Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Two more people may be named formal suspects

“If it wasn’t the diplomatic intervention, the McCann wouldn’t be authorized to leave Portugal and would have been charged and arrested on September”, a source from Polícia Judiciária said. With the bureaucratic aspects for a new questioning of the Tapas Group finished, Police admits that two more formal suspects could be named, “if the questioning takes place as we expect.”

For the Portuguese police, the main problem, now, “is not the willingness to cooperate from the Leicester police,” but if they will be authorized “to go forward with the new steps of the inquiry like in any other police investigation”, according to the same source.

Clear intention

“The campaign set up in the Media, since the beginning, was planned and had a specific intention: to take the case out from Praia da Luz,” the PJ source said. This intention was already clear months ago, on July last year, when detectives in charge of the investigation told the Portuguese Press that “all clues related to foreign countries have been investigated and dismissed”. At the time, it was also clear to PJ that “the key to solve the case was at Praia da Luz.”

Portuguese police has been working in close cooperation with Spanish and British police forces. As a result, “PJ was able to clarify some details and doubts that still existed”, the source said. “The only victim, in this case, is Madeleine McCann, and we have that in mind, in our work. If the parents were really interested in helping with the inquiry, they would be still in Portugal,” the PJ detective said. “Private investigators, Spanish or British, can’t replace police. Those private detectives have been working for the McCann, not to find the truth or Madeleine.”

Early calls

The first contacts from Mark Warner to bring to Praia da Luz a special team of PR experts headed by Alex Woolfall were made on the night of May 3rd. That same night, Ocean Club management was asked to prepare a space for the team, due to be at Praia da Luz in less than 48 hours.

The expert in crisis management from Bell Pottinger describe, later, the initial hours with the McCann and how they prepared the first statement to the Media, appealing for the kidnappers to give Madeleine back, on a interview with the Times, on October 6th.

But Mr. Woolfall said, in that same interview, that Madeleine’s parents, in private, made no suggestion of a kidnapping, in the early days. These remarks have been carefully analysed by PJ, as both Kate and Gerry always referred the case as a kidnap, in their initial appeals and interviews to the Media.
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis