Sunday, 5 April 2009
The father of missing Madeleine McCann was yesterday told to go home by angry residents during a fresh visit to Portugal.
Gerry McCann, 40, sparked criticism after returning to the Portuguese resort to launch a fresh TV appeal and film a documentary.
But his arrival coincided with the loss of 21 staff at the Ocean Club complex, which management blamed on the 'Maddie effect'.We don't want to be uncharitable but we had more than our fair share of bad publicity when little Madeleine went missing,' said one bar owner at the resort.
'This new appeal just stirs up unpleasant memories and we can't see it leading anywhere,' he added.
Madeleine McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing on May 3, 2007, during a family holiday at the resort of Praia da Luz. She would now be aged five. A police inquiry came to nothing and has since been closed.
Last week, posters appealing for information were torn down at the resort and the flat in which the family stayed was vandalised.
The Find Madeleine Fund, which arranged the international TV appeal, said residents had never been asked about what they saw.
by Duarte Levy for 24horas
Gerry McCann, accompanied by Clarence Mitchell and by his friends Jane Turner and Matthew Oldfield, two members of the Tapas group, were in Praia da Luz yesterday to follow the first day of filming of a new television documentary where the English production team didn’t hesitate to use the services of a child to play Maddie’s role.
Maddie’s father arrived at the Ocean Club in the company of Jane Tanner and returned to the same locations that the group of English people frequented when the little girl disappeared, having inspected the Tapas Bar, the tennis court and even apartment 5A, where cots just like the ones in which Sean and Amelie slept on the night of May 3, were brought in.
The documentary, in which 15 actors participate, intends to reconstruct the McCanns’ version of an abduction that allegedly took place at around 9.30 p.m. on the evening of the 3rd of May 2007, and which gives the idea that the man who was seen by Jane Tanner, was the perpetrator.
In the presence of several members of the GNR [local police force], who were sent on location to guarantee the safety of the group of English citizens, the production team from Mentorn Media filmed inside and outside of the Ocean Club, including in the apartment where Madeleine was allegedly abducted from.
That documentary, which “is going to be centred on leads that were undervalued by the Portuguese police”, may be broadcast in Portugal by SIC [tv channel], with which conditions are to be negotiated that may include a “contribution” to the financial fund that was created by the McCanns in 2007, a fact that Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, denied to 24horas: “there won’t be any contribution to the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund or even to the family. The parents simply want to find further leads that help the private investigation to find Madeleine McCann, nothing else”.
The members of the public that were present around the entry to the resort’s reception didn’t enjoy the presence of the English group, accusing Gerry McCann of carrying out “burnt land” politics in Praia da Luz: “Two years later, what do they want to prove?”, a member of the public asked, stressing that it was incomprehensible that the Portuguese authorities permitted “to carry out this circus in a village that hasn’t stopped suffering with this case yet”.
According to the filming – that doesn’t match the statements that were made by the nine English citizens when they were questioned in Portugal and in the United Kingdom – the documentary now intends to transmit the idea of a predator in Praia da Luz, who allegedly watched the group’s steps, the reason why the filming includes the dinner at the Millennium restaurant, where the couple dined on the evening before the little girl’s disappearance, near the Ocean Club swimming pool, and near the church of Praia da Luz.
Private investigations continue
Just like 24horas had reported yesterday, the McCann couple’s spokesman confirmed to journalists that two private investigators are in Praia da Luz working on still unexplored leads, without specifying any further.
The two men were even observed in terrains not too far from the Ocean Club, where they inspected a cane field under the attentive look of members of the PJ.
During the filming, which continues today (Sunday), those investigators will observe the reconstitution of the case “according to the description that was given by Gerry and his friends”, which according to the couple’s spokesman, “may help to understand where Madeleine went to”.
Among various key scenes of this documentary, large emphasis is placed on the witness testimony of Jane Tanner, who states that she observed a man carrying a child, but which she was incapable, since the outset of the official inquiry, to describe in a coherent manner.
When questioned by 24horas, Clarence justified the decision by the couple and their friends not to participate in the reconstitution that was requested by the Polícia Judiciária, explaining the fact that by not being broadcast on television, it couldn’t help the McCanns.
“Now we believe that this documentary may generate new information that help us to find Madeleine”, Clarence Mitchell added, explaining that after being negotiated with several countries – including Portugal – the video will be available on the webpage that was created by the couple: www.findmadeleine.com.
During the course of the filming, the GNR will keep teams on location to maintain the tranquillity of the film crew’s work and to keep the population away, which is openly unhappy about Gerry McCann’s presence.
McCanns may return by the end of the month
A source close to the couple confirmed once more that Gerry McCann and some relatives may return to our country as early as the end of April in order to be in Praia da Luz in time for the second anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance, but that “Kate is not prepared yet” to face a return to our country, which was confirmed by Clarence Mitchell.
Priest doesn’t want the McCanns in church
Father Pacheco has informed Gerry McCann that he doesn’t want him in the little church of Praia da Luz this Sunday, neither him nor any of his friends.
The false ‘Maddie’, dressed thoroughly like Madeleine at the moment when she disappeared, cried to avoid walking the steps of the real one…
source: Duarte Levy @ Wordpress, 05.04.2009
"According to the filming – that doesn’t match the statements that were made by the nine English citizens when they were questioned in Portugal and in the United Kingdom – the documentary now intends to transmit the idea of a predator in Praia da Luz, who allegedly watched the group’s steps, the reason why the filming includes the dinner at the Millennium restaurant, where the couple dined on the evening before the little girl’s disappearance, near the Ocean Club swimming pool, and near the church of Praia da Luz."
This cannot be right. According to various statements from the Tapas crew, the group only ate at the Millennium on the first evening of the holiday.
David Payne's statement 4/05/07
"Concerning the remaining members of the group, normally they got up and went for breakfast at the, "Millennium," restaurant, after which they left their children at the Kids Club and the adults went to do sports inside the tourist complex or they went to the beach. The couple Gerry and Kate had breakfast in the apartment. It was usual to have dinner together every night. With the exception of Saturday, when they all dined at the, "Millennium," restaurant, every evening the group was to be found at the, "Tapas," restaurant at around 8.45 for dinner. While the adults were dining, the children were sleeping in their respective apartments. "
Russell O'Brien's statement 11/05/07 (Also Enfants Kidnappés)
"The "Millennium" restaurant is a long way from block 5 where the couples were lodged. As meals at the "Millennium" restaurant were served after 7.30pm, except on Saturdays for the reception of new clients arriving that day, they found that time late for the children. They opted for meals at the "Tapas" which is close to the swimming pool, back facing the apartment block where the couples were staying. The informant states that David and Fiona's children were very restless and they preferred to be as close as possible to the apartment. All the couples were in agreement with no objections. "
Matthew Oldfield's statement 4/05/07 (Enfants Kidnappés)
"The interviewee says that the day yesterday was identical to the previous ones and that, as on all other nights, at around 8.45pm, he and his wife left their daughter asleep in the apartment and went to the "Tapas" restaurant. "
Rachael Oldfield's statement 4/05/07 (Enfants Kidnappés)
"They had the habit of going to eat every evening at the,"TAPAS," restaurant which is about 50 metres from the apartments as the crow flies but 60 or 70 metres round the building to the back entrance. "
Neither Kate nor Gerry's statement of 4/05/07 is clear about the dining routine, but those most of the Tapas 7 seem quite clear that it was the Tapas Bar except for the Saturday evening.
"Madeleine McCann's father Gerry McCann has returned to Portugal to advise private detectives filming a reconstruction of her disappearance.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Mr McCann and two family friends have returned to the resort area of Praia da Luz to help with the filming.
The reconstruction will be shown in a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, was three when she vanished from the Algarve holiday flat on 3 May 2007.
The reconstruction - being filmed by the McCanns' own private investigators - will focus on what happened on the night, as described by witness statements." *
As described by witness statements? Surely there are so many inconsistencies in those statements, this reconstruction will be very difficult, unless this firm of private detectives is planning to portray several different versions. For a start, there are several versions of Jane Tanner's statements about what she saw. There was the "Eggman," who was wearing beige coloured trousers and was carrying, "a bundle that could have been a child." Then there was her statement about the swarthy man who was carrying a child in pyjamas identical to the ones Madeleine was said to have been wearing when she disappeared. Then, there was the version where the man she saw was just like the man seen by the two female tourists. So, which one will the detectives go with?
"Negotiations are under way for the reconstruction to be shown on Portuguese television and in other European countries, and it will be also be available on the Find Madeleine website.
Mr Mitchell said: "The aim of this is to get that critical piece of information that could still help to find Madeleine. Gerry has returned with that aim." *
So, why didn't Gerry return when the Portuguese police wanted to mount a reconstruction? The seven friends the McCanns were on holiday with in May 2007, decided that a reconstruction would accomplish nothing one year on, and so communicated their decision to the Portuguese police.
"On May 23rd, all seven of the McCanns' friends sent a formal reply to the Prosecutor's request for a reconstruction, saying that they would not be attending, after advice from their lawyers. The reconstruction was therefore canceled by the Judge for the Court of Criminal Investigation, on May 26th 2008."
Duarte Levy & Paulo Reis
The planned reconstruction was canceled because of the conditions imposed by the Tapas 7 and also because they did not see any purpose in such a reconstruction. Maybe Gerry could have persuaded his friends at that time that a reconstruction could have led to important new information. After all, he actually said he was willing, but the date was not suitable.
"As it was impossible to accept or accomplish these conditions, Paulo Rebelo, in an email addressed to Stuart Prior on April 29th, requested that a final decision was taken. Jane and Russel O'Brien were the first to respond, saying yes, but waiting for further advice from their lawyers. Rachel and Matthew sent a similar response, but stressing that they couldn't be in Portugal between May 15th and May 17th. "
"The criminal court took the decision to set a new date: 29th and 30th of May 2008. Then Gerald McCann requested a change to this new date, because his lawyer had another meeting planned before the Lisbon court, for May 29th. His request was refused because it was impossible to make a further revision of the date, due to the numbers of people involved. "
SOS Maddie (See link above)
So, after all that messing about, the reconstruction was canceled.
But now, two years on, Gerry McCann returns to Portugal for this reconstruction by his team of private detectives? I think the local people of Praia da Luz have given the message very loudly and very clearly, that Gerry McCann and his merry band are not welcome in the area. Two years ago, the people of Praia da Luz did everything they could to help find Madeleine McCann. While Kate McCann did absolutely no phyisical searching for her daughter, local people took a whole week off work to search the area. The Portuguese police searched hundreds of properties and questioned hundreds of local people. Kate and Gerry swanned off round Europe! And now, they want the help of the local residents?
No! I guess something else must be going on. Maybe the Goncalo Amaral case is nearing a resolution and Mr Amaral's book will be available in English soon? Also, I believe there is a documentary based on Mr Amaral's book. So, perhaps the McCanns want to get their film out first? There must be something going on, I reckon for this to suddenly be important after two years.
At this point, as the tourist season is just getting underway, and the main industry of the town of Praia da Luz is tourism, I cannot help but wonder what effect this invasion of Gerry McCann's film crew is going to have on local business. One more chance, Gerry, to ruin a few businesses in Praia da Luz.
"The McCann's friends Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, who were with them on the night Madeleine disappeared, will be interviewed on the programme, to be aired on 7 May.
A man was said to have been "acting suspiciously" two days before Madeleine disappeared, and Ms Tanner said she had seen a man carrying what may have been a sleeping child.
Channel Four commissioning editor for documentaries Mark Raphael said: "The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is one of the most harrowing unsolved crimes of recent years.
"Two years on, Kate and Gerry McCann are still searching for their daughter. We hope that this documentary and reconstruction may be able to provide vital new leads for the investigation." *