Tuesday, 12 August 2008

SOS Madeleine McCann: the little girl seen in Molenbeek was not Madeleine

At this moment, around 10.15am, Tuesday 12th August, this is what Sky News is still saying,

"Police are studying CCTV footage of a young girl resembling Madeleine McCann walking with a woman in Belgium."

(Updated on the Sky News web site at 8.59pm on Monday 11th August.)

The major Belgian news journals are carrying the story that the little girl has been identified and that she was with her nanny. Her father contacted the police and his identity and that of his child has been verified by the Federal Prosecutor.

SOS Madeleine McCann, being apparently better informed than Sky News, brings us the information.


According to official information from the Belgian Federal Prosecutor, the little blond girl seen last Monday, August 4th, near the headquarters of the KBC bank in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Brussels) was not the little British girl Madeleine McCann.

It was the little girl's father who contacted the police after seeing the video surveillance images, disclosed by the British newspaper The Sun.

The Belgian police had opened an official investigation after having received information from the security company, Securitas Information, that one of the building's security guards had seen a little blond girl, resembling Madeleine's description.

The original information, exclusive to SMM, put forward that the security guard stated that he had seen a little blond girl, speaking English, aged around five or six years, accompanied by a woman of North African origin.

"The little girl's father saw the images for himself and went to the missing person's unit," explained Lieve Pellens, spokesperson for the Federal Prosecutor, adding that, according to the father's statements to the police, the little girl was only in Brussels that day with her nanny.

Journalists have not lacked ingenuity.

The importance placed by the Belgian authorities on the witness statement from the security guard - who had acted in good faith - took several British daily newspapers to Brussels. The daily, The Sun, in disclosing the video surveillance images, allowed the rapid resolution of this lead. The police had started a local investigation, notably with neighbourhood officers, in the hope of finding the little girl in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean area.

Meanwhile, the British journalists were not lacking in ingenuity to find the little girl: the Daily Express team had even distributed posters in the shops in the area, showing the photo of the little one and her nanny, while The Sun found a second witness, who confirmed what the security guard had said concerning the resemblance between the little girl and the face the public knows as Maddie.

Duarte Levy & Paulo Reis