Sunday, 8 June 2008

Why did the chickens run away

Once again, Clarence Mitchel comes forward with another “spin”, trying to justify something that is difficult for any common citizen to accept. Some of the McCann friends refused to come to Portugal, to participate in the reconstruction of the events at the night Madeleine McCann disappeared. Let's analyse carefully the dialogue between Pat Kenny and Mr. Clarence Mitchell, on a interview with RTE Radio 1 (*). Pat Kenny was kind enough to put the question on a very “friendly” way:


Pat: Now, the last thing is quite amazing, astonishing, development in a sense that it's about a cancellation of a reconstruction of what happened on that night. But the reconstruction wasn't going to be televised, so what was the point of it?

CM: Well, that's exactly the question that Gerry, Kate and their friends were asking. There are a whole host of reasons why they had very strong concerns about what this would actually achieve. They've all said consistently - and continue to do so - that they will do anything to help find Madeleine. This particular proposal, the way it was phrased, the way it was being put forward, they felt would not in any shape or form help to find her. As you said, it wouldn't have been televised, so there would have been no new leads coming in... Why, what good would it have done well over a year after the event? Nobody seems to have given any consideration to Kate's mental well-being, you know, was she expected to see a child playing Madeleine in front of her? All sorts of other questions...”


I admit three possibilities as an explanation for this nonsense, quoted from that interview:

1 – Mr. Clarence Mitchell and the McCann's British lawyers just don't care about what their Portuguese lawyers explain to them;

2 – Mr. Rogério Alves and Mr. Carlos Pinto de Abreu are lousy lawyers and don't even know the basic procedures of a criminal investigation;

3 – Mr. Clarence Mitchell is lying;

Why? Because, according to the Portuguese Penal Code, reconstruction of events and/or facts related to a crime is a way of getting evidence acceptable by the Court, following a formal decision from police and judicial authorities, under specific circumstances and conditions.

This is a translation from article 150º, Portuguese Penal Code:

Chapter V – About the reconstruction of events
Article 150º
Conditions and procedure

1 - If there is a need to determine that a fact could have occurred under certain circumstances, it is admissible to do its reconstruction. This reconstruction consists in the reproduction, as exactly as possible, of the conditions under which is supposed the facts have taken place and the in the repetition of the way events happened.

2 - The formal decision ordering the reconstruction of the fact must contain a brief mention of their subject, day, hour and place where it will occur and how it will be done, eventually recording it on video. Within the same formal decision can be designated an expert for implementation of certain operations.

3 - The advertising of the reconstitution should be, as far as possible, avoided.”

Pat Kenny was surprised by the fact that Portuguese Police wanted to use the McCann and friends, for the reconstruction, rather than actors:


Pat: That's... they were going to use the McCann and the people who were there actually that night rather than actors.”

CM: Well, exactly, and how many reconstructions have you heard of in Ireland, Britain, or anywhere else, where the original people involved in a case actually take part? It is virtually unheard of. And so, again, that made us - made our lawyers wonder, you know, what is going on here? And on top of that, the Portuguese - as a norm - do not do reconstructions. Last year, just after Madeleine was taken, BBC Crimewatch proposed just such a reconstruction with actors. And the police said, "No, no, we don't do that here, we don't do reconstructions." And yet, suddenly they turn around over a year later to say "We will do one, on our terms". And, you know, there was some debate within the group. Now, Gerry and Kate, as 'arguidos', as suspects, are, would have had to go back if they were forced back - legally - to go. There was no question of them saying "No, we couldn't go", but the friends are not suspected of anything or not involved directly in that sense, to that degree. And, as a result, they had freedom of choice. And they discussed it themselves - at length - and decided to let the police know that, you know, that: "Thank you for this offer, on this occasion, but we don't feel it would be helpful". And that's what happened. And the police made it clear as well, they wanted everybody, or it wouldn't happen. And as soon as one or two of the friends said "no", then it simply fell away.”

Pat: There was some suspicion that they were trying to kind of trip people up. You've given a statement... Now, let's see you walk through the statement that you gave and let's see if we can find any holes in it.”

CM: I have to be very careful what I say, Pat, because the police are still investigating this and our lawyers are still looking at it, but, um, you can draw that assumption if you wish, I would not wish to comment on that.”


So, some of the McCann friends refused to take part in the reconstruction, making it impossible from a legal point of view. They “discussed it themselves - at length - and decided to let the police know that (...) 'Thank you for this offer, on this occasion, but we don't feel it would be helpful". Could the reason for that have been the “suspicion that they (the Portuguese Police) were trying to kind of trip people up...You've given a statement... Now, let's see you walk through the statement that you gave and let's see if we can find any holes in it”, as Pat Kenny mentioned?

You can draw that assumption if you wish”, was Clarence Mitchell answer. Yes, we can, as Barak Obama supporters say.

(*) The interview with Clarence Mitchell begins 10 minutes after the start of the audio record

Duarte Levy & Paulo Reis

Version française