21 July 2009
One year ago today, the Madeleine McCann case investigation was archived, pending 'better' evidence. The three arguidos
in the process, Robert Murat, Kate Healy and Gerald McCann, were relieved of their arguido status.
The archiving dispatch, authored by public prosecutor Jose de Magalhaes e Menezes, and joint prosecutor Joao Melchior
Gomes, is the document that analyses the case investigation and justifies the decision to archive the process.
I personally respect, but disagree with the decision that was made on the case one year ago. The archiving dispatch itself
is riddled with contradiction and recognises the very significant amount of facts about this case that remain unclear. How
any case can be archived, sustained on a 57-page document that lists nothing but doubts, can only be justified by the need
to comply with the new Penal Process Code, which was enforced on the 15th of September 2007. Under the new code, any judicial
process starts a countdown on the day that the first arguido is made: after 8 months, with two possible extensions of 3 months
each, there has to be a decision to either accuse, or archive the case.
Robert Murat was made an arguido on the 14th of May 2007 - 4 months before the new Penal Process Code was enforced -,
and 14 months later, the case was archived, caught in time between two different legal frames.
Nobody wants to believe that Justice could be anything but blind. Personally, I don't want to believe that this case
was archived due to a technicality, at a time when there were still diligences to be made, leads to be followed, important
details to be clarified.
But that is precisely what the archiving dispatch tells us.