Monday, 17 October 2016

Goodbye and thanks for all the fish....

From the very first moment it was political - that remains the most important aspect of this case. 


  1. Press and political pressure ensured that the Portuguese police was unable to proceed with normal enquiries, such as requesting background information on the parents and health records of the missing child. 
  2. The McCanns suggested FBI (iirc, FBI psychics) to help in the search. The PJ chose dogs, British dogs. The results of those searches led to the McCanns being given arguido status. 
  3. It took eleven months before that status was lifted, after political pressure on the Portuguese government. During this time they had help from top lawyers and certainly the Home Office. The Foreign Office helped a bit too by denying Murat the consular help he was entitled to.
  4. Unfortunately this did not result in a 'get out of jail free' card. Portugal is a democracy. They were obliged to publish the greater part of the files. Cause.
  5. The only thing that could be done was to spin the information. Enter 2000 sightings all allegedly ignored by the PJ. A rich haul for the press, one to fall back on as and when necessary. Effect.
  6. Forums and blogs were making the most of the files, politics were fairly useless here, so soft targets were selected by tough lawyers to show  the heretics what could happen to them if they persisted in discussing the possibility of guilt on the parents' part. Effect.
  7. A book - and in the event, two books - one written by two almost Pullitzer prize winners - to convince the world of the one and only truth. Spin - didn't work..
  8. As the PJ files and the events described in both books gave rise to ever more discussion on the internet it became apparent that something had to be done. However docile the press was, the social media did not fall into line. The solution was simple :
  9. Political, forcing a review by Scotland Yard would clear their names forever. The PJ files would be proven to be inferior to any SY review, at least they would be seen to be inferior. Effect. 
  10. The next step was to win the case against Dr. Amaral. Independent of politics, although it may not have looked like it. Portugal is still a democracy. 
  11. The next disaster was that the PJ dusted the case off and started again. Cause.
  12. Spin. The McCanns let it be known that they would be helping the PJ as 'assistentes'.
  13. Some time later Scotland Yard too, takes an active role although it is not at all clear whether the cooperation between the two forces is as close as the press says it is. Effect.
  14. Dr. Amaral and his associates have won the case in the Lisbon Court. Cause.
  15. Politics can't help here. Back to straight begging although the accounts of the limited company are particularly unhelpful in determining if  any financial help is needed. Effect.


Next? 

I will watch developments with interest, however - this is my last post on the case.  I will post comments as and when they appear. 





January 2008 to 1st May 2008


January 2008

2/1Last night Murat’s lawyer, Francisco Pagarette, claimed that detectives now believe he is innocent and are preparing to lift his arguido status tomorrow – exactly eight months after Madeleine vanished.

3/1

Gerry returns to work

Gerry McCann returns to full-time work today - exactly eight months after his daughter Madeleine disappeared.

The McCanns hire a new detective

It emerged today the McCanns have hired a detective who investigated a 7/7 suicide bomber. Noel Hogan is conducting a "cold case" review. The former Met detective superintendent, who runs the agency Hogan International, in Farnham said: "I have been reinterviewing witnesses that were out in Portugal at the time." It is understood these include friends of the McCanns

3/1

 Irish family's Maddie quiz The Sun

From VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz

Published: 03 Jan 2008

PRIVATE detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann are to quiz an Irish family who may have been the last to see her alive.

7/1

Claims that blood traces were definitely Madeleine's
It is claimed that blood traces discovered in Kate and Gerry McCann's hire car were from Madeleine. A Portuguese newspaper alleges that tests conducted at the FSS in Birmingham show conclusively that the blood is that of the four-year-old.
O'Brien and Tanner named as two who wanted to change story . Dr Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner are named as the two friends reported last year to have told police they wanted to change their account of that evening.

8/1
Madeleine: The MovieIt is reported that Kate and Gerry McCann are in talks to turn the story of their missing daughter Madeleine into a movie. They are negotiating with one of the world’s largest talent and entertainment agencies, IMG, over the film in a deal which could be worth millions. The couple are also considering a book deal and selling interviews to television broadcaster with all proceeds going to the Madeleine Fund, the body set up to finance the search for the girl. It is understood the enormous costs of funding the continued search for Madeleine is proving a strain on the fund. There are fears that the £1.2 million raised from public donations will soon run out. A source close to the McCanns said: "We would only get involved with something done sensitively and considerately." The team that made Touching The Void, an award-winning drama-documentary about the fight for survival of two British climbers lost on a mountain, are the most likely to be involved in the Maddy film project.

It will be discussed at a meeting of the fund's directors, including Gerry, tomorrow night at the McCanns' home in Rothley, Leicestershire. It is reported that the meeting tomorrow follows the resignation of key board members, including the fund's spokeswoman Esther McVey. 

9/1

Madeleine's Fund running out of money?  It is reported that the search by Gerry and Kate McCann for their missing daughter may be grinding to a halt by the first anniversary of her disappearance because the Find Madeleine fund is running out of money. The fund, currently at £600,000, is spending £50,000 a month, mostly on the private detective agency Metodo 3.

As we know from the post here: Socratic questioning of the methods of Metodo, parts one and two, Metodo weren’t exactly getting that amount. What appears to be true however, was that they followed instructions. 1)

17/1

Concern mounts over delay by British authorities - Concern is mounting in Portugal over the time British authorities are taking to respond to official requests to interview the McCanns' friends and seize the couple's personal items, including 39-year-old Kate's diary.

French website, SOS Madeleine McCann, claims that an internal source from the British Home Office confirmed yesterday that the letters of request from the Portuguese authorities, calling for the interrogation of several British citizens, including friends of the couple McCann, indeed arrived, but the Secretary of State for the Interior, Jacqui Smith, had decided not to grant them an immediate response.

25/1  McCanns accused of wasting Madeleine's Fund money

Kate and Gerry McCann were accused today of wasting ''astonishing'' sums of money raised by public donations by looking for their missing daughter Madeleine in Morocco.

26/1

McCanns in talks for £1million chat show deal


The parents of Madeleine McCann are in talks to strike a £1million deal with two of America's biggest chat show stars. Kate and Gerry McCann are at the centre of a bidding war between Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters.


Both celebrities are desperate to land an exclusive deal for the couple to talk about their missing daughter. If it goes ahead, it will be the largest publicly-known amount ever paid for a broadcast interview.


The McCanns, both 39, say they have been forced to consider the bids because their £1.2million Find Madeleine appeal fund is expected to run dry by June. But the move, expected to earn them £1million, will horrify those who have already accused them of cashing in since their daughter, then three, vanished from their holiday apartment in Portugal last May.


The couple's representatives have already met with producers to discuss turning the eight-month investigation into the disappearance into a film and could earn up to another £1million from selling the film and book rights. Earlier this month, they faced widespread criticism over their decision to give an interview to glossy society magazine Vanity Fair.


Last night, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed that representatives of Mr and Mrs McCann had held talks with producers from both shows, which attract huge audiences in the U.S. But he denied they were selling their story to the highest bidder and said money would not be the deciding factor. The couple will appear on the show which can best help to search for Madeleine, he insisted.


McCanns try to 'play down' bidding war 

Sky News reports that Kate and Gerry McCann have been approached to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show and for an interview with American network ABC. The couple's spokesman confirmed that they had been approached by US TV executives.

McCanns discuss new documentary

It is reported that Kate and Gerry McCann are holding talks with broadcasters about a second TV documentary on their daughter's disappearance, a spokesman for the couple said on Saturday. The couple would request a ''donation'' to the Find Madeleine appeal fund in exchange for their involvement.


The McCanns hope the documentary will put pressure on European countries to adopt an alert system similar to one used in the United States to provide rapid notification to all states when a child goes missing. The AMBER system, standing for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, is named after Amber Hagerman, a Texas girl kidnapped and murdered in 1996.


29/1

Police say McCanns hindering investigation

Police in Portugal claim Kate and Gerry McCann are hindering the probe into missing Madeleine by releasing sketches of the possible kidnapper. Detectives say officers have checked out several sightings of the "creepy" stalker that came to nothing, wasting their time.

Portuguese police accuse Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of stalling the investigation


Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was yesterday accused of stalling the Madeleine McCann investigation. Portuguese police said the nine-month case had reached "a stalemate" because the Home Office had failed to respond to a list of demands sent almost a month ago.


Investigators sent a formal letter of appeal to Whitehall on January 7, asking that the seven friends who dined with Kate and Gerry McCann on the night of May 3 should face fresh police interrogations. Three weeks have passed and the Home Office has yet to make any response to the letter, the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha reported.


30/1   McCanns warn over libel action


Madeleine McCann's parents have not ruled out suing newspapers and websites that they believe have libeled them.


Fresh blow for McCanns as Portuguese legal advisors rule out lifting 'arguido' status


Kate and Gerry McCann have stopped reading the "tittle-tattle" written about them in the press - but their representatives are keeping an eye on any "rubbish" printed in the press they believe to be defamatory.31/1McCanns 'not suspects in UK' according to Clarence Mitchell

British police do not consider Madeleine McCann's parents suspects in her disappearance, according to the couple's spokesman. Clarence Mitchell said officials, including child protection workers, had assured him in private briefings that they were treating the case as one of "rare stranger abduction".

Note: This is what Clarence Mitchell actually said:

'I've also had briefings privately from the police and CEOP, Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre', before I went out the first time, that also gave me complete reassurance that the authorities in this country, certainly, are treating this as a case of rare stranger abduction - as they call it'.

Notice these private briefings happened 'before I went out the first time' - Clarence is talking about briefings that happened in May 2007 when most people knew very little of what had actually happened.  



February 2008

Media report Kate stops work (although in fact she hasn’t worked since 4/07) to concentrate on working for children’s charities.

The word ‘ambassador’ is mentioned again. Amber Alert System and Missing Children Europe as well as International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and CEOP are all mentioned frequently in the media.


Despite the statements in December, Metodo3 contract is renewed.


4/2  Divers search remote reservoir for Madeleine's body after underworld tip-off


7/2  The letters rogatory for the purpose of re-questioning the McCanns and their seven friends who dined with them at a restaurant in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, Algarve, have now been forwarded for the second time to the British Home Office,


 9/2 [..]

Police are to give Kate and Gerry McCann the chance to clear their names over daughter Maddie’s disappearance. The couple, who have been official suspects in the case for five months, will be asked by Portuguese detectives to respond to 40 questions. Sources say that unless there are “screaming contradictions” the couple will be cleared.


17/2 Meanwhile, it is understood Kate McCann is quitting her job as a locum GP to devote her life to children's charities. Mrs McCann has not returned to work since Madeleine's disappearance in May and has reportedly told friends she feels she has a lot to offer charity organisations. 

The couple want to campaign for a Europe-wide alert system for missing children, like the amber alert system in place in the U.S. The McCanns attended a lunch for Missing Children Europe last week and they have both met with officials from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Centre for Child Exploitation and Online Protection.


7/3

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 cases.


12/3

Forbidden to write about Madeleine Jornal de Noticias

The journalists of Express Newspapers, the British media group that holds four tabloids, are forbidden to write about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


26/3

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.


March 2008:

From the start of the month the McCanns make official complaints about the Express group through Carter Ruck.

From the 12th of March journalist of that group are forbidden to write about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

By the 19th a pay out of 550.000 is agreed.


Preparations and slow negotiations with Jaqui Smith enabled the PJ to finally set a date for the Rogatory Interviews. The McCanns are not part of the RI and will not be required to answer  the 40 questions which still haven’t been answered.


Eventually a total of 11 newspapers were sued by Murat, the T7 and the McCanns.

The media published almost only favourable reports on the McCanns from then on. As by that date the public suffered a Pavlovian reaction – buying a paper whenever the iconic photo was displayed - the newspapers didn’t suffer financially.



April 2008


The Rogatory Interviews take place in London. The PJ attend most of these.

During the time these interviews take place the McCanns are in Brussels, promoting their ambassadorial ambitions and Amber Alert. Despite the fact that this scheme was already under discussion in 2006 and several countries had signed an agreement, the media reported this as an initiative of the McCanns.


Early in the month the result of the Arade dam search is prominent.

Amaral comes in for a lot of bad press as do the PJ in general. The media now have only one thing to report, the innocence and persecution of the McCanns.

The McCanns are asked to take part in a reconstruction. Returning to Portugal may be ‘dangerous’. The press agrees.

Newspapers are full of articles on Kate’s emotional state, the Amber Alert and demands by TM to have the FBI investigate the ‘botched’ work of the PJ. Near the end of the month the run-up to the inevitable ‘first year’ remembrance performance is widely published.

The anti-PJ publicity is at its height. Articles on PJ leaking information to ‘smear’ the McCanns. Amaral resigns from the PJ. The xenophobic press is having a field day.


April 27, 2008

By Lori Campbell:

‘Anguished Kate and Gerry McCann are to write a book about their year of hell since little Madeleine disappeared. (So not a book about Madeleine then…).

The couple are desperate to tell the truth of their ordeal and plan to publish a tell-all book with the help of a ghost-writer - with all proceeds going to the Find Madeleine Fund.’


Amaral’s book has not been announced in the press. As far as I know the first time it is reported is in July 2008.

In short: by the end of the first year the hatches are battened down, the McCanns are more secure. Amaral is gone but the bad news is that he is publishing a book.

At this fairly early stage - from January onwards  there are plans for:

a full feature film

a second documentary

a US talk show

a book - all with hefty price tags.


Security:

the media are gagged - a payment of 550.000 by Express Newspapers is agreed.

no interviews of the McCanns by the LP or the PJ will take place

witnesses and ‘friends’ have been brought into line.


Careers:

Kate has ‘given up work’ to be ‘ambassador’ for children’s charities.

Gerry is working full time - although taking a full and active part in the presentation of Amber Alert Europe in Brussels. There is still hope that the ambassadorial roles for both the McCanns will eventually be realised.


The drive to obtain some kind of official position as ambassadors for children’s charities is at the forefront here, whilst no doubt negotiations and further damage limitation goes on behind the scenes - in effect a firewall has been  created.


And finally something so familiar: The Sun’s headlines on 31st August 2016


maddie cash crisis

Kate and Gerry McCann desperate for new donations as search fund is down to last £46k

More than £4.2million has been donated since Maddie disappeared in Portugal in 2007. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1701671/kate-and-gerry-mccann-desperate-for-new-donations-as-search-fund-is-down-to-last-46k/

by sam christie

31st August 2016, 12:09 pm
 and so it goes on ... 


1) (from Amazon commentsCyr Jimenez Says: 
February 8th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I have said that the McCanns NEVER looked for Madeleine because, while their friends were knocking on doors waking up the dead that evening asking everybody to look for the little girl that ‘had been abducted’, it was later established that her parents never moved from their apartment but were busy deleting compromising calls from their mobiles. (This is on record too).
When it was generally felt that the McCanns were not doing enough to find Madeleine and no Portuguese detective agency would touch them, they resorted to a well-known Barcelona Agency to which they paid a substantial sum (€50,000 from memory. It was not their money, was it?). The Agency immediately made a big song and dance of informing the world that they knew Madeleine was being held in Morocco and they were going to get her. I was furious.

It took me a while but in the end I managed to speak to the Managing Director in clear Spanish. I asked how was it that a Detective Agency of their standing could make such a ridiculous assertion making it known ‘they knew Madeleine was held in Morocco and they were going to get her’. He tried to wriggle out of it but in the end he said ‘DON’T ASK ME. THAT’S THE PARENTS STRATEGY’.
I am in no doubt that the truth will be known and Justice will be done IN THE END. It is doubly unfortunate that the ‘incident’ took place at the start of the Algarve tourist season so crucial for the Portuguese economy. Otherwise the Judiciária would have cut out all the pussyfooting from the outset.
Unquote

14th September to 31st December 2007


14  September 2007:  Solicitors Kingsley Napley meet with Dr Gerald McCann, Dr Kate McCann. Solicitor Angus McBride drove to Rothley to collect the McCanns. Also present were top Solicitor Michael Caplan QC (an expert in extradition proceedings) and at least two members of security company Control Risks, also said to be present is Brian Kennedy.

A sighting in Morocco near the end of the month is probably set up by Metodo3.

Near the end of September Gerry gives an interview to Vanity Fair  - incriminating answers and statements are of interest here. The article was published in the February  2008 issue and can be found on mccannfiles.com  

02/10/2007

Amaral is moved to other duties.

08/10/ 2007

Paulo Rebelo, a senior criminal investigation coordinator in national police headquarters in Lisbon, is appointed as the new head detective in the Madeleine investigation.

Newspapers report that British scientists have reportedly discovered new DNA evidence possibly linking Kate and Gerry McCann to Madeleine's disappearance.

Reports suggest the results, from the Forensic Science Service Laboratory in Birmingham support previous forensics that were sent to Portugal by British scientists and resulted in the McCanns being named as official suspects.

The new results are said to have come from analysis of further material taken from the McCanns' apartment in Praia da Luz, their hire car and other parts of the Mark Warner holiday complex.

 It is revealed that Kate and Gerry have hired their own forensic team. (If this is the case, it would be pointless as they would already know that the DNA evidence would not play a part in a court case in Portugal, since the law there requires a 100% match – the match initially said to have been made by the FSS was however more than sufficient to be presented in a UK court.)

12/10/2007

Channel 4 Dispatches broadcast their documentary 'Searching For Madeleine' in which the idea that an abductor broke into the apartment through the shutter is dismissed as 'almost impossible'.
24/10/2007
The McCanns launch a new 24 hour hotline manned by private detectives.
25/10/2007
The McCanns release an artists’ impression of the person it is alleged Jane Tanner saw on the night Madeleine disappeared. The man has no face and is carrying what appears to be a lifeless body.
Metodo 3, the Spanish 'detective' agency employed by the McCanns, say they are convinced Madeleine is being held in Morocco.
30/10/2007
News breaks that Madeleine's Fund has been used to make two mortgage payments on the McCann's family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

November 2007


1/11/2007

CM says no indication that Tapas 7 will be made arguidos.

NoTW reports carrier bag found with DNA links to Maddie.

Blue fleece jacket, adult jeans, shower curtain, green child’s t-shirt are reported to have been found in the bag.

8/11/2007 Newspaper headline that two Tapas  are seeking to provide fresh statements.

9/11/2007  A statement from FSS  is inconclusive regarding DNA.

13/11/2007  Brian Kennedy meets with PJ and shortly afterwards has a meeting with Murat in Burgau .The PJ inspectors Ferreira and Paiva submitted an account of their meeting at a later date. (It is of course illegal to approach witnesses on behalf of the accused  but Brian Kennedy also approaches the Smiths in Ireland at a later date. Other witnesses complain in their rogatory interviews of pressure put upon them by the McCanns or by others representing them.)

The Portuguese paper Jornal de Notícias appeared to have some additional information about this meeting. Their report, early in 2008, said: “The meeting - a dinner that Brian Kennedy asked to be discreet and far away from the eyes of the press - took place in the end of last year at a house of Murat's relatives in Burgau (Vila do Bispo). At the dinner were Robert Murat and Kennedy, their respective lawyers, Jennifer Murat and the aunt and uncle of Murat” [NOTE: This appears in fact to have been Ralph Eveleigh, Murat’s uncle, and Sally Eveleigh, his cousin].

If Murat and Kennedy each had one lawyer with them - Pagarete and Smethurst - that makes seven people present at that dinner in Burgau:  Murat and his mother, his uncle Ralph and cousin Sally Eveleigh, who ran the 8-room guest house at Vila do Bispo, two lawyers and Brian Kennedy.


This evening meeting was either on the same day, or very close to, the meeting that Brian Kennedy had with the Portuguese Police on 13 November 2007 that we referred to above. The two Portuguese Police Inspectors, Ferreira and Paiva, later submitted an account of their strange meeting with Brian Kennedy.

The report, which is amongst the documents contained in the police files,  indicates that right at the start of the meeting, Brian Kennedy was keen to stress that his intentions were ‘purely charitable’, because he felt ‘concerned about cases of child neglect and child abduction’. The Director of Metodo 3, Francisco Marco, presented information to the PJ about three situations, allegedly received via their ‘hotline’.

14/1/2007  Newspapers report that Rebelo and his detectives have a list of 100 questions to ask the Tapas 9.

The PJ is also frustrated at the length of time to get final test results from FSS.

15/11/2007  A solicitor, reportedly acting for one of the two Tapas who wants to change their story claims that the McCanns have received ‘far beyond normal ‘ help from UK Government.

17/11/2007  Tapas 9 have a meeting in a hotel nr. Rothley. TVstation Antena3 claims it was set up by Metodo3 team and lasted from 10 to 4.

They claim that none of the 9 will change their statements and that 3 of the Tapas will indicate that Murat was in the area before and after the alarm.

The McCanns also arrange for one of the nannies - Cat Baker who was the principal nanny who looked after Maddy in PdL,  to stay in a hotel and are later photographed (probably on the 18th) going to church with the nanny and the twins.


19/1/2007 Panorama programme is screened 58 mins. Jane Tanner states that she believes she saw Madeleine being carried away.

21/11/2007  PJ will travel to UK to interview the Tapas 7. 

28/11/2007  Two forensic science experts arrive in UK to review evidence, meeting at a secret location with the FSS and LP.

29/11/2007  All day discussion by the above. CM state that there is nothing to incriminate the McCanns because they are innocent.  The FSS says tests are ongoing.

30/11/2007  PJ investigators return to Faro. They meet with the British ambassador, and the consular official.  PJ are finally granted permission to re-interview the Tapas 9.

1/12/2007

It is revealed that Portuguese police are investigating a mobile phone call from Russell O'Brien to Gerry McCann that was made on 10 June 2007. A team of telephone surveillance officers highlighted the call as it is understood to have contained key words that aroused police suspicions.

Investigators are concentrating on the exact whereabouts of Dr O'Brien when the call was made. It is understood Gerry McCann told detectives the call was made within a 4km radius of Praia da Luz but technicians working on the mobile phone network have dismissed this after examining records. It is believed the call took place 28km from Praia da Luz.

2/12/2007

It is reported that Portuguese police are investigating a disused barn in the south-east of Praia da Luz following the discovery of a blood stained towel which police believe may turn out to be Madeleine's blood.

Fibres on the towel allegedly match fibres from the Renault Scenic hire car the McCanns' hired 25 days after Madeleine's disappearance.

It is understood Portuguese detectives discussed the breakthrough when they met British police and a Crown Prosecution Service official last week at a police station in Leicester.

The fresh information is believed to have come from mobile phone surveillance police who tracked a signal to the remote and deserted barn. There they found a towel with an Aztec design, which revealed three sites of blood deposits on the edge of the towel. Tests showed there was 'moderate' support to suggest the blood deposits matched Madeleine's blood.

The results were not conclusive and are not regarded as being strong enough to be presented as evidence in a court case. However, close analysis of the towel revealed fibres which were not made of the towel material. The fibre fragments were microscopically examined against fibres found in the boot of the McCanns' Renault Scenic hire car.

Portuguese police sources say there was 'strong support' that the fibres found on the towel matched fibres found from the boot of the car. 6/12

Kate and Gerry will find out within 48 hours if the British Government will let them face a new grilling over their daughter’s disappearance.

The prosecutor in charge of the case was last night set to send a letter asking for formal permission to re-interview them and their holiday dinner pals - the so-called Tapas Seven - to the Home Office. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 44, will then decide whether or not to allow the further questioning to take place.

9/12/2007

It is reported that police questioning of the McCanns and their group of friends could be delayed until after Christmas. Portuguese detectives are ready to fly to the UK and have prepared letters with questions the couple and their seven holiday friends must answer. It had been thought the interviews by British police with Portuguese officers sitting in could begin this week.

But the questions must be approved by the Portuguese public prosecutor, who will spend a week considering possible changes. They will then go to the investigating judge for authorisation before being translated.

Finally, the questions must be approved by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

10/12/2007

It is revealed that the McCanns and other members of the tapas group have met for the first time since May 3rd. This was actually reported as an 'exclusive' in November, by Spanish TV station Antena3 but has only just been picked up by the British press.

It is said the 'Tapas Nine' had a highly emotional and "deeply sad" reunion at a hotel near Kate and Gerry's home in Rothley, Leicestershire. It is believed to have taken place on Saturday 17 November, the week after news broke that two members of the tapas group wanted to change their statements.

A source close to the McCanns said the meeting was kept secret because of the huge interest it would have generated. "It was a show of solidarity under police claims that one or two had wanted to change their stories," said a source.

16/12/2007

The Times runs an article by David James Smith, which gives details of the events of May 3rd.

It seems that the baby monitor may have been one of the points on the agenda at the Rothley meeting:


Message: Dear Mr. Smith,

In your article "Kate and Gerry McCann: Beyond the smears", from 16th December 2007, you mention this fact: "Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner had brought a monitor too, but theirs wasn’t getting much of a signal from the Tapas restaurant 50 yards away."

The couple never mentioned to the PJ that they brought a monitor as well, in all their statements they claim that the Paynes were the only ones with a baby monitor. Only in April 2008, in the rogatory interviews conducted by Leicestershire Police, this piece of information appeared. It might seem a small omission, but in the light of possible neglect charges, would have been important. Jane Tanner claims in the rogatory interview that she brought it with her in the evenings and positioned it on a ledge/wall behind her. This was NEVER mentioned to Portuguese Police as the released statements show. The question I have is, how did you get this info before the rogatory interviews even took place? I know you have to protect sources, but this seems a very strange inside knowledge.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards

-----------------------------------------------------

Who are you and what is your interest in this case?

David

-----------------------------------------------------

I am sorry if I have upset you... Well I gave my name, I am from Germany and I am interested in the case. Since the files have been released I have been trying to build myself an opinion based solely on facts and no spin. I am in the possession of the

DVD with the released case files and have spent a lot of time with their analysis. That is why I came upon this rather curious discrepancy regarding the baby monitor. There was a meeting of the McCanns and their friends in Rothley in November, and in December your article was published with this "new" fact. I am just curious where it suddenly came from.

Regards

--------------------------------------------------

No I am not upset. I just don't to fuel the web ghouls (I have no idea whether you are one of them or not...) who seem obsessed with what i consider to be the grotesque idea that the mccanns or their friends did away with madeleine. In addition to the

further distress it must cause the mccanns and their friends on top of the devastating event that started it, I just feel it is a complete waste of time and energy. That said, however, I had a long briefing with Gerry McCann before I wrote my article and

I guess the baby monitor info came from him. I am aware that many discrepancies arose in the portuguese statements through misunderstandings of language. And you ought to be aware that there will always be minor discrepancies of fact in statements

- failings of memory, interpretation and so on - which are not in themselves sinister or suspicious.

Unquote


The rogatories are a long long way off  - Jaqui Smith was instrumental in blocking requests with counter requests or simply delaying her replies as can be seen in the next post. The rogatories which were expected to take place soon after Christmas finally took place at the beginning of April. 

The baby monitor belonged to the very two people who appear to have wanted to change their statements. But the most important fact we glean from the above correspondence is that David Smith was ‘briefed’, that is informed  by someone who was still a suspect in a case - not exactly impartial or investigative journalist. Just someone who is told what to write. Both David Jones of the Daily Mail (see blog post..///////) and David Smith wrote prose worthy of Mills and Boone at the time. Sea sickness pills may be needed. refs link article  http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/article76941.ece


12/12/2007

El Mundo claims a Foreign Office document, dated May 17, justified the order because of "the specific nature of the case" and because British diplomats "were already helping Madeleine McCann's parents.
The paper reported: "An internal document, sent by the Foreign Office of the United Kingdom, orders British diplomats 'to avoid offering support' to Robert Murat, one of the suspects in the Maddie case, unless charges are presented against him.
23/12/2007
It is revealed that police want to trace a blue tennis bag allegedly taken from Kate and Gerry McCann's apartment on the night Madeleine went missing. Detectives think the hold-all could have been used to carry Madeleine as she was taken away, or even to transport the three-year-old's body. It belonged to the girl's father but has not been seen since the night of May 3, according to a Sky News documentary due to be broadcast on Christmas Eve.[..]
But McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell flatly denied that Mr McCann had lost a bag during the family's holiday. He said: "As far as Kate and Gerry are concerned, there is no missing tennis bag. They came back from holiday with everything except of course, tragically, Madeleine."
Mr McCann told friends yesterday that he did not take any tennis equipment to Praia da Luz, and did not own a blue tennis bag. But Sky News stood by its story, which it said came from sources who had travelled to the resort after Madeleine's disappearance.
Portuguese newspaper Diaria de Noticas reports that the Policiaria Judiciaria have been searching for months for a blue tennis bag, with sufficient size to carry a small child, which belonged to Gerry McCann. The story, advanced by Sky News, adds that Gerry McCann assured PJ investigators at the time that the bag had been "stolen". 
24/12/2007
Sky TV airs Martin Brunt's documentary 'The Mystery of Madeleine McCann' in which he reviews the case and reveals details of the missing sports bag, as reported yesterday.



O happy days....