Thursday, 23 December 2010

Madeleine McCann's Auntie Trish takes up the begging bowl!


Well, it appears that the petition launched at the beginning of November has failed to bring in the expected deluge of donations. So, Kate McCann had to write a book, or rather, Kate McCann has had to sell the book that's probably been gathering dust for some time. One day she's writing a book and the next, or so it seems, Amazon is advertising it with a definite number of pages. Funny that she's just writing it and knows exactly how many pages it's going to end up as.

Following that petition, that appeared to have an inordinate number of duplicate signatures, Auntie Phil entered the fray, stating that Kate's book was truthful and scathing. Maybe she thought the British reading public were likely to get rather eager and excited to read some juicy details about the failings of the Portuguese police. An appeal to the readers of those journals which regularly publish details every time Kate or Gerry McCann sneezes in public, maybe. Oh woopee doopee! She's gonna dish the dirt on that 'disgraced,' police officer Gonçalo Amaral! Judging by the comments on articles about the proposed novel...I mean book that's truthful and scathing, it's not going to hit the best-seller list.

So, roll out another relie with a new idea to bring in some financial support. And what do we have? Another auntie with a bright idea! Step forward Auntie Trish supporting the 'Missing Rights,' campaign with the Missing People charity. It would be quite admirable if dear Auntie Trish were just making some kind of commitment to supporting this charity, which annually helps thousands of families of missing people, but she's supporting the campaign. Why? According to the Daily Record:

This week, Patricia became a family representative for the charity Missing People, who help with searches and support those left behind.

She wanted to take on the role to highlight the plight of the many left with a void in their life - the parents, the children, the sisters, the brothers, the uncles and the aunts of the missing.

The organisation are asking the Government to give families of missing people the same rights as victims of crime, access to legal and financial assistance and emotional support.

So, she would like to see her brother, Gerry, and his wife Kate being treated as victims and given 'legal and financial assistance.' I thought Madeleine was the victim here, the victim of her parents' having left her alone, but never mind that. Kate and Gerry are victims of something. What they are victims of is beyond me, since there was no evidence of an abductor entering their holiday apartment. Still, Auntie Trish thinks they should receive 'legal and financial assistance.'

Legal assistance to do what? Finance their libel action against Gonçalo Amaral? Pay Carter-Ruck to threaten a few bloggers? Pay the court costs awarded against them when the ban on Amaral's book was overturned by the Lisbon Court of Appeal?

Financial assistance to do what? Hire another bunch of dodgy detectives like Metodo 3, who were going to have Madeleine home by Christmas? 2008 was it? Throw another bundle of cash at someone like Halligen, now awaiting extradition on charges of fraud and money-laundering? Keep Edgar and Cowley cosy in their office in Knutsford, while they talk about 'hellish lairs,' and 'lawless villages,' but don't go out there and look? Make a few more payments on their mortgage?

It hurts Patricia deeply to watch her little brother Gerry and his wife Kate grow emotionally and physically weaker because of the loss and endless searching for Madeleine.

What searching? Kate and Gerry did a European tour, they saw the Pope and Gerry went to America, but when did they do any searching?

"They are overwhelmed by trying to be breadwinners, investigators and parents. That's why I support the Missing Rights campaign. People need all the help they can get."

Breadwinners? Well, I know that Gerry is in paid employment, but in what way if Kate being a breadwinner? By writing her book? Expenses as a director of the 'No Stone Unturned,' Madeleine fund? They need all the help they can get? I guess she's talking about financial help here. Pity Kate and Gerry didn't think about supporting the Missing People charity themselves, instead of talking about that, 'wider agenda,' in which Kate was going to be some kind of advocate for missing children! Oh yeh! Help the charity only in so far as it might benefit good old Kate and Gerry!

Patricia said: "It is so hard to watch Kate and Gerry push themselves constantly. When Madeleine first went missing, family and friends had to step in to help them pay the mortgage.

"Money is constantly tight but they have to keep going. They will never give up looking and that costs money. Families of the missing still need to pay bills while they search but there is no right to any financial help."

Why should they have needed help from family and friends when Madeleine first went missing? Gerry was on paid leave and they were not paying for their accommodation in Portugal. Of course, like the rest of us, they need to pay bills, but Gerry is still working and they are not searching, are they? They are paying their private detectives with money donated by those generous supporters they talk about. Since they are not on state benefits and they're not losing wages by rushing around searching, why should they have a right to financial assistance? They've done very well so far out of donations and earnings from the online shoppe, selling 'good quality wristbands,' and other tack!

In the meantime, Kate is exhausted juggling family life with writing a book she hopes will help finance the continued search for her daughter.

It is expected to be in shops next April, to coincide with the fourth anniversary of her disappearance.

Will there have to be a few revisions to the book now that Wikileaks has disclosed that the British police developed the evidence against Kate and Gerry in the disappearance of their daughter? Will the 'scathing,' now include the British police, though in a statement, which Kate and Gerry are said to have sent to the Portuguese media, they think the cable referred to by Wikileaks may be a fake!

  1. WikiLeaks website has published a summary of an alleged telegram exchanged between USA and UK Ambassadors. This summary does not contain any new or relevant facts that will lead us to the discovery of what happened to our daughter.
  2. If the mentioned telegram does exist, its content only tells that the British Police developed in September 2007 (we believe that to be the date of the correspondence exchange) information. (Read more)
Well, no, the British police did not develop 'information,' - they developed evidence! So, will the book now reflect this and be scathing of the British police and the Portuguese police, who all had the audacity to suspect poor Kate and Gerry, whom we are now to consider as victims?

To be honest, know...I'm way past being thoroughly sick of the McCanns portraying themselves as victims, tired of their money-grubbing, their use of the media and their sue-a-lot techniques of keeping people quiet and raising cash. And now getting the relies to jump on the bandwagon of a campaign by a real charity, as opposed to their own limited company, in an effort to get their hands on any financial assistance that might be coming the way of families of missing people. Have they no shame? Obviously not!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Maddie sightings and media madness/Algarve Newswatch


Oh dear! Who have we dragged into this now?

A modest group of people in Portugal have also been subjected to injustices, unfounded allegations and smears in connection with the Madeleine McCann investigation, but they have had no outlet for complaint - and their side of the story has gone totally unreported until now.

Maddie sightings and media madness

Kate and Gerry McCann last weekend complained of “the injustices that we continue to be subjected to.” Their complaint, widely reported in the press in Britain and Portugal, referred to the Wikileaks disclosure about them that had “led to the repetition of many unfounded allegations and smears both in the UK and in Portugal in particular.”

A modest group of people in Portugal have also been subjected to injustices, unfounded allegations and smears in connection with the Madeleine McCann investigation, but they have had no outlet for complaint - and their side of the story has gone totally unreported until now.

Ivone Albino, a Portuguese woman who makes her living as a part-time house cleaner,was shattered to learn in April this year that newspapers in the UK were running sensational stories directly linking her with the alleged abduction of Madeleine McCann three years earlier. She was the latest victim in a tidal wave of misinformation and false “sightings” that began soon after Madeleine's disappearance from a holiday apartment in the village of Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Mrs Albino's name was buried in a “secret” 2,000-page dossier containing information about Madeleine “sightings” that had been brought to the attention of the Portuguese criminal investigation police, the Polícia Judiciária. The existence of the dossier emerged after it was referred to by a police witness during a Lisbon court hearing considering the ban on a book by the former lead detective in the Madeleine case, Gonçalo Amaral.

When the judge in the hearing ordered the dossier's release, it was eagerly seized upon by Kate and Gerry McCann, their advisers and the British press. It was brandished as yet more evidence of the “incompetence” of the Portuguese police in their search for Madeleine.

By then, Britain's mainstream media seemed to have accepted the McCanns' insistence from the very start that Madeleine had been abducted and that she might still be alive. They ignored or viewed with hostility the alternative theory, the one most prevalent in Portugal and the main thrust of Gonçalo Amaral's book, namely that Madeleine had died in the apartment and that her parents were somehow involved.

Referring to the Polícía Judicária dossier and in line with the abduction theory, British (though not Portuguese) newspapers named Mrs Albino as one of two “gypsy women” seen by a British holidaymaker dragging Madeleine along an Algarve street in September 2008. The little girl was wearing a “black wig” but the holidaymaker was “100 per cent sure” it was Madeleine. The same reports revealed that a rag doll had been found at a house repeatedly visited by Mrs Albino. According to the reports, Madeleine “may have been held prisoner” at the house.

A source close to Madeleine's parents was quoted as saying: “This is one of the strongest leads there's been in the hunt for Maddie.”

(Read more Here - Algarve Newswatch

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann do not want the case to be reopened.


At the beginning of November this year Kate and Gerry McCann launched a petition calling for a review of all the evidence in the case of their daughter's disappearance. They went for a walk in the park and settled down to tell the massed media how delighted they were with the response.
(Daily Mirror 7/11/2010)

Later in the month, the McCanns were in Portugal to speak to their solicitor, Isabelle Duarte and were interviewed for a Portuguese TV channel. (Watch the video on The McCann Files, with full transcript by Nigel Moore)


Kate McCann: If you review all the information - literally all the information, not just what each authority has - you riew... review it all and tie it all together, you'll have a much clearer picture of, 'here we are; this needs to be done; that needs to be done', so it just seems like a really sensible and vital step really before reopening.

In this statement, Kate McCann sounds as though she would like the case to be reopened.

Reporter (v.o.): Kate and Gerry McCann say that the process in Portugal was shelved under pressure because it had reached the end of the time to investigate and that, since that time, new data has appeared which has not being analysed.

Does Gerry want the case to be reopened?

Gerry McCann: As far as we know, since then, no-ones looking at the... the data fresh and that's really important. We realise that it's not a usual process in Portugal - we realise that - but it doesn't mean to say that it... it... it cannot be done or shouldn't be done.

He's certain that no-one is "looking at the data fresh," but does he want the case reopened? If not, why does he want the case to be reviewed?

Reporter (v.o.): Although they admit that there is not any new evidence that allows the process to be reopened.

Gerry McCann: We don't have key evidence to say 'You must investigate this because it will open... you know, it reopens the file' and that's why we're asking for a review. We want to identify areas that merit further investigation, that may lead to new evidence that could help us solve the crime.

Now, if I can translate that into English, Gerry McCann seems to be saying that they don't have any new evidence that would lead to the reopening of the case, but the review might lead to new evidence that could, "help us solve the crime." Us? Who's that? Not the Portuguese police and the McCanns because, as Gerry says, "no-one is looking at the data fresh." So, 'us,' is likely to be the McCanns and their private investigators, Edgar and Cowley. Personally, I think they just want to get their hands on the information that's in the Portuguese police files that are still covered by the secrecy of justice rules. They've got that libel case coming up against Gonçalo Amaral and that info could be really handy!

Anyway, so there they were, taking a walk in the park, accompanied by the massed media, telling the world (but probably not his dog!) that they wanted a review of the case, which, according to Kate McCann was a "vital step really before reopening."

Then, totally out of left-field comes Wikileaks and the story that the Madeleine McCann case is mentioned in cables between US ambassador to Portugal, Al Hoffman, and his British counterpart, ambassador Alexander Wykeham Ellis.

On Monday December 13th, The Guardian reported that:

British police helped to "develop evidence" against Madeleine McCann's parents as they were investigated by Portuguese police as formal suspects in the disappearance of their daughter, the US ambassador to Portugal was told by his British counterpart in September 2007.

The meeting between US ambassador Al Hoffman and the British ambassador, Alexander Wykeham Ellis, took place a fortnight after Kate and Gerry McCann were formally declared arguidos, or suspects, by Portuguese police. The McCanns have said that there was "absolutely no evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance whatsoever."

In a diplomatic cable marked confidential, the US ambassador reported: "Without delving into the details of the case, Ellis admitted that the British police had developed the current evidence against the McCann parents, and he stressed that authorities from both countries were working co-operatively."

The comments attributed to the ambassador appear to contradict the widespread perception at the time that Portuguese investigators were the driving force behind the treatment of the McCanns as suspects in the case
Well, of course the McCanns' PR rep had something to say about it!

Responding to the contents of the cable, a spokesman for the McCanns told the Guardian: "This is an entirely historic note that is more than three years old. Subsequently, Kate and Gerry had their arguido status lifted, with the Portuguese authorities making it perfectly clear that there was absolutely no evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance whatsoever.

"To this day, they continue to work tirelessly on the search for their daughter, co-operating when appropriate with both the Portuguese and British authorities."

So, it's an "historic note that is more than three years old."? I guess Jane Tanner's original statements about the abductor could be said to be 'historic,' too, because not only are they nearly four years old, they have subsequently been changed so much by Jane that there is now no evidence whatsoever to implicate that man she described!

As for there being no evidence to implicate the McCanns in Madeleine's disappearance, I believe the accurate report would be that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone, which is somewhat different.

The McCanns' PR frontman also tells us that up to this very day the McCanns have been "co-operating when appropriate with both the Portuguese and British authorities."

So, they decide when it's appropriate to co-operate? If they decide it's not appropriate they don't? Like maybe Kate McCann's refusal to answer those 48 questions and in spite of promises to return to assist when they took flight from Portugal, a disinclination to return and take part in a reconstruction of the events surrounding their daughter's disappearance?

And now, in a formal statement the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Rogério Alves, "opposes the reopening of the process." (Joana Morais)

Rogério Alves, the McCann couple’s lawyer, has told TSF that there is no new data in the documents that were revealed by Wikileaks that would justify the reopening of the process.

The McCann couple’s lawyer in Portugal, Rogério Alves, has said in a statement to TSF that he opposes the reopening of the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine in Lagos, in the Algarve, in 2007.

I don't know that anyone has asked for the process to be reopened based on the information in the leaked cables, so this appears to be a preemptive just-in-case! Just in case, you're thinking about it, don't! You'd think that parents of a missing child would clutch at any opportunity for the investigation into their daughter's disappearance to be reopened, but not them and not now! But the McCanns consider that a review of the evidence would be a step towards reopening the case? Well, no, I don't think so, since Gerry thinks it would help "us to solve the crime." Some bunch of "us," will solve the crime without reopening the case? Very odd!

“That information is completely useless. It only contains a reference to a piece of evidence that the Public Ministry and the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) considered to be totally useless, which consisted of a couple of dogs that having barked, but being naturally unable to depose in a court room, would constitute some sort of indication against the child’s parents”, he said.
“To open the process, yes, when that contributes to finding out where the child is and what happened to her, [but] to open the process, no, when it is to review what was already seen by the PJ and by the Public Ministry, that correctly considered those indications to be absurd and inconsistent”, Rogério Alves added, justifying that “nobody in a democratic state can be taken to court based on dogs’ barking. That is absurd.”

So, do they or don't they want a review of the case? Their lawyer states that they don't want a review of what has already been seen by the PJ and the Public Ministry, so what do they want a review of? The above appears to contradict their declared objective for launching their obtain a review of all the evidence in the case.

The McCanns may have gone for a walk in the park, but trying to figure out what they do or don't want to happen is definitely not a walk in the park for the rest of us! Still, I tend to think there must be a reason why, apropos of nothing that I know of, the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer is opposing the reopening of the process.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Now you see it - Now you don't.

By guest author CountySet.


Now you see it - Now you don't.

A nice turn of phrase and one that down the ages has come to signify the work of those who would deceive. There can be many reasons to deceive and not all of them are with criminal intent. A magician at a children's party with the words "Abracadabra" elicits many genuine oohs and ahhhs of wonderment from his excited young audience with the most simple of visual gags. No one child has ever been harmed and the sole purpose of the trick is to amuse and delight. To adult sensibilities childish tricks like making a rabbit disappear and reappear from a top hat is only one of the more annoying aberrations which magicians are able to conjure from their special larder store of physical laws.

At the McCann's villa, the Vista Do Mar, their final abode in Praia Da Luz on the 8th of September 2007 at around mid-morning Michael Wright drew open the villa's large green painted metal gates. The moment the gates were open to their fullest extent the McCann's Renault hire car was seen reversing at some speed across the gravel driveway and towards the posse of photographers and journalists gathered outside. They beat a hurried retreat to the sides of the adjoining lane to allow the car access to the lane and the asphalted road.

The press were all keyed up that day to see who would be lucky enough, the lucky one, to snap the first pictures of Gerry McCann on this the first full day Gerry McCann was set to spend as arguido or suspect in his daughter's disappearance. The previous night Gerry McCann had returned to the villa in the early hours of the morning. As he got out of the car to open the gates to the villa driveway he was asked by a reporter if he had anything to say. Gerry McCann paused for a moment and no doubt remembering one of his newly acquired rights was the right to silence, replied with almost detectable glee, "I've been told I can't say anything". Smirking at his eloquent use of the phrase Gerry McCann then returned to his car and drove up the driveway to the villa, the precise position from which the car reversed today.

The Renault hire car having started in reverse had to continue on reversing down the short lane and even though the car was moving at some speed it could not help but pass close by the multitude of cameras and videos of the assembled pressmen, photographers and broadcasters. The cameras peered in at the windows as the car passed each one in turn hoping to catch a glimpse of the occupants inside. The car was no more than a couple of feet from the camera's peering lens and yet despite being so close for some reason it was almost impossible to make out who the occupants of the car were or even who was the driving the Renault hire car.


Image 2: That yellowish smudge in the rear child's seat is Sean. Apparently.


Image 3: That blank car window seen in the top two frames - is Gerry McCann sitting in the rear passenger seat. As the car came to a rest and executed the first part of a three point turn the face of Sandy Cameron can just be made out, along with the shape of a light haired woman sitting alongside Sandy in the other front passenger seat.


Image 4: As the car '3 pointed' it stopped. It was at that moment these shots were taken from across the bonnet. Sandy Cameron is just a shade more visible, as is the mystery woman at his side. She now appears to be large with light coloured off the shoulder hair and to be wearing a white cardigan with a badge on her right lapel.


Image 5: The car must now complete its manoeuvre and in doing so it must yet again drive within a few feet past the waiting cameraman. The camera only a few feet away - the car accelerated - some loose stones from the tarmac spun up - and these four shots are all we are left with as the car shot by and spun off down the road. From these pictures it is possible to identify the mystery woman who was in the McCann's Renault hire car on Gerry's first day as suspect and that woman was Eileen McCann, Gerry McCann's mother.


Image 6: The press were dumbfounded. Who was that in the car - did you get a picture of Gerry McCann - was he there - he drove straight past - you couldn't see. They were all incredulous at their misfortune in not getting a useable shot. They were puzzled as to who was in the car and as to where it was going. One member of the press was invited to share in the McCann's privileged information. That solitary pressman can be seen running up to the McCann's car to talk to Gerry as the car stopped a small distance off from the rest of the press.

This series of pictures suggest Gerry McCann was photographed taking his mother along with Sean and Sandy to Faro to see Eileen McCann onto a flight back to the UK as these were the last shots taken of Eileen McCann in Praia Da Luz.

Sandy Cameron was the chauffeur that day for the McCanns. This was a job Sandy was well used to undertaking. As usual the McCann's Renault hire car had been turned out a treat. The bumpers glistened and shone. The bodywork groaned under the layers of wax emulsion, each lovingly layered, and the glass surfaces shone so much they appeared not as windows but more like mirrors reflecting all casual gazes and all but the most persistent of glances even those from a telephoto lens.