Saturday, 30 August 2008

The mysterious disappearance of Madeleine McCann - Georges Moréas

M. Moréas has updated his article and I have made a small amendment here to reflect that update. 31/08/08

Georges Moréas writing on his blog, "POLICEtcetera," has posted this very interesting article on Madeleine's disappearance.

Madeleine McCann, called Maddie, was nearly four years old. On the evening of May 3rd 2007, she disappeared from her bedroom in a luxury tourist complex, the Ocean Club, in the south of Portugal, where she was supposed to have been sleeping.

No one knows what has become of her since. Recently, the press echoed a statement from the Portuguese prosecutor: case closed. This news is probably unfounded. How can a magistrate, a police officer, allow the closing of a case without thinking of the victim, a child, almost a baby. And if she were alive!...The confusion comes, no doubt, from the order that there were no grounds to prosecute the three suspects.

THE FACTS: The Ocean Club tourist complex is a collection of buildings comprising a residential block, two restaurants, the Tapas and the Millennium, tennis courts, beach, etc.

On this evening, the McCanns are dining with their friends at the Tapas restaurant. At around 10pm, Kate McCann gets up from the table to go and see her children, as she usually does, to reassure herself that everything is fine. Her two little ones, the twins, are sound asleep, in their cots. Her daughter's bedroom door is not closed, which surprises her. She goes in: the window is open, the shutters are raised, Maddie has disappeared.

She rushes back to the restaurant to alert her husband. Together they go back to the apartment, accompanied by their friends, and they only arrive at the obvious. So, they set out to explore the surrounding area.

This is the situation discovered by the first police officers on the spot. Everything leads them to believe that the child has run off. She may not be far away. Searches are organised.

Shortly afterward, the PJ director for Lisbon, receives a call on his mobile phone from the British ambassador. His caller asks him if he is aware that a British child has disappeared.....He goes into action. You can imagine the torrent of phone calls that follows this intervention.

THE INITIAL FINDINGS: There is no disorder in the bedroom where the child was sleeping. The bed is not disturbed. There is no evidence of a break-in, neither on the window, nor on the shutters, nor on the door. A local enquiry turns up witnesses, Irish holiday-makers, who say that shortly after 10 o'clock, they saw a man carrying a child, whose description corresponds perfectly to Madeleine's: face, hair, clothes. Now there is hardly any doubt: this is an abduction. The alert is put out.

THE PJ'S INVESTIGATION: The PJ officers collect witness statements from hundreds of people, and as a priority, from the parents and their friends. Very quickly, they come across certain contradictions between them. For example, a woman states that she went past the apartment earlier in the evening and noticed that the bedroom shutters were closed. But, Kate McCann states the window was open and the shutters pushed up. And the investigators find no evidence of tampering.

Furthermore, the shutters can only be opened from the inside. Can you imagine an individual entering by the door, using a picklock, and going out through through the window, with his victim, after having opened the shutters? And also, the child's bed is not disturbed, as though no one has slept in it. Intrigued, the police officers examine the mobile phones of each of the McCanns: the call history has been erased. Astonishing to think of emptying the memory of your mobile phone when your child has just been kidnapped! But the PJ officers are struggling to do their job. The pressure quickly becomes unbearable.

Little Maddie disappeared on the Thursday evening. On the Friday, the British ambassador, John Buck, is on the spot, accompanied by big-shot police officers and lawyers. And on the Saturday, three British police officers arrive in their turn, in theory to assist their Portuguese colleagues. The contact is not good. The local police officers feel belittled. However, having been involved with the training of Portuguese police officers, I can guarantee that they have no reason to envy either the French or the British - except perhaps certain technical resources.

The working conditions are as follows: 150 Portuguese police officers, three British police officers, authorities, diplomats, and journalists...everywhere. Not the ideal for an investigation. On the Saturday, the PJ director from Faro, tells the press: "It is an abduction." At the same time the McCann couple launch their desperate appeal before the television cameras. It is even said that the police are holding a sketch of the kidnapper, but it will not be published to avoid putting the child's life at risk. A little late, no, to think of the young victim!

During this political, media-staged bustling, the head of the investigation, Commissioner Gonçalo Amaral begins to entertain another possibility. He thinks the McCanns' behaviour is not, "natural." Otherwise, why refuse to participate in a reconstruction of the evening? He finds that certain witness statements do not correspond and that it is becoming impossible to determine where anyone was at any time. Thus, an implausible detail emerges when the Irish witness indicates that after seeing Gerry McCann on television, he positively identified him: this was the man he saw with Maddie in his arms, on the Thursday, at around 10pm. Yes, but at that time, the child's father was in the restaurant with his friends...

Amaral is skeptical. He feels that there is a certain degree of connivance amongst this group of friends. Would they be lying? He goes back to the initial findings and he examines the places from a different angle - as he would do it for a crime scene. The little girl's death becomes the working hypothesis for the investigators.

EVIDENCE OR PRESUMPTIONS: A suspect is arrested. He is a British national living a hundred metres from the leisure centre. I will not give his name as he has taken action against newspapers which said, "certain things," about him, and the press barons backed down. It is said that he banked 750,000€.

Meanwhile, dogs trained to detect certain odours, notably those of blood or cadavers, are brought in. They detect traces inside the apartment, in the couple's bedroom and in the dining room; as well as outside the building. More disquieting, the dogs alert on the child's soft toy and on clothes belonging to her mother. The dogs are placed near a car rented by theMcCanns , and they sniff suspicious odours there too. But this vehicle was actually hired after the little girl's disappearance! On the other hand, the dogs detect nothing, either in the car of the British man under investigation, or at his home.

The vice tightens on the McCanns.

In the places marked by the dogs, minute organic fragments are gathered for DNA comparison with Madeleine's (from samples of saliva on her bed covers). The analyses are done in Great Britain. When the results come out, there is no longer any doubt: There are 15 identical markers in the two DNAs. It is the little girl.

At the beginning of September, the McCann couple are placed under investigation, but left at liberty. The press reports that they are suspected of having concealed their daughter's body after an accidental death - there is talk of the administration of a sedative that was too powerful (the parents are both doctors) - and that they would have got rid of it afterward by transporting it in a vehicle rented for that purpose.

Meanwhile, this case has taken on an international dimension. The McCanns have called the English Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the investigation is followed more closely by the governments of both countries. The press is unleashed. The parents set themselves up as the victims of a bigoted, even backward, police force. The British newspapers really lay into the investigators, who are looking at the parents instead of searching for the missing child. The English police officers, who are involved with the investigation (and who, in theory, have no power to intervene) do nothing to put things right. The public is gripped by this mysterious story - charged with emotion. A support fund is set up. Brian Kennedy, an American Millionaire offers his services.

He takes on the costs of the lawyers and the private investigators. It's even said that he goes to meet some of the witnesses. Does that have anything to do with the fact that afterward most of them refused to go back and participate in a reconstruction? The atypical Virgin boss also puts his hand in his pocket. It is interesting to note that all this energy, all this money, is essentially used to defend the suspects.

New DNA research is carried out by the forensic laboratories in Birmingham, taking the opposite view to the first evaluation. It is said that the samples harvested (by the Portuguese police) were allegedly mixed...

Commissioner Gonçalo Amaral requests another other evaluation. Impossible, the English tell him, the samples have been destroyed, or lost, we don't exactly know, by the laboratory.Amaral can't take any more. All this hooha , this persistent pressure from the bosses, political authorities, the media, is preventing him from working properly. He is taken to task, criticised, watched closely...Even his British colleagues are causing trouble for him. Exasperated, he lets go in the press. It is a mistake, because his bosses jump at the chance. He is transferred.

Gonçalo Amaral has written a book, "The Truth of the Lie," which is out now in Portugal. Bet there will be some interesting details in it. At least if it is translated into French. Will the press, already scalded by this case, pick up on it? Not certain! The McCanns have clearly implied that their lawyers were ready to take action.

To go back to the DNA, in France, unless I am mistaken, 13 identical markers between two DNA profiles, is sufficient in law. So, if the events had taken place here, first of all the evaluation would not have been done in Great Britain, but in a French laboratory, and then the McCanns would have been placed under investigation and most certainly placed in preventive detention - and only the judge would have been able to decided on a second evaluation.

Which goes to show that scientific evidence, even the most sophisticated, doesn't depend on a mathematical formula, but on human judgment.

THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE PARENTS: I must say that the behaviour of the McCanns compared to that of other parents placed in such a painful situation is....different. From the start, they looked down on the Portugiese police officers. They lied on certain points and right away, they looked for support from their country's authorities. As if they felt threatened! Were they caught up in the media machine? The support fund which they set up (and which can be found on Google's business pages) collected around 1.5 million euros. However, one of the first expenses incurred by that fund was to make two monthly payments concerning the purchase of their house. It is said that 600,000 euros was paid out to settle the fees of private detectives, who turned out to be crooks. One of them even stated that he had infiltrated a Belgian paedophile network... In their defence, they have guaranteed that they have not used that money to pay the fees of the lawyers who are covering their defence.

These folks have mobilised around themselves so many people, so many of the smart set we might say, from politics and business.....that we can only wonder. Are they part of a network? Of a lodge? Of a sect? Of a clan?....

THE STATE OF THE INVESTIGATION: The McCann couple not having requested the continuation of the investigation, it is officially over. As things stand, there is a 4 year-old kid, probably dead; and three suspects who have been let off. One, the neighbour, suspected because of his past, but against whom there seems to be no evidence; and the parents...

There is evidence that they lied in their first statements to the police, notably about how they spent their time, apparently in connivance with their friends. They couldn't explain the presence of traces of blood or cadaver odour, particularly in the vehicle they had hired, three weeks after the events. Even if in law the second DNA evaluation negates the first, it is not entirely convincing. The experts are happy to conclude that they cannot use the gathered samples they were sent, because they were contaminated. And even if we consider that the two evaluations were contradictory, which one should we believe? The destruction of the samples makes any confirmation impossible.

And after this hullabaloo, Maddie joins the long list of missing children.


CONCLUSION: Everyone can think what they like, but Portuguese law considers that there is no charge against anyone, not any proof, not any evidence. They have, "archived," the case, as they say there.

It is astonishing. But I believe it's a good way to start over in a more calm way. In fact, nothing is stopping the investigators from, "discreetly," continuing their investigations. Portuguese procedure allows the reopening of the case at any moment, if someone brings a new element to it.

What is striking in this case, is that there is a lot of talk about money and very little about the young victim. Finally, one of the suspects pocketed 750,000 € handed over by certain newspapers to avoid action for defamation, and the other two, the parents, have collected 1.5 million euros in a support fund. Not to mention the money spent by wealthy patrons. As for the Portuguese police officers, they were ridiculed.

It must stick in their throats....I'll bet they are not ready to forget it.

(With thanks to frencheuropean at the 3 Arguidos forum, for help with some of the idiomatic French in the text!)

Friday, 29 August 2008

Violence in the name of honour.

In the same week as I read about the special day being launched by the Groupe International de Paroles de Femmes, I have come across a Canadian site about honour killing. The GIPF day is about sexual exploitation and it seems to me that honour killing represents another face of the phenomenon, if indirectly. Many of the victims are very young women who have been forced into marriage at a very young age, with much older men: some are sold by their families; some are handed over by their families as payment for a debt; some are simply fobbed off to the first available man to ease the family's burden of a person who is possibly just going to cost them money but not make any. If handing a pre-teen girl over to a 60 year-old male is not sexual exploitation, then I don't know what is a better definition.

On July 2nd, it was Banaz Bakir Fatah, of Iraqi origin, who was killed in Norway. At the beginning of August, we learned that a new honour murder had taken place in Jordan, following another honour crime in July, or we could also talk about young Ahmet Yildiz, executed by his family because he was homosexual. In Pakistan, we learned recently that last month, five women were buried alive, the guilty, one of them the brother of a MInister for the province of Baloutchistan, have still not been bothered by the police or the judiciary, so we are joining the campaign by the Asian Commission for Human Rights in requesting the authorities to take the necessary steps to investigate these murders and to punish the guilty parties.

In Jordan, the law still supports these murders committed, "in the name of family honour." And if Turkey has recently criminalised these murders of women, a report shows that it remains not only frequent, but it's in resurgence. Same thing in Kurdistan, where we learn that at the beginning of July eleven women were killed or committed suicide by setting themselves on fire in a single week in the town of Erbil. The murder of Kurdistan Aziz has demonstrated the inability and the lack of willingness of the authorities of the autonomous Kurdish region to offer a minimum of protection to women threatened by their families, which makes necessary the campaign we are leading against the murder and stoning of women in Kurdistan. And all the more so since we also learn that the murderers of Doa Khalil Aswad, publicly stoned on April 7th, risk escaping any prison sentence (See Le prix du sang*)

* Le prix du sang

In Iran, if honour murders exist, it is equally the apparatus of the state that seeks to control women's bodies and their sexuality. Thus, in July, nine people (at least) were sentenced to stoning, one of them Kobra Najjar. According to the information we have received from Iran at the beginning of August, these stonings would be suspended, but the death sentence by stoning continues to figure in the criminal code of the Mullah's régime.

Other forms of oppression in the name of honour.

The, "Oppression for family honour," system does not limit itself to murder, which is just the visible part of a social, tribal and patriarchal organisation where women are denied their fundamental human rights. One form this oppression takes is forced marriage. In Yemen, two little girls of 8 and 9 were able to celebrate...their divorces, taking us to the example of Nojoud, a young girl of 10 years who struggled to get a divorce. In Saudi Arabia, the staff at a hospital in the province of Hail, went into action to prevent the marriage of a little girl of 10 years with a man of 60 years. In Pakistan, it is the jirgas (tribal courts) which offer little girls in marraige to settle clan quarrels. It is also the tribal courts that sentence to death those who decide to marry freely, like Mohammad Ibrahim and Zainab

Unfortunately, forced marriages are not just a barbarity that exists in the Midle East or in the Indian Sub-Continent. In France, as elsewhere in Europe, summer is the favoured season for forced marriages. At the beginning of July in North Italy, "Piccola," aged 15, attempted suicide to avoid being married to a man she did not love. On this subject we can read the witness statement of Hamina Ben Sadia married by force at 16 years, or of Justine who ran away from her family to escape marriage.We have published some legal information and useful contacts for young French women who may be threatened with forced marriage. It is to be noted that recently, on the subject of forced marriage, the press has tended tp applaud the initiative set up by SPIOR (Islamic Organisation of Rotterdam) with the support of Tariq Ramadan. However in a press release by women's organisations in France, fighting against forced marriages, we read with interest the analysis by Necia Kelek, a militant of Turkish origin against forced marriages in Germany, on the ambiguity and hypocrisy of that campaign organised by reactionary groups close to the Muslim brotherhood.

If our site only lists a few of the atrocities and forms of oppression suffered by women, "In the name of honour," (you can have a brief outline of what this oppression means by reading, if you haven't already done so, Totalitarianism against women. Repercussions of crimes and the, "family honour," system on the living conditions of women in the Middle East,) we can also announce some progress thanks to the courageous struggles going on around the world.

Thus, the campaign against circumcision in Kurdistan records some success and female sexual mutilation should finally be banned in September.And even if we haven't obtained the abolition of stoning in Iran, the suspension of stoning sentences is also a small success for the mobilisation of organisations defending the rights of women, defenders of human rights and other progressives. These facts show that, even it may seem like very little, participating in various campaigns which we suggest or we are supporting, may let us little by little crack the oppression and work towards more equality.

Finally, to publicise our struggle against murder and oppression, "in the name of family honour," we offer stickers that can be downloaded in PDF format and printed (each sheet is set up in A4 and each sticker measures 105 x 148.5mm) For now, we have them in Arabic, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Kurd (Sorani) and Russian. You can find them here.
We will gradually add more translations and if you can help us by translating into other languages, your suggestions will be very welcome on our forum

The above is translated from the Sisyphe site, and the information originates entirely from:

International Campaign Against Honour Killing.

Enfants Kidnappés 29/08/08: Fiona Payne's statement 4/05/07

Enfants Kidnappés


Before publishing Fiona Payne's statements, it seemed interesting to us to digress a little. Following lots of questions received by e-mail, we are going to try to reply to some of them. First of all, you should bear in mind that I wasn't there during the interviews and that there is nothing in the written report that clarifies how certain questions were formulated or what those questions were.

Except occasionally where it says: "Following our question the interviewee says....." However, typical interviews like these - let's not forget that they are interviews in the context of the disappearance of a child - are often done within the same framework. The inspectors have to pose various, "open," questions to the interviewee. These questions were probably the following (This is speculation, but based on extensive experience, it is highly likely that this speculation is accurate):

  • How long have you been in Portugal and how did you get here?
  • For how long have you known the child's parents?
  • How has the holiday been going?
  • How did the day of May 3rd develop?
  • How did the evening of May 3rd develop?
  • What was the attitude of the parents towards their children and particularly with the missing girl?
  • Did you notice anything unusual?
  • What is Madeleine like? (Personality traits)
  • Was she ill? Was she taking any medication?
It is logical to imagine that this was the framework on which the PJ based these interviews. The open question technique is the only valid one in an interview. An example being worth more than a thousand words, here is an example of a closed question: "Was the suspect's car green?" That is a closed question, not allowed during an interview because it influences the witness in their response. By contrast, the following open question: "What colour was the suspect's car?" is totally admissible because the witness is not influenced by it.

Going back to Fiona's interview, it was recorded on May 4th 2007 at 7.20pm by an inspector from the 4th DIC brigade.

On the subject in hand we note that:

The interviewee was heard as a witness belonging to the group who came to Portugal with the young child Madeleine. She (editor's note: Fiona) is married to David who is also on the trip. She has known the child's parents for around seven years. She met Kate while they were working together and she was already a friend when she met her future husband, David. The McCann couple have three children, twins aged two and Madeleine nearly four years. The interviewee has two children, who are respectively 1 and 2 years old. The idea to come to Portugal came from her husband, David, who had already been to Portugal eleven years before.

They arrived in Portugal on April 28th at around 12 noon, coming from Leicestershire via Faro and finally to Praia da Luz. From Faro to the Ocean Club, they traveled in an airport mini-bus. After checking in, they were placed in apartment G5H with her whole family (Husband, mother and two children).

The routines.

Concerning what they usually do, the interviewee says that in the morning, after breakfast, which they have as a family in the bar at a club at around 8.15/8.30, they place their children in one of the complex's crèches, in different sections. In the afternoon, their children take a nap, while she and her husband stay in the apartment. At around 3.30/4pm, the nap over, they all go to the swimming pool or to the tennis courts where the interviewee stays with her children and her husband until 6/7pm. Then, they go back to the apartment, bathe the children, put them to bed and go to join the rest of the group for the adults' dinner, at the "Tapas," restaurant situated near the club.


During dinner, the interviewee and her husband never went to their apartment to check that the children were ok because they would have heard the slightest noise, or any crying in the bedroom thanks to a, "Baby Monitoring," type intercom. Yesterday, the usual routine was slightly changed. Yesterday, she went to the beach with her children, her husband and her mother, Diane. They arrived there at around 3.45pm and came back around 6.15pm to go to the tennis courts where they stayed until 7pm. Then the interviewee went to her apartment with her children and her mother. In the apartment, her mother, helped by her husband, gave the children a bath while the interviewee went jogging on the beach until 8pm. Then she returned to the apartment and did a few household chores and went out at around 8.45pm, accompanied by her mother and her husband to go to the "Tapas," restaurant to join the rest of the group. TheMcCann couple were amongst the members of the group at dinner.

The interviewee states that Kate and Gerry, as well as other couples, went to the club a few times, at regular intervals, to make sure the children were ok. During one of these checks, Kate came back frightened and very jumpy, panicked even, and she announced that Madeleine had disappeared.

Search groups were immediately organised, in the apartment, thinking that she could be hiding there, then outside, without success, even with the help of employees. Then given Kate's state of anxiety, the interviewee decided to stay with her to lend her support.

The interviewee has never been in Madeleine's family's apartment.

Knowing Madeleine well, the interviewee describes her as very intelligent, and totally incapable of going with a stranger without screaming or protesting strongly unless she was very tired or asleep.

Concerning what Jane said, the latter only said she saw a person with a child in his arms but she didn't know if it was Madeleine.

During the holiday, the interviewee noticed nothing unusual. She has nothing else to add.

After reading, together with the interpreter, who explains the contents to her, she goes on and signs the deed.

Enfants Kidnappés

Comment: I don't understand why anyone would want to go to the trouble of air travel, and what that entails, and long journeys with small children, to go to a country like Portugal, and then hardly set foot outside a holiday complex. I'm sure there must be similar holiday complexes in the UK, if what they want to do is dump the kids in a crèche then play various sports. They might as well be anywhere!

When I travel...well, actually, I have never been on a package holiday...I like to explore the place or the country I am in. That's why my family would be booking a cottage, a villa, or an apartment, giving the freedom to be out and about, seeing the scenery, visiting places of interest, even just visiting different beaches and exploring that coastal town.

Who wants to travel to an obviously beautiful country like Portugal and not explore the country a little? And in Portugal, drink New Zealand wine? Why? Why not try the produce of the local vineyards? That's what I do on holiday abroad.

The McCanns and their friends are an obviously intelligent bunch of people, but they display Butlin's behaviour! They travel to Portugal, play tennis on the club's courts, jog on the beach, eat regularly at the club's restaurant and don't get out there to see what the country has to offer? They should've gone to Butlin's!!!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Enfants Kidnappés 28/08/08: David Payne's statement 4/05/07


David Payne's statements were taken the day after Madeleine's disappearance, May 4th 2007 at 2.45pm. As with all the others, David Payne was accompanied by a, "sworn," interpreter, A. Francisco M. The statement was recorded by inspector Patricia D.
The words at the beginning of an interview are invariably the same. They are mandatory type words. They form the legal basis of the document. Recited often, they are like:
"We, Patricia D., police inspector, in the service of the PJ, Portimao Section, note:"

On the subject we are recording it is shown:

That the interviewee made this statement voluntarily. That he has been on holiday in Portugal since April 28th 2007, staying at the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz. That he plans to return to England on May 5th 2007 (Saturday). That he has known Madeleine's parents for around 5 years. That he was on holiday with Madeleine and her parents. That he came with a group. That the group is composed of nine adults and eight children. The adults are: Diane, the interviewee and his wife (children: ***** and ***), Russell and Jane (children: **** and ****), Matthew and Rachael (child: ******), Gerry and Kate (children: Amelie, Sean and Madeleine).
That they came to Portugal via a tour operator. That it was the interviewee who booked the trip.

Concerning the days spent in Portugal, the interviewee describes them as being all very much the same. He states that his family, composed of his mother-in-law Diane, his wife Fiona and their two children, spent their days more independently than other members of the group. They were most often with the couple Russell and Jane.

Concerning the remaining membes 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.

In answer to our question, the interviewee states that during all the meals, he never went to his apartment or to any of the group's apartments, because he has an, "intercom," and the signal carries from the apartment to the restaurant. The other members of the group went, randomly, every 20 minutes, to their apartments to make sure their respective children were asleep.

Concerning yesterday evening, he states that he, his wife and his mother-in-law arrived at the restaurant at around 8.55pm. According to what he remembers, when they arrived, all the members of the group were present, apart from the children, who were in bed. During the evening, Gerry, Jane and Matthew went, alternately, to their children's bedrooms to check if they were sleeping. He thinks they physically went into the apartments. He no longer remembers in what order they went see their children.

Towards 10pm, Kate went to her apartment, and less than 5 minutes later, she came back to the restaurant, breaking down, reporting that Madeleine had disappeared. Then everybody went to the apartment occupied by Madeleine's family. He remembers comments concerning the fact that the window and the shutters were open, while they had remained closed throughout the week.

That the apartment occupied by Madeleine's family comprises two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a lounge and a bathroom. That the lounge has a door which gives outside access in the direction of the restaurant. He does not recall any more details of the apartment but he remembers that the bedroom occupied by the children has a window that looks onto the main road. That he never went into the said bedroom occupied by the children but he could see that there were two beds and two cots. The cots were placed in the middle of the bedroom. One of the beds was placed against the window and the other, the one occupied by Madeleine, was against the wall facing the one which has a window.

In answer to our question, the interviewee doesn't know how many times Madeleine left the tourist complex, but he knows she went, at least once, to the beach. That during the holiday, he saw nothing abnormal concerning the couple Gerry and Kate, neither with their children nor, notably, with Madeleine. In the context of the group, he noticed nothing abnormal. That during the whole holiday, and particularly during the day and the night yesterday, nothing unusual happened in the tourist complex, which attracted his attention, or which could be correlated with Madeleine's disappearance.

He describes Madeleine as being a communicative girl, happy, obedient and very well behaved. Madeleine's parents are very sociable people, known by lots of people, kind and affectionate. Madeleine is indeed the daughter of both elements of the couple. She was wanted and is the result of, "In Vitro," fertilisation. There was no difference in treatment between Madeleine and the twins. He doesn't know if Madeleine suffers from any illness, nor if she is on medication. He has nothing more to say that could help the progress of the investigation.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

World Day of struggle against sexual exploitation: 4th March 2009 (Enfants Kidnappés) Updated 28/08/08

March 4th 2009 will see the first international day for the struggle against sexual exploitation launched by the Groupe International de Paroles de Femmes. (GIPF)

Enfants Kidnappés

Given the extent of the phenomenon of sexual exploitation, adults as well as children, at European and international level, it seems essential to us that the whole international community (civil and governmental) can unite around one day. A day to mobilise, sensitize, inform governments, institutions, the public, about the scourge of sexual exploitation. This is why on 4th March 2009, GIPF will launch the first World Day of Struggle Against Sexual Exploitation.

You are invited to become an active member of that day. Membership is totally free. We would like this day to be taken up by as many countries as possible. That is why you are invited to observe this day with a focus of information on the problem of sexual exploitation.

For France, we are currently contacting all representatives to inform them of this initiative, and to request their support for this day to be recognised at national level. You could also send an email to your government to request national recognition for the day.

The objective of this day is to collectively denounce one of the worst forms of denial of basic human rights, but also to pool resources in order to put an end to this traffic!
Exploitation of any kind, is basically one of the most abject abominations of the human being and sexual exploitation, rendering the bodies of victims as simple merchandise, goods that can be bought or sold at will, is its most repugnant expression! The unbearable here is the abuse and contempt for the other person, her total submission, making her feel inferior, dehumanising her.

The link between sexual exploitation and prostitution is not stressed, while it is obvious that the sex industry is organising it and to a great extent absorbing the victims: 90-95% of prostitutes, (world average) are victims of trafficking!

Missing the obvious: without potential clients, no prostitution, therefore no sexual exploitation, and no trafficking. If the world were to set itself to holding a basic debate on prostitution, and even decided to intensify the crackdown on the procurement networks, it could never eradicate the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation.

Prostitution trivialises the sexual enslavement of women and reinforces the image that they are simply exchangeable goods to be accessible and available to all men at all times, everywhere. Patriarchal culture rests on the principle that the sole duty and power of women lies in the art of sexually satisfying men in marriage and in sexual exploitation.

Liberalisation benefits primarily the pimps, the dealers, organised crime in general, clients for whom it matters little that the sexuality is a mechanical act, devoid of reciprocity and all responsibility, the main point being that everyone, whatever their social status, can buy power over a woman.

On average, victims are recruited at around 13 years of age, made vulnerable by the violence of their environment, poverty, unemployment, drugs. The majority of them are subjected to a forced breaking-in by the pimps or the street gangs aimed at depersonalising them to the point where they don't have the ability to act or even to think for themselves.

Every year around the world:

  • Every year 4 million more women and young girls in the world are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation: 76 more victims every second. (Source: UN 2007)
  • 500,000 female victims of trafficking for prostitution enter Western Europe every year. (European Parliament Commission on the Rights of Women 2007)
  • The number of prostitutes amounted to 42 million, world-wide, in 2001.
  • In 2006, the revenue from prostitution world-wide amounted to 1000 billion US dollars (Richard Poulin, Profesor of Sociology at the University of Ottowa).
  • In one decade, there were three times more victims of trafficking for prostitution in South-East Asia alone, than in the entire history of the slave-trade: 33 million victims in one decade against 11.5 in 400 years. (UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention)
The victims are distributed throughout 137 countries (mostly in Western Europe, Asia and in North America) according to the American Department of State. They come from 127 countries (mostly Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean) according to the American Department of State.

Globally, the main human trafficking movements are the following:

Countries of origin: Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Nigeria, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Colombia, Dominican Republic.

Transit countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Thailand.

Destination countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, United States.

What the figures show is that in the space of thirty years, the phenomenon of human trafficking, notably for sexual exploitation, has evolved considerably. The most disturbing changes are linked to its industrialisation, its globalisation, its distribution through armed conflict, and the adaptability of the traffickers.

What the figures don't tell us about is the trivialisation of the phenomenon, to the point where we are witnessing, in France and elsewhere, the use of codes related to human trafficking for advertising purposes. A trivialisation with serious consequences for the victims. It is imperative that the fight against prostitution and the trafficking of human beings takes on a new dimension and transcends borders.

Globally, the legislative responses to the issue of prostitution are very disparate. The prostitution networks benefit greatly from these legal disparities: what is prohibited in one country being allowed in others. And even in countries with similar approaches, definitions of charges differ, which prevents indictment and blocks the legal process.

The fight against organised crime represents a major challenge at international level. There is a lack of knowledge about transnational trafficking, and in particular about human trafficking. It is obvious that globalisation facilitates legitimate trade, but it is a boon for illegal movement. It is necessary to understand the extent of this unacceptable trafficking and to consider the role played by states in this.

A world divided. Sweden on the edge.

Sweden has followed a totally different path, where the act of buying sex is punished by the law. This law, adopted in January 1999, has been in the pipeline since 1975. Starting from the principle that prostitution is not compatible with human dignity and in accordance with the Convention of December 2nd 1949 for the suppression of human trafficking and exploitation by the prostituting of other people; which says explicitly: "Prostitution and the evil that accompanies it (...) are incompatible with the dignity and value of the human person. Sweden has implemented the simplest and most accessible method for striving towards its abolition: break the market by removing the customers.

(Comment: I really like the Swedish approach. No customers, no demand, no trafficking of human beings. I am not naive enough to believe that there is no prostitution behind closed doors, and just marketed differently, but hopefully there is a lot less of it than elsewhere and therefore not so much profit potential for those who might seek to benefit from procuring women and young girls. The Swedish system does not punish the victims, but those who create the market in which exploitation can thrive.)

Governments can no longer have an ambiguous attitude, because recall a single figure: each year 4 million women and young girls are sold....

4 MILLION LOST LIVES EVERY YEAR.... average of 76 lost lives every second globally....

So, in order to comply with the Convention of December 2nd 1949 for the suppression of human trafficking and the exploitation of prostitution, intolerance of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation must be a priority and the purchase of sexual services punished by the law. The Swedish model should become the reference model for this international fight.


Many associations, non-governmental organisations and institutions are fighting against this phenomenon of exploitation, but faced with the significant increase in recent years, it is essential to combine our strengths and unite ourselves to denounce this crime against humanity, as expressed in the Statute of Rome governing the International Penal Code.

Article 7: For the purposes of this statute, a crime against humanity is taken to mean one of the following acts committed in the context of a generalised or systematic attack launched against a civilian population and with full knowledge of that attack:

(...) Paragraph g) "Rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilisation and all other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity;"

March 4th World Day for the Struggle against Sexual Exploitation.

"Because women's bodies are not for sale,
Because the price of life should not be the negation of itself.
Because a minute of pleasure should not be synonymous with annihilation.
Because behind every victim there is a destroyed human being.
Because they never forget,
that to satisfy a fleeting desire,
men buy them.
Taken as objects, common commodities,
Because women's bodies are those of life,
Because respect and protection of human rights must be a priority
This Day is one of union under the sign of hope
So that never again will a tear flow down a face,
An expression of sadness, and shame,
So that life finds meaning!"

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Enfants Kidnappés 26/08/08: Kate McCann's statement on 4/05/07

Enfants Kidnappés

Kate Marie Healy's statement.

Kate's interview took place on the day after Madeleine's disappearance, 04/05/07 at 2.20pm.

On the subject of the proceedings:

The interviewee was heard as a victim, being the mother of the minor. Of British nationality, she has no command of the Portuguese language, spoken or written. Thus, the interview was done in the presence of an interpreter: Natalia C.F. de A.
The interviewee says she has been married to Gerald since December 1998. She has never been to Portugal before. The trip came at the suggestion of friends, who convinced them, at the end of last year, to spend their holiday in Portugal. The trip was organised by David Payne, who made the Praia da Luz Ocean Club reservation on the Internet for the interviewee and her husband, as well as for the rest of the group, a total of 9 adults and eight children, including her daughter Madeleine. She has known some members of the group since the year 2000 and others for a year. She was a colleague of David's wife.

Comment: First thing I notice here is that Kate's statement is at a different time to the previous ones detailed by Enfants Kidnappés. Both Jane Tanner's and Matthew Oldfield's took place at the same time in the morning of May 4th 2007, but Kate's was in the afternoon, giving ample time to confer with those who had already been interviewed?

They traveled in two separate groups. One of the groups was composed of the interviewee, her husband Gerald, their three children, David and his wife, the mother-in-law and their two children. One of the groups left from Leicestershire and the other from London.

The meeting point was the Ocean Club where the interviewee's group arrived on Saturday April 28th at around 3pm from Faro airport in an airport mini bus. The other group arrived on the same day, late morning.

After checking in, the interviewee and her family were placed in apartment G5A. The nuclear family comprises the interviewee, her husband, her daughter Madeleine and twins, Sean and Amelie, aged 2 years.
The apartment has two beds in one bedroom, and two in another where there are also two cots on loan from the Ocean Club.

The interviewee and her husband sleep in one bedroom and the three children in the other. The twins sleep in cots, Madeleine in a normal bed, the other bed staying empty.

Between the day of the arrival, April 28th, and the time that Madeleine's disappearance was discovered, the interviewee says that she noticed nothing unusual. She reports only one episode where, on the morning of Thursday May 3rd, Madeleine asked the interviewee why she had not come to look in the bedroom (apartment?) when the twins were crying. The interviewee states that she had heard nothing and had therefore not gone into the bedroom (apartment?). She ignored her daughter's words because it was the first time she had talked about it.

The routines

The day after their arrival, they went for breakfast at around 7.30/8.30 at the Ocean Club, in a bar situated some distance from the apartment. On the following days, because the bar was quite far away, they started buying supplies from the "BAPTISTE" supermarket, located on the same road as the apartment and they had their first meal of the day in the apartment.

After breakfast, at around 9/9.30am, the children went to the club called the "KIDS CLUB" where they did various activities such as painting, collage etc. They stayed there until around 12.30pm, constantly supervised by several Ocean Club employees in a ratio of three children to one employee. Within the "Kids Club" because of the difference in ages, the twins were in one group and Madeleine in another, with separate activities.

At 12.30pm, they (Editor's note: the McCann parents) collect their children and have lunch in their apartment since they have provisions. After lunch, at around 1.30pm, the children spend time close to the club's swimming pool, supervised by the parents, for about 45 minutes, where they play and have sun cream applied. After this time, they take the children to the "Kids Club" until around 5/5.30pm, the time when the children eat in a bar under the watchful gaze of the parents. After the 5pm dinner, they give the children a bath, prepare them for the night and let them play for a while in a playground next to the tennis courts, still and always under parental supervision. At around 8pm, the children are put to bed until the following morning when the described routines start all over again. While the children are at the "Kids Club," the interviewee played tennis with her husband, went for walks, read or went "Jogging."


Thursday May 3rd 2007
Yesterday, after the daily routine, Madeleine and the twins went to bed at around 7.30. They were in their respective beds. The interviewee and her husband stayed in their apartment to relax until 8.30pm. She took a bath, did her make-up and drank a glass of New Zealand wine with her husband. Just after 8.30pm, the interviewee and her husband, after checking on their children, joined the other adults of the group at the "TAPAS" restaurant, about 50 metres away, where they had dinner. As usual, every half hour, and given that the building is very close, the interviewee and her husband went to make sure the children were OK. Thus, at around 9pm, her husband went to the apartment to make sure the twins, as well as Madeleine, were OK, then he went back to the restaurant. Her husband said that the children were doing well and that he had bumped into the person with whom he had played tennis, a person who has two children. At the same time, one of the group of friends, Russell, went to see his children, without checking on the interviewee's children.

Around 9.30pm was the time the interviewee should have gone to see her children, but her friend Matt (a member of the group) had just done a check in his apartment then gone to the interviewee's. He had gone into the apartment through a glass door at the side and once inside had not gone into the children's bedroom. He only looked through the door, and did not hear any noise. He went back to the restaurant and said that everything was fine.

At around 10pm, the interviewee went to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed. She noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.

Faced with this situations, she verified that the twins were indeed in their respective beds, unlike Madeleine, who had disappeared. The cover was pulled back and the toys were on the pillow as usual. After searching the whole apartment thoroughly, the interviewee went back, scared and shocked, to the restaurant, to alert her husband to the disappearance. The whole group then set about searching for Madeleine throughout the complex, looked in all the buildings, swimming pool, tennis courts well as in the apartment with the help of employees, who, at the same time, contacted the authorities.

Later, a member of the group, Russell's partner Jane, said that when she went to her apartment at around 9.15pm, she had seen a long-haired person with a child in his arms,
about 50 metres away, on the perimeter road of the club, walking very quickly. But she is better able to tell you about that herself.

Concerning Madeleine, she is Caucasian, white, aged four years (12/05/2003) about 90cm tall. Very slim, dark blond hair; shoulder-length. Left eye blue-green same as the right, which has a brown spot. She has a small brown spot on the skin of her left leg as well as sunburn on her right forearm. She has no scars. At the time of her disappearance, she was wearing pyjamas with white bottoms with a floral pattern. The short-sleeved top, mainly pink with a blue-grey pattern bearing the inscription, "EEYORE," an inscription which is also on one of the trouser legs. The pyjamas are "Marks and Spencer" brand.

Concerning the child's personality, she is extrovert, very active, talkative, smart and relates to other children with great ease. But she would never go with a stranger. She has no suspicions to talk about, finds no reason for this act, neither she nor her husband has enemies. She states that her daughter has no illnesses and is not on any medication.

Following a request from the inspector, she authorises a reading of the calls on her mobile phone. Apart from the Kids Club and the apartment, they only went once to the beach with Madeleine and the other children and only for a very short period of time, since the weather was changeable. They could only go to the beach between 1.30 and 3pm, the time when they went back to the club. At the beach, they only ate an ice cream then they went back to the apartment. Apart from that Madeleine went to the beach with the Kids Cub for an hour. The supervision and planning were the responsibility of the club. The interviewee and her husband were not present. She never noticed any strange behaviour during these recent days which could explain the disappearance. After having been shown the list of the Ocean Club's guests, she says she only knows the names of those of the group. Other than the child, nothing else has disappeared, neither clothes nor the child's jewelry. (? parures?) The interviewee did not have an intercom, unlike David and Fiona Payne who were able to hear crying or any kind of noise. She has nothing else to add. After having read the deed, she confirms it, ratifies it and signs it with the interpreter.

Enfants Kidnappés 26/08/08

Monday, 25 August 2008

Enfants Kidnappés 25/08/08: Matthew Oldfield's statement from the Madeleine McCann case files.

Enfants Kidnappés

Matthew David Oldfield's statement.

The interview begins at 11.30am on 04/05/08. It is made in the presence of inspector Patricia D.
As with previous statements, the interviewee having no command of the Portuguese language, an interpreter was requested.

It is Angela F.M. and as with all previous statements, the interview was read over and its contents explained. After having shown his agreement with his statements, the interviewee confirmed and signed as accurate, the deed that followed, conjointly with the, "sworn," interpreter. This was normal procedure since the start of the interviews.

In signing, the interpreter commits herself legally concerning the accuracy of her translation.

On the subject, the interviewee says:

It is of his own free will and of his own accord that he adds his statements in the context of the present proceedings. That he has been on holiday in Portugal since April 28th 2007 and that he is staying at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz. That he expects to return to England on Saturday May 5th 2007. That he has known Madeleine's parents for around five years. That the little girl will be 4 years old next Saturday. That he was spending his holiday with Madeleine and her parents. That they had come as a group and that this group is composed of 9 adults and eight children. The adults are Diane, David and Fiona (children: ***** and ***) Russell and Jane (children **** and ****) Rachael (daughter ******) respectively the wife and the daughter of the interviewee, Gerry and Kate (children: Amelie, Sean - twins aged two - and Madeleine)

That the idea of spending the holiday in Portugal came from the couple David and Fiona and that it is they who reserved the accommodation. That this reservation was made 4 or 5 months ago. That since they arrived in Portugal, until last night, the days were all the same. In the morning, the group woke between 6.30 and 8am and that they all went on foot to the, "Millennium," around 10 minutes from the complex. That only Madeleine's parents, Madeleine and the twins had breakfast in their apartment due to the fact that they have three very small children.

That after breakfast, the children were left at the "Kids Club" of the complex. Madeleine and **** go to the mini-club for their age and the other children go to another club for younger children. At lunchtime, the habit was to meet up in one of the apartments occupied by the group to have lunch there with the children. In the afternoon, the children have a sleep in their respective apartments under the supervision of an adult. The other adults do sporting activities within the complex. After their afternoon sleep, the children return to the "Kids Club."

That around 4.45pm, the children eat at the "Tapas," restaurant inside the tourist complex. After eating, the children went to play in a playground in the complex, supervised by adults. At around 8pm, the children went to sleep and at around 8.30pm, the adults went to dinner at the "Tapas" restaurant. While they were eating, the children were sleeping in their respective apartments without the constant supervision of an adult. The interviewee adds that, as the restaurant is around 1 minute from the apartments, randomly, an adult would be going frequently to check on the children in the apartments.

Cliquez pour agrandir l'imageHow the evening progressed.

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.

That the couple Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's parents were already at the restaurant. That they had arrived at the restaurant five minutes before them. The rest of the adults arrived at the restaurant around five minutes after the interviewee and his wife. That the last to arrive at the restaurant was the couple David and Fiona. That the latter arrived at the restaurant at around 9pm.

That around 9.05pm, the interviewee went to the area of the apartments. Notably to the area near the windows of all the children's bedrooms. That he did not hear any noise. That he considered that all the children were sleeping. That all the children's bedroom windows were closed, notably the windows that gave access to the fourth apartment, that occupied by Madeleine. That after this check, he returned to the restaurant, saying that all the children were asleep. However, Gerry, Madeleine's father, went to the area of the apartments to check for himself if the children were asleep. That Gerry allegedly went into his apartment and that he checked to make sure that Madeleine and the twins were sleeping in their bedroom, where it was quite dark. The bedroom door was half-open. That five minutes later, Gerry came back to the group in the restaurant.

In answer to a question from the inspector, the interviewee does not know if Gerry met anyone while he was checking the children. He did not mention it.

That during the meal, it was usual that every 15 minutes (as on all nights) one of the adults went to the apartments to check if the children were sleeping. That normally this checking was done inside the apartments (Visual checking), but that, to be honest, sometimes this checking was only done from the outside, near the bedroom windows (Auditory checking)

As normal, dinner began at 9.30pm.

At around 9.25pm, the interviewee went into his apartment and Madeleine's apartment to check on the children. He states that the door of the fourth apartment (room?), that was occupied by Madeleine and the twins, was half-open and that there was enough light in the bedroom for him to see the twins in their cots. That he couldn't see the bed occupied by Madeleine, but as it was all quiet, he deduced that she was sleeping. That the light in question was from an artificial source but not inside the bedroom, rather from outside through the bedroom window. That it seemed to him that the shutters of the bedroom window were open without knowing if the window was also open.

The apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The couple's bedroom has a window which is visible from the restaurant. The children's bedroom windows look out on the road outside the tourist complex. Then the interviewee went back to the restaurant.

He states that the bedroom has two windows. The twins occupy two cots placed in the middle of the room and Madeleine occupies a bed pushed against the wall, facing the wall which has the two windows that look out onto the outside of the complex. That the door through which he entered the apartment was closed but not locked. That he doesn't know if it is usual for Madeleine's parents to leave the door closed but not locked because that door is visible from the restaurant.

At around 10pm, Kate, Madeleine's mother, went to her apartment to check on her children. She came back totally shocked, shouting, saying that Madeleine was no longer in her bedroom. At that time all the adults were in the restaurant. Then, the whole group went to Madeleine's bedroom and checked that the twins were sleeping OK. That there was no sign of a burglary in the apartment. Only, one window in the children's bedroom was open. The window and the shutters were open.

That during the holiday, and notably during the day yesterday and during dinner, nothing appeared unusual to the interviewee. That there wasn't the slightest change in the behaviour of any of the group, notably in that of Kate or Gerry and their respective children.

Question: And outside the group?

No, there was nothing unusual and he knows of nothing special happening. That the tourist complex was quiet and that nothing unusual happened there. That during the day the children were under the supervision of the Kids Club's staff. That he doesn't know if Madeleine was suffering from any illness or if she was taking medication. That Madeleine is very lively, obedient, communicative and extrovert. Madeleine's parents are both very friendly, communicative, happy and sensible. That the couple have an excellent relationship with their children, not making any difference in the treatment of each. That the three children were very much wanted by the couple, all three being the result of, "In Vitro," fertilisation.

The interviewee thinks that it is a kidnapping with the intention to demand a ransom from the parents, because these are people who are very comfortable financially.

Enfants Kidnappés: 25/08/08

McCann case: one of the Oakley International detectives infiltrated a paedophile network.

Duarte Levy et Paulo Reis

"There aren't 36 ways to infiltrate a paedophile network....There are only two: that is you are a victim or you are an oppressor, " explains a spokesperson for the Belgian Federal Police, confronted that night with the information from the British media that one of the detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann allegedly infiltrated a paedophile network in Belgium.

According to the British media, quoting a source close to the McCann family, one of the detectives of the Oakley International Agency allegedly used some of the 600,000 euros paid by the Find Madeleine Fund in its efforts to infiltrate a paedophile network in Belgium.

"We are not aware of the existence of a paedophile network, especially one with the characteristics claimed by the British media. Unfortunately, we have paedophiles in Belgium, in the same way as they exist in the United Kingdom where, I think, their number and importance is far greater than in our country," states the same police officer, stressing that, "Belgium is known for the Dutroux case, but it mustn't be forgotten that England had Ian Huntley. In this particular case, if the McCanns' detectives have infiltrated a supposed network or approached paedophiles in Belgium, why haven't they informed the relevant authorities?"

According to the latest information, Oakley International, a supposed detective agency, is no longer working for the McCanns, after six months of a relationship that hasn't produced any results to speak of, but cost the fund set up by Kate and Gerry McCann after Madeleine's disappearance, 600,000 euros.

Like the Metodo 3 Spaniards, Oakley International, supposedly made up of former British and American intelligence agents, was supposed to operate the McCanns' hotline, investigate several leads and analyse possible images of Madeleine from new witness statements.

To be continued.

Duarte Levy et Paulo Reis

Saturday, 23 August 2008

SOS Madeleine McCann: Charlotte Pennington, Noel Hogan and Metodo 3


In January 2008, according to the documents of the investigation, included on the DVD given to journalists, a Leicestershire police officer, (Graham Michael) spoke with Charlotte Pennington (a former Ocean Club nanny) in the United Kingdom. She stated that she had no additional information to give him and confirmed the statements made previously to the PJ, while she was still in Portugal.

Charlotte Pennington also indicated that she had spoken to a British private investigator, Noel Hogan, working in the name of Metodo 3. She assured Graham Michael that she had only given Noel Hogan the same information that she had provided for the PJ in Portugal and for the Leicestershire police, in August 2007.

Duarte Levy & Paulo Reis