14 Dec 2010


As The Guardian pick up on the story, if ever a couple asked for it, it would have to be the gruesome twosome.

UK cops 'developed' McCann evidence

British police helped "develop" evidence against
Madeleine McCann's parents as they were
investigated by Portuguese authorities
looking into their daughter's disappearance,
according to diplomatic cables published
by WikiLeaks.
Britain's ambassador to Portugal, Alexander
 Wykeham Ellis, reportedly made the claim to
 his American counterpart on September 21,
 2007 - two weeks after Portuguese police
 named Gerry and Kate McCann as "arguidos",
 or formal suspects, in the case.
In a cable to Washington, US Ambassador
Al Hoffman wrote: "Madeleine McCann's
disappearance in the south of Portugal in
May 2007 has generated international media
attention with controversy surrounding the
Portuguese-led police investigation and
the actions of Madeleine's parents.

"Without delving into the details of the case,
 Ellis admitted that the British police had
 developed the current evidence against the
 McCann parents, and he stressed that
 authorities from both countries were working
"He commented that the media frenzy was to
 be expected and was acceptable as long as
 government officials keep their comments
 behind closed doors."

The cable does not specify
what evidence
British police
are alleged to
have gathered,
or whether UK investigators
were involved
in the decision
to formally name the McCanns
as suspects.
They remained
under official
suspicion until July
2008 when
Portuguese police shelved the
investigation into Madeleine's disappearance and lifted the
McCann's status as arguidos.
The three-year-old went missing from an apartment
in the Algarve on May 3, 2007 while her parents
dined with friends in a nearby restaurant.
Speaking at the time the suspect status was lifted,
Mrs McCann said: "It is hard to describe how utterly
despairing it was to be named arguidos and
subsequently portrayed in the media as suspects
in our own daughter's abduction."
A spokesman for the
McCanns said: "This is
an entirely historic note
that is more than three
years old. Subsequently,
Kate and Gerry had their arguido status lifted, with
the Portuguese authorities making it perfectly clear
that there was absolutely
no evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's
disappearance whatsoever. To this day, they continue
to work tirelessly on the search for their daughter,
co-operating when appropriate with both the Portuguese
and British authorities."


viv said...

A little recap of a further article published by The Guardian, such a well respected part of the British establishment....much to the alarm of Kate and Gez, I am sure, they even wheeled Mouthpiece Mitchell out again, no doubt at considerable costs to the erm Find Maddie Fund.

viv said...

Gerry McCann: No evidence to suggest Madeleine is dead
• Kate and Gerry McCann in court for second day of hearing
• Portuguese police claim parents faked child's abduction


John Stevens
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 13 January 2010 18.14 GMT
Article history

Gerry McCann has dismissed Portuguese detectives' claims that his daughter Madeleine is dead. Photograph: PA
Gerry McCann lashed out at Portuguese police today, as a former senior detective dismissed the McCanns' challenge to claims that Madeleine was dead as "pathetic".

In a heated exchange with reporters outside the court in Lisbon, Gerry McCann insisted there was "absolutely no evidence" to support the claim that his daughter was dead, before the court heard more challenges to the McCanns' account of events.

viv said...

As Madeleine's parents returned for a second day of the libel trial over claims about their daughter's disappearance, Gerry McCann appeared rattled as he argued with Portuguese journalists about the claims of officials involved in the investigation. "There is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is absolutely no evidence that we were involved in her disappearance," he said.

This morning the court heard fresh evidence questioning the disappearance of Madeleine. Former senior police officer and criminologist Francisco Moita Flores told the hearing that the McCanns' legal challenge to permanently ban a book by Gonçalo Amaral, the officer who initially led the Madeleine inquiry for Portugal's CID, the polícia judiciária (PJ), was "pathetic".

He dismissed the couple's claim that Madeleine was abducted from the apartment they were staying in at the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, telling the court it would be impossible to pass a child through the flat's window. Giving evidence via videolink, Flores defended the Portuguese investigation into the case, praising Amaral as a "good professional".

The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, argued the police files reached no conclusion about the window and said there were other ways Madeleine could have been taken from the apartment.

Flores' evidence followed that of a series of senior officers who told the hearing yesterday that Madeleine had died in her family's holiday flat in May 2007 and that her parents faked her abduction.

The McCanns are challenging claims made in Amaral's book, Maddie: The Truth of the Lie that Madeleine was dead.

Amaral, who was taken off the case in October 2007 after criticising British police, is trying to overturn an injunction granted to the McCanns in September last year banning further sale or publication of the book.

At the end of the second day of the trial Gerry McCann defended taking legal action, saying the book had "damaged" the search for Madeleine.

"I'd like to remind everyone that it's the book that's on trial and not Kate and I," he said. "Over the last two days you've heard a lot about Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead. There is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis. A thesis without evidence is meaningless."

He added: "There is a little girl missing who still needs to be found and we will keep going until Madeleine is found."

The McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, say their main motive for fighting the appeal against the book ban is the fear that people will stop looking for Madeleine if they think she is dead. Gerry McCann said: "This is a legal process that we're going through to protect our daughter and our family." When asked whether it was worth the emotional cost for the couple to attend the court case, he added: "Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through the same process."

Gerry McCann returned to Britain this afternoon because of work commitments, but Kate McCann will stay in Portugal for the rest of the hearing.

The trial is expected to last three days, but the judge could order further hearings before making her ruling.

The trial continues. (and one which they ultimately lost)

viv said...

This story has well and truly hit the UK press, excellent!

viv said...

What a great idea to revoke the historic rule on "double jeopardy" which in a nutshell stated that if an accused person had once been tried and acquitted of the a crime, he should not be vexed again when new evidence turns up.

But in such a serious case of murder, that rule is harsh and unfair on victims and their families right to justice. And so now, I believe for crimes of murder only, you can be tried again and as the example below demonstrates, when new forensic evidence comes to light to prove a case or a previous judge made a bad decision by refusing to allow the jury to know all of the evidence, that no longer means we have such a dangerous man at large with no form of redress. He is now where he belongs. Let us continue to hope that those "involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCanns", in the words of Leicester Police are brought to justice and let us hope their book sales severely disappoint them as the public are treated to further reveleations that must surely convince the undecided, now hang on a minute, this was not the Portuguese cops thinking it was them, it was the British, including the McCanns home force, Leicester Police and of course, Scotland Yard.

viv said...

First killer to be jailed after double jeopardy murder trial
Paul Cheston, Courts Correspondent

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A sex pervert who battered a mother-of-two to death has become the first person to be convicted at a second murder trial following the discovery of new forensic evidence.

Odd job man Mark Weston, 35, was trapped by tiny blood spots on his boots which were not detected in the original investigation.

The second trial was made possible after the double jeopardy rule — under which people could not be tried for the same crime twice — was removed in 2005.

Weston chased and killed Vikki Thompson, 30, after she spotted him performing a sex act while watching her as she walked her dog in Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire in August 1995. He then dragged her towards a railway embankment in the hope police would believe she had been hit by a train. Mrs Thompson was found but died six days later in hospital.

Weston was cleared of murder at Oxford crown court in 1996. The jury was unaware that a bag of women's underwear Weston had stolen was found near the murder scene. But a cold case review by Thames Valley police in 2005 led to forensic scientists discovering the blood under the stitching in each of Weston's boots with the help of new techniques.

Alison Levitt QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions' principal legal adviser, said: “This was not a case of negligence by the first team of scientists… It is accepted that looking for minute blood stains on the irregular surface of a black boot is very, very difficult.”

Weston was found guilty of murder at Reading crown court and jailed for life with a minimum term of 13 years. The judge had earlier reversed the decision of the first trial judge and ruled the underwear evidence was admissable.

After the first trial Weston was arrested again and pleaded guilty to harassment of a neighbour and the daughter of the village policeman who had both given evidence at the trial.

Mrs Thompson's husband Jonathan has remarried and moved away from the village, as have their two daughters, who were seven and five when their mother was murdered.

Wizard said...

Hi Viv,

I hope you are well and a seasons greetings to you and your family.

Today’s news in the press is like a breath of fresh air. Gone is the fairy tale scenario painted by the McCanns - with facts being published – a novelty in this case.

Recently I have been reading a book that outlines Chairman Mao’s reign in China and wondered why so may Chinese followed him not seeing him for what he really was – egocentric, charismatic and self serving. Of course, his time in office was all about what the people were allowed to know, spin at it highest. In addition, of course the heavies were sent in if anyone decided to disagree with him.

In a way, the McCanns hiring of Carter Ruck et al put the British public in a similar boat, we were unable to read the truth only what Messrs Carter Ruck allowed us to read. Anyone, with a few bob was sued, to quieten them and others who might query the McCanns version of events.

Thanks to Wikileaks we are seeing some of the truth revealed. Not one for conspiracy theories but I do find it strange that it is only now Wikileaks’ boss is wanted on charges in Sweden. I just wonder who exactly is pulling the strings behind that one – prison is usually a good way to keep people quiet.

Wizard said...

This case has baffled many for a number of years now. The timeline is particularly confusing with different versions of what happened being reported.

I’ve always thought the clues were there - none more so than the statement by KM on an incident on the day of the alleged abduction. KM says at breakfast that morning M told her and her husband that the night before she and her brother had been crying.

Mrs Fenn reported crying on the night of 1st May and heard nothing on the second and on the 2nd Fiona was apparently in all evening in the apartment next door and heard nothing.

So the question is why did KM make this point? Was it just a date mistake on her part?

Alternatively, was it staging to establish that M was alive on the morning of the 3rd?

On the other hand, was it a suggestion that the allege abductor was prowling around the night before?

I think this is a significant point said to misdirect and throws a light, or at least a glimmer, on what really happened.

viv said...

Hiya Wiz

Given the McCanns used publically donated money to then go on and sue newspapers whose job it is to inform the public and further swell their coffers, these further revelations now are nothing more than what they so richly deserve.

I have always thought, just why don't they shut up. That would be the smart thing to do and would have been perfectly logical if Maddie just died accidentally and they wanted to just walk away from it.

But I think the degree of planning that was going into this holiday before they even left, Gerry even packing those handy pictures of Madeleine tell us the truth. He planned for her to disappear and he planned to use the public and the media to create the Kate and Gerry Show so that he could get what makes him feel good, loads of cash. HIs blogging in the early stages about minutiae of their daily lives was this conceated man's view, that we the public would clamour for every little detail, how early they rose, showered and changed the twins nappies. Not only did those blogs raise some vital clues about what a manipulative and scheming man Gerry is, I think they also made him realise the public were not anywhere near as interested in him and his wife as he had anticipated. They have moved on, the title of the book will now be "Madeleine", but I am willing to bet it will still be full of how they have suffered at the hands of the Portuguese cops etc.

But how must they be feeling now when it is confirmed that actually it was not so much the Portuguese cops who were gunning for them, it was the British. How are they going to rationalise and spin that one in the book. No wonder it needs further months prior to publication, fresh chapters will have to be written.

Will the publishers of this book even think, should we be allowing a couple of prime suspects their right to reply in this way? I doubt it, but who knows. Lord ARcher cashed in with writing his memoirs as he sat in his prison cell, there are plenty of books written by such people. I suppose we must allow them their right to freedom of speech, but as you say, when are Kate and Gerry finally going to realise, that everyone else has the same right and the more they read about this couple and the intense police interest in them from the first few moments, the more people will think precisely what the McCanns never wanted them to think.

I always thought they planned a very dangerous game when they took on the British press, even certain in the knowledge they will not damage an ongoing police investigation, the press will always win in the end and clearly do not actually sympathise with a couple of child abusers.

viv said...

Hiya again Wiz

in relation to your second post, both Kate and Gerry state, almost parrot fashion in their original statements that Maddie complained she and the twins were crying the night before. The only difference being each say it was one or the other she made the report to, dependent upon whose statement it was, i.e. Gerry claims it was him, Kate claims it was her.

So this was a very important point that they worked on in the early hours as they rehearsed how they would explain matters to the police the next morning.

The only major difference between their respective statements is that Kate says she used the rear patio door to go in and check on the children. Gerry says they both entered at the front and used their keys. So in a way, this would seem to demonstrate that Kate is more clever and more manipulative than Gerry. He was grilled again on 10 May and then had to state he was wrong, they did enter via the rear patio door, something he had clearly wished to hide in his first statement.

Which brings me to the vital point, why would this couple leave that rear patio door open at all for any Tom, Dick or Harry to be able to just walk in and molest their children? None of the other members of the group state they did this, it was not really very much further to walk and meant the apartment could be safely locked up (subject to the obvious point that tiny children are obviously never safe in a locked apartment entirely alone, just a wee bit safer than in an unlocked one).

How were they so certain that Maddie had been abducted when she could have just simply walked out? Kate was saying to Mr Woolfall in the early stages she thought that is what happened, so why has she, just like Gerry, gone on to entirely contradict herself and publically state on TV etc, she knew straight away Maddie had been "taken"? Why was she reportedly yelling "they have taken her"?

Which brings me back to your point, Maddie crying on the Tuesday night, not the night before, the Wednesday. Why did the McCanns change this particular detail? I do think this is the key to what was going on.

I also think Maddie was very distressed on that Tuesday night and they knew it and had to cover for that. I think she was so distressed she slept with Kate and also possibly Gerry. There is the issue of a cot being found in the McCanns bedroom, did they use that to finally get her out of their bed after they had calmed her.

Were they astute enough to realise those cries had been so loud there would be witnesses? Like Mrs Fenn, directly above?

Mrs Fenn is very clear it was just Maddie crying and not the twins. The Portuguese Police clearly held a view in the investigation the children were all contained in one apartment. Was Maddie left alone in the McCanns apartment to be abused? Was she drugged or tied down so that she could not escape even though the door was open?

What does Kate mean "they" have taken her? I think we need to know who "they" are but Dr Katerina Gaspar gives us a very clear picture of the sexual inclinations of Gerry McCann and David Payne towards tiny little girls.

viv said...

I would just add that we know for a fact Kate slept in the childrens bedroom with them on that Wednesday night. Was that her way of saying to Madeleine, tonight you will be safe, mummy is here.

What a pity Kate McCann you could not act as a normal mother and always have been there for Maddie and protected her from the worst type of harm.

Di said...

Hi Viv & Wizard

It is interesting to see that the papers and tv networks have reported the cables on the McCanns. Typically though, some are trying to mislead the public into thinking that UK cops "developed" evidence is that they concocted evidence to frame the McCanns. I see the pros have latched onto this in their comments, desperate times ahead.

I was interested to read that Goncalo thinks Wikileaks might also be able to get the American satellite pictures that the PJ were denied, which could show who carried Madeleine from the apt, now that would be very interesting.

I take my hat off to you Viv, you have always said our Police would not give up on Madeleine, I think you will be proved right.

viv said...

14 December 2010 Last updated at 15:07 Share this pageFacebookTwitter ShareEmail Print Forensic Science Service to be wound up
The FSS has provided important DNA evidence in a number of high-profile cases Continue reading the main story
Related stories
Freed man 'to be paid millions'
New DNA test gives cold case hope
Fibres 'link accused to victims'
The government-owned Forensic Science Service, which employs 1,600 people, is to be wound up - closing by 2012.

Crime Reduction Minister James Brokenshire said the Birmingham-based service was losing about £2m a month and could run out of money in January.

Its evidence was key to the arrest of serial killer Steve Wright and in the case of missing girl Shannon Matthews.

The Prospect union, representing 1,000 FSS professionals, said the decision made a "mockery" of the justice system.

Its deputy general secretary Mike Clancy said: "Cost will now determine justice in the UK. The government is putting its faith in an untested market to deliver forensic science at a time when it has never been more important to the detection of crime."

The decision would "destroy a world-class body" that was envied by international police and lead to an over-emphasis in profits in the sector which could threaten the quality of the science, he added.

However, the FSS had faced increased private-sector competition for police contracts and Mr Brokenshire told the BBC this was enabling forces to achieve greater efficiency.

"They're seeing better turnaround in terms of the way in which forensics are being processed," he said.

'Decisive action'

viv said...

The FSS has two offices in Birmingham and sites in Chepstow, Chorley, London, Huntingdon and Wetherby.

In a statement, the FSS said spending cuts meant police forces had less money for forensics consultancy and were increasingly taking such work in-house.

It said it had raised such concerns to the Home Office and was "disappointed" that they had not been addressed before the winding-up decision was made.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
There is concern that if you're simply looking at the bottom line… critical evidence might not come to light and be produced in court”
End Quote
Clive Coleman

BBC legal affairs analyst
In a written statement to MPs, Mr Brokenshire had said it was vital for the government to take "clear and decisive action" to sort out the FSS after it got into "serious financial difficulty".

"The police have advised us that their spend on external forensic suppliers will continue to fall over the next few years as forces seek to maximise efficiencies in this area," he said.

"We have therefore decided to support the wind-down of the FSS, transferring or selling off as much of its operations as possible."

DNA evidence gathered by the FSS led to the arrest of Ipswich murderer Wright within days of the discovery of his fifth victim.

The company also provided toxicology evidence against Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan which helped ensure their conviction for kidnapping and drugging schoolgirl Shannon.

BBC legal affairs analyst Clive Coleman said the FSS had enjoyed significant successes and had a good reputation, despite one or two failures such as the Damilola Taylor murder inquiry where DNA evidence was initially missed.

He said private enterprise, which already made up 40% of the market, should expand to fill the gap left behind by the FSS.

However, there were concerns that commercial pressures might mean additional tests and analysis were no longer done.

"There is a concern from some lawyers that perhaps if you're simply looking at the bottom line… critical evidence might not come to light and be produced in court," he added.

The FSS has been government-owned since 2005.
More on This Story
Related storiesFreed man 'to be paid millions' 11 JANUARY 2010, HAMPSHIRE
New DNA test gives cold case hope 23 MARCH 2009, UK
Fibres 'link accused to victims' 05 FEBRUARY 2008, SUFFOLK

viv said...

Hiya Di

and it is good to see both you and Wiz back now there is some news that is worth commenting about.

British cops typically talk of a "development" in a case which is quite clearly understood to mean, new evidence has come to light.

My understanding would be that all those Brit cops flooded over to Portugal because it was clear from the misleading lies being told by Kate, Gerry and the rest of the TAPAS group that they were involved in the disappearance of Madeleine. When no evidence was actually coming to light of how Madeleine may have been abducted or where she might be, they quite naturally turned to looking for evidence of her death and to an extent seem to have found it. Of interest here is the above report on the demise of the FSS who have been known to botch results. Could it be that another firm may be asked to look again at this evidence to try and produce results that are "definitive"? I am not saying I am clear Madeleine died, my position remains that Gerry McCann and almost certainly David Payne were abusing her and planned to get rid of her on this holiday, whether that involved murder or spiriting her away with the assistance of some like minded and wealthy person, perhaps someone like Brian Kennedy, I do not know. I still think for Madeleine's sake we should keep an open mind on that and be aware this child may be alive and suffering terribly. It would have been quite possible to someone who is so incredibly wealthy, planes, yachts, helicopters at his disposal, not to mention any number of fast and expensive sea and road vehicles to have simply made Madeleine disappear into thin air as she did.

I find it frustrating that not only are the Pro McCanns attempting to re-interpret the very clear words of Mr Ellis that only have one meaning but also many anti McCanns are continuing to insist there is some sort of conspiracy to protect the McCanns. We now have it confirmed from Goncalo himself also that British Police were very much "on the case" in terms of nabbing the McCanns. But still these people persist, well Gordon Brown got them off the hook. That is utter nonsense. How much of a political cous would it be for the tories to now proclaim this and totally discredit the Labour Party. If Gordon Brown had been so incredibly stupid they would not hesitate to do so.

The simple fact is the Portuguese Prosecutor is correct, there is no clear evidence as to what happened to Madeleine. But one thing is tolerably clear, her parents know, they are just not prepared to say.

It is utterly pointless to keep on protesting well if they would just attend a reconstruction in Portugal, again the simple fact is they will not, because it would incriminate them and there is no legal procedure that could force them to do so.

I believe Stu Prior worked extremely hard to persuade them to go, because he knew how important the evidence that would have produced would be to prosecuting this lot. For that he got abused and criticised, it is high time people stopped blaming the Police or the Politicians and laid the blame firmly where it belongs, with the TAPAS group. From the outset we were told they were key to unravelling what happened in this case and that is an absolute certainty. There are no rich backers behind the McCanns, other than at least in the past, the equally dubious Brian Kennedy. There is no conspiracy, it is lack of evidence.

People are also foolish to keep insisting they want more leaks of the evidence against the McCanns, they should accept the legal reality, they would mean they could not be put on trial because it would be declared unfair. This is precisely why both politicians and police officers who are privy to that information will not disclose it.

viv said...

Di, I actually think that if there were any satellite pictures available we would have obtained them from the Americans. If they did exist and showed Gerry carting Madeleine off he would most certainly have been arrested, unless there was a feeling she is still alive and may be recovered of course, in which case, they would consider getting her far more important, confident in the knowledge his time will come.

I know that just as soon as the police do have a further major "development" in this case, Gerry will be getting his collar felt. There is absolutely nothing that gives police officers of every rank greater pleasure than arresting a child abuser/killer having gained sufficient evidence to do so. Brit cops have clear jurisdiction to act against the McCanns in this case, they do not need to wait for Portugal to make further moves against them, it is almost impossible for Portugal to further investigate this couple.

viv said...

and what of his missing holdall?

Gerry is just not stupid enough to have carried her off in full view of passers by. If he were that stupid he would have been arrested as quickly as Karen Matthews, but he is in a very different league to her and quite determined to get away with this - he will not outsmart senior cops and profilers however who will understand him better than he does himself. He just likes to think that way.

This is a cat and mouse game that he must surely lose in the end, it is very rare indeed for anyone to get away with such a crime when the police know full well who committed it.