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14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

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After Grange has been going for 4 years and 9 months, my opinion is...

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14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Tony Bennett on 03.02.16 20:54

14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

It's nearly five years since Operation Grange was set up. It's quite a while since we've had a poll on whether Grange is a genuine, honest search for the truth or not, so I'll add a poll. 

 
I’ve divided my reasons between those reasons that were apparent at or near the outset, and those that have arisen since this near five-year-long investigation began.   

ORIGINAL REASONS FOR DOUBTING THAT OPETATION GRANGE WAS A GENUINE SERARCH FOR THE TRUTH

1.   The strictly limited remit, i.e. only to investigate an abduction. This was pretty clear from Day One, but was later clarified by the Met. In answer to those on the thread who suggest that asking Freedom of Information Act questions on the case is a waste of money, may I pointed out that the precise remit was only dragged out of the Met after three FoI Act questions, one by myself.   

2.   The clearly political nature of the decision to set up Operation Grange. I know of no other case where a Prime Minister has had to personally order an investigation, whether on our soil or foreign soil. Sometimes a British police force will, with the active co-operation of a foreign government, allow British officers to conduct enquiries in their country. But in this case, the Home Secretary had already and over a substantial period of time (a year) refused the McCanns’ request for a ‘review’. It was clear that David Cameron had to force Theresa May’s hand.

3.   The fact that the decision to order a review was effected by a private citizen who lived near to the Prime Minister who was the CEO to (arguably) the world’s most influential media magnate. It is on record, not least during the proceedings of the Leveson enquiry, that it was Rebekah Brooks, one of whose newspapers was very profitably serialising Kate McCann’s book at the time, who twisted David Cameron’s arm into setting up the review. There were credible, sourced reports at the time that Brooks had threatened ‘a week of bad headlines about the Home Secretary’ to get her way. At Leveson she admitted only to ‘persuading’ Cameron. Rebekah and Charlie Brooks live barely 3.5 miles away from David and Samantha Cameron and attend each other’s parties and those of others in the ‘Chipping Norton’ set. Or as it is generally known in that neck of the woods: ‘The Chipping Snorton Set’. Moreover Brooks and Cameron used to go horse riding together.

4.   The unprecedented nature of a native police force and its government allowing a foreign police to conduct an investigation of its own purported inadequacy.   

5.   The extreme unlikelihood that this foreign investigation by Grange could yield results any different from those achieved by the combined forces of the Portuguese and Leicestershire Police forces.

6.   The appointment of Det Chief Supt Hamish Campbell as the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) in the case. The SIO sets the goals and parameters of an investigation. Det Chief Insp Redwood was merely the Investigating Officer (IO!) SIO & IO are technical terms used in all British police investigations. Redwood’s role was simply to carry out Campbell’s instructions. Campbell was a major contributor to the bungled investigation into the murder of Jill Dando, by arresting the wrong man: Barry Bulsara/George. He was the architect of sending an innocent man to jail for several years. As soon as I head that Campbell was the SIO, I asked myself for what possible honest reason he had been put in charge of Grange.   

SUBSEQUENT REASONS FOR DOUBTING THAT OPETATION GRANGE WAS A GENUINE SERARCH FOR THE TRUTH           

7.   The effort and expense of producing an age-progressed picture of Madeleine ,aged 9 or 10. I did not see the investigative merit of that and it looked more like an effort in influencing public perception.

8.   The BBC Crimewatch McCann Special - 1  The purported reconstruction of the events of the holiday and of 3rd May were a one-sided, selective presentation of the available facts. Again the effort appeared to be directed towards influencing public perception and not for investigative purposes   

9.   The BBC Crimewatch McCann Special - 2   I had great doubts as to whether any of the Smith family could realistically have drawn up, together with Henri Exton, the ex-Head of Covert Intelligence at MI5, any e-fits of a man they had (a) seen a whole year earlier (b) only for a few seconds at most (c) with his head down (d) and his face partially hidden by the child he was carrying (e) in the dark (f) with what they all admitted was ‘weak’ street lighting and (g) when on 26 May 2007 at Portimao Police station each of the three members of the family frankly stated that “we would not be able to recognise him if we saw him again”

10.   The BBC Crimewatch McCann Special – 3    Moreover, Grange issued two e-fits of two quite different-looking men, with differences such as the overall shape of the face, length of nose, length and style of hair, depth of chin etc. At best this seemed highly unudual.   

11.   The BBC Crimewatch McCann Special – 4    I did not accept the likelihood that a man would take six years to come forward and say: “I am the man that Jane Tanner saw at 9.15pm on 3rd May and whom you have been looking for, for the past six years. The further claim that he was wearing almost identical clothes and his daughter almost identical pyjamas to those worn by the man and child seen by Jane Tanner seemed to add a further layer of improbability to this alleged account.

12.    The BBC Crimewatch McCann Special – 5    All in all, I did not consider this programme to have been a genuine investigative exercise. Once again, it seemed much more to do with influencing public perception. 

13.   Constant leaks and unlikely stories  I lost count of the procession of unlikely leads, suspects and stories, placed or leaked by Scotland Yard, which again was totally unlike any police investigation I have ever seen. Just from memory during 2012, 2013 and the early part of 2014 I can recall: (a) the dead, black tractor-driver from the Cape Verde Islands (b)M tales of burglars (c) six British men in a white van (d) an Ocean Club worker who might have had a second set of keys (e) a smelly bin man who had been approaching children in the early hours of the morning (f) more burglars (g) paedophiles who might have been in Praia da Luz I n2007, and so on. Once again, this appeared to me to be much more to do with influencing public perception and not with advancing a genuine investigation     

14.   Playing to the gallery    A constant procession of photo opportunities – especially around the activities of Operation Grange officers. Always, it seemed, the press and photographers had been briefed in advance as to where and when they could capture photographs that would look good in the British press; the police marching to meetings in Faro, for example, this one of boxes being collected from the offices of Metodo 3:




How did a photographer happen to be there to capture that particular photo? Who knew that Grange was even in town. Who was even aware that they were even going to collect boxes of documents? Even if someone knew all of that, would a photographer lie in wait all day to capture that particular photograph. I suggest that someone made absolutely sure that that photograph was captured. If so, who benefited from it?


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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 03.02.16 22:38

@Tony Bennett wrote:  How did a photographer happen to be there to capture that particular photo? Who knew that Grange was even in town. Who was even aware that they were even going to collect boxes of documents? Even if someone knew all of that, would a photographer lie in wait all day to capture that particular photograph. I suggest that someone made absolutely sure that that photograph was captured. If so, who benefited from it?


I would be very interested to learn exactly why the Operation Grange team were liaising with a dodgy firm of private detectives, hired by the McCann team.  Metodo3 are based in Spain, Madeleine disappeared when holidaying in Portugal and Operation Grange are essentially 'British'. 

As far as I'm aware, it's against the law in Portugal for a private detective agency to run an investigation concurrently with their own police force.  If therefore Metodo3 were operating on Portuguese territory, they were doing so without authority, if not then what was their true purpose?  Why engage the services of a Spanish agency when the crime was committed in Portugal and the missing child was from the UK?

In short, what possible advantage could Metodo3 files be to Operation Grange and the 'official' investigation into MBM's disappearance?

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by pennylane on 04.02.16 11:16

Dying paedophiles, dead paedophiles, a dead black man, child abducting burglars. The list of freaks is endless, whilst glaring red flags abound over the McCanns version/s of events!  An epic McFarce that should have the Met hanging their heads in shame.


I agree with all points listed above, except No. 9, as I believe the Smiths did get with Henri Exton and draw up e-fits.

Option 3 for me!

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14 Reasons on Operation Grange,Farce?

Post by willowthewisp on 04.02.16 12:18

Perhaps we should invite Jeremy Kyle to offer a special detector test for Sir Bernard Hogan Howe,SIO Hamish Campbell,DCI Andy Redwood,etc,to extract information of what their roles are in this so called investigation?
Also Note, how quickly the Metropolitan Police Service,sprang into action on the Dossier handed to them by the McCann family and the Sky news exposure of Mrs Brenda Leyland, who simply wanted the Truth to emerge from the disappearance/Abduction of Madeleine McCann,April 28 2007 to her reported as missing 3 May 2007,Nothing to see here, now move along?

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Mr and Mrs McCann are neither suspects nor persons of interest

Post by Richard IV on 04.02.16 13:33



This, to me, is a huge clanger.  No way would any police force make a statement like that BEFORE completing an investigation.  It says he was ordered to investigate the mystery and not include the parents.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by pennylane on 04.02.16 14:23

@Richard IV wrote:

This, to me, is a huge clanger.  No way would any police force make a statement like that BEFORE completing an investigation.  It says he was ordered to investigate the mystery and not include the parents.


One wonders to whom he owed that last big favor before retirement?

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Praiaaa on 04.02.16 18:44

@pennylane wrote:Dying paedophiles, dead paedophiles, a dead black man, child abducting burglars. The list of freaks is endless, whilst glaring red flags abound over the McCanns version/s of events! 

Precisely

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by whatsupdoc on 04.02.16 19:14

@Richard IV wrote:

This, to me, is a huge clanger.  No way would any police force make a statement like that BEFORE completing an investigation.  It says he was ordered to investigate the mystery and not include the parents.

Saying that the parents were not to be considered in the investigation was a clear message that the outcome was to be a complete waste of time and money. The responsibility for this lies fully with PM level and above.

I believe the McCanns do know the details of Madeleine's disappearance because if they didn't know what happened they wouldn't need to tell all the lies.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 04.02.16 20:46

Why engage the services of a Spanish agency when the crime was committed in Portugal and the missing child was from the UK?

Well, it looks as though Clarence Mitchell, PR guru extraordinaire, has long since answered my question..

'Kennedy commissioned private detectives to conduct an investigation parallel to the one run by the Portuguese police. But his choice showed how dangerous it is when powerful and wealthy businessmen try to play detective. In September 2007, he hired Metodo 3, an agency based in Barcelona, on a six-month contract and paid it an estimated £50,000 a month. Metodo 3 was hired because of Spain’s ‘language and cultural connection’ with Portugal. ‘If we’d had big-booted Brits or, heaven forbid, Americans, we would have had doors slammed in our faces’ said Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the McCann’s at the time. ‘And it’s quite likely that we could have been charged with hindering the investigation as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation.'
----------

Wouldn't it be more beneficial to hire a Portuguese based private detective agency - or did M. Kennedy have prior knowledge of and/or dealings with Metodo3?  Was it a random pluck from Yellow Pages, what business was it of his other than the fact that he was most likely financing the venture?

Moving on to the oh so OO7'esque Oakley International, IF and that's a very big if, it be true that the McCanns gagged Oakley International regarding the Smith family e-fits reported by the Times, they must have been trying to conceal something important to an investigation into their missing child which indicates guilt of some description - why else would they do it?  So, assuming guilt of some description, why would they hire the services of a private investigator knowing full well that they would soon be the prime suspects - again!

In short, who really believes that Oakley International were engaged as an honest, upright independent agency to investigate MBM's disappearance, any more than Metodo3 or the Cowley/Edgar duo were?


'Meanwhile, Exton was running the surveillance teams in Portugal and often paying his operatives upfront, so would occasionally be out-of-pocket because Halligen had not transferred funds.'

Technically illegal eh Mr. Mitchell?

[Italic text snipped from Mark Hollingsworth - September 2009]

Maybe Exton lost his marbles or maybe he's got an axe to grind with Halligan and/or the McCanns, I seriously don't believe the story published by the Times!
 
ETA:  Oakley International were only established in 2007, just prior to MBM's disappearance and they were only on the case for about six months - 'iffy to say the least.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by worriedmum on 04.02.16 20:55

Maybe Exton had been told to conduct the investigation 'as if the abduction happened in the UK' to copy a phrase I seem to recall hearing somewhere else....' spin

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 04.02.16 22:38

@worriedmum wrote:Maybe Exton had been told to conduct the investigation 'as if the abduction happened in the UK' to copy a phrase I seem to recall hearing somewhere else....' spin
Whatever they were-nt investigating, Halligan skeedaddled with a nice tidy sum for six months bar room work play.  A nice tidy sum that I don't believe the McCanns have ever tried to recover.

How curious- if someone nicked half a million from me I wouldn't take it lightly (all supposing I had a half a million to nick sad )!

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 04.02.16 23:11

Snipped from 'Mark Hollingsworth Investgates the McCann Files' - September 2009


'The agency [Metodo3] had 35 investigators working on the case in Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. A hotline was set up for the public to report sightings and suspicions, and the search focussed on Morocco. But the investigation was dogged by over-confidence and braggadocio. ‘We know who took Madeleine and hope she will be home by Christmas,’ boasted Metodo 3’s flamboyant boss Francisco Marco. But no Madeleine materialised and their contract was not renewed.'

Operation Grange seriously included the work of Metodo3 when undertaking a global 'review' of the case?  Really?  They even went on a mission to Spain to personally collect the files - at the UK and Spanish tax payers expense?

Stinks of rotting sea bass.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.02.16 9:31

@Verdi wrote:Why engage the services of a Spanish agency when the crime was committed in Portugal and the missing child was from the UK?

Well, it looks as though Clarence Mitchell, PR guru extraordinaire, has long since answered my question..

'Kennedy commissioned private detectives to conduct an investigation parallel to the one run by the Portuguese police. But his choice showed how dangerous it is when powerful and wealthy businessmen try to play detective. In September 2007, he hired Metodo 3, an agency based in Barcelona, on a six-month contract and paid it an estimated £50,000 a month. Metodo 3 was hired because of Spain’s ‘language and cultural connection’ with Portugal. ‘If we’d had big-booted Brits or, heaven forbid, Americans, we would have had doors slammed in our faces’ said Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the McCann’s at the time. ‘And it’s quite likely that we could have been charged with hindering the investigation as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation.''

Meanwhile, Exton was running the surveillance teams in Portugal and often paying his operatives upfront, so would occasionally be out-of-pocket because Halligen had not transferred funds.'


Technically illegal eh Mr. Mitchell?

[Italic text snipped from Mark Hollingsworth - September 2009]

Maybe Exton lost his marbles or maybe he's got an axe to grind with Halligan and/or the McCanns, I seriously don't believe the story published by the Times!
 
ETA:  Oakley International were only established in 2007, just prior to MBM's disappearance and they were only on the case for about six months - 'iffy to say the least.
@ Verdi   It is even worse than that.

The evidence is that Oakley International was formed between June and December 2007 and therefore after Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

It was finally registered only on 12 February 2008.   

Otherwise I agree with all that you say, except perhaps to add that in Henri Exton's case, I would always tend to doubt the word of a man who was once the acknowledged Head of MI5's Covert Intelligence Unit. And especially if he chose to work for fraudster and conman Kevin Halligen - how intelligent a decision was that?? 

Everything that comes out of the mouths of Halligen, Exton and their 'third man', Tim Craig-Harvey with reference to the Madeleine McCann case, is smoke - mirrors - more smoke - more mirrors

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 05.02.16 12:26

@Tony Bennett wrote:  The evidence is that Oakley International was formed between June and December 2007 and therefore after Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

I do apologize and stand corrected! 

Brain malfunction - should of course be 2008, at the time when Brian Kennedy and Gerry/Kate McCann were so desperate (?).  When Kevin Halligan and Henri Exton conveniently just happened to 'walk through the door' - I wonder what door, clever illusion though.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by aquila on 05.02.16 12:49

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@Verdi wrote:Why engage the services of a Spanish agency when the crime was committed in Portugal and the missing child was from the UK?

Well, it looks as though Clarence Mitchell, PR guru extraordinaire, has long since answered my question..

'Kennedy commissioned private detectives to conduct an investigation parallel to the one run by the Portuguese police. But his choice showed how dangerous it is when powerful and wealthy businessmen try to play detective. In September 2007, he hired Metodo 3, an agency based in Barcelona, on a six-month contract and paid it an estimated £50,000 a month. Metodo 3 was hired because of Spain’s ‘language and cultural connection’ with Portugal. ‘If we’d had big-booted Brits or, heaven forbid, Americans, we would have had doors slammed in our faces’ said Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the McCann’s at the time. ‘And it’s quite likely that we could have been charged with hindering the investigation as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation.''

Meanwhile, Exton was running the surveillance teams in Portugal and often paying his operatives upfront, so would occasionally be out-of-pocket because Halligen had not transferred funds.'


Technically illegal eh Mr. Mitchell?

[Italic text snipped from Mark Hollingsworth - September 2009]

Maybe Exton lost his marbles or maybe he's got an axe to grind with Halligan and/or the McCanns, I seriously don't believe the story published by the Times!
 
ETA:  Oakley International were only established in 2007, just prior to MBM's disappearance and they were only on the case for about six months - 'iffy to say the least.
@ Verdi   It is even worse than that.

The evidence is that Oakley International was formed between June and December 2007 and therefore after Madeleine McCann was reported missing.

It was finally registered only on 12 February 2008.   

Otherwise I agree with all that you say, except perhaps to add that in Henri Exton's case, I would always tend to doubt the word of a man who was once the acknowledged Head of MI5's Covert Intelligence Unit. And especially if he chose to work for fraudster and conman Kevin Halligen - how intelligent a decision was that?? 

Everything that comes out of the mouths of Halligen, Exton and their 'third man', Tim Craig-Harvey with reference to the Madeleine McCann case, is smoke - mirrors - more smoke - more mirrors
Does anyone have the link to the spectacular documentary which depicted the undercover operation of this dynamic team following a bloke in a van in Portugal from his market stall up a dirt road?

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by Verdi on 05.02.16 15:52

@aquila wrote:  Does anyone have the link to the spectacular documentary which depicted the undercover operation of this dynamic team following a bloke in a van in Portugal from his market stall up a dirt road?

I think this maybe it..

The McCanns and the Conman - Channel 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLAqiisgBBY

The scene is about 18 minutes in.  When you listen to the claims made by Oakley International about their international professional specialist expertise, this video is laughable.

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Re: 14 detailed reasons for doubting whether Operation Grange is a genuine search for the truth

Post by aquila on 05.02.16 16:07

@Verdi wrote:@aquila wrote:  Does anyone have the link to the spectacular documentary which depicted the undercover operation of this dynamic team following a bloke in a van in Portugal from his market stall up a dirt road?

I think this maybe it..

The McCanns and the Conman - Channel 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLAqiisgBBY

The scene is about 18 minutes in.  When you listen to the claims made by Oakley International about their international professional specialist expertise, this video is laughable.
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately it doesn't work - maybe it's been whooshed.

I've found another link that works. Thanks again Verdi.

http://www.channel5.com/shows/the-man-who-conned-the-mccanns/episodes/the-man-who-conned-the-mccanns

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