Monday, 25 January 2010

Madeleine McCann may be alive and living in a lawless village in the Algarve.....


(The McCanns on the sad occasion of Maddie's birthday, soon after she disappeared in 2007.)

................and on the one thousandth day after her disappearance, her parents are busy planning for a star-studded bash to, ummm...errrr...raise more money for the search.

Now, I'm not going to go back through all that, "what search," stuff. We all know that Kate McCann did not physically search for her daughter, while local residents of Praia da Luz took a week off work to search the area.

At least a couple of million quid has gone through the Find Madeleine Fund, but what do the McCanns have to show for it?

They hired Metodo 3, the Spanish detective agency, who claimed to know where Madeleine was, who was holding her and that she'd be home by Christmas, 2008.

Then there was Oakley International, the big boss man of which, Halligen, is to appear in court on the same day as the McCanns, sadly, we are told by Clarence Mitchell, put themselves through an event at the Kensington Roof Garden restaurant, to which a number of wealthy celebs have been invited. Oh how those poor parents are suffering!

And now, we have the intrepid duo of ex-police officers, Edgar and Cowley, the twosome, who from their office in Knutsford, Cheshire, released the breaking news that two years previously a man on holiday in Barcelona had spoken to a very suspicious Victoria Beckham looky-likey, who asked if he had come to deliver her daughter. (Psssst Mr Edgar! Daughter=quarter! Quarter of an ounce!)

On Sunday September 13th 2009, The Belfast Telegraph reported Dave Edgar's latest breakthrough: "Maddie is imprisoned in a hellish lair – just like kidnapped sex slave Jaycee Lee Dugard."
"He insisted the “back from the dead” reappearance of Jaycee – and the cases of Austrian cellar girls Elisabeth Fritzl and Natascha Kampusch – confirmed his suspicion."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The McCanns' presence in Lisbon was a mistake.


SOS Madeleine McCann 19/01/2010

Clarence Mitchell, the communications expert who has acted as spokesperson for Kate and Gerry McCann since Maddie's disappearance, informed the couple of the risk, in terms of image, which could be presented by their presence in the courtroom at Lisbon's Civil Court, where the process relating to the injunction banning the sale of Gonçalo Amaral's book took place.

According to a source close to Clarence Mitchell, the communications specialist warned Kate and Gerry McCann that their presence in court would encourage the British media to descend en masse on Lisbon, which could lead to the disclosure in England of arguments presented by the defence for the former PJ coordinator, which was the case.

Live updates from television companies (British, Spanish and Portuguses) during the first day of the hearing, and front pages of British newspapers the following day, ended up confirming Clarence Mitchell's fears that the couple's presence would only cause more problems. (Shown above: the front page of the Daily Express on Wednesday morning with the headline, "MADDIE 'DIED' IN APARTMENT.")

Clarence Mitchell: spokesman looks to become an MP.

According to the same source, Clarence Mitchell maintains an amicable relationship with Madeleine McCann's parents, but he is no longer as available to participate in the McCanns' actions. He was conspicuously absent from the media machine covering Kate and Gerry McCann's presence in Lisbon, forcing Claudia Nogueira, Public Relations officer for Lift Consulting - the Portuguese company supporting the couple's campaign - to increase contact and information-sharing with the journalists attending the court (patiently available, she took care to speak to all the journalists one by one). She incidentally denied that her British counterpart was opposed to Madeleine's parents' journey.

Lift Consulting is a strategic consulting company, working in the areas of communication, reputation management, public relations and management of relations with the press.

Clarence Mitchell's lack of availability, according to the same source, is explained by his professional and political obligations - the spokesman for Madeleine's parents is planning for his entry into the British parliament at the next elections as a Conservative MP.

A former journalist, he left the ranks of the BBC to direct the Media Monitoring Unit in Tony Blair's government (first Prime Minister to help the McCanns) Clarence Mitchell was the driving force of the McCanns' campaign and link between the couple and the two Labour Prime Ministers. (Labour Party)

Sent to Portugal at the request of Tony Blair, Mitchell directed the international campaign for Maddie's parents, using his official contacts in the British government to gain access for Kate and Gerry to, amongst other places, the Vatican and the European Parliament.

By Duarte Levy

Originally published in the
Portuguese blog on 17/01/2010.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann: two child neglecters in search of a reputation.

"Oh no!" exclaims Gerry, "I forgot to wake her up!"

Following three days of hearings in Lisbon, in which witnesses appeared on behalf of Dr Gonçalo Amaral, in his court action to have the temporary injunction on his book "A Verdade da Mentira," overturned, Kate McCann has published some interesting bla bla on the Official Find Madeleine web site. Long gone are the heady days of jogging up the hill, serving up puddings with 'child-friendly toppings,' and picking up friends and relies from the airport. Since Kate in her incarnation as Scraggy Aggy and Gerry as Thundering Bull didn't get many chances to stand on the court steps and address the crowds, they have obviously been doing some thinking since they got back home.

It's quite hard to believe that the person who produced this latest epistle from the halls of Rothley Manor, is one of the dedicated duo of child-marketers who wrote in the early days with such distortions of the English language and even their own daughter's name. However, unusually for a Find Madeleine blog entry, their is a name appended to the entry: Kate McCann. So, let's just push ahead and accept that Kate McCann has suddenly developed some skills in communicating in the English language.

"Court Case( Injunction) in Lisbon 14th January 2010"

"We are currently in Lisbon for the trial to determine whether the injunction against Mr Amaral's book and DVD should remain in place. This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance and whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations."

"This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance.."

I shall return to this later.

"...... whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations."

I thought the search was only for Madeleine, but no, Kate now tells us that the ongoing search is also for Madeleine's siblings and for her and Gerry's reputations. If Madeleine's siblings are now missing, shouldn't someone have informed the police? Or perhaps Kate and Gerry are just carrying out a private search of what must be a huge garden there at Rothley Towers if eating at the Tapas Bar was like dining in their own back garden. Has anyone seen the twins since they set off for school at the beginning of September? I thought not!

The ongoing search for their reputations? Well, since Madeleine disappeared, they may have made very good efforts to portray themselves as the Catholic saints of Leicestershire, but they seem to have lost that one now: lost, stolen or strayed somewhere in the vicinity of Lisbon, Portugal. Before Madeleine's disappearance, they don't appear to have had any reputations to speak of: the Portuguese police asked for background checks and got one side of A4 and we don't appear to have much detail apart from Hot Lips Healy and one patient of Gerry's who claimed to be very happy with his treatment. So, I'm assuming this search is for new reputations and so far it's not looking good on that front, following the testimonies of police officers and media people in the court in Lisbon this week.

"Mr Amaral's book and DVD contains some information from the PJ files but there is a lot in the files which is not in Mr Amaral's book. Hence it is highly selective and therefore biased."

Gonçalo Amaral's book is based on his work during the months in which he was in charge of the investigation. So, there will be more in the PJ's files. I would add that any autobiographical account is by definition biased, in terms of the writer's experience.

"Mr Amaral's book contains his opinions rather than fact."

Dr Amaral's book contains the opinions and deductions of the Portuguese and English teams who worked on the investigation.

"...there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead."

Nor is there any evidence that Madeleine is alive, apart from "sightings," all over the world, none of which has proved to have any validity, of course.

Kate McCann opened her bla bla by stating that, '
This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance," and as such there is no need to produce evidence. If there were evidence to definitely prove that Madeleine was dead, Kate would not have been in court facing Dr Amaral and the chances are that someone or some people would be languishing in jail. According to the police witnesses, who gave testimony in court this week, Amaral's book is about the investigation. During the process of that investigation, the first person to suggest that Madeleine was probably dead was Mark Harrison, an English specialist brought in to assist with the investigation.

In Chapter 16 of The Truth of the Lie, Gonçalo Amaral writes about the progress of the investigation in July 2007.

".......we welcome Mark Harrison, a specialist in murder, and the search for missing persons and victims of natural disasters. National advisor to the British police, he is well known for his exceptional professional experience. He has already participated in dozens of international criminal investigations."

Mark Harrison conducted extensive research in Praia da Luz and the surrounding area: he walked the paths, looked at all the access roads, timed the routes from the Tapas bar, did reconnaissance on the ground and by helicopter, and reviewed all the documents relating to the investigation so far.

"After a week of intense work, Harrison presents the results of his study to my coordinating group. Even if we were expecting it, his conclusions confirm our worst fears. The most plausible scenario is the following: there is no doubt that Madeleine is dead, and her body is hidden somewhere in the area around Praia da Luz. He praises the quality of the work carried out by the Portuguese authorities in trying to find the little girl alive. According to him, the time has come to redirect the searches in order to find, this time, a body hidden in the surrounding area."

Kate McCann's bla bla again:

"If the general public (and the Portuguese people in particular) are bombarded day in and day out with such theories, this will eventually 'colour' their understanding and judgement -lies and inaccuracies become fact."

Was the general public 'bombarded.'? I don't think they actually were until this week when the details from Dr Amaral's book suddenly hit the international headlines.

And what about, 'lies and inaccuracies.'? Who was it who phoned the friends and relies and told them that the shutters to Madeleine's bedroom had been 'jemmied,' and the window forced open? Then, unfortunately, the police found no evidence of a break-in. No evidence! And the reason the Portuguese police were eager to carry out a reconstruction of the events of May 3rd 2007 was not so that Kate and her friends could be on the telly, soliciting donations to the fund, but because there were so many inaccuracies and contradictions in their statements.

"Abduction theory:For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself."

So, if Kate and Gerry were not involved, that rules out the involvement of everyone else in their entourage and thus upholds that abduction theory? Hardly. And since the apartment was not clearly visible from the Tapas Bar, where the McCanns were eating, how could they know, with absolute certainty that Madeleine did not wander off from the unlocked apartment? Was she tied to her bed? Was she sedated? Unless the McCanns had had an uninterrupted view of the apartment and had been watching it constantly, I cannot understand why they could be so sure that she did not wander off. No evidence!

"The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it."
Not what others involved in the investigation seem to think:

"Moita Flores: The only thing that was proven was there was no abduction."

"Moita Flores: For someone to escape by that window with a child he would have to have either 4 arms or 4 legs."

(Court tweets from fduartecarvalho.)

"Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'"

We have to consider timing here. If Jane Tanner had seen the abductor, walking across the top of the road, as Gerry and Jez Wilkins were chatting outside the apartment, then the window could have been open when Gerry was in the apartment. But he didn't notice it? Or perhaps, in the few minutes between Gerry's exiting the apartment and Jane Tanner coming along, the abductor had gained access, run around seeking potential escape routes, opened the window for some unknown reason and exited somehow, but not by the window, carrying a sleeping child?

We also have to consider what the abductor left behind. Nothing! No evidence of his presence. The only fingerprints on the window were those of Kate McCann.

"The dogs: We realise that the behaviour of the dogs was the turning point in the investigation for the PJ. The use of dogs has proved to be problematic and unreliable in previous cases."

What cases? Would Kate McCann care to mention a few?

"(please refer to the Jersey ‘Haut de La Garenne' case and other research published about their use and reliability)"

Haut de la Garenne then: cadaver dogs are trained to detect the odour that emanates from a decomposing body and they can detect this odour a few years after a body has been in situ. The fact that no body was found at Haut de la Garenne does not mean that there wasn't a body there at one time.

See chapter 16 of The Truth of the Lie for details of previous cases Eddie, the EVRD has worked on, where there was no body in situ: Attracta Harron, Amanda Edwards, Charlotte Pinkley.

Other research? Would Madame Kate care to quote this, 'other research.'? The only other previous case to which the McCanns have referred in the past was that of an American man, who ultimately confessed that the dogs were right and he had killed his wife!

The reconstruction the McCanns did not attend:

"In particular, as the reconstruction was not to be shown to the media (and hence the general public), they did not feel it would help to find Madeleine. Had the intention been to show it to the general public, it may have 'jogged' memories and encouraged people to come forward with information. It should be added that other key witnesses were not invited to attend."

The reconstruction proposed by the Portuguese police was for the purpose of showing up where the inconsistencies were in the statements from the McCanns and their friends. Thus, there would have been no reason for it to be shown to the general public. Also, if the McCanns had participated, other key people could have been played by actors. Perhaps the reason for 'other key witnesses,' not being invited was that their statements did not conflict with those of others.

"Our team is confident that the injunction will remain in place because none of thewitnesses thus far have been able to prove in court that Mr. Amaral's right to express his opinion is superior to the rights of our family.."

The witnesses didn't have to prove that. As Kate McCann has stated, the purpose of the hearing was
'about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance and whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations.' Dr Amaral's right to express himself is granted by the constitution of his country.

" peace, respect and protection of reputation, and above all, the right to continue the searchfor our daughter Madeleine effectively and without hindrance."

Peace? How can Dr Amaral's book affect the quality of peace in the McCanns' lives? Everything he has described is in the police files and in the public domain and the McCanns could have ignored that book, especially as sales had peaked before they started their action to ban it.

Respect? Do parents who leave three very small children alone in an unlocked apartment in a foreign country deserve respect or have a right to demand it?

Madame Kate, you have every right to continue the search for your daughter and I don't see how Dr Amaral's book could hinder the search that you have so far undertaken with Metodo 3, Oakley International and now Edgar and Cowley, who failed to make even the most basic of inquiries before launching the international search for the Victoria Beckham looky-likey.

And here's that reputation again, the thing that the McCanns are searching for, although I do believe they may have gained one in Portugal, thus motivating Kate to come out with her bla bla, even if she does state that the search is ongoing.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Gerry and Kate McCann in Lisbon: Day 2 of the proceedings.(pm session)


Above: Kate and Gerry McCann at Lisbon airport, December 2009.

Afternoon session of the proceedings, Wednesday January 13th 2010

2.30: Waiting outside the courtroom for the afternoon's proceedings to begin. Mr Amaral is here too, chatting on a mobile phone.

2.41: We're back in the courtroom, as are the legal teams, Mr Amaral and the McCanns. No sign of the judge yet though.

2.42: We're expecting to hear from three witnesses involved in the publishing of the book this afternoon.

2.57: Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues has arrived, so the afternoon's proceedings can begin.

3.00: JondiPaolo Jose Manuel Enes, a former forensic laboratory chief in the Portuguese police, is the next witness.

3.00: Mr Enes is giving evidence in person, rather than via video link as Mr Flores did this morning.

3.00: Mr Enes has an associateship in chemistry and a doctorate in anthropology, but has now retired from the police force.

3.04: Mr Enes was interviewed by a Portuguese journalist for a book about Madeleine's disappearance.

3.12: JondiPaolo Mr Enes says that the immense media interest in the Madeleine case was unhelpful for the investigators trying to solve it.

3.13: JondiPaolo Mr Enes compared the Madeleine McCann case to that of OJ Simpson, saying that allegations of contamination of evidence had compromised it.

3.15: JondiPaolo Mr Enes' phone has just gone off, drawing laughter from the court. The judge is smiling too as the clerk has to turn it off for him.

3.17: Mr Enes tells the court he has been called to give evidence in several other cases as an expert witness.

3.17: Mr Enes says his conclusions are often relied upon completely by the courts in which he gives evidence.

3.22: Mr Enes: I strongly respect the convictions and work of Mr Amaral.

3.22: Mr Amaral has suddenly got up and walked out of the courtroom, causing a murmur among the onlookers on the public benches.

3.37: JondiPaolo Mr Amaral has left the court building, stopping to give a few comments in Portuguese before climbing into a waiting car.

3.39: JondiPaolo Mr Amaral said he was pleased with Mr Flores' testimony earlier, adding that for the first time it had been explained why he wrote the book.

3.39: Mr Amaral added that he wrote the book to protect his honour and set the record straight.

3.40: The former policeman said what he described as a campaign against him in the British press is continuing.

3.40: JondiPaolo He added that he had only this morning been described as 'incompetent' in one British newspaper.

3.43: jondipaolo: Right. Back to the courtroom. Mr Enes is still giving evidence.

3.45: jondipaolo: Mr Enes says the Madeleine investigation was the victim of 'friendly fire' from the media that hampered its course.

Comment: Yes, one wonders whether the media had an interest in helping to solve the case, or just in denigrating the Portuguese police for some reason.

3.47: jondipaolo: Mr Enes says that just because people put forward their own theories, it does not prevent other lines of inquiry being investigated.

3.49: JondiPaolo Mr Enes: Some parts of the book were put too strongly - it's not the way I would have done it, but that's because I'm from another era...

3.49: JondiPaolo ...the course of justice should not be diverted by books or films, it should be deaf and blind to them.

3.52: Jondipaolo: Mr Enes has left the witness stand, and has been replaced by Mario Sena Lopes, former chief editor at the book's publisher, Guerra e Paz.

4.01: jondipaolo: Mr Lopes tells the court that Mr Amaral's book had been ready to publish in the last week of July 2008.

4.01: jondipaolo: The book was published very quickly to take most advantage of marketing opportunities, the court hears.

Comment: I am assuming a response from the McCann legal team about this just being a marketing exercise to make money, in which case the reply would refer to Gerry's having been asked in an interview for Vanity Fair if he thought publishing details of Madeleine's eye defect could have placed her at risk. Gerry's response was yes, but it was a 'good marketing ploy.'

"Although initially reluctant, the McCanns finally informed the media of Madeleine’s unique right eye—a risky revelation. Whoever had taken the child now held a universally recognizable little girl.

Gerry understood that. But, he says, the iris “is Madeleine’s only true distinctive feature. Certainly we thought it was possible that this could potentially hurt her or”—he grimaces—“her abductor might do something to her eye.… But in terms of marketing, it was a good ploy.”

4.05: Jondipaolo: The marketing plan for the book was much smaller than normal, because we are a small publisher, Mr Lopes tells the court.

4.46: jondipaolo: Sorry about the pause - we had a brief intermission during which Gerry McCann left the court.

4.50: jondipaolo: He explained that he was leaving the court case as he had unavoidable work commitments in the UK, but that Kate would stay on until the end.

4.50: jondipaolo: Despite the avalanche of testimony favouring Mr Amaral over the past two days, Mr McCann seemed to be quite upbeat.

Comment: The man's a nutter! Just my opinion, of course! His theory about the window as an escape route has been trashed and Amaral's witnesses agree that the book is based on the investigation, but Gerry is "quite upbeat."

4.50: jondipaolo: "I think it's important that things have been debated in a court of law," he told reporters.

Comment: Well, they haven't really been debated yet, since only one side has been put forward so far.

4.50: jondipaolo: "From our point of view, what happened here in the past few days is to be expected."

4.58: jondipaolo: "I think it's particularly disappointing that the police officers who considered us responsible for Madeleine's disappearance...

4.59: jondipaolo: "...are the same officers that we are depending on to carry on the search for Madeleine."

Comment: Well, slap my thigh, knock me down and call me Jeffrey! Didn't Gerry say, just this morning, in his rant on Sky News, that no one else was looking for Madeleine?

And if he wants those officers to be searching, why not ask for the investigation to be re-opened?

4.59: jondipaolo: "The search for Madeleine is ongoing. We don't have any leads and we need to keep searching."

Comment: All that money spent, other people's money from donations, and they've got no leads? Have they ruled out the very ill paedophile, Raymond Hewlett and the VictoriaBeckham Looky-Likey?

5.01: jondipaolo: Mr McCann added that mistakes were made during the investigation that now cannot be righted - but that was not the point of the court case.

Comment: What mistakes and how can they be righted? You can go back and finally take part in a reconstruction? Kate can answer the 48 questions she refused to answer?

5.04: jondipaolo: "We made a mistake by leaving Madeleine alone in the apartment, and we have to live with that. We can't change it," Mr McCann said.

Comment: Finally, an admission that this was a mistake. However, the real victim here is Madeleine, not Kate and Gerry McCann.

5.04: jondipaolo: He also rejected the testimony yesterday that Kate had had a dream about Madeleine lying buried somewhere, saying "that never happened"..

Comment: So, Snr Paiva was lying?

5.07: jondipaolo: "I hope that everyone remembers that there is a little girl missing that still has to be found," Mr McCann continued.

Comment: Play to the emotions of the audience, Gerry!

5.07: jondipaolo: "That's why we carry on. We have other children who miss Madeleine dearly."

Comment: Now, early on in this case, just after Madeleine vanished into thin air, Kate was asked how the twins were coping. She said they were OK because they had never spent much time with Madeleine. So, how come, after nearly three years, those same twins, who hardly spent any time with Madeleine, are missing her dearly?

5.09: jondipaolo: He added that although the testimony had favoured Mr Amaral's version of events, it still had not produced any evidence Madeleine was dead.

Comment: The present court process is about whether Snr Amaral's book is libelous and that hinges on whether it is based on the police investigation. If there were evidence that Madeleine was dead, then: a) you wouldn't be facingSnr Amaral in court, and b) the chances are that someone would be languishing in prison. This is not about producing evidence, but about proving that the theory put forward byGonçalo Amaral is not simply his personal belief, but a record of an investigation.

5.10: jondipaolo: Mr McCann also rejected the charge that the trial was a bid to restrict freedom of speech, as has been claimed by Mr Amaral's supporters.

Comment: I really don't know what to say about someone who hires Carter Ruck, libel lawyers, threatens bloggers and others, and claims the above!

jondipaolo: That's the last update from court for today. Back tomorrow morning.

Gerry McCann returning to Britain this afternoon.

(The above image produced by 'Himself,' is from either The McCann Gallery or Good Quality Wristbands I can't find it now to provide the proper artistic credit and reference, but if 'Himself,' should happen along, perhaps he'll forgive me for filching one of his images and direct me to the page so that I can give proper credit!)

The Scottish Herald reports that Gerry McCann will return to Britain this afternoon because of work commitments.

"Mr McCann will return to Britain this afternoon because of work commitments, a spokeswoman for the couple said."

"Fiona Payne, one of the friends who was on holiday with the McCanns when Madeleine disappeared on May 3 2007, is flying out to support Mrs McCann"

This is all a bit sudden and was not indicated yesterday at the start of proceedings in the Civil Court in Lisbon. I am sure the McCann couple stated that they were going to be in Lisbon for the week, but today Gerry has to leave because of work commitments? Gerry's a cardiologist, not a surgeon and surely the NHS can arrange cover for him? Work commitments didn't seem to get in the way when Kate and Gerry went to Strasbourg to push the American-style Amber Alert system or when they went to the US to appear on the Oprah Show.

"Mr McCann was asked by a Portuguese reporter whether it was worth the emotional cost for the couple to attend the court case.

He replied: “Do you have children? Anyone who has children would go through the same process.”

And yet, suddenly, with no prior notice, Gerry has work commitments?

I am wondering, and this is just my opinion, pure speculation, that Gerry may have been advised by his legal team that he was getting himself rather worked up, that this was not conducive to his being called to the witness stand tomorrow, and that perhaps he should take leave of absence from the proceedings.

Kate and Gerry McCann: Day 2 Of Court Process In Lisbon.


Above: Kate and Gerry McCann arriving for day 1 of the court hearing in Lisbon.

(For a detailed report on day 1 of the proceedings see: Joana Morais)

Day 2 of the hearings in which Dr Gonçalo Amaral presents further witnesses in defence of his book "A Verdade da Mentira," The Truth Of The Lie.

J. di Paulo is reporting from the court on behalf of Sky News.

9.59: Gerry McCann outside court: we've heard no evidence Madeleine is dead.

Comment: There seems to be no evidence that Madeleine is alive, apart from "sightings," all over the world, on all 5 continents, sometimes on the same day. No sighting has led to a reliable source.

10.00: Gerry McCann: we're not denying the existence of the dogs, or anything else. It's evidence we're interested in.

Did you hear the one about the dyslexic, agnostic insomniac? Lay awake all night wondering if there was a dog!

Comment: I think there may be a problem with translation. The dogs obviously do exist. And as for evidence, the fact that the dogs alerted to cadaver and blood odour in various places occupied by the McCanns and in their hired car may not in itself be evidence, but both dogs, Eddie, the Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog (Cadaver dog) and Keela, the CSI (blood-sniffing dog) have an almost 100% success record in hundreds of cases all over the world.

10.02: Gerry mccann: this is the legal process we're going through to protect our daughter. We're looking for more information to help the search.

Comment: Pity your daughter wasn't protected when you were enjoying your meals out every evening in Praia da Luz, when she and her siblings were left alone in an unlocked apartment. More in formation? You won't find that in the court room. You have had the police files for over a year. The process being reviewed in court is based on those files.

10.03: Gerry McCann: anyone else with children would do the same.

Comment: The same as what? Leave them alone, set up a fund within days, sell tacky wristbands and T shirts, make a child's eye defect into a "marketing ploy," scarper when made suspects, refuse to return for a reconstruction, return for a court case demanding £1 million? Well, I wouldn't!

10.15: Mr amaral claimed victory outside court, saying the witnesses had borne out his argument.

They do seem to have done, with yesterday's witnesses bearing out these facts: that the police suspected the McCanns from the beginning; that the thesis of Madeleine's having died in the apartment was reached by the investigating teams, following the visits by the two English sniffer dogs. Thus, the evidence presented bore witness to Amaral's book having been based on the investigation, details being in the police files which are in the public domain.

10.38: We're back in court. The first witness is Moita Flores, former senior policeman and noted public figure.

10.41: Flores: this case involves a question of freedom of speech.

10.44: Flores is an acquaintance of Amaral's and wrote the preface to the sequel to his book about Madeleine.

Gonçalo Amaral's second book is "The English Gag," in which he recounts his experience of interference in the investigation by British authorities and lack of co-operation by the British police, who, when asked for background information on the McCanns, provided a report which was one side of A4. This was corroborated by witnesses in court yesterday.

10.50: Flores: PJ investigation was based on well-established principles of police work adhered to all over the world.

10.54: Flores: McCanns have been trying to convince police since the beginning that abduction was the only line of inquiry worth pursuing.

Comment: within hours of Madeleine's disappearance, Kate and Gerry had phoned friends and acquaintances, telling them that the shutters had been "jemmied," the window opened, and Madeleine had been abducted. The Portuguese police subsequently confirmed no evidence of a break-in.

"The McCanns curious behaviour, as witnessed by Inspector Ricardo Paiva, 03 September 2007

To: Coordinator of Criminal Investigation, Lic. Gonçalo Amaral
From: Ricardo Paiva, Inspector
Subject: Disappearance of Madeleine McCann."


"Gerald McCann on the other hand, insisted constantly on delivering to Ricardo Paiva, letters and e-mails that he received and selected, most of them from psychics and mediums, and that in general held no credible information about the whereabouts of Madeleine and of her alleged abductor."

"Today" (03/09/07), when Ricardo Paiva went to their residence to notify them to be present at the police headquarters to make a deposition, accompanied by their lawyer, if they wished, Kate McCann immediately reacted negatively, making comments like "what will my parents think" and "what will the press say when they find out" and that the "Portuguese police are suffering pressure from the Government to end the investigation immediately".

-" More recently, even before Kate McCann was questioned, in a phone contact between Gerry Mccann and Ricardo Paiva, when referring to the investigation, Gerry stated that he was certain that the Police didn't have any proof that might incriminate them on the death of Madeleine McCann, and added that the police were wasting their time directing the investigation toward the parents."

11.02: Flores: I have spoken to respected experts on crime and none of them agrees it would be possible to pass a child through the window

11.03: Flores: It is not possible to ask an investigator anywhere in the free world to follow the abduction line only.

11.03: Flores: We would all like to find Madeleine alive, but that is another thing.

11.03: Flores: Our constitutional rights cannot be attacked.

11.05: Flores: The good name of the McCann family is not attacked by Mr Amaral's book. The book is about the investigation.

11.11: As on the first day of the case, the McCanns are sitting on the front bench, listening impassively to the proceedings.

11.12: Flores: No judge should be able to order people not to think about a case just because the police investigation has ceased.

11.17: Flores: No-one should be allowed to steal our constitutional rights - rights that were very hard to win. That is what this trial is about.

"Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º"

11.24: Mr Flores is being cross-examined by a lawyer from a Portuguese television company that aired a documentary based on Mr Amaral's book.

Comment: The documentary is available as a video on YouTube, under, "The Truth Of The Lie."

11.26: Flores: It is not true to say that the police only pursued the line of inquiry that the McCanns were guilty.

Comment: See link at the top of this page to the English translation of Gonçalo Amaral's book, which describes in detail the lines of inquiry.

11.26: Flores: Many, many hours were spent by officers checking out every other possible line of inquiry.

Comment: Refer to English translation as above.

11.27: Flores: A detective has to think about what went through the head of the victim and the criminal.

11.30: Flores: It would have been a very stupid person who tried to pass a sleeping child through the window of the McCanns' holiday flat.

Comment: the opening of the window to the childrens' bedroom of apartment 5A in Praia da Luz was very narrow.

11.30: Flores: The theory about passing the child through the window makes it seem as though someone is trying to fool the police.

11.41: The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte , is repeating the same question to Mr Flores. Yesterday, she became quite impassioned on their behalf.

Comment: The question itself is not noted in this part of the report from the courtroom.

11.42: The McCanns are both in conversation with their interpreters. Gerry however looks relaxed and smiles as he talks.

Comment: However confident a parent might feel about being in the right in a situation like this, I doubt that many parents would find much to smile about in the tense atmosphere of an important courtroom session.

11.47: Flores: I worked in a different part of the police to Mr Amaral but I know him from the investigation and I respect him a lot.

12.00: Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' top lawyer, leaves the bench and approaches the couple for a quick huddled chat before returning to the fray.

12.04: Flores: This case is pathetic. A citizen is being prevented from freely expressing his opinions in a reponsible way.

Comment: Well said Snr Flores! From my reading of Dr Amaral's book, the opinions are indeed expressed in a responsible way.

12.06: Flores: The McCanns have every right to do everything they can beyond what the Portuguese police did in order to find their daughter.

Comment: That right has never been denied to them. I consider that questions arise concerning how they have gone about this search and the various teams of private investigators they have engaged. When Madeleine disappeared, some local people in Praiada Luz took a week off work to help look for Madeleine: the McCanns themselves did not physically search for their daughter.

See: Who Searched For This Little Girl: Part 1

12.12: Flores: The documentary (based on Mr Amaral's) book is a hypothesis that believers take to be the truth.

12.13: Flores: The book is autobiographical, it traces a period of Mr Amaral's life.

12.16: Flores: Sections of the British media spread propaganda about Mr Amaral.

12.20: Glamorous judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues halts the cross-examination of Mr Flores by the McCanns' lawyer, saying it is not relevant.

Comment: No details about the nature of the cross-examination. "Glamorous judge."? If this were a young male judge, would the reporter describe him as handsome or attractive etc?

12.22: Flores: It was a scandal to see such nasty portraits painted of the Portuguese investigators by the British media.

Comment: The British media went overboard with stories about long "boozy lunches," and described the investigators as, "incompetent," and "sardine munchers," as well as describing Portugal itself in terms more appropriate to a Third World Country.

12.27: Flores: Mr Amaral was the victim of a smear campain. He is a good professional with a good technical background.

Comment: Gonçalo has an excellent record in criminal investigation and has a PhD in Law.
(Refer to English translation above.)

12.27: Flores: Mr Amaral was the co-ordinator of the investigation. He was not in the field.

12.40: Duarte: What does the title of the book (by Mr Amaral) mean? Flores: The book is a thesis, not the absolute truth.

12.41: jondipaolo: The proceedings have adjourned for lunch. Back in an hour's time.

(Will be updated regularly as the hearing progresses.)

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Circus Is Back In Town!


Roll up, roll up, folks, the circus returns to the Civil Court in Lisbon tomorrow, Tuesday January 12th. On my right is the "disgraced," former policeman who initially led the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance. On my left, Madeleine's parents, who will return to Lisbon for the three days of the hearing.

We've seen the trailers for this momentous occasion.

Leicestershire police will keep all the information they hold on the case under wraps, some of which may be made public once those responsible for Madeleine's disappearance are brought to justice and all appeals have been exhausted. (The Express Sunday January 3rd)

There was much speculation as to the timing of this press release. What transpires is that this was advance notice for the statement that one Sgt José de Freitas, an English police officer who was sent to Portugal to act as liaison officer between the Portuguese and British police and to give support to the McCann family, will not be able to appear as a witness for Dr Amaral in the hearing about the temporary injunction on his book, "A Verdade da Mentira."

Sgt José de Freitas, in a letter to the judge, invokes English state secrets in his refusal to give evidence in court. (Jornal de Noticias 10/01.2010/)

Now, hang on a minute, I say, wasn't/isn't this a Portuguese police investigation? Logically and in some kind of fairness, doesn't all the information relating to this case belong to the Portuguese police? It seems that logic and fairness doesn't come into this. All the work that Sgt De Freitas carried out in Portugal was recorded and is now subject to the UK laws of state secrets. Which raises the question for me as to should liaison be a two-way process? Seemingly not since the communication that took place between De Freitas and the McCanns is officially now state secrets.

"The English cop, incidentally with a Portuguese name (José de Freitas), was the liaison officer between the Portuguese and English authorities and the McCann couple. On several occasions he accompanied Kate and Gerry, who would be constituted as arguidos, after being confronted with evidence of human blood and cadaver odor in the apartment at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, Lagos. The traces - remember - were detected by the English dogs "Eddie" and "Keela."

"As an usual standard in the procedures of the British, all the contacts and signals expressed by the McCanns were registered, including those that contributed to support the decision to constitute them as suspects. And it's relating to that, and to other data, that Gonçalo Amaral seeks a statement."

"Any potential evidence [testimonial] that I can give may be subject to confidentiality and Immunity of the English Public Interest. Furthermore, since all the services that I performed were official, it is applied the principle of State immunity and it will be necessary the consent of the United Kingdom authorities to waive that State immunity before I could be subject to the jurisdiction of the Portuguese courts and to be able to give any evidence, whether relevant or not. The State immunity covering my official acts is that of the United Kingdom and not mine, and can not be renounced by me, but only by the United Kingdom", wrote José de Freitas to the judge of the Civil Court of Lisbon after having been notified, in a letter that JN had access." (Joana Morais 11/01/2010)

And of course the UK media has made sure that the appearance of the golden couple, Mr and Mrs McCann, who left their three children alone in an unlocked apartment, night after night, but don't we all do it, and it was, "just like dining in your own back garden," has been well featured in their preparations for sending their journalists out to Portugal. Wey hey! Lights, camera, action!

Sky News "McCanns Return To Portugal For Libel Case."

Well actually, like most of the UK media, Sky has got it wrong: this is not the libel action, this is the hearing to decide on the temporary injunction on Snr Amaral's book, the English title of which is, "The Truth Of The Lie."

"Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "I can confirm that Kate and Gerry McCann will be returning to Portugal on Monday to attend the resumption of the Amaral trial on Tuesday.

"The details of their travel plans and itinerary will remain private at their request."

Their itinerary will remain private? Does he mean private as in there will be no details given out or private in that we will be swamped with photos of them wherever they go and only pre-prepared statements will be presented by them?

"The couple have previously said any money awarded in damages by the courts would go towards paying for private investigators to look for their daughter."

Oh dear! More private investigators? Like Metodo 3, the bunch of Spanish goons, who had never investigated even one case of a missing child, who claimed to know who had kidnapped Madeleine, exactly where she was being held and that she would be home in time for Christmas 2008? The bunch of cowboys who are suspected of paying witnesses in Morocco to report sightings of Madeleine?

More private investigators like Oakley International, whose boss is now languishing in jail on fraud charges?

"Kevin Halligen, from Surrey, was hired by the Find Madeleine fund as a security consultant. His Washington-based company, Oakley International, was awarded a six-month £500,000 contract by the fund, but Mr Halligen allegedly disappeared with £300,000."

And what about the intrepid duo Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, retired UK police officers, who:

Flew to Germany, insisting that convicted paedophile Raymond Hewlett spoke to them to, "clear his name," as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case. They issued a 15 year-old photo of Hewlett and claimed some resemblance to an e-fit image of Maddie's alleged abductor.

Received and acted on a report, two years after the event, from a British man on holiday in Barcelona, that he had been approached by a "Victoria Beckham look-a-like," who asked if he had come to, "deliver her daughter." This invoked a massive hunt in Australia for the woman who was said to have been voyaging in a luxury yacht from Australia. However, the dedicated duo of investigators appear not to have actually investigated very thoroughly.

"The Mail on Sunday however, has established that members of Mr Edgar’s team who had visited Barcelona:

  • Failed to speak to anyone working at the seafood restaurant near where the agitated woman was seen at 2am.
  • Failed to ask the port authority about movement of boats around the time Madeleine disappeared.
  • Failed to ask if the mystery woman had been filmed on CCTV.
  • Knew nothing about the arrival of an Australian luxury yacht just after Madeleine vanished until told by British journalists, who gave them the captain’s mobile phone number.
  • Failed to interview anyone at a nearby dockside bar where, according to Mr Edgar, the mystery woman was later seen drinking.
  • Failed to ask British diplomats in Spain for advice before or during the visit.

Also, Spanish police could not confirm that they had been contacted by the British investigators."

So, should they by any chance win their libel action, who next? There must be some reputable private detectives in the world, who would seriously and efficiently put their experience to work in searching for a missing child. Are the McCanns just unlucky or have they knowingly thrown money, other people's money, at a few posses of detectives who were never going to find their way out of the bank?

What else has been brought to our attention in the run-up to this media event in Portugal? Well, for some reason, creating a negative image of Snr Amaral maybe, by piling on as much negative guff as possible, several newspapers have dug up a story from last year about The Madeleine Foundation's invitation to Gonçalo Amaral to attend a meeting in the UK in February this year.

Not content with telling its readers about the invitation, which has not been accepted, the Scottish Daily Record/, takes this opportunity to purge itself of some of the rubbish relating to Snr Amaral, which it has fondly cherishing in its bosom, like a half-warmed fish.

"THE cop who led the hunt for Madeleine McCann plans to visit the UK to talk about his claims that her parents are to blame for her disappearance.

Portuguese former police chief Goncalo Amaral also criticised British police involvement in the case.

And he was pictured enjoying

boozy lunches when he should have been working. He was eventually sacked."

Amaral was not "sacked." He was removed from the invesigation and re-assigned to the PJ's offices in Faro. The Record adds something closer to the truth at the end of this piece of journalistic licence.......

"He was the one who authorised their status as arguidos, or official suspects.

But he was removed from his post after five months and then retired."

.........which makes it appear that retirement was imposed on Inspector Amaral, whereas he took early retirement in order to write his book, express himself clearly and recover his reputation which had been tarnished by the likes of the Daily Record.

So, tomorrow it kicks off! Clarence Mitchell, PR spokesperson for the McCanns has obviously been very busy making sure the Teflon Two get their great tranche of publicity in advance of their trip to Portugal. We've seen the videos, we've seen the photos, we've seen the comments about the supposed visit of Gonçalo Amaral and we even know that the McCann twins want to go back to Praia da Luz, from where their sister disappeared in 2007, when they were just two years and three months old, who, in Kate McCann's own words, had never spent much time with Madeleine. Perhaps in going there they will hope to see some evidence of the existence of the sister they probably hardly knew, whom they cannot possibly remember very well by now. Or perhaps, like most four-year-old children they see their parents upset and want to please them.

It appears that there has been an effort to tarnish the image of Gonçalo Amaral, at least in the eyes of the UK reading public in advance of the commencement of the hearings on Tuesday.

Only the Mail On Sunday, in reporting the invitation to Snr Amaral from The Madeleine Foundation, gives an accurate summing up of the reasons he was removed from the case.

"Next week, Amaral is due to appear in a Lisbon court to fight a £1million libel action brought by the McCanns over his book on the case.

In it, he accused the couple of neglecting their children, questioned their need to employ a spokesman and claimed British police were ‘too close’ to them."