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REPLIES from the Home Office & Met Police to FoI Act questions about Operation Grange expenditure & staffing & the Smithman efits (MARCH 2018) Mm11

REPLIES from the Home Office & Met Police to FoI Act questions about Operation Grange expenditure & staffing & the Smithman efits (MARCH 2018) Regist10

REPLIES from the Home Office & Met Police to FoI Act questions about Operation Grange expenditure & staffing & the Smithman efits (MARCH 2018)

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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.03.18 13:22

I have received these replies (see below) from the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Information Rights Units.

( Please also see this thread:  https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14947-new-foi-act-questions-regarding-madeleine-mccann-3-march-2018 )



I make these observations.

I have asked in the past, and asked again on 3 March, about how much has been spent by Britain on financial assistance given to Portugal for the very considerable degree of help they have rendered to the Metropolitan Police. Notably, this included the hiring and staffing of a top-of-the range Mark III Alouette Portuguese military helicopter. It also included providing staff to supervise and conduct a number of rogatory interviews, I believe in 2014, and to provide security and supervision for the very public searches by officers of the Metropolitan Police of two patches of ground in Praia da Luz (which IIRC yielded a couple of rabbit bones).

Some of you may recall that I asked similar questions in the past. The Met Police basically said: “Don’t ask us, we get all our money for Operation Grange from the Home Office. The Home Office said: “We hold no information about payments to the Portuguese government”.

I very much doubt whether Portugal gave all their assistance free of charge. I am sure the British government have paid them. Maybe it is from some source of government funds that we know nothing about, maybe the Foreign Office paid them , who knows?

Apart from that, the Met Police are not going to break down their expenditure, they say, because they are not going to provide any further ‘granularity’. I admit that was a word I’d not come across before.

Dealing with the replies from the Metropolitan Police, we have answers on who is in charge of Operation Grange, how many staff are engaged on it, and their ranks, and the reporting line up to Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

We are now told this about the controversial ‘Smithman’ efits, quote:These efits were received by the Operation Grange team in September 2008 as part of a dossier of material handed to the MPS by private investigators that had been working on the case”.

Most CMOMM members will be able to spot a rather obvious flaw with this answer. Namely, Operation Grange wasn’t actually set up until two years and eight months after this, in May 2011!

Maybe I will need to ask the date Operation Grange was set up!

So I will definitely be asking a supplementary question of the Met about this. I will ask who (or which agency) handed the dossier in (that should not be a confidential matter) and to whom it was handed and on what precise date. Undoubtedly the Met Police or some other police force will hold these data.

Further, on the subject of the e-fits, the Met Police tell us this: “The efits do not form part of any current appeal”.

Maybe other CMOMM members will be able to work out better than I can exactly what this opaque phrase means.

I take it to mean this: Either:
a We know who the efits are, we have found ‘Smithman’, or
b We haven’t found him, but are no longer looking for this man, o
c The whole ‘Smithman efit’ thing was a gigantic scam and a fraud on the pubic in the first place, but we’re obviously not going to tell you that:


Their answer to my mind raises the question as to why the 30-second Smithman recording still remains on the McCanns’ website. Have not the Met Police told the McCanns that  “The Smithman efits do not form part of any current appeal”?  



ANSWERS 

REPLIES from the Home Office & Met Police to FoI Act questions about Operation Grange expenditure & staffing & the Smithman efits (MARCH 2018) Home_o10
REPLIES from the Home Office & Met Police to FoI Act questions about Operation Grange expenditure & staffing & the Smithman efits (MARCH 2018) Home_o10
 

Crime, Policing and Fire Group     Tel: 020 7035 4848 
2 Marsham Street 
Fax: 020 7035 4745  
London  
www.gov.uk/home-office 
SW1P 4DF 
 

Anthony Bennett 
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxx 
 
29 March 2018 


Dear Mr Bennett, 
 
Freedom of Information request reference: 47589 
 
Thank you for your e-mail of 3 March, in which you ask for information in relation to Operation  Grange, the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.  Your request has been handled as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  
 
I have responded to your questions below. 
 
Question: 
 
Reference was made in 2014 to Operation Grange/the Home Office/the government 
paying for Portuguese assistance with searches in Praia da Luz, Portugal, including the 
hire of a top-of-the-range Mark III Alouette military helicopter. Please give the dates and 
amounts of all or any payments made to the Portuguese government or any Portuguese 
agencies in respect of these expenses or any other expenses for which the Portuguese 
Police or other agencies have requested payment. 
 
(This same question has also been sent to the Metropolitan Police Service) 
 
Answer: 
 
This Home Office has not provided funding to the Portuguese Government or authorities.  
Therefore, the Home Office does not hold the information you have requested. 
 
I hope that you will find this response helpful. 
 
If you are dissatisfied with this response you may request an independent internal review 
of our handling of your request by submitting a complaint within two months to 
xxxxxxxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx.xxquoting reference 47589. If you ask for an internal 
review, it would be helpful if you could say why you are dissatisfied with the response.  

 
As part of any internal review the Department's handling of your information request would 
be reassessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response. If you 
were to remain dissatisfied after an internal review, you would have a right of complaint to 
the Information Commissioner as established by section 50 of the FOIA.  
 
Yours sincerely 
 
N De Souza 
Efficiency and Resources Unit 
 
===============
    
From the Metropolitan Police
 
Dear Mr Bennett
 
Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2018030000241
 
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 03/03/2018.
 
I note you seek access to the following information:
 
Regarding the Madeleine McCann investigation being carried out by  Operation Grange 

1 Please state the name and rank of the current Investigation Co-Ordinator/Senior Investigation Officer 
 
2 Please name all the officers in the reporting  line from the  S.I.O. up to the Metropolitan Commissioner, and give their current
rank 
 
3 Please state the total number of staff currently employed by Operation Grange and give their ranks 

4 Two efits of a person suspected of being Madeleine's abductor were
shown on a TV programme, Crimewatch, on 14 October 2013: 
  (A) On what date did Operation Grange first receive these efits? 
  (B) From whom? 
  (C) Is Operation Grange still seeking the public's help in identifying  this man? 

5 Reference was made in 2014 to Operation Grange/the Home Office/the  government paying for Portuguese assistance with searches in Praia da
Luz, Portugal, including the hire of a top-of-the-range Mark III  Alouette military helicopter. Please give the dates and amounts of all  or any payments made to the Portuguese government or any Portuguese  agencies in respect of these expenses or any other expenses for which
the Portuguese Police or other agencies have requested payment.
 
SEARCHES TO LOCATE INFORMATION
 
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were conducted  with Operation Grange.  The searches located some information relevant to  your request.
 
DECISION
 
I have today decided to disclose some of the requested information.  Some  data has been withheld as it is exempt from disclosure and therefore this  response serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the Freedom of  Information Act 2000 (the Act).  Please see the legal annex for further
information on the exemptions applied in respect of your request.
 
REASONS FOR DECISION
 
The MPS disclose information on the cost of Operation Grange either in  quarters or in full year periods.  We are not prepared to provide data on
individual spends under the operation as that information, if disclosed,  would indicate the level of activity and the current focus of the  operation.
 
The MPS are not prepared to provide a running commentary on the progress  of the investigation and instead will release statements in the form of  press lines or blogs in order to keep the public informed without  compromising what is an ongoing investigation.  Providing up to date data
for each FOI request that comes in would add towards that "running commentary" and has the potential to disrupt the investigation therefore
we have applied the exemption under section 30 of the Freedom of  Information Act.
 
AC Mark Rowley's blog post is available at the following link: 

http://news.met.police.uk/blog_posts/ac-....
 
We are not prepared to answer part four of your request.  However I would like to draw your attention to the latest cost breakdown that has been
provided.  Please note the categories provided are the categories that exist on our finance system, the MPS will not provide any further
granularity concerning the cost of the operation.
 
DISCLOSURE
 
1  Please state the name and rank of the current Investigation Co-Ordinator/Senior Investigation Officer
 
ANSWER: The Senior Investigating office is Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Nicola  Wall
 
2 Please name all the officers in the reporting  line  from the  S.I.O. up to the Metropolitan Commissioner, and give their current
rank
 
ANSWER: DCI Wall reports to Commander Stuart Cundy.  Mr Cundy reports to Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt.  Mr Hewitt reports to Commissioner Cressida Dick.
 
3  Please state the total number of staff currently employed by  Operation Grange and give their ranks
 
ANSWER: There are three Detective Constables and one Detective Sergeant in the  Operation Grange team.
 
4 Two efits of a person suspected of being Madeleine's abductor were  shown on a TV programme, Crimewatch, on 14 October 2013:

A  On what date did Operation Grange first receive these efits?
B  From whom? 
C  Is Operation Grange still seeking the public's help in identifying
this man?
 
ANSWER: These efits were received by the Operation Grange team in September 2008 as part of a dossier of material handed to the MPS by private  investigators that had been working on the case.  The MPS will not comment on whether identifications have or have not been made however the efits do  not form part of any current appeal.
 
Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please contact me on 0207 161 3583 or via email at [email address],
quoting the reference number above.
 
Yours sincerely
 
David Edwards
Information Rights Unit


____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Phoebe on 31.03.18 15:18

"The MPS will not comment on whether identifications have or have not been made however the efits do  not form part of any current appeal."


So much for Redwood's "Eureka!" moment and the subsequent paradigm shift in Grange's thinking (achieved after much expenditure of public funds)! I imagine more than one person has suggested the identity of Smithman based on the e-fits, but the Met doesn't like this suggestion. It doesn't sound like the Met. have plans to make any use of the Smith sighting. That certainly suggests that the Smiths were not part of any cover-up. I suspect Martin Smith's stubborn public reiteration of his opinion that Smithman was Gerry has scuppered any chance of using this sighting in a pro-McCann manner.
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Post by willowthewisp on 31.03.18 17:21

@Phoebe wrote:"The MPS will not comment on whether identifications have or have not been made however the efits do  not form part of any current appeal."


So much for Redwood's "Eureka!" moment and the subsequent paradigm shift in Grange's thinking (achieved after much expenditure of public funds)! I imagine more than one person has suggested the identity of Smithman based on the e-fits, but the Met doesn't like this suggestion. It doesn't sound like the Met. have plans to make any use of the Smith sighting. That certainly suggests that the Smiths were not part of any cover-up. I suspect Martin Smith's stubborn public reiteration of his opinion that Smithman was Gerry has scuppered any chance of using this sighting in a pro-McCann manner.
Thank you Mr Antony Bennett,Phoebe for your posts on Smithman E-fits drawn up by Brian Kennedy's Artists,handed over to the Metropolitan Police service and in their possession for five years!

Now if you take the statement from the video of Clarence Mitchell, supplied by Verdi, Australia Comms-Conn tour,where he(CM) openly braggs about Operation Grange,Crime Watch,Madeleine McCann Special,Metropolitan Police collusion,DCI Andy redwood revelation moment farce,where does this then leave the other Crime Watch Programs,Richard Bilton's Special programs,Fake News by the BBC,Hoax,jimmy Savile, Cover Up by the UK Government,child abuse Inquiry?
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.03.18 18:17

@ Phoebe wrote:  "It doesn't sound like the Met. have plans to make any use of the Smith sighting".

REPLY:  You have so totally, utterly, missed the whole point of the Smith sighting.

The Met Police already have made glorious use of the Smith sighting!

They did it between 9pm and 10pm on Monday 14 October, 2013.

That was the BBC Crimewatch McCann Special, which showed a reconstruction of the events of Thursday 3 May which bore very little relation to the true events of that day.   

They did it in a programme heavily trumpeted in advance as a remarkable breakthrough, Redwood's 'revelation moment'.

The marketing of this programme was so successful that audience figures showed an audience of between 6.7 and 7.1 million. 

They did it by pretending that the Smithman sighting was a genuine sighting of a potential abductor. 

They deliberately used the Smithman sighting to solve a hitherto almost unsolvable problem: how to explain the multiple changes in the descriptions and identities given of a suspect abductor by Jane Tanner. First, he was swarthy, 'bundleman'.

Next he was Robert Murat. Next he wasn't Murat. Next he was 'Monsterman'/'George Harrison man'. And so on.
Redwood claimed to have produced a man who for six whole years had withheld the fact that he might be Tannerman.

Conveniently he had allegedly kept the very pyjamas his daughter had worn on the evening of Thursday 3 May. And of course, yes, his clothes exactly matched those of Tannerman and Sagresman (Krokowski). Who on CMOMM believes that this man really exists.

No, Phoebe, the Met Police made massive use of the Smithman efits. They used those efits to give Operation Grange a window of 50 minutes for the abduction to take place.

Previously, they only had 5 minutes. Gerry McCann says he saw Madeleine alive at 9.10pm, while Jane Tanner swore repeatedly that she'd seen an abductor carrying Madeleine away at 9.15pm (although it seems she was too 'embarrassed' to tell Kate about it in case it made her upset).

Redwood expanded the window for an abduction from 9.10pm to 10.00pm. This gives Operation Grange the opportunity - as I believe they have already trailed in the media several times - to invent an abductor who maybe murdered Madeleine between 9.10pm and 10.00pm. However unlikely that may seem, if the BBC and the Met say this is what happened, most of the country will believe it.

If you doubt me, look at how the nation, and Kerry Needham herself, have swallowed hook, line and sinker the story put forward by South Yorkshire Police that a digger-driver, now dead, crushed Ben Needham.

The Smithman sighting has caused confusion right from the start.

Martin Smith's call to the police on the day after Robert Murat was made a suspect caused confusion. It led Goncalo Amaral and his team to think that Smithman might be the abductor. After all, in 17 material respects, his description of him exactly matched those of both Tannerman and Sagresman.

Then on 20 September 2007 he caused further confusion by saying he thought the man he saw was 60%-80% likely to be Gerry McCann,

Then in December 2007, he caused further confusion by 'switching sides' as it were, and agreeing to work for Metodo 3, Brian Kennedy, Kevin Halligen, Henri Exton and the McCanns.

He co-operated, so we are told, in producing two e-fits, maybe with one or other members of his family - although there is no record of who actually helped to draw up the efits.

He caused further confusion when he allowed his sighting to be used in the May 2009 documentary to suggest that Tannerman and Smithman were one and the same - an idea now rejected by Operation Grange.

The same confusion continued in Kate McCann's book, where she said the same: Tannerman = Smithman.
Then Martin Smith spoke to DCI Redwood once in 2012 and again in 2013 to help him with his media spectacular on 14 October 2013, sowing further confusion.

Now even further confusion has been caused by Gemma O'Doherty's most unlikely claim that Martin Smith 'still stands by' his claim that he is 60% - 80% sure he saw Gerry McCann eleven years ago. That's despite him and his family explicitly asking the public to look for the abductor and expressing great sympathy for the McCanns.

One day, perhaps @ Phoebe, your eyes will be opened and you will see all this.



@ Phoebe also wrote: "That certainly suggests that the Smiths were not part of any cover-up".

REPLY:  Is there any other credible explanation for his conduct, and for how both the McCanns and Met Police have successfully made use of his sighting for over 10 years now?




.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by aquila on 31.03.18 18:37

The Smith sighting is bogus.
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Post by willowthewisp on 31.03.18 18:51

@aquila wrote:The Smith sighting is bogus.
Hi aquila,or perhaps the Jez Wilkens,Gerry McCann outside apartment meeting 3 May 2007, 21.15-21.25pm JT Abductor moment,Dave Edgar,Henri Exton, mockumentary"Is the biggest *uck Up on this planet moment"quote from Robert Murat(Patsy),Fiona,Russell,Rachel, sighting(RM), when (JM) his Mother states her  Son was at Home 20.30 onwards,plus Phone call evidence,from the PJ files.
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Post by Phoebe on 31.03.18 18:57

@ Tony Bennett - "Then in December 2007, he caused further confusion by 'switching sides' as it were, and agreeing to work for Metodo 3, Brian Kennedy, Kevin Halligen ,Henri Exton and the McCanns."


There is absolutely no evidence of Smith "changing sides". In fact he has recently publicly reaffirmed his unchanged position that he believes he saw Gerry that night.
Had Martin Smith refused to cooperate with the drawing up of the e-fits he would have found himself in a very awkward position. Any refusal would have invited claims that he was running scared from his statement in which he claimed to be pretty sure that the man he saw was Gerry. No doubt, if he had refused, people would now be reading all sorts into such a refusal and seeing it as "evidence" of collusion.
The Smiths had absolutely NO control over what happened to those e-fits after they were completed nor over who chose to use them. To suggest they did is nonsensical. How many ordinary people do you know who have tried to demand a say in what content the BBC uses in its programs. Smith doesn't even pay the BBC licence fee! What rights do you think he would have in this regard.
Yes, Redwood, in that programme, tried to use Smithman to divert attention away from the ludicrous, damp squib that Tannerman had become!


 "Oh, it turns out that Jane saw an ordinary man collecting his daughter, and it's taken us years and years to establish this. Ahem, moving swiftly along, let's forget all about Tannerman. I'd like you to focus your attention elsewhere..."


 However,  it is obvious that Smithman was never going to be of use to the pros since Smith still insists it was Gerry and described a photo fit which matches Gerry. If the Smiths were working for them, why did the Met or Crimewatch not approach them again to request fresh e-fits drawn up by the Met itself. Have anyone ever heard of the police accepting an e-fit drawn up by a civilian! The Met did not request to meet the Smiths for another e-fit sketching because they knew full well it would only publicly reignite Smith's claim that Smithman was Gerry. At least by not contacting the Smiths afresh, they could claim lay the blame for their false claim that Smith had changed his mind, on a misunderstanding. 
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Post by aquila on 31.03.18 19:07

The Smith sighting is bogus.
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Post by willowthewisp on 31.03.18 19:17

@aquila wrote:The Smith sighting is bogus.
Hi aquila,okay,the Smithman sighting is Bogus,which Operation Grange are back to Square one on Statement evidence five minute opportunity supposedly,No moving time frame,aka DCI Andy Redwood meeting the now Bogus Father who had the clothes,Pyjamas from Portugal,but cannot be named in the Madeleine McCann case?
They must take the public as all being thicko's on there"Final Throw of Dice" crap?
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Post by aquila on 31.03.18 19:29

I repeat. The Smith sighting is bogus.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 31.03.18 20:21

I wrote: "Then in December 2007, he caused further confusion by 'switching sides' as it were, and agreeing to work for Metodo 3, Brian Kennedy, Kevin Halligen, Henri Exton and the McCanns".

@ Phoebe replied: "There is absolutely no evidence of Smith 'changing sides'...Had Martin Smith refused to cooperate ...he would have found himself in a very awkward position..."

REPLY:  On 20 September 2007, Martin Smith made this solemn statement to an Irish police officer: "I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard [Gerald] McCann that I met that night carrying a child".

Phoebe, can you give me one really good, convincing, wholly persuasive argument as to why, barely three months later, Martin Smith was working for the McCann Team, talking to their investigation co-ordinator, Brian Kennedy, talking to Metodo 3 who were working for them, talking to Oakley International, Kevin Halligen and Henri Exton who were all also employed by the McCanns?

What was his reason?

Was he frightened of them?

Did they have something on him?

Or had he originally been working for the Murat camp and against the McCanns? Then when Brian Kennedy and Edward Smethurst had their famous summit meeting at the Eveleighs in Portugal on 13 November 2007, and 'talked turkey' with the Murat camp, did the two sides then kiss and make up? And then did they ask Martin Smith to sow further confusion?

It's a possibility already raised on the forum by 'Rogue-a-Tory' and 'Copodenieve'   

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Phoebe on 01.04.18 0:04

@ Tony B. Martin Smith is, IMO, an ordinary man, who, by chance, happened to witness something which could have helped in the plight of a missing 3 year old. Whether the information he gave could help in recovering her, recovering her body or bringing to justice those responsible for her disappearance, he had no way of knowing back in 2007-2008, but like any decent person I imagine he felt compelled to do the right thing. I know I would not have refused to help in any way, including e-fits, if I believed I had evidence that might assist in the case of a missing child!
 I imagine he, quite reasonably, expected the police (either Portuguese, British or a combination of both) to investigate the matter when his evidence and his belief about what he had seen became known to them. 
It was not and is not the role of ordinary people like him to investigate crime nor to bring the perpetrators to book. Most people, even today, do not approach police to report something, all the while harbouring the notion that those charged with pursuing justice are going to be corrupt or in cahoots with the perpetrators in some elaborate cover-up. And, there was certainly less suspicion about police corruption eleven years ago among ordinary people. People rightly expect the police to act in good faith when they acquire information.
Why should he refuse to draw up an e-fit. He stated that he was 60-80% sure the man he had seen that night was the same man he saw carrying Sean McCann off the plane. ie his father, Gerry. Notice he did not claim to be 100% positive. For all he knew the circulation of those e-fits could have led to another suspect, who bore a strong resemblance to Gerry, proving him mistaken. 
Smith did not get involved to solve the crime nor to "nail" the McCanns. He merely recounted what he saw and his belief about it and left it to the authorities to investigate, prove or disprove his identification of Gerry. His claim and the e-fits date back to 2007-2008. If the Met has failed to investigate them, that is neither his fault nor his responsibility to right. Nor does it make him complicit in any wrongdoing of theirs. 
The Smith family are not even British. How are they in any position to lay down the law to a U.K. police force about how it acts on information received! Similarly, we can see how much the BBC heeded the Martin Smith's objection to being misquoted. They ignored him. What would you have an ordinary man do - go to the expense and hassle of hiring lawyers to take on a foreign police force to ensure they handle his evidence as he thinks it should be handled. Ditto for the BBC.
 Smith has done all he reasonably, sensibly can. It is not his fault if the Met. and the BBC do not want to investigate his claims!
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Post by Verdi on 01.04.18 0:49

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Post by Verdi on 01.04.18 1:25

@Phoebe wrote:Why should he refuse to draw up an e-fit. He stated that he was 60-80% sure the man he had seen that night was the same man he saw carrying Sean McCann off the plane. ie his father, Gerry. Notice he did not claim to be 100% positive. For all he knew the circulation of those e-fits could have led to another suspect, who bore a strong resemblance to Gerry, proving him mistaken.
Smith did not get involved to solve the crime nor to "nail" the McCanns. He merely recounted what he saw and his belief about it and left it to the authorities to investigate, prove or disprove his identification of Gerry. His claim and the e-fits date back to 2007-2008. If the Met has failed to investigate them, that is neither his fault nor his responsibility to right. Nor does it make him complicit in any wrongdoing of theirs.

Ex-DCI Andy Redwood said much the same thing during the Crimewatch 2013 production 'there could be an innocent explanation for the man witnessed by the Irish family' - but it was the focus of their investigation at the time - his revelation moment.

 

I'm hardly surprised the e-fits are not a focal point of the Operation Grange appeal, simply because there isn't currently an Operation Grange appeal.  Indeed I don't think there has been by way of an artist impression/e-fit since Crimewatch 2013.  I wonder how/why the Irish family sighting was so easily dismissed, considering the importance expressed by ex-DCI Redwood.

Has it ever occurred to you that the objective might have been the very reverse of your way of thinking - that the Irish family e-fit was purposely presented in October 2013 in order to reinforce the abduction theory - the abduction theory so heavily promoted despite the total absence of any evidence whatsoever to substantiate the theory?  Have you never wondered why Martin Smith was 60-80% sure the stranger he and his family allegedly saw on the night of 3rd May 2007, was Gerry McCann, having seen him arriving back in the UK four months after the event?  Two e-fits, neither of which resemble Gerry McCann, the focal point of Operation Grange's revelation moment that has since become yet another red herring?

Do you totally ignore the tangible evidence that points towards a collusion between Martin Smith and the McCanns private detectives?  You say that Martin Smith has quite recently publicly reaffirmed his conviction that it was Gerry McCann he witnessed, at least 60-80% sure (no mean difference) but he didn't did he - it was Gemma O'Doherty who made this claim publicly, not Martin Smith. Even if Martin Smith did make such a comment it matters not, as the e-fits were just an invention otherwise they would have been publicized years before.

Your above comments about Martin Smith's assumed actions are very assured, can you provide evidence to back-up your convictions?

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Post by lemonbutter on 01.04.18 6:11

Martin Smith and his family have not been charged with any offences in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007. They are not suspects, they have not perverted the course of justice and they have not perjured themselves. They are witnesses.
 
For those of us who believe in the integrity of this family’s testimony (which Martin Smith still claims to be true after almost eleven years), it seems we must prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not lying. Phoebe has presented sound legal reasoning in every attempt to demonstrate that the Smiths are telling a true and factual account of what they saw on the night of 3rd May 2007. These arguments would stand up in any court of law, in my opinion, should the Smiths ever find themselves on a criminal charge of perjury for instance.
 
On the other hand, there is no proof of evidence that the Smiths have fabricated their whole testimony. There are however, a lot of assumptions and opinions from those who believe this to be the case.
 
Martin Smith, in my opinion, would most likely welcome the opportunity to stand as a witness in a court of law and allow his testimony to be tested by a judge and jury.
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Post by polyenne on 01.04.18 7:46

And if we’re looking for factual evidence, the fact that Smith met with Team McCann following his statement does not, IMO, seem so extraordinary. They would have presented themselves as detectives pursuing evidence on behalf of the McCanns and Mr Smith would have felt duty bound to assist.

I suggest the word “collusion” used above is defamatory in itself.......secret or illegal cooperation in order to cheat or deceive others.


Please offer up your facts for stating that Martin Smith “colluded” with the McCann detectives.
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Post by G-Unit on 01.04.18 7:58

The e-fits were received by Operation Grange in September 2008? How so, when it wasn't formed until 2011?
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Post by Jill Havern on 01.04.18 8:31

When did Jim Gamble's Scoping Exercise begin?

Dear Home Office,
re: Freedom of Information - A Scoping Report in 2010 by Jim Gamble about the Madeleine McCann case
During 2009 and 2010, there were numerous reports in the British print and TV media about the preparation of a scoping report in connection with a possible review of the Madeleine McCann case. Alan Johnson was the Home Secretary at the time. Some newspapers made reference to the Metropolitan and West Yorkshire police forces having been asked to carry out this scoping exercise, but eventually it was announced that Jim Gamble, former boss of CEOP, was doing it. It is now known that this scoping exercise was used by the Home Office when, after the intervention of News International's then Chief Executive Officer, Ms Rebekah Brooks, the Home Office in conjunction with the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, decided to set up Operation Grange, the investigative review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. This report was not made public and was described in the British press as 'top secret'.
Despite that, on Sky News yesterday (1 Sep 2014) and in several British newspapers within the past 24 hours, it was stated that a persons or persons unknown had 'briefed' Sky News and the press with partial disclosures from this 'top secret' report.
Arising out of the above facts, and notwithstanding that there continues to be an investigation into the facts surrounding Madeleine's disappearance, please answer the following questions:
1. What other persons or organisations or agencies were asked if they could carry out this scoping exercise, before Jim Gamble was approached?
2. On what date was Jim Gamble approached to carry out this exercise?
3. On what date did Jim Gamble complete his report and/or submit it to the Home Secretary?
4. Was any payment made to either CEOP or to Jim Gamble personally for carrying out this report; if so, what was the fee?
5. Is the report marked or treated as confidential?
6. If the report is confidential, has the Home Office authorised partial release of its contents to the media?
7. If it has so authorised such release, (a) who authorised the release of this information and (b) on what date was it authorised?
8. If any release of its contents has not been authorised by the Home Office, (a) has the Home Office begun an enquiry into who leaked this information and (b), if so, on what date did the leak enquiry begin?
9. Specifically, did the Home Office authorise Jim Gamble to disclose some of his report's contents to the media; if so, who authorised this disclosure and on what date was such authority given?
If the 'public interest' test is deemed to apply to any of the above questions, the issue of whether and under what circumstances persons are at liberty to release selected details of a confidential document within an investigation to the media is, it is submitted, manifestly a matter of the public interest.
Yours faithfully,
Anthony Bennett

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/this_request_is_about_factual_ma
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Post by Phoebe on 01.04.18 10:30

It appears the Smiths are under suspicion in certain people's minds because they co-operated with drawing up e-fits of the man they had seen carrying a child. These e-fits bear a strong resemblance to Gerry McCann. In "The Truth Of The Lie" Dr. Amaral makes it clear that after the Smiths identified Gerry as the man they has seen on May 3rd arrangements were put in place for the Smiths to return to Portugal for the purposes of making a positive identification re. Gerry being Smithman.

"We decide to get the Smiths back to the Algarve, for a formal identification of Gerry McCann - by means of televised images certainly - direct confrontation being impossible - and possibly proceed to a reconstruction of the events of the night of May 3rd. The National Director of the Judiciary police agrees, the process is set in motion, ALL THE DETAILS ARE SORTED OUT, ALL THAT REMAINS IS TO CHOOSE THE HOTEL WHERE THEY WILL BE PUT UP.  But the Smiths never come back to Portugal. After my departure the P.J. were to change their minds."

It is crystal clear from the above passage that the Smiths were perfectly willing to return to Portugal in Sept '07 to assist with the process of making a positive identification of Gerry as the man they had seen. Had the P.J. not balked and passed the job on to the Irish police instead there would have been no need for e-fits later. The willingness of the Smiths to cooperate as G.A. describes above is impossible to marry with the notion of them working for the McCanns. It was not their fault that this did not go ahead. They later took the only course of action they could which would result in the police and public learning of their sighting and their conviction of having seen Gerry that night - helping to create the e-fits. Why blame them for this!

@ Verdi "Your above comments about Martin Smith's assumed actions are very assured, can you provide evidence to back-up your convictions?"


I could repeat that exact sentence re those who say the Smiths are complicit in the cover-up!!
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Post by willowthewisp on 01.04.18 11:01

Hi Phoebe,thank you for your contributions on the Smith sighting in Portugal in May 2007 and the valid points made about,Police forces not following up the proposed actions.
As Mr Antony Bennett clearly stipulates,DCI Andy Redwood had done his investigation by this time,due to reitre,job done,cheers Andy, October 2013,Madeleine McCann Special to back up the Abductor,Remit?

Now five years later on,the public have no right to challenge what DCI Andy Redwood had chosen to divulge to the Crime Watch audience,Creche Dad,aka Smithman sighting,moving time frame,cannot solve the Crime,Adjust the time to fit the Crime,let alone the comments on clothing worn by Two individuals,Father,Daughter,Revelation moment?
Talk about"Perverting the Course of Justice"by a Metropolitan Police Officer,DCI Andy Redwood?

Now Operation Grange has Not had any e-fits made after Mr Martin Smith and his Family met with DCI Andy Redwood,prior to the Madeleine McCann Special,as part of the review,Investigation!
So possible witness(S) from Portugal in May 2007 are no longer part of any Operation Grange Appeal,after Eight to ten million people could have been deceived by a Crime Watch,Police special broadcast,with no explanations necessary for any mis-statements made!

What a load of B*llox this farce Operation Grange has been since the outset by dodgy Dave Cameron,Rebekah Brooks,review into Madeleine McCann's disappearance to"Help" the McCann's?
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Post by Phoebe on 01.04.18 13:06

@ Willowthewisp. For me, the clear evidence that the Smith sighting is, in reality, a thorn in Op. Grange's side (despite the best efforts of Andy R. to claim it is not being ignored) is shown by Op. Grange's inactivity around this evidence in any practical, investigative way.
 If Smithman is such a "Eureka" moment for the investigation, why then has Grange never re-engaged with the Smiths. Why has it failed to establish that the Smiths still stand over their unchanged belief that Smithman was Gerry. Instead, we got Grange's mealy-mouthed excuse that witnesses (ie his wife and chums) place Gerry at the Tapas Bar when the Smiths were encountering their man. Why has Op. Grange not asked for the Smiths to cooperate in drawing up new e-fits, using Op. Grange's own experts.  Instead we are told that - 

 "The MPS will not comment on whether identifications have or have not been made however the efits do  not form part of any current appeal."


Enough said methinks! Clearly Smithman, like the questioning of the parents, is "old ground" which Grange is avoiding like the plague!
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Post by Verdi on 01.04.18 13:21

@polyenne wrote:And if we’re looking for factual evidence, the fact that Smith met with Team McCann following his statement does not, IMO, seem so extraordinary. They would have presented themselves as detectives pursuing evidence on behalf of the McCanns and Mr Smith would have felt duty bound to assist.

I suggest the word “collusion” used above is defamatory in itself.......secret or illegal cooperation in order to cheat or deceive others.


Please offer up your facts for stating that Martin Smith “colluded” with the McCann detectives.

A prominent member of this forum attempted to approach more than one individual connected to this case, introducing himself as someone interested in the case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. All he got was a short sharp shrift - which is what he, or anybody else for that matter, would have got from me under similar circumstances.

Private detectives have no rights under British law, they are just snoops mostly used in cases of infidelity and such like - in essence they are useless when it comes to serious crime. Indeed, considering the Portuguese had, do have and will always have, primacy with this particular case, the private detectives hired by the McCann team were acting unlawfully when on Portuguese soil and unlawfully by effectively interfering with an active criminal investigation into the disappearance o a three year old child !!!

There is a paper trail here, which includes the Sunday Times exclusive back in October 2014 (that month again) that accused the McCanns of secreting vital information from a police investigation - the Smith e-fits! Funnily enough, as a result of this Times (Murdoch empire) exclusive, the McCanns happily banked a reported sum of £55,000 (that could buy me a super new car) in libel damages - an out of court settlement.

Follow the paper trail, read and carefully consider the many Smith threads on this forum and you will have all the facts you wish for - and a whole lot more.


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Post by Verdi on 01.04.18 13:36

@lemonbutter wrote:Martin Smith and his family have not been charged with any offences in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007.

Phoebe has presented sound legal reasoning in every attempt to demonstrate that the Smiths are telling a true and factual account of what they saw on the night of 3rd May 2007.

1.  Neither have the McCanns, that counts for nothing.  The case has never been presented before a court of law, who knows what would be revealed if it ever came to that.  It's never a case of .... 'did you?' .... 'nah!' ....'OK. you're free to go' ....'call the next witness'

2.  Forgive me but all I've seen is a string of what if, maybe, probably, perhaps, possibly, could have, would have, did (bit of a curious one that), supposing, I think etc. Culminating in second hand confirmation via Gemma O'Doherty, that Smith adheres to his 60-80% sure it was Gerry McCann he and his family saw on the night of 3rd May 2007, because of television footage he saw some four months later.

If you could point me in the direction exactly where this 'evidence' and/or 'fact' has been presented, I would be grateful.   howdy

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Post by Phoebe on 01.04.18 15:02

After G.A. was removed from the case the Portuguese police decided to avoid getting further involved with the Smiths over their claim that the man they had seen that night was Gerry. The P.J. cancelled preparations for the Smiths to return in order to make an official identification on Portuguese soil, instead passing the buck to the Irish Gardai.
 IMO, it is obvious that the P.J. were put under political pressure to drop the Smith angle. Why would this be the case if the Smiths were  actually allies of team McCann and their Gov. supporters.
 The British police, having returned to the U.K., were no longer  involved in actively investigating Madeleine's disappearance. 
What other opportunity remained then, for the Smiths to get the description of the man they had seen included in ANY investigation about this child's disappearance. 
The P.J. no longer sought it, the U.K. police weren't involved and certainly did not issue an invitation to the Smiths to come to the U.K. to help draw up any such e-fit. although they were fully aware of the Smith sighting.
The only avenue available to the Smiths was to cooperate with those who DID ask them to help create an e-fit of the suspect. In the absence of any other option, they understandably took this one chance.
 Just think what would have happened if the Smiths had refused.
 In all likelihood Smithman would have faded into obscurity and we, the public, would never have seen the e-fits of the man they helped to depict - e-fits which bear such a resemblance to Gerry that it caused much sarcastic reaction and comment when Gerry was pictured in a  T.V. studio, seated beneath the image of a suspect which looked uncannily like himself!
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Post by plebgate on 01.04.18 15:10

I cannot understand why Met police have not interviewed Mr. about the Smith sighting.  Surely any info. given by the Smiths should have included a re-enactment of the night as Smith said he was 60-80% sure it was Mr.

With that statement lying in the files it beggars (my) belief that the whole lot of them have not been re-interviewed by SY to try and ascertain times etc. to show that it could not possibly have been him.

Over 50% sure that it was Mr. should, imo, warrant a reconstruction of events and at the very least reinterviewing of all the Tapas crew.

As for FOI's load of Bull as per.

Thank you Tony for all you continue to do for Maddie.

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