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Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 27.09.18 1:01

Madeleine McCann witness breaks her silence

By Martina Smit

2:46PM GMT 14 Dec 2007

Minutes before his daughter Madeleine disappeared, Gerry McCann told a fellow holidaymaker that he and his wife would have stayed in with their children if they had not been holidaying with friends.

The revelation has been made by Bridget O'Donnell, a former BBC Crimewatch producer who got to know the McCanns at the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. She has now told her story for the first time.

"I have always believed that Kate and Gerry McCann are innocent," Miss O'Donnell wrote in an article published by The Guardian.

On the night of May 3, while walking their baby son to sleep, her partner Jes Wilkins bumped into a "relaxed and friendly" Mr McCann who had just checked on his children. "They talked about daughters, fathers, families," Miss O'Donnell wrote.

"They discussed the babysitting dilemmas at the resort and Gerry said that he and Kate would have stayed in too, if they had not been on holiday with a group."

Every night, the McCanns and their friends - whom Miss O'Donnell dubbed "The Doctors" - booked a large table at the Tapas restaurant at the Mark Warner resort.

"One man was the joker," she recalled. "He had a loud Glaswegian accent. He was Gerry McCann."

The night before Madeleine went missing, Miss O'Donnell and her partner - also a television producer - were placed at a table next to "The Doctors". Mr McCann invited them to join the group.

"We discussed the children," Miss O'Donnell wrote. "He told us they were leaving theirs sleeping in the apartments. While they chatted on, I ruminated on the pros and cons of this."

Sit-in babysitters at the resort were expensive and booked long in advance, while a group baby sitting service at the kiddie club meant that the children had to be put to sleep twice - both there and then back at their parents' apartments.

"I admired (the McCanns), in a way, for not being paranoid parents, but I decided that out apartment was too far off even to contemplate (leaving their children)," Miss McDonnell wrote. "Our baby was too young and I would worry about them waking up."

Nevertheless, the producer said she was glad her family did not get the McCanns' apartment. "It was on a corner by the road and people could see in. They were exposed."

The next day, after her partner played tennis with Mr McCann, Miss O'Donnell observed the couple. "Kate was calm, still, quietly beautiful; Gerry was confident, proud, silly, strong."

But two days later, after the events of that night, "the physical transformation of these two human beings was sickening" as she saw the McCanns at the pool.

"Kate's back and shoulders, her hands, her mouth had reshaped themselves in to the angular manifestation of a silent scream... Gerry was upright, his lips now drawn into a thin, impenetrable line."

On the Friday, locals and holidaymakers had started circulating photocopied pictures of Madeleine. "We didn't see any police," Miss O'Donnell wrote.

A uniformed Portuguese policeman and a translator - whom she later found out was Robert Murat, named by the Policia Judiciara as an arguido or suspect in the case - later questioned Miss O'Donnell and her partner in their apartment.

"The translator had a squint and sweated slightly," she described Mr Murat. "He was breathless, perhaps a little excited. He reminded me of a boy in my class at school who was bullied."

They answered a few questions and gave their details, which the policeman took down on "the back of a bit of paper", Miss McDonnell wrote. "No notebook."

"Then he pointed to the photocopied picture of Madeleine on the table. 'Is this your daughter?' he asked. 'Er, no,' we said. 'That's the girl you are meant to be searching for.'

"My heart sank for the McCanns."

Even when the McCanns were named suspects along with Mr Murat, Miss O'Donnell still believed they were innocent.

"There were no drug-fuelled 'swingers' on our holiday; instead, there was a bunch of ordinary parents wearing Berghaus and worrying about sleep patterns. Secure in our banality, none of us imagined we were being watched.

"One group made a disastrous decision; Madeleine was vulnerable and was chosen. But in the face of such desperate audacity, it could have been any one of us.

"And when I stroke my daughter's hair, or feel her butterfly lips on my cheek, I do so in the knowledge of what night have been.

"So my heart goes out to them, Gerry and Kate, the couple who we remember from our Portuguese holiday. They had a beautiful daughter, Madeleine, who played and danced with ours at the kiddie club. That's who we remember."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1572560/Madeleine-McCann-witness-breaks-her-silence.html

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 28.09.18 22:01

Home » The Times Online

‘Madeleine McCann was abducted by an opportunistic paedophile’

Mark Williams-Thomas: Analysis
April 28, 2008

The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is like no other I have seen before.

I have followed this case from the beginning. I visited the village of Praia da Luz within hours of Madeleine’s disappearance and have returned on numerous occasions to examine what happened on May 3 last year.

I believe that Madeleine was abducted outside her family’s apartment by an opportunistic paedophile with local connections. And I would be very surprised if this person has not been back to the area or still frequents it.

On the evening she disappeared I believe Madeleine woke up and cried for a short time while her parents were dining at a nearby tapas bar at the Ocean Club resort. When she realised that her parents were not there she climbed out of bed and walked around the apartment. She found the back patio door partly open so she walked out, went down the small flight of steps, through the metal gate and turned right down towards the entrance to the tapas bar. It was at this point that she was abducted. Interestingly, police dogs first tracked a scent down this exact route. It is a vital clue that has been largely ignored. Unfortunately, although this area is in range of a CCTV camera at the nearby super-market, it was not working that night.

Statistically the abduction of a child is very rare. On average it happens to six children a year in Britain. However, if we look at the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne in July 2000 we can see that she was snatched by a passing stranger while her brothers were just steps behind.

Madeleine became the victim of an opportunist and predatory paedophile. The abductor either lives in or had contact with Praia da Luz. This is not the sort of resort you just happen upon. For the past 12 months the Portuguese police have pursued only two lines of inquiry: that Gerry and Kate McCann were involved or that their daughter was abducted by a stranger. They have focused steadfastly on the first line. It is quite correct for the police to consider the parents as suspects because most murdered children are killed by a relative or someone they know. But the police do not seem to have any real evidence against Mr and Mrs McCann and they have vehemently denied any involvement.

Mr and Mrs McCann believe their daughter was abducted and trafficked abroad but Madeleine does not fit the profile. Girls are trafficked into the sex trade as prostitutes or for domestic slavery, both with financial gain to the seller and purchaser. Who was to gain from her trafficking?

The so-called sightings in other countries, although genuinely intended, are a distraction and prove to be of little value after the initial two weeks. After all who is going to openly walk out with the most wanted child in the world? For months it was genuinely assumed the abductor had entered the apartment and taken Madeleine from her bed. But I do not believe that a paedophile was watching the apartment or that an offender entered the apartment.

This would be too high risk as the offender would not know that someone was not inside. Britain has not seen a single case of a predatory paedophile entering premises and abducting a child where the occupants of the house are unknown to the offender.

The problem with the police investigation was that it was crucially flawed from the very start. It was the worst-preserved crime scene I have seen.

The investigation is now all but closed. The police have insufficient evidence to charge Mr and Mrs McCann and when their arguido status is lifted the couple could return to Portugal without fear of arrest or prosecution.

They could then properly coordinate an investigation to find out what really did happen to Madeleine.

Mark Williams-Thomas is a former detective and authority on paedophile crimes

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 29.09.18 1:47

The BBC - again !!!

Sunday 6th May 2007

The 'family-friendly' holiday firm

Three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann was abducted from a Mark Warner resort in Portugal's popular holiday area, the Algarve.

The holiday firm had just one chalet when it began 33 years ago, but now takes about 50,000 people abroad every year, and has developed a family-friendly reputation.

The Ocean Club in the village of Praia da Luz is Mark Warner's only resort in Portugal.

It was from an apartment there that Madeleine McCann, from Leicestershire, was taken on Thursday evening.

The resort offers babysitting and creche services but Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, dining just yards away, were popping back regularly to check on their three children.

Mark Warner describes the Ocean Club as offering individual villa-style accommodation, set around a series of private areas with their own pool and bar, cafe, and restaurant facilities.

It is a very relaxed, very British-focused place, English-speaking staff - many of them have professional child-care qualifications

Its childcare services include a creche with an outdoor play area, and nannies who organise supervised activities for children.

There is also babysitting, and a "dining-out" creche service in the evenings for children aged four months to nine years - parents eating in the resort's restaurants drop the children off and pick them up later.

Prices for a fortnight at Ocean Club rise to £1,675 per adult at the height of the season.

Paul and Susan Moyse, who are regular holidaymakers at Ocean Club, have always regarded the resort as a safe place.

Mr Moyse said: "It's an idyllic resort. Fantastic place."

Mrs Moyse added: "It's paradise. Nothing ever happens here, never."

Simon Calder, travel editor for the Independent newspaper, says Mark Warner has developed a reputation for "extremely family-friendly" holidays, offering "everything from giving face-painting classes to younger children, to teaching older children snorkelling and windsurfing".

"It's not quite an all-inclusive resort in the traditional sense but it is a very relaxed, very British-focused place, English-speaking staff - many of them have professional child-care qualifications," he said.

The facilities for the children are probably better than the facilities for the adults
James Wilkinson
holidaymaker

He added: "The situation at the Ocean Club in Portugal is that this is part of a larger complex, so it's not exclusively Mark Warner, but what the company does provide is a couple of services.

"First of all they've got something called a drop-off creche which means if you're dining in one of the resort restaurants you just leave your children there.

"A lot of parents will think 'Well, we don't actually want to do that because we don't want to disturb them when we're taking them home'.

"There is also baby-sitting available at an extra charge."

Off guard

Mr Calder said Mark Warner had a "flawless record", and like any British tour operator had a legal and moral obligation to keep the highest standards.

Ocean Club in Luz in the Algarve
Madeleine was last seen by her father sleeping soundly

"But this is a holiday resort, it's not a prison camp. This is somewhere where people go to relax and it is a very lovely part of the world," he said.

"You can completely understand people maybe being off their guard, and certainly you don't get the high fences that you might find in some other resorts with security guards, simply because nobody would imagine you would ever need them."

James Wilkinson and his wife, from Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, will be going to Mark Warner in Greece for the fourth year running this summer, with their two children aged four and two.

Mr Wilkinson said: "Mark Warner is a fantastic family holiday where parents can get some time to themselves.

"The facilities for the children are probably better than the facilities for the adults. They know if the children are happy the parents will be happy.

"What I do know about this Portugal resort is it is quite different from other Mark Warner resorts.

"All the resorts we've been to have been pretty much self-contained and away from the local town.

"I've never once had any concern at all about safety and security."

Swiss beginnings

Mark Warner was founded in 1974 with just one chalet in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

Originally the idnowea was to offer activity-based breaks for adults, but over the years facilities have been developed to improve accommodation and offer better childcare.

Its summer destinations feature 10 beach resorts in Corsica, Egypt, Greece, Portugal, Mauritius, Sardinia and Sri Lanka, plus two in the French Alps.

The firm, which is based in London, says it is committed to doing all it can to support the McCanns.

It has sent out two counsellors, while directors of Mark Warner are also in the resort to help "in any way possible".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/6627799.stm

Reality alert !!!   This is the 21st century - nowhere on earth is a safe haven.  Would you leave your car unlocked overnight?  Oh yes, I guess you would if was getting a bit whiffy.

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 05.10.18 1:15

Lies, beatings, secret trials: the dark side of police handling Madeleine case



  • Saturday 15 September 2007 22:07


According to his friends, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral of the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria, co-leader of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, is a dedicated and capable detective, determined to do whatever it takes to find her – or those responsible for murdering her.

As a foreign reporter in Portugal, it is difficult to form a view. Thanks to the country's stringent judicial secrecy laws, Amaral is officially forbidden from talking to the media.

I confronted the sweaty, corpulent figure in an ill-fitting jacket twice last Friday: the first time at 10am, as he sat slurping coffee and cakes at the Kalahary cafe in Portimao with his colleague, Chief Inspector Guillermino Encarnacao; the second just before 3pm, when the two men made their way from a restaurant to a waiting black Mercedes, in which they were driven 400 yards to meet officials at the courthouse.

The reaction was the same both times: "No speak! No speak!" was all Amaral would say, making a swatting motion as though batting away an insect.

But Amaral's official silence is not the only difference between him and his counterparts in Britain.


In the UK, it is unlikely he would be leading the McCann inquiry at all.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry may never be charged with anything, despite their present status as arguidos, or official suspects, and by the end of last week, apparently well-placed sources were admitting that any case against them is circumstantial and weak.

Amaral, however, is in a similar position. He, too, is an arguido, facing possible trial on a serious criminal charge arising from a murder case brought to court in 2004, the last occasion a little girl vanished in the Algarve.

The Mail on Sunday can today reveal new details of this case, the subject of a draconian judicial order that has stopped most sources who know about the case from talking to the Portuguese Press.

According to the order, documents about the case have been restricted to a handful of officials, while the next stage of the process – a hearing at which Amaral and four fellow officers may be asked formal questions – will be conducted in secret.
It is believed that this is set for next month.

Three of Amaral's senior PJ colleagues have been made suspects for the torture of the missing girl's mother, Leonor Cipriano, who has been convicted of killing her daughter Joana, aged eight, and jailed for 16 years.


As for Amaral, the claim against him is "omisado de denuncia" – that he tried to hide the evidence of the alleged torture or, in other words, attempted a cover-up. He is said to deny it strenuously.

In internet blogs and newspaper columns, Amaral's supporters have claimed that the Cipriano case is built on lies – a vicious smear against a decent detective trying to do his job.

It has, they say, "no connection" to the Madeleine McCann inquiry.

Experienced lawyers in Portimao, the town 12 miles from Praia da Luz where Amaral is PJ chief, disagree.

The case against the detectives began as a complaint lodged by Cipriano's lawyer, they pointed out, but has now been adopted by the public prosecutor.

"In order to bring formal charges, the public prosecutor has to believe there is a strong case," said Oliveira Trindad, who has practised law in the area for more than ten years.


"That means that after assessing all the evidence, he thinks that if the case goes to trial, a conviction is more likely than not."
That decision is likely to be made well before the McCann case is closed.

There are, to be sure, many differences between Leonor Cipriano and Kate McCann.

But there are also similarities, starting with the fact that although the bodies of their daughters have not been found, Amaral and his PJ colleagues have long been convinced that both girls are dead.

No one would suggest that in the course of the marathon interrogations that preceded their departure from Portugal last weekend, Kate or Gerry McCann were the victims of physical violence.

But at times it seemed they were also being subjected to torment, albeit of a different, psychological kind.

It, too, say Portimao's criminal defence lawyers, may have been inspired by PJ officers desperate to achieve the end they sought with Cipriano – a confession.

It isn't hard to locate the source of some of the McCanns' current difficulties: Hugo Beaty's bar.

There, amid the burnt orange concrete of the Estrela apartment complex, a five-minute walk from the Ocean Club, most of the seats along the shady terrace and more inside will be taken all day by reporters with laptops, authors of a daily verbal torrent that has come to seem unstoppable.

After Kate and Gerry's abrupt return to Leicestershire last Sunday, almost nothing happened in the McCann case last week.

The only verified fact is that after considering a ten-volume PJ dossier about Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, a junior judge in Portimao, decided to grant certain requests made by the prosecutor, Joao Cunha de Magalhaes.


Every news outlet covering the story – a waterfront that now extends across the whole of Europe to the major American TV networks and even, unbelievably, a paper in war-torn Somalia – has stated that these requests were for warrants to seize items including Kate McCann's private diary, Gerry's computer and (though this seems slightly less certain) Madeleine's beloved cuddle cat.

There is, however, nothing approaching official confirmation of these claims.

Like everything else about the case, the details of the prosecutor's approach to the judge are covered, supposedly, by the judicial secrecy laws, under which the penalty – in theory – for making unauthorised disclosures is two years in prison.

Thus it is that like almost everything else being broadcast and published beyond Portugal's borders about the hunt for Madeleine, the claim that the police want to read Kate's diary has reached its audience via Hugo Beaty's bar.

Every day there starts the same way shortly after it opens at 9am, with an informal briefing to the foreign Press by a locally resident British woman who normally makes a meagre living acting as an occasional interpreter – for the Policia Judiciaria.

Every morning, the woman – who asked me not to publish her name – goes through the Portuguese tabloids and translates their ever-more febrile articles.

Every afternoon, the foreigners – almost none of whom can speak more than the most basic Portuguese, nor claim a single, genuine source inside the police investigation – recycle the tales for consumers abroad.

Portuguese police reportedly fear that they will never find Madeleine McCann's body.

By the end of last week, some of the assertions made by the Portuguese had become part of a settled consensus.

For example, it was reported from Berlin to Baltimore that the police had already made a photocopy of Kate's diary – which, if true, would mean they had broken the law – and merely wanted to obtain the judge's approval to use it as evidence.
The reason they are so keen on it, it was alleged, is that it suggests she found her children "hyperactive" and difficult to handle, while railing at her husband's allegedly dilatory, hands-off approach.

The claims about the diary's contents were first published on Thursday by Jose Manuel Ribeiro, crime correspondent for the Lisbon daily Diario de Noticias.

By chance I ran into him that same afternoon, outside the apartment where Madeleine disappeared.

I congratulated him on his scoop, but he shook his head, disconsolate. Already, he complained, it was turning to dust.

Ribeiro said he had been given the story by an impeccable inside source, but already officials in Lisbon were denying it, and the source himself could no longer assure him it was true.


"Why is bad information getting out to the public?" he asked. "Because we're being given it."

Somehow, however, the denials that had made Ribeiro so angry did not get through to the foreigners.

If the questionable leak had been planted for a purpose – to increase the pressure on the hapless McCanns – it may well have succeeded.

And, in the foreign public's mind, the germinating notion that Kate might have killed her daughter because she could not handle her had been nurtured by a further dollop of manure.

A similar, apparently sanctioned but inaccurate leak had already gone around the world to still more devastating effect.

Early on Monday evening, TV channels began to report that British forensic scientists had made a "100 per cent" DNA match to Madeleine from "biological material" – said to be hair and "bodily fluids" – recovered from the Renault Scenic that the McCanns did not hire until 25 days after she vanished, suggesting that they had hidden her body on May 3 and moved it weeks after her death.

With no time for reporters to make checks before their deadlines, the story spread like foot and mouth to almost every British front page the next morning.


It was only in the ensuing days that it began, spectacularly, to unravel.

The match was not 100 per cent after all, it transpired, but 80 per cent or less – a level that, according to Professor Alec Jeffries, DNA matching's inventor, might mean that the material had not come from Madeleine at all, but another member of her family.

Even if it had, other experts said, it would prove very little.

Among readers who followed the forensic details, the case against the McCanns had been seen to suffer damage.

But others were left with a clear impression – that the PJ now believed they had real evidence that the McCanns must have been responsible for Madeleine's (still unconfirmed) death.

As for those who still harboured doubts, more rococo "revelations" were being published widely by the end of the week, such as the claim that having bundled Madeleine's body into the car, the McCanns drove it to the marina in nearby Lagos.

There they are said to have hired a boat, swore its owner into their conspiracy, then sailed into the Atlantic, into which they tipped their child, weighted down with rocks.

Could such stories really be part of a conscious PJ strategy? Some lawyers around the Portimao courthouse believe that they could.

"Portuguese journalists aren't just making this stuff up," said Oliveira Trindad.

"They are getting it from the police, of course, and the justice officers, the people working for the prosecutors. It's obvious that some information is coming from the PJ."

Some of it, he added, appears to be accurate – so making it that much easier for the same sources to seed disinformation.

Another Portimao lawyer, who asked not to be named, claimed the PJ was fighting a "propaganda war" with the McCanns.
"It is the fault of the British Press," he said.

"They were the ones who started saying, 'You're no good, you're no good.'

"If you say a lie like that many times, so many people believe it. You cannot blame the PJ for wanting to hit back."
But there might be another reason.

"Some people think journalists pay their PJ sources," the second lawyer said, citing a case where an officer from Lisbon is facing criminal charges after being caught red-handed copying secret documents about a fraud case, allegedly for private profit.

"But they also have an interest in the case and its coverage."

With the forensic evidence apparently confused and contradictory, "it seems the main goal of the PJ now is to get a confession. It's like in the films, 'Aha, we have a confession, let's take them to court.'

"It's normal to want a confession when they don't have much else."

Intense interrogation of the McCanns has so far failed. But perhaps, the lawyer implied, using the media might be another way of applying the third degree.

"I want to believe that the Portuguese police do everything the right way," said Joao Grade, the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano.

"But sometimes, if they really think someone is guilty, as they did with Leonor, they may find other ways to get what they want. It's only human.

"When they believe someone has killed a child, it's normal that they will apply pressure.

"In the McCann case, it seems that the police have what they consider half-proofs.


"But it's not airtight, it doesn't interlock, so maybe they need more."

As he spoke, I found myself recalling British miscarriages of justice: cases such as the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted of IRA pub bombings that killed 21, where the police, under tremendous pressure to "get a result", built dishonest but convincing prosecutions based around confessions.

Could the same thing be happening to the McCanns? The pressure on the police is certainly intense.

The loss of a child evokes horror everywhere. On the Algarve, however, the need to solve the case – and, perhaps, not to leave the fear that Madeleine was killed or abducted by an unknown paedophile – has other roots as well.

"The Algarve is a family destination, and situations like this are not agreeable to anyone," said Elderico Viegas, the regional tourism authority president.


"Our reputation for safety is one of our most important values – especially with the British, who make up our biggest market."
And Algarve tourism, worth about £2.8billion a year and growing rapidly, is, Viegas said, the single biggest component of the entire Portuguese economy.

The police had, he added, mishandled the media, giving rise to damaging speculation.

"But for me, the details are not important. What's important is the economy. I was born and brought up here and I can't remember the last time a tourist was murdered." So far, he added, visitor numbers this year are up.

Central to many British miscarriages of justice was a shared, deeply ingrained belief among police and prosecutors that their suspects "had" to be guilty.

With the Birmingham Six, it was founded on botched forensic tests that "told" investigators that the men had been handling the explosive nitroglycerine – false positives that arose because they had been playing with cards coated in the harmless chemical nitrocellulose.

In Praia da Luz, there are signs of a similar mindset at work, derived from equally tendentious "evidence".

For example, said a local source who knows several of the PJ inquiry team, from an early stage detectives laid great weight on Kate McCann's apparent composure when she appeared in public.


One of the strangest aspects of Portuguese coverage of the case has been frequent recourse to media psychologists, who have made all manner of deductions about her personality and state of mind by "analysing" her TV image, claiming that the absence of tears and presence of carefully applied make-up indicates a "cold", "manipulative" or even "psychopathic" personality.

In other words, someone capable of reacting instantly to the death of her daughter, whether deliberate or accidental, by deciding that she had to hide the body and conceal what had happened, and able to persuade her husband and perhaps other "accomplices" to go along with her plot.


Disturbingly, said the local source, such analysis has not been confined to the media.

"Pretty early on, they had forensic psychologists in, studying hours of video footage, drawing extremely unfavourable conclusions about Kate's personality," she said.

"You could say she's been damned by her stiff upper lip."

There have been reported claims that Kate McCann had "confessed" to killing Madeleine to a local Catholic priest.


But the Rev Hubbard Haynes, the Anglican vicar who lives in Praia da Luz and got closer to the McCanns than anyone during their months in Portugal, refuted them with controlled fury.

A young, passionate Canadian, who took up his post a week after Madeleine's disappearance, he said: "When I mention Maddie, Gerry and Kate in my own prayers, I find myself weeping.

"I have gone out into the fields and looked in the hedgerows, begging God for some sign that will help us find her, and I have wept because He has not given it to us yet.

"All I can say is that my tears are as nothing to the tears I have seen shed by Kate and Gerry.

"They may not have cried for the cameras, but to say they do not weep in private is facile and offensive.

"The man and woman I have known for the past four months are a couple whose lives have become unbearably empty because their little girl was missing.

"I do not recognise those people in recent media reports, and I find the idea that they had anything to do with her disappearance just inconceivable.


"There is great evil in this world, and someone has taken this child."

Other aspects of the emerging mindset against the McCanns seemed equally questionable.

Several Portuguese lawyers and journalists, along with a uniformed police officer from the National Republican Guard I spoke to outside the Ocean Club apartment, told me solemnly not only that the McCanns and their friends were "swingers" who had taken their holiday together to indulge in group sex (an assertion made repeatedly by the Portuguese Press), but that "everyone knows" that its tolerance of orgies is the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort's main selling point.

One afternoon I decided to test this proposition, approaching two holiday reps there, dressed in their red Mark Warner sweatshirts. "Er, is this a good place for swingers, then?" I asked.

They looked at me in total bafflement. "Swingers?" one replied.

"Look around you, sir. Most of our guests are retired, or families with children."

Another assertion published several times last week is that, on the night that Madeleine disappeared, the McCanns phoned Sky TV before contacting the police – another claim echoed by the uniformed cop.

Outside the Portimao courthouse, I asked Sky's reporter Ashish Joshi if he thought this might be true.

He rolled his eyes wearily. "It's just nonsense," he said.

"The first anyone at Sky knew about Maddy was when the story appeared on the Press Association wire.

"I was asked about this just yesterday by a Portuguese reporter. I told him it was crap. And this morning, his paper printed it."
I passed this on to the Republican Guard officer, but he was unmoved.


His unit, he said, had handled the case in its early stages, and from the start he and his colleagues had been convinced there was something fishy about the McCanns.

"My partner was there on the night of May 3," he said, "and I can tell you, that apartment was full of people, Kate was screaming – and yet her twins didn't wake up.

"How do you explain that? They must have been drugged. Nobody on the force believed their story about a kidnap for a moment.

"That little girl is dead, for sure. Soon you will see the truth."

Why the need for such bizarre allegations? The answer, I believe, is that there is a massive hole at the heart of the emerging PJ theory.


When Madeleine disappeared the McCanns did not have a car.

The Ocean Club is in the middle of a busy resort, and the notion that somehow the McCanns found a way to conceal her without transport, and then went to dinner with their friends as if nothing were amiss is beyond credibility.

One Portuguese journalist suggested to me that they might have hidden her on a scrubby headland a few minutes' walk away.


But as I found when I attempted to go for a run there, at night it is inhabited by feral dogs, whose barking would have made the digging of some putative shallow grave impossible.


The PJ enjoys a high reputation in Portugal.

"They are ranked among the top five police forces in the world," attorney Trindad said, albeit admitting he did not know the source of this curious international ranking.

Most PJ officers are graduates, and would-be entrants face severe competition, with a battery of psychometric, physical and academic tests before they can even be considered for the PJ training school.

The force's Press office likes to compare the PJ to the American FBI: "We are an elite," spokeswoman Ana Mouro said.

But beneath the veneer, as the case of Leonor Cipriano suggests, the reality can look less impressive.

"She is nothing like Kate McCann," her lawyer Joao Grade said.

"She is very poor, with maybe only three years of schooling, and her children have several fathers.

"She did not get to meet the Pope and she did not have the support of Sky and the BBC.

"But I tell you this: if Kate had been treated like Leonor, she would have done what Leonor did – ended by saying, 'OK, OK, I'm guilty, and this is how I did it.'"


The special judicial order – imposed on top of the usual Portuguese secrecy – means not only that Grade is prevented from disclosing virtually anything about the Cipriano case, but that pre-trial hearings of the charges against the detectives, due as soon as next month, will be held in camera.


The Mail on Sunday has established crucial alleged details from other legal sources in Portimao.

After Joana disappeared in September 2004, Leonor was arrested by the PJ in Portimao on October 14 at 8am.

Held there and in the city of Faro without access to a lawyer, she was interrogated without sleep for 22 hours.

Then, after a two-hour respite, she was interrogated again until 7am on October 16.


By this time, as photos published by the Portuguese media make clear, her face was a mass of bruises.


According to Grade: "Not just her face but her whole body was black and blue."


The police said she "tried to commit suicide" by throwing herself down stairs.

If the alleged torture was to force a confession, it succeeded – only for Leonor to withdraw it when she finally saw her lawyer the next day.

The supporters of the accused police have claimed that the officers must be innocent because Cipriano could not pick out her alleged attackers in an identity parade.

However, according to the sources in Portimao, this is because they are not alleged to have beaten her themselves, but to have brought in paid thugs.


In any event, she was convicted and sentenced to 21 years.

Last June, this was reduced on appeal to 16 – though one of the five appeal court judges issued a dissenting opinion, stating that he was convinced she had been assaulted in custody and was innocent.

If the criminal case against the PJ officers does lead to convictions, Grade said, she will appeal again. He has also lodged a case in the European Court of Human Rights.


Strangely enough, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral is not the only link between the Cipriano and McCann cases. Another of the senior officers who is now an arguido is the recently retired Chief Inspector Paulo Pereira Cristovao.


He is one of the McCanns' principal scourges – not as a detective, but in his new capacity as a columnist for Diario de Noticias, among the most active of Portuguese newspapers in its pursuit of stories about Madeleine derived from leaks.

"There is another link between the Cipriano and McCann cases," a Portimao lawyer claimed.


"You know, it's like if Manchester United lose a big game: next week the pressure they have to win is very big.
"The PJ are beginning to worry that now they might lose the Cipriano case.

"If that happens, they have to win with the McCanns."

Of course, there is yet another connection.

If Leonor Cipriano did not kill Joana, the chances of discovering the truth – or indeed her body – are now remote.


And as the McCanns have stated repeatedly, if they are innocent, the enormous effort being poured into trying to blame them is effort diverted from the search for a missing four-year-old girl, and the person or persons who abducted her.

That is a thought so grim that it almost makes one wish that the mindset so evident around Praia da Luz had a real foundation.
My fear is that it has as much solidity as the sandcastles on the beach.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lies-beatings-secret-trials-the-dark-side-of-police-handling-madeleine-case-6622113.html
....................

What an utterly disgraceful example of fake journalism.  No wonder there is no name attached to it.

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 06.10.18 1:45

Is The Cry a true story? The inspiration behind the gripping BBC hit starring Jenna Coleman

The thriller has been adapted from Helen FitzGerald's 2013 book of the same name.

By
Emily Sheridan

  • 14:42, 5 OCT 2018
  • Updated16:09, 5 OCT 2018


Jenna Coleman 's new series The Cry has had viewers gripped since it started on BBC1 on Sunday.

The four-part thriller tells the story of a young mother Joanna (Jenna), who travels from Scotland to Australia with her husband Alistair (Ewen Leslie) and their baby son Noah.

The family have jetted Down Under so Alistair can fight for custody of his daughter Chloe from his Australia ex-wife Alexandra (Asher Keddie).

However, the couple are rocked when little Noah is abducted from their hire car while they pop into a store in a small rural town in Victoria.

The series is adapted from the 2013 novel of the same name, written by Australian author Helen FitzGerald.

Helen, 52, grew up in Australia but moved to Scotland as an adult where she worked in a high risk offenders unit and HM Prison Barlinnie in Glasgow.

She then went on to work as a criminal justice social worker in and around Pasiley, but has recently take a break from her day job.

Now a mother to two grown-up children Anna and Joe, Helen admits being inspired to write The Cry following two particularly hellish long-haul flights from the UK to Australia when she was a young mother.

She told Crime Fiction Love in 2013: "A few hours after my Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour, I jumped on a plane with my two children, then five and two.

"I was upset and worried, and not particularly in control of my toddler, who was having great fun running up and down the aisle while I was sobbing in my seat.

"When the air hostess approached me, I was expecting her to ask if she could help in any way, but she leant down and said: 'Your children are upsetting the passengers.' I went a bit nuts. This is basically what happens to Joanna in the first chapter of the book."

Nine years later, when making the same flight when her father's cancer had returned, Helen was sat behind a woman with screaming children.

She recalled: "I had no children with me for this flight, but the woman in front of me had three under five. They screamed for eight hours, and I wanted to kill her. How quickly we forget…


"Despite the screaming children, I wrote the final scene of The Cry on that flight."

In The Cry, viewers see Jenna's character Joanna's mental anguish as she deals with being a new mother and the aftermath of her baby's abduction.

Helen admits her own time as a new mother struggling to cope also inspired her novel.

She told The Herald : "When I look back on that time now, I know what it was. I've just been through a period of serious anxiety and depression, so now I understand what was happening to me then.

"It's a common sign of post-natal depression, the feeling that everyone else is coping. I was obsessed with child-rearing books too, desperate to get it right."


The writer also revealed she was influenced by two high-profile child abductions.

She was growing up in Australia in 1980 when Lindy Chamberlain was wrongly convicted of murdering her nine-week-old daughter Azaria.

Lindy and her now ex-husband Michael maintained a dingo snatched their baby when she was sleeping in a tent during a camping trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia's Northern Territory.

After being convicted, Lindy spent several years behind bars for the death of her daughter. However, the conviction was quashed in 1988 following the discovery of further evidence.

Helen was also interested in the ongoing search for British girl Madeleine McCann, who vanished from a Portugal holiday apartment in May 2007.



She told The Herald: "I have always believed both of them. But thinking about their cases made me wonder – what kind of couple would get away with something like this? What would have to be going on behind the scenes in that relationship?

"Lindy was incredibly naïve and open and just had no clue, and she got slaughtered by the media. Her case was really the first example of trial by television.

"Women are always the target, especially when babies are involved. No matter how much we talk about parental or gender equality, that’s what happens."

The Cry: Episode 2 returns to BBC1 on Sunday 7 October at 9pm.


https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/cry-true-story-inspiration-behind-13367789

I despair - sometimes I really despair no

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 08.10.18 16:03

‘Madeleine McCann was abducted by an opportunistic paedophile’

Mark Williams-Thomas: Analysis - April 28, 2008

The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is like no other I have seen before.

I have followed this case from the beginning. I visited the village of Praia da Luz within hours of Madeleine’s disappearance and have returned on numerous occasions to examine what happened on May 3 last year.

I believe that Madeleine was abducted outside her family’s apartment by an opportunistic paedophile with local connections. And I would be very surprised if this person has not been back to the area or still frequents it.

On the evening she disappeared I believe Madeleine woke up and cried for a short time while her parents were dining at a nearby tapas bar at the Ocean Club resort. When she realised that her parents were not there she climbed out of bed and walked around the apartment. She found the back patio door partly open so she walked out, went down the small flight of steps, through the metal gate and turned right down towards the entrance to the tapas bar.

It was at this point that she was abducted. Interestingly, police dogs first tracked a scent down this exact route. It is a vital clue that has been largely ignored. Unfortunately, although this area is in range of a CCTV camera at the nearby super-market, it was not working that night.

Statistically the abduction of a child is very rare. On average it happens to six children a year in Britain. However, if we look at the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne in July 2000 we can see that she was snatched by a passing stranger while her brothers were just steps behind.

Madeleine became the victim of an opportunist and predatory paedophile. The abductor either lives in or had contact with Praia da Luz. This is not the sort of resort you just happen upon. For the past 12 months the Portuguese police have pursued only two lines of inquiry: that Gerry and Kate McCann were involved or that their daughter was abducted by a stranger. They have focused steadfastly on the first line. It is quite correct for the police to consider the parents as suspects because most murdered children are killed by a relative or someone they know. But the police do not seem to have any real evidence against Mr and Mrs McCann and they have vehemently denied any involvement.

Mr and Mrs McCann believe their daughter was abducted and trafficked abroad but Madeleine does not fit the profile. Girls are trafficked into the sex trade as prostitutes or for domestic slavery, both with financial gain to the seller and purchaser. Who was to gain from her trafficking?

The so-called sightings in other countries, although genuinely intended, are a distraction and prove to be of little value after the initial two weeks. After all who is going to openly walk out with the most wanted child in the world? For months it was genuinely assumed the abductor had entered the apartment and taken Madeleine from her bed. But I do not believe that a paedophile was watching the apartment or that an offender entered the apartment.

This would be too high risk as the offender would not know that someone was not inside. Britain has not seen a single case of a predatory paedophile entering premises and abducting a child where the occupants of the house are unknown to the offender.

The problem with the police investigation was that it was crucially flawed from the very start. It was the worst-preserved crime scene I have seen.
The investigation is now all but closed. The police have insufficient evidence to charge Mr and Mrs McCann and when their arguido status is lifted the couple could return to Portugal without fear of arrest or prosecution.

They could then properly coordinate an investigation to find out what really did happen to Madeleine.

Mark Williams-Thomas is a former detective and authority on paedophile crimes

The Times Online April 2008

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi on 13.10.18 1:20

Parents release last known photo of Madeleine

By Richard Edwards and Fiona Govan in Praia da Luz
12:01AM BST 24 May 2007

[Note:  12:01 AM]

The family of missing Madeleine McCann today released the last known photograph of their daughter before her abduction in the Algarve three weeks ago.

Smiling and dangling her feet into a swimming pool, Madeleine, four, is shown enjoying her holiday just hours before she was snatched from her bed.

The picture was taken by Madeleine's mother Kate, 38, on her own camera.



Madeleine is pictured wearing a pink smock top, white shorts and a sun hat as she cools her feet in the swimming pool. The picture was taken at 2.29pm on May 3.

Less than eight hours later, before 10pm that night, Madeleine disappeared. She had been sleeping in the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, next to the twins, when she was taken away.

Detectives investigating her disappearance yesterday re-interviewed two people as witnesses in the case.

The two were believed to be Michaela Walczuch, a German woman who is the lover of Robert Murat, and her estranged Portuguese husband Luis Antonio, who works as a pool cleaner.

Mr Murat is a British ex-pat who has been identified by police as a formal suspect in the case.A senior police source described yesterday's questioning, which lasted several hours, as "normal and routine". The pair were first questioned 10 days ago as a result of their connection to Mr Murat.

Mr Murat, who has not been charged or even formally arrested but remains the police's main line of inquiry, lives with his mother in a villa less than 100 yards from the Algarve holiday apartment where Madeleine was snatched three weeks ago.

He strenuously denies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance and is said to be in a state of "near collapse" over the allegations. Police have said that they will continue to investigate those with links to Mr Murat.

They have already searched premises belonging to a Russian computer expert who reportedly had telephone conversations with Mr Murat in the hours immediately following Madeleine's disappearance.

The latest development came amid local media reports that forensic tests on evidence taken from the McCanns' apartment and Mr Murat's home had yielded no clues.



The head of the Forensic Medicine Institute of Portugal told the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha that tests on the samples had so far proved inconclusive.

"It is not like on the television show CSI," said Duarte Nuno Vieira, who explained that the investigation would take time.


"The analyses are ongoing," he added. "They're far from over, and we'll only be able to draw conclusions once they're completed."

Detailed DNA analysis on hair, fibres and sweat samples are not expected until at least Saturday, it was reported, at which point police may be in a position to arrest Mr Murat or drop the case against him completely.

The police search for Madeleine was strongly criticised yesterday as a leading expert said the Portuguese investigation had been plagued with "serious errors".


Mark Williams-Thomas, a former officer with Surrey police who worked on the case of Sarah Payne, the seven-year-old murdered by paedophile Roy Whiting, said detectives had failed to seal off the apartment when the four-year-old vanished and had not carried out proper forensic searches.

He said the investigation had hit "a brick wall" as a result and called for British detectives to carry out a full review of the case to ensure that everything was being done to find Madeleine.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1552519/Parents-release-last-known-photo-of-Madeleine.html

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi Yesterday at 15:29

Producer quits 'dishonest' BBC programme about Madeleine McCann

By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 00:15 26 November 2007

A producer quit a BBC programme about Madeleine McCann as he felt the documentary verged "on the dishonest", it was disclosed yesterday.

David Mills, who was the original producer on last week's Panorama special on the disappearance, walked out after an angry row with th programme's editor and then wrote a stinging email to the BBC, attacking it for losing its journalistic passion.

He said: "So far as I can see, investigative journalism at the BBC is over.

"The broadcast script contains nuances that suggest that the McCanns still have a case to answer. The BBC should have had the courage to state that this is simply not so."



Mr Mills, who has a 40-year career as a documentary-maker, asked the BBC to take his name off the end credits despite working on the programme for weeks.

He said he wanted to focus on the apparent campaign of disinformation put out by Portuguese police to put pressure on Kate and Gerry McCann, and to criticise press coverage of the case.

But he said the end programme put across the case both for and against the McCanns and reached no final conclusion.

In an email to Panorama editor Sandy Smith, he criticised the programme's "intellectual impoverishment" and said it was "far below the standard of any work that I or my company would wish to be associated with".

He said the programme "verges on the dishonest" and was "a laboured, pedestrian extended news report" which he branded "shameful".

He wrote: "The real question must be how, without any meaningful evidence, the Portuguese police and the media in Portugal and Britain have been able to convince most people that the couple were involved.

"Yet while the programme drips innuendos against the McCanns, it does not put a single challenging question to anyone in the Portuguese police or to anyone in the media. This is truly astonishing."

The incident is one of several controversies Panorama has faced this year including a report on Scientology by journalist John Sweeney, in which he lost his temper and turned - in his words - into an "exploding tomato", and a report claiming that wi-fi technology might be harmful, which was denounced by some scientists as "irresponsible".

Mr Smith said the decisions about the programme's content were made after it obtained new footage, including an interview with witness Jane Tanner, and said: "The original version was just not journalistically as important."

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC reporter, said the couple were 'content' with the broadcast version and had spoken to reporter Richard Bilton and told him they considered it 'fair'.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-496385/Producer-quits-dishonest-BBC-programme-Madeleine-McCann.html

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Re: Media Mayhem - MCCANN MEDIA NONSENSE OF THE DAY

Post by Verdi Yesterday at 15:38

Madeleine 'was killed as she screamed at pervert prowler', police to conclude
By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 13:23 27 November 2007

Madeleine McCann was killed in her family's holiday apartment when she screamed out in alarm at a paedophile intruder, it has been claimed.

Police believe the three-year-old may have been accidentally suffocated by a prowler who panicked when she shouted out.

Fearing that her cries would raise the alarm, he violently silenced her - accidentally killing her - and then grabbed her body and escaped, according to the new theory.

It was that fleeing man - carrying the slumped body of a child - who was spotted by the McCanns' friend Jane Tanner, it was claimed.

The theory was revealed in the respected Portuguese newspaper Publico, which carried a chilling recreation of the supposed chain of events.

The newspaper said the theory was "gaining increasing strength at the centre of the police investigation".

It came a week after Portugal's Attorney General Fernando Pinto Monteiro said he believed Madeleine was "probably dead".

The latest theory came as a blow to Kate and Gerry McCann, who have insisted they believe their daughter is being held somewhere alive.

But it does suggest that detectives are moving away from the belief that the couple were involved in her disappearance.

They are now working on the theory that a prowler monitored the family's routine during their week-long holiday, and carefully chose a moment to strike, Publico reported.

The couple's regular habits - including their meal times and their routine in checking on their children - made it 'easy' for the intruder to pick a moment when he did not think he would be disturbed, the newspaper claimed.

It carried a highly dramatised recreation of the supposed chain of events, which said: "An unexpected event thwarted the prospect of desire. A shout from the British child awakened from her sleep.

"The fear that she would be heard, the urgency to silence her, the violence, probably the suffocation and the unexpected death.

"All this is in minutes. Now one would have to take her out of there, close the door, escape quickly."

The theory was said to be "seriously considered" by senior police officers leading the investigation, but they have not ruled out other possibilities, including that the McCanns could have been involved.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the report was "extremely distressing" for the couple.

He said: "We do not believe that this is what happened to Madeleine. There has been no evidence to suggest this happened in the apartment at all.
"We are still firmly of the belief that Madeleine is alive and will be found."

The couple were named as official suspects in the case after specialist sniffer dogs detected microscopic traces of blood in their holiday apartment, and the "scent of death" in their hire car.

They have always insisted they believe Madeleine was taken alive from the apartment, and that their friend Miss Tanner saw the suspect fleeing with her.
A source close to the couple said the theory that a paedophile killed her inside the flat and then carried her body away was "ludicrous".

He said: "It is an absolutely ludicrous suggestion. If a paedophile had killed her in the apartment he would have left her there and fled.

"There is no way he would have carried her dead body through the streets where people would have witnessed it."

Mr McCann has told police he checked on the children at about 9pm, and then bumped into a friend, television producer Jeremy Wilkins, and stopped to speak to him.

While the two men were speaking the McCanns' friend Miss Tanner - one of the so-called Tapas Nine - said she walked past them and then saw the fleeing man moments later, at about 9.15pm.

Mr McCann has spoken of his belief that an intruder might have been hiding inside the flat already when he went to check on the children.

But it would still only give the alleged paedophile just a few minutes to supposedly disturb Madeleine into screaming, to accidentally suffocate her and then flee with her body by 9.15pm.

McCann spokesman Mr Mitchell said he did not believe an intruder would have had time to kill Madeleine and escape.

He said: "Any abductor would not have had time to do what is alleged here.

"The only point in this report to draw comfort from is the indication that police no longer believe that Kate and Gerry are involved in Madeleine's disappearance."

A nanny who used to work at the Ocean Club holiday complex has told the McCanns' private detectives that she saw a man trying to lift the window shutters at the same apartment where the McCanns later stayed.

The woman, who has not been named, said the man she saw in December last year looked like the other official suspect in the case, British expat Robert Murat.

His friends dismissed the alleged sighting as a smear and said it could not have been the 34-year-old as he was in Britain from October to January this year.

Miss Tanner has told the McCanns that she could not tell if the man she saw was Mr Murat, as she did not see his face. He denies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

An investigating judge has to decide early next year whether to end the secrecy surrounding the Madeleine McCann case - and decide whether to let her parents and Robert Murat see the police evidence against them.

Heart surgeon Gerry and GP Kate, both 39, have always protested their innocence and claimed an intruder took their daughter.

The McCanns have rubbished the suggestion - thought to have been top of the police list of theories until now - that Madeleine died by accident in their apartment and they disposed of her body as part of a "cover-up."

Claims emerged last night that Portuguese police had initially considered whether the couple could have sold their daughter to paedophiles.

Detectives reportedly believed the couple might have sold Madeleine to a criminal network to ease money worries,

According to sources, they spent "several days" investigating but the wild theory fell apart when they realised the couple were wealthy.

A police source told the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: "The police team in charge of the case investigated the possibility that the child had been sold by her own parents because of financial difficulties."

Detectives tried to inspect bank statements but were forced to conclude that the
couple did not have money problems.


The McCanns, who are both doctors, live in a £500,000 house in Rothley, Leicestershire.

Police were said to be suspicious about reports that Mrs McCann screamed: "They've taken her" when she realised Madeleine was missing. She insists she shouted: "She's gone."

Detectives have been unable to seize the couple's bank statements, phone records covering this May or their medical records.

The public prosecutor in the case has refused to authorise such moves unless he sees stronger evidence against them.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-496379/Madeleine-killed-screamed-pervert-prowler-police-conclude.html

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