Saturday, 29 December 2007

Link for pictures and a story not confirmed

Rex Features site has a good number of pictures from the McCann family. I couldn't see this picture, signed by Paul Grover. A special thank you to MC, who sent me this link. But today I received several emails and sms about a story from a local radio, concerning a child's body found near Praia da Luz. There was nothing in the news, in Portugal, so I presume it was a false alarm.
I checked the official Find Madeleine site and realized they have a new item, in the Madeleine Store: the “Mobile Phone Background”, an image you can download and put in the screen of your mobile phone. I wonder what will be next. A video-game? Hello, Callum McRae?
I never heard of clues of sightings of Madeleine in Greece, but there is a well organized group searching for Madeleine in that country, since July (Thank you “thedayjusticedied”!). The group is affiliated with the officially supported site Help To Find Madeleine. Curious. How long will it take until there is a shrine, a cult, around Madeleine? By the way, the HTFM is looking for people living in Portugal, to help in the campaign to search for Madeleine. I'm sorry for not volunteering, but I prefer to search for the truth.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Misterious reports

According to the British Media, sisters Jayne Jensen and Annie Wiltshire, who were in the Portugese resort when Maddie vanished in May, have given an "extensive interview" to cops detailing their suspicions about suspect Robert Murat. The sisters, who live together in Aylesford, Maidstone, Kent, had been named in Portugese newspapers for the first time as having assisted police with their enquiries in the hunt for Maddie's abductor. This is curious. I checked all Portuguese newspapers and couldn't find any report about these two sisters.

Just another coincidence

Bridget O’Donnell, a former BBC producer who worked on Crimewatch, was at Ocean Club, on May 3, with her husband, Jes Wilkins, Head of Factual Entertainment from Zig Zag Productions. Jes Wilkins saw Gerry McCann just after he checked Madeleine and the twins, and when Jane Tanner claimed she saw a man carrying a child. Jes Wilkins told the Media it was not possible for Jane Tanner to claim she was near the 5A apartment at the time she refers, because he didn't saw her.

Mr Wilkins said he saw no man carrying a child or Jane Tanner herself. "It was a very narrow path and I think it would have been almost impossible for anyone to walk by without me noticing," he said, months ago.Jes Wilkins disappeared and never talked to the Media, again. No journalist tried to find him. Recently, his wife came forward, following indications from Clarence Mitchell, and wrote a column in the Guardian, defending the McCann: "I have always believed that Kate and Gerry McCann are innocent," Miss O'Donnell wrote in the article.

Jo Wheeler lives in Portugal with her husband and five children, and commutes to the UK-based Sky News Centre in Isleworth on a weekly basis to present the weather. Because of this, she acted as a live reporter in Praia da Luz during the initial coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann before journalists arrived from London. Jo Wheeler said the search for the missing girl has been "absolutely astounding".

Now, I will quote Mr. Martin Brunt, from his blog “A Life of Crime”:

“I've tried so hard to avoid it, but I think I'm getting drawn into the McCann conspiracy theories industry. Weeks ago I asked their man Clarence Mitchell why the apartment from where Madeleine disappeared was registered to an owner called McCann. I had to pester him for an answer, which only added to my suspicion that it was Gerry and Kate's second home and for some reason they had pretended it was a holiday rental. We finally nailed it. The place belongs to a Ruth McCann, a teacher in Liverpool (where Kate is from), who inherited it from her late husband. She told us she was no relation to Madeleine's family and hoped she wouldn't be pestered after my inquiry (...) The chance of the McCanns renting a holiday home from someone of the same name is 7,500-to-one. That also means that there were probably three people called McCann at the Bruce Springsteen concert at the 23,000-seat O2 arena in Greenwich last night.”

What would be the chances of so many people connected to TV and Media being present at Ocean Club, on May 3, the night Madeleine Beth disappeared?

Balloons and Madeleine's cult

Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3rd 2007. Fifty days after that, hundreds of balloons were released, in several countries - including Canada. How many days before that date did the McCann and their supporters bought the balloons used on the celebration?

Thursday, 27 December 2007

A strange picture of Madeleine, from Paul Grover (*)

Is this the same Paul Grover from REX FEATURES, "Britain's leading independent photographic press agency and picture library, supplying a daily service of news, celebrity, features, and stock photos to all national newspapers, magazines, TV, web and other media in the UK and in more than 30 countries worldwide"? Or is it just a coincidence? The picture was posted at one of the several sites organized and promoted by a McCann special support group, a secret organization which has members in more than 25 countries. The site was set up on May 9th, just six days after Madeleine McCann disappeared.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Good journalism coming from the Net

As many of you noticed, activity in this pages has been reduced. Following a story like Madeleine's disappearance was an almost full-time job for me, during last summer and until October. But life goes on and there are bills to be paid, at the end of the month. So, I have to spend more time in other stories and works, in order to make ends meet. I'll be back, with news about Madeleine, when and if there are big news – something I believe will happens near the end of January. For the next days, I'll recommend you reading these two posts, from “Spudgun” and “Blackwatch”, two regular contributors of Mirror forums, with whom many of the so-called “journalists” from mainstream Media have a lot to learn. Thank you very much, both of you, for your effort in looking for the truth.

By “Blackwatch”
A number of weeks ago BBC News 24 announced that the 'Head of Media Monitoring and Analysis' was to review that day's papers. Her name was Julia Hobsbawm. Now we know that the 'Head of Media Monitoring and Analysis' at that time was Clarence Mitchell - but the BBC misled the British Public by suggesting a government official was to review that day's papers. Naturally Julia Hobsbawm embarked on a not so loquacious rant saying that the very idea of the McCanns being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance was plainly ridiculous. "It is time this country asked questions of the Portuguese police and Portugal itself, else we won’t go on there on holiday any more", she said. But Julia Hobsbawm is not a government official. Julia Hobsbawm is an independent PR consultant with deep New Labour Links. She was also a partner in Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications with Sarah Macaulay, now known as Sarah Brown, the wife of British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (continue)

By “Spudgun”
The summer of 1990 was a particularly hot one, even by Algarve standards. I had sold a lot of the household possessions emanating from a broken relationship, in order to finance the kindling for a NEW one, by accompanying a young lady to Albufeira for a weeks sojourn. Cold ‘Sagres‘, Frango and huge surfer waves rolling in on ‘Fisherman’s Beach’ are just a few of the most enduring memories I have of that holiday. Alas, on a personal level, true love spectacularly failed to blossom on that occasion. However, what DID bloom was a deep and rewarding love affair with the country of Portugal and its people, some of whom I deem very close and consider as my family, that not only lasts to this day but is an important part of my life. Of course, I am not unique in falling for its charms; several million of my fellow countrymen visit Portugal every year, especially the Algarve. Since that hot summer I have returned to Portugal many times and visited many places there, and have always been struck by the genuine warmth, integrity, courtesy and generosity of the Portuguese, qualities that I consider to be generic to the race as a whole. (continue)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Murat recommended as translator by British diplomatic staff

Staff from Bill Henderson's office suggested the name of Robert Murat as a reliable translator who could be used in the police inquiry, the days following Madeleine McCann disappearance. Murat was already known among diplomatic staff, as he had recommendation letters from Norfolk Police, where he worked for Bernard Matthews, one of the largest poultry farm companies in UK, which employs hundreds of Portuguese workers. The fact that Robert Murat has acted, before, as translator for Norfolk Police, and the recommendation issued by Bill Henderson's office, at the time the British consul in Algarve, took police to accept the suggestion, according to PJ sources. After Murat was named a formal suspect, Police went through all translations he has done, checking its accuracy, but no problem was found, according to the same sources. Bill Henderson retired from his diplomatic post and went back to UK in August.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Spanish hotline out of action

The Metodo 3 hotline, set up by the private detectives company hired by the McCann, to receive information from potential witnesses, has been out of service in the last days. Several attempts to dial the number had no result and Clarence Mitchell, contacted by phone, confirmed that the contract with Metodo 3 wasn't cancelled and admitted that the difficulties in getting somebody to answer the hotline could be due to the fact that Metodo 3 has changed his offices, recently. On the last message posted at the official site of Madeleine, Gerry appealed again to witnesses to contact the Spanish hotline: “We again appeal to anyone who may have any information that might be relevant to contact your local police or our private investigators on +34. 902. 300 213 if they have any information which might be relevant.”

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Martin Brunt: Madeleine's disappearance "becoming a soap opera"

"Today, the Madeleine McCann story develops into a slanging match between their spokesman and suspect Robert Murat's mother. I understand that some of it is stirred up by reporters looking for an angle, but it's becoming more of a soap opera each day. And I don't know anyone who understands what that detective agency is doing to justify £50,000 a month?"

Monday, 10 December 2007

McCann final "appeal" to Gordon Brown

Steve Winyard, one of the three remaining financial backers that still puts money in the McCann legal fund, made a public threat against the British Prime minister, demanding a stronger intervention from UK Government in the case of Madeleine disappearance. On a interview with the British Media, Mr. Winyard attacked Gordon Brown for refusing to accept a request for a meeting at a ministerial level, with Gerry and Kate.
However, Philomena McCann, Gerry's sister, admitted that the couple is satisfied with the role that Gordon Brown has been playing in the investigation of Madeleine's disappearance. She told the Press that some people doesn't want “to do everything in the eyes of the media” and praised the British Prime-Minister for having “set things in motion at the start..”
The sister of Gerry also told journalists that nothing is changed, in the relations between Mr. Gordon Brown and Gerry McCann who, since the beginning of this case, have been in close touch, but reminded that the British Prime-Minister “has to be very careful in telling other countries how to run their business."

Tapas group met in secret with McCann legal advisers

The group of people that was with the McCann on the night Madeleine disappeared could not agree on the idea of a picture of the meeting being send to the Press, as advisers from the McCann couple have promised to some British newspapers. After it emerged that two of the Tapas nine sent new statements to Portuguese Police, through a London lawyer's office, Clarence Mitchell called all the members of the group, to question them about who gave those new statements and to prepare a meeting of all the group. Initially, the meeting was scheduled for a date very close to Christmas, but as the investigation moved ahead, it was anticipated. Members of the McCann legal team and other advisers were present and participated in the discussions held by the group, who are to be questioned again, soon, by British Police, about the events of May 3.

Britain's top barrister defends a Nazi inspired point of view

Britain's top barrister today defended the superiority of British Justice, when compared to the Portuguese system. Refusing to single out what kind of problems he considered to be the reason of the inferiority of the Portuguese legal system, Bar Council chairman Timothy Dutton QC said “British justice would have been more effective in discovering the truth” about Madeleine's disappearance. "I was heartened to hear public demands for good old British justice during the recent press coverage of the disturbing Madeleine McCann case," Mr Dutton said.

Friday, 7 December 2007

British Police want to question Foreign Office envoys and McCann spokesmen

Alex Woolfall, Sheree Dodd, Clarence Mitchell, David Hughes and Justine McGuiness are some of the personalities that may be questioned, soon, by British Police, in order to clarify specific details of the movements and contacts of the McCann couple, their friends and relatives, in the weeks following Madeleine's disappearance, according to sources from Leicestershire Police. These details are considered “important” to help Portuguese Police to collect more evidence, after investigations in UK produced a new set of informations, given to the PJ team that has been in Leicester, recently. But another inquiry is under way, to find out exactly what was the role of some of the elements sent to Portugal by the Foreign Office, after reports to the British Government raised suspicions about the intention and purpose of several contacts between some of those envoys and the Portuguese authorities.

British Government wants a quick end

The British Government may deny authorization for further questioning of the McCann couple, and suggest instead that formal charges are brought against them, as a way to force a quick end for the case. This possibility was considered as “strong”, yesterday, by sources close to the legal advisers of the McCann, while UK Media referred the British Government involvement in the investigation as a reason for Portuguese police to fear further political interference. Clarence Mitchell, then adviser in the Prime-Minister's Office, revealed on June that Gerry McCann and Gordon Brown had regular phone contacts and it was the British Prime-Minister pressure, allegedly, that took Portuguese police to issue a description of a suspect seen carrying a child, on the night Madeleine vanished. Request for these kind of interviews would be granted almost immediately but, as the Daily Express put it, “everyone is aware this is a very special case for many reasons” and Portuguese police “have been aware of a political shadow hanging over it.”

McCann don't want to return as “arguidos”

After PJ and Leicester Police met, last week, the McCann legal team requested access to the files of this case in the possession of British police, in order to be allowed to refute the evidence contained in the files given to British police and the results of the specific investigations that took place in UK. The lawyers advised the McCann not to came back to Portugal, as formal suspects, and they are planning to argue that, with the new Portuguese Penal Code, it would not be possible to name the McCann as formal suspects, with the existing evidence.

Searches videotaped

The work of the British Police special team that was at Praia da Luz, in August, was videotaped from beginning to the end, and copies of those videos were sent to Forensic Science Service. PJ detectives that followed those searches, with Keela and Eddie, the two specially trained dogs from South Yorkshire Police, had “every single detail of those operations recorded on video, including the collection of the samples sent to FSS”, according to a source from the Public Prosecutor's Office. “News from British Media about cigarette ashes found in those samples are just fabrication”, a source from FSS confirmed: “The samples we received were very small and with a high degree of contamination by house cleaning products, but we were able to get a good amount of results.” 

Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis

Version Française

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Former Gordon Brown adviser is director of PR company that worked for the McCann

Nicola Murphy, who was special adviser in the HM Treasury (just like Justine McGuiness) and later followed Gordon Brown to the Parliament, as his personal adviser, until June 2007, is an Associate Director of Hanover PR company, part of the Media & PR organization of the McCann family. Hanover, a company set up by John Major's former press secretary, Charles Lewington, was in charge of handling contacts between the Media and the McCann family until November 22, when that job was transferred exclusively to Clarence Mitchell.

McCann threaten to sue author of “The Guilt of the McCann”

“The McCann Guilt”, the third book published in Portugal about Madeleine's disappearance, is “a lie and its contents an utter fabrication”, according to Clarence Mitchell, the couple's spokesman, who accused the author, editor-in-chief of Correio da Manha, the leading newspaper in Portugal, of trying to profit from the suffering of Kate and Gerry, during the Christmas season: “If people are seeking to capitalise on their suffering in the run up to Christmas then that is a matter for them and their conscience."

Clarence Mitchell told British Media that McCann lawyers were now examining carefully the content of the book. In the book, Manuel Catarino wrote that Madeleine's case is a story that begins in London, where “the official truth was conspired and established: an English girl was kidnapped in the Algarve.” The Sun classified the book as “another sensational attack from the Portuguese media.”

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The Sun produces another fake report

The Sun, December 5, 2007: “Hunt for copy-cat snatcher”

Diário de Notícias, May 25, 2007 : “Moroccan man threats” (Secondary headline from a main story about the McCann first TV interview)

The Sun, December 5, 2007: “THE parents of a Madeleine McCann lookalike who was the victim of a kidnap bid are to be quizzed by private detectives”

Diário de Notícias, May 25, 2007: “A 30 years old man, from Morocco, threatened to kidnap the three year old daughter of a woman who rents a coffee-shop at Fonte de Luzeiros, between Silves and São Bartolomeu de Messines.”

The Sun, December 5, 2007: “Blue-eyed blonde Carolina Santos, three, was snatched by a Moroccan-looking man four months before Maddie vanished (...) Carolina 's parents Abel and Lina (...) were working in their cafe at Fonte Louzeiros when Carolina vanished last Christmas Day. They spotted her with the stranger 300 yards away. When they caught up he fled. Lina said: "If we hadn't come out at that moment I don't know what would have happened."
Diário de Notícias, May 25, 2007 : “The mother told DN that the kidnap threat was made, last Tuesday, by the man “who nobody knows what he does, for a living”, after provoking disturbs at the coffee-shop Falcão, where he was, clearly drunk. 'I will kidnap your daughter', the man told to Lina Carreira who, at the time, was holding his daughter close to her.”

The Sun, December 5, 2007: “Carolina 's parents Abel and Lina offered to help cops two weeks after Maddie, four, disappeared but were never questioned.”

Diário de Notícias, May 25, 2007 : “Lina Carreira filed a complaint with GNR from Silves, the next day, and was contacted yesterday by investigators from Polícia Judiciária, to whom she told what happened.”

The Sun, December 5, 2007: “It is feared Maddie may have been snatched to order and taken to Morocco. Metodo 3 said: 'This could be relevant."

Diário de Notícias, May 25, 2007 : “Talking with local residents, DN found that the man in question is a street seller and a well known trouble maker.”

Now, a simple question to NEIL SYSON and VERONICA LORRAINE, from The Sun: How much are you being paid to do this?

El Mundo (*) December 3: Phone records incriminate Gerry McCann and Russel O'Brien

Police has new evidence, apart from DNA samples, that give consistency to their main line of inquiry, in Madeleine's case, according to El Mundo's edition from December 3. The recent meeting at Elderby, Leicester, between police and forensic experts from both countries, brought more details that could help PJ to find an answer to the basic question, since August 11: where is Madeleine's body. Videos, pictures and phone records are among the material Portuguese police received from their British counterparts and allowed them to advance further in the investigation.

A phone call between Gerry McCann and Russel O'Brien, on June 10, in Portugal, got a special attention from PJ. Gerry has told Police, before, that both of them where close to Praia da Luz but technical data from the mobile antennas indicated that there was a distance of 25 km between the two callers. Searches in abandoned buildings in the area produced a towel with blood stains and fibres that were found also in the boot of the Renault Scenic rented by the McCann family.

The existence of contacts between Robert Murat and the so called Tapas Group was another conclusion of the meeting. Investigations in UK unveiled solid evidence that Gerry McCann and Robert Murat paths have crossed even before the family from Rothley came to Portugal. Questioned by journalists, in May, Gerry McCann refuse to confirm if he knew Murat.

Police will question again, soon, the McCann's friends and the parents of Madeleine McCann. Other developments - a new set of witnesses asked to be questioned and charges being brought - are expected for the first weeks of next January.
(*) From Duarte Levy, published on El Mundo, December 3

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Gerry McCann candidate to "Scot of the Year"

Gerry McCann, father of missing girl Madeleine McCann and formal suspect in her disappearance, is one of the candidates to "Scot of the Year". The election, due in a week, is organized by the Scotsman and wants to chose "the Scots who have inspired us most through the past year", according to the newsaper' site.

Reality bites: McCann still main suspects

"The news is a further crushing blow to the McCanns' hopes of being cleared as suspects. They had hoped that police would lift their official status as suspects after DNA tests failed to find any evidence that they were involved in Madeleine's disappearance from their holiday apartment. But now it appears that they will face a lengthy re-examination by both British and Portuguese detectives over the coming weeks." - This is London, December 4, 2007.

Monday, 3 December 2007

New UK Ambassador to Portugal

"ONE OF the United Kingdom’s youngest-ever ambassadors to Portugal, Alexander Ellis, 40, took over from John Buck in September. Between 2005 and 2007 he was seconded as Adviser to the President of the European Commission. He is married to Maria Teresa Adegas and has a son." The President of the European Commission is Mr. Durão Barroso, former Portuguese Prime-Minister. And yes, his wife, Maria Teresa Adegas, is Portuguese. And yes, the McCann were named formal suspects in September.

A strange phone call

"Police are also said to be investigating a mobile phone call between Gerry and a pal 38 days after the disappearance. Dr Russell O’Brien, 36, was with the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, the night Maddie went missing. Gerry told cops the call was made within four kilometres of his holiday apartment. Phone records show the pair were 25km apart." - The Sun, December 3 (last five lines of the story....)

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Fund almost gone

More than 700,000 pounds have been already spent, from the 1,1 million pounds donated to the Fund to help find Madeleine. John McCann, brother of Gerry McCann, accused the Media for the sharp reduction of donations: "The funds aren't anywhere near the level they were a few months ago thanks to a lot of the crap that's been written over here." John McCann didn’t elaborate about the level of the other fund, created for facing legal expenses and paying lawyers.

McCanns accuse Portuguese police of corruption

The official site Helping to Find Madeleine has proposed a day of pray for tomorrow, December 3, to ask for the “end to the corruption that has occurred in the police investigation” of Madeleine’s disappearance. This is not the first time accusations are made against Portuguese police. Since Gerry and Kate realized investigators were not convinced by their story of kidnapping, friends and family started a smear campaign, later concentrated on the main investigator, Gonçalo Amaral, accused of being just a drunken hapless plod, by the British Media. The day before Gerry and Kate were named suspects, they called the editor of News of the World and gave an interview (later, deleted from their website) where they accused Portuguese police of framing them and justified that attitude with the fact that PJ was running out of budget and so they had to close the case. Same accusations were made on a interview with the Daily Mirror and other newspapers.

Another team the McCann have assembled

Helping to find Madeleine...

Remember again....

Jogging on May 16...

Kate McCann (R) and her husband Gerry, parents of Madeleine McCann, jog at the Portuguese beach resort of Lagos, May 16, 2007. Madeleine disappeared from her hotel bedroom in Praia da Luz 13 days ago while her parents dined about 50 yards away. REUTERS/Nacho Doce (PORTUGAL)

Remember, remember...

Tuesday August 28, 2007
By Martin Evans and Padraic Flanagan in Praia da Luz
“(...) Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Find Madeleine campaign has been scaled down on advice from Downing Street. At the weekend Gerry, an NHS cardiologist, admitted he had started to think about returning to work and said it was time to ease back on the campaign. A source close to the family claimed they had spoken to Gordon Brown on a number of occasions and had been advised that it was time to take a step back. The source said: ‘Dealing with the media is obviously something Kate and Gerry are not used to so they have had to learn as they have gone along. They are happy to take advice from those with more experience in these matters. After all, the only thing that matters to them is finding their little girl.”
Editor’s note: Just as Gazeta Digital (Dangerous connections) and SOS Madeleine McCann (Liaisons dangereuses) wrote, two days before - on August 26, 2007…

The man behind the McCann…

... and who is the man behind the man behind the McCann?
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCann family
(PR Week Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)

Clarence Mitchell has only been in PR for a few months. But at the CIPR's presidential reception three weeks ago, he was certainly the star turn. Once word got around that the spokesman for the McCann family was in attendance, the great and the good of the PR industry were almost queuing up to talk to him, all eager to find out a little more about the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance (...) Mitchell was first sent to meet Gerry McCann at East Midlands airport two weeks after Madeleine's disappearance. The pair flew back together to Portugal. Mitchell then spent an intense month of 15-hour days with the family. He had to return to his government role, and others handled the McCanns' PR. But even then, he says, the family still called him for advice in his own time. 'We had become friends,' he says. 'But I couldn't help them beyond the odd phone call, because officially the Government couldn't be seen to be involved.' (...)

For everything there is a season...

...and a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up (...)