All the important events from April 2009
Paulo Rebelo leaves PJ's CID in Portimão and is replaced by Ana Paula Rito, 06 April 2009
Paulo Rebelo leaves PJ’s CID in Portimão and is replaced by Ana Paula Rito
6 April 2009 | 14:52
Thanks to Astro for translation
The team at the Criminal Investigation Department
(CID) in Portimão is going to stop being led by Paulo Rebelo and will soon be headed by inspector Ana Paula Rito, a source
at the Polícia Judiciária told Lusa.
Paulo Rebelo, who came to replace Gonçalo Amaral in the coordination of the CID of Portimão in 2007, and in the investigation
into the Madeleine McCann case, will now return to the Directory of Lisbon, and Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspector Ana Paula
Rito has been chosen to take his place.
Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007 from the bedroom where she slept with her younger twin
siblings, in an apartment at a resort in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, in the Algarve.
The future coordinator of the CID in Portimão was recently involved in a case where she was accused of violating the
judicial secrecy, but in which she was acquitted.
The case was based on statements from inspector Ana Paula Rito to the press, concerning a case that dates back to April
2004, involving the abandonment of a baby that was found in a supermarket trolley on a parking area that belongs to a shopping
centre in Faro.
In the case's closing arguments, the Public Ministry (PM) argued that the arguida should not have followed the institution's
common practice of making a statement to the press without specific authorisation from the PM to do so.
Nevertheless, the PM considered that the arguida acted without intention and without being instructed about "the crime
that she committed", thus concluding that there was no applicable penal frame.
The team that is going to run the Polícia Judiciária in Faro changes as well, with joint prosecutor Mota Carmo replacing
Guilhermino da Encarnação.
The mysterious telephone calls of Jane Tanner, 23 April 2009
|'O Crime', 23 April 2009
The mysterious telephone calls of Jane Tanner O Crime (appears
in paper edition only)
23 April 2009
Translation by Nigel Moore, with thanks to Mercedes for original article and scanned images
The testimony of Jane Tanner rarely was consistent (or even convincing) with the friends of the McCanns who sat at the
"Tapas Bar" table, on the fateful night of May 3, 2007. Starting with the time that elapsed between the disappearance of Maddie
and the surprise disclosure of Tanner, who swore she had seen a suspicious man carrying a child whose physical build corresponded
with that of Madeleine.
Following this revelation, which forced the PJ into a line of inquiry that would prove fruitless, the Portuguese authorities
wanted to know, in detail, the telephone contacts that Tanner made and received during a period that falls within the estimated
time of Maddie's disappearance.
In the rogatory letter, which was sent to the United Kingdom in December 2007 and did not receive a reply until much
later, the authorities asked Tanner about the calls made between the 2nd and 4th of May. There is evidence of contact with
at least one Portuguese phone number, SMS messages and calls from other English numbers. In the statements made, nearly 4
months later, on British soil, Tanner never fully clarified these contacts.
The PJ wanted to know the identity of the Portuguese mobile user who called Tanner on May 4 at half past nine p.m. and
who sent an SMS about an hour later. Later, an exchange of calls with other numbers was registered, some lasting for quite
long periods. To judge from the lapses of her memory, Tanner was likewise inconsistent in the statements made in Portugal,
specifically in regard to the sighting of the alleged kidnapper and the fact of having, or not, lied when she said she had
passed Gerry and a friend on the way to the "Tapas Bar".
When she was questioned by the PJ, Tanner told investigators that when she went to dinner at the "Tapas", at 20h30, the
majority of adults were there without their children. Tanner had got her elder daughter off to sleep, leaving the other one
to the care of her father. Almost an hour later, Tanner got up to go to her apartment and check the sleep of the girls. Gerry
McCann had left a little earlier and, in this moment, had met a television producer acquaintance and stopped to engage in
a short conversation. Tanner swears she passed beside them and claims to have seen a man passing with a child in their arms,
with a hurried step. She remembers details such as the fact that the child was wearing a pair of pyjamas but was not covered
by a blanket. She says she could only see the side view but, even so, described the man in much detail. She spoke of an individual,
between 35 and 40 years, thin build, approximately 1.70 m in height, very dark hair, beige linen trousers, classic shoes and
a peculiar way of walking.
So many details
In the same statement, Tanner is less conclusive about what the child wore, suggesting that it was light-coloured pyjamas
Based on the testimony of Tanner, the abductor and the child would have passed in front of the "Tapas" restaurant, a
fairly busy street, especially in summer. But nobody saw him there. In addition, Jane passed beside the TV producer who was
speaking with Maddie’s father. What happens is that the two men, when they were questioned by the PJ, said they had
not seen the man who Jane speaks of. How is it explained that there are three people in the same street, at the same time
and yet only one has seen a man with a baby in their arms that passed beside all three? Would Jane have provided a false trail?
Was she the victim of a miracle? The PJ insisted on exploring the apparent discrepancies in the first testimony of Tanner,
specifically why, after having been given warning of the disappearance of the girl, she did not then tell the McCanns of the
sighting of an individual, in relation to which, she had retained many physical details.
Jane, 38, of Exeter, a marketing manager, with two daughters (3 and 5 years) lives with her partner Russell O'Brien,
a doctor who assured that had seen Murat near the McCanns' apartment on the night of the disappearance.
It is certain that the statements to the PJ, made by the nine people who sat at the "Tapas" table on the night of May
3, 2007, have never been credible, the testimony does not fit, there are disagreements about what they did or saw that night
and who, at different times, had been absent from the dinner. Coupled with everything, it was not possible for researchers
to construct a coherent scenario for the crime. That is to say, an immediate doubt was installed at that time that with the
passage of time became permanent: someone lied. It is true that the process was eventually archived and that the only two
arguidos, Gerry and Kate, were eventually released from the implication of any involvement. Maddie seems to have evaporated.
Portraits for everyone
Tanner's version even enabled researchers hired by the McCanns to produce an e-fit portrait. The image ended up being
discredited on many occasions. Computer experts came to dismiss it concluding that it showed known faces which were related
to the case. A breeder of pigs in the Algarve was heard by the PJ, because he had a vague resemblance to the face portrayed.
Earlier, in 2007, following statements by Jane Tanner, a sketch was released of a man who fitted the description of the
witness. It was a swarthy person, of thin build, with dark hair.
In August 2008, the English press reports mentioned the portraits of two alleged suspects in the abduction of Maddie,
made from the descriptions of a couple of British tourists who were in Praia da Luz at the time that the British girl disappeared.
The McCanns' detectives hired a person suspected of raping his own daughter
When you hire someone, look for a good curriculum. But such a precaution was not made by the expeditious detectives "Método
3", the Spanish company that promised to find traces of Maddie. For they contracted in the Algarve a man suspected of strangling
a prostitute, whose body was found last November in Pinhal do Ludo, close to Faro, and who is also accused of raping his 19-year-old
In the case of the prostitute, the suspect's 40-year-old car underwent an examination by experts who found DNA consistent
with that of the victim, confirming in this way that the women, aged 37, a resident of Coimbra, was in the car.
In October 2007, the daughter of A.D. sued for rape. The young woman, aged 19, resided at the time in Elvas, Alentejo,
Algarve and had gone to the Algarve to visit her father who convinced her to take a drive and eventually finished by raping
her. He is currently in custody for this crime, although he has previously been in prison, also for rape.
A.D. managed, in the meantime, to attract the attention of Método 3 after he insinuated he had information related to
the investigation of the "Joana case", the Algarvean girl who disappeared from the village of Figueira. He claimed that João
Cipriano, the girl's uncle sentenced for murder, had confessed to him that Joana was alive and had been sold. Método 3 would
have seen in this proximity the opportunity to devise some plan of competition to prove that hypothesis [that Joana was still
alive] and, in case of obtaining it, draining the investigation of the PJ that were already, at that time, moving in the direction
of admitting that Maddie had died in the apartment, in Praia da Luz. Meanwhile, the employee was revealed as a "bluff," and
nothing of any relevance was discovered in relation to Joana. Eventually he finished with the detectives and even went so
far as to accuse them of attempting to kill him.
Método 3 were recruited by the McCanns to find Madeleine, but after 2 years, the company discovered less than someone
sitting on the sofa of their house. The director of the firm of detectives came to testify to the seven winds that he knew
who had abducted Madeleine and that she was alive. Meanwhile, many thousands of euros later, not as many as one has been charged
The PJ paid 30 thousand euros for the analysis of samples, 25 April 2009
Maddie Case: Dogs detected cadaver and blood odours and human fluids were collected
Eduardo Dâmaso / Tânia Laranjo
25 April 2009 - 00h30
Thanks to 'Ines' for translation
The National Forensics Institute (INML) charged the PJ almost 30 thousand Euros to carry out the laboratory examinations
on the samples collected in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Given that the case was archived, the costs
will have to be met by the State and cannot be charged to the arguidos, in the form of legal costs.
In addition, the analyses carried out in the UK were paid for by the English authorities. No quantity was sent for payment,
according to what was stated.
In both cases – the samples collected during the first phase of the investigation and those found after the use
of the dogs – their conclusions did not allow for the investigation to reach any conclusion.
"This is normal procedure. The analyses requested by the PJ are normally charged to the PJ. It is also usual for the
accounts to be sent to the tribunal afterwards, so that the arguidos end up bearing these expenses in the form of legal costs.
In this case, as the process was archived, it is the State that pays", said CM Duarte Nuno Vieira, director of the INML, guaranteeing
that he does not know the values in question.
He also says that in this case the scientific proof assumed a fundamental character. It was on the basis of the preliminary
analyses carried out by the authorities that the PJ made progress in the naming of Kate and Gerry as arguidos.
The first data showed the DNA of the girl, but the final examinations leaves doubts. The English analysts said that the
samples found in the car could have been contaminated by the girl’s immediate relations which confused the possibility
of being able to say with certainty that the sample corresponded to the English girl.
Also, in the bedroom the girl disappeared from, only the mother's prints were found.
The McCanns record for Oprah
Today the McCann couple, in the US, record an interview for the Oprah Winfrey
programme, that will go on air the day after tomorrow. It is not known when it will be shown in Portugal.
According to Kate and Gerry, the trip to the US will serve to "give a new impulse to the effort to find Maddie" and the
talk show will be the vehicle to show images of what the girl's appearance would be two years after her disappearance. The
family spokesman announced that a "new suspect in Maddie's disappearance would be revealed, who was seen in the OC, but that
information about this has been taken off the case".
Judge orders the withdrawal of the dossier
The dossier containing information about English paedophiles was ordered to be
withdrawn from the case by the Judge in charge of the Public Ministry. The cabinet of the General Prosecutor guaranteed that
this decision was taken by the magistrate "in harmony with the regulations laid down in the Penal Process Code". Pinto Monteiro
also states that the case is "under the keeping of the Public Ministry of Portimão" and that, if the PM understands this
in this manner, it could also be consulted by the PJ.
One of the samples collected, later being signalled
by the dogs, was in the car rented by the couple. The PJ defended from the very first, that the girl's body had been transported
in that car, more than 20 days later.
Kate McCann says that the window was open when Maddie disappeared. But finger
print analysis shows that it was her who opened the window that night. No fingerprint from an unknown person was collected,
thereby dismissing the thesis of abduction.
Another of the samples collected by the PJ was from behind the sofa in the apartment.
The investigators claimed that it was blood and hoped to prove that it belonged to Madeleine. However, the analyses were not
MEP child alert campaign heralded a success, 29 April 2009
29 April 2009
A proposal to develop missing child alert mechanisms across Europe has received €1m
of funding from the commission, it has been revealed.
A written declaration launched a year ago and adopted by parliament calls on the EU to improve cooperation on missing
children, particularly by setting up a missing child alert system which would immediately forward relevant details such as
a photograph to all news media, border authorities and law enforcement agencies.
The child alert would be modelled on the amber alert system in the US, which has been credited with helping with the
recovery of over 400 children.
The written declaration received 413 MEP signatures by September 2008 and, as over half the MEPs signed, the declaration
became a formal resolution of the whole parliament.
The commission has put a pilot project out to tender. It is seeking proposals for child alert mechanisms and to improve
cooperation between EU member states.
Although the total budget is €1m, it will be used for between four and 10 projects aimed at improving child abduction
Details of the latest developments were revealed at a news conference in parliament on Wednesday by Tory MEP Edward-McMillan-Scott,
a vice president of parliament.
The move is supported by Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of Madeleine, who has missing since May 3 2007.
McMillan-Scott said, "When a child goes missing, the first 72 hours are crucial. Currently European countries fail to
cooperate effectively when recovering missing children.
"We need a system in place that will transmit the picture and details of an abducted child into every conceivable place.
Experience of those countries that have alert systems in place, such as the USA, is extremely positive.
"The response from MEPs to our declaration was phenomenal. We sent a strong signal to the commission that we need action
and to their credit the commission has responded.
"We need some technical solutions to this tragic problem. Kate and Gerry McCann have been fantastic in supporting this
initiative which will hopefully stop other parents from going through their heart-breaking ordeal."
£900k Euro aid to help find Maddie, 30 April 2009
By Jerry Lawton
30 April 2009
An alert system to track missing children that could have saved Madeleine McCann has been given a £900,000 boost.
European leaders pledged the cash four days before the second anniversary of her disappearance from a Portuguese resort.
Madeleine's parents Kate, 41, and Gerry, 40, have been campaigning for measures to stop abductors crossing EU borders.
Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, who worked with the McCanns to set up a Euro response system, said: "When a child
goes missing the first 72 hours are crucial.
"At the moment European countries fail to co-operate effectively when recovering missing children. We need a system in
place that will transmit the pictures and details of an abducted child into every conceivable place."
The McCanns are still hunting for Madeleine, who will be six next month.
They are demanding an American-style Amber Alert system where the alarm is automatically raised across state lines when
a child goes missing.
Yesterday's cash pledge from the European Commission will help establish a similar network across 27 European countries.
Last night, a pal of the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, said: "They will be delighted real action is being taken."
Kate and Gerry welcome boost, 30 April 2009
Kate and Gerry welcome boost The Sun
By LEON WATSON
Published: Today (30 April 2009)
MADELEINE McCann's parents are "absolutely delighted" with new cash being awarded to boost a Europe-wide alert system
for missing kids.
Kate and Gerry McCann have been campaigning for closer EU cooperation to help prevent child abductions since Madeleine
disappeared nearly two years ago.
They twice took their campaign to the European Parliament last year, winning support from MEPs for increased action.
The idea was to set up a US-style "Amber Alert" early warning system which has led to the safe return of hundreds of
children when the alarm has been raised across state lines.
A similar network across 27 European countries could have helped raise awareness faster about Maddie's apparent abduction
from the McCann's holiday villa in Portugal.
Now £900,000 — pledged yesterday by the European Commission — will be used to support work on as many as
ten EU-wide projects aimed at improving joint child abduction procedures.
In a statement released by their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, the couple said: "We are absolutely delighted and welcome
this news from Brussels.
"We are really pleased that the European Commission has committed such a significant amount of funding to improve joint
procedures whenever a child is abducted in Europe."
The McCanns said there was still much work to be done, adding: "This is just the first step that needed to be taken towards
achieving a European Amber Alert system and we are determined that the momentum is kept going.
"There's still a long way to go."
The news came just days before the second anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
"We are pleased that, particularly at this time of year, some good is beginning to come out of Madeleine's abduction
and that this could lead to the prevention of harm to other children in the future," said the McCanns.
Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott, who has been working with the couple on an EU response system, described the
first 72 hours after a child goes missing as "crucial", adding: "At the moment European countries fail to cooperate effectively
when recovering missing children.
"We need a system in place that will transmit the pictures and details of an abducted child into every conceivable place.
"Experience of those countries that have alert systems in place, such as the US, is extremely positive."
Mr McMillan-Scott said the response from MEPs to the McCann-inspired declaration calling for EU action had been "phenomenal".
He added: "We sent a strong signal to the Commission that we needed action, and to its credit the Commission has responded."
The McCanns thanked the MEP for his "unstinting work" in campaigning for the system.
Mr McMillan-Scott is now urging the incoming European Parliament after the June euro-elections to go a step further and
set up an "Office of Child Rights" to monitor implementation of child rights provisions of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,
if and when it comes into force under the Lisbon Treaty.
That will only happen if the Czech Republic ratifies the Treaty in a Senate vote due within weeks, and if the Irish public
vote for the Treaty in a new referendum likely to be held in October.
Europe Minister Caroline Flint said: "This is a good example of how the EU can add value to what individual countries
can do acting alone.
"The British people will be pleased to see EU funds being spent on improving our capacity to find missing children."
Maddie: Prosecutor's break the "silence", 30 April 2009
Public Ministry recognises that diligences are made to check out leads that continue to arrive
by Cláudia Lima da Costa and Patrícia Pires
The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz, Algarve, was archived on the 21st of June
2008. Without a reply. Almost a year later, the prosecutors who hold the process admit, for the first time, to tvi24.pt
that they continue to receive "diverse information" about the case, but until now none of the leads has "resulted in a fact
or circumstance" that could justify "the reopening of the inquiry".
As the date that marks two years after the disappearance of the little British girl draws closer, tvi24.pt tried to obtain further clarification from the Public Ministry's prosecutors
who hold the process, but the magistrates state that they "have nothing further to add to what is written in the final dispatch".
Nevertheless, they recognise that they keep receiving "diverse information" and that it "has been the target of analysis
and treatment whenever they reveal a minimum of consistence or verisimilitude". That is to say, some diligences are still
being carried out in the process. The Public Ministry further stresses that "from the indications that have been received
until now, no fact or circumstance has been produced that could justify the reopening of the inquiry".
Information has been arriving not only "at the Public Ministry" but also at "criminal police forces" and they are all
"analysed under the adequate jurisdiction", tvi24.pt was informed in writing, thus breaking the silence since the
process had been archived.
As an example, the Public Ministry's prosecutors add that "even the Attorney General's Office has received many emails,
coming from England", and they assert once more that "until now, none of them has supplied any solid lead or any piece of
evidence that is worth of prompting the reopening of the process".
Sightings and mediums
A police source confirmed to tvi24.pt that, in fact, there is still a significant amount of information about
the case being sent to authorities, both in Portugal and in England. But the source explains that "a major part of that are
sightings all over the world, and others are 'clues' sent in by mediums".
to Nigel at