Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

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Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  Tony Bennett on Sat 13 Mar - 7:49

The Madeleine Foundation
Asking the questions about what really happened to Madeleine McCann
66 Chippingfield
CM17 0DJ
Tel: 01279 635789

Friday 12 March 2010

Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson M.P.
Home Secretary
Home Office
2 Marsham Street

For the personal attention of the Minister:

And by e-mail (without enclosures) to:

And by fax to: 0207 035 4745

Dear Mr Johnson

re: Secret Home Office plans to hold a ‘review’ of the investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

We write to express our concern about the recent meetings between yourself and your staff with Madeleine McCann’s parents, apparently with a view to carrying out a ‘review’ of the case. Our concerns centre on whether the review will examine lines of evidence that point away from the abduction scenario promoted by the McCanns and their friends, and also on the possible role of Leicestershire Police Force in this initial review and in any further investigations that may be carried out in the United Kingdom.

The Madeleine Foundation is a membership organisation, currently with over 40 members, whose objects include assisting in the process of establishing the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann, a matter which the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell stated in a Channel 4 interview on 19 February was ‘a complete mystery’. We also campaign on child welfare issues.


Madeleine McCann’s parents and their seven friends who were with them in Praia da Luz in 2007 have consistently promoted the claim that Madeleine McCann was abducted. On their own account, the alleged abductor would have had to remove Madeleine from the bedroom in which she and the twins were sleeping in the dark, without being seen or heard, without leaving any forensic trace whatsoever, and between approximately 9.10pm and 9.15pm.

As I am sure you and your staff are fully aware, the McCanns initially, in a series of telephone calls to their relatives and to the press, very strongly promoted the claim that an abductor had jemmied open, or forced open the shutters to the children’s room, and climbed in through the window. Furthermore, as accounts from their relatives reveal, when they (the relatives) tried to offer reassurance to the McCanns and suggested that maybe Madeleine had ‘wandered off’ and would soon be found, Dr Gerald McCann insisted that it was absolutely imperative that their relatives believe that Madeleine had been abducted.

Again as you and your staff will know, the staff of Mark Warners, the holiday company who had arranged the holiday, and the police, found within a matter of hours that the shutters had not been jemmied open nor tampered with in any way and, furthermore, that the only fingerprint on the window frame was one from Dr Kate McCann. This led to the McCanns rapidly changing their story to suggestions that they probably left the patio door unlocked and that the abductor may have entered by opening this unlocked patio door. This change of story was one of a great many factors which led many people in the U.K. and elsewhere to question the McCanns’ claim of abduction.

In the only survey of public opinion in the U.K. on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in the Sunday Times in September 2007, just 20% of respondents believed the McCanns were telling the truth about the disappearance of their daughter. Similarly, when, the following month, a long interview with the McCanns was shown on Spanish T.V., viewers were invited to say whether they thought the McCanns were telling the truth, or lying; 70% were of the view that they were lying.

On top of all that, the initial investigation led by Goncalo Amaral and his senior colleague Tavares de Almeida, assisted by British police who shared their view, came to the provisional conclusion by September 2007 that Madeleine McCann had died in her parents’ holiday apartment and that her body had been hidden. That conclusion was set out in a lucid report by Tavares de Almeida dated 10 September 2007 which has been widely circulated on the internet, though it has merited not even one mention in the British media, so far as we are aware. This report is one of the documents included in our latest book on the case: ‘The Madeleine McCann case Files: Volume 1’. We are pleased to enclose for your perusal a complimentary copy.

Goncalo Amaral was then removed from the enquiry on 3 October 2007 amid credible allegations that the British government had petitioned the Portuguese government for him to be removed from the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. The fact that Dr Gerald McCann disclosed, and the British government subsequently admitted on the record, that there had been a series of long ’phone calls between Dr McCann and Gordon Brown also suggested top-level government interest in the case.

The speculation that the British government was keen to see Mr Amaral removed from the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance was not helped by the news that the former Head of the government’s ‘Media Monitoring Unit’, Clarence Mitchell, had been seconded from May 2007 to assist the McCanns, along with other government officials, and was then allowed to leave his government post in September of that year to work full-time as the McCanns’ Chief Public Relations Adviser. When in government, Mr Mitchell boasted that he was the head of a 40-strong unit whose role was ‘to control what comes out in the media’.

Following Mr Amaral’s departure from the investigation, together with two other top detectives who had been assisting him, the Portuguese Police’s provisional view that the evidence pointed to Madeleine McCann’s having died in her parents’ apartment was quietly dropped.

In July 2008, the Portuguese police submitted a final report to the Portuguese Attorney-General stating that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with any criminal offence in relation to Madeleine’s disappearance. This was despite the highly trained Springer Spaniel, Eddie, trained by top police dog handler Martin Grime, having detected the lingering scent of a human corpse in no fewer than ten different locations connected to the McCanns: four places in their apartment, two places in the McCanns’ hired Renault Scenic, on two of Dr Kate McCann’s clothes, on one of the children’s T-shirts, and on the pink soft toy, ‘Cuddle Cat’. Another Springer Spaniel, Keela, detected traces of blood or body fluids at some of these locations. Eddie did not alert to the scent of a corpse anywhere else in Praia da Luz, nor in any of nine other vehicles in the compound he was taken to. His handler, Mr Grime, reported that in 200 previous outings, Eddie had never once given a ‘false alert’ to the scent of a corpse. Whenever he has alerted, it has always been in locations where a corpse was known to have once been present.

Forensic evidence appeared initially to confirm that Madeleine’s blood or body fluids were found in some of those locations, but the Forensic Science Service later claimed that these results should be deemed ‘inconclusive’.

Although the final report of the Policia Judiciara and the Attorney-General’s response were widely hailed by the McCanns, their public relations advisers, lawyers and supporters as ‘clearing’ the McCanns; on the contrary, they left open the twin possibilities that Madeleine had either been abducted or had died in her holiday apartment.

From the above it must be clear that any valid re-investigation by either the Portuguese police or the British police, or both, would, out of necessity, have to pursue lines of enquiry that might point to Madeleine’s having been abducted or, equally, might point to her having died in her holiday apartment.

We have covered the matter of the problems created by the McCanns’ account of the alleged abduction of Madeleine from her room in the McCanns’ holiday apartment in the following article by Barbara Nottage, under the ‘Articles’ section of our website:
( “How did the alleged abductor snatch Madeleine in a time slot of no more than 3-4 minutes?”

Other problems with the abduction scenario

There are many further points to make in relation to the claim that Madeleine McCann was abducted. Firstly, we have by now had a bewildering variety of artists’ sketches of possible suspects responsible for the alleged abduction of Madeleine shown to us in the media. Altogether there have been no fewer than 14 male faces shown to us as possible suspects for having been involved in the alleged abduction of Madeleine. Here are the 14 sketches so far:

[14 artists' sketches of suspects]

Not only have we had these 14 sketches offered at various times to the public, which as you and your staff can see are hugely inconsistent one with another, but we have also seen the McCann Team produce two sketches of possible female abductors. One of them, said to be a ‘Victoria Beckham-lookalike’ by Clarence Mitchell, is pictured on the next page:

[Victoria Beckham-lookalike sketch]

We might also note at this point that the artist’s sketch of the ‘Victoria Beckham-lookalike’ was first revealed at a press conference in which Clarence Mitchell appeared together with the current Head of the McCanns’ team of private investigators, former Cheshire Detective Inspector Dave Edgar.

At this press conference (see picture below), there was widespread astonishment when Mr Edgar claimed that the person Jane Tanner claimed she had seen on 3 May 2007 taking a child, whom she later presumed to be Madeleine McCann, away from the McCanns’ apartment could have been a woman, not a man:

[Photo of Clarence Mitchell and Dave Edgar at the 'Barcelona/Beckham press conference]

As again we are quite sure that you and your senior staff are well aware, Jane Tanner’s description of an alleged abductor was already being questioned by many. She had changed her description of what she claimed to have seen over time. There was a clear conflict of evidence between her statement to the Portuguese police and those of Dr Gerald McCann and film producer/photographer Jeremy Wilkins about whether she was indeed in the lane that night where she claims to have seen the abductor.

In addition, during her statements, she had shortened the distance at which she said she had seen the abductor from 50 metres to 5 metres. She did not tell the McCanns about what she had seen for 24 hours even though her partner Dr Russell O’Brien had torn off the cover from Madeleine’s Activity Sticker Book soon after the alarm was raised at 10.00pm on 3 May and written down on this book cover that his partner Jane Tanner had seen an abductor walking away from the McCanns’ apartment at around 9.15pm.

Her detailed observations of frills on the pyjamas of the child alleged to have been carried and of the colour and type of clothing this man was supposed to be wearing were undermined by the facts that (a) the village was dark and poorly lit at the time and (b) on her own statement, that she could not have seen this man for more than 4 seconds at the most. Despite all these problems with her various accounts, Dr Gerald McCann read out the first-ever description of an alleged abductor, based on Jane Tanner’s changing statements, on 25 May 2007, which clearly referred to a male abductor. The claim by the Head of the McCann’s current private investigation team, that this abductor might have been an abductress after all, served to further undermine what little credibility was left in Ms Tanner’s statements about what she claimed to have seen on the evening of 3 May.

On Sunday 13 May, we know that Jane Tanner spoke to Detective Superintendent Bob Small of Leicestershire Police and to two men from Control Risks Group, Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan. Later on that very same day, from inside a police van with one-way darkened windows, she adamantly insisted she could identify the abductor. As Robert Murat walked past the police van, she told police that she could tell by the way he was walking that this was the very man she had seen on the date Madeleine disappeared.

Mr Farrow is the ex-head of the Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr Keenan an ex-Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police with specialist fraud and investigative experience.

Jane Tanner undermined her own story, in stages, later that year, by stating, first, that she was ‘not sure’ whether or not the person she had seen was Robert Murat, and finally saying that she ‘no longer’ believed that the man she had seen was Robert Murat. This particular incident raises issues in relation to the conduct of Leicestershire Police, which we deal with below.

We referred above to the current team of investigators employed by the McCann Team and led by Dave Edgar. There have been huge concerns about the highly controversial nature of the investigation agencies employed by the McCanns since 2007, of which there have been at least seven. They employed a Spanish detective agency with a very chequered history, namely Metodo 3, whose boss, Francisco Marco, declared before Christmas 2007 that his men ‘were closing in on the place where Madeleine was being held alive; and that ‘she will be home by Christmas’. These claims were soon exposed as bogus.

Next, the McCanns spent an estimated £500,000 employing the services of intelligence personnel under the control of hard-drinking Kevin Halligen, a man now wanted by the United States for serious fraud offences and whose application for extradition is apparently being held up by the British government. We will examine the role of Leicestershire Police in promoting these controversial and possibly corrupt private intelligence agencies further below.

There are many other problems with the abduction scenario.

Being realistic, on the rare occasions that children as young as Madeleine are abducted by strangers, they are rarely found alive. In the very unlikely event that the abductor, if there is one, is keeping Madeleine alive, for whatever purpose, how likely is it that s/he would be out on the streets with Madeleine for all to see? S/he would know of course that Madeleine has green eyes with a visible coloboma defect in her right eye. That would be an additional reason for keeping her out of sight. Even if the abductor/abductress were prepared to take the risk of Madeleine’s being seen in public, would s/he not disguise her in some way, for example by dyeing her hair a different colour? And how difficult would it be for the abductor/abductress to keep a child, now aged nearly seven, away from public services, such as the school, and the health centre?

How would Madeleine look now, anyway? It is not easy to project what a three-year-old will look like three to four years later. A photo-sketch has been produced by the McCanns which shows her to be a happy and smiling child, of about 9 to 11 years of age in the opinion of those who have seen the photo-sketch (the one specially produced to coincide with the McCanns’ appearance on the popular Oprah Winfrey Show, televised world-wide). Does that photo really narrow down the search? It has already caused people to report children to the police who look like the new photo-sketch of her. A man was taken into police custody in Devon when a passer-by thought his step-daughter must be Madeleine McCann, while the police were also involved in Canada when many people watching a children’s choir on TV thought they recognised her and telephoned to say so.

On top of all that, where are we supposed to look? We have no guidance whatsoever from the McCann Team. All manner of places over the world have been mentioned, and there have been claimed ‘sightings’ of Madeleine from several dozen countries. Last year, the McCanns’ current lead investigator, Dave Edgar, stunned many people by claiming in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph that he was ‘convinced’ that Madeleine was being held alive in a ‘prison lair, within 10 miles of Praia da Luz, somewhere in the lawless hills around’. If he and the McCanns really believed this claim, then, so far as we are aware, they did not follow up their being ‘convinced’ by ensuring that a proper search was conducted for such a ‘prison lair’ in and around Praia da Luz, and still have not done so.

In addition, both the McCanns and their spokesman have recently made references to the death of Madeleine.

Clarence Mitchell, speaking to the press and defending himself against accusations that he had lied about aspects of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, said: “Can I suggest that, actually, you quote me back accurately? I said: ‘I believe Kate and Gerry are not responsible for Madeleine’s death’.”

Months later, on 11 December 2009, at a Court hearing in Lisbon in connection with their 1.2 million euro claim against Goncalo Amaral, Dr Gerald McCann told a group of reporters: “There is no evidence that we were involved in Madeleine’s death”.

The claim that the McCanns’ backer, Brian Kennedy, frightened potential witnesses into refusing to give evidence

Another matter which clearly requires investigation by any review or re-investigation team in this matter is the claim made by Mark Hollingsworth in an article in the Evening Standard dated August 2009, in which he directly accused Mr Kennedy and those employed by him of interfering with witnesses and making some of them so frightened that they would not give evidence to the Portuguese police. Hollingsworth gave a devastating critique of the Kennedy-led private investigation. He wrote:

“An investigation by the Evening Standard shows that key mistakes were made, which in turn made later enquiries far more challenging. The Evening Standard has spoken to several sources close to the private investigations that took place in the first year and discovered that:

• The involvement of Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick in the operation was counter-productive, notably when they were questioned by the local police [in Portugal] for acting suspiciously while attempting a 24-hour ‘stake out’

• The relationship between Metodo 3 and the Portuguese police had completely broken down

• Key witnesses were questioned far too aggressively, so much so that some of them later refused to talk to the police

• Many of the investigators had little experience of the required painstaking forensic detective work”.

To interfere with potential court witnesses in an investigation is a criminal offence punishable, we understand, by a maximum jail term of 14 years. Madeleine was a British girl. This was a joint investigation by British and Portuguese police. So far as we are aware, no police force in the United Kingdom has yet investigated these serious allegations against Brian Kennedy, and we suggest that such an investigation should be mounted without further delay. We believe it can and should be mounted by British police - but not Leicestershire Police, who it appears have failed to pursue this serious issue. Brian Kennedy is the man who has wholly or largely funded the McCanns’ private investigations. He has appointed most of the agencies and individuals used in the McCanns’ private investigations and does so from a base in Cheshire near the headquarters of his own Latium Group, also based in Cheshire.

The role of Leicestershire Police

We dealt with the need for an enquiry into the role of the British Police in general and Leicestershire Police in particular in a letter we sent to Prime Minister Gordon Brown last year on 13 July 2009, and to which we respectfully refer you. It may be helpful, however, if we summarise our concerns and the concerns of a great many others:

a) What was the role of the Leicestershire Police Officers who were despatched to Praia da Luz immediately Madeleine was reported missing? In particular, what liaison did they have with the men from Control Risks Group, and what other discussions did they have with the McCanns and their friends? Especially, what role did staff of Leicestershire Police, notably Detective Superintendent Bob Small, play in the events of Sunday 13 May? Did he in any way influence Jane Tanner in her identification of Robert Murat as the alleged abductor? She later admitted that she was wholly wrong to have identified him as the abductor, yet it led directly to his arrest and being given ‘arguido’ status.

b) Why before, during and after the time the McCanns were ‘arguidos’ (which the McCanns insist means ‘persons of interest’ but is more usually translated ‘suspects’), did Leicestershire Police:

(i) Link their website to the McCanns’ fund-raising website, and
(ii) In doing so, encourage those who might have relevant information, to give this not to Leicestershire Police nor to the Portuguese Police, but to the McCanns’ own team of private investigators?

In the view of many, this set a dangerous and wholly new precedent in the history of criminal investigations anywhere in the world. A police force, openly and in a high profile manner, invited the public to donate to the fund-raising campaign of two suspects in a serious criminal investigation and helped them by diverting people who wished to supply information away from official police investigators and to their own private investigators, some of whose controversial history we have demonstrated above.

c) The highly irregular and cosy relationship between Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior and the McCanns and their friends. This can clearly be seen from the e-mails between Prior and the McCanns and their friends, which have now been made public by the Portuguese police.

d) The decision by Leicestershire Police not to release significant witness statements by Dr Katharine Gaspar and Dr Arul Gaspar to the Portuguese police for a period of six months, and then only after Mr Amaral had been removed from the investigation.

The background to the Home Office review

We were aware of course from hints dropped by the McCanns’ Chief Public Relations Adviser, Clarence Mitchell, that the McCanns were pressing for some kind of re-investigation or review. We also support an appropriate review and re-investigation (see end of our letter), but not one that is being pursued in the manner being suggested by recent reports in the Daily Telegraph and Leicester Mercury.

We know that there have been meetings between the McCanns and your staff (from leaks from the McCann Team) and at least one meeting between the McCanns and yourself, though we are not told whether the McCanns had lawyers or other advisers with them and perhaps you also had at least one civil servant with you at that ‘private’ meeting.

The Daily Telegraph began its report on 6 March by stating: “The Home Office has secretly begun a review that could lead to a fresh police inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann”. We write to enquire (a) whether this is meant to be a ‘secret’ review? - if so why is it ‘secret’? (b) why it is being apparently conducted at all? - and (c) how news of this ‘secret review’ was leaked to the press. Were your staff responsible for this leak to the Daily Telegraph, or was the McCann Team responsible? The latter seems more likely in the light of this quotation from the Telegraph report:

“According to sources close to the McCanns, Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has ordered officials to examine the 'feasibility' of British or Portuguese detectives looking afresh at all the evidence”.

As there was no adverse reaction by the Home Office, however, we must assume that this ‘leak’ was authorised by you. It is also clear from the following statement in the Telegraph that any review by your office will be conducted (a) only on the McCanns’ terms, (b) at their request, and (c) will focus only on alleged evidence that Madeleine was abducted: “Kate and Gerry McCann met with Mr Johnson last year to plead for help in their search for Madeleine”.

The McCanns and their public relations and legal advisers only want this review and any subsequent re-investigation to look at evidence that Madeleine was abducted and not at evidence which might point in a wholly different direction. The McCanns’ own statement merely confirms this. They said: “It is an international case, and always has been…Madeleine's rights should be put first. She's missing, she's innocent and whoever's taken her is still out there, and that has to be of paramount importance”.

The Daily Telegraph report also adds this: “The couple have also met with John Yates, the Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, who has headed up a number of high profile inquiries in recent years. He is said to be ‘sympathetic’ and to have made ‘general offers of assistance’.” It is not the duty of an investigating officer to be ‘sympathetic’. In the view of many, this might sound like pre-judgement, in the same way in which large numbers of the public believe that a previous enquiry lea by Mr Yates in the ‘Cash for Honours’ enquiry was similarly predetermined.

We are therefore very concerned at the suggestion that John Yates should have anything to do with the review of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Mr Yates was appointed to investigate the obvious links between a number of high profile people obtaining peerages and large donations made not long beforehand by those involved, in each case, to the coffers of the Labour Party. It was clear to virtually the entire country that these peerages were given as a reward for donations to the Labour Party. As such, they were in flagrant breach of the law which strictly prohibits the selling of peerages (The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925).

John Yates arrested a number of individuals, like Lord Levy, and reports appeared in the press suggesting that the investigation was being taken ‘very seriously’. But - as most of us realised would probably happen - no prosecutions resulted. If John Yates is involved in any way with a review or re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, the public will lack confidence that the review/re-investigation is a genuine enquiry into the truth.

The Telegraph report refers to a 'scoping exercise' being carried out ‘to look into the possibility of a review of the case’. It adds: ‘They are looking at all the options. It is basically a feasibility study’. The purpose of this letter is to contribute to your ‘scoping’ exercise/feasibility study.

The Telegraph report continues: “Pressure is now being put on Portuguese authorities to agree in the first instance to a three-day review of the case that could be held at Interpol's headquarters in Lyon in France. The McCanns will hope the Home Office can persuade their Portuguese counterparts to co-operate in a case review. The review - were it to go ahead - would involve British police working with Portuguese counterparts as well as experts in child abduction”.

The last few words of this paragraph confirm our view that any review or re-investigation, as currently being proposed, will examine only the option that Madeleine was abducted and will close its mind to any other possibility, despite the final report from the Policia Judiciara explicitly leaving both possibilities open; abduction, or Madeleine’s death in her parents’ apartment. No review or re-investigation could be complete nor could satisfy the massive public disquiet over this case unless all possibilities for what really happened to Madeleine McCann are reviewed and re-examined.

The Telegraph report added: “But with the senior officer in charge Goncalo Amaral now widely discredited and facing financial ruin after being sued for libel by the McCanns over a book he wrote, it may become harder for the Portuguese to refuse the request for a thorough review. The revelation that possible leads - many passed to Portuguese police by the McCanns' own private detectives - had apparently been ignored will add to the clamour”.

We would respectfully point out that Goncalo Amaral is far from ‘discredited’. On the contrary, he is honoured in Portugal for his successful prosecution of Leonor Cipriano and Jose Cipriano, the mother and uncle who cruelly murdered eight-year-old Joana Cipriano and then falsely claimed she had been ‘abducted’. Mr Amaral’s book ‘The Truth About A Lie’, giving his thesis on what really happened to Madeleine, has been read by a million-plus buyers of his book across Europe and his documentary about the case on Portuguese TV was seen by one of the highest-ever TV audiences in Portugal’s history. The recent conviction of Mr Amaral, now being appealed, for allegedly having filed a false report in the Joana Cipriano case, is seen by many in his country and further afield as a ‘political’ prosecution of him with no substance in fact. The fact that his main prosecutor, lawyer Marcos Aragao Alexandre Correia, has received payments in the McCann case in respect of his trawling of the Arade Dam for Madeleine’s body (in early 2008) is a fact that must be weighed when evaluating Mr Amaral’s conviction, along with the clearly fabricated evidence of at least two witnesses in the case.

We might also note that the McCanns recently claimed that Mr Amaral’s thesis had been ‘disproved’, a comment which all the British press recycled without challenge. By no stretch of the imagination could it reasonably be said that his thesis had been disproved, indeed his witnesses in the Lisbon court in January said otherwise.

The Telegraph report went on: “A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that the Home Secretary had a private meeting with Kate and Gerry McCann. Leicestershire Police stand ready to co-ordinate and complete enquiries if further information comes to light in the UK; or if requested to do so by the Portuguese authorities, who continue to lead on the overall investigation’.” For reasons we set out above about the manifest lack of independence of Leicestershire Police, it would be wholly inappropriate for them to be involved in any review or re-investigation, except for handing over to any re-investigators their entire file on the matter.

The involvement of MI5 and possibly MI6, as mentioned by David James Smith in The Times

Another factor which suggests the need for a fully independent re-investigation, if not a public enquiry as we called for in our letter to Gordon Brown in July last year, is the possible involvement of MI5 and MI6 in the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. David James Smith, in an article in The Times dated 16 December 2007, hinted at this:

“I heard that a PJ officer had been surprised to find a member of MI5 at a UK meeting about the case, and this made him suspicious that shadowy forces could be at work. The Sol journalist Felicia Cabrita mentioned the ‘mysterious Clarence’ - Clarence Mitchell, the former government PR officer turned McCann spokesman - and I was told there was suspicion too about another government official, Sheree Dodd, who had acted as a PR officer for the McCanns briefly in the early days - had she come out from MI6 to help dispose of the body? These theories might seem preposterous, but for those involved in the case in Portugal, they fitted a pattern in which the Portuguese government and in turn the PJ had felt the heavy weight of diplomatic pressure from the UK - a pressure that the police and the journalists very much resented, with its implication that the police were not doing their job properly”.

An independent review should be able to look without fear or favour at the possibility of MI5 or MI6 involvement.

The requirements for a genuinely independent re-investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

We suggest that the following steps should be associated with any re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance:

a) That Dr Kate McCann should agree to answer the 48 key questions that she refused to answer when first interviewed by Portuguese Police on 7 September 2007
b) That the McCanns and their friends should agree to take part in the reconstruction of events on 3 May that the police requested but which the McCanns and their friends all refused to take part in
c) That any investigation by British police should not involve Leicestershire Police, which has been thoroughly discredited in this case, not least by its continuous linking of its website to the McCanns’ fund-raising website and the McCanns’ private investigators, despite their very poor reputations as we have seen above
d) That any re-investigation must look at possible reasons for Madeleine’s disappearance other than just the McCanns’ claim that she was abducted; in particular any re-investigation must pursue all possible lines of enquiry into Mr Amaral’s thesis
e) That there must be an immediate investigation by an independent police force of the credible claims by Mark Hollingsworth in the Evening Standard that Brian Kennedy and some of his team of investigators intimidated or ‘frightened’ more than one potential witness into refusing to give evidence to the Portuguese police.

If a re-investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann were to take place under those circumstances, we would support it.

Finally, in view of the importance of this subject-matter and the need to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the search for the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann, we intend this to be an open letter and will in due course, therefore, publish this letter and your reply to all the points in it.

Yours sincerely

Tony Bennett
The Madeleine Foundation


1. Complimentary copy ‘The Madeleine McCann Case Files: Volume 1’
2. Letter from Madeleine Foundation to Gordon Brown 13 July 2009
3. Article by John Whitehouse on the McCanns’ private

Tony Bennett

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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  Get'emGonçalo on Sat 13 Mar - 8:27

That's going to get the Rothley Bottom Trumpet Orchestra fired up this morning.

Gerry's not gonna like that letter Mr siree.


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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  justagrannynow 1 on Sat 13 Mar - 9:18

Please don't say they are going to be furious again !!!!

justagrannynow 1

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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  Get'emGonçalo on Sat 13 Mar - 9:29

I have no doubt about that.

What a cracking letter. Can't wait for the response.


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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  Ruby on Sat 13 Mar - 11:33

lol @ that pic!


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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  Guest on Sat 13 Mar - 11:57

Good letter Tony, it will be interesting to see how the reply is worded. If it's anything like the letter I got when I wrote to Tony McNulty, about 18 months ago, (when he was at the Home Office) don't hold your breath. He basically told me not to believe everything I read in the papers!!


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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  aiyoyo on Sat 13 Mar - 12:50

Good letter and good job TB,
Bit long though (just my opinion) unless you've arrested Home Secretary's attention before hand. If mccanns could get an audience with HO, can MF not request the same? Seeing the HS face to face first before presenting the letter would make a hugh difference.

The coloboma thingie... the mccanns did not mention Maddie as sufferer. They said Maddie had a fleck in the one eye. No medical data was released, so no one knows for certainty. IF Maddie did have that, then its bizzare the mccanns didnt give abductor message about medication. Either she didnt have the condition or wont need the medication now, as she did before.

HO reply should be interesting. It will be an indication of whether there's government level cover up. Can't wait.


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Is the letter too long?

Post  Tony Bennett on Mon 15 Mar - 1:08

@aiyoyo wrote:Good letter...Bit long though (just my opinion)...
You're probably right, however, the letter will be read of course not by the Home Secretary himself but by a senior civil seervant.

The letter is long because it is intended, inter alia, as a letter of record, to be referred to in the future.

Also, the civil servants need to know that 'we know that they know', if you see what I mean. It will tell them that by no means everybody buys the abduction scenario.

Further, I thought it important to summarise in a letter to a top Minister all the problems there are with the abduction scenario.

Who knows, there may come a day when we do know what really happened to Madeleine McCann - and then people might look back at letters like that and think: "How could so many people get it so wrong?"

I'm not holding my breath for a positive reply; however, if this 'review' or subsequent re-investigation is put back to Leicestershire Police, a lot of people will question its independence.

Tony Bennett

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Re: Madeleine Foundation letter to Home Secretary about the proposed Home Office Review on Madeleine's disappearance

Post  aiyoyo on Mon 15 Mar - 2:39

It will be interesting to see whether they will confirm whether there is indeed a secret review and who is reviewing authority.


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