Friday, 1 August 2008

Access to Madeleine's investigation files – Details and rules

Two layers from Mr. Pinto de Abreu office started to analyse the files, in the Court of Portimão, this morning. The McCann lawyers requested the Public Prosecutor Office (PPO) to reserve the access to the files (meaning the papers) only for lawyers and arguidos, during a certain period of time. I could not confirm exactly that period of time, some sources said it will be around one month. It makes sense, because you can't have 8 or 10 lawyers, more 30 or 40 journalists poring over the same paper files, at the same time.

Anyway, journalists can request copies of all the files, before that period of time ends. They just need to go to Portimão and file a written request, with a DVD enclosed, to the PPO. They will have a DVD copy in a few days. Requests from journalists will be processed from Monday, August 4, and it's expected that it takes between 2 to 3 days to get the copy. After the above referred period of time, journalists will also have access to the paper files.

No access will be given to what seems to be a small part of the files. Several lawyers I talked with, told me it's normal that personal data from people that has been investigated and ruled out of any relation with the case, is kept confidential.