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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:30 am 
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GFK wrote:
If they go back to Portugal to take part in the reconstruction, answer the questions Kate refused to answer then the PT authorities would re-open the case.


If the authorities say "we will reopen the case if you cooperate in this way" then I think the McCanns would be foolish to say no. After all, you can't use the media to demand action if you then refuse to cooperate with that action.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:23 am 
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http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/vie ... Cann-case/

As usual, I wonder what"s going on in the background, as we only read what they find "helpful" for us to read. My guess is that with the injunction lifted, the prospectives of them winning the main action seem less good. And the PJ can rightly say that they could not and cannot pursue the investigation without their cooperation. A petition will make them look good and make people think that they FORCED the opening of the case. Obviously, they didn't manage to take the case away from Portugal, as I think it was their wish.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Of course, my curiosity piqued again, I had to go look. An the Court appreciation of Amaral's book is indeed a killer (translation not mine, and I couldn't find the original so far):


"The book that was written by the first defendant, Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, presents a thesis that was at one time defended by several participants in the police investigation: that little Madeleine died accidentally and that her parents, here the first applicants, were suspected of concealing the cadaver.

This defendant was the Coordinating Inspector of the investigation into the case of the disappearance, thus being the most qualified police officer who intervened in the investigation until the time when, through a decision from the Judiciary Police’s (PJ) directory, he was removed from that function.

In that role, the defendant was deeply involved in the entire investigation and had the opportunity to formulate all of the possible conclusions about the case, while it was under investigation.

Approximately 5 months later, Dr. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation through a decision of the PJ's directory.

As he clarifies several times throughout the book, the author felt the need to write it right away in order to, as he says, “recover my good name, which was publicly dragged through the mud while the institution that I served for 26 years, the Portuguese Judiciary Police, did not allow me to defend myself, nor defended me institutionally. I asked for permission to speak out in that sense, a request that remains unanswered to this day. I fully respected the PJ's rules, and remained in silence. Nevertheless, said silence was tearing my dignity apart.

Later on, I was removed from the investigation. I then decided that it was time for me to defend myself in a public way. Therefore, I immediately requested my retirement, so I could regain the plenitude of my freedom of expression.”

This is a first point – and one that is not small – that should be registered: the author feels he is the victim of injustice and wants to re-establish the truth, at least his truth or his vision of truth, even more so as he felt that his honour was being diminished and the police force that he owed obedience to did not allow him to reply, as a police officer, to those attacks against his professional pride and his honour as a qualified criminal investigation police officer.

In the book that is at stake here – “Maddie – the Truth of the Lie” – the author presents a vast multiplicity of facts and then offers his interpretation of said facts.

Those facts are all part of the investigation and are exhaustively considered and weighed in the archiving dispatch of the process that is on the DVD which has been appended to this court case (page 441).

In that description, there are main facts and others that are secondary, but which the author attributes value to, based on his experience as a police investigator, an activity that he has performed for 26 years.

The author describes, in detail, several facts and circumstances that were not coherent in between each other, from the outset of the investigation, thus prompting contradictory conclusions.

In the archiving dispatch that is signed by two Public Ministry Magistrates, it is written that “From the analysis of the set of depositions that were made it became evident that important details existed which were not fully understood and integrated, which needed to be tested and verified on the location of events itself, thus rendering it possible to establish the apparent failures to meet and the lack of synchronisation, even divergences, in a diligence that is suited for that effect, which was the reconstitution, which was not possible to perform, despite the commitment that was displayed by the Public Ministry and by the PJ, to attain that purpose…”

In that very same dispatch, the result of the tests that were performed by the sniffer dogs “Eddie” (a dog that was specially trained to signal cadaver odour) and “Keela” (specially trained to detect the presence of human blood) are mentioned.

“Eddie” marked (signalled) cadaver odour:

• in the McCann couple’s bedroom in apartment 5-A (from where little Madeleine disappeared) in the area next to the wardrobe;

• in an area next to the living room window that has direct access to the street, behind a sofa;

• and in an area of the same apartment’s garden.

The dog “Eddie” again marked the signal of cadaver:

• at the “Vista do Mar” villa, which was rented by the McCann couple after Madeleine’s disappearance, in the area of a wardrobe that contained a soft toy that had belonged to the little girl;

• on clothing that belonged to the applicant Kate Healy, Madeleine’s mother;

• on the outside of the Renault Scenic vehicle with the license plate number 59-DA-27, that was rented by the McCann couple after the disappearance, next to the driver’s door;

• and on that vehicle’s key/card.

The dog “Keela” detected residues of human blood:

• in the same living room of apartment 5-A, which had already been signalled by “Eddie”;

• after the floor tiles that had been signalled during the first inspection had been removed, she again signalled the spot where the floor tiles had been;

• on the lower part of the window curtain that had already been signalled by “Eddie” before;

• on the inside of the boot of the Renault Scenic vehicle that had already been signalled by “Eddie”;

• and in the door storage compartment on the vehicle’s driver’s side, which contained the car key/card;

The dogs’ indications cannot be used as evidence in court, but in multiple cases they provided precious help in terms of collection of evidence for the Scotland Yard and the FBI, with positive results.

These indications were later not corroborated by the British forensics lab that was chosen by the investigation, but they were enough to constitute the applicants, Madeleine’s parents, as arguidos in the criminal investigation that was performed over her disappearance.

In possession of that new data, and crossing it with the data that had been collected before, the Portuguese authorities - the Public Ministry and the Judiciary Police - tried to perform a reconstitution of the facts, they did and tried everything, but due to the lack of availability of the McCann couple and their friends, who did not show up, said diligence could not be performed and those facts still remain to be clarified.

Concerning that matter, it is written in the final dispatch that “(…) despite the fact that the national authorities took all measures to render their travelling to Portugal possible, due to motives that are unknown, after the many doubts that they raised concerning the need and the opportunity of their travelling were clarified several times, they chose not to show up, which rendered the diligence impossible to perform.

We believe that the main damaged party were the McCann arguidos, who missed the possibility to prove what they have protested since they were made arguidos: their innocence towards the fateful event; the investigation was also hindered, because said facts remain unclear (…)”.

In any case, the fact is that the indications that were mentioned above were sufficient to make the McCann couple arguidos.

The subsequent collection and production of evidence, namely the forensics evidence that was collected and treated in laboratory, weakened that conviction and thus the couple stopped being arguidos.

What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs.

All of this is reported in detailed manner in the book that is at stake here, reproducing the contents of some of the case files, which also had an effect on the above mentioned final dispatch that was signed by two Public Ministry Magistrates.

In the book, we do not verify any reference to any facts that are not in that dispatch.

Where the author differs from the Prosecutors who have written the dispatch, is in the logical, police-work-related and investigative interpretation that he does of those facts.

..."


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:07 pm 
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An algarvian girl that lived closely to the McCan´s resort was enterviwed by the PT television about what she saw in the days after Madelaine disapearance. She stated that , after Madelaine dispearance, she noted that the McCan´s would leave the back door of their van opened ajar all night. This was the same van where the dog detected cadaver odour.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:22 am 
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How long must Kate and Gerry McCann suffer? ITV News/blog

Keir Simmons
Posted by Keir Simmons
8 November, 2010

More than three years ago Madeleine McCann vanished from an apartment in a Portugese seaside town. Madeleine was three years old and 11 months. She has now been missing for almost as long.

She disappeared on the evening of Thursday May 3rd. I arrived in Praia Da Luz the next day. I felt sure she would be found and that I would be back in the UK before the weekend was over. I now know how wrong I was.

So much is easy with hindsight. I can say today with confidence that the police hunt for Madeleine was utterly inadequate. One of the detectives admitted as much in a newspaper article this weekend. I didn't once see officers searching apartments in the area.

I look back at the media's coverage of the events that would unfold with deep disappointment. Good journalists under pressure from London took far too many risks with the truth. Collectively in my honest view, we lost our balance. Some journalists lost the plot.

At the centre of it all this were two parents who had no idea how to handle such pressure. The last time I saw Kate and Gerry McCann was at a news conference around a year ago. They looked as shell shocked as when I first saw them – perhaps more so. The suffering they are enduring is unimaginable.

And yet, there continues to be a group of individuals who use the internet to attack these two poor parents. I hear from them all the time via Twitter. They demand that I investigate this or that "if you don't you’re not a reporter" one informed me recently. After a report I produced for NBC News over the weekend I was subjected to a torrent of abusive messages – one suspects they are co-ordinating their attacks for best effect.

There was even one sick individual who created a Twitter account pretending to be Madeleine and then 'tweeted' about where she was. Thank god, the account was quickly taken down.

These people say they are 'truth seekers'. They are not. What they write is just nasty, obsessive and vicious. They are not journalists, not even campaigners, they represent the worst of the human psyche electronically unleashed.

People who read this blog will know that I see free speech as fundamental. And that I love Twitter and Facebook because they make free speech available to anyone with a computer. But we now see consistent examples of that free speech used irresponsibly.

So I find myself considering cutting these people off, 'blocking' them in the terminology of Twitter. Is that the right thing to do? I think it might be.

After this article they will send me abuse and vitriol over the web. I can deal with that of course. But why should two parents who have suffered so much continue to have this groundless campaign against them? Those involved claim they believe in 'truth' yet ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit their conspiracy theory. They claim to love children, yet ignore the effect their 'campaign' might have on Kate and Gerry McCann's twins as they grow up and begin to comprehend such things.

I worry that by allowing them to communicate with me, by effectively engaging with them, I am encouraging them. Perhaps it's time for me in my own small way to say 'stop', I'd like to know what you think. Please send me your views on Twitter (ironically) or Facebook.



Dear Keir Simmons

Posted by John Blacksmith at 14:39
Monday, 08 November 2010

"But why should two parents who have suffered so much continue to have this groundless campaign against them?"

So glad that you wanted some feedback and I hope that someone will forward this to you or twitter you the link. First, by way of a taster, can I quote what the mayor of London wrote this morning about the BBC journalists' strike, which you will note brought the country to its knees?

"I consume vast quantities of news – but almost entirely without the assistance of the BBC. I get up early and read a fair quantity of newsprint, notably this paper and the FT. But if I then switch on my computer and go to Google news, I can see what everyone is reading across the planet.

You don't have to wait and fume for a quarter of an hour while some egotistical journalist tries to skewer some temporising politician. You don't have to worry about the bias of programme editors, because the sheer multiplicity of sources enables you to shake out the bias and work out what is really going on. You can find it all out in your own time, and it usually takes about five minutes."

That's the world you now work in, Mr Simmons.

I don't defend any vile accusations made against the parents and I have no theory whatever about any involvement by them in the fate of their daughter. I don't take part in internet forums or comment boxes precisely because of the incredible violence with which people disagree. But that is nothing to do with the McCanns – it is a function of internet debate.

But are you seriously suggesting that there are no important questions about the behaviour and veracity of the McCanns since May 3 2007?

You will recall, I'm sure, the shouted comment from a journalist on the Lisbon court steps early this year, referring to the irrefutable evidence earlier that Goncalo Amaral was not a "rogue cop" but a person representing the views of a whole police team. "Yes," came the shout, aimed at Amaral, "all old stuff – what's new?"

And that is the trouble: to you and your colleagues there is a great deal of "old stuff" that anti-McCannites harp on about, as if its age alone made it somehow worthless - a very journalistic view if I may say so. But the reason the "old stuff" persists is because it has never been satisfactorily answered by the parents – so articulate, not to say verbose about so many other subjects – nor properly analysed and refuted by journalists such as yourself.

Can I ask you about a few instances of "old stuff" and exactly what you make of it? Not wild accusations, not theories about what the parents did or didn't do on May 3, but documented examples of their conduct since.

The Prosecutor and his Report

An easy starter for ten. Why do you think the parents have cherry-picked the prosecutors' archiving report, highlighting the "clearance" of themselves but never, ever alluding to the comments about the lack of co-operation from their friends and the bald statement that the couple gave up the chance to demonstrate their innocence?

The McCanns were not telling the truth to the police about their "checking" routines. No doubt you were in court in Lisbon when the prosecutor himself stated this explicitly. Portuguese law prevented a full cross examination of Mr Magalhaes e Menezes at that hearing to compel him to tell the court more about the untruths. There will be, I can assure you, opportunities for him to do so in the coming months.

Do you really think this is a mere old stuff detail? If they weren't telling the truth about the "checking" then what have they told the truth about? Do you believe they have always told you the truth?

The Rothley meeting and the collusion over evidence

In December 2007, immediately following the announcement that the Portuguese authorities were formally requesting interviews with the so-called Tapas 7, a meeting was held in Rothley at which the case and the evidence were discussed. Prior to that meeting it had been maintained for months that all 9 were willing and keen to assist, either by returning to Portugal or by being interviewed again. It was a genuinely secret meeting, in the strict sense of that overworked word, but information that it had occurred leaked out.

Their spokesman, initially caught off guard, said that "it was a show of solidarity under police claims that one or two had wanted to change their stories." He later refused to enlarge on that most revealing statement and announced that he was not going to comment on the meeting in future.

Why, with a background in crime reporting, do you think 9 supposedly independent but associated witnesses met in secret and have refused to discuss the matter, or even mention it, ever since? What stops them?

The request for help in finding a child

After those UK "rogatory" interviews had indeed taken place the head of the Portuguese investigation formally asked the 7 if they were willing to return for a reconstruction of their movements on the night of May 3 2007 to assist the inquiry. They all saw fit to take legal advice; they stalled; they all refused.

Why do you think the 7 refused? Why do you think the parents didn't ask them to return to help the search for their daughter?

The end of the search

When the Portuguese investigation was shelved it meant that no authority would any longer be searching for their child, a situation that the parents have been bitterly criticising this last week. They had twenty days to appeal against the archiving and keep the search going.

Why do you think they chose not to appeal?

All old stuff.

Don't you ever think that you might have a responsibility as a journalist to ask the parents or Mr Mitchell a series of penetrating questions about these issues? Or will it bring them pain and suffering if you ask? "Old stuff" it may be but you will find that it features both in the forthcoming Portuguese libel hearings and in any re-opening that the Portuguese undertake. Oh, and the Leicester police are still waiting for the answers to those "old stuff" questions too.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:46 am 
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The McCann story will never end and the tit-for-tat arguing will continue for as long as Madeleine is not found. For every argument there is a counter argument.

I know lots of people question the McCanns suddenly changing their tune from apparently cooperative to uncooperative, but everything can and possibly does have a reasonable explanation.

Let's not forget, they became uncooperative after the police basically started accusing them of killing their daughter and made them arguidos - and illegally started briefing the PT media about evidence that backed up the theory. In that circumstance I would clam up as well - innocent or guilty.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:15 am 
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tivinho wrote:
Let's not forget, they became uncooperative after the police basically started accusing them of killing their daughter and made them arguidos - and illegally started briefing the PT media about evidence that backed up the theory. In that circumstance I would clam up as well - innocent or guilty.


That's being puzzling me from the beginning....
In any case of an accident or dissappearance of a family member - other members (husband\wife\father\whatever...) are under the fire staight away and they can stuff theirs feelings in.... anywhere.

_________________
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:03 pm 
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tivinho wrote:
Let's not forget, they became uncooperative after the police basically started accusing them of killing their daughter and made them arguidos - and illegally started briefing the PT media about evidence that backed up the theory. In that circumstance I would clam up as well - innocent or guilty.


Really? Have you really put yourself in the shoes of a father desperately looking for a child? Do you really think you would clam up with the police, however unsympathetic?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:45 pm 
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lobito wrote:
tivinho wrote:
Let's not forget, they became uncooperative after the police basically started accusing them of killing their daughter and made them arguidos - and illegally started briefing the PT media about evidence that backed up the theory. In that circumstance I would clam up as well - innocent or guilty.


Really? Have you really put yourself in the shoes of a father desperately looking for a child? Do you really think you would clam up with the police, however unsympathetic?


If they were telling the press I was guilty before I had been charged, being in a foreign land where the media and the public and the judiciary seem to be out to get me, yes, I probably would clam up, preferring instead to let legal counsel do the talking.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:42 pm 
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tivinho wrote:
lobito wrote:
tivinho wrote:
Let's not forget, they became uncooperative after the police basically started accusing them of killing their daughter and made them arguidos - and illegally started briefing the PT media about evidence that backed up the theory. In that circumstance I would clam up as well - innocent or guilty.


Really? Have you really put yourself in the shoes of a father desperately looking for a child? Do you really think you would clam up with the police, however unsympathetic?


If they were telling the press I was guilty before I had been charged, being in a foreign land where the media and the public and the judiciary seem to be out to get me, yes, I probably would clam up, preferring instead to let legal counsel do the talking.


Could be. Except that "the media and the public and the judiciary seem to be out to get me" is the tale told in English, and a great exaggeration in my opinion. In any case, the result is hardly surprising: who else but that same judiciary to look for that daughter?


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