The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
The Public Prosecution Office is due today to send the rogatory letters containing the questions that are to be asked
to the McCanns, to England
The Public Ministry is due today to send the final version of the rogatory letter that
is destined to question the parents of Madeleine McCann and their friends again.
This will be the end of a 'soap opera'
that began after a magistrate from the British Home Office unauthorized her colleague at Eurojust, the European entity which
processes the interchange of judicial issues among the various countries. She demanded that the letter is sent through official
channels - which means through the Portuguese Public Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Lopes da Mota, the president of Eurojust, minimizes saying: "The letter was made with the collaboration of a representative
from Eurojust. A magistrate from the Home Office decided that the legal procedures for the sending of the document had not
been fulfilled and informed the colleague at Eurojust. After everything was duly analysed, we decided to request Portugal
to make the letter again and to send it through official channels."
Pinto Monteiro, the Public Prosecutor, assumes
he made a wrong option: "What happened with the rogatory letters is no secret. They were with Eurojust... Some obstacles were
raised by the English magistrate. The letters ended up returning, and will now be sent through the international cooperation,
which depends upon this Office. They will be sent today [yesterday] or tomorrow [today]."
Carlos Anjos, the president
of ASFIC, the Criminal Investigation Officers' Union, was laconic: "At this moment, the ball is not in the PJ's court."
1) Card from Madeleine at McCann twins party
Gerry and Kate McCann will throw a birthday party for their twins tomorrow - complete with a card from their missing four-year-old
daughter, Madeleine. They want to give Sean and Amelie, who will be three, as normal a life as possible in the face of the
continuing international hunt for Madeleine, who was abducted on holiday in Portugal. Around 30 family, friends and supporters
of the McCanns' campaign to find her have been invited to their home in Rothley, Leics.
LITTLE Sean and Amelie McCann will open a special present from their big sister
as they celebrate their third birthday today. And their parents have vowed to go ahead with a party for the twins, their grandmother
has revealed.[> A family friend says Kate and Gerry have bought a gift to give the tots from Madeleine. The pal said: “Every
time these events occur, everyone is acutely aware that Madeleine isn’t there.”[>
Thirty adults and children will join in the celebrations at the family’s
home in Rothley, Leics. Granny Eileen McCann, 67, said: “There will be presents galore, lots of fun and games, lots
of food and a big cake.[> Of course, Madeleine being home would make it complete and we continue to pray for that blessing.”[>
THE parents of Madeleine McCann are laying on a huge birthday party for their twins tomorrow. Sean and Amelie turn three
Kate and Gerry have planned a party at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire. One of the guests said: "Up to 30 adults
have been invited, plus their families. "The guest list includes immediate family, close friends, supporters and their children.
It will be a big event going right through Saturday from lunchtime.
"The intention is to give Sean and Amelie as normal a birthday as possible. But Kate and Gerry are also inviting people
who have supported them and the invitations are being extended to wives and families. As ever, it will be tinged with sadness
because Madeleine won't be there to share it with them."
TWINS Sean and Amelie McCann will get a special present from their missing sister
Maddie today on their third birthday. Parents Kate and Gerry got the gift for the pair who, at three, are the same age as
Maddie when she vanished last May. The twins will have a party tomorrow which Kate and Gerry, both 39, are hosting at their
home in Rothley, Leics.
Grandmother Eileen McCann said: “Of course Madeleine being there would be our dream but we’ll
do our best to make sure the twins have a lovely day.”
The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry are doing their best to ensure
as happy a birthday as possible. Obviously it will be tinged with sadness.”
New Web Site Launched
Date Released: 01/02/2008 13:00:00
'The newly designed web site for the Help to Find Madeleine Campaign has been launched today.
purpose of the new site is to focus attention on the primary goal which remains to Find Madeleine McCann.
have been working hard to design the site to make it more user friendly and easier to keep up to date. It is hoped that the
new site will allow people to find what they are looking for quickly. The new site still allows Gerry to update his blog,
but it also has the additional facility to allow authorised persons to issue News Items without the need for the Web team
to write the code for the pages.'
Saturday 02 February 2008
Cops 'Too Hasty' Over Madeleine's Parents
Updated:17:40, Saturday February 02, 2008
Portugal's top policeman has said detectives were "hasty" in making Madeleine McCann's parents suspects in her disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann were named as 'arguidos' - or formal suspects - four months after their daughter vanished from their
holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), revealed he believes there "perhaps should have been
another assessment" before this happened. In an interview with Portugal's Radio Renascenca, to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr
Ribeiro said there was a "certain hastiness" in making the McCanns suspects.
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell welcomed the senior officer's comments and called for the couple to be formally
cleared. He said: "Now that the national director of the Policia Judiciaria apparently accepts that they should not have been
made arguido, it follows that there is no case for Kate and Gerry to answer."
Mr Mitchell said the couple's arguido status not only damages "their reputation in the eyes of the world" but "is also
directly hampering the search for Madeleine. Many people who may have vital information have possibly not been coming forward
because they have wrongly suspected the McCanns," the spokesman said. "If the Portuguese police, under Mr Ribeiro, now do
the only proper thing by eliminating Kate and Gerry from their inquiry, they and our own investigators can work together rapidly
and effectively to find Madeleine and to bring those responsible for her abduction to justice."
Mr Ribeiro has previously expressed caution about the case. On September 10 - just three days after Mr and Mrs McCann were
named suspects - he suggested that forensic tests had not been conclusive.
The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, today welcomed the senior officer's comments and called for them to be formally
Portuguese police say decision to make McCanns suspects was too 'hasty'
Last updated at 17:34pm on 2nd February 2008
Portugal's top policeman has said detectives were "hasty" in making Madeleine McCann's parents suspects in her disappearance.
Kate and Gerry McCann were named as "arguidos" - or formal suspects - four months after their daughter vanished from their
holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), has revealed he believes there "perhaps should have been
another assessment" before this happened. In an interview with Portugal's Radio Renascenca, to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr
Ribeiro stressed he did not give his officers orders about who should be named an arguido. But he said there was a "certain
hastiness" in making the McCanns suspects.
The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, today welcomed the senior officer's comments and called for them to be formally
cleared. He said: "Now that the national director of the Policia Judiciaria apparently accepts that they should not have been
made arguido, it follows that there is no case for Kate and Gerry to answer. As I have consistently said, Kate and Gerry are
entirely innocent of any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine.
"Now, in the light of Mr Ribeiro's remarks, we urge the Portuguese judicial authorities to act humanely by removing their
arguido status as swiftly as possible. Not only does it continue to damage their reputation in the eyes of the world, it is
also directly hampering the search for Madeleine, as many people who may have vital information have possibly not been coming
forward because they have wrongly suspected the McCanns.
"If the Portuguese police, under Mr Ribeiro, now do the only proper thing by eliminating Kate and Gerry from their inquiry,
they and our own investigators can work together rapidly and effectively to find Madeleine and to bring those responsible
for her abduction to justice."
Mr Ribeiro has previously expressed caution about the case. On September 10 - just three days after Mr and Mrs McCann were
named suspects - he suggested that forensic tests had not been conclusive. The head of the PJ told Portuguese state broadcaster
RTP then: "We can't say with certainty whether it was the blood of person 'A' or person 'B'. "They help guide us in our investigation
but not with the mathematical precision some people are saying."
Note: Ribeiro has only said the decision was hasty. He has not said that the decision, in itself, was wrong.
The full radio interview is not released in Portugal until tomorrow, so we are not yet able to place Mr Ribeiro's
comments in their full context.
Maddie: Police conducting a battle between David and Goliath
The French website 'SOS Madeleine' reports the following in a blog (translated by Beachy and posted on 'the3arguidos'
"In the McCann inquiry, given the obstacles that have been created in the United Kingdom, the better tactic would have
been to continue the investigation without naming the parents as arguidos," said a source from the PJ about statements of
their National Director, adding that "at the moment the investigation has become a battle between David and Goliath."
The National Director of the Judicial Police (PJ), Alípio Ribeiro, considered yesterday that there had been "haste" in
constituting Kate and Gerry McCann as arguidos in the disappearance of their daughter. Alipio Ribeiro also confirms that the
right direction is being followed by the investigators and that this is an investigation and we must be patient.
The statements by the Director of the PJ were made during the recording of the "Diga Lá Excelence" programme on Radio Renascença
which will be broadcast tomorrow afternoon, in which he is questioned by journalists and Paula Paiva Celso Torres.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Gerry and Kate McCann, responded rapidly to the statements by the National Director of
the Judicial Police stating that the couple had "very well received comments from Alipio Ribeiro in which he accepts that
Portuguese police officers under his authority had acted in haste in designating the McCanns as official suspects." Clarence
Mitchell went further, and even before full knowledge of Alipio Ribeiro's interview, invited the Portuguese authorities to
remove their status as arguidos, with "humanity."
The former director of the British Media Minitoring Unit, who became head of public relations for the McCann couple, responded
via the Find Madeleine web site, which now has a new design. The site has adopted a more low-key look and more pink, maintaining
the sale of bracelets and T-shirts but no longer [reporting] the financial situation of the Madeleine Fund.
Q: To what extent have the Maddie case and the criticism directed at PJ shaken the force?
AR: This is, without
doubt, a high-profile case that has taken on extraordinary dimensions in the media. I have not felt any internal criticism.
We have devoted all our know-how to this case, we have involved our best men in the investigation, and there is a multidisciplinary
team of officers still working on it, but the whole process is a work of patience.
Q: There has clearly been unequal
treatment in comparison to other cases of missing persons in Portugal. Why? Was there pressure from Britain?
have been no cases of unequal treatment.
Q: How many persons have disappeared and not benefited from the amount of
investigation carried out in the specific case of Maddie…
AR: We do not have other cases of missing persons of
this dimension. You must understand that this case, from the outset, is a difficult one.
Q: Is all this investment
been the result of pressure from Britain?
AR: Of course not.
Q: What were the contents of your conversation
with the British ambassador when you met with him?
AR: I spoke to the ambassador on several occasions, the first of
which was on the morning after the disappearance. He manifested his concern abou the child’s disappearance and informed
me of the British police’s offer to collaborate.
Q: We have already taken knowledge of the very difficult scenario
the PJ found when they arrived at the crime scene. Certain procedures were seen as mistakes in the context of criminal investigation
by certain observers. For example, the fact that the crime scene was not immediately sealed off. How do you react to this
criticism, which has come mainly from Britain?
AR: I think we have never been criticised directly by the British police.
We have always communicated with them and informed them of what we are are doing and have never been criticised by them. That
is what is important to us.
Q: Gonçalo Amaral’s removal as head of the Portimão PJ was not, at least in part,
an acknowledgement of shortcomings in the investigation?
AR: Mr. Amaral had to go for obvious reasons. He made statements
he should not have made in the context.
Q: Do you think there was, or not, hastiness in making Kate and Gerry McCann
AR: Now, with hindsight, and with the experience I have of the magistracy from the Public Ministry,
I think maybe one should have made a different assessment. I have no doubts about that.
Q: Was there a certain hastiness?
There was a certain hastiness.
Police chief: We were too quick to make Gerry and Kate 'arguidos' Daily Mail
By GERARD COUZENS in Praia Da Luz and POLLY DUNBAR in London
Last updated at 09:30am on 3rd February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann's bid to clear their names over the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine has been given a
massive boost after the head of Portugal's police admitted it had been a mistake to rush into making them official suspects.
Alipio Ribeiro, the Policia Judiciaria's national director, has said he believes the decision to make the McCanns "arguidos"
last September was taken too quickly and without thorough enough assessment. The sensational admission is the clearest sign
yet that the couple's arguido – or official suspect – status may soon be lifted.
The development was welcomed by the McCanns as "fantastic news". Mr McCann said: "We need a breakthrough and this looks
like it could be one. It is fantastic news. We still have a long way to go but people in Portugal need to understand what
has been happening and what we have been going through. We know it will take the police a long time to accept what has been
happening is wrong but it is an important step towards that."
The couple have now demanded to be cleared immediately so they can concentrate on finding Madeleine, who has been missing
since May 3 last year. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said that since there was "no case to answer" Portuguese authorities
should "act humanely by removing their arguido status as swiftly as possible". He added that their status as suspects could
potentially be harming the search for their daughter by discouraging those with information from coming forward.
The statement by Mr Ribeiro, which came as Madeleine's twin siblings Sean and Amelie celebrated their third birthday yesterday,
was made in a radio interview to be broadcast today. Ribeiro tells Portugal's Catholic Church-owned Radio Renascenca: "I think
there perhaps should have been another assessment before the McCanns were made official suspects. I don't have any doubt about
that ... there was a certain hastiness."
The admission is the first by the Policia Judiciaria that the case of the missing four-year-old has been mishandled and
gives a substantial boost to the McCanns' hope that those investigating Madeleine's disappearance have now moved away from
the theory that they accidentally killed her.
It also appears to back up criticisms voiced by the McCanns' lawyer in Portugal, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, who suggested in
December that police had waged a smear campaign against the couple by rushing to make them suspects on September 8 –
just days before a new law would have made it impossible without firm evidence. Portugal's Attorney General Fernando Pinto
Monteiro has already admitted the McCanns, both 39, might not have been named arguidos after its introduction.
Mr Pinto de Abreu said: "Before September 15 last year you could be made an arguido without any suspicions or evidence
against you. Now, to constitute someone as an arguido, it is necessary to have evidence in the file. That's why the national
public prosecutor said that if this inquiry was launched now, maybe they would not have been made arguidos."
Asked whether he thought police acted deliberately as they knew the new law was coming in, he added: "I don't know if that's
true, but yes, it's possible." He added: "Many people who may have vital information have possibly not come forward as they
wrongly suspected the McCanns."
The McCanns told yesterday how their twins were bringing joy to their lives as they held a party to celebrate the children's
birthday. The couple said the twins were making life "a little more bearable", but added they were praying they would never
have another birthday without their big sister.
Fifty close friends and family members joined the McCanns at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, for the party. One
guest said: "Kate and Gerry did their best to ensure as happy a birthday as possible but obviously it was tinged with sadness."
The children were given a special present from Madeleine, bought and wrapped by their parents, to mark their birthday on Friday.
'Ribeiro, national director
of the Policia Judiciaria which is leading the hunt for missing Madeleine, told Portugal’s Radio Renascenca, owned by
the Catholic Church: ''At this moment in time and speaking with the experience I have of Portugal’s Public Prosecution
Service and the constitution of arguidos, I think there perhaps should have been another assessment before the McCanns were
made official suspects. [>
''I don’t have any doubt
about that. The national director of the Policia Judiciaria doesn’t give out orders on the constitution of arguidos
but there was a certain hastiness.'''
Note: Alipio Ribeiro does say that the decision to make the McCanns
arguidos was hasty, however he is not pressed as to the reason why he believes that. The UK press, with some help from Clarence
Mitchell, have interpreted his words to mean that the McCanns should not have been made arguidos and are therefore
innocent of all charges. But is that the correct interpetation of Ribeiro's words?
Mr Ribeiro says, in this brief interview, that 'We have devoted
all our know-how to this case, we have involved our best men in the investigation, and there is a multidisciplinary team of
officers still working on it, but the whole process is a work of patience.'
Those do not sound like the words of someone who feels his officers
are wasting their time and have made a bad decision to make the McCanns arguidos. Indeed, he also makes it clear that there
has been no criticism from the UK police over the Portuguese handling of the case. Again, it's difficult to imagine such support
for a 'wrong' decision.
It may well be that Ribeiro simply meant that the decision to make
the McCanns arguidos was hastily done to beat the change in the law around arguido status, which happened after 15 September
and imposed certain new legal restrictions.
He does not say that the decision itself, in terms of the
McCanns being made suspects, was wrong - only that the actual decision to make them arguidos was done with hastiness.
He gives no indication that the course of the investigation is about to change or that the McCanns can be expected
to have their arguido status lifted.
Monday 04 February 2008
Divers search remote reservoir for Madeleine's body after underworld tip-off
By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 09:08am on 4th February 2008
A grim search for Madeleine McCann's body has been launched at an isolated reservoir.
Teams of frogmen began scouring the remote Barragem do Arade amid claims the girl's body was dumped there last May. The
private search - funded by a Portuguese lawyer - came as Portugal's most senior detective admitted that police had rushed
into making Kate and Gerry McCann suspects in the case.
Alipio Ribeiro, the national director of the Policia Judiciaria, said his officers had acted with "a certain hastiness"
and should have assessed the evidence again before naming the couple as official suspects. But he defended his men against
claims they had acted under political pressure and had failed to investigate properly.
Last night there were calls for him to resign over the comments, as lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia revealed he was forced
to fund the £1,200-a-day reservoir search himself because the police had refused. The human rights lawyer said he was convinced
the massive man-made lake was "the perfect hiding place" for an abductor to conceal a body.
Mr Correia, 32, ordered the search after underworld contacts told him Madeleine was raped, murdered and her body dumped
within 48 hours of her disappearance on May 3. He said he believed the abductor killed the child, weighted down her body and
then threw it from a pumping tower into the murky water beneath. His team of six divers have already found a five-metre length
of knotted nylon cord, which has been handed in to Portuguese police for analysis. The remote reservoir is surrounded by dense
woodland but a dirt track cuts through it to a bridge which links the water tower to the shore.
Mr Correia told the Mail: "I am convinced this is the place. It's not overlooked, it has easy access by car and if you
threw the body from the tower the water is 55ft deep there. The divers have already found a cord tied in knots down there,
right below the tower. I have given it to the police. It's logic that if you throw a body into the water then you would tie
it to something to weigh it down."
The lawyer from the Portuguese island of Madeira said he would continue the search until he found proof to support his
theory. He refused to say how much he had paid to finance the trawl, but his team of six British and Portuguese divers were
estimated to cost around £1,200-a-day. They have already been searching for four days and are expected to return today, meaning
the operation has already cost about £6,000.
Search coordinator Alan Wilson said the divers were only able to cover a small area in each dive because the murky water
meant there was zero visibility once they descended below a few feet.
"Everything's black because there is no light," he said, adding: "The divers are searching entirely by touch, feeling in
the silt for anything suspicious that shouldn't be there. It's a long, slow process."
Mr Correia said he was first told about the reservoir on May 6, three days after Madeleine vanished from Praia da Luz,
some 40 miles away. He passed the information to the police but said they ignored it, despite a May 5 witness sighting of
a girl resembling Madeleine with a woman in Silves, a ten-minute drive from the lake.
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry are grateful to anyone who feels they have important information
in the search for Madeleine. If his search produces significant results he must, of course, share that information with both
the police and our investigators."
Mr Mitchell also welcomed Mr Ribeiro's admission that police had rushed to make the McCanns suspects in September, and
called for their names to be cleared. In a radio interview, the policeman said: "Maybe a different evaluation should have
been made. I have no doubts about that. There was a certain hastiness." He pledged to correct any failings in the investigation
but insisted police were still working on it, adding: "This whole job is a work of patience."
The couple learned of his comments on Saturday, as they prepared for a party to mark the third birthday of their twins,
Sean and Amelie.
Mr McCann, 39, said the comments could be a much-needed "breakthrough" and added: "It is fantastic news. We still have
a long way to go but people in Portugal need to understand what has been happening and what we have been going through. We
know it will take the police a long time to accept what has been happening is wrong, but it is an important step towards that."
A lawyer Madeiran is paying underwater searches in the dam of Arade, in the county of Silves, since last Thursday.
Marcos Aragon Correia believes that is where is the body of Madeleine McCann.
For the lawyer, who yesterday once again followed the work, "this dam is the place most likely to be the girl
who has got rid of the body." The searches are being carried out by five divers Portuguese and British company's Dive Team,
Until now, the main 'track' was found a strange string of five meters - formed by several pieces of belts,
blinds, united among themselves with us - however delivered to the GNR of Lagos. "A rope was to seven meters deep, under the
bridge that connects the tower of the dam. I think that is a very strong indication, "argued Aragon Correia.
revealed that researchers deprived of Method 3 "already know the track and see it as very credible, since it is coupled with
the information that guarantees a camionista have seen Maddie be changed in a car to another, in Silves, May 5 "(two days
after his disappearance of Light).
Aragon recalled having received a clue that led to the dam of Arade "on May 6,"
but excuse to reveal who gave him the information. "They told me that Maddie had been launched to a desert lake, with water
cloudy and heavily wooded shores," says the lawyer. "In addition, the site had particular characteristic as a beach, which
fits with this place, which could identify the December 10 last. Immediately informed the PJ, who thanked but did nothing,
Aragon Correia wants to continue the searches in the morning, despite the difficulties experienced by divers,
due to the "zero visibility from two meters can only use the touch."
Mr McCann, 39, said the comments could be a much-needed "breakthrough" and added: "It is fantastic news.
"We still have a long way to go but people in Portugal need to understand what has been happening and what we have been
"We know it will take the police a long time to accept what has been happening is wrong, but it is an important step towards
Mr and Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, were made suspects on September 7 but forensic evidence in the case has
proved inconclusive. They have always denied any involvement.
(Thanks to 'Li' from the3arguidos forum for translation)
The statements of Alípio Ribeiro generate dissatisfaction in the Criminal Police
JOSÉ MANUEL OLIVEIRA
The inspectors are against the statements made by the national director.
discontent is installed amidst the inspectors of the Judicial Police (PJ) of Algarve. The problem were the statements made
by the national director, Alípio Ribeiro, to the programme "Diga lá Excelência" of the RR and to the newspaper Público, in
which he acknowledges there has been "some haste" to constitute arguidos Gerry and Kate McCann for the supposed death of their
daughter Madeleine ,nine months ago, in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, where the family spent holidays and the child disappeared.
The researchers continue to suspect of the involvement of the British couple in the concealment of the body of the girl on
the night of May 3, 2007, although the results of the samples of blood and hair collected are not conclusive.
the mother of Maddie was heard on 6 and 7 September,at the Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC) of Portimão of the PJ,
several inspectors wanted to arrest her. However, the public prosecutor of Portimão, José Magalhães e Menezes, objected to.
Even so, and already after Gerry and Kate have returned to the United Kingdom, some researchers involved in the process maintained
the conviction that they have evidence that could lead to the preventive arrest of the couple. Only the political pressure
from the British have prevented them from going further.
The DN found, that there are people in the PJ that understand
that the new declarations of Alípio Ribeiro are nothing more than a situation of bluff, and were only meant to "test waters".
the interpretation of some inspectors,when the national director of the Judicial Police talked about "precipitation" in the
constitution of Madeleine's parents as defendants, that still remain subjected to Term of identity and residence in England,
he did it to "see what were the reactions of the McCanns and also the Portuguese. "
Other researchers have confessed
their "dissatisfaction" by the assertions of Alípio Ribeiro, saying "it's difficult to work in a country that most resembles
a banana Republic. The more you do you can not make a difference" .
Astonished and speechless facing the interview
of the national director of the PJ is the lawyer of the Portuguese-British Robert Murat, the first to be constituted defendant
in Madeleine's case on May 14, 2007, on suspicion of kidnapping, and after his mother's house was passed through fine comb,
about two hundred meters of the apartment of The Ocean Club, where the child disappeared, as well as the inspection to the
family's car. "I find this all very strange",said yesterday to the DN Francisco Pagarete.
With a sad voice,the lawyer
refused to make more comments. He did not mention if he is also considering requiring to the MP the withdrawal of the status
of arguido of Robert Murat. "It is a situation that I have not yet looked at," noted the lawyer which, as the DN advanced
at the time, bet in the closure of the case concerning his client from November 13, 2007, when seven months since he was accused
were completed. "I do not intend to make any comment in relation to the statements.I will not react in any way," insisted
the lawyer, not hiding his surprise by the considerations outlined by the maximum responsible of the PJ.
Underworld contacts apparently claim Madeleine's body was dumped in this remote reservoir
Divers have been searching the Barragem do Arade for several days
Fresh blow for McCanns as Portuguese legal advisors rule out lifting 'arguido' status Daily Mail (Note: this report was later updated on 05 February 2008)
By GERARD COUZENS
Last updated at 12:34pm on 4th February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann's hopes of clearing their names were crushed today after it emerged that they are set to remain
official suspects over their daughter's disappearance. The couple had expected to have their arguido status lifted after police
chief Alipio Ribeiro admitted at the weekend that detectives bungled by rushing to blame them. But government legal advisors
have now delivered a fresh blow to the couple by ruling out any intervention, according to reports in Portugal.
A source at Portugal's Attorney General's Office told Portuguese daily 24 horas: "We will be saying nothing officially
about Mr Ribeiro's comments. The fate of Madeleine's parents will be reassessed at the appropriate moment."
Antonio Cluny, president of Portugal's District Attorneys and Magistrates Council, has now urged Mr Ribeiro to show "restraint
and reserve." He added: "This idea that authority representatives comment about ongoing judicial proceedings is becoming a
very dangerous habit."
PJ Magistrates and Inspectors did not appreciate the declarations made by the National Director of the PJ; Alipio Ribeiro,
even though today the police sources have reaffirmed that that there was a misinterpretation: the director’s words should
have been in the sense that, if Kate and Gerry had been named as witnesses, “perhaps they would not have left for the
UK. They would have cooperated more fully with the Justice”.
In the Algarve, most of the PJ inspectors have received
their director’s statements with surprise, because the line of inquiry has not changed and if the investigation seems
to have reached a dead end, in the eyes of the public, several diligences are currently being carried out even if the most
important “remains the interrogation of the couple’s friends”, revealed one of the sources in Portimao.
The inspector continue to suspect the couple of having hidden their daughter’s body during the night of 3rd
May, confirms the same source for whom “the inquiry is indeed a work of patience” as Alipio Ribeiro stated. “He
is not wrong about that”.
During the month of September, there were several inspectors who requested the temporary
imprisonment of Kate and Gerry McCann, already holding, at that moment, the firm conviction that there was enough evidence
to justify this measure: “Today we have made much advance in the inquiry and we are certain that that Madeleine’s
parents and their friends could explain what happened to the child”, the source affirms, saying that for him “the
couple’s departure from P da L has complicated things. We are obliged to depend upon the good will of the British authorities.”
the month of September, the Portimao Public Ministry Attorney, José Magalhães e Menezes, decided to name them arguidos without
recurring to preventative imprisonment, leaving the door open for their departure to the UK as the British authorities had
requested via their diplomatic representative in Portugal.
Reactions : "All of this is very strange" Francisco Pagarete,
Robert Murat’s lawyer, has refused to comment on the statements made by the PJ Directors, emphasising that “all
of this is very strange”. The lawyer of the British man, who has been an arguido since 14th May, declares his surprise
at the statements made by Alipio Ribeiro, but prefers to wait for the evolution of the inquiry before deciding if he should
“In order to avoid this type of situation there must be discretion and reserve in speech” advises
the president of the Public Ministry Magistrate’s Union, Antonio Cluny, who finds it “troubling” to see
a PJ official talk about an ongoing inquiry.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, University professor of law and political commentator,
has stated on Portuguese television that Alipio Ribeiro’s statements are “very serious”. Former Minister
and State Advisor, Marcelo accuses Alipio Ribeiro of having “ killed the police investigation when he said that there
was haste in declaring the McCann couple as arguidos in the case”.
Tuesday 05 February 2008
Apologetic police chief says it was right to make the McCanns 'arguidos'
Last updated at 10:41am on 5th February 2008 (update of article that first appeared yesterday)
Detectives were right to make the McCanns official suspects, says apologetic Portuguese police chief.
Alipio Ribeiro has reportedly said sorry to his officers for saying they rushed into making Gerry and Kate McCann suspects
in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance. Mr Ribeiro apologised to a police union boss and senior detectives in the Algarve,
the newspaper 24 Horas reported today.
The director of the Judicial Police said he had made an ''error of expression'' when he said there had been ''hastiness''
in making the McCanns ''arguidos'', or formal suspects. He apologised to Carlos Anjos, head of the Judicial Police Inspectors
Union, and to officers leading the Madeleine investigation.
A union source said: ''What he says is that he didn't mean to say it, but that faced with pressure from the media, the
words came out of his mouth. He guaranteed that he maintains total confidence in the teams who investigated and are investigating
A senior police source said: ''Statements like these should be made internally, but never through the media.''
Alipio Ribeiro recognised that he should have been more cautious when he referred to the McCanns 24 horas
(Translation by 'Li' from the3arguidos forum)
The PJ chief apologises.
national director of the PJ had to explain that he expressed himself badly when he said that there was a precipitation in
the constitution of the McCanns as arguidos.
The statements of Alípio Ribeiro, high responsible for the PJ, when he
said that there was a precipitation in the constitution of the Mccanns as arguidos provoked a wave of revolt in that institution. Yesterday
the director of the PJ excused himself to the Union Association of the Employees of Criminal Investigation (ASFIC) presided
by the investigator Carlos Anjos and also to the responsible of the DIC of Faro. 24 Horas discovered that according to the
explanations of Alípio Ribeiro to the responsible of these institutions and to the Ministry of Justice everything was due
to an "error of expression". "What he said is that he did not want to say that but due to the pressure of the media, those
words came out of his mouth". He guaranteed that he has all the confidence in the teams that investigated and are investigating
the case, explained to 24 Horas a responsible from ASFIC, that asked not to be named. Carlos Anjos, president of the main
Union of the PJ, said that about Maddie's case and concerning the statements of the national director of the PJ the "silence
is gold". A position that was also assumed by Guilhermino da Encarnação, director of the DIC of Faro and by Gonçalo Amaral
the first responsible for the investigation.
Alípio in the wrong place.
But it is difficult to hide the actual
discomfort in the PJ. "When is the director himself to take the credits to the institution what can we do? Either he is in
the wrong place or the PJ will end. We have credits and we are internationally recognised. Statements like this can be transmitted
at an internal level but never through the media. Nobody is perfect, but there are persons that cannot spoil things",said
to our newspaper a high responsible of the PJ that now is working in the north of the country.
A FURIOUS judge blasted Portugal’s top cop yesterday for hinting Madeleine McCann’s parents are in the clear
over her disappearance. Police national director
Alipio Ribeiro stunned his men by admitting the decision to make doctors Kate and Gerry McCann suspects was ''hasty''.
He was accused by one politician of ''killing'' the inquiry by speaking out.
Judge Eurico Reis said it was not the cop’s role to publicly comment on cases under investigation.
The judge raged: ''It is his duty to shut up.''
Portugal’s top prosecutor Antonio Cluny branded Ribeiro’s comment ''extremely worrying.'' Maddie,
four, from Rothley, Leics, vanished last May from her family’s Algarve holiday flat.
Lawyers for her parents, both aged 39, are now writing to Portugal’s attorney general to insist that
the couple are no longer treated as official suspects. Their spokesman said: ''You cannot have the head of the police force
openly questioning the validity of the way in which they were made suspects and then not have a review.''
Maddie's case provokes a crisis in Justice - The statements of the director open a new war in the
Correio da Manha
(Translation by 'Li' from the 3arguidos forum)
After removing in October Gonçalo Amaral, due to his public statements, the national
director is now under fire for saying that there was a "precipitation" in constituting the McCanns arguidos.
Ribeiro contradicts himself with what he said previously concerning Maddie's case and his statements are considered as very
"serious" not only by judges and public prosecutors but also by high responsible of the Judicial Police that did not like
the posture of the director. CM asked the Ministry of Justice if Alipio Ribeiro, an old friend of Alberto Costa has conditions
to stay in the job but till now we didn't get any reply. The General's Attorneys Office is also silent.
of the PJ
The Public Prosecutor agreed but the decision of constituting Kate and Gerry McCann as arguidos was made
by Gonçalo Amaral, coordinator of the PJ and ex-responsible by the case. He took "an exclusive decision since the PJ has autonomy
in the investigation", says to the CM a high responsible. And he adds: "The national director says now that there was a precipitation
based in his experience as a public prosecutor - but by doing so he is putting himself aside from the institution he directs
to put himself in the side of the magistrates".
The statements of Alipio Ribeiro were not welcomed at a high level
in the PJ and were seen once again as coming from "someone that does not defend his police and that in these situations like
to reaffirm his condition of magistrate - more balanced than the police when decisions are needed".
Another high responsible
from the PJ says that this was not the first time that the national director surprised everybody with his public statements.
Asked by the journalists about the work of the special team of the Public Prosecutor, coordinated by the public prosecutor
Helena Fazenda, concerning the crimes of Porto, Alipio Ribeiro said that "it was to investigate. But he showed a total ignorance
because the process related to those crimes was already under investigation by the Porto's PJ ..."
- "I don't see that as predictable (change of the coercive measures of the couple) although the decision
belongs to the Public Prosecutor who is in charge of the investigation because the direction of the same belongs to him. It
is obvious that he will evaluate the situation but I don't see any necessity now" 10th September in RTP1
- "All the
lines of investigation are open. Conclusions only in the end. Now it would be speculation and nobody wants that since it would
damage the investigation. It is not an easy investigation". 10th Ocotber in a press conference
- "(The rogatory letter
to question the friends of the McCanns) is ready and will be sent to England within days with a team (...) It lacks a click
to the investigation". 21st October to the newspaper "El Pais"
LAWYERS EXPLORE STATEMENTS
The Portuguese lawyers
of the McCanns, Carlos Pinto de Abreu and Rogério Alves, did not lose time and after the words of Alipio Ribeiro were made
public they said that they are considering to request the status of Kate and Gerry: from arguidos to assistants.
a rule the arguido status remains till the end of the investigation. Nonetheless during the investigation a change in the
status can be made", explained the ex president of the Bar Association, admitting that in a "short term" he will request the
substitution of the arguido status to that of assistants to the Public Prosecutor.
"He offends the
police and the public prosecutor" Rui Rangel, judge.
"The statements of the director of the PJ are hasty,serious and not needed. They
show a total absence of responsibility and offend the credibility of the PJ and the Public Prosecutor".
"They are complicated
statements" Antonio Martins, judge.
"They are complicated statements, internally in the PJ, in the relation of that
police with the Public Prosecutor and to him personally".
"It is serious he could not speak" Fernando Negrão, ex director
of the PJ
"They are serious statements. And there was a precipitation yes, but from the
director of the PJ. He has no competence to speak of investigations being held by the Public Prosecutor".
not be so sincere" Marques Vidal, ex director of the PJ
"In his place I would not be so sincere. Cautiously I would not make declarations
about an investigation that has a responsible which is the public prosecutor".
By admitting that there was "haste" in constituting the parents
of Madeleine McCann as arguidos for the disappearance of their daughter nine months ago in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, the Director
of the National Judicial Police (PJ), Alípio Ribeiro, will be preparing the public opinion to the possibility that an accusation
will not be made due to the lack of conclusive evidence.
The idea is that the positions assumed by the director of
PJ in public statements mean that he "has dropped" the case, have admitted to the DN sources that have accompanied the research
of Maddie's case from the beginning.
With renown lawyers, both in England and in Portugal, which already exploited
the declarations of Alípio Ribeiro, and a professional support, the McCanns may even be relieved of the status of arguidos
within months, they are subjected to the minimum measure of coercion established in the Code of Criminal Procedure, the term
of identity and residence, for which they indicated their residence in the English city of Rothley. After Alípio Ribeiro has
said in an interview to Radio Renascença and Público newspaper that there has been precipitation in the constitution of the
couple as arguidos, one of the couple's lawyers Rogerio Alves has said that the defense would ask that Kate and Gerry McCann
stopped being arguidos in the process, which has as first arguido the Portuguese-British Robert Murat.
consequent filling of the process could be the way forward, in a much more pessimistic perspective of sources connected to
the issue that were contacted by the DN, although the PJ at Algarve continues committed to unveil the mystery, keeping as
a stronger line of research the thesis of accidental death of the English child in the apartment 5A of the "Ocean Club" in
Praia da Luz. That's why the words of Alípio Ribeiro have caused discomfort within the judicial police.
If the process
is filed, for many will remain the belief that there was "one hundred percent political pressure" by the British. As the DN
already said, a sense of "rebellion" continues installed between researchers face the recent statements made by Alípio Ribeiro,
although the national director of the PJ has tried to appease them with an apology, trying to make believe that he was misunderstood
when he spoke the word "precipitation" concerning the constitution of the couple as arguidos.
"I do not know if there
will be arrests"
However, this was not the only reference to the case made by Alípio Ribeiro. In an interview published
in the weekly newspaper Expresso on the 17/11/2007, after considering that "we work now better than at the beginning of the
investigation," with "more restraint and calm," the national director of Judicial Police had left a warning: " I do not know
if there will be arrests in Maddie's case. "
A position contradicted by investigators, to whom there are evidence that
could lead to the arrest of Kate McCann for suspicion of involvement in the death and concealment of the body of her daughter,
body who could have been buried or thrown at the sea in a bag.
Although Alípio Ribeiro has made these successive public
statements - first, that arrests would not be made in Maddie's case and then that there was precipitation in the constitution
of the McCanns as arguidos - the PJ never believed in the version of abduction transmitted by parents and these were constituted
arguidos in September after the British sniffer dogs flagged several locations where the corpse of Madeleine McCann passed
through from the apartment where she was spending holidays with her parents and twin brothers to the Church of Nossa Senhora
da Luz, towards the beach.
Madeleine police 'to clear McCanns but admit case will never be solved'
Last updated at 11:03am on 6th February 2008
Portuguese police think Madeleine McCann's disappearance will never be solved as they prepare to shelve the case and
revoke her parents' status as suspects, it was sensationally claimed today. Senior detectives are said to be preparing public
opinion for the idea that the case will not be solved.
This week Portugal's top police officer Alipio Ribeiro admitted his officers had been "hasty" in making Gerry and Kate
McCann official suspects in their daughter's disappearance. Senior police sources told Diario de Noticias newspaper his comments
were part of a strategy to prepare the public for the idea that nobody will face charges.
The newspaper reported: "By admitting being hasty in making Madeleine McCann's parents suspects in their daughter's disappearance....the
national director of the Policia Judiciaria is preparing public opinion for the possibility that no prosecution will ever
be brought because of a lack of consistent evidence."
Detectives in the Algarve are said to be furious over Mr Ribeiro's comments as they believe there is enough evidence to
charge Kate McCann with involvement in her daughter's death, it was reported. The newspaper said the couple's status as "arguidos"
or formal suspects could be dropped "within months".
Many people in Portugal believe the case against the couple, both 39-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, is being dropped
because of political pressure from the UK.
Detectives in the Algarve, where Madeleine vanished last May 3 shortly before her fourth birthday, still believe the youngster
died by accident in the McCanns' rented holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. They believe Madeleine's body was disposed of in
the sea, hidden inside a bag.
The idea of archiving the Madeleine case was first raised by Portuguese police last August - two weeks before the McCanns
were made formal suspects.
Olegario Sousa, spokesman for the Policia Judiciaria, said then the case could be "sent to the archive" if Madeleine was
not found and nobody is prosecuted over her disappearance. He said: "Naturally if we do not have any definite culprit or culprits,
the case will be sent to the archive. "If at any time new and important facts come to light, the investigation could be re-opened."
Last updated at 20:29pm on 6th February 2008
Meanwhile the board of directors of the £1.2million Find Madeleine fund met yesterday in Leicester. They discussed the
fund's finances but did not consider whether to renew the £50,000-a-month contract of the private detective agency Metodo
3 when it expires next month.
The fund currently has £540,000 in its coffers and is expected to run dry by summer, Mr Mitchell said.
Portugal's justice minister has given his backing to a top police official who said investigators acted hastily in naming
the parents of British girl Madeleine McCann as suspects in her disappearance last year. "The fact that (the police officer)
is still in his job indicates what I think about that matter," Justice Minister Alberto Costa told reporters.
Alipio Ribeiro, head of the Portuguese police's detective branch, said in a radio interview broadcast on Sunday that investigators
had shown "a certain haste" in naming Kate and Gerry McCann as formal suspects in the case. "Perhaps there should have been
a different evaluation. I have no doubt about this," Mr Ribeiro said in the interview.
He was widely criticised in the Portuguese media for his comments. Many analysts interpreted his remarks to mean the investigation
was misguided and was making little progress.
Thursday 07 February 2008
Alipio Ribeiro and Alberto Costa were friends at university, they visit each other's houses and lunch together
every week - 24 horas
Old friendship with minister secures PJ director
The PJ bases call for the dismissal of their national director. But the Minister of Justice won't let him fall.
I’ve got your back, my dear Alípio!
met at university many years ago. Since then they have built up a solid friendship. They still lunch together regularly and
even visit each other’s houses. In a time of crisis, Alberto Costa did not let his friend Alípio Ribeiro fall
Minister Alberto Costa will not be dismissing the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, in whom he has complete confidence
and with whom he has been friends since their university days. And that is why Alberto Costa is keeping Alípio Tibúrcio Ribeiro
in office, even after the national PJ director publicly discredited his investigators in the Maddie case. Yesterday, when
asked if he maintained his confidence in Alípio Ribeiro, Alberto Costa was clear: “The fact that the PJ national director
remains in office says all that I think about this matter”.
Unhappy with this attitude of minister are the PJ
bases. Several officers interviewed by 24horas, who wished to remain anonymous, argued that Mr. Ribeiro had given “a
written a veritable certificate of incompetence for the institution” when, referring to the Maddie investigation, he
said that there was “some hastiness” in making the parents of the English girl arguidos or official suspects.
The friendship between Alberto Costa and Alípio Ribeiro goes back many years to their university days.
“They studied together at the University of Coimbra”, an attorney from the Public Prosector’s Office who
has participated in many meetings between Costa and Ribeiro. “They currently meet almost every week in several restaurants
in Lisbon, Coimbra and the Algarve. They are not always the same restaurants. But I know that they often go to Bairrada to
eat spit-roast suckling pig”, said the same source, who also said that the friendship extends to their families. “Their
wives and children are rarely seen. But it is a fact that the private relations between the minister and the PJ director go
beyond institutional relations”, revealed the same prosecutor, who has also been at Alberto Costa and Alípio Ribeiro
The Justice Minister has not denied the close friendship between himself and the PJ director. “We
can only affirm that the minister’s decision to keep the current PJ director in office was based on strictly operational
matters. Any friendship that may exist had nothing to do with Mr. Costa’s decision. He is simply of the opinion that
the current director is the right person for the job”, an authorised source at the Ministry of Justice guaranteed yesterday,
in response to the alleged “crisis” generated by the Mr. Ribeiro’s comments on the Maddie case.
Within the PJ, Mr. Ribeiro’s apology was apparently accepted by the higher echelons but the Judicial
Police Inspectors Union still wishes to see the matter duly cleared up.
The PJ bases, on the other hand, remain at
odds with the leadership and no matter how much Mr. Ribeiro explains himself, it will be difficult for him to regain the confidence
of the majority of the PJ workforce.
Letters to British authorities have been sent - 24 horas
letters rogatory for the purpose of re-questioning the McCanns and their seven friends who dined with them at a restaurant
in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, Algarve, have now been forwarded for the second time to the British Home Office, the equivalent
of our Ministry for the Interior. This comes after, as 24horas reported last week, the first letters were returned for merely
bureaucratic reasons. The British authorities were of the opinion that the request should be formalised directly by the Public
Prosector’s Office and not via Eurojust. An official Prosecutor’s Office communiqué which stated that it was trying
to iron out a problem with which it had nothing to do led to a climate of tension between Eurojust and Prosecutor Office officials,
but it has now been resolved. Now, Prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes, who is in charge of the process, is waiting for green light
from Britain to send a PJ team there.
The McCanns' spokesman has slammed an unofficial Maddie website which asks for 'donations' to support its jobless author.
www.mccannfiles.com, run by Nigel Moore, 48, was set up in a bid to "find the truth" about Madeleine's disappearance.
'Nige' - who works full-time creating the site - says that due to its popularity, "it now requires virtual full-time attention,
7 days a week." He adds, "I have spent over 500 hours putting this site together (yes, scary, isn't it?) and I hope you appreciate
my efforts in continuing to ask questions, and highlight inconsistencies, that other media outlets seem disappointingly reluctant
The homepage - which features profiles of those involved in the case and key events - also carries a prominent
'donate' button. The website owner explains: "To enable me to continue to maintain and develop the site, I need support. Yours!
Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of rich benefactors behind me!"
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell hit out, saying that unofficial sites such as these distract from
the search for Madeleine. He said: "This man did not seek our permission. We have not cooperated in any shape or form. Most
of this is ill-informed comment at best. While some of it might be accurate, this sort of site runs the risk of repeating
mistakes." He added: "He's now seeking money to maintain the site. We'd rather people's efforts and money went to helping
to find Madeleine."
Nigel told The Sun that he had not contacted the McCanns but was "trying to get something from them to put
on the site." He admitted: "They probably don't want to touch it with a barge pole. I've heard from someone there. I gather
they're not particularly happy with it. I've had some feedback through an email but I'd rather not say from who." Nigel added:
"I've carefully sourced everything. I've not made anything up on there."
Asked if the McCanns' disapproval deterred him from continuing with the website, he added: "I still feel
there are questions there that have not been answered that require answers. Not just around the case but the fund and things
"My personal view is that the McCanns have some questions to answer."
Nigel added that the site - which has banner ads - was "costing him an arm and a leg. I'm not out to make
a profit from it. There is no money coming from the actual site. The donate button is there for people to help me to keep
it going. It's become quite popular," he added. Nigel admitted that no one had yet made a donation.
And asked why any money should not go to the Madeleine fund, as suggested by Clarence Mitchell, he said:
"I don't think a lot of people have confidence in where the money's actually going in the Madeleine fund."
Nigel added that his main concern was that Madeleine would be found. He said: "That's the bottom line for
everything. It's not a vendetta against the McCann family. I appreciate it's an incredibly difficult time for them."
Friday 08 February 2008
PJ Director: Minister explains statements on the 13th Alípio Ribeiro resists in silence the chorus of criticism
The Minister of Justice will go next Wednesday, 13th to the Parliament, to try to explain to the MPs the meaning of the
controversial statements made by the director of the National Judicial Police (PJ) on Maddie's case. Alberto Costa will justify
the non removal of Alípio Ribeiro, after his long standing friend talked about the investigation, arguing that there was a
"precipitation" in the form the McCanns were made arguidos.
The hearing of Alberto Costa was required with urgency
by the CDS-PP, that considered "inadequate" the reaction of the Minister to the words of Alípio Ribeiro. For the MP Nuno Melo,
it is one or the other: "Either the statement of the Director of the PJ is true and that would mean a judicial system out
of control, or it is false and, if so, Alípio Ribeiro could not stay another day as director of the PJ. "
and former directors of the Judicial contacted by the CM, and politicians from several sectors, agree that Alípio Ribeiro
breached the duty of reserve and questioned the credibility of the whole investigation.
"The fact that the Director
of the PJ continues in the office means everything I think about this matter," said the minister. Yesterday, it was the turn
of the President of the Republic to be questioned on this issue, but Cavaco Silva felt that he would "not publicly comment
on the statements of the Director of the PJ."
Moreover, the parliamentary leader of the PSD, Pedro Santana Lopes, said:
"I was surprised. Only very strong reasons may explain what he has said. " Otherwise, the words of the maximum responsible
of the PJ "are incomprehensible."
MCCANNS CRITICISE ENGLISH WEBSITE
Nigel Moore ensures that all the money raised
is not for him, but certain is that the author of the site
http://www.mccannfiles.com has opened an account for donations for maintenance of what he calls "discover the truth" about the disappearance
of Maddie. "We have already spent more than 500 hours to put the website in order and I hope people appreciate my effort to
raise the issues that other media,
inexplicably, do not exploit." Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, does not advise
any support to an unofficial website, and recalls that the author "did not request any consent" to the family for its creation
and that "people should not disperse from the objective of finding Madeleine." Nigel, 48 years, responds: "I do not have wealthy
sponsors behind me" for the maintenance of a website where one can read all the past of the couple and the history of the
mystery, step by step, since the first day.
A suggestion by a Portuguese police leader that the search for Madeleine McCann was not a top priority has been branded
''not helpful'' by the McCann familiy's official spokesman.
Clarence Mitchell told GMTV that finding Madeleine, or finding out what had happened to her, remained the biggest concern
of her parents Kate and Gerry.
He was responding to comments by Carlos Anjos, the head of Portugal's police federation,
who said: "There are bigger problems in the Policia Judiciaria (CID) than the Maddie case, with all the respect it deserves."
Mitchell said the family had "heard nothing officially" that the case was to be shelved.
He said: "Mr Anjos's comments
are not helpful. He is not working on the case and we hope the police are working very hard on the case.
"We have heard
nothing officially that the case was to be shelved but we want the police to maintain this case as an active case."
Mitchell said the family welcomed recent comments by Portugal's top policeman Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Policia
Judiciaria, who said detectives were too hasty in making the couple suspects over their daughter's disappearance.
added: "Comments by the head of the PJ led to speculation the case is to be archived.
"We want Kate and Gerry to be
eliminated from the inquiry and want the police to work with our own investigators to find out what happened."
Saturday 09 February 2008
Plan to halt Madeleine McCann case 'unhelpful'
By Stephen Adams
Lat Updated: 2:33am GMT 09/02/08
Suggestions that Portuguese police could shelve the case to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann are “not
helpful”, the family’s spokesman said this morning. (Note: This is yesterday morning) Clarence Mitchell
urged Portuguese police to continue their search for the missing girl, who disappeared nine months ago.
He was responding to comments made by Carlos Anjos, head of Portugal’s police federation, who had said: ''There
are bigger problems in the Policia Judiciaria than the Maddie case, with all the respect it deserves.''
Mr Mitchell said: ''Mr Anjos’s comments are not helpful. He is not working on the case and we hope the police are
working very hard on the case. We have heard nothing officially that the case was to be shelved but we want the police to
maintain this case as an active case.'' He said finding Madeleine or discovering what had happened to her remained the biggest
concern for her parents, Kate and Gerry.
Mr Anjos’s comments, which were reported in the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas, came a day after senior police sources
claimed the case was about to be closed and the McCanns’ status as formal suspects revoked. Earlier this week Alipio
Rebeiro, national director of Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria (PJ), admitted detectives were too hasty in making the couple
suspects over their daughter’s disappearance.
Some police sources interpreted his comments as a way of preparing the public for the prospect that the case would never
be solved because of a lack of evidence. Such talk prompted anger in Portugal where many believe the case against the McCanns
is being dropped because of political pressure from Britain.
Mr Mitchell said the family welcomed Mr Rebeiro’s comments, but called for Portuguese police to continue working
on the case to find Madeleine. He said: ''Comments by the head of the PJ led to speculation the case is to be archived. We
want Kate and Gerry to be eliminated from the inquiry and want the police to work with our own investigators to find out what
happened,'' he told GMTV.
Madeleine vanished from the McCanns’ holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May
3 last year, shortly before her fourth birthday. Detectives in the Algarve are still investigating the theory that she died
by accident in the holiday apartment, and that the McCanns later hid her body. The McCanns have always insisted she was abducted.
McCanns to be cleared as no evidence found
By Fiona Govan in Madrid, Last Updated: 4:21pm GMT 09/02/08
Kate and Gerry McCann are to be cleared as official suspects in their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance
after a review concluded there is no evidence they were involved, it has emerged. The couple’s status as arguidos will
be lifted unless “screaming contradictions” are revealed in forthcoming police interviews, according to a Portuguese
Detectives investigating Madeleine’s disappearance from the family’s rented holiday apartment
in Praia da Luz on May 3 last year, do not have a shred of evidence against the McCanns, reported the respected broadsheet,
After forensic tests proved inconclusive and a thorough review of the case by detectives in the Algarve uncovered
nothing new, ''the judicial police do not have any proof or evidence whatsoever against Madeleine’s parents,'' it stated.
''They will only remain arguidos if there are screaming contradictions revealed in the answers to the letters sent to England.''
Legal letters containing 40 questions that Portuguese detectives want to put to the McCanns will be sent to
the UK authorities this week following months of bureaucratic delays. Attorney General Fernando Pinto Montiero told Expresso:
''The couple’s legal status will be considered at the appropriate moment, depending on various elements still to be
obtained.'' Earlier this month, Alipio Ribeiro, the national director of the Policia Judiciaria, admitted that his officers
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ official spokesman said: ''This report is extremely encouraging. We
have consistently said that the police have no evidence against Kate and Gerry. Any questions the police do have can be easily
and quickly explained. This latest report backs up Mr Ribeiro’s comments that his officers acted too quickly in naming
Kate and Gerry as arguidos. We now urge the judicial authorities to eliminate Kate and Gerry as suspects.''
Jose Miguel Judice, former president of the Portuguese Bar Association said: ''Either the director of the
judicial police is preparing public opinion for the archiving of the case, or he is anticipating a hypothetical failure of
This view supports comments made by Carlos Anjos, the head of Portugal’s police federation, who on Friday
indicated that the Madeleine case was no longer a priority. ''There are bigger concerns in the PJ than the Madeleine case,
with all the respect it deserves,'' he said.
Madeleine McCann and Metodo 3: Private eyes, public lies
Report in the Sunday Times (released online this evening) slams the work of Francisco Marco and Metodo 3.
Read full report by clicking link above or visiting the
10 February 2008 (published online 09 February 2008)
By Jonathan Corke
Police are to give Kate and Gerry McCann the chance to clear their names over daughter Maddie’s disappearance.
The couple, who have been official suspects in the case for five months, will be asked by Portuguese detectives to respond
to 40 questions. Sources say that unless there are “screaming contradictions” the couple will be cleared.
night the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the sooner they are questioned the better. He said: “There
won’t be any screaming contradictions and hopefully the emphasis can then be put on finding Madeleine, who we believe
is still alive.”
Legal letters outlining the 40 questions are to be sent to the Home Office this week. Interviews
are then likely to be carried out by detectives from Leicestershire police, the McCanns’ local force.
exclusively to the Daily Star Sunday, Gerry’s brother John McCann said that making the couple arguidos had “led
people into a cul de sac”. He said: “Any sensible person realises Madeleine was abducted. We didn’t anticipate
being in this position after nine months.”
Barcelona-based Metodo 3, the private investigation firm working for
the McCanns, currently has ten men “on the ground” in Praia da Luz searching for the four-year-old. They also
have operatives in Spain, North Africa and elsewhere across the globe.
John McCann added: “Until somebody comes
up with something to say otherwise, we will never stop looking for Madeleine.”
"This is now an arm-rail between the major. Which they understand." This is the sentiment of the inspectors of the Judicial
Police (PJ) in the Algarve, according found the DN, which continue with expectation and great caution, "waiting for developments"
in relation to the controversy caused a week ago by the national director of this institution, Alípio Ribeiro, to admit that
there was "haste" in as defendants the parents of Madeleine McCann for the disappearance of their daughter, for nine months,
in Praia da Luz
Inspectors feel "desautorizados" (disowned) by the hierarchy and make out that the same applies to
the Public Ministry, responsible for the conduct of research in the case Madeleine. Continue "to work with the same intensity,"
both in the scenario of accidental death of the child British and concealment of the body with the responsibility of parents,
as in the thesis of abduction. "It is the only policy that is behind all this…," say the DN sources linked to the process,
when the political parties have already left the terrace to demand the resignation of Alípio Ribeiro, that the Minister of
Justice, Alberto Costa, demand hold at all costs.
Moreover, as the DN already reported, PJ continues without evidence
to the prosecutor can accuse the couple of British death of her daughter and concealment of the body, scenario advanced by
researchers in August 2007, when the dogs detected pisteiros Englishmen, in the apartment where McCann spent holidays in May,
smell the body and traces of blood and hair, as well as in a rented car by the couple three weeks after the disappearance
of Maddie. Therefore, all scenarios remain open, especially after the expert examination carried out in England have been
inconclusive as to the scene of death.
For all these reasons, and as the DN reaffirmed in its edition of Wednesday,
Alípio Ribeiro have already started to prepare public opinion for more than likely possibility is not made any accusation,
and the process more complex and expensive ever the PJ be filed soon. This may happen after the interrogation, in England,
following the letters rogatory, McCann and friends who were with them in the Algarve.
McCanns' private detectives charging Find Madeleine fund £50,000 per month in EXPENSES
Last Updated at 22:00pm on 10th February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann's private detectives are charging the Find Madeleine fund £50,000 a month in expenses, it was revealed
The costs charged by Spanish agency Metodo 3, appointed in September to find the missing girl, are on top of its £8,000
monthly fee - which is paid by one of the couple's wealthy supporters. Metodo 3's expenses are the biggest single cost to
the fund, which collected £1.2million in donations, but is expected to run dry within months.
It was previously thought that the agency was hired for a flat monthly fee of £50,000. But it agreed £8,000 a month, plus
unlimited expenses to take on the case, which has boosted its profile. If its "operational costs" top £50,000 the excess is
met by the McCanns' wealthy backers, such as double glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy. He is to review Metodo 3's six-month contract
before it expires next month.
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the agency was "doing valuable work on the ground.'' He added: '"The £50,000
is for legitimate operational costs, having people scattered around different countries. The fund contributes £50,000 a month
of publicly donated money because it's money to help find her. We feel that's proper use of that money."
Monday 11 February 2008
McCanns' private detectives charging Find Madeleine fund £50,000 per month in EXPENSES
Daily Mail (update on report released online yesterday)
Last updated at 09:07am on 11th February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann's private detectives are charging the Find Madeleine fund £50,000 a month in expenses alone, it
has been revealed.
The Spanish agency Metodo 3 has racked up huge bills since it was appointed to the case in September and is charging them
to the publicly funded appeal. The costs are in addition to their £8,000 monthly fee, which is paid by one of the couple's
Metodo 3's expenses are the biggest single cost to the rapidly dwindling fund, which raised £1.2million in public donations
but is expected to run dry within months. It was previously thought that the detective agency was hired for a flat, monthly
fee of £50,000 for their services.
But the Mail can reveal today that it accepted a deal of £8,000-a-month, plus unlimited expenses to take on the high profile
case, which has boosted its international reputation. If its 'operational costs' top £50,000 then the excess is met by the
McCanns' wealthy backers, who include double glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy and Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson. Mr Kennedy
is due to review Metodo 3's six-month contract before it expires next month, amid criticism that the agency has failed to
find any solid evidence about what happened to Madeleine.
Its director, Francisco Marco, has also angered Mr and Mrs McCann with his public boasts that he was 'very close' to finding
their daughter, and even that he hoped to return her to her family by Christmas.
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell insisted the agency were 'doing valuable work on the ground'. He confirmed the
financial arrangements behind the six-month contract but insisted the £50,000-a-month from the fund was only used to cover
'legitimate operational costs'.
Mr Mitchell said: "The monthly fee for their services is about £8,000. The £50,000 is for legitimate operational costs
- having people scattered around different countries, hiring vehicles, hiring property to stay in and hotel bills. A private
operation like this does cost money in terms of seeking information. It is something that needs that sustained level of funding
to work. Private investigations are not cheap. The fund contributes £50,000 a month of publicly donated money because it's
money to help find her. We feel that's proper use of that money."
Metodo 3 has claimed to have up to 40 agents working on the case in up to six different countries, including Morocco, Portugal
and Britain. It has been criticised for lavish spending, including moving its offices into one of the most prestigious streets
in Barcelona in December.
But Mr Mitchell said the majority of the spending allowance went on travel, transport and accommodation for the teams of
detectives. He said: "People think it's £50,000 going straight into Francisco Marco's pocket, and that it's paying for them
to move into plush new offices. Nothing could be further from the truth. They have taken this case on because it gives them
a certain profile and prestige, not because it's going to make them rich. That money is used purely for legitimate operational
costs and the fund is invoiced in full, as they would be for any expenses claim, which is effectively what it is. Their expenses
are paid by the fund."
Metodo 3's involvement in the Madeleine case has proved controversial. Five senior members of the firm, including Mr Marco,
were arrested over a phone-tapping scandal in 1995 and accused of spying. The case was later dropped over claims of police
entrapment, but they were also threatened with arrest in Portugal.
Under Portuguese law it is illegal for a private investigation to be carried out on a case that is being pursued by the
police, and the agency was warned not to speak to police witnesses. But Jennifer Murat, the mother of the first named suspect
Robert Murat, has accused its detectives of bribing witnesses to change their accounts and has said she fears they are working
to frame her expat son.
Mr Mitchell's comments that Metodo 3 has spent money 'seeking information' will fuel speculation that the agency has paid
individuals for evidence.
Meanwhile, the McCanns, both 39, were said to be 'encouraged' by reports that their status as official suspects in the
case will be reviewed after their friends have been re-interviewed. Portugal's Attorney General Fernando Pinto Monteiro told
the newspaper Expresso: "The couple's legal status will be considered at the appropriate moment, depending on various elements
still to be obtained."
The newspaper reported that the McCanns would only remain as suspects if the new interrogations of their friends, the so-called
Tapas Seven, revealed 'screaming contradictions'.
The trial of Kate and Gerry McCann will be held in Portugal if they are accused
(Translation by 'Li' from the3arguidos forum)
The public prosecutor of Portimão
has a problem in his hands and only the new questioning to Maddie's parents can solve the case. The bet is from the judge
Text Carlos Tomás
In the edge of the sword. All the investigation of Maddie's case runs
the risk to return to zero. The PJ was unable till know to reunite any evidence that allows the public prosecutor of Portimão,
Magalhães e Menezes to accuse without doubt the four arguidos in the process. The public prosecutor wants, according to
judicial sources, to advance with an accusation based on the strong belief of the judge who has the process, Pedro Frias.
"The truth is that evidence collected are not 100% conclusive. But everything points out to the involvement of the parents
in the disappearance of the child. From the vestiges of blood found in the flat to the DNA tests and the evidence collected
in the car rented by the couple 25 days after the disappearance. The testimonies also don't leave doubts. But in the end there
isn't a heavy evidence. It's all a question of strong belief" said a judicial source.
The same source adds: "All the evidence depends of the results that will be obtained after the rogatory letter that was
already sent to England. We expect to find contradictions between the depositions made by the McCanns and their friends. The
key to the mystery may be in these new depositions but is a very tiny hope because the couple and their friends have been
meeting to get their stories right when confronted with the authorities".
The Public Prosecutor has "the hot potato"
in his hands
Magalhães e Menezes, has acording to several PJ sources contacted by the 24 Horas a "hot potato in
If he shelves the case all the public opinion will criticise him. If he accuses we won't get ride of all the pressures
that have been a constant in this case, not only by the McCanns but also by their defenders and the British media that have
been doing everything to denigrate the image of the Portuguese authorities" said a high responsible in the General's Attorney
"Prosecute the McCanns? I don't believe"
"An accusation against the McCanns?
I don't believe. They are suffering in double. They lost a daughter and they are considered suspects? And what about the evidence?
I want to believe that the process against them will be shelved. I hope that the case does not go to trial. Based in what?
The important is to discover the truth. That is what the authorities must do. I understand that some mistakes might have occurred
in the initial phase of the investigation, but that is not McCanns fault".
These are the words of the McCanns lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu. If the McCanns are prosecuted they will have to return
to Portugal to the trial. "In this case if that happens, the trial will take place in Portugal. I don't see any motives to
be held in another country. The trials take place in the country where the crime took place", confirmed the lawyer.
These creepy pictures of a suspect sought over missing Madeleine McCann were released yesterday. Criminal psychologists
believe previous images of a long-haired bearded man spotted on the night of the disappearance did not properly reflect descriptions
given by witnesses. Now they have created these computer efits by merging the earlier sketches commissioned by Kate and Gerry
Portuguese academics Paulo Sargento and Pedro Gamito composed the pictures using a specially-designed computer
programme. The duo have previously created a 3D model of the night Madeleine disappeared to suggest her abductor would only
have had an eight-minute window in which to strike.
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Although we're grateful for assistance, we hope this image
will not cause confusion to the public. The image is not to be confused with the one we released, which is as accurate a likeness
Analysis of faces technique points to failures in the McCanns description
"The kidnapping thesis is ludicrous"
(Translation by 'Li' from the 3arguidos forum)
A 3 dimensional video, made by
the team Paulo Sargento and Pedro Gamito ridicules the photo-fits
Text Rute Coelho
work was made during a week by the forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento in partnership with the technological engineer Pedro
Gamito.The team juxtaposed the three photo-fits that existed from the presumable kidnapper and work them in 20 programs of
faces analysis. And dismounted the kidnapping thesis, "The kidnapping thesis is ludicrous" defends Paulo Sargento.
The video begins with the first image of the kidnapper (the faceless man) walking with the kid in his arms. In the subtitles,
in English, the researcher questions: "How can the first description of the kidnapper be so vague? 1,70 meters high, dark
skin, Mediterranean hair. Six months after the first description a second image: "Is it possible not to see the face of someone
that carries a child and notice the beige trousers the brown jacket and the classic shoes?"
The video shows "the intuition form of looking to someone that carries a child".You look from the waist to the head and
not from the waist to the feet.
Eight months after, the last photo fit the face of the man with beard and long hair. "We show that this photo-fit is
inconsistent with the first one. Curiously it keeps the brown jacket and the dark hair, the only common characteristics",
referred to 24 Horas Paulo Sargento.
The "superciliary arcades" (the frontal cranium behind
the eyebrows) are the style of the Neanderthal man and point to an archetype of the criminal" the forensic psychologist comments.
"This means that is a hybrid photo fit made to give an appearance from the region of the Maghreb. But why must the kidnapper
be from Morocco, Spain or Portugal and cannot be Anglo-Saxon? It would even make more sense to be someone who knew the family
routine", he concluded. If the PJ wants to use the video it is available on the Internet.
PORTUGAL’S justice minister will today face a stormy parliamentary quiz on the handling of the Maddie McCann probe.
Alberto Costa has been summoned to Lisbon after his police chief said his officers were ''hasty'' naming
the four-year-old’s parents as suspects. There have been calls for the top cop, Alipio Ribeiro, to resign – but
Mr Costa is tipped to defend him today.
Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, want their status as suspects dropped. Maddie vanished
from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 last year. Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday: ''We are sitting
tight to hear what Mr Costa says.''
The Minister for Justice, Alberto Costa, is heard today in the first parliamentary committee, following the
recent statements of the Director of the National Judicial Police on the "Maddie."
The request for a hearing with
the Minister of urgency character was made by the Member of CDS-PP Nuno Melo following it considers to be the "serious statements"
of Alípio Ribeiro.
The national director of the PJ said, just over a week, that the constitution as defendants, Kate
and Gerry McCann has been "hasty". For the CDS-PP, "is a public statement of Alípio Ribeiro is true," there will be "reasonable
grounds to fear a judicial system out of control."
"And if it is false does not see how it will be possible to maintain
at the expense of the current national director of the PJ, such effects that their words can have," defends the Popular Party.
Yesterday, the Minister of Justice did not want to confront the journalists after taking office the new director of
the Services Prisionais.
McCann case nearing its conclusion, Portuguese gov't minister says
The justice minister said Wednesday that the police investigation into the disappearance last year of British
girl Madeleine McCann in southern Portugal is nearing its conclusion. "We are at a stage now where we are approaching the
conclusion of the process," Justice Minister Alberto Costa told a parliamentary committee hearing.
The police investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance in the Algarve is nearing its end, Portugal's
justice minister has revealed. Alberto Costa told a parliamentary committee hearing: "We are at a stage now where we are approaching
the conclusion of the process."
It is now 286 days since four-year-old Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the seaside resort of
Praia da Luz while her parents dined with friends nearby.
Sky News' Crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: "I find it extraordinary that after less than a year they are considering
winding up the case. You would have thought there was much more to explore. It gives substance to the long-held belief that
the Portuguese police had very few clues to go on all along. This basically means that no official Portuguese police detectives
will actively work on the case any more - but, if a significant new piece of evidence was discovered, they would have to react
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the missing girl's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said the only satisfactory conclusion
would be Madeleine being found. He said: "If the case is coming to a conclusion, we hope it will conclude shortly with the
finding of Madeleine and her being reunited with her parents. That is the only satisfactory conclusion for us."
Brunt added: "What does it mean to the McCanns? It could either mean they are released from their arguido (suspect) status
at last or the cloud of suspicion could remain over them forever."
Madeleine investigation is nearing its end, admits Portuguese minister
Last updated at 13:59pm on 13th February 2008
The police investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance in the Algarve is nearing its end, Portugal's justice minister
said today. Alberto Costa told a parliamentary committee hearing in Lisbon: "We are at a stage now where we are approaching
the conclusion of the process."
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the missing girl's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said the only satisfactory conclusion
would be Madeleine being found.
He said: "I am not going to react specifically to what the justice minister has said to parliament. However, if the case
is coming to a conclusion, we hope it will conclude shortly with the finding of Madeleine and her being reunited with her
parents. That is the only satisfactory conclusion for us."
It is now 286 days since four-year-old Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the seaside resort of
Praia da Luz while her parents dined with friends nearby.
Last week it was claimed that the police investigating the little girl's disappearance were preparing to shelve the case
without bringing charges against her parents.
LISBON (Reuters) - The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is close to a conclusion, Portuguese Justice
Minister Alberto Costa said on Wednesday. Costa, who was speaking to a parliamentary committee, gave no indication how the
investigation would end but said it was "premature" to say it had failed.
Portuguese police have laid no formal charges in the case of the girl, who disappeared in the Algarve on May 3. They have
named the three-year-old's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, as suspects in the disappearance.
"We are in a phase in which we are approaching the conclusion of this case," Costa said. Portuguese police have faced criticism
in the media for making no progress in finding the girl. "I think the suggestion of failure is premature," Costa said.
At the beginning of this month, the head of Portuguese police, Alipio Ribeiro, said authorities had been hasty in naming
the McCanns as suspects. Costa said there was no impact on the investigation from Ribeiro's comment, which prompted the McCanns
to urge Portuguese police to drop them as suspects and focus on finding their missing daughter.
(Reporting by Axel Bugge; editing by Robert Woodward)
The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is reaching its end, the Portuguese justice minister announced
today. Alberto Costa said it was ''premature'' to say whether the investigation would reveal how Madeleine disappeared from
an Algarve holiday resort 287 days ago. However, he pointed out that British statistics showing that about 80 per cent of
similar cases in the UK remained unresolved.
Madeleine’s parent’s, Kate and Gerry McCann, both doctors, said they hoped that they would be cleared as suspects
in the disappearance of their daughter shortly before her fourth birthday.
Mr Costa told the Portuguese parliament: ''We are at a phase where we are approaching the end of this procedure.'' He rejected
accusations that the nine month investigation, which has been marred by accusations of mistakes by Portuguese detectives,
had been a failure. ''People are talking of an ultimate failure, they are suggesting failure ... I would say that that is
premature,'' he said.
Mr Costa had been summoned to parliament by opposition MPS to explain why Portugal’s top police officer had said
officers were too ''hasty'' in making Mr and Mrs McCann suspects. Alípio Ribeiro, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária
(PJ), said there ''perhaps should have been another assessment'' before this happened.
Mr Costa said there was no indication that Mr Ribeiro had broken Portugal’s secrecy laws banning public discussion
of ongoing cases. ''If there was any such sign ... I am sure an inquiry would have been opened, and it hasn’t been,''
he told Portuguese MPs.
The justice minister has previously backed Mr Ribeiro, telling reporters last week: ''The fact that (he) is still in his
job indicates what I think about that matter.'' The minister described the many leaks in the case, which apparently came from
Portuguese officials, as ''worrying''. ''It would be good if people could show self-restraint,'' he said.
Portuguese police named Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, as formal suspects in their daughter’s disappearance
on September 7, but they strenuously protest their innocence. Portuguese police had suspected that Madeleine was accidentally
killed in the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz before her parents illegally disposed of her body. However,
forensic examinations failed to find any evidence that Madeleine had died or that her corpse had been carried in her parent’s
The McCann’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: ''There can be no conclusion to the investigation without Madeleine
being found. If, however, the justice minister is referring to the aspects of the inquiry concerning Kate and Gerry being
concluded, then they must be eliminated from the investigation forthwith as there is no evidence to implicate them in any
way in the disappearance of their daughter.
''We also note that the minister implicitly criticised those in Portugal who were responsible for the many false and hugely
damaging leaks to the press that have emanated from the country in recent weeks.''
The Portuguese police and justice ministry have come under intense criticism following Mr Ribeiro’s comments in a
radio interview earlier this week. Nuno Melo, an opposition MP, said the comments have ''effectively killed off the criminal
investigation'' into the disappearance of Madeleine.
''This is the highest profile case ever to be handled by the PJ, and besides the judicial issues, this case directly affects
the image the world has of Portugal,'' he told the Portugal News.
''Either the PJ director’s comments are true, and this would signify a judicial system that is completely out of
control, or they are false and in this case, Dr Alipio Ribeiro should not remain at the helm of the PJ for another single
The lawyer for the the other official suspect in the case said he thought the authorities were ''preparing public opinion
for a dismissal of the case''. Francisco Pagarete, lawyer for Robert Murat, said: ''If the minister is beginning to say that
the inquiry will not be dragged out much longer, then he is effectively saying there will not be a trial.''
Mr Murat, 34, who has dual British/Portuguese nationality, has insisted that he was at home with his mother at their villa
near the McCann’s apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared. Mr Pagarete ''As far as my client is concerned, I have
always said that there would not be sufficient proof to bring any charges."
The minister of Justice went yesterday
to the Parliament to explain what the national director of the PJ, Alipio Ribeiro, meant when he said that there was a "hasty"
in constituting the McCanns arguidos, but after two hours he did not say a lot.
"I don't have and I should not have
knowledge of the investigation but I decided that it was my duty to maintain the confidence in the director of the PJ", said
Alberto Costa - although Reuters quoted him saying: "We are approaching the conclusion of the case"-, he finished saying that
"there is no indication that the process has been affected" by the statement of Alipio Ribeiro.
The minister heard
at request of the CDS-PP after he maintained the confidence in the director of the PJ, only got close to a justification for
the polemic declaration when he reminded that at 7th of September when the McCanns where made arguidos the penal laws in force
where different. "At that time it was not necessary sustained suspicious to constitute anyone arguido", he said, which means
that the constitution of the McCanns as arguidos was not made based on sustained suspicions, what reinforces the thesis that
the director of the PJ wants to prepare the public opinion to the shelving of the case.
The minister underlined that
in United Kingdom and according to a British authority, "80% of the cases alike (to Maddie's) are not solved". He denied also
that Alipio Ribeiro has breached the secrecy of law and refused to reveal his opinion about the polemic: "I will never comment
public declarations of people that are under my dependency".
At least two questions made to the minister did not receive an answer. "The national
director was concerted with you in that declaration?", asked Nuno Melo from the CDS. "Do you think that the declaration
is innocuous?" asked Aguiar Branco, MP from the PSD.
The Policia Judiciaria's on-site investigation into the Maddie
case has been on a standby for over a month, since late December. In January, as far as DN was able to establish, the only
diligences that were carried out were mainly related to the photofit and were discrete and informal. This happens at a time
when the PJ awaits a green light from the English authorities to watch the interrogations of the McCann couple and their friends
that were spending holidays with them in Praia da Luz, where the child disappeared from, following the rogatory letters from
the Public Ministery that were again sent to England in January. And at a time when it is stated that the investigation is
maintained "with the same intensity" both on the theory of the child's accidental death and concealment of the body by her
parents, and on the abduction theory. It is also remembered that yesterday, in Parliament, the minister of Justice guaranteed
that the recent statement from the PJ's director saying that there was precipitation in the constitution of arguidos, did
not affect the investigation. But the same investigation, as far as diligences on the terrain are concerned, is stalled.
last movements of the PJ in Praia da Luz, surrounded with utmost discretion, took place during the last week of January, when
inspectors approached, in an informal way at the hairdresser's where she works, the present partner of Joaquim Marques, the
individual whose physiognomy is similar to that of the photofit that had been released, only a few days earlier, by the McCann
couple about the alleged suspect of involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine. As DN was able to establish at that time,
it was that person, British citizen Rabecca Barnes, who led the police to the house where the couple lives, in the rural area
of Barao de Sao Joao, in the council of Lagos. But early on, the PJ dismissed the involvement of Joaquim Marques, aged 30,
who had been condemned for raping a young English citizen in Praia da Luz, in 1996, in the disappearance of Maddie.
two weeks before that diligence, in early January, the investigators spent five minutes in an informal conversation in a parking
lot in Praia da Luz, with an English gardener, after an anonymous email had been sent to British newspapers and to the PJ,
associating him to the scenario of Maddie's abduction, because of being a "weird" person. The PJ, that did not even consider
the possibility of summoning the man for an interrogation, did not attribute any credibility to this lead, as it is suspected
that the email that denounced the gardener was sent by someone who had had personal problems with the person.
detective agency Metodo3, which was hired by the McCann couple from October 2007 until March 2008, with the purpose of finding
Maddie, continues to hear local residents in the Algarve (and elsewhere). For these investigators, no information in any part
of the world can be dismissed. Portugal and Morocco are the countries where presently Metodo 3 intensifies its investigations.
process concerning the rogatory letters, which include approximately fourty questions, is now regarded as the PJ's last trump
card to avoid the archiving of the Madeleine case, especially after the tests on the blood that was found in the apartment
and in the car that was rented by the parents revealed themselves as inconclusive.
Madeleine: 'Don't You Forget Valentine's Day' poster campaign launched
Last updated at 12:15pm on 14th February 2008
A new poster campaign was today launched to raise awareness of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
and two other children.
The "Don't You Forget" Valentine's Day campaign will send out images of three missing youngsters to businesses and public
sites across Spain and its islands. It is hoped the posters will be displayed in banks, schools, churches, stations and other
Two A3-size posters have been produced - one depicting Madeleine, alongside five-year-old Mari Luz Cortes, and one showing
her with seven-year-old Yeremi Vargas. Mari Luz went missing on January 13 this year in her home town of Huelva, 120 miles
from Praia da Luz - where Madeleine went missing last May. Yeremi Vargas disappeared from his home in Gran Canaria on March
10 last year.
A letter in Spanish will accompany the posters, explaining their purpose and giving information on how to contact the authorities
for those who believe they can help. In all, some 17,400 packs have been produced, costing the Find Madeleine Fund £3,000.
An email version is also being sent out to thousands of recipients. It comes as Portuguese police said they are ready to halt
the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance without solving the case.
Justice minister Alberto Costa said officers are "approaching the conclusion of the process" - dropping the strongest hint
yet that they might never discover what happened to the missing girl, who disappeared on May 3, days before her fourth birthday.
He told the Portuguese parliament it is still "too early" to say if they would ever know the truth about Madeleine's disappearance,
claiming 80 per cent of missing children cases in Britain go unsolved.
Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, launched a new poster campaign to find her hours before the minister's speech. Their spokesman
Clarence Mitchell demanded that Portuguese police clear the couple, who are official suspects in the case, before calling
Mr Costa was summoned before the Portuguese parliament after his head of police, admitted officers had rushed the decision
to name the couple as suspects. Police are to fly to Britain to re-interview the friends who dined with the McCanns the night
On Wednesday, the country's justice minister Alberto Costa said the police probe is "approaching the conclusion of the
process" and added that it is "premature" to say whether the investigation would reveal what happened to Madeleine.
Mr and Mrs McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the couple are waiting for news in light of Mr Costa's comments.
It is thought detectives in the case wish to talk again to the couple and the friends they dined with on the evening their
Mr Mitchell said: "In light of Mr Costa's comments yesterday and the fact that the police are still intending to come over,
we are waiting to hear whether they are coming over to interview the friends or Gerry and Kate."
Mr and Mrs McCann have launched the latest phase in the search for their daughter which they hope will help two other families
who have also had children go missing.
Mr Mitchell, said: "As far as we are concerned our search continues every day for Madeleine. We will leave no stone unturned.
Our investigators are continuing to follow up leads but we still need public assistance. That's why this latest phase is going
"The reason we are including the other two children is out of courtesy to their respective families. They are going through
the same agony as Kate and Gerry. Their children are missing in the region in potentially similar circumstances.
"It would be discourteous to the families and odd if we did not mention the two other children. Also, we feel we want to
The investigations into the case of the disappearance of Madeleine are not stalled. And they can be extended for
another three months
The Policia Judiciaria returned, last week, to the Ocean Club, the resort from where Madeleine
McCann disappeared on May 3, 2007. 24Horas was able to establish that the PJ's investigators went to hear five witnesses that
had already given their depositions within the investigation.
According to senior officials in the PJ, these are normal
investigative procedures. "Diligences have been carried out every day. A team of twenty investigators remains on the case,
led by superior coordinator Paulo Rebelo. Several questionings have been repeated and the statements are being duly analysed
to try to find some lead that might open a new investigation line", a judicial official that is connected to the investigations
guaranteed to 24Horas yesterday.
Michaela's boyfriend questioned
24Horas was able to establish that one of the
persons that were questioned again was the boyfriend of Robert Murat's ex-partner, Michaela Walkzuch, a Portuguese man who
used to clean the Ocean Club's pools, called Luis Antonio.
Apart from that, the PJ still waits for the McCanns and
the friends with whom they had dinner on the evening of the disappearance to be subject to new interrogations, in fulfillment
of the rogatory letter that was sent by the Portuguese authorities. The same judicial source also stressed that a new request
to the instruction judge at the Portimao Court, Pedro Frias, who holds the process, is being pondered,to extend the investigation
deadline for an additional 90 days, if there is not a brief response to the aforementioned letter.
They can rest
The McCanns can rest concerning the investigations into the disappearance
of their daughter, because they will not be closed until it is discovered what really happened to the child, an investigator
of the case promised to 24Horas. "An investigation of this type is always open and all the clues that keep appearing are duly
investigated", he guaranteed.
Madeleine: McCanns vow to keep searching for daughter despite police shelving case
By VANESSA ALLEN Last updated at 10:12am on 15th February 2008
Title of this article changed at 10:37am to:
Madeleine police quiz ex-husband of suspect Robert Murat's girlfriend
Detectives have quizzed Luis Antonio, a pool cleaner who worked at the Algarve resort Madeleine disappeared from, in
an attempt to uncover new leads. The Portuguese local, 37, was one of five people linked to the Ocean Club questioned by officers
last week, newspaper 24 horas reported.
The tabloid did not name the other four - but claimed they too have all been spoken to before by police.
A source told the newspaper: "Several police interviews have been repeated and the statements are being analysed to try to
find any lead that could result in a new line of investigation."
Antonio still lives with Walczuch at a flat near
the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz despite her relationship with official Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat. Detectives first
interviewed him and Walczuch after Murat, 33, was made an official suspect last May - but have only ever treated the pair
as witnesses. All three have consistently denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
24 horas also claimed
the investigating judge presiding over the Madeleine McCann probe was considering a prosecution request to extend the judicial
secrecy surrounding the case by 90 days. Judge Pedro Frias is already thought to have granted one 90 day extension - crushing
Madeleine's parents' hopes of clearing their names at the start of this year.
Approval of the application would be
a further blow to Gerry and Kate, who have demanded their "arguido" status is lifted following a recent admission by Portuguese
police chief Alipio Ribeiro that officers acted "hastily" in making them official suspects. But an unnamed investigator told
the newspaper the missing girl's parents Kate and Gerry could rest assured the police investigation would never be archived.
Responding to widespread criticism of the Portuguese police handling of the probe and recent claims by Portuguese
justice minister Alberto Costa the Madeleine inquiry was nearing an end, he said: "An investigation of this nature always
remains open. All the leads that arise are appropriately investigated."
Despite this, the McCanns have vowed to keep
their detectives searching for their daughter even if police shelve the case. The couple have pledged never to abandon the
hunt for Madeleine, despite the signals from Portuguese police that they are ready to file the investigation.
Mr McCann's brother John said they wanted police to clear them as suspects so they could focus fully on
the campaign for the missing girl. He said: "They want to be able to concentrate on searching for their daughter instead
of defending themselves from a completely false accusation. This business of trying to accuse them has been ridiculous from
the start. We just hope the police have not wasted too much time on trying to charge them, when they should have been searching
The couple, both 39, have launched a new £3,000 poster campaign across Spain, linking Madeleine's
disappearance with those of two Spanish children. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said their lawyers were deciding on their
next step, after Portugal's justice minister admitted the police investigation was coming to a halt.
hope to re-interview the couple's friends who dined with them on the night of May 3, and may ask for fresh interrogations
of the McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire.
Mr Mitchell said: "If the case really is to be shelved then obviously
we will ask that Gerry and Kate should have their arguido status lifted first. And we would also ask that our private detectives
should have access to the police files so that they can continue working on the case, even if the police will not.
would obviously help our detectives to have access to all the police information in the case. There could be some forgotten
clue in there which could still solve this case. Surely it is only right and proper that information that the police aren't
acting on should be given to people who can continue the investigation."
New posters to raise awareness of the disappearance
of Madeleine and two other children warned potential witnesses: "Don't You Forget". It is hoped the posters will be displayed
in banks, schools, churches, stations and other prominent places. Two A3-size posters have been produced - one depicting Madeleine,
alongside five-year-old Mari Luz Cortes, and one showing her with seven-year-old Yeremi Vargas.
Mari Luz went missing
on January 13 this year in her home town of Huelva, 120 miles from Praia da Luz - where Madeleine went missing last May. Yeremi
Vargas disappeared from his home in Gran Canaria on March 10 last year. A letter in Spanish will accompany the posters, explaining
their purpose and giving information on how to contact the authorities for those who believe they can help.
some 17,400 packs have been produced, costing the Find Madeleine Fund £3,000. An email version is also being sent out to thousands
It comes as Portuguese police said they are ready to halt the investigation into Madeleine disappearance
without solving the case. Justice minister Alberto Costa said officers are "approaching the conclusion of the process" - dropping
the strongest hint yet that they might never discover what happened to the missing girl, who disappeared on May 3, days before
her fourth birthday.
He told the Portuguese parliament it is still "too early" to say if they would ever know the
truth about Madeleine's disappearance, claiming 80 per cent of missing children cases in Britain go unsolved.
PORTUGUESE cops probing Madeleine McCann’s disappearance have reinterviewed five witnesses in a last-ditch bid
to solve the case.
The witnesses are all linked to the Ocean Club apartment complex in Praia da Luz – where Maddie vanished
on May 3. Among them is the exhusband of Michaela Walczuch, girlfriend of suspect Robert Murat.
Michaela, 34 – who denies any involvement in Maddie’s disappearance – was allegedly spotted
in Zaio, Morocco, on June 15, moments after a girl resembling Madeleine was seen being dragged away by an African woman. Also
questioned last week was the pool cleaner. Luis Antonio, 37 – who is being treated as a witness not a suspect –
was first quizzed in the summer.
Meanwhile, The Sun can reveal that three of the Tapas Seven – who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann
on the night Maddie vanished – are key to the final round of police inquiries.
The trio – believed to be Jane Tanner, her partner Russell O’Brien, and David Payne – will
be grilled by UK cops about alleged inconsistencies in their witness statements. Portuguese police will sit in on the interviews.
Jane, 37, said she saw a man carrying a child away from the complex. Russell O’Brien, 36, told cops he saw Murat, 34,
outside the flat at 1am and David Payne, 41, is the last person outside the McCann family to see Maddie alive.
A source said: “It sounded like they were concerned about timeline inconsistencies. But if you have
nine people not wearing watches, it would be suspicious if their times matched exactly.”
No request has yet been made to reinterview Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, of Rothley, Leics.
DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
are re-interviewing key witnesses in a final bid to crack the case. Five staff members who were at the Ocean Club complex
on the night she went missing have been quizzed in recent days as pressure mounts to conclude the investigation. Among those
interviewed was the estranged husband of Robert Murat’s girlfriend Michaela Walczuch. Luis Antonio, a pool cleaner,
worked at the resort last summer.[>
In a fresh development, three
members of the so-called Tapas Nine, who were at dinner with Kate and Gerry McCann on the evening of May 3 when Madeleine
vanished, are also likely to be questioned.[> The burst of activity comes just days after Portugal’s justice minister
Alberto Costa said the case was almost at an end.[> It is understood the Policia Judiciaria are preparing to shelve the
nine-month inquiry. But the head of the investigation, Paulo Rebelo, has demanded that certain key statements are double checked.
Antonio, 37, who still lives
with his wife, despite her being the girlfriend of British suspect Robert Murat, was first interviewed last May, just weeks
after Madeleine went missing.[> A police source told the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas that the fresh round of interviews
was intended to unearth any tiny details missed initially. [>
The source said: ''Several
police interviews have been repeated and the statements are being analysed to try to find any lead that could result in a
new line of investigation.”[>
Portuguese detectives are also
expected to travel to Leicestershire to oversee interviews of three of the McCanns’ holiday friends – Russell
O’Brien, Jane Tanner and David Payne.[> Formal letters requesting the interviews have now been received by the Home
Office and will be handed to Leicestershire Police next week. They want to clear up alleged inconsistencies in their
Kate and Gerry McCann's pals face new quiz from police
Police are preparing to again quiz pals of Kate and Gerry McCann in a last ditch bid
to crack the case of their missing daughter Madeleine, it emerged yesterday. It is understood Jane Tanner, Russell O'Brien
and David Payne, three of the Tapas Seven, may be questioned over alleged inconsistencies in their statements.
A formal request from the Portuguese authorities to do so was received by the Home
Office on February 3. McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "There is no suggestion Kate and Gerry will be re-interviewed."
Cops have again quizzed staff at the Praia da Luz resort where Madeleine, who was
three, vanished, after the authorities said the case may be wound up.[>
Sunday 17 February 2008
Madeleine McCann's disappearance is 'linked to a string of child abductions'
Mail on Sunday
By VANESSA ALLEN and LUCY BALLINGER Last updated at 19:28pm on 17th February 2008
Meanwhile, it is understood Kate McCann is quitting her job as a locum GP to devote her life to children's charities.
Mrs McCann has not returned to work since Madeleine's disappearance in May and has reportedly told friends she feels she has
a lot to offer charity organisations.
Clarence Mitchell refused to comment about claims that Kate McCann
had decided to quit her work as a locum GP permanently, in order to work for children's charities. He said: "Kate and Gerry
are talking to non-government organisations and child welfare groups, but her priority is the search for Madeleine and looking
after the twins."
The couple want to campaign for a Europe-wide alert system for missing children, like the amber
alert system in place in the U.S.
Mrs McCann, 39, has not returned to work since Madeleine's disappearance in May
and has told friends she would like to work for children's charities. Her cardiology consultant husband Gerry, also 39, has
already returned to his £75,000-a-year post at Leicester's Glenfields Hospital.
A source close to the couple told
the People newspaper: "Kate feels after all she's been through she has lots to offer child organisations. She wants to help
others who are going through what she has been through. Many people have come forward in support of her and Gerry and she
will never forget that."
The McCanns attended a lunch for Missing Children Europe last week and they have both met
with officials from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Centre for Child Exploitation and
Mrs McCann's mother Susan Healy, 61, told the People: "It is definite now. One of her main goals
in life is to work with children and assist with child safety."
Publication: 17/02/08 21.56 Last modified: 17/02/08 23.12 All Articles Gelderland
18-year old is Melissa Fiering from Nijmegen is certain 100%: last Friday in a road house in France, she saw the disappeared
The meeting between Melissa and the possible Maddy has been also fixed by security camera's. Melissa
is heard by the French police force, and waits at home for news to come. Melissa and her friend recognized Madeleine - who
was dancing on the soud of a mobile phone - and when Melissa walked towards the girl she saw the distinctive mark in her eye.
Melissa called the girl by her name, she looked up and at that moment the man who was with her, put on hat and coat and left.
Melissa immediately called the police, who looked with her to the images from the camera's. Beside ordering "strict supervision"
on the boarders, the police says nothing about the investigation.
Mum combines 'ambassador' role with search for missing Maddie
17 February 2008
By Rene Butler
Battling Kate McCann has quit her job as a GP to devote her life to working for children's
charities. Kate, 39, never returned to her part-time job as a locum after daughter Madeleine's disappearance and has now handed
in her notice. She intends to combine charity commitments with the search for her daughter and caring for twins Amelie and
A source close to Kate and husband Gerry said: "She's really going to throw herself into charity
work, it is something she has been thinking about for a while. Kate feels after all she's been through she has lots to offer
child organisations. She wants to help others who are going through what she has been through.
"Many people have come forward in support of her and Gerry and she will never forget that.
The thought of doing something for others will give her hope. That is the kind of woman she is."
Kate launched into her role as an ambassador for a variety of kids' charities last week, attending
a lunch for Missing Children Europe. Her focus will also include continuing her push for tougher laws across the continent
to protect the young from paedophiles.
Both she and Gerry have already worked closely with the International Centre for Missing and
Exploited Children, the Centre for Child Exploitation and Online Protection agencies. And she has been plotting her new occupation
since a trip to Madrid in October when she was inspired by the anti-paedophile and childcare workers she met.
Kate was said to have earned £35,000 a year working two days a week at Latham House Medical
Practice in Melton Mowbray, Leics. Heart specialist Gerry, 39, also took extended leave after four-year-old Maddie was snatched
from their holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.
They paid some of the mortgage on their home in Rothley from the Find Madeleine fund until
they were named official suspects Gerry returned to his £75,000-ayear job at Glenfield Hospital, Leics, part-time in November
and went full-time last month.
When he first went back he said: "We feel we have done everything we can to get the search
for Madeleine fully under way. As a result it now allows me to concentrate on returning to work while the search continues."
Last night Kate's mum Susan Healey, 61, said her daughter has no intention of returning to
work as a GP. She said: "It is definite now. One of her main goals in life is to work with children and assist with child
Kate and Gerry's spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed she had quit. He added: "She no longer
receives any wage at all."
There are two articles, the first article is a reproduction of the article of the Spanish press of 17/2/2008 saying
that the parents of Mari Luz do not want the posters with the image of Madeleine McCann and Mari Luz side by side and that
they are presenting a complaint to the Embassy and that they will go to court to the defend the image of their daughter.
McCanns spokesman regrets the reaction of Juan Cortés and says that the couple only wanted to help
shameful that Mari Luz's father presents complaints"
It is "surprising and shameful that Mari Luz's father presents
complaints about us in a press release". This was the reaction of Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns when he was
informed by the 24 Horas that the father of Juan Cortés does not authorise the distribution of the 18 thousand posters with
the images of Maddie and the Spanish girl in Spain and Portugal.
"We regret the confusion. We only wanted to help Mari Luz's family and honestly we thought we had permission from the
girl's father to this joint campaign", said Clarence Mitchell. The problem is that the 18 thousand posters were already sent
by post, last Thursday to Spain.
"Our only hope is that the owners of schools, restaurants and other public places are aware of the reaction of Mr. Juan
Cortés and do not display the posters", said the spokesman of Kate and Gerry McCann.
"As I explained to you newspaper last Saturday, we did believe to have the permission of the Cortés family. Few days
after the disappearance of Mari Luz, a Kate's friend that speaks Spanish contacted the father of the Spanish girl and told
him about the intention of the McCanns in printing a poster of both children. At that time Mari Luz's father said he would
appreciate everything that the McCanns could do". Clarence Mitchell will now talk with Kate and Gerry about the situation
and also with the volunteers that cooperated in the poster campaign. "How can someone be furious with another person for wanting
to help to find the daughter?", said an outraged Mitchell.
McCanns slammed by father of missing Spanish girl for putting Madeleine on poster with his daughter
By LUCY BALLINGER
Last updated at 16:55pm on 18th February
Kate and Gerry McCann have been threatened with legal action by the father of missing five-year-old
girl after they included her in a poster campaign appealing for information about Madeleine's disappearance.
The campaign was launched last week and thousands of A3 prints have been sent to schools, churches,
restaurants and public places in Spain and Portugal in a bid to keep the disappearance of the missing children in the public
eye. The posters have a picture of Madeleine side-by-side with one of Mari Luz Cortes, a Spanish girl who went missing on
January 13, 120 miles from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz - where Madeleine disappeared last May.
A second appeal featured four-year-old Madeleine alongside missing Spanish
seven-year year old Yeremi Vargas who disappeared on Gran Canaria in March 2007. The 17,400 posters
were to be displayed today and carry the headline No Nos Olvideis - Spanish for "Don't forget us".
Portuguese police looking for Madeleine and the McCann's own private investigators Metado 3 have looked at both cases in
connection with her disappearance. But Mari Luz's father Juan Jose Cortes insists he was not asked for permission to use her
picture by the McCanns and is angry his daughter has been included in the campaign.
The former footballer has consulted lawyers and says he may take legal action against the McCanns for using his daughter's
picture without permission. He also plans to make a formal complaint to the British Embassy in Madrid. Mr Cortes, now a builder,
told a press conference in Spain on Sunday he does not want the cases to be linked by the posters.
"They are two totally distinct cases, with two completely different lines of investigation," said Mr Cortes, 34. He added
last night: "I can't understand why they didn't contact us. The only contact we had was right at the start when the McCann's
friends in Metodo 3 passed on a message of support. We have never since had any further contact from them. I am aware that
they requested Yeremi Vargas' parents's permission to use his image, why would they just presume they had our permission too,
why didn't they ask us?
"The three cases are distinct, they are not connected, I don't understand why they are associating them. We are consulting
with our lawyers about possible legal action."
After Mari disappeared in January Kate and Gerry McCann's private detective agency, Metodo 3, visited the city on the Spanish
border she disappeared from it to check whether the apparent abduction could be linked to four-year-old Madeleine's disappearance
last May 3. The little girl disappeared after walking 200 yards from her gypsy family's home to buy a bag of crisps at about
5pm. Portuguese police also carried out searches on their side of the border.
McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We obviously regret if there is any confusion over these posters, however we
did have the permission of the family to produce them following a conversation between them and a female friend of Kate's
who speaks Spanish.
"Her father also said anything that can be done should be done. "The lady who spoke to him also tried to get hold of him
after that to show him the artwork on the posters but he was in Madrid campaigning for his daughter.
"These posters have been produced entirely with the aim of trying to help find Madeleine, Mari Luz and Yeremi Vargas. We
believed we had permission and the friend who spoke to him is trying to phone him to remind him of the conversation she had
Yesterday Madeleine's grandmother Susan Healey said the family's torment over her disappearance is like "being crucified
day to day".
Speaking from her Liverpool home the 62-year-old, who is Kate McCann's mother, pleaded with people to stop criticising
her family. She said: "It is almost like being crucified day to day. Kate and Gerry know they made a mistake and shouldn't
have left the children, they know that, but they certainly don't deserve what has happened to them.
"If the Portuguese can't find out what happened to Madeleine we have to find out. There is no way Madeleine will fade into
insignificance. We will go on fighting for justice. It is a ridiculous situation. If they think we are going to sit by and
not have this stupid arguido status lifted then we will fight to lift it.
"We want Madeleine back and we want to find out what happened to her. There is nothing in place to make sure this doesn't
Torment of Madeleine's family 'is like being crucified'
By John Fahey
THE grandmother of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann yesterday said the family’s torment is like “being
crucified day to day”.
And Susan Healey, 62, pleaded with people to stop criticising her family. She said: “It is almost like being crucified
day to day. I read the most stupid things about Kate not crying enough or whatever.”
She added: “Kate and Gerry know they made a mistake and shouldn’t have left the children, they know that,
but they certainly don’t deserve what has happened to them. If the Portuguese can’t find out what happened to
Madeleine, we have to find out. There is no way Madeleine will fade into insignificance.”
Mrs Healey, the mother
of 39-year-old Kate McCann, spoke of the family’s need to know what happened to Madeleine, who disappeared while on
a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May last year. Mrs McCann and her Glasgow-born surgeon husband Gerry remain
arguidos – official suspects – despite Portugal’s top policeman saying two weeks ago that their arrest had
Mrs Healey, a civil servant, who lives in Liverpool with her husband Brian, said: “We will go on
fighting for justice. It is a ridiculous situation. If they think we are going to sit by and not have this stupid arguido
status lifted, then we will fight to lift it. We want Madeleine back and we want to find out what happened to her. There is
nothing in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The mother of missing Madeleine McCann has not quit her job as a GP, a spokesman said today. It follows a national
newspaper report which said Kate McCann had handed in her notice to devote her life to working for children's charities.
* Susan Healy was quoted in The People newspaper (17/02/08), saying that her daughter has
no intention of returning to work as a GP. She said: "It is definite now. One of her main goals in life is to work with children
and assist with child safety."
The Public Prosecutor of the Portimão's court, Magalhães e Menezes
as well as the team that conducts the investigations concerning Madeleine McCann are losing their patience with the delay
of the British authorities in giving green light to the execution of the rogatory letter, sent more than two weeks ago to
that country. "This is reaching unacceptable proportions. In a case like this, if there was cooperation, the rogatory letter
would be fulfilled in less than a month.
This is going on since October last year with the English returning the letter and making mere bureaucratic demands.
We already sent a new rogatory more than two weeks ago and the only thing we have is the silence of the police and diplomatic
authorities", said a responsible connected to the process. "Like this is difficult to make an investigation", concluded the
source connected to the investigation.
* Note: According to the Daily Mirror report of 16 February 2008, the rogatory letters were received at the Home
Office on 03 Februaury 2008.
(* Appalling headline writing: Should read 'Not Madeleine')
By HUBERT VIALATTE
AP Wednesday February 20 2008
MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Police investigating an alleged sighting last week of Madeleine
McCann in southern France have determined it was not the missing British girl, a police official said Wednesday.
Investigators had taken seriously a Dutch tourist's account that she believed she saw McCann at a roadside restaurant
near the city of Montpellier on Feb. 15, a police official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized
to talk publicly on the matter.
After viewing closed-circuit video footage, police investigators spotted a man and a young girl who indeed resembled
the missing British girl, but determined it was not McCann after a thorough inspection, the official said. The file has been
transferred to a state prosecutor in Montpellier, the official said. He declined to give further information.
On Wednesday, Dutch newspaper De Gelderlander interviewed Melissa Firing, 18, who said she was sure the girl she saw
was McCann because of the way she reacted when she called her name, and because she was able to look her in the eyes. A man
accompanying the child took her and quickly left the restaurant afterward, Firing told the newspaper.
McCann has been missing since May 3, 2007, when she disappeared during a family vacation in Praia da Luz, Portugal. She
was a few days from her 4th birthday when she vanished.
KATE and Gerry McCann's hopes were dashed this morning over the latest Madeleine 'sighting'.
The hunt for the missing four-year-old dramatically switched to France last night after a girl matching her description
was seen in a cafe. A mystery man fled with the girl after a witness called out her name. But French police officials said
investigators had examined CCTV footage from the restaurant and determined it was not her.
The McCanns’ official spokesman said the couple had been aware of reports in the media of a possible
sighting, but were still waiting to hear from the police. “Kate and Gerry understand that Interpol are liaising with
the French police, Leicestershire Police and the Policia Judiciaria to establish the facts,” Clarence Mitchell said.
“If, as reported initially in the Dutch media, there is CCTV footage to confirm the possible sighting
by Melissa Fiering, then Kate and Gerry would obviously wish to view that material as a matter of priority.”
Shocked student Melissa, 18, told how she was just 6ft from the girl in a French motorway café — and
was “sorry” she did not grab her. Melissa and a pal saw the girl begin to dance when they played music on their
mobiles. The teenagers were stunned by her likeness to Maddie — including a tell-tale blemish on her right eye —
and approached for a closer look. When they addressed the girl as “Maddie” she appeared startled. The man with
her became agitated on hearing the name, and rushed the child out of the restaurant.
Melissa was convinced the girl was Maddie, who vanished from her parents’ holiday flat in Portugal
days before her fourth birthday last May. The student said: “She had the same eye as Madeleine. I was just six feet
away from the girl. She looked very thin, especially around the stomach, and had short hair.”
Melissa, from Nijmegen, Holland, tried to snatch a photo but wasn’t quick enough. She immediately called
police, who arrived 30 minutes later. Cops seized CCTV film from the scene, and showed it to Melissa. She said: “You
can see 'Madeleine', with me behind. My hand's covering my mouth out of fright. On seeing it I was shocked and cried. If only
I’d challenged the man.”
Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry, both 39, from Rothley, Leics, were told of last Friday’s sighting
in Montpellier. The mystery man is about 5ft 11in, unshaven and swarthy with black hair. He wore a black leather jacket. Last
night an unofficial French police source said they did not think the girl was Maddie but added that a file had been sent to
the state prosecutor.
Thursday 21 February 2008
Fresh heartbreak for McCanns as new sighting is 'almost certainly not her'
By Lucy Ballinger
Last updated at 18:12pm on 21st February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann tonight urged French police to show them CCTV footage of a suspected sighting of daughter Madeleine
in the South of France.
Although it appears French police have ruled out the possibility it is the four-year-old her parents want to see the surveillance
video from a French diner where a Dutch tourist reported seeing the missing British girl. They refuse give up hope it is her
until they have seen the footage and believe it would "put their minds at rest".
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the family wanted to hear directly from French investigators before discounting
the sighting. Mr Mitchell said: "We want to see the video of this girl. We want to hear from the French police about what
they have investigated and what they have decided. French police have not officially discounted that it is Madeleine so we're
still waiting to hear whether they believe this to be the case.
"Even if the police believe it is not Madeleine, Kate and Gerry would still like to see the video and would hope to be
able to do this as a priority. The reports that this may not be Madeleine are obviously a great disappointment. If the French
police can categorically assure us it is not her then we will have to take their word for it, but despite this they should
let Kate and Gerry see the footage. This is their daughter we are talking about."
The CCTV footage is believed to show student Melissa Fiering, 18, in shock at seeing the little girl with a "tall, swarthy"
man at a service station in Montpellier on Friday. She said she called out to the girl, who bore a "striking resemblance"
to the missing youngster - and had a distinctive fleck in her right eye. She claimed the child looked startled at the sound
of her name and the man she was with quickly bundled her out of the restaurant on the A9 motorway into a car.
But French police have tracked down the man after the number plate of his car appeared on the video footage. A police spokesman
said: "We located the driver after his number plate appeared on video footage taken at the service station provided a plausible
explanation of what he was doing there with a young child. As far as we are concerned, this matter is now cleared up."
Despite reports that the girl is definitely not Madeleine French detectives are still examining the footage at the Forensics
laboratory in Rosny-sur-Bois, just north of Paris - where the evidence surrounding the car crash which killed Princess Diana
was also examined. There have been several suspected sightings in Europe and North Africa of Madeleine, who vanished from
her bed in a Portuguese holiday resort days before her fourth birthday last May. But this is only the second time someone
claimed to have identified a girl with the unusual marking in her eye.
Meanwhile detectives from the McCann's private investigators Metodo 3 were back in Praia da Luz last night. They were seen
studying aerial photos of the area.
Daily Express wipes out Madeleine
All articles related to Madeleine McCann are removed from the online Daily Express site for 'operational reasons'. When
questioned the Express refuses to go into any more detail.
Friday 22 February 2008
Artist's sketch of the man seen with a child
Sketch of man student convinced she saw with Madeleine McCann
EXCLUSIVE Student still 'convinced' it's her
Tom Parry in Nijmegen 22/02/2008
This is the first image of the man a student claims she saw with Madeleine McCann in a cafe. Melissa Fiering, 18, described
the dark-skinned male to sketch artist Emre Altin, 28, exclusively for the Mirror.
Speaking at her home in Nijmegen, Holland, yesterday, the travel and tourism student
said of the police-style e-fit: "This is definitely an accurate likeness of the man I saw. I'd recognise him straight away
if the police found him."
Melissa said the person she saw in Montpellier, southern France, was about 6ft, in
his late 30s, possibly Algerian, with slightly receding hair and a distinctive sharp jaw line. He wore a black leather jacket
and "looked quite rough".
Reacting angrily to reports from France that the latest sighting of Madeleine should
not be taken seriously, Melissa added: "I am absolutely positive this was her. I would not make these kind of statements to
draw attention to myself.
"I have not been able to think about anything else since. I was upset by this story
so I would not do this to create confusion. I feel very sorry for Madeleine's parents."
According to Melissa, the girl she and a friend saw last Friday night had the same
flaw as Madeleine in the iris of her right eye and looked up when she called out the missing child's name.
The man took the girl out of the premises. The authorities have not contacted Melissa
since she viewed CCTV footage filmed in the restaurant.
Melissa and 'artist' work on the police-style e-fit in a train station cafe
Saturday 23 February 2008
Portuguese detective who led the hunt for Madeleine faces trial over his conduct in another missing child case
By Lucy Ballinger
Last updated at 23:31pm on 22nd February 2008
The detective who originally led the hunt for Madeleine McCann will sensationally face trial over his conduct in another
missing child case.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral - who was in charge of the Madeleine case when her parents were made the prime suspects
- will appear in court accused of covering up the torture of a suspect during questioning in the other case.
Amaral, 48, will stand trial along with four other officers - three of whom are alleged to have attacked Leonor Cipriano,
whose nine-year-old daughter Joana vanished in 2004. The little girl disappeared from her home in Figueira, 11 kilometres
from Praia da Luz where Madeleine was abducted last May.
Cipriano, 36, confessed to her murder and was jailed, along with her brother Joao, even though Joana's body was never found.
She claims to have admitted it after almost 48 hours interrogation. She later retracted her statement and claimed the confession
had been beaten out of her.
A photograph of Cipriano's face covered in bruises following her police interview emerged last year. Police claimed she
had been injured after throwing herself down the stairs at the police station. An inquiry was launched into the allegations
and yesterday a judge ruled the five officers allegedly involved will face charges in court.
Amaral was in charge of the hunt for Madeleine when Kate and Gerry McCann were declared official suspects in their daughter's
disappearance last September. He was sacked from the investigation just weeks later following an outburst in which he attacked
the British authorities.
The father-of-three had attracted criticism from the early days of the inquiry as it was claimed he frequently went for
three-hour boozy lunches and had ignored most of the 252 possible sightings and tip-offs in the case.
Yesterday McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell refused to talk about Amaral's impending trial. He said: "It is a matter
for him and the judicial authorities in Portugal."
The officers who will face charges of torture are Chief Inspector Leonel Marques, who has since retired, Inspector Pereira
Cristovao, who has taken early retirement and Inspector Paulo Bom. They are all accused of torture. Inspector Antonio Cardosa
is accused of falsifying a document and Amaral is accused of false testimony.
Amaral's lawyer Dr António Cabrita said: "I can confirm that the Prosecuting Counsel has decided that all five officers
will go to trial. I don't know if my client will be charged for either or both of the crimes already indicated or whether
for some other crime. All I know at the moment is that he will be tried.
"Clearly the prosecuting counsel was and is of the opinion that there is enough indication to charge my client. Indication
is enough to take him to trial but once he is in court that is not enough for a conviction. In court one has to have evidence
without any reasonable doubt.
"If all the higher ranking officials were responsible for what their officers working under them do, although I don't know
what they did or did not do, then the whole country would be up in court."
The development comes in the week a Dutch student reported seeing Madeleine at a service station in Montpellier in the
South of France. Melissa Fiering, 18, said she called out to the girl, who bore a "striking resemblance" to the missing British
youngster - and had a distinctive fleck in her right eye.
But French police sources said the girl definitely was not Madeleine, and that they had tracked down the little girl at
the restaurant who is said to have been travelling with a relative.
Sunday 24 February 2008
Is Madeleine in Britain? Dorset councillor claims: 'She came to my house with a Portuguese couple'
Last Updated at 10:27am on 24 February 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann face yet another devastating blow after reports emerged last night that Madeleine McCann has been
spotted in Britain. Detectives are said to be launching a major inquiry into the claim that the missing four-year-old was
seen by a man in Dorset.
Retired civil servant Alan Cameron alerted police after a Portuguese couple turned up his home in the village of Stratton.
Mr Cameron became suspicious when he saw a girl matching Madeleine's description sitting in the couple's car. It is the first
time a sighting of Madeleine has been reported in Britain since she vanished while on holiday in Portugal last May.
Mr Cameron,66, told the Sunday Express: "They knocked on my door and said they had come to buy the garden furniture I'd
put on sale in a local ad. Straight away they struck me as odd. The woman said she was Italian but they were speaking fluent
Portuguese. The man had a few days' growth on his face and was wearing filthy clothes. He told me they ran a language centre
in Weymouth but then the woman hit him and told him to be quiet."
Mr Cameron, a former clerk with the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the girl spoke in English and appeared distressed.
"I hear a voice, in perfect, clear English say 'I need to use the toilet'. I could see that she was blonde and four years
"I said of course and the woman grabbed her and scooped her under her arm. She didn't allow the girl to walk and deliberately
pushed the hood of her jersey over her head. She was sobbing. This little girl was unhappy and she was scared. I knew straight
away it was a face I'd seen in the news. I'm convinced of it."
A spokesman for Dorset police confirmed that inquiries into the sighting were ongoing. The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence
Mitchell, said last night that the private detectives in charge of the investigation had been informed. He said: "There's
a lot about this sighting which suggests at the very least that we are talking about an abducted young girl. We are eagerly
awaiting any outcome."
The new reports will cause more fresh heartache for the couple, coming hard on the heels of a suspected sighting of Madeleine
in South of France earlier this month. The McCanns urged French police to show them CCTV footage of a suspected sighting of
daughter Madeleine in the South of France.
Although French police have ruled out the possibility it is the four-year-old her parents want to see the surveillance
video from a French diner where a Dutch tourist reported seeing the missing British girl. They refuse give up hope it is her
until they have seen the footage and believe it would "put their minds at rest".
There have been several suspected sightings in Europe and North Africa of Madeleine, who vanished from her bed in the Portuguese
holiday resort days before her fourth birthday.
Meanwhile detectives from the McCann's private investigators Metado 3 were back in Praia da Luz last night. They were seen
studying aerial photos of the area.
I've Seen Maddy In Britain - Sunday Express (No online link)
Couple brought her to my house, says councillor
The hunt for Madeleine McCann switched to Britain last night after a man claimed he saw her with a Portuguese couple
The alarm was raised after the pair turned up at the home of a parish councillor in the village of Stratton.
civil servant Alan Cameron said “They knocked on my door and said they had come to buy the garden furniture I’d
put on sale in a local ad”.
As police launched a major enquiry, Mr Cameron, 66, a former clerk with the Director
of Public Prosecutions, said: “Straight away they struck me as odd. The woman said she was Italian but I know Italy
well and they weren’t speaking Italian, they were speaking fluent Portuguese.
“The man had a few days’
growth on his face and was wearing filthy clothes. He told me they ran a language centre in Weymouth, but then the woman hit
him and told him to be quiet.”
It is the first time a sighting of Madeleine has been reported in Britain since
the three-year-old vanished in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman
for Gerry and Kate McCann, said last night that the private detective agency employed by Madeleine’s parents had been
He added: “There’s a lot about this sighting which suggests that, at the very least, we are talking
about an abducted young girl. We are eagerly awaiting any outcome.
“We take all sightings seriously, and we would
urge people to remember that and not to feel that something they may have seen may not be important.”
became suspicious when he saw the girl matching Madeleine’s description in the couple’s car.
He said: “I
heard a voice, in perfect English, say “I need to use the toilet.” I could see that she was blonde and about four
years old. The woman was thin and wearing a very dirty long white coat. She replied in English and told her to wait.
said of course she should use my bathroom. The woman grabbed her and scooped her under her arm. She didn’t allow the
little girl to walk and deliberately pushed the hood of her jersey over her head.
“They went into the bathroom
together and I could hear raised voices and the sound of the woman slapping the little girl. She was sobbing.
if it wasn’t obvious just from looking that they were not related, I have never seen parents treating their children
like that. This was not a relationship of love. The little girl was unhappy and she was scared.”
As the girl
was taken back to the car, Mr Cameron managed to see her face. “I knew straight away is was a face I’d seen in
the news. I’m convinced of it.”
He spotted another girl in the putty-coloured people carrier. “She
was a bit older. She sat very still and looked very unhappy. After they left, I remembered reading about a Portuguese girl
managing to escape kidnappers in a light-coloured people carrier.”
Mr Cameron added: “Yesterday I got a
call from someone at CID telling me they were taking it very seriously and had launched an investigation into child traffickers.”
spokesman for Dorset Police yesterday confirmed that inquiries into the sighting were ongoing.
Police in Portugal are
investigating five attempted child abductions in the past month.
The most recent case involved nine-year-old Clarisse
Ramos who was walking to school in a village near Coimbra in the north of the country when two men in a light-coloured vehicle
They tried to persuade her to get into the car but she refused and fled into a nearby health centre where
she raised the alarm.
In December another nine-year-old was bundled into a light-coloured car in the nearby village
of Charneca. Detectives are investigating the possibility that the men could be operating as part of a child trafficking network."
Hogan International: an apology, Sunday Express (No online link)
13 we published an article headed "Fears that new Maddie detective is 'not up to task'" in which we wrongly claimed that Noel
Hogan’s investigation agency had taken over the private investigation into Maddie’s disappearance and accused
it of being "not up to the task."
We wish to withdraw unequivocally the suggestion that either Mr Hogan or his agency
are incompetent or had misled the McCanns about their capabilities. We are happy to clarify that Mr Hogan’s company
has been retained by Metodo 3, the Spanish agency who work for the McCanns, to carry out work in the UK.
This is part
of a long-standing arrangement between the two agencies to instruct each other for work in their respective countries. The
impression we gave that there is animosity between them and that Mr Hogan breached professional confidences was also wrong.
apologise to Mr Hogan for the embarrassment and distress caused by our article and have agreed to pay him and his agency compensation
and legal costs."
Monday 25 February 2008
Suspected body count hits seven as police widen search of abuse scandal orphanage
By ARTHUR MARTIN and BETH HALE,
Last updated at 12:05pm on 25th February 2008
SNIFFER DOGS THAT MADE THE FIND
The horror of Haut de la Garenne was discovered thanks to the super-sensitive noses of two springer spaniels. They sniffed
out the human remains found on Saturday through seven inches of concrete, police said. The dogs also pinpointed several other
suspicious sites both inside and outside the former children's home.
The first spaniel, seven-year-old Eddie, is an 'enhanced' victim recovery dog specialising in detecting buried human blood,
bones and flesh. The second, Keela, has been trained to track down remains corresponding to microscopic blood traces. Only
last year the two 'cadaver' dogs from South Yorkshire Police were in Portugal, taking part in the hunt for clues to the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann.
They found specks of blood in the McCanns' apartment, and were used to conduct searches elsewhere in the Algarve resort
of Praia da Luz.
Eddie has worked in Britain, Ireland and the U.S. earns fees of up to £500 a day. His skill is so rare that he is insured
for £4.5million - and fed on salmon.
Tuesday 26 February 2008
Taxi driver claims to have driven Maddie on the day she went missing Jornal do Algarve
(Translation courtesy of 'Demeter' from the3arguidos forum, with clarification on
the journey details by Anne)
2008-02-26 - A taxi driver from Vila Real de Santo António said, exclusively to
the Jornal do Algarve, that he is sure of having driven Maddie on the last 3 May - the date of her disappearance - at 20h10
from the taxi stop to the Hotel Monte Gordo Apolo in Vila Real de Santo António.
Sick and tired of being ignored,
António Castela never tires of repeating this episode, which he reported to PJ at the time, stressing its conviction that
he drove in his taxi the English child who disappeared in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz . He says that Maddie was accompanied
by a woman who appeared to be her mother and three men, one of which he thought to resemble Robert Murat, this man being the
one who was seated nexto to him. The woman travelled in the back seat, between the two men, and one of these two man was holding
Maddie, who was wearing pink pyjamas, on his lap.
During the short four miles journey, the only words they spoke, according
to the taxi driver, were "How much?" "How much?" to pay for the trip. António Castela saw the group leave the taxi and get
into blue jeep with a yellow plate, parked in the hotel parking lot that left immediately.
The taxi driver even asked
whether the group was staying there and was told that they were not. Sad because apparently they didn't care about his testimony,
António Castela says he has no doubts that it was the English child and that he believes that the child was not killed in
Portugal, suggesting the possibility that she sought refuge [de se ter refugiado no original] in any of the yachtes at the
marina or that she may have been taken abroad at that time.
He also stresses that there is matter for investigation
because Lagos is a little more than an hour distant from Monte Gordo, so there is a “dark” period " of two hours
in the investigation, where this episode could fit.
We'd like to draw attention to the fact that the "Maddie"case
has already caused the fall of the first responsible of Portimão's PJ who investigated the case and that untill now the parents,
Kate and Gerry MacCann and Portuguese-English Robert Murat were constituted arguidos.
Nearly ten months after her disappearance,
this new testimony is now added to the questions concerning the child's fate, reported exclusively to our newspaper.
António Castela is 67 years old, he has been a taxi driver for more than 17 years, and he is highly considered as
a driver in that region.
Note: The city of Monte Gordo is extremely close to Vila Real de Santo Antonio and quite far from Praia da Luz. The
taxi journey would therefore have been a very short trip undertaken some distance away from Praia da Luz.
A child's remains were discovered under several inches of concrete at a former children's home in Jersey after police
bought in dogs to search the site. But how can they sniff through concrete?
For Eddie, it's all in a day's work.
When police suspected human remains were buried on the site of a former children's home in Jersey, the springer spaniel
was part of the specialist team brought in to investigate.
Jersey Police said the seven-year-old dog located parts of a child's body even though they were buried under several inches
of concrete. So how did he do it?
Eddie is an enhanced victim recovery dog and is specially trained to detect the scent of human remains. He is able to smell
through solid materials, like concrete, because of scientifically-based training techniques.
It's this training that sets him apart for standard police sniffer dogs, which are able to detect human remains in shallow
graves. The springer's nose is more sensitive and he is called in on more complicated cases.
The specialist training techniques - which are highly confidential - were developed by Eddie's handler Martin Grimes, along
with the UK's National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
They are scientifically based and rely on how dogs smell and the chemicals involved.
Canines are known for their outstanding sense of smell, estimated to be 10 times stronger than a human's. Like us they
smell using special receptors in the nose, which react to tiny chemical scent particles in the atmosphere and send a message
to the brain.
Dogs can smell so well because they have an estimated 200 million such receptors, compared to five million in a human nose.
The extra receptors mean canines are able to distinguish between different smells much more acutely.
"We don't discuss what the training involves, but it's a lot more than putting bits of meat on the ground for them to hunt
out," says Mr Grimes, a retired South Yorkshire Police officer who now works as an independent consultant.
"A standard sniffer dog is like a basic tool. An enhanced dog goes through much more training and is a lot more discriminating
about smells, basically its nose is super sensitive. It's also about getting the dog to really focus on a task."
While rare, Eddie and partner Keela are not the only enhanced victim recovery dogs in the UK. The Metropolitan Police and
forces in Surrey and Greater Manchester have them. But what sets these two springers apart is that they work exclusively in
this field, says Mr Grimes.
"Other dogs have to do other police duties but mine work full-time in this area, making them very sharp and highly skilled."
The dogs have been used by police forces across the world and were called in to help with the Madeleine McCann investigation.
Both are springer spaniels, but the breed is no better suited to the job than any other. A dog just needs to show a keen
sense of smell and it's the training that makes them good enhanced victim recovery dogs, says Mr Grimes.
Eddie was bred by a specialist search-dog breeder and Keela came from the West Midlands Police breeding programme.
Both live with Mr Grimes and have a normal life outside of work. He is currently training two new dogs, Morse and Lewis.
In the Jersey case, parts of a child's body were found on Saturday. The remains are thought to date from the early 1980s.
Police have yet to say whether they are male or female.
Wednesday 27 February 2008
'I picked up Madeleine with a couple who looked like Kate McCann and Robert Murat the night she disappeared,' claims
Portuguese taxi driver
Last Updated at 17:10pm on 27th February 2008
A Portuguese taxi driver has told how he picked up Madeleine McCann with a blonde woman who looked like Kate McCann and
three men including one who looked like suspect Robert Murat the night of her disappearance.
Antonio Castela, 67, said he dropped off the missing girl and her English-speaking mystery companions at an Algarve hotel
and watched them drive off in a blue jeep. He insisted he was "100 per cent sure" his passengers included Madeleine, four,
saying he even noticed her famous eye defect as his son had a similar defect.
"She was with three men, one of whom looked like Robert Murat, and a blonde woman," he said. "The blonde woman with them
looked to me like Madeleine's mother but I couldn't say whether or not it was her," he added. "I even noticed the girl's eye
defect, as my son, who is a police officer, has a similar defect in his eye. When I saw the news on the television I was stunned
and I turned to my wife and said: 'I had that little girl in my car!'
"I went back to the hotel and told them and asked if they had CCTV cameras. They said they did, but they were broken so
there was no footage. I told the Judicial Police but they never took me seriously and told me I must have been mistaken. But
I know what I saw and I'm sure I saw Madeleine. I believe she must have been smuggled abroad. It has been on my mind ever
Castela, a taxi driver for the past 17 years, said he picked the group up at at a taxi rank in Monte Gordo an hour's drive
east of Praia da Luz where Kate and Gerry McCann were holidaying with their three children on the evening of May 3. He was
certain about the timing, he said, as it was approaching the end of his shift. He claimed Madeleine was wearing a pair of
pink pyjamas and sat on the lap of one of the two men.
They asked him to drive them to the Apolo Hotel in the nearby town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a 15 minute drive from
Portugal's southern border with Spain. And the only one words one of the men uttered at the end of the two and a half mile
journey was "How Much?" in English when it was time to pay, Mr Castela told Jornal do Algarve in an exclusive interview.
He told the paper the jeep the group got into in the hotel car park had a yellow UK-style number plate. He is thought to
have informed police after being told they were not staying at the hotel and seeing news of Madeleine's disappearance on TV.
Mr Castela is said to have picked up the group just after 8pm local time.
Madeleine's parents - official police suspects - first raised the alarm around 10pm although the last public sighting of
Madeleine is believed to have been at least four hours earlier.
Jane Tanner, one of the friends who was eating tapas with Madeleine's parents the night she disappeared, has told how she
saw a man carrying a little girl in pink pijamas in his arms near the McCanns' Ocean Club apartment the night the youngster
went missing. She told police she saw the man from behind but was able to give a description of what he and the child was
wearing. The 38-year-old marketing executive claims she saw the pair about 40 minutes before Madeleine's parents raised the
Portuguese police have said they believe there are inconsistencies in the statements of some of the so-called Tapas Nine
and have asked for permission to interview some of them again in Britain. UK authorities are currently considering the request.
The McCanns and Robert Murat - the third official suspect or arguido in the Madeleine McCann case - all deny any wrongdoing.
GP Kate and heart specialist Gerry, both 39 and from Rothley, Leics, believe their daughter was abducted by paedophiles
and may have been smuggled across Portugal's border with Spain before being taken to north Africa. Portuguese police chief
Alipio Ribeiro recently admitted officers had been "hasty" in making the McCanns suspects.
The taxi driver's wife Gloria said: "My husband has consistently said the same thing for the past ten months. A journalist
from the local paper heard the story from someone who knows my husband. The reporter approached my husband and asked to do
an interview. That is why the story has only just come out now."
The rogatory letters sent to England
by the PJ through the Public Prosecutor are in the hands of the British authorities since 3rd of February
the CM knows, that after 23 days of receiving the request for new interrogations, the British authorities have not yet
given any answer and the PJ does not know when a reply will arrive.
The CM discovered also that the request is to interrogate Jane Tanner, Russell O'Brien and David Payne. Only after this
interrogation will the PJ decide to request the interrogation of Kate and Gerry, as well as the other members of the group.
Rogatory letters accepted - Report read on newscast
(Translation by 'BishopBrennan' from the3arguidos forum)
Detectives from the PJ and their British counterparts today made their first official contact to agree the timetable for
the questioning requested by the portuguese authorities for some months now.
The rogatory letters, initially refused, had to wait for the British Home Office agreement, which was obtained after numerous
diplomatic interventions from the portuguese authorities.
The rogatory letters will make it possible for PJ to re-question the McCann couple and their friends, as well as to gain
access to the original diary kept by Madeleine's mother's.
In British territory the Portuguese police inspectors will be present at the questioning and other requests made within
the framework of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, a case in which her her parents remain remain
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns reacted astonished to the declarations of the taxi driver. "The declarations
of Mr. Castela are fake. They are ludicrous. He can only be mistaken when he says that at that time he transported Kate and
Madeleine with three men", he said underlining the fact that there are several independent witnesses that put Madeleine's
parents in a totally different place.
"How is that possible if at 20,35 several witnesses say that Kate and Gerry were seated at the Tapas restaurant?", he questioned.
Clarence doubts of the intentions of the taxi driver. "I am astonished that only now, ten months after, he talks about this.
These are declarations that only cause pain to Kate and Gerry", he said, saying that the McCann's daughter has no facial expression.
"The only sign to report is the one she has in the eye".
Note: Meaning of the facial expressions. The taxi driver claims that Madeleine had a twitch in her chin.
Taxi-driver is sure that he took Maddie in his car on the night of the girl's disappearance 24 horas pg22 / pg23
(Translation by 'xklamation' from the3arguidos forum)
"I transported that girl"
driver remembers that he transported them in the night of the disappearance, in the 3rd of May, from the square of taxis of
Monte Gordo for the Hotel Apolo, in em Vila Real de Santo Antonio. The passengers went then to a jeep. António contacted the
PJ, but, as he says, no one took notice of his story.
A taxi-driver of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, in the Algarve,
guarantees to have transported Maddie, Kate McCann and three men – one of them similar to Murat – in the night
of the disappearance of the English girl, in the 3rd of May of last year. António Castela Cardoso, 67 years, does not forget
the hour or the details of the passengers. He regrets that after having communicated the Judiciary Police of Portimão, he
never received a follow up call to explain his statement.
Taxi-driver, with 17 years in that profession, António Castela has the habit of memorizing the face of his clients. That
one particularly, "She was a girl with very pretty eyes and she called my attention because of the sign that she had in one
eye and the twitch that she was doing with the chin", he remembered. In the beginning of that night, António was in the square
of taxis of Monte Gordo, four kilometres of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, was ready to stop the cab service. "It was 20h10 and
I like seeing the television news", he remembers.
Man was similar to Murat
The clients approached and asked
him to transport them to the Hotel Apolo, in Vila Real de Santo Antonio. The driver did not refuse. On his side a man seated
who was using "fine glasses". "He was similar with the one that appears in the television like the third suspect", says António,
concerning Robert Murat – who is arguido in the case. In the seat behind, a woman "like Kate" sat down, between two
men. The girl that the taxi-driver says to be Maddie sat down to the lap of one of them.
"She was wearing pink pyjamas. The mother had the hair tied and a yellow coat", he remembers, with exactness. It was a
silent journey. The passengers did not exchange one word; they did not show any emotions. On the arrival to the journey destiny,
António pulled out the baby's chair of the luggage car. "It was the same as what the couple usually uses", he affirms. The
customers asked him, in English language, how much the cab journey was. "I said that there were 3, 25 euros and they gave
me five and then I thanked them", he says.
The taxi-driver saw three men, the woman and
the child move towards a metallic-blue, top-of-the-range Jeep. "I do not know if it would be a BMW, but I remember that
the license plate was yellow and therefore was not a Portuguese one", he affirms. The vehicle was parked in the Hotel Apolo
parking. António returned to his house with the image of the girl in the head. It reminded him of his son, now with 37 years.
"My son was operated to his eyes because he had a similar eye defect. He also did that twitch with the chin. They even looked
like brothers", he observed.
The next day, António was watching the television news besides his son and his granddaughter, with the same age of Maddie.
With astonishment he saw that the blond girl of light eyes had disappeared. "I immediately told my son: 'I transported
that girl yesterday!'".
The son, a police officer of the GNR, advised the father to phone to the Judiciary Police of Portimão. "He (the son)
dialled the number and I said what I am telling you (to the journalist of 24 Horas newspaper)", he remembers to 24horas.
The inspector who answered then asked him if in the hotel there was a system of video vigilance. The taxi-driver did not
Up to today, António waits the police contact to give declarations personally. "I defend the girl as I would defend my
granddaughter", he affirms.
Some days later, out of curiosity, António still asked for informations to some of his acquaintances, at the service of
the Hotel Apolo. He was told that there was not any reservation for that evening. They also told him that the Hotel had not
been contacted by the Judiciary Police. Even worse. The system of video vigilance was damaged two years ago and was not catching
any image. "Also I do not know if they did enter in the hotel", says the taxi-driver.
Since then, António Castela has been accompanying the news on Maddie. When the telephone rings, he still thinks that it
will be someone who investigates the case that want to speak with him. When he knew that a certain period of time was still
to be explained in the investigation, António Castela immediately thought that this might be the explanation. "In two hours
you can travel from Aldeia da Luz to in Vila Real de Santo Antonio and return. Someone can be lying. They should establish
if Kate did not go away during this period!, says António. The taxi-driver has been telling this history in public establishments
and to clients whom he transports. Only this week a journalist of the "Jornal do Algarve" contacted him to publish what the
driver affirms to have seen. "Now they do not leave me alone.
Tomorrow [today] there is a team coming from England on purpose to interview me", he says.
Madeleine McCann disappeared mysteriously from the Ocean Club, in Aldeia da Luz, in the 3rd of May. 300 days already have
passed since. The parents are still arguidos in the process, but up to now nobody managed to know what it went on that night.
has no Twitches
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, reacted yesterday with amazement at the declarations
of the taxi-driver. "The declarations of Mr. Castela are false. They are a perfect nonsense. He can only be mistaken when
he says that at that time he transported Kate and Madeleine with three men", he said, underlining the fact of being several
independent witnesses who place Madeleine's parents in a completely different place. "How is that possible, if at 20h35 several
witnesses say that Kate and Gerry were sitting down on a table of the Tapas restaurant", he questioned. Clarence doubts of
the intentions of the taxi-driver. "It astonishes me that only now, ten months later, he talks about this. These are declarations
that only cause pain to Kate and Gerry", he said, advancing that that the McCann's daughter has no facial twitches.
"The only sign to report is the one she has in the eye."
THEY TOOK FIVE MONTHS TO READ A LETTER
of the Judiciary Police are already preparing the suitcases to travel again to Leiceister, where the McCanns and the friends
with whom they had dinner with will be questioned again. The team led by Paulo Rebelo finally received green light from England.
speak again with the Judiciary Police
With the suitcases done, the Judiciary Police is already finalizing with the
English authorities the details for, five months after the sending to Great Britain of a rogatory letter, their return to
question the McCanns and the friends with whom they had dinner with when Madeleine disappeared, on the 3rd of May, in the
Praia da Luz, in Lagos, Algarve.
"The rogatory letter was returned in January to the Public Prosecution Office, for lack of completion of some bureaucratic
proceedings. It was remade and then returned to the English Home Office in the beginning of this month. Finally, the letter
it’s already in the possession of the Police of Leicester and we are finalizing the details to give completion to the
solicitations done by the British authorities", it explained to 24horas a judicial person in charge connected with the investigations.
According to the same source, everything left done is now a mere "schedulement in order that the interrogations are prepared
to the friends of the McCann and to the parents of the lost girl themselves, an organized plan that will have to be ended
during next week."
In ten days a team of Portuguese investigators will travel to England, they will attend the interrogations, as the interrogations
themselves will be done by the police officers of Leicester. "We can only hear, analyse the expressions of the persons and
suggest some questions that do not appear in the rogatory letter". The first persons to be questioned will be Jane Tanner,
David Payne and Russell O'Brien, whose lawyers revealed the intention of their clients to alter their first statements.
Portuguese police will fly to UK to interview three of Tapas 9 over Madeleine abduction stories
Last updated at 13:07pm on 28.02.08
Original headline above was quickly revised to: Madeleine police to come to Britain to re-interview Tapas Nine
Last updated at 13:55pm on 28th February 2008
EDIT (This article is a 2 paragraph update of yesterdays Daily Mail article about Portuguese taxi driver,
Portuguese police will arrive in Britain within the next ten days to reinterview friends of Kate and Gerry McCann over
the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter, Madeleine.
David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner Russell O'Brien are set to be quizzed first in a last-ditch attempt by cops to
crack the mystery. Police will then decide whether to requestion other members of the so-called Tapas Nine, it was claimed.