Wednesday, 7 November 2007

McCann friends breaking ranks

Lawyers from two of the McCann friends who were having dinner at Tapas Bar, on the night of May 3, have contacted Police, recently, and told their clients were willing to be questioned again, in order to "correct" some details that were mentioned in their initial statements. The two members of Tapas' group asked for their identity to remain confidential, as they fear the "clarification" they want to do, about the events on the night Madeleine disappeared, could bring some pressure from people connected to the McCann family.

Contradictions among the seven friends that were having diner with the parents of Madeleine McCann have been, since the beginning, one of the reasons why the investigation of Polícia Judiciária has looked into other theory, apart the possibility of a kidnapping. After Gonçalo Amaral was replaced as the head of the investigation, by Paulo Rebelo, on October 3, a complete review of the case and all evidence collected has taken place.

But the results of this review, until now, didn't changed the main line of inquiry – one that Portuguese police first referred on August 11, exactly hundred days after Madeleine's disappearance. Paulo Rebelo called a meeting with the all investigators involved in the case and invited Gonçalo Amaral to participate, last week, in order to be briefed about the review made by the team of experts he brought from Lisbon.

Police is now getting ready for the final steps of the investigation: a new round of questioning of the McCann's friends, to take place in UK, after all the results from the samples collected at the crime scene and sent to the Forensic Science Service, in Birmingham. Until now, all evidence collected "gives consistency to the possibility of Madeleine McCann being dead and there are almost no leads than point to a kidnapping", according to a source close to the case.

Since the end of May, when first reports were published in the Portuguese Press, casting doubts about the statements of parents and friends, the McCann started their own private investigation. They hired Control Risk Group, a risk management and security company, staffed with former members of the British Special Forces and Intelligence services, to help find Madeleine. But this contract was revealed only in September and, during that time, the couple from Leicester always made clear they trusted the investigation of the Portuguese police.

When the former head of PJ team, Gonçalo Amaral, was replaced, after criticizing the lack of cooperation from the British Police, the McCann said they hoped the man in charge, Paulo Rebelo, would drop the status of "formal suspects" the parents were given, in early September, and go back to the initial theory – that Madeleine was kidnapped. At the same time, they hired Metodo 3, a leading Spanish detectives company, to set up a hotline for witnesses with information about the child.

In the first weeks, dozens of alleged sightings were reported to that hotline, putting Madeleine McCann in specific areas, in Morocco. This weekend, Moroccan authorities made a clear denial of the existence of any clue about the presence of Madeleine McCann in Morocco and announced that one of the alleged "positive identifications", in the city of Fnideq, was a local girl who lives with her parents.

The campaign to find Madeleine was supposed to start a new phase, in October, with Portugal, Spain and Morocco as main targets but no signals of that new phase are visible, yet. A request for an interview with the McCann, on behalf of French and Moroccan TV channels, was considered "very interesting" but postponed to a unknown date because, according to the McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, Gerry and Kate's lawyers advised them not to do any interviews. The last one, to Antena 3, gave the opposite results the McCann expected. Even with Kate McCann crying in public, for the first time, a pool showed around 70 % or Spanish viewers believed the parents are not telling the truth about their daughter.

Duarte Levy (London) and Paulo Reis (Praia da Luz)

Version Française - Story published on El Mundo


Anonymous said...

The wall of silence and fear imposed by the McCanns to their friends is finally beginning to crack.

Would these persons tell the real truth about the events of that terrible day when Madeleine Beth McCann disappeared?

Why do they fear the McCann family friends?

Anonymous said...

Interessante os amigos agora decidirem clarificar seus depoimentos... Quem dá um depoimento e 6 meses depois lembra passou uma informação errada? Com certeza eles sabiam que estavam passando informações erradas desde o começo! Eu imagino o que deve ter acontecido para eles resolverem falar. Será que a polícia os apresentou novas evidências, coagindo-os a depor, ou será que eles próprios não aguentaram a pressão?

Anonymous said...

A few minutes ago Clarence Mitchell issued a statement saying that this was false, and that none of the Tapas group had instructed their lawyers to contact the PJ and ask for a re interview. That statement also read

“The friends believe that if such interviews or re-interviews take place it can only lead to Gerry and Kate being eliminated from the inquiry swiftly.”"

If that is the case, and Clarence Mitchell is not lying again, why don't the McCanns and their friends go back to Portugal and volunteer their availability to be interviewed? If they really think it would help clearing the suspicions over Kate and Gerry, why not?

I can pay them the flights if they are interested in going back. We should all be asking WHY, WHY, WHY???

Anonymous said...

Paulo, do you have sources for your story about the "pact" breaking ?

According to Clarence the Tapas7 have been contacted today.
this link from The Sun --

So, if he's had to contact them , he's worried and maybe also perverting the course of justice.

Get on his case, chase him up, he's under pressure and the cracks are starting to show.

Jolie said...

If this information is correct, why would the Tapas 2 who wish to not be named to avoid pressure from Team McCann want to have this information reported in the press? Why would the PJ want this information reported in the press? It would only allow for a heads-up to the McCanns and their supporters and possibly lead to the pressure being applied by them to the T2 that they hoped to avoid. Perhaps that has already happened, per Mitchell's statement that all friends have been checked and all is still in order.

Think about it. If true, printing the information in the papers and on blogs was a mistake, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

What is the matter with these people? Is it imposssible for their legal staff to advise them to answer all the questions put to them by the PJ? If they want this crime solved must they not do this?

Anonymous said...

so we can come to the conclusion that Clarence is also a PR for the whole Tapas ??

Why should Clarence speak for people that are not (yet) argüidos??

2nd said...

If it is true that 2 of the Tapas friends are requesting to be reinterviewed and the PJ leaks this to the press they are possibly jepardizing there own investigation. Not the most intellegent bunch, are they? If it weren't so serious, it would be laughable. Also, it doesn't speak much to their ethics, credibility, integrity and professionalism. Poor, poor Madeleine. She deserved far better than these boozy clowns. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

The Portuguese police should charge the McCanns and their four friends who also left their children unattended for neglect. That would crack this whole story!

Anonymous said...

I agree with charging them all with neglect. Good idea...but why haven't they?

Anonymous said...

Why haven't the police charged them with neglect?
To protect Mark Warner. The PJ have already told those involved (with leaving their children unattended) that, as they were eating at the Tapas Bar, a mere 50 - 200 yards from the children's bedroom, they were within the resort complex and the PJ accepted that regular checks were made. This was all stated by the McCanns early on. The law should be changed to protect children from being left alone for any length of time in hotels and holiday flats, IMO.

Anonymous said...