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Maddie sightings and media madness/Algarve Newswatch Mm11

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Maddie sightings and media madness/Algarve Newswatch

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Post by annabel on 21.12.10 13:35

http://algarvenewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/12/madeleine-sightings-and-media-madness.html


Maddie sightings and media madness


Kate and Gerry McCann last weekendcomplained
of “the injustices that we continue to be subjected to.” Their
complaint, widely reported in the press in Britain and Portugal,
referred to the Wikileaks disclosure about them that had “led to the
repetition of many unfounded allegations and smears both in the UK and
in Portugal in particular.”

A modest group of people in Portugal
have also been subjected to injustices, unfounded allegations and smears
in connection with the Madeleine McCann investigation, but they have
had no outlet for complaint - and their side of the story has gone
totally unreported until now.


Ivone
Albino, a Portuguese woman who makes her living as a part-time house
cleaner,was shattered to learn in April this year that newspapers in the
UK were running sensational stories directly linking her with the
alleged abduction of Madeleine McCann three years earlier. She was the
latest victim in a tidal wave of misinformation and false “sightings”
that began soon after Madeleine's disappearance from a holiday apartment
in the village of Praia da Luz in May 2007.


Mrs Albino's name was buried in a “secret” 2,000-page dossier containing informationabout
Madeleine “sightings” that had been brought to the attention of the
Portuguese criminal investigation police, the Polícia Judiciária. The
existence of the dossier emerged after it was referred to by a police
witness during a Lisbon court hearing considering the ban on a book by the former lead detective in the Madeleine case, Gonçalo Amaral.


When
the judge in the hearing ordered the dossier's release, it was eagerly
seized upon by Kate and Gerry McCann, their advisers and the British
press. It was brandished as yet more evidence of the “incompetence” of
the Portuguese police in their search for Madeleine.


By
then, Britain's mainstream media seemed to have accepted the McCanns'
insistence from the very start that Madeleine had been abducted and that
she might still be alive. They ignored or viewed with hostility the
alternative theory, the one most prevalent in Portugal and the main
thrust of Gonçalo Amaral's book, namely that Madeleine had died in the
apartment and that her parents were somehow involved.


Referring
to the Polícía Judicária dossier and in line with the abduction theory,
British (though not Portuguese) newspapers named Mrs Albino as one of
two “gypsy women” seen by a British holidaymaker dragging Madeleine
along an Algarve street in September 2008. The little girl was wearing a
“black wig” but the holidaymaker was “100 per cent sure” it was
Madeleine. The same reports revealed that a rag doll had been found at a
house repeatedly visited by Mrs Albino. According to the reports,
Madeleine “may have been held prisoner” at the house.


A
source close to Madeleine's parents was quoted as saying: “This is one
of the strongest leads there's been in the hunt for Maddie.”


It
wasn't. The “lead” merely gave rise to yet more sensational nonsense in
the British press, causing deep humiliation and distress to Mrs Albino
and two other entirely innocent people with no connection whatsoever to
the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


This
whole silly episode began in September 2008, eighteen months after
Madeleine's disappearance. A 56-year-old retired home care worker from
Widnes in Cheshire, England, phoned the 'Find Madeleine' hotline that
had been set up by the parents of the missing child. She reported seeing
two women with Madeleine in the beach-side village of Carvoeiro, 30
miles east of Praia da Luz.


“This
was a young girl, in the middle of the two women and holding the hand
of each. Her eyes were wide open and I was attracted to the large
irises,” said the Carvoeiro witness.


“The
child was wearing what was clearly a black wig. It was short, cut in a
bob style and very thick. The wig was shiny and unnatural looking and
out of keeping with her very pale complexion and fair eyebrows. I would
say she was about 3ft 1in tall and about five years of age. She was very
thin and I would describe her as malnourished. Her cheeks looked gaunt.
I think she had a bump on her nose. I am convinced the little girl I
saw that morning was Madeleine. I have been asked how certain I am. I
will say I am 100 per cent sure.”


The
Carvoeiro witness described the first of the two women as “obese, size
30, in her mid to late 40s, with “dirty and unkempt” red hair. The other
woman was around 60, with unwashed brown hair, and even fatter. The
witness claimed that when the women realised she was looking at them,
they hid the little girl's face. She recognised Mrs Albino as the
red-haired woman with Madeleine in Carvoeiro. The second woman was never
identified.


Another
unrelated British witness, from Salisbury in Wiltshire, said she saw a
woman resembling Mrs Albino outside the McCanns´ apartment the day
Madeleine disappeared.In
both cases the identifications were made from photographs. A much
earlier report of a woman passing a child wrapped in a blanket over a
fence to a man next to two parked vehicles in Silves two days after
Madeleine's disappearance added spice to these later reports.


The
“sightings” prompted private investigators employed by Madeleine's
parents to zero in on Mrs Albino and follow her to “an isolated
farmhouse” in an orange grove near the town of Silves where she lives.
In a surveillance operation, private investigators saw her making
several visits to the house and meeting there with a couple called Maria
Alice Silveira and Jorge Martins. The couple's movements were deemed to
be “suspicious” by a top detective employed by the McCanns.


Suspicions
heightened when investigators found and photographed a child's rag doll
on the seat of a Citroen Berlingo van parked at the house. “Was this
the rag doll given to Maddie by her captors?” wondered The Sun
in a headline spread over half a page. The question was promptly
answered in the first sentence in the story that followed: “This little
girl's rag doll could have been given to Madeleine McCann by those who
snatched her, investigators believe.”


The
investigators, posing as potential buyers of the property, came across a
discarded child's drawing. And they spotted Jorge Martins buying
clothes suitable for a child of five, the age Madeleine would then have
been. They thought all this strange as neither Mrs Albino, Ms Silveira
nor Mr Martins had young children of their own. “But surveillance was
eventually wound down and the child was never found.”


These
observations were passed to Portugal's criminal investigation police,
even though the official Portuguese police inquiry into Madeleine's
disappearance had been closed. By
then the police had already considered hundreds of bogus or mistaken
“sightings” in about 50 countries ranging from neighbouring Spain to
Australia and New Zealand.


On
learning of the Silves surveillance “evidence” through the newly
released dossier, two of Britain's biggest-selling and most powerful
newspapers carried prominent reports complete with separate photographs
of Mrs Albino, Ms Silveira and Mr Martins, Madeleine, and the rag doll.
They quoted a source close to Kate and Gerry McCann as saying. “There
was credible evidence at the orchard that needed proper investigation by
the Portuguese – that never happened.”


In
fact, the Portuguese police did investigate the “sightings” and the
“suspicious behaviour”. They questioned all three people and visited the
farmhouse. They soon concluded there
was no reason to take their inquiries further. Any reasonably
intelligent Portuguese-speaking person who had spent a few minutes
talking with Mrs Albino about the matter would have come to the same
conclusion. This did not stop the British press from rushing into print
with a load of baloney.


The
truth that didn't make it into the papers is that Mrs Albino regularly
drives through Carvoeiro on the way from Silves to a house she services.
She never walks in the village with or without children in tow. “I have
never held the hand of any child in Carvoeiro, let alone one with a
black wig or resembling Madeleine McCann,” she told me. No villager can
be found in Carvoeiro who would dispute that. As for Praia da Luz, Mrs
Albino said she had never been there. She admitted somewhat sheepishly
that she had only a vague idea of where Praia da Luz was located.


Overweight,
yes, but no one who had known Mrs Albino over many years could recall
her hair ever being dirty, unkempt or red. Indeed she did visit a
somewhat neglected house in an orange orchard. It is on the outskirts of
Silves' urban area, not “remote” as the newspapers made out. She visits
it daily to feed the property's only occupants: her chickens, rabbits
and a large guard dog.


The property had long been owned by the family of Mrs Albino's cousin, Maria Alice Silveira, who lives elsewhere in Silves. She used to own a
dry-cleaning shop in the neighbouring town of Lagoa. Her partner
,Jorge, whom she has since married, is a primary school teacher. They
drive over to the house in their Citroen Berlingo van from time to time
to tend the orchard and collect fruit.


Mr
Martins said he found the doll in a roadway, though it was such a minor
event that he could not remember exactly where or when. The doll was in
good condition so, without much thought he picked it and put it in the
van. He agreed that there had been a discarded child's drawingat the house and, yes, he had bought clothes for a young child. Maria Alice had a grandchild of about Madeleine's age.


Although
they did not read English, Jorge, Maria Alice and Ivone felt shocked
and humiliated when told of the reports and shown their photographs in
national British newspapers. Their shock soon turned to anger and
anxiety about possible repercussions.


With
the start of another summer holiday season in the Algarve, Ivone was
concerned that British parents with young families staying in the
holiday villas she cleans might view her with suspicion, jeopardising
her job.


Maria
Alice said she had lost some British customers at her dry-cleaning
business because the of the press pointing the finger unjustly. Jorge
remained deeply disturbed by what he called “the stupidity” of the
British reports that falsely insinuated wrong-doing.


All
three considered suing to clear their names. But they soon came to
realise they did not have either the capital or the connections to take
the sort of legal action that resulted in the British press paying out
£500,000 in damages to the McCanns, £550,000 to Robert Murat and
£375,000 to the so-called Tapas 7. Actually, this humble group didn't
want compensation money so much as an apology.
annabel
annabel

Posts : 89
Join date : 2010-05-09
Location : Pays Bas

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Post by Guest on 21.12.10 18:31

A good article. Thank you for posting Annabel thumbsup


[quote]
A modest group of people in Portugal
have also been subjected to injustices, unfounded allegations and smears
in connection with the Madeleine McCann investigation, but they have
had no outlet for complaint - and their side of the story has gone
totally unreported until now.


Maria
Alice said she had lost some British customers at her dry-cleaning
business because the of the press pointing the finger unjustly. Jorge
remained deeply disturbed by what he called “the stupidity” of the
British reports that falsely insinuated wrong-doing.


All three considered suing to clear their names. But they soon came to
realise they did not have either the capital or the connections to take
the sort of legal action that resulted in the British press paying out
£500,000 in damages to the McCanns, £550,000 to Robert Murat and
£375,000 to the so-called Tapas 7. Actually, this humble group didn't
want compensation money so much as an apology.





Yet another poor innocent lady dragged into this case having her business and reputation almost ruined. angry


Anonymous
Guest
Guest


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Post by Judge Mental on 21.12.10 19:15

It will not be too difficult to track these stories back to source one day. The true cost of this case is truly immeasurable. Who needs this much protection, that they will allow so many people to have their lives wrecked?
Judge Mental
Judge Mental

Posts : 2762
Join date : 2010-03-17
Age : 82
Location : Chambers

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Post by Guest on 21.12.10 19:18

@Judge Mental wrote:It will not be too difficult to track these stories back to source one day. The true cost of this case is truly immeasurable. Who needs this much protection, that they will allow so many people to have their lives wrecked?

hi Judge,

But according to this quote from the article we know the source

[quote]

The “sightings” prompted private investigators employed by Madeleine's
parents to zero in on Mrs Albino and follow her to “an isolated
farmhouse” in an orange grove near the town of Silves where she lives.
In a surveillance operation, private investigators saw her making
several visits to the house and meeting there with a couple called Maria
Alice Silveira and Jorge Martins. The couple's movements were deemed to
be “suspicious” by a top detective employed by the McCanns.

Anonymous
Guest
Guest


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Post by Judge Mental on 21.12.10 19:32

[quote="candyfloss"]
@Judge Mental wrote:It will not be too difficult to track these stories back to source one day. The true cost of this case is truly immeasurable. Who needs this much protection, that they will allow so many people to have their lives wrecked?

hi Judge,

But according to this quote from the article we know the source



The “sightings” prompted private investigators employed by Madeleine's
parents to zero in on Mrs Albino and follow her to “an isolated
farmhouse” in an orange grove near the town of Silves where she lives.
In a surveillance operation, private investigators saw her making
several visits to the house and meeting there with a couple called Maria
Alice Silveira and Jorge Martins. The couple's movements were deemed to
be “suspicious” by a top detective employed by the McCanns.


But who made sure there were no journalists, police officers or wealthy members connected to this family who could have perhaps risen up to counter this? One would suspect there must be an ex-pat or two who have great knowledge of the area and its people to have been able to get away with this. All of the McCann detectives need much more scrutiny than they have been afforded to date. However, we come back to the same thing every time. Where do we find a police force who will be completely impartial and not be bought off by this raging machine?
Judge Mental
Judge Mental

Posts : 2762
Join date : 2010-03-17
Age : 82
Location : Chambers

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Post by aiyoyo on 21.12.10 19:38

Good grief, the injustice of it all.
aiyoyo
aiyoyo

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