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Carta Rogatoria - 04, Statements 1
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Gonçalo Amaral
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'A Verdade Da Mentira', 'The Truth Of The Lie' (1) - Book Summary
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Gonçalo Amaral - The Interviews (July '08)
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The Expresso Interview
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The Joana Case Verdict
Gerry returns to Portugal, 13 Jan 2009
Gerry: Culture, Media and Sport Committee
New Appeal Campaign March/April 2009
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The Oprah Show / New Maddie Image
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C4 Cutting Edge: 'Madeleine Was Here'
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'Madeleine Was Here' - 'Scarface' / 3 Witnesses
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McCanns Try To 'Gag' Gonçalo Amaral
Gonçalo Amaral - The Civil Court Injunction
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'A Mordaça Inglesa' - The English Gag
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McCanns Return To Portugal, 23/09/2009
Gerry McCann: IBA Conference, Madrid
'A Minute For Madeleine' Campaign
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Gonçalo Amaral's Court Hearing (adjourned)
McCanns Return To Praia da Luz
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Peace Service, Maddie's 7th Birthday, Gerry's Cycle Event
Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan - 1
Charles O'Neill and William Lauchlan - 2
Appeals Court Lifts Ban On Amaral's Book
McCanns' Appeal For Donations & Case Review (Media Reports)
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McCanns Appeal To The Supreme Court
McCanns Announce Book Deal
WikiLeaks Release
Kate McCann and Claudia Lawrence
Alpha Investigations Group
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Kate's Book & JK Rowling Denial
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Serialisation Of 'Madeleine' Begins
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Media Interviews - 12 May 2011
Met. Police Review Announced
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News of the World Hacking Scandal
The Leh 'Sighting' - India
McCanns Appear At The Leveson Inquiry
McCanns' Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry
Leveson Inquiry: Crone, Myler and Sanderson
Met. Police Review / Spanish Connection
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Leveson Inquiry: Dacre, Edmondson and Clifford
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Gonçalo Amaral v. Marcos Aragão Correia & António Pedro Dores
Met. Police Review / Portuguese Connection
Five Year Anniversary 'Sightings'
Madeleine: The Last Hope? - Panorama
Maddie's Body Found? Stephen Birch - 1
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Bianca Jones / Trial of D'Andre Lane
April Jones
The Leveson Report - Publication
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The Royal Charter - Draft Publication
Madeleine Sightings / Searches / Leads - 2013
Met. Police Review - Jan to May 2013
Kate McCann: London Marathon 2013
Six Year Anniversary - Media Interviews
Six Year Anniversary - Media Reports (1)
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Met. Police Review - June/July 2013
Urs Hans Von Aesch
Met. Police Review - 2013 (continued)
Gerry McCann: London Triathlon 2013
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day One
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day Two
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Days Three/Four
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day Five
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Day Six
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Days Seven to Ten
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Closing Arguments
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Full Court Reports
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial - Judge's Ruling
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SY Mobile Phone Traffic Announcement
Scotland Yard New E-fit Announcement
Scotland Yard Release E-fit Image
Crimewatch Appeal - UK, Germany, The Netherlands
Crimewatch - The Reaction
Public Ministry Reopens Investigation
Euclides Monteiro - The Dead Suspect
Kate McCann: Missing People Charity Events
Michael Schneider: Searching For Madeleine
CMTV Reconstruction / Studio Debate
'Joint Investigation Team' and Crimewatch Update
Scotland Yard Investigation - Jan 2014
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Seven Year Anniversary - Media Reports/Interviews
Scotland Yard Investigation - May 2014
Miles For Missing People / The Big Tweet
Police Searches Announced - Praia da Luz
Police Searches - Praia da Luz - Day One
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Police Searches - Praia da Luz - Day Three
The McCanns and the Conman - Channel 5
Police Searches - Praia da Luz - Days 4/5
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SY Return to Portugal for Interviews
Buried By Mainstream Media - Video/DVD
Brenda Leyland 1951-2014
Kate McCann 500 Mile Cycle Challenge, 13 June 2015
LCN DNA Review
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Murat Libel Settlements
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Rogatory Interviews - Russell O'Brien
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Pat Brown, Criminal Profiler
Pat Brown - The Portugal Trip
Dr Martin Roberts - 2009
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Paulo Sargento
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Madeleine Related 'Art'
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Madeleine McCann: Haunting Evidence
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Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral

Madeleine's Fund - Review & Investigation of Accounts
Madeleine's Fund - Analysis of the accounts year ended 31/03/2012

Launch of Madeleine's Fund

Enid O'Dowd takes an in depth look into the setting up and subsequent running of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited (up to the release of the 2010/2011 Accounts)

Exclusive to mccannfiles.com

Brian Kennedy

Enid O'Dowd: An analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned for the year ended 31 March 2012, and of issues arising from that analysis

Exclusive to mccannfiles.com

Madeleine's Fund - Analysis of the accounts year ended 31/03/2013
Madeleine's Fund - Analysis of the accounts year ended 31/03/2014

Libel trial witnesses for the McCanns who had their expenses covered by Madeleine's Fund

Enid O'Dowd: An analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned for the year ended 31 March 2013, and of issues arising from that analysis

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Enid O'Dowd: An analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned for the year ended 31 March 2014, and of issues arising from that analysis

Exclusive to mccannfiles.com

 
Maddie - A Verdade Da Mentira - BANNED
 

Maddie - A Verdade Da Mentira Guerra & Paz (no longer available)

Maddie - A Verdade Da Mentira

Author: Amaral, Gonçalo
Genre: Non-Fiction
Issue year: 2008
Format: 15x23cm
No. of Pages: 215
Weight: 322g
ISBN: 978-989-8174-12-3

In Stock


Price: € 9.90

Synopsis

With thanks to Astro for translation

«[...] This book has a higher purpose. That of contributing to the discovery of the material truth and the achievement of justice in the investigation that is known as the "Maddie Case". These are fundamental values that I have committed myself to, by duty of conscience, conviction and discipline towards the institution that I was proud to be a part of. These same values were not extinguished with my retirement and they will always be present in my life. Under no circumstance whatsoever does the book call the work of my colleagues at the Judiciary Police into question, nor does it compromise the ongoing investigation. It is my deep understanding that revealing all of the facts in a work of this kind might jeopardize future actions that are decisive for the discovery of the truth. Nonetheless, the reader will find data that is previously unknown, interpretations of the facts – always under the light of law – and, of course, relevant questions. A criminal investigation is only committed to searching for the material truth. It must not worry about political correctness.»

Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral

"We are in the face of a mere battle in a war that is far from over."

- Portugal Resident, 28 April 2015

 
A Message From Gonçalo Amaral, 30 April 2015
 

A Message From Gonçalo Amaral PJGA

Gonçalo Amaral

Posted by astro on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I find that the court's decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen's right to freedom of expression and of opinion.

For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance.

If I am able to continue counting on your support, I will continue to fight within the judicial system for the Truth and the achievement of Justice.

Thank you.




We would like to add a few words of our own.

This week's verdict is the result of a long, drawn-out trial. It is far from over, as we now enter the appeals phase.

Your ongoing support - both moral and financial - has been key to Gonçalo Amaral's ability to defend himself.

There are no words that can adequately express our gratitude, as we have witnessed so many acts of solidarity over the last five years. It has been a humbling journey; a journey of learning and of sharing.

Now we need to reach the end of it.

Thank you.

 
Legal Defence Fund for Gonçalo Amaral
 

Legal Defence Fund for Gonçalo Amaral Go Fund Me

 

Gonçalo Amaral

 

Created April 29, 2015 by Leanne Baulch

PJGA was founded as a quest for justice and backed by supporters from all over the globe, in solidarity, friendship and above all, in the interest of furthering the investigation of the case into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Within this scope, with the relentless support of those who will not let this case pass into obscurity, who do not tolerate the leaving of unanswered questions, there are many who follow Amaral's dissatisfaction, and whom, like him, urge for the day the truth, or some more of it will emerge.

During the last months of 2009, a group of Gonçalo Amaral friends realised that it would be impossible for him to face the costs of his defence in the civil suit that was filed against him personally – as well as against others – brought by the McCann couple and their children, in response to his book "Maddie, A Verdade Da Mentira".

Lawsuits in Portugal are expensive, like anywhere else in the world, and the Portuguese State will only help funding legal costs if one is completely destitute. With part of his pension and the total of his assets frozen, Gonçalo Amaral would not be able to cover the legal expenses; what was left of his pension was barely enough to meet everyday living costs, but it was more than enough for the State to refuse financial support. 

Therefore, his friends decided to open a private bank account, where funds would be kept to pay, whenever necessary and whenever possible, expenses that were presented by Mr Amaral's lawyer. Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral was born out of solidarity and friendship.

The trial is ongoing, since 2009, nothing has changed, pending final judgment. We continue to accept your donations only into this one bank account and we continue to meet only legal expenses out of that very same account.

If any funds are left unused, they will be donated to a Portuguese children's charity, according to Gonçalo Amaral's wishes.

There are many ways to contribute to this Project. You can help by spreading information about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann by highlighting the Case File information. You can help by voicing your support for freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. You can help by supporting Gonçalo Amaral's defence account.

We trust that Justice will be served.

Thank you.

Any money donated to this account, will be directly transferred to the PJGA account. Please help Goncalo.

COPY, PASTE & SHARE: http://www.gofundme.com/Legal-DefencePJGA

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Gonçalo Amaral court sentence poll, 16 May 2015
 

Gonçalo Amaral court sentence poll Portugal Resident

Portugal Resident poll
Screenshot taken 16 May 2015

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 07, 2015

Do you agree with a Lisbon court sentence ordering former police inspector Gonçalo Amaral to pay €500,000 in damages to Madeleine McCann's parents over contents included in a book on the case?

Yes
5% 46 votes)

No 95% (827 votes)

Total votes: 873

  Latest news/opinion

 
Sick trolls raised £25k for McCann cop's court appeal, 02 June 2015
 

Sick trolls raised £25k for McCann cop's court appeal Daily Star

SUPPORTERS have given more than £25,000 to help a Portuguese ex-police chief fight a libel payout to the parents of Madeleine McCann.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 2nd June 2015

PARENTS: Kate and Gerry McCann [PA]

It was revealed that 1,559 people, including trolls, have pledged donations via a website to Goncarlo Amaral's appeal against a £357,000 order.

And one four-figure donation is allegedly from members of the Metropolitan Police in London, which is conducting its own probe into Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in 2007.

The donation to Mr Amaral's fighting fund on website gofundme.com was credited to "MPS", believed to refer to the Metropolitan Police Service.

MADELINE: Before she disappeared in 2007 [GETTY]

It is claimed the money came from "an anonymous but very large group of British police officers" said to be "outraged at the way in which a senior investigating officer has been treated".

Mr Amaral was ordered to surrender the cash by a Portuguese court after accusing Kate McCann, 47, and Gerry, 46, of covering up their missing daughter's death in a book about the case.

Leanne Baulch, 22, from Birmingham, said she launched the fighting fund in a "quest for justice" because Mr Amaral couldn't raise the money.

She said cash had poured in from "all over the globe".



Trolls £25k for McCann cop's appeal Daily Star (paper edition, page 6)

Trolls £25k for McCann cop's appeal - Daily Star (paper edition, page 6)

They back his libel battle

by JERRY LAWTON
Tuesday, June 2, 2015


SUPPORTERS have given more than £25,00 to help a Portuguese ex-police chief fight a libel payout to the parents of Madeleine McCann

It was revealed that 1,559 people, including trolls, have pledged donations via a website to Goncarlo Amaral's appeal against a £357,000 order.

(article continues as per online version)



'MPS' donation GoFundMe

'MPS' donation - GoFundMe

£1,000

MPS -
3 days ago

MPS from an anonymous but very large group of Brit. police officers, outraged at the way in which an SIO has been treated. This strikes at the very basis of the way investigations whould be conducted, "Without Fear or Favour, Malice or ill will". The world can clearly see where the malice and ill-will are in this case.

 
Gonçalo Amaral's appeal fund reaches its £25,000 target… and keeps going, 01 June 2015
 

Gonçalo Amaral's appeal fund reaches its £25,000 target… and keeps going Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on June 01, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

In a whirlwind month, the fund set up by a young single mother from Birmingham to support former "Maddie cop" Gonçalo Amaral in his appeal over record damages awarded against him in a civil case taken out by the parents of Madeleine McCann has reached its £25,000 target.

A total of 1,555 people have raised the money, giving multiple messages of encouragement.

And in Portugal, the Project Justiça Goncalo Amaral blogsite has acknowledged the huge boost to its ongoing efforts.

But the truth is that "quite a bit more money is needed" Leanne Baulch, the 22-year-old behind the gofundme appeal set up in UK told us.

"I think what is needed is around £40,000," she told us this morning, against the background noise of her toddler daughter yodelling "Hello!" into the Skype microphone.

"I want to keep this going," she explained.

As we spoke, Leanne's initial target had already been surpassed by £375.

Meantime, the PJGA website in Portugal has itemised all monies received so far to help the former police inspector finance his appeal against damages that would see him forced to pay the McCanns over €500,000 - money he has always explained he does not have.

According to the PJGA's latest posting, the £25,000 raised by Leanne's appeal has been boosted by €5,643 raised via PayPal along with a further $90 dollars.

The site affirms that all the money will be going to "cover expenses related to the defence of Gonçalo Amaral with regard to the civil action presented by the McCann family", and it adds that a new message will follow when an appeal has been presented.

The saga centring on the McCann's distress over Amaral's book The Truth of the Lie has been ongoing for almost six years - with the couple maintaining that Amaral's theory that they faked their daughter's abduction caused them "devastation, desperation, anxiety and pain".

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

£25,000 target reached, 31 May 2015
£25,000 target reached, 31 May 2015

 
Thank You. Again., 31 May 2015
 

Thank You. Again. PJGA

Thank you

Posted by astro on Sunday, May 31, 2015

Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral's Legal Defence account has received since April 28, 2015

- through Paypal:

€ 5643.62 (five thousand six hundred forty three euro and sixty two cents) and

$ 90.57 (ninety dollars and fifty seven cents)

- through the GoFundMe page created by Leanne Baulch:

£ 23,910 (twenty three thousand nine hundred and ten pounds)

These amounts will be applied to cover expenses with the defence of Gonçalo Amaral, in the civil suit brought against him by the McCann family.

The appeal is being prepared by Mr Amaral's lawyers and will be filed in due time.

Once the appeal is filed, PJGA will publish a statement.

At this point, we would like to, once again, thank you for your immense support - and patience.

Our trust in Portuguese justice remains firmly in place.

Thank you.

 
Tweet for our missing kids ... and help end heartbreak, 25 May 2015
 

Tweet for our missing kids ... and help end heartbreak The Sun (paper edition, page 20)

SUPPORT CHARITY BID TO FIND LOST CHILDREN

Tweet for our missing kids ... and help end heartbreak - The Sun (paper edition, page 20)

TODAY, on International Missing Children's Day, Missing People is holding The Big Tweet for Missing Children 2015, to help find some of the 140,000 UK kids who vanish every year.

Celebs including the Beckhams are taking part and we want YOU to get involved too. For 24 hours the charity will tweet an alert for a missing child every 30 minutes and we urge you to retweet the appeals.

Here Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared eight years ago, tells ANTONELLA LAZZERI why it is so vital.

 By KATE McCANN 
Monday, May 25, 2015


TODAY is International Missing Children's Day. Millions of people will be looking forward to a longed-for opportunity to relax, bring family and friends together and enjoy a (hopefully) sunny Bank Holiday Monday.

However, the day is also a very important one for the families of the 140,000 children who go missing in the UK every year.

Thankfully, most of these children will be found quickly and will be safe from harm. Some will not.

For families - mums, dads, brothers and sisters - whose children have gone missing it means living with unending heartbreak in an endless circle of hope and despair.

Through my voluntary work as an Ambassador of the charity Missing People I have met many families, like mine, who are living this nightmare.

I have seen how grown-up siblings are driven to take on the mantle of searching once their parents no longer can.

It is a very painful prospect that our twins may live their lives searching for their sister - and makes our need for answers as desperate as ever.

'It's about reaching out far and wide'

Every pair of eyes and ears makes a big difference to the search.

This is why I am asking Sun readers to take some time out today to support The Big Tweet for Missing Children (which is made possible by funding from financial markets operator ICAP).

The idea is simple, it harnesses social media for good and it's been proven to help find missing children.

Missing People will make an appeal for a different missing child or young person on Twitter every half hour for 24 hours. Twitter users from all over the UK and beyond then share and retweet as many as possible. It's about reaching out far and wide to find these children.

You might be that someone who recognises one of the faces seen on Twitter as you pass them by in the street, or the supermarket, or the train station.

Last year, thanks to everyone who took part, including huge support from Sun readers, we had 83,000 appeals for missing children retweeted on the day.

That kind of publicity means the world to any mother, father, sister or brother who is missing a loved one.

Even more importantly, ten of the children we appealed for were found.

The Big Tweet 2014 was made better and stronger thanks to so many Sun readers who got behind the campaign and encouraged others to do the same.

It would mean so much if you would get behind it again this year.

 
Text messages and calls "can now be submitted in court as evidence", 21 May 2015
 

Text messages and calls "can now be submitted in court as evidence" Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 21, 2015

Mobile phone

In a historic ruling, Évora's court of appeal has clarified that text messages (even if they are not read) and mobile phone records can now be used in criminal cases and do not require any authorisation by a judge.

But emails - which can be accessed by mobile phones - can only be used if the person to whom they have been addressed has read them.

The decision was announced in today's Diário de Notícias which claimed the law up until now has been "unclear in this context".

Indeed it could have changed endless police investigations in the past - not least the original Madeleine McCann inquiry.

As TVI24 reveals, in 2007 Portimão Judge Pedro Frias "refused the PJ the right to look at text messages on Kate McCann's mobile phone", justifying his decision on the basis that "telephonic interceptions could not be authorised after the event", and that he "could not authorise the consultation of written messages sent and received before receiving a request" to this effect.

Indeed TVI has run an exposé on the "controversial judge" (see our story elsewhere), adding that in 2007 "there were many voices" speaking out against this decision.

Now, as a result of the appeal court's decision, the PJ would have had a great deal more investigative freedom.

Évora's judges were asked to rule on the law following a case of theft in Serpa where the suspect had "inadvertently" left his mobile phone at the scene of the crime.

To find out who he was, police had gone through the man's text messages and phone records.

The Public Ministry had argued that this was the kind of action that only a judge could authorise, but the panel defended that, "in essence", a message kept in digital support "had the same protection as a written letter received in the post that had been opened and then filed in a personal file".

Referring specifically to the case in Serpa, which DN stressed "should now apply to other cases", the use of this kind of material should not require "previous intervention by a judge" to be authorised as proof.

Within hours of running the story, DN had received a number of commentaries both for and against.

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
Maddie cop slams McCanns over 'gag': Ex-police boss to fight court ruling, 18 May 2015
 

Maddie cop slams McCanns over 'gag': Ex-police boss to fight court ruling Daily Star

THE former police chief in the McCann libel case claims he has been gagged.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 18th May 2015

GAGGED: Goncalo Amaral claims he has been gagged by the McCanns after he wrote that they covered up their daughters disappearance in his book [TIM CLARKE]

Goncalo Amaral said he had been the victim of "an attack against freedom of expression".

He added: "I am a free man and like any other citizen in this country I have the right to express my opinions."

Mr Amaral, 55, has been told to hand over £357,000 after accusing Kate McCann, 47, and her husband Gerry, 46, of covering up their missing daughter's death in his best-selling book.

The ex-officer, who headed the initial investigation into Madeleine's 2007 disappearance, is appealing the ruling by a Portuguese judge.

He claimed he had been "tried over an offence of opinion".

Mr Amaral said the damages would bankrupt him.

He added: "My life is gone. I'm only alive due to my heart."

He told Portuguese weekly magazine Nova Gente everything in his book was contained in official police files.

Yet the judge's ruling meant the McCanns were "worth more than any Portuguese citizen dead or alive" and "above any god or divinity" in that they could not be "criticised, ridiculed and satirised".

He said: "Look at the discussions about the terrorist attacks against French newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

"With my book I did not defame, nor did I have the intention to defame anyone, but merely to report what happened during the first five months of the investigation thus replying to the attacks against my good name and my professional dignity."

Mr Amaral plans to countersue the McCanns. He said: "It is a fact that they lost their daughter but that doesn't give them the right to sue anyone or to be compensated."

The McCanns, who sought £1million damages, told the libel hearing they were "devastated" by his allegations.

 
MPS Disclosures for Week Ending 17th May 2015
 

Disclosures for Week Ending 17th May 2015: Metropolitan Police (PDF)

◾Specialist Crime and Operations - Copies of the most recent authorised statement of expenditure submitted to the Home Office in relation to Operation Grange

MPS Disclosure for Week Ending 17th May 2015

Freedom of Information Request Reference No:

I note you seek access to the following information:

Please provide copies of the most recent authorised statement of expenditure submitted to the Home Office in relation to Operation Grange.

Please provide the cost of all flights by members of the Operation Grange team in 2014 (Jan 1 to Dec 31).

Please include a breakdown with the cost of each flight.

DECISION

In relation questions 1 & 3 and having located and considered the relevant information, I am afraid that I am not required by statute to release this information.

This email serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17(1)(a)(b)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).

This information for questions 1 & 3 has been exempted pursuant to the provisions of Section's 31(1)(a)(b) and 40(2)(3) of the Act.

In relation to question 2, it has been decided to release this information.

The cost of all flights by members of the Operation Grange team in 2014 (Jan 1 to Dec 31) was £15,945.80p.

Before I explain the reasons for the decisions I have made in relation to your request, I thought that it would be helpful if I outline the parameters set out by the Act within which a request for information can be answered.

The right of access to information is not without exception and is subject to a number of exemptions, which are designed to enable public authorities to withhold information that is not suitable for release. Importantly, the Act is designed to place information into the public domain, that is, once access to information is granted to one person under the Act, it is then considered public information and must be communicated to any individual should a request be received.

Constituents of this information attract Section 31 and other constituents Section 40 of the Act.

Specialist Crime & Operations

 
Top British cop vows "Maddie hunt must continue" while "troll noise" reaches fever pitch, 15 May 2015
 

Top British cop vows "Maddie hunt must continue" while "troll noise" reaches fever pitch Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 15, 2015

Madeleine McCann

In the UK today, Metropolitan Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan Howe has confirmed the multi-million pound investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from an Algarve holiday resort eight years ago must continue - no matter what his union, or indeed anyone else thinks.

Talking to Tom Pettifor of the Daily Mirror, Sir Bernard "reacted angrily to concerns raised by the Police Federation about the millions devoted to the case".

"It's not for them to decide which investigation we carry out. It's my decision," he told the Mirror. "This investigation is funded by the government and the only thing that will decide whether or not it continues are the chances of success in finding that girl."

John Tully, chairman of the Met's police federation, showed in March that rank-and-file police think otherwise. He declared there were "rumblings of discontent" over the manpower and money ploughed into the Madeleine investigation and that it was "time to refocus" and channel resources into "keeping London safe".

But as Sir Bernard insists that the Met must continue with the hunt that has purportedly cost over £10 million so far, Britons denounced as "trolls" are channelling money hand-over-fist to the cause of the former Portuguese policeman sued by missing Madeleine's parents for the message in his book the Truth of the Lie.

Gonçalo Amaral has announced that he is appealing against the decision that leaves him owing a whopping €600,000 in combined damages and interest payments - but it is no secret that the case has left him financially hamstrung. Thus the rallying of support, both here and in the UK is a life-raft.

Coordinated by a group of friends who have sole use of the money for legal defence costs only, it has quite literally kept him going.

"The best proof ... is that he has come this far," one of the fund 'managers' told us today. "He wouldn't have otherwise."

With the "gofundme" appeal started by Leanne Baulch, a young single mother from Birmingham, getting donations from an average of 70 people a day - and nudging ever-closer to its £25,000 target - Amaral has spoken to Nova Gente magazine about the case that "destroyed his career, his family and his health", saying "my life is gone. I am only alive due to my heart".

He reveals not only that he will be counter-suing the McCann parents, their "group of friends" and "other people and entities" "in good time" but that, as far as he is concerned, the couple "practised a crime" and were "primarily responsible for their daughter's disappearance" by leaving their children alone "for more than five nights".

It is an extraordinary interview published in full on the "Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral" website set up by one of the friends who has fought tirelessly since 2009 for Amaral's right to freedom of expression.

She told us how she is buoyed now by the "incredible response" coming every day from British people who have been described by the UK's Sun newspaper as "sick trolls".

The Resident has been following the fund and, as we suggested last week, the comments appearing on it do not seem to fit the profile of trolls in any way at all.

Indeed one was so poignant it has spurred Amaral supporters to send it to over 50 British newspapers and media professionals to highlight how strong feelings in the UK are about this eternal "mystery".

Penned by a donor who gave her name as Paula Seddon, it ran as follows: "Kate and Gerry, you damaged the lives of my children when they were small as they thought someone was going to get into their bedroom windows as their catholic school told them your jack-a-nory story and asked them to pray. We had sleepless nights for years and a security routine to check doors and windows before sleep. Their anxiety and distress caused by your lies. I donated £5 back then to the school fund for you as at the time I thought you were genuine human beings. I cuddled and calmed them as I believed the fiction too. I would like to withdraw that money and give to a truth teller. The truth will be told. You cannot hide behind pity statements by calling people trolls and haters. People are waking up and realising your story is full of holes and had the real story broke back then, my children would not have been scared or scarred by your lies."

But the day after the message was sent, the UK press ran only with the story that insists the search for missing Madeleine must continue.

Meantime, Amaral's interview with Nova Gente is being copied, tweeted and sent around the world.

As he tells journalist Alexandra Ferreira, he wrote the book that the McCann couple took him to court over as a "way to reply to the humiliation and the offences" that he has been "targeted with".

"Deep down that was it. They say we are incompetent, they say we are a third world police force, drunkards, fat, lazy, etc., and the PJ police does not set out to defend us. Therefore I turned to writing, reporting the investigation that had been carried out, so people could draw their own conclusions."

Asked what remains "unexplained in this case", he said: "I don't answer that question. Faced with what was said by the couple after the verdict was known, that they feel stronger, I just feel like saying that only vampires become stronger with their victims' blood. Like Zeca Afonso sang: 'They eat everything...'"

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
"My life is gone, I'm only alive due to my heart" - Nova Gente: Interview With Gonçalo Amaral, 15 May 2015
 

Interview With Gonçalo Amaral Nova Gente (paper edition)

Nova Gente: Interview With Gonçalo Amaral, 15 May 2015

Nova Gente: Interview With Gonçalo Amaral, 15 May 2015

For the first time, Gonçalo Amaral speaks about the case that destroyed his career, his family and his health...

"My life is gone, I'm only alive due to my heart"

Text: Alexandra Ferreira (alexandra.lemos.ferreira@impala.pt)
Photos: Lusa, Paula Alveno and IMPALA
With thanks to Astro for translation


Condemned to pay 500 thousand euro to the parents of Maddie, the little English three-year-old girl that disappeared in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on the 3rd of May of 2007, the former inspector will fight until the last legal instance, because he is "a free man and citizen" with "the right to express opinions".

What was your reaction when you found out that the verdict from the court was unfavourable to you in the defamation suit that the McCanns filed against you?

I found out about the verdict through a friend who called me telling me about the news on the radio. I immediately called my lawyer, but he hadn't been notified and the verdict was not in the process. It's sad, but my lawyer could only access the sentence, that afternoon, because a British journalist sent it to him by e-mail. There is no doubt that the couple's lawyer has good connections at the court. My reaction was one of calm and a wish to read the full contents of the verdict as soon as it was available on the Citius website, which only happened the next day, but with the date of the previous day. Mysteries which the webs of justice weave.

Were you surprised?

I wasn't surprised, it was one of the open possibilities, but after the decision about the matter of fact, which was favourable to me, I trusted that the verdict would come in the same direction.

Do you think there are errors in the process? Do you feel wronged?

Those are not mistakes, but value judgements and understandings that are contrary to mine and to that of many other jurists. As for feeling wronged... What do you think? I can only ask if those who, for more than five nights, left their three children, aged three and two, to their own devices in a house within an unknown space, subjecting them to a thousand dangers, while they were partying with friends – not to mention the amounts of alcohol that was ingested on those occasions -, still has the right to be compensated. They practiced a crime of exposing and abandoning defenceless children and they weren't even accused of that fact. Looking at our criminal legislation, at the English child protection legislation and at cases that recently happened with British subjects in the Algarve, after drunken nights, all that I can say is that the McCann couple is primarily responsible for their daughter's disappearance. She only disappeared because they neglected her guard and, as parents, they were obliged to it. It is a fact that they lost their daughter, but that doesn’t give them the right to sue anyone or to be compensated. They can’t escape their guilt, which is enough to rob them of their sleep, to provoke a lack of appetite and even rage, but against themselves and not against someone who only wrote down what happened during the first five months of the investigation, according to what is in the case files. If compensation takes place, all that I can do is warn you: be careful, there's people who may turn this into a new business!

Don't you feel revolted by this verdict?

I don't feel revolt, but I do not conform to it, I still trust our country's justice system, for which I have worked for over 25 years, and I still am a free citizen with all my rights. On the other hand, even the question that Maddie's siblings, then aged two, may someday read my book and become traumatized doesn't concern me. Those two children were also abandoned for over five nights in a row and surely they will understand that what is written there is the result of a criminal investigation.

There is a question that those two children will certainly ask when they grow up but that question will be directed at the parents: why were they abandoned, left to their own devices? Those children are free to think and to conclude that whatever happened to their daughter could have happened to one of them. The parents can only fear that their two children who did not disappear on that tragic night revolt against them.

The court says that you caused Maddie's parents and siblings moral damages...

In my understanding, there are no damages that, objectively and factually, may have resulted from my writing. Which is to say, there is no causal nexus between the book or the documentary and any damages. On the other hand, what is spoken about, like the feelings of rage, it can hardly be considered a damage.

The couple demanded one million two hundred thousand euro. The court has sentenced you to pay 500 thousand euro – including interest since 2010 – over damages that were caused by the publication of the book Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira. Aren’t both the request and the damages awarded by the court exaggerated?

There is no defamation crime, I haven't been tried over any crime, if at all I am being tried over an offence of opinion, something unthinkable 40 years after the revolution of April of 1974, which ended the [fascist] Estado Novo, censorship and all the means that oppressed Portuguese citizens from thinking, speaking and writing freely. On the other hand, what is in the book is in the process, those are not lies, that can be verified by comparing the case files with the book and this court has not put that truth at stake. Nonetheless, a compensation of that amount only clarifies that the McCann couple is worth more than any Portuguese citizen, dead or alive, and that they are above any god or divinity, which, according to politicians, Portuguese intellectuals and others from the so-called democratic world can be criticized, ridiculed and satirized. Look at the discussions about the terrorist attacks against French newspaper Charlie Hebdo... With my book I did not defame, nor did I have the intention to defame anyone, but merely to report what happened during the first five months of the investigation, thus replying to the attacks against my good name and my professional dignity. There is no, no can there be any, reserve duty that superimposes our right to react and to defend ourselves from defamation and injustice, putting the truth back when our fundamental rights are violated, even when the authors of such attacks are subjects of a powerful country, to which Portugal has always bowed, with a short interregnum when the Portuguese Republic was founded, largely a result of the English ultimatum.

Apart from the payment, the court decreed the prohibition of the sale of new editions of the book Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira. Nevertheless, the Appellate Court had decided to annul this prohibition back in 2010...

This court has not undone what had been decided by Lisbon's Appellate Court within the injunction that was filed by the complainants. It should be clarified that the only decision that has, so far, become effective is that of Lisbon's Appellate Court. That is the only one that is in force, the rest is still subject to appeal and it will take a few years to come into force, while I hope that our superior courts will see this differently from the lower court. This is just the judicial system working, therefore we need to remain calm.

In a more practical manner, I can say that the claimants, the McCanns, haven't won anything yet, they only lost, namely with the decision from Lisbon's Appellate Court, which is very clear in stating that the rights that have been violated were mine, that I, within the exercise of freedom of speech, could write the book and practiced no illicit action.

With this prohibition, are you forbidden from emitting an opinion about the case or about the McCann couple?

I am a free man, and like any other citizen in this country, I have the right to express my opinions. I was a Criminal Investigation coordinator, a policeman, and there is no reserve duty, a functional or merely instrumental thing, from the exercise of a profession, that superimposes a fundamental right and freedom of expression. To state that the duty of reserve limits freedom of expression for life, or even during the exercise of the profession of policeman, is to elevate that duty, which is merely administrative, above freedom of expression and fundamental rights, consecrated in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on the European Convention of Human Rights.

When you wrote the book, did it ever occur to you that you could be committing an offence?

I wrote the book because I, those who worked with me and the institution of the Judiciary Police were being put at stake. My good name and professional honour were severely attacked. In a first phase, I started by writing to the Judiciary Police's national director, asking him to allow me to defend myself publicly or to come out to defend us, and I obtained no reply. Today, after all these years, I know that Dr. Alípio Ribeiro never received my letter, which was simply set aside by someone hierarchically below him.

Faced with the inertia and the silence from the institution that I belonged to, which, in my opinion, had the duty and the obligation to come out and defend the men and women who, with their work and great sacrifice, tried to protect it by performing an investigation at the level of any minimally developed country, I decided to ask for my retirement, and to report the criminal investigation that had been carried out and the conclusions that were reached up to the moment that I coordinated said investigation. At that time we already knew that the case was going to be shelved and the investigation abruptly ended. Everything was being prepared in that sense with the agreement, at least tacit, from the parents of the missing child, with the case files being delivered to journalists by the Public Ministry, which in itself question the duty of reserve to which, according to some experts, the policemen were subject to.

The book was a way to reply to the humiliation and the offences that I have been targeted with. Deep down, that was it: they say we are incompetent, they say we are a third world police force, drunkards, fat, lazy, etc., etc., and the Judiciary Police does not set out to defend us. Therefore I turned to writing, reporting the investigation that had been carried out, so people could draw their own conclusions. What happened next is known.

Do you feel abandoned by the intellectuals and the writers of this country?

Since I left the Judiciary Police, I am part of no institution, I have no political party, nor am I a member of any sports, recreational, cultural or social association, I do not belong to any congregation or obedience. I wrote three books (Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira; A Mordaça Inglesa; Vidas Sem Defesa), but I do not consider myself a writer. I'm an outsider.

Is freedom of expression not compromised by this type of verdict?

What is happening to me, since 2009, is an attack against freedom of expression and a trial over an offence of opinion. The intellectuals of this country, in general, have reacted with indifference. I am not part of their group, and to make things worse I'm an ex-policeman, something that is reproved by many. As far as I remember, only Dr. Francisco Teixeira da Mota, when the Appeals Court’s decision came out, wrote about the matter, saying that the decision had been correct, as the Portuguese State risked being condemned by the European Court for Human Rights... Someone asked me why the Portuguese Authors' Society had not come out to defend freedom of expression and to denounce the attack that is underway. I replied I was not a member, which may explain the silence.

Are you still dedicated to writing?

I continue to write, but I have yet to decide when to publish. At the moment, I am writing my memoirs about the profession of criminal investigator.

Why are you economically suffocated? Your house in Tavira went to the bank, your consultancy firm had to close, one third of your pension is arrested...

To all of those questions I only reply that my life is gone. If I am alive, it's due to the heart that I have.

Have you never considered suing the McCanns over the damages that they caused to your family?

Each thing in its own time, it won't be only the McCanns, but their group of friends, and other people and entities that will be sued. There is an illicit action that was indeed performed, the neglect in guarding their children, which caused direct damages to many people, not only to myself, but for example to the Ocean Club workers, who were fired and saw their lives change, many of them unjustly passing from mere employees and heads of family to suspects in a criminal investigation, while they had nothing to do with the matter.

Is there a project that you would like to realise some day?

I would like to channel all the support that I have been receiving into the creation of an institution to support children and teenagers at risk, in a perspective of educating them for life, escaping the benefits perspective, promoting and building life projects with them, helping them to escape marginalization and the labelling process.

With so many problems, do you still have time to dream?

Dreaming is a part of free men, it costs no money, it can't be bought, and we just live and feel it.

What remains unexplained in this case?

I don't answer that question. Faced with what was said by the couple, after the verdict was known, that they felt stronger, I just feel like saying that only vampires become stronger with their victims' blood. Like Zeca Afonso [Portuguese songwriter and singer] sang, "they eat everything"...

 
Britain's top cop: The search for Maddie WILL go on, 15 May 2015
 

Britain's top cop: The search for Maddie WILL go on Daily Star

POLICE yesterday pledged the hunt for Madeleine McCann will continue, despite £800m cutbacks.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 15th May 2015

HOPE: Kate and Gerry McCann with poster of Madeleine [MERRY TIM]

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the investigation would go on as long as there was a chance of success.

And he declared the £10m hunt for Madeleine "untouchable".

The Met Police Federation has called for the probe, codenamed Operation Grange, to be scrapped so the 31-strong team of detectives working solely on it can be reassigned to other cases.

But Sir Bernard said: "This is not the Police Federation's territory.

"It's not for them to decide which investigations we carry out. This investigation is being funded by the Government discreetly.

"Even if we were to stop investigating, the resources could not be allocated to something else.

"The only thing dictating any decision to continue the investigation are our chances of success in finding this girl.

"That is the only thing driving it. That's really a matter for me and not a federation issue."

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, who controls Operation Grange, said the investigation was "moving at a pace at the moment".

The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The manning of Operation Grange is entirely a matter for the Metropolitan Police.

"Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to every single officer who is still actively working to find Madeleine."

 
Madeleine McCann: Top officer pledges that hunt for missing girl will continue apace, 14 May 2015
 

Madeleine McCann: Top officer pledges that hunt for missing girl will continue apace Daily Mirror

20:43, 14 May 2015 | By Tom Pettifor

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Met Police Commissioner, reacted angrily to concerns raised by the Police Federation about the millions devoted to the case

Missing: Maddie

Missing: Maddie

The search for Madeleine McCann is "moving on a pace" and will not end until all avenues are exhausted, Britain's top police officer said today.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, reacted angrily to concerns raised by the Police Federation about the millions of pounds of public money devoted to the case.

He said: "It's not for them to decide which investigation we carry out, it's my decision. This investigation is funded by the government and the only thing that will decide whether or not it continues are the chances of success in finding that girl.

"It's really for me and not a [Police] Federation issue."

Portuguese prosecutor Ines Sequeira said she was determined to crack the case when she took it over last October, bringing fresh hope to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry.

Hope: Maddie's parents have been reassured that search will continue

Hope: Maddie's parents have been reassured that search will continue

Sir Bernard said of the investigation: "It's moving on apace at the moment in terms of the relationship with the Portuguese and that is to be welcomed. As long as there's a basis for doing the investigation we will continue."

He said the Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Teresa May support the investigation.

Madeleine was just three when she went missing from her family's Algarve holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007 as Kate and Gerry, sat at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Portuguese police closed their investigation in 2008 but the Metropolitan Police launched their own inquiry, codenamed Operation Grange, three years later.

Sir Bernard was responding to concerns raised by John Tully, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, who said in March: "It's time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe.

"We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

"The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere. It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I've heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources."

He added: "When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations, it's not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection to London."

Operation Grange has cost almost £8million. More than £100,000 has been spent on the transport of British authorities to and from Portugal. The money comes from a special Home Office fund.

 
Duplicity, 13 May 2015
 

Duplicity

John McCann: BBC News video, 09 May 2007

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
13 May 2015

DUPLICITY

It is in the diplomatic nature of things, that when the truth looks like being unpalatable, perfectly ordinary men and women will tell a 'white lie' in order to defer discussion of what could become an unwelcome or provocative topic. Politicians, as we know, adopt the tactic of avoidance, answering 'the question before last' instead of taking the bait just handed them. The McCanns have, over time, practised both techniques (lying and avoidance), presumably to safeguard against having to discuss something they would rather not in relation to the disappearance of their daughter. It seems reasonable to infer therefore that they have a motive for doing so, being principals to the saga, as it were.

The story of Madeleine McCann's 'abduction' is littered with contradictions from the outset. Gerry McCann could not faithfully recall the door he used to enter the family's apartment that night. He and his wife could not agree on the door she used to enter the family's apartment that night. Gerry McCann could not agree with Jane Tanner as to which side of the road McCann was standing when Tanner passed him on the street, or even whether they were in the street together at the same time. And very soon after Madeleine McCann's 'abduction' was announced, we heard friends and relatives chorusing 'jemmied shutters'. That too was a lie, although not knowingly theirs. It was what they had been told, separately, by the doctors McCann.

Altogether more intriguing than the questionable utterances by the MCann parents, however, is the readiness with which others of their acquaintance have also been prepared to lie, as if they too were expressing a subconscious desire to 'make the subject go away'. Aspects of Jane Tanner's rogatory statement recorded by Leicestershire police convey the distinct impression that she was working to a script. (How else is one to explain the verbatim repetition of answers? See: Author Unknown, McCannfiles, 7.2.2010). She also contributes to the remarkable tale of the tennis court, where two different photographers are put forward by three different people as responsible for capturing the iconic picture of Madeleine McCann and her tennis balls, and on any one of three separate days (See: Anyone for Tennis, 13.10.2013). Or maybe Kate McCann simply usurped the image for copyright reasons.

Among the strangest contradictions in the entire saga are the claims made, again by others, for Gerry McCann's various 'phone calls late on the night of 3 May. Subsequent to an article first appearing in Correio da Manha, it has been generally understood that: "The first call Gerry made on the night of the crime was to Alistair Clark, a good friend from University days and a diplomat close to Gordon Brown."

In reality, the first call Gerry made on the night of the crime was to his wife, as was the second. Alistair Clark, whoever he may have been, was not even on the register of diplomats that year. He most certainly did not receive a call from Gerry McCann approaching midnight, or at any time soon thereafter. Someone deliberately fed CdM a pup (practising for a time when they might be in a position to offer them Brighton Pavilion perhaps).

Stranger still are the conflicting claims of McCann family members:

1. John McCann (speaking on DATELINE – NBC):

"I got a 'phone call from Gerry at twenty to twelve. I was on a training course down, er, near my head office in Luton, and I had a big day on the Friday, so I'd gone to bed early. I got woken at twenty to twelve with Gerry in a complete panic, completely distraught about what had happened and it was a really horrible moment".

2. Gerry's sister Trisha Cameron (Statement to police, 15.4.2008):

'I remember hearing about Madeleine's disappearance by 'phone on the night of 3rd May 2007. I usually go to bed late but I was particularly tired that night and went to bed early. I was woken by the phone ringing at about 23.30. It was Gerry telling me that Madeleine had been taken'.

3. Susan Healy (to BBC Panorama, 19 November, 2007):

"I think it would be about half eleven - and I'm guessing now, I might be wrong - there was a 'phone call and it was Gerry on the 'phone, and he said it's a disaster. It's a disaster. And he was quite hysterical".

Here are Gerry McCann's first 'phone calls out of Praia da Luz following Kate's announcement of their daughter's disappearance:

23.14 Kate McCann

23.17 Kate McCann

23.40 Trish Cameron

23.52 Kate's Uncle Brian

Where is the call to Alistair Clark? Why did John McCann insist he was called at 11.40, when he most certainly was not, and Susan Healy suppose she was called at 11.30, when Kate states in her book she asked Gerry to 'phone her parents shortly after midnight, which he appears, from the records, not to have done?

If Gerry and Kate McCann have lied, it is because it was in their interest to do so. If Clarence Mitchell lied on their behalf, it was because he was paid to do so. And the rest? Members of the Tapas 7, the McCanns' extended family and others have been, to put no too fine a point on it, economical with the truth. Why?

Loyalty to Gerry and Kate McCann is quite possibly the one thing they share in common, which begs the question as to whether their motive for hiding the chalk might not be the same as that of Madeleine's parents.

 
Kate McCann hit by internet trolls on missing Maddie's 12th birthday, 13 May 2015
 

Kate McCann hit by internet trolls on missing Maddie's 12th birthday Daily Star

INTERNET trolls sent cruel messages to Kate McCann on missing daughter Madeleine's 12th birthday yesterday.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 13th May 2015

TROLLED: Kate McCann was bombarded with hate messages on the day of missing Maddie's 12th birthday [PA]

Kate, was abused as she appealed for sponsors for a cycle challenge to raise cash for missing children.

Trolls even made donations to her Just- Giving page so they could access it to leave hate messages too shocking to print.

But supporters urged Kate to ignore the abuse.

One wrote: "Keep strong Kate and don’t let the trolls get you down."

Kate and husband Gerry, 46, yesterday laid presents in their abducted daughter's bedroom to mark her birthday at their home in Rothley, Leics. Kate, 47, is hoping to raise £10,000 by taking part in a 500-mile cycle challenge from Edinburgh to London next month.

 
Denial And After, 12 May 2015
 

Denial And After The Blacksmith Bureau

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at 17:31

Among the sane McCann sceptics – the Bureau target audience – there really isn't any equivalent to the supporters' extraordinary shifting of blame away from the circle surrounding the child on May 3 2007 to other, innocent, shoulders.

That circle – everyone with access to apartment 5a that evening – remains the focus of the investigation since it must include whoever disposed of the child. There is, as we know, much disagreement among our readership (remember, we are excluding the lunatics) about whether the investigation should be working from the outside of the circle inwards, as the Yard say they've been doing, or start with those and their close associates at its very centre.

But there is no counterpart to the way that supporters of the parents have simply stopped talking about the facts of the investigation, as listed in the PJ final report, in favour of years of foaming abuse aimed at people like Goncalo Amaral, his wife and anyone who dares to help him or, latterly, Brenda Leyland.

The facts in the report, which is a summary of the evidence in the case files, are of course unaffected by this attempt to evade the issues: the dog alerts happened, whether admissible in court or not, and no forensic evidence has yet emerged to exclude them from consideration; the report's accusations, made diplomatically but directly, of incompleteness in the evidence provided by the Tapas Nine and their refusal to help complete the picture remain unanswered.

That burden of unresolved issues will never go away without positive evidence to refute it – and of that there has not been the slightest trace in eight years: that is why both Portuguese and British (Leicester) police refer to "undemonstrated innocence". What is remarkable is the lack of interest from the parents themselves or their friends in clarifying the record.

For eight years now the Nine have appeared perfectly happy to remain passive in the face of the outstanding PJ questions, as though any attempt to communicate more than the bare minimum – as in the parents' absurdly defensive television interviews – is either unnecessary or some sort of invasion of their rights. They couldn't be more wrong. The "undemonstrated innocence" is a limbo for them, a curse on their children: as the Bureau has argued before, the parents would have done better to camp out on police doorsteps and refuse to go away until they were questioned since, in the absence of decisive exonerating evidence, answers are the only possible way out of their limbo. If the "not-suspects" statements are true, rather than tactical or cosmetic, and reflect the fact that the couple and their friends have not been closely questioned by Grange about their original accounts then this investigation too will betray them, condemning not just the nine but their children and descendants to suspicion for the indefinite future.

Unresolved questions about unsolved crimes are a guarantee of sensationalist books and fat advances for their authors for a hundred years to come. Even today poor Walter Sickert's descendants have to cope with Pat-Brownish "experts" like Patricia Cornwell desecrating the painter's memory as only an American pot-boiler can with books like Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper.

The Delves-Broughton family lived with a horrible cloud of suspicion over their head for half a century after the unsolved death of Lord Delamere in Kenya in 1931. The acquittal of Jock Delves-Broughton after his trial for murder, a protective cordon of friends and even his eventual suicide failed to end the limbo. In his case, culpability rather than exoneration resolved it, when someone who had foolishly protected him finally provided evidence of his guilt – yet even guilt gave resolution, for the sensationalist and often untrue articles and books ceased for good and the family have been left in peace ever since.

The abuse of Goncalo Amaral and attempts to harm him are merely a symptom of denial in the face of this obvious truth. How could the murderous campaign against Brenda Leyland help the McCann children rather than giving them something else to worry and brood about in the future? The denial, though, starts with the parents and their friends. "How dare they doubt us?" or "We have nothing to prove" may sound good but they are guarantees that the limbo will not end. Yet the parents have had the tools and the finance to tackle the issue head-on, deal truthfully with the unanswered questions and put the result before the public.

They've had ex-police officer Edgar available for a "you can ask us anything" exercise since 2008 and competent, if shallow, journalists like Summers willing to write up the results into a short book for them: what could be more valuable for innocent people than a no-holds-barred study of the PJ questions together with frank answers from all nine, backed by supporting evidence?

Yet they've remained behind the barricades that they themselves erected. They've not only failed to get Edgar to look at and rebut the doubts about them but, according to his evidence in Lisbon, they rationed his access to the case files while wasting time and money on the ink-blot abductor rubbish. The Seven have never shown any public interest in resolving the very serious questions that the PJ left hanging over their heads and none of them came to court in Lisbon; Anthony Summers, who could have enhanced his own reputation as well as that of the Nine with an open and truthful attempt to come to grips with the PJ's concerns, did the exact opposite with his embarrassment of a book on the case.

Let us give just one, tiny, example to stand for all. We all know of the correspondence in the case files between the T7 and the PJ over the issue of a reconstruction. The glaring void in the correspondence is, of course, any mention of what do the McCanns think? Their attitude as to whether their friends should go would obviously have been crucial and yet it has never been explored.

All nine appear perfectly happy with this situation. The supporters can say "the parents never refused to go" because they were arguidos and would have had to go, so there. Yet it's laughably cheap "victories" like this that have guaranteed the continuing limbo. As Edgar could have put it on half a sheet of paper and as Summers could have written it up:
Did Gerry or Kate ever express a view on your prospective return?

Did they encourage you to assist the investigation as Rebelo requested?

Why were all your letters to Rebelo in such a similar format?

Was the subject ever mentioned between the nine of you?

If "yes" what was said? If "no" then why not?
There's plenty more where they came from. Open and non-defensive answers corroborated by Edgar's cross checking would have given the basis for the removal of all doubts, for the truth. And exactly the same applies to the other questions raised by the PJ in their report.

The supporters take their lead from the parents. Now the prospect of an appeal, successful or otherwise, by Amaral seems to have sent them beyond the reach of whatever rationality they once possessed. How has "support for a suffering couple" mutated into such blind and undying hatred of third parties with no connection to the disappearance?

Amid all the analyses of the McCann pair there is one element of their behaviour that is blindingly obvious when you step back but which nobody ever tackles: a near-suicidal streak of self-destructiveness.

Let's make them foam some more!

We'll make our own little contribution to a Fair Trial for Goncalo now: starting today and for the next month AJS is going to give royalties from sales of the Kindle No Stone Unturned to the Goncalo PJGA fund, thus widening the circle of fund raising beyond we donors. If you want to tell anyone you know that buying what is after all the funniest book ever written about rock and roll – just have a look at the link below – will help GA fund his appeal during that period then please do – and with the Amazon app people don't even need to own a Kindle to read it. All for £3.89!

**Read about or buy it here
**

Antony Sharples - No Stone Unturned

More about it tomorrow.

 
Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Madeleine's 12th Birthday, 12 May 2015
 

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Madeleine's 12th Birthday Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Madeleine's 12th Birthday, 12 May 2015

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Madeleine's 12th Birthday, 12 May 2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at 01:00

Today is Madeleine's 12th Birthday. In honour of Madeleine's birthday, please consider sponsoring Kate in her upcoming 500 mile cycle challenge for Missing People: http://www.justgiving.com/KateMcCann/

Please also light a candle for Madeleine at: http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=Maddy.

Thank you for continuing to hold Madeleine in your heart.

~FM Webmaster



Banner:

Happy 12th birthday, Madeleine

We love you and we're waiting for you and we're never going to give up.

findmadeleine.com

 
Maddie cop's legal fund "well on the way" to the €25,000 target, 11 May 2015
 

Maddie cop's legal fund "well on the way" to the €25,000 target Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 11, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

Within 11 days, the British fighting fund set up to help the former policeman dubbed by UK media as the "Maddie Lie Cop" has reached over €13,000.

The target - set by young psychology student Leanne Baulch who was only 14 at the time Madeleine McCann went missing - is now less than €11,000 away, and donations are coming in bit by bit every few hours.

The extraordinary aspect of this latest appeal is that it has been taken up by so many and no matter what the size of donations, people show their feelings that Amaral has been "badly treated" for reasons no-one appears able to fathom. Indeed, the €500,000 damages set by judge Emília Melo e Castro, plus the further €106,000 in interest - all destined to compensate the parents of Madeleine for the distress Amaral's book The Truth of the Lie caused them - are reported to be the highest ever awarded against a Portuguese citizen.

With questions constantly appearing on the fund website asking "what is being covered up", Brits are giving in droves, with donors ranging from grandparents to young people who were teenagers at the time Madeleine went missing. One of the most recent of the 819 givers was grandmother Kathleen Conell who deposited her £50 saying: "I worry about your safety and only wish someone wealthy with courage would adopt your cause. The corruption in both the UK and Portuguese establishments must be stopped. Democracy is finished otherwise."

As this latest example of "people-power" righting what they see is a wrong plays out, the mainstream British media is making much of the so-called string of burglaries that appears to have taken place on the resort from which Madeleine went missing just over eight years ago.

Sunday Express writer James Murray has written that British police "have established a pattern of attacks on children in the Algarve... which could lead to a host of other sordid crimes being solved".

It's a line that has surfaced every now and then in this infinite mystery and which many query, as if there truly had been a spate of attacks on children in the Algarve, the feeling is that local and national media would have heard about them. As a source told us this week, what were originally described as "five or six cases, then morphed into over a dozen and suddenly exploded into 30 cases or so, if we are to believe the UK media".

Meantime, the instigator of the British appeal fund raising money for Amaral's appeal tells us she has been approached by a number of UK newspapers, but none of them are keen to write about her effort until it reaches the €25,000 target.

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
EXPRESS COMMENT: We must never give up on Maddie McCann, 10 May 2015
 

EXPRESS COMMENT: We must never give up on Maddie McCann Sunday Express

Eight years on, police may be close to solving the riddle of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. JAMES MURRAY, who has covered the case from the start, says the probe must continue.

By JAMES MURRAY
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, May 10, 2015 | UPDATED: 11:21, Sun, May 10, 2015

Prayers to mark the 8th anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance

ON TUESDAY a family will gather for a small birthday party. Carefully chosen gifts will be offered, birthday cake eaten and cherished memories re lived.

Although the house will be filled with love and hope there will also be a feeling of emptiness as Kate and Gerry McCann and their 10-year-old twins Sean and Amelie remember much missed Madeleine, who should be celebrating her 12th birthday in the bosom of her family.

Instead, her whereabouts are unknown and nobody knows whether she is even alive. As the election dust settles in the weeks ahead, questions will undoubtedly be asked about how much more should be spent trying to crack the mystery.

Some pragmatists will argue that the £10million or so given by the Home Office to finance Scotland Yard's Operation Grange "Maddy Squad" investigation is enough.

They will call for the squad to be broken up, so the elite detectives can return to their jobs with homicide command.

They will also argue that further probes should be paid for by the McCanns, with the money in their Madeleine Fund. It is my firm belief that Home Secretary Theresa May should resist those demands because it seems the truth is finally beginning to emerge.

Grange officers have at last established a proper, professional working relationship with their Portuguese counterparts which is producing results. Certain people have been identified and interviewed.

Their alibis and their reactions are being scrutinised as never before. Some have been cleared of any involvement but probes into others continue. One of the greatest achievements of the Grange team has been detailed analysis of phone records, showing roughly who was active on networks at key times on the evening of May 3, 2007, in the Algarve resort.

Portuguese officers, guided by Grange detectives, are now in a position to ask people what they were doing in Praia da Luz during that evening and why did they call or text so and so?

Layers and layers of wrong leads and useless information have now been peeled away, allowing officers to concentrate on the core facts.

Their dedication and graft has been appreciated by the McCanns and the friends who joined them on that fateful holiday, the so-called Tapas Seven: David and Fiona Payne, Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner, Matthew Oldfield, his wife Rachael and her mother Dianne Webster.

Now we know, thanks to Grange, that the man Jane saw carrying a child near Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club was, in fact, an innocent holidaymaker. That in itself was a huge breakthrough.

Thanks to Grange we know that Maddy was almost certainly in the arms of a man seen heading down towards the sea by the Smith family from Ireland.

Photofits of the potential suspect have been released. Officers have also established a pattern of attacks on children in the Algarve, something Portuguese police did not manage, which could yet lead to a host of other sordid crimes being solved.

Maddie's whereabouts are unknown and nobody knows whether she is even alive

Hopefully, the skills used by the Yard experts will be taken on board by the Portuguese, leading to better crime detection in the future.

A week ago friends of the McCanns joined villagers in Rothley, Leicstershire, to mark the eighth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. Kate and Gerry could not be there as they were visiting her seriously ill father Brian in Liverpool. In her place, Fiona Payne read out a poem, The Tree Of Hope.

On a tree children attached touching messages. One wrote: "Dear God, please help all the missing children in the world and bring them back to their families.

"Make sure they are in safe hands and are going to be reunited with their families. Please bring Madeleine back to us. Amen."

I would challenge any cold-hearted cynic to look that child in the eye and explain why the Grange operation should be shelved.



IN A POSTING on their Find Madeleine site Kate and Gerry wrote: "We are also buoyed and reassured by the unwavering commitment and continued progress being made in the investigation.

We are really grateful to the Metropolitan Police team for their conscientiousness, patience, consideration shown to us nd above all, their will to find Madeleine and determine what happened. "Co-operation with and from the Portuguese police has, and still is, vital to the success of the investigation.

We are very appreciative of the joint working relationship established between the two forces." After years of very little co-operation that acknowledgement is a milestone.

Now with the rifts put aside, Grange lead detective Nicola Wall has a golden opportunity to justify the millions spent with a breakthrough.

Lessons learned from Grange must now be adopted by all forces to improve the chances of other innocents like Madeleine, who had no control over their fate.

In a civilised society, no price should ever be put on a child's life.

 
Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal, 07 May 2015
 

Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 07, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision – setting record damages for a private Portuguese citizen – British supporters of former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral are rallying en-masse to a "gofundme" online appeal – started intriguingly by a young British woman who was only 14 when Madeleine McCann went missing. In less than a week, 22-year-old Leanne Baulch’s appeal has raised over £9,200. British media has slated it – suggesting it is powered by "sick online trolls". The Resident follows this fast-developing story which shows no sign of losing pace.

If anything, the impetus now is to find a "high-profile donor" – someone "prepared to underwrite the legal costs" that Amaral faces as he appeals against the judge's decision that awarded record damages against him in the long-running civil action for defamation taken out by the McCanns over his book The Truth of the Lie.

Slapping Amaral with a bill that tops €600,000 all told, Express on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Judge Emília Melo e Castro has effectively "ruined and shamed" the man who led the original police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

The Sun was equally scathing, describing 56-year-old Amaral as a "lie cop" in its exposé of what it described as a "sick online campaign".

But the publicity seems to have "backfired", Leanne Baulch tells us.

One couldn't say people are digging "deep" into their pockets, as many donations are for small amounts – but it is certainly a "mass fork out", with multiple commentaries refuting mainstream media's slur that these people are "trolls".

A donor by the name of Emma Mitchell, giving £100, wrote: "Shame on you The Sun... Keep fighting GA, Madeleine deserves justice and so do you."

Another added her contribution, saying: "From yet another 'nasty internet troll' keep on fighting GA, we are behind you all the way."

Comments on stories posted on our portugalresident.com website also show readers reacting to the insinuation that "anyone who questions the abduction theory" is a troll.

Calling it a "total disgrace", Jayne Staveley suggests that The Sun's reporters "are still in primary school".

But the tragedy behind these comments is that while Madeleine's parents have always maintained their civil action against Amaral was "never about the money", it is now becoming more and more clear how important a role money has taken on in this case.

Miss Baulch's appeal – an extension of the long-running Portuguese "Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral" fund to which she stresses she has "no access whatsoever" – has set out to raise £25,000. As we wrote, donations were steadily flowing in, with over 500 people having raised £9,205 in six days.

Questioned about whether she imagined she would get such a response, the single-mother from Birmingham told us: "I had no idea. I was just desperate to help. I didn't expect the media to get involved. The Sun and Express reporting shocked me, but it backfired!"

McCann "hate dossier" will "not result in any prosecutions"

As Amaral is thus buoyed by this latest bid to raise money to help him, British media has been carrying 8th anniversary "Madeleine disappearance" stories, including new "revelations" about a string of burglaries on the Praia da Luz resort from which Madeleine went missing.

These burglaries are presented as adding weight to the British police theory that Madeleine may have been abducted as a result of a botched burglary.

But noteworthy when considering mainstream media's preoccupation with "vile trolls" is the report by Sky news, coming in last week, that the so-called "hate dossier" that hit the headlines eight months ago is not going to result in any prosecutions.

The dossier – which led to the suicide of grandmother Brenda Leyland after she was 'outed' as a so-called troll on live television – had been delivered to Leicester Police by what Sky described as an "anonymous source".

Keenly involved in the story, Sky's crime expert Martin Brunt claimed that the anonymous source (or sources) have reacted with "absolute dismay" at the decision not to prosecute.

"They say it is tantamount to giving trolls carte blanche to carry on abusing the McCanns," he wrote.

"Although we haven't heard directly from the McCanns, I'm sure they too will be astonished because... Gerry McCann said such trolls should be prosecuted."

As we wrote this story, a new comment appeared on the gofundme site, signed from "MA": "Dr Amaral, my pledge is to pay an apology fine for every article I see that is biased and un-factual on your behalf. Today's fine is on behalf of the Express for their use of "troll" "shamed" and "sickening".

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com



Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal Algarve Resident (paper edition)

Friday, May 8, 2015 (published Thursday, May 7, 2015)

Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal Algarve Resident (paper edition)

 
Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal, 06 May 2015
 

Brits raise thousands for Maddie cop's libel appeal Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 06, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision - setting record damages for a private Portuguese citizen - British supporters of former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral are rallying en-masse to a "gofundme" online appeal - started intriguingly by a young British woman who was only 14 when Madeleine McCann went missing.

In less than a week, 22-year-old Leanne Baulch's appeal has raised over £9,200. British media is slating it - suggesting it is powered by "sick online trolls", but as the Resident looks behind this fast-developing story it is becoming clear that many of these people have no 'axe to grind'. They are simply appalled at what they see as a case of injustice.

Meantime, police in UK have decided not to go ahead with any prosecutions over the so-called "hate dossier" cataloguing "troll abuse" of the McCanns.

Read the full report in this week's Algarve Resident newspaper, available in newsagents on Thursday.

Photo: MARIO CRUZ/LUSA

 
Comical Allies, 04 May 2015
 
Comical Allies The Blacksmith Bureau

Monday, 4 May 2015 at 14:42

Well, Madeleine Day was a nicely flaccid occasion, wasn't it? About time. Not many photo-ops lately, either.

Those interested in the Bureau's childish view that Mirror UK's attitude is a reliable indicator of what's actually going on in the Affair should note once again that Mitchell's gaming of the Yard investigation in its pages, dead since December, has not been resumed, even though another 7,200 burglaries in Praia da Luz this week are just crying out for anonymous discussion. Now why, exactly, do you think that would be?

That the couple believe that the Yard investigation is now set to vindicate them and that their spokesman no longer has any need to risk compromising himself because the job's done? Really? If that were the case Mitchell's alter egos ("pal", "friend", "source close to the investigation" – we love that one – and "family friend") would be busy preparing the ground, this of all weeks, for celebration, wouldn't they? Did you get any hints of triumphalism and imminent release-from-limbo at the funereal "celebrations" by the war memorial this weekend? Or from the latest message on the official site, its dead fish prose so acutely and unfortunately reminiscent of Gerry McCann's August 2007 "blog" entries?

And do you think Tory-hopeful Mitchell would be as coy and sparing in his supportive comments as he is now if he had the faintest belief that the investigation is ending well for the pair? He'd be getting in first, shouting his support from the rooftops since vindication for the McCanns is vindication for his judgement and all that work he did. You know, that work that he now leaves out of his CV.

With the Mirror and Mitchell himself distancing themselves from the pair as though backing away from a spreading pool of toxic waste the couple have been unable to find anyone to pass on the latest burglar suspect mirthfest to the Mirror – except Anthony Summers! Yep, Anthony Summers, who claims to have a source within the investigation feeding him information. Would that be the same source that told him to go and read the case files? Get this wonderful line from the McCanns' Comical Ally:
"I was told there was great sensitivity around this forensic testing1, nobody wants to discuss it2, but they are making progress3 and believe the case is solvable4."
1 Yes, there has been since 2007. 2 "Nobody told me anything". 3 Public statement from the Yard. 4 Public statement from the Yard.

Christ Jesus, we'd almost rather have a "pal" talking than this pathetic stuff – from the only journalist who couldn't even make money from the case, the poor sap.

 
Madeleine McCann's parents unable to attend service for 8th anniversary of daughters' disappearance, 04 May 2015
 

Madeleine McCann's parents unable to attend service for 8th anniversary of daughters' disappearance Daily Mirror

00:21, 04 May 2015 | By Tracey Kandohla

A message from Kate McCann was read out at an annual prayer service in her home village vowing: "The will to find Madeleine is still as great"

Kate McCann and her husband Gerry McCann

Madeleine McCann's parents were unable to attend the eighth anniversary of her disappearance yesterday because her grandfather is ill.

A message from Kate McCann was read out at an annual prayer service in her home village vowing: "The will to find Madeleine is still as great."

Explaining Kate and husband Gerry's absence at an outdoor gathering for family, friends and locals, Maddie's great-aunt Janet Kennedy said: "Sadly they cannot be here as Kate's dad is not well."

Former GP Kate, 47, and heart doctor Gerry, 46, were comforting her 75-year-old dad Brian Healy who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, at his Liverpool home.

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from her room in Portugal

Madeleine was three when she disappeared from her room in Portugal

They had earlier prayed for their missing eldest child during mass at a nearby church.

Janet, reading a message from Kate to crowds of well wishers, said: "We are sorry we're not with you but thank you for coming together and sharing your hope and love for Madeleine. The will to find her is still as great.

"One positive out of this horrible situation of Madeleine's abduction is that we are highlighting the problem of missing children everywhere. We will do what we can to help other families."

Kate McCann and her husband Gerry McCann

Kate McCann and her husband Gerry McCann

An eye-catching rainbow – a symbol of hope – lit up the sky as villagers gathered in front of the war memorial in Rothley, Leics.

Kate and Gerry's "Tapas Seven" holiday pal Fiona Payne, read a poem "Tree of Hope." The mum-of-two, accompanied by her family, choked back tears as she recited the final line: "And every bloom bear a colour for the ones that we miss."



Tree of Hope Missing People (PDF)

'Tree of Hope' poem

 
Maddie cops probe 10 more break-ins: Prayers for snatched tot 8 years on, 04 May 2015
 

Maddie cops probe 10 more break-ins: Prayers for snatched tot 8 years on Daily Star

MADELEINE McCann's parents last night marked the eighth anniversary of her disappearance.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 4th May 2015

HOPE: Police revealed they are probing 10 more break-ins in the area where Maddie disappeared [PA]

And the couple prayed they will one day be reunited with their daughter.

Kate McCann, 47, and husband Gerry, 46, spent the day visiting her poorly 75-year-old father Brian in Liverpool.

But they sent a message to friends and well-wishers holding an open-air service in their home village of Rothley, Leics.

Police revealed they are probing 10 more break-ins in the area where Maddie disappeared.

Officers think the youngster may have been taken in a botched burglary, and are already investigating 18 other raids.

The then three-year-old went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.

Mum Kate said her daughter was "missed every day", adding she prayed "something positive" would come from "the suffering Madeleine and our family have endured".

 
Brits already forking out en-masse for Maddie cop libel appeal, 03 May 2015
 

Brits already forking out en-masse for Maddie cop libel appeal Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on May 03, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

After what many consider the bombshell of a judicial decision last week, British supporters of the former Portuguese policeman ordered to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann €500,000 euros in damages are rallying to a "gofundme" online appeal for his legal defence.

Already widely reported is the fact that Gonçalo Amaral "will appeal to the last judicial instance" against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by Kate and Gerry McCann. But what few in Portugal may be aware of is that an online fund set up by a 22-year-old woman in Birmingham is already seeing money pouring in in Amaral's defence.

At time of writing on Sunday morning, 315 people had donated over £5,000 to the Legal Defence for Gonçalo Amaral set up by Leanne Baulch, with all sorts leaving commentaries, including at least one introducing himself as a retired police officer.

Jill Parkin added her £10 donation to the fund, saying: "Please do not give up in your quest for justice and the truth. I believe you are a honourable man who has been badly wronged. I honestly do not know what happened in this case but someone is lying and someone out there does know".

Many donors' comments allude to an article in today's Sunday Sun that suggests Amaral is being funded by "British trolls".

As Emma Mitchell, giving £100 commented: "Shame on you The Sun! ... Keep fighting GA , Madeleine deserves justice and so do you".

Kirstene Glynn added her contribution, saying: "From yet another "nasty Internet troll" keep on fighting GA we're behind u all the way".

While others stumping up for the appeal that hopes to raise £25,000 pointed out: "There is a battle going on in social media land to force this through to the mainstream" which, they claim, "for some reason" only publishes one side of this seemingly endless and long-running story.

Thus for now, Amaral is being buoyed by two online appeals both here and in UK as British media persist with 8th anniversary "Madeleine disappearance" stories, including "exposés" on Amaral's so-called "fall from grace" and new "revelations" about a string of burglaries on the Praia da Luz resort from which Madeleine went missing.

According to the Express on Sunday, a home Amaral had hoped to retire to in a "millionaires development" near Olhão has "been seized to to cover the McCann libel payout" and is now boarded up, the property of the courts.

The paper quotes an alleged friend, saying that everything Amaral has worked for "all his life, could be lost".

As we wrote this article, another three people bolstered the gofundme appeal.

By the end of the day donations had leapt almost £500.

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
Online trolls pay Madeleine McCann libel detective's legal bills on eight year anniversary, 03 May 2015
 

Online trolls pay Madeleine McCann libel detective's legal bills on eight year anniversary Sunday Express

INTERNET trolls are funding the legal bills of a shamed Portuguese detective who claimed Madeleine McCann's parents were behind her disappearance.

By HELEN BARNETT
PUBLISHED: 16:53, Sun, May 3, 2015 | UPDATED: 21:21, Sun, May 3, 2015

The news comes on the eight year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance

A British policeman is one of more than 330 people who have donated more than £5,300 towards Goncalo Amaral's legal bills after he was sued by Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry.

The sickening news comes on the eight year anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

Amaral was ordered to pay €500,000 in libel damages to the McCanns following the publication of a damning and unfounded book, "Maddie, The Truth of the Lie".

But Leanne Baulch, 22, of Birmingham, created the page and wrote the fund was created "as a quest for justice and backed by supporters from all over the globe, in solidarity, friendship and above all, in the interest of furthering the investigation of the case into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann".

It adds: "There are many who follow Amaral's dissatisfaction, and whom, like him, urge for the day the truth, or some more of it will emerge."

Amaral, 56, is to launch an expensive appeal against the payout decision.

Amaral defamed the McCanns for claiming they were behind Maddie's disappearance

John Green paid £10 to the fund and wrote: "I am a retired police officer and will never understand how criminal proceedings have never been taken against the McCanns."

Ms Baulch said any unused donations will go towards a Portuguese children's charity chosen by Mr Amaral.

A McCanns spokesman declined to comment.

But Kate and Gerry McCann described their ongoing turmoil on the eight year anniversary of their daughter's disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann were awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds in libel damages

They wrote they missed their daughter "every day". They added: "Eight years. There's no gentle way of putting it.

"This time of year cuts deep as it's a harsh reminder of time having passed and precious years with Madeleine lost."

They said they had been boosted by the love and support from the public, and reassured by the "unwavering commitment" from the Metropolitan Police.

The statement added: "Cooperation with and from the Portuguese Police has, and still is, vital to the success of the investigation.

"We are very appreciative of the joint working relationship established between the two forces."

 
Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine, 03 May 2015
 

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine, 03 May 2015

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine, 03 May 2015

Sunday, 3 May 2015 at 03:53

Today marks eight years since Madeleine was taken from her family. We are asking you to tie a yellow ribbon on a tree, post etc... (please make sure to ask permission if it's not on your own property). Take a picture and Email to Webmaster@findmadeleine.com. We would like to create a gallery to show how people are remembering Madeleine.

Edited to add: We would be grateful If you would also light a candle for Madeleine at: http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=Maddy

Thank you for not giving-up on Madeleine.

~FM Webmaster



Further comment:

In response to a question suggesting that a new 'computer generated photo of what she could look like now may help', the FM webmaster replied:

Official Find Madeleine Campaign: Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine, 03 May 2015

Tuesday, 5 May 2015 at 00:03

Hi Angie, we do have a computer generated photo that Scotland Yard commissioned when Madeleine was nine. They still feel this photo is appropriate for a twelve year-old and will do another one when she's 13. ~FM Webmaster

 
Trolls pay Maddie lie cop's court bill, 03 May 2015
 

Trolls pay Maddie lie cop's court bill The Sun (paper edition, page16)

Trolls pay Maddie lie cop's court bill - The Sun (paper edition, page16)

EXCLUSIVE by BEN PERRIN
Sunday, May 3, 2014


BRITISH trolls are helping pay legal bills of an ex-cop who said Madeleine McCann's parents were behind her disappearance.

Hundreds of donations have flooded into a sick campaign for Goncalo Amaral.

Today is the eighth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz, Portugal.

An ex-British policeman is among those supporting the "injustice" of him losing a libel case over allegations in his book The Truth of the Lie.

He claimed Maddie's parents Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46, faked her abduction after she died.

Amaral, 56, is set to launch a costly appeal after being ordered to pay the couple, from Rothley, Leics, a total of £434,000.

Leanne Baulch, 22, from Birmingham is listed as organiser of gofundme webpage "Legal Defence for Goncalo Amaral".

Some donors called the libel ruling a "perversion of justice". John Green paid £10 and wrote "I am a retired police officer and will never understand how criminal proceedings have never been taken against the McCanns."

Mary Benusis said her £50 was in memory of a Twitter troll found dead after being exposed as being behind vile social media messages about the McCanns.

A McCanns spokesman declined to comment.

 
EXCLUSIVE Maddie libel detective ruined: Retirement retreat seized to cover McCann payout, 03 May 2015
 

EXCLUSIVE Maddie libel detective ruined: Retirement retreat seized to cover McCann payout Sunday Express

THE luxury home where former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, central to the Madeleine McCann investigation, hoped to spend his retirement is boarded up and desolate.

By JAMES MURRAY
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, May 3, 2015

Detective Goncalo Amaral and his controversial book

It is a place he aimed to retreat to after writing a book about the distressing case. Now, ruined and shamed, he will almost certainly have to sell it to pay libel compensation to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry.

But the property, in millionaires' development Cerro Azul, near the town of Olhao, has been seized as an asset by a Lisbon court which last week ruled that Amaral must pay the McCanns 500,000 euros (£357,000) compensation for allegations he made in his book.

Amaral suggested that evidence showed that Madeleine died in the apartment from which she went missing, a claim that caused the McCanns untold distress. They are still searching for their daughter, who, if alive, would be 12 on May 12.

Guard dogs patrol inside the house while Amaral, who is now broke, lives with his father in Lisbon following his divorce from his wife Sofia. She lives with their teenage daughter hundreds of miles away in Faro – a city that the abandoned property overlooks.

A family friend said: "He bought the property about 10 years ago as an investment and as somewhere to live with his family during retirement but events have taken a different turn.

"The property is an asset of the court. He still has a loan, which would have to be paid back, with the rest potentially going to the McCanns, leaving him without anywhere to live except his father's small home. "Everything he has worked for all his life could be lost."

To help pay his legal fees, a fund in Portugal has raised about £5,000 and now a woman living in England, Leanne Baulch, has set up a "gofundme" crowd funding site, which has raised £3,000.

After analysing the judgment from judge Maria Castro, Amaral has decided to appeal, which could take two years, buying him time to raise more money. Describing the judgment as "unfair" he says he will appeal until the "very last judicial instance", which signals it could end up in Portugal's Supreme Court or the European Court of Human Rights.

Supporters point to a section of the judgment saying it was a proven fact that British police dogs detected the scent of human blood and a cadaver in Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, from where Madeleine vanished eight years ago today.

Amaral used this evidence to suggest in his book that Madeleine had died in the apartment, a theory vehemently rejected by the McCanns who still hope that she is alive somewhere.

The judge felt Amaral's theory caused the McCanns anger, despair and anguish but she said it was not proven that they had been destroyed from a moral, social and family point of view beyond the pain that the absence of their daughter causes them.

Amaral's retirement dream is locked up by the Portuguese courts while he is facing ruin

The couple had sought 500,000 euros compensation for Madeleine and 100,000 euros for each of their twins Sean and Amelie, now 10, but the judge threw that out. She has still to decide if Amaral had the right to promote his theories under freedom of expression.

While the legal dispute looks set to last for a further five years, the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance is being quietly remembered in Luz.

On the noticeboard of the Nossa Senhora yellow and white church, where the McCanns regularly prayed, there is no mention of Madeleine or the special prayers which will be said there today.

There are no pictures or posters of her and the only visible sign of the case is on Stop street signs. Someone using a sophisticated stencil has added "McCann Circus", highlighting the view of many who feel the case should be forgotten and people should be allowed to get on with their lives.

Despite the costly Scotland Yard and Portuguese police investigation, the Sunday Express found that key witnesses have still not been spoken to.

oad signs in Praia de Luz emblazoned with slogans to Stop the McCann Circus

Jenny Murat, 78, the mother of wrongly accused Robert Murat, has potentially breakthrough evidence but no one has spoken to her. At 8pm on May 3, 2007, she went to a supermarket and then drove past Apartment 5a and saw a woman hanging around. Her notes from the time say: "There was a woman standing on the corner under a lamp post.

"I don't remember much of her other than she was of slight build and was wearing a plum coloured jacket. She moved around the lamp post as if trying not to be noticed."

As she turned into the driveway of her home, Casa Liliana, she was nearly hit by a car going the wrong way. "When I stopped to open the gates I could not see the car but the woman was in the road looking in my direction."

After her son was wrongly made an arguido (Portuguese for suspect), she contacted Hugo Swire, a Tory MP in Devon, and Leicestershire police about her sighting but, astonishingly, she has not been interviewed to this day.

Speaking at home this week, she told the Sunday Express: "I am happy to speak to Scotland Yard. This woman was just outside Apartment 5a and it didn't look right. It could be relevant."

After 12 years she has put Casa Liliana up for sale. "It is very sad but the place has become a tourist attraction for all the wrong reasons," she said. "I get people banging on my gate and someone broke in once. I don't feel safe. Robert's life has been badly damaged by lies. It never goes away, it never ends. It gets you down."

She will live with her daughter, Sammy, in Devon, but Robert, wife Michaela and their four-year-old son will remain on the Algarve.

"I might buy a small flat in Luz but we will see," said Jenny. "It is not the same place."

 
Madeleine Police Probe More Break-Ins, 02 May 2015
 

Madeleine Police Probe More Break-Ins Sky News

10:42, UK, Saturday 02 May 2015

Detectives are following a new line of inquiry, ahead of the eighth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

Video: McCann Police Probe Break-Ins

By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent

British detectives searching for Madeleine McCann have discovered more of the holiday apartment burglaries they believe hold the key to solving the case.

They had been investigating 18 break-ins in which intruders entered the bedrooms of young, mostly British girls.

Now they are probing 28 such burglaries, Sky News has learned.

Forensic evidence is being tested against findings from the apartment from where Madeleine vanished eight years ago.

The development in the Scotland Yard investigation is revealed by authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan in a new edition of their recent book Looking For Madeleine.

Summers said: "Our source told us that after stumbling across 18 burglaries last year, they have now discovered a total of 28 in the area of Praia da Luz in the years around 2007 when Madeleine disappeared.

"It gives them a much better chance of matching evidence against forensics from the McCann apartment.

"I was told there was great sensitivity around this forensic testing, nobody wants to discuss it, but they are making progress and believe the case is solvable."

The author said in the past few days the Home Office had agreed to continue its controversial funding of the British investigation which has now cost more than £10m.

Summers said: "Officials meet the police every three months to review spending and only last week told them there was no financial or political pressure to cut back."

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from the family's rented holiday apartment on 3 May eight years ago. It's thought she was abducted.

Portuguese police abandoned their investigation after 15 months without establishing any clues to the mystery and for three years there was no official search for Madeleine.

With Home Office backing, Scotland Yard began a review of evidence in 2011 and then launched a full-scale investigation two years ago.

The London branch leader of the police union the Police Federation said recently that funding of the investigation could not be justified in the wake of continuing public spending cuts which have hit all forces.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann have said they are "more driven than ever" to continue the search for their daughter.

 
'No one has the right to take away a parent's hope', 02 May 2015
 

'No one has the right to take away a parent's hope' The Telegraph

In an exclusive extract from the updated edition of their book Looking for Madeleine, award-winning investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan report on the current developments in the Madeleine McCann case

Madeleine McCann

By Anthony Summers, and Robynn Swan
7:05AM BST 02 May 2015


Last August, a group of 10 "concerned citizens" wrote to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, alerting him to "an appalling campaign of abuse directed at the parents and wider family of Madeleine McCann".

None of the authors of the letter was related to or even knew Kate and Gerry McCann. It was, rather, they said, the behaviour of an army of online "haters" in recent months that decided them to turn to law enforcement. The abuses against the McCanns had "raged for over seven years now, but have lately become worse".

As the McCanns this weekend mark the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of their three-year-old daughter from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal, the daily attacks from trolls on line continue. Yet the police yesterday ruled out taking any action. In a reply to the "concerned citizens", Roger Bannister, the Assistant Chief Constable of the Leicestershire force – asked by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to look into the issues they had raised – wrote that, on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the evidence submitted of the abuse the McCanns had faced that had been "did not reach the evidential threshold for a successful prosecution".

Earlier this week, though, there had been more encouraging news for the McCanns when a Portuguese court ruled - after six years - that Goncalo Amaral, the detective who initially led the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine's disappearance had libelled the couple. It ordered him to pay them £440,000 in damages. In his best-selling book, The Truth of the Lie, translated into six languages, Amaral suggested that Madeleine died in the family's holiday apartment, and that her parents were in some way responsible for her death.

Kate and Gerry McCann (REUTERS/Darren Staples)

Kate and Gerry McCann (REUTERS/Darren Staples)

In a statement released on Friday, Kate McCann reiterated the couple's committment to finding their daughter. "I'm more driven than ever to continue the search for Madeleine and to help other families who face the pain of a child being missing," she said at the launch of a charity bike ride to raise funds for Missing People.

The hating of the McCanns began early. Cruel, anonymous letters started to arrive soon after Madeleine went missing. One correspondent claimed to know that the three-year-old was being tortured and that her parents were responsible, another that she was dead and buried. Back home in Leicestershire without their daughter that first Christmas, the McCanns received a card that read: "You ******* thieving bastards. Your brat is dead because of your drunken arrogance . . . If you have any shame you would accept full responsibility for your daughter's disappearance . . . You are scum." The couple have also received death threats.

There is, of course, absolutely no evidence at all to support the drip feed of allegations on the Internet about the McCanns' guilt. And research for our book Looking for Madeleine found nothing to contradict the official line.

In the years since the disappearance of Madeleine, the rise and rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has allowed many out-and-out foes of the couple to continue to pour out their poison. They can connect more easily than ever before with like-minded individuals, often anonymously, and this is outpacing law enforcement's ability to police it.

Most troubling are the posts that have threatened violence against them. "Friends" in one Facebook exchange "jokingly" suggested the fate they wished upon the McCanns. Friend One suggested someone should "shoot the ****ers". Friend Two, a female, declared that "these 2 should burn in hell". Friend Three said he would "supply the petrol . . ." Friend Four, who claimed elsewhere that he attended gym classes with Kate and Gerry, babbled about being able to dig out "a box of Swan Vesta" matches.

Madeleine McCann

(PRESS ASSOCIATION)

Twitter posts also come from people who say they live near the McCanns. One suggested she would "nip round" to their house where they live with their ten year old twins with "handcuffs . . . pass the twins to a loving family and then lynch 'em!!" There was also: "I'm in the mood for some waterboarding, who's first K or G?"

The trolling reached a crisis point in July last year when an anti-McCann Facebook page posted a photograph of the McCanns' Sean and Amelie, at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In their September letter to the Met, one of the "concerned citizens" wrote: "It will only take one mentally unstable person to act out on the fantasies of assaulting the McCanns or contacting their twins, or one pathetic soul seeking praise and affirmation. I personally cannot have it on my conscience that I didn't at least try to bring these activities to the attention of the police . . . No family should live in permanent fear."

It was a month after the complaint had been submitted to the Met, Sky News correspondent Martin Brunt conducted a doorstep interview with the woman who – under the username @sweepyface – had authored many anti- McCann postings on Twitter. She was not named in his report, but acknowledged having posted the messages, and insisted that she was "entitled" to do so.

Following the broadcast, @sweepyface was quickly identified as 63-year-old Brenda Leyland, a divorced mother of two sons, who lived within 15 miles of the McCanns' home. It was reported that she had sent more than 4000 tweets since 2010, almost all of them about the McCanns. On October 4, two days after the footage featuring her had run, Leyland was found dead in a room at a hotel on the outskirts of Leicester. At the inquest, one of her sons said his mother had a background of mental illness and had "always struggled with depression". Her Twitter record for the final weeks of her life indicates that she had sent some 600 tweets, most of them barbs aimed at the McCanns and their defenders, whom she characterised as "shills" – stooges – or "***tards". She was amused, too, by the fantasy that people who supported the McCanns might "do a Jonestown" and commit mass suicide.

Kate and Gerry McCann

(REUTERS)

Nine days before her death, Leyland tweeted: "I 'hate' cruelty, liars, those who profit from an others [sic] tragedy, ergo my 'hate for Kate and Gerry' is justified . . . 'hate' [is] a powerful emotion, it is a compliment to Maddie that we 'hate' her parents who betrayed her."

The advice of the DPP and the decision by Leicestershire police not to pursue action agains those who persecute the McCanns online will, no doubt, lead to renewed abuse. In the meantime, the McCanns must soldier on, their focus as ever the search for Madeleine. Over the past 12 months, Scotland Yard has announced "operational activity" in Portugal", digging in and around Praia da Luz. A number of witnesses have been questioned.

There has been a development in one significant area. The Met had said previously that it was studying 18 incidents in the vicinity of Praia da Luz in which an intruder had broken into properties housing British families between 2002 and 2010 – well after Madeleine's disappearance. That number has now risen and police are analysing as many as 28 episodes.

"The offences are not all the same," a source told us. "Some involve not little children but teenagers or young women . . . But there are similarities. We're seeing a sort of consistent theme. Perhaps there is a burglar, a thief, who's also got a weakness for this sort of thing. We don't know. We're not saying all these offences are definitely linked, but there's potential here.

"If we dig down into those incidents and find out who's responsible, if we find that a single person is responsible for a number, if not all, of the events . . . Who knows, that same person may have been responsible for Madeleine McCann's disappearance."

Kate and Gerry McCann

(EPA)

Forensic evidence - a fingerprint or DNA lying forgotten in a police exhibit store in the Algarve - remians the best hope of a conclusion to this case.

This week, a senior source on the Scotland Yard investigation carefully said, "no comment" when pressed as to whether there is possible progress on the forensic front. Carefully, too, he has said there is still progress and that the case is "solvable".

And we believe the McCanns are right to hope. The head of the US-based International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ernie Allen, regards their tenacity as "admirable" and "inspiring". As he once told another grieving parent, "there are many scenarios under which your child could still be alive...We keep finding abducted children who have been missing for years."

In South Africa in February, a child was found alive and well – having been abducted as a baby and been missing for seventeen years. She is now reunited with her parents. "No one has the right," said Allen, "to take away a parent's hope.

 
Campaigners 'dismayed' as McCann trolls escape action, 02 May 2015
 

Campaigners 'dismayed' as McCann trolls escape action Daily Star

POLICE will take no action against twisted internet trolls who targeted the parents of Madeleine McCann.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 2nd May 2015

TROLLS: Hundreds of abusive and threatening tweets, posts and messages were given as evidence [PA]

Campaigners gave detectives a dossier of hundreds of threatening tweets, posts and messages directed at Kate McCann, 47, and husband Gerry, 46.

Despite no evidence, many accused the couple of having some involvement in their three-year-old daughter's disappearance from their holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

The Leicestershire force spent eight months probing the messages, some threatening violence and death.

But Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: "While finding much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant... it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

Campaigners who complained were "dismayed" and the McCanns declined to comment.

But a pal said: "The police have made their decision not to prosecute, whether it’s right or wrong.

"It's their decision along with the Crown Prosecution Service."

Brenda Leyland, 63, of Burton Overy, Leics, killed herself in October after she attacked the McCanns on Twitter and was then exposed as a troll.

 
Fiona Phillips ...because she cares [opinion column], 02 May 2015
 

Fiona Phillips ...because she cares Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 21)

Fiona Phillips ...because she cares Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 21)

Fiona Phillips
Saturday 02.05.2015


It hasn't brought Madeleine back but I am thrilled that the McCanns have received compensation for the brutal claims by a Portuguese police chief that they'd staged their daughter's abduction.

Those who know them saw the misery it heaped upon the grief they were already suffering. The £358,000 damages are an insult in the face of that but at least they're an acknowledgement of an unspeakable lie.

 
Monster who made a mint out of Maddie, 02 May 2015
 

Monster who made a mint out of Maddie The Sun (paper edition, pages 36&37)

Monster who made a mint out of Maddie - The Sun (paper edition, pages 36&37)

EIGHT YEARS ON, HOW 'SUPER SLEUTH' FAILED THE McCANNS

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
Saturday, May 2, 2015


ADORING women flock around him, chanting his name, throwing red roses and blowing him kisses.

Smiling and waving, their idol laps up the attention, posing for photos, signing autographs and even giving a lucky few a peck on the cheek.

For all the world you may have thought the man at the centre of the fuss and flashing a diamond earring stud was an ageing pop star greeting his fans at the stage door.

In fact the setting was the entrance to Lisbon's Palace of Justice and the man was former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral.

This is the man Madeleine McCann's parents hold responsible for virtually destroying every hope there was of finding their daughter in the first crucial hours and days after she went missing on May 3, 2007.

And he is a man who has continued to add to their torment in the years since by claiming over and over that their beloved daughter is dead.

He has raked in nearly £400,000 from spouting these claims in a book and TV documentary.

He even hired an agent and was at one time charging £75,000 for an interview.

Before long he was driving a flashy Jag and living in a plush villa.

Tomorrow marks the eighth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine, who was three years old.

The scenes of Amaral preening in front of besotted fans outside court were witnessed by parents Kate and Gerry more than two years after that terrible night.

'Kate driven to tears by missed opportunities'

It was December 11, 2009, and incredibly, it was the first time Kate had ever set eyes on him.

As the mum was to write later in her book Madeleine: "It was also the first time he had laid eyes on me.

"It is extraordinary that he could have said and written so many awful things about a person he had never met."

This week the couple finally won their libel battle against Amaral that had begun back on that December day more than five years ago. He was ordered to pay them £433,000 and his book, The Truth of the Lie, was banned.

Kate, 46, has mostly kept a dignified silence on the subject of Amaral, but in one interview she revealed how son Sean, now nine, had told her: "Mr Amaral said you hid Madeleine."

When Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, Amaral, now 56, was quickly drafted in as the super-sleuth who would crack the case.

At the time he was the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria's Criminal Investigation Department in Portimao.

But during the investigation he only met Gerry once and seemingly had not thought it relevant to even meet, let alone talk to, the mother of the child he was tasked with finding.

This isn't surprising given Amaral's arrogance and self-importance. Having met him several times he is unlike any police chief I have ever known.

At court, in his heavy gold chain and with his bulging belly, he conducted himself like a celebrity.

He gave TV interviews at every opportunity and wined and dined his fans – who all seemed to be women of a certain age with a fondness for bright red lipstick and fur coats – over long lunches.

Back in October 2007 it was his comments made during a similar lunch that saw him taken off Madeleine's case.

Journalists overheard him loudly complaining that the McCanns were getting special treatment because they were from the UK, and criticising British police. He was removed after his comments were reported.

But it was surprising that Amaral was ever in charge in the first place.

Because at the time he was himself an "arguido" – an official suspect – in a case involving another mother of a missing child.

He was being investigated for falsifying documents in a case involving three of his officers accused of torturing the missing girl's mum and uncle to get their confessions.

Little Joana Cipriano, eight, had disappeared in September 2004 from her village seven miles from Praia da Luz. She has never been found. The officers were cleared, but in May 2009 Amaral was convicted of perjury and received an 18-month suspended sentence.

Years later, as Kate combed through police files, she was to be driven to tears of frustration and rage by all the missed opportunities. So many leads and sightings had simply not been followed up.

The reason? From an early stage in the investigation, as Amaral later admitted in his book, he decided Madeleine had died in an accident.

Then, he reckoned, her parents panicked, hid her body and made up the story about her abduction.

So while Kate and Gerry were clinging to the hope that a huge manhunt would soon bring their daughter back to them, Amaral's team were in fact searching for clues and evidence to implicate them.

Even the cop assigned to be the McCanns' family liaison officer was in fact looking for hints of guilt, it emerged during the libel case.

Conclusions based on bizarre 'evidence'

One night, he told the court, Kate had phoned him to beg for a hilltop in Praia da Luz to be searched, because she had had a dream that Madeleine was buried there.

From this, he reported back to Amaral, he believed that Kate was admitting Madeleine was dead – further proof of the couples "guilt".

It seems absurd that a top police chief would base his conclusions on bizarre "evidence" such as this. And yet, much to Kate and Gerry's complete despair, he did.

No wonder Kate wrote in her book: "What probably galls me the most about Amaral's interviews is the way he presents himself as a person who, perhaps above all others, really wants to find Madeleine and get to the bottom of her fate.

"I cannot begin to express how much this outrages me."

Amaral began his attacks on the McCanns soon after being taken off the case and in July 2008 published his book, a bestseller in Portugal.

Amaral is well thought of in Portugal and his utterings were clearly turning locals against the McCanns.

As Kate told me despairingly: "If people believe Madeleine is dead they will stop searching for her." Yet she never wanted to enter into a long libel battle against him.

It was Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte who told Kate and Gerry, 46, that they had no choice but to do it, declaring: "That man has accused you of burying your daughter!"

Meanwhile, Amaral's second wife Sofia Leal, 45 – with whom he has a daughter the same age as Madeleine – has said he has been "completely destroyed" by the case.

And recently Amaral himself, who is now retired, said: "It's hard to accept that I have to live this way just because I did my job."

For Kate and Gerry those words must cut deep.

Because they believe if Amaral HAD done his job their beloved Madeleine may now be with them.

 
Watch That Space, 01 May 2015
 

Watch That Space

Nicola Wall and Andy Redwood

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
01 May 2015

WATCH THAT SPACE

By now, thanks to the hurried efforts of Dona Isabel Duarte, the entire Western world has been given the news of the McCanns' successful litigation against Dr. Goncalo Amaral. What will not have been fully explained to the media of course is that the judge in this instance had virtually to invent a reason for awarding them anything at all, much less the astronomical sum announced.

£375,000 may represent the extent of the McCanns' demands with respect to themselves, but it far and away exceeds any comparable award so far by a Portuguese court to a Portuguese. In addition, the arguments advanced as a justification are not merely weak, they are in error. It's as though, if the good lady judge were a mathematician she would be in the habit of reading graphs upside down!

The decision to award the sum demanded was based, not on the evidence heard, but an essay in Jurisprudence, researched by the arbitrator herself, in which Goncalo Amaral is portrayed as a public servant subject to restriction, as though he had signed the Portuguese equivalent of the Official Secrets Act. For balance, courts too are obliged to observe the presumption of innocence in any statement they might make concerning suspects under investigation, so as not to prejudice or jeopardize any prosecution.

In the event that a public official is not sworn to secrecy, exactly how long must they be 'out of office' before they are allowed to comment upon anything contentious? The final decision of this court was supposed to have been given in private, so no blame could be attached to any official statement emanating from it. But what about evidence given at previous hearings? Might not the (publicly reported) statements of such as PJ Inspector Ricardo Paiva be viewed as 'prejudicial to the presumption of innocence'? No castigation offered in that direction though, eh?

In sum, and based upon legal precedent, apparently, we have the duty of a public servant (and others) toward a suspect under investigation, levied against a man no longer in public office, and on behalf of two people who are not suspects, not being investigated, and in no imminent danger of standing trial for anything at all. Does that make any sense?

There are two very clear (and opposing) schools of thought concerning the relationship or otherwise between Operation Grange and the McCann/Amaral stand-off being progressed through the civil courts. This latest decision, evaluated in complete isolation, is nigh-on inexplicable – except when viewed in a context of suitability.

Monetarily, the McCanns benefit, and beyond what should have been their wildest expectations in the wake of the evidence previously heard by this court. But it was never about the money, so they say. There is also the glaring anomaly of the judge, hearing a case for damages, suddenly and inexplicably making a pronouncement concerning Goncalo Amaral's book, quite beyond her judicial remit, taking it upon herself to reverse the earlier decision of a higher court and citing her own research as justification!

Again the McCanns benefit, but they are not alone.

Imagine the difficulty facing the decision makers behind Operation Grange, should the damages awarded the McCanns have genuinely reflected the evidence heard and assessed in Lisbon. How does one justify closing down a review/investigation that has just eaten up four years and £10 million, having identified neither abductor nor evidence of abduction, if the bottom line, as last defined in Portugal, was that the McCanns' claims were worth 'tuppence' and The Truth of the Lie is not only legitimate, but accurate!

As far as the case is concerned, the McCanns did not win the argument. The result however is very much 'against the run of play'. It not only supports, albeit tenuously, their claims of victory, but extends to promote the conclusion that Goncalo Amaral's published remarks, and by implication the concomitant (and troublesome) observations made by the original (Portuguese) process, are in error.

Suddenly, and with fiscal testimony to the illegitimacy of Amaral's reasoning (and by implication the PJ's original position) the counterweight to the McCanns' claims of abduction has been lifted once more. Hence Scotland Yard can relax in the understanding that their investigating a case of abduction was appropriate all along.

Whether Goncalo Amaral appeals the decision at this stage is secondary and largely irrelevant, given the time delay involved. The fact remains that the Grange curtain can be brought down now, courtesy of a judge who has seen fit to portray the McCanns as injured parties, not on account of the evidence, but in spite of it.

DCI Redwood has retired, just as he was on the verge of cracking the biggest abduction case since the Lindbergh baby, DCI Nicola Wall has been brought in to answer the 'phone, and the McCanns, with their eyes focussed on another big pay day, propose to continue where Operation Grange is shortly to leave off (according to Clarence Mitchell at least, and he should know).

If a UK diplomat can influence the direction of a police investigation conducted on foreign soil, there is no reason whatever to believe that 'sweet nothings' cannot be whispered into the ear of a foreign judge, even after a case hearing is concluded, allowing the McCanns to continue searching for their daughter in the same fashion as Hercules, who stubbornly insisted on looking for his dead chum Hylas, whose body lay buried beneath the shattered bronze remains of a Titan (according to Ray Harryhausen at least). We don't yet know what Madeleine is buried under.

 
Updates, 01 May 2015
 

findmadeleine.com update, 01 May 2015

May, 2015 - Update

Eight years. There's no gentle way of putting it. Whilst most days, weeks and months are fairly similar – Madeleine is missed every day – this time of year cuts deep as it's a harsh reminder of time having passed and precious years with Madeleine lost.

Without a shadow of doubt, the love, support, help and prayers that we continue to receive from so many people, in spite of the years which have gone by, encourages us, maintains our hope and lifts our spirits.

We are also buoyed and reassured by the unwavering commitment and continued progress being made in the investigation. We are really grateful to the Metropolitan Police team for their conscientiousness, patience, consideration shown to us and above all, their will to find Madeleine and determine what has happened.

Cooperation with and from the Portuguese Police has, and still is, vital to the success of the investigation. We are very appreciative of the joint working relationship established between the two forces.

Next month, I will be raising awareness again of the charity Missing People, and the many children who go missing every year. One child is too many. I will be taking part in a 500 mile charity cycle from Edinburgh to London and during this journey, I am hoping to promote the UK's Child Rescue Alert (CRA) system. If you can help me, please do by either donating at www.justgiving.com/KateMcCann/ and/or signing up to the CRA at www.childrescuealert.org.uk.

We've always promised ourselves that something positive has to come out of all the suffering Madeleine and our family have endured. If highlighting the issues of child abduction (and missing children in general) and raising money to enable the charity Missing People to carry out their invaluable work improves this very real and heartbreaking problem, then every push of those pedals will be worth it. Always.

Thank you again for your incredible and very humbling kindness and support.

Kate and Gerry

 
Transcript of further Sky News bulletin on McCann 'trolls' with quote from Robbyn Swan, 01 May 2015
 
Transcript of further Sky News bulletin on McCann 'trolls' with quote from Robbyn Swan Sky News

01 May 2015

Presenter in studio: Sky sources have revealed that no further action is to be taken against dozens of people accused of online abuse directed at the family of Madeleine McCann.

Anti-abuse campaigners had compiled a dossier of names after becoming alarmed at the threatening nature of some tweets and posts.

Well, Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt is in our Central London Studio. Martin, give us more details about this.

Martin Brunt: The dossier is effectively a catalogue of abuse that, errm... detractors of the McCanns either tweeted or posted in other online forums.

Leicestershire Police have been investigating it for the best part of eight months and it included dozens of McCann antagonists who were threatening the couple with all sorts of things but including harm, torture, even death.

The police... it appears that the police haven't questioned any of those dozens of people featured in the dossier.

They say that those postings do not breach any laws around the protection of individuals harassment, or malicious communications, and that's a decision they say was taken after consulting Crown Prosecutors

Presenter in studio: And what have the dossier... the people who compiled this dossier been told?

Martin Brunt: Well in the past couple of days they have received a letter from Leicestershire Police. It's signed by Roger Bannister, one of the assistant chief constables, and he says this:

"While finding that much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant in nature, it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

Now understandably that response from the police, after all this time, has been greeted by dismay by those who compiled the dossier - but also others who followed the McCann case including Robbyn Swan, who's the co-author of a recent book, 'Looking for Madeleine', and she had this to say:

Robbyn Swan: The individuals who presented this, this document... document to the police firmly believed that they were acting in the public interest; that they were acting in the interests of the McCanns.

There was a large group of them; there were some ten individuals involved. They had collected the material over a period of many months, and they were genuinely frightened by what they saw.

Martin Brunt: Those people who compiled the dossier feel very let down by Leicestershire Police and say that effectively this decision gives online trolls of the McCanns, and others, the green light to continue.

 
Clickety-Clack, 01 May 2015
 

Clickety-Clack The Blacksmith Bureau

Friday, 1 May 2015 at 15:22

Trench

After the verdict

Right, freed from the burden of ever again attempting to make sense of Portuguese law, and more or less over the huge disappointment we felt at the verdict, we climbed out of our fox holes, our ears still ringing, to see the changed and cratered ghostly landscape.

But scans of Twitter and a sneaky glance through the bars of the locked ward's TV room revealed a most peculiar, semi-hysterical tone to the gloating at Goncalo Amaral's discomfiture. Because, to paraphrase a phrase once used about the writer Scott Fitzgerald ("the style sings of hope; the message is despair") the messages screamed of victory while the tone reeked of unease.

An impression that has been confirmed, indeed strengthened, since. Why? Who can know their secret fears? But we can note the fact that the supporters are once again wholly dependent on the newspapers and the scraps that various family members might throw them for their information, lacking as they do the co-operative research effort to bypass or overtake the MSM that has been producing wonders for us on the right side since the 2013 trial began. While the mob were on twitter and elsewhere in droves ( the locked ward people were cleverly morse-coding their messages by banging their plastic cutlery on the bars) people were already translating and assimilating the judgement and duly observing that Hecate D. had sent it prematurely to the media. That shows a lot of confidence in the permanence of your triumph, doesn't it?

And it got worse. Duarte had been unable to fillet the judgement and pick out juicy bits for Lusa and the Team to shower on the ignorant – 2008’s classic Portuguese Prosecutors Mock Their Own Police Force being the template – because there weren’t any. The supporters gaped, round-mouthed, for nutrition but once again – again! – that bloody cupboard was empty. No "Judge attacks lying cop", no "bankrupt cop’s fantasies exposed in court", nothing: the judgement contained not a word of condemnation for GA.

It got even worse. Amid the strained gloats people suddenly began showering money on GA's defence fund and that sent the righteous absolutely f*****g nuts. Since then all manner of dirty tricks and false identities have appeared to try and smother the fund-raising as an increasingly hysterical sense of bafflement ripples through the posts at the fact that GA's supporters are being cheerful! What? you could almost hear the poor saps asking themselves, why aren't these people aware of the death of their hopes, where's the anger at the way the contemptible Amaral has misled them, what's going on?

But then they never have known what's going on, have they? That's what happens when you get your facts from the newspapers.

Death by Dossier

Shock corridor

Ward Hears the News: No Troll Prosecution!

Then today the clickety-clack of plastic plates on the ward bars rose to a frantic crescendo:

Inmate:
--- -- …. – … ---- - -- --- -- . [Morse translation: What on earth?]

Inmate:
.. ----. - --- … – .. – …. .. …. -- -- --- -- …. [Police won't prosecute the trolls]

Inmate: … ---.
[No!]

Inmate: – . – .. –
[Yes!]

Inmate: – .. . – … -- -- -- ..- .
[Are you sure?]

Inmate: – -- -.-. ..-. .. .. ..- -- … -- -.-.--. ----- .-.-.
[It says so in the papers!]

Inmate:
– … .. .-. .---. .—.. .. [Nurse!]

All:
-- -.- -- … .—.- -- … [Howl] [Inmates start munching on their bowls, eating own faeces etc.]

Their agony and our merriment continues. As does Operation Grange.

 
McCann Trolls: Police Won't Take Action, 01 May 2015
 

McCann Trolls: Police Won't Take Action Sky News

11:26, UK, Friday 01 May 2015

Police say some of the messages sent to the family were "extremely distasteful", but none "constituted a prosecutable offence".

Kate and Gerry McCann

No further action will be taken against dozens of people accused of directing online abuse at the family of Madeleine McCann, Sky sources have revealed.

Anti-abuse campaigners had compiled a dossier of names after becoming alarmed at the threatening nature of some tweets and posts directed at Kate and Gerry McCann.

In a letter to the campaigners, Leicestershire Police Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: "While finding that much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant in nature, it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "Leicestershire Police had spent about eight months investigating the dossier, which effectively was a catalogue of abuse tweeted and posted online elsewhere by antagonists of Kate and Gerry McCann.

"There were dozens of such individuals identified in the dossier. They had threatened violence and even death against the couple."

The online posts included words like petrol and matches, handcuffs, shooting, torture and lynching, Brunt said.

He added: "Leicestershire Police have decided after consulting with Crown Prosecutors that none of these postings constitutes a breach of the Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act or the Telecommunications Act."

Brunt said those who compiled the dossier have reacted with "absolute dismay" at the decision.

"They say it is tantamount to giving the trolls, as they call them, 'carte blanche' to carry on abusing the McCanns," he said.

"Although we haven't heard directly from the McCanns, I'm sure they too will be astonished, because when Sky News revealed this dossier back in September last year, Gerry McCann said such trolls should be prosecuted."

More follows...



Update:

McCann Trolls: Police Won't Take Action Sky News

12:51, UK, Friday 01 May 2015

Police say some of the online messages sent to the family were "extremely distasteful", but none would lead to prosecutions

Gerry McCann said last year that trolls should be prosecuted

No further action will be taken against dozens of people accused of targeting online abuse at the family of Madeleine McCann, Sky sources have revealed.

Anti-abuse campaigners had compiled a dossier of names after becoming alarmed at the threatening nature of some tweets, posts and messages on online forums directed at Kate and Gerry McCann.

Hundreds of messages have been posted by trolls who believe, despite no evidence, that the McCanns had some involvement in the disappearance of their daughter in Portugal in 2007.

In a letter to the campaigners, Leicestershire Police Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said: "While finding that much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant in nature, it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

Madeleine went missing in Portugal in 2007

Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: "Leicestershire Police had spent about eight months investigating the dossier, which effectively was a catalogue of abuse tweeted and posted online elsewhere by antagonists of Kate and Gerry McCann.

"There were dozens of such individuals identified in the dossier. They had threatened violence and even death against the couple."

The online posts included words like petrol and matches, handcuffs, shooting, torture and lynching, Brunt said.

He added: "Leicestershire Police have decided after consulting with Crown Prosecutors that none of these postings constitutes a breach of the Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act or the Telecommunications Act."

Brunt said those who compiled the dossier, which was revealed by Sky News in September, have reacted with "absolute dismay".

"They say it is tantamount to giving the trolls, as they call them, carte blanche to carry on abusing the McCanns," he said.

Stella Creasy (L) and Caroline Criado-Perez both faced online abuse

"Although we haven't heard directly from the McCanns, I'm sure they too will be astonished because when Sky News revealed this dossier, Gerry McCann said such trolls should be prosecuted."

Successful prosecutions have been brought against online trolls in the UK.

In September, Peter Nunn, who sent abusive Twitter messages to Labour MP Stella Creasy, was jailed for 18 weeks.

The abuse started after Ms Creasy supported a successful campaign to put the image of Jane Austen on the £10 note.

Two other people who sent abusive tweets to Ms Creasy, as well as to fellow banknote campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, were also given jail sentences last year.

Isabella Sorley was jailed for 12 weeks and John Nimmo for eight. They were ordered to pay £400 compensation to both victims.

In June, Jake Newsome, who wrote an offensive Facebook post about Ann Maguire, a teacher stabbed to death in her classroom, was jailed for six weeks.

Earlier this week, the McCanns won a libel case against a former detective in Portugal.

In his bestselling book, Goncalo Amaral claimed the McCanns hid their daughter's body and faked an abduction after she died in an accident.

A civil court in Lisbon ordered Mr Amaral to pay €606,000 (£433,000) to the McCanns.

 
Transcript of Sky News bulletin on McCann 'trolls', 01 May 2015
 
Transcript of Sky News bulletin on McCann 'trolls' Sky News

01 May 2015

Presenter in studio: Sky news sources have revealed that no further action is to be taken against dozens of people accused of online abuse directed at the family of Madeleine McCann.

Anti abuse campaigners had compiled a dossier of names after becoming alarmed at the threatening nature of many of the tweets and posts.

Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt is in our Central London Studio. Martin, bring us the details.

Martin Brunt: Leicestershire Police have spent about eight months investigating the dossier, which effectively was a catalogue of, errm... abuse tweeted and posted online and elsewhere by antagonists of Kate and Gerry McCann.

There were dozens of such individuals identified in the dossier and they had threatened violence and even death against the couple.

Now Leicestershire Police has told the compilers of the dossier that there is to be no further action after a lengthy investigation.

Errm... those tweets, those online postings, included words like petrol and matches, handcuffs, shooting, torture and lynching.

Yet Leicestershire Police have decided after consulting with Crown Prosecutors that none of these postings constitutes a breach of either the Harassment Act, the Malicious Communications Act or, indeed, the Telecommunications Act.

So, no action to be taken against any of those named in the dossier.

Presenter in studio: What have those people who compiled the dossier been told?

Martin Brunt: Well, they've had a letter in the last few days from the Assistant Chief Constable of Leicester Police Roger Bannister in which among other things he says -

"While finding that much of the material was extremely distasteful and unpleasant in nature, it was determined that none of the messages/postings constituted a prosecutable offence."

He does go on to say that some of the postings that were investigated were out of time, so couldn't have been prosecuted.

And I can tell you that those dossier compilers have reacted with "absolute dismay" at this decision, they say it is tantamount to giving, errm... the, errm... trolls, as they call them, carte blanche, really, to carry on abusing the McCanns.

And I'm sure - although we haven't heard directly from Madeleine McCann's parents - they too will be astonished, because Gerry McCannn, after we revealed this dossier back in September last year, he said that such trolls should be prosecuted.

And indeed two were.

There were two famous cases last year; somebody who abused Ann McGuire, the Leeds teacher who was stabbed to death, and another man who sent abusive tweets to Stella Creasy, the Labour MP. Those two ended up in jail after some very swift action by police prosecutors.

But in this case, against the McCann Trolls, no action by Leicestershire Police or Crown Prosecutors.

Presenter in studio: Thank you

 
Humpty-Dumpty Speaks Again, 30 April 2015
 

Humpty-Dumpty Speaks Again The Blacksmith Bureau

Thursday, 30 April 2015 at 16:17

"When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all."

Judge

Yoo-hoo! Surprise!

JB writes: So the dust begins to clear.

I've now had a preliminary chance to look at the judgement. "Preliminary" means, among other things, there is still a full-scale examination of the text to come. Well, there isn't such an examination to come and I'll give the reasons why below.

First: the implications of the trial and verdict for the investigation. There aren't any. They are irrelevant.

And for vindication of the couple and their innocence? The court proceedings recorded by M/S Guedes are, as we can guarantee from personal experience, 95-99% accurate. Those proceedings are notable for the fact that the defendants made no attempt to introduce evidence supporting their innocence, except for a last minute shout at the judge from the witness box by Gerry McCann that the dogs' work wasn't any good. So much for that.

And for us? The witness evidence provided a reliable fifth primary source to add to the case files, GM blogs, the Leicester interviews and Madeleine for  research into the case.

So, next: where do we all go from here?

It would be a betrayal to cease supporting GA now.
We've all stuck with him this long and neither this trial nor any actions of his own have weakened his claims. There is nothing in the findings that should make any of us, writers or readers, rethink our support; indeed the opposite is the case - in this long judgement not a single one of the horrible and mad personal accusations made in the locked wards and elsewhere about Goncalo's abilities or personal motives has been supported in any way. Witnesses from Alipio Ribeiro downwards refused to say a word against him. There are no attacks on him personally by the judge.

Nowhere does the judgement suggest that he acted dishonourably, dishonestly, from wounded pride or from personal dislike of the McCanns, or in any other way that should make us lessen our support for him. Quite the reverse.

So I ask anyone who has supported him financially in the past not so much to give more but to try and widen the fund-raising circle in any way that you can so that he can appeal. This weekend I'm going to try and convince my wife (!) to make a payment, not because she supports our cause – she hates the whole McCann affair – but precisely because she doesn't. I will ask her if, even as a non-supporter, she will make a small payment to see the case through. If all of us can add a few people then GA retains a fighting chance.

M/S Humpty Speaks

Now, the bones of the judgement. Damages have been awarded on the Human Rights issue: we are back in early 2010, around the time that the McCanns were promising all that evidence of what Amaral had done to them and please can we have our Human Rights injunction, now? Evidence that they never provided.

Did you think the Human Rights issue was decided by the court of appeal back in late 2010? Yep, so did we. So, it seems did almost everybody else. Here's the appeal court judgement:
"The book at stake in this process –  the Truth of the Lie – which was written by the defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, has the main motivation of defending his personal and professional honour, as the author points out right away in the preface and throughout his text.

The contents of the book do not offend any of the applicants' fundamental rights.

The exercise of its writing and publication is included in the constitutional rights that are secured to everyone by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Portuguese Republic's Constitution, namely in its articles 37º and 38º.

As we arrive at this point, we conclude that the decision that was made by the Court must be revoked, and the analysis of the other issues that are placed under appeal are not justified, as they are considered prejudiced."
Clear and definitive? Think again: this is Portugal. Yoo-hoo – surprise! The present judge ignores it and develops a line of reasoning completely at odds with the appeal court's findings.
"In the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights the principle of presumption of innocence imposes a standard of conduct for all agents, employees and magistrates involved in the administration of criminal justice.

According to the ECHR the presumption of innocence prohibits the premature expression of opinions or belief in guilt by the courts and in addition bans the claims of any public servants involved in procedures which might lead the public to believe in the culpability of suspects under investigation. In the Karaman process deriving from the German courts it has been held in this context that Article 6 § 2 aims at preventing the undermining of a fair trial by damaging statements made in close connection with proceedings. It not only prohibits the premature expression by the court itself of the opinion that a suspect is guilty but also covers statements made by other public officials about pending criminal investigations which encourage the public to believe the suspect guilty and prejudge an assessment of the facts by the competent judicial authority.

The Allen process deriving from the UK emphasizes the importance of the presumption after the acquittal or dismissal of the criminal investigation, explaining that this principle prevents suspects or defendants in such cases being treated as if they were in fact responsible for the criminal offences of which they were accused and stressing that without this second level of protection - the level of full respect for acquittal or archiving - the presumption of innocence is illusory or merely ideal."
Accordingly:
"This form of conflict resolution between rights reveals the unlawfulness of the conduct of the defendant Goncalo Amaral for the purposes of article 484º of the Civil Code."
That is the basis for the damages award.

Surprised?


So were we.
Why? Well, a start would be that none of us saw reference to this in the 2013 court proceedings. Everything we read or were told from Portugal – from all sources, not anti-McCann ones – stated explicitly that the Human Rights aspect of the case had been decided in 2010 and did not form any part of these latest proceedings.

Which brings me to the question of why we won't be adding an in-depth look at the judgement to our brief current one, one which would consider the way "archiving" (a non-judicial process) has been slipped into the judgement. Or the fact that the judgement has used the ECHR precedents referring to "suspects" when, as Lord Leveson and the McCanns themselves have repeatedly made clear they have never been "suspects" only arguidos. But we're leaving that work to those who profit from the system: to us it isn't worthwhile because there is clearly no sense to be made of Portuguese law in the way that we can analyse other western codes: they make it up as they go along.

This "democratic" legal code, all of forty one years old, is a betrayal of its people – not because we disapprove of its findings but because eight years of contact with our Portuguese friends have demonstrated time and again that every trial outcome is a surprise – a surprise to the parties themselves, the commentators, the lawyers and to the Portuguese people. A legal code that causes surprise on this scale – usually with the introduction of arguments that nobody knew existed – and that incorporates unpredictability as an integral part of its proceedings is not a democratic legal code. Look at the contortions of the Amaral/Cipriano case where nobody can even agree on exactly what the verdicts mean. Is that a "legal" system or something else?

I am astonished that the wild criticisms of Scotland Yard based on nothing more than suspicion – and, I regret to say, originally whipped up by Portuguese people and GA himself – are not matched by comment on the factual and absolutely shocking record of the Portuguese legal system in the McCann case, beginning seven years ago with that contemptible Archiving Summary in which the prosecutors "exonerated" the McCanns while including a "reconstruction" section which completely undercut that "exoneration" and guaranteed that it would cause pain and dissention for everyone for ever, including the couple themselves. It was an exercise in irresponsibility.

It was then matched by the quasi-mediaeval attack on Goncalo Amaral, plotted and conducted in secret, its findings completely unknown to the victim until afterwards – a legal process more suggestive of Kazakhstan or Venezuela than of a modern European state.

And then the equally wicked failure to provide justice for either party for six whole years while leaving one of the parties in acute financial distress for the whole period. Is that based on ECHR judgements of the right to timely access to justice? Of course it isn't! We repeat: they make it up as they go along.

Culminating in a judgement arriving over a year after court proceedings were essentially concluded, containing material that nobody outside the case was aware would be considered. What a rotten, corrupt abortion! We'd exclude the appeal court judgement as a shining exception to this dreadful list but what use has it been? What use is it to anyone outside the system if it takes an appeal from GA to bring it back in again in, say, three years time? And then what? A counter appeal?

I am not being in the least chauvinistic in suggesting that a "system" like this is simply unrecognizable to anyone who comes, for example, from the UK, where the law is what you use without dread, where people turn to the small claims courts for speedy and unfrightening restitution, finding the process much more predictable and infinitely preferable to dealing with "customer service" departments of corporations or cowboy builders.

I tried to get restitution from Dell for a crappy computer for over a year without result a couple of years ago: it took me two hours and fifty quid to sue them and they paid up within a week, including, of course, all costs. In a democratic society the law is ours, not theirs, even if many people don't believe it, and its there, available, to be used by anyone who can read or write. No wonder that a Portuguese friend once told me that, deep down, he didn't believe in Portuguese law, that faced with trouble – and this was a liberal speaking – he instinctively began to think of people who might help "sort things out". And then reached for the phone. Faced with this record in the McCann affair, can you blame him?

So we won't be wasting time on making any further studies of the judgement. One day, perhaps, the people will attack this mediaeval ruin at the heart of their democracy but that is a matter for them.

Goncalo Amaral was a policeman, a public servant working for a justice system that has failed to free itself from the pre-1974 dictatorship and responds, as it always did, to backstairs intrigues of the sort plotted and paid for by Duarte and Gerry McCann. It is his tragedy that he believed, and apparently still believes, in that justice system even though it has stripped him of his possessions and condemned him to six years mental and emotional  bastinado at the behest of a couple of foreign chancers.

To condemn this vile, rotted system has nothing to do with being anti-Portuguese. And please remember that we have never attacked the PJ and its original investigation as others have: it's the system above them that is so worthless.Can Amaral win his appeal in such a system? Probably, when the lawyers have squeezed the maximum amount out of the process – but who knows? We owe him the chance to make it. Support Goncalo Amaral!

 
Amaral to appeal as Portuguese start reacting to McCanns' "libel win", 30 April 2015
 

Amaral to appeal as Portuguese start reacting to McCanns' "libel win" Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on April 30, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

Confirmed by journalist Len Port today, Gonçalo Amaral is set to appeal against the vast sum of damages awarded against him in the civil action for defamation taken out by the parents of Madeleine McCann.

As we revealed yesterday, Amaral told us: "We are in the face of a mere battle in a war that is far from over".

But today, reaction from Portugal and elsewhere to the ruling by judge Emília Melo e Castro has started pouring in, both via mainstream and social media.

Sol's columnist João Pinto Costa write: "Former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral was condemned to pay €500,000 to the parents of Madeleine McCann because of the publication of his book 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie'. Finally, we found one person who will not make any money from the disappearance of the English girl."

Lawyer João Grade is quoted on Facebook as saying: "I read his book and I was convinced, as I had been before anyway, that it was not an abduction. The book does not defame the McCanns, Gonçalo Amaral does not express his opinion, but an investigative thesis."

And in the US, criminal profiler Pat Brown, who has followed the case to the extent that she travelled over to Portugal three years ago to lend her support to Amaral, wrote that the "devastating ruling" had "nothing to do with Madeleine. It has been and is about the state. This is the way the world works. When there are no compromising issues like incompetence, misconduct or corruption, killers are caught, cases are properly closed and the community is safer. When it goes awry for whatever reason, the state and who controls it will make sure they don’t go under because of one unfortunate situation."

Certainly the way the news was leaked to the press - not from any official court announcement, but via the McCanns' lawyer in Portugal Isabel Duarte - opens the door for an official complaint by Amaral's legal team, writes the laidbare blog under the title "the plot thickens..."

Meantime, Amaral has posted these words on the Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral website: "I find the court's decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen's right to freedom of expression and of opinion.

"For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance.

"If I am able to continue on counting on your support, I will continue to fight within the judicial system for the Truth and achievement of Justice."

Pledges of support are already coming through, with even our own site eliciting comments like the one posted by a reader by the name of Scargill who states: "The amount of compensation seems vastly at odds with non-British European definition awards and you have to wonder if there are greater forces at play here."

"I feel very sorry for Amaral," the reader continues. "He understandably believes that the McCanns have a case to answer and he has been very brave in publishing his opinions."

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detective appeals against order to pay McCanns £357,000, 30 April 2015
 

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese detective appeals against order to pay McCanns £357,000 The Telegraph

Goncalo Amaral, the detective who led the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, says the court's decision to order him to pay Kate and Gerry damages is 'unfair'

Former police inspector Goncalo Amaral and (inset) Madeleine McCann's mother Kate Photo: Reuters

By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent
3:41PM BST 30 Apr 2015


The Portuguese police officer ordered to pay Kate and Gerry McCann £357,000 in libel damages after accusing them of involvement in their daughter's disappearance is to appeal the ruling, he has confirmed.

Goncalo Amaral, made the untrue allegations in a controversial book entitled The Truth of The Lie, written after he was sacked as the detective in charge of the Madeleine McCann investigation.

Earlier this week, he lost a long running libel battle and was ordered by a judge to pay the McCanns 250,000 euros each, after a judge ruled he had overstepped the limits of free speech.

The McCanns said they were delighted by the judgment and would plough every penny of the award into the fund to help find their daughter who disappeared from the couple's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

But Mr Amaral has now said he intends to exhaust all avenues in an attempt to overturn the ruling.

He said: "I find that the court's decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen's right to freedom of expression and of opinion.

"For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance."

Kate and Gerry launched a libel action against the former detective claiming that not only were the allegations untrue and extremely hurtful, but had also impacted negatively on the ongoing search for their daughter.

Mr Amaral was removed as head of the original Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance after criticising British detectives.

He was also blamed for a string of investigative blunders in the early stages of the inquiry.

Four months after Madeleine disappeared, the Policia Judiciaria declared the McCanns official suspects or 'arguidos' and Mr Amaral and his colleagues spent several hours grilling the couple separately.

 
Amaral to appeal McCanns' libel action , 30 April 2015
 
Amaral to appeal McCanns' libel action Portugal Newswatch

Posted by Len Port at 9:53 AM
Thursday, April 30, 2015

The McCanns partially won their libel action against the author and former lead detective Gonçalo Amaral, but the matter is far from over.

Amaral intends to appeal. In his first comment on the verdict he said today: "I find that the court's decision is unfair and questions my right and every Portuguese citizen's right to freedom of expression and of opinion. For that reason, I do not resign myself to the decision and I will appeal it until the very last judicial instance."

Apart from Amaral's assertion on the "unfairness" of the court's decision, there were two remarkable features about the verdict and the way in which it was announced that got little or no mention in the international media coverage.

The first unusual aspect was the huge sum awarded. It may be normal in the UK, but not here. Amaral was ordered to pay the parents of Madeleine McCann half a million euros in damages, plus interest, currently calculated at €106,000 and rising.

Kate and Gerry McCann had sought a total of €1.2 million. In addition to €250,000 each, they claimed €500,000 for Madeleine and €100,000 for each of their twins. The judge ruled against the claims on behalf of the children.

The McCanns successfully claimed that Amaral's book, Maddie, the Truth of the Lie, was libellous, causing them great personal distress. The judge did not agree, however, that the book had hindered the search for Madeleine or had caused damages to the twins.

Should Amaral on appeal get the verdict overturned, or the compensation figure greatly reduced, the McCanns may lodge a counter appeal. The deadline for appeals is 40 days. The legal battle that has been going on for more than five years looks like continuing for some time yet.

A defiant Amaral supporter noted that, "a decision from a Portuguese court can only be enforced after all appeals are exhausted. No money will change hands until a final decision is reached by the very last appeals court." With this in mind, other well-wishers are being urged to make donations to a Gonçalo Amaral defence fund.

The second oddity was the way in which the announcement of the verdict was handled. The judge's ruling was not read out in court. It was contained in a 52-page report, which was received by the McCann's Lisbon lawyer Isabel Duarte who swiftly passed it on to media organisations in Portugal and abroad.

Soon after the news appeared on media websites, Kate and Gerry McCann said they were "delighted" with the outcome.

In a statement issued by their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, they said the case had never been about money. "It was entirely focused on the effect of the libels on our other children and the damage that was done to the search for Madeleine."

When contacted by journalists the same day, Gonçalo Amaral chose not to comment because neither he nor his lawyer, Miguel Cruz Rodrigues, had received a copy of the ruling. It was only sent to them the following day, by which time to many in the media it was old news.

Gonçalo Amaral

 
Sickos troll McCanns for £357k libel cash, 30 April 2015
 

Sickos troll McCanns for £357k libel cash Daily Star

MADELEINE McCann's parents have been targeted by trolls after winning £357,000 damages.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 30th April 2015

TROLLED: Kate and Gerry McCann were accused of profiting from Maddie's disappearance [PA]

Kate and Gerry were blasted on social networking sites over their six-year battle against ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral.

The Portuguese officer claimed they covered up their daughter's death in a best-selling book.

But the trolls accused the couple of profiting from their daughter's disappearance.

Last night the McCanns vowed to use "every single penny" of the pay-out to help find Madeleine, who vanished in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

A team of 31 Scotland Yard detectives is investigating.

But the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The investigation will come to an end sooner or later and Kate and Gerry will use the official Madeleine fund and any awards made to them to continue their own search."

Their Portuguese lawyer Isabel Duarte said: "Damages my clients receive will be spent on the search for Madeleine."

Mr Mitchell added: "Kate and Gerry remain very grateful for the continuing support from the Government and the Metropolitan Police but realise it cannot last. In a common sense and practical move they have kept some money back from the Find Madeleine Fund in case it is needed."

Last night a source close to the case said it was not certain Mr Amaral, 55, who plans to appeal, could pay the damages.

"Some people think he is a multi-millionaire because of this book but he is not," the source said.

 
It's not about the money..., 29 April 2015
 

It's not about the money... Laid Bare

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

28 April, 2015 - Statement from Gerry and Kate Regarding Libel Case

"We want to emphasise that the action was never about money. It has always been focused on the effects of the libels on our other children and the damage that was done to the search for Madeleine."

Ah, noble words indeed from Mr and Mrs Parent 2007. So why then, are the gruesome twosome, claiming that they're "delighted" with the outcome, given that the judge ruled that no damage had been caused by Goncalo Amaral, to any of the McCann children, that he didn't hinder the investigation, and that no child suffered in any way due to his actions?

With regards to the McCann's three children, this is what the parents set out to get from Goncalo Amaral:

I-Payment to each of them of damages with a global value not inferior to 1.2 million Euros , being 500.000 Euros to the 3rd applicant (MBM), 100.000 Euros each for the 4th (SMM) and 5th (AEM) applicants.

A total of 700,000 Euros.

The following figure is what they were awarded:

0 Euros.

In fact the only people to be awarded anything in this case, pending Goncalo Amaral's appeal, on paper for the moment, is Kate and Gerry McCann.

Put simply like this, it is the children who have lost, and the parents who have won. Much the same as it was almost 8 years to the day. The twins lost their sister, and Madeleine Beth McCann, in all probability lost her life, and in almost mirror fashion, we have the parents claiming that they're delighted, just as their faces showed back in 2007 when they were pictured laughing and joking only days after Madeleine was reported missing.

But back to the present day.

The Judge ruled that the book was factual, so all you pros can quit with the "Amaral lied" bullshit, he didn't. The only liars are those who state that Goncalo lied.

"Point I – The book is reporting facts that were present in the investigation and there is nothing new there and can, in fact, be confirmed in the report of Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida (n9) and was pursued in the investigation process (ns 10 and 11), resulting in the constitution of Arguidos of the applicants and this was presented to the media and to the general public through the publication of the copy of the Investigation. (n 65 and 66)"

The only reason it is to be banned again, is because the judge ruled the the McCanns had a right to be presumed innocent, and there my friends, is the key word, PRESUMED. Nowhere in the summary does it say that Kate and Gerry were innocent. Nowhere does it say that it is proven that anyone other than the McCanns harmed Madeleine, and concealed both her death, and her body.

Yet still the McCann's are delighted.

The only thing the McCanns can take from this is some money, which according to them it was never about, and the knowledge that a book never published in English, will be banned.

Of course the vast majority of Portuguese people don't believe the McCanns for one second. As can be seen in the video, their own lawyer, Isabel Duarte admitted the following:

"I feel alone, because I don't feel support, er, not in public opinion, erm, I have friends that don't want to talk to me about the case................because everyone believes in Goncalo Amaral"

Well Isabel let me tell you a little story about what happens when things are banned, they become far mightier than when they were freely available, people want to see what they are being told they can't.

 
The Plot Thickens..., 29 April 2015
 

The Plot Thickens... Laid Bare

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Yesterday, 28th April 2015, the media reported that the McCanns had been awarded varying figures from the damages trial they instigated against Goncalo Amaral. We were very sceptical as to whether the news was genuine, or whether it was simply more dirty tricks from team McCann, the like of which we saw on January 21st 2015, when someone, rumoured to be Isabel Duarte, the McCann's lawyer, told the Lusa News Agency that the McCann's had won the trial against Goncalo.

For those of you who don't know what the Lusa News Agency is, it is basically a 51% state owned organization, that gathers reports and articles, press and news companies can then access this information, and use it to publish news through their outlets. As Sky News and various others did yesterday.

What took us all by surprise as events unfolded, was that the press were getting these stories before Goncalo's legal team were. This just didn't make sense at all The verdict was always supposed to be sent to both parties in writing.

So why didn't Goncalo's team have the documentation?

The answer to that is quite astonishing.

Isabel Duarte got her hands on the document before it passed through Citius, the judicial network, she then passed it on to several journalists.

The documentation that she was passing round yesterday, bore no official authentication. It couldn't possibly have done, as it hadn't passed through the full legal process.

See the documentation here (Portuguese language)

We will update this blog for you to judge for yourselves, just as soon as we have more information.

Some big questions remain though.

How was confidential information leaked to Isabel Duarte?

Did Isabel Duarte obtain these documents illegally?

Has Isabel Duarte breached legal protocol by passing unofficial documentation onto the press?

and most importantly, could this jeopardise the entire verdict?

Isabel Duarte

Centre of a judicial storm, Isabel Duarte (above)

One thing is for sure it opens the door for an official complaint from Goncalo Amaral's legal team, who yesterday couldn't publicly comment to the many calls from the media, as they didn't have any information with which to do so.

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Ruling - Media Reaction

Media reaction

 For previous media reports click here

 
Something for the Weekend, 24 April 2015
 

Something for the Weekend

Sweeney Todd

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
24 April 2015

SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND

For a close shave, Occam's Razor is to be recommended. Sweeney Todd too probably had something of a reputation for barberous efficiency. Until, that is, he was discovered to have contributed one too many fingers to Mrs Lovett's pies. (Other people's fingers, that is). Back in May 2007, someone cooked up a proposal and sold it to Dr Gerry McCann, who was busy not enjoying himself on holiday. His response too was, 'Love it!' And so the story of Madeleine McCann's abduction was born.

People seldom do things without a reason, however fanciful. If Madeleine McCann was to be reported missing it was because she was, indeed, 'missing', in a generalised sense at least, prior to the announcement of her absence. Our good friend Occam has recently been recruited to support the idea that these eventualities were closely concatenated in time, the one following the other in an inevitable 'stimulus - response' fashion. It is not at all an unreasonable supposition, for even if we stub a toe we don't usually wait thirty seconds before saying, 'Ouch!'

Not all actions provoke an immediate consequence however. Even in the realm of animal learning, subjects (rats) have been deliberately rendered ill as an experimental outcome, inflicted as a direct result of some prior behaviour. Clearly there was an interval of time in-between.

However good or impoverished a theory might appear at first blush, its ultimate power is governed by the extent to which it accommodates all of the known data, not merely the greater part. If there is some observation or other for which one's theory offers no satisfactory explanation, then that theory must be open to question, unless or until the awkward observation(s) should be proven false.

In the case of Madeleine McCann and her disappearance from Praia da Luz, it is the McCanns who first tempted us with an appeal to Occam: Madeleine was missing. She was there a moment ago. Now she's gone. She must therefore have been abducted. As Gerry McCann huffed and puffed in front of the Lisbon court house fully five years ago now, 'Where...where...where is the child? What other explanation can explain how she's not here?'

Many of us I'm sure could offer just such an explanation, which means that abduction per se, although a claim of the McCanns, is by no means 'cut and dried' as the root cause of Madeleine's disappearance. Similarly, opinions as to the 'spur of the moment' nature, or not, of Madeleine's removal from apartment 5A, must deal adequately with all those contextual features of the incident which are known to have arisen. The attribution of mere coincidence is insufficient when there are so many such 'coincidences' to be taken into account.

The question has been asked here before (The X Factor, 28.2.2013): Which of two opposing views (Madeleine's abduction/removal on the Thursday night vs. an earlier departure) better accommodates the strange goings on that week? Another discussion (the Cerberus Problem, 13.8.11) examined the possibility that Thursday 3 May was, in very many respects, an addition to the narrative of the holiday, and logically quite unconnected to prior events.

To give but one example, previously mentioned (although not discussed) in the article 'Schadenfraud' (30.4.2014), Gerry McCann's receipt of regular text messages, and his predictable recourse to voicemail thereafter was a daily routine associated with the aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance. It was also a behaviour he first exhibited on May 2nd – over twenty four hours before Madeleine was found to be missing.

It would be facile to dismiss these mysterious communications as having no relevance whatsoever to each other since, on closer examination, the schedule of those messages, which Gerry received on May 2, strongly suggests a connection both within and between the different groups of messages (see also 'Chapter and Verse', 14.10.2009). And this quite apart from McCann's perceived need to delete them in the first instance, followed by his embarrassed public denial of their very existence.

Ah yes, but how is that related to events afterwards? Gerry's feverish texting is only to be expected in the light of events.

That's as may be. What is not to be expected however is the daily regularity of incoming text messages in discrete groups, followed almost immediately each time by Gerry McCann's 'cross checking' of his own voice mail. If this standardized behaviour is a reflection of Madeleine McCann's abduction, then she must have been 'abducted' (I use the word loosely) over 24 hours earlier than announced, as that is when this style of interchange first arose.

If the McCann telecommunications from May 4 onward were a reaction to abduction then, similarly, those of May 2 would have been a reaction to something occurring previously. Ipso facto the 'discovery' of the night of May 3 becomes a planned event.

As Clarence Mitchell made clear (for the benefit of Peter Levy's listeners):

"That is the working hypothesis on which the private investigation is also based. That there is somebody, perhaps one, or just two or three people out there who know what happened and that there was an element of pre-meditation, pre-planning went into it."

You bet!

 
The Acid Tears of Time, 23 April 2015
 

The Acid Tears of Time The Blacksmith Bureau

Caryatids

Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 18:13

"...then you noticed how the columns flaked sulphurously against the sky and witnessed what the acid tears of time had done to the pink stone..." – Above the Waves (2005)  by AJS.

Another May 3

So another May 3 approaches and with it the need for new, useable headlines. And there aren't any left.

Time – not grief, not loss  – has done terrible things to the McCanns, as a glance at the image pages demonstrates. But not just to them. For time, which eats away at everything we love, also, and wonderfully, acts to bleach or dissolve away falsehood. Even the greatest, most elaborate, attempts to cover the truth always fail in the end for time washes away the lies and reveals the bones of the truth untouched. The Ottoman Turks drove the Armenians into the empty desert to die, unseen and, they thought, forgotten in 1915, yet a hundred years later their crime is as visible as Istanbul itself; the Germans, sworn to secrecy, burnt the very fat and bones of their victims, razed the buildings and harrowed their ashes into the soil before killing every survivor they could lay hands on, yet it was all in vain: the Shoa is the most well-attested crime in history, for while the lies die with the liars the truth lies waiting to be revealed.

How Dare You?

Nor is there any inappropriateness in mentioning these vast crimes in the context of one missing child – for the horror which greets the death of just one child is so intense and overwhelming precisely because it is an involuntary, other-worldly cry against the death of all innocents throughout all times. The McCanns, their advisors and their media friends were mad enough to amplify these mysterious and devastating emotional forces into a world-wide wave of hysteria for their own ends and they are, rightly, paying the price.

Emotion, as we all know, is eaten away by time: we look back and talk of having been "blinded" by love or hate to what was actually going on. So it is with the McCann affair: looking back, 2007, almost world-wide, seems weird and dream-like, a planet in which ordinary human beings like John Hill or Goncalo Amaral struggle just to keep their heads above some enveloping alien treacle. What could have possessed someone like harmless little Tony Parsons, for example, to aim foaming attacks at the Portuguese in a way that would have seen him arrested if his targets had been black Americans? How could anyone have ever taken such a manifest carpetbagger as Clarence Mitchell at face value? And those two extraordinary eye-flickering, lip-licking Bladerunner replicants – Scouseborgs – sitting bolt upright as though in the electric chair, fe-replicant hand clutching he-replicant groin like a hidden power-pack, telling their tale in voices apparently processed by Stephen Hawking's laptop – did billions of people actually watch that without bursting into laughter or fleeing for their lives? Yes, we did: like Parsons, like Gordon Brown, like the Pope, we were gripped.

Whatever it was, exactly, that gripped us it is gone and we look around through different eyes. And the atrocious truth for the McCanns is that, without the hysteria which enveloped us, there is absolutely nothing there to see and sustain them.

Kate and Gerry McCann

The Planet of the Gapes Scouseborgs have quite vanished, replaced by a shrunken, tetchy couple of whiners with bad complexions and a sense of entitlement; the fat arses of their clan no longer fill twin Rynanair seats all over Europe, their faces no longer lord it with their televised "judgements" on the wicked PJ and the press no longer print their typically petty-criminal claims of police "fit-ups". They are silent or bewildered or fearful, like Patricia Cameron clearly was in Lisbon, of what the future holds. Or, like Michael Wright in the same venue, they are ridiculous.

All those incredible suspects – windows into the mind of Gerry McCann – which look like they were created in Gotham City by a Viz illustrator on a bad Brecon mushroom trip don’t belong in real life at all, do they? They survived until the acid tears not only dissolved the flesh off bundleman but slowly revealed the datedness of the others, a particular datedness that only afflicts fictional film characters, not real people. Which is the only one that hasn't dated? That's right, Smithman, which just happens to be the only one that didn't spring from the minds of Team McCann. And only the passing of time, of course, could eventually kill off the farcical "sightings" – long, rather than short-range, projections of Gerry McCann's imagination – which provided sustenance and cover for the couple for so long, by making a "living" Madeleine McCann, thank God, now unrecognizable.

The only partial compensation for the wickedly unjust role of time in the Portuguese justice system is that in the libel trial the years alone, without need for examination in court, gradually revealed the emptiness of the McCanns' 2009 claims as they failed to provide any of the evidence they promised. The one finding in their favour that matters, Count 14, hedged about as it is with reservations, was made by the judge despite the McCann claims, not because of them, as the court record and judgement shows: The judge, finding in their favour, adds "that the claimants failed to prove shame, with Kate McCann stating it was not shame that she felt".

With all the McCann junk and the false evidence acid-dissolved away, what is left? Everything that matters: the bones of the truth gradually but inexorably coming to the surface.

The Other Side of the Mirror

Exactly the same process is at work on the counter-fantasies to the McCann stories. The bold claims of conspiracies – so easy to make, so hard to back-up, so impossible to rebut – are dying before our eyes, not through refutation but, like the dated pictures of "suspects", through the gradual exposure of their purely imaginary nature. It needs repeating: if no facts exist to confirm – not suggest – a theory then the theory, like Gerry McCann's "paedophile bastards" is, literally, an imaginary claim by definition and is therefore beyond the reach of factual argument or debate. So how do such claims eventually fall away? They die with their proponents, as has already happened in the McCann case, or they fade away as the people who made them slowly fall silent since they have nothing to add. Nobody, not even Pat Brown, can go on repeating the same stuff for ever without the lifeblood of demonstrable fact to sustain it: people simply stop responding or disappear, or die. Why, in the end you get bored with repeating it yourself, as M/S Brown now has.

The fate of Mr Bennett's site is an exemplary one. Without the years having provided a gram of evidence to convert any of the various imaginary claims to real ones, let alone to counter the accusations that it is a "cess pit" – an unsavoury libel machine led by a vicious old man with a loud blue pencil and a desire to cause pain – people with any sense, or any sense of shame, have voted quietly with their feet, leaving a small rump of casualties/believers behind.

Like Goncalo Amaral Mr Bennett got the chance to have his claims tested in court. Unlike Goncalo his imaginary claims were dismissed with derision and he pays a monthly stipend to remind us of it. Of course if you're a casualty you get around this embarrassing fact by claiming that the courts were wrong and ignored the truth – which makes the whole game of "justice-seeking" a bit futile, doesn't it? After all, a state with a justice system dedicated to your destruction and a Metropolitan police force able to whitewash justice-seekers away and a media that is permanently gagged by hidden hands doesn't give you or your children much of a f****** future, does it? We'd be joining the boat people in Libya to get away from that but, curiously, this nightmare vision of a Kriminalstaat doesn't stop the posters sleeping happily in their beds at night or chirping their libels in the morning and no MI5 exclusion zone yet surrounds 66 Chipperfield. Which suggests that, deep down, the posters don't really believe a word of what they're saying or, alternatively, are quite incapable of understanding the obvious implications of their own claims. Bennett excepted, of course: he believes everything.

Pat Brown and Tony Bennett

Made for Each Other: "did Occam do that to your head, dear?"


Anyway, the rump, which by no accident now numbers about the same headcount of regular posters as the equally dissolved-by-time Locked Ward site, has been rewarded for its loyalty with an exposition of the intellectual underpinning, as it were, of the Blue Pencil Claims. Pat Brown, who has never recovered from the polite but devastating mauling she, her intellectual pretensions and her treatment of evidence received at the hands of the admirable blogger Johanna, is looking for a different song to sing and posted the other day something about Occam and that razor as a start. Oh, and she mentioned the Smiths without libelling them! Rump Uproar.

Amid the squeals, as another of Johanna's hapless victims, David James Smith, might say, Mr Bennett stepped in with his matchless gravitas and provided this summation of eight years study and investigation.
Q: "Why would the police reopen a case that was already shelved just to spend over £10 million to cover it up?"

Bennett: [suppresses ban reflex; clutches jerkily at own Dr Strangelove hand as it reaches, trembling, for the Blue Pencil] "Because they were told to by Britain's most powerful woman, Rebekah Brooks...who told David Cameron, who told Theresa May, who told Sir Paul Stephenson. And who did they put in charge

Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell, a bloke who spent another £10 million fitting up the wrong bloke in the Jill Dando case."
Got that, have you, gentle reader? Spare a thought for poor old Judge Tugendhat listening to eight hours of that stuff in the High Court. Bennett's lucky the judge didn't plead provocation, snatch the black cap and sentence him to death. Anyway -
Q: [slashes Occam's tool across giant bald head] "So why would Rebekah Brookes want the case reopened so that £10 million could be spent on covering it up?" [sharp intake of breath at all three screens following the exchange. How dare he?]

Bennett: [raves] 1. Sales for News International and stories for SKY
2. She knows something about the case that would severely embarrass the government.
Frankly, it's too cruel to go on. Just writing down that exchange has made us feel a wave – promptly suppressed – of sympathy for the McCanns. Anyone who can write that is genuinely insane, and we use the word carefully. Just imagine being stalked for eight years by that, not only a nutter but a nutter who likes to have a little team that he can aim at people who displease him. Sleep well with that, Kate?

Perhaps it's a kind of karma: it took a very special personality – Gerry McCann – to turn an unpleasant crank nonentity into a genuinely nasty madman who has lost touch with reality. Gerry, and more particularly, Kate McCann must think themselves lucky that it was only an angrily bulging and swollen leaflet that was thrust so provocatively and repeatedly into their letterbox and not...something...no, no, we can't go there.

That's what you get when you try and f*** about with people's heads via the media, Gerry. You end up triggering things you can't control.

Meanwhile, time continues its work.

 
The Madeleine McCann Case and Occam's Razor, 22 April 2015
 

The Madeleine McCann Case and Occam's Razor The Daily Profiler

Smith sighting location

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
April 22, 2015 at 11:05 AM

This post isn't really a commentary on the Madeleine McCann case but this case does so well represent Occam's Razor in crime analysis that I feel a need to use it as an example. In my blog yesterday, "It Just Doesn't Work that Way in Real Life,"  I discussed how shows like Death in Paradise have very complicated scenarios of how a murder was committed, the perpetrator being practically a genius of planning and misdirection. I pointed out how rarely is this the case in real life; almost always, homicides are usually acts of desperation born of loss of power and control. Crimes of passion (quite mislabeled as passion being the motive), also known as "out-of-character" crimes (which is also a mislabel as the crime is quite within the character of the person committing it) are relatively impulsive, so planning is quite minimal. Serial killers are mostly of the anger-retaliatory type and rarely plan the crime much in advance; usually they are opportunistic and strike when they have a victim that wanders into their territory alone or, while doing their usually trolling of an area, finally get lucky when a target appears with no witnesses in the area. The reason they get away with their crimes is simply the fact that most of the time there are no witnesses and they are strangers to the victim and there is no obvious link for the police to follow. As long as they don't leave DNA that can be matched to a DNA bank, they have a good shot of getting away with their homicides.

Much rarer is someone who plans a homicide: a black widow poisoning her husbands, a man getting rid of his wife so he can have his freedom, a boyfriend eliminating a pregnant girlfriend. Usually the crime is not all that clever, it is just often hard to prove in a court of law that the killer is guilty. Much of the time, the body is well-hidden so that the "no-body, no proof of a crime" rule applies. At other times, the crime is staged as a stranger homicide and it works but not because it is so intricately planned. It simply works because evidence is limited to prove otherwise.

Killers are generally of normal intelligence who commit their crimes without great forethought and they also tend to cover their tracks in a hurried manner. Murderers don't think to the depth of perpetrators on television or in the movies; they just rush to take care of the problem and, in doing so, act in a manner that many others in their shoes have acted before. In real life, crimes are often committed and covered up in similar ways, the way humans act when under pressure and with the limited knowledge most have at the time of the crime and while under stress.

I am repeatedly encouraged in the McCann case to do further research on a number of issues that some believe proves Madeleine McCann died earlier in the week and that on May 3rd, the McCanns and their friends had a preplanned course of action to stage an abduction. They believe there is lots of evidence proving that Madeleine was dead for days by then: incorrect creche records, a manipulated photo, no sightings of Madeleine, odd behaviors, and no neglect of the children. I am not going to argue all of this: I am going to point out Occam's Razor and why have always thought that May 3rd was the key to what happened to Madeleine and when.

If something had happened to Madeleine days before, we simply would have seen her "abduction" staged earlier in the week. In real life, planning to stage an abduction for days and having to manipulate evidence of Madeleine being alive for days when she was not, is simply too bloody difficult to manage. Then, on May 3rd, after all that planning, the whole evening was an ungodly mess full of inconsistencies and errors, which would be odd for a so carefully premeditated scenario.

If the McCanns are guilty, what May 3rd represents is a disaster, as Gerry pointed out, and a quick attempt to over up that disaster. The simplest answer, Occam's Razor, is that May 3rd was a confusion because very little was planned and when it was (interviews with the police), it was still a confused mess because there was little time to think anything through and everyone's brains were a muddle.

The key to this crime is very simple: the Smith sighting. The Smith sighting has always been my Number One reason for doubting the McCanns' innocence in the disappearance of Madeleine. The most consistent behavior of parents of missing children is to want EVERY lead followed, even ridiculous ones. On the evening of May 3rd, the Smith family saw a child who could have been Madeleine being carried off towards the sea, yet the McCanns expressed little interest in this sighting and even tried to suppress it. If the McCanns were innocent and Gerry was not Smithman, and even if they thought Jane was telling the truth, that Tannerman existed and might have been the kidnapper, it is hard to believe they would not have been gung-ho to follow-up that Smith sighting in every way possible, the way they did with Tannerman.

Applying Occam's Razor, why would they ignore and suppress the Smith sighting? What is the simplest of explanations? Because it was Gerry and he was in the act of covering up a crime that had just occurred. The reason Gonçalo Amaral believed this to be so is because he is a real-world detective and knows that Occam's Razor applies in crime investigation and the fanciful stuff you see on television is concocted by writers who need to come up with a show that is exciting to the viewers.

Detectives and profilers often are driven nuts by family members and citizens who, when a case goes unsolved, start going bonkers with unlikely theories, full of very intricate plots. They figure, if no one has been arrested and convicted, it must be because the crime is so complicated and clever.

In real life, it is often so much simpler; the crime is straightforward but it is hard to prove in court.


Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

April 21, 2015

 
Lottery winner and jailbird Lee Ryan to make bizarre documentary about Madeleine McCann, 19 April 2015
 

Lottery winner and jailbird Lee Ryan to make bizarre documentary about Madeleine McCann Daily Star

LOTTO jailbird Lee Ryan is helping to make a bizarre TV documentary about missing Madeleine McCann.

By Tracey Kandohla / Published 19th April 2015

Lee Ryan

Nicknamed the Lotto Lag, he was one of the first big winners in 1995 – pocketing a £6.5million jackpot weeks before he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing cars.

Lee, 54, who dubbed his win "a curse" and has blown the lot, yesterday told how he has become obsessed with the Maddie mystery.

While down on his luck he studied the disappearance of the girl from his home county, Leicestershire.

He said: "I started looking into it, it's a fascinating case and I read everything about it. I even read the Portuguese police files and started thinking about all the theories.

"I'm keeping an open mind." Divorced dad Lee, who now lives in a tiny flat in south London, has teamed up with journalist and broadcaster Sonia Poulton, inset, who is making a 90-minute film, The Untold Story Of Madeleine McCann.

Maddie was days away from her fourth birthday when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Her parents, heart doctor Gerry, 46, and former GP Kate, 47, from Rothley, Leics, believe she could still be alive.

Lee insisted: "I am not proactive against the McCanns, I am just on a quest for the truth. It is a global story."

Sonia, a regular guest on ITV's This Morning show, said: "We are making an evidence-based documentary about the disappearance of Madeleine.

"It will be shown soon on mainstream TV and will first appear in America. I've had trolls online trying to sabotage and smear me over this but we will not be silenced."

Lee, she said, does "ad hoc filming whenever needed".

When the former used car trader won the lottery 20 years ago, he was awaiting trial for handling stolen cars. He later served nine months of his sentence.

He spent a decade living the high life, blowing his cash on a fleet of super-cars and bikes, a helicopter and a country mansion.

Then he moved to Kyrgyzstan in central Asia with his second wife but returned with nothing in 2010, leaving behind a series of misfortunes and failed business ventures.

After spending two years sleeping rough in London he picked himself up again.

And he vowed: "I'm doing OK now – and one day I'll be wealthy again."

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said he had not been informed about the new Maddie TV documentary Lee Ryan was working on.

He said: "I am aware of Sonia Poulton and all her conspiracy theories. These film makers always claim they have a commission.

"But we are not going to fuel whatever they are doing in any shape or form by making a comment."

 
Damning new Madeleine documentary promised for 2015, 26 December 2014
 

Damning new Madeleine documentary promised for 2015 Portugal Resident

Posted by JOMAD on December 26, 2014

Madeleine McCann

A damning new "evidence-based" documentary is being prepared for screening in 2015 and promises to tell the "Untold Story of Madeleine McCann" - alleging that "no abduction took place at all".

Orchestrated by independent journalist and social activist Sonia Poulton, the project got underway following the death of 63-year-old grandmother Brenda Leyland - the so-called internet "troll" "outed" over tweets that questioned the official version of events "as put forward by mainstream media".

According to Poulton, Leyland wrote in a tweet last year that "should she die in odd circumstances" she hoped "people would question, and not just accept the first version of events".

This is what Poulton claims has spurred her on. In a Christmas message posted on Youtube, the former broadcaster with Internet TV station The People's Voice reveals her documentary should be ready by the end of March.

Poulton claims her investigation has already flagged up "plenty of evidence to suggest there was not an abduction". Her focus, she explains, has been on "interviews with "central characters" in the disappearance.

"As you can imagine, these have not exactly been forthcoming", she adds.

Thus, the decision to "door-step" those she believes have "questions to answer".

This far Poulton claims to have door-stepped four key characters in the mystery, and she says her investigation has also "traced someone involved in the campaign" to maintain the official version of events, whose identity will "shock people".

Poulton's Christmas message to all those "fighting for justice" who have become "online detectives" over the last seven years is simply that they remain strong.

"We all need to be heard now", she concludes. "The fact is that the media is systematically failing to represent what is being said online with regard to Madeleine McCann".

As the Metropolitan Police investigation moves into 2015 - having already cost the British taxpayer over £10 million - and a Portuguese inquiry is also ongoing, Poulton reveals that she has been in touch with Scotland Yard to say she would be "more than happy" to be interviewed over her contention that many aspects of the abduction theory "do not add up".

She claims "even a cursory glance" at the factual information available would show this, but that "heavy censorship" means that very few people are aware unless they delve into the police files.

"We will not be silenced any more", Poulton said in an earlier clip, also posted on Youtube, shortly after Brenda Leyland's death in October.

"We are no longer prepared to be ignored, or silenced or demonised just because we say that that official version of events needs to be questioned".

As Poulton's investigation continues, it is uncertain where the final documentary will be broadcast. Her move from The People's Voice in January was not without controversy, and she has since been described on the alternative online blog The Needle as not so much a journalist but "just a woman with an opinion on everything".

 
Trickling into the Sand, 16 April 2015
 

Trickling into the Sand The Blacksmith Bureau

Sandy beach at low tide

Thursday, 16 April 2015 at 17:28

After almost two years of active investigation the March 15 conference marks a watershed in Scotland Yard's Grange operation. Five international letters of request and the resultant interviews in Portugal must have more or less cleared the famous 38 name list that they claim to have begun with in the summer of 2013; a rumoured sixth letter, which the Portuguese were said to be expecting in autumn 2014, has disappeared into the information void, together with any news whatever of the climactic Lisbon Christmas interviews.

What a contrast with the announcement of the investigation phase! Then the pages and screens had been filled with hysterical tales about Scotland Yard finally meeting the couple's wishes and quasi-royal expressions of "encouragement" from the dodgy couple themselves, all mixed in with a rich Mitchell Fantasy selection ...new witnesses...new key witnesses...He had a really fat face and had two-tone sunglasses on...Serial paedophile's deathbed confession...Gypsy stole Maddie to order...Twisted trolls have sent death threats to Kate McCann over the disappearance of her daughter...weird stranger at apartment...and on and on and on...

That was the beginning. The end is being played out almost unannounced, dribbling quietly away like a stream into the sands.

Much of this is due to the Yard itself. When, after careful planning, the active investigation phase was formally launched, a Yard priority was to ensure that the 2007 circus-cum-car crash of media coverage was not repeated, particularly since the news of the CPS visits to Portugal in April had filtered out. The key July 4 media conference at which this was accomplished began unpromisingly for neutrals with a journalist's opening question prompting a collectors' item Redwood Waffle Torrent:
Journalist: What has changed, have you had new information, new evidence? What has changed to lead you to open this investigation?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Well, as we have worked carefully over the last sort of two years, through that review process, we have now processed some 30,000 documents and some of those documents could have, say, one page, some have got hundreds of pages. From that, you will recall last year that I said we had 195 investigative opportunities. We have now generated over 3,800 actions and it is from a careful analysis of that work that we have been able to establish new thinking and we have spoken to witnesses that have provided new evidence for us.
When the audience had recovered from this onslaught Redwood moved swiftly to his main point.
Journalist: Some people... some people suggested, quite cruelly at the time, [isn't he lovely?] that the McCann parents might be [go on, go on, go on] in some way involved with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. What can you say about the involvement of Madeleine McCann's parents in anything to do with her disappearance?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: Neither her parents or any of the members of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects.

Journalist: Because, obviously, there were some rumours [Nobel Prize for delicate understatement on its way] at the time, but you are quite categorical in that?

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood: They are not persons of interest or suspects, they are parents who have lost their daughter and we are doing all that we can to bring resolution for them to find out what has happened to Madeleine.
In those few dozen pre-planned words (which he just happened to repeat elsewhere that day) Redwood ensured that not a single UK MSM outlet would speculate unfavourably about the McCanns before the investigation was complete: the lawyers would never allow them to since the statement at once removed any defence to being injuncted at the first hint that they might, indeed, be "of interest" to the Yard. Having no wish to make an involuntary donation to the Save the Tot, Finance the Family fund the cowardly but fleet-footed Bureau was also quick to withdrew its claim that the CPS visits pointed in one direction.

So the MSM couldn't be blamed too much for the spectacular McCann arse-lick-fest that ensued – for the gap between Redwood's warning assertions and his Monster Waffle Assault versions of what his squad was actually up to, was narrow indeed, so narrow that they had nothing to write about except fantasy or what Mitchell gave them. After all, this being the MSM, Telegraph readers were unlikely to find a lengthy centre-page piece on the Yard’s Don't Panic message with its interesting implication that over-the-top, fair-trial-wrecking, media madness would only occur if the McCanns, rather than the Prince of Wales or the Pope, were somehow at the centre of it. Now why would the Yard assume that?

The brutal fact is that nobody in this extraordinary case gives a tuppenny f*** about anyone's involvement other than the McCanns'. They couldn't care less. The relentless parade of rumoured suspects isn't just banal and uninteresting – petty thieves, burglars, dead paedophiles, white van cleaners – but, despite the best efforts of the Team – all of them resolutely refuse to take off into public space. Not one has tempted journalists or anyone else to go and research their possible background and origins, even though some of their names are supposedly known. Within days of being splashed all over the MSM they are forgotten.

There is, in fact, a creepy similarity between the Yard's supposed suspects that the MSM – not the Yard itself – has brought us and the purely imaginary Rorschach blots that the McCanns and their doltish accomplices showered us with for years, from Bundleman to Baby-Buyer. The only difference lies in their origins, the different motives for their invention. The McCanns had their agenda. The Yard has its own.

The couple, fronted by Mitchell, may  have had a clear media run since the day of the Redwood veto but one by one the sources that have sustained their initiatives have been turned off: there are no more suspects, no new witnesses with a likely tale to tell, no visible new lines of inquiry, no leaks from Portugal, no conflicts between the forces of the two countries, no hint of a report from the latest interviews. Above all, two years investigation hasn't produced a single tit-bit, not a crumb, that the couple can point to, wave at Leicester's assistant chief constable and say there, vindication! But nor can they now run to their media lawyers and editors screaming there, police persecution!

So the stream trickles into the sand amid an overground public silence more profound than any since 2007. With it trickles also the last possibility of the MSM influencing or damaging the investigation on the 2007 model: the latter's destructive powers have been completely tamed, indeed emasculated. If arrests come in the UK then the contempt of court rules immediately take over to maintain the peace.

For all the internet rage and paranoia about the MSM bias its effect has been zero, and now, rather deliciously, all of us on the net find ourselves free to speak – as long as we stick to the truth – while our steam-age opponents above ground are impotent! Isn't that great?

Who should we thank for that? Operation Grange, for putting us all on an equal footing. All of us, the MSM, Kate and Gerry McCann, and the Brighton conservative candidate included, know exactly as much about the operations and activities of Grange as we did in spring 2011: absolutely nothing. All any of us, readers or writers, have had is the power of inference. Whatever the final result, and whatever our intermittent frustrations at not knowing what to believe of the squad's honeyed words, it has kept its operations triumphantly secret – and therefore free from interference by anyone.

And so it continued: the chasm between what the the Yard has actually done – work secretly with the Porto squad, appraise the evidence, involve the CPS and gradually dismantle the abduction claim they began with – and what the MSM, and chunks of the net, says they've done is grotesque and, literally, unbelievable. Nobody could possibly be as childishly stupid as the MSM of both countries has made the Yard out to be, nor as transparently corrupt and power-crazed as net "profilers" like Pat Brown and others claim: this is story book stuff. The paradox is that the UK MSM, unlike in 2007, shows not the slightest sign of believing in the rubbish they've been printing since early 2013 while people like M/S Brown and others seem to have fallen for all this play-acting and believe that what they're writing –  gained from the MSM naturally – is true!

As we've described at length recently something very serious brought the spinning to an an abrupt, indeed stomach-churning, halt in December 2014. The appointment of a new head of Grange alone cannot be the reason: silencing the McCanns has not been within her control and the couple have always been adroit at using the opportunities that changes in command or direction can bring, as Goncalo Amaral and others know very well. Nor could Wall have ruptured the long-term alliance between the Mirror and the McCanns. No, everything – the silence of the couple, the subtle distancing of the MSM from them, the absence of any succour for the pair from the entire Grange operation, the hint of bated breath in overseas media – suggests that we have reached some sort of inflexion point in the investigation.

The only thing that now seems certain is that the Yard have, against all the odds, protected the integrity and operations of their review and investigation with 100% success. One by one the possible threats to their inquiry have fallen silent, first in Portugal, now in the UK. Not one of us – and that clearly includes the McCanns – has any confirmed knowledge of their thinking or their intentions. All we have is inference. They've been willing to look stupid, comical, dishonest and ineffectual by turns in defying every single attempt to breach their secrecy.

It's quite an accomplishment.

 
Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is asked to investigate Operation Grange, 16 April 2015
 

Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is asked to investigate Operation Grange CMOMM

Letter from Joanne McCartney AM, Chair of the Police and Crime Committee

Posted by Tony Bennett
Thursday 16/04/2015 at 12:02 am


LONDONASSEMBLY

Joanne McCartney AM, Chair of the Police and Crime Committee
London Assembly City Hall
The Queen's Walk
London
SE1 2AA

13 April 2015


Dear Mr Bennett,

Thank you for your letter of 10 March 2015 regarding Operation Grange. In your letter you ask the Police and Crime Committee to support the request for an independent investigation into the Metropolitan Police's conduct of Operation Grange, and for the Committee to hold a meeting to discuss the detail of the investigation.

The Committee is responsible for examining the work of the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), which is the body responsible for overseeing the Metropolitan Police Service, to ensure that it is efficient, effective and fair. The Committee can also investigate issues that it considers to be of importance to policing and crime reduction in Greater London and make recommendations for improvements. The Committee has no statutory power to review major investigations or investigate individual cases.

I have forwarded your letter to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), as the body responsible for overseeing the Metropolitan Police Service, who aim to reply to correspondence within 20 days and will inform you if it is not possible to respond within this period.

Yours sincerely,


Joanne McCartney AM
Chair of the Police and Crime Committee

 
Ex-detective adds his voice to the legions backing disgraced Maddie cop, 02 April 2015
 

Ex-detective adds his voice to the legions backing disgraced Maddie cop Portugal Resident

[Headline later amended to: Ex-detective adds his voice to the legions backing beleagured [sic] Maddie cop Portugal Resident]

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on April 02, 2015

Gonçalo Amaral

A former German detective with years of experience working on murder investigations has added his voice to the legions of people backing disgraced Madeleine cop Gonçalo Amaral.

Ulrich Merz, 60, was in Praia da Luz on the day Madeleine went missing in 2007. He has been following the various investigations ever since with the eye of a trained professional.

His "exasperation" at the way things have been handled down the years is one of the reasons for his decision to put pen to paper.

He writes to Amaral as the latter waits on tenterhooks to hear the judge's final decision over whether or not he is liable for the €1.2 million defamation claim taken out against him by Madeleine's parents five years ago.

Merz does not mince his words. Amaral's theory, given the details available at the time, was "completely valid", he tells the policeman.

The theory that burglars could have abducted Madeleine simply "does not fit the profile", he claims - and indeed, in his opinion as a criminal investigator, Merz does "not believe in an abduction" at all.

Social media support for Amaral since he was "disgraced" - particularly by the British media - and removed from the original Portuguese investigation has been resounding, but this is perhaps the first time a trained police investigator has come out on record in this way.

Non-English speaking, Merz is unconcerned.

He claims the case is unique in that the Portuguese government "has allowed itself to be pushed around" by Britain, currently conducting the "Operation Grange" investigation into Madeleine's almost eight-year-old disappearance.

"The way this case has been handled is particularly unique because your conclusions differed from those of the British government," he told Amaral, stressing his "exasperation" at seeing a fellow policeman's work "denigrated".

The Resident learnt of Merz' letter as it was handed to us to pass on to Amaral. We cannot go into the details of Merz' theory as a criminal investigator with specific experience in murder cases as it would undoubtedly see us in legal hot-water.

As Portuguese news media has long pointed out, Amaral's theory, expounded in his book "The Truth of the Lie", has seen him financially-strapped since its publication.

Bank accounts have been frozen, the book 'seized' and withdrawn from sale for months, and his "civil position", as the former detective refers to it, made untenable.

In an open letter to his supporters as the long-running trial for defamation came to a close, Amaral reiterated his belief that the parents of the missing child have "sought to 'asphyxiate' him financially and push him to a civil death" - a position from which he would be "unable to react judicially".

"After five years, the parents of the child that mysteriously disappeared on the 3rd of May of 2007 in the Algarve were not able to fully achieve what they intended. I am alive, I'm able to financially sustain the civil suit, although not much more than that..."

Since that message, Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral has issued a new bulletin saying the judge's decision on the McCann parents' suit should come after the judicial holidays which close on April 6.

"We trust in justice and serenely await the judge's decision," the message came to its close.

"God's windmills move slowly," Merz concluded in his letter to Amaral. "You are in a trap made by bad people, but I know that when someone shares the knowledge of the deed, the conscience always come out - even if it is unintentional.

"I have strong hope in your complete recovery and rehabilitation," he tells the Portuguese "colleague" whom he has never met.

Endless column inches have been devoted to this eternal mystery but the truth is that Gonçalo Amaral has been fighting for his professional credibility in an arena bereft of mainstream support.

It is this reality that prompted Ulrich Merz' hand-written letter which comes in the wake of rumblings from the UK that the Metropolitan Police may at last be considering a renewed scale back of the multi-million pound investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

By NATASHA DONN natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
Fraud, and how to support it, 31 March 2015
 

Fraud, and how to support it

madeleine- revised and updated

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
31 March 2015

FRAUD, AND HOW TO SUPPORT IT

by

Kate McCann

(Publishers: Transworld International)


If, when doing the weekly shop, we are tempted by a BOGOF offer to pick up an extra packet of biscuits, we should hardly expect to be charged for both packets at the supermarket checkout. That would be a deception on the part of the vendor, who will have contravened an inducement to purchase, i.e. the terms of an advertisement which, according to the IPA code, should be legal, decent honest and truthful. It's no different to selling a car with 'no known faults' when it hasn't actually got an engine.

The following is owing to Mike Hamilton, writing exclusively for The Sun:

"The parents or Madeleine McCann plan to plough their own money into the search for their missing daughter if police halt their investigation. Kate and Gerry McCann both 47, of Rothley Leics., fear public donations have dried up as the search approaches its eighth anniversary. So they have pumped almost £1 million into a fund for Madeleine that would be running at a loss without their cash. The money came from Kate's book about Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007 and the search for her."

It is made absolutely clear here that "their (the McCanns') own money...came from Kate's book about Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007 and the search for her."

Kate McCann has only written one book so far, the various editions of which have incorporated a conspicuous advertising 'flash' on its front cover. This reads:

"All royalties donated to Madeleine's Fund."

All royalties, as announced by Transworld publishing, since the flash was an intrinsic feature of the publication, and not a superimposed sticker.

According to Mike Hamilton however, some of these very royalties must have been directed to the author personally, in order for it to be considered her money, and deriving, as it did, from her book.

It follows, inevitably, that Transworld publishers were responsible for incorporating a misleading inducement to purchase with their product offering.

If all the royalties were paid into the fund in the first instance, then they could not subsequently be placed there as 'top up' funding by Kate McCann, coming from her own pocket so to speak. If, on the other hand, the McCanns are boasting of personal income from book sales, as Mike Hamilton informs his readers, then Transworld are clearly at fault.

Is a 'class action' appropriate here, I wonder?

 
The Abducted Abduction, 30 March 2015
 
The Abducted Abduction The Blacksmith Bureau

Monday, 30 March 2015 at 13:03



The Express, Mar 25, "Hunt Should Go On", sob, sob: "...money which has been spent on investigating the abduction of disappearance of Madeleine McCann...the trouble is that the abduction unexplained disappearance of a child is never a cold, unemotional event..."



Sunday Post, March 29, Lorraine Kelly, "This utterly heartbreaking case," honk, honk, "...was abducted disappeared on May 4, [sic] 2007...exactly how all the parents of abducted disappeared sons and daughters feel."



Daily Mail, March 19, Ian Drury, "Time We Ended.", bleat, bleat, "...investigating the abduction disappearance...Since the girl, who would now be 11, was abducted vanished, every possible theory has been explored, including that she was kidnapped by a paedophile..."



The Sun, March 29, Mike Hamilton, "...the parents of Madeleine McCann plan to plough their own money into the search for their abducted missing daughter if police halt their investigation..."



Sunday Express, March 22, James Murray, "...time is running out for ­Scotland Yard to question three Portuguese suspects in connection with the abduction disappearance of Madeleine McCann."



The Telegraph, March 17, Gordon Rayner, "Madeleine McCann Latest", "...hours and days after Madeleine's abduction disappearance...on the day she was abducted vanished...area on the night of the abduction disappearance..."



Comments: (1)

"I think this is unfair to Kate and Gerry. All of them suddenly saying it's a disappearance is like calling them liars and that's not right. After all they were there, weren't they? What would Maddie think? This is so wrong." Justice for_ Maddie (from Norbury)

 
Madeleine's disappearance and the continuing search for what happened to the money, 30 March 2015
 

Madeleine's disappearance and the continuing search for what happened to the money mccannfiles.com

Madeleine by Kate McCann

By Nigel Moore
Monday 30 March 2015


Readers who purchased madeleine by KATE McCANN may have done so in part because of the 'flash' sticker (actually part of the cover graphic) which promised: 'All royalties donated to Madeleine's Fund'.

Those same readers may now be somewhat surprised to read a report in the Sun on Sunday that 'The parents of Madeleine McCann plan to plough their own money into the search for their missing daughter ... The money came from Kate's book about Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007'.

Oh really?

Has money from sales of the book gone straight into the McCanns' private bank account(s), from where they have donated it to the fund - in which case how is that accountable and how do we know all the money has been donated?

Or is this simply another piece of emotive and creative writing from The Sun, on behalf of the parents, to counter recent reports that the Met investigation should be wound down?

Perhaps Kate and Gerry could enlighten us all.

 
McCanns to fund hunt for Maddie, 29 March 2015
 

McCanns to fund hunt for Maddie The Sun on Sunday

EXCLUSIVE: Parents pump almost £1million into search fund

THE parents of Madeleine McCann plan to plough their own money into the search for their missing daughter if police halt their investigation.

EXCLUSIVE by MIKE HAMILTON
Sunday, 29 March 2015

Parents Gerry and Kate

Kate and Gerry McCann both 47, of Rothley Leics, fear public donations have dried up as the search approaches its eighth anniversary.

So they have pumped almost £1 million into a fund for Madeleine that would be running at a loss without their cash.

The money came from Kate's book about Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal in May 2007 and the search for her.

A top cop suggested this week the £10 million police probe into the case should be wound up.

Met Police Federation chairman John Tully said "We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world"

 
We should never give up hope on Madeleine, 29 March 2015
 

We should never give up hope on Madeleine Sunday Post

BY LORRAINE KELLY, 29 MARCH 2015 7.00AM

Madeleine McCann

If you look at it in terms of cold hard cash then I suppose you can understand why a police chief is saying it is time to stop looking for Madeleine McCann.

The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, John Tully, believes it is time to wind down the investigation.

The best efforts of the Met Police since they began their own inquiry in 2011 haven't really turned up anything new and the cost had been at least £10 million.

And yet, how can you put a financial figure on the life of a little girl, and how can you walk away from this utterly heartbreaking case when her fate remains unknown.

As we are all aware, three year old Madeleine disappeared on May 4, 2007, while her mum and dad were out having a meal with their friends during their holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Since then Kate and Gerry McCann have worked tirelessly to find their daughter.

I have interviewed them many times I am always struck by their determination and optimism.

Even now after almost nine years they refuse to give up hope. And who can blame them. No parent can ever give up on their child.

Poor Kerry Needham has never wavered in her determination to find her son Ben, who disappeared on the island of Kos in Greece 23 years ago. She has campaigned to have money made available to try to find Ben and there's a hard-working movement on social media to keep the hunt alive. She will never stop searching and hoping and neither will Kate and Gerry.

And there are plenty of stories to keep that hope alive.

A woman in South Africa was recently reunited with her daughter after she had been missing for 17 years. Celeste Nurse was still in hospital after having given birth to her baby when the child was snatched from the ward at just three days old. The kidnapper was finally discovered all of those years later.

Celeste said not a day went by when she didn’t think about her missing child and she wrote to Kate and Gerry McCann telling them that miracles can happen.

So while there are calls to stop the search for Madeleine on the grounds of cost and manpower concerns, should we really be giving up on this poor child and others like her?

Imagine now you would feel if it was your son or daughter who was missing. You would do anything in your power to find them and that's exactly how all the parents of disappeared sons and daughters feel.

There are some things that just shouldn't have a price tag.

 
Licence To Troll, 27 March 2015
 

Licence To Troll The Blacksmith Bureau

Friday, 27 March 2015 at 14:57

When is a "troll" not a troll? Why, when it's a licensed troll.

The beyond-parody "journalist" Grace Dent wrote an opinion piece in the Independent after the Brenda Leyland ambush last year. It was a good reminder that, though the battle to break up the MSM racket isn't won, there's been plenty of progress. In 2007 it was vapid feature writers like her who earned colossal salaries while filling the centre pages with defences of the McCanns, thus creating the justice-destroying McCann Affair.

Grace Dent - MSM remnant - in Power Pose

Grace Dent – MSM remnant – in Power Pose

The great news is that those same columnists have been culled relentlessly ever since. Their leader, Parsons, announced with a gratifying swish in 2013 that he was leaving the Mirror, not because it was a criminal conspiracy but because it was "dying". And then he moved on to writing novels, because (fiction) writing for the MSM didn't pay any more. M/S Dent writes for a fraction of the salaries that her spoilt forebears raked in when the paper wasn't owned by the son of a Russian oligarch who can’t even give the rag away. Long may that continue.

Chunks of M/S Dent's piece were quoted in the Huffington Post, itself another, minor, symbol of the old media's continuing collapse. Dent dismissed clams that Mr Brunt was "responsible for Brenda Leyland's death".
"While @sweepyface may have been in her element flinging around accusations, gossip and provoking ill-will, the real life Ms Leyland met Mr Brunt's request for a comment with a firm No and an attempt to disappear into her car.

"Mr Brunt is now being accused by some sections of "hounding" Ms Leyland to her death. This seems extreme. Reporters have been doorstepping people and requesting answers on British television for the past 50 years.

"Are we now saying that in this new internet age, any person who draws attention to themselves vehemently but anonymously online is out of bounds for reporters?"
Isn't that wonderful? It's a time capsule, like a browned copy of a 2007 Mail coming to light when you take up an old carpet.

Don't you just love the logic and the language? Because reporters have been harassing people for 50 years it's OK; as in "Jimmy Savile was abusing kids and corpses for forty years (while we ignored him) so it's OK." Oh, and do you like her "requesting answers"? Just like asking strangers the time, really.

Anyone who hasn't seen the media pack in full-on action, as we have, should have a glimpse sometime at journalist Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities where the mob can be seen in its full glory, best represented by the cameramen and photographers who scream out "HEY CUNT" at their victims so they can catch the look of outraged horror on their faces as they spin round to see who shouted it. Snap! Gotcha!

The same Huffington Post quoted a tweet saying Brenda's targeting had been "a perfectly legitimate report with tragic, though unforeseeable consequences." It was from Neville Thurlbeck, a typical representative of the MSM in its days of pomp – award winner for his "scoops", news editor, admired by his peers, a secret police grass in return for information from the Police Database about people he wanted to target. Nice, eh? And a criminal who was deservedly sent to prison. This residue of the old MSM isn't owned by a Russian émigré though - his last journalist role, according to Wikipedia, was as a theatre critic for the world-famous Surrey Comet.

Neville Thurlbeck, MSM Hero

Neville Thurlbeck, MSM Hero

Look in Google and you'll see that our MSM, far from being unsavoury crooks and bullies, are constantly at work protecting potential victims, with page after heartbroken page about people who've been bullied to death by Facebook posters. What sweet concern.

They do it for one reason: with so much crumbling around them they want to retain their greatest remaining – just –privilege: The monopoly right, authorised by precedent and codes of practice, to decide who is targeted, the exclusive right to decide who should suffer pain and shame.

Most people know that traditionally the "punishment" in court for a minor crime has been nothing compared with the real sentence – exposure of your acts in the local or national rags, your public shaming.

Remember national treasure Rebekah Brooks, to take just one example, who led the "name and shame a paedophile" campaign prompting ignorant mobs to march on supposed offenders, including the paediatrician whose house was vandalised?

That sort of stuff has a solid, unbroken, history in the MSM. Way back in the 1950s when it was the paper press that had the monopoly, the targets were not paedophiles but ordinary gay people. The Mirror group – nothing changes except decline – ran lurid stories about the "homosexual problem" that had to be "stamped out". The "evil men" had to suffer the MSM treatment.

If, like Tom Driberg, you were a journalist yourself, as well as a Labour MP, you could screw Guardsmen in London's Hyde Park on a nightly basis and regale your fellow journalists at the Express with the details the next morning. If you were just an ordinary gay it was a different matter. The Express objected violently to the suggestion that the media should "show restraint" when reporting on the trial of such unfortunates. "The whole purpose of sentences," it wrote, "is to deter others by making an example of the criminals. How can you make an example without full publicity?". So the fifties were dotted with the suicides of gay men who got their MSM-awarded additional sentences of "full publicity." It's what they do.

If Facebook had been around in the fifties at least Driberg would have joined the "full publicity" list. And that's what the MSM hate. All the MSM posturing about Facebook and Twitter bullying is in defence of that privileged and immoral position: we decide the targets.

With its corollary: and we decide who to remain silent about. It wasn't the government that protected the sinister Driberg, whose gayness positively glowed with innocence compared with his other attributes. It was the MSM, which now tries to protect its position by trying to whip up pressure for legislation to control internet comment.

It’s doomed of course: legislating the internet is like trying to legislate against what people are saying to each other as they walk along Oxford Street. It can't be done, for the internet is just the voices and the pictures of the public itself, with all the public's great strengths and horrible weaknesses. The MSM is no such thing – it's the voices of a small number of people who pretend to be the public. Licensed trolls.

 
It wasn't him, 26 March 2015
 

It wasn't him The Blacksmith Bureau

Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 01:08

Media Liaison the old Yard way - Open Handed  Andy Hayman

Clarence Mitchell provoking uncomfortable thoughts

No, neither Clarence nor the couple had anything to do with the STOPITNOW! movement and story. Nor did they know it was coming or why. It's back to paranoia time folks.

 
Claudia Lawrence arrest proves that the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann should continue, 25 March 2015
 

Claudia Lawrence arrest proves that the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann should continue Daily Express

AS A police boss says it's time to shelve the inquiry, surely this week's arrest over missing chef Claudia Lawrence proves there's still hope of a breakthrough.

By ANNA PUKAS
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Madeleine McCann, pictured age four, went missing from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal

The numbers are undeniably compelling.

Four years; 31 officers of the Metropolitan Police; 33 trips to Portugal; £10million.

There, in cold, unemotional figures, is the cost of the British inquiry in terms of the time, manpower, travel and money which has been spent on investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Expressed in this manner, it is not difficult to understand why some are saying that it is time to scale back the search for the little girl.

After all, it has produced no fruitful new leads or lines of inquiry.

At the same time, the Met is stretched as never before with quashing terrorist plots while also having to cope with ever diminishing finances.

A hard-nosed accountant or a time-and-motion inspector would no doubt use those numbers to swing the argument for calling a halt to Operation Grange, the name given by the Met to the inquiry into Maddie.

The trouble is that the unexplained disappearance of a child is never a cold, unemotional event.

The thought of a child in danger touches us in the most visceral way.

That is why many tens of thousands of people who have no connection to the McCanns became gripped by the tragedy of their predicament.

These people were not just from the McCanns' home community in Leicestershire or even from this, their home country but people from all over the world.

Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, attending mass in Praia da Luz

Nearly eight years on, they remain engaged with the case.

That is why all parents – and even many who are not – will feel only dismay at the idea that it is time for the police to throw in the towel now.

What is even more distressing is the implied suggestion that a price can be put on a child's life.

Some ask why it is the already over-burdened London force which is looking for Maddie when the McCanns are not residents of the capital.

But it is an irrelevant question.

As British citizens, Kate and Gerry McCann are entitled to all the help the British Government can provide.

In this instance, the Government, via the Home Office, simply decided to give them some of the best crime investigators that this country (some might say the world) can offer: a team from Scotland Yard.

Others take issue with the £10million cost so far of searching for Madeleine when the average police "spend" per missing child is between £1,300 and £2,400.

But that is because nine out of 10 cases are solved within 48 hours.

Police search a site in Praia da Luz with sniffer dogs

To continue looking for Maddie is to acknowledge that hope doesn't die – and with good reason.

In this very week, police arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of chef Claudia Lawrence, who went missing from York six years ago.

As with the Maddie case, the place where Claudia was last seen has been searched time and again and still, it seems that it had not yet yielded up all its secrets.

Before Maddie, Britain's best-known missing child was Ben Needham, who was a little blonde toddler when he vanished in 1991 while on holiday with his mother and grandparents on the Greek island of Kos.

While the search led by South Yorkshire Police (the Needhams are from Sheffield) has inevitably ebbed and flowed, it has never ground to a halt.

Further excavations on Kos were carried out as recently as 2012 and in January, Ben's mother Kerry handed police a file listing eight separate sightings of Ben throughout the Nineties.

The Home Office has set aside a £700,000 fund to keep the search going.

Maddie is out there somewhere.

The only reason to cease looking for her is because her parents wish it and not because her fate has gone over budget.

 
Keeping Up With The Jones's, 24 March 2015
 

Keeping Up With The Jones's

David Jones

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
24 March 2015

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES'S

Not to be outdone by the Desmond team (Express Group Newspapers), the Daily Mail have now produced their own extensive, eulogistic comment on the Metropolitan Police Federation suggestion that Operation Grange be brought to a halt. There are no prizes for guessing the direction of the eulogies.

David Jones, who claims familiarity with the McCann case ab initio, somehow fails to bring his extensive knowledge to bear in a balanced account, but instead puts his name to a contrived exercise in dis-information. It has reached the point, surely, when observers of this protracted affair can only conclude that, as regards Madeleine McCann specifically, this is all the popular press are good for.

Where does one start...? Well why not at the very beginning?

"I returned to Praia da Luz, the conspiratorial little resort"

'Conspiratorial'? How so?

This is the very same resort about which the author later states:

"From the moment Madeleine was taken, they have behaved with commendable dignity and shown enormous compassion towards her family".

Ah, but...as he goes on to explain:

"The reputation of their once-blameless resort has been irreparably sullied".

So it must have been the entire population of Praia da Luz wot dun it. A modern interpretation of 'Murder on the Orient Express', no doubt.

We continue with:

"...revisiting some of its now-fabled landmarks — apartment 5A at the Ocean Club holiday resort, the white-washed chapel where Kate and Gerry would pray for deliverance — it struck me how precious little we have learned about her fate".

Whose fate? Madeleine's we may presume. But why then should the parents be praying for deliverance? Deliverance from what exactly? Evil? Then whose? Praying for their daughter's delivery would make rather more sense, at least in principle.

Unfortunately for all concerned, "We have no more idea what became of Madeleine now than we did then (May 4, 2007). It is almost as if time has stood still".

Yes, David. Eight years without, it would appear, any significant advancement in our (public) knowledge of what became of Madeleine McCann. Does that not strike you as odd, given the seeming investment of time and resources, and by so many separate agencies, into finding the child? Only a fool would make the same mistake repeatedly and expect a different outcome each time. Have we or the McCanns been making torch-bearers of fools therefore?

"Given the enduring global obsession with the case, we might think this quite extraordinary".

Indeed.

Time for some jingoism then.

"First we had a series of Portuguese police investigations, the ineptitude of which is well documented.

"Next came a procession of private detectives (including a self-proclaimed Spanish super-sleuth, expensively hired by the McCanns in December 2007, who blithely promised to have Madeleine home for Christmas).

"Then, in 2011, at the behest of David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May, Scotland Yard's finest were called in to clear up the mess".

It is to be hoped that in a follow-up article one might be offered some examples of the documentation that attests to the 'ineptitude' of the investigation conducted by the Portuguese. Hope springs eternal. And that's probably about the length of time we'll have to wait for such evidence to be brought forth here.

Thank goodness the 'Met's finest' were on hand to 'clear up the mess'. What would we do without them?

"At least, that was the Prime Minister's hope, and perhaps his expectation, when — apparently moved by a personal appeal from the McCanns — he ordered a team of Met detectives to be removed from their other duties and assigned to the case, codenamed Operation Grange".

Well now. The Prime Minister (and the Home Office) had hopes and expectations did they? It's rather doubtful that these pertained to clearing up any mess, since, as far as police work was concerned, there absolutely wasn't one. David Cameron suggested the Home Office discuss the possibility of a review with Scotland Yard. He might contend that he did not 'order' anything however, especially since, in our so-called democracy, such an order would be unconstitutional.

"But almost four years and an eye-watering £10million of taxpayers' money later — an amount that would pay the annual wages of countless PCs — it is patently obvious his intervention is not producing results. (italics mine)

"Though a huge number of man-hours have been spent re-examining the 5,000-page Portuguese judicial dossier in the hope that it might contain a vital missed clue, though great swathes of wasteland in Praia da Luz were explored with sophisticated gadgetry last year, and a plethora of suspects re-interviewed, there has been no sign of a breakthrough".

Well I'm glad, David, you recognize, like the rest of us, that Operation Grange has produced no results. Could that be because they based their investigation on 5000 pages attributable to the Portuguese, and the balance of 25,000 pages deriving from an assortment of impostors and mountebanks?

"...the Met's 'Madeleine Squad' have spent four years painstakingly re-examining the botched Portuguese investigation.

"You cannot fault their thoroughness".

Oh yes we can! And in whose estimation was the Portuguese investigation 'botched'? That of David Jones, obviously, and who else of any significance?

"Meanwhile, every witness statement and tip-off is being re-checked, every theory considered, no matter how unlikely."

Thump! The first nail to go cleanly home strikes the back board.

Does any police investigation, anywhere in the world, proceed by working inwards via the more 'unlikely' theories? If the accepted answer should be 'no', then why have we to sit back and watch as 'the Met's finest' blow millions on unnecessarily exploring the unlikely? Is it possible they have borrowed from the philosophy of Captain R.F. Scott, who dabbled with untried technology and came second as a result, whereas his rival Amundsen simply 'cut to the chase'.

"Each (such) development raises fresh hopes and excites the media, but so far they have all come to nothing. And one had to ask whether DCI Andy Redwood, who had set up the inquiry and had overseen it enthusiastically for four years, would have recently stood down had he been on the brink of solving the biggest case of his career." (italics mine)

Yes, one did ask as it happens (See: The Ruby Hat of Old Ma McCann – McCannfiles, 19.3.15)

Were David Jones to act as the voice of the McCanns in support of Operation Grange, he would be sure, he tells us, to remind authorities of several other cases of abduction rather more successfully resolved, e.g., Jaycee Lee Dugard and Zephany Nurse. But then, as he admits:

"The sad truth is, however, that when we examine such exceptional cases, they do little to support the argument for a hugely expensive and protracted police investigation."

So why go to the trouble of introducing them into the argument?

A more sensible comparison to be made, we are advised, is with protocols and expenditure in connection with children who go missing in the UK.

"So how much time and money might you expect the police to invest in searching for one 'medium risk' child? According to a recent study by Portsmouth University's Centre For Missing Persons, the amount is astonishingly low: between £1,325 and £2,415.

"Compared with the millions poured into the search for Madeleine, this figure — which covers such basic procedures as taking an initial call, risk assessment, obtaining a photograph of the child, undertaking a house search, and a police national computer check — is derisory indeed."

Or put another way, the 'figure' involved in the case of Madeleine McCann is inexplicably high – and then some.

"It goes without saying that none of this is any fault of the McCanns."

Except, David, you have just said so. Whose fault is it then? If the McCanns are not calling the shots, who is? And why are they aiming in entirely the wrong direction?

(There now follows the eulogy to the parents who "always speak about Madeleine — whose 12th birthday falls this May — in the present tense". No doubt having been advised that previous references to their daughter in the past tense were highly suggestive of exactly that!)

Eventually we get to the 'bottom line', in support of the proposal recently voiced by John Tully of the Metropolitan Police Federation:

"I simply believe, with the best of intentions, that it is time to put sentiment aside, face up to the harsh financial realities of modern policing, and regard Madeleine McCann in the same manner as all those other missing children."

Basically, the Operation Grange budget should be cut from several millions to a couple of thousand. Small wonder DCI Redwood opted for early retirement.

 
Death Sentence Pronounced on the Abduction, 24 March 2015
 

Death Sentence Pronounced on the Abduction The Blacksmith Bureau

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 16:45

Turning away with relief from that raincoat and its increasingly shrivelled contents we are back among the smoke and shadows and the closing down sale offer.

The message has changed…

The first thing to note is that Redwood and the Yard's disastrous media policy, about which we've moaned so loudly, has ended. The Yard has refused to surface and give a single "steer" to the MSM crime reporters and editors about the Tully closing down canard.

The initial Operation Grange scheme of total silence ended in spring 2012. Its replacement was a dishonest dogs' dinner of a policy, with the Yard unable to choose between the clear future – updating the public via Twitter and social media – and the eternal temptation of using – in all senses – the MSM.

The Yard/crime correspondent fix, which  Kelvin McKenzie thought the Portuguese should adopt in 2007, was mocked to death in the parliamentary and Leveson hearings of 2012. It hasn’t been rebuilt, leaving ad hoc arrangements to stagger on.

Media Liaison the old Yard way - Open Handed  Andy Hayman

Media Liaison the old Yard way – Open Handed Andy Hayman

Redwood, having gone for shock and awe with the media like the Panorama and Crimewatch operations destroyed his own squads credibility, apparently single handed. It was the confidential media briefing sessions for crime correspondents that did it and when the Yard attempted to use those briefings to attain semi-political objectives disaster followed.

What a clumsy, size thirteen boot failure! The hacks felt the game that the Yeates murder and the inquiries had called time on might be back; trust between the U.K and Portugal ruptured; it stimulated "whitewash" nonsense among the credulous; and the off the record media briefings provided deep cover for people like the odious Clarence Mitchell to join in the leaking. Since the Yard were covertly spreading rumours themselves (Portuguese feet-dragging etc.) nobody knew which rumours were authorised and which weren't. It was a lamentable performance.

…but not the reality

Redwood, who may yet turn out to have won the operational, if not the information, battle has gone and for three months now there hasn't been a single instance of the gimmicks that devalued his tenure. The question is, what now lies under the silence blanket?

Enter the Widow

These latest stories demonstrate that the damage may be less than we thought and that off-stage the situation might be better than it seems. What, in particular, does the latest Mail story, written by that Widow Twankey of the case,the always tearful David Jones, tell us?

The Widow, older now, stouter and, judging by the factual gaffes – window ajar indeed! – losing mental concentration, is a reliable weathervane. She wept gallons, tot-wise, for the parents in early 2007 but, perhaps because Gerry McCann wouldn't speak to her, after the initial quivering she began covering her arse against "unhelpful" outcomes by using very Mail-ish sneaky asides about the couple from July onwards.
"Settling into his sleeper bed in Virgin Upper Class (mindful of the sniping about the £946,000 fund for Madeleine, of which £67,000 has been spent, he bought an economy ticket, but was given a complimentary upgrade), the 39-year-old heart consultant was exhausted."

The MSM's Widow Twankey Jones Pointing Both Ways

The MSM's Widow Twankey Jones Pointing Both Ways

The on-demand tears disguised the sneers but by September the Widow could, like Evelyn Waugh's hapless prison chaplain Prendergast, confess to being afflicted by Terrible, Terrible Doubts about the pair. Prendergast subsequently had his head sawn off by a madman in the prison workshop but the Widow merely suffered a sharp rebuke from Gerry in his All Hail The King phase at Leveson –

Gerry in his 'All Hail The King' phase at Leveson

But then the couple slipped the Portuguese noose! What would the Widow do? Well, first stay out of the way of a vengeful couple, naturally. Then, after a decent interval she surfaced with another flip-flop, one which the King maliciously highlighted for his subjects in the same court.

Gerry in his 'All Hail The King' phase at Leveson

Now, like the pantomime Dame she has always been, Jones rotates helplessly upside-down on stage, dangling from the rope tied to her feet, her red-frilly skirts fallen over her face to reveal capacious Victorian brown bloomers. Don’t these MSM journalists give good value!

She is now,apparently, trembling in the it-will-never-be solved direction. But is that just a way station?

Exit the Widow

Right, now the serious stuff. The Mail is no longer in direct communication with the parents. Mitchell's comment was a pool one – given to a number of outlets, not the Mail: the sweetheart relationship has gone missing. In the other papers too the McCann's frozen, apparently paralysed, months-long near-silence continues: even the threat of winding up the project they fought for, the end of The Search that, like some Spielberg knightly grail, they passed on into the sacred hands of the Met, hasn't flushed them out into the light. Oh, and the Mirror, currently with a few police problems of its own, hasn't said a word for them in three months.

Next. The MSM via a long, flagship Mail story is formally announcing that they genuinely don't have a f*****g idea about what happened to Madeleine McCann, not even an abduction idea. The Mail, unlike the miserable loser Mirror, always moves with the times and, finally, the door to the "Empty Cupboard" with which we've mocked the supporters – the absence of anything to back the McCanns' version of events after eight years – is clearly open in the MSM newsrooms. And the parents haven't got a single shred of Yard evidence, not a mouldy packet of Grange biscuits or Redwood syrup, to top it up. Everything comes to an end sometime.

But what comes next without an abduction, eh? Gosh. Oh well, they'll have to get someone, somewhere, perhaps some washed up journalist and a young female aide, to start all over with some revelations to bring the media back onside. Oh...

 
Yes, it's time we stopped looking for Maddie: As a police boss says the £10m hunt must end, DAVID JONES, who's reported on the case for eight years, explains with a heavy heart why he agrees, 23 March 2015
 

Yes, it's time we stopped looking for Maddie: As a police boss says the £10m hunt must end, DAVID JONES, who's reported on the case for eight years, explains with a heavy heart why he agrees Daily Mail

  • Police chiefs have been urged to wind up the hunt for Madeleine McCann
  • Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tulley called for a 're-focus'
  • He said: 'It's time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe'
  • Maddie vanished from apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal eight years ago
  • Met Police has spent £10m in hunt for her but no arrests have been made
By DAVID JONES FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 23:31, 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 08:49, 24 March 2015

Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal eight years ago

Not long ago, seized by the compulsion to follow up yet another supposedly promising new lead in the Madeleine McCann case, I returned to Praia da Luz, the conspiratorial little resort that will be forever associated with her name.

Having reported on her story from the earliest days after her disappearance, investigating innumerable twists and turns, I have beaten the tortuous path to that craggy tip of the Algarve more times than I care to remember.

Yet revisiting some of its now-fabled landmarks — apartment 5A at the Ocean Club holiday resort, the white-washed chapel where Kate and Gerry would pray for deliverance — it struck me how precious little we have learned about her fate.

Look back at the newspapers of May 4, 2007, the day after Madeleine vanished, and you will read of a 'gorgeous, active, chatty and intelligent' little girl, a few days shy of her fourth birthday, who appeared to have been snatched from her bed while her parents dined with friends at a tapas bar a few dozen yards away.

You will read how the child's abduction was discovered by her mother when she went to check on her at around 10pm; how she found a window was ajar, and ran back to the restaurant in hysterics to raise the alarm; and how witnesses later saw a child being carried off through the darkened streets.

Fast forward eight years, and that, with the addition of a few marginally relevant details, remains the full extent of our knowledge.

We have no more idea what became of Madeleine now than we did then. It is almost as if time has stood still.

Given the enduring global obsession with the case, we might think this quite extraordinary. As of today, the Daily Mail's archive contains 11,450 stories about Madeleine. Googling her name, I found no less than 1,290,000 references — five times more than you get by tapping in 'Madonna' — and the number soars higher with each passing day. The public's fascination has been matched by the exorbitant amount of time and money spent on trying to solve the mystery.

First we had a series of Portuguese police investigations, the ineptitude of which is well documented.

Next came a procession of private detectives (including a self-proclaimed Spanish super-sleuth, expensively hired by the McCanns in December 2007, who blithely promised to have Madeleine home for Christmas).

Then, in 2011, at the behest of David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May, Scotland Yard’s finest were called in to clear up the mess.

At least, that was the Prime Minister's hope, and perhaps his expectation, when — apparently moved by a personal appeal from the McCanns — he ordered a team of Met detectives to be removed from their other duties and assigned to the case, codenamed Operation Grange.

But almost four years and an eye-watering £10million of taxpayers' money later — an amount that would pay the annual wages of countless PCs — it is patently obvious his intervention is not producing results.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Maddie's disappearance after her parents (pictured above) made a personal plea to Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011. It has so far cost a total of £10million

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Maddie's disappearance after her parents (pictured above) made a personal plea to Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011. It has so far cost a total of £10million

Though a huge number of man-hours have been spent re-examining the 5,000-page Portuguese judicial dossier in the hope that it might contain a vital missed clue, though great swathes of wasteland in Praia da Luz were explored with sophisticated gadgetry last year, and a plethora of suspects re-interviewed, there has been no sign of a breakthrough.

Despite the lack of progress, 31 Met police staff — detectives and civilians — were still working solely on the investigation this week, at a time when the Yard's budget is being slashed by £600million over four years, with further cuts to come, and the threat of Islamic terrorism is stretching its resources to breaking point.

Occupying a large office at New Scotland Yard, the Met's 'Madeleine Squad' have spent four years painstakingly re-examining the botched Portuguese investigation. They have been to Portugal no fewer than 33 times — yet still apparently drawn a blank.

You cannot fault their thoroughness. Portuguese officers found hundreds of hair strands in the McCanns' holiday apartment. Some were never tested for DNA; others were checked but the results were patchy. The Operation Grange team want permission to carry out fresh DNA tests on them, together with the curtains that were hanging in the apartment.

Meanwhile, every witness statement and tip-off is being re-checked, every theory considered, no matter how unlikely.

This led, late last year in Portugal, to the questioning of 11 possibly key witnesses, among them Robert Murat, the British expat who won a huge sum in libel damages after wrongly being named as a suspect by the Portuguese police in the early stages of the hunt for Madeleine.

And only a few days ago, Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall — the newly installed head of Operation Grange — flew to Lisbon with a small team of officers for a private meeting with the authorities.

Each such development raises fresh hopes and excites the media, but so far they have all come to nothing. And one had to ask whether DCI Andy Redwood, who had set up the inquiry and had overseen it enthusiastically for four years, would have recently stood down had he been on the brink of solving the biggest case of his career.

All of which goes to explain why the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation has now suggested that it might be time to pull the plug on Operation Grange.

Expressing the private concerns of many of the union's 30,000 member officers, John Tully said: 'It's time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe. We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

Met Police officers questioned 11 possibly key witnesses in Portugal last year but no arrests have been made

Met Police officers questioned 11 possibly key witnesses in Portugal last year but no arrests have been made

Met Police Federation chairman John Tully said earlier this week that 'it's time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe' as he called for senior officials to close the operation into Maddie's disappearance

Met Police Federation chairman John Tully said earlier this week that 'it's time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe' as he called for senior officials to close the operation into Maddie's disappearance

'The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere. It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I've heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.'

He added: 'When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations, it's not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection to London.'

Mr Tully's remarks have inevitably sparked heated debate. One side insists that the investigation must continue at any cost, while friends of the McCanns have reportedly accused him of speaking out of turn and citing the case to peddle the Federation's agenda.

But many have praised him for having the courage to voice the unsayable truth. With a very heavy heart, I must say I agree with them.

As the grandfather of three children who are roughly the same age as Madeleine when she was taken, and similarly cherubic, I dread to imagine how it must feel to be living in purgatory like the McCanns.

If, God forbid, I was in their shoes, I would want, demand and plead that everything humanly possible must be done to find a member of my family; or, at the very least, to discover what became of them.

I would gladly swing for any policeman or Home Office mandarin who presumed to evaluate the chances of finding them in the cold terms of cost-effectiveness. I would insist that the search must go on: indefinitely, and whatever the price.

Like Kate and Gerry McCann, perhaps I would cling to miracles, too.

I would remind people how a woman called Jaycee Lee Dugard was found safe in California, fully 18 years after being abducted by a sex offender and given up for dead.

And how, only last month in South Africa, a girl called Zephany Nurse was reunited with her overjoyed parents 17 years after being plucked from her sleeping mother's arms in a maternity hospital, when she was three days old.

Met Police officers have been re-examining the 5,000-page Portuguese judicial dossier in the hope that it might contain a vital missed clue. However, many officers are now calling for Operation Grange to come to an end

Met Police officers have been re-examining the 5,000-page Portuguese judicial dossier in the hope that it might contain a vital missed clue. However, many officers are now calling for Operation Grange to come to an end

This week, 31 Met police staff - detectives and civilians - were still working solely on the Maddie McCann investigation. It comes at a time when Scotland Yard's budget is being slashed by £600million over four years

This week, 31 Met police staff — detectives and civilians — were still working solely on the Maddie McCann investigation. It comes at a time when Scotland Yard's budget is being slashed by £600million over four years

The sad truth is, however, that when we examine such exceptional cases, they do little to support the argument for a hugely expensive and protracted police investigation.

Jaycee's deranged kidnapper, Phillip Craig Garrido, virtually shopped himself to the FBI by presenting them with a rambling essay purporting to offer a cure for sexual predators, and later parading her and another of his victims at a university campus lecture.

The salvation of Zephany, whose mother Celeste has urged the McCanns to continue praying as she did, and 'never give up', owed still more to happenstance. Her identity was discovered after she was unwittingly enrolled at the same school as her sister, and fellow pupils noticed their extraordinarily similar looks.

But leaving aside, for a moment, the remote likelihood that the Operation Grange team might unearth some crucial piece of evidence at this late stage, it seems only fair to compare the 'no stone unturned' investigation into Madeleine's disappearance with that of the many other British children who go missing.

Children who, it must be said, vanish without a publicity blitz to draw attention to their plight, without their parents being received by statesmen and religious leaders including the Pope, and without celebrities offering enticing rewards for their return.

Recent figures show that a staggering 160,000 such children are reported missing in the UK each year — one every three minutes. In the vast majority of cases they are quickly reunited with their parents. Nine out of ten cases are closed within 48 hours, and 99 per cent are solved in under a year.

Under protocol set down by the Association of Chief Police Officers, those who are not found promptly are categorised according to the degree of jeopardy their disappearance is perceived to place them in.

Kate and Gerry McCann have shared numerous treasured photos of Maddie in the hope of finding her

Those deemed to be 'high risk' are judged either to be vulnerable, in danger of harming themselves or others, or falling victim to serious crime. Those at medium risk are thought 'likely' to be in danger, and those at low risk are judged to be safe.

So how much time and money might you expect the police to invest in searching for one 'medium risk' child? According to a recent study by Portsmouth University's Centre For Missing Persons, the amount is astonishingly low: between £1,325 and £2,415.

Compared with the millions poured into the search for Madeleine, this figure — which covers such basic procedures as taking an initial call, risk assessment, obtaining a photograph of the child, undertaking a house search, and a police national computer check — is derisory indeed.

Mercifully, as matters stand, just 131 unsolved missing children cases (including Madeleine's) are listed on the website Missing Kids UK, which is run by the Child Exploitation And Online Protection Centre — the national law enforcement agency which protects Britain's minors.

On the website, one finds many forgotten children whose anguished parents would doubtless walk barefoot across hot coals if it meant their disappearance would receive the same microscopic attention as Madeleine's.

It goes without saying that none of this is any fault of the McCanns.

To the contrary, via Kate's best-selling book and the couple's countless public appearances, during which they are always eager to look beyond their own loss, and by promoting innovative methods of prevention and detection, no one has done more to raise public awareness of missing children. They have become unofficial global ambassadors for the cause.

It is to their eternal credit that they have remained so resolutely optimistic, re-stating at every opportunity their unswerving belief that somehow, one day, their daughter will come back to them.

They always speak about Madeleine — whose 12th birthday falls this May — in the present tense, and in their Leicestershire home they continue to maintain her pink bedroom, crammed with teddy bears, rosary beads and other gifts from wellwishers. There is also a special keepsake box into which her siblings, twins Sean and Amelie, now ten, put mementoes for her for when she returns.

Last week, reportedly responding to Mr Tully's remarks through friends, they remained typically upbeat, expressing their gratitude to the Operation Grange team and insisting there was 'still a job of work to be done'. If I were them, I would say exactly the same.

Regrettably, however, after eight years of false dawns, wrongly accused suspects, and epic wild-goose chases (one of which saw me spend days on the trail of a blonde-haired girl sighted with an Arab woman in northern Morocco), I have come to the same conclusion as John Tully: enough is enough. A great many people in Praia da Luz, as I have discovered, feel the same way.

Kate and Gerry McCann (pictured) have always remained optimistic about finding their daughter Maddie

Kate and Gerry McCann (pictured) have always remained optimistic about finding their daughter Maddie

From the moment Madeleine was taken, they have behaved with commendable dignity and shown enormous compassion towards her family, even though the reputation of their once-blameless resort has been irreparably sullied and the tourism industry that supported their livelihood has suffered a mortal blow. (The Mark Warner holiday firm through which they booked their ill-fated trip has dropped the town from its destinations.)

Surely now it is time to spare a thought for their wishes? Surely it is time to stop treating their town as one big crime scene, to be forensically re-examined and excavated, and allow them to try to get back to some semblance of normality?

Surely, too, it is time to call a halt on the to-ing and fro-ing of British detectives to this agreeable part of the continent — trips that somehow require them to stay in four and even five-star hotels with spas and golf concessions? Yesterday, invited to compare its scale and cost with that of other missing person inquiries, the Met said this was not possible because each case was individual, and Madeleine's disappearance was 'clearly a unique and complex case'.

In response to Mr Tully's remarks, the Met said the investigation had commenced at the request of the Home Office, which fully funds it, adding that it 'does not impact on our other operations in London'.

They admitted that no arrests had been made since the operation began, but declined to describe any progress they may have made.

It should be stressed that I am not arguing for a minute that we ought to forget about Madeleine, or cease to be vigilant. And, of course, the police must investigate any genuinely promising new leads, should they emerge.

I simply believe, with the best of intentions, that it is time to put sentiment aside, face up to the harsh financial realities of modern policing, and regard Madeleine McCann in the same manner as all those other missing children.

 
Is the Madeleine case to be shelved?, 22 March 2015
 

Is the Madeleine case to be shelved? Portugal Newswatch

Posted by Len Port at 7:25 AM
Sunday, March 22, 2015


The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, John Tully, is concerned about the Operation Grange investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann but, contrary to press reports, he has not called for the investigation to be closed.

What is in question is the scale of the operation in the light of severe budget cuts and other demands on the Met. But there is no indication that the investigation is to be terminated.

The Daily Star sparked confusion and a flurry of speculation with an "exclusive" under the headline: "Police urged to shelve Maddie hunt as cops needed in UK to battle terrorism."

The headline inferred it, but the story did not quote Tully or anyone else as saying the investigation should be shelved.

Following up on the Star story the next day, the Daily Mail Online reported that Tully had called for the probe to be axed.

The Leicester Mercury, the regional paper where Kate and Gerry McCann live, did not mince its words either: "A police union boss has called for London officers to give up the search for Madeleine McCann."

Other papers, both in the UK and Portugal, churned out the latest fabrication in a mystery that has become a deep-rooted international obsession.

Asked by Portugal Newswatch about what he actually said to  the press, the federation chairman was adamant:

"At no time did I suggest that operation Grange should be closed."

What Tully was getting at when speaking with the Daily Star was the wisdom of devoting a team of detectives exclusively to the investigation of a crime that had nothing to do with London.

He said he made his comments "in the light of the force having to save £1.4 billion from the budget."

He added: "The pressure of work and expectation placed on officers, including the unacceptable situation where other officers are carrying in excess of 30 live investigations, is also an important consideration in these circumstances."

The Metropolitan Police press bureau confirmed there are currently 31 officers working on Operation Grange and that "their sole investigation is the disappearance of Madeleine McCann."

For now at least, the search for any scrap of solid evidence goes on. DCI Nicola Wall, who took over as head of Operation Grange at the end of last year, was reported in the UK and Portugal media as visiting Lisbon last week to "strengthen links" and for "detailed discussions" with Portuguese prosecutors.

The Week magazine described the talks as "crucial" and said they were designed to "work out next steps" in the investigation. The magazine went on to quote a statement from Kate and Jerry McCann: "It's very apparent that the determination of the Metropolitan Police remains steadfast."

Originally requested by Home Secretary Theresa May with the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron, the Met investigation has been ongoing for almost four years at the reported cost to British taxpayers of £10 million.

There are no indications that the Met are any nearer to solving the mystery. It is not at all clear where the operation is at, or where it is going. All the Met's press office will say is that "we are not prepared to give a running commentary on this investigation."

Frustration over the lack of progress is palpable.

The Daily Star accurately quoted Tully as saying it was time to re-focus on what was needed to keep London safe. The Met no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world, which have nothing to do with London.

"The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere. But we have made £600m of cuts. We have closed 63 police stations across London. Another £800m of cutbacks are anticipated over the next four years."

Tully went on to say: "It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources. When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London."

Officers in London are said to be "bemused" about why they are working round-the-clock solving murders and fighting the threat from Islamic State-inspired jihadists while the Operation Grange detectives are barred from helping.

Meanwhile, almost eight years after Madeleine went missing, a great many people in Portugal as well as the UK and elsewhere are bemused about why the mystery remains unresolved.

Madeleine

 
Madeleine police face April deadline over questioning Portuguese suspects, 22 March 2015
 

Madeleine police face April deadline over questioning Portuguese suspects Sunday Express

TIME is running out for ­Scotland Yard to question three Portuguese suspects in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

By JAMES MURRAY
PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sun, Mar 22, 2015

Madeleine vanished in May 2007

The trio were given "arguido" or suspect status in July last year which allowed Portuguese detectives to question them intensively about their movements around the time that Madeleine vanished in May 2007.

Details of those interviews have now been analysed by Scotland Yard officers.

Under Portuguese law the arguido status lasts for only eight months but can be extended, although that is not common.

If no formal accusations can be made, investigations are shelved, which automatically removes the arguido status.

With an April deadline approaching, the Yard is carefully considering its next move. Senior Portuguese police officers recently met British officials in Portugal for an update on what the Yard team seeks to do and how long it will take.

Although there are no plans to drop the four-year £10million Operation Grange investigation, led by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, the meeting focused on what new information has come to light and what more needs to be done.

It is understood that part of the discussion was about DNA samples taken from the Ocean Club holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve where Madeleine was staying with her family.

The trio waiting to have their arguido status lifted are former Ocean Club driver Jose Carlos da Silva, jobless schizophrenic Paulo Jorge Ribeiro and Ricardo Jorge, who was just 16 at the time Madeleine vanished.

They have all strenuously denied knowing anything about her disappearance.

 
It's time we ended the search for Maddie so officers can focus on threats to the public, says police union chief, 19 March 2015
 

It's time we ended the search for Maddie so officers can focus on threats to the public, says police union chief Daily Mail
  • A team of 31 British detectives working to find Madeleine McCann
  • Maddie vanished from Portugal holiday apartment eight years ago
  • Metropolitan Police tasked with investigating by David Cameron
  • Operation Grange has cost the taxpayer £10million since 2011
  • Not led to a single arrest and now facing calls for it to be axed
By IAN DRURY, HOME AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 00:03, 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 08:53, 19 March 2015

Lost: Maddie McCann disappeared in Portugal eight years ago

Police chiefs have been urged to wind up the hunt for Madeleine McCann as detectives battle the terror threat and a spate of murders.

A team of 31 British detectives are working exclusively to find the girl, who vanished from her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal eight years ago.

The Metropolitan Police was tasked with investigating the disappearance after her family made a personal plea to David Cameron in 2011.

Yet despite costing the taxpayer £10million and dozens of trips by officers to the Algarve, the inquiry – codenamed Operation Grange – has not led to a single arrest.

Now a senior police union leader has called for the probe to be axed and the detectives reassigned to other investigations in the UK.

He says officers in London are bemused why they are working round-the-clock fighting the threat from Islamic State-inspired jihadists and solve at least 14 murders since Christmas while the Operation Grange detectives are barred from helping.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully said: 'It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe. We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

'The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere.

'It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.

'When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London.'

Even though Madeleine's parents Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46, live in Rothley, Leicestershire, Scotland Yard was handed the investigation because of its expertise in investigating complex murder case.

Police chiefs 'ring-fenced' the inquiry to prevent officers working on other case, even though the force has been forced to make £600million in cuts over four years.

Operation Grange was set up to review the original Portuguese police probe into the disappearance of Madeleine, then three, from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Maddie's disappearance after her parents (pictured above) made a personal plea to Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011. It has so far cost a total of £10million

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into Maddie's disappearance after her parents, pictured above, made a personal plea to PM David Cameron in 2011

After the Portuguese inquiry was shelved as 'unsolved', the McCanns, who remain convinced their daughter is alive, appealed to Mr Cameron for assistance.

Since the girl, who would now be 11, vanished, every possible theory has been explored, including that she was kidnapped by a paedophile, killed during a botched burglary and her body dumped, snatched by traffickers and sold to a childless couple and that she wandered out of the apartment and died in a tragic accident.

However, not one shred of proof of what happened to Madeleine has been uncovered.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, who took over Operation Grange in December, and her team ravelled to Portugal to interview seven suspects and four witnesses, but have not released any information about what they discovered.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'There are 31 officers working on Operation Grange. Their sole investigation is the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.'

 
Madeleine McCann's parents urge police chief not give up hunt for missing daughter, 19 March 2015
 

Madeleine McCann's parents urge police chief not give up hunt for missing daughter Daily Star

MADELEINE McCann's parents last night urged police chiefs to ignore calls from within the force to shelve their search.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 19th March 2015

MISSING: Maddie was three when she disappeared from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz [PA]

Kate and Gerry McCann said they are incredibly grateful to every officer working to find Madeleine.

They insisted there is "still a job of work to be done" by the 31-strong Operation Grange team assigned solely to the case.

They spoke out after the London Metropolitan branch of the officers' union the Police Federation called for the inquiry, which has already cost £10million, to be shelved.

Threat Chairman John Tully said the Met, which has made £600m cuts and faces another £800m by 2020, could no longer afford to take on "last resort" specialist cases others could not crack.

He said the 31 Operation Grange detectives could ease the workloads of colleagues investigating 14 unconnected murders in the capital since Christmas and battling the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists.

A friend of Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46, said: "It is up to the Met, the Prime Minister and the Home Office to decide the longevity of the investigation – not the Police Federation which has its own agenda."

Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, was three when she disappeared from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.

 
British police ready to drop Maddie probe as London faces increasing terrorist threat, 18 March 2015
 

British police ready to drop Maddie probe as London faces increasing terrorist threat Portugal Resident

Posted by PORTUGALPRESS on March 18, 2015

Madeleine McCann

An exclusive news story in the UK today claims British police are "baffled" as to why they are being kept on the seemingly endless Maddie probe, and want 'out' so that they can concentrate on the increasing threat from terrorism 'at home'. "It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe," the Met's federation chairman John Tully told the Daily Star. Newspapers have spared no space in criticising the "Operation Grange" inquiry set up in 2011, which has so far cost British taxpayers in excess of €12 million.

Not only have no solid leads transpired, officers working on the case have been barred from doing anything else.

Here, criticism has also centred on the fact that the Met "always turns up when the sun starts to shine".

Thus today's news will bring sighs of relief from holiday businesses that saw their start to last year's season marred by battalions of police "digging for clues" at various sites around the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, from which Madeleine McCann went missing almost eight years ago.

Elaborating on police discomfort over the 'exclusivity' forced upon them by the Madeleine inquiry, John Tully told the Daily Star: "The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere." But it has been hit by "£600 million of cuts", he added. "We have closed 63 police stations across London. Another £800 million of cutbacks are anticipated over the next four years" - and meantime the Met is having to cope with "14 unconnected killings across the capital since Christmas while fighting the war on terror".

It is therefore "surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ringfenced", he said. Ringfenced here refers to the 31 officers assigned to it being prohibited from working on any other cases.

"I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources," he told the paper.

"When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London."

How much truth is behind this latest "exclusive" about the long-running mystery remains to be seen.

Portuguese media reported last week that the new head of Operation Grange, DCI Nicola Wall, visited Portuguese counterparts in Lisbon last week to "strengthen links" between the two forces.

No mention was made of any plans to shelve the British side of the investigation.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

 
Is the hunt for Madeleine McCann over? Police urged to return and 're-focus' on UK safety, 18 March 2015
 

Is the hunt for Madeleine McCann over? Police urged to return and 're-focus' on UK safety Daily Express

POLICE should shelve the hunt for Madeline McCann and "re-focus" their attention on keeping London safe, according to the chief of a top policing union.

By LEVI WINCHESTER
PUBLISHED: 10:12, Wed, Mar 18, 2015

Madeleine McCann vanished eight years ago in Portugal

As 31 detectives continue to work exclusively on the disappearance of Madeleine - who vanished eight years ago in Portugal - officers in the capital are battling terrorism and a wave of murders.

They have also been left facing £600 million worth of cuts, as well as the closure of 63 police stations in London.

The Metropolitan Police were assigned to investigate the case of Madeleine four years ago after her parents - Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46 - appealed to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The mystery has since remained unsolved with zero arrests - despite dozens of police trips from the UK to Portugal - and the original probe officer Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood having retired.

But the inquiry - which has so far cost around £10 million - is continuing and other officers are now baffled as to why the 31 Operation Grange detectives are barred from helping to ease their workload.

This is reportedly because the Madeleine McCann inquiry has been "ring-fenced" to prevent officers involved working on other cases.

The youngster was just three years old when she disappeared from Praia da Luz

Police union chiefs have now called for the probe to be shelved, as well as for Operation Grange detectives to be deployed on other cases in the capital.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully told the Daily Star: "It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe.

"We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

"The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere.

"But we have made £600m of cuts. We have closed 63 police stations across London. Another £800m of cutbacks are anticipated over the next four years.

"It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.

"When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London."

Madeleine was just three years old when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicester, appealed to Mr Cameron to get Scotland Yard to re-examine the disappearance of their daughter after the Portuguese inquiry was labelled "unsolved".

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed the 31 officers assigned to Operation Grange work solely on that investigation and are not involved with other inquiries, according to the Daily Star.

 
EXCLUSIVE: Police urged to shelve Maddie hunt as cops needed in UK to battle terrorism, 18 March 2015
 

EXCLUSIVE: Police urged to shelve Maddie hunt as cops needed in UK to battle terrorism Daily Star

POLICE were last night urged to shelve the hunt for Madeleine McCann as detectives battle terrorism and a wave of murders.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 18th March 2015

MYSTERY: The hunt for Madeleine has cost £10million [EPA]

Officers reeling from £600million of police cuts are struggling to probe 14 unconnected killings across the capital since Christmas while fighting a war on terror.

Meanwhile, a specialist team of 31 detectives continues to work exclusively on the hunt for Madeleine, who vanished eight years ago from her parents' holiday flat in Portugal.

Though the mystery has no connection with London, the Metropolitan Police was assigned to investigate four years ago after Madeleine’s parents Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46, made a personal plea to David Cameron.

Despite dozens of trips by officers from the UK to Portugal, no one has been arrested and the original probe officer Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood has retired.

But the Operation Grange inquiry, which has so far cost around £10m, is continuing.

Now officers are baffled why they are working round the clock investigating a spate of murders and combating the threat posed by Islamic State while 31 Grange detectives who could ease their workloads are barred from helping them.

Spike That is because police chiefs have "ring-fenced" the Madeleine inquiry to prevent the officers involved working on other cases.

Last night police union chiefs called for the probe to be shelved, with detectives assigned to it deployed on other inquiries. Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully told the Daily Star: "It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe.

"We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

"The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere.

"But we have made £600m of cuts. We have closed 63 police stations across London. Another £800m of cutbacks are anticipated over the next four years.

"It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ringfenced. I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.

"When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London."

Operation Grange was set up to review the original Portuguese police probe into Madeleine's disappearance aged three from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

After the Portuguese inquiry was shelved as "unsolved" the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, successfully appealed to the PM to get the Met to re-examine the case.

Last night a Met Police spokesman confirmed the 31 officers assigned to Operation Grange work solely on that investigation and are not involved with other inquiries.

 
Madeleine McCann inquiry: Police make progress at crucial summit meeting with Portuguese, 15 March 2015
 

Madeleine McCann inquiry: Police make progress at crucial summit meeting with Portuguese Daily Express

BRITISH police have met with Portuguese prosecutors for a crucial summit meeting over the Madeleine McCann inquiry.

By JOHN TWOMEY
PUBLISHED: 12:33, Sun, Mar 15, 2015

Kate and Gerry McCann have never given up their hunt for Madeleine McCann

Scotland Yard detectives had detailed discussions with the Portuguese over the vital next steps in the multi-million pound probe.

It is understood to be the first time officers from Operation Grange have met officials in Lisbon since 11 key witnesses were re-interviewed in December.

Similar meetings are planned for the near future as the eighth anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance approaches.

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the latest summit. A spokesman said: "We are not providing a running commentary."

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry are given regular updates on progress of the investigation.

In their last public message, the couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, said: "It's very apparent that the determination of the Metropolitan Police remains steadfast."

Operation Grange was set up in 2011 after the McCanns appealed directly to Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May.

So far, it was cost around £10 million.

Madeleine was three when she vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007.

Former GP Mrs McCann and her heart doctor husband, both 46, have never given up hope that their daughter is still alive.

 
PGR (Attorney General) receives the English, 14 March 2015
 
PGR (Attorney General) receives the English Correio da Manhã (paper edition)

Maddie Case: The child is missing since May 2007

A work meeting with the Portuguese authorities to strengthen collaboration in the searches

By Tânia Laranjo
14 March 2015
With thanks to
Montclair for translation


A meeting of one and a half hours. The stage was the offices of the PGR: the protagonists, the English and Portuguese authorities. The goal was the same as that of other meetings of the same type. To strengthen the relations between the authorities of the two countries, to consolidate ties which will permit a common investigation in order to clarify the Maddie case.

The leader of the English police team, Nicola Wall, was one of those present at the meeting. The PJ was represented by the magistrate Pedro Carmo, deputy national director. Also present were the district attorney general and the head of the inquiry opened in the jurisdiction of Faro. Also called to participate was a representative of the British Home Secretary as well as the British Ambassador.

This was Nicola Wall's second meeting with the highest representatives of the case. The English inspector took over after Andy Redwood retired from the Metropolitan Police Services.

Nicola Wall moved over from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command to Operation Grange, which is investigating the disappearance of the English child on May 3, 2007, from the room where she slept with her younger twin siblings, in an apartment in a tourist complex in Praia da Luz, Algarve.

The case was shelved and reopened, but nothing new has been found. All of the scenarios remain open.

DETAILS:

ROGATORY LETTER
Scotland Yard has already sent a new rogatory letter in which they request the carrying out of new DNA tests on evidence already analysed in 2007.

FIRST APPEARANCE IN DECEMBER
Nicola Wall came to Portugal for the first time, as head of the English investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, in December, when she met with the PJ, in Faro.

10 MILLION
The English investigation of the case has already cost € 10 million from the British coffers and has, so far, not produced any advances, that we know of, into the search for Maddie.

Photo caption:
Nicola Wall heads the English investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann since December.

 
British police take 67 return flights to Portugal as cost of Madeleine McCann search nears £9million, 11 February 2015
 

British police take 67 return flights to Portugal as cost of Madeleine McCann search nears £9million Daily Mail
  • EXCLUSIVE: Trips last year cost nearly £16,000, around £1,300 a month
  • Came as police carried out largest ever search by British police overseas
  • Eight-day search in Algarve in June ended with nothing of interest found
  • David Cameron set a provisional budget for £5million for the investigation
  • Operation Grange has cost around £2.5million every year for three years
  • Home Office said this year's spend likely to be 'broadly in line' with past
By STEPH COCKROFT FOR MAILONLINE
Published: 16:57, 11 February 2015 | Updated: 01:42, 12 February 2015


British police searching for missing Madeleine McCann spent £16,000 on 67 return flights to Portugal last year, helping the cost of the investigation to soar to nearly £9million.

The trips, which cost more than £1,300 per month, came as the Met Police carried out the biggest ever search undertaken by a team of British police overseas, in a bid to find clues about the young girl's disappearance.

In June, police flew to the Algarve to carry out forensic searches around Praia da Luz, focusing on scrubland a few hundred metres from the apartment block where Madeleine was last seen alive.

The search for Madeleine McCann (pictured) has is nearing £9million with £16,000 spent on flights in the past year, new figures show

The search for Madeleine McCann (pictured) has is nearing £9million with £16,000 spent on flights in the past year, new figures show

But, despite an intensive eight-day search operation involving scores of officers carrying out ground excavations, police failed to find any clues.

According to figures released under a Freedom of Information act request, officers and staff made 48 return flights in the nine months between January and October. A further 19 were made to the end of December.

The cost for the flights was £15,945, an average of £238 per return flight.

As well as flights for the search, the trips involved several journeys made by officers to liaise with the Portuguese authorities prior to the excavations.

And in December, detectives DCI Nicola Wall and DCI Andy Redwood also travelled to Faro Police Station to question 'key witnesses' in the case. The three days involved overseeing the questioning of four British people and seven Portuguese citizens.

During the search, which was said to have been carried out to the ‘highest possible standards’, police combed an area of scrubland equal in size to around nine football pitches.

This included checking water pipes, drainage channels and derelict buildings around the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Police also searched a horseshoe-shaped piece of waste ground that was specifically identified as an area of interest by the latest inquiry.

In June, DCI Andy Redwood and other officers flew to the Algarve to oversee excavations of ground around Praia da Luz (pictured)

In June, DCI Andy Redwood and other officers flew to the Algarve to oversee excavations of ground around Praia da Luz (pictured)

The Home Office said it expected the spend on the investigation between 2014 and 2015, which is currently at £1.2m, to be 'broadly in line with previous years'

The Home Office said it expected the spend on the investigation between 2014 and 2015, which is currently at £1.2m, to be 'broadly in line with previous years'


In total, a Met spokesman said 41 'ground anomalies' – areas where the earth had been disturbed – were discovered by aerial surveys and ground-penetrating radar equipment.

These sites, which included three outside the original area, were then painstakingly checked by search teams. But they said no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann had been identified.

Scotland Yard abandoned their search of land close to where Madeleine vanished in 2007, but said the multi-million-pound inquiry would continue.

The Home Office, which has spent around £2m per year on the investigation since 2011, said this year's spend was likely to be 'broadly in line' with previous years. It means the bill is likely to top £9m.

But despite the increased police activity in Portugal, other figures show the number of detectives on the investigation has reduced.

At one point there were 29 detectives among 37 staff trying to solve Madeleine's disappearance in Praia da Luz in Portugal.

The young girl's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 46, from Rothley, Leicester, have fought a tireless campaign to find their missing daughter, regularly appealing to police to keep the investigation active

The young girl's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 46, from Rothley, Leicester, have fought a tireless campaign to find their missing daughter, regularly appealing to police to keep the investigation active

Now, according to the figures, the number of detectives stands at 21, including 15 constables, three sergeants and two inspectors.

There are also nine police support staff and four agency staff - all ex police officers - on the 34-strong team, which is led by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall.

Madeleine was just three when she went missing from her family's rented holiday apartment in the resort in May 2007, while her parents ate dinner nearby. There have been no positive sightings.

Operation Grange, the special investigation unit into the young girl's disappearance, was set up in 2011 by David Cameron. He set a provisional budget for £5million for the investigation

In its first year, the unit cost close to £2million, with the vast majority of expenses attributed to police officer and staff pay.

Between 2012 and 2013, the most expensive leg of the investigation to date, £2.8million was spent on transport, salaries, overtime and premises cost. The following year, through to 2014, the Home Office spent £2.6m.

Kate and Gerry McCann, both 46, from Rothley, Leicester, have fought a tireless campaign to find their missing daughter since, regularly appealing to police to keep the investigation into her disappearance active.

Portuguese police closed their investigation into her disappearance in 2008 and it took a further three years of campaigning by the McCanns to force the Scotland Yard investigation.

Months after the three-year-old vanished, Leicestershire Constabulary was awarded two grants by the Home Office to help fund their efforts.

In 2008 they received £525,000 and were awarded a further £221,000 the following year before the case was handed over to Metropolitan Police.

In a statement, the Met said any reduction in overall numbers of staff - from 37 to 34 according to the figures - on the investigation was temporary.

It said: 'There has been no change to the level of resources allocated to the investigation and any reduction will be the result of natural wastage. Those individuals will be replaced in the near future.'

 
A Message From Gonçalo Amaral, 02 February 2015
 

A Message From Gonçalo Amaral PJGA

Gonçalo Amaral

2 February 2015

Dear Friends,

The civil suit that was filed against me by the McCann couple is in its final stages, and the decision concerning material facts, which to me seems rather favourable, is already known. A period for legal allegations ensues, after which we will await the verdict, which I envision will translate into my longed for acquittal and the consequent lifting of the attachments that have caused me such extensive financial difficulties over the past five years. This means that it has been only due to your help that I have been able to financially sustain the ongoing lawsuit, which nonetheless cannot be said about my increasingly strangled personal life.

I say strangled because in reality I am experiencing a very serious crisis on an emotional as well as a financial level. This is due to those who have tried to asphyxiate me financially, wishing for my civil death and wanting to place me in a position where I would be unable to react judicially. After five years (counted since the civil suit was filed) the parents of the child that mysteriously disappeared on the 3rd of May of 2007 in the Algarve were not able to fully achieve what they intended. I am alive, I'm able to financially sustain the civil suit, although not much more than that...

Concerning my emotional crisis, I ask you to understand that for me, this whole struggle is not only about the fundamental discovery of the truth, because no matter how optimistic I may be, I can never forget the demand for damages amounting to 1.200.000 Euro that was filed by the couple, which, if absurdly it would be granted, will completely destroy me on all levels.

To all of you, thank you very much.

Gonçalo Amaral

Lisboa, February 2, 2015

 
Guardians of free speech or twisted losers?, 31 January 2015
 

Guardians of free speech or twisted losers? The Sun (paper edition)

The Sun, paper edition, 31 January 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

- Extract -

'I can be quite a bitch. I gave as good as I got. I enjoyed the wars and the spats'

WARZONE ... Rosalinda Hutton

ONE of the most bitter areas of conflict on social media is between the "pros" and "antis" who obsessively follow the case of missing Madeleine McCann.

The dispute resulted in tragedy in October last year when Brenda Leyland, 63, was found dead after being publicly exposed for trolling Maddy's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

It is believed she received death threats from Twitter users who aggressively defended the McCanns.

Rosalinda Hutton, 57, was a supporter of Leyland and proudly declares: "I'd like to pick up where Brenda left off.

"I've been totally gripped by the McCann case for the last seven years. It was an addiction.

"When the story broke in May 2007, I was suffering from the most terrible depression. I'd lost my mother, my best friend and my Dad.

"I was very isolated and became engrossed in a forum on the McCann case. It was a way to switch off the pain of the real world. I'd gone from the lonely, isolated existence to suddenly having this huge arena of friends from all around the world.

"We had this hardcore group, all women much like myself - similar age, backgrounds. We formed a friendship.

"I wasn't one of the evil ones - and there were a few of those around. I was attacking the McCanns and suddenly I became this object of attack by absolutely crazy people."

Author Hutton, from Dartford, Kent, says she was bombarded with abuse and offensive pictures.

She adds: "They said, 'Your mother was a tramp'. Really nasty stuff. On the first anniversary of my Mum's death, I got a 'phone call in the wee small hours saying, 'Mummy's here...' It was really menacing.

"One night, they all descended on me and I said, 'Leave me alone, I'm going to kill myself', and one of them said, 'Good idea. Put yourself out of your misery'.

"Eventually I went off to bed about 3am. One of my friends who'd seen it phoned me to make sure I hadn't killed myself, she was that concerned."

Her friend wanted to involve the police. Hutton says: "It became like a pack of wolves attacking somebody in the middle. One of them said to me, 'You've made up your mother's death to get attention'.

"It was so distressing. It was as if they had a system and they'd suddenly all dive in."

But Hutton says the anger she felt towards the mob egged her on to fight back.

She says: "I felt absolutely outraged that they were ripping into my parents.

"I was involved in these vile wars yet I couldn't wait to get back. They were dreadful to me but I couldn't stay away. I couldn't resist it."

In revenge, Hutton dished out some serious abuse.

She says: "I am a bit of a show-off and I had an audience. It was a warzone. To the trolls, I gave as good as I got. I can be quite a bitch. I enjoyed the wars and the spats. It saved kicking the dog, really.

"A lot of people kept records of all the comments and would wave them at lawyers and police. People were issuing writs. It got really down and dirty.

"You do get a buzz when you squish somebody. I felt high. The more outrageous you are, the bigger the reaction.

"It is a form of attention-seeking really. It's a real buzz that keeps drawing you back. Perhaps I should be ashamed of that but it is so easy to become hooked."

 
Madeleine's Fund Accounts to 31/03/2014, 25 January 2015

Madeleine's Fund Accounts to 31/03/2014

Madeleine's Fund Accounts to 31 March 2014

PDF and JPEG versions 

Click here

 
Amaral supporters optimistic about judge's rulings in McCanns' libel case, 21 January 2015
 

Amaral supporters optimistic about judge's rulings in McCanns' libel case Portugal Newswatch

Posted by Len Port at 8:35 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kate and Gerry McCann seemed to suffer a setback on Wednesday in suing former detective Gonçalo Amaral over his controversial book about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.

In Lisbon’s Palace of Justice, Judge Maria Emília Melo e Castro handed lawyers in the civil action a written statement evaluating as proven or not a list of 37 points on which she intends to base her verdict. Neither the McCanns nor Amaral were present.

Amaral supporters said afterwards that the statement made them feel cautiously optimistic.

The McCanns are seeking €1.2 million in damages for the severe distress they say has been caused to them by the book, A Verdade da Mentira ('The Truth of the Lie'), and a subsequent documentary.

The judge ruled that while statements in the book may have psychologically affected the McCanns, the anguish suffered by the couple over their missing daughter preceded the book's publication rather than being a consequence of it.

She pointed out that the book was very largely based on facts in police files. While Amaral put forward the theory that the McCanns had hidden Madeleine's body and fabricated a story about her abduction, he did not say they had killed their daughter, the judge said.

In personal statements to the court last July, both Kate and Gerry McCann spoke not only of the great harm they believed had been caused to their family by allegations in the book, but that the allegations had hampered the search for Madeleine.

The judge said Wednesday it had not been proved that the Polícia Judiciária stopped collecting information and investigating the disappearance because of the book's contents.

Amaral insisted last year that the lawfulness of his book was "indisputable" because of a decision of the Appellate Court in Lisbon that overturned an earlier ruling banning it.

The McCanns now have time to seek and present authorisation from the British High Court to formally represent their daughter in this case. Madeleine was made a ward of court at the instigation of her parents in April 2008. This could have a bearing on the amount of any compensation eventually awarded.

This long-running case in Lisbon has been suspended several times over the past five years, including in January 2013 when the court allowed the two sides to try to reach a private settlement. No agreement was reached.

No date has been set for a verdict but it is thought to be more than two months away. Even when it comes, the verdict will probably not be the end of the matter. An appeal is likely.

Also, Amaral has let it be known that he is considering instigating a counter defamation lawsuit against the McCanns to seek compensation for the enormous damages on different levels he claims they have caused him.

Gonçalo Amaral

 
Madeleine McCann troll Deborah Butler of Allington, jailed for stealing from parents, 21 January 2015
 

Madeleine McCann troll Deborah Butler of Allington, jailed for stealing from parents Kent Online

by Mary Graham | 21 January 2015

A woman who became known for publicly calling for "justice" over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been handed a jail sentence after defrauding £18,000 from her vulnerable parents for a spending spree.

Deborah Butler hit the headlines in 2009 by distributing leaflets giving "10 key reasons which suggest Madeleine was not abducted".

Some were delivered to the Leicestershire street where Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry live.

Deborah Butler shortly before she set off on a charity walk across Spain and Portugal

Deborah Butler shortly before she set off on a charity walk across Spain and Portugal

The 51-year-old denied she was targeting the family, whose daughter has not been found after disappearing from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007, but simply wanted the then-closed investigation to be re-opened.

Away from the media spotlight, Butler, of Grace Avenue, Allington, set herself up as official carer to her parents, Alan and Dorothy Johnson, who suffered from dementia.

In 2011 she took control of their bank cards, which they did not know how to use, and went on a spree buying items for herself including a TV, laptop, designer clothes, a Spanish holiday, plus more mundane essentials such as petrol and food.

Madeleine McCann, who went missing in Portugal in 2007. Photo courtesy of PA/PA Wire.

Madeleine McCann, who went missing in Portugal in 2007. Photo courtesy of PA/PA Wire.

The 51-year-old also arranged for carers and attendance allowances, plus the Johnsons’ state pension to go to her bank account.

In October 2011 her mother died and other family members found conditions at her parents seaside flat in Eastbourne had deteriorated as the pensioners struggled to cope. Conditions were described as 'squalid.'

The family also discovered a large chunk of the Johnsons' savings missing and Butler was arrested.

Monarch House in Eastbourne's Royal Parade where Deborah Butler's parents lived.

Monarch House in Eastbourne's Royal Parade where Deborah Butler's parents lived.

She always insisted her purchases were for her parents. But investigators were adamant everything bought was being used at her Kent home.

Butler denied four charges of fraud totalling £18,411 at a trial in December but was convicted.

At Lewes Crown Court on Friday she was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years.

Deborah Butler with a leaflet headed 'What really happened to Madeleine McCann'

Deborah Butler with a leaflet headed 'What really happened to Madeleine McCann'

DC Julie Nightingale, of Sussex Police, said: "The victims were treated as a stream of income.

"They were very vulnerable but Butler left them to live in squalor while she enjoyed life at their expense."

She must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and will be supervised by the probation service.

 

 
Met chief vows no let-up in search for Madeleine, 15 August 2014
 

Met chief vows no let-up in search for Madeleine Daily Express

BRITAIN'S top policeman vowed to keep going in the hunt to discover what happened to Madeleine McCann after Scotland Yard's major operations this summer.

By: John Twomey
Published: Fri, August 15, 2014

Madeleine disappeared from a holiday apartment[PA]

The little girl was three when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

In June and July, suspects were questioned and huge areas in the Algarve were searched by specialist police squads and dogs – with Yard detectives in attendance.

Operation Grange was launched in May 2011 after Madeleine's parents Gerry, 45, and Kate, 46, of Rothley, Leics, appealed to David Cameron.

Around 40 detectives and civilian staff are dedicated to the inquiry, which has so far cost an estimated £6million.

Yesterday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "The investigation is still ongoing and we will not be reducing the team."

He praised Portuguese authorities for allowing Yard detectives to take part in the summer search.

"A reasonable amount of progress has been made," he added.

However, no trace of Madeleine has been found and police have no idea what happened to her.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe remains steadfast in his commitment in the search [PA]

Sir Bernard believes the ideal way to tackle the case is