14 Apr 2008
KATE AND GERRY V THE PRESS IN BRUSSELS..
Here is a great summary from notes that 2345 made and emailed to me. THANKS 2345! Sounds like the Daily Express were pressing some awkward questions home. ..Viv x
Here is my summary of the conference taken from my notes. Some editing and some things I was not able to note in time, but nothing significant missing:Clarrie was in charge with McMillan-Scott chairing and K&G on the podium with them. Clarrie made his ritual statement about not being able to comment on the investigation and that they were here to talk about Amber Alert. Below is a summary of the event.CM, EMS, and K&G made a very few brief comments at the beginning.EMS: We are moving forward Amber agenda in EU. K&G are committed fully to supporting it. We are working with PACT and Lady Meyer, MCE, and other missing children NGOs. K&G are meeting later today diplomats, officials, and the British Ambassador to the EU to discuss Amber.Kate: Time is the enemy is discovering missing children. Amber Alert can find missing children before they are too far away.Gerry: Amber Alert is not our idea. A lot of work has been done already. But it is not fully implemented in Europe, every EU country needs it. We have drafted a declaration for MEPs to sign to push the alert forward. Then the questioning began.(Unknown reporter): If Amber Alert had been in place what would have been the chances of Madeleine being found?Kate: They would have been higher. Gerry: We have no idea where Madeleine is. But if abductor had had a vehicle, he would have been in Spain because no-one was looking. Amber Alert prevents abductors using cars. It has an immediate effect.Portuguese newspaper: You are arguidos. Would it not have been better to be associated with Amber later if and when you are no longer arguido?Gerry (stuttering): We are only here and qualified to talk about the Amber system (no direct reply).Clarrie at this point intervenes: “I would like to make clear that Kate and Gerry have not been accused of any crime and they have as much right to be here as anyone else”.Portuguese radio: Will you go back?Kate: Can’t talk about the reconstruction. The anniversary will be private.ITN: Amber Alert works only if police say there is an abduction. In Madeleine’s case they did not declare this only that it was a missing child. Would Amber have saved Maddie?Gerry: Alert should be used for the most dangerous cases. There was a description of Maddie. She was missing and therefore Amber could have been applied.Dutch radio: Should other parents be mobilised into supporting the Amber system? Are you hopeful of Maddie being found?Kate: We still have hope. In Washington we were told children are found after a long time. There is a good chance she is out there. No evidence she has come to any harm.Daily Express: Are you going to go back to Portugal for reconstruction?Gerry: (clearly fumbling) Reconstruction under discussion. If Crimewatch with actors then fine. But need to know if it will help. Not going back on May 3rd.Express guy presses the point about going back.Gerry reiterates stutteringly that they need to know if it will be useful and it is under discussion. (Clearly evasive, obvious to those in the room)The Sun: how did you get to know about Amber?Gerry: “A friend of a friend who was with us on the night of May 3rd already early that morning was doing research in the internet and told us about it on the night Maddie vanished. Then we did our own research later. So we learned more later but we knew about it the night of the disappearance”Mirror: In Portugal, police cannot release clothing details of missing children.Kate: Correct. We need to change national legislation to make Amber work.END OF PRESS CONFERENCEGeneral observations. At the conference K&G were clearly well schooled in the nuances of Amber and had a lot of details at their fingertips. They appeared confident when speaking of the system. When questioned about the case, reconstruction, arguido status, clearly became nervous, stumbling. Quickly switching to party line of “ongoing investigation, can’t comment, we are here to talk Amber”. Clear to neutral observers that they are unsure on their feet when challenged on the case.