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Possible Action Against The Times

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Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Silverspeed on Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:58 pm

Does anybody know if there is any truth to this tweet from this man who I believe is a journalist?  How reliable is he?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by tiny on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:07 pm

looks like moneys short in the McCann house hold big grin

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by BlueBag on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:08 pm

If it's true I hope we see them in court this time.

They can't keep a story straight for the life of them.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by plebgate on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:20 pm

Will be interesting to see details of the action (if true).  

I also would like to see any action proceed to court instead of The Times caving in.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Miraflores on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:21 pm

If it's the Sunday Times and the photofit stuff, you would imagine that the ST lawyers would already have been all over it to make sure that it was OK.
I expect the McCanns will try to settle out of court. Then we will see them parading on the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice, and they will conveniently allow people to think that they have won, which in a way they will have done. Meanwhile, their taking the stand and swearing on oath/affirming to be truthful will never be tested.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:25 pm

It must be about this - and I've highlighted in red a few claims in the article which could be said to be allegations or inmnuendos against the McCanns.

The bits highlighted in blue refer to the 'Smith e-fits', and the entire article assumes that the two efits were indeed drawn up by the Smiths.

I continue to assert that these e-fits:

1. Are clearly of two different people

2. Were not based on the recollections of any of the Smiths, and

3. Could not have been drawn up by the Smiths as none of them saw his face properly and all admitted they'd never be able to recognise him if they saw him again

4. Were improperly used by DCI Andy Redwood who knows that the Smiths did not originate them.

This dishonest attempt to pass these efits off as having been made by the Smiths is IMO at the very heart of the way in which DCI Redwood - and those above him - intend to wind up this case in the next few months. 

   
Will this action against the Times be another libel claim, based on this article? >>> :

+++++++++++++++++++++++++


Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years (Sunday Times, 27 October 2013)

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

But the trail was left to go cold for five years because the McCanns and their advisers sidelined the report and threatened to sue its authors if they divulged the contents.

The report, seen by the Sunday Times, called for the E-Fits to be released immediately and said "anomalies" in statements by the McCanns and their friends must be resolved.

A source close to the McCanns said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if made public.

[Pic:   The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports]


The team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

It was the spring of 2008, 10 months after the three-year-old had disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, and the McCanns were beginning to despair over the handling of the local police investigation. They were relying on the new team to bring fresh hope.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed “hypercritical” of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public.

Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns’ Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl’s disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5’s former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns’ friends was dismissed as less credible after “serious inconsistencies” were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about “anomalies” in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: “A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report.”

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard’s fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund.
A source close to the fund said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if it became public.

Oakley’s six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were “helpful and sincere” and concluded: “The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner’s sighting”. The evidence had been “neglected for too long” and an “overemphasis placed on Tanner”.

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes. The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

[Pic: "The report questioned 'anomalies' in the McCanns' statements"]

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard’s investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night creche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

[Pic: Investigators had E-Fits five years ago]


One of the Oakley investigators said last week: “I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme...It most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things...And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours,” he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist’s impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann’s 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight “key sightings” and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most “crucial”. Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist’s impression. The Smiths’ were the only exception. So why was such a “crucial” piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted - and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns’ evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine’s sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith’s account. He had originally told the police that he had “recognised something” about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton’s team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm’s work was considered “contaminated” by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full - so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

“[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved...It just wouldn’t be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because...the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting,” said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that “all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary” and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: “Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund’s sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible.”

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by plebgate on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:37 pm

Oh err, if I were in their position there is no way I would sue The Times (if that is what is happening), based on their reporting.   No way Jose.   What if The Times do not cave in?   How many witnesses would The Times be able to call to back up the report?   Oh err.

Time will tell whether the twitter message is correct, very interesting indeed.

Is it correct that for a fee any action  in the High Court can be fast tracked?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Sceptic on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:46 pm

Details of the tweeter are here:

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/daniel-douglas/970.bio

mccanns does not seem to be his usual topic

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by inspirespirit on Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:52 pm

If it's true, why now?   Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by canada12 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:00 pm

@inspirespirit wrote:If it's true, why now?   Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?

Possibly connected to the other lawsuit in Portugal? Possibly anticipating a loss over there? Or perhaps a lawsuit on the part of Dr Amaral... which, if he launches, he may well win?

I agree with you that The Times legal eagles would have been over that story with a fine-toothed comb. I hope if the McCanns decide to sue them that The Times remains steadfast and forces them into court.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by tiny on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:10 pm

@canada12 wrote:
@inspirespirit wrote:If it's true, why now?   Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?

Possibly connected to the other lawsuit in Portugal? Possibly anticipating a loss over there? Or perhaps a lawsuit on the part of Dr Amaral... which, if he launches, he may well win?

I agree with you that The Times legal eagles would have been over that story with a fine-toothed comb. I hope if the McCanns decide to sue them that The Times remains steadfast and forces them into court.
that's my thinking,just hope the times doesn't roll over for them

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by nglfi on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:21 pm

Was it the Times which mentioned the 'murder' of Madeleine,  or was that the Telegraph?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Praiaaa on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:24 pm

I remember reading this article in the Times on the day it came out and was astonished, but heartened at the fact that it was printed, and yes of course the lawyers would have been all over it to check - no way would it have got through them unless it was watertight. And no way would it have got through unless Murdoch was onside. Lets hope they are suing, and they see Murdoch in court.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Claire25 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:30 pm

@nglfi wrote:Was it the Times which mentioned the 'murder' of Madeleine,  or was that the Telegraph?
The Times.

Let's hope it's true and The Times stand their ground!

Simplest explanation wins for me, the Smith sighting was GM, The Times know it's true and TM want it hidden.

I forgot about that, so have all the press seen the Oakley report? Did SY leak it in exchange for cooperation? How else would they have seen it if Oakley had to get permission from the Fund before they could even show it to SY?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by noddy100 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:44 pm

To me this indicates that perhaps the Portuguese court case has referred to this in some way and they
feel the need to tackle it and stamp their authority in some way
They are truly shameless sue sue sue but never bloody look or do reconstruction answer questions etc
This really is all about them and their shoddy reputations and much to my shame I have to admit that I even
forget what is at the root of all this  Sad they have made it all about them

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:44 pm

@inspirespirit wrote:If it's true, why now?  Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?
Here is a possible explanation:

Say the McCanns took legal advice the week after the article was published (last week in October).

The McCanns' lawyers write to the Times asking for a retraction, and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, they say 'No'.

The McCanns sue i.e. issue a claim.

There is the usual pre-hearing exchange of pleadings - claims, replies, questions, answers to questions, further questions etc.

At last the case is ready for what used to be called a 'Pre-Trial Review' but is nowadays called a 'Case Management Hearing'.

Maybe we have just got to this stage and the journalist has been tipped off by a Court official that there is shortly to be a Case Management Hearing in the case of McCanns v Times.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by noddy100 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:50 pm

So if they are suing Amaral because his book stopped people looking why sue the Times which with its up to date pics may have started people looking?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:50 pm

@Claire25 wrote:
Simplest explanation wins for me, the Smith sighting was GM, The Times know it's true and TM want it hidden.
Unlikely in the extreme on the following grounds:

1. Severe doubts about whether the Smiths ever saw anyone

2. Even if they did, they could not have produced the two efits as claimed by Henri Exton and DCI Redwood (the Smiths admit they never saw his face)

3. The extreme unlikelihood that a father would carry a three-year-old girl clad only in pyjamas (dead or alive) across a small town towards its centre, where he could be seen by potentially several people, at the very moment when his wife and friends were raising the alarm about the girl having been abducted.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Claire25 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:10 pm

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@Claire25 wrote:
Simplest explanation wins for me, the Smith sighting was GM, The Times know it's true and TM want it hidden.
Unlikely in the extreme on the following grounds:

1. Severe doubts about whether the Smiths ever saw anyone

2. Even if they did, they could not have produced the two efits as claimed by Henri Exton and DCI Redwood (the Smiths admit they never saw his face)

3. The extreme unlikelihood that a father would carry a three-year-old girl clad only in pyjamas (dead or alive) across a small town towards its centre, where he could be seen by potentially several people, at the very moment when his wife and friends were raising the alarm about the girl having been abducted.
GA believed the Smiths to be genuine and intimidated though and it's still the most likely for me.

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by SallyVern on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:17 pm

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@inspirespirit wrote:If it's true, why now?  Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?
Here is a possible explanation:

Say the McCanns took legal advice the week after the article was published (last week in October).

The McCanns' lawyers write to the Times asking for a retraction, and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, they say 'No'.

The McCanns sue i.e. issue a claim.

There is the usual pre-hearing exchange of pleadings - claims, replies, questions, answers to questions, further questions etc.

At last the case is ready for what used to be called a 'Pre-Trial Review' but is nowadays called a 'Case Management Hearing'.

Maybe we have just got to this stage and the journalist has been tipped off by a Court official that there is shortly to be a Case Management Hearing in the case of McCanns v Times.
Sunday Times printed a correction in Dec 2013 on one article. I think it's the one you mentioned Tony so may be they're suing over a different article or may be the retraction gave them a green light to sue over this one?
http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/comment/regulars/corrections/article1357081.ece#commentsStart

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by inspirespirit on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:20 pm

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@inspirespirit wrote:If it's true, why now?  Surely it should have been done immediately after the article had been printed?  Also, would The Times not have had libel lawyers checking it before it went to print?
Here is a possible explanation:

Say the McCanns took legal advice the week after the article was published (last week in October).

The McCanns' lawyers write to the Times asking for a retraction, and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, they say 'No'.

The McCanns sue i.e. issue a claim.

There is the usual pre-hearing exchange of pleadings - claims, replies, questions, answers to questions, further questions etc.

At last the case is ready for what used to be called a 'Pre-Trial Review' but is nowadays called a 'Case Management Hearing'.

Maybe we have just got to this stage and the journalist has been tipped off by a Court official that there is shortly to be a Case Management Hearing in the case of McCanns v Times.
That makes sense. Thank you for that info.  So they will have already invested quite a bit of money to get this far.  I thought it may have been a knee jerk reaction to Amaral saying he was suing them.  So if it goes to a Case Management Hearing, what happens next?  Are the Times likely to settle out of court?

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by The Rooster on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:28 pm

Your point 3. Tony does seem to rationalize the "was it McCann or was it not" issue. With regards to suing the Times Newspaper, the McCann's must be stupid if they think this will protect their reputation. They will be opening Pandora's Box. Fools!

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Tony Bennett on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:34 pm

The Sunday Times apology:

The Sunday Times actually issued an apology to Drs Kate & Gerald McCann on 28 December 2013 in respect of their 27 October article; here is a link to the apology, unfortunately in this instance I don't pay Rupert Murdoch a subscription so cannot access the full article:

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/comment/regulars/corrections/article1357081.ece

Maybe the Sunday Times has apologised but not paid up any compensation for their error/libel?


The apology itself is more than interesting (the bit of it I can read, anyway).

The McCanns, through their lawyers, appear to have said the following three things:

1. The efits were drawn up by their team (Oakley, Halligen & Exton) etc. in 2008

2. Some time before October 2009 (very curious wording IMO) they passed these e-fits to (a) Leicesterhsire Police and (b) the PJ [NOTE: The case was archived by both forces in July 2008]

3. DCI Redwood was handed these efits in August 2011 (!) 2 years and 2 months before showing then to the public on 14 October 2013 (!). 


Quite apart from the focus this puts once again on the true provenance of these most mysterious e-fits, I will leave it to other members here to pull apart the many implications of the above three statements.


ETA:  It would be very helpful if any Times subscriber on here could supply us with the full article

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by noddy100 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:47 pm

Do you think SY came out with them because they knew that the Times was going to run this story otherwise what are the chances AR would never have mentioned it

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Re: Possible Action Against The Times

Post by Claire25 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:52 pm

Where did the press get hold of the report from anyway though? The only thing I can think of is SY showed them? Am I missing something?

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