Wednesday, 2 April 2008

I’m back …

Since February 8th, this is my first post. As I explained, due to a health problem, I had to stop posting at Gazeta Digital, for a few weeks. It wasn’t a serious problem, but kept me out of my work as a freelance journalist. Now, I’m coming back, but I still have some physical limitations and I will have to go slowly, for a few more weeks. Looking at the most recent news – the fact that the Tapas Group had access to the content of the rogatory letters and part of the police files about the investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance – I must say that this shouldn’t be a surprise, for those who have been following this case.

On January 2008, Clarence Mitchell revealed that “British police and child protection officers do not suspect Madeleine McCann's parents of involvement in her disappearance”. And he was clear about the source of this information, when he said: “I have also had briefings privately from the police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre that also gave me complete reassurance that the authorities, in this country certainly, are treating this as a case of rare stranger abduction, as they call it."

At the end of November 2007, the seven friends that were having diner at the Tapas restaurant, with Gerry and Kate McCann, met for the first time after the events at Praia da Luz. It was an emotional meeting, as the British Press referred, two weeks after the meeting took place, at a hotel in Rothley. But it wasn’t only the group of friends that were present. Some of the advisers of the McCann family were there, also.

It’s good to remember that on January 2008, the Foreign Secretary confirmed that he “has communicated with the McCann family on a number of occasions. However any further details relating to this have been withheld under Section 36 (2) (c) of the FOIA - information which, if disclosed, would or would be likely to, prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs. Section 36 is a qualified exemption and therefore a public interest test to determine whether or not the information should be released had to be applied.”

Another strange detail has emerged, on October 2007, on an interview of Alex Woolfall, the Media management crisis expert that was at Praia da Luz 48 hours after Madeleine vanished. He told “The Times” that “he heard no suggestion in the early days that the girl had been snatched. ‘Certainly I did not hear any discussion that this could be a paedophile or an aggravated robbery. All the time I was around it was whether she could have wandered off and had an accident or somebody had actually taken her in, perhaps not with ill-intent.”

But Kate McCann was clear – and in total contradiction – about this subject, in several interviews to British newspapers: 'There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken”, Kate McCann told "The Independent", on August 5th, referring to the moment when she went inside the apartment and realized that Madeleine wasn’t there.

Now, let’s wait and see what course events will take. But going back to the beginning of this case, allow me to quote Piers Morgan, former editor of “News of The World” and “Daily Mirror”: "Nobody I know says they would ever have left three kids aged under four on their own to go out with their mates at night on holiday. NOBODY."