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ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

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ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.08.12 9:42

PART ONE

ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

The Second Court of Barcleona finds him Not Guilty of theft of 200 kilos of cocaine from a boat in Portugal and Not Guilty of misconduct in public office

by Tony Bennett, 19 August 2012

PRELIMINARY NOTE 1: António Giminez Raso is Spanish, and that is how his name is written in Spanish. However, Portuguese - and British - reports about him use the Portuguese spelling of his name, António Jimenez Raso. I have used the Spanish spelling of his name throughout.

PRELIMINARY NOTE 2: It is important to understand that the initial investigation into the theft of the 200 kilos of cocaine, and related alleged crimes, was begun, probably during 2005, 2006 or 2007, by what is called ‘The Court of First Instance’, in Marorell, Barcelona. The Court then appears to have ordered a widespread investigation into the activities of a violent criminal gang, and brought charges against 23 of them. It was alleged that António Giminez Raso was one of its 27 members. ‘The Court of First Instance’ is approximately equivalent to our Magistrates Court. At some stage, the case seems to have been refered to ‘The Second Court’, or ‘The Court of Second Instance’, roughly equivalent to our Crown Court. As can be seen from the reports at the end of this article, the Second Court was very critical of some of the First Court’s actions ]


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

This article reports on the final verdict of an extraordinary criminal trial in Barcelona involving serious charges agaisnt 23 men. Among them was the McCanns’ leading investigator in 2007 - António Giminez Raso - the right-hand-man of Francisco Marco, boss of Spain’s highly controversial private investigations agency, Método 3.

Below are two recent newspaper reports (both dated 23 July 2012) translated by Google Translate’s best efforts, and supplemented by additional translating. Pending a translation by an accredited translator, the reports need a preliminary word of caution.

However, both say much the same thing, and these are the three essential findings of the court:

(1) Seven drug dealers received jail terms; six of them were sent down for 7½ years, one for just two years and three months.

(2) All the other 16 were acquitted by the judges, including António Giminez Raso and his brother, Carlos Giminez Raso.

(3) There was ample evidence in the trial of cronyism, favours, information being passed between drug dealers and police officers, corruption, morally reprehensible acts, and of a relationship between police officers and their informants and confidantes that was not as they should have been - but these actions did not amount to crimes under Spanish law.

The trial verdicts were announced on 23 July 2012, so it was presumably then that the McCanns’ leading investigator in 2007 was first able to see the outside world, after having been remanded in custody back in February 2008, suspected of taking part in or facilitating the 200-kilo theft of cocaine, and of misconduct in a public office. He was a Chief Inspector in the serious and organised crime department of Barcelona Police - until either resigning or being dismissed (it is not clear which) in late 2004 or early 2005.

An article on The Madeleine Foundation website: ‘Brian Kennedy’s man in Morocco: António Giminez Raso - The McCann Team’s man who ended up (like Kevin Halligen) in prison’ is still on the website, not being one of those that the McCanns required - via Carter Ruck - to be removed. It’s Article No. 34.0, visit www.madeleinefoundation.org.uk and then click on ‘Articles’.

Before getting to the dramatic news reports of 23 July, below is a summary of what we already know about António Giminez Raso. There’s much more detail in the full article on The Madeleine Foundation website.

António Giminez Raso met with Marcos Aragão Correia at The Arade Dam on 10 December 2007

We are told elsewhere that Método 3 were appointed by Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team in September 2007. We can be sure that António Giminez Raso was involved with them from the start of their work.

We now know from statements made by both Marcos Aragão Correia and by Método 3, that António Giminez Raso and Marcos Aragão Correia met each other at the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007. Each must have flown the best part of 1,000 miles to be at this meeting: Marcos Aragão Correia, the lawyer who also prosecuted Dr Goncalo Amaral, was from Madeira, an island hundreds of miles off the Portuguese coast, while António Giminez Raso must have flown in from Barcelona, on the north-eats coast of Spain.

This unusual meeting was followed just 7 weeks later by the highly-publicised search for Madeleine’s bones in the selfsame Arade Dam, raising major question marks about what was the purpose of that 10 December meeting. We might assume that António Giminez Raso and Marcos Aragão Correia, standing on the shore looking out over the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007, were certainly planning something - and certainly went to a great deal of trouble to meet each other.

We know from comments made by Francisco Marco, Método 3’s boss, that Marco appointed António Giminez Raso as his ‘Head of Operations’ in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. For Marco to be able to say that he had the ex-Head of a Spanish Police Serious and Organised Crime on his staff would have sounded very impressive.

António Giminez Raso arranges a meeting between the Portuguese Police, Método 3 and Brian Kennedy

We now know, from internal documents released by the Portuguese Police in late 2008, that the Catalonian Anti-Kidnapping Unit contacted the Portuguese Police on 19 October 2007, seeking a meeting with them.

The purpose, they said, was to discuss with the Portuguese allegedly important information that Método 3 detectives had acquired about how, by whom and where Madeleine McCann might have been abducted.

It is a reasonable educated guess that the idea behind contacting the Portuguese Police at this stage would have come about because Barcelona-based António Giminez Raso still had contacts within the Spanish Police. He may have been able to speak with the Head of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Alberto Carbas, or at least a senior member of that Unit, who would have been his ex-colleagues there.

The meeting actually took place on 13 November 2007, at Portimão Police Station.

Present were the following, according to Portuguese Police official records:

Ricardo Paiva and Paulo Ferreira of the Portuguese Police
Francisco Marco, boss of Método 3
Marco’s right-hand-man, António Giminez Raso, and
Cheshire businessman, Brian Kennedy, the paymaster of Método 3, and the person who chose them to head up the McCann Team’s investigations project.

The main purpose of the meeting was for Brian Kennedy and his two associates from Método 3 to tell the Portuguese about three ‘leads’ or ‘sightings’ they claimed to have details of. Details are in the Portuguese Police files which have been made public.

A claim that António Giminez Raso had arranged for journalists to meet witnesses who had been paid to say that they had seen Madeleine in Morocco

On 2 February 2009, on the SOSMaddie website, an article by Duarte Levy & A. Finkelstein informed us of an extremely serious allegation made against Método 3, namely that one of Francisco Marco's close associates at Método 3, António Giminez Raso, had been accused of having taken several British journalists to meet witnesses, who had apparently been paid in advance to say that they had seen Madeleine in Morocco.

February 2008: Método 3 detective (António Giminez Raso) arrested in connection with multi-million drugs theft

In late February 2008, a series of reports appeared in the British press about the arrest of António Giminez Raso on suspicion of involvement in a major crime. I reproduce extracts from some of them here.

On 24 February 2008, the Daily Telegraph reported:

QUOTE

A retired policeman linked to the private detective agency hired to find Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion of helping criminals who stole £25 million of cocaine.

António Giminez Raso, who has been linked to Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCann family to find their missing daughter, was last night remanded in custody by a judge investigating alleged police corruption and the theft in 2005 of 1,100 lb [about half a ton] of cocaine from a Barcelona dockyard.

The arrest comes amid mounting scepticism about the role of Método 3 in the search for Madeleine, who disappeared on May 3 last year while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Método 3, whose contract with Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry expires next month and has yet to be renewed, was criticised last year when Francisco Marco, its managing director, spoke of finding the four-year-old by Christmas.

It has also emerged that, in 1995, five senior members of the agency were arrested in a phone-tapping case. They were never charged, however, and an investigating judge threw out the case, condemning police entrapment.

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCanns, sought to distance Giminez Raso from Método 3. He said: “He is nothing to do with us. He collaborated with Método 3 on a project, but that was two years before the company was hired to find Madeleine. We still have faith in the work of Metodo 3”.

Mr Marco denied Spanish television reports that Giminez Raso, 53, had worked for Método 3 for three years. He insisted that Giminez Raso was, until three weeks ago, a business partner of his mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, who founded Método 3. He said Giminez Raso had been involved with a separate company. Spanish records, however, reportedly showed that this business had the same listed address as Método 3.

UNQUOTE

[CONTINUED IN PART TWO]

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.08.12 9:48

PART TWO

ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON



The Daily Mail the following day added some details:

“The half a ton of cocaine was stolen from a container docked in Barcelona in 2005…Spanish police had the container under surveillance following a tip-off. Giminez Raso, then a Chief Inspector with the Drugs and Organised Crime Unit of the National Police, is suspected of providing vital information to the gang. He retired from the police shortly afterwards.

“The cocaine was smuggled into Spain in 974 packets on the ship Hispaniola, which was transporting frozen prawns from Venezuela. It docked in Barcelona in November 2004 and the drugs were taken on 24 January, 2005. Five officers from the Civil Guard have also been arrested and remanded in custody. A serving police officer has been arrested and released on bail”.

The Mail article was useful in pinpointing the moment at which António Giminez Raso left his senior police job and began working for Método 3 at around the first half of 2005.

A News of the World report added still more detail: “António Giminez allegedly tipped off a gang about the drugs cache in Barcelona docks when he was a police chief...Retired cop António Giminez, 53, was remanded by a Barcelona judge investigating a massive Spanish police corruption scandal”.

Two reports by Duarte Levy on the SOSMaddie website, dated respectively 23 February and 8 March 2008, and translated by a Spanish lady, Mercedes, into English, added a few more details.

In the first article, Levy wrote, boldly: “This man, António Giminez Raso, aged 53, who has been arrested for theft of cocaine, is the same man who ‘discovered’ witnesses who said they had seen Madeleine. He held the position of Chief Inspector of the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (UDYCO) of the Barcelona Police, at the time of the alleged offences.

“He had left the police and straightaway began to work for Metodo 3 as the right-hand man of boss Francisco Marco, at the precise moment that an internal investiagtion within the Spanish police had begun into the disappearance of 1,100 lbs (400 kilos) of cocaine, out of a total of a ton and a half, which had been seized by police [in late 2004] from a ship from Venezuela.

“The Court of First Instance in Marorell (Barcelona) ordered his preventive detention in custody, with no right of appeal. Giminez Raso was accused of theft, corruption in a public office, and illicit criminal association. It was Giminez who was in charge of special operations in the case of the private investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

“He went to both Morocco and Portugal, announcing that there were several witnesses who stated they had seen Madeleine”.

Levy’s report of 8 March added the following details: “Giminez Raso paid witnesses in Morocco, who would say they had seen Madeleine in Morocco. The accusation was made by a source in the Moroccan security services, responsible for the interrogation of witnesses in the Kingdom, where the authorities questioned the working practices of Método 3.

“The detention of Giminez Raso, one of the private detectives working for the McCanns, reinforces the suspicions of the authorities with respect to the work of Método 3. One of the witnesses questioned by the Moroccan security services admitted having received several thousands of euros from the Spanish detective, who had told him/her to keep the arrangement secret ‘so as not to affect the investigations’. Giminez Raso, said Levy, had met several witnesses who stated they had seen Madeleine in the north of the country.

“He also organised meetings between the newspapers and the witnesses. In November 2007, at a meeting with the General Assembly of Interpol in Marrakesh, the Moroccan Minister of the Interior, Chakib Benmoussa, stated that: “There is no reason to believe that little Madeleine McCann could be in Morocco”.

António Gimimez Raso: A summary so far

He was clearly appointed by Método 3 boss, Francisco Marco, to head up the Madeleine McCann investigation.

He was the right-hand man of Marco.

He was at Marco’s side as the two of them met the Portuguese Police and Brian Kennedy at Portimão on 13 November 2007.

He had been in Morocco, leading the McCann Team’s actions there, and had allegedly been involved in bribing witnesses to say they had seen Madeleine McCann.

António Giminez Raso’s actions in Morocco

Método 3 were reportedly ‘excited’ about a reported ‘sighting’ of Madeleine, probably in late September or early October, in Morocco.

They travelled all the way from Barcelona to the Costa del Sol to see Naouli Malhi to carry out a ‘lengthy interview’ with her.

A report in the Daily Mail told us that “…earlier this month [we think the Mail must mean October, though their report is dated November], Naoual quietly slipped back to her home country with a Método 3 team led by António Giminez Raso, the former head of Spain's national organised crime squad. They spent a week trying to track down Madeleine…”

The Daily Mail thus makes two absolutely catagoric statements about António Giminez Raso. And the source for their whole story is Método 3 itself.

First, the Método 3 team in Morocco was led by António Giminez Raso.

Second, he was ‘the former head of Spain’s national organised crime squad’. What is absolutely plain is that he formerly had a high profile job in the Spanish police and security services but ended up, probably during early 2005, essentially as Francisco Marco’s No. 2 at Método 3.

Then we are told by the Mail that Naoual and António Giminez Raso (nothing is said about anyone else) “…drove to Fez, 300 miles south-west of Al Hoceima, to request assistance from a local police chief, a family friend. Staggeringly, the high-ranking officer knew nothing about Madeleine, and so gazed blankly at her photograph. However, when they explained that she was missing, he agreed to help - though not officially. And for a fee, naturally. The officer enlisted lower ranking policemen in outlying stations, who, in turn, sent a small army of young boys to show the picture to people in the dozens of small towns and villages surrounding Fez, in the starkly beautiful Rif Mountains”.

Pausing there, we may note that earlier in the article, we are told that Naoual Malhi comes from Fez. And now here are Malhi and António Giminez Raso in Malhi’s home town, talking to a ‘family friend’ who is a police officer and ‘prepared to help…not officially, and for a fee, naturally’. That should have caused most journalists at least to smell a rat. Central to this ‘sighting’, as is clear from the full Madeleine Foundation article, was a corrupt police officer who was a close friend of Ms Malhi.

The Daily Mail report continues: “They had studied the circulating photograph of Madeleine carefully, and felt sure that this was the strange new girl they had seen in the village recently. She lived on the outskirts of the community with a Berber woman, aged around 40, and a teenage girl, aged around 15. Listening to the man, Naoual's pulse quickened. Everything seemed to tally…Naoual says she passed the new information to António Giminez Raso…”

The Mail then informs us: “Naoual says she passed the new information to Giminez Raso, but she is not sure whether he found time to go to the village because, a couple of days later, he was back in Spain. She also informed the police in Fez, who have done nothing”.

After he is back in Spain, he then, according to the Daily Mail, ’phones and asks if she can help speak to a man in Arabic, a ‘schools inspector’, ‘because Giminez Raso ‘can’t speak Arabic’. [Why doesn’t he use a professional Arabic translator? - they must have them in Barcelona].

There can be no doubt that António Giminez Raso is conducting this whole exercise. He is in charge. His mission clearly has the authority of his boss, Francisco Marco, Director of Método 3. And in turn, Marco has the authority of his paymaster, Brian Kennedy, the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell and the rest of the McCann Team.

The Daily Mail continues: “The trail to Karia began a month ago when Naoual Malhi, a Spanish woman of Moroccan origin, claimed she saw a child with a striking resemblance to Madeleine in the Moroccan coastal resort of Findeq. She sought the help of a police chief she knew in Fes, and thousands of posters of Madeleine were distributed in the area, urging people to contact Metodo 3 investigator António Giminez Raso with any information.

“As a result, Mrs Malhi says Mr Giminez Raso was contacted by Mr Jazouli from Karia, who told how a child with a striking resemblance to Madeleine had been seen in the town. The claims prompted a flurry of door-to-door inquiries last week by Karia's small police force who, like most Moroccan forces, have a dossier on Madeleine…The local police chief, who refused to give his name, angrily refuted claims that Madeleine was [in the area], and instead cruelly suggested she was dead and blamed her distraught parents for what had happened. The overweight, bald officer also boasted that there was no crime in Karia”.

Against that background, let us now look at the denials of Mitchell and Marco that António Giminez Raso was in any way involved in the search for Madeleine McCann. Both of them were no doubt very anxious to distance themselves from the highly embarrassing development of Giminez Raso being arrested in February 2008 on major theft, drug-dealing and corruption charges.

Mitchell had lied. A big lie at that. He said: “He [Giminez Raso] is nothing to do with us”. Mitchell of course knew fine well that Antonio Giminez Raso had been working for Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team in Morocco and that he’d been at the meeting with Brian Kennedy and the Portuguese in Portimao on 13 November. Aware, of course, that António Giminez Raso was very much part of the Metodo 3 team, he then claimed: “He collaborated with Metodo 3 on a project, but that was two years before the company was hired to find Madeleine [i.e. in 2005]”.

We do not know exactly when Jimenez joined Método 3. He might well have collaborated with them on a project in 2005. However, it is also certain that he was working for Metodo 3 on behalf of the McCann Team in September 2007. It is hardly surprising that the Head of the Lawyers’ Association in Portugal once said of Mitchell: ‘He lies with as many teeth as he has in his mouth’.

The final paragraph of the Daily Mail article is fascinating. It ran: “Mr Marco denied Spanish television reports that Giminez Raso, 53, had worked for Método 3 for three years. He insisted that Jimenez was, until three weeks ago, a business partner of his mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, who founded Método 3. He said that Giminez Raso had been involved with a separate company. Spanish records, however, reportedly showed that this business had the same listed address as Metodo 3”.

Clearly the Spanish media had evidence of Giminez Raso having been working for Método 3 since at least 2005 (maybe before). Marco’s ‘get-out’ was to say that Jimenez was merely ‘a business partner of his mother’, and that he’d now stopped working for his mother.

Clarence Mitchell and Francisco Marco both made statements distancing themselves from António Giminez Raso. They were no doubt petrified that major questions would be asked about why the McCann Team chose as their lead investigator in 2007 a man who was, soon afterwards, remanded in custody in Barcelona on serious charges.

They no doubt believed, for example, that the meeting between Brian Kennedy, Francisco Marco and António Giminez Easo and the Portuguese Police in Portimao on 13 November 2007 would remain secret. They did not reckon with the Portuguese Police, in the latter half of 2008, releasing details of that meeting. When the Portuguese Police eventually released that document, the calculated lies of Clarence Mitchell and Francisco Marco, seeking to distance themselves from António Giminez Raso, were laid bare for all to see.

THE TWO REPORTS ON THE ‘NOT GUILTY’ VERDICT IN THE TRIAL OF ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO

Here, then, are the two news reports dated 23 July 2012:

[CONTINUED IN PART THREE, WHICH WILL BE PLACED HERE LATER THIS MORNING]

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.08.12 11:47

PART THREE (FINAL PART)

ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON


THE TWO REPORTS ON THE ‘NOT GUILTY’ VERDICT IN THE TRIAL OF ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO

Here, then, are the two news reports dated 23 July 2012:

REPORT 1

Seven drug traffickers get jail terms of up to seven years and six months

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 17:52 pm.


In this long-running case, there was cronyism, there were favours, information was passed between drug dealers and police officers, there was corruption, there were morally reprehensible acts, and the whole relationship between police officers and their informants and confidantes was not as it should be - but these actions fell short of the type of Mafia-like associationms between criminals and the police and therefore were not crimes according to Spanish law.

So says the Second Section of the Court of Barcelona in sentencing seven members of a drug dealing gang for theft, but acquitting others charged with theft and/or corruption. Seven civil guards and a police inspector [Antonio Giminez Raso] were acquitted of actual membership of a large drug-dealing gang and there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that any of the eight were involved in the theft of a stash of 200 kilos of cocaine in the port of Barcelona in January 2005. The charges against Antonio Giminez twin brother, Carlos, had earlier been dropped by the prosecution.

Also acquitted was the journalist Nando Garcia, who worked for the newspaper El Mundo. He was found not guilty of fraud and not guilty of defaming a senior officer of the Civil Guard.

The court sentenced six people to 7½ years each for drug-dealing and a seventh gang member to two years and three months. The prosecutor had asked for sentences of between six months to 39 years in prison.

The ruling found that the prosecution had not conclusively proved most of the charges. Only those relating to the theft of a stash of 200 kilos of cocaine at the port of Barcelona in January 2005 were proved.

There were delays in obtaining testimony and wiretap evidence which accounts for the undue delay in this long investigation.

An important thread of evidence in the case was that provided by Juan Pedro Lozano, who collaborated in the investigation and is currently serving a sentence of 41 years in prison for leading the gang of drug thieves which in 2002 killed two guards in Terrassa Prosegur, Barcelona.

The judges have given careful attention to his confessions, which involved several defendants and self-confession of involvement in various crimes. The court however fouhd that Lozano was motivated by revenge and retaliation, and was a ‘hostile witness’, who made generic claims many years after the alleged commission of the fvarious acts about which he gave evidence. a"temporarily generic" which puts many years after the commission.

The court found that civil guards were involved with the criminal gang, which had a structure and an established hierarchy - but the evidence against them fell short of prtoving that there had ben a criminal conspiracy.

At the same time, the court also rejected other claims of theft against three alleged theft and alleged money-laundering by three alleged drug traffickers.

n its judgment, the court confirmed that it had overruled the decisions of the judge of Martorell who conducted the initial investigation. The Barcelona court had cancelled the wiretapping authorised by the Martorell judge and other questions which the judge had wanbted to ask during the investigation.

REPORT 2

The Court of Barcelona has acquitted seven guards and a national police civilian accused of collaborating with a criminal drugs gang to steal at least 200 kilos of cocaine from the Port of Barcelona, and to rib other drug dealers.

But seven gang members have been found guilty and handed sentences of up to 7½ years for their crimes.

At the sentencing, the Second Section of the Barcelona High Court acquitted the seven officers of the Guardia Civil and defendants from the National Police who had faced sentences of up to 26 years in prison.

It was held by the court that there was no conclusive proof that they had collaborated with a criminal gang in 2005 to steal at least 200 kilos of cocaine that had been recovered, originally hidden in a container [with a consignment of shrimps] from the port of Barcelona.

Instead, the court handed down sentences of 7½ years to six of the seven accused drug traffickers:


Javier Segura,
Daniel Ribelles,
Antonio Bals,
David Beard,
Francisco Campos and
Christian Island.

The seventh gang member, Alberto Serrano, received a sentence of two years and three months.

During the proceedings, the special prosecutor against corruption in Barcelona, ​​Fernando Bermejo, had called for a 26½-year jail term for the agent of the notorious Antonio SM, alias Tete, who was held in detenetion for 18 months in custody for this cause, and for 13 years against Warrant Officer Robert PC; 12 years for Jesus Javier MC, 11 for Michelangelo HF, 7½ for Christopher LRM, and three each for Fernando AV and Fernando GV. But, eventually, all of these were acquitted.

Also accused was Lieutenant Colonel Alfonso Guardia Civil LR. The prosecutor had also asked for 17 years in prison for the former Chief Inspector of the serious and organised crime section of Barcelona Police, Antonio Giminez Raso and 7½ years for his [twin] brother Carlos Giminez Raso. Antonio Giminez Raso was found not guilty on all charges, whilst the prosecution had earlier dropped charges against his brother I nadvance of the trial.


The Court acquitted all the accused policemen and civil guards, holding that the prosecution had failed to establish that a criminal group of guuards and police officers had formed an association to exchange confidential information to steal the drugs from the port, and to attack and rob other groups of drug traffickers.

The only men found guilty were:

Javier Segura,
Daniel Ribelles,
Antonio Bals,
David Beard,
Francisco Campos,
Cristian Alberto and
Serrano Island.

It was found that in the early hours of 24 January, 2005, an unidentified person had tipped off the drug dealers as to the location of a container of shrimps in the port of Barcelona hiding a cache of at least 200 kilos of cocaine within the shipment. The gang had managed to remove at least 200 kilos.

The gang members, although guilty of theft, were however acquitted on charges of conspiracy, false imprisonment and money laundering, since much of the prosecution for these crimes was based on wiretap and other covertly-gainedf evidence that was declared void on the grounds that the evidence was inadmissible.

Giving their ruling, the court heavioly criticised the prosecutor for over-reliance on the claims made by the repentant Juan Pedro Lozano. Lozano acted as a witness for the prosecution and his evidence was intended to incriminate the other defendants. Lozano had betrayed alleged members of the gang at the port, and it was his evidence that had incriminated the civil guards and police. He was in prison, serving a sentence for the murder of two security guards in a robbery using an armoured car at a multiplex in Terrassa (Barcelona).

The Second Section of the Barcelona High Court stressed that this conduct [relying on Lozano’s evidence] by the prosecutor was “difficult to justify in an investigative judge”, who has a constitutional duty to guarantee an individual’s rights and freedoms. The prosecutor should have had better judgment than to accept evidence under oath and under an obligation to be honest a person who was not only incriminating third parties but also incriminating himself".


Thus, of the 23 defendants initially, the court found only seven guilty, and declares the other 16 ‘not guilty’, including the journalist Fernando G., considering that he was not guilty of co-operating with the “gang of Barcelona port” nor of slandering a Lieutenant Colonel in the Civil Guard in connection with the theft of these drugs.


END.

____________________

                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.08.12 23:34

I should have said earlier that there are several other threads featuring Antonio Giminez Raso on this thread. This one contains translations by an acceredited Spanish/Catalan>English translator of previous news reports on the case:

http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t4899-antonio-gimenez-raso-from-a-top-job-in-the-catalonian-police-force-to-mccann-team-lead-private-eye-employed-by-metodo-3-to-a-barcelona-jail-on-corruption-and-theft-charges?highlight=antonio



PART ONE

ANTONIO GIMINEZ RASO, THE MCCANNS’ STAR INVESTIGATOR IN 2007: FREE AT LAST AFTER NEARLY 4½ YEARS IN PRISON

The Second Court of Barcleona finds him Not Guilty of theft of 200 kilos of cocaine from a boat in Portugal and Not Guilty of misconduct in public office

by Tony Bennett, 19 August 2012

PRELIMINARY NOTE 1: António Giminez Raso is Spanish, and that is how his name is written in Spanish. However, Portuguese - and British - reports about him use the Portuguese spelling of his name, António Jimenez Raso. I have used the Spanish spelling of his name throughout.

PRELIMINARY NOTE 2: It is important to understand that the initial investigation into the theft of the 200 kilos of cocaine, and related alleged crimes, was begun, probably during 2005, 2006 or 2007, by what is called ‘The Court of First Instance’, in Marorell, Barcelona. The Court then appears to have ordered a widespread investigation into the activities of a violent criminal gang, and brought charges against 23 of them. It was alleged that António Giminez Raso was one of its 27 members. ‘The Court of First Instance’ is approximately equivalent to our Magistrates Court. At some stage, the case seems to have been refered to ‘The Second Court’, or ‘The Court of Second Instance’, roughly equivalent to our Crown Court. As can be seen from the reports at the end of this article, the Second Court was very critical of some of the First Court’s actions ]


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This article reports on the final verdict of an extraordinary criminal trial in Barcelona involving serious charges agaisnt 23 men. Among them was the McCanns’ leading investigator in 2007 - António Giminez Raso - the right-hand-man of Francisco Marco, boss of Spain’s highly controversial private investigations agency, Método 3.

Below are two recent newspaper reports (both dated 23 July 2012) translated by Google Translate’s best efforts, and supplemented by additional translating. Pending a translation by an accredited translator, the reports need a preliminary word of caution.

However, both say much the same thing, and these are the three essential findings of the court:

(1) Seven drug dealers received jail terms; six of them were sent down for 7½ years, one for just two years and three months.

(2) All the other 16 were acquitted by the judges, including António Giminez Raso and his brother, Carlos Giminez Raso.

(3) There was ample evidence in the trial of cronyism, favours, information being passed between drug dealers and police officers, corruption, morally reprehensible acts, and of a relationship between police officers and their informants and confidantes that was not as they should have been - but these actions did not amount to crimes under Spanish law.

The trial verdicts were announced on 23 July 2012, so it was presumably then that the McCanns’ leading investigator in 2007 was first able to see the outside world, after having been remanded in custody back in February 2008, suspected of taking part in or facilitating the 200-kilo theft of cocaine, and of misconduct in a public office. He was a Chief Inspector in the serious and organised crime department of Barcelona Police - until either resigning or being dismissed (it is not clear which) in late 2004 or early 2005.

An article on The Madeleine Foundation website: ‘Brian Kennedy’s man in Morocco: António Giminez Raso - The McCann Team’s man who ended up (like Kevin Halligen) in prison’ is still on the website, not being one of those that the McCanns required - via Carter Ruck - to be removed. It’s Article No. 34.0, visit www.madeleinefoundation.org.uk and then click on ‘Articles’.

Before getting to the dramatic news reports of 23 July, below is a summary of what we already know about António Giminez Raso. There’s much more detail in the full article on The Madeleine Foundation website.

António Giminez Raso met with Marcos Aragão Correia at The Arade Dam on 10 December 2007

We are told elsewhere that Método 3 were appointed by Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team in September 2007. We can be sure that António Giminez Raso was involved with them from the start of their work.

We now know from statements made by both Marcos Aragão Correia and by Método 3, that António Giminez Raso and Marcos Aragão Correia met each other at the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007. Each must have flown the best part of 1,000 miles to be at this meeting: Marcos Aragão Correia, the lawyer who also prosecuted Dr Goncalo Amaral, was from Madeira, an island hundreds of miles off the Portuguese coast, while António Giminez Raso must have flown in from Barcelona, on the north-eats coast of Spain.

This unusual meeting was followed just 7 weeks later by the highly-publicised search for Madeleine’s bones in the selfsame Arade Dam, raising major question marks about what was the purpose of that 10 December meeting. We might assume that António Giminez Raso and Marcos Aragão Correia, standing on the shore looking out over the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007, were certainly planning something - and certainly went to a great deal of trouble to meet each other.

We know from comments made by Francisco Marco, Método 3’s boss, that Marco appointed António Giminez Raso as his ‘Head of Operations’ in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. For Marco to be able to say that he had the ex-Head of a Spanish Police Serious and Organised Crime on his staff would have sounded very impressive.

António Giminez Raso arranges a meeting between the Portuguese Police, Método 3 and Brian Kennedy

We now know, from internal documents released by the Portuguese Police in late 2008, that the Catalonian Anti-Kidnapping Unit contacted the Portuguese Police on 19 October 2007, seeking a meeting with them.

The purpose, they said, was to discuss with the Portuguese allegedly important information that Método 3 detectives had acquired about how, by whom and where Madeleine McCann might have been abducted.

It is a reasonable educated guess that the idea behind contacting the Portuguese Police at this stage would have come about because Barcelona-based António Giminez Raso still had contacts within the Spanish Police. He may have been able to speak with the Head of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Alberto Carbas, or at least a senior member of that Unit, who would have been his ex-colleagues there.

The meeting actually took place on 13 November 2007, at Portimão Police Station.

Present were the following, according to Portuguese Police official records:

Ricardo Paiva and Paulo Ferreira of the Portuguese Police
Francisco Marco, boss of Método 3
Marco’s right-hand-man, António Giminez Raso, and
Cheshire businessman, Brian Kennedy, the paymaster of Método 3, and the person who chose them to head up the McCann Team’s investigations project.

The main purpose of the meeting was for Brian Kennedy and his two associates from Método 3 to tell the Portuguese about three ‘leads’ or ‘sightings’ they claimed to have details of. Details are in the Portuguese Police files which have been made public.

A claim that António Giminez Raso had arranged for journalists to meet witnesses who had been paid to say that they had seen Madeleine in Morocco

On 2 February 2009, on the SOSMaddie website, an article by Duarte Levy & A. Finkelstein informed us of an extremely serious allegation made against Método 3, namely that one of Francisco Marco's close associates at Método 3, António Giminez Raso, had been accused of having taken several British journalists to meet witnesses, who had apparently been paid in advance to say that they had seen Madeleine in Morocco.

February 2008: Método 3 detective (António Giminez Raso) arrested in connection with multi-million drugs theft

In late February 2008, a series of reports appeared in the British press about the arrest of António Giminez Raso on suspicion of involvement in a major crime. I reproduce extracts from some of them here.

On 24 February 2008, the Daily Telegraph reported:

QUOTE

A retired policeman linked to the private detective agency hired to find Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion of helping criminals who stole £25 million of cocaine.

António Giminez Raso, who has been linked to Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCann family to find their missing daughter, was last night remanded in custody by a judge investigating alleged police corruption and the theft in 2005 of 1,100 lb [about half a ton] of cocaine from a Barcelona dockyard.

The arrest comes amid mounting scepticism about the role of Método 3 in the search for Madeleine, who disappeared on May 3 last year while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

Método 3, whose contract with Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry expires next month and has yet to be renewed, was criticised last year when Francisco Marco, its managing director, spoke of finding the four-year-old by Christmas.

It has also emerged that, in 1995, five senior members of the agency were arrested in a phone-tapping case. They were never charged, however, and an investigating judge threw out the case, condemning police entrapment.

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCanns, sought to distance Giminez Raso from Método 3. He said: “He is nothing to do with us. He collaborated with Método 3 on a project, but that was two years before the company was hired to find Madeleine. We still have faith in the work of Metodo 3”.

Mr Marco denied Spanish television reports that Giminez Raso, 53, had worked for Método 3 for three years. He insisted that Giminez Raso was, until three weeks ago, a business partner of his mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, who founded Método 3. He said Giminez Raso had been involved with a separate company. Spanish records, however, reportedly showed that this business had the same listed address as Método 3.

UNQUOTE

[CONTINUED IN PART TWO]
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