Thursday, 31 January 2008

Clarence Mitchell briefed by British police about Madeleine’s investigation

The McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed that he was briefed by British police about the investigation concerning Madeleine McCann disappearance. Mr. Clarence told that he had “private briefings” from British police officials who assured him that British police is treating the case as an abduction. He also said, at a debate on "The McCanns and the Media" at the London School of Economics, that the same British police who briefed him told that they do not consider the McCann suspects in the disappearance her daugther.
"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", Clarence Mitchell told, during the debate.

Another news site preparing to ban Madeleine’s case

A second British tabloid is planning to limit or even forbidden discussions about Madeleine McCann disappearance on its site. The possibility, discussed during several meetings with editors, PR’s and marketing staff, is still on the table, but strong reactions against it took the newspaper to decide to wait for further developments in the investigation. The Mirror banned all discussions about Madeleine McCann from its site, last week, and deleted all posts related with the case.

Rogatory letters sent back to Portugal

British authorities raised “doubts” about the rogatory letters sent by the Public Prosecutor’s Office through Eurojust. The letters were sent back to Portugal and the Public Prosecutor’s Office is now preparing to send it again, through other channel.
Editor's note: In the first version of this post, I referred “the rogatory letters sent by Polícia Judiciária”, which was a mistake. It was the Public Prosecutor’s Office who send it.

Questions being asked

The role played by several British civil servants with connections in the Government Communication Network (GCN) is being questioned, after it emerged that some McCann advisers had contacts with a specific group of high ranking civil servants, for the last months. The situation is being evaluated, to find more information about the nature and reason of those contacts and to decide if a formal inquiry will be necessary or not, according to a source close to GCN.

Missing in action (and the McCann lawyers are watching you…)

I’ve been "absent" for a few days. Nothing of special, just some personal problems that took some time to solve. Meanwhile, Madeleine McCann was spotted in Chile and Argentina (only…) and four Portuguese citizens (one, living in Gibraltar) were accused (by British Media, and Police in Gibraltar) of having some relation with the disappearance of Madeleine, due to their resemblance to the sketch revealed by Clarence Mitchell.

“Another week, another Madeleine McCann "suspect", wrote Sue Carroll, in The Mirror. That’s truth. And that’s odd, in The Mirror – a critic opinion about the McCann campaign.

Polícia Judiciária was informed, 22 days ago, that formal letters requesting new interrogation of Tapas Group were delivered to its destiny. It seems that the Home Office refuses, now, to confirm the letters were received, according to the Daily Mail, or just denies the existence of any request for legal assistance related with the McCann case, according to Daily Express.

Are those letters missing in action? Lost in translation? Is it possible that the same “solution” applied to the Chappelow murder case is being applied to the McCann case? And be careful with what you write. The powerful McCann legal team is watching you!

Listen to Mr Clarence Mitchell, a former Media Monitoring Unit director: “"We have made it very clear that publications in Britain and Portugal are subject to the laws of libel and defamation, like everyone else, and our lawyers are watching all of this. We reserve the right to take legal action and have three years in which to do it."

Friday, 25 January 2008

Let me guess....

... the name of the place where the next suspect will be found? Carvoeiro?

McCann still looking for “creepy man”

A man very similar to the face shown in the sketch produced by the McCann private detectives was found, by Portuguese journalists, living in a small town near Praia da Luz. Polícia Judiciária has already dismissed the new “suspect” as a “diversion tactic at a crucial moment”, when the friends of the McCann are due to be submitted to a new questioning. Police sources told the Media that the man has been questioned three weeks after Madeleine vanished, following Gail Cooper initial statement to British police.

But Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman told British Media that McCann private detectives “have not been informed that the man we are seeking has been ruled out. We have no reason to believe he has been ruled out and our search for the man in our image is very much continuing.” Mr. Clarence referred that the “suspect” now has dreadlocks, something Gail Cooper, the witness who saw him at Praia da Luz, two week before Madeleine vanished, didn’t noticed.

This detail – the fact that the man changed his appearance and now uses dreadlocks – was published in the Portuguese Press, before Mr. Clarence statements to the British Media. Other news today mention the decision from The Mirror to ban all discussions related to Madeleine McCann from the Mirror forums.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

New DNA technology could be used in Madeleine’s case

British authorities are waiting for the decision from the Attorney General to use a new technology, developed by Forensic Science Service, which allows scientists to find results in previously unusable genetic samples. The new technology, called “DNABoost” could “also help in cases such as that of missing Madeleine McCann - where forensic evidence appears to have been difficult to analyse”, according to the Daily Mail. The technology has already been tested and the results show it is “the biggest step forward in crime-fighting science for more than a decade”, according to the newspaper.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

McCann 1 - Freedom of Speech 0

No more discussions about Madeleine McCann in The Mirror forum

"Important notice to all users of mirror.co.uk forums"
"Sadly, due to persistent and serious abuses, we will no longer be hosting discussions regarding Madeleine McCann on this website. We do not take this action lightly, believing this website should be a place for free and frank discussion across the broadest possible range of subjects. But the level of debate on the Maddy forums has gone way beyond what we consider acceptable, with several recent incidents of extremely abusive postings, both against fellow users and the McCanns. We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from a small handful of malign voices and have taken the unprecedented decision to block all further discussion on the McCanns. We remind all users of our guidelines for mirror.co.uk, which can be found here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/forums Any further abuse of the spirit of this decision will result in users being immediately banned from our website. Mirror.co.uk is a family website. We want to encourage debate, even argument, across our forums. We are confident this decision will be understood and welcomed by the vast majority of our right-minded users."

A “diversion” at a “crucial moment”

Police sources, quoted by British and Portuguese Media, said that the sketch released by the McCann was a “diversion”. Criminologist Moita Flores told TV that it’s not a coincidence the new image appears when investigation is at a “crucial point”, with the McCann friends to be questioned again soon. Police expects that more people will be named as formal suspects, as a result of the new questioning.

The request to question again the Tapas Group was made by PJ and addressed to the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) which, after analysing the new evidence submitted by police, gave authorization to proceed with the questioning. On October last year, a formal statement from PPO said that, at the time, there was no new evidence that justified further questioning of the Tapas Group.

Portuguese journalists showed the sketch of the new suspect to people all around Praia da Luz but couldn’t find anybody who confirmed a sighting, it was reported today.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

An interesting change

“So how useful is the latest sketch? Any major media release has the ability to seriously hamper an investigation, although this tends to be the case early on in an investigation rather than nine months in. In this case it may well be a very useful tactic and help kick start a stagnant investigation. Sadly the Portuguese police are giving the sketch no credibility - whatever information it may generate. It will therefore fall for Metodo3 to follow up on the many leads - and hopefully they will have learnt some lessons and keep quiet this time.” - Sky News, Mark Williams-Thomas

Foreign Secretary confirm calls to the McCann family

"I can confirm that the Foreign Secretary 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.” – thanks to “transfattyacid”, where you can read the full answer.

Monday, 21 January 2008

“Round up the usual suspects”

“Captain Renault: Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.” – Casablanca, memorable quotes

McCann hope their status of “arguidos” will now be lifted

According to the Press Association, “since Madeleine's disappearance, only three people have been named as official suspects - Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, and British expatriate Robert Murat. Mr and Mrs McCann have always strenuously denied any involvement in her disappearance, and hope today's development will ultimately lead to their status as "arguidos" - suspects - being lifted.”

Moita Flores: Another spin from the McCann

The new sketch released by the McCann “is just another spin, a make-up to keep the case alive and reinforce the innocence of the parents”, criminologist Moita Flores told today to a Portuguese news channel, SIC. “It is manipulation and propaganda, from the (McCann) group, which has done the same before, to innocent people”, he said. Questioned about similarities between the cases of Mari Luz and Madeleine, Moita Flores said that “the only thing similar was the fact that both children vanished.” Among many differences, he pointed to the fact that “Mari Luz parents never abandoned her, as the McCann did with their children.”

Clarence Mitchell: "That is exactly the sort of call we want”…

The same man pictured in the new sketch released by the McCann family “had been seen in Faro several years ago”, according to witnesses that called the hotline managed by Metodo 3, the Spanish detective company hired by the couple. The spokesman for the McCann told ThisIsLondon "that is exactly the sort of call we want. We think the image is of such a quality that anyone who knows him will be able to identify him," he said. "Kate and Gerry are quite buoyant at the moment - every time we do something like this and move things forward it gives them strength."

The McCann, according to a friend quoted by ThiIsLondon, believe that “a group of two or three paedophiles may have fishing around the apartments, casing it with a view to taking children." This belief is based in another witness, Paul Gordon, who also contacted Metodo 3, but gave a description of a different man hanging round the McCann’s apartment.

Gerry McCann: Jane recognized the man in the new sketch

In spite of admitting, on October last year, she couldn’t recognize the man she allegedly saw carrying a child, Jane Tanner “has been shown these sketches of the man. She feels he has a strong resemblance to the man she saw on May 3rd.carrying the child away”, Gerry McCann wrote in his blog. According to the Daily Mail of October 28, 2007, “the key witness in the hunt for Madeleine McCann has admitted she would not recognise the man she says abducted the four-year-old” because she “only got a fleeting glimpse of him. Jane has been asked if the man could have been Robert Murat, because the man was walking in the direction of his home, but there's no way she could know that."

Jane Tanner said “she cannot be sure she would recognise the man again”

According to the News of the World from today, January 20, 2008, Jane Tanner confirmed the likeness” between the sketch of a suspect, based on information given by a holidaymaker who saw a “creepy man” near the McCann’s apartment, and the man she saw on the night Madeleine vanished.

But according to the Daily Mail of October 28, 2007, “the key witness in the hunt for Madeleine McCann has admitted she would not recognise the man she says abducted the four-year-old.” The story follows on: "She just cannot be sure she would recognise the man again if she saw him because she only got a fleeting glimpse of him. Jane has been asked if the man could have been Robert Murat, because the man was walking in the direction of his home, but there's no way she could know that."

Maddy's off the Front Page

"Followers of the Madeleine McCann story have been able to depend on the 'Evening Standard' to clear the front page for any development. So how come a potential breakthrough, with police looking into the disappearance of another little girl near Praia da Luz, was buried on page 17? The answer is: sales fell by 10,000 the last two times Maddy made the cover, so the news desk have been told to curb their Maddy enthusiasm. If only they'd tell the 'Express' to do likewise." - Independent on Sunday, January 20, 2008

Attention: if you saw this man, don’t call police!


“If you have any information about the man in the new picture contact the confidential phone line 0034 902 300 213 based in Spain now. A specially-trained team will take your call in any language. Mr Mitchell said: "We urgently need to know who this man is and where he is. For Madeleine's sake, we urge anyone with any information about him to come forward right away." – The News of the World, January 20, 2008

Just a question:

Is it legal, in UK, for a citizen, to release an image of the face of another person and call that person a suspect of a crime? I thought that only police could do that…

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Recent events, news and comments

Jane Tanner’s suspect has a face
Spanish journalist: big news coming tomorrow from London
Francisco Marco strikes again
Eurojust confirms request to re-interview the Tapas group
Two more people may be named formal suspects
Good journalism coming from The Mirror
Another dramatic spinning?
London asked for more time before the McCann are charged
A good way to “bury” bad news
The Telegraph: "Don't go to Portugal for your holiday..."
Police has new evidence against Madeleine's parents
Martin Brunt accuses McCann friends of lying
“Desperate” McCann behind recent news about Murat
Just another coincidence
Martin Brunt: Madeleine's disappearance "becoming a soap opera"
McCann final "appeal" to Gordon Brown

McCann want Metodo 3 to replace PJ


Following the release of a sketch showing the face of a new suspect, the McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, told journalists that the couple wants his private detective company, Metodo 3, to be in charge of a review of police investigation. The sketch was based in the descriptions made by witnesses that saw a “creepy” man near the Ocean Club. Jane Tanner, the McCann friend who allegedly saw a man carrying a child on the night of May 3rd, helped to make a first sketch, without a face because she didn’t saw it. Now, she told the News of the World “the man in the new suspect picture strongly resembles the person I saw on May 3rd."
Clarence Mitchell said also that Portuguese and British police, and Interpol had already the image and were trying to find the man. But a source from Portuguese police denied any previous knowledge of the sketch and said that “PJ knew about it from the Media”. “As it happens with any other clue, this one will be investigated, but the main line of the inquiry hasn’t changed”, the source added. The Daily Mail refers today that Paulo Rebelo has invited Gonçalo Amaral to go back to the team in charge of the investigation.
Editor's note: This list was published on November 2007.
Madeleine McCann spotted in Portugal
Bosnian police confirms – Blond girl from Medjugorje is not Madeleine
Philomena McCann: Madeleine could have been snatched by a Saudi paedophile
Madeleine McCann spotted in Bosnia
Metodo 3 confirms: Madeline is alive and in Morocco
Spanish detectives: A Portuguese paedophile kidnapped Maddie
Seventh witness claims she saw Madeleine in Morocco
McCanns: 'Important clues suggest Madeleine will be found in Spain'
Police asked Interpol to investigate witnesses that claim they saw Madeleine
Madeleine: New hope for McCanns as kidnapped American girl 'is found safe in Morocco'
Investigators scour Morocco after 10 'sightings' of Madeleine with 60-year-old woman
Clara Torres: If it's nor Madeleine, it's her twin sister”...
Fourth witness says she saw Madeleine in Morocco
Possible sighting of Madeleine McCann in Tongres (*), Belgium
Alípio Ribeiro, head of Portuguese CID: Antonio Toscano's informations “don't deserve particular credibility” to Police
False alarm on flight from Switzerland
11 'sightings' of Madeleine in Malta - but police investigations draw a blank
Ray Roberts, who says he saw Madeleine in Malta, never contacted local police
Portuguese police received the "Dutch Maps"
Report sent to British Police by Mrs. Mari Olli about Madeleine's sighting in Morocco

Jane Tanner’s suspect has a face

The News of the World claims to have a sketch of the face of the possible kidnaper of Madeleine. The associate editor of the newspaper told Sky News that “Jane Tanner confirmed the likeness” between the sketch, based on information given by a holidaymaker who saw a “creepy man” near the McCann’s apartment, and the man she saw on the night Madeleine vanished.

Site being renewed

The site http://www.madeleinemccann.net/ is being renewed, and promises to came back with more information: “We are now working on a brand new website, please come back soon to view or brand new website with much more information available to you.”

New phone number for Crimestoppers ?

I’m not sure if this recent or not, because there is no indication of the date it was posted:

Crimestoppers has been asked to help provide an avenue for people to give information from Portugal about Madeleine McCann Due to difficulties with international phone routing our usual 0800 555 111 number will not work. Therefore, for this case we are making an exception and publishing our international delivery number. Anyone in Portugal with information about the whereabouts of Madeleine Mccann can give information anonymously on 44 1883 731 336.”

McCann want a “joint poster campaign” with Mari Luz and Madeleine

The parents of Madeleine McCann sent a message to José and Irene Cortés, whose daughter vanished at the city of Huelva. In the message, according to The Sun, Gerry and Kate “suggested a joint poster campaign to find the girls.” This the first time the McCann offers help to another family whose child is missing. While in Portugal, the McCann were contacted by the parents of Rui Pedro, a Portuguese boy who disappeared ten years ago, but didn’t reply to the letter that was sent to them.

Spanish journalist: big news coming tomorrow from London

Albert Castillón, a Spanish journalist, claimed yesterday, in his blog, that “this weekend will be crucial in solving Madeleine’s case” and recommends to everybody to “pay attention to the news that will came from London on Sunday.” In his post, he also praises the work of Metodo 3, the Spanish detective company hired by the McCann. “If, at last, the clue that will be revealed this Sunday allows Madeleine to be found and shows that the parents had nothing to see with her disappearance, many people will have to apologise”, writes Albert Castillón. “In a few months the case will be solved”, he claims.

A forgotten missing child

Daniel Entwistle disappeared on May 3rd 2003, four years before Madeleine McCann. He was seven-years-old and the his last image was taken from a CCTV camera, at a shop on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, UK. He vanished after returning home with the milk he bought. His bicycle was found less than a mile from his home. Police set up a large scale search, hundreds of persons were questioned. Police investigation was closed on August 2003, three months after the child disappeared. The full story, from True Crime Blog UK, is here.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

The biggest story of 2007

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCann and Justine McGuinness, “a PR guru who manages the Find Madeleine campaign”, will discuss “The McCanns and the Media”, in a POLIS/LSE Media Group panel debate, to take place on January 30, 2008. The meeting is organized by the London School of Economics and Political Science and other participants are: Steve Hewlett, a media consultant and former BBC editor, Roy Greenslade a media commentator, columnist and blogger, and Professor of Journalism at City University and Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Two different tales

The Spanish daily El Pais has a story about the reactions surrounding the disappearance of two girls, Amy Fitzpatrick y Mari Luz Cortés. The fact that Amy lives in “one of the most ‘closed’ communities from Costa del Sol had as a consequence that very few neighbours mobilized to help finding her”, according to the newspaper.

In Huelva, thousands of citizens came to the streets to show support to the family and there are pictures of Mari Luz everywhere. But in Mijas, the small town where Amy’s family lives, her disappearance faced “an almost absolute indifference”. Just a few pictures were posted in bars and restaurants near the main road of the town, writes El Pais.

The expatriate community of Mijas has also made the police work more difficult. The British living at Costa del Sol, like other Europeans, don’t integrate easily in the local community, writes the Spanish newspaper. But police suspects the case of Amy could be just a runaway teenager, which is very different from a child like Mari Luz, only five years old.

Spanish media reports that there is already a suspect in Amy’s case, a British citizen, friend of the family, who was arrested, after giving “contradictory statements” to authorities. Parents of Mari Luz believe she was kidnapped by a group of illegal Rumanian gypsies, as an act of revenge related with the refusal of the family to give them permission to sell at an informal market they run, near El Portil.
(Version Française)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Questioning of Tapas Group delayed

A Home Office source confirmed yesterday that the rogatory letters sent from Portugal have arrived but a decision from Jacqui Smith is still pending. Portuguese police fears that the re-questioning of the Tapas Group may be delayed, after previous episodes of political interference. The Criminal Court judge in charge of the investigation decided to keep the files of Madeleine's case confidential, for more eight months, following his interpretation of the rules set up by the new Penal Code.

(Version Française)

Urgent – Maps of Portugal and Spain needed!


Huelva, the city from where Mari Luz disappeared, is in Spain. Please, somebody can explain this to those ignorants from Telegraph?

Video from Mari Luz sent to the Media

The family of the Spanish child that vanished last Sunday from Huelva has “learned with the Madeleine case” and decided to appoint a spokesman for the contacts with the Media, according to a report from Portuguese TV Channel SIC, today. Copies of a video of the child, during a family party, were given to the Media.

Juan José Cortés, the father of the five-year old child, admitted he “has a suspect in mind” but expressed his hope of having news about his daughter soon. “The police are working on a specific clue”, he said. Speaking at an improvised Press Conference, he told also that “all of the closest family members can be considered suspects, including myself.”

Find the body?

I’ve been looking at old post, at my page, and I realized that several links finish at empty pages. Among those links are stories in the British Press about the challenge the McCann made to police, when they went back to UK – “Find the body and prove we killed her." Is it my impression or the story seems to have vanished from the Net?

Dogs used in Madeleine’s case found evidence of a murder

The two British sniffer dogs used to uncover evidence of Madeleine’s death, in Portugal, were used by police looking for farmer Kate Prout. Officers refused to comment but, according to ThisisGloucertshire news site, the two dogs found evidence that the farmer’s wife, who disappeared before Christmas, is dead. A non-identified 45-year-old man, believed to be Mr Prout, was arrested and remains on police bail.

Today’s best joke (from the British Press…)

“A GIRL of five has vanished just a short drive from where Madeleine McCann disappeared in Portugal,” according to The News of the World. I suppose that the journalist who wrote this story takes a three-hour drive, every day, to go to work – and another three-hour to go back home. Because from Huelva to Praia da Luz it’s a two hour drive, at least.

The McCann friends don’t exist

Huelvainformacion.es, a Spanish news site, has been contacted by many British journalists, asking for information about Mari Luz, the five-year old that disappeared last Sunday. They want everything: pictures from the child, from the school where she goes, the house where she lives, who are her parents. They want details and information concerning the searches, the family, and so on. Ok, that’s the job of a journalist.

But if you are talking about the group of friends that was on holiday with the McCann, you can see some differences in the way the British journalists did their job. It took three months and a Portuguese journalist, Felicia Cabrita, to publish the names of all members of Tapas Group.

And until now, no more details than those revealed by Felicia Cabrita have surfaced. No friends of the McCann friends talking about them, no pictures (only those taken in Portugal..), no interviews with neighbours, no details about where they live, no references about where they work. We had Jane Tanner in TV, but it was all.

It seems that the McCann friends don’t exist. Or the British Media, so quick to find anything about anybody, is facing the same difficulties I found, when I called Leicester University, months ago, and asked them if they could confirm that David Payne was a fellow researcher at that university.

The lady who talked with me asked for my email and promised to send me later the information I requested, because she needed to take a look at the files. No email has come from Leicester University, until now. Were the McCann having diner, on May 3rd, with a group of ghosts?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Remember this?

Kate McCann: "I don't actually think that is the case, I think that is a very small minority of people that are criticising us. The facts are that we were dining very close to the children and we were checking them very, very regularly. We are very responsible parents and we love our children so much." – Daily Mail, June 7 2007


Suspicious gypsies and coincidences

“POLICE last night had a new lead in the search for missing Madeleine McCann, that gypsies may have snatched her. A holidaymaker revealed he spotted a fair-skinned little blonde girl in the back of a horse-drawn cart three weeks ago. Retired pilot Andre van Wyk, 66, told how a woman in the cart quickly covered the sleeping youngster’s face with a shawl. He was so suspicious he trailed the cart to a gipsy camp ten miles from where Maddie, four, vanished 48 days ago in Portugal’s Algarve.” – The Sun, June 20, 2007

“A top hot air balloon pilot who has flown all over the world and whisked many stars of stage and screen into the sky is now flying people from Perth. Andre van Wyk, of Virgin Balloon Flights, has been a balloon pilot for more than 30 years and has soared over 39 different countries, everywhere from Italy to Mexico.” – Virgin Balloon Flights

(Thank you, BBDC)

Laura Jones threats to Gazeta Digital

A self-called “anti-abuse campaigner”, Laura Jones, has been emailing me about a supposed “hit list” of McCann supporters that I have compiled – something that happened only in her imagination. After a few emails full of non-sense, I told her that I considered the talk finished. She told me that she doesn’t like “to see innocent people hurt because of bullies on the internet” and she has “not finished this talk” before I explain that "Hit List". She promised she will “get the internet authorities” to look at what I am getting up to on my site. “There will be no stone unturned until we find the abusers behind it”, she promises. Now, I expect a knock on door, at any moment, and a couple of former SAS asking for explanations… Is this one more evidence of the growing “Cult of Madeleine”?

Francisco Marco strikes again

The head of Metodo 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCann, told today that Madeleine McCann was selected by “spotters” working for a paedophile network and kidnap by “request”. Francisco Marco is also sure that the child was taken to Spain, and later either to Morocco or Belgium, according to “El Semanal Digital”.

Eurojust confirms request to re-interview the Tapas group

A spokesman from Eurojust confirmed to The Press Association that Portuguese authorities made a formal request to the European Union’s judicial cooperation agency to help in the process of questioning again the group of British citizens that was at Ocean Club, with Gerry and Kate McCann, when Madeleine vanished.

A PJ team is scheduled to fly to UK, soon, to follow the questioning by Leicester police, according to Press Association. Eurojust role is to help investigators and prosecutors in European Union for information and assistance in crime cases involving more than one country.

PJ source: “No evidence about Canary Islands connection”

Portuguese police has “no evidence about any connection between the case of Madeleine McCann and recent arrests of suspected child abusers at Canary Islands”, a source from PJ said. Several British newspapers reported that Spanish police was following leads that connected the arrests in Canary Islands to the disappearance of the child from Praia da Luz. Marcos Cabrera was arrested after an alleged attempt to kidnap a child, at Canary Islands.

“The line of inquiry in Madeleine’s case remains the same and is focused in the group of British citizens that were with the child’s family. There is no indication that the person arrested in the Spanish Islands has been in Portugal”, according to the same source.

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

Gerry and Kate, “furious” parents

How many times the word "furious" was used by the British Media to describe the emotions of the McCann? Well, take a look at this compilation of headlines, thanks to FrancLisboa (congratulations for the good work!). It’s amazing that journalists choose the word “furious” so often, to describe how Gerry and Kate reacted to developments to the case.

Good journalism coming from The Mirror

“Officers have linked the case to Madeleine, according to reports. The island is just a short plane of ferry ride from Portugal”, according to the Mirror, on a story about Police from the Canary Islands searching for Madeleine’s body on a local crematory. There is no ferry connection between Portugal and Canary Islands. And the trip from Spain to those islands takes two days. Just check here: “There are several ferry options when travelling to Tenerife. Trasmediterranea is a large ferry company which offers services from Cadiz to Santa Cruz once a week. The trip takes 48 hours, but ships are equipped with children’s play areas and comfortable sleeping quarters.” Good work, guys, Clarence should appreciate your efforts.

Metodo 3 alive and kicking

Those fantastic Spanish detectives that claimed to have already identified Madeleine’s kidnapper and promised to have her back before Christmas 2007, are following a new lead and both the Portuguese and British Media believe them. Now, it’s a gang of child sex abusers based in Spain and with links with paedophiles in other countries including Belgium. For those that thought Metodo 3 was out of this “game”, they were wrong.

Another dramatic spinning?

The simple fact that Police in Canary Islands “was aware” of the case of Madeleine McCann is enough for having another ludicrous set of news, in the British Media. The hunt for Madeleine was switched to those Spanish Islands, claims the Daily Express. If there was a suspected case of child abduction in New Zealand, will it be reason enough to believe it was related with Madeleine? Probably not. I always remember how the McCann Team always played down the sightings in Malta, the place from where more reports of have came. It seems that the most important is not how sure witnesses are that they saw Madeleine, but the country where they claim they saw it. If it fits the strategy, it is accepted. If not, forget it.

A young and active businessman

The former student of Philomena McCann, Calum MacRae, created the official site of the campaign to find Madeleine. But ha has a sharp eye for business, so he decided to contact other families with missing children and ask them if they want also a site to help in the search. Free of charge, of course:

“Calum is already working on new ventures after spotting a market in missing-person websites. Last week he contacted the family of missing schoolgirl Rosemary Edwards, from Hampshire, after her father made an emotional TV appeal. He said: "I don't think we should be making money out of it, but I would love to do more stuff like this. We phoned up to see if they wanted a website for that missing girl, but they haven't called back." – Sunday Herald, September

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Doubts about new detective company

Hogan International is not up to the job of finding Madeleine, according to the Sunday Express. The private detectives company, hired by the McCann to replace Metodo 3, “simply does not have the resources or the back-up to conduct a major investigation”, according to a former Scotland Yard Officer who has given advice to the McCann. The same source told Sunday Express that Leicester Police is now conducting investigations, in UK, requested by Portuguese police.

The McCann legal team is now preparing the defence of the couple against what they expect will be charges related to a murder, soon. A source close to the family told the Sunday Express that “the investigation is working towards a resolution and we have to consider that Madeleine may have been murdered. We have been working to the theory she may have been killed and all the possible scenarios are being considered.”

Mark Warner, Alex Woolfall and a few questions

I appreciate the kindness and sympathy of so many of my readers who send me information about the first news in UK Media, about Madeleine’s disappearance. So, it seems that even before the Polícia Judiciária team arrived at Praia da Luz, the Foreign Office had already information about the “kidnap” and UK TV’s were already broadcasting the story.

It’s always good to remember that first call to GNR precinct was 45 minutes after Kate realized Madeleine disappeared, and the head of PJ was informed by the British Ambassador, around 11h15, even before PJ detectives had time to drive from Portimão to Praia da Luz…

Alex Woolfall is a star among stars. His experience covers “deliberate sabotage and accidental contamination of products (from food to pharmaceuticals); accident, injury and death in the workplace; allegations of corporate manslaughter; product recalls; corporate fraud and theft; court cases on the grounds of sex, race and age discrimination; redundancy and closure announcements; the use of illegal and/or child labour; regulatory breaches; mislabelling of products; abduction and robberies and terrorist related activities”, according to Bell Pottinger site. Quite a curriculum…

I presume my readers will help me again with these details: Mr. Alex Woolfall was quickly placed at Praia da Luz, with a special team from Bell Pottinger. I’m looking for news, in the UK Media, referring the arrival of Alex Woolfall. Not that he was there or he has been there, but about being on his way or having just arrived at Praia da Luz…

Another detail: John Hill, manager of Ocean Club, told some newspapers that police was called immediately and arrived at 10h45. But I was told he was quoted in other newspapers as saying that police arrived around midnight. Could it be only in printed editions? I checked the Net and only found this reference, from MR. John Hill, about 10h45. Any help on this will be appreciated…

I promised to share with all of you – free of charge, as always, of course… - the final conclusions of what I’m investigating, as soon as I reach a conclusion. What I can tell you is that those two persons – Alex Woolfall and John Hill – play a significant role in this case. Because they had, both, close knowledge of events, on decisive moments.

Just a detail

Marcos Teixeira Aragão Correia, the “Human Rights Lawyer” that claims to know, since May 6, what happened to Madeleine, is a founding member of Nova Democracia, a small right-wing party.

First stories in the Media?

May be some of my readers can help me. I'm looking for the first stories about Madeleine's disappearence, published in the Net and/or braodcasted on TV channels, in UK. It seems that the earliest was on the Telegraph, "Three year-old feared abducted in Portugal", at 12:01am BST 04/05/2007. Anyone has more info about this? Just a detail: that story was last updated at 12:01 am. Is it one minute after midnight of after midday? Was it published before? Any link or "cache" of the hour when the news was first published? Also, any idea or link when the news was first broadcasted on TV?
Thank you

What is a Human Rights lawyer?

Once again, here comes a witness, when the Madeleine’s case has a new development. Somebody who calls himself a “Human Rights lawyer” knows what happened to the child. This lawyer has no record, in Portugal, as a Human Rights lawyer. He is just one lawyer, among many thousands – and he lives in the island of Madeira. He is not known in relation with any high profile case where Human Rights were at stake.

He has no activity in any kind of organization dedicated to defend Human Rights. He was in the news, months ago, when he revealed he had wrote to Police with important details about the case, and threatened to sue the Mail Office, because his letter to PJ apparently was lost.

But Team McCann got what they wanted: the same day it is officially confirmed that the Public Prosecutor’s Office requested an extension of three months to continue to investigate the case, newspapers have big news that “indicate” the parents are innocent.

And to help them, a poor English gardener, working at Praia da Luz, was denounced through an email, as a possible suspect. Just months before, another email to the site of Prince Charles, revealed that a maid fired by Ocean Club was the kidnapper.

“The informant named a maid who was sacked from the apartment complex in Praia da Luz and claimed she snatched the child in a crazed revenge plot”, wrote the News of the World, one of many newspapers that followed the tip. "Kate and Gerry are encouraged by any development that brings focus firmly on to finding Madeleine”, was the comment of Clarence Mitchell, when that "new evidence" surfaced.

The McCann Team has, once more, made an attempt to hijack the investigation, as they have been doing since the beginning: creating diversions, fake clues, sightings of Madeleine all over the world, strange people lurking behind the bushes, false accusations against Portuguese police, and so on. They just have a problem: until now, Police still considers them formal suspects in the disappearance of Madeleine.

Friday, 11 January 2008

British model agency “selling” Madeleine look-alike children

A British company is offering look-alikes of Madeleine McCann to photo sessions. The owner of Juliet Adams Model and Talent Cashing Agency is advertising several blonde girls, very similar to the missing girl, according to the Evening Standard. “This is an offensive way of making money out of Madeleine’s disappearance”, said Clarence Mitchell. “This is deeply offensive to Kate and Gerry. I would urge this woman to think again about what she is doing. We would be horrified if people were to pay for this sort of thing.”
Ms. Juliet-Adams, who runs the company, advertised a photo session with the child for 300 pounds each half-hour. Several parents of Madeleine look-alike children approached the company, Ms Juliet-Adams told the Evening Standard. She refused to apologise to Kate and Gerry and said that she was just doing her job. One of the children is an American girl who, according to the newspaper, “is stopped everywhere and told how much she looks like Madeleine.”

Living in fear

Some readers questioned me, because of my last post, about Jane Tanner being in jail. Well, it was just a little bit of irony. Jane Tanner talked to TV and gave detailed information about what she saw in the night of May 3rd. Was she prosecuted by the Portuguese police? Is she in jail? No. So, why is Gerry McCann living in fear?

Cooperation for future projects

"Clarence Mitchell, the family's spokesman, said Mr McCann had not been paid by Vanity Fair and had instead requested donations to the fund in return for cooperation with future projects." - Daily Mail, January 10, 2008

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Gerry afraid of going to jail

Gerry McCann: “I can’t talk about the details. ‘I live under threat from the Portuguese – if I do talk – of two years imprisonment.” Right. Jane Tanner is already in jail, after talking to the Media about details concerning the night Madeleine was kidnapped.

Interesting analysis of Kate McCann interviews

'There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken”, Kate McCann told The Independent, on August 5th. This is just one of many details from several interviews Kate gave to the Media, in the last months. “Teabag” has a very interesting analysis of what Kate said, in this link. It’s curious to remember that Alex Woolfall, the PR expert that helped the McCann during the first weeks, told The Times, in October, 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.” Who is lying?

1.600 videos of Madeleine McCann in YouTube...

Madeleine's disappearence on YouTube has already 1.600 videos.

Fund used to meet McCann "living costs"

"The exact figures for what the donations are spent on will not be disclosed until the end of the financial year when the accounts are made public, said director Esther McVey. But the board did reveal that nearly a third of the money collected has been used. With hospital consultant Mr McCann, the family's main earner, on unpaid leave, part of the Fund has been used to meet their living costs." - September 27, 2007

A challenge to be remembered

FIND THE BODY AND PROVE WE KILLED HER

Thursday, September 13,2007
By Padraic Flanagan in Praia da Luz
THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann yesterday challenged the police: “Find the body and prove we killed her.” The couple, who are suspected over the child’s death and the disposal of her body, issued the startling ultimatum as the public prosecutor in Portugal sent the police case against them to a judge. It is thought that the McCanns’ high-powered lawyers have told them that without a body it will be extremely difficult for the authorities to press charges.

Virgin Media in talks with IMG

Virgin Media, from millionaire Richard Branson, is reportedly talking to IMG Media regarding the launch of a sports news channel, before the end of this year. IMG Media is the company that got in touch with Clarence Mitchell, in mid-December, to propose a documentary about Madeleine’s case.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

We can categorically deny...

Gerry's Blog/Diary Day 250 - 08/01/2008
We are one week in to the New Year and we can definitely say the holiday period is well and truly over. Some of the media coverage today has been at its worst since Kate and I were declared arguidos. We can categorically deny that we are considering a movie about Madeleine’s disappearance. This is simply untrue. We are approached by a huge number of media outlets regarding a myriad of projects, only a tiny proportion of which we agree to. Each proposal is considered on whether it is likely to have a positive effect, either directly or indirectly on the search for Madeleine.
As stated today by Clarence, there was a preliminary discussion between a production agency and a representative of Kate and I to discuss the possibility of a documentary about the issues we have faced since Madeleine was abducted. Clearly Europe is a long way behind the USA in terms of its response when a child goes missing. Kate and I have opened all of the Christmas cards and many mass cards which have been for Madeleine. We would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us over the last eight months. We could not have got through this ordeal on our own and without doubt, Madeleine needs all our help

London asked for more time before the McCann are charged

Portuguese Police consider that they have enough evidence to charge the McCann and some of their friends, without the need of a new round of inquiries to the Tapas Group. However, it was suggested that the process of sending rogatory letters could achieve a better result, with the cooperation of British authorities, after the McCann and some of their friends rejected a suggestion from Polícia Judiciária to go back to Portugal and submit to another questioning.

The suggestion was transmitted through Leicester Police but the McCann legal team put as a condition to accept it that the status of formal suspect of Gerry and Kate should be lifted, first. Portuguese police justified the suggestion as a faster way of going forward with the investigation, avoiding a complex and bureaucratic process for a new questioning to take place in UK, with rogatory letters to the Home Office.

But informal messages sent from the British Government to Lisbon stated clearly that the best way to get a full cooperation from British Police, while charging the McCann, would be to follow a more time-consuming process, in order to guarantee that it would take, at least three months to achieve it, as Gordon Brown fight for political survival can have him facing elections early than expected.

Today it was revealed that Esther McVey, one of the managers of the fund to help find Madeleine, resigned to concentrate on her role as a Conservative parliamentary candidate. Other members of the board have announced the intention to resign, but were requested to wait until contacts to replace them were finished. Around 75 % of the donations have been spent in payments to several private companies and other advisers and experts that have been helping the McCann to manage the Media campaign about Madeleine’s disappearance.

With almost no donations since the parents were named formal suspects, the fund is dwindling fast and the McCann are negotiating agreements for a movie and a book. At the same time, a new private detectives company – Hogan International - was hired, with a specific mission: to review all the police investigation and try to find “weak links”. Hogan International will also replace Metodo 3, the Spanish detectives company, at the end of their contract.
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis

A good way to “bury” bad news

The day after stories about new evidence against the McCann were published all over the world, Clarence Mitchell goes on record and talks about something that happened one month ago – a meeting with representatives of a company that is interested in a movie about Madeleine. Also today, it was revealed that cabinet minister Peter Hain failed to declare "tens of thousands of pounds" of political donations, heaping further embarrassment on Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Just a coincidence.

More about money and the McCann

“If we feel any particular proposal in the media has validity in helping us find Madeleine, we are happy to discuss it (...) The media are making money out of the situation themselves and we feel it is only fair and right that some aspect of that should come to the fund to help find Madeleine." - Clarence Mitchell, Times Online.

Fund managers resign

According to the Daily Mail, “key board members, including the fund's spokeswoman Esther McVey” have resigned.

Waiting for more money

"What would really help is for the arguido status to be lifted and then a wave of sympathy would lead to more money coming in." - a source close to the McCann, quoted by Daily Mail.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Trolls in silence, waiting for instructions

Gordon Brown hired a new spin doctor

"Gordon Brown has recruited a leading financial spin doctor to become his new "principal” adviser, the latest high profile advancement of a PR expert into the public sphere. Stephen Carter, chief executive of the Brunswick public relations firm, will attend Cabinet meetings and attempt to steer Mr Brown away from the sort of scandals which dogged him in 2007." - Telegraph, January 7, 2008

Case against the McCann to go to UK Courts

The last results coming from two laboratories – FSS, in Birmingham and a Portuguese laboratory – confirmed that samples found at the McCann hired car and at their apartment at Ocean Club are from Madeleine McCann’s blood, according to Correio da Manhã (CM). The results “left no doubts” among detectives and “even if the questioning of the friends of couple doesn’t produce new evidence, the investigation will produce charges” against Madeleine’s parents, writes CM.

Gerry is the father

The possibility of a contamination of the samples, with genetic material from the twins, was dismissed, in this last round of analysis, done at two laboratories, a British and a Portuguese laboratory. Those results also confirm that Gerry McCann is the father of Madeleine, according to CM. The daily 24 Horas had a front page, months ago, claiming that Gerry McCann was not Madeleine’s father.

Crying for Dad…

The newspaper refers that when the investigation is finished and charges brought against the McCann, the case will be send to UK, to be put on trial on a British Court. Among several details about evidence that helped PJ to confirm the suspicions against the parents of Madeleine, CM says that Pamela Fenn, the Irish lady who lives on the first floor of the same building from where Madeleine vanished, told Police she heard Madeleine crying, the night of May 2, calling for her father, and that she heard also Kate McCann shouting, out of control.

Pagarete denies 24 Horas

“I never said to 24 Horas that Michaela Walczuch has been named a formal suspect”, Mr. Francisco Pagarete told, today. The lawyer of Robert Murat was quoted by daily 24 Horas as having revealed that Michaela Walczuch was named a formal suspect, in November, following information given to police by a witness found by Metodo 3, the Spanish detective company hired y the McCann. The newspaper front page, today, claims that Michaela Walczuch is the fourth formal suspect named in this case.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Clarence Mitchell has doubts about witnesses...

"We are confident the accounts of eyewitnesses ... were given in good faith. It is for the police to determine the value of identification evidence." Daily Star, January 7, 2008

Where are the next targets

The site “Helping to Find Madeleine”, the only site sponsored by the McCann official site, is recruiting people fluent in French and Portuguese. One of the emails sent in this recruitment drive asks for a detailed explanation of computer knowledge and free time available, from the candidates.
The group behind this site is building an international network of supporters of the innocence of the McCann, aimed at fighting against blogs and online sites that are not sympathetic to the couple from Rothley. With mainstream Media under control, in UK, McCann supporters are increasingly worried with the impact that a few bloggers have in the Media campaign.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Why spending money so fast?

One of my regular readers send me a email with a curious reflection about the huge amount of money the fund Findmadleine is paying to Metodo 3. What if the McCann are just “transferring” the fund, in order to have no limitations to the way they spend it? - this is the question my faithful reader asked me. I stop to think about it for a few minutes. The fund Findmadeleine is a private company, so they don't have to show their accounts to the public. But as the money came from donations to help find Madeleine, it must be used only for that.
There is no way to confirm where the money is going, unless people in charge of the fund decides to open the books and publish in the net all the documents that could allow thousands of donors to verify what happened to the money they gave. But I don't remember to see any promise like that, coming from the fund managers. And I doubt they will made public all those documents, like the payments to Metodo 3 or the diner and bar expenses of Justine McGuinness.

Leicester Mercury: Another one bites the dust

After the official Vatican site and Sky News, it's now time for Leicester Mercury to delete the special page for Madeline McCann. At the bottom of the main online page, the Leicester Mercury also has a link - “Maddy - Leave your message for Madeleine” - but all previous messages were deleted and the space is empty now. The first clear retreat from a public support of Madeleine's parents was performed by the Vatican, just after Gerry and Kate were named suspects. Not long after that, Sky New web site also deleted a special entry to Madeleine's case in its web page.

Algarve Tourism Board: Increase of UK tourists is the answer to the boycott appeal from Telegraph

“The number of UK tourists increased 8 %, from January to October 2007 and it means that UK tourists have already answered to the appeal to boycott Portugal, as a holiday destination”, according to Mr. António Pina, chairman of Algarve Tourism Board. Asked to comment about the appeal made by Simon Heffer in the Telegraph, to boycott Portugal as a way of showing solidarity to the McCann, Mr. António Pina said also that “it was just an emotional appeal and the British people is rational, those figures show the answer to the boycott is already given.”

Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The Telegraph: "Don't go to Portugal for your holiday..."

British Media started a campaign to ask for a boycott of Portugal, among British holidaymakers. The Telegraph appealed to its readers not to choose Portugal as a holiday destination, to show his support and solidarity to the McCann and to protest against the “utterly useless Portuguese police”. Calling Portugal “little more than a banana republic”, The Telegraph considers that people “would be mad even to think of having a holiday” in Portugal “whether they have small children or not”.

McCann admit inconsistencies in their statements

"Kate and Gerry, and their friends particularly, are very keen to talk to the Portuguese police again because they want to be able to clarify any inconsistencies to do with the timeline of events on May 3, or whenever the police put forward." - Clarence Mitchell, Daily Mail, January 4, 2008.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Police has new evidence against Madeleine's parents

Investigation about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from a quiet resort at Praia da Luz had “important developments” in the last weeks, after a Portuguese police team met with Leicestershire police and representatives from Forensic Science Service, the British laboratory where samples collected at the crime scene are being analysed.

On a preliminary report about the case, recently sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office, Polícia Judiciária (PJ) states that the parents remain the main suspects. Among other pieces of new evidence, there is a specific phone call and several messages, send from Ocean Resort, that are classified by investigators as “highly incriminating” Gerry and Kate McCann.

The same evidence also gave indications about how the body of Madeleine McCann could have been taken from the apartment and disposed of. Today, it was confirmed by a source from the Public Prosecutor's Office that a request to extend the time limit for the case will be filed, with the Criminal Court, before January 14, eight months after the first formal suspect was named.

Questions for the friends

The Tapas Group, the friends who had dinner with the McCann on May 3rd, will be questioned again soon, as a formal request to the British Home Office is ready. Police wants to clarify, first, contradictory statements about the night of May 3rd, and PJ detectives would like to interrogate Gerry and Kate before the end of January – something that will depend from the time Home Office and British police will take to proceed with the questionings.

Among many details that are confuse or contradictory, Police sources refer the fact that witnesses confirm they saw Gerry McCann and Russell O'Brien going inside apartment 5A to check the three children sleeping there. The McCann spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, is already preparing public opinion for a new interrogation of Madeleine's parents and yesterday told British Media that Kate and Gerry would be pleased to clarify “misunderstandings” related with their previous statements.

New detectives hired

Hogan International, a company specialized in asset investigations, is reviewing Madeleine's case, working in coordination with Metodo 3, the Spanish detectives company that announced recently they knew who kidnapped Madeleine and promised to find her before Christmas. Sources close to the McCann supporters say that the six-month contract with Metodo 3, which ends around March, will not be renewed and Hogan International will replace them, in the private investigation set up by the McCann, following advise from Control Risk Group.

The McCann legal team has asked private investigators to concentrate in specific details of the investigation related with Police evidence of Madeleine's death and his body disposal, instead of following leads about sightings or other information related with a possible abductor.
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis
Editor's Note:

The increase of “troll” activity following the teaser I posted here, two hours ago, was visible in many forums and message boards discussing Madeleine's case. It's curious to analyse some of that activity and look at details about the most prolific posters. This is something that deserves a more researched article. Whenever people wishes to confirm that new evidence has been uncovered, just pay attention to the number of new witnesses or facts showing that Gerry and Kate are innocent and will have their status of “arguidos” lifted soon, published by the British Press. Clarence Mitchell has, indeed, good sources in the Government. He knows a lot more about the case than the legal defence team working for the McCann. But he didn't realized yet that every attempt to anticipate bad news with a disinformation campaign seems almost a confession and, at the same time, it's a proof of the strong and deep connections between authorities in UK and the McCann inner circle of supporters.
Paulo Reis

Remembering some interesting details

"The McCanns went to Portugal last Saturday with a group of eight couples, friends said. Mr McCann, a cardiologist, and his wife, a GP, went out for a meal at a tapas bar within the complex at 8.30pm on Thursday, leaving Madeleine sleeping between Sean and Amelie, the twins. The couple checked on their children every half an hour and ensured that the doors were locked, it was said."
Times Online, May 5 - David Brown and Rajeev Syal

Piers Morgan attacks the McCann

"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."

in The Insider, a blog from Piers Morgan

Official: Madeleine investigation remains secret for more three months

A source from the Public Prosecutor's Office confirmed today that a request to extend the time limit for the case will be filed, before January 14, eight months after the first formal suspect was named. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, after eight months the Public Prosecutor's Magistrate in charge of the case must bring charges, dismiss the case or request an extension to complete the investigation.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

A Press fit for Herman Göring

Another fine example of good quality journalism:
"Whether 'PRO' or 'ANTI', (as the debaters of this Forum are frequently affectionately referred to), we must surely all be agreed on one thing; that Metodo 3 are unquestionably fabricating information on a daily basis, (or are purporting to be investigating matters fabricated by someone else), which are then, in turn, given FULL coverage in EVERY news journal and TV outlet, whether tabloid, broadsheet, commercial TV and Radio or BBC Documentary."
By "spudgun"

Martin Brunt accuses McCann friends of lying

The Sky News Crime Correspondent makes clear, in his blog “A life of Crime”, that the several McCann friends that claim to have seen Robert Murat near the Ocean Club, the night Madeleine disappeared, are not telling the truth. Martin Brunt refers that dozens of local residents from Praia da Luz, who helped in the search of Madeleine and that know Murat since many years were all questioned by police and told they didn't saw him, that night. All the witnesses that place Robert Murat near Ocean Club are friends of the McCann or other guests who met the couple from Rothley at the Algarve resort.

The news and Madeleine's case

"The Daily Express’s coverage of the Madeleine McCann case could conceivably never end and, like Sky News/News 24, is composed almost entirely of guesswork and repeated facts."

Journalism, Madeleine and an Irish blogger

"Madeline McCann's life was elevated above that of all the hundreds of people who went missing both in the UK and here in Ireland because Sky decided so. There was an uncomfortable xenophobic undercurrent in the whole thing - it was all to easy to have a pop at Johnny Foreigners policing of the situation, not like the sterling work done in the UK. There is little to inspire and aspiring journalist to stay clear of the gutter, to avoid sensationalism when it's the easy path to success that is not only apparent but absolutely promoted within the industry."

by Doss Spot

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A good question about babysitters, from "thentherewere4"

We know the Mccanns did not like to use the creche according to Patricia McCann who said: 'They felt it was better than leaving them with a babysitter as you don't know who you are going to get with a stranger.' We know that Catriona Baker, CharlottePennington, Kirsty Mayran and Lianne Wagstaf were employed as baby sitter at the creche and we also know that there were a total of 5 babysitters at the Ocean Club.They have all made statements to the PJ except one that is. Who was the fifth nanny and why hasn't she come forward to clear her name?
(Thank you, "thentherewere4"...)

Another McCann support group

Forever Searching is, according to it's own description, a “a global group whose whole purpose for existing is to raise awareness to individual child abductions throughout the world. Thanks to the power of the internet, and to the sheer determination and passion of the group members, who have come together from many different parts of the world. 'Forever Searching' are able to target several countries simultaneously with their ongoing awareness campaign.”
But this is a curious statement: “Since news of Madeleine McCann’s abduction in Portugal in May 2007, group members have worked tirelessly, distributing thousands of posters displaying 4 year old Madeleine’s face throughout the world. This story set off a chain reaction as members of 'Forever Searching' became aware of other missing and forgotten children, and they set about raising awareness for all of them.”
So, only after starting to campaign for Madeleine McCann they found that there are other cases of missing children in the world?

Calling for a "Madeleine-free zone"...

Dan O'Neill, South Wales Echo:

“(...) The saddest prediction: before the end of this month we’ll get another army of “witnesses” who saw tragic Madeleine McCann (a) being carried away from that now famous apartment (b) spotted her in Tangier or Tel Aviv (c) while yet another private detective will assure us he’s tracked her down and she’ll be home by Easter. I predict that the tabloids will continue to use the flimsiest rumour or invention to plaster her picture on front pages, not because they are concerned about her welfare but because (it’s a fact) any mention of the McCanns increases circulation.We should declare a Madeleine-free zone until there are facts (...)”

“Desperate” McCann behind recent news about Murat

Francisco Pagarete, the lawyer of “arguido” Robert Murat, denied the story published today on a news website, functionpix.com, signed by Toby Serter, about his client having been arrested again by Portuguese police.“This is completely false”, Mr. Pagarete told, accusing the McCann of being behind the recent revelation of new witnesses that claim they saw Robert Murat near Ocean Club the night Madeleine disappeared: “All of this is just evidence of how desperate the McCann are”, Mr. Pagarete said.
Meanwhile, detectives from Metodo 3 said today they have another “significant” clue of Madeleine in Morocco which is being investigated by the company. The Spanish detective company promised before to bring Madeleine back on time for Christmas, but wasn't able to fulfil the promise. Last week, Christian Ridout, a former British resident of Praia da Luz that Metodo 3 said was the last of a list of 52 supposed paedophiles from UK being investigated, was found to be innocent. Ridout, allegedly accused of sending explicit sexual messages to a 12 years old child, left Praia da Luz more than two years ago but never had any warrant with European police forces.
The fund to find Madeleine is spending 50 thousand pounds a month in payments to Metodo 3, Control Risk Group and other advisers hired by the McCann and the money is dwindling fast, according to Clarence Mitchell. It has been reported that the McCann could start to demand fees for interviews of even accept a book deal, but Clarence Mitchell told Daily Mail that “there would be no deals for exclusive interviews or anything else that 'smacked of showbiz''. Clarence Mitchell also denied reports about the possibility of Kate and Gerry McCann returning to Portugal, soon, unless the Portuguese police formally requests their presence.

Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis