Saturday, 6 September 2008

Enfants Kidnappés 6/09/08: Russell O'Brien's statement 04/05/07

Enfants Kidnappés 6/09/08

The interview begins at 9.45pm on May 4th 2007. Being a British citizen and not understanding Portuguese, in written or spoken form, the informant is accompanied during his statements by a sworn translator: Filipa M.

The informant completely corroborates the statements by his partner Jane Tanner and Rachael Mampilly. Interview taken by the signatory to the present deed, J.C., police inspector. Concerning the journey, the make-up of the group and the usual routines of the adults and children of the group, of which the informant is part, at the Ocean Cub, he states that:

Apart from his partner, he is on holiday with their children **** O'Brien, aged three years and **** O'Brien aged one year. He works as a doctor. He is a colleague of (Gerry) McCann, having worked together for six months. His partner became pregnant around the same time as Gerry's wife. The informant's daughter, ****, and Madeleine Beth McCann are more or less a month apart in ages. **** and Madeleine go to the same room at the Kids Cub, near the reception. The staff are Cat and another person named Emma.

Until yesterday, May 3rd 2007, he has no knowledge of anything suspicious or strange happening around the group of friends or their children. Everybody seemed normal to him from the cleaning staff, to the gardeners, to the rest of the employees of the complex. In Praia, he never noticed anything strange or people who could have been thought of as strange enough to attract his suspicions.

Yesterday, as his daughter **** was feeling ill, the informant dropped **** (his other daughter!) at the Kids Club at around 10am after breakfast. He completely corroborates his partner Jane Tanner's statements for the rest of the day.

Comment: Why on earth was a witness to such a serious incident allowed to get away with the above? He corroborates his partner's statements!!! Surely, he should have been obliged to give his own account in his own words!!

At around 7.15/7.30pm, the informant went back to his apartment. He read stories to his daughters, including **** who was feeling better. His partner, Jane, went to have dinner at the "TAPAS" restaurant at around 8.30pm and he went there at around 8.45pm. When he arrived at the restaurant, nearly all the adults were present, without children, with the exception of David, Fiona and Diane. They arrived more or less 5 minutes later.

At around 9pm, they had all ordered their meals. While they were eating, it was normal that every 15 minutes, one person from each apartment went to make sure the children were ok. Yesterday, as **** was not well, the interval between checks was reduced. He recalls that Matthew Oldfield left the restaurant at shortly after 9pm to check the children. He is no longer sure who went out first, but five minutes later, Gerry McCann and his own partner, Jane, went out, almost at the same time, to check the children. He thinks that Gerry must have gone out first because Jane saw him chatting with a person on holiday at the complex, a certain Jez. He thinks that Jane only checked their apartment, being worried about ****. Then Gerry came back at around 9.25/9.30 and they started to eat the main course.

At around 9.35/9.40, taking advantage of the lull between two courses, the informant left the restaurant with Matthew to check the children. When he got there, his daughter **** was crying. He stayed in her bedroom with her. He supposes that Matthew checked his apartment. Matthew returned to the restaurant five minutes after leaving it. His partner came to take his place in ****'s bedroom around 15 minutes later after finishing dinner.

At around 9.55, he went back to the restaurant where his food had been waiting for 5 or 10 minutes. All the other adults had finished.

At a round 10pm, Kate Healy went out to check her children in her apartment. When she came back, she came towards our table, shouting that Madeleine had disappeared. We all went out, running, and with the help of a few people we decided to search in the area around the apartment blocks. The search proved fruitless.

Comment: And what did you do then, Russell? You went to bed? You ran round shouting? You joined the local people frantically searching more widely?

After reading with the translator, who explains to him, he goes on and signs.

Comment: Times! They started to eat the main course at around 9.25/9.30 and at 9.35/9.40, taking advantage of a break between courses...? Russell must have eaten his main course really quickly!

Enfants Kidnappés 6/09/08

Addendum: I know that the names of the other Tapas children are fictitious in these articles, but I have got used to just using asterisks!!!

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