31 Mar 2008


The above pic emailed to me by a friend was apparently taken on 19 May, just sixteen days after Madeleine disappeared. One might query what Gerry is laughing so happily about? I do not know what others think but the one child in the pushchair does not look like Sean or Amelie and I cannot imagine why Kate is fiddling with the hair of the sleeping child, other than her picture was being taken? Does anyone know who this child is?

In the video below from BBC news it is confirmed the PJ will arrive next Monday and will sit in on interviews to commence on Tuesday. Not just the TAPAS 7 will be "quizzed again" but also relatives and advisers who were with the McCanns in PDL at the time will also be interviewed. This is therefore a major evidence gathering exercise and it is understood even Dr Rebelo will be among the small group of detectives who come to the UK.

It states the McCanns friends gave the police a timeline of events and now the police want to go over that evidence again.

Jane Tanner is stated to be a key witness who needs to be re-interviewed and the video has a short clip of her remarks from Panorama included.

It stresses that at this stage there are no plans to re-interview Kate and Gerry McCann but they do of course remain Arguidos FOLLOWING RECOVERY OF FORENSIC SAMPLES FROM THEIR HIRE CAR AND APARTMENT AFTER MADELEINE'S DISAPPEARANCE. Significantly, also, no mention is made of Murat, whatsoever.
So everything the Mechanics have been telling us is false. WE will all recall ~Rosiepops insisting the PJ are not coming back, there is no forensic evidence and Murat she insisted should be re-interviewed with endless writing on her blog of his "guilt". I wish Mr Murat a lot of nice compensation money for their wicked libel against him perpetuating the lies of the McCanns friends about him.

As the article dated January from the Daily Express below confirms the McCanns have been expecting this and feel they will be charged. Well at least I agree with them about that!
Viv x
MADELEINE: MCCANNS FEAR CHARGES SOON DEMANDS: Police want Kate's diary Wednesday January 9,2008 By David Pilditch Have your say(1118) KATE and Gerry McCann fear they will be charged over daughter Madeleine’s disappearance as Portuguese police begin the final phase of their bid to put the couple on trial.Sources close to the couple yesterday said they feared that after months of apparent inactivity, the investigation had developed a new momentum which appeared to be directed solely at proving the McCanns are guilty.A formal request demanding fresh interrogations and the seizure of Kate’s diary and Madeleine’s Cuddle Cat toy was sent from the prosecutors office on the Algarve on Monday and will be immediately served on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.She will then pass it to Leicestershire police – possibly as early as tomorrow. A source close to the family yesterday revealed: “Kate and Gerry insist they are innocent but they fear they will be charged.“Naturally Kate and Gerry are concerned that if this line of inquiry continues to its natural conclusion, charges are always a possibility and they know that’s entirely wrong.”He added: “The Portuguese police seem to be blinkered in their approach and it feels like they want to find the McCanns guilty regardless.” The Portuguese dossier contains up to 100 questions that detectives want answered by the McCanns and their friends they had dinner with – known as the Tapas Nine – on May 3 last year, the night Madeleine vanished. Leaks claim police have identified a number of “inconsistencies” among their statements and it has been claimed two of the group Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien want to change their accounts – something the pair have denied. Portuguese detectives will fly to the UK in the coming days to sit in on the interviews which will be carried out by officers from Leicestershire police. for: Investigators also believe entries in Kate’s diary – in which she allegedly revealed how she was struggling to cope with her three hyperactive children – prove she killed her daughter.Police sources on the investigation are reported to have revealed that blood found in Kate and Gerry’s flat and hire car has been confirmed as belonging to their missing daughter.They said fresh tests prove the parents were involved in her death and the disposal of her body.

30 Mar 2008

Kate McCann her Story 5 August 2007

Kate McCann: My Story
::: What really happened the night Madeleine vanished::: Why her last words to me mean so much::: How my twins are coping without their big sister
Related Articles
Kate McCann says she may never return to the family home as police examine suspect's garden
Hi All

What do you all think of Kate's story back in August? I have my own thoughts but would be very interested to read others...What was her motivation for speaking out for the first time, alone? Why did she want it distributed to all the Sunday newspapers?

Viv x

The Independent
Sunday, 5 August 2007

Mrs McCann, speaking in an interview that she asked should be distributed to all Sunday newspapers, also tells what really happened when she discovered that her daughter was missing, how her twins are coping without their sister, and why she may never want to return to the family home again. She also takes time to answer those who have criticised her for leaving the children alone.
Meanwhile, as her story is published, Belgian police were awaiting results of DNA tests done on a straw and drinks bottle which were used by a girl spotted in a restaurant in the Flemish town of Tongeren.

On Saturday, it will be 100 days since Madeleine McCann was snatched from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. Interviewed for the first time without her husband, Madeleine's mother tells Lori Campbell about the criticism they have faced, the support they have received and how she and her family have coped since that dreadful night
The one thing I have always been definite about is that I wanted to be a mother. Then when we were trying for a baby and it wasn't happening, it was really hard. The longer it went on, the harder it was. I saw my friends having children and I was really delighted for them, but it made me feel sad too.
We tried unsuccessfully for several years to conceive. There came a point when we admitted we needed help. I was so desperate to have a child I'd try anything. I know IVF isn't everyone's choice, but I wanted to try it. By that stage I was happy to start the treatment because it was taking the pressure off us a bit. We had one unsuccessful attempt before Madeleine, and that was very hard. But when I got pregnant with Madeleine it was just fantastic. It didn't seem true. I did a test at home so I could handle the result if it wasn't good. I was looking at it thinking 'I don't believe that'. Then I went to the hospital and they checked it. I was really excited.
Madeleine's birth
Once we were past 12 weeks we were telling everyone. I swam every day until the day she was born to keep us both healthy. It was a really uncomplicated pregnancy. I had no sickness, nothing. It was so easy. I didn't know I was having a girl until she was born. [She smiles] There she was, perfect. She was lovely. She had the most beautiful face. I'd thought I was going to have a boy, just based on instinct. That actually made it even more special that she was a girl.
The first five or six months were really difficult. She had very bad colic and cried about 18 hours a day. She had to be picked up all the time. So I spent many a day dancing round the living room holding Madeleine. I remember trying to butter my toast with one hand and holding her in the other. We would watch the clock and Gerry would come home and there would be three of us. Sometimes she just looked so sad with colic, and the three of us would be cuddled together trying to get her through it. Like a lot of things, you go through that difficult, bad stage and it tightens that bond. We've both got an incredible bond with Madeleine.
The twins are born
When the twins were born she was amazing, I keep saying that, but she was. She was only 20 months old. She just handled it so well. She was still a baby herself ... [Kate's voice breaks and she has to pause to stop herself crying] I'll try not to get emotional at this point. I just remember when they were born. I'm going to get a bit upset now, sorry. When the time came to bring Madeleine in, it was in the evening. She came in and ... just her little face. When she saw the twins for the first time it was lovely. It was so nice, this expression. She sat on the end of my bed.
We had the odd moment of course, such as when I was breast-feeding the twins. There was a tired Madeleine walking about the room wanting attention. But she was remarkable the way she coped with it all. She would look at me and say 'hold it, hold it,' meaning she wanted to hold one of the babies."
Holiday in Portugal
She was so excited about coming to Portugal. She was holding on to another girl's hand walking up the stairs to the plane. She was no trouble on the flight, always chatting, and colouring in or reading.
The kids had a fantastic time. We all did, but it was lovely seeing them having fun. We did use the kids' club and very often did activities there. Madeleine in particular had a ball. They did swimming, went on a little boat, went to the beach, did lots of colouring in and face painting. Madeleine is at the age where she could really enjoy it.
They played tennis, which she loved, she was so happy. They had a little dance prepared for Friday. It was a little presentation they were working on in the days before. I don't know what it was, I never got to see it ...
On the evening she went missing, before she went to bed, she said, 'Mummy I've had the best day ever. I'm having lots and lots of fun.' [Pause]
That night
The night she went missing there was about 20 seconds of disbelief where I thought 'that can't be right'. I was checking for her. Then there was panic and fear. That was the first thing that hit. I was screaming her name. I ran to the group. Everyone was the same. It was just total fear. I never thought for one second that she'd walked out. I knew someone had been in the apartment because of the way it had been left.
But I knew she wouldn't do that anyway. There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken. That's why the fear set in. Then you go through the guilt phase. Straight away, because we didn't know what had happened. We were just so desperately sorry. Every hour now, I still question, 'why did I think that was safe?'
I can't describe how much I love Madeleine. If I'd had to think for one second, 'should we have dinner and leave them?' I wouldn't have done it. It didn't happen like that. I didn't have to think for a second, that's how safe I felt.
Maybe it was because it was family-friendly, because it felt so safe. That week we had left them alone while we had dinner. There is no way on this planet I would take a risk, no matter how small, with my children. I do say to myself 'why did I think it was safe?' But it did feel safe and so right. I love her and I'm a totally responsible parent and that's the only thing that keeps me going. I have no doubt about that.
You don't expect a predator to break in and take your daughter out the bed. It could have happened under other circumstances and there would still be the regret. It wasn't like a decision we made. It was a matter of 'let's get the kids to sleep, then we'll have dinner.' It wasn't a 'shall I, shan't I?' thing. I feel desperately sorry to her that we weren't there.
This has touched so many people. I've had so many letters from mothers, really kind words. People have said 'Kate, we've done this a hundred times over ourselves. Why would you for one minute think something like that would happen?' It's not like we went down town or anything.
How did it happen?
People have said to me you're the unluckiest person in the world, and we are. That night runs over and over in my mind, and I'm sure people will learn from our mistake, if you want to call it that. But it is important not to lose sight of the fact we haven't committed a crime. Somebody has. Somebody's been there, somebody's been watching. They took our daughter away and we can't lose sight of that.
There are still moments where I think 'how did that happen?' You can't imagine in your wildest dreams that anyone would do something like that. It's awful for us but I have absolutely no idea what Madeleine's feeling. [She pauses to hold back tears] How can someone do that to a child?
When we moved apartments we unpacked some of Madeleine's things. We don't have a room for her set out or anything. I've kept her clothes together. She has lots of presents to open that people have sent. Mostly people who don't know her, and pictures other children have drawn.
The twins know she's not there and they do miss her. But on a day-to-day basis they are happy. They're lovely, like a little double act, they're so funny. They put their little rucksacks on, hold hands and walk off around the room. They're fantastic.
The twins' reaction
Their vocabulary has come on so much since we've been here. The older they get the more it stretches, and there are areas we're going to have to broach. But we'll let them take the lead. They talk about Madeleine's things and if they get a biscuit they say 'one for Sean, one for Amelie, one for Madeleine'.
There are photographs of Madeleine all around and they comment on them. They've got a lot of love and protection. We've taken professional advice just to check we're doing the right thing by them. We have contact with a child psychologist when we need it.
When we went back to the UK for a family baptism there was an empty seat on the plane and Sean said 'that's Madeleine's seat'. That caught me. Because I wasn't going home, it didn't feel too bad leaving. It was important for me to go. The hardest thing wasn't being in the UK, it was to be with such a close family and for Madeleine not to be there. I knew how much she'd have loved to be there ... Despite her small size she just has this huge presence. She brings a lot of joy.
Amelie asked me afterwards, 'Where's Madeleine? I miss my big sister.' I don't know where that question came from, it could have been because it was a family day. She's obviously made that connection, she knows Madeleine's her big sister. Amelie will sometimes point at the Cuddle Cat [Madeleine's cuddly toy] and say 'Madeleine. Her Cuddle Cat. Looking after it.' She's probably heard me saying that.
Sean said something the other day about Madeleine. It catches me. Then they do whatever they're doing, like 'look at this Noddy', and they're on to something else. It's not dwelled on.
Gerry's reaction
Gerry's way of coping is to keep busy and focused. He needs to feel like he's doing something. He's a very optimistic, positive person. I'm not always. With a lot of the campaign stuff, he has done the talking. Sometimes I want to speak, but I just can't. It's not natural for me. Gerry's used to having to speak at conferences and it's harder for me. But I'm equally involved. Every decision is mutual.
When Gerry went to Washington, he rang me three or four times a day to ask me what I thought. Although I wasn't there in person I knew hour by hour what was happening. We knew it was a positive visit. It wasn't about Madeleine in particular. We've learnt a lot and become aware of the bigger issue.
Other missing children
There are so many missing children out there, abducted children and sexually exploited children. Once you know all that you can't turn a blind eye to it. Madeleine is our priority, but we have to help. We can't just ignore those other children.
I don't know why the publicity's been so massive. We're normal people. We don't have amazing contacts or anything, we just have strong friends. Everyone brainstormed and became very creative. They did what they could and if that meant asking well-known faces, celebrities, it was done. They are normal people too. They wanted to help.
I still have moments of panic and fear. It's not as intense and unrelenting as the first five days. Now, obviously, we have hope and it's important to hold on to that. I do go back to those dark moments. It would be abnormal never to touch on them. I do feel panic and fear when I'm thinking about her, but it doesn't help. I'm not helping Madeleine by going there. It's important to channel those emotions into something positive.
Returning home
But I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to go back into our family home. I can't bear the thought of it. We'd lived in that house for a year and it was a really happy family home. We have so many happy memories in that house. Madeleine's room is shocking pink. She chose the colour.
Obviously things change as the weeks and months go by. We haven't got the pressure of Sean and Amelie starting school or anything. At the moment we're staying and we feel happier staying. We are closer to the investigation. Some of that might be mad, I don't know. We don't know where Madeleine is, we don't think she's in the UK but there's nothing to say she's any further from there than she is from here. It's a gut feeling. I'm aware there's probably things that would be easier at home, but at the moment this is the right thing for us.
And it's hard to think about work. I'm not looking too far ahead, but I can't drop the campaign, I know that. I can't turn a blind eye to it. We'll do whatever we can, working with other organisations, to try to make a difference. It's so hard not to get involved, it's so intimate to us now that we can't ignore it. It's not like I go round in a bubble, but I honestly did not realise the scale of this problem, children suffering like this.
The public's reaction
The criticism from the public is hurtful. I hate publicity, interviews, anything like that. I just hate it. When things have happened in the past to children I've wondered 'how do you get through that, how can you even live another day?' Then here we were doing press conferences. You just don't know until you're in that situation. Like this morning: how did I get in the shower, have my breakfast?
I just go through the motions. Any parent would do anything they could for their child. We're just doing what we feel is the best thing for Madeleine. Some people say the publicity will be harmful, that she'll be hidden away because of it. But what can you do, just sit and do nothing? It's difficult. It's awkward. But it's not about me, it's not about Gerry, it's about Madeleine.
As a couple, I think we're stronger than ever. We've got an equal partnership. We don't row, we've never rowed. We have different strengths and have reached different stages at different points but we help each other. We haven't talked about staying here for ever, we're just not looking that far ahead. We've had so much support, mothers can empathise with me. Speaking now, on my own, is a way of saying thank you. They've given a bit of themselves to me.
[Next Saturday will mark 100 days since Madeleine's disappearance] I'm still hoping we're not going to get there. Every day I'm hoping we won't get to the next day without her. But we have to keep going for Madeleine.
If I could say one thing to comfort her it's that we love her. She knows we love her very much. She knows we're looking for her, that we're doing absolutely everything and we'll never give up.

29 Mar 2008


Morning all, on reading posts this morning I think it was Niki from Greece who flagged up this really useful article in aiding a gap in our understanding. I have always thought but never been certain that after giving £100,000 to the McCanns for legal advice, Mr Branson then withdrew his support. This article confirms that is indeed what happened and that others including Justice McGuiness also immediately withdrew on being made aware of the very serious police case against the McCanns. I think we should be considerining this now in terms of the McCanns attempts over recent months to either sue someone or sign up to a lucrative film or television deal. IMO the reasons for this were simple, to fund the legal costs they need to fight the very serious criminal charges they know full well they are going to have to face. This is how they seek to "find Madeleine".

Viv x

Madeleine McCann: Tycoons withdraw supportBy Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 2:31am BST 17/09/2007
Page 1 of 3
Two millionaire businessmen who gave money to help find Madeleine McCann refused today to contribute to the legal fight to clear her parents' name.
A mother's diary of love What the police want
Madeleine McCann: Police seize mother's diary
The couple's official spokeswoman, Justine McGuinness, has also decided to step down, it emerged this afternoon. Exhaustion, and the McCanns' need for a PR adviser with more legal experience, are said to be behind her decision.

Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann, 39, have hired top lawyers in Britain and Portugal after they were named official suspects in their daughter's disappearance.
Detectives believe Mrs McCann may have accidentally killed her daughter and relied on her husband to help cover up the crime. Although the couple insist the claims are baseless, the cost of trying to clear the "cloud of suspicion" is expected to run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Although the fighting fund set up to find Madeleine has raised more than £1 million, the trustees said the couple - who did not want to take the money anyway - would not be able to make use of the funds.
One entrepreneur, who refused to be named because of the delicate nature of the case, has given his backing in the past.
But today he told the Evening Standard: "I am not going to contribute any more. It is a difficult issue and it is not something I propose to get engaged in.
"It is the most confusing scenario anybody has ever seen. I am not judge and jury and I hope what I am reading is wrong. I have not yet been approached [a second time] but I wouldn't put any money in.
"If they can turn the tide in some form maybe there will be loads of backers. But right now this does not look a good place to go."
A number of well known figures have publicly supported the McCanns including JK Rowling, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, Topshop owner Philip Green and EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
A second wealthy businessman, who has given £100,000 to the fund, said: "We won't be pledging any more right now.
"I don't think that at the moment we would allow the money to be swapped to cover defence costs, but this is a difficult position and a very sensitive issue." The McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire, returned to the UK on Sunday, 48 hours after being declared suspects by Portuguese police.
Ms McGuinness, the McCanns' spokeswoman, is expected to step down this weekend if a replacement can be found in time.
The Media Guardian website is reporting that the couple are looking for a "big hitter" to work as their full-time PR representative as the investigation into their daughter's disappearance enters a new phase.
Phil Hall, the former News of the World and Hello! editor, who has been acting as a consultant to the McCanns in recent months, is thought to be the leading contender.
Madeleine McCann: Tycoons withdraw supportBy Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 2:31am BST 17/09/2007
Page 2 of 3
The world's leading expert in DNA cast doubt on a key facet of the alleged forensic evidence against Kate and Gerry McCann last night as he offered to act as an expert witness for the couple.
Sir Alec Jeffreys, who invented DNA fingerprinting, said a match did not necessarily demonstrate a person's guilt or innocence.
It follows claims that DNA samples matched to Madeleine had been found in her parents' hire car and holiday apartment. Sources said the traces were being treated by Portuguese detectives as strong evidence that Madeleine's body was placed in the car.

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However, Sir Alec told BBC's Newsnight programme: "There are no genetic characters in Madeleine that are not found in at least one other member of the family.
"So then you have an incomplete DNA profile that could raise a potential problem in assigning a profile to Madeleine given that all other members of that family would have been in that car."
Sir Alec, 57, added: "DNA testing seeks to establish whether DNA sample A from a crime scene came or did not come from individual B.
"So if you get a match there's very strong evidence that it did come from B. It is then up to investigators, the courts and all the rest of it to work out whether that connection is relevant or not.
"So DNA doesn't have the words innocence or guilt in it - that is a legal concept. What it seeks to establish is connections and identifications."
Off-camera, Sir Alec said he was prepared to act as a witness for the McCanns.
His caution came as a leading genetics expert also called into question the value of DNA evidence in its own right. Dr Paul Debenham, a member of the advisory body the Human Genetics Commission, said there could be legitimate reasons as to how DNA from Madeleine found its way into the hire car.
Prosecutors would need to establish that it got there as part of a criminal process and not through chance contact, he said.
Dr Debenham said: "With the current highly sensitive DNA methodologies we can deposit DNA as a trace amount just from contact with a fabric. And that fabric can touch another surface where the DNA is passed on.
"So there is a situation where there is a legitimate or a possible explanation as to how the DNA got on the back seat despite the individual not being there, but through some legitimate transfer of garments, clothes or soft toy.
"It questions the value of that particular evidence in interpreting what happened."
The development came as it emerged that Portuguese prosecutors have applied for Gerry McCann's laptop and his wife's personal diary to be handed over to the authorities investigating their daughter's disappearance.
Madeleine McCann: Tycoons withdraw supportBy Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz
Last Updated: 2:31am BST 17/09/2007
Page 3 of 3
Detectives in the Algarve are particularly keen to track emails sent by Mr McCann, a cardiologist, from the computer he used while in Portugal to keep an almost daily blog on the campaign to find Madeleine.
An urgent application for access to the personal artefacts was made by public prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses to a judge in Portimao yesterday.
Philomena McCann, Mr McCann's sister, said she advised her sister-in-law to keep the diary to show Madeleine how much they loved her.

She told The Sun: " I said to Kate that it would be a good idea if someone wrote down, for Madeleine, notes on everything that was happening, because we have to prove to Madeleine how much we looked for her and how much we love her.
"That wee girl will be thinking, 'They're not looking for me. My mummy, daddy and my aunties - they don't love me because they can't find me'.
"I was just thinking about how insecure Madeleine would be, so Kate has been keeping that journal faithfully every day.
"She's been writing down everything that we've been doing so we can prove to Madeleine that we have worked so hard to try and find her, that we've put our lives on hold to search for her and show our love for her is unending."
Gerry's brother John McCann said last night that his brother believed the Portuguese police had "gone up a cul-de-sac".
He told BBC's The One Show: "Gerry keeps telling me that they have gone up a cul-de-sac and have lost track of what they should really be doing."
Asked whether the fact the case was being dealt with at such a high level in Portugal gave him confidence, he said: "It does and it doesn't. There is data out there, there's all these leaks.
"There is so much speculation going on as to what the actual information the Portuguese police have.
"If they have got something that suggests Madeleine really is dead then for goodness sake tell the family who have the strongest feeling for this."

28 Mar 2008


When hearing the judgment of the Greek Court in this case that this man was not guilty of any unlawful act because he was insane after just a one and a half day hearing, I did feel very shocked and felt immense sorrow for the mother.

British subjects who kill abroad are subject to our own jurisdiction to try them for those acts. What is unual here is that he has already been tried abroad but certainly, on the basis of our own law this was a mistrial. It is unheard of in UK to have such a short hearing into such a serious case without hearing properly from live witnesses.

At the Coroner's inquest in the UK the Coroner has now ruled that he pushed the children off and that was an unlawful act. He was arguing with his wife and from the witness account placed the children in front of the guard rail and then moved forward again and pushed them off. This sounds like deliberate murder to me. If he was psychotic, and I am not clear that he was, as opposed to be in a furious rage where he thought he would punish the wife in the most macabre way, then under UK law he would have been entitled to the defence of "dimished responsibility" to the charge of murder, on the basis that he was so ill at the time, he just did not understand the nature and quality of his act. However, this would not mean that he was "not guilty". It would mean instead that he would be guilty of manslaughter because diminished responsibility merely reduced the culpability of the accused, it does not say there was no unlawful act. Plainly there was. This would then entitle him to treatment in a secure hospital prior to serving the remainder of his sentence in prison. Unlike murder where the offender gets an automatic life sentence, the sentence would be considered on the basis of the danger he presented, therefore given the circumstances he would probably still have received a life sentence and be kept in custdody until the risk he presented was considered to be substantially reduced.

It is simply not reasonable that a man who has committed such a serious offence simply gets a few months psychiatric treatment and is then allowed home. No wonder this woman feels that justice has not been secured and that he is still a danger, he is!

It seems that we may now persuade the Greek authorities that this was a mistrial or if not, then we could place him on trial in the UK. I applaud the Coroner for making an appropriate judgment here that must give some satisfaction to this poor woman who may continue to feel threatened herself by him, given what he did to her children.

Of application to the McCann case, of course it confirms that even if either of the McCanns were ultimately found to be suffering from mental illness or serious pscyhopathic disorder this would not enable them to just escape scott free with nothing more than psychiatric treatment. Furthermore, at any time, UK authorities could elect to try them here, although as a matter of courtesy to Portugal will enable them to prosecute, should they so wish.

I hope the forum can remain a pleasant place for posters who genuinely wish to post on topic and not abuse others posters, or indeed myself, PLEASE.

Viv x

Balcony-death father could face trial again for murderBy DAN NEWLING - More by this author » Last updated at 20:47pm on 27th March 2008
Comments (52) The father who pushed his six-year-old son to his death from a fourth-floor balcony could be tried again for murder after his ex-wife declared that "justice has so far not been done".
As an inquest yesterday found that John Hogan "unlawfully killed" his son Liam in Crete, British police put in motion the legal moves that could see him face a retrial.
Officers have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, where it will be reviewed to see if a case could be brought based on the testimony of previouslyunheard witnesses.

The Hogan family: New eye witnesses claimed John Hogan (far left) actually threw his son Liam (centre) and daughter Mia off the balcony after a row with his wife Natasha
One told the Bristol inquest into Liam's death she saw 33-year- old Hogan deliberately push his son from the hotel balcony 50ft up. The testimony was not heard at the Greek murder trial where Hogan was found not guilty after claiming to have been suffering from "an earthquake of insanity".
After the inquest Liam's mother Natasha Visser, who was Hogan's wife at the time her son died but who has since remarried, bitterly criticised the Greek legal system's failure to hold her former husband to account.
Shuddering with emotion, she described how she will remain haunted by the three hitherto-unknown British witnesses' descriptions of her son falling to his death.
Mrs Visser, 35, who claims that Hogan remains dangerous, added: "The Greek court made little attempt to establish the facts surrounding Liam's death and did not even call known eyewitnesses.

Distraught: Natasha Hogan said her life has been wrecked by her ex-husband John
"We understand that the decision about what happens next legally is in the hands of the English legal system.
"We can only trust that they will re- examine the evidence as a whole and make a decision that will protect John from himself and others."
She went on: "I cannot describe the pain I feel hearing that John had pushed his children off the balcony . . . walking away and then returning to push them.
"The image of the children looking like they were trying to reach out to each other will haunt me and my family for ever."
Hogan, from Bradley Stoke, near Bristol, turned killer during an argument with his then-wife on holiday in August 2006.
The former floor-tiler threw his two-year-old daughter Mia and Liam from the balcony before jumping himself. Mia survived.
Scroll down for more ...

Witnesses Iain and Sarah Davidson leave the Hogan inquest yesterday. Sarah broke down in tears as she recounted seeing the three plunge to the ground.
He told his trial he could not remember the incident. However Sarah Davidson, 38, who was on holiday in Crete, told the inquest: "I saw two children standing on the balcony on top of a wall. They were in front of the metal rail guard.
"The male came forward in between the two children and pushed them off."
At his trial, which lasted a day and a half, Hogan was declared to have been insane and legally incapable of being found guilty of murder or attempted murder.
Yesterday coroner Paul Forrest fell short of criticising the Greek verdict but said the trial did not have all the evidence in front of it.
He said Hogan's "incapability of understanding" was "irrelevant", adding: "The facts were abundantly clear in that the children were seen to be pushed off the balcony - objectively an unlawful act."

Liam Hogan died of severe head injuries after plunging from the fourth floor of a Crete hotel with his father, John
The Crown Prosecution Service said if Hogan were re-tried in Britain, it would be the first time a British citizen has been tried for a second time when the original court case took place abroad.
The Daily Mail understands that any retrial is more likely to happen in Greece, where the supreme court has the power to declare the original a mistrial.
Hogan remains in a secure psychiatric hospital in Greece but could be allowed to return to Britain a free man within months. That could complicate efforts by Mrs Visser's supporters to force a Greek retrial.
Hogan's family said he had been acquitted in relation to Liam's death because at the time "he was suffering from a psychotic condition such that he neither knew nor understood the nature and consequences of his actions".

26 Mar 2008




ITV cameras have followed Madeleine McCann's parents since January
Thursday March 27,2008
Have your say(7)
The parents of Madeleine McCann are taking part in an ITV documentary to mark the first anniversary of their daughter's disappearance.
Cameras have been following Kate and Gerry McCann since January for the programme, which will feature extended contributions from the couple.The one-hour ITV1 special follows Madeleine's parents as they launch a campaign to introduce a US-style Amber Alert system in Europe when a child goes missing.The couple have already been filmed at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, and travelling to Washington in the US to pursue their campaign. Cameras will also be with the pair when they intend to highlight the issue in Brussels.The alert system would see law enforcement agencies empowered to commandeer airtime on TV and radio when a child goes missing.ITV said the McCanns hope a European-wide scheme would help other families in similar circumstances.In the documentary, the McCanns also talk about Madeleine, the night the four-year-old went missing, becoming "Arguido" suspects in Portugal and the decision to return to Britain.A statement from the broadcaster said: "ITV has commissioned Mentorn Media to make a documentary marking the first anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance and focusing on the campaign to prevent others going through a similar ordeal."It said no payment has been made to Madeleine's parents for making the programme and the broadcaster will instead donate £10,000 to the Find Madeleine Fund.Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday apartment at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3.


wasting huge resources in the States and then getting locked up. I wonder do Gerry and Kate McCann wish to flag up this abuse of amber alerts when they appear in the alleged documentary for ITV?

Seems about as farcical to me as the DE just giving them half a million for libel, whilst they remain not just the prime, but now, the only suspects in Madeleine's disappearance..
Viv x

Filing False Reports

Why would you notify Police your child was abducted if you knew they weren’t? While parents or guardians are seeking any assistance they can to find their child, what could be going through these peoples minds?

In what seems to be happening with greater frequency parents are falsely reporting their children being abducted to police. The problem is they are treated as actual abductions requiring tremendous resources. They can diminish the reaction to future Amber Alerts as the public becomes more skeptical. Should states have harsher penalties for filing false missing child reports? Should abusers of the Amber Alerts systems pay for the cost associated with their activation? In most states filing a false report is a misdemeanor so the parents in effect suffer little consequences, but that depends on the circumstances..

“…Police said Monday’s Amber Alert in Alabama was a hoax.
It was originally reported that a 5-year-old boy, Geontae Glass, was abducted from the parking lot of a convenience store after his mother went inside. The boy was found dead early Tuesday morning, and his mother and her boyfriend were taken into police custody.

A Memphis mother is in trouble with the law, after police say she falsely reported her child was in her car when it was stolen.
That mother now facing possible charges of filing a false report. She is in police custody tonight along with two people who live at the apartment, who may have had a role in hiding the child.
ABC News video
A domestic dispute and a possible false report.
PEORIA, Ariz. — Peoria police said Friday they have found no evidence to support the story of a man who triggered an Amber Alert by claiming that his abusive wife had disappeared with their daughter.
Mike Tellef with Peoria Police said if detectives conclude that Frankie Abassi’s claims were bogus, he could be charged with false reporting.

Since 1999, Oklahoma has issued 13 Amber Alerts. However, four of those 13 alerts have been false reports.

Police briefly issued an Amber Alert Thursday afternoon after a woman said her 10-month-old son had been kidnapped by two female social workers, but the story turned out to be false, investigators said. Later, the woman told Long View police that her mother and sister had taken the child with her permission.

The parents reported two women pretending to work for the Department of Social services took their boy. Police said the two women were the boy’s grandmother and aunt, and that the mother knew the whole time.

The mother is Asian and the father Latino.

Police said that per cultural custom, the boy’s father owed his in-laws a dowry, or payment, for marrying their daughter and that dowry had not been paid.

In Midwest City, Ok.police issued an Amber Alert today for three children whose biological parents allegedly abducted them at gunpoint. Their foster mother, 26-year-old Carmen Hipshire called 911, on Thursday around 4:30 p.m. claiming Rhonda Anderson and Marcel Bonds, had taken the children. She left out one small detail, they had not.
After an Amber Alert was issued for Jesus “Lilliana” Vega, it appears she was “vacationing” in Mexico.

“…Eloy police spoke with Jesus “Lilliana” Vega on Wednesday afternoon by phone and she told them that she is in Colonia Guadalupe in Mexico with her boyfriend, Jose Garcia, said Amanda Villescaz, a spokeswoman for the department.

In the case of two children ages 7 and 8 years old in South Carolina they were returned safely by a family friend the day after being reported missing and an Amber Alert issued. Reddie Hopkins Ramey Sr., 54, of Columbia was believed to have known they were in the care of a family friend.

An Amber Alert was issued across North Carolina for a missing 2-year-old girl, Mariah Poland, who was inside a vehicle that apparently was stolen from a convenience store in eastern North Carolina. Amy Elizabeth Calvin, the mother of Mariah Poland, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse.

Yet another:

“…Early this morning, investigators found a Brunswick County teen who was last seen at a Winnabow convenience store Sunday, less than 12 hours after issuing an Amber Alert for her.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office says officers found 15-year-old Alex Elizabeth Spriggs with her 17-year-old boyfriend Johnny Miller. Miller is charged with obstruction of justice, deliquency of a minor and marijuana possession.
Deputies say Spriggs could also face juvenile charges…”

David Williams, 22, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2003 for reporting that his 2-year-old child was inside his car when it was stolen in Pennsauken. Williams admitted he made up the story so police would look more urgently for his car.

24 Mar 2008



Jane Tanner changed her statement to say Bundleman was walking towards Murat's property...

Dr Payne, Rachel Oldfield, and Dr Russell O'Brien accused Murat of hanging around immediately after Madeleine's disappearance, contrary to local witness accounts, and returned to PDL in July for a "showdown" with him arranged by police observing the confrontation...good investigative tool!
Dr O'Brien ..missing 9.30 to 10.15 pm

Jane Tanner "saw Bundleman" 9.15 pm, original sketch "eggman"
Claims back in her apartment around
10 pm and not aware of Kate's screams, they have taken her, Madeleine's gone, until Rachel Oldfield knocked her door...right next door...where was Dr O'Brien? Exchanging 14 texts with Gerry McCann?
I see our press are really running with this story of Murat having all of his property returned last Thursday on the instructions of the Prosecutor due to its huge significance at this time, just before the PJ are due to return to re-interview TAPAS. I see Mr Murat is considering sueing newspapers, given even the main suspects Kate and Gerry McCann have extracted half a million from Express Newspapers one can hardly blame him and I wish him every success. He has even found tracking devices fitted to his car, presumably by Metodo 3, continuing to harass him, it must have been truly awful for him, his elderly mother and his girlfriend. Kate and Gerry McCann have created so many victims including Father Panchecho and we should remember this and how they all must have suffered.

Items returned include clothing, shoes and computers. We can rest assured these will have all been minutely examined. by police and FSS. Clearly, no trace of Madeleine has been found on his clothing or in his vehicles or home. If it had, the PJ would not be sending out such a clear signal by returning items, they would be kept to produce in court.
In the McCanns case, it has been announced, the PJ wish Leics Police to seise Kate's diary and Gerry's computer, documents, cuddlecat. This may well have taken place now. The FSS already have the boot lining of the hire car, under lock and key. It is likely they also have many other items already seised, including by Leicester Police. This indicates the reverse to Murat, they want them for an intended court case.

They are also set to interview the Psychologist who worked with Kate in the early stages and Justine McGuiness. This looks pretty terminal for Kate McCann to me. They are clearly wishing to gain further evidence of her state of mind. Evidence of "state of mind" at the relevant time is always highly relevant in homicide cases. It can also be relevant as to what charge the Prosecutor will decide upon. If an intention to kill or cause serious bodily harm can be proved by such evidence a murder charge may be laid. If some lesser state of mind such as recklessness, manslaughter. Any pscyhologist will be bound by professional rules of conduct to give frank and honest evidence to the police. I do not think the McCanns will be able to expect loyalty from Justine McGuinness either. Remember how quickly she retired following them being declared arguidos, with Clarence Mitchell moving into the role, giving up his government post...I wonder was he pushed! I have a feeling Justine is likely to give frank and honest evidence to the police.
Press are of course further confirming PJ are to return on 7 April and the three main witnesses they wish to re-interview are Tanner, O'Brien and Payne who appears to have falsely claimed he saw Madeleine alive at 7 pm, no one else having seen her since 1.30 that day, clearly opening up the possibility Madeleine may have died during the afternoon when no one seems to have seen Kate or Madeleine.
Viv x

Murat could soon be cleared as Madeleine suspect after police return possessionsLast updated at 13:20pm on 23rd March 2008

Robert Murat was names as a suspect 11 days after Madeleine went missingRobert Murat hopes to be cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance after police returned his computer and other seized possessions.
Public prosecutor Jose Magalhaes e Menezes's ordered detectives to return the items to the 34-year-old expat last week.
Murat was made an "arguido" or formal suspect on 14 May last year, 11 days after Madeleine went missing.
But he believes the return of his possessions is an indication he is set to be cleared of any involvement in the case.
Murat lives with his mother Jenny in Praia da Luz, just 100 yards from the Ocean Club holiday flat where the McCanns were staying when Madeleine vanished shortly before her fourth birthday.
Jenny, 74, said today: "Every single item that the police took has been returned to us.
"Police took Robert's computer and my two computers as well. But we have all three back now.
"Our lawyer was informed by police about the decision and I went to pick everything up from the police station last Thursday.
"Of course we hope it means Robert's arguido status will be lifted shortly.
"But we've had no official confirmation that that is the case and we're not getting too excited."
Mrs Murat has always insisted her son was at home with her on the night Madeleine vanished and Murat has repeatedly denies any involvement.
Portuguese police to quiz Tapas Nine in Britain in final bid to solve Madeleine mystery
His lawyer Francisco Pagarete said: "The police received an order from the public prosecutor to give everything back to Robert.
"All his items have been returned. We believe it is another step towards his clearance as a suspect. It's a good sign.
"But we will have to wait and see. There is nothing official saying his status as an arguido is being revoked."
Scroll down for more...

Madeleine, then three, went missing during a family holiday to the Algarve last May
Murat, who speaks fluent Portuguese, worked as an unofficial police interpreter during the early days of the search for Madeleine.
Police brought him in for questioning and searched his home, called Casa Liliana, after a British newspaper reporter told detectives he was acting strangely.
They seized his computer, clothes and other items during a fingertip search of the home and sent material including hairs and earth for analysis.
But reports in Portugal said no link to Madeleine was ever found.
Murat's German girlfriend Michaela Walczuch and her Portuguese husband Luis Antonio were were questioned as witnesses.
Murat's ex-wife Dawn, 42, who lives with their daughter in Norfolk, also told a Sunday newspaper their lives have been destroyed by the connection to the Madeleine investigation.
She said her husband has become a chain-smoking recluse because of his ten-month ordeal.
Dawn said: "I've known Rob for 13 years and he wouldn't hurt a fly. He was a popular, outgoing person before all this. But it has shattered him." "We are living in constant fear.
"It's every parent's nightmare to have their child in the predicament my daughter is in."
Scroll down for more...

Kate and Gerry McCann are both also still 'arguidos' in the case but strongly deny any involvement in their daughter's disappearance
Last week arsonists torched a car belonging to Murat's business associate Sergey Malinka, 22, in Praia da Luz.
The word "Speak" was sprayed in Portuguese on the pavement next to the burnt out wreck.
Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, are also formal suspects.
The deny any involvement in their daughter's disappearance and insist she was abducted.
Portuguese detectives plan to travel to the UK on April 7 to re-interview the seven friends who were dining with the McCanns on the night their daughter went missing.


The Report below seems to confirm problems between Shannon and her step-father, Craig, just 22 years, to the extent that just before she was abducted authorities were thinking of taking her into care. Sadly, when moms have many different boyfriends and allow them to come and live with her and the children this can, and often does, place the children at risk of serious harm.

What a pity social workers had not stepped in earlier then, and offered Karen suitable and clear advice about her lifestyle and duties as a parent before this happened.

Shannon is now living with foster parents and there is no current indication of her being returned. I havc known many cases in my professional career where social workers have given moms a tough choice, get rid of the man, or we will have to take your child. Sometimes both mums and children do need some tough professionals on board to try and keep children with their mother, which is usually the best place for them.

Viv x

From The Sunday Times
March 23, 2008
Shannon Matthews close to being taken into care before kidnap

Child protection officers in West Yorkshire were “actively considering” taking Shannon Matthews into care days before the nine-year-old schoolgirl was kidnapped, sources close to the police investigation have said.
The insiders said that social services in Leeds had been closely monitoring the family right up to the day Shannon was abducted on her way home from a school swimming lesson in Dewsbury on February 19.
They were considering issuing a care order to take her away from her mother on the grounds that her personal welfare might be at risk.
“They were actively monitoring the family very, very closely and taking Shannon into care was being considered,” a senior official with knowledge of the police inquiry said this weekend.
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Man charged in Shannon Matthews case
Who's who in the extended family of Shannon Matthews
During the 24 days of Shannon’s disappearance, some relatives claimed that she had been hit by Craig Meehan, her mother Karen’s live-in boyfriend. The couple denied the claims.
Since West Yorkshire police rescued her from a flat belonging to Michael Donovan, Meehan’s uncle, nine days ago, Shannon has been looked after by foster parents after child protection authorities obtained an emergency care order.
They are said to have concerns about her “dysfunctional family” and whether she will be properly looked after if she does go back to the family home.
Unusually in such a case she has not been reunited with her mother, who has been allowed only brief supervised visits to see her and is barred from any physical contact.
Donovan, 39, appeared at Dewsbury magistrates court last week charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. His flat was less than a mile from where Shannon lived.
When police broke into the dingy one-bedroom property they found Shannon hidden in a compartment underneath a divan bed. Donovan was hiding in a similar compartment next to hers.
He has reportedly told detectives that Karen and Meehan, 22, may have been involved in the girl’s disappearance.
A West Yorkshire police spokesman said that Karen, who has seven children by five fathers, had been questioned by police last week but was not being treated as a suspect.
A senior police officer said: “Donovan has been claiming that other members of the family were involved. These may be just lies, but we would not be doing our job properly if we did not investigate these claims thoroughly.”
Shannon’s grandfather, Gordon Matthews, said last week that she should not go back to her mother’s care.
“We just don’t want Shannon going back to that house. She can stay with us. I don’t think that Karen and Craig are ready to look after her properly,” he said. He added that Meehan in particular was not fit to look after her. “Craig is like a tiny child. He’s so immature,” he said.
Shannon continues to be questioned about her ordeal but is said to have survived physically unscathed.
Police sources say they expect developments in the case over the next few days. A final decision on her future will be made by social services once police have finished their investigation.

22 Mar 2008


As the two stories below confirm. taking on Express Newspapers and getting half million pound payout, plus costs, may seem sweet at the time, with Champagne corks popping, but there is always a nasty sting in the tail. In Lord Archer's case, four years for perjury AND a £2.2M demand from Express Newspapers for their money back, with interest!

Archer wins record £500,000 damages
Andrew Rawnsley
Saturday July 25 1987
Article history
About this articleClose
This article was first published on guardian.co.uk on Saturday July 25 1987. It was last updated at 17:11 on July 19 2001.Mr Jeffrey Archer was yesterday awarded record libel damages of £500,000 and more still in costs from the Star newspaper for accusing him of paying a prostitute for sex.
With costs of the three-week High Court trial estimated at £700,000, the Star 's front-page story published last November will cost its owners, Express Newspapers more than £1 million.
The former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party had told the jury he was a fool for paying £ 2,000 to the prostitute, Monica Coghlan, but not a liar when he denied ever sleeping with her.
After shaking each of the jurors by the hand, Mr Archer left the court saying the 'verdict speaks for itself. ' He was silent on his future political ambitions, nor would he comment on how he intends to spend the £500,000 which is tax-free.
Mr Archer is understood to have an arrangement with a Sunday newspaper for his account of the three-week trial.
The News of the World said it would still be defending Mr Archer 's further action against it for its story which first linked him with Miss Coghlan and which led to his resignation.
The paper's lawyers are, however, thought to be pressing for an out-of-court settlement following an admission to the Star libel jury by the paper's former editor, Mr David Montgomery, that his story had also implied that Mr Archer and Miss Coghlan had sex.
Mrs Mary Archer , who sat alongside her husband throughout the trial, said she was 'grateful and delighted. '
The Star 's editor, Mr Lloyd Turner labelled in court 'the silent editor' for his decision not to appear in the witness box in defence of his article - would only say that Express Newspapers would be appealing.
The judge, Mr Justice Caulfield had earlier been forced to recall the jury after admitting to 12 'inaccuracies and mistakes' in his summing-up following submissions by the Star 's counsel, Mr Michael Hill QC.
The jury of eight men and four women, returned to the jurors' room after a recall regarded as extraordinary by lawyers, took just over four hours to find in Mr Archer 's favour.
His counsel, Mr Robert Alexander QC had demanded 'enormous damages' for the Star story, which he described as 'the gravest, most ruthless libel of modern times' for branding Mr Archer not only as a user of a prostitute specialising in 'kinky sex,' but a liar for denying it afterwards.
Though the £500,000 does not quite match the cost of 'all the tea in China' suggested by Mr Alexander, it is a record for British libel damages. The previous record was set six weeks ago, when damages of £450,000 were awarded to a former Royal Navy officer, Lieutenant Commander Martin Packard, against a Greek newspaper.
The costs of the three-week trial, estimated at up to £700,000, are also thought to be a record for the length of hearing. The most expensive action was the £1.2 million in costs paid by the BBC after an action brought by a Harley Street slimming specialist, Dr Sidney Gee, in 1985. That hearing lasted six months.
Mr Justice Caulfield called for 'dignity' in the courtroom as gasps and muted cheers greeted the jury's verdict. He told them they had carried an 'enormous burden' over the last three weeks and would be excused from jury service for 15 years.
He refused an application by Mr Hill for a stay on payment pending appeal. The Star was also injuncted not to repeat the libel.
After the millionaire novelist lingered for a few minutes to sign autographs, the Archers forced their way out of the melee of reporters and members of public in court for the most publicised libel action since Liberace sued the Daily Mirror in 1959.
Mrs Archer said they would be going home for a weekend to Granchester, near Cambridge, to rest and celebrate. 'We might,' she said, 'open a bottle of champagne. '

BUT THEN.....Justice can be slow but arrives in the end...The Prostitute says yes I maybe a prostitute but I am not a liar, like him. How said that she was killed just before the trial, when a robber ran into her car..

The end: Archer goes to jail By Sue Clough, Courts Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:59am BST 20/07/2001
Page 1 of 2
THE roller-coaster career of Jeffrey Archer, politician, failed businessman and millionaire novelist, came to a dramatic halt yesterday when he was jailed for four years for lies he told in his libel action 14 years ago.
After four days of deliberation, an Old Bailey jury convicted him unanimously of two charges of perjury and two of perverting the course of justice.
He will initially serve his sentence at the high-security Belmarsh prison in south-east London. The judge, Mr Justice Potts, said the case was "the most serious offence of perjury I have experienced" and that he must serve at least two years.
In the libel trial, Archer won a record £500,000 from the Daily Star over allegations that he slept with Monica Coghlan, a prostitute "willing to engage in perverted sexual practices".
Yesterday the judge told him that if the libel jury had seen the evidence he had seen, "it is unlikely in the extreme you would have succeeded".
The paper is demanding its money back, with damages and interest, totalling £2.2 million. The News of the World, which settled a separate libel action, is seeking repayment of £500,000. These demands, with Archer's own legal costs, could bring his total bill to more than £4 million.
The judge appeared to question the evidence of Lady Archer, who accompanied her husband to court, as she had done throughout.
As Nicholas Purnell, QC, pleading for Archer's freedom, said that his client had not compounded any lies told 14 years ago by evidence in the trial, the judge said: "What about the evidence of Lady Archer?"
Police said later that they were considering whether to investigate Lady Archer's evidence.
When the four guilty verdicts were given by the jury of six men and five women at 12.20pm, there were cries of "yes" from the public gallery. Archer and his wife remained motionless.
He was cleared of a further charge of perverting the course of justice. His co-defendant, Ted Francis, a film producer, was acquitted of the one charge he faced: of perverting the course of justice by providing a false alibi for Archer for the night it was at one point said he had a £70 sex session with Miss Coghlan in a London hotel room.
The judge said that Archer had been convicted on clear evidence. "Sentencing you, Lord Archer, gives me no pleasure at all, I can assure you. It has been an extremely distasteful case.
"The fact is that in January 1987 you set out dishonestly to manipulate the proceedings that you had chosen to institute against the Star."
It was Archer's ambition to be the first mayor of London that led to his conviction. Francis, an old friend with whom he had fallen out, went to the News of the World after the former Conservative deputy chairman had been selected as the party's candidate in the mayoral election.
He told the paper that he had constructed a false alibi for him for the night in September 1986 that it was at first suggested he had been with Coghlan.
In its front-page story published last November, the Star had alleged that Mr Archer paid Miss Coghlan £50 for sex and £20 for 'extra time' during a 15-minute session in a Mayfair hotel.
It appeared five days after the first story that Mr Archer had paid Miss Coghlan £2,000 for a trip abroad had appeared in the News of the World under the headline 'Tory boss Archer pays off vice girl,' and after categoric denials from Mr Archer that he had either met or slept with Miss Coghlan.
In court, he told the jury that he was an 'honourable fool' who had been duped by Miss Coghlan into paying the money out of compassion and the victim of an elaborate set-up by the News of the World.
She had led him to believe that by sending her abroad he would be able to 'nail the lie' that they had ever had sex together.
Five days after his resignation, the Star had compounded the libel under the headline 'Poor Jeffrey: vice-girl Monica speaks: Archer the man I knew. ' It was designed, his counsel had told the jury, as 'the killer blow' to wipe out any further chances Mr Archer might have had of political office. He had demanded damages which would 'stamp on it' and 'strike a blow for a cleaner press. '
By their verdict, counsel had told the jury, they could determine Mr Archer 's political future.
Despite yesterday's verdict, the prospects of any return to an official post in the Conservative Party are thought to be very remote.
But the publicity of the trial is likely to have guaranteed bigger audiences yet both for Mr Archer 's cheerleading tour of the constituencies and for his books.

He had originally agreed to this because he thought he was covering up a dinner date that Archer was keeping with his then mistress, Andrina Colquhoun. He realised only much later that the alibi was for the libel trial.
Archer promised in return a £20,000 loan to help pay for a film Francis was hoping to make. The relationship between the two men cooled when, at one of Archer's vaunted Krug and shepherd's pie parties at his penthouse on the Embankment, he told another guest in Francis's hearing: "You want to watch this fellow. I lent him £20,000 and I'm still waiting for it to come back."
At the libel trial, Francis's alibi was not needed in the end because of a mix-up over the dates of the sexual encounter.
Instead, Terence Baker, Archer's agent, who has since died, said he had met the peer by chance on the crucial night and they had talked until well after the time the Star claimed that he had picked up Miss Coghlan in Shepherd Market.
The criminal case revolved around a diary kept by Angela Peppiatt, Archer's personal assistant. Because Mrs Peppiatt's genuine diary of appointments listed a meeting with Mr Baker for the next night, Archer ordered her to make new entries in a blank diary.
It was this diary which was used in the libel case. It has since disappeared. Worried about the dishonesty her employer had involved her in, Mrs Peppiatt kept her genuine diary as "an insurance" and handed it to police in 1999.
During seven days in the witness box, Mrs Peppiatt was accused by Mr Purnell of faking the diary to cover up that she was fiddling her expenses. This she angrily denied.
It was Lady Archer's evidence about the diary that was questioned by the judge. She said she remembered the main office diary for 1986 being of A4 size, whereas Mrs Peppiatt and another witness said it was smaller.
Archer's involvement of Mrs Peppiatt drew particular criticism from the judge. He had drawn her in knowing that she had suffered a broken marriage and had children to support, he said.
He ordered Archer, who will be able to retake his seat in the Lords when he is freed, to pay £175,000 towards prosecution costs with an extra year's jail in default.
Lady Archer left the Old Bailey with her sons William, 29, and James, 27, without comment. But Tony Morton-Hooper, her husband's solicitor, said: "Lord Archer and his family are shocked and disappointed. We shall be lodging an appeal."
Miss Coghlan, who was killed shortly before the trial when a robber crashed into her car, always maintained that the sex session Archer denied had taken place.
She said: "I want him to suffer like I have suffered; I want him to squirm. But most of all I want him to tell the truth. I have never denied what I was; I was a prostitute. But I wasn't a liar. He is."


and research confirms those who choose to refuse to answer police questions are convicted at a higher rate than other suspects. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this is that suspects in very serious cases, who have very damning evidence put to them by police, simply do not have an answer, because they are guilty.

The right to silence is a fundamental human right enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights to which both UK and Portugal are signatories. However, in the early 1990s research found that simply allowing suspects to repeatedly say "no comment" during police interview was making it very difficult for police, in certain cases, to prove their case; serious criminals, who chose to exercise this right, were sometimes being acquitted.

It is recognised under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act that the purpose of interviewing suspects on tape in the UK is "to gain evidence". So, the law was changed to state that those who refuse to provide an explanation when given an opportunity by the police, or refuse to explain where they were at a certain time etc may have "adverse inferences of guilt drawn against them by the jury at trial". If they fail to provide an explanation to the police, at the time, but then do so at trial, again adverse inferences may be drawn.

As has been widely reported, Kate McCann, in particular, refused to answer police questions in Portugal when she was given a proper opportunity to explain the evidence against her. It has also been reported that the Portuguese Prosecutor has now indicated they will not be given a further interview to give them another opportunity to explain. It has also been reported that Kate and Gerry McCann, contrary to what they have always stated, are not prepared to return to Portugal and voluntarily assist the police.

In my opinion they are behaving in the manner of serious criminal suspects that our law was changed to deal with. I wonder if, in Portugal, similar adverse inferences will be drawn as a result of the failure to co-operate in police interrogations and their failure to attempt to explain the evidence against them. I think it will..

If the McCanns or their advisors genuinely believed that getting the Daily Express to say "they are innocent" as actually going to make any difference at all to the criminal case against them, how disappointed they must be.


If you would like to read the law in more depth please see below:

England limits the right to silence and moves towards an inquisitorial system of justice.
by Gregory W. O'Reilly
Britain's Parliament has adopted Prime Minister John Major's proposal to significantly curtail the right to silence.(1) The new law will allow judges and juries to consider as evidence of guilt both a suspect's failure to answer police questions during interrogation and a defendant's refusal to testify during trial.(2) Supporters of the new law had argued that change was greatly needed because the right to silence was "a charade which [has been] 'ruthlessly exploited by terrorists.'"(3) Proponents had also diminished the significance of the proposed changes, contending that the accused's silence will simply become "an item of evidence ... scarcely a major infringement of a defendant's liberty ... [and that the change] ... should dissuade offenders from thwarting prosecution simply by saying nothing."(4)

Major's new law will curtail the right to silence by allowing judges and jurors to draw adverse inferences when a suspect remains silent. It is the latest in a series of similar proposals by English police and politicians,(9) and it adopts restrictions on the right to silence which Parliament imposed on Northern Ireland in 1988.(10)

The new law contains four parts:

(1) judges and jurors may draw adverse inferences when suspects do not tell the police during interrogation a fact relied upon by the defense at trial if, under the circumstances, the suspect could have been expected to mention the fact; (2) if the accused does not testify, judges and prosecutors may invite the jury to make any inference which to them appears proper--including the "common sense" inference that there is no explanation for the evidence produced against the accused and that the accused is guilty;(11) (3) judges and jurors may draw an adverse inference when suspects fail to respond to police questions about any suspicious objects, substances, or marks which are found on their persons or clothing or in the place where they were arrested; and (4) judges and jurors may draw adverse inferences if suspects do not explain to the police why they were present at a place at or about the time of the offense for which they were arrested.(12)

Police failure to obtain confessions has not lead to the release of significant numbers of criminals. In fact, only a small percentage of suspects fail to answer police questions, and evidence reviewed by the Royal Commission suggests that they are convicted at a slightly higher rate than suspects who answer police questions.(14)

Moreover, even if Major's new law increases confessions and convictions, it will not reduce crime, because if the criminal justice system has a failing, it is not found in the low percentage of cases lost in courts, but in the high percentage of cases where the criminal is never caught. For example, while only twelve percent of reported crimes end up in court, over ninety percent of those cases end in conviction.(15)

Even if Major's new law does ot follow the pattern of similar proposals, and succeeds in incrementally raising the number of confessions and the conviction rate, it will do nothing about the vastly greater number of cases where no suspect is caught.

Curtailing the right to remain silent will shift the criminal justice system from its accusatorial focus on proof by witnesses and extrinsic evidence, to an inquisitorial focus on the interrogation of suspects to gain evidence of their guilt. This change will undermine the accusatorial system of justice, jeopardizing many of its benefits. Among these benefits is the foundation of an open and democratic society--a strictly limited government, restrained in its ability to compromise individual dignity, privacy, and autonomy. Such a move is inconsistent with the inherent distrust of authority which helped shape limited and democratic government

England's new limits to the right to silence could influence policy in the United States. One cannot escape the significance of the fact that,

as Ronald Dworkin noted, "the ancient right [to silence] is about to be extinguished in the nation which invented it."

Moreover, unlike Singapore, which has adopted similar limits, Britain is a democracy; it has not become a police state, and citizens may still criticize the government.

This democratic context makes the new limits on the right to silence appear more credible and less extreme.

Like their counterparts in England, some American law enforcement officials have advocated limiting the right to silence. For instance, in 1989, the United States Department of Justice advocated adopting a litigation strategy to urge the Supreme Court to allow adverse inferences from silence to remove a "shelter" for the guilty and provide an incentive for the accused to testify.

Others have denigrated the right to silence as a "relic of the Star Chamber" which is no longer relevant in today's criminal justice system and have advocated limiting the right, and adopting the inquisitorial system of justice in the United States

Advocates of this view could find a responsive audience in the United States, as the press, the public, and politicians focus on crime and an extraordinary array of proposals aimed at its control

Thus, England's attempt to control crime by limiting the right to silence merits close study, especially in light of the potentially fundamental impact of such a change on the American system of justice.

The development of the right to silence in England spanned hundreds of years(25) and was intimately tied to the great struggle between rival systems of criminal procedure-the accusatorial common law courts and the inquisitorial ecclesiastical courts.(26) These systems were fundamentally divided on a key method of investigation and adjudication: reliance on the accused to furnish testimonial evidence of their guilt. The common law courts disfavored this method and came to rely primarily upon independent evidence. By contrast, confession was the essential component of the inquisitorial system employed by the ecclesiastical courts.

21 Mar 2008


Charred wreck: Malinka's torched Audi A4 with the word fala (meaning speak) written beside it 22 year old Malinka, friend of Murata
Hi All, I know people are already linking this to the McCanns detectives but this would not seem to be reasonable given this is the second time this happened to Malinka, the first time BEFORE Maddie disappeared.
People who get their car fire bombed, twice, must be into something dodgy imo and the police always round up dodgy characters for questioning when something serious happens. Also he wiped his computer hard drive so there must have been something he did not want the police to see, but I dont think it was anything to do with Maddie. If the police had any reason to think he genuinely had anything to do with the Maddie case however, his harddrive could have been easily read, certainly there are specialist teams of police in UK who can do this and Det Super Prior would have arranged for this to take place...maybe he has! I know the police are reported to still have two computers of Murats - I wonder if actually one of them belongs to Malinka? Maybe he is just a bit of a local villain, not exactly whiter than white. Murat being connected to him, has not helped him one little bit I dont think, neither do I think Murat is "whiter than white".
That is what I think anyway, but would be very keen to learn other people's views! I may even change my mind if you are really persuasive :-)
Viv x

Friend of Murat quizzed over Madeleine wakes to find car torched Last updated at 04:07am on 21.03.08

Sergey Malinka: He was questioned about last year's disappearance of Madeleine McCannA man who was questioned by police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance had his car set on fire yesterday and the word "speak" scrawled beside it.
Computer expert Sergey Malinka, 22, an associate of official suspect Robert Murat, woke up to discover the smouldering Audi A4 close to his flat in Praia da Luz, the Algarve resort where Madeleine went missing last May.
Sprayed in red paint on the pavement next to it was "fala" – Portuguese for "speak".
The Russian expat said yesterday: "Who the hell has written that? What exactly do they want me to say?
"They must be talking about Robert. There's nothing to say. I'm angry that someone would do this and I want to find out who it was."

Neighbours described hearing a bang like a "gunshot" at around 5am, apparently as the arsonist struck, although Mr Malinka slept through the commotion.
He was a business associate of Murat and was designing his website when Madeleine vanished shortly before her fourth birthday.

Robert Murat: Called Sergey Malinka on the night Maddie disappeared
He was questioned as a witness after phone records showed that Murat phoned him at 11.40pm on the night she disappeared.
Police also seized computers from his apartment and discovered that he had wiped their hard disks.
He strenuously denies having anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance, and has claimed that he was beaten up by police during the interrogation to try to get him to admit involvement.
On Wednesday evening he parked his car about 40ft from his apartment. He said: "I went to bed and I switched my phone to silent. When I woke up I had 32 missed calls."
He added: "I'm not scared. It's just a car. It was a nice car, but at least I wasn't inside it.
"But I have no feelings about this. They ripped my heart out last summer when they involved me with all this."
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Kate and Gerry McCann: The couple are still hopeful their daughter will be found alive
Portuguese detectives and forensics experts spent the morning searching the remains of the car. Mr Malinka later met police to talk about the arson attack.
It is believed to be the third time a vehicle has mysteriously been set alight close to his house in the middle of the night, one of which was a van belonging to Mr Malinka.
Both the previous apparent arson attacks were before Madeleine's disappearance.

20 Mar 2008


"McCanns lawyers believe it will be almost impossible to press charges without finding the corpse" ...Gerry declares " well find the body and prove we killed her".. Arrogance..revolting arrogance. I am seriously beginning to think the McCanns genuinely believe they are going to get away with this and all this battle for public opinion is so that they can then live happily ever after...with all the loot. I really do hope they are wrong..

It made me smile.. Kate invited Social Services around - they have a statutory duty to carry out an investigation in such cases under the Children Act 1989 and they would have been coming straight round whether she invited them to or not! John McCann backs this up followed by "that was at her behest" umm what a family! Truth does not seem to come naturally does it..lies and spin just drip from the tongue..Did they really need Clarence Mitchell? I mean he is every bit as convincing as John and Philomena, isn't he?

Sinister Philomena tells how she invited Kate to keep the diary that police now wish to use as evidence against her and, revealed how Kate washed cuddle cat.. twice - now why did she feel the need to mention that. Bizarre, also she falsely claimed on Sky News Kate was offered a deal to confess. If this is not agenda setting on her brother's behalf..

Would people agree this paper, here, are accusing the McCanns just as clearly as the Daily Express did. Have the McCanns been influenced as LGC suggested by Clarence demonstrating emnity towards his former employers. He seems to leave jobs rather suddenly..I am sure the McCanns would have been influenced by the no win no fee deal Carter Ruck offer to clients. Such an agreement on costs usually means they take anything up to half your damages for their "fee". It means the McCanns did not need to lay out a penny to take the case on against the DE., though, which must have saved the find maddie fund a fair bit there and been realy handy for them. I have read Daily Express paid their costs as well though. Libel damages normally have a ceiling figure now in the UK of about £200,000 but apparently it was terrible for the McCanns to suffer a whole 10 months of this from the DE, so they needed £275,000 each to properly compensate them for their awful distress. I wonder why it took so long to complain, could it be that if they did not complain by May their time would have run out out to do so. Oh and of course the longer the libel lasts the more dosh you get but you are not supposedly to cynically wait to get more dosh you are supposed to complain immediately to stop your er....reputation from being damaged. You know I almost wonder if the McCanns done a deal with the DE or vice versa. I always did wonder about Psychopops only ever getting a week's ban when it called me HIV etc. How come it could just keep being so incredibly abusive, again, in the early hours of this morning and never get a permanent ban.. strange, oh well maybe now the DE will think, hang on this forum is full of abusive rubbish..again funny they never noticed that before. Strange..

The headline Tycoons refuse to pay their defence was interesting - no wonder they are so desperately casting around for money to add to their "fighting fund".

Madeleine's mother to be quizzed again by Portuguese policeLast updated at 17:39pm on 13th September 2007
Comments (144)
•Kate McCann agrees to checks on twins' welfare •Portuguese police want to quiz her for third time •Tycoons refuse to fund McCanns' legal defence •Fingerprinting pioneer to help McCanns with DNA test
The mother of Madeleine McCann is to be interviewed again by police investigating her daughter's disappearance.
Portuguese detectives could travel to Britain to quiz Mrs McCann. She was interviewed twice last week and formally declared a suspect after police told her they believed she had killed.
Kate will face 40 key questions about the night her daughter disappeared from their Algarve holiday apartment on May 3, her relationship with the four-year-old and her movements since Madeleine went missing, respected Portuguese daily Publico claimed.

Kate McCann arrives home in her car today
The development came as Kate McCann has invited social services to check on the welfare of missing Madeleine's twin brother and sister.
She is expected to be visited shortly after telling social workers she wanted them to see that two-year-olds Sean and Amelie are not at risk.

A police officer escorts Mrs McCann as she drives home
Tycoons who bankrolled Madeleine fund refuse to fund McCanns' legal defence
Inventor of DNA fingerprinting says he'll help the McCanns clear their name
Kate McCann's Madeleine diaries could fetch £1 million from publishers
Madeleine: Portugese police ignored Scotland Yard's offer of help
Dingo baby mum says she'll support McCanns
Kate McCann: 'I thought a paedophile had taken my Madeleine'
A distressed Mrs McCann, 39, today briefly left the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to collect the twins after a family friend took them for a walk.
Relatives have gathered in the village to support her and husband, Gerry.
Mr McCann's older brother John, 48, who was with the couple at their home today, confirmed the plans. He said: "Kate has invited social services to make sure everything was OK, that was at her behest."
Leicestershire County Council said they could not comment on individual cases.
A Portuguese judge has signed a warrant instructing British police to seize items of evidence from the home of Kate and Gerry McCann.
The police, who could visit the McCanns as early as today, are expected to take Mrs McCann's private diaries, her husband's laptop computer and Madeleine's 'cuddle cat' toy.
Two friends of the McCanns, who were with the couple on the night Madeleine disappeared, are also expected to be questioned again.
A distressed Mrs McCann, 39, today briefly left the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to collect the twins after a family friend took them for a walk.
Relatives have gathered in the village to support her and husband, Gerry.
Mr McCann's older brother John, 48, who was with the couple at their home today, confirmed the plans. He said: "Kate has invited social services to make sure everything was OK, that was at her behest."
Leicestershire County Council said they could not comment on individual cases.
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Mrs McCann was rarely seen without Madeleine's favourite toy, Cuddle Cat, after her daughter disappeared
The prosecutors yesterday submitted an "emergency" request to a judge to authorise commandeering the ring-bound journals and the Apple Mac which Mr McCann uses to send emails and update his internet blog.
Police believe something Mrs McCann has written in her diary could unlock the mystery to the four-year-old's disappearance.
Mrs McCann started the diary at her sister-in-law's suggestion to record how the family had battled to look for Madeleine - with the idea that she would show it to her daughter once she was found.
Philomena McCann explained: "I asked Kate to keep this journal because at first the Portugese police were doing very little."
She also revealed that Madeleine's mum washed the little girl's Cuddle Cat within days of her disappearance - and again two months ago.
Police are believed to want to confiscate Madeleine's toys, including the favourite Cuddle Cat, which her mother has cradled since her disappearance.
She said the first wash was to clean off the sun cream and sand of the holiday.
Then it was soiled by Mrs McCann carrying it around all the time.
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Kate and Gerry McCann with their twins Amelie and Sean at the park yesterday

Kate McCann and daugher Amelie on their way from their Leicestershire home to a playground
"It would be extremely distressing for Kate because she has seen it as a symbol of her daughter since she went missing," she said.
"Why on earth do they ask for the toys now? Why didn't they think of this before?"
The toy has already been tested by scientists but further tests are expected to be more stringent.
Police sources have questioned Mrs McCann's decision to wash the toy so soon after her daughter disappeared.
"It's the last thing I'd expect a mother who is devastated at losing her child to do," said a former Scotland Yard detective.
Yesterday it emerged that lawyers in Britain acting for the McCanns have advised them the Portuguese authorities will struggle to press charges that stick.
A close friend said: "The legitimate question to ask Portuguese police is: 'Where is the body? Where's the evidence that Madeleine is dead?'."
The friend said the McCanns' new legal team, based in London, had been working around the clock to "get up to speed on the case".
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Gerry McCann and his two-year-old twin son Sean
The couple's Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, has hit out at his country's judicial system in a scathing interview with a local newspaper in which he declared: "Justice in Portugal is slow and incapable of producing proof."
Friends of the McCanns believe they are the victims of a sinister campaign to frame them for Madeleine's disappearance after police botched the search to find their abducted little girl.
The 39-year-old doctors have strenuously denied ever harming Madeleine and are devastated the hunt for her has been overshadowed by an attempt to "set them up".
But in two days of police interviews in Portimao last week, detectives alleged there was damning evidence that Madeleine had been in the Renault Scenic they hired 25 days after she disappeared. They alleged bodily fluids, blood and hair corresponding to Madeleine's DNA had been found in the boot.
Judge Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias is now sifting through a 4,000-page police dossier as Madeleine's parents face an agonising wait to learn if they will be charged.
He could take "weeks" to study the contents of ten lever arch files, according to a friend of the McCanns, who said: "Our understanding is there's no filtering process whatsoever - everything is in there.
"The judge has had the kitchen sink thrown at him."
The judge will make a decision within ten days on key requests made by the prosecutor, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses.
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McCann's lawyers believe it will be almost impossible to press charges without finding the corpse
These requests have not been made public, but are things Mr Meneses now believes need to be done to complete the case.
A source in Portugal claimed that one of the requests was to bring Kate McCann back to be requestioned.
And the whitewashed church in Praia da Luz that became a poignant focus of the McCanns' campaign is expected to be searched, with the judge present.
It still has yellow and green Madeleine ribbons on the pews and altar.
Roads around the church, which had deep holes dug by workmen at the time Madeleine vanished, could also be excavated.
Portuguese sources said the prosecutor wanted police to re-interview the couple's friends and family.
Detectives in the Algarve believe somebody could have helped them dispose of Madeleine's body, although the friends with whom they were on holiday have furiously denied such a "hurtful" conspiracy.
The couple were declared "arguidos", or formal suspects, during police questioning in Portimao last Friday.
They flew out of the country to their home in Rothley two days later.
Last night the McCanns got a boost when the police case appeared to be undermined by a pensioner who is potentially a key witness.
Pamela Fenn, 81, lives above the apartment where Madeleine disappeared and is reported to have told police she heard Madeleine screaming below.
But yesterday she broke her silence to say it was "absolute rubbish" she had made any such claims to police. Mrs Fenn said: "I didn't even know that family was in there."
Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, said he was prepared to act as an expert witness for the McCanns.
He stressed that DNA matches on their own did not establish a person's innocence or guilt.
Sir Alec told BBC TV's Newsnight: "There are no genetic characters in Madeleine that are not found in at least one other member of the family.
"So then you have an incomplete DNA profile that could raise a potential problem in assigning a profile to Madeleine given that all other members of that family would have been in that car."