin in this case. I used to look forward to reading info from docs sources...now we have waited weeks again for the re-interviews....Ah well probably feeling a litle down at the moment, recovering from a pesky virus.
merc 16.54

lizzy said...

HI Viv
Thanks for posting that excellent article by Spudgun,
so good to read something like that so well written and to the point.
Lizzy 16.50pm

dolores said...

I feel we are all tired of the spin, what annoys me is CM is never brought down a peg for the misleading statements he makes, he with Clan Mc Cann have frustrated the investigation. We need to get the message through that we do not condone the diasappearance of Maddie due to their extreme child neglect.
We are her voice for justice.

PS Hope you feel better soon.

ct1538 said...

Hello Viv
I didn't see your post to me until late last night. Will attempt to answer now. I am ex police so may be a little bit wrong in my assumptions. Consequently some of this is guesswork, educated of course, and some based on newspaper reports which I don't normally like refering to.
Here is your questions to me.

''Do you have a view on what evidence Leics police are likely to have collected in UK and how helpful this will be in prosecuting the Mcs? Do you think there would have been political interference or deference to the Mcs?

Would be interested to hear your point of view on this, if I recall you are in the job or ex. How strong do you think the evidence is likely to be as an overall package?''

I think that any assistance the British police would have in gathering evidence would be possibly confined to obtaining background information on those involved, including the witnesses that have re-appeared out of the woodwork.Any connection to the McCanns could lessen the impact of their evidence,if any.
I did read on one forum that the British police had been in discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service. Could this be about the fund? If poor Madeleine was dead and they knew it there obviously could be a question of fraud.

Political interference ? Yes, and this remains the biggest puzzle to me. Why? We all know that they received far in excess of the normal help from the outset.Plus the transfered diplomats and other instances that have been covered before. What is being covered up? Do the McCanns know something damaging to the government? My extremely low opinion of politicians has not been helped by this case and other recent events.
I would say that when I served the overwhelming majority of my colleagues had a very strong sense of justice, particulary on behalf of the victim. I trust that it remains so, and the consequence of political pressure influencing the outcome of the case would produce a whistle blower.

I believe that the PJ must have a strong case. I think their problem has been trying to establish what the charges will be.I believe they have evidence that Madeleine is dead but not exactly how and at whose hand.I do not believe that they would request to come to England unless their evidence was conclusive because I don't think they will be expecting to get many, if any, answers to their questions. They will have to give anyone they suspect the opportunity to explain their findings, but even if they are met with the expected silence they will still have enough to proceed.
Time 1730 hrs.
Must go check the football results

dr_val said...

Updated article in Telegraph, based on article published in Expresso (Portuguese paper) this morning:
"Kate and Gerry McCann are to be cleared as official suspects in their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance after a review concluded there is no evidence they were involved, it has emerged.

The couple’s status as arguidos will be lifted unless “screaming contradictions” are revealed in forthcoming police interviews, according to a Portuguese newspaper."

dolores said...

HellO Dr_Val
Is the Expresso a reliable newspaper or a rag.? As we only hear of ones we are familiar with.

lizzy said...

It is supposed to be a broadsheet according to somebody on the 3arguidos but it is the only newspaper reporting this, none of the others are, so suppose we will have to wait and see what happens next. It does say that this may happen after the questioning in Britain, so at least this look as if it will happen prior to any decision. Lizzy 18.20pm

dr_val said...

Hi Dolores

As Lizzy said, on 3As it was described as a reputable paper (by lisbonirish, who translated). You can imagine what it's like on DE - champagne corks littering the floor.....

val 18.35 (first time I've remembered to put on time :-))

dolores said...

Hi Dr-Val
Champagne corks? Iwould have thought that to be a bit premature.I can' believe all the work of FSS our Police and PJ have all been for nothing....

felicity said...

Hiya all

I just checked the Telegraph article and the only authoritive quote I got was:

Attorney General Fernando Pinto Montiero told Expresso: “The couple’s legal status will be considered at the appropriate moment, depending on various elements still to be obtained.”

I do not see how this implies they are to be cleared. Like he says their legal status will be reviewed once they have the various elements which I take it he means further interviews. Surely we are just being subjected to another load of hype? Their current legal status is suspects. I would have thought that what he meant was their legal status could be upgraded from suspects to being charged. By the same token of course their legal status could also be downgraded to having their arguido status removed. I do not think this is likely.

Viv x

felicity said...

CT Just read your post answering my questions from last night and thanks so much it is really helpful.

It does confirm my own thoughts that any police officers involved in this case would be pro-victim and very hungry to get a result. I think that was a good point - if they were aware of political interference seeking to prejudice the police enquiry it could produce a whistle blower. Surely the government would not risk this? This is what I cannot work out really. If there is political interference it must be at a higher level than the police actually conducting the enquiry and how can they stop the results of the police enquiries in the UK feeding into the investigation. I also read there was a senior Crown Prosecutor advising. It is difficult to think about appropriate charges and the possible range of these. I do agree with you, the PJ's problem is likely to be they know for sure Madeleine is dead and they know the McCanns are involved, but it is the how, what, when, why questions that may be so elusive. It has always seemed to be from what we glean they got better evidence of disposal of the body rather than the actual killing. I did suggest some months back they may be forced into the position of having to pursue this lesser charge, but that is a bit perverse and unusual. I think it is likely there are some very senior lawyers looking at a huge amount of disparate evidence and considering what specific charges can be made. I take it you imply, as I do, there does seem to be a connection between Gerry McCann and false sightings. I think Granny Cooper is highly suspect in particular. Anyone who discloses their evidence to the News of the World has to be suspect. Proper police witnesses are clearly sworn to secrecy and by putting her story in the press like this she never could have been a credible prosecution witness. They deliberately just went and hounded men who either had a past conviction or were just drifters who looked weird, even though there is no connection that could possibly be made to the disappearance of Madeleine. There are so many instances of seeking to pervert the course of justice - I think even if the police cannot prove manslaughter or murder they are going to have them for what they can prove and that surely must include fraud. If they disposed of the body - that is it - they got them for fraud big time. They clearly have personally benefited from some of that fund - clauses were worded to ensure that they could so I dont think they can wriggle out of that one.

I am rather surprised The Daily Telegraph even join in the spin and it really does make you wonder just what is going on.

Thanks again for your post it was really thought provoking and very helpful. Also confirming what I thought - there would have been so many enquiries for Brit police on assosiates of them - did Gerry know Murat. They were also doing background checks on Kate and Gerry looking for evidence of past behaviour that could indicate a tendency for current behaviour, Kate's mental health etc.

Viv x

dolores said...

You are the voice of logic,calm, and common sense.
Why, would the PJ, suddenly shelve the case, on the twisted, misinterpretation of CM.He is getting out of order with his spin without being challenged.
We are getting the usual week-end rubbish.
luv D

felicity said...

Thanks Dolores

I am a bit surprised it is even in the DT - but do believe it is just another of Clarence's litte efforts. Sometimes it obviously does give us concern but there all turn out to be false!

Let's stay calm. When you look at the actual quote he certainly does not say anything about no evidence - that is quite absurd given all the work that has gone on - why would they come here for a fifth time!

Viv x

felicity said...

oh and the time is 20.01 :-) Viv x

lizzy said...

Hi Viv
Thanks for the post re the Telegraph article, your post is very reassuring and makes sense.
I think it is revealing that only the Expresso in Portugal has that story. The other newspapers are not reporting this. As you can imagine tthe Pro's are celebrating wildly on the DE, and at 7.45 I htink Rosiepops made a direct plea to Paulo Rebelo to lift the atguido status describing it as inhumane....laughable really. Lizzy 20.50pm

lizzy said...

oops Arguido status, as you can see typing as bad as ever.

leigh3 said...

Hi All,
Re: Spudgens' article. V illuminating, yes?
Personally, I doubt whether the old alliance between the UK and Portugal will be allowed to sink over the antics of two spoilt brat parents who left babies alone, night after night, no matter how many spoilt brat friends of friends they have in Government or media.

The question is: how best to deal with their failures? This is one for the public,the diplomats, and civil/public servants, I think.

I do believe that honest inquiry will continue in all its forms among the public and the true servants of this country. Only then will the paid hacks...that's politicians, the media and others...be forced to do the right thing for the right reasons in the name of the UKs children, and our obligations to our friends abroad.

Nice reading you all. See you next time. Best wishes. Leigh3 21.02GMT.

dolores said...

Hi Lizzie
I would like RP to define inhumane related to Mc's.
They have the freedom to go to work give interviews have xmas, and reunions, birthday parties.Vanity fair ,discuss movies and book deals,they are never out the press.
They are Prime Suspects in their daughters disappearanceas.As far as I am concerned.and have been treated with kid gloves.They had to much freedom IMO.
Inhumane is what they did to Madeleine.

felicity said...

Hiya all

I am becoming increasingly concerned that my attempts to suggest the wheels of justice are not being impeded were optimistic to say the least.

We heard in Italy how forensic tests took just a few days but how frustrated the PJ were in getting results back from the FSS.

We heard how the rogatory letters were properly delivered to the UK via Eurojust but were returned insisting they should come direct from Portugal.

In both instances it seems clear to me there has been frustration and delay by the UK authorities and sadly I have to conclude this is with a view to persuading the Portuguese to give up - by making it so difficult for them.

As the report from today's Correio de Manha below confirms it is considered their has been frustration of the investigation by UK authorities with the consequence they may even give up on the enquiry. I have always said that if I became convinced this was the case I would seek to take action. I am now considering the best action to take and seek your advice. I have been on 10 Downing Street website. Emails can be sent to the Prime Minister. We could reach a greater audience by posting on 3 Arguidos /Daily Express. Additionally there is a facility on 10 downsing street website to start an e-petition.
Can I have your thoughts and suggestions on this. Thanks Viv x

2008-02-09 - 00:30:00

Polémica: Deputy Director quits in defense of Alípio Ribeiro
It was a misunderstanding that will be clarified

Carlos Manuel Martins

Unlike his deputy in PJ, Ribeiro was silent Alípio
The deputy director of the Judicial Police (PJ), Baltazar Pinto, yesterday came out in defence of Alípio Ribeiro, who this week said there was "some haste" in the constitution as defendants the parents of Madeleine McCann, missing since May 3, 2007.

"It was a misunderstanding, because it was referring to the timing of the establishment of accused, which will be clarified in his time," he said, Madeira, Baltazar Pinto, five days after the controversial statements of the Director of the PJ. Alípio Ribeiro, however, still in silence, at a time when we already know that the Minister of Justice, his longtime friend, Alberto Costa, not the afastará of the office and will explain to Parliament, on Wednesday, sense of statements by the national director.

While the very Alípio Ribeiro not clear whether what he said was precipitated or thought, their statements, already widely criticized by members of the PS and the judicial sector, are increasingly interpreted as an act designed with the purpose of "preparing the way for the closure of the file, "as a source to the CM. At issue are the difficulties with which the PJ has been discussed in research, in particular due to lack of cooperation of the British authorities. It is true that, when speaking in a "right precipitation" in the decision to be accused Kate and Gerry McCann, without further explanation, Alípio Ribeiro generated ill-being in PJ, as the decision was made by the inspector in charge of the case then, Gonçalo Amaral -- away after public statements about the process.


After the criticism from former directors of the PJ, judges, prosecutors and politicians, yesterday was the turn of Laborinho Lúcio express his perplexity with the statements of Alípio Ribeiro. "I was perplexed," he said in an interview on Antena 1. The former Minister of Justice of Cavaco Silva stressed, however, that "there may be a good reason for what has been said and we only come to know-if later," considering that the reaction of the Minister suggests that "there are other reasons ".

felicity said...

Additionally, I thought we should email the PJ giving our support and urging them to pursue the McCanns.


Ironside said...

Hi Viv....Glad to hear your son is on the mend....my best wishes to him.....
Great idea ...just do it...there is already a thread on the 3A's to send support to PJ....
Viv start your own thread and suggest like you have here your intentions and what you would like to do.....The3A's I agree would give you all the support you need.
All posters from Mirror Forum have now joined..you have a good chance ..to get this moving....Then bump your thread every day so that you stay on the front page....
No time like the present...

Which is 11.00pm

leigh3 said...

Hi Felicity,
Yes, I think it is right for direct action by the public, and public servants of all kinds.
Letters, emails, petitions direct to the UK relevant departments (Justice Minister Jack Straw, Foreign Office, Home Office, and local MPs), MEPS, and Portuguese authorities.
Cynical forces are seeking to wield power over the body of one dead child - Madeleine Beth McCann - and stamp their jackboot on honest inquiry, performed by legitimate, democratic forces: the public and its elected/paid servants. True servants, not the power crazed spoilt brats riding the gravy train of tax money; public money. And that includes public money sent to the McCanns.
Such cynics think the public, and its servants are stupid; easily worn down by marketing antics. Time for the public and its true servants to define what they want this 21st Century 'democracy' to be, I think.
I've sent my emails, just to be a good democrat. I certainly will not leave it at that.
See you next time, Viv. Ta so much for your site, and sight :-)

SueB said...

Hi Viv, Dolores - Thanks for sharing about the wildlife in your gardens. I just love the animal kingdom! I'm still seething even though it was a few months since BT felled all the trees at the rear of our property - because one tree was getting close to their overhead cable. Now most of the little birds I used to feed have gone. Grrrr. Anyway, here's the latest article from the Sunday Times, thought readers may be interested in.

Madeleine McCann and Metodo 3: Private eyes, public lies

Paid £50,000 a month to find Madeleine McCann, the Spanish detective Francisco Marco said he hoped to have her home for Christmas. He issued this photofit of a suspect last month; it set off a media frenzy, but Portuguese police say it has ‘no credibility’. Christine Toomey turns the tables on a private eye who is anything but

Francisco Marco might have been thinking about other matters on the day he apparently spoke out about his hopes that Madeleine McCann would be home for Christmas. It was the day his Spanish private detective agency, Metodo 3 – paid an estimated £50,000 a month to help find Madeleine – moved from cramped premises above a grocer’s shop specialising in sausages in Barcelona’s commercial district to a multi-million-pound suite of offices in a grand villa on one of the city’s most prestigious boulevards.

When a taxi driver drops me off at Metodo’s new premises, he tilts his finger against the tip of his nose and says “pijo” – meaning stuck-up or snobbish. Pointing to the restaurant on the ground floor, he says: “That’s where people who like to show off go – so others can see their Rolex watches and designer clothes.”

It is in his office on the second floor that Marco has agreed to meet me, the first British journalist, he says, to whom he has ever granted an interview. When I point out that he was filmed by a Panorama documentary crew in November claiming he was “very, very close to finding the kidnapper” of Madeleine, he corrects himself: “Well, apart from that.” Marco will tell me later how who he has spoken to, and what he has or has not said, has been misunderstood.

But first I must wait, taking a seat at a long, highly polished boardroom table surrounded by pristine white-leather chairs. At one end of the room, discreetly lit shelves display an impressive collection of vintage box cameras and binoculars. Stacked against the walls are modern paintings waiting to be hung. It feels more like an art gallery than the hub of one of the most frantic manhunts of modern times.

There is no discernible ringing of telephones; little sign of activity of any kind, other than a woman searching for a lead to take a pet poodle for a walk and the occasional to-ing and fro-ing of workmen putting finishing touches to the sleek remodelling of the office complex.

It is not clear whether this is where the hotlines for any information about Madeleine are answered. Opposite the boardroom is an open-plan area of around half a dozen cubicles, equipped with banks of phones and computers. Most are empty when I arrive; admittedly it is lunch time. But I cannot ask about this.

“We won’t answer any questions about Maddie. Maddie is off limits – is that understood?” Marco’s cousin Jose Luis, another of the agency’s employees, warns me sternly.

Catching me eyeing the setup, he is quick to explain that Metodo 3, or M-3, bought the premises earlier last year. Though I say nothing, I get the distinct impression he wants to make it clear that this was before M-3 persuaded those involved in decisions regarding the £1m Find Madeleine Fund – partially made up of donations from the public and partly from business backers such as Brian Kennedy – to sign a six-figure, six-month contract with the firm, whose financial fortunes now seem assured by the worldwide publicity they’ve since received.

“All the remodelling work took months, so we only moved in on December 14,” he says, hesitating slightly before adding: “Moving is better at Christmas.” The implication that this was a quiet period for M-3 is strange, as it was exactly the time Marco is reported to have said his agency was “hoping, God willing” that Madeleine would be imminently reunited with her family. Marco has since denied he said this.

I cannot ask him to clarify what he did say, or whether talking about an ongoing investigation is potentially detrimental. Instead, I am left to discuss the matter with a handful of other private detective agencies in Barcelona, the private-eye capital of Spain. What they tell me is disturbing.

I expect a certain amount of rivalry, and some of what they say about M-3 could be dismissed as jealous gossip. But they claim otherwise.

They say there is nothing they would like more than to see M-3 succeed in solving the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance. But they worry that M-3’s inflated claims of progress in the case is making a laughing stock of the rest of them. References to Inspector Clouseau cut deep. They are proud that, unlike their UK counterparts, Spanish private detectives have to be vetted and licensed. They must also have a specialised university degree in private investigation. More importantly, in a profession where discretion is critical, they worry about the effect of such public declarations on the progress of any investigation. It is in the days following reports that the Find Madeleine Fund is considering sacking M-3 that I talk to Marco – though of course I cannot discuss this with him.

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s parents, says he believes M-3 “put themselves forward” for the task, as did a number of other companies. Just a week after the four-year-old’s disappearance from the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 last year, Portuguese police had announced that official searches were being wound down. Initially, the British security company Control Risks Group, a firm founded by former SAS men, was called on for advice. Mitchell confirms that the company is still “assisting in an advisory capacity”, but he says that the reason the

Spanish detective agency was hired was because of Portugal’s “language and cultural connection” with Spain. “If we’d had big-booted Brits or, God forbid, Americans, we’d have had doors slammed in our face, and it’s quite likely we could have been charged with hindering the investigation, as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation,” Mitchell explains. “But because it’s Metodo 3, [Alipio] Ribeiro [national director of Portugal’s Policia Judiciara] is turning a blind eye.” Portuguese police are reported to dismiss M-3 as “small fry”.

Mitchell says the decision to hire M-3 on a six-month contract from September was taken “collectively” by Gerry McCann, and the family’s lawyers and backers, on the grounds that the agency had the manpower, profile and resources to work in several countries. “You can argue now whether it was the right decision or not,” he says, referring to widespread reports that M-3 will find its contract terminated in March – if it hasn’t been already – and not just because the Find Madeleine Fund is dwindling. “But operationally Metodo 3 are good on the ground,” he insists.

It was M-3, for instance, who recently commissioned a police artist to draw a sketch of the man they believe could be involved in Madeleine’s disappearance, despite Portuguese-police claims that the sketch had “no credibility”.

Clearly, the McCanns are desperate to keep Madeleine’s disappearance in the public eye. And the release of photofits by M-3 will help to achieve this. The McCanns insist, however, that they are not engaged in a bidding war for interviews with American television.

But when 35-year-old Marco finally breezes into his company boardroom and throws himself into a chair opposite me, I do not get the impression that the prospect of losing the contract that has brought his company such notoriety is playing much on his mind.

Marco slaps on the table a 144-page pre-prepared dossier of articles written in the Spanish press about himself and M-3. He goes on to list some of those in the city he says I have already been speaking to about his company. Had my movements been monitored? If so, why would a private detective agency be interested in this at a time when they were supposed to be tirelessly searching for the most famous missing child in the world? This confounds me until, after talking to Marco for half an hour, I conclude that what motivates him – as much as, if not more than, his professed desire to present Madeleine with the doll he boasts he carries around in his briefcase to hand to her when he finds her – is a sense of self-regard, self-publicity and money.

) ) ) ) )

In most of the many pictures of himself included in the material he hands me, Marco looks a little nerdy. He wears the same serious expression, slightly askew glasses and suit and tie in nearly all of them. But when we meet he has a more debonair look. He is wearing a black polo-neck jumper underneath a sports jacket, sharper, and better-adjusted half-rimmed glasses, and a fringe that looks as though it has been blow-dried. It is as if his image of how a suave private eye should be has finally been realised.

In contrast to the other private eyes I meet, however, Marco is anything but relaxed. While most of them sit back easily in their chairs, trying to size me up, Marco leans towards me as we talk. He presses his hands hard on the table, almost in a prayer position, to emphasise a point, and has an intense, slightly unnerving stare.

He seems eager to please. He summons a female assistant on several occasions to bring me material, including a book he has recently written, to illustrate what he is talking about. Even when I make it clear this is not necessary – aware that these distractions eat into the time we have to talk – he insists, partly showing off.

When I ask about his background, Marco summons her to photocopy the first pages of his doctoral thesis on private investigation: he has a master’s degree and a PhD in penal law. He gets strangely agitated when she can’t find it, telling her to carry on looking, then mutters that he will have to look for it himself. Eventually he starts to reminisce about his youth. As a teenager, Marco says, he was so keen to become a private detective that he would get up at 5am to follow people on his scooter and record their movements before starting and after finishing his studies. His mother, Maria “Marita” Fernandez Lado, founded M-3 in 1986, when he was a boy, and he used to help out in the agency every holiday.

I hear several different accounts of what Marita was doing before she set up the agency. According to her son, she was working on a fashion magazine when, by chance, through Marco and his brother’s boyhood love of sailing, she met and became friends with a private detective. “From that moment, she decided she wanted to create her own detective agency, and wanted it to be a big company with big cases, a real business. She wanted to change the public image of a small private detective concerned with infidelities,” Marco says.

In Spain, private eyes are sometimes called huelebraguetas – “fly [zip] sniffers”. One of the reasons Barcelona has always been the home of so many of them, Marco explains, is that Catalonia – traditionally one of the wealthiest regions in Spain – had many rich families wanting to safeguard their inheritance. So parents would employ “fly sniffers” to check out the backgrounds of the people their sons or daughters wanted to marry. M-3 took a different track. It started specialising in investigating financial swindles, industrial espionage and insurance fraud. His mother was the first private detective, Marco says, to provide video evidence used in court to unmask an insurance fraudster: she filmed a man reading who had claimed to be blind. Marco also speaks about how in the early 1990s his mother had helped advise the Barcelona police, who were setting up a new department dedicated to investigating gambling and the welfare of children. He says his mother advised them on how to track adolescents who had run away from home, helping them to trace 15 or 16 of them at that time. (It is when I try to bring the interview back to this subject, to see if these were the children the agency has talked about finding in the past, that the interview grinds to a halt.)

But the agency almost came to grief early on, when police raided its offices, and Marco, his mother, father and brother were arrested and briefly jailed in 1995 on charges of phone-tapping and attempting to sell taped conversations. They were never prosecuted, as it was clear that the police had entrapped them.

Their big break came nearly 10 years later, when M-3 was credited with tracking down one of Spain’s most-infamous spies, Francisco Paesa, a notorious arms dealer and double agent also known as “El Zorro” (The Fox) and “the man with a thousand faces”. Paesa fled Spain after being charged with money-laundering. His family claimed he died in Thailand in 1998 and arranged for Gregorian masses to be sung for his soul for a month at a Cistercian monastery in northern Spain. Acting for a client who claimed to have been defrauded by Paesa’s niece, M-3 traced the fugitive to Luxembourg. At the behest of the Spanish national newspaper El Mundo, the agency then traced him to Paris. Paesa remains on the run, however.

“This was just one of our great achievements. Our biggest successes have never been made public,” boasts Marco. “If you speak to other detectives in Spain, I don’t think they will speak very highly of us because they are envious. But as far as other detectives around the world are concerned, we are the biggest, the most famous; the ones who work well.”

Again in collaboration with El Mundo, and again by following an illegal money trail, M-3 last year tracked down the daughter of the wanted Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim to a farm in Chile. “This was pro-bono work, and we only do it when we have time,” says Marco. The hard-pressed detective did have time just before Christmas, however, to launch a book he had co-written with a Spanish journalist. The book claims that clients of M-3 sacked directors of a charity involved in sponsoring children in the Third World, were victims of a plot to discredit them by people associated with a Spanish branch of Oxfam who were jealous that the public was giving them large donations. The sacked directors are still under investigation for fraud.

It is perhaps because Marco has spent so much time collaborating with journalists in the past that he feels so comfortable talking to the press – the Spanish press, at least – about his investigation into Madeleine McCann. In November he gave two lengthy interviews about the case, one to El Mundo and another to a Barcelona newspaper, La Vanguardia.

In the interview with El Mundo, Marco talks touchingly about how his six-year-old son asks him the same question every evening when he kisses him goodnight: “Papa, have you found Maddie?” Because the little boy is learning to read, the article continues, he knows that his father is “the most famous detective in the world”.

But why, the journalist Juan Carlos de la Cal asks, would anyone in the UK, “the country of Sherlock Holmes, with all its cold-war spies and one of the most reliable secret services in the world”, have chosen M-3 to help? “Because we were the only ones who proposed a coherent hypothesis about the disappearance of their daughter,” Marco replies, explaining that M-3’s “principal line of enquiry” at that time – the article was published on November 25 – was “paedophiles”. He talks about how he “cried with rage” when he investigated on the internet how paedophiles operate.

Apart from these comments made by Marco, little concrete is known about how M-3 has been conducting its investigation. In the same article, Marco’s mother says the agency, which she claims has located 23 missing children in the past, has “20 or so” people working exclusively on the McCann case. M-3 was said at that time to be receiving an average of 100 calls a day “from the four quarters of the globe”, and to have half a dozen translators answering them in different languages. The agency has distributed posters worldwide bearing Madeleine’s picture with the telephone number of a dedicated hotline it has set up to receive tip-offs. The interview was carried out just after Marco returned from a two-week trip to Morocco, a country he describes as being known for child-trafficking and a “perfect” place to hide a stolen child. The north receives Spanish TV, he says, but the rest of Morocco knows nothing about the affair.

Yet in an interview published three weeks earlier in the newspaper La Vanguardia, Marco claimed that the agency had “around 40 people, here and in Morocco” working on the case, on the hypothesis that the child was smuggled out of Portugal, via the Spanish port of Tarifa, to Morocco, “where a blonde girl like Madeleine would be considered a status symbol”. At that time he said he didn’t want to think about paedophilia being involved. Asked how often his agency contacts the McCanns with updates, Marco replies “daily”. He adds that the fee that M-3 is charging for its services is not high. He says that it is “symbolic”.

In the same article – accompanied by a photograph of Marco holding a Sherlock Holmes-style hat – he says with absolute certainty that Madeleine is alive. “If I didn’t think she was alive, I wouldn’t be looking for her!” At first he states categorically that he will find her before M-3’s six-month contract runs out in March. But also in the same article the journalist explains that Marco proposes taking him out to dinner if he does not find the missing four-year-old before April 30. Unless all such statements are “misunderstandings”, Marco is in danger of leaving everyone with hopes that are not fulfilled.

When I start to touch on these themes – the claim, for instance, that M-3 traces around 300 missing people a year – Marco is quick to clarify. He says that, of the 1,000 or so investigations his agency undertakes every year, “between 100 and 200 involve English people who owe money and have fled England for Spain; the same with Germans, etcetera, etcetera”. This makes it sound as if much of the agency’s work

is little more than aiding bailiffs or debt-collecting, though I do not believe this to be the case. But when I ask him to elaborate on the 23 missing children his mother is reported to have said the agency has located in the past, Marco eases himself away from the table for the first time, tilting far back in his chair. He cannot talk about that on the grounds of confidentiality, he says. Shortly after this, his cousin Jose Luis, who has sat mostly silent until now, calls time on the interview with a chopping motion of his hand.

As I leave M-3’s office I pass another door discreetly announcing it is that of a private Swiss bank. As I take a seat in the restaurant downstairs for lunch, I notice Marco’s father, Francisco Marco Puyuelo, sitting close by. I nod at him and smile. He does not smile back. I have heard unsettling reports about Puyuelo.

He is rather menacing-looking, and I feel uncomfortable as he sits staring at me, slowly spooning chocolate ice cream into his mouth.

) ) ) ) )

It is easy to feel a little paranoid in Barcelona. Nearly every quarter seems to have its own private detective agency. Offices are prominently advertised; on the short ride in from the airport

I pass four. The city’s yellow-pages directory has six sides of listings. According to Catalonia’s College of Private Detectives, the professional association to which private detectives working in the region are obliged to belong, of the estimated 2,900 licensed private eyes in Spain – around 1,500 of them actively working – 370 are in Catalonia, mostly Barcelona.

The city has traditionally had a prestigious record for private investigation. One of Spain’s most well-known detectives, Eugenio Velez-Troya, was based in Barcelona, where he helped set up the first university course in private investigation, covering subjects such as civil and criminal law, forensic analysis and psychology.

One of the largest private detective agencies in Spain, Grupo Winterman, founded by Jose Maria Vilamajo more than 30 years ago, is based in Barcelona, though the company now has 10 offices in different cities with a staff of around 150. Vilamajo is the only detective prepared to talk on the record; the others prefer to remain anonymous for fear of professional reprisal. He talks about how Barcelona came to have so many private detectives, pointing out that competition in the field is now so intense that it is pushing individual agencies to “specialise”.

Vilamajo is the only private detective apart from Marco to receive me in a spacious company boardroom, which, it strikes me, might be the model on which Metodo 3, anticipating rapid expansion, is basing its new office setup.

I meet the other private eyes either in bars or in their more modest premises, with more cloak-and-dagger decor, though nearly all have an impressive array of certificates praising their work. One has the theme music from the film The Godfather as a mobile-phone ring tone.

All talk of the “different way” M-3 has of operating from other agencies in the city. Most of what they say I have no way of substantiating. Traditionally, they say, M-3 has wined and dined clients more than others, sometimes holding grand “round-table” suppers to which it invites important figures in the community.

One ageing sleuth slides across the table a Spanish newspaper article entitled “Detectives with marketing” , in case I might have missed it. A short piece referring to the book Marco recently co-wrote about the alleged charity conspiracy, it makes the point that the book “is another step in the direction of incorporating marketing into the business of private investigation”.

When I ask what’s wrong with a business marketing itself, my question elicits a long sigh. Suddenly I can see that underlying much of the rancour M-3’s rivals feel towards it is a sense that they are not “old-school gumshoes” working in the shadows. One of their criticisms of Marco is that “he doesn’t know much about the street. He’s good at theory. He’s like a manager, always dressed up in a suit and tie”.

So he has a team of others to do the legwork, I argue. Another long sigh. “Not as many as he claims,” comes the response. On this point, all those I speak to agree. None believes M-3’s claims that it has 40 people working on the hunt for Madeleine, since the maximum number M-3 employs in its Barcelona office, they believe, is a dozen, with another few in its Madrid branch.

But again, I point out, it could have any number of operatives working for it in other countries, namely Portugal and Morocco.

My comment draws a weary smile. Metodo 3 company records for the six years up to 2005 appear to show a decline in the number of permanent employees listed – from 26 in 1999 to just 12 in 2005 – although there could be some accounting explanation for this.

Perhaps the most worrying of the detectives’ concerns is the consistent complaint that M-3 is using its involvement in the search for Madeleine to raise its profile and that Marco’s statements about how close he is to finding the child could be seriously prejudicing attempts to find out the truth. “If the agency fails to solve the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance, that failure will be forgotten in a few years,” said one. “But M-3 will be famous and, ultimately, that is what they want.”

“They are making us look ridiculous,” says another detective. “The English are looking at us and laughing and we are very worried, very upset about it. They [M-3] are denigrating the ethics of our profession.”

To seek guidance on how private detectives are expected to behave, I visit the president of Catalonia’s College of Private Detectives: Jose Maria Fernandez Abril. After making the point that he is unable to speak about any individual member of his professional association, he proceeds to carefully read me a statement that begins: “Following the media impact of affairs in which detectives belonging to the college are involved…” It clearly echoes the concerns that others I have spoken to voice about the conduct of Metodo 3.

“No general conclusions should be drawn about the profession from the actions of any individual,” Abril reads, before helpfully explaining that this means: “You can’t go around saying you are the best in the world, implying that everyone else is somehow worse.”

More importantly, there are repeated references to how members are obliged to comply with the college’s strict code of conduct, which includes: not stating with certainty the result of an investigation and not revealing information about an investigation without agreeing it first with the client.

In other words, if M-3 was to argue that announcing just when it believed it would find Madeleine would help its investigation, the announcement should have been cleared with the McCanns. Given the deep dismay Gerry McCann is reported to have expressed over Marco’s comments about how close the agency was to finding his daughter’s kidnappers and about her being reunited with her family for Christmas, it seems unlikely any agreement over such statements was ever made.

As I leave, Abril informs me that the college has in recent years organised an annual “Night of the Detectives” supper. This year it will be held in March. He invites me to attend. At the supper, various prizes are presented. Among them is one for the fiction author they believe has contributed most to the public understanding of investigative work. This year they have awarded the prize to Dan Brown, author of the worldwide bestseller The Da Vinci Code.

They are a little hurt that he has not replied to, or even acknowledged, their invitation to attend.All this could be almost funny if I were not constantly aware that the reason I have come to Barcelona is because an exhausted little girl enjoying a family holiday went to sleep in pink pyjamas alongside her twin brother and sister on the night of May 3 last year, then disappeared. The anguish and desperation of her parents account for the Spanish detective-agency’s lucrative contract. The boasting and apparent false hopes fed to them by Marco could yet prove to be his downfall.




Hi 2345

Don't worry, these hoaxes are such a nuisance, they fool lots of people. The best advice I can give, as docmac wrote too, use Google -m if you ever get a 'warning' asking you to pass something on to all your friends - it will be a hoax. I don't do hoaxes, warnings of any sort, chain letters - they all go in the bin. My son is a computer security expert so I've been trained by one of the best. Lol.



SueB said...

This hasn't got as much spin as the Expresso!

Kate and Gerry McCann plan appeal to get their names cleared

Kate and Gerry McCann are planning a formal appeal to be cleared as suspects over missing daughter Madeleine, it was revealed yesterday.

Lawyers for the couple, both 39, in Portugal and Britain, held talks to decide the timing of an application to lift their "arguido" status.

The legal team discussed if the comment by police chief Alipio Ribeiro that cops had been "hasty" to make the McCanns suspects, could form the basis of an appeal. Last night their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "It is verging on the inhumane to keep two parents as suspects indefinitely."

A family friend said: Kate and Gerry know they had nothing to do Madeleine's disappearance and it's time the police acknowledged that there is no evidence against them."

Madeleine, four, vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz last May.
Source: Mirror

22.16 hrs


leigh3 said...

And finally...
What a useful time for politicians to see the public obsess over the fate of one missing English girl born into a spoilt brat family when the economy is falling off a cliff.

Soothing or evading concerns over Madeleine is easy for politicians and media moguls compared to answering tougher questions about economic and financial mismanagement on a scale that will impoverish and hurt millions of children. I hope the guilty will be held to account, not just in Madeleine's case.
Just a thought.

Ironside said...

Diplomat's secret file that raises fears about her parents
The Express 03 December 2007; Nick Fagge
Full Text:
Copyright 2007 Express Newspapers plc, Source: The Financial Times Limited

A BRITISH diplomat warned the Foreign Office of concerns regarding Madeleine McCann's parents, it emerged last night.

Doubts about Kate and Gerry McCann were raised almost immediately by an official sent to Praia da Luz due to what he considered to be "inconsistencies" in the couple's testimonies about the night the four-year-old vanished.

The warning was contained in a classified document sent from the Algarve to the Foreign Office days after Madeleine's disappearance.

Details of the letter have been leaked through the British diplomatic mission in Brussels to the respected Belgian newspaper Derniere Heure.

The unnamed diplomat voices his concern about the "confused declarations" as to the whereabouts of Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends in the final hours before Madeleine's disappearance.

He also mentions the couple's "lack of co-operation" with the Portuguese police in the light of instructions from London suggesting consular staff "overstretch their authority and put pressure on the Portuguese authorities".

The document also asks for confirmation of orders sent by the Foreign Office in London the day before, commanding embassy staff to give "all possible assistance to the McCann couple".

Diplomats on the Algarve were told the McCanns had to be "accompanied at all times during any contact with the Portuguese police" by a member of consular staff or by British police officers sent out from the UK.

The letter, sent just days after Madeleine disappeared, warns of the risks of siding with the McCanns so completely.

Excerpts published in a report by La Derniere Heure quote the diplomat as saying: "With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple.

"Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous message." A huge team of diplomats have been involved in the case since Gerry McCann asked the Foreign Office for help.

In an unprecedented move, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair despatched special envoy Sheree Dodd, a former Fleet Street journalist, to Portugal to act as a "media liaison officer" for the McCann family.

Direct government communications with the McCanns came to an abrupt halt, however, when the couple were made official suspects in the case in September.

Portuguese detectives believe it is possible Madeleine died as the result of an accident on May 3 in the family's holiday apartment and that her parents hid and later disposed of her body with the help of their friends.

The couple have always said they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance.

The Belgian report says it is highly significant that almost all of the diplomats involved at the outset have now been taken off the case.

Special envoy Sheree Dodd has since resigned from the Foreign Office, the British consul in the Algarve Bill Henderson has retired and the British ambassador to Portugal John Buck is no longer in Portugal.

Last night the Foreign Office refused to comment on the report."

Taken from the 3A's

leigh3 said...

Buenos Noches, Don Ironside.
Excellent post and reminder from you, I think. British diplomatic staff have move on, in one way or another. Civil servants serve the State and the public which survives far beyond the life of any political group.
Gordon, Clarry and media mechanics: beware. You are mere trivia in the march of time.

Adios, Don Ironside. See you next time, chico.

Irina said...

Hello all, great posts today.
Re: Expresso.
There is no such article in Expresso which is claimed to be by British press. Checked myself and see Alsabella comments on DX forum. The article is about Riberio statement is very short and nothing about lack of evidence or clearing parents.
The confusion is coming from Joana Morais site where citations are given in the article:
Is the PJ going to shelve the Madeleine case? - From different sources including Expresso, all quotes are old.
That was taken by Clara and presented as Expresso article.

felicity said...

Hiya Sue B

Thanks for The Times article - that really was good journalism - what a nice change! I found myself completely engrossed in it…..

Marco ..arrogant, liar, egotistical, money oriented….another Gerry clone just like The Pink Shirted One. Why did he get the job:

Because we were the only ones who proposed a coherent hypothesis about the disappearance of their daughter,” and he cried with rage when investigating how paedophiles operate on the internet..could not find his ~~PhD research paper….ummm

So he knows nothing about paedophiles but his suggestion to Gerry that this is what MUST have happened to Maddie was like music to Gerry's ears and Gerry's promise of huge fees, fame and fortune was like music to Marco's ears. What an insidious couple of ******ds (!)

The Times article ..not exactly pro-McCann seems to be very much at odds with the timing of the Telegraph article…misquoting and spinning..

Viv 23.15

I am going to answer some more now :-) re the Petition etc. IT WILL BE DONE!

felicity said...

Hiya all

Leigh, Ironside and others - thanks for support and suggestions re petition - I will have a look and try and draft something tomorrow.

I feel really tired already. As soon as the spring draws near I seem to need to go bed early and get up earlier.

I have really enjoyed the posts on here again tonight and whilst just generally reading around the current situation have just been reading the DE as well ...only to find that foul pervert Rosiepops is at it again....using the Paynes and Bulgers to try and compare them to the McCanns. There is no comparison and why should these families be dragged into the press by her ? Have they not suffered enough - Mandz also done it the other night. They all sing from the same sickening hymn sheet..If they have to stoop this low that cannot be that confident they actually are going to get away with it! " I do not think James Bulger's mother cares for statistics too much".. sanctimonious witch! The same one who compared us to Hitler the same one who stated Sudanese people go around chopping people's heads off with machetes etc - just how can the Daily Express allow this sick, perverted person to continue writing all this?

Viv x

Statistics are tiny? *Not* non existent. The statistics for stranger abduction would have also been roughly the same for Sarah Payne, yet she was abducted by a stranger.

What were the odds for the abduction of Jamie Bulger? What was the precedent for the abduction by minors of a minor? In fact the only other I can think of off hand was the case of Mary Bell.
The statistics were not just tiny in this case they were virtually non existent,*but it still happened* I do not think that Jamie Bulger's mother cares for statistics too much, or the parents of Sarah Payne

lizzy said...

Hi Viv,
I think the petition is a great idea, and also the emails to the PJ...Lizzy 23.54pm

felicity said...

Thanks Lizzie

You can just do an email google 10 downing street.

Nite nite darling x Too tired tonight!

Anonymous said...

Hello Viv,

I agree with your comments to Alsabella on her blog. May I also suggest we lobby Scotland Yard - ministers are answerable to them for any interference or hindrance in criminal proceedings. Any suspected attempts to pervert the cause of justice is a matter for the Police at the highest level.
They are obliged to investigate minister(s) malpractice. It's only 'the squeaky gate which gets the oil' - public backlash will be acted upon. I've e-mailed PJ once and will do again today. 2345 (JAB)8.25 a.m.

SueB said...

Morning all - another sunny one. This is from the 3As... to cheer Viv up!


So much shite in the papers this week. Only a couple of days ago we were given this from Derniere Heure:

'Case Maddie: McCann retain their status as "suspects" '

LISBON Parents of small Madeleine MCann, placed under investigation in Portugal in September, until further notice retain their status as "suspects" (arguidos) in the investigation, it was learned Wednesday from the prosecutor's office.

Sunday, the director of the Portuguese judicial police Alipio Ribeiro had acknowledged "some haste" in the investigation of Kate and Gerry McCann, and the same evening, a spokesman for the couple, Clarence Mitchell, had "urged the authorities Portuguese judicial act in a humane manner and to lift the status arguido (suspect, ndlr) at the earliest possible date ".

"The Prosecutor General has no comment on the statement by the National Director of the PJ. Legal status of the child's parents will be reassessed in a timely manner," said Wednesday at the AFP Ana Lima, refusing to comment further.

The statements by the head of the PJ aroused controversy in Portugal and a malaise in the ranks of the police, according to the Portuguese press.

The president of the union of Magistracy, Antonio Cluny, in particular felt "this way to comment on ongoing proceedings (...) extremely worrying".

On Wednesday, Justice Minister Alberto Costa has, however, reaffirmed its confidence in Mr. Ribeiro: "the fact that the national director of the PJ is always in use any means what I think on this subject," said the minister, interviewed by the agency Lusa.

Since the demise of the small "Maddie" May 3 in Praia da Luz (southern Portugal), three people were placed under investigation, including, in addition to his parents, a Briton living in Portugal, Robert Murat. No formal charges being brought has so far been pronounced against them.



And it's pointed out that there is a named source in this report - 'the Prosecutor's office' - unlike the latest articles which weakly bleat 'reports say' - meaning who...?!



Ironside said...

Here's what's on the front page of today's Expresso:

PJ lack evidence against the McCanns

Alípio Ribeiro's comments may have made waves. But the case is ready to be shelved. All depends on the answers from Maddie's parents

Under the new Penal Code it would not be compulsory to make the McCanns arguidos

Júdice [former President of the Bar Association] says Alípio Ribeiro is preparing the general public for the failure of the investigation

The Polícia Judiciária has no evidence or any leads against the McCanns. The couple will only remain arguidos in the case if the responses to the letters of request, which were sent to Britain this week, reveal any striking contradictions to previous statements.

Despite the fact that the team investigating Maddie's disappearance has been the same since the beginning (lead in the field by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida and Inspector João Carlos Pereira), with only the coordinator Gonçalo Amaral being replaced by Paulo Rebelo, there have been no developments in the PJ's lines of investigation. The case has been reviewed by homicide specialists, but without results.

Judicial analysts affirm that the recent comments made by Alípio Ribeiro were preparing the general public for the shelving of the case.

Ironside said...

Alsabella, There seems to be some confusion on the3A's...when you have sometime could you please explain ....are PJ thinking of shelving this case or is it a bunch of hog wash....

Anonymous said...

It was reported on the 3As that 'Hello' magazine did a big article on the McCanns and the twins' birthday.

Some wag posted this link:




felicity said...

Morning Ironside and Sue

It is another fabulous spring like morning here!

I think I am beginning to get the picture!

I read that the two London lawyers just had a video conference with the two Portuguese lawyers to consider a way they can get McCann arguido status removed.

The quote in the above further article from Expresso states their source is the former head of the bar. In other words a very senior lawyer..I understand one of the McCanns Portuguese lawyers is current head of the bar. So here, I think, in a Portuguese newspaper for a change, we see some McCann spin perpetuated by their lawyer...just after they have this conference.

There is no way they can get the PJ to actually drop the case and so resort to unsettling comments put in the press e.g. the PJ have no evidence and will drop the case unless there is compelling ocntradiction when the further interviews take place. This is not true..particularly when one considers the source of the remark and that the prosecution/police version is printed in all other Portuguese newspapers...the correct version. They believe the McCanns are guilty and their status will be reviewed at the correct time following the further interviews. This is clearly NOT saying there is no evidence or that the case will be shelved..there is collaboration in just one Portuguese newspaper with the spin going on in many British papers.

Meanwhile The Times launch a major counter offensive with a very damning article against M3 and them being the only agency that told Gerry McCann what he wanted to hear..that his daughter had obviously been taken by paedophiles. Hats off to The Times - what a major counter-offensive.

I am feeling much happier about it now that I have worked it out and thanks to you all for helping me to get there!

Luv Viv x

felicity said...

oh and the time is 9.52 am on a lovely bright Sunday morning and my confidence in the PJ being able to bring justice for Maddie in spite of the spin is renewed:-)

Viv x

Ironside said...


Alsabella can you translate and give the gist ,this is when O'Brian was also a suspect....I understand a little,but not enough..

Anonymous said...

Leigh 3 - I totally support your views in your 22.20 post. The public has the right and power to act and petition.

Viv, irini, Ironside & All - thank you for work, articles and invaluable information. Time to stand in line and take the bull by the horns !! 2345 9JAB) 10.05 a.m.