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Jane Tanner again...

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Jane Tanner again...

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 07.08.10 22:46



By John Blacksmith
Those attempting to follow the rather muted court proceedings involving Robert Murat and Jane Tanner may be interested in a little more background to the events that prompted them. Just how much comfort the outcome will bring to those interested in the facts of the McCann affair and the possibility of truth emerging, however, is another matter.

The complaint by Mr Murat is a criminal, not a civil, one of “calumnious denunciation”. From that marvel of infinite flexibility the Portuguese Penal code we learn that anyone “who by any means, before the authority or publicly, with the knowledge of falsity of the imputation, denounces or casts upon a determined person the suspicion of the practice of crime, with intent that against her it is placed a legal proceeding, shall be punished with imprisonment up to 3 years or with a fine.” To prove such a charge, convincing evidence that the perpetrator “had knowledge of the falsity of the imputation” would be crucial.

No such evidence has been or will be adduced for the very good reason that there isn’t any, despite the continued scattergun smearing of M/S Tanner’s supposed motives by the usual suspects.

But clause two reads: “If the conduct consists in the false imputation of unlawful fact or disciplinary penalty, the agent is punished with imprisonment of up to 1 year or a fine of up to 120 days.”

Now that’s a different ball game altogether. No need for a lawyer to dive into the outdated cess pit of conspiracy, cover up and political protection in the hopeless attempt to show that M/S Tanner knew that she was making a false accusation against Robert Murat. Just establishing that she had mistakenly pointed a finger at Mr Murat might well be enough to secure a conviction, leaving all sorts of juicy possibilities of civil actions stretching far into the future.

Because a very convincing case can be made that it was neither the infamous Lori Campbell, nor the three Tapas 9 members who allegedly spotted Mr Murat on the night of May 3, who triggered the police into all-out action, thus effectively ruining Murat’s life; no, it was the supposed identification of Murat as the figure later known as “bundleman” that was crucial.

The basis of that claim is unambiguous. Goncalo Amaral made it clear that he was unwilling to turn the full might of the investigation onto Murat unless there was evidence suggesting that he might be the famous but elusive “bundleman”. Having obtained a search warrant for Robert Murat’s home, in his own words:

“Before the search, we want to assure ourselves that Jane Tanner recognises him as the individual she saw on the night of the disappearance. She is sitting inside an unmarked car, whose tinted windows allow her to see out without being spotted. The vehicle is parked at the exact spot where she was on the night of May 3rd. Robert Murat, anonymous amongst plain clothes police officers, goes up the road in the same way as the alleged abductor. Jane Tanner is adamant: it certainly is Robert Murat that she saw that night. She definitely recognises his way of walking.” And, he adds - the critical question - “But does he resemble the description she painted previously?”

Quite apart from the havoc which ensued for Mr Murat this is also the key to the entire abduction issue, much more important than the supposed “impossibilities” that Inspector Amaral made such unfortunate mention of in his television documentary, more important indeed than the swamp-like and impenetrable testimonies of the Tapas 9. If, a little over a week since the disappearance, M/S Tanner identified Robert Murat, the round faced, north-European with short fair hair and, above all, spectacles, as the nightmarishly shadowy but indubitably long-haired, long-faced and swarthy figure she claimed to have seen in similar lighting on May 3 then clearly she was a completely worthless eye-witness who could not be relied on to have seen anything on the night of May 3. She was discredited.

It is doubly unfortunate that this relatively simple question – whether or not a possible abductor had been witnessed in the vicinity of apartment 5A — was not seen as the independently critical issue it undoubtedly was and dealt with accordingly: that rarity in the McCann case a clear cut and resolvable conflict of evidence. Instead, once the excitement of the descent on Murat had subsided, M/S Tanner's actions became tied up in the investigators’ minds with the important but completely separate matter of the potential case against Gerry and Kate McCann and the possibilities of collusion between members of the Tapas 9.

A discredited Jane Tanner meant that there was no evidence of any abductor, only of a disappearance. Naturally the question of why the nine closest witnesses should maintain a theory without anything to support it, in other words a free invention of the human mind, would then arise in further questioning and could well have become the focus of the investigation – an investigation that desperately needed focus rather than diffused suspicions. And, a minor bonus, we would all have been spared the endless Rorschach-blot fantasies of the McCann/Mitchell press conferences and “suspects.” The consequences for the inquiry were ultimately enormous.

So what went wrong? Why should the remote chance of clarification lie in an obscure and unpromising denunciation hearing three and a half years after events rather than in the original investigation? We’ll look a little deeper into those questions next but first I want to remind readers who wish to refresh their memories of something I have pointed out ad infinitum here and in other places, without result: in her only recorded questioning on the matter, during the rogatory interviews at Leicester police headquarters Jane Tanner did not deny that she had identified the person she had watched from within the surveillance vehicle, Robert Murat, as the person she had seen on May 3. She denied many things but not that.

Posted by john blacksmith at 16:57

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.com/2010/08/jane-tanner-again.html

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by aiyoyo on 08.08.10 2:30

[quote="jkh"]
By John Blacksmith
Those attempting to follow the rather muted court proceedings involving Robert Murat and Jane Tanner may be interested in a little more background to the events that prompted them. Just how much comfort the outcome will bring to those interested in the facts of the McCann affair and the possibility of truth emerging, however, is another matter.

But clause two reads: “If the conduct consists in the false imputation of unlawful fact or disciplinary penalty, the agent is punished with imprisonment of up to 1 year or a fine of up to 120 days.”

Jane Tanner did not deny that she had identified the person she had watched from within the surveillance vehicle, Robert Murat, as the person she had seen on May 3. She denied many things but not that.

Posted by john blacksmith at 16:57

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.com/2010/08/jane-tanner-again.html[/quote]

To me an ambiguous piece.

Muted court proceedings ......? Does it mean still ongoing but wall of silence surrounding it or what does it mean?

I cant decide whether he meant there is a good or weak case against her. My interpretation is the former if judging just from the few sentences in the last paragraph.

Everyone would be keen to know whether the case is still before Court.

I'm just wondering whether ways exist to check records of court filing.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Irish Eyes on 08.08.10 14:33

Is John Blacksmith and Anthony Sharples the same person?

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by kangdang on 08.08.10 15:27

If it is to be believed that the tapas and mccann were attempting to fit Murat into the frame, then this decision must have come after Tanner's alleged abduction sighting on 3rd May. As surely Tanner's initial description would have been..errm..more descriptive of Murat!

Additionally, if Murat was strolling along amongst others how did Tanner recognise his walk, she claimed this individual was striding out on the night of 3rd May.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Judge Mental on 08.08.10 15:59

@Irish Eyes wrote:Is John Blacksmith and Anthony Sharples the same person?

Does it matter?

You could have turned over at least two stones in the time it has taken you to ask this. Why not go and hound Tony Bennett about the Home Office some more?

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by baconbutty on 08.08.10 17:01

@Irish Eyes wrote:Is John Blacksmith and Anthony Sharples the same person?

Actually he's Ena Sharples, but don't tell anyone I told you.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by aiyoyo on 08.08.10 17:14

@kangdang wrote:If it is to be believed that the tapas and mccann were attempting to fit Murat into the frame, then this decision must have come after Tanner's alleged abduction sighting on 3rd May. As surely Tanner's initial description would have been..errm..more descriptive of Murat!

Additionally, if Murat was strolling along amongst others how did Tanner recognise his walk, she claimed this individual was striding out on the night of 3rd May.

She can't possibly recognise him by his 'specs'! Bundleman was specs-less!

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by kangdang on 08.08.10 19:24

@baconbutty wrote:
@Irish Eyes wrote:Is John Blacksmith and Anthony Sharples the same person?

Actually he's Ena Sharples, but don't tell anyone I told you.

Gosh, now there is a blast from the past.

Who is Anthony Sharples out of interest..and please no-one say Blacksmith.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Rainbow on 08.08.10 20:08

Blacksmith

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by kangdang on 08.08.10 20:09

@Rainbow wrote: Blacksmith


Grrrrrrrrrrr...

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by kangdang on 08.08.10 20:20

A quick google search brings up several Anthony Sharples one of whom is Dr Anthony Sharples (GP), London. However, I realised later rather than sooner, that I needed to search for "Antony" not Anthony.

Found several interesting articles, one that maybe of importance here
http://www.chaosraptors.com/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=201:blacksmith-qbureauq-closed-after-sharples-caught-altering-police-statements&catid=37:press-articles

As to whether Antony Sharples is Blackwatch as asked by Irish eyes, I have no idea.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Rainbow on 08.08.10 21:46

@kangdang wrote:
@Rainbow wrote: Blacksmith


Grrrrrrrrrrr...






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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by aiyoyo on 10.08.10 6:01

Once the judge deems the charges valid, the case will be held in open court I would imagine.

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Judge Mental on 10.08.10 15:27

@aiyoyo wrote:Once the judge deems the charges valid, the case will be held in open court I would imagine.

One has the feeling this will not be at all welcome in some quarters

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Re: Jane Tanner again...

Post by Guest on 10.08.10 17:53


Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Reasons to be cheerful?

So will Jane Tanner finally give us all some answers one day in a Portuguese courtroom? It’s not impossible, though it is likely to depend more on Robert Murat’s strength of motivation and stamina, than on the supposed facts of the case. If the finding went Mr Murat’s way it would make him, properly handled, a multi-millionaire in the longer run, but he may not wish to pursue that route. What about the record of the surveillance van episode though? What if that appeared via the court proceedings?

Leaving aside the impossibility of predicting anything pertaining to the Portuguese legal system it is hard to be completely optimistic. The operation that Jane Tanner and Goncalo Amaral described involved, we can be sure, plenty of documentation: location and usage records for the refrigerated van, the names of the officers allocated to the case, timesheets, the instructions for the operation itself and its modus operandi. And, lastly, the report provided by the officers in the van to Inspector Amaral, together with information copies where required.

If you thought Jane Tanner was quiet then what about the Portuguese police and prosecutors? Where are the records? None of the above documents are in the case files, nor is there any clue as to who took the decision to exclude them and who that person answers to. Those who feel that that same legal system is holding back information for devastating future use against the McCanns may be pleased and reassured about this, as may those who feel Goncalo Amaral has a number of smoking guns hidden behind his back. For the rest of us it is another matter.

When it came to the preparation of the rogatory letters calling for the UK interviews in 2008 the Portuguese made no request for Jane Tanner to be questioned about her presence in the surveillance van, an omission which seems odder the more you think about it. The preliminary statement of facts in the rogatory letters ran:

“...since the beginning the parents attributed the disappearance of the child to an act committed by third parties, claiming it was an abduction...and using an intense media campaign. Time went on without this scenario being absolutely confirmed...However, and in view of the statement made by one of their friends, Jane Tanner, we could be facing such a scenario.”

So the further investigation of Jane Tanner’s evidence and credibility was at the heart of the rogatory request. The incident in the van was perhaps the biggest test of all and yet the Rebelo team wanted nothing whatever to do with it.

I spent a certain amount of time in 2009 attempting to locate the whereabouts of any of the documents, without result. In addition to their relevance to M/S Tanner they were, I felt, of very material interest regarding the McCanns, not because of collusion about false evidence between them, but because the parents and their lawyers, as we know, had developed their version of events between 8.55 and 9.25 on May 3 around the time constraints imposed by Jane Tanner’s “sighting”. The production of documents discrediting her witness abilities would, at the least, I thought, have repercussions in the UK ahead of the various McCann media initiatives preceding the Portuguese injunction hearings; it is hard to believe that the Cutting Edge documentary, for example, would have taken quite the same form with the report of the officers in the surveillance van now circulating in the public domain.

Inspector Amaral and his team apparently did not agree with me. After a very lengthy attempt to get him to throw any light he could on the matter, during which I got the impression that my view as to the significance of the stuff was not shared, I was finally passed a response by an intermediary. The documents were “probably” not in the case files because the operation itself did not conform to identification guidelines and would have been inadmissible in court.

Hmm. So there it rests. As for the admissibility issue, well, the dog videos wouldn't have been admissible either and yet they found their way into the wider world, and are key components not of the Madeleine McCann investigative and judicial process but of the larger, and longer lasting, Madeleine McCann Affair.

In view of the answer I was given the question of whether the operation was actually legal under Portuguese law arises. If it was illegal then naturally that would explain why such a survivor as Rebelo wouldn't touch the issue with a barge pole, and there are endless troublesome possibilities, even now.A case might even be made that the police themselves had been party to the “calumnious denunciation” of Robert Murat. In any case victory, as they say, has many parents; defeat is an orphan.

Looking back, the presence of Bob Small that night may have been a lucky one. The Leicester Police quite clearly know what was said in the van, whatever documents are here are not going to be “vanished” and, for the supreme optimists among us, who knows, the silence about them in Portugal might be at British request. Why, that might even be a factor in the McCanns' visit to the fragrant Theresa May and their demands - constant, now, since June 2008 – to get access to just what both police forces may have in their possession. Jane Tanner played a good hand but I suspect the affable DC Ferguson held, and holds, the stronger cards.

Posted by john blacksmith
http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.com/

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