All important events from March 2008
Despair for the McCanns as French Madeleine 'sighting' is officially ruled out
Last updated at 12:53pm on 1st March 2008
A reported sighting of Madeleine McCann
in southern France has been officially ruled out, it was confirmed today.
Gerry McCann revealed that French police
have established that the young girl seen by a Dutch tourist in Montpellier last month was not his missing daughter. He said
it was "disappointing" that it took so long for this to happen after "widespread" media reporting of the sighting.
the past 10 months, witnesses have claimed to have spotted the missing girl all over Europe and North Africa, but so far every
tip-off has proved a dead end. The latest sighting was reported by 18-year-old Dutch student Melissa Fiering, who said she
saw Madeleine at a service station restaurant in Montpellier on February 15.
She told a Dutch newspaper she was certain
it was the British child because she had a distinctive mark in her eye and looked startled when her name was called. Initially
there was doubt about whether CCTV footage from the restaurant was clear enough for French police to determine whether or
not the child was Madeleine, but they have now ruled out the possibility.
In his latest blog on the official Find
Madeleine website, Mr McCann wrote: "It has been a relatively quiet week for us. We did hear from the UK police that the French
have officially ruled out the reported sighting of Madeleine in Montpellier. It is disappointing that it took so long, particularly
after the widespread coverage the reported sighting received in the media."
The CCTV footage is believed to show Miss
Fiering in shock at seeing the little girl with a "tall, swarthy" man at a service station in Montpellier lon February 15.
She claimed the man quickly bundled the girl 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."
and his wife, Kate, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, spent yesterday in meetings with two British charities involved
in searching for missing and abducted children.
The couple have been named "arguidos", or formal suspects, in Madeleine's
disappearance, but they strenuously protest their innocence. Reports this week suggested that Portuguese detectives were poised
to travel to the UK to re-interview the McCanns and the seven friends on holiday with them when the Madeleine vanished.
questioning will be carried out by British police in the presence of officers from Portugal's investigative Policia Judiciaria,
according to Portuguese broadcaster TVI. The Home Office confirmed it had received a "mutual legal assistance request" from
the Portuguese authorities and that it was "awaiting clarification" on certain issues.
Dateline NBC airs 'Missing Madeleine' - a documentary about the Madeleine McCann case.
Paulo Pereira Cristovão
"Maddie will remain missing"
(Translation by 'Astro' from 'the3arguidos' forum)
After 'Estrela de Joana', the former PJ inspector has now written about the disappearance
of Madeleine, mentioning the similarities and the differences between both cases. Concerning the British child, he laments
the external intromissions into the police investigation, and for that reason, shows his skepticism about its success: "I
would really like to believe there will be a complete clarification of all the facts, but I fear the maintenance of a missing
child on the PJ's website".
An interview by Patrícia Susano Ferreira
led you to write the 'Estrela de Madeleine' and when did you start writing it?
What led me to write this book
can be divided into two reasons. The first one was the challenge that was launched by Presença [the editor] to write about
this particular issue. The second one was that I think that not only the Policia Judiciaria as an institution, but the country
itself had been the victims of some of the most violent attacks that we can remember, without there having been the necessary
defense that the Portuguese and its institutions deserved. I started writing this book approximately 5 months ago and I finished
it one month ago. I am privileged to be invited to write for magazines, newspapers or books, like in this case, which are
read by a considerable number of people. Using that privilege, I decided to transmit what so many feel but have no possibility
to express in public. Those who do not identify with my way of being and behaving, have the option of not buying the book.
After all, it's only a book, not the decision from a superior court.
Why did you maintain
the same notion of the title of 'Estrela de Joana' for this book?
The 'Star' carries the symbolism of destiny,
not only that of a child, but also of those who, in both cases, carry out the difficult task of clarifying for society what
happened to those children. It's the fate, the destiny of all those who are involved in the case. In this one, particularly,
I guarantee to you that the policemen will carry the marks of what they have been through, just like the Joana Case. In any
of these cases, they will be simply discarded when they are not further needed.
are the similarities and the differences between both cases?
Concerning the similarities, I fear the worst,
because in both cases, the policemen did not have, from a certain moment onwards, the institutional solidarity that they should
have and which, above all things, they deserved to have. The differences lie within the dimensions that each one of the cases
has reached. One on a national scale, the other on a planetary scale.
And between both
The 'Estrela de Joana' was something that I lived from the inside, so no matter how well I dominated
the literary angle - which I don't - I could never transmit everything that I lived and still live through, what I felt and
still feel about all the parallel situations and the usage of this case by people without scruples. The 'Estrela de Madeleine'
is something that was also written from the heart but it is mainly a Portuguese cry against those who passed the threshold
of our door but did not want to and did not know how to respect us.
Do you think that
the fact that you are an arguido in a process could remove credibility from this book?
Does the fact that a
journalist is an arguido in a judicial process, remove credibility from the news that he publishes? What matters is the essence
of what one writes, and not the qualities that are assumed here or there through the will of others.
If, in the case of Joana, you were involved in the investigation, and it was easier to write about what you had witnessed,
in this case the situation is different. What did you base the book on, and what information sources did you use?
book is a challenge to the reader. It is also a thought about this case, and about 'being Portuguese'. I don't think the most
important part is the source for inspiration, but rather what ended up coming out of that same fountain. The 'Estrela de Madeleine'
has a subtitle that reads 'Where, when, how, who, what and why'. This means it has a beginning, a middle and an end. I don't
like leaving things half finished, and I'm not going to change into that convenient mode now.
If you had to coordinate this case investigation, what would you have done differently?
I cannot seriously
reply to that question, because an investigation has its own life and its own personality. At every moment, there are situations
that cannot be conveyed into the case files. Men are not machines and as human beings they work all the time with the information
that is available at that single moment. It is very easy to judge things in hindsight; things that one does not dominate at
all. In any given moment, one acts and decides according to one's experience of life, of the techniques that were acquired
throughout the years. Comfortably sitting and commenting on other people's work, is something that has unfortunately become
too common, these days.
What are the big problems in the investigation into the Madeleine
Men, always men. They are to blame for all the evil in this world, anyway. The big problem is always the
human factor that tries to gain advantages from every single situation, at any given moment. It's an evil of the world.
Do you think that the constant presence of the media has harmed the investigation?
think there was not enough protection from the external incursions into this investigation. It should have been more of a
police case, and less of a political matter. This process should never have left the police's and the Public Ministery's sphere.
It did, and that was the worst that could have happened to it.
What is your theory
about what happened to Madeleine McCann on the evening of May 3 at the Ocean's Club?
The 'Estrela de Madeleine'
says what the author thinks that happened.
How do you evaluate the attitude/behaviour
of Maddie's parents during the investigation?
In their shoes, I'd do precisely the same. I would defend myself
with all the weapons that I could use. The difference in this world is that some have more weapons than others.
Where do you think the future of this process lies?
I would really like to believe
in a complete clarification of all the facts that are at stake here, with a full and well-fundamented identification of the
authors of this disappearance, but I fear that a missing child will remain on the PJ's website.
And what do you think will happen to the Leonor Cipriano case, in which you are an arguido?
together with those who are with me, that good sense will appear at some point. The strange accusation that is pending on
us, and which I recollect for you, is not that we hit Mrs Leonor Cipriano, but rather that we plotted a plan that led to some
unknown individuals entering the PJ and hitting her on our behalf, and then leaving, which now leads us, in an unusual reversal
of the onus of proof, to be forced to prove that on that day we did not think about doing or had someone do whatever. This
means that we are going to use all the legal means that we can to make sure that the truth will be restored. We are not settling
for a statement of innocence for the lack of evidence, but rather for a statement of innocence because we are completely innocent
of plotting anything. What will happen? Justice above everything. Regardless of those that are moving in the shadows to make
sure that this process hits not only the accused but the Policia Judiciaria itself, we believe that it is likely that, in
the course of our defense, some revelations will be made that will lead some people to rethink the posts that they occupy
and the professions that they are dedicated to.
Do you think that some day the truth
about the Madeleine Case will be discovered, and the child or her body will be found?
It is evident in this
case, and it was evident at some point during the Joana case, that the Truth is always and at all times, what men want it
to be. In our days, that concept has been enlarged to the point where reality is confounded with fiction, and that has happened
more than a few times. What distinguishes a truth from anything else is the strength of those who defend any given theory,
and that was, and is still seen, in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine.
Mother's Day daffs for Kate
KATE McCann was presented with daffodils at a Mother’s Day church service yesterday by her twins Sean and Amelie.
The 39-year-old, whose daughter Maddie, four has been missing ten months today, was clearly moved by the gesture at Sacred
Heart Catholic Church near the family home in Rothley, Leics.
Gerry and Kate 'were arrogant'
By Carlos Tomás
On the day in which they travelled for
England, Maddie's parents did not speak with anybody, their heads were down and they only drank a coffee.
and were immediately recognized by all the passengers and crew. They did not show any sign of suffering. They were arrogant.
They looked at us with a look of enormous disdain and occupied their respective places. They did not seem persons who had
lost a daughter. We did not see any expression of pain in either one."
The declarations were made to 24horas by a stewardess who did the service in the airplane in which the McCanns traveled,
the parents of Madeleine - the girl who disappeared, in May from an apartment in the Praia da Luz, Algarve - on the day in
which they decided to leave Portugal, shortly afterwards of being constituted arguidos.
On the 8th of September, the spokesperson of Maddie’ parents, Justine McGuinness, later substituted by the
adviser to the British prime minister, Clarence Mitchell, guaranteed to several bodies of social communication that Kate and
Gerry McCann would stay in Portugal and that they would not leave the Country until their daughter was found. This, in spite
of having being constituted arguidos in September.
"A Guilty Look"
and Gerry are going to remain in the Praia da Luz to not disturb the investigation of the PJ", affirmed Justine in that time.
What happened was quite different.
On the 9th of September the McCanns caught a flight of EasyJet, in Faro, at 9h30 am and headed for England. This because
they were only under the term of identity and residence and the residence that they supplied to the Portuguese authorities
was the house where they reside in that country, located in the surroundings of Leicestershire, a region of the centre of
"They looked guilty. After the airplane lifted, they asked a coffee that they drank with their heads lowered and it was
in that position that they did the whole journey", said, to 24horas, a source from the crew, a Portuguese who resides in England.
The crew member says that the feeling in the country regarding the case is mixed: "A few blame the Portuguese authorities
and say that they were incompetent. Others think that the McCann are guilty. Let's hope the PJ finds the body and discovers
what really happened."
The one who sees faces...
A judicial person in
charge thought that the behaviour of the McCann was "strange" and he pointed out that there are analyses still being done.
"The facial expressions of the persons can demonstrate their feelings and if what they say it is true or lies.
"There are techniques available to evaluate these cases and though the collected elements do not serve of proof can help
the judge to form a stronger conviction on the guilt or not of the McCanns.
"An investigation does not consist on forensic trials, but to a set of data that are gathered, like evidences, facial
expressions, in testimonies, contradictions in statements, etc. Therefore the significance of the new interrogations to the
McCanns and their friends."
|Couple saw bundle taken out to sea near where Madeleine disappeared but police ignored them
Last updated at 00:19am on 4th March 2008
A British couple saw a package
being bundled onto a jetski on a beach just six miles from where Madeleine McCann went missing.
The tourists had been
for a morning swim just nine hours after the little girl disappeared when they spotted the jetski. A man in a dark wetsuit
was riding it, with a 2ft- to 3ft-long black package on the front. He took it to a small "official-looking" grey boat moored
just off the coast at Salema.
But despite reporting the sighting to staff at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz - where Madeleine had been staying - police
have not interviewed the couple. Last night the McCanns's spokesman said they were concerned the Portuguese police had not
followed up such a "potentially significant lead".
The new witnesses came forward after months of concern that the
report had not been investigated by police hunting for the four-year-old. The couple from south-west England, who did not
want to be named, were visiting relatives Patrick Matthews, 37, and his wife Eliza, 25, in Salema, near Praia da Luz.
Matthews said: "They were afraid to come forward but we know the police were informed of this, just days after, and yet we
were not interviewed or even contacted."
By Sophie Borland
Last Updated 8:24am GMT 04/03/2008
A British couple claim they saw a small bundle being smuggled on a jetski and taken out to sea just a few miles from
where Madeleine McCann went missing.
The witnesses say that they had been on an early morning swim, about nine hours after the toddler disappeared, when they
saw a man in a dark wetsuit the riding the vehicle with a 2ft- to 3ft-long black package on the front.
He then appeared to take the bundle it to a small “official-looking” grey boat moored just off
the coast at Salema, six miles up the coast from Praia Da Luz where Madeleine went missing last May.
Despite the fact that the couple reported their sighting to the Ocean Club resort, where the McCann family
had been staying, police have not yet investigated the incident or called them in to be interviewed.
The witnesses, who did not want to be named, are from south-west England and were visiting relatives Patrick
Matthews, 37, and his wife Eliza, 25, in Salema, near Praia da Luz.
The McCann’s official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said that Kate and Gerry McCann were concerned the
Portuguese police had not followed up such a “potentially significant lead”.
Over the past few months several witnesses have come forward claiming to have seen young children bearing
striking resemblance to Madeline.
Last month a Dutch student told authorities that she saw Madeleine at a roadside restaurant near Montpellier,
Maddie ‘bundle’ seen on jet ski
By Nick Parker
A BLACK bundle was seen being taken from a jet ski to a boat near where Madeleine
McCann went missing, it was revealed yesterday.
The incident, six miles from Praia da Luz in Portugal, happened around ten hours after Maddie disappeared.
Two relatives of British expat Patrick Matthews, 37, witnessed the transfer as they went for an early-morning stroll at Salema
As soon as they heard of the hunt for the missing three-year-old they contacted Portuguese cops, fearing
they may have witnessed her body being disposed of. But the pair say their report has NEVER been chased up. They described
the bundle as being around three foot long.
One of the witnesses, a 70-year-old who does not want to be named, said: "We saw this man sitting on the
jet ski with the package between his knees. He was medium build and dressed in black. We started to wonder what on earth he
was doing. The man and the jet ski must have been taken on to the boat."
The other witness, a woman aged 58, said: "We heard the jet ski set off and it went and joined the boat."
Patrick said: "It could have been drugs – or you could package a body up quite easily."
Portuguese police were unavailable for comment.
Maddie Jetski Snatch Riddle
Mar 4 2008
CHILD snatchers may have smuggled Madeleine McCann out of Portugal on a jetski within 10 hours of her kidnap.
Two new witnesses have emerged saying they saw a man carrying a large bundle on a beach near Praia da Luz the morning after
Madeleine vanished. They said the man sped off on a jetski with the 3ft-long load on his lap and met a small boat offshore.
One witness, a 58-year-old British woman, said: "The man was acting very strange, he was dressed in black and left on a
black jetski with a bundle on his lap. The bundle was definitely big enough to hold Madeleine. It could have been her."
The witness was on holiday in the Algarve with her 70-year-old husband when they spotted the jetski man on quiet Salema
beach, six miles from Praia da Luz. Her husband said: "We were 30 yards away from the jetski. Either the bundle was tied on
to the seat in front of him or he was just holding it on with his knees, but it was quite large."
The woman said the jetski left in a hurry and met a small grey military-style boat with funnels. But they didn't see it
leave. She added: "We must only assume the man and the jetski were both taken on to the boat."
Their suspicions were passed onto Portuguese police
McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "If these people had a sighting which is potentially significant, then clearly
our investigators will require this information as a priority."
McCanns 'encouraged' by poll support
Tuesday March 4, 2008
Madeleine McCanns' parents were said to be "encouraged" after a survey suggested public opinion in Portugal was
shifting in their favour.
The Correio da Manha poll found that 38.6% of those questioned still believe Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in their
daughter's disappearance in the Algarve.
On the other hand, 30.7% thought the couple, from Rothley, in Leicestershire,
were completely innocent.
This compares to an earlier poll run by the Portuguese newspaper in which 39.9% of people
interviewed thought the couple were guilty and 26.8% believed they were not to blame.
It is a small change but the
McCanns, still official suspects in the police investigation, believe the tide could be turning for them after 10 months of
speculation and accusations.
Their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "It's encouraging to see that public opinion
is shifting in Kate and Gerry's favour.
"People are right to believe that Kate and Gerry had nothing to do with their
daughter's disappearance and are right to be sceptical of some of the coverage in recent months."
The poll came as
the McCanns' private detectives were investigating another lead in their search for the little girl.
A British couple
reportedly spotted a "package" being put onto a jet ski on a beach close to where Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz.
Mitchell said: "Detective agency Metodo 3 are looking at it and endeavouring to get to the bottom of it. The timing is potentially
significant as is the placing."
By Ian Mason
The parents of missing Madeleine McCann have visited Richmond to find out more about the work of a charity that helps locate
Kate and Gerry McCann, whose four-year-old daughter was kidnapped from Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3 last year, met
representatives from East Sheen-based charity Missing People and Missing Children Europe.
Ross Miller, of Missing People, said the McCanns wanted to find out more about the charity's role within Missing Children
Europe, the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children, and to hear about its work first hand.
He said: "Kate and Gerry were very interested to learn more about our new research programme.
"This aims to fill gaps in the information currently available about the numbers of people going missing, why they go missing,
their experiences while away and the impact on those left behind."
On the same day, 302 days after Madeleine's abduction, Gerry wrote on his blog praising the work of the charity.
He said: "Missing People were responsible for displaying Madeleine's image on Marble Arch, along with two other missing
children last summer.
"It was heartening to hear today that one of those children was recovered as a direct result and the other has also been
successfully returned to his family."
The Richmond Guardian also received reports that the couple visited the Depot restaurant, in Tideway Yard, Mortlake High
Street, and were being filmed.
However, staff at the restaurant remained tight-lipped about the couple's visit and refused to comment about the filming.
Note: The 'recovered' child mentioned is, in fact, still living with the man for whom she left
Private Eye - UK satirical magazine (no link)
Richard "Dirty" Desmond called in at the Oscars in LA on his way back from
hawking OK! magazine around Australia, bringing along his top snapper to record the great man rubbing shoulders with Hollywood's
pressing the flesh with Elton John and other celebrities was not a pleasure he wished to share with his senior sidekick Martin
"Rottweiler" Ellice - who was told to go back to head office in London and deal with the small matter of his titles being
sued by the McCann family for all the rubbish stories they have carried since last year, many of which suggested - without
any justification - that the parents might have killed their own child.
Although Dirty Des's lawyers offered £250,000
in an attempt to settle quickly, the McCanns declined and insisted on £1m per newspaper - a total of £4m, covering the daily
and Sunday versions of the Express and Star. Outside legal experts consulted by Desmond have reported back to him: "You're
That should, of course, be "Carter-F*cked" - for Kate and Gerry McCann have indeed turned to Britain's most
aggressive libel lawyers in their attempt to stem the flow of nonsense written about them.
The bad news: The DE pulling their articles was nothing
to do with progress in the investigation.
The good news: The Mcs have hired Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners. For those
who don't know, this means they are really desperate.
Madeleine's Fund - Board meeting
The board of Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd meet. One of the items believed to be on the agenda
is the decision on whether to renew the contract of Spanish detective agency Metodo 3.
Madeleine: British police meet Portuguese detectives to plan fresh interviews
with Tapas Nine
By Neil Sears
Last updated at 21:09pm on 6th March
British police have met Portuguese detectives to plan new interviews with the group
of friends who dined with Gerry and Kate McCann on the night their daughter Madeleine disappeared.
Portuguese police continue to believe the so-called Tapas Nine - the McCanns and their
seven friends - could still hold the solution to the unsolved mystery that began in May last year.
Madeleine was three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment while
her parents ate dinner 50 yards away.
And Leicestershire Police said yesterday that Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior
had returned from the Algarve after three days of meetings with counterparts in Portugal about how fresh interviews would
Madeleine was three when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia
da Luz while her parents ate dinner at a tapas bar 50 yards away with their friends from England.
Portuguese detectives, who have been widely criticised for their failure to find any
solid evidence or charge anyone, remain unsatisfied by the witness accounts given by the so-called Tapas Nine, as they try
to establish a timeline of events on that evening.
Leicestershire Police said Det Supt Prior flew to Portugal to discuss
the issue of mutual legal assistance, the process whereby evidence is gathered in one country to help an investigation in
A Leicestershire police spokeswoman said: "Since Madeleine's disappearance, we, together with other law enforcement
agencies, have been working closely with the Portuguese authorities.
"Mr Prior has attended a series of meetings with
his Portuguese counterparts. He travelled to Portugal on Tuesday and returned this morning.
"He went to discuss how
the request for mutual legal assistance is to be executed, and to seek clarification over elements of the request."
process could involve Portuguese police writing questions to be put to the friends on their behalf by their British counterparts.
But officers involved in the investigation in the Algarve also fly to Britain to sit in on the interviews, which are
likely to be held at a location in Leicestershire.
Fiona Payne, Jane Tanner, Russell O' Brien and Rachael Oldfield were dining with the
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'The sooner this re-interviewing takes place the better.
friends are very keen to help police understand their original statements. No one will be changing their story.
are not aware that Kate and Gerry are to be re-interviewed at this stage, but if so, that's not an issue."
Portuguese police continue to believe the so-called Tapas Nine - the McCanns and their
seven friends - could still hold the solution to Maddy's disappearance
The McCanns, from Rothley in Leicestershire,
were joined at the tapas restaurant on by Dr Matthew Oldfield and his recruitment consultant wife Rachael, Dr Russell O'Brien
and his partner Jane Tanner, and medical researcher David Payne, his wife Fiona, and her mother Dianne Webster.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We have already confirmed that we have received a
mutual legal assistance request from the Portuguese authorities in connection with the investigation into the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann.
"We are currently awaiting clarification from the Portuguese authorities over elements of the
"Home Office officials continue to work closely with the police to assist the Portuguese authorities with
British expat Robert Murat, 34, a sometime estate agent, was made an official suspect two weeks
into the inquiry when police suddenly swooped on the villa he shares with his mother less than 100 yards from the McCanns'
He has not been charged, but remains under official suspicion.
Portuguese Police later made Gerry and Kate McCann themselves their chief targets,
but again no charges have followed.
Madeleine Police Discuss Re-Questioning
Crime correspondent Updated:21:18, Thursday
March 06, 2008
The senior British detective involved in the Madeleine McCann case has returned from
the Algarve after a series of meetings with Portuguese police.
Kate and Gerry McCann renew contract of Spanish private eyes Metodo 3
Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior of Leicestershire
police spent 48 hours in Portugal, discussing how his force can help in the continuing search for the missing girl.
on the agenda was the Portuguese police request to re-question the seven friends who dined with Gerry and Kate McCann at the
tapas bar on the night Madeleine vanished in May last year.
It is believed the Algarve detectives are unhappy with
so-called inconsistencies in statements the friends gave them before they returned to the UK.
as the McCanns' local force, are likely to carry out the new interviews on behalf of the Portuguese authorities.
force spokesman said: "Since Madeleine's disappearance we, together with other law enforcement agencies, have been working
closely with the Portuguese authorities.
"Mr Prior has attended a series of meetings with his Portuguese counterparts.
He travelled to Portugal on Tuesday and returned this afternoon.
"He went to discuss how the request for mutual legal
assistance is to be executed and seek clarification over terms of reference."
It is several months since Portugal's
police director announced that he wanted to re-interview the McCanns' friends and it is not clear why the process has taken
The family's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "The sooner this takes place the better. No-one will be changing
The McCanns hope that any new development in the investigation might lead to the lifting of their arguido
status under which they remain official suspects in their daughter's disappearance.
The McCanns are to renew the contract of Spanish private eyes Metodo 3.
The Find Madeleine Fund yesterday voted to retain the agency despite suggestions it
may be axed after its wild claim the McCanns' four-year-old - who went missing in Portugal last May - would be found by Christmas.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "That's all water under the bridge now."
Madeleine Parents Set To Sue Newspapers
Sky News reporter Updated:12:18, Friday March 07, 2008
Lawyers for Kate and Gerry McCann are considering taking legal action against British newspapers whose coverage they
feel to have been incorrect and unfair.
Principally they are looking at the publications in The Express Group: The Daily Express, The Sunday Express, The Daily
Star and The Daily Star Sunday.
Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCann family, confirmed that their lawyers were in discussions, but denied
that any writs had yet been issued.
"It's wrong to say that we're actually suing, but our lawyers have been assessing all articles, in all papers.
"We are extremely unhappy with The Express Group's coverage. We always said it was the worst amongst all the tabloids."
He also added that the figures that have been quoted in the media are wildly speculative and that The Express Group had
made no initial offer for an out-of-court settlement.
Under UK law, the McCanns and their lawyers have a year from the publication of an article to decide whether they wish
to take legal action against its content.
It is thought that in the case of the coverage they are assessing, that year would be up some time in mid-May, and a
decision must be taken by then.
Clarence Mitchell denied the family were taking this action because the Find Madeleine fund was running low.
He said: "Yes, it's true that the fund is roughly half-way spent, but the main thing we require is an apology."
He added that any money won as a result of legal action would go straight back into the fund.
guardian.co.uk, Friday March 7 2008
Lawyers acting for Kate and Gerry McCann are considering taking legal action against Express Newspapers over what the
couple claim to be a series of "wildly and grossly defamatory" articles about their missing daughter Madeleine.
The McCanns have made official complaints to Richard Desmond's newspaper group about its coverage in the Daily Express,
Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday through London law firm Carter Ruck, which specialises in high profile libel
They are thought to be particularly upset by the coverage in the Daily Express, which has splashed on a nearly daily
basis on the Madeleine case with what they believe are increasingly lurid stories and headlines.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed that complaints had been made to the newspaper group.
"Carter Ruck have been instructed to act on behalf of the McCanns to seek redress and discussions are ongoing, but beyond
that it would be inappropriate to speculate on other courses of action," he said.
Adam Tudor, who is acting for the McCanns at Carter Ruck, added: "I and my firm have been instructed to bring complaints
on their behalf and these complaints are ongoing."
The McCanns' legal moves against Express Newspapers were reported by Private Eye this week, although Mitchell said the
magazine's claim that the McCanns were seeking £4m in damages was "wildly speculative".
He added that any damages won would go back into the Find Madeleine fund, which currently stands at £544,000 - nearly
half the £1.2m it started with.
Mitchell said the McCanns were not targeting any one story in particular but were angry about a series of "wildly and
grossly defamatory articles".
It is understood the McCanns are focussing on Express Newspapers as they believe its newspapers to be "amongst the worst
offenders" and want a full apology and damages as well as costs.
Under UK law, the McCanns and their lawyers have a year from the publication of an article to decide whether they wish
to take legal action against its content.
It is thought that in the case of the coverage they are assessing, that year would be up some time in mid-May and a decision
must be taken by then.
Express Newspapers was contacted by MediaGuardian.co.uk but had not commented by the time of publication.
Gerry and Kate McCann have offered their prayers and sympathy to the family of a missing five-year-old Spanish girl whose
body is reported to have been found.
A spokesman for the McCanns said they were aware of reports that the body of Mari Luz Cortes had been discovered in the
southern Spanish city of Huelva, just 120 miles away from where their daughter Madeleine disappeared.
Reports in the Spanish media said a body found by an oil refinery worker had been identified as that of Mari Luz, who disappeared
on January 13.
Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, sent Mari Luz's parents messages of support after her disappearance and
the British couple had also planned to include her in their poster campaign in Spain.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry are aware of the reports and it's clearly very upsetting
for them. Their thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
"Kate and Gerry had kept a very close eye on the search for Mari Luz and they felt there was a degree of connection between
the two families. They sent messages of support after she went missing."
Maddie: Dozens to be interviewed in UK
Dozens of people, among friends of McCann, tourists and former officials of the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz, will be surveyed
over the next few days in England.
According to information collected by PortugalDiário, the investigation was requested
by the Portuguese authorities through letters rogatory and will be met by British police over the coming weeks.
from interrogations, which should not include the couple McCann, it will still be complied with the search warrant, in order,
inter alia, to the seizure of the diary of Kate McCann, the mother of the minor disappeared, May 3 last year, described the
relationship with their children.
The steps will be met by British authorities but count with the presence of Portuguese
"Testimonials divergent and collection of new information"
The eight friends of Kate
and Gerry, who passed vacation in Praia da Luz, last May, and other British tourists who were, a pair of former officials
of the venture will be reporting on steps aimed essentially determine possible different testimonies and gather new information.
Also according to information collected by PortugalDiário, the process simply no longer be covered by the secrecy
of justice, after the full implementation of the investigation.
It is recalled that at the beginning of the year,
the prosecutor asked the investigating judge, and this granted, the extension of the secrecy of justice for a further three
months. The prosecutor relied on the exceptional complexity of the case.
Abduction, murder and concealment of
Under the law, after eight months on the formation of the first defendant in the case, the Portuguese-British
Robert Murata (May 14), the prosecutor should file the case or inferred accusation. Do not having done until January 14, the
prosecutor had to request the extension of the period for another three months.
This request of the prosecutor to
prohibit the access of parties and the public to the proceeding may be postponed for a maximum period of three months, renewable
once by [particularly in crimes against the life and liberty of the people], for a period objectively indispensable the conclusion
of the investigation.
It should be noted that throughout the process the thesis of abduction and murder and subsequent
concealment of corpses have been addressed.
Besides Murat, also parents of Maddie, Kate and Gerry, consisted defendants
in September, for suspected involvement in the disappearance of the minor.
Madeleine McCann, four years old, disappeared
May 3 to an apartment in a resort in Praia da Luz, while parents jantavam a restaurant, a few metres away.
DIVING OPERATIONS to search for Madeleine McCann’s body in the Arade dam, near Silves, will restart on Monday,
March 10, at 10am and continue for a further four days until Friday, March 14.
The diving operation is this time being
financially supported by Sociedade Portuguesa de Engenharia e Construção, Lda (SPEC), the Portuguese engineering and construction
SPEC considered the leads received by the Madeira-based lawyer, Marcos Aragão Pereira, credible and the initiative
“a noble act in the defence of children”.
Mr Aragão, who commissioned the first phase of the dam searches
in January and February, is also organising next week’s operation.
He told The Resident: “SPEC’s
contact was given to me by a close friend from Portimão”.
The diving team will this time consist of seven divers,
five from Lagos and two from Portimão. Search operations will again be directed by Martin Falkous, from Dive Time, the diving
company based in Lagos that was also involved in the first phase of the Arade dam searches.
Next week’s operation
will start near the dam’s control tower and divers will be widening their search of the Arade lake from the water tower
in the direction of the flood gate.
The dam’s maximum possible depth is 46 metres and on May 3, when Madeleine
went missing, it had a depth of 40 metres, based on Mr Aragão’s official records.
The reservoir is currently
24 to 26 metres deep at its deepest point, as a result of several water discharges and a dry winter. Divers believe the water
level will facilitate the search operations.
Marcos Aragão said: “The Madeleine Fund is not supporting the diving
operation because it has limited resources and, as the family believes Madeleine is alive, they will keep on supporting leads
that may take them to their living daughter”.
Metodo 3, the Barcelona based private detectives company hired
by the McCanns, is aware of next week’s diving operation in the Arade dam “as it was aware of the one held in
January”, Mr Aragão told The Resident.
“We cross check information with them. The tip-off I received has
been confirmed with information from Metodo 3.”
He gave the example of a “truck driver who, on May 5, witnessed
a woman in Silves transferring a child wrapped up in a blanket from her car to another vehicle driven by a man showing an
Mr Aragão refused to reveal further details on the leads he is pursuing, explaining that
“the information will be revealed in due time as it is not safe to release it at this moment”.
As in previous
instances, the police teams investigating the Madeleine McCann case were informed about next week’s search operation,
however, “the police have not shown much interest”, said Marcos Aragão.
Mari, five, found dead
floating in Spanish estuary Daily Express (no online link)
The body of a missing Spanish
girl whose disappearance was linked to the hunt for Madeleine McCann was found last night.
Five-year-old Mari Luz Cortes
vanished in mid-January after going to buy crisps at a local shop.
She lived with her family in
near the border with the Algarve in Portugal
where Madeleine went missing last year.
The Spanish girl’s parents
had repeatedly said they believed she had been snatched and was still alive.
But her badly decomposed body
was discovered in a river estuary next to a petrol station jetty. She was identified by her clothing.
It is believed she suffered a
head injury, but it is not yet known whether it was inflicted by an attacker or sustained in the water.
Her parents, who were in Portugal
earlier this week distributing posters of their missing daughter, last night identified her body at the city morgue.
is 120 miles from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished on May 3 last year. The town is on the route along which her parents
Kate and Gerry McCann fear Madeleine was smuggled into north Africa.
As soon as Mari Luz went missing
police put up a helicopter and directed a small army of officers to search for her. More than 100 officers also carried out
door-to-door inquiries, stopped and searched cars and made sure no clues were missed.
A massive publicity campaign
was also launched. Mari Luz’s heartbroken parents released a video of her dancing and opening her Christmas presents.
Kate McCann sent an email to
Mari’s parents when she went missing saying: “I feel your pain. As parents we know what you are going through.”
Kate and Gerry later sent two
of their private investigators from the Barcelona-based Metodo 3 agency to the Cortes family to examine any possible links
between the two girls.
Last month, the McCanns launched
another poster campaign that linked their daughter with Mari and another missing Spanish child – Yeremi Vargas, seven.
The posters read No Nos Olvideis, Spnaish for “Don’t forget us”.
Kate and Gerry McCann visited
Huelva, which has a large gypsy neighbourhood, in August last year to hand out
posters at shopping centres and the city’s cathedral.
They drove along the A22 motorway,
which some believe was the route used by an abductor to smuggle Madeleine out of Portugal.
They also appealed to motorists at petrol stations, hoping for information.
Last night the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry’s thoughts and prayers
go out to the Cortes family.” He made it clear there was no link between the death of Mari and the disappearance of
Madeleine. Kate and Gerry “continued to believe” she would be found alive.
Madeleine's parents offer sympathy after body of Spanish girl linked to McCanns' case is found
Last updated at 10:15am on 8th March 2008
Gerry and Kate McCann have offered their prayers and sympathy to the family of a missing five-year-old Spanish girl
whose body was found floating in an estuary near her home.
A spokesman for the McCanns said they were aware of reports that the body of Mari Luz Cortes had been discovered in
the southern Spanish city of Huelva, just 120 miles away from where their daughter Madeleine disappeared in May last year.
Spanish media reports said the body found was found by an oil refinery worker and had been identified as that of Mari
Luz, who disappeared on January 13.
decomposed body was discovered floating by a wharf in the port near her home.
The McCanns, whose daughter Madeleine has been missing for more than 10 months, said they were "extremely saddened"
by the news.
The couple sent Mari Luz's parents messages of support after her disappearance and had also planned to include her
in their poster campaign in Spain.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry are aware of the reports and it's clearly very upsetting
for them. It's an absolute tragedy for Mari Luz's family.
thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. Kate and Gerry had kept a very close eye on the search for Mari Luz
and they felt there was a degree of connection between the two families.
"They sent messages of support after she went missing."
Mari Luz had popped out alone to buy a packet of crisps and never returned. Police sources said the child's body was dressed in the same pink leotard and boots that Mari Luz was wearing on the
day she vanished.
Police said the only visible injury was a wound to her face and a fractured skull and added the extent of decomposition
suggested her body had been in the water for some time.
Mari Luz's distraught parents Juan Jose Cortes, 34, a former professional footballer, and Irene Suarez were last night
preparing to formally identify the body at the city morgue where an autopsy will determine the cause of death. They had rushed to the wharf and broke down in tears as their daughter's lifeless
body was taken away in an ambulance.
The mayor of Huelva, Pedro Rodriguez said it was "a very sad day and the worst possible outcome."
The child's grandparents criticised the police "for not having looked for the little girl in boats and around the wharfs,
as the family repeatedly called for."
The find Madeleine fund had paid for thousands of missing posters featuring photographs of Madeleine, who was three
when she disappeared last May 3, and Mari Luz to be put up in shops and businesses around Spain.
And private detectives from Metodo 3, the agency hunting for Madeleine, interviewed Mari Luz's family and friends in
case the two disappearances were linked.
The case of missing Mari Luz has gripped Spain and thousands of people have turned out in demonstrations across the
country demanding her safe return.
Kate, 39, said: "My heart goes out to them. We always hoped and prayed that no other family
would have to suffer like we have."
Money from the Find Madeleine Fund could perhaps pay for a massive poster campaign. Shannon's
mum Karen will contact the McCanns to discuss the possibilities. She said: "It's fantastic that they are offering to help
us in this way."
Board members of the Maddie fund will now be asked to approve donations to Karen. McCann family
spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry have no control over the money. The board will want to know what it is needed
The fund now stands at £544,000. That is less than half the amount it contained soon after
Maddie, then three, vanished in Portugal on May 3 last year.
Note: Article relates to Shannon Matthews who has been missing from her home in Dewsbury,
West Yorkshire, UK, since 19 February 2008.
Frogmen resume search of reservoir in which lawyer claims Madeleine McCann's body was dumped
Last updated at 10:55am on 10th March 2008
Divers have resumed their search of a remote Algarve reservoir where a Portuguese lawyer claims the body of Madeleine McCann
Frogmen returned to the murky waters of the Barragem do Arade reservoir to hunt for the missing four-year-old today.
Criminal lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia spent thousands of pounds on a previous search of the reservoir five weeks ago after
a tip-off Madeleine had been murdered and her body thrown into an Algarve lake last May.
Firefighter divers joined specialists from Lagos-based dive school Dive Time this morning as the original search area around
a water pumping tower was widened.
The remote reservoir is near the Algarve town of Silves, where a lorry driver saw a woman handing a child like Madeleine
McCann over to a man two days after she went missing on May 3.
Marcos, from Madeira, says he pinpointed it as Madeleine's burial site after being told by underworld criminals she had
been raped, murdered and dumped in a lake in the area within 48 hours of being snatched.
The McCanns' private investigators Metodo 3 have been informed of the new search - but are still working on the theory
she is alive and being held against her will.
The second round of searches, set to involve up to seven divers a day and finish on Friday, is being sponsored by the Portuguese
Society of Engineering and Construction.
Mr Aragao said: "If I was Madeleine's parents, I'd want to be helped.
"It may not be the outcome they want if I find Madeleine, but it's important for them that they find out what happened
to her and recover her body if she is dead.
"There may be genetic evidence on the corpse that could help the police discover who killed her," he added.
"We've used the time between the first and second searches to consult experts on the most likely current location of Madeleine's
body. The result is a widened search area.
"Dive Time will continue to be in charge of the searches. But they have been joined by divers from a neighbouring town
highly experienced in searches for bodies in natural and artificial lakes."
A Portuguese lorry driver told Metodo 3 he saw the German girlfriend of Madeleine suspect Robert Murat handing over a child
in a blanket to a mystery man in Silves, a five-minute drive from the reservoir, on May 5 last year.
Michaela Walczuch has claimed she is being framed to protect the McCanns and denied any involvement in their daughter's
She has never been made an official suspect and has only ever been quizzed as a witness.
Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39, say they still believe their daughter is alive.
Sky News allows hoax photographs, featuring Madeleine, to appear on their website, 10 March 2008
This picture was published by Sky News under the section 'Your Photos - Wild Weather'. If you look in the background
you can clearly see that someone has added the photograph of Madeleine clutching tennis balls, which is reproduced at
the bottom of this section for reference.
The picture was attributed to 'Piotrish Hazzmadday, Barnsley, 10/03/2008 18:30:00', and entitled: 'My mothers crushed car'
The name attributed to this photograph refers to a poster on the football365 site by the name of 'Piotrish'. The
'joke' is that Piotrish 'has Maddie'.
'Piotrish' is urban slang for something disgusting that will not be repeated on this site.
The original picture, first published on the BBC News website on 19 January 2008 and attributed to 'Symone Ingram: "A
photo of my husband's car."'
This photograph superimposed Madeleine's face onto a walker in the background, on the right hand side of the photograph.
The picture was attributed to 'M. Ken, Doncaster, 10/03/2008
18:44:00' and entitled 'On a charity walk with work'.
The picture was also eventually removed, from same set of Sky pictures, just before midday on 11 March 2008.
Photograph of Madeleine used in 'car' picture
Photograph of Madeleine used in the 'walker' picture
2008-03-11 - 00:30:00
Sponsored by the lawyer
Searches for Maddie's body resumed at Arade's dam
Correio da Manha
(Translation by 'Demeter' from the3arguidos forum)
A team of divers returned yesterday to the Arade's dam, in Silves, in order to search for Maddie's body. The work is
sponsored by Marcos Aragão Coreia, a lawyer, who believes that the English child ['s body] was thrown there.
to get the support of a building company which is paying half of the expenses, so we resumed the searching", explained to
CM Aragão Correia, who in the beginning of February paid from his own pocket 4 days of diving in that place. "We will continue
[searching] for 5 days, till next Friday".
Yesterday the searches conducted by 6 divers started at 10:00. By late afternoon,
after they had found some ropes, they made the day's biggest finding, a stocking.
"It's a girl's stocking (sock), measuring
17 cm from the top of the toe to the heel, and of the same size from the heel to the top of the stocking", described the lawyer.
"The experts from the team believe that's not a usual object to be found in that place and in their opinion it is not a stocking
(sock) belonging to a Portuguese girl but rather to one from the north of Europe, judging by the kind of fabric", ensures
Aragão Correia. The stocking (sock) should be white but due to being under the water for a long time it acquired a yellowish
As far as the ropes are concerned, they are knotted together, making one rope of about 5,20 metres.
McCanns diver fury
Kate and Gerry McCann reacted with fury yesterday
after divers began a second search of a reservoir for Madeleine's body.
The couple told friends the search - funded
by a Portuguese lawyer who they claim is a "fantasist" seeking publicity - is a distraction from the hunt.
Aragao Correia claims crime contacts told him she was killed and left in the lake two days after going missing.
spent thousands of pounds on a previous search but found nothing.
But a McCann source said: "There's no evidence Madeleine
is in that reservoir.
They believe she is alive and are concentrating on finding her."
Madeleine: Portuguese police could spend two months in Britain gathering 'ammunition' to interview McCanns
Last updated at 09:35am on 11th March 2008
Portuguese police say they are ready
to spend more than two months in Britain to try to unravel the Madeleine McCann mystery, gathering as much "ammunition" as
they can before they re-interview Kate and Gerry McCann.
They hope to wrap up the interrogations within a week.
But they are packing their bags in anticipation of a much longer stay and plan to quiz Madeleine McCann's parents as
well as the seven holiday friends who were eating tapas with them when the youngster disappeared, Portuguese daily 24 horas
"Madeleine's parents will be the last to face questioning because we want to have as much ammunition as possible in terms
of forensic evidence and other witness statements," the paper quoted a police insider as saying.
British police have already met counterparts in Portugal to plan the new interviews.
A source told the paper: "The McCanns and their friends live in different parts of Britain and they will all be questioned
in their respective areas of residence.
"This is why we've had to coordinate everything with the UK police, so we're able to unite and and hear as quickly as
possible all the people mentioned in the formal interview requests.
"We want to resolve everything in a week.
"But if things don't go well, we can stay in Britain for more than two months."
It was previously thought Portuguese police would quiz only David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner Russell O'Brien
before deciding whether to requestion other members of the Tapas Nine.
Algarve detectives believe the trio may hold the key to the Madeleine McCann mystery.
But Portuguese newspaper reports today suggested every member of the holiday group would be quizzed.
The police insider told 24 horas: "We've specified who we'd like interviewed, on what days and at what time.
"Madeleine's parents will be the last to face questioning because we want to have as much ammunition as possible in terms
of forensic evidence and other witness statements."
Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, of Leicestershire Police, returned to Britain last week after three days of meetings
with counterparts in Portugal about how fresh interviews would be conducted.
Leicestershire Police said Det Supt Prior flew to Portugal to discuss the issue of mutual legal assistance, the process
whereby evidence is gathered in one country to help an investigation in another.
The Leicestershire force covers the town of Rothley where GP Kate and heart specialist Gerry, both 39, live with Madeleine's
twin siblings Sean and Amelie, three.
The Portuguese police team, led by chief coordinator Paulo Rebelo, is expected to arrive in the UK in the next fortnight.
The interviews with the Tapas Nine are being seen as a last-gasp attempt by investigators to crack the case.
Portuguese police have privately pointed to inconsistencies in some of the Tapas Nine's original statements.
Attention has focussed on Jane Tanner's claim she saw a man carrying a girl from the McCanns' ground floor apartment
at about 9.15pm the night she disappeared - when another witness says he was outside the flat at the same time but did not
see her or the mystery man.
Dr Payne, a 41-year-old cardiovascular researcher from Leicester, was the last person outside the McCann family to see
Madeleine at the Ocean Club resort on May 3. Gerry asked him to check on his wife and children while he having a tennis lesson
at about 6.30pm.
Dr O'Brien, 36, from Exeter, was away from the rest of the group for up to 45 minutes between 9.30pm until 10.15pm while
he tended to his own child who was being sick in his apartment.
He told police he had changed her bedlinen, but staff at the Ocean Club deny any change of sheets was requested.
The trio have denied previous press reports they were intending changing their original police statements.
Earlier reports Portuguese police were intending to make them official suspects alongside Madeleine's parents and expat
Robet Murat, have also failed to materialise.
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell says the Tapas Nine are keen to help police understand their original statements
and want the re-interviewing to take place as soon as possible.
McCanns mull ITV documentary offer
Tuesday March 11 2008
The parents of Madeleine McCann are in discussions with ITV about appearing in a documentary about missing children.
has learnt that discussions have been held between representatives of Kate and Gerry McCann and the commercial broadcaster
about a long-form documentary.
It is thought that while the film would feature the McCann's own experience, it would
have a greater focus on how different countries treat missing children. The documentary would examine initiatives such as
Project Amber in the US, which sees alerts posted on electronic roadside billboards as soon as a child is reported missing.
McCanns had been in discussions with Channel 4 and independent production company Darlow Smithson, the company behind Touching
the Void that is part of the IMG Group, about an observational documentary about Madeleine, but this is now not going ahead.
Mitchell, the McCann's spokesman, confirmed discussions had taken place with ITV.
"We have talked to one or two companies
and have a number of proposals and we are moving forward with those proposals," he said.
"It more than likely it would
be with ITV at this stage, but I am not at liberty to go into details."
Mitchell added that the McCanns were keen to
highlight different initiatives that help look for missing children.
"We are looking at a long form documentary surrounding
some of the wider issues Kate and Gerry want to highlight like the creation of an Amber alert system in Europe," he said.
is nothing like it in Europe. Each country has its own systems but they don't talk to each other.
"Kate and Gerry are
keen to discuss that part of improvement with [non government organisations] and we may well do a documentary looking at that
Mitchell added that the McCanns did not want to do another film about how they felt about the disappearance
of Madeleine, who vanished from a Portugese holiday apartment in May last year.
"They don't want to do anything about
'woe is us a year on'," Mitchell added. "That is what the tabloids would like but we are not following their agenda, we are
following our own agenda."
He said the McCann's would not profit from any new film themselves.
An ITV spokesman
declined to comment.
The McCann's have previously worked with the BBC on a controversial Panorama special.
Panorama programme, which pulled in 5.3 million viewers in November on BBC1, was hit by controversy after its original producer
David Mills walked out, claiming criticism of the media and Portugese police was toned down for the version eventually transmitted.
week, it was confirmed the McCanns had made formal complaints to Express Newspapers over a series of what Mitchell claimed
were "wildly and grossly defamatory" articles in the group's titles' coverage of Madeleine and were considering taking legal
They have instructed London law firm Carter Ruck, which specialises in high profile libel cases, to push for
Forbidden to write about Madeleine
Jornal de Noticias
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidos)
The journalists of Express Newspapers, the British media group that holds four tabloids, are forbidden to write about the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The editorial decision was made after the parents of the child that has been missing for
almost a year announced that they are preparing to sue the publications over articles that they consider "defamatory and rude".
Madeleine: Divers search reservoir
prohibition affects all the newspapers of the group - Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday - and
left the reporters "furious".
They say that the McCanns feel "threatened because we do not only write what they want
to see in print. We also cover the investigation by the Portuguese police", said a source within the group that was contacted
by JN. "The only thing that we want now is that they are forced to respond before a court, under oath, about the disappearance
of their daughter. Maybe then, the public will see the answers to some questions, namely what happened on the night of May
3", [the source] said.
Kate and Gerry McCann have decided to hire a reputable law firm in London, that is speacialised
in defamation cases. They hope to receive 4 million pounds (over 5,5 million euros), an amount that the spokesman, Clarence
Mitchell, assumes that will revert to the Find Madeleine fund.
Crime correspondent Updated:05:58, Wednesday March 12, 2008
A team of divers has resumed its search of a remote Algarve reservoir in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.
So far they have recovered nothing but several lengths of cord, some plastic tape and a single white, cotton sock.
Human rights lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia is funding the private search in the belief that Madeleine's body was thrown
into the Barragem do Arade shortly after being killed by an abductor.
He claims he was told of the girl's fate by an underworld contact.
It's the second time the lawyer has paid for divers to explore the reservoir which lies in rolling hills a 20-minute drive
from Praia da Luz, the holiday resort from where Madeleine vanished in May last year.
In December - when Portuguese police refused to act on his claims - he paid around £3,000 for a first search.
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have dismissed Mr Correia as a self-publicist and believe there is no evidence
to suggest there is any link between their daughter and the reservoir.
They don't believe Madeleine is dead and want any search to concentrate on finding her alive.
Mr Correia told Sky News: "The Portuguese authorities refused to carry out the searches themselves, as is their obligation.
Any possibility that she may be in the lake should be taken seriously and duly investigated.
"They completely refused to give my tip-off any credibility whatsoever, so I took it upon myself to search."
He said that whatever his divers recover will be handed to the McCanns' private investigators as potential evidence.
Five divers are being helped by two firefighters who specialise in the recovery of bodies.
Their search is complicated enough, but they've also discovered that the bottom of the reservoir has layer of soft mud
four metres thick, into which a weighted body would sink and disappear.
Last week, Portuguese police briefed a senior British detective on questions to be put to the seven friends who were dining
with the McCanns on the night Madeleine disappeared from the holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her twin brother
That re-questioning is expected to be carried out in the next few weeks.
The Times, March 13 2008
Talk of Kate and Gerry McCann suing Richard Desmond's Daily Express and other newspapers is, for the moment, wide of
the mark. Although nobody is prepared to comment, apparently talk of a demand of £1 million in compensation for alleged defamation
is inaccurate. Indeed, no sums of money have been demanded or offered by either side. The couple want an apology, amid concerns
about a series of what they say have been misleading headlines on as many as 40 stories in the tabloid, so money may not enter
into it - but a writ is not ruled out. Interestingly, however, they clearly believe that the Press Complaints Commission was
not able to help. Instead, the advice used by the McCanns comes from the Carter-Ruck law firm - and if they succeed against
Mr Desmond's titles, other newspapers could be targeted. If money does change hands, it will be destined for the Find Madeleine
Express titles cut back McCann coverage
Thursday March 13 2008
Together with Princess Diana and the weather, the case of missing toddler Madeleine McCann has been one of the Daily
Express's most popular recurring stories. But no longer, it seems.
Following the threat of legal action from Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry over what their spokesman Clarence Mitchell
described as a series of "wildly and grossly defamatory" articles, the paper, together with its Express Newspapers stablemates
the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday, has removed all references to the missing girl from its website
The Daily Express - the most prolific paper in covering the McCann case - has also notably toned down its print coverage
over the past few weeks. The paper has not splashed on Madeleine McCann for well over a fortnight. Prior to that, she was
regularly the lead story.
It is thought the threat of legal action by the McCanns has forced the Express Newspapers titles to scale back their
Mitchell confirmed to MediaGuardian.co.uk last week that the McCanns had instructed leading libel law firm Carter-Ruck
to push for a settlement with Express Newspapers, although he dismissed as "wildly speculative" reports that the couple wanted
Readers searching for stories on Madeleine on both the Daily Express and Daily Star websites will struggle to find any
mention, with both sites reporting zero articles on their search services despite publishing hundreds since she disappeared
in Portugal in May last year.
Despite the removal of references to Madeleine, she remains one of the most popular online search requests among both
titles' readers, taking up five of the top nine searches listed on the Express website, including the top three. Princess
Diana comes fourth.
On the Daily Star's website, four of the 15 top searches listed are about Madeleine.
A spokesman for Express Newspapers declined to comment on the removal of the articles from the company's websites.
An email from the Daily Express online editor, Geoff Marsh, quoted on the website anorak.co.uk, said: "For operational
reasons, some articles previously available on express.co.uk have been temporarily removed. I'm afraid I can't go into any
Carter-Ruck partner Adam Tudor, who is representing the McCanns, told MediaGuardian.co.uk last week that the complaints
against Express Newspapers were ongoing.
However, it is thought the case could be settled imminently.
McCanns refuse to axe £50,000-a-month private detectives in search for Madeleine
Last updated at 13:01pm on 13th March 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann have decided not to axe the controversial private detectives leading the hunt for their missing
The couple were expected to sever their links with Spanish firm Metodo 3 after a series of gaffes by outspoken boss Francisco
The agency's six-month contract ran out last week, but the McCanns' spokesman announced today that their relationship
with the private eyes will continue.
The couple's multi-millionaire backer, double glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy, will continue to pay Metodo's 3 £8,000-a-month
fee on a rolling month-to-month basis.
The Find Madeleine Fund will pick up the Barcelona-based firm's expenses, which have been averaging around £50,000 a
Marco, 35, the director general of Metodo 3 and son of its founder Marita Fernandez, made a series of bizarre boasts
after being hired last September.
He promised last November he would find Madeleine before the firm's six-month contract expired.
And he sensationally claimed last December in his boldest statement to date that he knew who kidnapped her - and hoped
to reunite her with her parents by Christmas.
Dad-of-two Marco has consistently said he believes Madeleine is alive and being held against her will in north Africa.
Relatives of Robert Murat, an official police suspect over the youngster's disappearance along with the McCanns, have
accused Metodo 3 of trying to frame him.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, confirmed today: "Our relationship with Metodo 3 is continuing.
"They are being kept on on a monthly retainer.
"Brian Kennedy will continue to pay their fee of £8,000.
"The Find Madeleine Fund will continue to pay their operating costs which have averaged about £50,000 a month up until
now but have started to fall and will probably continue to do so as the number of leads they need to follow up drops off.
"Some of the comments Mr Marco has made in the past have been a bit extravagant and have caused some embarrassment but
that has stopped now.
"Brian Kennedy feels that they are a doing a good job in difficult circumstances with passion and commitment and that
is important to us.
"They have also developed a large knowledge base during the six months they have already spent working on the case.
"The Portuguese police might not sanction Metodo 3's activity. But being Spanish and Portuguese speakers working in regions
where they have language, cultural and technical ties with the police, the Policia Judiciaria seem at least to tolerate them
which is important."
He added: "Metodo 3's six-month contract has ended and the rolling retainer has already kicked in.
"It's unlikely to be reviewed at the end of every month. But it may be that in six or seven months if all the leads dry
up, the relationship is reconsidered.
"Kate and Gerry still feel that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it's logical to believe their daughter
may still be alive."
Sources close to the family were quoted as saying the chances of Metodo 3's contract being renewed were "virtually nil"
last December after Mr Marco claimed he was close to reuniting Madeleine with her parents.
He told a Spanish newspaper in an interview he believed she was with paedophiles in an area not far from north Africa
and his agency was putting together conclusive proof to local authorities so police could proceed with their arrests.
Critics said he would put Madeleine's life in danger if she was still alive and questioned his motives for telling the
press he was on the verge of a major breakthrough before his mystified clients.
And his claim was reported at the time to have provoked a stand-up row with the McCanns who are said to have accused
him of harming the chances of finding their daughter safe and well.
Robert Murat's mum Jennifer, 71, has claimed Metodo 3 detectives have spent days following her and accused them of trying
to frame the British expat.
Murat's German-born girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, linked to Madeleine McCann's disappearance by witnesses who have phoned
the Barcelona-based detective agency's hotline, has also implied they are behind a "dirty tricks" campaign to take the spotlight
off Kate and Gerry.
Murat and Walczuch, who had started a fledgling property development company together, deny any involvement in Madeleine's
The McCann camp has rejected claims Metodo 3 have generated any false leads.
The Find Madeleine Fund, once at £1.2 million, is now down to £544,000.
Mr Mitchell said: "If spending continues at its current rate and nothing comes in, we'll be down to £407,000 by the end
of the month.
"But money is still coming in, albeit more slowly, and we've always been happy with Metodo 3's operational work."
Divers search Portuguese reservoir in search for Madeleine McCann
By h.b. - Mar 13, 2008 - 8:09 AM
Barcelona detectives from Método 3 are now also at the site on the Algarve
A team of detectives from the Barcelona firm, Método 3, arrived on the Algarve yesterday as there were reports that a
local reservoir, the Arade, is being dragged again in the search for the body of the missing British youngster, Madeleine
McCann. A team of seven divers have been at the reservoir since Monday, in what is the second search of the site. An earlier
search proved fruitless five weeks after Madeleine disappeared.
Lawyer Marcos Aragoa Correia has said that he is sure that the body of Madeleine, who vanished from Praia da Luz, on
May 3, will be found there, and there are reports that objects found there already are strengthening his ‘deep conviction’.
The lawyers office claims that there is a 99% possibility that the body will be found there and the Portuguese paper
‘Correio da Manha’ claims a child’s white sock has been found at the scene.
Madeleine McCann: The British damaged the investigation
Book about Madeleine defends the PJ and criticizes the British Interference
writing "The Star of Joana", the inspector Paulo Cristóvão decided to write "Madeleine’s Star" in honor of the colleagues
who work in the case. The author challenges the readers to solve an enigma...
When the Editorial Presença (Publishing Company) proposed to Paulo Pereira Cristóvão a book about the disappearance of
Madeleine McCann, the inspector of the Judiciary only accepted with a condition: to speak freely on the investigation, even
if it would bother the McCanns and the British police. "This is a troubling book, but I am free to write what my conscience
dictates me”, admits to 24horas the inspector who got the seventh place of the books most sold with the "Star of Joana".
Paulo Cristóvão was one of the inspectors who investigated the disappearance of Joana (see bellow) and in that process he
knows which steps were taken. In "Madeleine’s Star – where, when, how, who, what and why", the inspector bases
his book on conversations with colleagues of work, on the news, in the police intervention and, especially, in the political
influence that the investigation "was subjected to".
"When we have the prime minister of a country saying that he is going to speak with his English counterpart on a process-crime
that is ongoing, there is influence", he affirms. And it is on the basis of this influence and with the "British interference"
that the author places two inspectors of the PJ Francisco Meirelles and João Gomes (fictitious names) in the field.
(impossible translation into English, see below for more information on the meaning, the nearest
in English is Improvisation/Resourcefulness)
The book begins with two inspectors being informed of the disappearance
of a child in a resort in the Praia da Luz. "The information arrived late. There was already an English TV team, the embassy,
the British police and a superior office of the PJ with knowledge of the disappearance, and only then the squad of the PJ
was informed", he tells. "Time was wasted and, then, the police 'kneeled down' before a theory that was built from the
outside to inside. And the damaged ones are going to be the Portuguese police officers", he accuses. Along the book, which
Paulo Cristóvão prefers not to reveal, the portrait of the work of two inspectors does not forget the intervention of the
British police: "Their dogs, their laboratories. Why?"
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão confesses that after several publications
on the case, he intends to bring a different approach and "Pro-Portuguese" view. "I want to demonstrate that though we are
poor; we have the capacity to improvise* (against all odds). And that the intervention from the English authorities only damaged
the work of my colleagues", he says. And therefore the book is dedicated to his ex-colleagues of Portimão, Faro and from the
Central Direction of Combat to the Banditism. "Madeleine’s Star" ends with an enigmatic sentence. Who is able to solve
it has the key to what the author thinks on what happened to Maddie. Until now nobody got it right. Paulo Cristóvão invites
you to try to solve it after Tuesday.
"Defense of the national flag"
24horas – Does "Madeleine's Star" intend to defend the PJ after the rain of criticism
which you where targeted by?
Paulo Cristóvão – It’s an assumed defense of the PJ, of the police
officers who were and are working in the case and it is a defense of the national flag itself.
24horas – After all, what do you think that happened to Madeleine?
PC – Legal imperatives
prevent me from saying.
24horas – Do you believe that this case is going to be
PC – Depends on what is understood for resolved. The knowledge of the police officers is clarified,
but that is different from the processual demonstration. I fear that the photography of Maddie is going to remain during much
more time in the page of the missing persons.
24horas – You talk about "British
influences" in the investigation. If the PJ was acting alone, would the case be resolved?
PC – It’s
now time for the case to return to the hands of the police....
How do you face the criticism that the criminalist Barra da Costa wove on "The Star of Joana"? [In an interview to 24horas
Barra da Costa said that the book had been written in haste to create "an official truth"]
PC – Of the
extensive bibliography in which the doctor Barra da Costa culminated his book ["Maddie, Joana and the Criminal Investigation,
the hidden truth"], it should have the process of the case Joana – that is public – and the Madeleine one. The
"Star of Joana" took me 3,5 years to be written. His book finishes like it begins, with "the hidden truth".
Accused of torture
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, 38 years, left the Judiciary police last year. He is one of
the inspectors which was sent to the Algarve to contribute with the colleagues of Portimão in the investigation of the case
"Joana". He is going to face trial to answer for the crime of torture. According to the accusation of the Public Prosecutor,
Leonor Cipriano was beaten up to confessing what she had done to the daughter. The inspector questions the fact that some
medical examinations done to Leonor show that the bruises in the face were done from a fall and others point to aggression.
* Desenrascanço is a Portuguese word used in common language in Portugal, to express
an ability to solve a problem without the adequate tools or proper technique to do so and by use of sometimes imaginative
resourcefulness when facing new situations. Often used to describe the capacity to improvise in the most extraordinary situations
possible, against all odds, achieved when resulting in a hypothetical good-enough solution. When that good solution escapes
us we get a failure ( enrascanço - entanglement). Most Portuguese people strongly believe it to be one of their most valued
virtues and a living part of their culture.
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidos forum)
"If we find the body of little Madeleine, we will become part of the history of humankind". This is one of the sentences
that a lawyer from Madeira uses to conquer sponsors for the private searches that he is carrying out in the Arade dam, in
Silves. Marcos Aragão Correia asks for 5 thousand euros, and in return, he promises to publicise the name of the company to
all the Portuguese and foreign media that cover the searches.
"The exclusive sponsor benefits from huge, unique publicity",
the lawyer guarantees, defending that this is "a wonderful opportunity to put our christianism into action, by helping these
parents and this little girl". One of the firms that were contacted was a local newspaper in Portimão, which didn't even reply
to the email. The invitation was finally accepted by a construction firm.
The money allowed the lawyer to pay the diving
team that had already been at the dam in January. Operations had been suspended after only four days, for lack of funding.
In the email that he sends to companies, the lawyer presents himself as "the son of one of the major personalities of insular
and national culture" and guarantees he has "sponsored the defense of several prominent cases", although he does not name
a single example. He explains that on May 6 (three days after Madeleine disappeared) he received leads that the child had
been abducted, raped and murdered, and her body had been thrown into a lake in the Algarve, which he himself concluded, "after
thorough investigations" to be the Arade reservoir. JN knows that he contacted the police. "What he said was very vague and
he never revealed his source, although we insisted on it several times. It was later discovered that his source was a medium,
meaning it was not minimally credible", said a source that is connected to the investigation.
During the searches,
ropes, a sock and a rock were found. Correia considers that they indicate the "presence of the body". He delivered them to
the Spanish detective agency Método 3, which was hired by the McCann couple.
Shannon's happy ending offers hope to others
David Brown of The Times
March 14 2008
The parents of Madeleine McCann, who has been missing for 10 months after disappearing from their Algarve holiday
apartment, said the discovery of Shannon had given them fresh hope.
Kate and Gerry McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire,
had been closely following the hunt for Shannon and said they were "delighted" she has been found alive. They believe their
daughter, who disappeared days before her fourth birthday, may have been taken to North Africa.
spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry are aware that she has been found alive. They feel that is excellent news,
they are delighted that she is alive.
"They will not comment more until they know the full circumstances. Suffice to say that they will keep on looking until
they have a happy resolution in Madeleine’s case.
"It proves that children can go missing for whatever reason and still be found alive.
"Until Kate and Gerry know what has happened to Madeleine, there will always be hope for them that she too will be found
alive. They will keep on looking as long as there is hope."
Bag of small bones found in reservoir where lawyer claims Madeleine McCann's body was
By TOM WORDEN
Last updated at 18:49pm on 14th March 2008
Divers searching an Algarve reservoir for Madeleine McCann have found a plastic bag containing small bones. Police experts
were last night examining the gruesome find made by a frogman working for a Portuguese lawyer.
Gerry and Kate McCann were informed immediately by a private detective who was observing the search. Marcos Aragao Correia
says he was tipped off by underworld contacts that Madeleine was murdered and her body thrown into the reservoir last May.
The search turned up the bones in the murky waters of the Barragem do Arabe reservoir at 3.30pm.
Mr Correia said last night: "We found two bags one of which contains some small bones. We don't know if they are human
bones or not at this stage. If they are human bones, they look like they come from a child's fingers. They are too small for
an adult. I can't tell you how many we found because we didn't count them. As soon as we made the find we handed them over
to the Portuguese authorities and the private detectives working for the McCanns."
McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell played down the discovery but said investigators from their Metodo 3 agency were at
the scene along with police. "We know nothing about the bones at this stage but there is nothing to indicate that they are
human at the moment, they could easily be from an animal.
"We have not been informed of anything by the police to indicate that this find is significant. Our investigators and
the police will establish the truth. If something has been found it needs to be examined.
"But there is nothing at the moment to indicate that this find has anything to do with Madeleine. We continue to believe
she is alive. A detective from the Metodo 3 agency is at the scene and will keep us informed."
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have previously dismissed Mr Correia as a self-publicist and said there is
no evidence to suggest there is any link between their daughter and the reservoir.
Last night a police expert wearing white protective gloves was at the scene of the find examining the bones. Madeleine
disappeared last May 3 last year while on holiday with her family in the resort of Praia da Luz, a 20-minute drive from the
It is the second time divers working for Mr Correia have searched the waters. The criminal lawyer has spent thousands
of pounds on the search. John Fellows, a frogman with the Lagos-based dive school Dive Time made the discovery.
The remote reservoir is near the town of Silves where a lorry driver saw a woman handing a child like Madeleine McCann
over to a man two days after she went missing. Divers had previously recovered several lengths of cord, some plastic tape
and a single white, cotton sock.
Mr Correia, from Madeira, says he decided to search the reservoir after being told by underworld criminals that Madeleine,
who was three when she disappeared, had been raped, murdered and dumped in a lake in the area within 48 hours of being snatched.
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have previously dismissed Mr Correia as a self-publicist and said there is
no evidence to suggest there is any link between their daughter and the reservoir. The search was due to end today. It has
involved seven divers.
Francisco Mendes, a 59-year-old from Portimao who was in the area when the bones were found, said: "I was here on a day
out as it is a very peaceful, remote area. I was having a coffee but saw the police turned up and walked down to find out
what was going on.
"They have found two small black plastic bags. The police are examining them now. We are being kept 15 meters back so
can't really see what's inside. We're told one of the bags is empty but the other one contains small bones. We don't know
if they are the bones of a child or not."
The divers first searched the reservoir five weeks ago and resumed again on Monday morning.
2008/03/14 16:08, Patricia Pires
Last updated at 19h45,
A few minutes had passed after 15.00pm when the team of divers contracted by the lawyer Aragão Correia found a bag
"with bones", covered with mud, in the bottom of the Arade dam, revealed to PortugalDiário Telma Fernandes, an assistant to
The competent authorities travelled to the place which "in a first analysis" guaranteed that the bones
were of an animal, declares the Portuguese News Agency Lusa, quoting anonymous sources from the GNR and from the PJ. "Certainly,
they are not human bones given their dimensions and characteristics", vowed a source from the PJ.
A hypothesis which was always considered, "We do not know if they are human or from an animal", explained Telma Fernandes.
"There are small bones and we only opened the bag barely to see the content. When we realized what it was we called the authorities
and did not touch it any more", she guarantees.
"We can’t even see of which colour the bag is, because it is
completely covered with mud. It was tied with ropes", adds the assistant of the Madeira lawyer.
The GNR and the Judiciary Police were in the field, did a perimeter of security, and near to 19.00pm left the zone without
speaking with the persons who gave the alert of the 'discovery'. "They took some bones and left the rest. The bag was here",
tells Telma Fernandes. "It ended up by being taken by the detectives of the Spanish agency Método 3, which are going
to analyse them".
Searches for the second time
Marcos Aragão Correia
is a lawyer, sponsored with the support of a company from the Algarve, and for the second time in a few months, has searched
in the Arade dam, in Silves. It is in this place that he believes the body of Madeleine McCann was 'dropped', a few days after
The searches recommenced last Monday and several strange objects were found. "Several ropes, a plastic bag and a child's
stocking with four or five years", told to PortugalDiário Telma Fernandes. "This material already went to Barcelona where
it is going to be analysed".
In December last, the lawyer had already employed a team of divers and it was four days
in the place. Then, "a rope of five metres was found", and was handed to the GNR of Lagos, recalls Telma. "We believe that
afterwards it was taken to the Judiciary Police. But the fact is that no one has told us anything on the matter". Therefore
they have decided, this time, not to hand over anything "without analysing first in a private way".
However, the 'discovery'
of this Friday did not leave an alternative to the lawyer and to the team of searches: "We had to call the authorities". The
bag was found "near of the tower of concentration, very much near to the place where other objects were gathered this week",
reports Telma Fernandes.
"From now on the searches are going to be interrupted until we have results from the analyses to the bones and to the
objects collected this week", concluded the assistant of the lawyer Aragão Correia.
Maddie: Bones found in bag in the Arade dam... are from
2008-03-14 - 20:02:00
The bones found this Friday in the Arade dam, near to Silves, Algarve, are in the first analysis from an animal.
Judiciary Police (PJ) advanced that the bones cannot be human given their dimensions and characteristics.
bones were found by divers, inside a bag, who then alerted the GNR, which in its turn warned the PJ.
In the first
phase, the authorities suspected that the bones could belong to Madeleine McCann, the English girl who disappeared on
the 3rd of May from Praia da Luz, Lagos.
Text: Carlos Tomas and Pedro Emanuel Santos
The Diving team who was searching for Maddie in the Arade dam only found Cat Skeletons
GNR and PJ were in
the place but, after all, the bones found inside a bag were of a brood of Kittens. The Madeira lawyer insists on doing private
searches on the lagoon.
A bag full of bones and a hand full of nothing.
A team from the Judiciary Police connected to the process of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared, in the
3rd of May of 2007, of an apartment from Praia da Luz, in Lagos, returned yesterday to the installations of the PJ of Portimão
with empty Hands. This after having followed another lead prompted by the team who are at the service of the Madeira lawyer
Aragão Correia, in the Arade dam. The lawyer, who already spent thousands of euros to locate the child, assures that Maddie
is dead and her body was thrown to the lagoon of Silves.
Yesterday, divers to his service found a bag with bones. But,
as 24horas was able to know, they belong to a brood of six or seven cats. In other words, the skeletons are not human. "A
team of the PJ moved to the field, after having received a communication from the GNR. After the skeletons were analyzed,
everything indicated that it was a brood of cats that was put in the bag and thrown to the dam. That still has to be confirmed
properly, but there is already confidence that these bones are not human remains", guaranteed a judicial source connected
with the investigation.
Aragão Correia, in his turn, affirms the searches in the dam will continue up to Friday and
he pointed out that, when the bag was discovered with the bones, they did not know if they were or not human: "The divers
discovered the bones. The dimension of the bag was one that could have been used in order to wrap up the child. However, early
on, the hypothesis that these were animal's bones was considered", explained a source from the office of the lawyer.
last Monday one team of seven divers from Lagos, helped by the Firemen of Portimão specialized in corpses' rescue in deep
waters, have been doing searches in the dam of the Arade.
"In spite that there are strong evidences that the girl is
dead and that the body most likely was hidden in the region of the Algarve, the truth is that, independently of whom did it
(the crime), there is still no indication on her probable location. The investigations continue", summed up the judiciary
Surveillance: PJ collected apparatus of cars
Correio da Manha
Suspect methods hit Murat
2008-03-16 - 00:30:00
José Carlos Campos
(Translation by 'Demeter' from the3arguidos forum)
Robert Murat was subject to manipulative surveillance in the last few months. The English man who lives in PdL and one
of the arguidos in the process of Madeleine's disappearance, found GPS location devices attached in a dissimulated way in
two of his cars. Also, the webpage which hosts [sic] his online real state agency was hacked. His email account was deviated
to a different one and jeopardazing messages were sent on his behalf.
The legal representative received last week the
most important proof – a copy of one of the pirated emails – so they may consider submitting a judicial complaint
against unknown people.
"There are also copies of emails sent to the server company which hosts Romigen (in the USA),
requiring page codes to be sent [to them], claiming that they have been lost" told CM [Correio da manhã] a close source to
The codes were not provided but Romigen's page was hacked and wasn't even online yesterday.
computer intrusion was detected by Murat near Christmas. Sergey Malinka, his friend and one who works with computers who also
lives in PdL, called him because he thought that the message he received about arranging a confidential meeting was a strange
one. Murat had not sent the email. When the investigations on Maddie's case were in the initial phase, the PJ interviewed
Malinka but the Russian citizen was not constituted arguido.
Before this was disclosured, Robert Murat also made other
discovery related to the invasion of his privacy. One day he wanted to repair his green VW Transporter's water pump. He put
himself under the car and found a strange device attached to the structure [of his car]. He [then] kept this car and also
the Skoda Fabia, which had been lent to his partner Michaela Walczuch and was also parked outside, in Vivenda Liliana's grounds.
He saw that a similar device was also attached to the Skoda's bottom.
The PJ was called and took both devices from
the vehicles. As far as the CM [Correio da Manhã] was able to find, the inspectors assured that they have nothing to do with
the devices. The devices record data on the cars' movement, and in the case of those which can be located, they are later
connected to a computer by a usb, which downloads the information. A simple internet search is enough to find similar devices,
[like] the Professional GPS Mini-Tracker – Vehicle Tracking or the Land AirSea Tracking Key (LAS), which can be bought
for the minimum price of 180 euros.
Romigen has two partners
Romigen is the real state agency which belongs to Robert (‘Ro’)
and Michaela (‘Mi’). The letters ‘gen’ are for Genesis, Birth.
The cars were with the PJ
vehicles where the two GPS devices were found have been with the PJ for two days, in August. The PJ assures that they have
not put them there.
Personal belongings to be handed back
When Robert Murat was taken to be interviewed by the PJ in Portimão,
many of his personal belongings were apprehended [by the police], such as his mobile, two personal computers and a vast amount
of his clothes.
The same happenned to Michaela Walczuch, Murat's partner in the real state entreprise, and [it also
happenned] to Luís António, her husband. And also to the Russian Sergei Malinka.
Walczuch and Luís António, and also
Malinka, were not constituted arguidos in the process and their personal belongings were returned.
Until now, just
the mobile has been returned to Robert Murat. The personal computers and clothes are still in the possession of the PJ.
January, when the hypotheses that Robert Murat would cease to be an arguido seemed to be stronger, the lawyer Francisco Pagarete
went to the Public Ministry (MP) to know what was happening as far as the belongings were concerned. He was told that that
an order was given to the PJ that they returned the belongings, in case they were no longer necessary. But this has not happened
Besides the problems which are caused by not having his clothes, Murat is particulary worried about not
having computers, for this prevents him from working.
"The worst measure of coercion is to be deprived of professional
activity", regrets Francisco Pagarete, who hopes that his client's personal belongings are returned soon.
be referred that Robert Murat's vehicle, after being investigated by the PJ, was malfunctioning by the time it was returned.
The PJ, however, assumed the expenses regarding the necessary fixing.
"Nothing will be found" (Francisco Pagarete, Murat's lawyer)
Correio da Manhã
– Have you consulted the Madeleine process?
Francisco Pagarete – I tried to, but the court of justice informed
me that the process's time was extended and that the documents are under law secrecy.
Correio da Manhã – When did you have the latest formal contact with the PJ?
Francisco Pagarete - In August last year, when searches in the vehicles were made in the underground
garage facing the PJ [building], in Portimão.
Correio da Manhã – Are you Michaela Walczuch's lawyer?
Francisco Pagarete – No. As far as I know she doesn't have one, never needed one. I'm just a
friend of hers.
Correio da Manhã – Do you trust that the suspicions against Murat are going to be archived?
Francisco Pagarete – I believe that nothing will be found. Justice has its own time and we are
continuing to wait that the documents will be archived.
Correio da Manhã – How is your client doing?
Francisco Pagarete – He's willing to be able to return to his normal life. To go back to work
and to go out without worrying that there are always people at his door.
Correio da Manhã – Are you going to submit a complaint about the computer attack against Romigen?
Francisco Pagarete – That's possible. I'm still to receive some emails.
PJ waits for green light
The PJ are still waiting for green light to be given by the British justice so they can travel to
England, where they should reinterview the friends of the McCanns couple.
Bones belongs to animals
The searches made at the Arade's dam, sponsored by a lawyer in Algarve, were finished without success.
Bones belonging to animals were found.
The access to everything concering Maddie's process and the PJ's work investigating the McCanns is
prohibited till September – under law secrecy.
Kate and Gerry very anguished
The news regarding the bones found the day before yesterday at Arade's dam caused great anguish to
the McCanns, as explained the spokesman for the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell. That happenned because it was the second time
that possible vestiges of Maddie were found, that were proved not to belong to the missing child.
Maddie suspect car was bugged
Pals of the Brit ex-pat – named a suspect days after Madeleine McCann, four, vanished in Portugal –
said he was the target of a smear plot.
Portuguese police have removed the trackers on his Volkswagen Transporter and Skoda Fabia. They held the
cars for tests last August – but insist they did not plant the GPS transmitters. Murat had loaned the Skoda to his German
girlfriend Michaela Walczuch.
The property developer discovered his company Romigen’s website had been hacked into. Emails were diverted
and messages sent in his name. One email sent from his account asked Sergey Malinka, a Russian ex-pat pal, for a secret meeting.
A source close to the case said: "It looks like attempts have been made to entrap him." Murat’s lawyer
said he would press charges if the culprit was found.
Maddie disappeared in Praia da Luz last May. Parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, from Rothley, Leics,
were also named as suspects.
Maddie's photos may be fatal
Authorities point out negative example of Mari Luz to McCanns
Text: Carlos Tomas
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidosrum)
While keeping two investigation lines open, the Public Ministery is certain that Maddie's body will hardly be found.
The campaign that was launched by her parents and the publicising of her photograph have not helped at all.
campaign that was promoted by Mari Luz's parents was fatal for the child, that was found dead, believes a senior official
in the Portimao judicial circle who is connected to the Maddie case.
In the Spanish case of little Mari Luz, it
was proved that she was killed two days after her sequestration, and there are strong indications that this happened due to
the campaign that was publicly launched by her parents. If her parents had only contacted the authorities, the child might
have been found alive. Who is the abductor that wants to keep a child that half the world has seen in photos on the street,
in the papers and on tv? In the case of Madeleine, although it seems unlikely due to the evidence that was already collected,
the same may have happened. A possible kidnapper felt trapped and got rid of her. This means that, in case they are innocent,
the parents of the child might themselves have contributed for this story to end badly.
Everything is open
source with the Central Directory for Combat to Banditism, a department at the PJ that supported the investigation as it was
carried out on location during the days that followed the disappearance of Maddie, points to the fact that everything is still
open: "It's obvious that the parents remain as the main suspects, but the evidence that exists against them is not conclusive.
The hypothesis that the disappearance was the work of a sexual predator cannot be dismissed yet. But it is a fact that, if
this is the case, the worldwide publicising of the child's photo, especially the foto with the specific sign that she had
in her eye, may have led the abductor to get rid of the child as rapidly as possible. In such cases, people should contact
the police first, and it's us who release the data to the press, if that is convenient for the investigation."
investigation lines and few evidence. One certainty: the campaign that was promoted by the parents of Madeleine McCann, the
little girl who disappeared, on the 3rd of May 2007, from an apartment in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, in the Algarve, did nothing
to help the investigation. Quite to the contrary. The authorities are convinced it could even have prompted the child's death,
although the theory of an accident at home, followed by the concealment of the cadaver by the parents or by friends of the
parents is on the front line of the investigations, as 24Horas was able to establish with senior judicial officials that are
connected to the process.
"Everything indicates that the child died in the apartment at the Ocean Club resort, only
50 meters away from the location where the parents and seven other friends were dining, having consumed a large quantity of
alcohol. Their versions do not match, and there are many contradictions, that we hope to clarify soon when the rogatory letter
is carried out, which has been in the posession of the English police since last week. But things happened in this process
which should not be done, and which have made the entire investigation more difficult, since the first day", said the senior
official from the judicial circle of Portimao who is connected to the process.
The Portuguese authorities are placing all of their hope on the execution of the rogatory letter that was sent to England
which will allow, in the coming fortnight, to question the seven friends with whom the McCanns dined in the Tapas Bar and
the couple itself, again. A diligence that the prosecutor Magalhaes e Menezes, from the Portimao court, considers to be essential
in order to make an accusation against the arguidos in the process, or not.
PHOTOGRAPHS. The fotos of Mari Luz have
circled the world, both through the media and through the internet and leaflets that were distributed on the streets. Maddie
remains missing. The Spanish girl was found lifeless two days after she was allegedly seuqestered.
Police question beret-wearing man after Madeleine McCann 'spotted' in central Sydney
Last updated at 16:33pm on 17th March 2008
Police in Australia have questioned a man after a he was spotted with a girl thought to be missing Madeleine McCann.
Officers in Sydney challenged the middle-aged man after a member of the public alerted them to a possible sighting of
Staff working at a station stop in central Sydney followed the man for several minutes until police arrived on the scene.
He was wearing a black beret and carrying a little, blonde girl who bore a close resemblance to missing Maddie.
After a short chase, three police officers caught up with the man at a German bakery.
But police said the sighting turned out to be a false alarm.
"There was a possible sighting," a police spokeswoman said.
"It's been checked. The police obviously took it seriously enough to check."
A worldwide, nine-month search for the missing four-year-old was launched last year after she went missing in May while
on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
The hunt has seen a number of false alarms, most notably the alleged sighting by a tourist of Madeleine in Morocco.
The report was supported by a blurred photograph, but eventually turned out to be a local girl on her mother's back.
Original headline: Former Portuguese police chief claims Maddie's body was dumped at sea in new novel set to anger
Last updated at 11:10am on 18th March 2008
Madeleine the novel: Now disgraced police chief claims girl's body was dumped at sea in new book
Last updated at 14:52pm on 18th March 2008
A controversial ex-Portuguese police chief claims Madeleine McCann was dumped in the sea and her body has disappeared forever
in a new novel set to infuriate her parents.
Paulo Cristovao's two fictional police officers bring the 180-page book to a close by staring out at the Atlantic Ocean
after a massive land search.
The police pair - inspired by real life Madeleine McCann investigators - also face British diplomatic pressure as they
try to unravel the mystery.
Cristovao, a former Policia Judiciaria inspector who is facing trial over accusations he tortured a woman into falsely
confessing to murdering her child, has admitted his new book is "pro-Portugal" and likely to upset Gerry and Kate McCann.
He provoked the couple's anger last year by insisting they should have been arrested for leaving their children alone in
their holiday apartment the night Madeleine disappeared.
And he has made it clear in a regular column for a Portuguese newspaper he considers the McCanns are probably responsible
for Madeleine's death or disappearance.
His new book, titled "The Star of Madeleine", is sure to put the former police chief on another collision course with the
They deny any involvement in their daughter's disappearance and insist they believe she is still alive.
Speaking ahead of the book going on sale today, he said: "I would really like to believe there will be a complete clarification
of all the facts, but I fear the maintenance of a missing child on the PJ's website.
"I am sure Madeleine's parents will not like the book."
Stopping short of directly accusing Gerry and Kate of foul play, he added in a thinly-disguised attack on the pair: "In
their shoes, I'd behave in exactly the same way as they did during the investigation.
"I would defend myself with all the weapons that I could use.
"The difference in this world is that some have more weapons than others."
A spokeswoman for the Find Madeleine campaign said the family was aware of the novel and was disappointed at the latest
attempt to make money from Madeleine's disappearance.
She said: "We continue to think it is a shame that people want to make profit out of the situation when the search for
Madeleine is ongoing and we are still trying to raise funds for the campaign."
Cristovao will stand trial along with four other officers later this year in another missing child case.
He is charged with attacking Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter Joana vanished from her home in 2004, and torturing
her into falsely confessing to her murder.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, who was removed as head of the Madeleine McCann investigation last year after criticising
British police counterparts, will also stand trial accused of covering up the alleged torture.
Joana disappeared from her home in Figueira, seven miles from Praia da Luz where Madeleine was abducted last May.
Cipriano was later jailed along with her brother Joao, even though Joana's body was never found.
Cristovao, who took early retirement from the Policia Judiciaria, has also written a book on the case with a similar title
to his latest novel - "The Star of Joana".
A Estrela de Joana
A Estrela de Madeleine
Maddie picture was 'a mistake' The Sun
By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
MISSING Madeleine McCann’s parents yesterday blasted claims that releasing
a photo of her had led to her death.
Publishing the image may have "panicked" a kidnapper into killing her, said a legal source in Portugal. It
was also claimed that Portuguese prosecutors now believed her body would NEVER be found.
The source said: "An abductor felt trapped and got rid of her. The parents may have contributed to this story
having an unfortunate ending."
He claimed abducted Spanish girl Mari Luz Cortes, five, was also killed because of too much publicity.
But Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, were "furious" at the claims last night. Spokesman
Clarence Mitchell said: "They don’t believe Maddie is dead."
He insisted releasing pictures would help the public recognise Maddie, four, who vanished in Praia da Luz
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidos forum)
"Someone wants to destroy the life of Robert Murat". The certainty of the lawyer of the first arguido in the Madeleine
McCann case gathers strength as "new schemes" are being detected. The last one was the placement of GPS tracking devices on
both cars that belong to the British citizen's family. According to Francisco Pagarete, it was Murat himself who, by pure
coincidence, during a visit to a repairment garage late last year, discovered one of the gadgets glued to the underside of
the van he usually drives. "I suggested that he should check the family's other car, and we were surprised to discover a GPS
there, too", he said. The second vehicle, a Skoda Fabia, had been loaned to Michaela Walczuch, the German-Portuguese citizen
that is Robert's business partner and a witness in the process. Both were almost always parked at the British citizen's door.
After receiving the claim, the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) visited "Casa Liliana", in Praia da Luz, where Robert lives with his
mother, Jennifer, under whose name both vehicles are registered.
"The GPS devices were collected
and an information sheet was sent to the Public Ministery, given the fact that a crime of intrusion into the private life
is at stake, which is not within the PJ's area of competence", a source that is connected to the process told JN. The same
source explained that the equipment registers data about the cars' movements. The information can only be read after the gadgets
are connected to a computer. This means that the plans of whomever planted them, failed. According to Francisco Pagarete,
this was not the only "attack" that Robert was subject to. The internet page of the real estate firm that he is a partner
of, was hacked. "A parallel email account was created and messages were sent to various persons, in my client's name, scheduling
meetings to talk about the Madeleine case. One of them was Sergey Malinka", the Russian citizen who is a witness in the process.
Adding to all of this, Murat filed acomplaint with the GNR against English journalists who "opened the gate, invaded the property
and forcefully wanted an interview". In order to "control" the excesses, Robert was forced to make an agreement, he removed
the complaint and they left him in peace. The reporters agreed. Pagarete laments that "while Robert is not seeked after by
the PJ, there are people who insist that he gets no rest". "We don't have evidence to accuse anyone, but we have been seeked
after with insistence by British journalists and by detectives from Metodo 3 [the Spanish agency that was hired by the McCann
couple to look for clues of Madeleine's whereabouts]", he says.
Damages due over McCann stories
By Richard Bilton
BBC News special
Last Updated: Tuesday,
18 March 2008, 22:02 GMT
Four newspapers are set to pay damages to the parents of Madeleine McCann, after settling a
libel case, the BBC has learned.
The Daily and Sunday Express, along with the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday are to pay a
"substantial" sum and print front-page apologies.
Kate and Gerry McCann's lawyers said that some of the newspapers' articles were "grossly defamatory".
The couple say all the damages will be donated to the Find Madeleine fund.
The Daily Express is to carry a full front-page apology in Wednesday's paper, while the Star's
apology will take over half its front-page.
The papers are expected to apologise for suggesting Kate and Gerry McCann were involved in
their daughter's disappearance.
The action relates to more than 100 stories across the four titles, including 42 printed in
the Daily Express.
Under the terms of the settlement - at Kate and Gerry McCann's insistence
- Express Newspapers' barrister will also read out an apology before a judge at the High Court on Wednesday.
The Express group has agreed to all the McCanns' requests. It is also paying all their costs.
The McCanns have promised that the damages will be paid into the "fighting fund" set up to
pay for efforts to find their missing daughter.
'Trust and credibility'
Media commentator Roy Greenslade said that for two national newspapers to carry front-page
apologies at the same time was "unprecedented".
"I think this is an amazing stand-down, u-turn, by the Express newspapers," he said.
"I think when people realise that more than 100 stories have been complained about as being
grossly defamatory, it will annihilate the Express' readers sense of trust and credibility in their newspaper."
Media lawyer Paul Gilbert from Finers Stephens Innocent said the courts
encourage early settlement of defamation cases.
"Clearly the Express' lawyers felt this was a case they should settle without a high-profile
trial - which it would be - and as a result have saved considerable costs," he said.
"It certainly is a warning sign to newspapers in the future, if they're going to speculate,
they've got to be very careful about what they speculate about."
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing, aged three, in Praia da Luz in the Algarve
on 3 May last year.
Updated: 23:21, Tuesday March 18, 2008
Two British national newspapers have published front page apologies to the parents of missing Madeleine McCann for suggesting
they caused her death and then covered it up.
Wednesday's Daily Express
The Daily Express and Daily Star say there is no evidence to support this theory and that Kate and Gerry McCann are "completely
innocent" of involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
The apologies came after the McCanns launched a legal action against several papers.
The Express says it was taking "the unprecedented step" of making a front page apology.
"We do so because we accept that a number of articles in the newspaper have suggested the couple caused the death of their
missing daughter Madeleine and then covered it up.
"We trust that the suspicion that has clouded their lives for many months will soon be lifted."
The Express adds: "Kate and Gerry, we are truly sorry to have added to your distress. We assure you that we hope Madeleine
will one day be found alive and well and will be restored to her loving family."
Both papers say they have made a substantial donation to the Madeleine Fund.
Media commentator Kim Fletcher told Sky News: "After the disappearance of Madeleine the Express decided that this story
was a way to sell newspapers.
"So, day after day we would see a story about the McCanns.
"And the problem with that is that if you don't have a story to write you start writing gossip, which was what
was happening, in effect.
"They were writing every bit of speculation from any source. We wondered how long it could go on."
19th March 2008
The Daily Star today makes a wholehearted apology to Kate and
Gerry McCann for stories suggesting the couple were responsible for, or may be responsible for, the death of their daughter
Madeleine and for covering it up.
We now recognise that such a suggestion is absolutely untrue and that Kate and Gerry
are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.
As an expression of our regret we have now made a substantial donation to the Madeleine Fund in the hope that it helps
efforts to find her.
We sincerely apologise for any additional distress we have caused the family.
note that, for legal reasons, we have disabled reader comments on this article
Wednesday March 19, 2008
The Daily Express today takes the unprecedented step
of making a front-page apology to Kate and Gerry McCann.
We do so because we accept that a number of articles in the
newspaper have suggested that the couple caused the death of their missing daughter Madeleine and then covered it up.
acknowledge that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this theory and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of
any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.
We trust that the suspicion that has clouded their lives for many
months will soon be lifted.
As an expression of its regret, the Daily Express has now paid a very substantial sum
into the Madeleine Fund and we promise to do all in our power to help efforts to find her.
Kate and Gerry, we are truly
sorry to have added to your distress.
We assure you that we hope Madeleine will one day be found alive and well and
will be restored to her loving family.
* Please note that, for legal reasons, we have disabled reader comments
on this article
McCann payout confirmed at £550,000
Wednesday March 19 2008
Richard Desmond's Express Newspapers has paid £550,000 in damages to Gerry and Kate McCann after apologising for a string
of articles in its titles alleging they were responsible for their daughter Madeleine's death.
The Daily Express and the Daily Star, owned by Richard Desmond, both took the unprecedented step of publishing front
page apologies to the McCanns today - and have paid a the sum into the Madeleine Fund.
Express Newspapers has also paid legal costs to the McCanns.
A full apology by Express Newspapers and statement from Clarence Mitchell, the McCann's spokeman, was heard at 10am today
in the high court in London. Mitchell confirmed the figure paid in damages outside court.
There had been speculation earlier this month that the McCanns had been seeking £4m, although this was dismissed Mitchell
as "wildly speculative".
The Daily Express said on its front page today that it was publishing an apology because it accepted that "a number of
the articles in the newspaper have suggested that the couple caused the death of their daughter Madeleine and then covered
The paper acknowledged that there was "no evidence whatsoever to support this theory" and that the McCanns were "completely
innocent". The Daily Star said that it was apologising "wholeheartedly".
Today's apology and payout follows the threat of legal action, through London law firm Carter-Ruck, over what Mitchell
described as a series of "wildly and grossly defamatory" articles about Madeleine.
Express Newspapers titles cut back on their coverage of Madeleine and the McCanns after talks with Carter Ruck began
earlier this month and removed all references to the missing girl from its website search engine.
Express and Star apologies to McCanns bring all journalism into disrepute
March 19, 2008 6:00 AM
6am UPDATE: In what amounts to an unprecedented climbdown, four newspapers from a single group
- the Daily Express, Daily Star and their Sunday stablemates - have agreed to publish front
page apologies to the parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann. The Express,
here, and the Star,
here each carry prominent versions of the apology today.
The paper's lawyers will attend the high court in London this morning to read out formal apologies to Kate
and Gerry McCann in front of Mr Justice Eady. The papers were sued for running more than
100 stories in total that the McCanns deemed to be grossly defamatory.
The Express group will also pay what are called "very substantial" damages to the McCanns, all of which will go to the
Find Madeleine Fund.
The deal was negotiated without any court hearing having taken place, and the fact that the papers capitulated without
a fight suggests that their legal advisers told them they had no chance of winning if the case went to trial.
I know that The Sun famously carried two front page apologies in the 1980s - to the Queen for running
her Christmas address ahead of time and to Elton John for libelling him - but four papers being compelled to carry the same
apology has never happened before.
Five days ago, when it emerged that the group had removed all its McCann stories from its websites, I gave some
examples of the tendentious, and often mendacious, material
the Daily Express had been running. Over the weeks and months since May last year, when Madeleine vanished in Portugal, they
added up to a substantial libel on the McCanns.
This was no journalistic accident, but a sustained campaign of vitriol against a grief-stricken family. The stories were
not merely speculative, but laced with innuendo which continually made accusations against the McCanns on the basis of anonymous
sources and without any hard evidence.
Wild claims, often made by unattributed sources to Portuguese newspapers, were then spun even more negatively by the Express
and Star titles. Of course, they were not the only papers to carry prejudicial material, but they were by far the worst.
I am delighted that the papers, owned by the pornographer Richard Desmond, have been forced to humble
themselves. I only wish the McCanns had acted even faster, but no blame should attach to them. Their major concern has, quite
naturally, centred on their missing daughter.
But, taking into account the fact that other papers have also carried inaccurate and inappropriate stories about the McCanns,
it is also a day when many British journalists have cause to hang their heads in shame.
Did the Express titles go to such lengths, eschewing all ethical standards, purely to win sales? If they did, it didn't
show up in their circulation figures because all four titles have lost sales over the past nine months. Or was it, as I suspect,
less calculating, a case of casual cruelty rather than premeditated sales-building? It's hard to know which is worse.
So what should happen now? The resignation of four editors? I somehow doubt that they will go voluntarily and Desmond's
track record suggests that he will not force them to go. Will the Press Complaints Commission do anything?
I doubt it. No formal complaint was made. The McCanns chose the legal option. The PCC will hold its counsel (and, quite possibly,
Will more readers desert the Express titles? Hopefully. Will people think the less of all newspapers,
and of us journalists. Probably. That's the real sadness. A rogue proprietor and his rogue editors have done further damage
to the credibility of our trade.
Express Group pays £550,000 to McCanns and apologises for smear articles
March 19, 2008
The owners of the Express group of newspapers today apologised in the High Court and agreed to pay £550,000 compensation
to Kate and Gerry McCann over inaccurate stories accusing them of being involved in their daughter Madeleine's abduction.
Following the publication of unprecedented front-page articles saying sorry to the couple today, the Daily Express and
the Daily Star said that they had agreed to pay a sum to the couple's official Find Madeleine fund by way of compensation.
Their apologies came after lawyers for the couple began legal proceedings against Express Newspapers over more than 100
articles published in the group’s daily and Sunday papers. The Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday are also expected
to publish separate apologies this weekend.
In a statement made outside the High Court, Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said Kate and Gerry were pleased
that the Express group had admitted the "utter falsity" and "grotesque" nature of the articles.
"In this case, a certain newspaper group overstepped the mark on numerous occasions. We tried to tell them. That did
not happen, it did not stop," Mr Mitchell said.
"Kate and Gerry took this action with a heavy heart, because a marker of sorts had to be put down."
The offending pieces had appeared after Portuguese detectives last September named the couple as "arguidos", or official
suspects, in the disappearance of their daughter on holiday in the Algarve in May last year. The McCanns' legal team claimed,
however, that the tone of coverage in question implied they may have been involved, and that this was defamatory.
Both newspapers ran prominent pieces at the top of their front pages today, headlined "Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry".
The Express apology read: "The Daily Express today takes the unprecedented step of making a front-page apology to Kate
and Gerry McCann.
"We do so because we accept that a number of articles in the newspaper have suggested that the couple caused the death
of their missing daughter Madeleine and then covered it up.
"We acknowledge that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this theory, and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent
of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.
"We trust that the suspicion that has clouded their lives for many months will soon be lifted."
It concluded with a direct address to the couple: "Kate and Gerry, we are truly sorry to have added to your distress.
"We assure you that we hope Madeleine will one day be found alive and well, and will be restored to her loving family."
The statement in the Daily Star was similarly worded, saying that the newspaper had decided to make a "wholehearted apology
to Kate and Gerry McCann for stories suggesting the couple were responsible for, or may be responsible for, the death of their
daughter Madeleine and for covering it up".
It added: "We now recognise that such a suggestion is absolutely untrue and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent
of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance."
Some media commentators today suggested that the coverage had been the result of journalists in the Algarve being ordered
by their newsdesks to find a story with nothing to go on but speculation after Madeleine's disappearance.
Max Clifford, the publicist, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is a lot of journalists out in Portugal that have
got no facts and are being told: 'We have got to have something because we have not got a story,' so rumours and nonsense
are being given to us as facts."
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: "Part of the problem seems to have been that it (Madeleine's
disappearance) was made for speculation and these newspapers have fallen into that trap."
Original headline: Friend of Murat wakes to find car torched
Last updated at 23:48pm on 20th March 2008
Murat friend quizzed over Madeleine finds car torched - and the word 'speak'
Last updated at 08:40am on 21st March 2008
A man who was questioned by police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance had his car set on fire yesterday and
the word "speak" scrawled beside it.
Computer expert Sergey Malinka, 22, an associate of official suspect Robert Murat, woke up to discover the smouldering
Audi A4 close to his flat in Praia da Luz, the Algarve resort where Madeleine went missing last May.
Sprayed in red paint on the pavement next to it was "fala" – Portuguese for "speak".
The Russian expat said yesterday: "Who the hell has written that? What exactly do they want me to say?
"They must be talking about Robert. There's nothing to say. I'm angry that someone would do this and I want to find out
who it was."
Neighbours described hearing a bang like a "gunshot" at around 5am, apparently as the arsonist struck, although Mr Malinka
slept through the commotion.
He was a business associate of Murat and was designing his website when Madeleine vanished shortly before her fourth
He was questioned as a witness after phone records showed that Murat phoned him at 11.40pm on the night she disappeared.
Police also seized computers from his apartment and discovered that he had wiped their hard disks.
He strenuously denies having anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance, and has claimed that he was beaten up by
police during the interrogation to try to get him to admit involvement.
On Wednesday evening he parked his car about 40ft from his apartment. He said: "I went to bed and I switched my phone
to silent. When I woke up I had 32 missed calls."
He added: "I'm not scared. It's just a car. It was a nice car, but at least I wasn't inside it.
"But I have no feelings about this. They ripped my heart out last summer when they involved me with all this."
Portuguese detectives and forensics experts spent the morning searching the remains of the car. Mr Malinka later met
police to talk about the arson attack.
It is believed to be the third time a vehicle has mysteriously been set alight close to his house in the middle of the
night, one of which was a van belonging to Mr Malinka.
Both the previous apparent arson attacks were before Madeleine's disappearance.
Public Ministry did not authorise a new questioning of the couple by the PJ
Jornal de Noticias
20 March 2008
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidos forum)
The McCann couple will not be questioned again, when the investigators of Policia Judiciaria (PJ) travel to England,
on the 7th of April, the foreseen date for the fulfillment of the diligences that were requested on the rogatory letter. The
Judiciaria wanted to, but the Public Ministry (PM) did not deem it necessary to hear the parents of Madeleine, the English
girl that disappeared in the Algarve, on the 3rd of May last year.
As far as JN was able to establish, the PJ had prepared
several questions that they wanted to ask from Kate and Gerry. But following a suggestion from the Public Ministery, the diligence
was removed from the list of priorities. A source that is connected to the process explained that "the prosecutor understood
that the diligence was useless and a waste of time, because the parents could refuse to answer the questions, according to
the rights that the Portuguese law gives to arguidos".
That was precisely what the couple did when they were questioned
by the PJ in Portimao, before they suddenly left for home, in Leicester, England, right after they were made arguidos. "The
couple never cooperated with the Portuguese police, in spite of what they publicly announce, through their spokesman. There
were no guarantees that they would do so now, but in a criminal investigation, there are no absolute certainties. It was necessary
to take the risk", JN was told by one of the investigators, revolted by the fact that the parents of Madeleine can't be questioned
Both the PJ and the Public Ministery have been criticised over the delay in writing and sending the rogatory
letter to England. But JN knows that the document was changed several times. The issue, among other factors, were new diligences
that were requested by the McCanns, through their lawyers, a right that also belongs to arguidos. Among those requests are
the questioning of the psychologist who has been accompanying Kate, and of Justine McGuinness, a former spokesperson for the
couple. These diligences were accepted by the Public Ministery.
On the other hand, after having received the letter
in January, through Eurojust, the Home Office - the equivalent of our Internal Affairs Ministery - returned it. It contested
the legality of procedures, demanding that they were assumed by the State Prosecution Office.
Among other diligences,
the rogatory letter includes new questionings of witnesses, including the "Tapa 9" (the English people with whom the McCanns
were spending their holidays in Praia da Luz), and the apprehension of Kate's diary. In England, the Portuguese investigators
will only be allowed to accompany the performance of these actions, that have to be made by the local police. The date that
has been advanced for the trip has yet to be confirmed. The PJ awaits confirmation from Stuart Prior, the top senior official
at Leicester police.
Original headline: Kate told to forget Portugal
She'll miss Maddy anniversary
Kate and Gerry McCann warned not to go back to Portugal for Madeleine anniversary
By Rod Chaytor And Victoria Ward 21/03/2008
Kate and Gerry McCann have been warned
not to go back to Portugal for the anniversary of daughter Madeleine's disappearance.
Lawyers have told the couple
that to return on May 3 may be risky in view of the fact they are still official suspects over the missing four-year-old.
There are fears it might provoke demands for them to be quizzed by police again.
Last night a friend of the
couple admitted that their continuing "arguido" status had taken away the parents' "freedom of choice".
said: "The lawyers are just being ultra-cautious. But there remains a possibility they may suddenly be called in. The anniversary
would then become a circus which is the last thing they want. It is sad because Portugal is where Kate feels closest to Madeleine."
There have been repeated calls in the Portugese media from some police officers for the couple to be charged with
child neglect for leaving her alone in their holiday apartment.
It is likely relatives will travel to Praia da Luz
for the anniversary instead.
Portugese police plan to re-interview the McCanns holiday friends in Britain during April.
Fury mounts over slurs on Madeleine McCann's parents
Mar 21 2008, By Luke Traynor
CALLS were made today to boycott two national newspapers in the wake of their apologies to the parents of Madeleine McCann.
The Daily Express and Daily Star used their front pages earlier this week to say sorry to Kate and Gerry McCann for suggesting
they caused their daughter’s death.
Both papers also agreed to pay a substantial sum to the family’s Find Madeleine’s fund as part of the compensation.
But one respected national media columnist said the people of Liverpool should make their feelings known by no longer
buying those newspapers.
Guardian journalist Roy Greenslade, former editor of The Mirror, suggested the idea on his blog.
Speaking to the ECHO, he said: "These papers carried out a lengthy campaign and treated the McCanns very shabbily. For
a multi-millionaire to be told to pay £550,000 is not a great deal of money.
"There should be a boycott."
Madeleine, four, disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while her parents Kate and
Gerry ate with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant on May 3.
The parents were regularly tarnished by inaccurate media reports which claimed they were involved in a plot to kidnap
Today, Susan Healy, Liverpool-born Kate's mother, said that the untrue stories had caused great hurt to the family and
She added: "Kate is quite bitter about it as you’d expect. To see all those headlines again this week shocked me.
It was a diabolical time."
Nicky Gill, Kate’s friend, said: "It’s good that they’ve apologised, but so what? Madeleine is still
missing. They money they’ve promised is totally irrelevant. There will be some people who will boycott it, but it’s
difficult to say what kind of impact this will have."
A spokesman for the Daily Express and Star said: "We have nothing to add to what has been said in court and in our titles."
Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry are pleased that the Express Newspapers apologised
as fulsomely as they did. Immense distress was caused to the couple."
They destroyed the car of a witness in the Maddie Case and left a message
21 March 2008, Translation by Joana Morais
The car of the Russian, previously questioned three times by the PJ, was totally destroyed by an arson attack yesterday
"Speak". The word was written in red ink on a sidewalk of the village of Praia da Luz near to the Audi A4 of Sergey Malinka,
the Russian computer technician which was previously heard by inspectors of the PJ (for three times) as a witness in the Maddie
case. When the authorities arrived, at around 4am of yesterday, only debris was remaining of the vehicle – it was
totally destroyed in the sequence of the blaze. The authorities, yesterday, were still not sure of how the flames appeared,
but it seems clear that it was a criminal act. The Police investigate now the hypothesis of connections to the case of
Madeleine McCann, the missing girl from Praia da Luz, on the 3rd of May of 2007.
Yesterday Malinka was called to the PJ of Portimão. "That man was heard by elements of the team of Paulo Rebelo [coordinator
of the investigations in the Maddie case], but he did not say anything special. Only that he didn’t know the motives
for someone to set fire to his car", said a judicial person in charge to 24horas, adding: "He could not explain why the word
'speak' was written on the sidewalk, but it’s clearly a question of a veiled threat. He must know something".
The same source remembered still that "even though he is only a witness in the process of Madeleine McCann, nothing prevents
him from being constituted as an arguido".
"I can stand everything"
"The fire in Malinka‘s car hides other motivations. They are trying to intimidate him", stated a high-level
person in charge of the Public Prosecution Office (PGR) to 24horas. When confronted, Sergey Malinka maintained what he
had told to the PJ of Portimão: "I do not know of anything. I arrived at home in the morning and saw the turmoil. The
PJ came for me in the beginning of the afternoon and I simply signed a paper. I do not even know what is going on. I only
know that I was left without car and that the PJ still did not even return to me the computers that they apprehended [in the
searches that they effectuated]". As for the investigation of Madeleine, Malinka just said: "I do not know nor I want
to know anything else at all regarding that case. I am Russian and I can stand everything".
Given the alert of fire
for GNR, at 4am, the firemen took nearly 10 minutes to reach the place and to control the flames, avoiding larger damages
in the Street 25 of April. The PJ investigates the case and waits for the results of the analyses that the Laboratory of Scientific
Police is going to do to the remains of the destroyed vehicle.
Where Was He?
Sergey Malinka was not at home when his vehicle was consumed by the flames.
He didn’t want to tell 24horas where he was.
resident of the street had the car luggage of his Opel Meriva also destroyed, due to the propagation of the flames.
PJ wants to go to England day 7
The Portuguese authorities sent a proposal to the
British authorities so that next 7th of April marks the starting point of the new interrogations of the seven friends
with whom the parents of Madeleine McCann had dinner with in the Tapas Bar on the day in which the child disappeared. "The
Prosecutor of the Republic (PGR) which oversees the investigations of the case, Magalhães e Menezes, considers that the Police
should only question the McCanns if new testifying proofs appear in the sequence of eventual contradictions in the testimonies
of their friends", revealed a source from the Court of Portimão, adding: "The beginning of the interrogations will not exceed
that date[7 of April]. Since the term for the deduction of the accusation begins to be tighter and tighter." A source from
the Public Prosecution Office explained the delay in the execution of the rogatory letter with logistical issues.
Sergei Malinka, Photo: SOLARPIX
By NATASHA SMITH
Updated: 21 March 2008
A CAR belonging to Russian computer expert Sergei Malinka, who has been questioned by police as part of the Madeleine
McCann investigation, was destroyed in an explosion in the early hours of Thursday (March 20) morning in Praia da Luz.
The incident is said to have taken place at around 5am next to his apartment, where the word "fala" (talk) had been written
on the pavement next to the car.
Witnesses told The Resident that two cars were involved in the blast and maintain
that one belonged to Malinka.
Police first interviewed Malinka on May 16, 2007, around two weeks after Madeleine McCann
Police searched the home of the IT expert, who designed a website for Robert Murat and was seen talking
to Murat several times in the days after Madeleine’s disappearance. He was adamant that he was interviewed as a witness,
not a suspect.
He has lived in Praia da Luz for around seven years and has always maintained he had nothing to do with
He claims he only had a professional relationship with official suspect, Robert Murat, and he has never been named as
The Judicial Police could not confirm this morning’s blast took place but witnesses in the area have
told The Resident that two cars were involved. They have also said that one of the cars belonged to Malinka.
Resident spoke to Robert Murat, who said that he had not been told about the incident but did confirm that Malinka drove
a Silver Audi, similar to the car that was torched.
"I am in England now but I am surprised that no one in Praia da
Luz phoned me to tell me about it", he said.
Portuguese police to quiz Tapas Nine in Britain in final bid to solve Madeleine mystery
By GERARD COUZENS
Last updated at 23:48pm on 22nd March 2008
Portuguese police are set to fly to Britain on April 7 to interview members of the so-called Tapas Nine in a last bid
to solve the Madeleine McCann mystery.
Investigators are pinning their hopes on fresh interviews with the seven holiday friends who were eating tapas with Kate
and Gerry McCann when their four-year-old daughter disappeared.
They are thought to be particularly keen to reinterview David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner, Russell O'Brien.
Prosecutors in Portugal have rejected police requests to call the McCanns in for a second round of questioning.
But they have agreed to an application to quiz the McCanns' former spokeswoman Justine McGuiness and a psychologist who
comforted GP Kate, 39, after Madeleine went missing.
A source close to the case said: "The Policia Judiciaria had prepared various questions it wanted Kate and Gerry to face
but they were crossed off the list of priorities on the advice of public prosecutors.
"They felt it was a waste of time because the McCanns would refuse to answer the questions, a right that Portuguese law
grants official suspects."
Portuguese police indicated recently they were ready to spend more than two months in Britain.
They hope to wrap up the interrogations within a week but are packing for a much longer stay.
Dr Payne, 41, a cardiovascular researcher from Leicester, was the last person outside the McCann family to see Madeleine
at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on May 3. Gerry asked him to check on his wife and children while he was having a tennis
lesson at about 6.30pm.
Dr O'Brien, 36, from Exeter, was away from the group for up to 45 minutes between 9.30pm and 10.15pm tending his own
child who was being sick in his apartment.
He told police he had changed her bed linen, but staff at the Ocean Club deny any change of sheets was requested.
Attention has also focused on 36-year-old Miss Tanner's claim that she saw a man carrying a girl from the McCanns' apartment
at about 9.15pm - when another witness says he was outside the flat at the same time but did not see her or the mystery man.
The trio have denied reports they intended changing their original police statements. The McCanns' spokesman Clarence
Mitchell says the friends are keen to help police and want the reinterviews to take place as soon as possible.
The McCanns - who are official suspects along with expat Robert Murat - deny any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
22 March 2008, Translation by Joana Morais
Sergei Malinka says that he only wants to be left alone
The Russian citizen
who is a witness in case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann made a complaint in the Judiciary Police Offices of Portimão
against strangers, because he believed that someone set his car on fire. The PJ also believes in a crime and is investigating.
Audi A4 of Sergei Malinka, which was parked near his parents house with whom he lives, on the 25th of April street, in Praia
da Luz, was consumed by the flames, in the dawn of the day before yesterday. In the sidewalk near to the debris of the car
was written in red letters the word "Fala" [Speak, Talk].
To the JN, the Russian citizen confirmed the complaint and
admits that he does not know who could have set his vehicle on fire, not even what they meant with the message that was left
in the sidewalk.
"I keep on living a bad dream that never ends", said Malinka, but refuses to say if this situation
has anything to do with the fact of being a witness in the Maddie case or because he had business with Robert Murat,
one of the Arguidos the process, like the couple Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's parents.
Exasperated with the situation
and with the involvement of his name in this case, Malinka said to the JN that he is going to stop speaking with journalists
and spoke of "friends who stabbed him in the back". "I only want to live in peace", he declared.
The IT expert was
involved in the case of the disappearance of the British girl, allegedly due to the business that he kept with Murat. The
Judiciary Police was at his home, on the 16th of May, 13 days after the three-year-old girl had disappeared from the room
where she was sleeping with the twin brothers, in the Ocean Club.
On that occasion the investigators took several computers
from his home and from an office that he had in Lagos, objects that, according to Malinka, were never returned.
was heard by the Judiciary and kept as a witness, though there are no suspicions regarding his involvement in Madeleine's
Police give Murat computers back
The Press Association
Released 23 March 2008, 01:18am
Portuguese police have returned computers and other possessions they seized from Madeleine McCann "suspect" Robert Murat,
he has said.
He described the move as a "very positive sign" - but is still waiting to be officially cleared of involvement in the young
Mr Murat, 34, lives just yards from the holiday apartment in the Portuguese seaside resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine
vanished on May 3 last year.
Detectives took him in for questioning 11 days after the child went missing and made him the first "arguido", or formal
suspect, in the case.
They also searched the villa he shares with his mother and seized a number of his possessions, including three computers,
clothes and a pair of shoes.
Police returned these items to Mr Murat on Thursday, although they did not give any clues about the progress of their investigation.
The Anglo-Portuguese ex-pat said: "It is a very positive sign - there's no doubt about that whatsoever. Why would they
return something if it was in the middle of being investigated in any way, shape or form?
"We are very happy to have the computers back, and I hope I will have my arguido status dropped very shortly."
Mr Murat said he was "considering his options" for taking legal action over allegedly libellous articles printed about
him in the wake of the apologies to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, published by four national newspapers this
He strenuously denies any involvement in the missing girl's disappearance, as do fellow arguidos Mr and Mrs McCann.
EXCLUSIVE MADDIE DETECTIVES FORCED TO ADMIT THEY'VE NO CASE
By Joshua Layton
23 March 2008
Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat was last night sensationally CLEARED of snatching the four-year-old.
ex-pat Brit has suffered ten months of torment after being named an arguido by Portuguese police.
But friends claim
detectives failed to find a shred of evidence against the property developer.
And cops have now been forced to return
clothes and computers they seized from the Algarve home he shares with mum Jenny, 72.
Last night relatives called on
investigators to formally lift his arguido status.
And they they demanded a public apology for his "unfair" treatment
at the hands of police.
The decision to rule out Murat, 34, means detectives now have no solid suspects, no leads and
no clues - effectively signalling the end of the hunt for Maddie.
And it puts them under massive pressure to announce
Maddie's 39-year-old parents Kate and Gerry are also officially out of the frame.
Murat has been left a broken man
by his ordeal.
He has been bombarded with hate-mail from around the world - including threats to kidnap his five-year-old
And he has even had to endure leaked police reports claiming - wrongly - child-porn was found on his
A source said: "This is basically the end of the investigation - there's no avenue left to turn down.
what Murat's been left with is a life sentence looking over his shoulder."
And his ex-wife Dawn, who is bringing up
Sofia in Norfolk, told how nutters have vowed to target the little girl who bears a striking resemblance to Madeleine.
chilling message to Murat warned: "You killed Maddie - now we'll get your daughter."
Dawn, 42, said: "There are a lot
of weird people out there and if something happens to one innocent child they think 'An eye for an eye'.
to hurt another innocent child - my daughter.
"I'm constantly on the lookout for anything suspicious or anyone paying
She added: "We are living in constant fear.
"It's every parent's nightmare to have their child
in the predicament my daughter is in.
"But you have to be prepared for the worst in case it happens."
speaking days after a car belonging to one of Murat's associates in Portugal was torched - and the word "speak" was spraypainted
on the road next to it.
She is even thinking of changing Sofia's surname to protect her from the slurs against her
Dawn said: "At the moment she is safe because we have the support of the village where we live.
from the physical danger, what her father's been wrongly accused of will go with her everywhere. It will be there at high
school - and her first job interview."
Dawn revealed she had been desperate to be at Murat's side when he was first
named an arguido 12 days after Maddie disappeared in Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.
At the time, a worried relative
told her Murat was on the brink of suicide.
But Dawn's ex - whose home is just 100 yards from the holiday flat where
Madeleine was last seen - refused to let her fly out to Portugal with Sofia.
Dawn said: "He insisted he didn't want
Sofia exposed to threats and put at unnecessary risk, so it was agreed we would remain in the UK to ensure her safety.
told him I'm behind him 100 per cent.
"And he promised me he would not give in and would always be there for Sofia."
revealed Murat - who is legally banned from speaking about his anguish because he is still an arguido - had been left a chainsmoking,
broken recluse by his ten-month ordeal.
She said: "I've known Rob for 13 years and he wouldn't hurt a fly.
was a popular, outgoing person before all this. But it has shattered him."
Dawn told how the "worst moment" came when
a newspaper compared him to Soham murderer Ian Huntley. School caretaker Huntley, 33, openly joined the hunt for missing ten-year-olds
Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in 2002.
He even wept as he told TV crews how he had seen them alive just before they
But he was arrested days later after the best friends' bodies were found and is now jailed for life for the
Murat was linked to the fiend because he also publicly helped police by acting as an interpreter after Maddie
But Dawn said: "Does that make him a killer? Of course it doesn't. "Rob's trouble is that he always wants
"As a family we have joked about how his over-zealousness would rebound on him. On this occasion it did -
Despite splitting with her hubby three years ago, Dawn has vowed to stand by Murat.
wants an apology like the ones given the McCanns last week by four British newspapers.
Dawn said: "It's totally unfair.
If there was a shred of evidence I could understand - but there's nothing, absolutely nothing."
She added: "The McCanns
deserved their apology and Rob does too.
"In fact, it's the least he deserves because life will never be the same for
Under Portuguese law, Murat should have lost his arguido status after eight months if there was no evidence
against him. But cops won an extension - which has never been officially announced.
Comfort of the room that's frozen in time
EXCLUSIVE By Tom Carlin
23 March 2008
Madeleine McCann's parents have kept their daughter's bedroom
exactly as it was before she disappeared.
A pal revealed how Kate and Gerry take comfort from the pretty pink room
- and have kept it the same for the day she returns.
Kate still sits quietly there every night and prays. And they
have vowed never to move from the house in Rothley, Leics, until they know what happened to Maddie.
Her bed sheets
and patterned duvet remaining unchanged and her clothes are still hanging in the wardrobe and neatly folded in a chest of
drawers. Kate has refused to hand down the clothes to Maddie's three-year-old sister Amelie who bears a striking resemblance
The friend said: "Everything has been left as it was and waiting for Madeleine to return."
untouched items are the toys which Maddie had played with before going on holiday in April last year. They are now in use
Amelie and her twin Sean have been encouraged to play with them. And Amelie has abandoned her own Snuggles
cat toy and taken to carrying around Cuddle Cat, her sister's favourite soft toy.
Gerry's mum Eileen McCann said:
"At one time the door to Madeleine's room remained closed. But now the twins go in and play. Kate and Gerry don't want to
shut them out.
"The whole family feels closer to Madeleine by being in her bedroom."
The pal added: "Nowadays
Kate leaves the door open and encourages the twins to run in and out and play with their big sister's toys.
in particular, feels closer to Madeleine at home. She will never contemplate moving until she knows what has happened to her
"At one time she wanted to stay in Portugal because it was the last place she was with Madeleine. But that
has been jaundiced by the police investigation."
Pals Of Madeline McCann's Parents Face New Police Quiz
Mar 23 2008
PORTUGUESE police will fly to the UK next month to quiz three friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann the night
Detectives believe Jane Tanner, her partner Russell O'Brien and David Payne could provide a breakthrough.
Police are also keen to interview Justine McGuiness, a psychologist and former family spokesman who comforted Kate, 39,
after Madeleine vanished last May.
Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCanns' friends are keen to help.
Robert Murat close to being cleared over Madeleine McCann disappearance
Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:02pm GMT 23/03/2008
Robert Murat has moved a step closer to being cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance after police
returned possessions seized from him 10 months ago.
Public prosecutor Jose Magalhaes e Menezes’s ordered detectives to return the items, including a computer, to the
34-year-old last week.
Murat was made an "arguido" or formal suspect on 14 May last year, 11 days after Madeleine went missing.
He lives with his mother Jenny in Praia da Luz, 100 yards from the Ocean Club holiday flat where Madeleine disappeared.
Mrs Murat, 74, said: "Every single item that the police took has been returned to us. Of course we hope it means Robert’s
arguido status will be lifted shortly.
"But we’ve had no official confirmation that that is the case and we’re not getting too excited."
Portuguese police were reported to be preparing to fly to Britain on April 7 to interview members of the holiday party
- the so-called Tapas Nine - in a last bid for a breakthough in the case.
It was claimed that prosecutors have rejected police requests to call the McCanns in for a second round of questioning.
But they have agreed to an application to quiz the McCanns' former spokeswoman Justine McGuinness and a psychologist
who comforted GP Kate, 39, after Madeleine went missing, it was claimed.
Miss McGuinness was surprised when the Telegraph broke the news to her.
"I haven’t heard anything about being interviewed," she said.
"I can’t imagine I can tell them anything they don't already know."
McCanns' case: Sergei Malinka admits to leaving Portugal Diário de Notícias - No online link
Translation by Joana Morais
Maddie: Witness in the process says that he has had 'enough', after fire in his car
The Russian Sergei Malinka, one of the witnesses in the case related to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann almost
a year ago in Praia da Luz (Lagos), admits to leaving Portugal as a consequence of the fire that, in the last dawn of
Thursday destroyed his car completely.
"It is a vengeance for the involvement of my name in Madeleine's case and I am full of this! It is already the second
car that they set on fire; I do not even know what I am to do with my life. But if things continue, I am going to return
to my Country" told Sergei Malinka, angry, to neighbors and friends in Praia da Luz.
The DN knows the Russian’s car insurance did not cover risks against fires. Besides, Malinka, who in the meantime
rented a blue Renault Clio, will still have to support the costs of the damages caused to a vehicle, which was parked in front
of his car.
With 23 years, the Russian citizen Sergei Malinka [son of a carpenter and of a maid] in Praia da Luz, is believed to
be an expert in computer technology and he previously owned a computer shop near the Marina of Lagos.
Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat set to be cleared
Madeleine McCann suspect Robert Murat, 34, last night spoke of his joy that he looks
likely to be officially cleared in days.
After having his computers returned, he said at his Praia da Luz home last night:
"I'm so relieved."
Portuguese police will re-interview the Tapas Seven - pals dining with Kate and Gerry
McCann on the night Madeleine vanished - in two weeks.
Murat could soon be cleared as Madeleine suspect after police return his possessions
Last updated at 00:21am on 24th March 2008
Robert Murat hopes to be cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance after police returned his computer
and other seized possessions.
Public prosecutor Jose Magalhaes e Menezes's ordered detectives to return the items to the 34-year-old expat last week.
Murat was made an "arguido" or formal suspect on 14 May last year, 11 days after Madeleine went missing.
But he believes the return of his possessions is an indication he is set to be cleared of any involvement in the case.
Murat lives with his mother Jenny in Praia da Luz, just 100 yards from the Ocean Club holiday flat where the McCanns
were staying when Madeleine vanished shortly before her fourth birthday.
Jenny, 74, said today: "Every single item that the police took has been returned to us.
"Police took Robert's computer and my two computers as well. But we have all three back now.
"Our lawyer was informed by police about the decision and I went to pick everything up from the police station last Thursday.
"Of course we hope it means Robert's arguido status will be lifted shortly.
"But we've had no official confirmation that that is the case and we're not getting too excited."
Mrs Murat has always insisted her son was at home with her on the night Madeleine vanished and Murat has repeatedly denies
His lawyer Francisco Pagarete said: "The police received an order from the public prosecutor to give everything back
"All his items have been returned. We believe it is another step towards his clearance as a suspect. It's a good sign.
"But we will have to wait and see. There is nothing official saying his status as an arguido is being revoked."
Murat, who speaks fluent Portuguese, worked as an unofficial police interpreter during the early days of the search for
Police brought him in for questioning and searched his home, called Casa Liliana, after a British newspaper reporter
told detectives he was acting strangely.
They seized his computer, clothes and other items during a fingertip search of the home and sent material including hairs
and earth for analysis.
But reports in Portugal said no link to Madeleine was ever found.
Murat's German girlfriend Michaela Walczuch and her Portuguese husband Luis Antonio were were questioned as witnesses.
Murat's ex-wife Dawn, 42, who lives with their daughter in Norfolk, also told a Sunday newspaper their lives have been
destroyed by the connection to the Madeleine investigation.
She said her husband has become a chain-smoking recluse because of his ten-month ordeal.
Dawn said: "I've known Rob for 13 years and he wouldn't hurt a fly. He was a popular, outgoing person before all this.
But it has shattered him." "We are living in constant fear.
"It's every parent's nightmare to have their child in the predicament my daughter is in."
Last week arsonists torched a car belonging to Murat's business associate Sergey Malinka, 22, in Praia da Luz.
The word "Speak" was sprayed in Portuguese on the pavement next to the burnt out wreck.
Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both 39-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, are also formal suspects.
The deny any involvement in their daughter's disappearance and insist she was abducted.
Portuguese detectives plan to travel to the UK on April 7 to re-interview the seven friends who were dining with the
McCanns on the night their daughter went missing.
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation of the following 3 articles:
Computers returned after examinations
Four computers apprehended from Robert Murat, one of the Arguidos in Maddie's case, as well as two others
that there were apprehended from Sergey Malinka, witness in the same process, were returned by the Public Prosecution
Office to the legitimate owners, revealed a judicial person connected with the investigations.
"Technical expertises were carried out to the hard disks of six computers, namely to the deleted files. We cannot reveal
the content of what was found. The data are still being worked. But, as of now, there is nothing that ties these two individuals
to the disappearance of the child. We can only confirm that Malinka was working in the conception of an Internet Site for
the Murat’s company", said the same source.
Robert Murat considers that the return of the computers is a sign that the authorities have nothing against him.
"It’s a good sign. If there was something that was incriminating against me they would not return the goods to me",
he said, relieved, to the press.
The Portuguese authorities will leave for England next week to question the friends with whom the McCanns had dinner
with on that day and more concrete information will most likely appear on a case that is far from being resolved.
English Arguido waited ten months
Correio da Manha
PJ returns possessions to Robert Murat
24 March 2008 00:30h
"Arguido feels that this delivery is a positive sign that there will not be substance
to accuse him"
The English citizen, resident in the Praia da Luz, who was constituted as an arguido 12 days
after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the tourist resort in Lagos, on the 3rd of May of last year,
has received the personal goods that were apprehended by the Judiciary Police.
"We were contacted by PJ, on Monday or Tuesday, and they told us that the possessions were at our disposal", confirmed
to the CM Francisco Pagarete, the lawyer of arguido Robert Murat.
On the previous Sunday, the CM announced the discovery of electronic surveillance devices [GPS] in two vehicles of Murat
and the hack sabotage of his on-line property site, of which Michaela Walczuch is a partner. The article mentioned the delay
in the return of the personal goods to Murat, to whom the PJ had only handed over a cell phone.
Murat went to the PJ in Portimão last Wednesday in the afternoon. He was handed over loads of apprehended clothes and
three portable computers, without them he was having a difficult time in retaking his professional activity. The computers
will be tested this week, to check if they have problems.
At the same time the Police returned to Michaela PC periphericals that were still held in custody. Murat did not receive
back some papers written by hand with notes, addresses and phone numbers, which were annexed to the process.
Published: 24-03-2008 13:25, Updated: 24-03-2008 15:19
PJ returns personal objects apprehended from the first Arguido in Maddie’s case
Police returned several personal objects to Robert Murat, the first Arguido in Maddie's case. The possessions were apprehended
during searches of the British man's house, nearly 100 metres away from the apartment where the girl disappeared.
Murat believes that his arguido status will soon be ended and admits to prosecute the State.
During ten months
Robert Murat arguido in the Maddie case, was deprived of three portable computers, several PC cables, VHS tapes, a camera
and several pieces of clothing and shoes.
The objects apprehended by the Judiciary Police, in May of 2007, in the
sequence of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, from Praia da Luz, were returned to the British citizen last Wednesday.
Only some papers with numbers of telephone and personal notes are still kept annexed to the process.
the return of these objects, Robert Murat believes that he will soon be removed from the list of Arguidos [formal suspects]
in the Maddie case and that after proving his innocence he will be able to recover his professional life, which seems
to have been suspended since he was constituted an arguido in one of the most mediatized cases in the last years.
British man who has always claimed innocence proceeded with three crime-complaints against Portuguese newspapers, since they
had put in question, in the course of the investigations, his sexual options.
Contacted by SIC, the lawyer of Murat
underlined that the news damaged the arguido personally and professionally.
Robert saw the site of his company online
blocked and lives, since then, with the help of his mother. In the open is also the hypothesis of advancing with an action
in Court against the Portuguese State.
In the context of the investigations there’s not much of new information.
The Judiciary Police now prepares to travel with a team of inspectors to England, in order that they accompany the requests
of interrogations to Kate and Gerry McCann and to the friends who were with them, in Praia da Luz, on the night of the 3rd
of May, when Madeleine disappeared without leaving a trace.
Translated by Joana Morais
The Public Prosecution Office is going to wait for one more week to know if it is possible to send a team of the Judiciary
Police Investigators to England.
The objective is to attend in loco [in place] at the new interrogations that will be carried out with the seven
friends with whom the McCanns had dinner in the Tapas Bar on the night the child disappeared.
It is the objective of the authorities to end this diligence, considered "basic", before the 14th of April, the day on
which the exceptional term granted by judge Pedro Frias, holder of the process, ends for the conclusion of the process.
However, the magistrate of the Public Prosecution Office who is in charge of the investigation, Magalhães e Menezes,
can still request another 90 days to deduce [infer] an accusation.
Almost a year after being apprehended, seized
goods were returned to their legitimate owners, Robert Murat and Sergey Malinka. Nothing was found on the computers, even
in the deleted files which were thoroughly examined by experts.
Not even documents with contents connected to paedophilia, not even any videos with pornographic images, contrary to
what was disclosed by 24horas and other newspapers, which quoted sources connected with the investigation.
As well as the analyses done to the computers, there was nothing found that could contribute to the resolution of Maddie's
mystery as nothing was found that related to the disappearance of the British girl.
'Spanish paedophile' arrested for murder of girl linked to Madeleine's disappearance Daily Mail
Last updated at 11:32am on 26th March 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann have demanded Portuguese police find out where a Spanish paedophile arrested yesterday was on the
day their daughter Madeleine disappeared.
The 52-year-old convicted paedophile was arrested late yesterday on suspicion of killing Mari Luz Cortes, the five-year-old
whose disappearance was initially linked to Madeleine's.
The McCanns printed thousands of posters with pictures of their daughter and Mari Luz on them in a bid to solve the two
Don't forget us: One of the posters handed out during the search for the two missing girls
The Spanish child's body was found floating in an estuary in Huelva near the Portuguese border on March 7 shortly after
the posters went up around Spain.
The man being quizzed by Spanish police is reported to have convictions for child abuse and indecent assault on minors,
and is already said to have confessed to Mari Luz's murder.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, said today: "We hope the Portuguese police will be liaising with the Spanish
police to establish this man's movements around the time Madeleine disappeared.
"We have no indication there is a direct link between the two cases.
"But given the proximity of the places Madeleine and Mari Luz disappeared from and the similarity in their ages, we believe
it's important the Portuguese police make absolutely sure there's no connection now there's been an arrest."
Madeleine, four, vanished on May 3 as Gerry and Kate, both 39, ate tapas in a nearby bar in the Algarve resort of Praia
Mari Luz disappeared from her home town of Huelva, a 90-minute drive away, on January 13 as she went to buy sweets.
A post-mortem carried out after her body was discovered showed she had been suffocated. Her parents subsequently ordered
a second post-mortem whose results have not been made public.
Spanish TV station Telecinco today named the man arrested on suspicion of her murder as Santiago del Valle Garcia. Police
have not confirmed the name.
His sister, named unofficially as Rosa, and his wife, named unofficially as Isabel, were also arrested - although one of
the women is thought to have been released early this morning.
All three were detained in a rented house in Cuenca, an hour and a half's drive south of Madrid.
The arrested man is a former neighbour of Mari Luz's family and lived less than 100 yards from her parents Juan Jose and
Irene on the route the youngster would have taken as she returned from a local sweet shop.
He had already been quizzed by police before his arrest yesterday after arousing the suspicion of locals by leaving Huelva
with his wife the day after Mari Luz disappeared.
Police are also reported to be quizzing him over a plot to kidnap a schoolgirl in Seville and a friendship he struck up
with a 12-year-old girl over the Internet after allegedly fooling her into believing he was a youngster of the same age.
Speaking shortly after the arrest, Mari Luz's dad said: "This comes as no surprise to me. We know it's him."
McCanns make TV documentary one year on
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann are taking part in an ITV documentary to mark a year since their daughter Madeleine went missing,
it has been revealed.
The McCanns will appear in the show 12 months after the four-year-old disappeared on May 3 last
year at a Portuguese resort.
There have been no confirmed sightings of Maddy since and her parents hope their appearance
on TV will boost publicity for the case.
Cameras have been following Kate and Gerry McCann all year for the one-hour
programme, at their home in Leicestershire and as they pursue their campaign in the US and Brussels
During the documentary
the McCanns talk about Madeleine and what happened the night she disappeared.
They also speak about being made suspects
by the Portuguese police and about deciding to come back to Britain without their daughter.
"ITV has commissioned
Mentorn Media to make a documentary marking the first anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance and focusing on the
campaign to prevent others going through a similar ordeal," the broadcaster said.
Madeleine's parents are said to
be receiving no payment for their part in the programme, with ITV instead donating £10,000 to the Find Madeleine Fund.
Anderson, executive producer for Mentorn Media, said: "Amid all of the controversy, what should be remembered is that a little
girl is still missing and her family is trying its best to find her.
"We have been with Kate and Gerry McCann as they
have pushed for a better system across Europe to help stop child abduction.
"They are determined to do whatever they
can to make sure that what happened to Madeleine doesn't happen to another child.
Madeleine has not been seen since
disappearing from her family's Algarve holiday apartment at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz.
Quiz killer padeo over our Maddie
By Brian Flynn
KATE and Gerry McCann last night begged cops holding a suspected child killer to quiz him over missing daughter Madeleine.
The convicted paedophile was arrested in Spain yesterday over the murder of a girl aged five.
Little Mari Luz Cortes vanished nine months after Maddie – close to her Spanish home just a 90-minute drive from
the McCanns’ holiday apartment in Portugal’s Algarve.
Both girls were pictured on posters put up by four-year-old Maddie’s parents because the cases were so chillingly
Last night Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, demanded to know where Spaniard Santiago del Valle Garcia, 52, was when
Maddie vanished on May 3 in Praia da Luz. A spokesman for the couple, who are both doctors aged 39, said: “Given the
similarity in their ages it is important police make absolutely sure there’s no connection.”
Mari Luz’s body was found three weeks ago in an estuary. She had been suffocated.
Garcia – an ex-neighbour in the town of Huelva – was arrested south of Madrid with his wife Isabel and sister
Sources said the pervert, who has convictions for child abuse, confessed he dumped Mari Luz’s body in panic after
she fell to her death down stairs.
KATE and Gerry will appear in an ITV1 documentary to be screened on the first anniversary of Maddie’s
PJ are going to England on the 7th of April
(Translation by 'Astro' from the3arguidos forum)
Paulo Rebelo and two inspectors are going to sit in on the interrogations of the McCanns' friends
Finally, the rogatory letter that was sent by the Portuguese authorities will be carried out. And with the PJ watching
They can leave! At 11 a.m. yesterday, according to what 24Horas could establish, Guilhermino Encarnação,
the director of the Policia Judiciaria in Faro, who leads the investigations into the Maddie case, has received a green light
from his national director, Alipio Ribeiro, to send a team into Leicester, England.
Paulo Rebelo, who is responsible
for the diligences in the process, will lead the team that will fly to the United Kingdom on the 7th of April. The purpose
is to watch the fulfillment of the rogatory letter by the British authorities, which will interrogate - there are more than
one hundred questions - the seven friends with whom the McCanns had dinner on the day that their daughter disappeared.
couple themselves, although they can refuse to make any statements, under the arguido status, may be summoned again into giving
clarifications, if any relevant evidence appears that incriminates them.
"We're at a
crucial stage of the process. There are clear contradictions in the depositions that were given by the McCanns and by the
friends with whom they dined at the Tapas Bar on May 3. The English police are going to hear all the participants again and
to confront them with the questions that were elaborated by the Portuguese Public Ministry. A lot has to be clarified. Following
the result of these interrogations, we will re-evaluate whether there is a need to hear the child's parents again, or not",
a source that is connected to the process has explained to 24Horas.
The PJ's team that
will travel into Her Majesty's land will be constituted by three elements: Paulo Rebelo and two chief inspectors that had
already travelled to Great Britain when the results of the DNA lab tests from Birmingham were collected.
two witnesses that manifested the intent to change the depositions that they made on the days that followed the disappearance
of the child. We want to understand how far these new statements may - or may not - change the direction of the investigations.
But only by being present at the interrogations can we make a more realistic analysis of the feelings of the witnesses, and
if they are telling the truth", said a source at the court in Portimao, where the process is located.
All the diligences
about this case are being tutored by judicial magistrate Pedro Frias and directed by the Republic's prosecutor Magalhaes e
There is scarce evidence for an accusation
Policia Judiciaria and the Public Ministry have scarce evidence to incriminate the McCann couple in the death and presumed
concealment of Maddie's cadaver. And, according to a judicial source, they have even less against Robert Murat and his former
partner, Michaela Walkzuch. Against the Russian Sergey Malinka there is... nothing. The analyses to the computers that were
apprehended from him, as well as to those from Murat, failed to add anything to the investigations.
The Public Ministry
is convinced that Maddie suffered a fatal accident at the apartment at Praia da Luz - it cannot be explained whether inside
or outside - and that the parents got rid of the body, based on the searches that were performed by dogs on the vehicle that
the couple rented 25 days after the disappearance of the child, where 'cadaver odour' was detected.
"It's little for
an accusation. But the new interrogations may clarify many things that remain obscured. Let's give time to time. For now,
the arguidos remain as suspects of the commitment of the crimes, at least, of death by negligence and concealment of a cadaver.
Not even homicide can be set aside for now", a source that is connected to the process has concluded.
Tapas Seven to be questioned again in Madeleine case
By Paul Byrne 29/03/2008
Kate and Gerry McCann's holiday friends will be quizzed again to check alleged discrepancies in their stories.
The Tapas Seven, who had dinner with the McCanns on the night their daughter Madeleine, four, vanished, will have more
than 100 questions put to them by Portuguese police.
Paulo Rebelo, leading the hunt for Madeleine, who disappeared on holiday in Praia da Luz on May 3, will arrive in the
UK in nine days' time. British police will conduct interviews on his behalf.
David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner Russell O'Brien are expected to be the first to be questioned.
A source told Portuguese paper 24 Horas, said: "We are at a crucial phase. There are clear contradictions in the
statements that the McCanns and their friends gave. Many things have to be clarified.
"The need to question Madeleine's parents again will be determined by the results of the interrogations of their holiday
Case: Team of the PJ in Leicester from the 7th to the 11th of April
McCanns' friends cross-examined on the 8th of April
Correio da Manhã
Translation by Joana Morais
It is the most visible diligence since August in an investigation that has been dragged for almost a year to resolve
the mystery of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz, on the 3rd of May of 2007. Three elements of the Department
of Criminal Investigation of the PJ in Portimão will travel to England on the 7th of April to attend the fulfilment of the
rogatory letters that define, in detail, the new inquiries to the friends who spent holidays with the McCanns in the Algarve.
investigations are going to be done by English police officers but in the presence of the Portuguese team constituted by the
coordinator of DIC of the PJ from Portimão, Paulo Rebelo, and by two inspectors, the titular head of the inquest and another
that has been doing the liaison with the English police. According to a source close to the investigation, “the team
travels day 7th and returns on the 11th. The investigations begin on the 8 of April ". According to what CM was able to establish,
the investigations are going to happen in Leicester, town where the McCanns reside, they will not be summoned to give declarations
at that moment, though later on, if new evidence arrives from the questionings, they might be called.
Kate and Gerry McCann were constituted arguidos, because they refused to answer questions, though close sources to the couple
guarantee that they are inclined to collaborate. The friends, in the capacity of witnesses, are obliged to answer with truth.
And the testimonies witch they gave in Portimão revealed contradictions.
The words of the seven friends might be the
key to the mystery. They accompanied the McCanns on holidays and had dinner together in the Ocean Club the night in which
Madeleine disappeared of the apartment where she was sleeping with the brothers. On the 11th of July, the PJ summoned to Portimão
Russell O'Brien, Fiona Payne and Rachel Oldfield. On this day Robert Murat was also questioned, a resident in Praia da Luz
and arguido in the process.
The principal targets of the investigations in Leicester are going to be Russell O'Brien,
Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield. The first one stayed away from the dining table during 30 minutes. He explained that it
was to give assistance to his own daughter, but his version has some inconsistencies. Jane Tanner is Russell's companion and
it was she who is said to have seen a man with a child near the apartments. And Matthew said he saw the McCanns'
children in the apartment just before Kate gave the alert.
'Tapas Nine' to face three days of police interviews
Last updated at 22:09pm on 29th March 2008
Portuguese police are planning to question the so-called Tapas Nine during three days of interviews in a final attempt
to solve the mystery of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
The detectives believe there are inconsistencies in the
accounts of what happened on the night the three-year-old vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz last
May while the group of friends ate dinner with Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, in a nearby restaurant.
had been believed that the detectives could spend up to two months in the UK.
However, a team led by chief investigator Paulo Rebelo is set to fly to Britain on April 7 to start interviews in Leicester
the next day, and they are scheduled to return to the Algarve on April 11.
British police officers will conduct the
interviews on behalf of their Portuguese counterparts, but Rebelo and his team will be allowed to sit in as they take place.
Mr and Mrs McCann, who are both still official suspects, are not expected to be questioned.
30 March 2008
Maddie visit cut short
By Marc Baker
Cops making a last-ditch bid to solve the Maddie McCann mystery will spend only THREE DAYS quizzing the Tapas Seven.
Portuguese detectives fly to Britain on April 7 to question the friends of the missing tot's parents Kate and Gerry.
It was thought they would spend up to two months painstakingly seeking new details from the group who were with the McCanns
at a Praia da Luz tapas bar when Madeleine vanished last May 3.
But chief investigator Paulo Rebelo wants the inquiries wrapped up in time for his team to return home on April 11.
The detectives are particularly keen to see Dr David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner Dr Russell O'Brien. Doctors Gerry
and Kate, both 39, are not expected to face more questioning.
Their friends will be questioned by British police as Rebelo and his team sit in on the interviews in Leicester near
the McCanns' home village of Rothley.
Dr Payne, 41, of Leicester, was the last person outside the McCann family to see Maddie, four.
Ms Tanner, 36, has told police she saw a man carrying a little girl from the McCanns' ground-floor apartment.
Another witness says he was outside the building at the time but did not see her or the mystery man.
The friends deny that their initial statements contain contradictions.
But Portuguese police hope that ironing out apparent inconsistencies will help solve the riddle.
Police to question McCann friends BBC News
Page last updated at 01:19 GMT, Monday, 31 March 2008 02:19 UK
The friends who were on holiday with Madeleine McCann's parents when the girl went missing are to be reinterviewed by
police in the UK.
The group of seven will be questioned next week by Leicestershire Police, with Portuguese detectives present.
Four-year-old Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve last May.
Her parents, who deny any wrongdoing, remain arguidos or formal suspects. They will not face questioning.
Madeleine disappeared days before her fourth birthday, during a family holiday in the resort of Praia da Luz, in the
Algarve, on 3 May last year.
The seven friends dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of Madeleine's disappearance.
One of the group, Jane Tanner, has already told the police she saw a man that evening carrying a child, close to the
The BBC's Steve Kingston in Madrid said he understood that a small team of Portuguese detectives will arrive in Britain
He added: "The Portuguese detectives will not conduct the interviews - but instead watch as officers from Leicestershire
Police put a list of questions agreed in advance through the Home Office."
The questioning of the McCanns' friends will begin on Tuesday and should be completed by the end of the week.
Police interviews are also planned with relatives and advisers who were with the McCanns during the early days of the
Separately, lawyers for the couple have requested that two dozen other witnesses be interviewed, including staff from
the Ocean Club complex and several British holidaymakers.
McCann friends to be quizzed by police ITN News
Updated 11:22, Monday 31 March 2008
Friends of Madeleine McCann's
parents are to be re-interviewed next week in the UK by Portuguese detectives.
The officers plan to sit in when
Leicestershire Police quiz the seven friends who were on holiday with Kate and Gerry McCann when their four-year-old daughter
disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, remain
arguidos or formal suspects in the case, but will not be interviewed by the officers who arrive on April 7.
A spokeswoman for the British
force said: "Leicestershire Constabulary will be co-ordinating the execution of the request for mutual legal assistance made
by the Portuguese authorities.
"The Portuguese authorities have
asked that the contents of the request and the way it is being executed be kept confidential so as not to prejudice their
The McCanns' family spokesman,
Clarence Mitchell, said: "Kate and Gerry and their friends have long expected this visit by Portuguese police officers and
it comes as no surprise that some reports in the Portuguese papers in the last few days have been speculating about the arrival
He added: "I am not in a position
to confirm any dates or give any details about the re-interviewing of the friends and all matters will have to go to Leicestershire
"However, Kate and Gerry and
their friends welcome the police interviews. The friends are more than happy to co-operate fully, as are Kate and Gerry, although
in this case Kate and Gerry will not be interviewed.
"This has not been requested
but Kate and Gerry would have agreed to answer any questions had the police wished to put anything to them.
"There were some reports from
Portugal last week that police were not going to question
Kate and Gerry because they thought they would not co-operate. This is utterly ridiculous and completely baseless.
"Kate and Gerry and their friends
see this as an important chance to help the police.
"We hope that the police will realise there is no evidence to link Kate and Gerry with Madeleine's disappearance in
any way and that they will be rapidly eliminated from the inquiry and the arguido status, which was imposed too hastily as
the head of the Portuguese police admitted, will be lifted as soon as possible."
10:30 - 31 March 2008
Friends of Kate
and Gerry McCann who were in Portugal when their daughter went missing are set to be re-interviewed by police.
group of friends - labelled the Tapas Seven - who had dinner with the McCanns on the night Madeleine disappeared, will be
questioned next week by Leicestershire police, with Portuguese officers present.
Paulo Rebelo, leading the hunt for
Madeleine, the three-year-old who disappeared on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, will arrive in the UK on Monday.
British police will conduct any interviews, while Rebelo and his team will sit in as they
Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, who are both still official Portuguese police suspects, are not expected
to be questioned.
Three of their friends - David Payne, Jane Tanner and her partner, Russell O'Brien - are expected
to be the first to be quizzed.
The team of investigators is set to return to the Algarve on April 11.
interviews are also planned with relatives and advisers who were with the McCanns during the early days of the police investigation.
to Nigel at