Not pretty reading in Rothley Manor tonight!
Madeleine, the media and the Met
Recent reports in the mainstream British press about London’s Metropolitan Police delving into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance raise more questions than they begin to answer.
Under a review codenamed Operation Grange, the Met has been examining material collected by the Portuguese police, UK law enforcement agencies and various private investigators.
A rash of stories around the sixth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance and what might have been her 10th birthday last month were based on yet more speculation and largely devoid of hard news content. But the appetite among British readers is such that anything about the McCanns is good for circulation figures.
Several papers reported the Met’s discovery of a number of “potential new leads” and “people of interest.”
The Sunday Express, for example, was able to reveal 'exclusively' that“Scotland Yard detectives are trying to find a middle-aged couple said to have entered Madeleine McCann’s holiday apartment to comfort her because she was crying.”
According to The Mail on Sunday, “Police are said to be keen to trace six British cleaners who were working in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished and who didn't appear in the Portuguese files. They are said to have used a white van and went from apartment to apartment offering their services, chiefly concentrating on expats.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, head of Scotland Yard's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, was quoted as saying, “There are a lot of people who could be explored further, if only to be eliminated.”
To some unbiased observers, vague talk of “potential new leads” and“people of interest” did not seem very impressive considering that a team of 30 Scotland Yard detectives have been on the job for two years at a reported cost of£5 million.
Even so, The Daily Telegraph noted: “Det Chief Supt Campbell praised their progress and said they had done a ‘fantastic’ job.”
Now we learn that the Operation Grange review is to be upgraded to a full-scale investigation backed by more resources from the British Home Office.
The new investigation will replace the Polícia Judiciária inquiry, which was officially closed in 2008.
Widely reported in the British press, the proposed UK inquiry has received little and only belated coverage in Portuguese newspapers.
Ever ready to get in a dig at how the Portuguese “bungled” it and are“STILL dragging heels,” the Daily Mail revealed it had “learned that behind the scenes a major diplomatic row is brewing because the Portuguese authorities are adamant they will not reopen the inquiry. Officials in Lisbon have told their British counterparts that under Portuguese laws, they can reopen the case only if there is new evidence.”
Indeed. So why is the Met launching an investigation apparently without any new evidence?
So far it has said nothing directly on the subject. “Detectives remain in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and are working closely with the Portuguese police in an attempt to make further progress,” is as far as the Met will go for now. An official statement is expected only “in the next few weeks.”
Confirmation of regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann begs the question as to whether the Met is focusing solely on the theory that Madeleine was abducted?
Has the Met completely ruled out the more widely held theory in Portugal that something else probably happened to the little girl?
It would seem so from a report in the Sunday Mirror that claimed,“British police probing Madeleine McCann's disappearance now believe her kidnapper was staying in a holiday flat near the family.”
This is an example of how the British media in general seem to accept that Madeleine was abducted as if it were an established fact.
From the Portugal perspective, plenty of other questions come to mind, if only to put to rest lingering doubts about Kate and Gerry McCann and the Tapas Seven.
Will the Met confront the McCanns and their holidaying friends about inconsistencies and contradictions in their accounts to the PJ of what took place in Praia da Luz that fateful night?
Will it insist on a reconstruction of events, and an explanation of why such a reconstruction was denied to the PJ?
Will the Met team be permitted to conduct joint investigations and interviews on Portuguese soil, or will it delegate to the PJ?
“Home Secretary Theresa May has agreed to fund an operation by the Metropolitan Police to continue the search for Madeleine McCann,” according to The Independent, but who will be funding any further work on the case by the PJ?
We may not get answers to such questions in the next few weeks, but let’s hope any new investigation finally solves the mystery and brings those responsible to justice before the seventh anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Posted byLen Portat5:42 PM
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AnonymousJune 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM
Well i have a question: Is the Met convinced now, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Madeleine McCann was indeed abducted from apartment 5a during the evening of 3rd May 2007? You see, if they are, that would constitute a vital nugget that would almost certainly provide the PJ with the new evidence that they need to reopen the inquiry. Wouldn't it?
AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 5:58 AM
Fortunately not everyone in the UK is taken in by UK media spin and out and out lies. Lots of us believe the PJ did a fantastic job in the face of diversion tactics, lies, leaks and the strange refusal of the British authorities to share vital information with the Portuguese investigation team.
The PJ case files are now being discussed openly, and in ever-increasing numbers on The Madeleine McCann Controversy Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/507450985946255/
I hope you don't mind me posting the link here Len. It's vital that the facts reach as many people as possible
AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM
"beyond a shadow of doubt, that Madeleine McCann was indeed abducted.."
I think MET have to prove that tiny issue first. It will be like a magic trick.
And whoooooosh goes the cadaver smell too. Tricky.
AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM
Why can't we have good journalism in the UK. The above very succintly reviews the whole case in a nutshell and doesn't spout the rubbish recycled in the Daily Fail et al
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Very straight to the point!
"My advice to any British tourist ,please come to Portugal,please come to the Algarve but if you're coming as a family holiday treat it as a family holiday and do things together, don't leave the kids"
Words from an ExPat Algarve resident
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An earlier article from Len Port about the real injustices suffered by various people (no, not the McCanns!) resulting from the case.
I wonder if people like those mentioned in the article would be able to get an apology and some compo from the small claims court?
I think the max payout is about £5,000 but whether you have to be resident in Britain or not would have to be checked out.
Has Tony ever thought about going along this route against any who may have libelled him. A few five grand payouts would help toward his monthly payouts and all doable online apparently.
As i pointed out at the time the sheer irony wouldn't have been lost on the McCanns that the man they had, indicated, asked friends to "stitch/fit up", and identify as a "patsy" got more money than them!
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He looks to be a very interesting person. Follow the links and look at his CV.
- AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 3:35 PMHow refreshing to see some unbiased journalism. Thanks for pointing out that `the British Media in general seem to accept that Madeleine was abducted as if it was an established fact". Now that is weird ![color][font]
- AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 5:05 PM
[/font][/color]Dear Len Port, please read the PJ Files (http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/ORIGINAL_FILES.htm). The first 6 volumes (pages 1 to 1,709) are enough to show it was an abduction by a stranger to the McCann and their holiday group ... You can also find there the name of some of the "20 persons of interest".[color][font]
- AnonymousJune 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM
[/font][/color]Dear Anonymous of 5.05 pm on 19th June: The evidence everyone has been looking for... somewhere within 1.709 pages! If this evidence truly exists, why not point out the relevant page?
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Dear Len Port, please read the PJ Files (http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/ORIGINAL_FILES.htm). The first 6 volumes (pages 1 to 1,709) are enough to show it was an abduction by a stranger to the McCann and their holiday group ... You can also find there the name of some of the "20 persons of interest".
I notice this appears to be a tactic of McCann believers, we have seen it in many threads over the years when they come on here.
We get told to read the files, in this case 1709 pages and "it's all in there", without "it" ever being explained to us in detail or where "it" is located. We are simply told to read the files.
I remember an old thread i was re-reading the other day where two characters called Garth and i think from memory R2D2 (possibly one and the same) refused to espouse their abduction theory on the grounds that " if you cant be bothered to read the files i'm not bothered explaining it to you".
The tactic is used to divert attention away from their theories and back to non believers on the basis of "well if you can't see it you must be thick".
It's done to present an air of superiority and intellectual one up man ship on a theory that doesn't exist in the files.
Highly bizzare you'd think if there was a rock solid evidence based case for abduction, supporters would only be too quick to put it out it there and say "disprove that".
What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs. - The Words of a JUDGE in relation to the McCanns
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Most of them must have instructions and plenty of leisure time. It's as good as a hobby I expect.
I was looking for the archiving statement by Pinto Monteiro - can't find it right now.
But I expect that is one document not recommended for reading by TM.
From Vanity Fair interview published on 10/1/2008: (note that despite being very upset (according to C.Mitchell) at the publication of this interview which took place at the end of September 2007, the McCanns have never tried to sue the owners for libel of any kind.
Which is strange in view of the fact that they managed to stop Amazon selling Pat Brown's book and in view of what the article contains!
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.”
And with this last devastating conclusion—namely that Madeleine will likely never reappear—Madeleine’s own father haltingly agrees.
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
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