Article by The Madeleine Foundation, Sunday 11 April 2010
Today’s News of the World brings news of a possible lengthy re-investigation by a British police force into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. That should be good news, and will no doubt be greeted with enthusiasm in many quarters. After all, most of us want very much to know what really happened to Madeleine McCann.
Below we reprint the News of the World article in full. After that, we give our reactions to the news and explain them.
A. The News of the World article
BRITISH police are to launch a new probe into missing Madeleine McCann after massive failures were found in the Portuguese investigation. Our top child protection cop Jim Gamble has completed a fresh look at the three-year-old investigation for the Home Office.
He told ministers there were huge holes in the original inquiry that need to be revisited if they want to ‘come close’ to reaching UK standards. It will come as a bitter pill for Portuguese investigators who have fended off criticism since Maddie disappeared in 2007.
But parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41 and both doctors, are ‘delighted’ at the move.
Failures in the original investigation are said to be ‘so gaping’ that British authorities feel it is their duty to look at it again. This time police will review all the leads using technology and standards expected in a homicide or kidnap case in the UK.
Mr Gamble, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, found a basic failure to collate information and join up links that should have been made.
Telephone records were not properly analysed, missing early opportunities for leads.
And Kate and Gerry McCann were named as ‘arguidos’, or formal suspects, by Portuguese police - something that the review says would not have happened if the probe had been carried out in the UK.
Mr Gamble found no evidence sufficient to make them suspects. His findings have now been formally submitted to the Home Office with recommendations to re-investigate.
The damning review has now set the Association of Chief Police Officers the difficult task of trying to decide who takes on the mammoth task. It is already predicted to be ‘an extremely costly’ investigation that, even if done properly, will probably never be solved.
A source said: “It is something that has to be reviewed. It is only right that the McCanns are given the satisfaction that everything that could be done has been done. It now comes down to who is up to the job”.
The Home Secretary Alan Johnson is expected to announce that the new probe will NOT be carried out by Leicestershire police, the McCanns’ local force. The review has highlighted failures within their handling of the case and ruled them out of the review.
Instead ACPO are now asking around their top cops to see who could take on the very difficult and complex investigation.
The source added: “It will be extremely costly and sadly is unlikely to result in a positive outcome. As much as we would all like this to end with good news for the McCanns, the fact is there have been a lot of missed opportunities and no-one will ever be able to reclaim the time and evidence lost”.
Two thousand pages of evidence released earlier claimed Portuguese detectives failed to follow up leads. Home Secretary Alan Johnson ordered officials to examine the ‘feasibility’ of British detectives having a fresh look at all the evidence back in March.
Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, met Mr Johnson to plead for help in their search for their daughter who vanished aged three from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
B. Objections to the role of Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of CEOP
The task of assessing whether there should be a re-investigation into the case of missing Madeleine McCann was given by Home Secretary Alan Johnson to Mr Jim Gamble, the current head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, CEOP. The decision appears to have been made a few weeks ago.
On the face of it, that seems a good and proper choice. After all, many people believe the McCanns’ account that Madeleine was abducted. And, if she was, who better to carry out an evaluation of whether there should be any re-investigation but the very agency set up a few years ago to combat child trafficking and abductions, to prosecute those responsible, and to lead hunts for missing children? And Jim Gamble heads up that very organisation: CEOP.
So what is the problem with him?
Well, there’s a very obvious problem for those, like us, that have been studying the Madeleine McCann investigation - but because all the details about that investigation have not been made public in the British press, most people will be unaware of the problem caused by Mr Gamble having been chosen to carry out this recent evaluation.
The problem is that Jim Gamble’s men were very much involved in the crucial early stages of the Madeleine McCann investigation. They helped to engineer the framing of Robert Murat. And here’s how they did it.
C. Top people descend on Praia da Luz
In the days immediately following Madeleine being reported missing, a huge number of top people from a variety of organisations descended on the little village of Praia da Luz. It will help to provide some context if we list the main people who came:
Alex Woolfall, Head of Crisis Management at top media and public relations company, Bell Pottinger, who act for Mark Warner, which manages of the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz from where Madeleine disappeared.
David Hopkins, Managing Director of Mark Warner.
Clarence Mitchell, the Head of the government's Media Monitoring Unit at the time, whose job, he boasted ,was ‘to control what comes out in the media’. He flew out to Praia da Luz on 22 May, 19 days after Madeleine was reported missing, but had already been put in charge of the government’s media operation on the Madeleine mystery from Day One. He was transferred from the Central Office of Information to the Foreign and Commonwaelth Office on 7 May. It was Mitchell who also boasted that before coming to Praia da Luz he had persuaded Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor to arrange for the McCanns to meet the Pope, which they did at the end of May.
At least three police officers from Leicestershire Police, including Detective Superintendent Bob Small (who advised Jane Tanner on 13 May shortly before she adamantly identified Robert Murat as the abductor she'd seen 10 days earlier).
Sheree Dodd from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other staff from that office.
A number of British Embassy and Consular Officials
Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan from Control Risks Group (CRG): These two men from CRG had discussions with the McCanns and were certrainly there within days, despite Dr Gerald McCann saying in late May to a TV interviewer that they had ‘no plans to employ private investigators’. 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.
Alan Pike and Martin Alderton, Consultants from the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP): CCP is a shadowy group based in Skipton, Yorkshire, known for their role in ‘disaster counselling’. It sent out two of its top people the very day after Madeleine disappeared, to give ‘counselling’ to the McCanns. They came out extremely early indeed, considering that there was at that time a very real possibility that Madeleine could still be found. A report dated 14 May 2007 in the Craven Herald [Yorkshire Newspaper] carried the following report: “Two specialist trauma counsellors from Skipton have flown out to Portugal to help the devastated parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann…The two experts were appointed by Mark Warner, the company which manages the resort, to assist Mr and Mrs McCann, both 38, on how best to deal with the stress and trauma of their terrible ordeal…Mr Pike, who is leading the team, flew over to the resort with Mark Warner Managing Director, David Hopkins, the day after Madeleine disappeared”. CCP has been deployed in the past by Richard Branson, who financially backed the McCanns.
D. The role of CEOP in framing Robert Murat
But in addition to all the above, and possibly playing one of the key roles in the co-ordination of the early events in the case, were staff from CEOP. We know about their involvement mainly from the book about the case written by Gonçalo Amaral, the original senior detective in the case. His book, A Verdade da Mentira - ‘The Truth About A Lie’, describes the early investigation into Madeleine’s dsiappearance. We now quote from part of his book, currently banned in Portugal, and never released in the U.K. because his publishers fear our draconian libel laws. The translation is by a lady known on the internet by her username ‘AnnaEsse’. Mr Amaral explains how he becomes aware of Robert Murat’s possible involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann:
I am about to make enquiries of the police officer on duty when an individual comes back from his walk and greets him as he passes.
‘You know that man?’
‘Yes, he presented himself to the GNR on Friday morning and offered his services as an interpreter. He is of English origin but speaks good Portuguese. He's called Robert Murat’.
As the law demands, all foreign people interviewed by the police must have the benefit of an interpreter.
‘And this guy, you checked him out? No criminal record or trouble with the law?’
‘No, no, it's all OK, but I didn't know he lived here. It's true that his house is on the route taken by the abductor’.
‘Stay here, carry on being friendly with him; I'm going to Portimão to see what we've got on him: we've got to find out more about this guy’.
I immediately telephone the team to alert them. The Director of the Department of Criminal Investigation in Faro has to take part in a meeting the same morning, where we will discuss the case of Robert Murat. We decide to request the latter's help again in order not to lose sight of him. We must act with the utmost speed. He is English, aged 33 and is separated from his wife.
An English journalist to whom Murat spoke was immediately distrusting of him. His behaviour starts to seriously intrigue us. He often makes reference to similar cases that happened in the United Kingdom and which he seems to know in detail. He displays suspicious curiosity and seeks to know more. He offers to help us identify possible suspects. He even, allegedly, tried secretly to access the investigation files. It is also known that he visits web sites of a pornographic nature.
Members of the British agency, CEOP [Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre], take a close interest in Murat and work to develop his psychological profile.
If it’s him that's holding Madeleine, we must monitor all his contacts and places he has access to. His house is therefore being closely watched. Technicians arrive from Great Britain with sophisticated equipment, capable of detecting the presence of people inside a building.
On May 12th, Robert Murat rented a car, driving it for miles over rough tracks for basic essentials. We then decide to search his residence and the vehicles he uses. During the night of May 13th, the Prosecutor of the Republic and the judge go to the court in Portimão, where, in view of the growing suspicion and the urgency of the situation, a search warrant is issued to them.
Before searching his house, we wanted to assure ourselves that Jane Tanner recognises him as the individual she saw on the night of the disappearance. She is sitting inside an unmarked police car, whose tinted windows allow her to see out without being spotted. The vehicle is parked at the exact spot where she says she was on the night of May 3rd.
Robert Murat. Jane Tanner is adamant: it certainly is Robert Murat that she saw that night. She definitely recognises his way of walking. But does he resemble the description she painted previously?
Murat’s cars are also gone over with a fine tooth comb. Laptops are seized and their contents examined by specialists. We find a cutting from a British newspaper, dated 23rd September 2006, that refers to a case of paedophilia.
We decide to pull Murat in for questioning. For the profilers, Murat is the guilty party. Since Murat's first interview, which they attended, the specialists have continued to refine the profile of the suspect. They have heard about the statement from one of his so-called childhood friends, put on file by the police department: according to him, Murat had an affirmed penchant for bestiality. He recounted his attempts at sexual relations with a cat and a dog, subsequently killed, he states, with cruelty. Moreover, he allegedly attempted to rape his 16 year-old cousin. This individual describes Murat as someone violent with behavioural problems, a sexual pervert, sadist, and misanthropist. We are somewhat sceptical. All the same, according to the English profilers, there is a 90% chance that he is the guilty party.
From this very abridged extract from a chapter from Mr Amaral’s book, we can see that the involvement of CEOP in the decision to swoop on Robert Murat is highly significant. They appear to arrive early in Praia da Luz, and they work on criminal profiling. As soon as Murat’s name emerges, he is matched against CEOP’s profile and the CEOP men tell Mr Amaral they are ‘90% certain that Murat is the abductor’. That was an extraordinary claim to make, especially given what we now know about the absence of any forensic or other clear and undisputed evidence that an abduction even took place. We can deduce from this passage of Mr Amaral’s book that CEOP were not at that stage considering the possibility of the parents’ involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, as we know the Portuguese Police did for the next few months.
CEOP’s active involvement was further mentioned in news report dated 21 May which concerned an appeal by British security agencies for people to send them holiday photos from recent holidays they may have had in the Algarve. The report ran:
May 21, 2007 - Madeleine police appeal for holiday pictures
The appeal for holiday snaps taken by tourists was launched today by the UK law enforcement agencies assisting the Portuguese authorities - Leicestershire Constabulary, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), CEOP and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). A spokesman said: “We will then assess those pictures - at a rate of 1,000 pictures per hour - so that over a quick period of time we will pass meaningful information to the Portuguese authorities”.
E. Jane Tanner’s identification of Robert Murat
An absolutely pivotal event in the whole case was the absolute certainty with which Jane Tanner, on the early evening of Sunday, 13 May, identified Robert Murat as the man she claimed to have seen walking away from near the McCanns’ holiday apartment at 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May. It was the decisive event which triggered Mr Amaral and his men into pulling in Mr Murat for questioning the following day.
We shall deal in more detail with this issue in a forthcoming lengthy article on Robert Murat; please keep a watch on our website.
For now, we need to note that there were meetings Jane Tanner had with Detective Superintendent Bob Small and with other individuals immediately before her surprising identification of Murat as the likely abductor.
So far as Bob Small is concerned, he had already been in Praia da Luz for several days. Tanner orignally claimed that when she first met Bob Small, she didn’t know who he was, asking her husband, Dr Russell O’Brien, who was with her, to write down the registration number of the car in which the policeman rode. But during the same questioning session, Tanner says that at that time she was “taking her collaboration with the authorities very seriously” and that she didn’t even tell her husband that she was meeting Bob Small and why. We don’t therefore know when she was first introduced to Small; she has been evasive on the subject.
We also know that in the ‘early afternoon’ of Sunday 13 May, Jane Tanner spoke to ‘some of the people that Kate and Gerry brought in’. That raises many questions. Here are some of them.
Who were these people that ‘Kate and Gerry brought in’? We gave a list, above, of those who descended on Praia da Luz in the early days.
Who actually arranged for each of those many people to be sent over to Praia da Luz? In some cases, it seems that there must have been orders given from right at the top to fly out to the resort.
Who, for example, decided to bring in (and presumably pay for) the Centre for Crisis Psychology?
Who decided to bring in the men from Control Risks Group? - and who agreed to pay their bills?
Who, for that matter, approved of a team of profilers from CEOP to be flown over to help the Portuguese police?
And, crucially in this instance, who exactly were the ‘people that Kate and Gerry brought in’ who spoke to Jane Tanner earlier on that vital date of Sunday 13 May which ended up with her identifying Murat as the abductor with such certainty that Mr Amaral’s men swooped on Murat and took him down to the police station the very next day?
They could certainly have included men from CEOP. Possibly men from Control Risk Group as well. Who she talked to and what they talked about has been carefully and deliberately hidden from us. We can be reasonably certain of one thing, though, from the comment that the CEOP profilers had said that Murat fitted the CEOP profile and that they could be ‘90% certain’ that he was the abductor. No doubt CEOP fully approved of the decision to declare Mr Murat an ‘arguido’.
The more serious question to be answered, however, is what part did (a) CEOP (b) Control Risks Group (c) Leicestershire Police or (d) anyone else have in suggesting or influencing Jane Tanner to pick out Murat as the abductor? That is a matter that should be independently investigated. It was wholly wrong therefore, as the Home Office has done, to appoint Jim Gamble of CEOP to conduct a preliminary review of the Madeleine McCann investigation, when his men were not only part and parcel of that investigation, but also contributed to a very great degree to one of the most controversial decisions in the whole case, namely the decision to declare Murat a suspect. Any review should not have been undertaken by the head of an organisation which was at the thick of the original investigation. It should clearly have been carried out by someone independent.
And let us at the same time consider these points about Tanner’s identification of Murat:
1) He did not look like the abductor she had described to police ten days earlier
2) The abductor she described did not wear glasses. Murat is never without them
3) Within 48 hours of Tanner identifying Murat, three other members of the ‘Tapas 9’, Rachel Oldfield/Mampilly, Fiona Payne and Dr Russell O’Brien had suddenly recalled, so they said, seeing Murat hanging around the Ocean Club, near the McCanns’ apartment, late on the evening that Madeleine McCann was reported missing. They made statements to that effect
4) On 11 July 2007, these three ‘Tapas 9’ members were flown over for a ‘confrontation’ with Robert Murat at the police station in Portimão, where they adamantly maintained that they had seen Murat that night, despite Murat’s insistent denials
5) Later in the year, Jane Tanner gradually resiled from her identification of Murat, in a series of staged press articles clearly co-ordinated by the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell
6) The ‘Tapas 9’ group’s identification of Murat being around the Ocean Club on the evening Madeleine disappeared also collapsed in early 2008 as a number of press reports suggested that Murat could have been confused with two ‘lookalikes’, Dr David Payne, and local man Angus Symington
7) Murat later in 2008 collected well over £600,000 in libel damages through having been falsely implicated in Madeleine’s disappearance.
The irony of this is that one of the key reasons Murat got his hefty pay-out was simply because the men from CEOP leaned on Mr Amaral and his men by claiming that Murat fulfilled the criteria for the alleged abductor, thus helping him to be made an ‘arguido’ in the first place. In addition, CEOP men may have played a role in suggesting to Jane Tanner, however directly or indirectly, that Murat was the man she had seen ten days earlier. What is certain is that Jim Gamble’s CEOP men were part of a team of advisers who all seemed to share a strange focus in the early days of the investigation on ensuring that Murat was declared an ‘arguido’ at the earliest possible moment.
F. The strange nexus between Jim Gamble and the McCanns
Another reason why Jim Gamble was a wholly inappropriate choice by the Home Office to head up a preliminary review of the McCann investigations stems from examining the close involvement between him and the McCanns. We need to bear in mind that any independent review or re-investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance would need to keep in mind both these possibilities: (a) that Madeleine McCann was abducted, or (b) that she died in the McCanns’ apartment in Praia da Luz. As both the interim and final reports of the Portuguese Police indicated, both remain possibilities to be investigated, should further evidence come to light.
We can deduce the close relationship between the McCanns and Jim Gamble, quite simply, from the following events:
· CEOP has strongly promoted the claim that Madeleine McCann was abducted on its website
· CEOP has frequently used images of and material about Madeleine
in its publicity about missing and abducted children and child
· CEOP arranged and promoted the ‘viral video’ titled ‘A Minute for Madeleine’ which was seen by millions around the world. Jim Gamble appeared in that video which majored on an image of what Madeleine might look like now at the age of 6½ to 7
· Jim Gamble of CEOP sat side-by-side with the McCanns in TV studios to promote the viral video
· Jim Gamble invited Dr Gerald McCann to be the keynote speaker at a CEOP conference in January 2010 on the subject of children abducted and trafficked for sexual purposes, though there is absolutely no evidence of Madeleine having been abducted for this purpose, leaving aside of course whether there is sufficient evidence that she was abducted at all.
G. The criteria for any re-investigation - and why the proposed re-investigation will get nowhere
There are two rival scenarios in this case: (1) Madeleine was abducted, and (2) Madeleine was not abducted but died in her parents’ apartment in Praia da Luz. Those were the conclusions of the interim and final reports of the Portuguese Police. The final report suggested that there was insufficient evidence to charge any individual with any crime concerning Madeleine’s disappearance.
Looking at the News of the World’s report, what are the prospects that the re-investigation, as proposed by Gamble, is likely to make a completely fresh start and fully investigate both of the above lines of enquiry?
We will pick out a few points from the News of the World article and offer some questions and comments by way of response.
1. “Massive failures were found in the Portuguese investigation…Jim Gamble told ministers there were huge holes in the original inquiry that need to be revisited…Failures in the original investigation are said to be ‘so gaping’ that British authorities feel it is their duty to look at it again”.
REPLY: We need to be told what these were. It’s plain from reading the Portuguese Police reports and the mass of documents they have disclosed that an enormous amount of top quality work went into their investigation. They followed up the recommendation from certain British police officers to call in sniffer dogs to check for signs that there may have been a corpse in the McCanns’ apartment and in the car they hired. They sent blood, hair and bodily fluid samples to the government-run Forensic Science Service. They were positively deluged with alleged sightings from across the world and assiduously followed them all up, referring alleged sightings to police forces in other countries and INTERPOL, even as far away as New Zealand. The Portuguese Police had hundreds of officers on the investigation. It is unacceptable to suggest there were ‘massive failures’ without highlighting what these were supposed to have been.
2. “But parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41 and both doctors, are ‘delighted’ at the move”.
REPLY: That brings into sharp focus the fact that this review and the proposed re-investigation has been brought about as a result of a private meeting or meetings between Home Secretary Alan Johnson and the McCanns, and has been discussed during further meetings between Home Office officials and the McCanns. That suggests very strongly that the review and proposed re-investigation are being run to suit the McCanns’ agenda, and are not designed to independently begin new lines of enquiry on both of the above scenarios as to what really happened to Madeleine McCann. That is re-inforced by this comment in the News of the World article: “It is something that has to be reviewed. It is only right that the McCanns are given the satisfaction that everything that could be done has been done…we would all like this to end with good news for the McCanns”.
3. “This time police will review all the leads using technology and standards expected in a homicide or kidnap case in the UK. Telephone records were not properly analysed, missing early opportunities for leads.
REPLY: But it was the McCanns and their legal advisers who refused access to their previous telephone records, their credit cards and bank records and to Madeleine’s medical records. The Portuguese Police did not fail to ask for these. It was the McCanns and agencies in the United Kingdom, for example the police, the health service and possibly even the Home Office itself who refused to co-operate and enable such records to be obtained. Is Gamble saying that he will now obtain all of these?
4. “Mr Gamble found no evidence sufficient to make them suspects… Kate and Gerry McCann were named as ‘arguidos’, or formal suspects, by Portuguese police - something that the review says would not have happened if the probe had been carried out in the UK”.
REPLY: Why not? By 7 September, when Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann were pulled in for questioning by the Portuguese Police, the police had the evidence from Martin Grime’s top Springer Spaniel sniffer dogs, Eddie and Keela. The dog Eddie had been used in 200 or so previous trials and never once given a false alert to the scent of a corpse. He had alerted in no fewer than ten different locations in the McCanns’ apartment, in the car hired by the McCanns, and on articles belonging to the McCanns. The dog didn’t alert to anywhere else in Praia da Luz.
The Portuguese Police also had the evidence of the McCanns’ strange reactions to that evidence. They had circumstantial evidence in the form of inconsistent evidence, important contradictions about key events between witnesses and changes of story. The account of Jane Tanner seeing an abductor was scarcely robust and seemed to change. The only fingerprint found on the window-frame through which the abductor was supposed to have entered was that of Dr Kate McCann.
Is Jim Gamble saying that if similar information had been put before a British police force that they should not have arrested the McCanns and brought them in for questioning? Would Jim Gamble not have asked similar questions to the 48 questions the Portuguese Police put to Dr Kate McCann - the ones she totally refused to answer? Once again, there is reason to question Jim Gamble’s suitability to have carried out this review.
5. “It will be a mammoth task. It is already predicted to be ‘an extremely costly’ investigation that, even if done properly, will probably never be solved. It is sadly is unlikely to result in a positive outcome. There have been a lot of missed opportunities and no-one will ever be able to reclaim the time and evidence lost”.
REPLY: It is indeed questionable whether this new investigation will get anywhere, for all sorts of reasons. We in The Madeleine Foundation feel that this underlines the request we made back in early 2008 for there to be a formal inquest or public enquiry into what really happened to Madeleine McCann. Because of the huge public interest, and because we all need to understand why a three-year-old British girl is no longer with us, it’s vital that all the relevant witnesses in the case are brought to a public inquest or inquriry without delay. That is the best way of getting to the truth of what really happened. A lengthy re-investigation whose parameters appear to have been definded in a series of discussions between the McCanns and the Home secretary and staff is not the better way forward. Let us hear the evidence discussed, debated and challenged in a judicial setting, not behind closed doors in a Jim-Gamble-inspired ‘re-investigation’. If that happened, we might all end up much better informed about what really happened to Madeleine.
H. The suitability of Jim Gamble to have carried out this review
We have given some specific reasons why we think that Jim Gamble was entirely the wrong choice to carry out this review. The issue is simply: did he bring an independent mind to it? We say: No he didn’t.
But there are many other voices questioning Jim Gamble’s suitablity in his current post, most notably in relation to his controversial role in heading up Operation Ore, an investigaion into child pornography on the internet. He has been attacked for failing to bring prosecutions against professioanl people said to have been viewing and downloading images of child sexual abuse. These are said to have included top politicians, civil servants, members of the legal profession and social workers.
This is a hot topic right now, after the extraordinary recent events which happened to legal adviser Robert Green in Scotland when he tried to expose a high-level paedophile ring said to be operating in north-east Scotland that had abused Hollie Greig, a Downs Syndrome girl, and seven other children. You can find more about this case in the internet by googling ‘Hollie Greig’.
Equally, Gamble and his men have been accused of wrongly interpreting computer records in Operation Ore so as to falsely accuse many people of viweing child pornography on the internet. In a number of cases, this is said to have led to innocent people committing suicide.
We will end this article by first of all listing the Freedom of Information Act questions we recently asked on the subject of the review by the Home Office of the Madeleine McCann case, and finish off by listing some of the websites where these disturbing allegations against the Chief Executive of CEOP are being discussed.
I. List of 12 questions about the Madeleine McCann review to the Home Office Freedom of Information Section
These 12 questions were asked of the Home Office on 19 March and we await a full answer. As soon as we get them, we’ll post up the answers on our website:
1. On what date or dates has the Home Secretary Alan Johnson had meetings with one or both of the McCanns?
2. Who else was present at these meetings: in particular, was any lawyer or other adviser for the McCanns present?
3. On what dates did meetings take place between one or both of the McCanns and staff of the Home Office?
4. Please identify all the staff who met with the McCanns and again identify whether the McCanns had legal or other representatives with them.
5. On what date did the McCanns first approach the Home Office asking for a review or re-investigation by a British police force into Madeleine’s disappearance?
6. Is the Home Office carrying out what the Daily Telegraph called ‘a scoping exercise’ to evaluate what form any review or re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance may take’ and, if so, on what date did that scooping exercise
7. Why, according to the press, was Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Mr Jim Gamble, given the role of advising the Home Office as to which police force should carry out any review or re-investigation?
8. On what date did the Home Secretary ask Mr Gamble to perform this role?
9. On what date did Mr Gamble make his recommendation?
10. Did he, as reported, recommend West Yorkshire Police to carry out a review or re-investigation?
11. Has West Yorkshire Police, as reported, been asked to carry out a review or re-investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?
12. If so, what is the brief or remit that the Home Office has given to West Yorkshire Police?
[The Madeleine Foundation, based on a draft by Tony Bennett, 11 April 2010]
APPENDIX: Internet references to Jim Gamble:
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Many thanks to Tony Bennett for compiling the above in such a concise way, making it easier for the police and Government figures to read and understand. They seem to have been struggling to grasp the gravity of the situation to date.
Collusion and collaboration of police and Government is never in a country's best interests. They should refer back to the time of the Guildford bombing, and ask themselves if they learned anything from that. This case has become a matter of national security with a total lack of confidence in the Government and police service
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Excellant work as usual Tony, well done.
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Not likely to happen though is it?
He's too busy doing this for some reason.
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