Kate and Gerry McCann have been to Lisbon this week to consult their Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte about the 2,000 page dossier of evidence in their daughter's disappearance, which has been released to the press. They were interviewed by Sandra Felgueiras.
Asked about the files, which contain apparently new sightings, Gerry says, "We've now got them, but as I say errr Kate and I haven't actually gone through them ourselves."
Why not? I'd be tearing those files apart looking for any image that might look like my child.
Kate McCann, asked about sightings, says, "To be honest, we don't get shown a lot of the photographs anyway. I think the police decided that there was so many photographs like that get sent to them and, you know, clips of CCTV that it's...."
I find it hard to trust people who insist on saying, "To be honest." Honest people don't need to keep saying that in my opinion.
Maybe that's partly the reason why the McCanns have not been shown the images in the dossier they now have access to. Or it could be that the sightings were checked out before being labeled "irrelevant," or even because the case is officially archived, awaiting new information. If the McCanns consider that the images of sightings since the case was archived constitute new information, they could ask the Public Prosecutor to reopen the case.
It could, of course, be that most of the sightings are as ridiculous as that of the half-naked Frenchman on a French motorway, waving a gun at a small child and no one appeared to have called in the armed response unit. Or there may be more like the people from Tayside in Scotland, who encountered a Maddie look-a-like at a camp site in France, who pleaded "help me," with her eyes, but they didn't try to help her until they got home and contacted the local police.
"The McCanns' visit to Portugal came after an Algarve court released new files on their daughter's disappearance.
The 2,000 page dossier covers dozens of possible sightings Portuguese detectives appear to have failed to follow up.
The couple, both 41, criticised the disclosure, claiming it jeopardised the search for Maddie."
The Sun 10/03/10
It seems that there have been numerous images of Maddie look-a-likes over the past two years and 10 months. Amongst them was the little Moroccan girl, snapped by an enthusiastic holiday-maker, being carried on her mother's back. Her photo went round the world. Did the McCanns think this jeapardised the search? Not so as you'd notice. Did they make a fuss about the child and her family being hounded by the world's press? If they had, I'm sure we'd have heard about it.
"Appealing for media organisations with access to the files not to publish further information on possible sightings, Gerry said: "If it was divulged it could be very bad for our private investigators."
It could be quite bad too for any child whose privacy was invaded. But very bad for the McCanns' investigators? What? It would make them look like absolute pr@ts? The world and its dog would know that the private detectives were intent on searching out half-naked Frenchmen and visiting a camp site where a child was seen rather a long time ago, which, of course, would be while they were on their way, finally, to those "lawless villages," near Praia da Luz to carry out a massive surveillance operation on the "hellish lairs," there. Heroic stuff!
"Isabel Duarte, the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, insisted: "Innocent lives including Madeleine's life itself could be at risk."
Innocent lives could be at risk? Whose? Which of the named people reporting sightings have been placed at risk? None that I know of.
And those innocent lives include "Madeleine's life itself."
Let's consider who put Madeleine's life at risk. Did any of those people on any of the five continents who have reported sightings have anything to do with Maddie's being left alone on five consecutive nights in an unlocked apartment while her parents ate their tapas and downed a few bottles of wine?
In spite of being advised otherwise by the Portuguese police, the McCanns made a very significant feature of Maddie's eye defect in most of their publicity.
"Although initially reluctant, the McCanns finally informed the media of Madeleine’s unique right eye—a risky revelation. Whoever had taken the child now held a universally recognizable little girl.
Gerry understood that. But, he says, the iris “is Madeleine’s only true distinctive feature. Certainly we thought it was possible that this could potentially hurt her or”—he grimaces—“her abductor might do something to her eye.… But in terms of marketing, it was a good ploy.”
Vanity Fair January 10th 2008
So, there was Gerry acknowledging that he was willing to risk harm to his child for the sake of a "good marketing ploy."
The extent of the media circus that surrounded Maddie's disappearance, most of it incited by the McCanns themselves, was also thought by the police to have placed Maddie at risk.
"It is Gerry who is behind what he tells me is “the marketing … a high public awareness” of Madeleine. At his side while we talk is Clarence Mitchell, a voluble former government media analyst and BBC reporter, handpicked by Gerry to be the latest in a line of spokesmen. On October 17, Mitchell spoke at Coventry University. His topic: “Missing Madeleine McCann: The Perfect PR Campaign.” Except that it has been anything but perfect.
It has in fact been so counterproductive that, as winter approached, Portuguese attorney general Fernando Pinto Monteiro suggested that one way or another the McCanns were responsible for their child’s death. Specifically he said that if indeed Madeleine had been kidnapped, it was the carefully contrived publicity engineered by her parents that likely sealed her fate. “With the whole world having Madeleine’s photo,” he observed, any abductor would have been pushed to such a degree that “there’s a greater probability of the little girl being dead than alive.” Vanity Fair
Then, of course, there were the 48 questions that Kate McCann refused to answer and one that she did.
The one that she did answer?
Q. Are you aware that in not answering the questions you are jeopardising the investigation, which seeks to discover what happened to your daughter?
A. 'Yes, if that’s what the investigation thinks.'
So, who placed Madeleine McCann's life at risk? The newspapers who were courted by the McCanns and who are now being harangued for publishing details of these ludicrous sightings or the parents who left her alone with two-year-old twin siblings in an unlocked apartment? The parents who created a huge publicity machine, which would have sealed her fate if she had been kidnapped? The parents whose PR spokesman created "The Perfect PR Campaign," around their daughter? Maddie's father who thought that putting her at risk was worth it for a "good marketing ploy."? Maddie's mother, who acknowledged that not answering police questions would jeopardise the investigation?
Kate and Gerry McCann, why not at least have a look at those files before you decide that they are putting anyone at risk? And why not just accept responsibility as the only people who really put your daughter's life at risk? It wasn't the Portuguese police or the British police, or the Home Office, or Gordon Brown or Gonçalo Amaral or the newspapers. Time to stop the blame game and your sue-a-lot fundraising and accept who is responsible for "the situation Madeleine finds herself in." It ain't any of those folks.
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Not top priority, then? ffs...
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PORTUGUESE VOICE OVER
Gerry McCann The biggest fear for us is that it puts Madeleine in danger. I think there are many...
Kate McCann It makes the chances us of finding her much more difficult.
SF When you think about dangers what kind of things do you think about?
Gerry McCann It's very difficult isn't it in terms of... Because until you know who's taken her you've no idea and there's been many different scenarios by which children are taken and have been held for very long periods of time including years and to the outward world they seem to be living a normal life. I think with a young child in particular the chances of taking them to a new environment and their adapting is greater.
SF You confess that you think that some of these leads should have been better investigated. Last week the Portuguese Public General Attorney said that all the leads that were recently reported to the PJ after July 2008 were totally investigated and none, none were sufficiently reliable to re-open the case. Why do you think that the General Public Attorney would say that if this wasn't true?
Gerry McCann The first thing we have to do is to look at the information. But from what we have seen so far is the same thing has been written about each individual piece of information and there is no evidence of the, in the information that's been disclosed. But, you know, its not acceptable to the parents of a missing child for everything to be discounted. You know, it doesn't matter what the information, its just discounted and that's not acceptable. And if it is better for us as a family for the file to be opened, then that's what we'll press for.
PORTUGUESE VOICE OVER
jjp said... 14 TRANscript 2
Dave Edgar On five or six occasions we have followed really positive lines of enquiry.
Sandra Felgueiras Do you still believe that it's possible to find Madeleine alive?
Dave Edgar Of course it is. Of course it is. No body's been found. In my experience of these cases, if the child's been killed, they dump the body virtually straight away because obviously these people don't want to be associated with the body.
Sandra Felgueiras From all (have been through????) all of this time there is any (fact???) touched you most, that you kept thinking about it, could have been her?
Gerry McCann I mean the things that are the most obvious are the sightings on the night of a child being carried, two separate things in Praia da Luz. But since then I don't think there's been anything that I've really, there's been one or two that we've looked at twice.
Sandra Felgueiras Can you tell me which were they?
Gerry McCann I can't remember the specific...
Kate McCann There was one wasn't there? I don't know if that was Amsterdam or Brussels [Portuguese voice over] and that was what we had to look at it a few...
couldn't remember specific.....wtf? Did GM even glance at the files?
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