Tuesday, 8 January 2008

McCanns: the movie, the book and directors jumping ship!

Madeleine the movie!

The McCanns are set to turn the story of their daughter into a film.

Kate and Gerry are in negotiations with the world's largest talent and entertainment agency, IMG, in a deal which could be worth millions.

The money would help fund the search for Madeleine amid fears that the £1.2 million raised from public donations will soon run out."

Daily Mail Tuesday 8th January

The Find Madeleine Fund was set up just a few days after Madeleine disappeared and was denied charity status as its scope was not wide enough. The fund is a business, but I am sure that many people thought they were contributing to a charity. A young girl apparently sold her toys on e-bay and contributed the proceeds, augmented from £80 to £100 by her mother. And what have the McCanns done with the cash? They have paid out £50,000/month to Metodo3, an agency in Spain more used to dealing with corporate fraud than finding missing persons. They have also paid the salaries of their PR people and made two months' payments on their mortgage. A meeting of the fund's directors made the decision that the McCanns' legal fees could be paid out of the fund, but on a guilty verdict if the case went to trial, the money would have to be paid back. How? Fifty pence a week from prison earnings?

The Board has taken advice from Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP and Christopher McCall QC. The Board has been advised that payment of Gerry and Kate’s legal defence costs would be legally permissible subject to conditions about repayment in the event of a guilty conviction. "

The objects of the fund:

1.1 The full objects of the Fund are:

1.1.1 To secure the safe return to her family of Madeleine McCann who was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal on Thursday 3rd May 2007;

1.1.2 To procure that Madeleine’s abduction is thoroughly investigated and that her abductors, as well as those who played or play any part in assisting them, are identified and brought to justice; and

1.1.3 To provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine’s family.

1.2 If the above objects are fulfilled then the objects of the Foundation shall be to pursue such purposes in similar cases arising in the United Kingdom, Portugal or elsewhere."

Part of a statement from the McCanns' legal team:

"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."

Yes, that's what's needed, another wave of sympathy to swell the coffers! Maybe the, "Best selling items," in the tacky online shoppe are not selling so well!

The online shoppe!

High quality T shirts and wristbands. Buy a wristband, get a poster free!

It would be easy to miss the information about a planned meeting of the fund's directors in Rothley. I missed it on my first reading of the Daily Mail's article on the movie and the book, but it's there. Resignation of some of the fund's directors is on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting.

"The meeting tomorrow follows the resignation of key board members, including the fund's spokeswoman Esther McVey.

The fund agreed a deal in the autumn to pay the Barcelona-based agency Metodo 3 a retainer of £50,000 a month for six months to find Madeleine. Metodo 3 has come in for criticism over comments made by its boss Francisco Marco, including one that he knew who kidnapped Madeleine and a promise to find her by Christmas.

The fund has also been criticised for paying two months' worth of mortgage payments, amounting to a few thousand pounds, on the McCanns' home while they were in Portugal and unable to work."

The Find Madeleine web site was set up within 4 days of her disappearance and the fund, I believe, was fully operational and receiving cash by May 17th, just 14 days after the event. Uncommon haste I would say! I guess we might find out later why several directors have resigned, including the fund's spokesperson.

In the words of that movie star I used to admire, "I'll be back," later with more news. Used to admire? Tookie Williams, Arnie! Tookie Williams!

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