27 Jul 2011


McCanns launch fightback over 'nonsensical' murder claims

By Ian Herbert
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
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Kate and Gerry McCann launched a robust fightback against the Portuguese police yesterday, as their advisers tore into the case against them and insisted that there are entirely innocent explanations for the reported discovery of their daughter Madeleine's DNA in their hire car.
A source close to the couple said that traces of DNA with a match to Madeleine were found in a Renault Scenic, hired 25 days after her disappearance, simply because her belongings were transferred in the boot of the car. These included her sandals which, experts have told the McCanns, would have left traces of DNA from her sweat.
The couple will also argue that at least 30 people connected to them, including blood relatives, used the Renault Scenic before police seized it to gather forensic samples. The source said yesterday: "What people have got to ask themselves is just how many people were associated with that vehicle over a 10-week period? How many family, friends and campaign workers? How many blood relatives, how many drivers? I know of at least 30 people being associated with that vehicle in the relevant period.
"People also need to consider what was carried in that car for entirely innocent reasons. These are all areas that will provide the innocent explanations. When viewed as a whole by any rational person, these reasons at best raise fundamental questions about the reliability of any so-called evidence and at worst render it totally useless."
It is a week since Sky News broadcast a report that DNA samples with a 100 per cent match to Madeleine had been found in the boot of the Scenic. Suggestions that the match might be bodily fluids prompted a rash of speculation about decomposing bodies. But bodily fluids can include sweat or urine.
The couple's new spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, who resigned his position at the Cabinet Office's media monitoring unit to take up work for them in Leicestershire, said any suggestion the McCanns had harmed their daughter was "as ludicrous as it is nonsensical". Standing beside the couple in the driveway of their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, he said the suggestion would "be laughable if it wasn't so serious".
The McCanns' new-found public confidence stems from the team they are quietly building to counter the unsourced allegations coming out of Portugal. The couple spent Friday and Saturday in consultation with their lawyers from Kingsley Napley and by Sunday were already insisting that the scent of death picked up by sniffer dogs was a legally discredited line of inquiry. Mr Mitchell is also believed to be involved in the process of monitoring claims about them from Portugal.
Mr Mitchell was initially seconded from the Cabinet Office to assist the McCanns, but he said his re-employment, after an approach supported by the couple's legal team and financial backers, meant that continuing to work for the Civil Service was "untenable" and so he had resigned.
"I have done so because I feel so strongly that they are innocent victims of a heinous crime that I am prepared to forgo my career in government service to assist them," he said. "I wish to stress that from now on I am in no way speaking on behalf of the British Government."
Mr Mitchell said the McCanns were happy to continue their co-operation with the Portuguese authorities to establish what has happened to Madeleine. "The focus must now move away from the rampant, unfounded and inaccurate speculation of recent days, to return to the child at the very centre of this, Madeleine," he said. He also said the family wanted to stop people photographing and filming the McCanns' two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.
The twins did not seem to have been affected by Madeleine's disappearance, Mr Mitchell said. "They are very happy being at home. Mum and dad are constantly talking to them about Madeleine," he added. "It's not as if there's any secrecy. They are surrounded by her toys, books and pictures. They [Mr and Mrs McCann] make it clear, if they ask where she is, that she's not here at the moment."
The campaign's key figures
Gerry McCann
Mr McCann has assiduously nurtured contacts among national newspaper editors to counteract the stories emanating from Portugal. He is believed to have telephoned the News of the World's editor, Colin Myler, shortly before he was declared an arguido (suspect), to tell his side of the story, and it was a direct call by Mr McCann to Rebekah Wade last week that resulted in a Sun splash and inside headline: 'There's no proof.' By contrast, the day before the paper ran with the headline: 'Guilty or Innocent?'
Clarence Mitchell
The McCanns' communication operation was at its best when the former BBC News presenter was seconded for a month to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to replace the former Daily Mirror journalist and long-serving government spokeswoman Sheree Dodd in May. His decision to resign on Monday as head of the Government's media monitoring unit and return to the fray, replacing Justine McGuinness, has already helped the McCanns begin their fightback against innuendos in the Portuguese press. Calm and erudite, it was Mr Mitchell who briefed on Sunday that US case law might help shoot down 'evidence' that sniffer dogs had 'smelled death' in the McCanns' apartment.
John McCann
Gerry McCann's brother, a pharmaceutical sales rep, is a director and trustee of the Find Madeleine Appeal Fund, but has also been the family's calm, public face, who toured television studios on Saturday to reassert his brother and sister-in-law's innocence. His sister, Philomena, has had a higher profile, visiting the Scottish Parliament to discuss the case and speaking live to rolling news channels, but the family values John McCann's less emotional output.
Angus McBride
He, rather than his colleague Michael Caplan QC, seems to be taking a leading role in the case at Kingsley Napley, the London law firm recently appointed by the McCanns. Mr McBride toured many national newspaper offices with Justine McGuinness last week and, though he has not made any public statements, he is believed to have been behind the challenge to the sniffer dog 'evidence'. He defended the actor Chris Langham, who was recently sentenced for child pornography offences.
Carlos Pinto de Abreu
The McCanns' Portuguese lawyer is based in London and, after a brilliant academic career, is one of Portugal's most celebrated legal men, with a direct line to the country's Attorney General by virtue of their work together on human rights issues. Mr De Abreu's services have been put at £200 an hour but he is a vital source of clarity, explaining publicly last week that the McCanns' initial belief that they were offered a plea bargain was flawed


viv said...

It is interesting to note how Gerry's calls to two character we now know for a fact are decidedly dodgy (something of an understatement) got The Sun and the News of the World to start printing his dogma instead of poking the finger at him. I think the conversation went something along the lines of, if you want a direct line to me, print what I tell you to print and they obliged. Let's face it Murdoch titles have never been too concerned about the truth it is about what sells and someone like Gerry who they know can sell papers for them. They were right, people do have McCann mania, lol!

Gerry McCann
Mr McCann has assiduously nurtured contacts among national newspaper editors to counteract the stories emanating from Portugal. He is believed to have telephoned the News of the World's editor, Colin Myler, shortly before he was declared an arguido (suspect), to tell his side of the story, and it was a direct call by Mr McCann to Rebekah Wade last week that resulted in a Sun splash and inside headline: 'There's no proof.' By contrast, the day before the paper ran with the headline: 'Guilty or Innocent?

Di said...

Hi Viv

Things are certainly moving fast at the moment.

Murdoch has much to answer for in this case, what was it Rebekah Wade said, something about printing stuff that they knew was not true!!

I have watched Pat Brown's video regarding the pulling of her book from Amazon. I think Amazon have made a huge mistake, Pat as we see is not going to give up on this one. Carter Ruck can threaten but you can ignore.

J Morais has pointed out on Twitter GA's book was banned in Portugal only, nowhere else, but CR are threatening everyone and people are caving in for no reason.

Hopefully, Amazon will reinstate Pat's book and common sense will prevail.

I have to agree with Steel Magnolia, Murdoch is backing the McCanns which is why we have never seen any true reporting or people speaking out. What whimps, get a backbone and let's see the truth for once. Madeleine deserves that much.

viv said...

Hiya Di

I think the Independent deserve a lot of credit for the above report way back in September 2007. Of course, we did not realise its full import then, but now we know, Gerry was directly contacting senior Murdoch staff at the same time as he was being made an Arguido. I hardly think he can say that was with a view to finding Maddie really, do you?

It does provide a complete explanation for the public fury and perplexity at the support of the McCanns in the media. It was Rupert support who was offering that support purely to line his own depleted pockets and the rest were latching onto a clear fire money spinner.

I like to think that when the police spent all those hours grilling Rebekah but not charging her with anything, they were gleaning information to catch a far more serious criminal and I am willing to bet she knows an awful lot about Gerry McCann and would not hesitate to dob him in to the police to save herself.

I would imagine Carter Ruck, Angus McBride and Co are working overtime for the desperate McCanns at the moment and I do not think they will get any more favourable press in The Sun. Those days are over, so Pat should draw some comfort from that. If they were not so fearful they would not need to keep spending THEIR fund money on fighting for their survival, they could just sit back and enjoy it.

I believe London Mets investigations into phone hacking and the McCanns are linked and it will be the end of them. No one is going to fail to speak because they know how serious it is for themselves if they do not. Even the Law Society are investigating solicitors who failed to disclose relevant and serious information to the police. They say they had a duty of confidentiality to Rupert Murdoch, they have no duty to withhold evidence from the police on serious criminality. If they know their client is guilty of an offence as charged they can represent him and mitigate that, but they cannot be a party to such a serious coverup. This is just explosive.

I am surprised you want the truth for Madeleine printed in the newspapers. Do we not need a trial of the McCanns first?

viv said...

In fact I think the British press will now just stop mentioning the McCanns altogether (that seems to have already happened) whilst the police get on with the job. Murdoch knows he has caused enough trouble on the McCann case IMO and we will hear no more from his remaining titles IMO. That is why the McScams had to go to Australia, but the video produced hardly does them any favours....did you kill her and all the flashbacks to them making some phony comment, I do not think they are believed. It is just more sensational journalism at the expense of the hapless McScams.

viv said...

It did not take Pat very long to get her book on sale again! $2.99, I think that will put it beyond the reach of the McScams and their lawyers, lol!


Di said...

Hi Viv

I would be happy for just one story, McCanns arrested.

I don't know whether you have seen this posted on Steel Magnolia.


viv said...

Hiya Di

Well yes their arrest would just cause the most massive internet party, I am sure!

The claims made on that Steel Magnolia post are pretty shocking and also pretty lacking in hard evidence to back them up. About the only thing you can say is Jim Gamble did appear to be friendly with Gerry McCann and the Home Secretary did recently accept his resignation. But I can think of perfectly innocent reasons to explain both of those.

I think if Gerry did already have the conviction as suggested he would have been in custody a long time ago, but I have to admit that is what I imagine him to be. That does not mean he is, we clearly need to be careful in repeating such shocking claims, I think. The Gaspar statements, now that is another matter, they are hard reality and paedophiles do talk in exactly the way she described about fantasy scenarios of child abuse, it gives them a thrill.

Also the email exchange between Ricardo Paiva and DC Marshall is clear reality, that is what they were looking at and questioning the Paynes about. By October, after they had dismissed Goncalo and his accidental death theories, this is what they were looking at, child sexual abuse. The investigation clearly moved in that direction and I do think Goncalo and Pat are wrong. Apart from anything else they would both know you cannot publically discuss the evidence in a case ahead of any charges being brought. And I am afraid the fact they are making money out of it just cannot be ignored IMO.

su said...

Agreed. They are making money out of it.

Wizard said...

Hi Viv,

It was interesting reading this extract from Ian Herbert’s article. He says:-

‘The couple will also argue that at least 30 people connected to them, including blood relatives, used the Renault Scenic before police seized it to gather forensic samples. The source said yesterday; “What people have got to ask themselves is just how many people were associated with that vehicle over a 10-week period? How many family, friends and campaign workers? How many blood relatives, how many drivers? I know of at least 30 people being associated with that vehicle in the relevant period.”

Now why did the source find it necessary to tell a reporter all this. It would be interested to know who the source was and who was pulling the sources strings.

Wizard said...

As I mentioned I was in NY at the end of May and the big news item then was the Strauss-Kahn rape case. The hotel where the incident occurred was opposite our hotel of West 44th Street.

Sky has just carried a live link with NY where a press conference had Nafissatou Diallo, the chambermaid at the centre of the allegations, defending her reputation. It really sickens me how far the rich and famous can go to protect themselves because of their wealth. Strauss-Kahn could, but for these allegations, have been the next president of France. Someone with his past behaviour concerning women should not be the President of anything let alone a country.

Diallo is probably the victim here and it is appalling if Kahn gets off just because he has the money to coerce witnesses to suggest Diallo’s past is not lily-white. I think we know that people who employ expensive sharp talking lawyer can usually muddy the waters enough to avoid charges which lesser mortal would go down for. I hope the prosecution go for this man and put him behind bars where he belongs.

viv said...

Hiya all

Wiz I did note the pretty over the top explanations about the hire car contained in that report. It sounded a very similar mentality to flooding the apartment with people ahead of the police arriving, thus destroying the crime scene. When anyone over eggs the pudding you naturally feel they are seeking to hide their own guilt.

But who is the source and who is pulling the strings, again, great point.

Who was the source of stating that Kate came into contact with 6 dead bodies in her work to explain the cadaver odour, it seems it was Philomena. It was certainly her who clearly suggested to the worlds media Kate killed Madeleine. Who would be pulling her strings? Well the answer to that is obvious. I think there is just one puppet master really and her needed Clarence Mitchell because it would have been obvious if he kept getting Philomena to drop it out that it was all coming direct from him.

People say they believe the dogs and dogs do not lie. But I think they miss the point, what if Gerry got them to lie on his behalf? Some cadaver dog scenting in the apartment does not actually prove anything at all. It most definitely could be a case of Gerry pulling everyone's strings to cover up what he really is.

viv said...

Hiya Su

If either Pat or Goncalo are really interested in the cause of justice for one child in particular, why do they not just publically speak? Why do they have to write a money spinning book about it that undoubtedly could cause serious harm to an ongoing police investigation and the prospects of the guilty being put on trial, fairly?

WE can see that the Rebekah Brooks wrapped up people like the McCanns and Sara Payne in apparent helpful kindness because she was after just one thing, the huge amounts of cash that can be made from stories involving children that they represent.

I am always going to struggle to trust anyone who cashes in on a defenceless little child.

I think conspiracy theories are fed into the system so that the writer has some justification for acting as they do, but you can imagine what the Metropolitan Police would have to say about them.

viv said...

Gerry McCann and Rebekah Wade were quite willing to pervert the course of justice and the way the public think on the Maddie case, she was quite happy to completely change tack and label him as "innocent" in return for having him in her pocket and keeping her boss Rupert Murdoch happy with all the money she was making him, it matters not what she did to get that blood money, abused or murdered children, fine. "Guilty or innocent" was a good headline, asking the searching questions. "there's no proof" was repeating the doctrine of a sickening criminal. Rebekah knew that but she makes a point of getting people like Sara Payne and Gerry McCann very close to her, that gives her the power of the news.

it was a direct call by Mr McCann to Rebekah Wade last week that resulted in a Sun splash and inside headline: 'There's no proof.' By contrast, the day before the paper ran with the headline: 'Guilty or Innocent?

Di said...

Hi all

Viv I am now starting to understand exactly where you are coming from. Hackgate has opened my eyes and I am sure many others.

If we go down the route discussed earlier, and let's just say Operation Ore comes into the equation, absolutely anything is possible. Evidence planted, evidence removed, this is becoming more sinister by the day.

Di said...

Hi Wizard

I couldn't agree more. SK is hiding behind his wealth like many others we know.

viv said...

Hiya Di

I was just reading back to our posts a long time ago.

It reminded me that Goncalo got taken off the case at the point where he was insisting he wanted to bring Martin Smith over again.

But I am pretty certain that if he was a witness paid for by Brian Kennedy or Gerry's slush fund British Police would not want that touched, that would definitely have gotten him removed immmediately as he was.

I am sticking with my feeling now that we have some really good top lady cops at London Met and they will be going for this lot, mercilessly and clinically and we will get a result.

Di said...

Hi Viv

If, as many are saying, GB is involved also possibly other MP's and Police, could we not get yet another cover up. I do hope not.

viv said...

I still very firmly believe that Gerry considered it absolutely vital to lead the world's media and the Police to the unrelenting conclusion that Maddie disappeared from that apartment after 9 that night whilst they were at dinner.

If it became known she actually disappeared far earlier, then quite obviously only the McCanns and their friends could be responsible for that disappearance. It is clear from the email of Paiva and Marshall they do think it happened earlier and the Paynes were involved. All that confusing babble about Gerry sending Payne to see if Kate was alright etc...it is not the least bit clear that Payne ever played tennis that night, so what was he doing?

Why does Kate say Maddie was tired and she had to carry her? Because she is implying some "abductor" was in there the night before, drugging her to cover up any evidence of drugging and also Mrs Fenn hearing Maddie cry. A good criminal will always seek to cover all the evidence, that is why the McCanns have been so determined to get their hands on it.

Say the police know Smith is a suspect witness for example, Gerry would want to know that. He desperately needs to be in control and I know it is pure agony for him not to know what the police know about him and his little games.

viv said...

Hiya again Di

When it comes out in the wash, it is as I said all along, the wealthy tories who are helping the McCanns, not Gordon Brown. That is just part of their typical spin doctoring.

If you were to suggest Tony Blair I would not be so defensive, he is a woolf in sheep's clothing and has now amassed a £60M fortune. "New Labour" what a joke!

viv said...

Murdoch does not manage to conceal how much he hates Gordon Brown.

viv said...

Tony Blair could be bought, Murdoch supported him.

Gordon Brown could not be bought, Murdoch turned back to the real tories and the endless stream of parties began again.

But Labour and The Guardian, aided very admirably by the New York Times have been plugging away at the most incredible corruption and Cameron just could not keep a lid on it.

IMO, Yates is one of the most corrupt tory coppers that was at the London Met. I have read his evidence to the Select Committees, he is one very slippery liar who thinks he can talk his way out of anything. But he is so corrupt, just like Gerry, he does not realise quite how bad his own words sound to an honest person.

I really dread to think just what Yates would have been prepared to coverup for his wealthy friends.

viv said...

This is just pure speculation but we know that Kennedy, McCann and Mitchell are very good friends. What about Yates, is he into the wealthy sporting set, I would not be the least bit surprised. Anyone for golf?

Gerry and Payne liked to to to Portugal to erm, play golf. Seriously wealthy men can afford big yachts and private planes. Very handy, I am sure.

viv said...

I gather one of Rupert Murdoch's titles in India arranged a Maddie sighting, thousands of tweets, huge threads were devoted to it.


Di said...

Yes Viv

Very sad, I can't see a happy ending for Madeleine in any of this.

Tony Blair! don't even get me started on him and his wife. I have several friends whose kids have been fighting abroad and for what?

I agree, from what I have read G Brown would not be bought by the Murdoch empire, all credit to him.

Wizard said...

Has the Daily Express finally lost the plot? ‘She is still out there’ splashed in bold print across their front page. This of course is the story about the alleged sighting of M in northern India. Why did the Express think it was an appropriate story for their front page?

Clarence is wheeled out telling us that G&K have not taken this sighting seriously. Well who would - only apparently the Express.

Wizard said...

The penny has just dropped. The Carter-Rucking of Pat Brown needed burying what better way of doing of it than springing a new sighting of M. Silly me.

viv said...

Hiya Wiz

It is almost like they have sightings all lined up ready to roll for whenever they need a lift or want to bury bad news.

If I were them I would be wanting to bury that performance in Australia, just for once I don't think the press were doing them any favours here!

viv said...

Baroness Buscombe is another resignee, she says she is proud of her work overseeing the Press Complaints Commission, the lady is a qualified barrister. That must explain her "pride". She is determined to "help" Lord Leveson "unfettered" by a her former role at the PCC. I was already concerned that Lord Leveson is too much of a friend...Its a bit like Clarence Mitchell is so determined to keep on "helping" Kate and Gerry McCann, I think.

Di said...

Hi Viv & all

I have to say, well done to Pat Brown, she is certainly getting the word out there. I think the McCann's will rue the day they got Pat's book removed from Amazon.

viv said...

Hiya Di

Nothing validates the alerts of the dogs better really than the response of Kate and Gerry McCann.

If they are an innocent couple using fund monies to keep dashing around suing and threatening people has to be a first, lol!

It is certainly quiet on the news front but as they say, no news is good news and London Met have been at it long enough now to be delving in nice and deeply.

I think Rebekah predicted for us we may need to wait another year or so, she ought to know!