Saturday, 2 June 2007

Reasons for another delay and news to be published soon

The Press Conference I referred, on my previous post, wasn't officially confirmed and didn't took place. But I had it confirmed and, one of my sources, a high-ranking Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) office, minutes before I published my previous post, vonfirmed they were preparing a Press Conference but, questioned about the hour, he told me: "I don't know yet".

I couldn't update my page and my blog - and I apologise for that! - because yesterday night I had to rush (for the third time this week!!) to hospital with my 85 years old father. He is going through a very difficult situation, because his much loved dog (his best friend, for the last 10 years!!!) a small pekinois, was mauled, in front of his eyes, by a pit bul, last Sunday. I started a campaign to ask Portuguese Government to issue a law similar to British Dangerous Dogs Act(1991). This is the English version of that page.

So, this is the reason why I failed to make a follow-up of the story about the Press Conference. I have some indications that, when the Press Conference was being prepared, new developments made the Portuguese Police (with full knowledge of the British liaison officers) to postpone the realise of the information.

I'll post, in the next two hours:

1) A copy of the report send to British Police by Mrs. Mari Olli, the Norwegian lady that says she saw Madeleine MacCann at a gas station, near Tarifa, in Morocco(*);

2) Main news published by Portuguese Press, for the last three days, about Madeleine's abduction;

(*) Just a note: The Mail on Sunday is so culturally biased against Portuguese, that they published a small headline, in this story, saying: “Mari Olli says she repeatedly phoned police in Portugal”.

But if you read the story until the end, Mrs. Mari Olli is quoted by Mail on Sunday, as saying this: “I am very sure it was Madeleine. I walked into the petrol station and saw the little girl standing there. She looked sad. When the man saw me looking at them he turned away, so I couldn't see his face. It's very strange. If it was me with a child there, I would hold their hand, but this man was a metre away from her. At 6pm the next day I turned on the news in Spain and got a real shock, because it was definitely her. All that evening I was physically sick. I was calling all the police, but no one wanted to talk to me. I was phoning the Spanish police about 20 times. We then phoned Leicestershire police, who took my report and said it was a 'very strong observation'. But since then nobody has phoned me back.”

I already file a complain with the Press Complaints Commission about this, that I consider a serious breach of the Code of Pratice of British Press.

Paulo Reis
Journalist (Press Card nº 734)
Gazeta Digital - News and Opinion in English, Portuguese and Chinese
Personal Blog: "Zero Tolerance for Killer Dogs"


Anonymous said...

I think you should complain Paulo, some press think they can just make mistakes like that and no one will put them right. Especially when it is your country is critised wrongly. I would be the same.

Keep on blogging.


Paulo Reis said...

I did it, Marion, this is the automatic reply I received from Jonathan Falcone, of Press Complaints Commission(

I am cuurently out of the office and will return on Tuesday 19th of June, when I will check my messages. If you need to contact someone beforehand, please contact

Jonathan Falcone

Paulo Reis said...


My complaint with Press Commission Conplaints was accepted. They send me this email, yesterday:

Dear Mr Reis


Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxx ( will be dealing with your complaint against the Mail on Sunday before it goes to the Commission for a decision under the Code and will keep you informed of the progress of our investigation into this matter. A copy of your letter has been sent to the newspaper and he will write to you again once he has received their response.

I am afraid the PCC only has jurisdiction over the editorial content of newspaper and magazine websites and consequently, we will not be able to take up your concerns further about Mr Martin Brunt (*)

We do not need a hard copy of the Mail on Sunday article.

Yours sincerely

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx


(*) - I asked them if questions related with journalists breaching the Code of Practice with something they wrote, on a blog with the official on line page of the news organization they work for (Martin Brunt, defamation, in this page, in the Sky News site) was under their authority. It does not. I have to look if there is some institution in charge of that. If not, I'm contacting Portuguese Journalists Union, the Journalist Club and my colleagues who wrote about Madeleine's abduction, to iniciate a criminal procedure against Mr Martin Brunt, for defamation – and I'll do it, even if I have to go alone (Im a little bit stubborn, that's something my mother always complained, since I was a small boy...)

Paulo Reis