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Gerry returns to Portugal, 13 Jan 2009
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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
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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
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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
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McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
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Public Ministry Reopens Investigation
Euclides Monteiro - The Dead Suspect
Kate McCann: Missing People Charity Events
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CMTV Reconstruction / Studio Debate
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The McCanns and the Conman - Channel 5
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Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral

 
McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day One
12 September 2013

Kate McCann

For reports click here

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day Two
13 September 2013

Gonçalo Amaral

For reports click here

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Days Three/Four
19/20 September 2013

Alan Pike

For reports click here

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day Five
27 September 2013

Gerry McCann

For reports click here

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day Six
02 October 2013

Trish Cameron

For reports click here

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Days Seven to Ten
08 Oct to 27 Nov 2013

Dr Amaral and Manuel Catarino (Principal Writer - Correio da Manhã)

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McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day Eleven
07 January 2014
- Day Twelve
08 July 2014

Closing arguments

For reports click here

 

McCanns v. Gonçalo Amaral: Libel Trial
- Day One-Twelve
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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

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

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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Maddie - A Verdade Da Mentira
 

Maddie - A Verdade Da Mentira Guerra & Paz

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.»

  Latest news/opinion

 
Paint Your Bandwagon, 23 February 2015
 

Paint Your Bandwagon

Hand-made roses for Richard III cortege route

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
23 February 2015

PAINT YOUR BANDWAGON

I confess. I have in the past appealed to the saga of Richard III's 'rediscovery' as a metaphor. In so doing I made no attempt whatsoever to inject myself into a process I consider exemplary. A truly wonderful instance of truth being stranger than fiction, the location/examination of the last Plantagenet's remains made heroes and heroines of the otherwise anonymous professionals who undertook the task, and contributed their respective expertise to a team performance of which the British Lions would have been proud. It virtually launched the career of one young lady in particular (osteologist, Dr Jo Appleby). Nevertheless, applause was, and is, due to all in equal measure.

So why now discuss these events once more?

After a court battle to secure the right to re-inter the much abused monarch, the City of Leicester is shortly to witness a ceremony accomplishing exactly that, after a procession no less; a procession which will pass the nearby Bosworth Academy, where pupils have for some time been busy constructing a substantial piece of artwork by all accounts, describing, in plastic, over 5000 white roses. (No, they have not been goaded into provoking the residents of that other northerly county).

As a charming, articulate young member of the school has explained on TV, the 'roses' represent those who go missing in the county of Leicestershire. The innocent young thing generously explained that people have been looking for King Richard for over 500 years without giving up, so that looking for the missing currently may just as likely yield a result or two.

How very thoughtful. And exactly whose idea was that? It will come as no surprise, perhaps, that the charity MISSING PEOPLE is supporting the project. Indeed a page of the Academy's website is given over to promoting the object symbiosis between the search for the deceased regent’s remains and more contemporary acts of compassion.

Well call me a cynic, but...

Of course I would not criticize the young girl for repeating information given her by adults. Nevertheless, 'out of the mouths of babes' etc.

King Richard III was never missing, either in life or death. Those who killed him knew exactly where he was buried, as did those who came afterwards. The location of his last resting place only became 'lost' on account of an impatient historian of yore, who, having identified the wrong priory, subsequently gave up looking for it, leaving a muddled legacy for later generations.

And?

Well, as instructive as were the (very) distant relatives and other interest groups that all of a sudden came out of the woodwork laying claim to the relics others had laboured for years to rediscover, we now have the charity MISSING PEOPLE piggy-backing their propaganda on the back of an international success story that has nothing whatsoever to do with missing people.

A question to those, such as the Diocese of York, who all shouted 'mine' once the 'donkey work' had been done: Who paid for the excavations leading to discovery of the king's remains?

Leicester City Council may have sacrificed one of their car parks, whilst the University allocated its analytic resources, in the form of staff and technical facilities, but the lion's share of the funding effort required to get the project off the ground in the first place fell to the Richard III Society, who, extraordinarily, raised the tens of thousands of pounds necessary to make it all happen. It is to this dogged, if esoteric, group that we should all say 'thank you'. They paid, to find their talisman.

So what exactly are MISSING PEOPLE doing lining the route to the cemetery (the Cathedral as it happens)?

By analogy, if there is any justification at all for this organisation's pouncing on another's project, one that does not even entail a missing person, then their ambassador elsewhere should put her hand into her own pocket and underwrite the search for her own missing daughter, not sit back and watch as the UK government invests £10m plus in doing so. (£400k transferred to her limited company does not qualify. We're talking looking for people here, not looking for a tax break).

I have absolutely no argument with the Bosworth pupil's contention that locating missing people is a matter of some importance. Of course it is. But then so are a great many other concerns. £10m distributed across all of them would still represent a useful sum of money, but this (and more), is what the UK government is prepared to spend looking for a solitary missing person. Supporting the charity in these terms for any length of time would bankrupt the nation. Should the object of the McCanns' desires in this instance likewise remain 'missing' for 500 or so years, what then?

The core of the Missing People appeal via the Bosworth Academy, for that is in essence what it is, reads as follows:

"...each rose representing one of the 5929 instances of a citizens (sic) of Leicestershire who go missing every year, the vast majority are young people. Each instance of a missing person is caused by a failure to protect often the most vulnerable in our society. As with the passion to seek, find and make safe King Richard, we pledge to seek, find and make safe those young people who for whatever reason go missing each year in Leicestershire.

"To seek, to find, to make safe

"Our aim is to raise awareness of this silent tragedy affecting our community, and for the efforts of the search for Richard III to bear additional fruits in helping our community seek, find and make safe those missing today. Leicestershire had 5929 reported incidents regarding missing people, with by far the largest group being those aged 12-18.*"

* Home Office Statistic 2012/2013

Readers are later invited to donate to the charity and told where to send their cheque(s). As to 'make safe King Richard'... You must be joking. To do that you'd have needed a quiet word in the ear of Henry Tudor, and he's been dead for almost as long!

Rather than become enmeshed in discussion as to what, exactly, constitutes a 'missing person incident' (of which there were, nationwide apparently, 273,319 recorded for the year 2012-13, as surveyed – fewer than 4.8 per thousand of the total population), a more pertinent question might be the following:

Since Leicestershire Police claim to have spent £13m two years ago looking for missing people (according to The Leicester Mercury, 4 January 2015), how much might the charity Missing People have contributed to their noble effort?

My guess would be, 'nada, nothing, zero, zip, zilch', the reasons for their collaborative abstemiousness being two-fold:

First, "many of the cases did not require police involvement" and "roughly one third of (those) cases – approximately 1,800 alerts – were generated by 73 teenagers, most of them living in city or county council children's homes. Mental health units also generated an average of 15 cases a month." (Source: Leicester Mercury) Second, according to their resume (to be found at the foot of their 'advertorial', as hosted by Bosworth Academy):

"Missing People is a UK charity that provides a lifeline when someone disappears. We offer dedicated support to missing people and their families through our 24/7 helpline. We listen in confidence, support people who are missing and their families and, where possible, we help families and their missing loved ones to reconnect. We provide our services through working in partnership with the police, social services, other charities and professionals. We work with many media outlets to create publicity for cases upon request of families. We also undertake research and policy work to understand the experiences of missing people and families. We couldn’t achieve this without the great support of fundraisers and communities."

Essentially, they claim to duplicate the work of the police, and perhaps publicise individual cases – but only if the family in question remembers to ask them. Otherwise they work 'to understand others experiences'.

And if the circumstances confronted by Leicestershire Police are anything to go by, then the 4.8 per thousand figure mentioned earlier would, in reality, be considerably smaller still, suggesting that police forces nationwide should be far better able to cope, provided other responsible institutions have a greater regard for their own residents' security, and without assistance from charity-led answerphone services.

The person Richard III has not been 'found'. He was never reported missing. It is his last resting place that was finally located and his bones that will henceforth be safeguarded.

At least his grave was identifiable as such.

 
McCann tweets journalist told to reveal source, 17 February 2015
 

McCann tweets journalist told to reveal source The Times

A coroner has demanded that Martin Brunt divulge his source - Rex Features
A coroner has demanded that Martin Brunt divulge his source - Rex Features

Fiona Hamilton Crime Correspondent
Published at 10:01PM, February 17 2015


A coroner has demanded that a Sky News reporter divulge his source for a story about a woman who was found dead after the broadcaster revealed that she had "trolled" the parents of Madeleine McCann.

The demand has raised fresh concerns about the state encroaching on journalists' rights to keep their sources confidential, in the wake of revelations that police forces looked into their phone records on hundreds of occasions.

Martin Brunt, Sky's crime correspondent, is due to give evidence next month at the inquest of Brenda Leyland, 63, whose body was found in October.

Mrs Leyland, of Burton Overy, Leicestershire, had been confronted days earlier as part of Mr Brunt's expose of a vitriolic online campaign against Kate and Gerry McCann. Their daughter, Madeleine, was three years old when she vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

Mrs Leyland, a divorced mother of two, was said to have used the Twitter handle @sweepyface to post thousand of tweets about the McCanns, describing them as the "worst of humankind".

Leicestershire police wrote to Sky on behalf of the coroner, Catherine Mason, asking a series of questions including the identity of the person who was behind the dossier of tweets. Sky has said that it will protect its source, arguing that its rights are protected under European law. It is understood that neither the police nor the coroner have responded since.

Mr Brunt and Jonathan Levy, director of news gathering operations at Sky News, are expected to be called to give evidence as witnesses on March 20.

Coroners were given extra powers to question witnesses in new rules issued 18 months ago. Gavin Millar, QC, a prominent media lawyer, said: "I don't think coroners really understand the limits of their powers in terms of trying to force journalists to reveal their sources. It's a specialist area of law and they are not media lawyers. As the investigations of coroners become more forensic and more determined, and they are given extra powers to require information from witnesses, they are going to have to start confronting these issues and acquire some learning about the rights of journalists."

Bob Satwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said that it was "always worrying" when a journalist was asked to reveal their source because they should "obviously" remain confidential. He said that there had been a drive by the authorities to know journalistic sources, which had previously been "sacrosanct". He added: "Its almost like they think the media is a fair game, and that's a highly dangerous position."

The demand comes after the government promised to change legislation so that police must gain a judge's agreement before they can snoop on journalists.

Police admitted using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to obtain email and phone communications between 82 journalists and 242 sources across 34 investigations in the past three years.

 
The Corpse Ride, 13 February 2015
 

The Corpse Ride

McCanns' Renault Scenic with open boot

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
13 February 2015

THE CORPSE RIDE

The magnificent seven

In the early summer of 2007, a Renault Scenic (registration number 59-DA-27) was used to transport some decaying matter (garden waste) somewhere in the Portuguese Algarve. Ironically, it afterwards smelt of human death and decay. One of its several registered drivers thought the pungent, unfamiliar, odour was the consequence of leaking shopping bags, full of red meat and fish, but the behaviour of a specialised dog with a keener sense of smell later suggested otherwise. Of course the dog was not to know that another of the vehicle's registered drivers (a Leicester-based GP), was wearing the same clothes on holiday that she had previously worn while sitting with deceased former patients at home in the UK, and holding a child's toy for comfort.

One of the dead fish carried back from the market in July 2007 must have been called Wanda, so nearly incredible is it that this vehicle, hired by the McCann family on 27 May (to facilitate their move to alternative accommodation, some 1.5 km distant from the holiday apartment they had previously rented), should itself become a suspect in the disappearance of the family's three-year old daughter Madeleine.

Investigation into the circumstances of the child Madeleine's disappearance led to the unsavoury conclusion that she had been transported in this voiture sometime after her absence was first noted (a suspicious possibility indeed); furthermore, that she might not have been entirely healthy at the time. Given this train of thought on the part of investigators, it is not at all difficult to appreciate how the sniffer dog's reaction might have come to be interpreted as having something to do with the child's fate. But as we know, or have at least been told, this coalescence of events was nothing more than a remarkable coincidence, leading to a complete misunderstanding.

Madeleine's perplexed parents have asked, rhetorically for the most part, exactly when this extraordinary act of transportation could possibly have occurred, in a car they hired 'weeks later'. A good question, to which there may yet be an answer.

Delivered and signed for on 27 May, the 'his and hearse' MPV was used to transport the goods and chattels of the McCanns to a villa on the outskirts of Praia da Luz on 2 July ("We completed our move to the new accommodation today" – Gerry McCann). The 'fresh food' shopping (and subsequent cleaning), by odour-sensitive, driver for all seasons, Sandy Cameron, must have taken place before he and his wife departed Portugal for the UK, on the 29th. In the meantime they too resided at the McCanns' new, albeit temporary, villa home.

Sandy Cameron was not merely a named driver in this instance. According to a much later interview with UK Police (15.4.08) he was the 'habitual driver' and used the car daily, acting largely as chauffeur to the McCanns' two younger children. No one, not even Sandy Cameron, makes any mention of nasal discomfort during trips made in the car early that month (July). In fact, when describing the perceived need for a 'valet', he explains that it arose later on ("After this shopping trip and still in the month of July 2007, I began to notice a strange odour in the car."), indicating that some time had elapsed between his conveyance of fresh fish (and/or garden waste) and his noticing the noxious smell, 'still in the month of July', and obviously before he left for the UK.

'A stitch in time saves nine', so they say. Preventive measures are therefore the order of the day. It would have been a bit too late to start worrying about the removal of garden waste etc., once Sandy C. had gone and the police sniffer dogs had arrived, which they did on 30 July. Thankfully, the McCanns were being kept abreast of developments ("We were well aware that these developments were going to happen. We were informed in advance" – Gerry McCann). Although they had a 'routine meeting' with Police in Portugal on the very same day the dogs turned up, that could scarcely be interpreted as making them 'well aware', since it would have left them no time in which to attend to all that garbage. However, a longer than expected meeting with Police had already taken place, on Wednesday the 18th.

Kate McCann has more recently returned to her own rhetorical question as regards misadventure involving the hire car, which, like their daughter, was scarcely left unattended, offering little if any scope for abuse. It came during an exchange with a judge in Lisbon:

Judge – "Do you recall an interview that Mr. Amaral gave to Correio da Manhã?"

Kate Healy – "He gave several interviews but I do recall one in particular which was exaggerated. Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken inside the boot of the car we had rented seven weeks later."

This is indeed an interesting observation. Whatever support the Portuguese police may have believed they had for their theory that Madeleine's frozen body was eventually relocated, there is nothing to suggest they were ever in a position to specify exactly when such a deed might have been accomplished, i.e., 'seven weeks later', some unspecified time after May 3, when Madeleine is said to have disappeared, and whilst the McCanns were still resident within the Ocean Club complex. Perhaps Kate McCann was talking about the car having been rented 'seven weeks later'. But that doesn't work either, as the car was delivered to them on 27 May – barely three weeks later. What on earth is she talking about here? Well, what happens if we consider seven weeks post-delivery of the car?

Take five

Seven weeks on from 27 May takes us into July, by a fortnight at least, Monday 16th marking commencement of the seventh week. On the 18th the McCanns had their unusually lengthy meeting with police, and on Saturday 21st, the last working day of their seventh week of car usage, they did what?

"Spent the day with the kids and visited the Algarve Zoo Marine" is what, Gerry McCann clearly tiring of writing 'Kate & I' all the while, as he had done in his blog on so many previous occasions, even as recently as the day before.

So there they all were, presumably, Kate, Gerry, and the twins, not forgetting of course their chauffeur, Sandy Cameron, who "drove the children to the zoo and the beaches in the area" - an entirely reasonable assumption, although those with a professional interest in statement analysis would recognise the potential significance attaching to the complete absence of any subject pronoun from Gerry McCann's statement. 'Spent the day with the kids', etc., does not tell us who did so exactly.

Presumably they all ambled around the zoo within conversing distance of each other - hailing distance at worst. Except that being separated, even by the sort of space that exists between a ground-floor apartment and a Tapas restaurant, does nothing to explain why Kate and Gerry McCann should have felt the need to speak to each other by 'phone!

Gerry McCann was demonstrably in the vicinity of Guia Zoomarine when he telephoned Kate shortly after 1.00 p.m., but where was she when twice returning his calls forty-five minutes later? They must still have been some distance apart when Gerry called back again just after 4.30.

Kate's handset activated the Luz antenna, not the same one as intercepted Gerry's calls at all, and each of these radio masts has an operational radius of several kilometres at least. Whilst Kate McCann may not have been 'phoning her husband from the infamous 'triangle' therefore, it is by no means the case that she was necessarily standing in the middle of the town square either. Intriguingly Kate's diary entry for 21 July, unlike Gerry's blog, makes no reference whatsoever to visiting the zoo, despite her daily record being otherwise littered with such trivia.

Only 24 hours earlier, Kate McCann had taken the afternoon off (to deal with a backlog of e-mails apparently), while Gerry accompanied 'the kids' to the beach. She would not have needed to skip off home from the zoo for that same purpose therefore. Gerry McCann made his personal contribution to communications management six days later, on 27 July, spending most of that day "dealing with e-mails and making calls planning future events", until 5.00 p.m., when he left Praia da Luz and, shortly after 6.45 p.m., checked his voicemail messages whilst in the vicinity of Sagres, no doubt grateful to Sandy Cameron for having cleaned the car in the meantime.

What further stimulates interest in Kate McCann's whereabouts that Saturday afternoon (21 July) are the entries in her own diary for the 18th and 23rd, dates on either side:

"WEDNESDAY, JULY 18: It was suggested that Madeleine is dead and buried in an area close to the beach, behind the cliff."

"MONDAY 23 JULY: I got up at 7.00 and went running. I was surrounded by a pack of dogs (more or less 12) – it really wasn't a nice experience. I went to the flat, high part of the cliff as I felt really alone and a little frightened. Please God, don't let Madeleine be buried here."

Reference here is to 'dead and buried' on the 18th, 'buried' on the 23rd. Chronologically, she did not put the cart before the horse at least. In-between there was the 21 July trip to the zoo, concluding that seventh week (from May 27).

In her diary, covering the period 4 May until 31 July, Kate McCann mentions 'death' on only three occasions. The first is on 4 May, when she asks, rhetorically, "Is she dead?" The other two references are as just described.

However, the week commencing Monday 16 July was also that when South African Danie Krugel, and his 'invention' (a missing people locator), joined the search for Madeleine. Since his field-work in this case was monitored by the police, one has to consider the possibility that it is this exercise which spawned Kate's observation of the 18th, as above. Her diary entry for that date continues:

"What can I say? I feel my body's on the verge of collapse. How much pain and emotion can one body take? I had a bad afternoon. I was very worried, desperate, extremely on edge. I don't think I can take any more of this, I really can't. How much longer will this suffering go on? I need Madeleine ALIVE."

Dead reckoning

One could be forgiven for supposing Kate McCann was 'on edge' for reasons other than anxiety over the welfare of her missing daughter. Nevertheless, Krugel's work extended over four days, sixteen hours a day, according to his own account (later offered to both the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mail of 7 October). Additionally, he was at the same time quoted by the News of The World as saying, "I spent four nights in July carrying out my searches."

How then was Kate McCann seemingly able to recount a suggestion of death and burial on Danie Krugel's part after only 24 hours, before Krugel's work was even finished, never mind documented? NPIA man Mark Harrison, who did not arrive in PdL until his services were formally requested by the PJ on 20 July, wrote his report and conclusions concerning Krugel's investigative methods on the 23rd.

This question is further aggravated by Kate McCann's subsequent book ('madeleine'), in which she describes how their meeting with the PJ on 18 July "ended with a final body blow. Danie Krugel...had produced a report for the PJ based on his findings." (p. 199)

'Had produced'? Prior to this meeting even? Krugel had only just arrived in Praia da Luz, from Portimao (on the afternoon of 16 July, at the earliest, according to Goncalo Amaral, the 17th according to those duplicate accounts in the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mail, of 7 October). He would of course proceed to invest four days (and nights?) in his personal search.

How can he possibly have prepared a set of conclusions for the PJ before their meeting with the McCanns on the 18th therefore? Once again, 'it was suggested' offers no clue as to who in fact made the suggestion, or when.  Nor does Kate's diary entry attribute the suggestion to anyone in particular. It is in her book that she renders it just possible, describing the couple's return to Portugal from the UK as being synchronous with Krugel's arrival in Praia da Luz ("We flew back to Portugal early on the morning of Sunday 15 July – the day Danie Krugel, his team and his 'matter orientation system' arrived in Praia da Luz." p. 197-8).

Unfortunately she then proceeds to compromise her own story.

"In spite of the cynical tone of my diary entry, we were actually both quite excited about the prospect of Danie's work, though I think this was probably due more to the fact that something was happening which might take the investigation forward than to absolute faith in his methods. It might come to nothing, we knew that, but anything was better than the sense of stagnation we felt was beginning to seep in." (p. 198)

What diary entry? Kate made none for the period 13 -16 July, nor did she make any mention of a meeting with Danie Krugel on the 17th. The book reference is clearly to a conversation prior to, and in anticipation of, Krugel's 'search'. Even the opening remarks of Kate's 18 July entry can scarcely be described as 'cynical'.

If a meeting between Krugel and the McCanns took place between 15 and 17 July, as Kate implies, then why did she make no reference to it whatsoever in her 'diary'? Krugel himself alluded to it that autumn at least, which appears to confirm that it happened. Crucially however, he did not reveal where or when. As far as Gerry McCann's blogs for the relevant period are concerned, Danie Krugel is conspicuous only by his absence, as is any mention of an alarming report emanating from his 'search'; a report that Gerry would surely have found no less troubling than did his wife. Clearly the incident was of less significance for Kate McCann than the twins' riding in 'Noddy's car' and 'Popeye's boat' (7 July).

Kate's diary would go on to underpin her later book. On her own admission therein, she did not commence making diary entries as such until 23 May:

"Setting aside some blank pages in the notebook I'd been given for the days that had already passed, I wrote a few paragraphs on a couple of occasions the following week, though I didn't begin in earnest until 23 May, twenty days after Madeleine was taken. From then on, I kept my journal consistently, and when I had a spare moment I went back and filled in the blank pages with notes of our activities and my recollections of every day since 3 May 2007." ('madeleine' p. 126-7 )

It is apparent from this, Kate McCann's personal account, that her daily commentary for the period 18 – 23 July should have been contemporaneous, i.e., not overly retrospective and concomitantly subject to errors of recall. That in itself is sufficient to cast serious doubt upon the veracity of her entries concerning this potentially crucial weekend, although Kate's memory for activities on any given day may well have been suspect (e.g., "SATURDAY, JUNE 2: I can't remember today.").

On the face of it the McCanns cannot have learned of Danie Krugel's reported conclusions at the close of their meeting with the PJ on 18 July, as, with a four-day search in prospect, he would not yet have arrived at them. In which case, any reference by Kate McCann to death and/or burial around this time is just as likely to have originated with Kate herself, not with a third-party who, coincidentally, would go on to confirm her suspicions.

Kate McCann has apparently attempted, in her book, to shift Krugel's activities back in time, just as she has eased others forwards. If so, she is at least a day late, and a dollar short.  Even if he got started on 16 July, by his own reckoning Danie Krugel will have just finished his 'work' on the 19th – a day after the McCanns meeting with the PJ.

It is always possible however that Krugel exaggerated, or was misquoted in the press that autumn. As far as he was concerned his four working days may have included the Sunday of his arrival, if Sunday was indeed when he landed, after which any one 24-hour period might have involved sixteen hours of toil, though not all four days necessarily.

As to his meeting with the McCanns, perhaps that was not so much a meeting with them exclusively as one at which they happened also to be present. And yet the 18th would have been too late to announce his intentions, which were by then already accomplished. For his and Kate McCanns' recollections to coincide, they would have to have met beforehand. (The McCanns seem to have had rather more meetings with the PJ than those they have deliberately brought to the attention of their readers in any event).

Kate McCann's 'account of the truth' though is open to question. So too is the diary. Her entry for 17 July opens with: "Finding it very difficult to talk to people from home, unless they are directly involved. It is difficult to show an interest in other people's lives and children at the moment." The pair had just returned from a christening, in Yorkshire, of the Wrights' two children!

Gerry, at least, visited the zoo on July 21st. On the 22nd, the eighth week after the car was delivered to them, he left for America. In his wake, on the 23rd, Kate exclaimed, "Please God, don't let Madeleine be buried here". It seems, on this one occasion at least, as if God may have been listening.

Back to the future

Credibility in this instance appears to hinge upon exactly when Danie Krugel touched down in Portugal from South Africa, as that would determine the time of his eventual arrival in Praia da Luz to begin his 'search' ( i.e., 16 or 17 July). He did not appear in PdL that very Sunday, as Kate McCann would have us believe. That said, Krugel's follow-up report to the police was so trivial, by all accounts, he probably could have handed it in after a day or so. Surprisingly perhaps (because it again receives no mention whatsoever in 'the diary') the Krugel expedition had in fact got under way several weeks earlier:

"So, in the second week of June, we had confided in Auntie Janet and our friend Amanda back in Leicestershire and got them to go round to our house looking for hairs that could only be Madeleine's. They came up with five head hairs from the inside of a coat hood and a couple of eyelashes from her pillow and couriered the lot off to Danie in South Africa. They didn't question what we were doing: they, too, were just desperate for Madeleine to be home.

"A week or so afterwards, Danie informed us that he had obtained 'signals' relating to Praia da Luz, but that he would need to come over in July and operate the machine in the Algarve to produce more accurate results and pinpoint Madeleine's location." ('madeleine', p. 187)

If the McCanns' activity in late July appears suspicious, the same could be said of their previous movements that month.

Let's just recap that Lisbon courtroom interaction:

Judge – "Do you recall an interview that Mr. Amaral gave to Correio da Manhã?"

Kate Healy – "He gave several interviews but I do recall one in particular which was exaggerated. Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken inside the boot of the car we had rented seven weeks later."

The PJ may well have been lacking the specifics, but if there is one thing about which we can be absolutely certain it is Kate McCann's adroit use of syntax.

Throughout her book there are instances of her misleading the reader via their own spontaneous, yet false, interpretations. Take the above for instance, where the phrase 'seven weeks later' is positioned so as to qualify the preceding 'car we had rented'. If, as we have already seen, one applies this concatenation to events as they occurred, it makes no sense at all; unless, that is, one treats reference to car rental as commencing with its delivery.

There is another possibility however - that with or without the PJ holding evidence at the time, the word order of Kate's courtroom response ought to have been:

"Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken, seven weeks later, inside the boot of the car we had rented."

Seven weeks beyond 3 May takes us to the week 21 – 28 June. Although Kate describes in her diary matters of domestic importance arising on Sunday 24th and Tuesday 26th, Monday 25th apparently failed to materialise. It didn't happen. Nor did the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (for Kate at any rate), or indeed the entire first week in July! We have to resort to page 186 of the book for any mention of the McCanns' suggesting to the PJ, on 28 June, that Danie Krugel be invited to officiate in Praia da Luz. Although the phrase 'dead and buried' is not used explicitly, Krugel's area of expertise, so called, makes the inference perfectly obvious.

Kate picks up the story again on 7 July, which Gerry describes in his blog as a 'quiet family day', saying nothing further. The more fulsome Kate however concludes with: "(I can hardly wait to say "See you tomorrow.")" Mmm.

Faites vos jeux

There appear therefore to be two candidate periods in relation to Goncalo Amaral's seemingly 'ludicrous' suggestion. Unfortunately, Sandy Cameron's cover story, as told in his Rogatory interview of 15.4.2008, does not allow us to choose between them:

"On one occasion, I believe it was in July of 2007, I took Patricia to the supermarket. We carried bags in the boot (trunk) of the Renault Scenic; bought various items including fresh fish, shrimp and beef. When we unloaded the shopping bags, we noticed that blood has run out of the bottom of the plastic bag. After this shopping trip and still in the month of July 2007, I began to notice a strange odour in the car."

Perhaps the casting vote should go to the concerned resident of Praia da Luz who, had she bothered to approach the vehicle, might also have noticed a strange odour, but who at least noticed the car boot open, day or night, from the time it arrived with the McCanns at their new villa address. Translated, her statement toward the end of the documentary, The Truth of the Lie is given as:

"I drive down this street every day to turn my car around at that end, and every time that I passed the house I looked at the car, and the car always had an open boot door, day or night."

The McCanns completed their move to this accommodation, we are told, on 2 July. It wouldn't be very long before Sandy set off to fetch the shrimp.

 
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

 
Gone With The Wind, 02 February 2015
 

Gone With The Wind

Beach scene

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
02 February 2015

GONE WITH THE WIND

Once upon a time there was a little girl who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in Portugal. Thanks to the reach of the mainstream media and, above all, the internet, the case was discussed worldwide. People were concerned that an infant could be abducted from child-friendly holiday accommodation overseas. Others were concerned as to whether they were actually being told the truth.

These concerns, for child welfare, truth, and justice, have spanned nearly eight years. But, as the earth has rotated and the sun illuminated other areas of the forest, vines have gained a foot-hold and now bedeck the canopy. Scarcely visible as such, it is little more than a mass of aerial weeds scrambling for support, the more significant foliage all but forgotten. And beneath, in the darkness, who knows what remains hidden? Peer Gynt? Trolls?

Indeed we are all now witnesses to a squalid evolution. Whereas the focus was once upon the identification of whoever might have removed the little girl from her locked/unlocked apartment, attention has now drifted to the identification of outsiders, members of the wider public (opinion holders, not formers), as subscribers to one or another camp, resident in one or another patch of darkness, deep in a forest of ignorance. In the Hall of the Mountain King it's considered important to recognise the trolls, although the Mountain King himself is occupied elsewhere.

And once the ravages of this civil war have ceased, what will have been established? Certain reputations may have been laid waste, others buried even deeper in the slime from which they strove to emerge. And those who merely wanted to see the wood for the trees, but were denied a clear view by the rampant undergrowth; what will they have to say? In the immortal words of Rhett Butler, echoed in song by Billy Joel: 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn'.

There's a Sasquatch in that forest somewhere. Its name begins with 'M'. And we WILL find it, without either help or interference from trolls, of any complexion.

 
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

 
Analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned (Reg.No.6248215) for the year ended 31 March 2014, 25 January 2015
 

Analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned (Reg.No.6248215) for the year ended 31 March 2014

By Enid O'Dowd FCA

 

'From the outset everyone agreed that despite the costs involved, it (the Fund) must be run to the highest standards of transparency whatever it cost.'

Commitment given by Dr Kate McCann in her book madeleine (p. 138 Irish paperback edition)

 

This analysis of the 2014 accounts should be read in conjunction with my earlier reports 'A review of the background to setting up the limited company Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned and a forensic examination of the company accounts' published in February 2012 and the 'Analysis of the accounts of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned (Reg.No.6248215) for the years ended 31 March 2012 and 31 March 2013' all available at http://www.mccannfiles.com

The 2014 accounts were received in Companies House on 31 December 2014, the last possible filing date to avoid a fine. The 2013 accounts were also filed on the last legal date. Neither the audited accounts nor any other financial information is on the official website http://www.findmadeline.com/

The accounts for the year ended 31 March 2014 and 31 March 2013 were signed off by the Board on 16 December 2014 and 20 December 2013 respectively.

Directors' Report

The Directors' Report is similar to last year's.

The Report states that the Board meets 'on a regular basis, approximately every month. During the year there were 4 meetings.' Surely that is quarterly not monthly meetings? Last year the Report also referred to monthly meetings but then stated there were 5 held.

Auditors' Report

The narrative under the section 'scope and audit of the financial statements' has changed. In the March 2013 accounts the narrative gave a detailed description of the scope of the audit. The 2014 Auditors' report merely refers the reader to the Financial Reporting Council's website for a description of what is entailed. What significance, if any, this change has is unclear.

Income & Expenditure Account

Extract from the audited accounts –
Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st March 2014
 
Unrestricted Funds
£
Restricted Funds
£
2014
Total Funds
£
2013
Total Funds
£

Income

21,264

400,000

421,264

70,250
Merchandise and Campaign Costs

(22,791)

(40,847)

(63,638)

(115,109)
Gross Surplus/(Deficit)

(1,527)

359,153

357,626

(44,859)
Administration Expenses

(21,005)

0

(21,005)

(23,910)
Operating Surplus/(Deficit)

(22,532)

359,153

336,621

(68,769)
Interest receivable

258

0

258

323
Profit/(Loss) on ordinary activities before taxation

(22,274)

359,153

336,879

(68,466)
Tax on surplus on ordinary activities

0

0

0

9,756
Surplus/(Deficit) for the year

(22,274)

359,153

336,879

(58,969)

Note the change in terminology. The terms 'surplus' and 'deficit' are normally used for charity and 'not for profit' accounts. The accounts use these terms for two sub totals, change to Profit/ (Loss) and then revert to 'surplus' and 'deficit' again. This inconsistency was also seen in the accounts for the previous two years. The accounts for the year ended 31 March 2011 used the term 'loss' consistently and did not use the word 'deficit.'

Income is significantly up over the previous year because Dr Kate McCann has donated a further £400,000 'for the direct costs of the search for and the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine'. This appears under the heading Restricted Funds. She made a donation of £738,487 in the year ended 31 March 2012, £550,000 of which was allocated to Restricted Funds and the balance £188,487 was included in the total of £306,393 under Unrestricted Funds. The total donated by her to the Fund is now £1,138,487: £950,000 under Restricted Funds and £188,487 under Unrestricted Funds.

It is not obvious why Dr McCann donated this additional substantial sum at this time. At the end of the previous accounting year there was £441,169 in the bank according to the Balance Sheet and creditors at that date were only £29,515.

The only other income apart from Dr McCann's donation was £2,744 from sales of the book madeleine and £18,520 from other donations none of which came via the website.

Expenditure

The accounts contain a breakdown of expenditure with the comparative figures for 2013 which is interesting because following unfavourable internet comment about the expenditure in the first set of audited accounts (May 2007- March 2008) such information was excluded from subsequent accounts.

Total expenditure was £84,643 (merchandise and campaign costs £63,638 + administrative expenses £21,005) which was well down on the 2013 total of £139,019. Given this lower level of expenditure it is strange that such a sizeable donation was made by Dr McCann.

The Directors' Report states:

'The Fund has scaled back independent investigative efforts to avoid duplication and to curb unnecessary expenditure. The Directors still feel it is important however that the Fund maintains sizeable reserves so that the search for Madeleine can be resumed quickly if/when the need arises.'

That statement doesn't adequately explain the donation to me.  Surely it makes more sense for Dr McCann to put her surplus funds in the best interest bearing account she can find, and donate to the Fund if the need arises?

The breakdown gives the auditors fee as £8,280 while note 2 on p.8 states that the fee is £5,900! I suspect the £5,900 is correct as the 2013 figure was £6,300 and it is unlikely that the fee would increase so much for a company whose activities appear to be considerably less than in the previous year.

The spending of £37,000 in year 1 on the official website attracted unfavourable comment. In 2013 £5,700 was spent on it but this sum obviously did not include putting up the audited accounts or any other financial information! Only £224 was spent on the website in 2014.

The Directors' Report says, as before, that the Fund has paid for part-time administrative support yet note 2 on p.8 states the company had no employees. There are no salary costs in the breakdown. There is a cost 'Fund Professional Fees' £7,398. Perhaps this is the part-time support but if it is, why not use more appropriate terminology?

Legal fees and expenses £8,402 have been paid under the 'Unrestricted' heading; presumably relating to the libel case in Portugal. These legal fees appear low. Hotel travel and subsistence were £13,256 again presumably referring to the libel case.

The accounts record interest receivable of £258. Given that cash at bank was £765,363 at 31 March 2014 and allowing for actual expenditure paid in the year of £72,336 (£84,643 per Income and Expenditure Account less expenses not paid at the year end £12,307 recorded as creditors on the Balance Sheet) surely more interest should have been generated even allowing for the possibility that the £400,000 donation only came in at the end of the financial year.

The Balance Sheet only refers to cash at bank so we don't know how much was on current account and how much was on deposit. If the bulk of the money was in a current account this would explain the £258 interest received but it's hardly likely that a company with an accountant, a lawyer and a self employed business person on the board would countenance such sloppy cash management.

It is interesting to look at total Income and Expenditure since the company was incorporated over seven years ago.

Madeleine's Fund: Review of audited accounts from commencement
 
Total
31/03
2014
31/03
2013
31/03
2012
31/03
2011
31/03
2010
31/03
2009
15/05
2007
-
31/03
2008
                 
Income
4,233,899
421,264
70,250
856,393
177,534
233,099
629,181
1,846,178
Interest receivable
56,213
258
323
149
101
373
21,585
33,424
 
4,290,112
421,522
70,573
856,542
177,635
233,472
650,766
1,879,602
                 
Merchandise/
Campaign Costs
3,212,141
63,638
115,109
476,813
487,193
421,236
974,786
673,366
Admin. Expenses
299,234
21,005
23,910
24,909
26,930
29,868
30,865
141,747
 
3,511,375
84,643
139,019
501,722
514,123
451,104
1,005,651
815,113
                 
Operating Surplus
/Deficit
778,737
336,879
-68,446
354,820
-336,488
-217,632
-354,885
1,064,489
                 
Taxation
-25,681
0
9,756
-5,128
-8,371
-2,598
-6,878
-12,462
                 
Surplus/Deficit
for year
753,056
336,879
-58,690
349,692
-344,859
-220,230
-361,763
1,052,027
                 
Audit
50,085
5,900
6,300
6,300
6,300
6,169
5,750
13,366
                 

Income is close to £4.3 million and expenditure £3.5 million. Over £50,000 has been paid in audit fees and over £25,000 for corporation tax relating to the profit of the sale of merchandise. A detailed 7 year analysis of income is impossible as only in years 1and 7 was a breakdown provided.

All that money spent and we still have no idea what happened to Madeleine. Clearly there are many stones left to be unturned.

The biggest mystery for me is still why this limited company was set up only days after Madeleine disappeared.



(c) Enid O'Dowd        18 January 2015


www.enidodowd.com

 
The Dust Starts to Settle, 23 January 2015
 

The Dust Starts to Settle The Blacksmith Bureau

Gonçalo Amaral

Friday, 23 January 2015 at 16:09

Late last year we said it didn't matter much anymore what people, including us, claimed about the McCann case in the media or the net since, at last, a new chapter in the affair is open in which events are no longer a matter of opinion and public debate but are now being determined as matters of fact within the judicial process.

We have to wait for any criminal case concerning the child to reach the courts. The civil case, though, is nearly complete and, thank God, pretty transparent: for the first time the claims of Kate and Gerry McCann, in this instance covering the period 2008-2009, have been examined properly and in great detail, and judged.

The libel action, which began in squalid and near-medieval secrecy, is ending in a hearteningly transparent manner except for one, temporary, problem. While the judge's conclusions form part of and determine the final judgement to come they are not, of course, the final judgement itself. As such, under Portuguese law the words of the judge on January 21 may not be published verbatim at this stage. The significant findings, however, can be given in the public interest by third parties.

Over time, naturally, the picture will be filled in without any breach of the law – since more and more details can be released as being significant – but in the meantime it presents a couple of the usual McCann Case problems of verifiability. As we know, representatives of the McCanns immediately chose to release a version of proceedings to the Lusa news agency which has now been widely accepted – most obviously in retractions and corrections in the Portuguese media – as spun, i.e. false. Readers will judge for themselves why they did so.

Equally this legal requirement preventing the exact words of the judge being quoted provides grounds for supporters of the couple – or neutrals – to claim bias in the internet reports, as they did about the earlier Anne Guedes court reports. It doesn't matter: the truth will out. Readers will remember that very much the same thing happened in 2008 when the McCanns – through Clarence Mitchell that time, not lawyers, Link communications and Lusa – put out the deliberately dishonest first version of the archiving summary in Britain's Associated Newspapers. But the words are now there, unspun, for everyone to see.

There is plenty to chew over and much in the judge's findings to discuss, including the interesting question of whether the judicial examination of the McCann claims of 2008/9 gives us a clue as to the likely veracity of their claims in 2007. In the meantime it is now possible to compare results so far with what the McCanns went after in their libel claim.

The McCanns' Libel Writ

On July 12 2009 Team McCann, as we know, provided the Mirror newspaper with the Portuguese libel writ for PR purposes. The details can be found in the McCann Files. In amongst the shocking personal abuse of Amaral the Mirror listed the seven claims at the heart of their case for large scale damages and the silencing of Goncalo Amaral. Here they are, with progress to date.
1. Amaral's "false accusations", had left them totally destroyed and damaged them irreparably.

Court finding (12): the McCanns failed to establish this claim.

2. The writ adds that the couple also suffer from "permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability and an indefinable fear" from the same accusations and that Kate McCann is "steeped in a deep and serious depression".

Court finding (13): the claim is established. The judge adds an apparently contradictory rider about the conditions being "pre-existent". Court finding (16) apparently excludes the "serious depression" element.

3. "Madeleine has been deprived of the possibility of a fair and adequate investigation into her disappearance, putting her moral and physical integrity at serious risk."

Court finding (11): the McCanns failed to establish this claim.

4. Amaral accused them of accidentally killing their three-year-old daughter and then covering up her death.

Court finding: None required - the claim was false and withdrawn.

5. Amaral… has repeatedly claimed Madeleine died in the holiday apartment on the Algarve and the parents hid her body.

Court finding: none required. The Lisbon court of appeal had already ruled on the validity of the claim.

6. Amaral made a million pounds (1.25 million euros) from the book and documentary and the claimants are suing for that entire amount.

Court finding (3) /(4): Amaral actually received some 360 000 euros.

7. The lawsuit also highlights their fears for four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie when they start school later this year and begin to hear rumours that Madeleine is dead.

Court finding (15/17): It is established that the twins have not yet found out about the thesis that the child is dead and that the couple feel the need to keep them from finding out about it.
Make Up Your Own Mind

Such were the McCanns claims, about which their lawyer Duarte, summing up, said in the piece: "Somebody has to stop him and shut him up. He is a rich man now, earning millions from the distress of this family. We believe he has made up to 1.2million euros (£1million) from the book and the video. We want the court to punish him by taking at least that much from him."

Readers will judge whether any of M/s Duarte's aims have been accomplished.

After six years of legal action against Goncalo Amaral five of these seven claims have now been rejected by the courts, leaving just two for which damages could be awarded. One, concerning psychological impact, has been established with ambiguous reservations, the significance of which will not be known until any damages award is made; the other (15/17) makes no mention of potential liability.

Enough said.

 
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 with a joint squad of British and Portuguese police.

That would speed up many aspects of the inquiry, but authorities in Lisbon are against the move.

Suspicion has focused on drug addict Euclides Monteiro.

Scotland Yard officers search for clues in Portugal in June [REUTERS]

Monteiro, who served a jail term for burglary, died in a tractor accident, aged 40, in 2009.

His widow says he had nothing to do with the disappearance.

Following this year's searches, Gerry and Kate McCann said they were encouraged by the lack of evidence to suggest Madeleine was murdered.

They are convinced their daughter could still be alive and will one day be returned to them.

Scotland Yard is offering £20,000 as a reward for information.

 
Shutter Island, 08 August 2014
 

Shutter Island

Shutters on patio windows of Aprtment 5A

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
08 August 2014

SHUTTER ISLAND

Madeleine McCann was reported missing by her parents on the evening of 3 May 2007. She had been left inside apartment 5A, the external configuration of which was still fresh in the memory of the McCanns' holiday-making associate Rachael Oldfield (nee Mampilly) just a fortnight later when, on 15 May, she told police:

'The window shutters of the McCann's apartment were closed. The patio door that they used to enter the apartment also had its shutter closed. In order to enter they had to raise the shutter
.'

There are no 'ifs', 'ands' or 'buts' here. The McCanns' patio door, whether locked, unlocked, open or closed at night lay behind a metal shutter, unambiguously in the 'down' position. The witness does not specify whether the McCanns' necessary raising of the patio shutter was accomplished from inside or outside the apartment. In all their accounts of how they, and presumably their daughter's abductor, came and went that evening, 3 May, the McCanns have not once referred to the status of this shutter, only the door.

If we append to Rachel Oldfield's observation those which Kate McCann makes in her book when failing to explain quite why the window to their children's bedroom should have been opened (p.130-1), it becomes clear that, by all accounts, Madeleine McCann was inside a sealed unit. The front door was locked, all the windows were closed and, as both of the holiday party's written timelines confirm, in upper case for emphasis, all the shutters were down, including, clearly, those shielding the patio door.

Whether attached to the front, back or side of apartment 5A, the shutters, all of them, worked in exactly the same way, properly operated from inside via a winding mechanism. A filmed illustration of what happens when such shutters are raised from outside, 'against the grain' so to speak, demonstrates that they can only be elevated to about 75% of their full extent before becoming stuck. Significantly, since this physical intrusion is made without the collaboration of the interior aspect of the apparatus, in order for the shutter to remain open it has to be held aloft by whoever manhandles it into that position. Without such extraneous physical support it just comes crashing down again.

The shutters obscuring the McCann's patio door (there were in fact two of them, side by side) were more than twice the size of those protecting the windows, and therefore more than twice as heavy. Artificially raising either one three quarters of the way off the floor, and keeping it there, would require an adult’s strength. Matthew Oldfield, for instance, could have managed it, and, if the door beyond were indeed open already, he would not have had to prop the shutter up with one hand like Atlas while sliding the door back with the other. But neither his arms, nor those of any intending abductor, are infinitely long.

In order to progress from patio to bedroom, the visitor, having coerced the shutter upwards, now has to release it again, either with a loud bang as it simply plummets to the floor, or by gingerly lowering it behind him somehow, only to raise it again, mechanically this time, once inside the apartment.

Nowhere has Matthew Oldfield described negotiating such an obstacle, whether on his way into or out of the McCann's apartment on the one occasion he offered to check on their children. Rather more significantly, had a child abductor preceded or followed him through that same patio door they too would have had to deal with the shutter, unless either Gerry McCann or Oldfield, in sequence, deliberately left it in the raised position when previously exiting the apartment. In which case, bearing in mind there is a child-in-arms at this point, the shutter would have remained open thereafter, unexpectedly so perhaps. Yet no mention has ever been made of any such startling discovery, suggesting that completely unimpeded access to the rear of apartment 5A came as no surprise to the returning adults.

Gerry McCann has offered police two quite different accounts of how he entered and left 5A around 9.00 p.m. that night. Version one has him going in through the locked front door then simply out again (the patio does not explicitly enter the equation and Matthew Oldfield may therefore have had to address the obstacle of the shutter subsequently). Version two on the other hand sees Gerry going in and out via the patio which, for reasons just discussed, would mean either that he must have first raised the shutter from outside, which he has never described doing, or the McCanns had left the patio shutter in the raised position in the first place, contrary to what Rachael Oldfield has said in evidence. If they left their apartment via the rear initially, as they claim, then they must have left the patio door unlocked and the shutter up, since they cannot have locked the door nor closed the shutter behind them.

Thursday appears to have been exceptional in any event, as Kate McCann had at last decided upon an extraordinary course of action; one that offered her daughter a means of escape in the event of an emergency, as she mentioned to her friends at dinner that night, not at the commencement of their holiday you notice, but very shortly before it was due to end.

Unless he already knew what would afterwards take place (in terms of visitors, checks, or abductions even) there should have been no reason at all for Gerry McCann to have left the apartment completely unsecured in exiting though the rear. Nor should Matthew Oldfield have done so on the McCanns' behalf, unless of course he merely left the situation as he had previously found it. On 10 May Gerry McCann told police that although he was certain the front door was closed it was unlikely to have been locked, because they left through the back door. On this evidence apartment 5A was literally open to all comers, something it never was on any other occasion during the holiday, as the McCanns would customarily lock the patio door from inside before leaving via the front door which they, or the last person to leave at least (usually Gerry) locked behind them.

For anyone entering the McCann's apartment from the rear, a lowered patio shutter would have posed unavoidable logistical problems. These would, in turn, have led inevitably to hand and finger prints around the shutter base and on the glass sliding door which, although unlocked, would still have to be slid back to allow entry (as David Payne discovered, or so we are told).

Returning then to the unequivocal evidence offered by Rachael Oldfield on 15 May, and confirmed (twice) by the entire Tapas group's written timelines, either they were all lying in saying that ALL the shutters were down, or any investigation intent on identifying who it was took Madeleine McCann from apartment 5A (Operation Grange, for example) should begin (and quite possibly end), with the keyholders.

 
Already sentenced but not convicted, 08 August 2014
 

Already sentenced but not convicted The Blacksmith Bureau

Stocks

Friday, 8 August 2014 at 16:43

The sentence effectively imposed on the McCanns by their own actions, and put into words by the authors of the Archiving Summary, dwarfs anything that might have resulted from a guilty plea, tactical or otherwise, to disposing of their child's body.

However much lawyers or agents of the couple try to spin the shelving document it makes no difference: the low-key yet lethal words buried halfway through the summary that the group's actions and evasions cost the McCanns "the chance to demonstrate their innocence" cannot be argued away.

That isn't because the prosecutors' statements are convincing, or learned or powerful. It is because they reflect reality.

Show us!

That reality, that truth, that the couple's innocence cannot be demonstrated is there in front of us. First, because it is based on facts established by the PJ and summarised in the report that formed the basis for the prosecutors' appraisal. The questions raised by the facts and events listed in paragraphs 1-5 of the "reconstruction" section have never been answered and therefore the suspicions remain as valid today as in summer 2008. That is unanswerable reality One.

Reality Two is just as stark. The "failure to demonstrate their innocence" is at the heart of every comment on the affair for the last seven years, whether supportive or critical, since if the McCanns had demonstrated their innocence there would be no contention and nothing to argue about. That is what demonstrable innocence means: it exists, it can be demonstrated and it is finally self-evident. Yet even the most fervent defenders of the couple, whether in the media or the libel courts, are unable to point to evidence and say, "look, this clears them." Instead the best they can do is repeat over and over that "the prosecutors say there is no evidence against them", a line of argument that is an admission of defeat.

The same applies to the related matter of Leicester constabulary's sworn statement – based, like the Archiving Summary on the facts of the investigation – that "while one or both of them may be innocent, there is no clear evidence that eliminates them from involvement in Madeleine's disappearance."

Kate McCann may huff and puff about how hurtful she finds it and the supporters may claim that it's "old news" (!) that somehow doesn't apply anymore (!) but none of them have been able to challenge the self-evident truth of the statement. That is why it has been neither withdrawn nor modified: withdrawing it would mean asserting that there is "clear evidence that eliminates them" otherwise the withdrawal would be meaningless. Where is it?

And exactly the same applies to Scotland Yard: Redwood can assert that the McCanns are not suspects but he cannot assert that there is now "clear evidence that eliminates them" without providing it. There is not a hint or trace of such evidence having been unearthed in the three years of Operation Grange's existence.

Successful Cover Up

Such is their situation and their fate. Their graphically vivid disintegration, not at the hands of the "haters" or Goncalo Amaral but under the burden of the truly horrible pariah status that has resulted, possesses an elemental quality, a sense of inevitability foretold by the measured words of the catholic Menezes, whose phrases are, after all, only a repetition in legalese of an ancient message: the truth can set you free if you let it.

In other words nobody can ever release them except themselves — by submitting unreservedly to uncertain fate and telling everything they know without shame, hope or qualification. But that is something they clearly will not and cannot do, as the words of Madeleine alone make crystal clear.

Thus they stand locked in the modern equivalent of the medieval pillory with no prospect of release and without a single shred of dignity: instead of being pelted with old vegetables and stones by yokels they are stripped naked, probed, mocked and pissed and shit upon by internet mobs, their daughter the butt of filthy jokes on the sicko comedy sites, their "innocence" referred to with amused irony in the pubs and bars.

Whatever happens the future for the couple is unspeakably dark.

 
McCanns file a case against The Times in the High Court, 01 August 2014
 

McCanns file a case against The Times in the High Court Daniel Douglas - Twitter

Kate and Gerry McCann have filed a case against The Times in the High Court. Interesting. No details made public yet.

Daniel Douglas
@_dandouglas

Reporter for @InsideHousing. Recent work: Guardian, BBC, Private Eye, Birmingham Mail @cityjournalism alumnus

11:57 AM - 1 Aug 2014

Kate and Gerry McCann have filed a case against The Times in the High Court. Interesting. No details made public yet.



Update:

Lots of interest in earlier tweet on Kate, Gerry McCann v @thetimes in High Court. Filed recently. Ref: HQ14D02886. No details yet. #mccann

3:06 PM - 1 Aug 2014

Lots of interest in earlier tweet on Kate, Gerry McCann v @thetimes in High Court. Filed recently. Ref: HQ14D02886. No details yet. #mccann

It would seem likely the McCanns' action against The Times relates to the following report published in The Sunday Times on 27 October 2013. The report was also picked up by the Daily Star, on its front page, and the Daily Mail. The Sunday Times subsequently published an apology, of sorts, on 28 December 2013 (also below).

 
Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years, 27 October 2013
 

Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years The Sunday Times (paper edition)

The Sunday Times, 27 October 2013

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard's search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine's disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

But the trail was left to go cold for five years because the McCanns and their advisers sidelined the report and threatened to sue its authors if they divulged the contents.

The report, seen by the Sunday Times, called for the E-Fits to be released immediately and said "anomalies" in statements by the McCanns and their friends must be resolved.

A source close to the McCanns said the report was considered "hypercritical of the people involved" and "would have been completely distracting" if made public.



Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years
The Sunday Times

The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports

The Sunday Times Insight team Published: 27 October 2013

Madeleine disappeared from the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007 (Adrian Sheratt)
Madeleine disappeared from the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007 (Adrian Sheratt)

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard's search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine's disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

A team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by the McCanns to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed "hypercritical" of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public. Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns' holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was "utterly stunned" when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns' Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl's disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5's former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns' friends was dismissed as less credible after "serious inconsistencies" were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about "anomalies" in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: "A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report."

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard's fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund.

A source close to the fund said the report was considered "hypercritical of the people involved" and "would have been completely distracting" if it became public.

Oakley's six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were "helpful and sincere" and concluded: "The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner's sighting". The evidence had been "neglected for too long" and an "overemphasis placed on Tanner".

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes.

The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard's investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night creche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

One of the Oakley investigators said last week: "I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme . . . It most certainly wasn't a new timeline and it certainly isn't a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things . . . And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours," he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist's impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann's 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight "key sightings" and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most "crucial". Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist's impression. The Smiths' were the only exception. So why was such a "crucial" piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted — and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns' evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine's sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith's account. He had originally told the police that he had "recognised something" about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton's team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm's work was considered "contaminated" by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full — so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

"[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved . . . It just wouldn't be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because . . . the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting," said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that "all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary" and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: "Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund's sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible."

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert

 
Kate and Gerry McCann and Madeleine's Fund, 28 December 2013
 
Kate and Gerry McCann and Madeleine's Fund The Sunday Times

Published: 28 December 2013

In articles dated October 27 ("Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years" and "Investigators had E-Fits five years ago", News) we referred to efits which were included in a report prepared by private investigators for the McCanns and the Fund in 2008. We accept that the articles may have been understood to suggest that the McCanns had withheld information from the authorities. This was not the case. We now understand and accept that the efits had been provided to the Portuguese and Leicestershire police by October 2009. We also understand that a copy of the final report including the efits was passed to the Metropolitan police in August 2011, shortly after it commenced its review. We apologise for the distress caused."

 
The McCanns enjoying a family day out at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 29 July 2014

The McCanns at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 29 July 2014

The McCanns at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Courtesy: The Madeleine McCann Controversy Facebook Group

 
Alice back in Wonderland, 12 July 2014
 

Alice back in Wonderland The Blacksmith Bureau

Kate and Gerry McCann

Saturday, 12 July 2014 at 18:15

It was the Lisbon judge who provided the strongest support for the Bureau's contention that the libel trial has become a complete irrelevance to the establishment of truth in the Madeleine McCann affair. As she said to Gerry McCann:
"The point isn't to establish whether things are true or not, this is not the issue."
Well you can't say fairer than that, can you?

Justice?

With the little matter of the role of truth disposed of, what's left? Well, partisanship worthy of a Brazil world cup tie, judging by comments surrounding the case on the net. Much elation at possible signs that the judge is "not fooled" by the couple; but that's another way of saying that she shouldn't judge the case on the evidence but on what sceptics think is the true nature of the pair. That's not really what "justice" is about, is it? What would sceptics say if a McCann supporter expressed satisfaction that the judge can "see through" Goncalo Amaral? Or gloated at a judge's supposedly curt demand for Goncalo to be quiet? Come on!

There really is a deadly contradiction here. If right and wrong are so easily seen from the stands then how come the Portuguese justice system has been unable to establish them on the field after five years and counting? Either Goncalo Amaral has no case to answer, in which event he is the victim of a disgusting and medieval miscarriage of justice by the Portuguese, a scandal which nobody in Portugal, literally nobody, shows any sign of ending (national holidays etc. are much more important); or else there is a solid case in Portuguese law that the couple, as things stand, have been wronged – which makes a nonsense of the lazy certainties of commentators that GA didn't libel them. Well which is it?

Tyranny Triumphs

To be fair the judge at the London trial of that unlikely martyr Tony Bennett also excluded any consideration of the truth about the disappearance from his proceedings, confining them, as he had to, as things stand, to the narrow question of the observance or otherwise of Bennett's undertakings. Yet, without wanting to be unkind, the contrast between the fate of Bennett at the hands of the corrupt, whitewashing, paedophile-led, McCann-protecting British justice system and that of Amaral is stark: Bennett was never ambushed by a secret tribunal like Amaral nor judged in his absence but given chance after chance to stop libelling; he suffered no seizures of his property and  his fortune remains almost completely untouched; he is at liberty; he has been pursued for only a fraction of the costs he was liable for, with the UK public via its contributions to the money-spinning Fund, paying the rest; far from being subject to some ghastly UK super-injunction the restrictions on his right to comment on the case have been laughable in their looseness; Bennett was not trapped in an incomprehensible five years plus  legal nightmare but dealt with expeditiously once he had stopped stalling the case. And, importantly, everyone has access to the full judgement on the internet and can purchase the official transcript if they wish.

Doesn't that suggest something or other?

The McCanns face a judge

But Mr Bennett is relevant in another context.

The court statements by the McCanns last week were something of a damp squib for those of us who had waited many years to see them in court. Real life being what it is we weren't going to get tearful collapses as their lies were ruthlessly exposed, Hollywood fashion. European trials don't provide the jugular-dripping savaging of witnesses that the UK adversarial model so satisfyingly displays, so we'd already grown used to watching trial witnesses (with the exception of Angus MacBride of course) falling into silence rather than being gleefully shredded. And the personal statement format provided additional protection for the couple.

Thus the parents, well briefed by Duarte, were able to make a smooth, not to say oily, transition from the outrageous fiction of their claims in the original writ to their new versions without being verbally cudgelled for their dishonesty, leaving it to connoisseurs of McCann porkies to note the way in which the semi-catatonic depression originally claimed was just, well, feeling a bit miserable for a while, and the quarter million euros worth of horrific, permanent and disabling insomnia and anxiety had, in Gerry McCanns soothing words, dwindled into a mere temporary episode.

When listing the undeniable inferences to be drawn from Amaral's book about their actions as things stand the couple were on much firmer ground, as the judge's comments unquestionably confirm, prompting the thought that had they stuck to these claims alone they would be favourites to win; being the McCanns, however, they had to surround the possible truth at the heart of their writ with a thick dressing of lies, in this case easily disprovable ones. In an English libel court this irrefutable evidence of mendacity in the claim would weigh heavily in the judgement – but in Portugal? Only the Portuguese, one presumes, can say.

Why?

Their statements to the court avoided the undeniable collusion in their May 4 2007 police statements, the very first act, be it remembered, in their successful obstruction of the Interrupted Investigation— for agreed stories are, by definition, a subversion of an inquiry. But there was just one recognizable "agreed joint line" in their statements last week. It concerned Mr Bennett.
KMC: Both People on the Web and through e-mails were stimulated to insult them, like the Madeleine Foundation, and created a lot of damages. As Gonçalo Amaral was the coordinator of the investigation, it provided him credibility and it intensified the vilification of them.
Judge: What is the Madeleine Foundation?
KMC explains that it's a group of people who essentially promotes theories up to the point of trying to manipulate people in their village.
Judge What relation is there between this group and the book?
KMC says there is none, but they invited Gonçalo Amaral. She thinks that he didn't go.
Judge This group was created because of the book?
KMC – No, it existed before the book was published. She says that obviously the book strengthened them.
And
GMC says that, thanks to the legal actions, the content of the book hasn't been published by the MSM, but small minority groups, in the UK, have launched campaigns of persecution against them, based on the book.
Judge – Can you name them?
GMC – Yes, we had legal actions against the Madeleine Foundation and the name is Anthony Bennett.
Judge – What relation exists between this group and the publication of the book?
GMC says that AB used parts of the book, interviewed Gonçalo Amaral and invited him on a forum.
Judge – Did the group exist before the publication?
GMC isn't sure about that. But he's able to say that the material they used was based on the allegations of the book. They published pamphlets that said that Madeleine hadn't been abducted. They distributed them to his neighbours and in the whole Leicestershire. This led AB to receive many warnings from his juridical counsels and finally to be sued.
The reader can see at once the prepared nature and, in places, near identity of their comments. In the scheme of things – the alleged suffering, the implications of Amaral's book, the effect on their children, the apparent conversion of the whole of Portugal into believers in their guilt by the book, all the things laid out at length and with such fury by Kate McCann in Madeleine – the emphasis on Mr Bennett seems absurdly disproportionate. And it is: those words about Bennett make up twenty per cent of their statements.

The drift of their shared line is clear: they wish to stress a firm link between Amaral and Bennett, one that includes Bennett's foundation using Amaral's theories to persecute them, including distributing incriminating leaflets and "manipulating" their neighbours all over their home county; Amaral, they claim, was close enough to Bennett to be invited to address his foundation. And they make it clear that they sued him for libel. Successfully.

Note that a considerable part of the McCanns' Portuguese libel claim, involving, particularly, the testimony of Angus MacBride, is the effect Goncalo Amaral's book has had in the UK, both in causing pain and distress to the couple with the claims of body disposal and cover-up and in helping convince the British that the child, and therefore the search for her, was dead.

The McCanns want to win their case. Very, very much. So the question for the reader is, "why did they spend 20% of the time granted to them in court addressing the judge on Amaral's supposed links with Bennett"? What exactly were they hoping to achieve by doing so? To us the answer is blindingly obvious but others may have a different view.

Bbritish police officers searching in Praia da Luz

As things stand. Well, if people want things to stand differently then they'll just have to look beyond Lisbon, won't they? As, come to think of it, may Goncalo Amaral since the only place where the establishment of truth "is an issue" is within the wicked, whitewashing joint investigation. That's all there is, chums.

Scotland Yard detectives return to Portugal

British Police officers who have arrived in Faro. This week's police quizzes have happened at the request by Operation Grange detectives leading the British hunt for Madeleine

British detectives return to Portugal to observe a number of 'suspect' and 'witness' interviews, carried out by Portuguese officers.

For earlier reports click here

 
Sick and bankrupt, 22 June 2014
 

Sick and bankrupt VIP magazine

VIP magazine, issue No. 883

Gonçalo Amaral

Maddie case has left him in misery

Issue number 883
Date: Monday, June 16, 2014 at 09h36m

Gonçalo Amaral, the former leader of the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, doesn't want to hear talk about the case that has put him on the brink of poverty. He is sick and barely has money to eat.



Sick and bankrupt VIP magazine

Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral, the former inspector responsible for the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, doesn't want to hear talk about the case that has put him on the brink of poverty. He is sick and barely has money to eat.

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 17:30

"At this point, I do not want to even hear about the case." This was the reaction of Gonçalo Amaral, former Inspector of the Judicial Police (PJ) and SIC commentator, when contacted by VIP to comment on the searches being done in the Algarve. And the reason is simple: the former investigating officer is facing serious financial difficulties, allegedly because of the Madeleine McCann case. Moreover, he suffers from a serious illness (diabetes to the ultimate degree) that has weakened him a lot.

The Truth of the Lie, the work that Gonçalo Amaral wrote recounting his version of the Maddie case, after he was removed from investigation, is allegedly the source of the difficult financial situation in which the former inspector currently finds himself.

In the book, Gonçalo Amaral argues that "the child Madeleine McCann died in the apartment in the Ocean Club, in Vila da Luz, on the night of May 3, 2007; there was a simulation of an abduction; Kate Healy and Gerald McCann are suspected of involvement in the concealment of the corpse of the daughter; death may have occurred as a result of a tragic accident; there is evidence of negligence in the custody and safety of the children. We are conscious of having given our best to solve the case. Our beliefs are based on professional experience, on facts and evidence collected and their interpretation in the light of the law."

These were statements that led the child's parents to sue the former inspector, freezing all his assets [as security against possible future payment of costs] and pushing him into the financial situation he has nowadays. The book was withdrawn from the market in 2009, in compliance with a court order, resulting from a proceeding brought by Madeleine McCann's parents. The British couple froze all his bank accounts, as well as both the movable and immovable property of the investigator, who was living on only his pension salary - which was also later frozen in part by the couple.

With the cut in his salary, and the expenses which result from the treatments his failing health requires him to take, Gonçalo Amaral, assured sources from the PJ, is broke: "He only survives thanks to the solidarity of colleagues and family."



Paper edition:

Sick and Bankrupt VIP magazine (Nº 883, weekly edition from 17 to 23.06.2014, pages 74 to 76)

VIP magazine, nº 883, weekly edition from 17 to 23.06.2014, pages 74 to 76, paper edition
VIP magazine, page 74

VIP magazine, nº 883, weekly edition from 17 to 23.06.2014, pages 74 to 76, paper edition
VIP magazine, page 75

VIP magazine, nº 883, weekly edition from 17 to 23.06.2014, pages 74 to 76, paper edition
VIP magazine, page 76

 

Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator responsible for the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, does not want to hear about the case that has left him on the verge of poverty. He is ill and barely has any money to eat.

By Carlos Tomás
With thanks to
Joana Morais for translation

Eight days of searches, 60 thousand square metres of scrubland investigated to analyse fully the 41 soil anomalies and over half a million euros spent in the search operations that brought to Portugal a team of British officers and forensic investigators.

This was the balance of the searches carried out in the Algarve, in the Praia da Luz area, in Lagos. Under the guidance of Scotland Yard and with the assistance of the Portuguese Judiciary Police (PJ), in this way it was concluded the first stage of the rogatory steps requested in the scope of Operation Grange, the name of the British investigation initiated in 2011 to review the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the little British girl who, on May 3, 2007, disappeared from the apartment rented by her parents in the Algarve.

The British police released a communiqué stating that this is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are "progressed in a systematic manner" and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally. Nevertheless, at the end of the searches, no traces of Madeleine were found. "At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified", clarifies the press statement, admitting that the searches that took place in several sites in Praia da Luz, which included drainage channels, sewage systems and derelict buildings using sniffer dogs and georadar were fruitless.

"Maddie case ruined his life"

"At this point in time I don't even want to hear about the case". This was the reaction of Gonçalo Amaral, the former inspector of the Judiciary Police (PJ) and SIC TV channel commentator, when he was contacted by VIP magazine to give his opinion about the searches that took place in the Algarve. And his motives are simple: the former inspector faces serious financial difficulties allegedly due to the Madeleine McCann case. Besides that he suffers from a critical illness (diabetes in the last degree) which has weakened him immensely.

"He is very ill. He lost over 50 kilos [110 lbs] and he has locked himself in his father's house. He doesn't even go to Júlia Pinheiro's talk show on SIC any longer. The Maddie case has ruined his life, personally and professionally. Now with the searches that are being carried out in the Algarve, it seems that he was right after all. Even the British authorities now believe the girl may be dead. Otherwise these searches would make no sense whatsoever. It's funny how the McCanns are so silent", said a Judiciary Police officer from the Algarve, who accompanied the searches made by the British on the field. "Up to now, and even though there's plenty of material to analyse, only bones of cats and dogs were found. Of the child, not a single trace", he added.

Isabel Duarte, the McCann's lawyer for the civil lawsuits, confirms that statement. "As far as I know, no trace of the child was found. In fact, the McCanns themselves have been kept aside of these police investigations. We have no control about whatever is taking place". On his turn, Rogério Alves, the McCann's lawyer for the criminal processes, revealed that he also knows nothing about the investigations. "At this moment, there's nothing. But there are more steps requested by Scotland Yard, namely the questioning of several persons who used to go ['attend' is the literal translation] to the Ocean Club. Let's wait serenely for the results of investigations", he stated to VIP.

It should be recalled that Gonçalo Amaral was the first Portuguese inspector responsible for the Maddie case and that five months after the disappearance of the English girl, he was removed from the investigation following the harsh criticism of his British colleagues, that he voiced publicly in an interview that he granted to a daily newspaper at the time.

The "Damned" book

The Truth of the Lie
, the book Gonçalo Amaral wrote reporting his version of the Maddie case, after he was removed from the investigation is allegedly at the basis of the former inspector serious financial hardships. In the book, Gonçalo Amaral defends that "the minor, Madeleine McCann died in the Ocean Club apartment, in the Luz village; a child abduction was staged; Kate Healy and Gerald McCann are suspects of being involved in the concealment of their daughter's cadaver; the death might have occurred following a tragic accident; there are evidence of negligence in the safekeeping and supervision of their children. We are conscient that we have given our best to solve this case. Our beliefs are based on professional experience, on facts and indicia collected and in their interpretation according to the law".

Statements which led the parents of the child to sue the former inspector, seizing all his assets and pushing him to the financial situation where he finds himself in today. The book was taken off the markets in 2009, in the fulfilment of a judicial decision following an injunction made by Madeleine McCann's parents. The British couple froze all his bank accounts, seized his movable and immovable assets, and the inspector was left only with his retirement wage, which was eventually also seized by the couple.

"He only survives thanks to the solidarity of friends and family"

With the cuts in his wage and with expenses and the increased costs of the medical treatments of his failing health, Gonçalo Amaral, assure the PJ sources, is destitute: "He only survives thanks to the solidarity of friends and family". This, even though in 2012 the copies of book the inspector wrote were returned to the book publishers Guerra e Paz Editores. However, the sales were never the same again and Gonçalo Amaral remains with all of his assets frozen, since the couple has made another appeal and other lawsuits.

It should be noted that, as to what VIP was able to establish, Maddie's parents no longer have the legitimacy to take legal proceedings related to the case, since they have already lost, by order of the English High Court, the tutelage of the missing child. In fact, according to the English law, after seven years if the body of a missing person isn't found, the person can be officially declared dead. Maddie's parents, however, have not yet applied for a death certificate.

Back in England, the British police revealed that "further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course". And they state that they will return to Portugal to question eight persons of interest, whom they affirm, may help clarify the case.

 
The Madeleine Mystery
 

The Madeleine Mystery (extract from 'People in a Place Apart') Amazon

Len Port: People in a Place Apart

By Len Port

The following chapter is from Len Port's book "People in a Place Apart" - a book about the Algarve - and is reproduced here with kind permission of the author



Chapter Twenty-four

THE MADELEINE MYSTERY


The peaceful seaside village of Praia da Luz was the unlikely setting for what turned out to be the most reported and discussed missing person case in human history. The disappearance has also been one of the most mystifying, controversial and bitter cases of its kind in modern times. For me as a reporter it all started so quietly.

On arrival in the village before 8.30am on Friday 4th May 2007, I expected to see some urgent activity. A young British girl, Madeleine McCann, had gone missing the previous night. At first I saw no movement at all. The village was silent and still. While driving around, I came across a single police vehicle parked on the roadside at a junction of minor roads towards the back of the village. I parked directly behind it. A few uniformed police officers were standing outside a block of holiday apartments. The only other people in sight were two women in conversation close to a corner ground floor apartment, 5A. As I approached, I noticed that one of them was clearly distressed, so much so I guessed she must be the missing girl's mother, Kate McCann. Later I learned that the other woman was a senior social worker on holiday from England. I overheard Mrs McCann tell her the police were "doing nothing" to find her daughter. She complained that they had not even questioned people staying in the same block of apartments. I understood the social worker to suggest that a description of the missing child should be circulated more widely. That prompted me to introduce myself as an Algarve-based reporter and say that I could use contacts to arrange alerts to be broadcast on an Algarve bilingual radio station. It had flashed through my mind that such alerts had been broadcast when Rachel Charles was reported missing in the Algarve 17 years earlier. The social worker then mentioned the British Consulate. I said I could help there too as I knew the staff at the Consulate and had just spoken to one of them on the phone. Perhaps my offer sounded disingenuous coming from a total stranger and a reporter to boot. Anyway, it was ignored.

As I moved around the village on foot there was at least one obvious manifestation of police activity. Police officers with search dogs on leads were vigorously combing the vicinity of the apartments, the area around the village church, on down towards the seashore and along the full length of the long curving beach. It was all being done in silence.

The tranquillity outside apartment 5A gradually changed. As the morning and afternoon wore on, the number of people arriving on the scene steadily increased. Curious passers-by mingled with reporters, photographers, TV cameramen and staff manning outside broadcast vans. A mixture of Portuguese, British and other nationalities, we all stood around asking each other questions and wondering what had happened to the little girl. All these years later, we are none the wiser. In the days, weeks, months and years following Madeleine's disappearance, the few known facts have been drowned in an ocean of public confusion created by a combination of conjecture, conspiracy theories, distortions, misinformation and lies.

Madeleine's parents have always been adamant she was abducted from the apartment. Others think she may have left the apartment of her own accord in search of her parents and was later abducted or met with harm in some other way. Some are convinced her body was secretly disposed of after she died inadvertently in the apartment. The trouble with all these theories is that while each can be shown to be a possible explanation, none is yet backed by solid evidence that elevates it to one of certainty. Upon publication of the latest edition of this book, police in both Portugal and Britain are re-investigating the case, giving fresh hope that the mystery may finally be solved and that Madeleine, if still alive, will be returned to her parents. A breakthrough could come at any moment. On the other hand it may always remain a mystery. Meanwhile, let us reflect in a little more detail on this complex saga so far.

For the McCann family from Rothley in Leicestershire the trauma began on the sixth day of a weeklong holiday. They were staying in a modest, ground-floor apartment in a tourist complex. During initial police questioning the day after the disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann said they had settled Madeleine, aged three, and her younger twin siblings into their shared bedroom at 7.30pm. An hour later, with the children asleep and leaving the back patio door of apartment 5A closed but not locked, they joined seven holidaying friends for dinner. As on previous evenings, they dined in a poolside restaurant situated at the back of the apartment. It was a minute or two's walking distance, about 120 metres, away.

Like Kate and Gerry McCann, four of their seven friends were medical doctors and some had children of their own. In the course of a few parental checks, Gerry McCann said he went back to apartment 5A between 9.05pm and 9.10pm and saw all three of his children sound asleep. Kate McCann went to the apartment at 10pm. Madeleine was not there. Within half an hour of Kate McCann rushing back to the restaurant to raise the alarm, members of staff at the tourist complex where the McCanns and their friends were staying initiated a search of the neighbourhood. Holidaymakers and village residents joined in. The Guarda Nacional República (GNR) was alerted and soon had officers on the scene. Two police search dogs arrived. Police at first thought Madeleine may have wandered off, but Portugal's criminal investigation service, the Polícia Judiciáia, was informed after midnight. The neighbourhood search involved about 60 people on a calm and cloudless night with a full moon. It went on until about 4.30am.

Jane Tanner, a member of the group of friends, told police she saw a man with a child in his arms crossing the road in front of the McCanns' apartment at about 9.15pm, soon after Gerry McCann's check. For more than six years this sighting remained central to the McCanns' insistence that their daughter had been abducted. A family on holiday from Ireland also saw a man carrying a young child. This was much further away, closer to the centre of the village, at 10pm.

From the earliest days of the Portuguese investigation, the McCanns received a great deal of moral and financial support. The British Foreign Office showed remarkable interest. A wealthy Scottish businessman, Stephen Winyard, offered a £1 million reward for information leading to Madeleine's return. English tycoon Richard Branson was among those who donated to the Find Madeleine fund that quickly reached more than £2.5 million. Football star David Beckham, then playing for Real Madrid, held up a Madeleine poster in a televised appeal in Spain. In seeking publicity on a grand scale, the McCanns met with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome at the end of May and had a photograph of their missing daughter blessed by him. Gerry travelled to Washington courtesy of Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline and visited the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the Justice Department, Capitol Hill and the White House.

By then, police had questioned and declared Robert Murat an arguido (suspect). Jane Tanner had claimed she was almost certain Murat was the man she saw carrying a child. Although insisting he had spent the evening with his mother in her house a short distance from apartment 5A, Murat became the subject of wild rumours and false newspaper speculation. International media coverage reached new heights four months later, in September, when Kate and Gerry McCann were also declared arguidos. Clarence Mitchell, who had earlier spent a month with the McCanns as a representative of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, relinquished his position as director of the media monitoring unit at the British government's Central Office of Information to become the McCanns' official spokesperson.

Among the obstacles confronting the Portuguese police was the ever-pressing presence of the media. Their constant demand for news was complicated by a Portuguese law that forbids the police from openly discussing or divulging any aspects of a criminal investigation. Article 86 of the penal code amounts to a gagging order on releasing anything that might prejudice a case. As the investigation wore on, this lack of information frustrated reporters faced with editors' demands for sensational stories. In the absence of official statements and verifiable advice, certain newspapers indulged in an orgy of innuendo, speculation, grossly inaccurate and even fictitious reporting. 'Leaks' from the Portuguese police to the Portuguese press were repeated and sometimes embellished in mass-circulating British tabloids. Some of the papers were eventually taken to task for defamation and obliged to pay large sums in damages.

The lead detective in the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, looked into the likelihood of abduction but found no evidence to substantiate the McCanns' insistence that their daughter had been kidnapped. He came to suspect that Kate McCann had lied in claiming that an intruder had opened the front window and jemmied the shutter in the children's bedroom. He thought the parents might have invented the abduction story as a cover-up after Madeleine died inadvertently in the apartment, perhaps from an overdose of a sedative or a fall. This theory seemed to be supported by traces of blood and cadaver odours found by two specialist dogs brought out from the UK. The traces were found in the apartment and in the boot of a car hired by the McCanns.

Five months into the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral's involvement suddenly ended when he was dismissed from the case for imprudently alleging that police in Britain were biased towards the McCanns. Then, in July 2008 after 14 months of probing with no conclusive breakthrough, the Polícia Judiciária wrapped up their final report. Portugal's attorney general lifted the arguido status on all three suspects and formally archived the case.

In 2011 at the behest of the McCanns, Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May asked the Metropolitan Police Service to review the vast amount of documentation from the original Portuguese investigation, as well as the results of inquiries made by a succession of private investigators hired by the McCanns. After two years, the Met upgraded its review to a full-scale investigation. Five months later, in October 2013, the Portuguese authorities ordered a re-opening of their own investigation and went to work on new evidence they had uncovered. This occurred while a civil libel action was in progress in Lisbon in which the McCanns were suing Gonçalo Amaral over a book he had written, A Verdade de Mentira (The Truth of the Lie).

The McCanns had accepted £550,000 in 2008 from Express Newspapers in compensation for scores of defamatory articles in the Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday sister titles. Robert Murat was awarded £600,000 in libel damages from Express Newspapers, Associated Newspapers, the Mirror Group and News Group Newspapers. In compensation for Amaral’s book and a TV documentary based on it, the McCanns demanded €1.2 million.

The McCanns said the Portuguese police had been "very open" with them at the beginning of the original investigation. Three months down the line they still had "a very good working relationship." Things hit rock bottom in September 2007 on being declared official suspects. Faced not only with deep parental anguish over the loss of their daughter, Kate and Gerry McCann now had to cope with the humility of being publicly suspected of being the cause of her disappearance. Kate's mother Susan Healy was widely quoted as saying that the pressure on her daughter was so great, "I don't know how long she will hold on for... I don't know if any human can take such pressure." She added: "Kate is an only child. If it was me, I'd die. But she can't let herself get so low. She has to think of her family, of Gerry and the twins."

Amaral sank to a low ebb as well. With pent up frustrations over what he regarded as bias by the UK authorities and non-cooperation by the McCanns, he resigned from the police service and became the target of insults in the British press. His marriage broke down, he moved away from his daughter in Lisbon, grieved over the death of both his mother and father, and lost weight through illness. Soon after the 2013 start of the Scotland Yard investigation, the Jane Tanner sighting of a man carrying a child outside the McCanns' apartment became irrelevant when the man was publicly identified as an innocent father carrying his own child home from a crèche on the complex. The other sighting by an Irish family took on much greater significance with the simultaneous publication of two e-fit images produced by a team of ex-MI5 private investigators employed by the McCann's Find Madeleine fund after the Portuguese authorities had shelved their investigation five years earlier. Publication of the e-fit images along with televised appeals for information resulted in thousands of phone calls and emails. With international public interest in the case elevated to its 2007 heights, the Portuguese police re-opened their investigation to run both alongside and in conjunction with the British police.

 
Gerry McCann - The Travellin' Man, 20 June 2014
 

Gerry McCann - The Travellin' Man mccannfiles

Gerry McCann arrives at court, 02 October 2013
The woman on the right, photo-bombing Gerry's 'Travellin' Man' shoot, is his sister, Trish Cameron

By Nigel Moore
20 June 2014


To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, as another Scot with a penchant for poetic licence, Robert Louis Stevenson, once wrote. It's a well worn saying, and you'd be hard pressed to have sat through any TV talent show and not heard a stream of 'Truman effect' wannabees blathering on about 'the journey' - usually just prior to the public ordering them a taxi home. But for the McCanns it's different. For them, the journey is a torturous, soul destroying and time consuming ordeal of booking the flight, arranging the hotel (the usual?), getting time off work (Kate?) and arranging childcare. Why, that's a whole 45 minutes hard work down the pan straight off the bat.

It seems the McCanns are cursed 'above all cattle, and above every beast of the field' to enjoy fruitless journeys. Aside from being physically and emotionally worn down by the libel trial, who can forget their abortive poster-jolly (look at the pictures) to Huelva - where they arrived only to find most of the shops closed due to a public holiday. That particular journey must have slipped the McCanns mind outside the Palace of Justice, otherwise they would surely have raged about the 'FIVE times' Gonçalo Amaral had thwarted their plans. Forget pantomime villain, Dr Amaral is now taking on Svengali-like status with his supreme power to exercise control over the health and well-being of anyone that steps into his path. All he's missing now is a flowing black cape, a fiendishly coiffured moustache and a clap of thunder every time he appears.

So, let's get all this travelling business out into the open, where we can see it, once and for all, and clear up any misunderstandings about Gerry McCann's two trips to Lisbon. As the good doctor himself has frequently said, speculation does nobody any good. So let's burrow down and get to the truth. And that's 'the truth', by the way, not an 'account' of it.

The first time Gerry packed his toothbrush and flannel was for the hearing on 27 September 2013. As we now know, the hearing that day was adjourned due to an illness affecting Gonçalo Amaral's lawyer's son, which required hospital treatment. As Vitor Santos de Oliveira said at the time: "My son is having an operation. I hope that because of this you won't be making a hullabaloo saying that Gonçalo Amaral is holding things up." The 'you' here presumably being directed at the press, although it could equally be applied to the McCanns, seeing as the two have been in a mutually beneficial and 'consciously coupled' relationship for 7 years now.

That same press had led us to believe that Gerry McCann was coming to town for a showdown with his arch nemesis, Gonçalo Amaral, in a thrilling court room battle. He would appear in the witness box to give compelling evidence that would have the former police coordinator crying into his sardine lunch and muttering: "It's a fair cop, doc, you got me done up like a kipper."

As Clarence of the Yard said, in an official McCann press announcement: "I can confirm Gerry McCann is hoping to give evidence." Must be true then.

And, amidst all this, what did the slippery fish that is Gerry McCann have to say as he arrived?

"I am here for Madeleine, for justice, for the twins and ourselves," opined the heart specialist, neatly avoiding the issue of actually giving evidence. When he was pressed as to whether he would be making a statement in court, he replied unhelpfully: "I am not sure."

Following the adjournment, Gerry was asked whether he knew what had just happened, and said: "I think, errr... Isabel will be able to explain that better." Smart move. It's always best to defer tricky questions to a lawyer... or just don't answer them at all.

And in response to another question, he added: "Well, the law's changed and I think, errr... I think Kate and I know better than anyone else, errr... what we've experienced and what we've gone through and the facts of the file and, errm... the damage that's been caused to the search for Madeleine."

Within a week, Gerry was back at the Palace of Justice, in Lisbon, for the Second Act. Mirroring his previous performance, he was not sure what would happen. "We are here to listen to the judge and hopefully be heard," he told reporters.

As we all know, there is a perilous canyon between the towns of Hope and Reality. Twice every week people 'hope' they will win the EuroMillions lottery, even though there is only a 1 in 76,275,360 chance of doing so. Nevertheless, still better odds than there were that Gerry would get his 'day in court' that day.

As we have already seen, Gerry possessed clear knowledge that the law had changed and so it makes sense to take a closer look at what the new law actually says (courtesy of Astro):
The Civil Process Code allows the parties in a civil case to make a 'declaration' to the court. This declaration has a purpose: the parties, not being witnesses and therefore not being able to add anything to the trial in terms of evidence, are given the opportunity to offer the court additional evidence and/or to make a confession.

This declaration can ONLY be made AFTER all the evidence (witnesses and material evidence) has been presented, precisely because it is supposed to ADD to the evidence that the court has seen and/or heard. And because it is supposed to ADD to the evidence, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not he/she has been presented with enough evidence and whether or not he/she believes that the party or parties can add anything of use to the evidence that has been presented.

In the former civil process code, there was no opportunity for any of the parties to confess. This is the main purpose of the new disposition.

None of the parties - Kate and Gerry McCann or Gonçalo Amaral - could ever speak in court before the witnesses had all been heard. That is how the process is designed, no exceptions. And because the judge's permission depended upon her assessment of the evidence that would be presented by the witnesses, she would never have been able to approve or refuse their request for a declaration BEFORE the last witness was heard.
So, the truth is that Gerry McCann would have known exactly what would happen at the hearings he attended and what the judge would say - that she would be unable to rule on whether he could give evidence until after all the witnesses had been heard. Yet he was happy for the lie - that he was 'hoping' to give evidence in court but was then heartbreakingly thwarted - to perpetuate, and he was happy to use the press, and Clarence Mitchell, in the dissemination of this lie.

Any other interpretation of events would suggest the McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, was incompetent in her duties and had failed to advise her clients correctly. She should therefore have had her mandate revoked immediately, having wasted Gerry McCanns precious time TWICE. A crime that would put her one rung above Maleficent, the self proclaimed Mistress of All Evil, according to the McCann book.

Whether Gerry travelled in full knowledge of the facts (and remember he told us himself that the law had changed thus demonstrating prior knowledge) or in complete ignorance, one fact appears clear: Isabel Duarte was either compliant to her clients charade outside the court (on two occasions) or she was complicit in a blatant and cynical piece of Lisbon street theatre.

So, having no reason to be there, why was it so important for Gerry McCann to fly to Lisbon, on two futile journeys, and drain the diminishing coffers of Madeleine's Fund yet further - having already raided the Fund to pay expenses to all their witnesses?

Maybe he thought his presence needed to be imposed on the proceedings, following the disastrous anecdotal musings, served up as 'evidence', by the witnesses he and Kate had cobbled together. Maybe he wanted to ensure Trish Cameron wasn't approached by the press for an unscripted quote. Maybe he felt the McCanns' reputation is so fragile and powerless he needed to divert attention away from impending bad news - since he chose to travel on the first day that Gonçalo Amaral's witnesses were due to be heard, and then came back again the following week to make sure the job was done. Pure coincidence, I'm sure. And, of course, the press lapped it all up like the thirsty little kittens they are. Clean plates all round.

Never mind. We move on. Street theatre only has a limited shelf life. Justice lasts a lifetime.

And the good news, for justice, is that Gonçalo Amaral is in good spirits and has already appointed a new lawyer, whose name is currently being placed with the court.

The trial will soon be concluded and then it will over to the judge, Maria Emília de Melo e Castro, to make her decision.

What view she takes of all this sideshow nonsense will only be known by her but I am confident her decision will be grounded in the evidence presented before her in the court room, and not in the flights of fancy that have taken place outside it.

 
What is it that the church has?, 13 June 2014
 

What is it that the church has? TVMais magazine (paper edition Nº1117, 13 to 19 June 2014, pages 98 & 99)

What is it that the church has? TVMais magazine (paper edition Nº1117, 13 to 19 June 2014, pages 98 & 99)

What is it that the church has? TVMais magazine (paper edition Nº1117, 13 to 19 June 2014, pages 98 & 99)

Announced visits and another in secret, keys provided against the wishes of the Bishop, the priest's wife agitated, finished constructions and searches never made​​. What is it that the church of Praia da Luz has?

By Hernâni Carvalho
With thanks to
Joana Morais for translation and Maria for images


On the night of their daughter's disappearance, the McCann couple asked for a priest. The priest of the Luz church, José Pacheco, did not respond. The couple knew, even before they had gone to Praia da Luz, that the Anglican priest Haynes Hubbard celebrated masses there and lived with his wife. He had a friendship with McCann's family members. It was with him whom they spoke with. Some days later, Gerry and Kate received the church keys, and since then they were able to enter and leave at any time. A situation that was criticized by the Bishop of the Algarve at the time. When questioned on this discretionary act, the priest José Pacheco said: "Do I decide that?!"

 McCanns visited the church in secret 

"Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine", we can read in a press statement sent to Lusa news agency in 12th December 2009, by the McCann's Portuguese PR, in connection to the couple's visit to the church. During the day, the visits were announced and followed by the media. The exception was made in the early hours of January 14, 2010. At 5am they were seen and photographed leaving the church from a side door. In the afternoon they gave a press conference.

 Wife of Priest worried 

The forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento asked the bishop of the Algarve Dom Manuel Quintas, if any catholic can go to the church at any time.

Hernâni Carvalho -
How did you get to talk with the bishop?

Paulo Sargento -
I sent a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt early on, in January 2010. Since I got no reply, about a month later, I sent an e-mail with the questions that I had. Four days later, it was the Bishop himself who replied, also by e-mail, apologizing for the delay in the answer. A hearing was scheduled for two or three days later.

Hernâni Carvalho -
And you felt clarified?

Paulo Sargento -
The hearing took place in February, at the episcopal see of Faro. The Bishop received me kindly. We talked about an hour. I had already been informed about a McCann visit to the church in the early hours and wondered if the Bishop was aware of that and I also wished to understand if any other catholic could do the same. Dom Manuel Quintas confirmed the McCanns had indeed been in the church on that day at 5am, that the person who had given them the key that night was Susan Hubbard, the wife of the Anglican priest, who had a key to the church at all times since her husband celebrated the Anglican mass there. Susan assured the Bishop the McCanns wanted to pray without being harassed by the media. However, the Bishop told me: "I don't understand, that day at 17h00 there was a mass where they went, surrounded by the media". Dom Manuel Quintas also added that when Susan Hubbard found out about my hearing request, she got scared and inclusively, sought him, very worried. The Bishop told me that he answered her queries saying that she should not be so worried if nothing unusual or wrong had happened.

Hernâni Carvalho -
Did the Bishop avoid discussing any issues?

Paulo Sargento -
No. I'm not going to give you details, but the Bishop was very open and did not flinch at anything I asked to him. He was willing, even, to resume contact for further questions or more information I needed. Interestingly, in that summer (2010), Kate spent a week vacation in Canada, in the house of a family member of Susan Hubbard, the wife of the priest.

 Construction Works 

Back in 2007, the public area of the Village of Luz had been for months undergoing sanitation improvements and road works. Behind the church there were ongoing construction works. Being a place of worship, various legal issues hampered a search there. At the time, PJ sources admitted to the possibility that the girl's body could have passed through that location, or even, to have been buried in the deactivated cemetery.



Page 99:

 The Big Bluff 

The British police came to Portugal to investigate the Maddie case. They dug and went into the sewers looking for a dead girl or clues that could lead to her whereabouts. The PJ had said the very same and had done those searches seven years ago.

"A movie for the English to see," said an elderly lady, mockingly, to CMTV recently. One and a half year ago the English police announced that they would find the girl in a few days. So far nothing. Scotland Yard's work in Portugal is discussed by all in a very critical way. "They haven't done anything that our PJ hasn't done years ago," stated a Portuguese in the same area. The searches are causing discontent among tourists and locals as they consider them detrimental to tourism, now that the peak season begins.

 Show Off 

The British police wanted the searches to be accompanied by the media but the PJ refused. Since the 2nd of June, Praia da Luz in Lagos has a large team of policemen, geologists, archaeologists, cutting edge technology and also sniffer dogs. They all come from England "under the supervision of PJ and the Public Prosecutor Office". In addition there are PJ inspectors, GNR military officers on foot and horseback and Portuguese forest sappers. A setting worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

 Stones, socks and bottles 

The searches and excavations of the English police in Luz highlights the acknowledgement that they are looking for a body. The PJ had reached that same conclusion seven years ago. The English police began by excavating a field near Rua 25 de Abril, 600 metres away from the apartment from where the girl disappeared. An area equal to three football fields, a slope hill, which belongs to the Belmiro de Azevedo Group [SONAE] and is frequented by locals and tourists for leisurely walks. They collected animal bones, two cannabis plants, stones, soil samples, a sock and bottles and kept everything in boxes.

 Nothing 

There are no findings to sustain the theory of the British authorities. They argue that Maddie's body is in that place or that there are clues that may lead to her whereabouts. They also claim that they have a group of eight suspects(?). Explaining that they have extended the searches because they have concluded (only now?) that the terrain is more difficult to analyse than predicted. These places had already been thoroughly searched by the Portuguese police immediately after the disappearance of the girl. In fact, until September 11, 2007, the PJ had investigated over 2500 false leads.

 Millions of Euros 

The 37 officers of the London Metropolitan Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine have cost the British Crown about 6 million pounds (7.4 million euros). Besides the first investigation, Portugal has had a team of six inspectors of the PJ in Faro, for months, just to carry out the steps requested by the British and another team of inspectors from the Northern Directorate of PJ, doing a review of the first investigation for the last two years. No one has, so far, established the total cost to our country. The McCanns moved in early July 2007 to the Villa Vista Mar. At the average values of the property market at the time, the total rent was calculated to have surpassed 6000 euros. The Renault Scénic where biological traces were found, allegedly belonging to Maddie, was rented for 113 days, at the list price it cost 7990 euros.

Maddie
3 May 2007
In Praia da Luz in the Algarve, the parents of Madeleine, who would be four years old just a few days later, cried "abduction" when they noticed Maddie had disappeared from the apartment where they had left her alone with her ​​younger twin siblings. "Homicide", said the PJ a few days later. After a lot of press, suspects, searches, investigations to everyone's taste and seven years later, there is nothing.

The sighting by the Smith family

Kate and Gerry McCann return to the UK

Praia da Luz, 03 May 2007, just before 10:00pm

The Smith family, from Ireland, are returning to their apartment after a night out in Praia da Luz.

As they walk, they pass a man carrying a child in his arms. The man averts his eyes from them to signal that he does not wish to speak.

Four months later, back in Ireland, the Smith family are watching TV.

They see the McCanns return to the UK and observe Gerry McCann alight the aeroplane and walk across the tarmac with a sleeping Sean in his arms.

The father, Martin Smith, is shocked. He recognises the walking style and the way the child is being held against the shoulder.

It is exactly like the man he saw on the streets of Praia da Luz, four months earlier.

For reports/maps/statements click here

 
Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry [update], 21 January 2014
 

Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry findmadeleine.com

Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry

Image detail from 'Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry' page
Image detail from 'Unidentified People of Interest to the Inquiry' page

21 January 2014

Text version of relevant section above:

Have you seen these men? Do you know who they might be?

These two pictures show a man carrying a child away from the family's apartment. This sighting was seen by a witness at 21:15 on the evening of Thursday, May 3rd, 2007.

Based or more recent information, the Metropolitan Police now believe this man may represent a guest at the Ocean Club who was carrying his daughter back to their apartment. However as it is not possible to be certain that these two men are actually the same person, if you have seen this man in the pictures or suspect who it may be, please contact the Metropolitan Police's OPERATION GRANGE on 0207 321 9251 (0044 207 321 9251 from outside the UK) or Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk and/or the Find Madeleine team on +44 845 838 4699 or investigation@findmadeleine.com.



Man now identified by Operation Grange Met Police

Man now identified by Operation Grange

Man now identified by Operation Grange

Update on previous appeal

We believe we have identified the man who was seen by Jane Tanner carrying a child at about 21.15 near the apartment G5A. These images are the original sketch of that person made at the time together with a Met Police photo of the British holidaymaker who we have spoken to and is seen here wearing the clothes he believes he may have been wearing that evening. The images are: man holding child & man without child.

Michael Schneider: Searching For Madeleine

Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider, a self-proclaimed "clairvoyant" from Siegburg, Germany, travels to Albufeira in Portugal, in mid-December 2013, to search for the body of Madeleine McCann. He says: "I got the inspiration that she is dead and that she is located in the Algarve."

For previous reports click here

 
Free e-book detailing the facts of the Madeleine McCann case by Michael McLean, 18 May 2013
 

Free e-book detailing the facts of the Madeleine McCann case by Michael McLean What happened to Madeleine McCann?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

What really happened to Madeleine McCann?

Put yourself in the mind of a detective and work it out for yourself

Or put yourself in the place of a parent, and ask "If you had let your child go on holiday with the McCanns and they lost her, would you accept their version?"

These articles contain factual evidence and statements from the official files. It is quite possible that this 'public but hidden' evidential material will amaze and worry you.

This e-book is a compilation of some documents relating to specific parts of the continuing saga of the quest for the truth about the reported disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann.

It is doubtful whether anyone in the literate civilised world does not know that Madeleine was reported missing by her mother about 10 pm on 3rd May 2007, from an apartment in Praia de Luz, on the Algarve in Portugal.

The parents, both doctors, immediately claimed that their daughter was abducted from her bed in the apartment in a block outside the holiday complex, whilst the parents dined at a Tapas bar on the other side of the pool within the complex. They use an alleged sighting of a man carrying a child along the road adjacent to the apartment within minutes of Gerry McCann's last check as evidence of this abduction. They have refused to consider any other possibility, and have sued for libel people who have put forward alternative theories.

They further insist that Madeleine was taken by a predatory paedophile, but then curiously insist that there is no evidence that she has come to harm.

The local and then the national police attended, statements were taken and the matter was investigated by a dedicated team. The police found themselves somewhat hampered by significant changes and major inconsistencies in the stories given by the parents and the main witnesses, and the Senior Investigating Officer began to suspect that they had not been told the whole truth for a particular reason.

British police officers assisted, and on the advice of one co-ordinator two highly specialised search dogs were taken from the the UK to Portugal. These dogs alerted to blood and human cadaverine in the apartment and on clothing and other items associated with Madeleine, but to no other locations or items.

The McCanns sought legal assistance from one firm of lawyers who specialise in defamation, and from another who specialise in extradition. Those choices in themselves have raised eyebrows.

They also very quickly set up a Limited Company and people were invited to make contributions to "Help the Search" for Madeleine. As part of this purported search they spent a large amount of money on a firm of private detectives in Barcelona, which has since closed with the arrest of the principal; a further large amount on a man who was subsequently extradited to the USA where he was wanted for fraud; and finally on two retired police officers who set up a small company in a cottage in Wales, some time after it had been announced that the firm had been contracted.

None has produced anything of value.

Almost all the facts have been the subject of claim and counterclaim, of conflict of evidence, and above all of the crushing financial and legal might of the best libel lawyers in the world bearing down on anyone who dares to express a view different from the official one put out by the McCanns and their spokesperson. The amount attributable to legal fees already substantially outweighs the amount paid to the various firms of private detectives.

It is important to note however, that nothing which has been said or written has ever been proved to be libellous in a Court of Law, after proper examination. Everything has been settled out of court, or by undertakings.

Readers may decide for themselves if the official story is physically possible, or bears a proper relation to the observable facts.

One other test which may be applied when examining the evidence it to look at any incongruence between what was said, and what was observed.

For example, this is what was said - about the 8th day of the "search"; the 8th day of the investigation into the disappearance; 12th May 2007, Madeleine’s 4th birthday.

"We ate mostly in silence, concentrating on the kids. I couldn't eat much, and alcohol was completely off my agenda. Fiona recalls that Gerry and I were completely shut down that day, barely able to talk, and although our friends tried to remain cheerful and behave normally to get us through it, they all felt awkward about being at this lovely villa, in the sunshine, in these circumstances. There was no cake. Gerry did attempt a toast but he was visibly upset and couldn't manage much more than 'I can't even say happy birthday to my daughter...' before choking up. The physical loss was more intense than ever. I ached for Madeleine." from the book "madeleine", by Kate McCann - p. 128

This is what was observed as they emerged from a solemn church service that morning.

Madeleine's birthday

In preparing the various chapters I have tried to rely on what witnesses and the parents themselves said in their statements.

The statements have not been interpreted, but the obvious inconsistencies and frequent changes of story have been left in and highlighted for readers to make up their own minds.

The structure of the e-book is that each chapter is in the form of a self contained monograph, with its own list of references. For ease of research the original source material has also been appended in full where possible.

Although that makes it slightly cumbersome it gives the reader instant access to the source material, so that any mistake or wrong interpretation can be immediately identified.

If there are mistakes they are entirely mine. If anything has been taken out of context this is my misunderstanding If I have quoted anything without giving a reference or acknowledgement, I apologise.

There is much more to be said about this case, about the Limited Company, about the Private detectives, and the way in which the media have been manipulated, but this is just a brief dip into the evidence for people who thought they knew the story.

There are those who argue that this matter is one which should now be laid to rest, or that the McCann’s version, or versions, should be accepted in its entirety.

To them I would say we should always bear in mind the following:

Madeleine Beth McCann is missing. It is not know what happened to her. Her whereabouts are unknown.

The search for her, or for her mortal remains must continue. The search for the truth about what happened must continue.

No one should seek to prevent or to hinder either of those.

And in support of those ends - No one with a valid theory or hypothesis should be crushed before the theory or hypotheses can be tested.

No one with a differing point of view should be silenced, except by defeat in logical debate, or by production of evidence.

Bullying, victimisation, name-calling, "trolling" and other techniques have no place in the search for the truth.

Nor in the search for a missing child.

It is not known why the McCanns do not publicly distance themselves from the foul language and vile insults, threats and abuse directed by several blog sites against people who are seeking the truth. Nor why they allowed evidence obtained by criminal activity to be adduced in support of their case.

Chapter 1 Changes in Story Changing the initial version of events is a classic 'red flag' warning to police.

Read more on the link above or download your copy of Michael McLeans' e-book here:

PDF Download:

pdf logo

Free e-book detailing the facts of the Madeleine McCann case by Michael McLean (pdf, 3.01MB)

click here to download file

Euclides Monteiro - The Dead Suspect

Suspect: Euclides Monteiro

30 October 2013 Correio da Manhã report that the PJ has strong evidence to believe that Madeleine's abductor was a former employee of the Ocean Club who died in 2009 in a tractor accident.

They claim this was the strongest new lead presented to state prosecutors - by the PJ team working in Porto - which led to the investigation being reopened.

A media frenzy ensues...

To read reports/videos click here

 
Gonçalo Amaral speaks about how the 'Maddie' case has affected his family life, 29 October 2013
 

Gonçalo Amaral speaks about how the 'Maddie' case has affected his family life Nova Gente (paper edition)

Nova Gente magazine, 21 to 27/10/2013, page 42

Nova Gente magazine, 21 to 27/10/2013, page 43

Nova Gente magazine, 21 to 27/10/2013, page 44

Nova Gente magazine, 21 to 27/10/2013, page 45

"I've been worried about my youngest daughter"

The former inspector says that he is tranquil with the ongoing trial and that there is too much "publicity and misinformation" to keep a case in the media limelight that has caused severe moral damages to his life.

Article by Alexandra Ferreira
Week from 21 to 27 of October 2013, edition 1936, pages 42 to 46
Translation base/Scans by Rolanda Miguens Reid | Corrections/extras by
Joana Morais


How did you react to the news that the English Police are investigating new leads?

With calm and tranquillity. I know what this is about, what the authors intend with such news, but anyone who has been following the case throughout the years, will be able to discern among the trashy publicity what is really at stake, and that is an intolerable pressure over a Portuguese court.

Are there changes in the case?

There is no change, there is nothing really new, we continue as it was in 2008 when the process was archived. The authors of the civil action seem to be very creative, so we need to wait for a bolt of their creativity and imagination.

In the ongoing trial which opposes you against the McCanns, they are asking you for 1.2 million euro for defamation.

What is a stake is a trial for the crime of having an opinion, something which is unthinkable in the free and democratic Portugal post-25th of April [Carnation Revolution that freed Portugal from 48 years of dictatorship]. Actually, there are no facts to sustain that demand for indemnification. (...) The authors of the action want  others to believe that my opinion as well as of those who worked with me, Portuguese and English police, which was expressed in the book and in the documentary, has harmed their efforts to find the child and has caused them moral damages. However this premise lacks precise facts.

Are you satisfied with the way the trial is going?

Common sense tells me not to jump to conclusions, and to await with calm and serenity for the final decision. However, the publicity and the campaign of misinformation and intoxication that is taking place, by the authors of the civil action, seems to indicate that they are not very happy with the progress of the trial and feel the need to influence the outcome.

It was conspicuous that the friends who dined with the McCanns on the night that Maddie disappeared were absent in court...

Perhaps it is just a strategy of the prosecution, but their absence was noted. The bottom line is, who better than those who usually accompanied the authors on their holidays, a few years ago, and who visited their houses previous to the events of May 3, 2007, to go to court and speak about the "before and after" of the couple's lives. The prosecution preferred to call witnesses that only became friends and visitors of the couple after that event.

Was there any testimony important for your defence?

It was important to unmask in a court hearing the psychologist who had only a degree in Social Sciences, in the scope of which he did one psychology subject, that is, he wasn't a psychologist, and he wasn't certified to make psychological assessments. Equally important were the testimonies of colleagues who worked with me during the investigation into the disappearance, as well as the recalling an interview the authors gave to a weekly newspaper [Expresso] in September 2008, a month after my book was published, where they devalued its contents and actually said that they would not sue me... Well, such is life.

Was there a request for the case to be heard behind close doors?

It is true, we wanted to prevent what is taking place now: judgements in the public arena and campaigns of misinformation and intoxication which contribute nothing for a good judicial decision, which needs to be free, objective and founded in Law.

While you were leading the investigation did you feel any pressures?

During that time our work was called into question and we were the target of insults, professionally and personally, the campaign against us was despicable and shameful. The book Maddie - The Truth of the Lie reports on the first six months of the criminal investigation. Then the process was archived in 2008. It is normal for an investigation to go forward and backward, having a beginning, middle and an end. Therefore, it cannot be said that the case was concluded or that the evidence that existed by the end of September [2007] was set aside or that it led to a different result.

What was your impression of the McCann couple after you met them?

Apart from the expectation of the child's mother that tea should be served to her and the father acting totally disinterested at the time of an extortion attempt, I recall the fact of - and this is stated in the process - the father's first phone calls to the UK where he referred to the disappearance as a kidnap by a paedophile ring. At the time, it could be understood as a mere idea, but now it sounds more like an obsession.

Any reason as to why Kate didn't answer to more than 40 questions?

With the status of arguida she had that right and used it. However, answering them would be understood as the duty of a mother, as the obligation of a mother who was concerned about the disappearance of her daughter, that wasn't afraid of answering questions no matter how sensitive those questions were.

What type of feelings do the McCanns hold against you?

In my opinion, they hold a grudge and have a desire for revenge, not only about me but also about all others who have their own opinion which differs to theirs, towards those who won't allow themselves be influenced by their toxic media campaign.

Would you have liked to have found their daughter?

We did everything to solve the case, however the authors of the civil action cooperated very little or nothing, they have always appeared more worried about themselves, with their own image, something that still happens today. I recall the words of the mother of the child when she was notified of her hearing as an arguida: "What will the press say? What will my parents think?" We never heard a word of appreciation, from the mouth of the authors of the civil action, for all the police officers working on the investigation, men and women who neglected their own families, their own children and where far from their homes, while searching for their daughter. We only heard them saying, as soon as the process was archived, that they were pondering suing the police. From all the investigators, they only sued one, the one who has publicly, in the exercise of his right to defence and of freedom of expression, made known what had happened during the first months of the criminal investigation.



"Surviving for six years"

[Text to photo: VERY THIN With family issues, plus the problems that he still has over the Maddie case and his worries about his daughter Inês, Gonçalo Amaral has lost a considerable amount of weight.]

Since the Madeleine McCann case began, you saw your life turned upside down. You were forced to retire early from the police, you got divorced, you moved to Lisbon away from your daughter Inês, you lost your father with whom you were sharing a house, you fell ill and lost weight... those were very harsh times.

The question already describes everything that has happened, except for my mother's death in 2009, after a prolonged illness. At the time, on the sites that support the authors of the civil action, I was cowardly and abusively accused of having murdered my mother, they even described how I would have done it. There are people who cannot maintain objectivity, who cannot analyse the case without thinking of the names of those involved, if they could make that kind of analysis, just considering the child who disappeared and the circumstances that surround that disappearance perhaps they wouldn't feel the necessity of reviling and of breaching the privacy of someone who was merely trying to do their job. As to my private life, the last six years were years of struggle, for the physical, mental and emotional survival, trying to establish a new life, with projects and ideas as to the future, separating the situations.

You never felt defeated or depressed?

Luckily, I don't know what it is like to feel depressed, the feeling of defeat or of relinquishment are not part of my nature.

You won in the Appeals Court against the injunction that forbade the publication of The Truth of the Lie, in which you made the investigation known. Have they returned the books?

The books have been returned to the editor [Guerra & Paz], but I haven't been reimbursed yet. There are still precautionary seizure of assets lodged by the authors of the civil action.

Any work or books in the offing?

I have a book written entitled Madeleine: Unfinished Investigation [Madeleine: Investigação Inacabada], for which I have not yet sought a publisher. I am writing another book related to my experience as an investigator of organized and violent crimes, sort of a reflection about the way and methods used to investigate.

And after the trial?

My expectations for after the trial are to carry on with my life, accompanying and helping those who are close to me, and if circumstances offer that possibility, to intervene with solidarity in the Portuguese society. As my daughter Inês says, there are plenty of other children and young people who are in need of healthy life projects, of being the actors and authors of their own lives, of being happy.



Amaral considers suing the McCanns for damages to his daughter

Have you considered suing the McCanns for damages concerning your family?

I have pondered about that possibility, however it is still far to early to account for all the damages and make a decision. I have to think about my daughter Inês and on the effects that such a situation would encompass.

How have you been able to keep in touch with her?

It has been hard, distance doesn't help, but I try to be part of Inês' life. Amidst all this, I have been seriously worried about my child, who, not so long ago asked what could happen with this trial, if I could be arrested, etc. Inês is the same age that the child who disappeared would have been if she was alive and reacts negatively to all the news that refers to this case, when the name of the child is spoken she says she has had enough of hearing about the name. To her there are other children in the world who need the attention, love and care and Inês is one of them. Her world was rocked when she saw her father being attacked and insulted, even before the book was published, and that world of hers collapsed due to the subsequent circumstances, she had to abandon the house where she was born, the school where she went and live far away from her father. Inês is a victim of the arrogance and lack of common sense of the authors of the civil action, who claim to be Catholics, but as Christians appear to have little or nothing.

Madeleine McCann, Crimewatch Appeal - UK, Germany, The Netherlands

Kate McCann - Crimewatch Appeal, 14 October 2013

BBC Crimewatch - Broadcast 14 October 2013
BBC Crimewatch (update) - Broadcast 14 October 2013
Opsporing Verzocht (Netherlands version) - Broadcast 15 October 2013
Aktenzeichen XY... ungelöst (German version) - Broadcast 16 October 2013

For videos:
Click here

 
Is The Sun right to use Madeleine McCann to promote its website?, 18 October 2013
 

Is The Sun right to use Madeleine McCann to promote its website? The Guardian

The Sun's Madeleine McCann special report. Photograph: The Sun

By Roy Greenslade
Friday 18 October 2013 11.15 BST


Maybe I'm being unusually sensitive, but I find The Sun's latest promotion for its website unbearably tasteless:
"It's the terrible mystery that has gripped us all – what really happened to Madeleine McCann? In tomorrow's 12-page special pullout, The Maddie Files, we reveal:

The bungled investigation into her abduction... how Maddie's twin siblings are getting on… how Kate and Gerry manage to keep strong.

PLUS
the full Maddie story in an exclusive ebook ONLY for Sun+ members. If you're not already a member, join now."
Am I alone in thinking that this lure to attract subscribers amounts to an intrusion into grief for commercial ends?

 
The Maddie Files, 18 October 2013
 

The Maddie Files The Sun

Special report ... what happened to Madeleine McCann?
Special report ... what happened to Madeleine McCann?

Published: 18 October 2013

IT'S the terrible mystery that has gripped us all – what really happened to Madeleine McCann?

In tomorrow's 12-page special pullout, The Maddie Files, we reveal:

- The bungled investigation into her abduction

- How Maddie's twin siblings are getting on

- How Kate and Gerry manage to keep strong

PLUS – the full Maddie story in an exclusive ebook ONLY for Sun+ members.

If you're not already a member, join now.

Scotland Yard Release E-fit Image

Wanted: E-fits of the man police are seeking

15 October 2013

Reaction to the Crimewatch appeal in the media

For reports (currently being updated) click here

14 October 2013


Scotland Yard release two computer-generated e-fits of a suspect they wish to track down.

For reports click here



Previously:

SY Mobile Phone Traffic Announcement

Scotland Yard reveal they are trawling through a vast log of mobile phone traffic identified in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance. click here

Scotland Yard New E-fit Announcement

Sky News announce that detectives are to issue an e-fit image of a man seen near the holiday apartment from which Madeleine vanished in 2007. click here

Scotland Yard Release E-fit Image

Two e-fit pictures of the same man with are released in what is seen as a major development in the case. click here

The António Castela (taxi driver) sighting

Antonio Castela insists he saw Madeleine on the night she disappeared

For previous maps/reports click here

Scotland Yard announcement, 04 July 2013

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood

For previous reports/video click here



Urs Hans Von Aesch, 07 July 2013

Urs Hans Von Aesch

A 'suspect'/'person of interest' - according to the UK press - is dismissed by Swiss police as having no connection to the disappearance of Madeleine.

For all relevant reports click here



The review continues... 08 July 2013 onwards

The Metropolitan Police

For all relevant reports click here

The McCanns v. Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

The McCanns instruct Carter-Ruck to instigate contempt of Court proceedings against Tony Bennett, leaving him facing a possible prison sentence.

Following a 2 day hearing on 05/06 February 2013, Judgment was handed down on Thursday 21 February 2013 at 10:30am.

Mr Bennett was given a three-month prison sentence, suspended for one year.

Previous correspondence and documents can be read here:

McCanns v. Bennett - Contempt of Court (1) (2011-2012)

McCanns v. Bennett - Contempt of Court (2) (2013)

McCanns v. Bennett - Court Report (05/06 Feb - ongoing updates)

McCanns v. Bennett - Judgment & Sentencing (media reports)

McCanns v. Bennett - Judgment & Sentencing Remarks (of Mr Justice Tudendhat)

 
Jenny Murat: Kate McCann printed such awful things about my Robert in her Madeleine book, 02 December 2012
 

Jenny Murat: Kate McCann printed such awful things about my Robert in her Madeleine book Sunday Express

Robert Murat's mother Jenny

By James Murray
Sunday December 2,2012


A MOTHER whose son was wrongly linked to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has hit out at the way he is portrayed in a best-selling book about the mystery.

Briton Robert Murat was cleared of any involvement in the case four years ago but Kate McCann's book Madelaine, about her missing daughter, has brought back painful memories for Jenny Murat, 76.

Having seen the McCanns' suffering at the hands of the British press highlighted in last week's Leveson report, she is anxious to stress her son's total innocence.

She and Robert had hoped their nightmare would end in 2008 when he won £600,000 damages from British newspapers, but last night at her home on the Algarve, Mrs Murat spoke of how still the "tragedy consumes us, day in, day out".

The widow and former nurse said: "Kate of all people should know what it is like to be wrongly accused, so how can she be comfortable repeating wrong allegations about my son in her book?"

In the book published last summer, Kate wrote: "Two officers talked openly about Robert Murat, who remained an arguido [suspect] and drip-fed us snippets of 'evidence' linking him to Madeleine."

However, later in the book she writes: "Nothing we were told by the police indicated Murat took Madeleine or was in any way involved in her abduction." Mrs Murat argues: "Surely it would have been wiser not to mention the allegations from the outset if there was 'nothing relevant'."

The police spotlight fell on Robert 11 days after Madeleine vanished from the McCanns' holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal in May 2007.

Mrs Murat said: "Robert was at my home throughout that night and thankfully that is now fully accepted as fact. He did not leave once."

She feels Robert, too, should have been called to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry.

She explained: "Again we were denied an opportunity to put our side of the story. Robert was the subject of a most disgraceful character assassination, yet was not even invited to contribute to the debate. His life has been hugely damaged. This tragedy consumes us, day in, day out."

She added: "Kate's book and the resulting publicity did not help. I do feel sympathetic towards the McCanns and obviously wish they could find their daughter. We can't fathom the hell they must go through but they seem oblivious to the impact all this has had on our lives and the lives of others.

"We tried our best to help, but have ended being pilloried and abused and still it goes on."

Mrs Murat, now working on her own book about the case, added: "I am sick of all the half-truths and innuendos, so I do want a full and accurate record of the truth. It is important that our story is told."

 
A footnote, provided by Kate McCann, 15 May 2011
 
A footnote, provided by Kate McCann The Blacksmith Bureau

Posted by John Blacksmith at 20:25
Sunday, 15 May 2011

On July 7 2008 Mrs Justice Hogg gave judgement in the Family Division of the High Court regarding the attempt by Kate & Gerry McCann to gain access to all the Leicester Police documents regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The judgement was by agreement between the parties and was made in open court.

M/S Kate McCann in her book Madeleine has now provided an excerpt from the official submission of Leicester Police to the court regarding the matter and outlining the reasons why they could not agree to provide the documents. Signed by the assistant chief constable of Leicestershire it runs:

"While one or both of them may be innocent, there is no clear evidence that eliminates them from involvement in Madeleine's disappearance."