All the important events from November 2008
Saturday 01 November 2008
The Sun closes its 'Missing Madeleine' forum The Sun
Wednesday 05 November 2008
Thursday 06 November 2008
A mother leaves her child while she goes out - and returns to an empty house. No, not the McCann case but
the true story behind a gripping new film Daily Mail
By GLENYS ROBERTS
Last updated at 11:14 PM on 07th November 2008
She was a devoted mother, hard-working, determined and tough. Then, one spring morning, Christine Collins kissed her
little child goodbye (leaving him under the eye of neighbours), before returning in the evening to an empty house. Her beloved
son had vanished without a trace.
A continent-wide hunt was launched and a shocked nation was kept agog by a string of leads - only for their hopes to
be cruelly dashed as each clue led to a dead end.
The child was never seen again, the mother was heartbroken and the community was left divided by suspicion and mistrust.
It could be the tragic story of Kate and Gerry McCann and their three-year-old daughter, Madeleine, who was abducted
last year while on holiday in Portugal, and who remains missing to this day. But, in fact, it is the plot of Clint Eastwood's
latest film, Changeling, which opens in Britain later this month.
Starring Angelina Jolie as the distraught mother, it is a chilling portrait of how bungling authorities persecuted a
grieving mother and treated her with cynical contempt.
It is all the more powerful because it is based on a horrific true story.
The so-called 'Wineville chicken coop murders' took place on the outskirts of Los Angeles in 1928.
And while they happened 80 years before Maddie McCann disappeared, there are startling parallels between the two.
The McCanns' grim experience in Praia de Luz - and how they were made suspects by bungling local police - was widely
But Christine Collins suffered even worse treatment at the hands of the LA Police Department. As the investigation into
her missing child failed to yield results, she was even locked up in a mental asylum.
Her story begins during the Prohibition era, in the stretch of land south of LA, where the desert slowly turns into farming
There, in the small town of Wineville, the single mother was raising her nine-year-old son, Walter. At the time, her
husband was in prison for running a speakeasy.
Despite the hard times, Christine was lucky enough to have a job as a supervisor with the local phone company. But it
meant that she was often away from home and had to rely on the neighbours to look out for young Walter.
All went well until one Saturday morning, when she decided to work an extra shift. She gave Walter some money to see
the latest cinema release, and set off for work.
Christine Collins never saw her son again. When she returned home that night, Walter was missing - and she reacted just
like Madeleine McCann's mother.
She knew instinctively her son had been kidnapped and reported his absence to the police.
Just as in Portugal, officers refused to begin an immediate search, wasting valuable time as they waited 24 hours before
acting on the distraught mother's suspicions.
Meanwhile, Christine looked everywhere. She quizzed neighbours and learned that her son had been last seen on the afternoon
of his disappearance, at a crossroads near his house.
She issued pictures of Walter with a detailed description: 5ft 5in, weighing 70lb with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair
complexion. He was wearing a plaid lumber jacket, brown corduroy trousers, a grey cap and black shoes.
When the police finally jerked into action, they drained a local lake in full glare of the photographers and manipulated
the story with false leads and bizarre theories.
But from the start, it seems, the mother was their prime suspect.
She had claimed the youngster had been kidnapped, and yet she couldn't come up with a motive. Nor had she received any
demands for money - although she said she had received a note which read cryptically: 'Boy bad sick, afraid to call doctor.'
The hunt was further complicated by the fact that her husband, an inmate of the notorious Folsom prison, near San Francisco
- where Johnny Cash would later famously sing - was a 'straw boss' (a convict in charge of other prisoners), sparking one
police theory that Walter had been kidnapped by an ex-con who held a grudge against his father.
Meanwhile, newspapers speculated that Christine was secretly negotiating to get the boy back.
As in the McCann case, rumour followed rumour.
Neighbours suddenly remembered that for several days before Walter disappeared, a middle-aged, slouchily dressed man,
about 5ft 9in, had been seen hanging around the neighbourhood.
He had, they recalled, been accompanied by a small, foreign-looking woman, who had stayed in the car while the man knocked
on doors asking for the Collins' house.
A month later, hopes were raised when a local petrol station owner reported that a strange Italian-looking man had refuelled
at his garage. And in the back seat of the car, lying lifeless under a bundle of newspapers, he claimed, was the missing boy.
The news sparked yet another statewide search - but to no avail.
Christine Collins was distraught. And yet somehow she, like Kate McCann, refused to fear the worst.
Then, six months after Walter's disappearance, Christine was told the crime had been solved.
From small-town Illinois, 2,000 miles to the north-east, came the incredible news that her son had been found.
Imagine her anticipation as she waited at the railway station for her son's arrival, surrounded by a mob of Press photographers
organised by the police, who were as keen as ever to take full credit for the discovery.
But Christine's nightmare was far from over. As soon as she saw the boy, she realised she had been cruelly duped. For
even though the boy insisted he was her missing son, she knew he was not.
The boy claimed he had been kidnapped, but Christine saw right through his story, realising he had pieced it together
from the newspaper reports.
Yet no one took her protests seriously - and in the days before DNA testing, it was impossible for her to prove beyond
doubt the boy wasn't hers.
The scheming police chief, an infamous figure named J. J. Jones, made matters even worse. He was determined to be proved
right and insisted she take the boy home.
He claimed Christine's memory was affected by grief and said that if the boy was a little shaky on the details, it was
because he had suffered a blow to the head during the kidnapping.
Jones cruelly branded Christine an unfit mother and accused her of trying to get the state to take responsibility for
Christine finally took the child home - only for Jones to note triumphantly that Walter's pet spaniel took to him immediately.
But she did not give up her fight. She continued to protest that this 'Walter' was three inches shorter than her real
son and, unlike him, circumcised.
Crucially, she also found a champion in local radio preacher, Rev Gustav Briegleb (played by John Malkovich in the new
Briegleb, who had a huge public following thanks to his crusade against the sordid sex lives of Hollywood stars, convinced
Christine to fight the police department and uncover the truth.
And so, three weeks later, armed with her real son's dental records and statements from his teacher, she returned her
'imposter son' to the authorities.
From now on, just as with Kate McCann, it would be war between her and the police. Police boss Jones's next act was to
invoke legislation that he had introduced, called Code 12, which authorised him to incarcerate troublesome women in a lunatic
asylum and submit them to treatment, including electric shock therapy.
As Christine testified later, Jones told her: 'You're insane and ought to be in a madhouse. You're under arrest and I
am going to send you to the psychopathic ward.'
And with that, he threw her into the grim LA County General Hospital. Christine was incarcerated for a week until, in
another bizarre twist, the boy revealed what she knew all along - that he was not her son.
Instead, the child admitted he was Arthur Hutchins Jr from Iowa. The son of divorced parents, he ran away after his mother
died and got as far as Illinois, when someone spotted his uncanny likeness to Walter Collins.
Arthur had gone along with the deception because he wanted to get to California - to meet his cowboy star hero, Tom Mix.
Christine Collins was vindicated, but there was far worse to come. For behind the scenes, the real story about her son's
disappearance was slowly, and horrifically, beginning to unfold.
The facts came to light when Sanford Clark, a 15-year-old illegal immigrant from Canada, was detained by police in LA
and told them that his uncle was a serial killer.
Sanford said he had grown up in Sasketchewan and two years previously had been kidnapped by his uncle, 21-year-old Gordon
He had been transported several thousand miles south to the ranch of Gordon's parents, Cyrus and Louise Northcott, in
Wineville, California, where he had become his uncle's sex slave - and had been forced to watch the torture and killing of
four young boys, including Walter Collins, whom he identified from a photograph.
Sanford claimed his deranged uncle had tied Walter to a bed and tortured him for a week - before Louise Northcott had
finally killed the boy. And the macabre story did not end there.
Sanford then described how his uncle had imprisoned two local brothers, Lewis and Nelson Winslow, aged 12 and ten, and
how he had been forced to kill Nelson himself.
The authorities were sceptical until they were told that Gordon's killing spree had begun with a young Mexican, who had
been beheaded with an axe. At this point, bells began to ring.
A few months previously, the headless body of a Mexican had been found near the roadside wrapped in a bag, with no clues
as to how it had got there.
The police rushed to the ranch to find considerable evidence that corroborated Sanford's story. In one room, there was
a whistle, Boy Scout badges and a library book belonging to the Winslow brothers.
They also found a blood-stained bed and, in one of the chicken coops, a bloody axe covered with human hair. And 50 yards
from the ranch's chicken house, there were also empty graves, where Sanford said the missing boys had been buried.
No bodies were found, but there were enough traces of bone and hair - not to mention the head of the Mexican boy - to
point the finger squarely at the rancher.
The remains had been buried in quick lime in an attempt to destroy the evidence. And when it was discovered that a consignment
of lime had, quite unusually, only recently been delivered to the ranch, the case against Gordon seemed watertight.
Having apparently anticipated the police raid, Gordon slipped through the net and fled to Canada dressed as a woman with
His freedom, however, was short-lived. Less than a week later, in September 1928, Gordon was arrested and taken back
to LA with his mother, who confessed to all the killings in an attempt to save her son.
Gordon then started changing his story to suit his mood. He admitted to murdering the Mexican boy, and then denied everything.
At one point, he even took the police into the desert to search for the remains of as many as 20 victims.
Gordon's trial began in January 1929, and he was found guilty of murdering the two brothers and the Mexican. Meanwhile,
his mother was sentenced to life imprisonment in San Quentin for her part in the crimes. While she claimed that she had killed
Walter, his body was never found.
Throughout the trial, Christine Collins begged Gordon Northcott to tell her the facts, however grim. But her pleas fell
on deaf ears.
Just before he was due to hang, in October 1930, he sent Christine a telegram saying he was ready to reveal all. The
night before the execution, she hurried to his cell - but Gordon simply protested his innocence and blamed the crimes on his
mother and nephew, who had been sent back to Canada.
The next day, he was dragged screaming to the gallows, where it took him ten minutes to die at the end of the hangman's
His death was no comfort for the grieving Christine, who never gave up the search for her son.
She sued the incompetent local police department, won damages of $10,000 and vowed to spend every last cent on uncovering
But Walter had vanished without a trace and his fate looks set to remain a mystery for ever.
Saturday 08 November 2008
Society of Editors 2008 conference in Bristol
4.45pm The big stories of
the past year
Chaired by: Kevin
Marsh, BBC College of Journalism
BBC Business Editor - the credit crunch
the McCanns story
Posted by Laura Oliver
November 10th, 2008
Following his comments at the Society of Editors (SoE) conference that suggestions that the media had caused the current
banking crisis were 'laughable', BBC Business editor Robert Peston was questioned about his use of a blog on bbc.co.uk.
Peston said he wasn't a 'proper blogger' insofar as he didn't use his blog to speculate.
"I apply exactly the same standards of verification to a blog as I do to anything else I do," he explained.
"I can do two things with a blog: I can get stuff out very quickly; but the most valuable thing about the blog if you work
for an organisation like the BBC is that you can put out an amount of detail you can’t get in a three minute bulletin."
The comments left by readers of the blog are 'incredibly valuable', as it can make you think about a story in a different
way, he added.
"The great advantage of the blog is that you are constantly out there putting nuggets out that will give you stuff back
and allow you to complete the story more quickly," he said.
in the same conference session, Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, was less complimentary describing
the downside of the blogosphere as 'the lynchmob gone digital'.
Speaking with regards to the Madeleine McCann case, Mitchell said: "Where comment strays beyond the bounds of acceptability
we will take action. Because story has engendered a degree of controversy and debate we have to cope with that on a daily
The case is still 'very much ongoing', according to Mitchell, and the McCanns see the media as partners in the search for
their daughter when reporting is 'fair and accurate'.
Settlements between the media and the McCanns and with friends they were holidaying with at the time of Madeleine's disappearance
now total more than £1 million, he said.
Mitchell also accused the British press in Portugal of being lazy at the time of the incident, choosing to sit in the local
bar and turning to the Portugese media for leads.
"A quote from me and that was considered balanced journalism. Even when I said I didn't have anything, front pages would
duly appear," he said.
By Paul McNally in Bristol
10 November 2008
British journalists covering the disappearance of Madeleine McCann were "lazy" and "distorted" stories, according to
the spokesman for parents Kate and Gerry McCann.
Clarence Mitchell told the Society of Editors conference the hunger among the press pack in the resort of Praia da Luiz
resulted in "99 per cent" of the stories he was asked to comment on being based on "totally inaccurate lies".
"The British press out there in Portugal were lazy," he said. "The Portuguese police hid behind the law of judicial secrecy
saying they weren't able to comment on or off the record. That didn't stop lots of information from police files finding its
way into the Portuguese press.
"When the British press made enquiries, they came up against a stone wall. So they resorted to sitting in the local bar
which had the lethal combination of free wi-fi and alcohol and that was their newsroom."
Mitchell said the British reporters in Portugal were under extraordinary pressure to come up with fresh angles on the
story each day.
"I had certain reporters almost in tears some mornings saying: If you don't give me a front page splash by 4pm, I'm going
to get fired," he said.
"Things that were allegations or suggestions in the Portuguese press were hardened up into absolute fact when they crossed
In March, Express Newspapers paid £550,000 in damages to the McCanns over a series of defamatory stories about their
"[Her disappearance] caused immense pain and to have this ladled on top of them did not help," Mitchell said.
He added: "They feel the media are important partners in the search for Madeleine. We've only taken action when [reporting]
hasn't reached those basic standards."
#soe08 Live Twittering from the Society of Editors conference in Bristol
November 10th, 2008
#soe08 Clarence Mitchell: "The latter day lynch-mob has gone digital."
#soe08 Michael Clarence (sic) said: Kate and Jerry McCann still think Madeleine
#Soe08 Clarence mitchell says mc cann's are grateful to the media but they
will draw a line under it if becomes useful no more.
#soe08 Example of the constant media coverage of the McCann case Clarence
Mitchell has had 3 magazine requests for Kate and Jerry in the ...
#soe08 Clarence Mitchell has had three requests for interviews with Kate
and Gerry McCann just in time of panel at conference
Clarence Mitchell slams 'lazy' Madeleine McCann coverage Guardian
Tuesday November 11 2008 10.20 GMT
British journalists following the Madeleine McCann case in Portugal last year were responsible for lazy and distorted
stories, the press adviser to the missing child's family, Clarence Mitchell, has said.
Speaking at the Society of Editors
conference in Bristol yesterday, Mitchell told delegates that he faced the daily problem of dealing with inaccuracies created
by a hungry British press pack. He added that 99% of the stories coming out of the local media in Praia da Luiz were "totally
Mitchell said that the local bar in Praia da Luiz effectively became the newsroom for the British
press pack, with its "lethal combination of Wi-Fi and alcohol".
"The British press out there in Portugal, and I'm not
singling out any particular publication, were - I'm afraid to say this and I don't like to say this because I'm a former journalist
myself - they were lazy," he told the conference.
"The Portuguese police hid behind the law of judicial secrecy saying
they weren't able to comment, either on the record or off the record, but that didn't stop lots of information finding its
way from police files into the Portuguese press.
"However, when the British press made inquiries they came up against
a stone wall so they resorted to sitting in the local bar, which had the lethal combination of free Wi-Fi and alcohol, and
that became the newsroom predictably enough.
"It meant that they then sat every morning just going through whatever
had been leaked to the Portuguese papers, 99% of it totally inaccurate lies, 1% I would say distorted or misunderstood through
cultural differences in some cases.
"This was then put to me, I would then deny or try to correct it, that would be
a quote from me, 'Mitchell's balanced it', that was balanced journalism, and off it went."
Mitchell said that British
newspapers put reporters under pressure to come up with new angles and exclusive stories in the months after Madeleine went
missing in May last year.
"I had certain reporters from certain groups almost in tears some mornings saying, 'If you
don't give me a front-page splash by 4pm I'm going to be fired," he added.
"I can understand the pressure they are
under but when I said 'I can't help you, we honestly haven't got anything of value or anything to warrant that coverage' nevertheless
a front page would then duly appear in certain titles."
Mitchell added: "Things that were allegations or suggestions
in the Portuguese press were hardened up into absolute fact when they crossed the Channel."
He also told the conference
yesterday that more than £1m in compensation had now been paid by British newspapers to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry
McCann, and the friends - the so-called "tapas seven" - with whom the McCanns dined on the night their daughter went missing.
March, the McCanns accepted £550,000 from Express Newspapers after the Daily Express, Sunday Express, the Daily Star and Daily
Star Sunday ran numerous defamatory articles.
Express Newspapers was again forced last month to apologise and pay £375,000
in libel damages to the "tapas seven" after the publisher ran a series of defamatory stories about the group.
of the World also apologised in September for publishing extracts from Kate McCann's private diary without her permission
and made a financial contribution to the search for Madeleine.
|McCann agony at blank in files The Sun
By VERONICA LORRAINE and ANTONELLA LAZZERI
11 November 2008 (appeared online 10 November 2008)
KATE and Gerry McCann have been hit by a new blow after
it emerged that police case files had fewer clues than they hoped about missing daughter Maddie.
The couple, both
40, hoped trawling through the documents could hold the key to finding her.
But among the files – made public
in August – was a prosecutor's report saying the investigation had uncovered "very little" conclusive
about the youngster's disappearance.
Gerry said: "We are not yet halfway through the Portuguese files
but there is less information than we were expecting."
Maddie vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007,
just before her fourth birthday.
Gerry said it was getting harder to find the key evidence to unlock a "painful
The couple were both feeling "low" as the 18-month anniversary of the disappearance
Last night McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The files do show what the police did
not do, which can suggest new avenues."
Madeleine McCann: No new lead in police files Daily Mirror
Gerry McCann yesterday admitted the police files on
Madeleine's abduction hold few new leads.
Gerry and wife Kate hoped the files from the bungled police investigation,
released in August, would hold missed clues.
But he wrote on his blog: "We're not halfway through but
there is less information than we expected."
He also said he and Kate had a particularly "difficult week"
- 18 months on - and they had expanded the support team to find her.
Gerry, 40, wrote: "We do not put much
in milestones, these being just another day without Madeleine."
But he said their spirits were lifted by a
fundraising event in Liverpool recently.
Wednesday 12 November 2008
Thursday 13 November 2008
Murat wins libel pay-out from Sky BBC News
Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008
Robert Murat has accepted substantial libel damages from British Sky Broadcasting over some of
its reporting of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
His case related to allegations he had acted in a manner similar to Soham killer Ian Huntley in the days after she vanished
in Portugal in May 2007.
Mr Murat has always denied involvement and is no longer a suspect in the case.
Sky told London's High Court it apologised for publishing the false allegations and the distress caused.
The amount involved in the damages pay-out has not been disclosed.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, has not been seen since disappearing during a family holiday to Praia da Luz,
in the Algarve.
She was days away from her fourth birthday.
Mr Murat's solicitor, Louis Charalambous, told Mr Justice Eady on Friday that his client's action resulted from an article
and video on the Sky News website making allegations about his behaviour around the time Madeleine disappeared.
These claimed that in the early days afterwards, the behaviour of Mr Murat, who lives in Praia da Luz with his mother,
had been reminiscent of child-killer Huntley.
The website also suggested Mr Murat had deliberately tried to mislead journalists by pretending to be acting in an official
capacity for the police.
Mr Charalambous told the judge the allegations made by Sky were entirely untrue and it was accepted that Mr Murat had
had no involvement whatever in the abduction of Madeleine.
He said: "[Sky] acknowledges that Mr Murat's actions after the abduction were entirely proper and were motivated by a
desire to help find Madeleine McCann."
He said that Sky's apology would appear on its website for 12 months.
Outside court, Mr Charalambous said the settlement represented the final stage of Mr Murat's claims against those sections
of the British media "which defamed him so terribly".
"He has been entirely successful and vindicated," he said.
"It was particularly important to him to nail this particular lie - that he acted in some way reminiscent to the Soham
murderer Ian Huntley when, in fact, he was working flat out to help try to find Madeleine."
In July, Mr Murat received a record settlement of £600,000 and an apology over "seriously defamatory" allegations in
nearly 100 newspaper articles concerning the case.
The out-of-court libel settlement was reached with the Sun, Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, Daily Mail, London
Evening Standard, Metro, Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, News of the World and the Scotsman.
That same month his status as an official suspect in the case was lifted by Portuguese police as they shelved their investigation.
In March, Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who were also named as suspects but have also had their status lifted,
won £550,000 and an apology from Express Newspapers for suggesting they had been involved in their daughter's disappearance.
And last month, seven friends who were dining with the McCanns when Madeleine disappeared received a £375,000 libel pay-out,
also from Express Newspapers.
It related to untrue allegations about the conduct of the so-called "tapas seven" in three newspapers.
Saturday 15 November 2008
Portuguese officer who led the search for Madeleine says his account defends the honour of his team
By Thais Portilho-Shrimpton
Sunday, 16 November 2008
A controversial best-selling account of the hunt for Madeleine
McCann by the Portuguese detective who led the investigation is expected to be published in the UK soon, according to its
Speaking exclusively to The Independent on Sunday, Goncalo Amaral denied cashing
in on the tragic disappearance of the three-year-old but said he was determined to restore his reputation, which "had been
torn to shreds" by unfair and inaccurate media reports.
The book, Maddie: The Truth about the Lie, has already sold an estimated 180,000
copies in Europe, and Mr Amaral's representatives are trying find a British publisher. The McCanns said last night that they
would scrutinise any British publication with a view to possible legal action.
Madeleine went missing on 3 May 2007, days before her fourth birthday, from a
holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. In the Portuguese edition
of his book, Mr Amaral says he believes she died in a "tragic accident" in the Mark Warner holiday flat where she was left
to sleep the night she disappeared.
Mr Amaral was removed from the investigation in October 2007 after criticising
British police officers. Nine months later the Portuguese authorities closed the investigation and lifted the arguido [suspect]
label from Madeleine's parents.
The book's publisher, Mario Sena Lopes, said there was now an English version
of Mr Amaral's book and he was negotiating a UK deal. He said several publishers were interested and he was confident the
British public would soon be able to read the book.
Mr Amaral said: "I received numerous messages of support and solidarity since
being taken off the case, including from the UK – messages that also motivated me to tell people what I knew about the
Maddie case. I am positive that there's also a section of the public eager to know the truth.
"People can form their opinion without the manipulation that we have seen before."
He said his only regret was failing to carry out a reconstruction of the events
soon after Madeleine vanished but claims he was put under "serious pressure" not to. He insisted this was the only failure
in a "perfect" text-book investigation.
Asked whether he thought Madeleine was dead, he said: "It is not just my opinion.
A whole team of Portuguese and British investigators came to that conclusion last year, and this is part of the files. I have
never said the couple killed their daughter and this is not my belief. Deaths may happen for natural reasons, accident or
intervention by a third party."
He said he was unperturbed by the threat of any legal action from the McCann
family. "There is no reason for that. The details exposed in the book are facts, happenings and objective data which figure
in the process and not lies, as they have been described in the press."
He denied he was profiting from the tragic case. "The biggest thing I achieved
with this book was to defend my honour and that of those who worked with me. The way I see it, you cannot put a price on dignity.
The other objective of the book is to contribute to the search for the truth."
Mr Amaral added that he is now considering legal action against a number of British
media outlets. The "excessive" publicity the case attracted was a "double-edged sword: on one hand it makes the disappearance
known, but on the other hand it puts the life of the missing person in jeopardy," he insisted. "I demanded from my superiors,
they stand up for the investigators faced with attacks by the media, but that never happened. This was one of the reasons
that led me later on to hand in my resignation so I could regain my freedom of speech and write the book."
Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the McCanns, said last night: "Lawyers for
Kate and Gerry have been aware of what Mr Amaral has been alleging for some time. What he has said and written before now
is grossly defamatory of them.
"If he chooses to publish them in Britain those words will be studied intensely
carefully and they will not hesitate to act if they are defamatory."
PARENTS SEEKING ANY NUGGET THAT CAN LEAD THEM FORWARD
McCanns search for clues in Portuguese police files Leicester Mercury (appears in paper edition only)
By Tom Pegden
17 November 2008
Madeleine McCann's parents are scouring Portuguese police files on the case.
Kate and Gerry McCann from Rothley have taken it upon themselves to oversee the job of combing through 17 volumes of
official documents, their official spokesman has revealed.
Assisted by expert investigators, they are fitting their
work in alongside Mr McCann's job as a consultant cardiologist at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital and Mrs McCann's work as
a full time mum.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Gerry says they are not half way through yet. There are
17 volumes and last time I checked they were on number eight or nine. It is almost like a second career for them".
a very slow, methodical process. They are going through it forensically themselves, assisted by a small team that has been
"You can rest assured that there is former police experience in that team".
"They are looking for any
nugget that can lead them forward".
"Anything they find that has not been done, which they feel should have been done,
will be pursued".
"We expect this process to go on until Christmas".
"The minute there is something they need
public support with, they will go public".
Earlier this week Mr McCann wrote on the Find Madeleine website that work
was still going on, "behind the scenes".
He said,"We are not yet half way through the Portuguese but there is less
information within the files than we were expecting".
"As I have stated many times someone has a key bit of information
that can unlock this frustratingly difficult and painful situation".
Mr Mitchell said the Find Madeleine fighting fund
stood at £800,000.
He described the state of the fund - a not for profit company set up to help find Madeleine and
bring her abductors to justice- as reasonably healthy.
Mr Mitchell said: "there is more than £800,000 in the fund at
"Considering we are a year and a half on, and that the figure has been up and down it could be a lot worse".
said calls from the public with potential leads were still coming in but not in the vast numbers that were received at the
beginning of the investigation.
He said any potential lead would still be looked into.
"The phone calls come
in phases, and we even get the occasional psychic tip off", Mr Mitchell said.
"Anything with credible information which
can be checked - such as an address, car registration or flight number - is checked".
Mr Mitchell Said he was not prepared
to talk about any reports of possible sightings at the moment for fear they would provoke copycat reports.
Press standards to be investigated by parliamentary select committee Guardian
Tuesday November 18 2008 17.11 GMT
A parliamentary committee is to investigate issues of privacy, libel and
standards in the press, in part prompted by a string of successful court cases relating to coverage of Madeleine McCann's
MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee will look at issues
including whether the UK press's self-regulation regime needs toughening up, with the role of Press Complaints Commissions
certain to face scrutiny.
The inquiry will consider a wide range of issues, including whether successful
libel actions against Express Newspapers' titles and a number of other national papers over the McCann case "indicates a serious
weakness with the self-regulatory regime" and whether self-regulation needs to be "toughened to make it more attractive to
those seeking redress".
Other questions the culture select committee will ask witnesses from the newspaper
industry include why the PCC did not launch its own inquiry into the McCann case coverage; and what changes news organisations
have made after a string of libel settlements that has seen the industry pay out more than £1m in damages this year over its
reporting of Madeleine's disappearance.
The committee, chaired by Conservative MP John Whittingdale, will seek views
on issues including the "interaction between the operation and effect of UK libel laws and press reporting", as well as the
impact of "conditional fee agreements on press freedom".
Other areas to be examined include contempt of court laws relating to reporting
on investigations and trials - particularly in light of the rise of online publishing - and whether, following recent court
rulings, "the balance between press freedom and personal privacy is the right one".
The committee will taking written submissions on the issues to be covered in
the inquiry until January 14.
Wednesday 19 November 2008
Thursday 20 November 2008
by holdthefrontpage staff
20 November 2008
A new House of Commons inquiry
into press standards, privacy and libel laws will take place in the new year.
The cross-party Culture, Media and Sport Committee is now looking for views on
a wide range of key topics affecting the press from newspaper publishers and any other interested parties.
A series of hearings are expected to take place next year after all submissions
have been received in January with the case of missing Madeleine McCann high on the agenda.
The Committee is asking the why the self-regulatory regime was not used in this
case after libel payouts were made to the girls parents and their friends.
The Committee also wants to know why the PCC has not invoked its own inquiry
and whether the successful action against Express Newspapers by the McCanns indicates a serious weakness with the self-regulatory
Other topics include:The interaction between the operation and effect of UK libel laws and press reporting.
The impact of conditional fee agreements on press freedom and should self-regulation be toughened to
make it more attractive to those seeking redress.
The observance of Contempt of Court laws with respect to press reporting of investigations and trials
with particularly emphasis on the expansion of the internet.
What effect the European Convention on Human Rights has had on the courts' views on privacy rights as
against press freedoms.
Should financial penalties for libel or invasion of privacy be exemplary rather than compensatory.
In light of recent court rulings, is the the balance between press freedom and personal privacy right.
The Commission said: "The PCC welcomes this inquiry, which will enable the Commission to set out how it protects all members
of the public - regardless of wealth or position - from unjustified intrusions into privacy by the press.
"As a flexible self-regulatory body, the PCC has always evolved to take account of cultural or legal developments.
"It will continue to adapt to ensure that it is responsive to the needs of the public while taking into account the media's
right to freedom of expression."
Saturday 22 November 2008
Portuguese and British authorities discuss Freeport and the Madeleine McCann case SOSMaddie
By Duarte Levy
21 October 2008
Thanks to 'annaesse' for translation
According to a source close to the Foreign Office and Prime Minister Gordon Brown's
office, the British authorities recently approached the follow-up business of the Madeleine McCann case and Freeport of Alcochete
in the course of the same meeting. The information was meanwhile confirmed by a source from the PJ in Portugal, who also puts
forward the accusation of, "doing favours for each other," allegedly being envisaged during this contact between the two countries.
the "Maddie" case, as it is best known, concerns the disappearance of a little three year-old girl and the protection afforded
her parents by the British authorities, notably by direct interference by diplomats and Gordon Brown's government, the Freeport
case, according to the latest information, concerns the transfer of money from United Kingdom accounts to Portuguese political
personalities and questions raised about the construction of this large commercial area in Alcochete.
To be continued.
Update, 24 November 2008:
Both cases are embarrassing and Lisbon and London would like, above all else, to avoid the details falling into the public
domain: the British would like to avoid the role played by the authorities in the McCann case being known, while the Portuguese
no longer want to hear talk about suspicions of corruption which could affect the government and in particular the socialist
Freeport: a disturbing case
The announcement by the British authorities, about the existence of offshore English bank accounts belonging to companies
directly or indirectly linked to Portugal and the case known as Freeport Alcochete, has just revived a case of alleged corruption
which the Portuguese government would like to see forgotten and which the authorities in London, at least publicly, would
like to see investigated by a joint team.
According to the British, significant sums of money were sent to a group of lawyers in Lisbon acting as financial intermediaries
on behalf of various Portuguese personalities.
Meanwhile, a formal meeting between the Portuguese and British was on the investigators' agenda but, according to a source
close to the Public Minister, no agreement seems possible because, officially, the Lisbon authorities are still waiting for
the results of a rogatory letter sent to the Home Office in 2005 and which, to this day, has obtained no response.
In any case, the matter has not been buried and allegations are flying in both directions between London and Lisbon accusing
the English company, Freeport, of having paid "kickbacks" to personalities in the Portuguese world of politics in order to
obtain the necessary permission to build the Freeport Alcochete commercial complex on land belonging to the Nature Reserve
of the Tejo estuary, the river that borders Lisbon, where the natural habitat of a great number of endangered species is to
The case goes back to 2005 when, in the middle of the election campaign, accusations of corruption were launched against
José Sócrates, then candidate for the Socialist Party (PS) and current Prime Minister. After an investigation, initially directed
against the press, responsible for disclosure of the matter, the trial judge ended up sentencing a former PJ inspector, José
Torrão, to an 18 months suspended sentence for disclosure of confidential documents. According to the judge, Torrão had committed
a crime of violation of official secrets in illegally photocopying internal PJ documents before giving them to the Portuguese
press, notably the daily "O Independente."
The former PJ inspector's sentence has, meanwhile, been confirmed by the Lisbon Appeal Court, thus frustrating the Justice
Minister who was calling for a retrial in consideration of the crime in question not allowing the use of data from detailed
billing and the tracking of mobile phones as evidence.
Now, as was the case with the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, the British authorities have requested
that a joint team be set up in order to follow up the investigation. An idea that does not appeal to the Portuguese legal
administration and which has allegedly already led the Attorney General, Pinto Monteiro, to refuse the proposition.
According to a source from the Public Ministry in Lisbon, after the really bad experiences with the British government
around the Madeleine McCann case, the Portuguese authorities would like to keep more effective control over the investigation.
In Portugal, an investigation had already been entrusted to the Setubal PJ, under the supervision of the Prosecutor for the
Montijo Public Ministry, but had not produced the expected results and now the case is in the hands of Cândida Almeida, head
of the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Activity. (DCIAP)
What Meyer didn't say: a speech ignoring the real shortcomings of press self-regulation journalism.co.uk
By Martin Moore
Action has never been one of the strong suits of the Press Complaints Commission
(PCC). Reaction has always been its forté, indeed it is the primary purpose of the complaints body.
And so it is with
Sir Christopher Meyer's speech in Manchester. Without Paul Dacre's astonishing broadside against Justice Eady at the Society of Editors, and without the announcement last week that the DCMS Select Committee would shortly begin an inquiry into press standards, privacy and libel, it is unlikely Sir Christopher would have been so
forthcoming about the shortcomings of the PCC.
Of course the outgoing Chairman does not refer to them as shortcomings.
They are about moving forward and taking opportunities. He cites two particular strategic challenges: 'how self-regulation
should move forward when it must co-exist with a developing law on privacy' and how 'we exploit further the opportunities
presented by the digitalisation of the media'.
But do not be misled. Shortcomings they most certainly are. Had press
self-regulation performed its role effectively then we would not have the incremental development of a privacy law based on
Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Had the PCC taken action in recent cases of inaccurate newspaper coverage, then we may not have yet another DCMS inquiry
about press standards, only 18 months after the last.
Even now the PCC has not examined the press' coverage of the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann. As Brian Cathcart wrote last month in the New Statesman: "Not one editor and, so far as I know, not one reporter has lost his or her job or even faced formal
reprimand as a result of the McCann coverage. There has been no serious inquest in the industry and no organised attempt to
establish what went wrong, while no measures have been taken to prevent a repetition".
The McCanns themselves, remember,
did not even complain to the PCC about inaccuracy. They asked it for help on behalf of their children, but to address the
widespread inaccuracies in the newspapers they went straight to their lawyer. Robert Murat and the so called 'Tapas Seven'
did the same.
In all three cases the court found newspapers had published dozens, in some cases hundreds of articles
that were completely unfounded and, in some cases, 'grossly defamatory'. If, even in cases as egregious as this, people do
not have confidence in press self-regulation, then it is clear the system is not working.
Part of the reason for which must be that the PCC is not what it says it is. It is not, as Meyer says in his speech,
'a model of independent regulation'.
How can it be when it is neither independent nor a regulator? It is entirely
paid for by the industry via the Press Board of Finance. Its code of practice is devised entirely by the industry –
by working editors and senior executives on the Editorial Code Committee. It does not monitor standards as other regulators
and the ASA
do. Nor can it impose any sanctions, as other regulators do.
The Press Complaints Commission is, as its name suggests,
a complaints body. It reacts to complaints made by the public and seeks to resolve them. Wherever possible, it does this by
mediation. This is an important and valuable role but it is not regulation.
Even in this role it is not effective.
In his speech Meyer points to the ever increasing number of complaints as evidence of PCC success.
He does not mention
the ever decreasing number of adjudications (or rulings) that the press body is making. Between October 2007 and March 2008
(the most recent complaints statistics available), there were 2,946 complaints. Of these, the PCC ruled on just 9, or 0.3
In other words, for every 300 complaints, the PCC ruled on only one. Based on these odds, your chances of
receiving an adjudication, should you complain, are about the same as Togo's of winning the World Cup (the odds of Togo winning
the 2006 World Cup were 300-1 – it ended up finishing bottom of Group G).
Meyer is right when he says that the
PCC is not doing enough. He is also right when he says, 'the current architecture of media content regulation in the UK –
PCC, Ofcom, BBC Trust – looks increasingly unsustainable'.
But the reasons for this are not, as he suggests,
simply due to media convergence. They are due to deficiencies in the existing system, and until those deficiencies are addressed,
press self-regulation in its current form will not survive the next decade, let alone the rest of the 21st century.
Moore is director of the Media Standards Trust and blogs at http://mediastandardstrust.blogspot.com/
Wednesday 26 November 2008
Thursday 27 November 2008
Saturday 29 November 2008
EXCLUSIVE New worldwide appeal as McCanns face second heartbreak Xmas Star gives TV backing
By Tracey Kandohla
30 November 2008
Madeleine McCann's mum Kate remains certain she is still alive - and plans a worldwide appeal at Christmas for help in finding
Kate and husband Gerry, both 40, are facing their second Christmas without Maddie
- but they bravely took their twins Amelie and Sean out for some festive fun this week.
A sporting hero, who has yet to be named, will front the TV appeal. The celeb
will speak as previously unseen footage of Maddie is screened.
She was nearly four when she vanished from a holiday apartment in Portugal 19
months ago. But McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry believe Madeleine is still out there. Their faith
and hope have helped them through their darkest days.
"They believe their daughter is still alive. The Christmas message will be about
finding her. Kate and Gerry do not want to appear themselves but they are keen to invigorate interest in the search."
Sean and Amelie, three, wore Star Wars fancy dress and shrieked with laughter
as Christmas lights were turned on by Darth Vader in the McCanns' home village of Rothley, Leics.
Blonde Amelie, who bares a striking resemblance to her big sister, was dressed
as Princess Leia.
Sean waved a toy Star Wars light sabre. Kate clung tightly to Amelie. But an
onlooker said: "I have never seen her look so happy. She was grinning from ear to ear. It was a joy to see her so content
Mr Mitchell said: "Kate wanted the twins to see the lights. Last year was difficult
but this year they are making an effort for their sake."
The denial of Antonio Jiminez...
'So, earlier this month, Naoual quietly slipped back to her home country with a Metodo team led by Antonio Jimenez, the
former head of Spain's national organised crime squad. They spent a week trying to track down Madeleine.'
Daily Mail, 03 November 2007
'On October 19, 2007, Alberto Carbas, the head of the
Spanish CID Anti-Kidnapping Unit (Unidad de Secuestros de la Policia Judicial) contacted the PJ and asked detectives in charge of Madeleine's investigation if they were willing to
have a meeting with a representative from Metodo 3 and a Spanish police officer from the same unit.
purpose of the meeting was to give the PJ some information those detectives had. The Spanish police officer made it clear
that Metodo 3 had no intention of interfering in the Portuguese police work, but only wanted to transmit some useful
information. In the same contact, Metodo 3 said that they were not working for the McCanns, but for Brian Kennedy.
November 13, 2007, the meeting took place, in Portimão. Two PJ detectives – Ricardo Paiva and Paulo Ferreira. - the
director of Metodo 3, Mr. Francisco Marco, an adviser from the private detectives company, Mr. António Jimenez (former head
of Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit from Catalonia) and Mr. Brian Kennedy participated in the meeting.'
Gazeta Digital, 14 August 2008
"He is nothing to do with us. He collaborated with Metodo
3 on a project, but that was two years before the company was hired to find Madeleine.
Clarence Mitchell, 26 February 2008, after Jiminez was arrested on
suspicion of helping criminals steal £25million worth of cocaine
Maddie: Private detectives received help from a "mole" within the PJ, 11 November 2008
Maddie: Private detectives received help from a "mole" within the PJ SOSMaddie
By Duarte Levy
11 November 2008
Thanks to 'annaesse' for translation
A Spanish private detective reveals how the McCanns were able to gain access to confidential
police information within the Maddie case.
According to one of the Spanish detectives hired by Metodo 3 within their contract with Kate and Gerry McCann, a PJ inspector
allegedly gave confidential information concerning the movements of the Portuguese investigators and their British colleagues
in the investigation into Maddie's disappearance to the Spanish agency.
The information thus obtained allowed the private detectives to inform the McCann couple and their entourage about work
being planned by the Portuguese investigators: "Several of Amaral's men's initiatives failed thanks to information given by
their colleague... but there was also information coming from informers linked to the British embassy," this detective states.
This is the information that allowed us to know in advance what inspector Amaral and his colleagues wanted to do," the
private detective continues during an interview recently recorded in Spain, stressing that, "the investigation would probably
have ended differently without the intervention of the private detectives, but also of certain British professionals."
In his interview, a video recorded in unusual conditions, and which will be included in a documentary for television
about Madeleine McCann's disappearance, the Spanish detective clearly identifies the PJ inspector and also puts forward, "that
he benefited from a certain protection by the PJ at Faro."
The detective goes further and states, "that at times when the investigation was closed, thanks to information received
from the Portuguese inspector, we created diversions in the media."
"That didn't always work, because I noticed that certain operations were set up without our knowing in advance. I imagine
that Amaral must have had his suspicions and that he limited access to information to the men he trusted," the detective adds.
"The investigation was practically condemned in advance...we knew in advance what Amaral was preparing and the desired
objective in his operations," states the detective who, after several months of working for Metodo 3, had even tried to make
contact with the Portimao CID coordinator, before he was dismissed from the investigation: "I had personally met Gonçalo Amaral
a few years ago, but he mustn't have remembered me and as soon as he heard that I was linked to Metodo 3 he refused to speak
to me, arguing that if I had important information to bring to the case, this should be done in an official manner."
"He (Gonçalo Amaral) was known to us as a hard guy, in particular in cases of fighting drug trafficking... he is incorruptible,"
the detective concludes.
The revelation which risks creating controversy around the Algarve PJ, meanwhile confirms the suspicions raised by certain
investigators. At least two PJ inspectors, contacted by SMM, directly put forward the name of the inspector who allegedly
passed on the confidential information to the detectives of the Spanish agency. According to them, the man benefited from
a certain protection from the Faro commission and his behaviour was not new, because he had allegedly previously committed
the same offence in other investigations.
"We are no longer looking for Maddie.... me, in any case, I was never hired to do that."
According to the same detective, he was allegedly never hired to look for Madeleine McCann: "We are no longer looking
for Maddie... me, in any case, I was never hired to do that. All I was asked to do was gather the most details in order to
direct the Portuguese investigation towards Morocco or Spain.
This former detective - who is no longer able to carry on his work - further states that the Spanish agency allegedly
led British journalists to Morocco for them to meet previously selected and paid witnesses: "the aim was to spread the Moroccan
lead in the media and thus confirm that it was indeed an abduction, which the Portuguese and British police did not want to
believe," states the detective, stressing that he is unable to say whether the McCanns were behind this kind of operation.
"The couple never asked me to lie about anything whatsoever. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the agency or
the couple's entourage," the detective concludes.
McCanns had informant within the PJ, 12 November 2008
McCanns had informant within the PJ TV Mais (appears
in paper edition only)
A PJ inspector supplied confidential information to Metodo 3, concerning the movements that the Judiciária and the
British policemen made on the terrain searching for Maddie
by Hernâni Carvalho
12 November 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The accusation is brought forward by one of the agents from Metodo 3, the Spanish detective agency that the McCanns hired,
and was made during an interview that journalist Duarte Levy recorded for Belgian television. According to said Metodo 3 agent,
the privileged information that the McCanns held were always delivered by an inspector who "benefits from a certain protection
at the Judiciária in Faro" and by informants that are connected to the British Embassy.
The PJ investigators' most
confidential movements were always monitored by the McCanns or by their entourage. The information reached them through an
informant from inside the PJ of Faro itself. The man from Metodo 3 goes as far as stating that numerous initiatives by Amaral's
men were known before time due to the alleged informant.
"That was the information that allowed for us to known in
advance what inspector Amaral and his colleagues intended to do", the Spanish private detective said. The interview was videotaped
in Spain a few days ago and will be part of a documentary about Maddie's disappearance that the journalist is preparing. In
Belgium, the case continues to raise much interest and discussion. During that interview, the Metodo 3 agent identifies the
man from the PJ in Faro. The Spanish detective states that he always knew that the investigation was condemned. And he explains
that he always knew in advance about the purposes of the actions and diligences that were carried out by Gonçalo Amaral's
The detective says that he tried to speak with the coordinator of the investigation at the PJ (Gonçalo Amaral), but the
latter replied that, whatever he had to declare or to denounce, he should do it in an official manner.
During the interview,
the detective explains that he wasn't hired to search for Maddie and that he never did that. He says that was not his mission.
His mission, he says, was to carry out actions that would direct the authorities that were responsible for the investigation
and the search for Maddie, into Morocco or Spain. And that he says he did.
The detective advances that the McCann couple
never asked him to lie, but that he cannot say the same about the McCanns' team, or Metodo 3's team.
by TV Mais, Gonçalo Amaral says that he knows what we are talking about, but that he believes this is not the time for clarifications.
The former coordinator of the PJ's investigation about Maddie says he is still waiting for the lawsuit that the McCanns threatened
him with, and at that time he will have much to say or to reveal. Another book…
Inspector told everything to the McCanns, 13 November 2008
Inspector told everything to the McCanns 24horas (page 8)
Former detective hired by Maddie's parents knew all the steps being taken in the investigation
Text: Luis Maneta
13 November 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
Soon it can be revealed the name of the inspector who belonged to Gonçalo Amaral's team and who was a 'snitcher'
for the McCanns
A former detective from the Spanish Agency Método 3 guarantees to have had "access to confidential information" during
the investigation undertaken regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. According to the detective, at the origin of
this alleged leak is an element of the Judiciary Police who "is protected" by the Directorship of Faro.
given by the Método 3 man - the detective agency hired by Kate and Gerry to search for Maddie's whereabouts - were recorded
in a video by the journalist Duarte Levy and will become part of a TV documentary on the subject.
"In the interview,
the Spanish detective clearly identifies the PJ inspector", guarantees the journalist, adding that this statement "confirm
suspicions arisen" by other elements of the Judiciary. "This information allowed us to know beforehand what inspector
Gonçalo Amaral and his colleagues where going to do", summarises the detective, who believes that without this element the
investigation "could have had a different ending".
by Duarte Levy, the man form Método 3 says that the resultant information from an alleged "leak" in the PJ had repercussions
on the process: "Several initiatives from Amaral's men failed (...) but there was also information coming from informants
who where connected to the British Embassy". The former detective highlights that the investigation "was doomed" since there
was a previous knowledge of all the steps to be taken by the Police.
That until Gonçalo Amaral started having suspicions.
Then, and still according to the detective, he started giving information only to his "men of trust".
contacted the National Directorship of the PJ, however it did not receive an answer in time for publication. Gonçalo
Amaral was out of reach up to the end of the closing of this edition.
In the interview, the
detective reveals that he tried, without successes, to contact the coordinator of the investigation to the Maddie Case, Gonçalo
Amaral. "He was considered among us as tough, especially in the fight against drug trafficking... he is incorruptible", states
Guaranteeing that he was "never" asked
to search for Maddie - he was only asked to collect information about alleged sightings - the Método 3 man says that his objective
was to "spread broadly" the Moroccan lead to "confirm that it was an abduction."
Are Kate and Gerry McCann innocent or guilty?, 17 November 2008
17 November 2008
Thanks to 'annaesse' for translation
This is the question we should be asking at this stage.
To answer it, we must ask another essential question: Was Maddie abducted or not? If to legal professionals, who have followed
this case closely from the start, it was very quickly evident, as well as to the PJ, that over time, the theory of abduction
became less and less plausible, the facts revealed by SOS Madeleine McCann on November 11th have dealt a death blow to the
theory of kidnapping.
This is also the admission of one of the detectives of the Spanish agency Metodo3,
hired by the McCann parents to find Madeleine, who we learn were not hired to find Madeleine but indeed to direct public opinion
(and perhaps the PJ) towards Spain or Morocco, the purpose being to manipulate the media and the public by inventing false
leads in both these countries also causing the slowing down of the investigation. (The PJ had to check out these many false
leads every time.) Thus, journalists were invited to interview "witnesses" paid by the said agency to say they had seen Madeleine.
If these revelations are true, and there is no reason to doubt them, we can, in any case, bring doubt to bear on all of the
statements of many of the witnesses who stated having seen Madeleine. Above all concerning witnesses who happened by chance,
at some time, to have a connection with the McCann family, notably via the Netherlands.
Abducted or died?
Another question comes to mind: Why weren't the detectives hired to find Madeleine,
contrary to what was shouted loudly and clearly by parents broken down by the "abduction" of their much loved little girl?
Why did the parents hire detectives to put on a huge media show and slow down the ongoing investigation instead of finding
their little girl? The only plausible answer to that question, is that the parents knew perfectly well that Madeleine was
not abducted. But, then, what has become of Madeleine? Still on the basis of the truth of statements from SOS Madeleine, there
too, the only answer that comes to mind is: the death of the little girl. This hypothesis is the one which has the most consistency
and is the track maintained by the PJ investigators in agreement with their British counterparts.
So, guilty or innocent?
If Madeleine died, which seems to be so obvious as to be the truth, it happened
by accident. The little girl's parents are not cold-bloodied killers. Two hypothesis are held. The first is death following
an overdose of Calpol , of which the proportion of sedative is more significant in Portugal than in the UK. Maddie allegedly
awoke in a semi-conscious state, allegedly stumbled, banged herself violently and died of her injuries. Another suggested
hypothesis and which largely takes precedence, is the theory according to which Kate allegedly argued with Madeleine. During
this argument, Kate allegedly made an unfortunate move, Madeleine was knocked against an edge or a corner of a piece of furniture,
she bled profusely and died quickly. ( whiplash in banging herself for example).
In short, a terrible tragedy for the parents. In both cases the parents are facing
a few years in prison. Be it for manslaughter, in the first instance: be it for "involuntary blows and injuries causing death
without the intention to do so," in the second case. With a major difference with regards to Portugal: in the eyes of the
law, if there was negligence towards the child, the couple's other children would be immediately placed with Portuguese social
services WITH NO possibility of their being returned to their British family!!! It was clear that as well as the misfortune
and pain of losing Madeleine, it was urgent to protect the twins. Also, a member close to Gerry, being the main "financial
backer" of the British Prime Minister's political party, was contacted on the same evening as Madeleine's "disappearance"
by Kate (on her own admission), Then the media, via sky News, helped to launch an unprecedented media machine at the moment
when the PJ's director received, in the middle of his dinner in Lisbon, a call on his mobile phone from the British embassy
informing him of the disappearance of a little British girl while the local police were not yet on the spot! In the parents'
place, in the same situation, with they connections they have, would we not have done the same thing to protect our two other
Was there fraud?
Continuing to refer to the revelations by the detective from the Spanish agency
hired by the McCanns, in the eyes of the law, yes there is fraud! Fraud in the creation of a fund to find Madeleine of which
the money was mainly used to pay detectives who admit never having been hired to find Madeleine. 50,000 euors a month to divert
attention from the investigation. Emotional fraud and that is, surely, the most serious. All those people who thought of themselves
in solidarity, affected by Maddie's disappearance,pouring money into a fund which would help to find her. We all fell into
Ourselves, here, at the association, we cried, like you, imagining that poor
child, abducted, alone without her security blanket to comfort her, crying with all her heart, away from her parents, panicked....And
those things more truly horrible of which we would not speak here but which justified the creation of our association. To
begin with, it played on the heartstrings until we realised that the theory of abduction was becoming hardly defensible, not
to mention that the parents didn't hesitate to attack various media and collect considerable sums in "damages" following what
was written by them. But those famous words could have been the absolute truth!!!
A mole in the PJ.
SOS Madeleine revealed the presence of a mole in the PJ, informing the parents
in advance of various investigative operations that the team in charge of the case were going to set up. It is more understandable
why the parents were in the middle of washing Maddie's pink comfort blanket as well as other clothes in the washing machine
just before the arrival of the inspectors to seize the comfort blanket and the clothes with a view to DNA analysis!!! We could
add a long list of worrying details in the parents' attitude but which perfectly explain themselves when we know that a member
of the PJ was advising them of what was going to happen! Is this the attitude of people who have nothing to hide?
Anomalies in the case file on DVD
For some time, a small part of the complete case file (5,000 out of 30,000 pages!!!)
has been accessible to the public. We have published some it it here, noting that it is necessary to be careful in publishing
its contents. In fact, this DVD is not complete and only represents around 17% of the total. Our association, like probably
all the other professionals in the field of police work, detected anomalies in the case file. In fact, some documents appeared
doubtful, seen as suspicious. Some signatures, annotations, drew our attention. We addressed them to whom it may concern to
take the information back to Portugal. Following that, and even though we had been aware for several weeks, the journalist
Duarte Levy, in statements, yesterday on Portuguese television, revealed that there were documents in the case file which
had been tampered with and manipulated. It is there, neither more nor less than errors in writing. No comment. So, be careful
what you read on various forums.
At the start of the broadcast in which the journalist we spoke about above, Duarte
Levy, was participating, the director of the Portuguese television channel informed the viewers that Mr Levy had just, at
that moment, received death threats on his mobile phone following his latest revelations. These threats are being taken seriously.
According to our information, the journalist received two different calls. One from Portugal and the other from the UK, both
threatening to kill him! If the revelations made by SOS Madeleine are false, and as a result the parents have nothing to hide,
why threaten to kill people? Why does the McCann clan brandish, at the slightest opportunity, a threatening finger towards
anyone who would not say the same things as them? Why try to silence the press?
If the revelations from SOS Madeleine concerning the Metodo3 detectives and the
PJ mole are correct, it could be deduced that the parents were not innocent, that Madeleine was not abducted. That there is
fraud. And above all that the hoax is in the process of being shot down - as proof the various death threats - and that the
truth will, in the end, see the light of day!!!
The question of Antonio Jimenez...
Six months without Madeleine: Is this the Moroccan village that holds the key to her disappearence,
03 November 2007
Six months without Madeleine: Is this the Moroccan village that holds the key to her disappearence Daily Mail
By DAVID JONES and GERARD COUZENS
Last updated at 13:17 03 November 2007
Since she vanished, many people have come forward to report seeing her, and at least four of these "sightings" have been
in Morocco. The most recent turned out to be the fair-skinned, blonde-haired daughter of a Berber farmer who bore a passing
similarity to Madeleine.
But Metodo's seasoned investigators did not lightly dismiss Naoual's story. They were excited to have found someone who
claimed to have seen the now-famous "flash" in Madeleine's iris. After interviewing her at length, they asked her to return
with them to Morocco.
So, earlier this month, Naoual quietly slipped back to her home country with a Metodo team led by Antonio Jimenez, the
former head of Spain's national organised crime squad. They spent a week trying to track down Madeleine.
Maddie case closed by Xmas, 04 November 2007
By Susie Boniface And Grant Hodgson
Extract, re-Metodo 3 activities in Morocco:
Metodo 3 have received over 400 calls, including 10 new sightings of Madeleine in 10 days.
Detectives are planning to return soon to a remote mountain village, Karia ba Mohamed, just 126 miles away, near the
town of Fez.
A local schools inspector contacted the Metodo 3 hotline about a "strange new girl" who had appeared in the area recently
and was living with an older woman and a teenage girl. Antonio Jimenez, the Spanish detective leading the hunt in Morocco,
asked Dr Malhi to speak to the schools inspector as he did not speak Arabic.
Madeleine: Detective linked to McCanns' private investigators in £25m cocaine probe, 23 February
Madeleine: Detective linked to McCanns' private investigators in £25m cocaine probe Daily Mail
Last updated at 23:57 23 February 2008
A private detective linked to the agency hunting for Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion of helping a gang
smuggle £25million worth of cocaine.
Retired police officer Antonio Jimenez, 53, was remanded in custody on Thursday by a judge investigating the loss of
half a ton of cocaine from a container docked in Barcelona in 2005.
Jimenez was a business partner of Maria Fernandez Lado, 57, founder of Metodo 3, the agency charging £50,000 a month
to search for Madeleine.
Spanish police had the container under surveillance following a tip-off.
But Jimenez, then a chief inspector with the Drugs and Organised Crime Unit of the National Police, is suspected of providing
vital information to the gang.
He retired from the police shortly afterwards.
The cocaine was smuggled into Spain in 974 packets on the ship Hispanota, which was transporting frozen prawns from Venezuela.
It docked in Barcelona in November 2004 and the drugs were taken on January 24, 2005.
Five officers from the Civil Guard have also been arrested and remanded in custody.
A serving police officer has been arrested and released on bail.
Cocaine rap for 'tec with Maddie firm, 24 February 2008
By Tom Carlin
24 February 2008
A private detective linked to the agency hunting Maddie McCann was last night behind bars accused of helping steal £25million
worth of cocaine.
Antonia Jimenez, 53, is a business partner of the founder of Metodo 3 which is charging £50,000-a-month to search for
the missing British toddler.
Jimenez allegedly tipped off a gang about the drugs cache in Barcelona docks when he was a police chief in 2005. He was
arrested in a huge corruption probe in Spain on Thursday.
Gerry and Kate McCann hired Metodo 3 after Maddie, four, went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3. Their spokesman
said: "Jimenez has worked with Metodo 3 but has not been involved in the Madeleine investigation."
Metodo 3, whose contract runs out next month, were slammed for boasting they would find Maddie by Christmas.
Madeleine McCann: detective agency link held, 26 February 2008
Madeleine McCann: detective agency link held Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:13AM GMT 26 Feb 2008
A retired policeman linked to the private detective agency hired to find Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion
of helping criminals who stole £25 million of cocaine.
Antonio Jimenez, who has been linked to Metodo 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCann family to find their
missing daughter, was last night remanded by a judge investigating alleged police corruption and the theft in 2005 of 1,100?lb
of cocaine from a Barcelona dockyard.
The arrest comes amid mounting scepticism about the role of Metodo 3 in the search for Madeleine, who disappeared on
May 3 last year while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Metodo 3, whose contract with Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry expires next month and has yet to be renewed, was criticised
last year when Francisco Marco, its managing director, spoke of finding the four-year-old by Christmas.
It has also emerged that, in 1995, five senior members of the agency were arrested in a phone-tapping case. They were
never charged, however, and an investigating judge threw out the case, condemning police entrapment.
Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCanns, sought to distance Jimenez from Metodo 3.
He said: "He is nothing to do with us. He collaborated with Metodo 3 on a project, but that was two years before the
company was hired to find Madeleine.
"We still have faith in the work of Metodo 3."
Mr Marco denied Spanish television reports that Jiminez, 53, has worked for Metodo 3 for three years.
He insisted that Jimenez was, until three weeks ago, a business partner of his mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, who founded
Metodo 3. He said Jimenez had been involved with a separate company.
Spanish records, however, reportedly showed that this business had the same listed address as Metodo 3.
to Nigel at