Saturday, 30 June 2007

Movie from Bernard Alapetite was exhibited at film festival run by British Film Institute



The movie “Like a Brother” (“Comme un Frère”) directed by Bernard Alapetite, was on the list of movies that were on exhibition at the 19th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (2006), run By the British Film Institute (BFM) as it can be seen in the official web site of the movie festival. BFM, in its “Report & Financial Statements (2006)” has also a reference about the movie, in the list of films that were exhibited at the festival.

The support and funding of this festival is explained, in the same report, with the fact that the BFM is concerned “not only to introduce audiences to work that is new or for some other reason unfamiliar, but also to facilitate a reappraisal of acknowledged classics; it aims not only to encourage an interest in innovation and experiment, but also to foster and reward curiosity and a desire to learn more about past achievements. To tackle these challenges, the Institute runs the National Film Theatre (NFT) and a number of festivals including the London Film Festival and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (...)”

The London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival has an impressive list of big international companies as sponsors and the “Event Sponsor” for the 2008 edition is the London Metropolitan Police. “Special Screen Sponsors” are, among others, Credit Suisse, Merryl Linch and Goldman Sachs. The Mayor of London, the Government of Canada and the UK Film Council are listed as “Funding Contributors” of the festival.

Alípio Ribeiro, head of Portuguese CID: Antonio Toscano's informations “don't deserve particular credibility” to Police




“One of the Police jobs is to analyse all the clues. Some are more credible than others and this one (from Antonio Toscano) doesn't deserve particular credibility” to Portuguese CID, said yesterday Mr. Alípio Ribeiro, national director of Portuguese CID, Polícia Judicária. Mr. Alípio Ribeiro answered questions from journalists about the claims of Mr. Antonio Toscano (who has been saying since June 8 that he knows the name of Madeleine kidnapper) after a public ceremony, in Lisbon, according to Portuguese News Agency, Agência Lusa.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Arrests in Spain not connected to Madeleine abduction, says PJ spokesman

The Portuguese TV news channel SIC said, a few minutes ago, that the arrest of a Italian citizen, in Sotogrande, Cádiz (Spain) is not related to Madeleine McCann abduction, quoting PJ spokesman, Olegário de Sousa. The Italian was arrested by Spanish Police Special Squad for Kidnappings, today, according to online edition of “El País”. Spanish Police said they acted following a a request from French authorities. The Italian is accused of taking part in a plot to kill a judge, in France but, according to “El País”, he may be also connected to an extortion attempt to McCann family. A woman was also identified, but not arrested.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

"24 Horas": Murat was at Madeleine's room after she disappeared


(click to enlarge)

Portuguese daily "24 Horas" front page, from today, June 28:

Tit. 1 - “Main suspect said he didn't left home”
Tit. 2 - “Witness saw Murat at Madeleine's room in the night she was kidnapped”
Tit. 3 - " “PJ says that 'contradiction' in the alibi of the British is at “the centre of the investigation”

Daily "24 Horas": “Witness saw Murat at Madeleine's room in the night of the kidnapping”

According to Portuguese daily “24 Horas”, a witness informed Police he saw Murat inside Madeleine's room, at the night of May 3, when she disappeared. The newspaper has just an international online edition, which isn't updated yet (June 28, 01:27 am). The information was released by SIC Notícias, in a preview of Portuguese Press front page news for today, May 28, around 01:03am.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Sky News: Gangs selling children at public auctions in supermarket car-parks in Portugal

Madeleine’s abduction “may be linked to a trafficking network that sees children put on the market for £7,000, detectives have said” - according to Sky News. “Eastern European gangs are holding auctions in supermarket car-parks in Portugal and France. Officers in France have released details of the trade, as they believe it may be related to the four-year-old's disappearance, a Sky source said. In one case, the mother of a baby boy was arrested for attempting to sell her baby North of Lisbon.”

Editor's Note (1): Sky News makes (again...) a MANIPULATION OF ONE SINGLE CASE, publishing FACTS THAT ARE FAKE, MISLEADING AND DISTORTED, at least IN WHAT CONCERNS TO PORTUGAL Let's take a look of what really happened, in the case referred by Sky News, “the mother of a baby boy that was arrested for attempting to sell her baby North of Lisbon.”

1 - A couple of Romanian gypsies, currently living in Guimarães, North of Portugal, was accused, by local residents of Sousel, a small city in Alentejo, South of Portugal, of trying to sell his three months old baby. They knocked at several doors, in Sousel, and asked the residents if they wanted to buy the baby. Cecília Guimarães, a woman of 34 years to who the Romanian couple offered the baby, told the mother to give the child to an institution, as “the baby was crying from hunger”. The mother refused and went away.

Cecília Guimarães went immediately to Police and filled a report about the case. She told Diário de Notícias that the mother didn't asked for a specific amount of money, she just wanted to sell the baby. Few minutes after, GNR (Portuguese rural police) detained the Romanian couple. The baby showed signals of being undernourished and dehydrated, so the local “Child Protection Commission” (a Government body with legal authority to act in any situation of endangered children) gave orders to GNR to send the baby to Paediatric Section of Portalegre Hospital, where she was recovering well. The parents, 20 and 35 years old, will be submitted to a court hearing today.

(May 25, 2007 – Diário de Notícias, in Portuguese – This link has the story translated to English, with the help of Google. It's not a perfect English translation, but is good enough to understand clearly the facts)

2 – Mr. Adam Boulton, Mr. Tim Marshall and Mr. Michael Wilson, Editors of Sky News: What do you intend to do, after seeing this evidence that your story is a MANIPULATION OF ONE SINGLE CASE, and the FACTS ARE FAKE, MISLEADING AND DISTORTED, at least in what concerns to the reference to Portugal?

Editor's Note (2): A little help from my readers in UK: Is there any organization or institution, in UK, with which I can file a complaint about this serious breach of ethics and violation of the most basic journalistic rules, from a TV news channel? Could it be the Broadcast Authority? I filed a complaint against Daily Mail, with the Press Commission Complaints, and the Assistant-Editor of Daily Mail, Charles A. Garside, answered to PCC, which forwarded his letter to me, asking if I agreed to resolve the complaint in an amicable way. Mr. Charles A. Garside assured me that Daily Mail has “drawn the error in to the attention of the Sub Editor concerned and have already corrected the headline”, which had, in his own words, “a potentially misleading point”. I accepted the explanation and considered the complaint resolved.

But PCC informed me that they have no competence to deal with what is published in a web site from a TV news organization. Can somebody help me finding who has the authority to act in these cases?

Thank you

Paulo Reis
pjcv.reis@gmail.com

Sunday, 24 June 2007

False alarm on flight from Switzerland

A plane from TAP, the Portuguese national air carrier, was searched after landing in Lisbon Airport, because Swiss authorities alerted Portuguese police about a child who seemed to be Madeleine and was on that plane. Police identified the child and her parents, a French couple who was travelling to Portugal on holidays.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Ray Roberts, who says he saw Madeleine in Malta, never contacted local police

The Welsh tourist who was interviewed by “The Sun” and claimed he was one of the persons who saw Madeleine in the Island of Malta (near the south Italian coast) never contacted the local police, according to an official statement of Malta authorities, quoted by "Malta Star". Ray Roberts told “The Sun” he filled a report with local police and he and his wife “have given statements before investigating magistrate Miriam Haymann”, after seeing Madeleine in Silema. The statement from Malta Police says that “police deny that this man has in fact filed a report to the police, or has given a statement before the magistrate”.

Malta's Police confirms: Girl seen was not Madeleine


(click to enlarge)

The girl seen in the island of Malta was not Madeleine, local police confirmed, according to IMEDINEWS, that quotes a UPI dispatch:

“Local police and Interpol searched the Caribbean island, its ports and airports after several people reported seeing a child resembling 4-year-old Madeline, the Times of London reported. But no evidence of the girl was found.”
(...)
Welsh tourist Ray Roberts was one of the people who spotted a girl he thought might be the missing child. The girl he saw was wearing a jet black wig and was accompanied by an Arabic-looking man in his 40s who spoke in broken English, he said. It was obviously not his first language so it seemed odd that he had to speak to her in English," he told the Times. Then I noticed the little girl's hair. It was pitch black, very thick and cut in an unusual style for a child that age -- very much like a wig rather than real hair." Police said a photograph proved the child was not the missing girl.”

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Time line: What happened during the first hours after Madeleine’s abduction (I)

According to Times Online (May 27, 2007) “(..) Kate McCann went to check on her children, Madeleine and two-year-old twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie, 30 minutes (…) after a a friend of the McCann saw a man carrying away "(..) a blonde-haired girl (..) from (...) the apartment, wrapped in a blanket at (...)9.30pm as she arrived late for dinner with Madeleine’s parents (...)" So, at 10.00pm, the McCann family found that Madeleine was missing.

The first call to Police Precinct of GNR (Portuguese Rural Police) in Lagos, reporting a missing child and asking for Police help was made around 10.50pm and a patrol was sent, arriving at Ocean Club 12/15 minutes later, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Costa Cabral, Head of Public Relations of GNR (email: cg.rep5@gnr.pt - Tel: (+351) 213 217 046). Between 10.00pm and 10.50pm, dozens of people came inside Mccann's apartment (friends, other guests, staff from Ocean Club) alarmed and willing to help in the search of Madeleine.

The GNR patrol, according also to Lieutenant-Colonel Costa Cabral, alerted Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) immediately after they had the basic information to evaluate the situation, and they put on an alert of “missing child, possible kidnapping”. Crime scene, already heavily tampered, was isolated after police arrived, at a time that I couldn't yet confirm. First GNR Sniffers dogs teams arrive at the place during the night and, at the dawn, more sniffers dogs teams, who left from Lisbon at 3.00am, May 4, arrived at Praia da Luz.

This is confirmed on a story published by Guardian Online, at 2.30pm, Friday, May 4, and signed by “Mark Oliver and agencies”. Mark Oliver quotes Mr. John Hill, the manager at Ocean Club, as having said this:“(...) AROUND 60 STAFF AND GUESTS at the complex had SEARCHED UNTIL 4.40PM, WHILE POLICE NOTIFIED BORDER POLICE, SPANISH POLICE AND AIRPORTS (...) There is A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR HERE in charge of the situation and AROUND 20 OFFICERS (..).

Mark Oliver also wrote, on May 4, in the same story: “Assisted by sniffer dogs, police, who started the search last night, were today continuing to comb the resort and the village. Detectives were also speaking to guests at the resort, asking if they had seen anyone acting suspiciously last night (..)”

The next day, Saturday, May 5, Guardian Online published another piece, signed by Sandra Laville and Dale Fuchs. They wrote: “Police helicopters flew over Praia de la Luz yesterday as the hunt intensified for Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her bedroom in the apartment on Thursday night. Teams of officers used sniffer dogs to scour the resort, in the south-west of Portugal, where Gerald McCann, a cardiac surgeon, and his wife Kate, had taken their three young children (..)”

Mrs. Gill Renwick, a family friend, told BBC the McCanns, who had been holidaying with three other British families, had felt let down by police in Portugal. "I spoke to them this morning and they said the police had done nothing overnight and they felt as if they'd been left on their own. They just don't know where to turn", the Guardian Online wrote.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Portuguese Police has no report about Lisbon Airport incident with family members of Madeleine McCann


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click to enlarge
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Members of McCann family “manhandled” and “escorted by gun-toting officers”

“We have been running an internal inquiry, since a few days, and until now there is no report of any incident involving members of McCann family, at all the three major airports in Portugal – Lisbon, Oporto and Faro”, Mr. Hipólito Cunha, Head of PSP (*) Press Office told today to Gazeta Digital. “We will finish that internal inquiry soon.”

Daily Express quoted McCann family members who accused Portuguese Police “gun-toting” officers of stoping them, when they were putting “missing posters” of Madeleine McCann at Lisbon Airport. The newspaper refers that “members of kidnap victim Madeleine McCann family were manhandled by armed officers” and quotes Madeleine’s aunt, Philomena McCann, who said she and a cousin “were escorted from Lisbon airport by gun-toting police.”

Clarence Michell, spokeswoman for McCann family confirmed the incident and told Lusa, Portuguese News Agency, that Madeleine parents were “hurt” by this decision and appealled to Portuguese authorities to put aside unnecessary bureaucratic steps, in situations like this.

Lusa also quotes Madeleine aunt, as saying that she and the other relative asked for permission to put the “missing posters” at the information desk but later were interrupted by “two private security men” and told they should ask first for permission to do that with ANA (Aeroportos de Portugal) the company in charge of Lisbon Airport management. Gazeta Digital asked several questions about the incident, yesterday, to the Public Relations Office of ANA, but we had no reply, until now.


(*) PSP - "Polícia de Segurança Pública", Portuguese urban police.
----------------------

Daily Express
MADDY: NOW PORTUGUESE POLICE OBJECT TO 'MISSING' POSTERS
Saturday June 9,2007

The National Ledger
Madeleine McCann Family Harassed by Portuguese Police
June 9, 2007

Público
Família McCann magoada com retirada de cartazes de Madeleine do Aeroporto de Lisboa

("McCann family hurt by decison to take out Madeleine's 'missing posters' from Lisbon Airport")
09.06.2007 - 18h17 Lusa

Sol
Madeleine: Família magoada com retirada de cartazes do Aeroporto

("Madeleine: Family hurt with decision to take out 'missing posters' from Lisbon Airport")
9 Jun 07

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Video from Morocco: contradictory versions

Diário de Notícias writes today, June 19, that “police saw already images from the CCTV camera" of the gas station where a Norwegian tourist, Mrs. Mari Olli, claims to have seen Madeleiene McCann. But Polícia Judiciária says that they didn´t receive yet the vídeo from Morocco authorities. According to Diário de Notícias, “the images have no quality at all".

The apartment from where Madeleine was kidnapped was sold. The sale, according to a real estate bussinessman quoted yesterday, June 18, by Diário de Notícias, has a market value around 100 thousand Euro. The “Dutch Map” clue was abandoned, after searches in the area produced no results. PJ spokesman criticized the fact that British journalists hired private sniffer dogs and also searched the area: "These people are people who have no police training and who are walking around the bush looking for a scoop," he said.

Correio da Manhã writes, also today, that Policia Judiciária is following the lead given by Spanish “investigative journalist” Antonio Toscano, without mentioning any source. According to this daily newspaper, who quotes Mr. Toscano, he said that “he will send to Portuguese Police a list of persons that are connected with the alleged kidnapper of Madeleine, nicknamed 'El Francês' (The French)'. Mr Toscano said also he is “absolutely sure that the girl is alive and can be found”. Chief-Inspector Olegário de Sousa is quoted as saying just that the “information (from Mr. Toscano) is being evaluated”.

Police has already the results from forensic analysis, according to today's Portuguese Press. All the reports of analysis requested to material related with Madeleine's case – including the DNA samples - have been sent to the PJ by the Police Scientific Laboratory, reports Correio da Manhã.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Portuguese police received the "Dutch Maps"


(Click on the map to enlarge)

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf sent, to Portuguese Police, two maps the newspaper received, allegedly with the location of the body of Madeleine, but the indications are “vague”, according to the on line news site Observatório do Algarve. One of the maps points to the area of Odeáxere, a small village some 12 miles from Lagos. De Telegraaf , on today's edition, admits that the person who sent the letter may be the same that, last year, sent also a letter with the location of the bodies of two young Belgians girls, Stacy e Nathalie, seven and ten years old. The letter refers that the body is “on a road to North, under some bushes and stones, about 12 miles from Praia da Luz.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Spanish CID Press Office (“Policia Judicial”): “WE DON'T KNOW MR. ANTONIO TOSCANO”

Antonio Toscano, the "investigative journalist" who, interviewed yesterday, June 12, by Daily Express, said that he was “100 per cent certain” he knew the identity of Madeleine McCann’s kidnapper, is also an expert in satanic groups, according to an interview he gave to another Spanish daily, La Opinion de Murcia, who calls him “one of the greater experts in the study of satanic groups in Spain”, emphasising that he is a regular collaborator of special units of Spanish Police Force, in charge of the investigation of those satanic sects.

Mr António Toscano also claimed to be an expert in the investigation of cases of missing children and told Diário Digital, a Portuguese on line news site, that he had an amazing track record: “I found 14 of the 15 missing children cases I investigated, for the last years”, he said.
But an offcier of “Gabinete de Prensa” (Press Office) of Spanish CID (“Policia Judicial) contacted by phone by Gazeta Digital, said that Mr. António Toscano is “a person unknown to that Spanish Police force”.

The cruel hoax of Mr. Toscano was denounced by Gazeta Digital on June 10th, in a post published in our page “Blogging About Madeleine McCann's Case”. The first allegations of Mr. Toscano were printed by the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, on June 7th, but the story is available, on line, only to subscribers. The following days, his claim that he knew the man who kidnapped Madeleine and could help to find her, was quoted by thousands of blogs and dozens, may be hundreds of newspapers (from UK and Portugal to Germany and Brasil ) and what seems to be an indirect reference was made, at least by Sky News.

(To be continued)

Breaking News and Update: Antonio Toscano cruel hoax about Madeleine's kidnapper identity

Breaking News
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Spanish CID (“Policia Judicial”) Press Office :
“WE DON'T KNOW MR. ANTONIO TOSCANO"
(To be continued)
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Update:
Spanish ”journalist” who claims to know the name of Madeleine's abductor is an hoaxer

Antonio Toscano, the alleged “investigative journalist” who claimed to know the name of Madeleine's abductor is an hoaxer, who introduced himself, previously, as an expert in satanic cults, in several interviews with Spanish newspapers an TV. António Toscano was quoted, last week, by the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, saying that he his an “expert in missing children cases” and yesterday, talking to a Portuguese newspaper claimed that his track record his so good that he "found 14 of the 15 missing children cases that he investigated”, during the last years.

Many Portuguese and British newspapers quoted the story published by "El Mundo", but some of them wrote that Mr. António Toscano was a journalist working with the Spanish daily or a collaborator of that daily. "Gazeta Digital" talked with Mr. Rafael Moiano, a journalist from "El Mundo" and he confirmed that Mr. Toscano was interviewed and the story was published last week, but denied any link between Mr Toscano and the newspaper: "Mr. Toscano is not a collaborator of 'El Mundo', we just published a story, last week, about its investigations"

Toscano’s most acclaimed case: The “paedophile network” of Bar Arny

The “investigative journalist” and expert in “missing children” that claimed a rate of success of 93,4 per cent (14 cases solved in a total of 15...) gave a interview to Virginia Lopez (*), from the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, last week. Mr Toscano revealed to the journalist that the description of the main suspect, issued to the Press by Polícia Judiciária on May 25, “had a name ans surname” and he knew that man. “According to his investigation, the suspected abductor of Madeleine, seen in the city of Seville, one week before her disappearance, told that he was going to Algarve, to visit some friends”, wrote “El Mundo”.

The alleged abductor and the witness that saw him in Seville (apparently, also the source of Mr. Antonio Toscano) “meet when they were both regular clients of Bar Arny (or Arnie)– the operational base of a network of child prostitution, uncovered in 1995. “A few well known people were accused" of being part of the network “but nobody went to jail”, writes “El Mundo”.
Mr Toscano claimed to have uncovered that pedophile network. But nobody went to jail “because most witnesses, including nº 1 witness, retracted from their accusations, and almost all of the 48 men accused were acquitted”, according to on line edition of ABC Spanish newspaper.” On 2005, The main witness, Mr. José António B, was sentenced to 15 years of jail, for the murder of a 72 years old man, who hired him to have sexual relations”. According to the same source.

Mr. António Toscano took the case to the Spanish Police, after he was threatened and beaten by members of the pedophile network. The case was dismissed, by courts in the cities of Valencia and Castelló, as groundless, and whitout evidence to support it. Mr Toscano didn't give up and appealed to Spanish Supreme Court, “Audiência Nacional”. On March 4, 2005, Spanish Supreme Court rejected the appeal, based on a report of Policía Judicial (Spanish CID) of Castelló, who had investigated the complains about the existence of a child prostitution ring that “was responsible for kidnapings and murders of children”, denounced by António Toscano. “The Police investigation dind't found any evidence of the existence of any organized network of that kind” considered the Spanish Supreme Court, according to a newspaer of Valencia, “Levante – El Mercantil Valenciano”.

First attempt (fot what purpose???) of Mr. Antonio Toscano: “Spanish journalist says he knows Madeleine's abductor”

Un periodista que investiga el caso asegura conocer al autor del secuestro de la niña británica en el Algarve

VIRGINIA LOPEZ. Especial para EL MUNDO (June 7, 2007)


LISBOA.- Ha pasado más de un mes desde la desaparición de Madeleine McCann y aunque la Policía Judicial portuguesa asegura que no han dejado de trabajar en el caso, lo cierto es que los días pasan y no hay novedades en relación al posible paradero de la niña británica de cuatro años de edad, desaparecida del hotel en el que dormía en Praia da Luz, en el Algarve, el pasado 3 de mayo. Sus padres, Katie y Gerry, han iniciado una gira europea, primero Roma y Madrid, después Berlín y Amsterdam, para hacer llegar la foto de su hija a todos los rincones de Europa. Hasta ahora no se ha divulgado más que la descripción de un hombre de raza caucásica, de 1,75 metros y pelo oscuro, largo por detrás, entre 35 y 40 años, que podría haber llevado a una niña envuelta en una sábana la noche de la desaparición vistiendo chaqueta oscura y pantalón claro.

Este hombre tiene nombre y apellidos y el periodista de investigación Antonio Toscano, quien desde hace años trabaja en desapariciones similares, asegura conocerlo. Según sus averiguaciones, el supuesto secuestrador de Madeleine fue visto en Sevilla, una semana antes de la desaparición, afirmando que se dirigía al Algarve para visitar a unos amigos. Estas dos personas se conocían de frecuentar el Bar Arny -en el que en 1995 se destapó un caso de abuso y prostitución de menores; tres años después muchos de los famosos imputados salieron sin cargos, aunque ninguno fue condenado en esa operación. Lo que sí ha podido averiguar Toscano y ha declarado a EL MUNDO es que el supuesto raptor de Maddie, que habría actuado por encargo junto con otras dos personas, ya ha cumplido pena por un delito de pedofilia fuera de España, y podría estar trabajando dentro de una red internacional a nivel europeo. «La pequeña Maddie no fue casualidad y fue seleccionada mucho antes de su desaparición, probablemente en Gran Bretaña», afirmó Toscano.

Cuando la información llegó a sus manos, este periodista de investigación se ofreció a los padres de la niña para intentar ayudar a encontrar a Madeleine. Desde el primer momento, Clarence Mitchell, portavoz de los McCann, se mostró favorable a que se produjera el encuentro, siempre y cuando el periodista español estuviera dispuesto a trabajar de manera conjunta con la Policía Judicial portuguesa, ya que los padres de Maddie han insistido en que cualquier información sobre el paradero de la niña tendría que pasar antes por las autoridades policiales.
Sin embargo, los días han ido transcurriendo y tras un par de llamadas, ninguna persona del entorno de los McCann ha dado el paso para acercarse a Toscano. «Si quiere ayudar a la familia y tiene un nombre, entonces que llame a la Policía Judicial lusa y lo dé», pidió Clarence a Toscano, quien entiende que «la colaboración con la familia es fundamental porque ellos son una pieza clave del rompecabezas», explicó el periodista diciendo que, si han sido seguidos, es necesario saber sus movimientos para intentar llegar al autor del delito.

Por su parte, la Policía Judicial portuguesa ha afirmado en varias ocasiones que cualquier información será bien recibida, y estaban dispuestos a encontrarse con Toscano, si viajaba al Algarve para reunirse con ellos. «No nos compete organizar el viaje, o lo hace la familia o nosotros no podemos hacer nada», informó el portavoz de la Policía Judicial, Olegario Sousa. Ante la falta de respuesta de la familia, los investigadores portugueses han movido ficha y la policía judicial española se reunirá con Toscano para recibir las informaciones que éste tiene.
Según Toscano, Madeleine podría haber desaparecido a manos de un pedófilo que podría haber pagado por su secuestro una cantidad de dinero superior a la recompensa ofrecida por una pista fiable sobre su paradero, que supera los cuatro millones de euros.

Story published by “El Mundo” (2), about Mr. Antonio Toscano investigations (Brief, in English - I)

Tittle:
In the track of Madeleine
“Spanish journalist says he knows Madeleine's abductor”


By VIRGINIA LOPEZ, special report for EL MUNDO - LISBOA (June, 7 2007)

Madeleine McCann vanished since more than one month and, even if Portuguese Police says that they keep on working in the case, the truth is that days are passing and there are no news about where is Madeleine. (...)

Her parents started a European tour (...) to take her picture to all corners of Europe. Until now, the only thing that has been revealed is the description of a Caucasian man, 1.75 meters high, dark skin, strongly build (1), between 35 and 40 years old, who could have taken the girl, wrapped in a blanket, the night she disappeared, and dressing a dark coat and light coloured trousers

This man has a name and a surname and the investigate journalist Antonio Toscano, who, since a few years, has been working with similar disappearances, guarantees that he knows him. According to his investigations, the alleged kidnapper of Madeleine was seen in Seville, a week before her disappearance, saying that he was on his way to Algarve, to visit some friends.

These two persons meet at “Arny Bar” - where, in 1995, a case of children abuse and prostitution was discovered; three years after that, most of the famous implicated were free, without charges and nobody was sentenced in the case. What Mr Toscano found and told to “El Mundo” is that the alleged kidnapper of Maddie, who would be acting by request with other accomplices, has already spend time in jail for a paedophile crime, (committed) out of Spain, and he could be working with an international European ring (of paedophiles):

“Little Maddie wasn't an 'opportunity case' and she was selected much time before her disappearance, probably still in UK”, said Antonio Toscano.”

Story published by “El Mundo”, about Mr. Antonio Toscano investigations (Brief, in English - III)

When he (Antonio Toscano) got the information, the (Spanish) investigative journalist contacted Madeleine's parents and offered his services to help find Madeleine. Clarence Mitchell, spokeswoman of McCann family, accepted a meeting, with a condition: the Spanish journalist should work with Portuguese Police, since Madeleine's parents always insisted that any information about where Madeleine could be, had to go through Police, before (reaching them).

But, after a few days (following this contact with Clarence Mitchell) nobody close to McCann family contacted Antonio Toscano. “If you want to help the family and you have a name, you must contact Polícia Judiciária and give them that name”, said Clarence Mitchell to Toscano, who “considers that cooperation with the (McCann) family is crucial, because they are the key to solve this puzzle”. The Spanish journalist explained (to Virginia Lopez, journalist of “El Mundo”): “If they (that McCann family) were followed, it's necessary to know their movements to try to get the person responsible for the crime”, said Mr Antonio Toscano.

Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) said repeatedly that any information will be received and analysed, and they were willing to have a meeting with Toscano, if he could came to Algarve. “We can´t organize the trip, either the family does it or we can´t do nothing” (*). As McCann family didn't agree to that, Portuguese Police asked Spanish Police to get Toscano and collect the informations he had.

According to Toscano, “Madeleine could have been kidnapped by request from a paedophile, who could have paied for her abduction an amount of money superior to the reward offered for a reliable clue about her location, reward that is over four million Euro.

(TO BE CONTINUED...)

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(1) Note and correction: “largo por detrás”, in Spanish - I think is a mistake, because Polícia Judiciária description didn't mention this physical detail – but they said he had "short hair in the front, long hair in the back" – and this reference may have been wrongly translated to Spanish as “largo por detrás”, "long in the back". I also made a mistake, translating "largo por detrás", to English, and wrote "strongly built". But "largo por detras", on a literal translation, would mean "long in the back", wich didn't make any sense, on that context. So, probably, a phrase was lost, in the story published in "El Mundo". It should be like this:" Con pelo corto, en frente e largo por detrás" = "with short hair, in front, and long hair, in the back". (Jun 12, 2007 - 20:06)
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(2) Mr Rafael Moyano, a journalist from “El Mundo”, sent me a copy of the story they published, by email, because I couldn't find it in the Web site of “El Mundo”. I emailed him, asking to send me the link or, if the story was no more available online, to give me the indication about exactly when was it published: on June 8th or June 9th, and I'm still waiting for his reply.
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Paulo Reis
Journalist (Press Card nº 734)
Email: pjcv.reis@gmail.com
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Story published by “El Mundo”, about Mr. Antonio Toscano investigations (Brief, in English - III)

When he (Antonio Toscano) got the information, the (Spanish) investigative journalist contacted Madeleine's parents and offered his services to help find Madeleine. Clarence Mitchell, spokeswoman of McCann family, accepted a meeting, with a condition: the Spanish journalist should work with Portuguese Police, since Madeleine's parents always insisted that any information about where Madeleine could be, had to go through Police, before (reaching them).

But, after a few days (following this contact with Clarence Mitchell) nobody close to McCann family contacted Antonio Toscano. “If you want to help the family and you have a name, you must contact Polícia Judiciária and give them that name”, said Clarence Mitchell to Toscano, who “considers that cooperation with the (McCann) family is crucial, because they are the key to solve this puzzle”. The Spanish journalist explained (to Virginia Lopez, journalist of “El Mundo”): “If they (that McCann family) were followed, it's necessary to know their movements to try to get the person responsible for the crime”, said Mr Antonio Toscano.


Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) said repeatedly that any information will be received and analysed, and they were willing to have a meeting with Toscano, if he could came to Algarve. “We can´t organize the trip, either the family does it or we can´t do nothing” (*). As McCann family didn't agree to that, Portuguese Police asked Spanish Police to get Toscano and collect the informations he had.


According to Toscano, “Madeleine could have been kidnapped by request from a paedophile, who could have paied for her abduction an amount of money superior to the reward offered for a reliable clue about her location, reward that is over four million Euro.

(End)

Story published by “El Mundo”, about Mr. Antonio Toscano investigations (Brief, in English - II)

(Continuation)


These two persons meet at Arny Bar” - where, in 1995, a case of children abuse and prostitution was discovered; three years after that, most of the famous implicated were free, without charges and nobody was sentenced in the case. What Mr Toscano found and told to “El Mundo” is that the alleged kidnapper of Maddie, who would be acting by request with other accomplices, has already spend time in jail for a paedophile crime, (committed) out of Spain, and he could be working with an international European ring (of paedophiles):

Little Maddie wasn't an 'opportunity case' and she was selected much time before her disappearance, probably still in UK”, said Antonio Toscano.”

(To be continued)

Monday, 11 June 2007

Story published by “El Mundo”, about Mr. Antonio Toscano investigations (Brief, in English - I)

Tittle
In the track of Madeleine
“Spanish journalist says he knows Madeleine's abductor”

By VIRGINIA LOPEZ, special report for EL MUNDO - LISBOA (June, 7 2007)

Madeleine McCann vanished since more than one month and, even if Portuguese Police says that they keep on working in the case, the truth is that days are passing and there are no news about where is Madeleine. (...)

Her parents started a European tour (...) to take her picture to all corners of Europe. Until now, the only thing that has been revealed is the description of a Caucasian man, 1.75 meters high, dark skin, strongly build (*), between 35 and 40 years old, who could have taken the girl, wrapped in a blanket, the night she disappeared, and dressing a dark coat and light coloured trousers

This man has a name and a surname and the investigate journalist Antonio Toscano, who, since a few years, has been working with similar disappearances, guarantees that he knows him. According to his investigations, the alleged kidnapper of Madeleine was seen in Seville, a week before her disappearance, saying that he was on his way to Algarve, to visit some friends.
(to be continued)

(*) Note and correction: “largo por detrás”, in Spanish - I think is a mistake, because Polícia Judiciária description didn't mention this physical detail – but they said he had "short hair in the front, long hair in the back" – and this reference may have been wrongly translated to Spanish as “largo por detrás”, "long in the back". I also made a mistake, translating "largo por detrás", to English, and wrote "strongly built". But "largo por detras", on a literal translation, would mean "long in the back", wich didn't make any sense, on that context. So, probably, a phrase was lost, in the story published in "El Mundo". It should be like this:" Con pelo corto, en frente e largo por detrás" = "with short hair, in front, and long hair, in the back". (Jun 12, 2007 - 20:06)

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Another attempt of Mr. Antonio Toscano: “Spanish journalist says he knows Madeleine's abductor”

Tras la pista de Maddie

Un periodista que investiga el caso asegura conocer al autor del secuestro de la niña británica en el Algarve

VIRGINIA LOPEZ. Especial para EL MUNDO (June 7, 2007)


LISBOA.- Ha pasado más de un mes desde la desaparición de Madeleine McCann y aunque la Policía Judicial portuguesa asegura que no han dejado de trabajar en el caso, lo cierto es que los días pasan y no hay novedades en relación al posible paradero de la niña británica de cuatro años de edad, desaparecida del hotel en el que dormía en Praia da Luz, en el Algarve, el pasado 3 de mayo. Sus padres, Katie y Gerry, han iniciado una gira europea, primero Roma y Madrid, después Berlín y Amsterdam, para hacer llegar la foto de su hija a todos los rincones de Europa.

Hasta ahora no se ha divulgado más que la descripción de un hombre de raza caucásica, de 1,75 metros y pelo oscuro, largo por detrás, entre 35 y 40 años, que podría haber llevado a una niña envuelta en una sábana la noche de la desaparición vistiendo chaqueta oscura y pantalón claro.
Este hombre tiene nombre y apellidos y el periodista de investigación Antonio Toscano, quien desde hace años trabaja en desapariciones similares, asegura conocerlo.
Según sus averiguaciones, el supuesto secuestrador de Madeleine fue visto en Sevilla, una semana antes de la desaparición, afirmando que se dirigía al Algarve para visitar a unos amigos.
Estas dos personas se conocían de frecuentar el Bar Arny -en el que en 1995 se destapó un caso de abuso y prostitución de menores; tres años después muchos de los famosos imputados salieron sin cargos-, aunque ninguno fue condenado en esa operación. Lo que sí ha podido averiguar Toscano y ha declarado a EL MUNDO es que el supuesto raptor de Maddie, que habría actuado por encargo junto con otras dos personas, ya ha cumplido pena por un delito de pedofilia fuera de España, y podría estar trabajando dentro de una red internacional a nivel europeo. «La pequeña Maddie no fue casualidad y fue seleccionada mucho antes de su desaparición, probablemente en Gran Bretaña», afirmó Toscano.

Cuando la información llegó a sus manos, este periodista de investigación se ofreció a los padres de la niña para intentar ayudar a encontrar a Madeleine. Desde el primer momento, Clarence Mitchell, portavoz de los McCann, se mostró favorable a que se produjera el encuentro, siempre y cuando el periodista español estuviera dispuesto a trabajar de manera conjunta con la Policía Judicial portuguesa, ya que los padres de Maddie han insistido en que cualquier información sobre el paradero de la niña tendría que pasar antes por las autoridades policiales.
Sin embargo, los días han ido transcurriendo y tras un par de llamadas, ninguna persona del entorno de los McCann ha dado el paso para acercarse a Toscano. «Si quiere ayudar a la familia y tiene un nombre, entonces que llame a la Policía Judicial lusa y lo dé», pidió Clarence a Toscano, quien entiende que «la colaboración con la familia es fundamental porque ellos son una pieza clave del rompecabezas», explicó el periodista diciendo que, si han sido seguidos, es necesario saber sus movimientos para intentar llegar al autor del delito.


Por su parte, la Policía Judicial portuguesa ha afirmado en varias ocasiones que cualquier información será bien recibida, y estaban dispuestos a encontrarse con Toscano, si viajaba al Algarve para reunirse con ellos. «No nos compete organizar el viaje, o lo hace la familia o nosotros no podemos hacer nada», informó el portavoz de la Policía Judicial, Olegario Sousa. Ante la falta de respuesta de la familia, los investigadores portugueses han movido ficha y la policía judicial española se reunirá con Toscano para recibir las informaciones que éste tiene.
Según Toscano, Madeleine podría haber desaparecido a manos de un pedófilo que podría haber pagado por su secuestro una cantidad de dinero superior a la recompensa ofrecida por una pista fiable sobre su paradero, que supera los cuatro millones de euros.

Mr. António Toscano most acclaimed case: The “paedophile network” of Bar Arny, in Valencia, 1996

The “investigative journalist” and expert in “missing children” that claimed a rate of success of 93,4 per cent (14 cases solved in a total of 15...) gave a interview to Virginia Lopez (*), from the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, last week. Mr Toscano revealed to the journalist that the description of the main suspect, issued to the Press by Polícia Judiciária on May 25, “had a name ans surname” and he knew that man. “According to his investigation, the suspected abductor of Madeleine, seen in the city of Seville, one week before her disappearance, told that he was going to Algarve, to visit some friends”, wrote “El Mundo”.

The alleged abductor and the witness that saw him in Seville (apparently, also the source of Mr. Antonio Toscano) “meet when they were both regular clients of Bar Arny (or Arnie)– the operational base of a network of child prostitution, uncovered in 1995. “A few well known people were accused" of being part of the network “but nobody went to jail”, writes “El Mundo”.
Mr Toscano claimed to have uncovered that pedophile network. But nobody went to jail “because most witnesses, including nº 1 witness, retracted from their accusations, and almost all of the 48 men accused were acquitted”, according to on line edition of ABC Spanish newspaper.” On 2005, The main witness, Mr. José António B, was sentenced to 15 years of jail, for the murder of a 72 years old man, who hired him to have sexual relations”. According to the same source.


Mr. António Toscano took the case to the Spanish Police, after he was threatened and beaten by members of the pedophile network. The case was dismissed, by courts in the cities of Valencia and Castelló, as groundless, and whitout evidence to support it. Mr Toscano didn't give up and appealed to Spanish Supreme Court, “Audiência Nacional”. On March 4, 2005, Spanish Supreme Court rejected the appeal, based on a report of Policía Judicial (Spanish CID) of Castelló, who had investigated the complains about the existence of a child prostitution ring that “was responsible for kidnapings and murders of children”, denounced by António Toscano. “The Police investigation dind't found any evidence of the existence of any organized network of that kind” considered the Spanish Supreme Court, according to a newspaer of Valencia, “Levante – El Mercantil Valenciano”.


(To be continued)


(*) Mr Rafael Moyano, a journalist from “El Mundo”, sent me a copy of the story they published, by email, but I couldn't find it in the Web. I emailed him, asking to send me the link or, if the story no more available online, to give me the indication about exactly when was it published: on June 8th or June 9th, and I'm waiting for his reply. I'll post the full text of “El Mundo”, next to this post.


Paulo Reis
pjcv.reis@gmail.com

Breaking News - Spanish ”journalist” who claims to know the name of Madeleine's abductor is an hoaxer

Antonio Toscano, the alleged “investigative journalist” who claimed to know the name of Madeleine's abductor is an hoaxer, who introduced himself, previously, as an expert in satanic cults, in several interviews with Spanish newspapers an TV. António Toscano was quoted, last week, by the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, saying that he his an “expert in missing children cases” and yesterday, talking to a Portuguese newspaper claimed that his track record his so good that he "found 14 of the 15 missing children cases that he investigated”, during the last years.

Many Portuguese and British newspapers quoted the story published by "El Mundo", but some of them wrote that Mr. António Toscano was a journalist working with the Spanish daily or a collaborator of that daily. "Gazeta Digital" talked with Mr. Rafael Moiano, a journalist from "El Mundo" and he confirmed that Mr. Toscano was interviewed and the story was published last week, but denied any link between Mr Toscano and the newspaper:"Mr. Toscano is not a collaborator of 'El Mundo', we just published a story, last week, about its investigations"

(to be continued)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

A quick update....

I have been absent from this blog and from my main page, Gazeta Digital. But there is a strong reason for this “failure”: Since May 27, Sunday, when the small pekinois of my 85 years old father was mauled, in the street, by a large Pit Bull, my life has been quite complicated. I had to rush to hospital, with my father, twice.
Yesterday, my parents brought back home their little dog. When my father saw the dog, with his rear legs paralysed, trying to walk to his preferred resting place (near the sofa, in the living room where my father always sits, watching TV and reading newspapers) he just broke down, completely. I was at his side, as I knew something like that will happen. I had to carry him to bed and, later, to a doctor, again, because his blood pressure was 19 (and he has a ischemic heart disease and a half-obstructed carotid artery...).
Now, there is hope for some good news: we took “Saicó” (meaning “small”, in Cantonese) to a specialized veterinarian and he told us he doesn't see, on the X-rays, injuries in the spine. So, the dog is still there, for a “mielografia” (Computerized Axial Tomography or CT Scan) to see if the paralysed rear legs are due to some other kind of injury – and, in this case, there will be hope that “saicó” may walk again.

You can see a picture of “Saicó” at the following address (But, please, BE CAREFUL!!! There is also A PICTURE OF THE DOG AT THE VETERINARIAN OPERATION TABLE, AND THAT PICTURE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR SENSITIVE PERSONS!!):

I'm checking the large quantity of emails I have, and than I'll try to work a little bit, if news about the dog are good. If not, I'll need to be at my father's side. I hope all of you understand this situation.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

A real gentleman...

I received an email from Mr K.G. (let's call him just that, to respect his privacy..), asking if I “ever question the actions“ of Portuguese Police force. And just one more phrase: “And so many straw men in your argument.” I said “yes I do, as soon as I can find evidence that they have been negligent or incompetent.” I told him that I was preparing some material to post, including a reference to a superb opinion column by João Barradas (I am a suspect, he is a journalist and my good friend). He wrote that Portuguese Police main handicap is dealing with the Press. The leave an "empty space" that is filled with speculation, because they don't answer on time - Press time.

Than I send him this long email, about the so-called blunders of Portuguese Police and my arguments to disagree:

About closing the borders, I referred to a list of Ten Blunders made by Portuguese Police, according to the Daily Mail. That one, as far as I remember, was the first "blunder". Let me reflect a little bit about secrecy laws in Portugal (the same, exactly, exists in Holland and very similar one in France and other Europeans countries). I know British Law, also, and as a freelance on-line journalist, I spend a lot of time at home, typing in my computer and zapping between Sky News, BBC, CNN and Sic Notícias, a 24 hours Portuguese news channel.

I remember the coverage of Soham murders. There is, apart from the a different legal framework, also a different investigation procedure and philosophy, between Portuguese Police and British Police. Public appeals are not a tradition, in Portugal. By law, any public appeal about a missing person only can be issued 48 hours after the event. Of course, may times, Police finds a way to jump over this law, giving journalists information about it, when they think it's necessary to divulge, quickly the case. In Madeleine's case, every newspaper, TV, radio, the all media, had the story and her picture, on May 4. For more than a week, all TV news bulletins started with Madeleine's face and news of her disappearance. A characteristic of Portuguese people, more evident in cases like that, is the willingness to help and go immediately to Police, if they think they saw something related with the case.

About public appeals, in this kind of cases, there are two sides of the question, and I saw both in British Media: those who think it's positive and those who think that a large public appeals brings an influx of calls that are 95 % or more, useless. After the campaign about Madeleine (News of the World started it, I think) Portuguese Police received an average of 30 calls, every day, only about sightings of Madeleine, all over the country.

A important detail: in Algarve, you can see many blond girls, like Madeleine. All over Portugal that is a rare thing. A blond girl is something that calls the attention of people. Some British newspapers criticized that lack of posters, in Portugal. Well, every newspaper or magazine had her face, on front page, every day, for the first two weeks. This is so efficient (or more...) than having posters placed all over the country.

I understand police can't reveal details of the investigation, because it can jeopardize it. About the description of a suspect, I know that Portuguese Police was reluctant to made it public. That description can be applied to 1 or 2 million Portuguese... I can fit on it ( 1.75 mar, Caucasian, male, short hair in front, long hair in the neck..)

Newspapers speculation is another subject. This is newspaper's responsibility and we need, in Portugal, something like Press Complaints Commission. We have a enforcement body, but it deals basically with situations where there is a crime of defamation or injury, through media.
Whenever a crime is committed, Police investigates, collects evidence, and then send it to Public Prosecutor's Magistrate who oversees the investigation. A police investigation is always directed and controlled by a magistrate of the Public Prosecutor's Office. Than the magistrate analyses the evidence and, if he thinks h has a case, he sends it to the Criminal Investigation Judge. He will decide what to do: issue a warrant, like he did about Robert Murat, putting him in the position of "arguido" - something between a "suspect" and a "defendant". Murat is more that a suspect, but not yet a defendant, according to Portuguese Law.

What are the legal steps in a case like this (and every other crime cases)? When the investigation is closed by Police, all evidence is send to the Public Prosecutor's Office. They prepare it, on a legal form, and send it to the Criminal Investigation Court. The judge of that court decide it he case is to be prosecuted or not, if all the "arguidos" should be formally accused or not, and what preventive measures must be taken about each one. Murat, as an "arguido", can't leave his "Concelho" - an administrative unit of Portuguese territory, like the geographical area of a Municipal Council, and his passport is retained by police. This is the "softest" measure, but he could be in jail, until he was either formally accused or the accusations against him drooped, if there was a risk he could put the investigation in danger or cause "public alarm", for being free. This last situation was the reason a few VIP (an ambassador, the nº1 Portuguese TV star, Mr Carlos Cruz, and others, where put in jail, in the paedophilia case of Casa Pia.

About searches after the disappearance, as far as I know, Police has did it “by the book”. On the night of May 3 to May 4, at 03:15 am, several dog units of GNR left Lisbon, to reinforce the other dog units that were already in place, searching for Madeleine. As you know, in the first hours after a kidnap, dogs are very efficient. Madeleine's parents were throughout investigate. As some of their children (don't remember if it's Madeleine or the twins) were "in vitro" babies, Police checked their DNA to confirm if the father was Mr. McCan. McCann's couple life was investigated, by British Police, since they were born.

Garbage sites were searched (there is no garbage incinerator in Algarve) and nothing was found. I believe, sincerely and I'm convinced that Portuguese Police followed (and is following...) every possible lead. A massive search for Madeleine was set up the following hours of Madeleine's disappearance. Polícia Judiciária (our CID force) has 2.200 inspectors. On May 5, 200 (two hundred) CID inspectors were already in Algarve – this is 10 % of our national Police force. And you must add a few thousand GNR (our rural police), PSP (urban Police) Fireman and volunteers that helped in searches.

I told Mr K.G. also, that Since Madeleine's abduction until May 27, UK Police received 800 reports of missing children. Portuguese Police received none. It is obvious that, with so many cases, British Media don't put all of them in front page. That's the reason why (I think...) British Police must start a public appeal campaign, in those cases they have evidence that it's not only an adolescent running from home. As this crime is so rare, in Portugal, headlines in the Press and breaking news on TV's are immediate and they run it during two weeks, at least – more, in the case of British-tabloids similar newspaper, "24 Hours". So, the best and more efficient public appeal campaign, in Madeleine's case, was done by Portuguese Media, during the first two weeks after Madeleine's transparency.

After this email, Mr K. G. was furious. Look what he wrote:

“There have been NO stranger abductions of young children in the UK recently. We have roughly 800 disappearances in one year, figures can be found by looking at official European Union websites, not in your own gutter press, so it is a surprise that we should have had 800 cases in one month and you have none.

Can you provide the source please, ‘journalist’, or don’t you bother with those. And I mean original source, not the Portuguese equivalent of the Sun. Anyway, the vast majority of these cases are runaways, and some are custody cases. Very, very few are stranger abductions. Don’t believe everything you read in your own gutter press.

I must say it really frightens, but doesn’t surprise me, that you claim to be a journalist.”
K.G.”

Anyway, I send him the links for the sources I used. I even phoned Mr. Ross Miller (mobile:7872 600 178) spokesman of charity organization " Missing People", the same organization that was mentioned as source by Diário de Notícias, when they published a story about the fact that UK Police received 800 reports of missing children, since Madeleine's abduction.

And these are my sources:

- Christine Beddoe, director of ECPAT UK's ("Protecting Children Everywhere", a UK NGO) in a interview with Portuguese weekly "Sol":
- "We don't' believe this case is related at all with child trafficking";- "Portugal was never referred, in international reports (about child trafficking) as a 'source or destiny of children (trafficking)";

"(…) in 2006, 48 (*) children were missing only in the Birmingham and Newcastle area";

- "Child abductions and attempted abductions take place almost once a month in Cambridgeshire", writes the Cambridge Evening News;

- "(...) in UK, according to the UK National Police Missing Persons Bureau , there was an average of 124 unsolved cases of missing children under 14, on the last four years. In Portugal, from the 80 cases of missing persons still open, from a legal point of view [missing for more than one year] only nine are children and one of them is Madeleine."

- "In 2006, the Instituto de Apoio à Criança (IAC, a government department in charge of monitoring child abuse) registered 31 cases of missing under-age (-18 years) persons. 24 of them were found by the police. This is a rate of 77, 43 % of success in finding missing children. Two of them were found to be dead (*). So let's put these figures very clear: Portuguese Police has a track record of finding 77, 43 % of missing children, even if 6,45 % of those children were found dead, and 22,58 % are still missing [mainly adolescents running from home]. From those 31 missing children, only 5 [ 6.45] were between one and five years old. (*) - In both cases, disappearance was simulated, the children were killed by their stepfathers. They hide the bodies and reported a child disappearance to Police;"

- "Since Madeleine's abduction until May 27, UK police received 800 reports of missing children"; (Diário de Notícias)

- I phoned Mr. Ross Miller (mobile:7872 600 178) spokesman of charity organization "Missing People", the same organization that is the source mentioned by Diário de Notícias. Mr. Ross Miller told me this: "Since May 3, a total of 1.500 reports of missing children, 16 years old or under that age, have been received by UK Police. Of course many of this cases are already solved, because most of them are about adolescents running from home".

- In Portugal, there are, today, 72 confirmed cases of missing persons, still open from a legal point of view (meaning, they were not found dead or alive). The oldest case is from 1994. (Thirteen years ago). Eight of those cases are children under 16 years old (one of them is Madeleine McCann).

- Mr K.G. told me, after I send him another email, that he was furious, because I used his surname, to address him, in one of my replies, and he doesn't like to be referred as Mr. G. Well, it is better to change your surname, Mr G.

Choose something like “Idiot”. Seems more suitable to your profile.

Monday, 4 June 2007

It’s a dog’s life...

I found a curious story on K9 Magazine, a UK publication that keeps high the racial and cultural bias that has been a trademark of most British Press, when reporting about the capacity of Portuguese Police to deal with such a complex investigation like the disappearance of Madeleine.

I remember most British newspaper criticized strongly Portuguese Police for not closing the border with Spain, immediately after Madeleine disappeared.

Do they know that, according to his parents’ statements to the Media, last time the children were checked was around 09:30 pm, May, 3? That her mother realized she was missing at 10:00 pm? That the police precinct in Lagos received the first phone call precisely at 10:50 pm and sent a patrol that was there 12/15 minutes after that? That the patrol evaluated the situation, raised the alarm to CID – child disappearance, possible kidnapping – few minutes after arriving there?

Do they know that, driving from Praia da Luz to Spanish border, at night, it’s a one-hour trip? Can they deal with some basic arithmetic’s and realize that, since 9:55 pm, May 3 (let’s suppose it was the hour when Madeleine was abducted, just before his mother came back from dinner) until 10:50 pm it’ 55 minutes?

Can they add to those 55 minutes the time police took to go to the crime scene, coming from Lagos, the nearest Police precinct and realize that the final result is 65 minutesone hour and five minutes? I’ll remember again that, driving from Praia da Luz to Spanish border takes one hour.

Am I wrong, when I think that setting a road blockade (which takes some time to be set up, as there is no border between European countries, since Schengen…) in this situation wouldn’t be very useful? If yes, please correct me.

Now, K9, a magazine about dogs, has the last insult: Even dogs are better if you compare anything British and Portuguese. “It is an absolute scandal”, writes K9, quoting a non identified national newspaper that quotes a non identified senior UK Police officer. “The (British) dogs were put on standby to go to the Algarve within days of Madeleine’s disappearance.”, but Portuguese Police refused.

I’m sorry? Could you repeat it, please? You said “to go to the Algarve within days”? All British Press wrote that Portuguese police was slow to act, in the first 24 hours, but at the night of Madeleine’s abduction, they had K9 units at the crime scene. At morning, several more canine units, which left Lisbon at the middle of the night, arrived at Praia da Luz . Let me ask one question:

Until the British dogs arrive, no one could move within 15 miles of Ocean Club, the place from where Madeleine McCann was abducted, right? Because if people was allowed to go around, searching for her, they would contaminate the area, right? So, nobody could do noting, during those days. Just wait for the “British dogs (…) trained in advanced tracking techniques which enable them to follow human scent for several miles.” Oh, now I understand! British dogs can track and “follow human scent for several miles”! No dog from other “nationality” is able to do that, of course.

It seems that this is a case where British dogs are better than British “expatriate” dogs. Because many – I think most, but I’ll check that – dogs used by Portuguese Police are imported breeds from UK. Is it possible that those dogs lost the capacity to “follow human scent for several miles”, when they left the British Islands?

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Report sent to British Police by Mrs. Mari Olli about Madeleine's sighting in Morocco

Mari Olli, a Norwegian and a retired social worker, 45 years old, lives in Spain, Málaga, with her husband. The couple has been on hollidays in Agadir, Morocco, when Madeleine was abducted. They knew nothing about it, as they didn't watched news, while on holidays. They were returning to Spain and they stopped at Marrakesh, for the night of May 8 to 9. Early in the morning, they drove their car to Tarifa, to catch a ferryboat back home. They stopped at a gas station to buy some water and that was the place where Mrs Mari Olli says she saw Madeleine. This is the report that she sent, by email, to British Police, after she tried, without success, to give the information to Spanish Police (and not to Portuguese Police, as some British newspapers wrongly wrote):

“At the petrol station next to Hotel Ibis Palmeraie in Marrakesh (Address, Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi) Wednesday 9th of May, about 10 am, I saw the girl inside the shop. She was wearing clear blue pyjamas. Some pattern on the top, trousers little darker. Don’t think the trousers had any pattern. She was very small. Under 1 meter. She was with a man.”

“She was standing alone, the man about a meter from her. I looked back at her, she was very sweet. And it was a strange situation because the man didn’t look like her father. And it’s very strange to see a blond small girl standing alone in Marrakesh. She was very small and normally you would hold her in your arms or at least her hand. And he was turning away from her.”

“She looked sad. I looked at her face, she looked at me. Then she turned to the man and said something that sounds like: “Can we see mommy soon?” I am not sure if he reply. I turned around to pay my things, two bottle of water and some hygiene serviettes. I went in our car, looked for if they had a car, but could not see any special. I wanted to tell my husband, but he was busy with the driving to catch the ferry from Tanger to Tarifa. I didn’t know about the missing child at that time. Because I had not watched the news, when I was on holiday.”

“I saw the news on Thursday the 10 of may, in the evening. Then I remember what I saw in Marrakesh. I started to phone the police, Spanish and English. The Spanish police didn’t want to talk to me. I talked to the English (Police). Friday morning I gave my report to Katy Peters from Scotland Yard. She said someone was going to phone me. But I have not heard anything. I have emailed them and phone them several times. But no response. I am very worried and very sure this was that girl. Her face is very special. And that situation was very strange!”

“My mind is on this situation all the time, and I need to know if someone is looking into my report. I am sure the two Moroccan men inside the petrol station can confirm my seeing as well.”

“If I can do anything more to help, PLEASE let me know!
Regards
Mari Olli”

According to Correio da Manhã, the daily Portuguese newspaper that first got in touch with Mrs. Mari Olli, as soon as the information reached the Portuguese Police, through British liaison officers, Portuguese Police contacted Mrs. Mari Olli, for six times, on May 18 and May 21, to get more details from her.

Reasons for another delay and news to be published soon

The Press Conference I referred, on my previous post, wasn't officially confirmed and didn't took place. But I had it confirmed and, one of my sources, a high-ranking Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) office, minutes before I published my previous post, vonfirmed they were preparing a Press Conference but, questioned about the hour, he told me: "I don't know yet".

I couldn't update my page and my blog - and I apologise for that! - because yesterday night I had to rush (for the third time this week!!) to hospital with my 85 years old father. He is going through a very difficult situation, because his much loved dog (his best friend, for the last 10 years!!!) a small pekinois, was mauled, in front of his eyes, by a pit bul, last Sunday. I started a campaign to ask Portuguese Government to issue a law similar to British Dangerous Dogs Act(1991). This is the English version of that page.

So, this is the reason why I failed to make a follow-up of the story about the Press Conference. I have some indications that, when the Press Conference was being prepared, new developments made the Portuguese Police (with full knowledge of the British liaison officers) to postpone the realise of the information.

I'll post, in the next two hours:

1) A copy of the report send to British Police by Mrs. Mari Olli, the Norwegian lady that says she saw Madeleine MacCann at a gas station, near Tarifa, in Morocco(*);

2) Main news published by Portuguese Press, for the last three days, about Madeleine's abduction;

(*) Just a note: The Mail on Sunday is so culturally biased against Portuguese, that they published a small headline, in this story, saying: “Mari Olli says she repeatedly phoned police in Portugal”.

But if you read the story until the end, Mrs. Mari Olli is quoted by Mail on Sunday, as saying this: “I am very sure it was Madeleine. I walked into the petrol station and saw the little girl standing there. She looked sad. When the man saw me looking at them he turned away, so I couldn't see his face. It's very strange. If it was me with a child there, I would hold their hand, but this man was a metre away from her. At 6pm the next day I turned on the news in Spain and got a real shock, because it was definitely her. All that evening I was physically sick. I was calling all the police, but no one wanted to talk to me. I was phoning the Spanish police about 20 times. We then phoned Leicestershire police, who took my report and said it was a 'very strong observation'. But since then nobody has phoned me back.”

I already file a complain with the Press Complaints Commission about this, that I consider a serious breach of the Code of Pratice of British Press.

Paulo Reis
Journalist (Press Card nº 734)
Email: pjcv.reis@gmail.com
Gazeta Digital - News and Opinion in English, Portuguese and Chinese
URL: http://gazetadigital.blogspot.com/
Personal Blog: "Zero Tolerance for Killer Dogs"
http://caesassassinos.blogspot.com/