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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Mm11

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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Tony Bennett on 29.11.09 10:31

I give this a new topic so that the sequence of actions here is plain for all to see.

I have been publicly called a 'liar' because Debbie and I paid Kirwans from The Madeleine Foundation chequebook the sum of £500.00, which appeared to contradict this statement I made on 17 September 2009:

"We should just like to add this. Any fees incurred for legal advice will be met personally by ourselves and the funds in The Madeleine Foundation’s bank account will not be used".

This joint statement by me and Debbie followed what appeared to have been her resignation from The Madeleine Foundation, announced on 15 September on the 'Missing Madeleine' Forum. That took a few e-mails and 'phone calls to sort out and at the time I thought it was a temporary 'blip'.

Prior to our meeting with Kirwans on 2 October 2009, Debbie Butler informed me that Kirwans were asking for an upfront 'on account' payment of £500.00. I recommended that we waited until we saw them on 2 October.

At that meeting with Kirwans, as I've stated elsewhere, they advised us in the strongest possible terms and repeatedly that we both faced the possibility of financial ruin.

They then said they would charge us £5,000 [yes, three noughts] plus VAT (£750.00) for settling the exact terms of the settlement with Carter-Ruck based on our accession to their demands.

Debbie and I conferred over lunch and Debbie and I both felt we could not afford that. Debbie then suggested that we simply give them the £500.00 upfront fee they had demanded, as a gesture of goodwill for help and advice received to date, and reject their offer. I agreed.

Neither of us had £500 cash on us so we both signed a Madeleine Foundation cheque for £500.

The payment of this £500 to Kirwans was discussed by members at our meeting on 3 October in Cardiff. All members present were insistent that it would be unreasonable for Debbie and I to meet that cost out of personal funds and agreed that it was a legitimate expense for The Madeleine Foundation. I reported to the meeting in detail about the legal advice that was given to us and members felt that the payment of £500.00 for four hours' worth of legal advice plus the advice and help given by Kirwans before the meeting was good value for money so far as the future activities of The Madeleine Foundation were concerned.

Subsequently all 37 members were informed by letter of the payment. Not one member has even raised a query about £500.00 of MF funds being used to pay Kirwans. And it is to our members that the Committee is answerable.
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Post by ROCKY on 29.11.09 12:28

Thank you Tony I am happy with your reply and am grateful that you have made this clear for all to see.
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Post by ROCKY on 29.11.09 12:31

I hope Jolie appears and gives her opinion as she was also asking the same question.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Re: Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Guest on 29.11.09 12:55

At least you have replied Tony to that question.

However are you and Debs going to re-pay the £500 to the foundation, or at least your share of it?
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Post by ROCKY on 29.11.09 19:57

Hi Jolie I see you are posting .Our question has been answered.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Here is a copy of a post I wrote on another thread about this subject, FYI, Rocky

Post by Jolie on 29.11.09 20:32

@ROCKY wrote:Hi Jolie I see you are posting .Our question has been answered.

I am not a member of the Madeleine Foundation but have been a supporter of it since the publication of the '60 Reasons' booklet. Personally, I see nothing wrong with using Foundation funds for the purpose of paying the Kirwans legal bills except that you and Debbie issued a statement earlier that said you specifically would not do this. Ask yourself why that public statement was made in the first place if you were unwilling to follow through with that commitment. Was it to point out a difference in the way the Foundation funds were handled in comparison to how the McCanns' Fund was/is handled, in stating they would not use the Fund for their legal expenses and then that changed? That the McCanns used the Fund for mortgage payments? Didn't they earn much disrespect from many for how the fund was used? How could you not know that by backtracking on that initial commitment to pay the legal bills yourself, you harmed your own standing and the value of your word? The next time you make a claim or statement, people will be less likely to believe you are telling the truth, that you can be trusted to honor your word. Trust is an important, essential part of any relationship. Successful leaders must earn trust by proving their trustworthiness.

I think you should be making a statement on your official, new MF website that the Madeleine Foundation paid the 500 pounds for the legal advice from Kirwans and perhaps offer that any donor (not a member) who contributed monies to the Foundation and would like their money returned to make an official request and that once the contribution is confirmed (and the bank account is unfrozen), the donation will be refunded. Another option would be to repay the Foundation fund the total amount of 500 pounds and announce that fact online and explain what happened and why. Transparency in use of Foundation funds is essential for holding trust. Didn't the McCanns refund their Fund for the mortgage payments (allegedly) after the public outcry?

Making an announcement that the e-mail related to Debbie Butler's mental health was sent to justagranny, without being sure of your facts first, without checking with her first and without concern as to how it might affect her by revealing that, is careless and thoughtless, in my opinion.

Tony, you have done so many good things in the cause of bringing information to the public about the Madeleine McCann case, and I have hope that you will continue to do so, even though you are under fire from so many people trying to get you to discontinue your efforts. I ask that you take great care in your words and actions to protect the integrity of what you do.


Jolie

and another follow-up post soon after:

Re: The crucial private message from Ambersuz to justagrannynow which explains where Debbie got the idea that money was missing from the Foundation
Jolie Today at 8:22 pm

.JKH wrote:
Mumbles wrote:
JKH wrote:
Tony said he and Debbie didn't have £500 cash on them at the time so used an MF cheque.

That's something that I personally can't get my head around!

If I have to go and see a lawyer, accountant or whatever - I always PRESUME that I am about to be charged.
Let's face it - it's not often that you get something for free!

So - I always take either cash, cheque book , or bank card with me.

Yet neither Tony or Debbie did?

How strange!

I never took a cheque book when I went to my solicitor during my divorce - I was always billed afterwards.

And yet, Tony wrote that Debbie told him in advance that Kirwans wanted an upfront fee paid of 500 pounds and he told her that they should wait until the October 2 meeting. Why would he not be prepared with a checkbook on that date, knowing those details in advance?

Tony wrote above:

Prior to our meeting with Kirwans on 2 October 2009, Debbie Butler informed me that Kirwans were asking for an upfront 'on account' payment of £500.00. I recommended that we waited until we saw them on 2 October.

Was he being honest and forthright in his initial statement of September 17 that he and Debbie would personally cover the legal costs? Or did he all along intend and hope for the Foundation to cover the costs?

Let's take a closer look at the facts: If he didn't expect to pay on October 2 and planned on being billed, which is why he didn't bring a personal checkbook, why did he bring the MF checkbook to the meeting instead? Why did he tell Kirwans that the 500 pounds was a substantial portion of the Madeleine Foundation account? Why did he not state that he would send his own personal check to the office at a later date because he had not brought his own checkbook with him because he expected to be billed later?.

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Post by Pussycat on 29.11.09 20:49

Maybe I am being naive here, but why would any solicitor ask for an 'up-front' payment? It's something I have never encountered, either personally or in business
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Post by Finally on 29.11.09 21:06

Hi

I had to pay a deposit before our solicitor would start work on our house move. It was for things like searches etc but other than that it was a big bill at the end after we had moved.
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Post by Guest on 29.11.09 21:11

@Finally wrote:Hi

I had to pay a deposit before our solicitor would start work on our house move. It was for things like searches etc but other than that it was a big bill at the end after we had moved.

Surely if you are going to see a solicitor purely for advice they would bill you there and then?
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Post by Jill Havern on 29.11.09 21:13

@Mumbles wrote:
@Finally wrote:Hi

I had to pay a deposit before our solicitor would start work on our house move. It was for things like searches etc but other than that it was a big bill at the end after we had moved.

Surely if you are going to see a solicitor purely for advice they would bill you there and then?

A lot of solicitors in the UK give free advice prior to you deciding if you want to retain them.
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Post by Guest on 29.11.09 21:18

JKH wrote:
@Mumbles wrote:
@Finally wrote:Hi

I had to pay a deposit before our solicitor would start work on our house move. It was for things like searches etc but other than that it was a big bill at the end after we had moved.

Surely if you are going to see a solicitor purely for advice they would bill you there and then?

A lot of solicitors in the UK give free advice prior to you deciding if you want to retain them.

True - but I'm sure I read somewhere on here that a sum of £500 had already been bandied about prior to the meeting?
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Post by Finally on 29.11.09 21:26

Hi Mumbles

Yes you are right. For some things I understand as Jill has mentioned, that you can take free legal advice before deciding whether to proceed or not. I believe they will give you something like a free half an hour.

For conveyancing I think it is pretty standard to ask for a deposit up front and then a bill follows when all is complete. I have a feeling that it is the same for divorce too as a pal has recently had her divorce and in fact, she was able to pay an amount each month so that she did not face a massive final bill. Maybe this is usual practice for law that follows an almost exact pattern each time it is dealt with by a lawyer.

Take care
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Background information on the initial approach by Kirwans offering Pro Bono work

Post by Jolie on 29.11.09 21:39

I found this information in a cached page of Thentherewere4's flickr account, which is otherwise not available online any longer.

QUOTE

10.10.09 NEWS: The latest twist in the Carter Ruck affair surfaced last week. The Madeleine Foundation website went under new ownership and Tony Bennett in a surprise move acceeded, along with Debbie Butler, to all the demands made by Carter Ruck concerning their campaign activities.

The full transcript of Bennett and Butlers encounter at Kirwans, their 'pro bono' solicitors, penned by Tony Bennett follows this introductory passage from Stevo, ex webmaster for The Madeleine Foundation website, my comments on the weeks events follow beneath:

'Madeleine Foundation to comply with Carter-Ruck'
Friday 02 October 2009 @ 20:02

Foundation to comply with Carter-Ruck

I just spoke to Tony Bennett and Debbie Butler on the phone after they had left a 4 hour session with lawyers.
The outcome was that Tony wrote this note to Carter Ruck:
'We confirm Tony Bennett’s telephone call at 3:14pm to Julia that we both accede to the demands set out by your client, the McCanns in your letters to us of the 27th August 2009'.

Signed: Tony Bennett and Debbie Butler

More news will follow when Tony and Debbie get back home - Stevo

**** BENNETT THEN POSTED THIS ARTICLE ****

"THE DECISION TO ACCEDE TO CARTER-RUCK'S DEMANDS"
The Website Formerly Known as The Madeleine Foundation

By Tony Bennett
02 October 2009

Debbie and I will explain this in full, in due course.

Today began at 4.00 am for Debbie and 5.00 am for me as we had an appointment with Kirwans Solicitors, Liverpool at 11.00am. The meeting was with Partners David Kirwan and Michael Sandys, Solicitor Julia Kirwan and Media Advisor Nick Mason and lasted four hours with three short interruptions.

Clear advice was given that because of the high degree of uncertainty in libel litigation, no guarantee could be given that if we defended a libel suit, we would win. It was emphasised in graphic terms by one of the Partners that on a worst-case scenario the outcome could mean complete financial ruin for both Debbie and myself, with all our savings raided and court orders made to recover the equity value each of us have in the homes we own.

It was also emphasised that Carter-Ruck had immense resources both within their firm and beyond them, that they could sustain a case lasting many weeks, and that to defend the proceedings would require us to engage libel lawyers at huge fees which neither of us could remotely afford to pay.

We were further advised that correspondence between Kirwans Solicitors and Carter-Ruck on 24, 25 and 29 September and 1 October revealed a strong likelihood that Carter-Ruck had indeed already drafted a libel writ and would be ready to walk into the High Court on Monday (5th Oct) at 9.00am to issue a writ, unless we acceded to their demands in full by close of play on Friday (i.e. today).

Accordingly we telephoned Carter-Ruck at 3.14pm today and faxed them written notice of our accession to the McCanns' demands at 3.25pm. Attempts to speak to both Adam Tudor and Isabel Hudson, the two main Solicitors conducting the litigation for Carter-Ruck, failed as we were informed that 'the entire department' was tied up in a meeting this afternoon. That was still the case when we telephoned again at 4.47pm to make absolutely sure that our fax had been safely received. Julia on the switchboard confirmed that it had been.

Kirwans offered to assist us with concluding written terms of settlement with the McCanns, via Carter-Ruck, if we paid them a retainer of £5,000 plus VAT. After a short period of consideration, Debbie and I decided that neither of us could afford this. We offered the sum of £500.00 to Kirwans for their advice to date which was accepted and paid by us. I should explain that this was in respect of several hours of advice and assistance from Kirwans during the period 24 September until today, notably including a sentence-by-sentence analysis of the '60 Reasons' book by Partner Michael Sandys, for which we are grateful.

As we cannot afford further legal help, we shall have to deal with any further correspondence with Carter-Ruck ourselves.

That's all, and I have to be up again at 7.00am in order to make our Cardiff meeting tomorrow on time.

FINALLY...

I wish to make it clear to all readers of this forum, whoever they are, that as from today we gave notice to Carter-Ruck that we acceded to their demand that The Madeleine Foundation website be 'suspended permanently'. Stevo has exercised what he asserts are his rights associated with registration and ownership of the domain name etc. and is now in personal and sole control of this website which has been re-named.

THIS WEBSITE THEREFORE IS NO LONGER IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM UNDER THE CONTROL OR DIRECTION OF THE MADELEINE FOUNDATION.

**** TTW4 - COMMENT ****

Kirwans demanded £5,000 plus VAT from Bennett and Butler for work they claimed they had conducted to date on their behalf, as clients of the firm. I find this a strange demand to make, as it appears that neither Bennett nor Butler had at any point in time committed themselves either verbaly or in writing to any such client firm relationship.

When Kirwans first made contact with Bennett and Butler it was on the clear understanding that the firm would make its facilites available in terms of expertise, opinion, and counsel, IE barristers fees, on a purely 'pro bono' basis. Pro Bono indicates that Kirwans would not charge any money to Bennett and Butler for work carried out on their behalf in relation to the Mccanns and Carter Rucks involvement.

The argument as to why Kirwans were prepared to accept the case on such generous terms was, they proposed, based on an interest in the legal ramifications the case might have to offer the law for the interpretation of the rights of the individual to express himself/herself in the arena of demonstrating their right to free speech.

As such Kirwans interest in the case was presented as soley an academic one, and not of one of seeking profit or gain from the relationship. Kirwans offer of help in litigating with Carter Ruck on a 'pro bono' basis was gratefully accepted by Tony Bennett and Debbie Butler. The Madeleine Foundation being of very limited means, was quite unable to fund what would have been a truely stupendous amount of money, and for what would have been an indeterminate period of time.

The news from Tony Bennett clearly states that Kirwans demanded £5,875.00 for work carried out on their behalf, and this appears to be somewhat at odds with Bennett and Butlers understanding of the terms of the original contract. Pro Bono indicates that fees for work conducted will not be charged, yet after just 4 days of advice, most, if not all of which, it must be said, was conducted on the telephone and via email, Kirwans raised a substantial invoice. To add to Bennett and Butlers discomfort Kirwans now stipulated terms that immediate payment was demanded.

Such behaviour by a firm of solicitors might well be seen in the very least as uncaring, and perhaps it might be that a formal line of inquisition now be instigated in order to satisfactorily resolve the contrary and variable approach Kirwans have demonstrated in the field of professional duty of care towards their clients. Bennett and Butler handed over £500 in full and final settlement of their 'account', an account which barely 3 hours prior to their meeting on Friday they had no knowledge of, or it seems had not formally existed.

The actions and demands that Kirwans made force us all to consider the motives for Kirwans involvement in the case from the very start. It is understood that Kirwans arrived on the scene quite by happenstance. It was Kirwans that approached and offered their services to Bennett and Butler and not the other way about.

Bennett and Butler fully aware of their limited financial means were also fully aware they were not in any sort of position to engage the services of a firm of lawyers such as Kirwans. To retain lawyers was quite out of the question, and Bennett pointed out this very salient fact at the outset of their encounter. Furthermore it was made clear to Kirwans that they would only be allowed to proceed in the matter, on the unequivocal understanding that no fees would be charged for services rendered. This condition Kirwans accepted, and their progress in evaluating the case was permitted by Bennett and Butler. Without this assurance from Kirwans, Bennett and Butler would have witheld their cooperation. In that Kirwans then proceeded to advise and act, it is apparent this condition had been accepted and fulfilled.

Bennett and Butler are people of limited means and to have attempted to engage or retain legal opinion would have been foolhardy in the extreme. Should they have adopted opinion, then bankruptcy through their own actions would have been an inevitable outcome. It is now apparent that Kirwans interest in the case was not academic, as was at first purported, for if it had been it would surely have continued to be so. The terms of the 'pro bono' contract should have continued to apply, and no fees should have been demanded, yet considerable fees were demanded and were demanded with the condition that they be paid immediately.

Bennetts posting leaves us with unanswered questions: Kirwans - The unanswered questions.

1.Why did Kirwans choose to involve themselves with Bennet and Butler ?

2.Bennett and Butler made it clear to Kirwans they could only proceed on a pro bono basis, if this was unacceptable to Kirwans why did they continue to act ?

3.Why were Kirwans so anxious that it was their firm that Bennett and Butler should choose to represent them in court?

4.When did the contract between Bennett and Butler, and Kirwans, change from 'pro bono' to one of financial gain?

5.Why did Kirwans see fit to make this change?

6.Why didn't Kirwans advise their clients, Bennett and Butler, that their position of financial responsibility with the firm had changed, and so significantly ?

Not a lot to ask of a firm such as Kirwans. 6 simple questions that revolve around effective communication with their clients, and the establishing of a clear understanding upon which they may proceed to act for a client. Questions, to which, as yet there does not appear to be any satisfactory answer or obvious explanation.

Kirwans actions in trying to help Bennett and Butler to deal with a situation, one that had placed them under great stress, both emotional and financial, was not helped in the slightest by the manner in which Kirwans exercised their best professional judgement in assisting their clients at this their most difficult of times. Questions that at the very least demand an answer.

There is one final question, a question 7, the answer to which, might throw some much needed light upon Kirwans apparent eagerness to act for Bennett and Butler.

7. At the outset Kirwans senior partner put it to Bennett, and The Foundation, that he was called to act for Bennett having received and read a leaflet from the Madeleine Foundation. This was not just any leaflet, this was one of the leaflets circulated exclusively, by post, to all Members of Parliament. The pull of the Mccanns is well renowed and has been as much in evidence in the House of Commons as it has on the Portuguese street. With this in mind one has now to ask which Member of Parliament was it, who was kind enough to think Bennet and Butler required help, more specificaly help in the form of solicitors from Liverpool, namely Kiwans ?

END QUOTE

www.flickr.com/photos/ttw4/3997548989/+thentherewere4+kirwans+tony+bennett&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:y2bJ6KModR4J:www.flickr.com/photos/ttw4/3997548989/+thentherewere4+kirwans+tony+bennett&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Jolie's comments:

This is a lot to read but it gives a lot of food for thought and some more unanswered questions.

Perhaps Tony Bennett can confirm the information that TTW4 presents in his comments?
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Post by Guest on 29.11.09 22:48

murat_fan wrote:At least you have replied Tony to that question.

However are you and Debs going to re-pay the £500 to the foundation, or at least your share of it?

Sorry i am still awaiting Bennett's reply
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Post by Jill Havern on 29.11.09 22:51

[quote="murat_fan"]
murat_fan wrote:At least you have replied Tony to that question.

However are you and Debs going to re-pay the £500 to the foundation, or at least your share of it?

Sorry i am still awaiting Bennett's reply[/quote

Sometimes talking to yourself is the only way to get a sane conversation.
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Post by Guest on 29.11.09 22:57

I'll repeat my question from another thread, because funnily enough TTW4 has perhaps inadvertently highlighted something that I asked.
He says, and this was my understanding too:

Bennett and Butler handed over £500 in full and final settlement of their 'account', an account which barely 3 hours prior to their meeting on Friday they had no knowledge of, or it seems had not formally existed.

and yet TB claims (above) that Debbie Butler had already been sent a bill for £500 to be paid 'on account' and he had advised her to wait until the meeting before paying anything.

The two viewpoints are not stacking up.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Oh really?

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 0:31

In the interests of truth once more:

Tony Bennett said:
"Neither of us had £500 cash on us so we both signed a Madeleine Foundation cheque for £500."

Er, I don't/can't follow all this stuff Tone and it's none of my business except that you've made it my busines by broadcasting your stuff all over the internet so I couldn't miss it, just as the McCanns made it my business when they aimed their vile little appeal at me and 60 million others over the media.

I doubt if anything is going to happen to you legally because the sums are so small and because the CPS won't be able to bear the thought of you and your friend Debbie shouting at each other in court, but in case you didn't know - you broke the law when you did that.

I find it hard to believe how ignorant of the law, both criminal and civil, you seem to be. You used funds that were not yours, not in any sense yours - they belonged to a quite separate legal entity called the Madeleine Foundation. Your writing of a cheque drawing on a separate entity's funds was exactly, and I mean exactly, the same as a finance director of a company or a local council writing a cheque in favour of themselves.

You just don't get it, do you? At the very least that was what is called fraudulent misappropriation. If the sums were bigger the CPS would go for you on a theft charge - ie "taking with the intention of permanently keeping what you have stolen."

They won't do it because for a lousy £500 they'll say it's not worth spending money to prosecute you on a theft charge because they would have to prove the permanent bit - whereas you can claim, of course - especially if you talk this Debbie woman, whoever she is, round - "sir, sir, it was only temporary, sir".

Honestly, I find it hard to believe your f*****g front. Owning a chequebook does not confer any legal right to use or take the money in that account for your own purposes. It doesn't make any difference if you needed to borrow that money for twenty four hours for a cancer operation for your mum or anything else - it didn't belong to you. You took money that wasn't in any way yours, Tone - you nicked it.
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Post by ROCKY on 30.11.09 7:57

Well Blacksmith you do not mince words. Tony has said that all members were informed about this 500.00 paid out from the fund and not one of them have objected. He also said that it was basically their business. Are there any members posting who received such a letter and are they happy that their money was spent this way? TTW4 ALWAYS makes sense.Thank you Jolie for posting.

Jolie you mention that it is alleged that the Mccanns paid back the two mortgage payments. This is the first time I have heard this. I thought it was then that the 'SMALL' print was pointed out to us that the fund was to help the financial support of the Mccanns. Hence ,they did not need to replace this money...I remember Aunt Phill screaming in that voice of hers 'You should have read the small print'
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 9:38

Morning all , Smith my feeling is , if this Money was being paid in regards to the Madeleine Foundation and/ or Members of it , who have been legally challenged as is/was Debbie and Tony , by the Mccanns.Then surley that is quite acceptable. Tony did not use the Money on himself or personal Items. He used it for a solicitors bill regarding the Foundation and its members. Your opinion please would be gratefull.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Legalities

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 11:22

Tony Bennett has brought all this to the forums, effectively asking people to judge his behaviour. Personally I think that is crazy and this is all turning into a tragedy and after this post I don't want to say any more about it.

I have not seen the constitution of the Madeleine Foundation but it makes absolutely no difference because by making references to a "constitution" and asking people to send money for leaflets to a "Foundation" Mr Bennett has clearly implied to the public that he is not trading on his own behalf but is a servant of a separate legal entity. Two cheque signatories on bank transactions confirms this.

The question of whether "members" gave or could give retrospective assent to a transaction makes absolutely no difference at all in law in this case. No doubt TB feels that his conscience is clear but the law is very simple: if a person can extract funds for their own purposes temporarily - whether claiming that it is for purposes related to the institution or not - then, of course, having paid it back they can borrow it again and again thus making it a permanent income. Do you see the legal reasoning? That's what the thief Robert Maxwell used to do with funds that were not his own.

As I say these amounts are so small that he will probably, though not definitely, escape prosecution. But in his position I would be very careful indeed about what I say on the subject because if he tries to defend the payment any more he raises the whole question of whether he has been getting money from the public fraudulently - ie, would a reasonable person writing a cheque for leaflets to something called the "Madeleine Foundation" believe that he was actually sending money to an individual - TB - for the latter to do what he pleased with?

The law won't care too much about a possible one-off theft but the whole question of people appealing for money under false pretences is a very big one indeed because it attracts crooks on a huge scale: that of course is what Nigerian internet scams are. If it was thought that TB has done this systematically - and if he does not possess evidence to show that each of his various past enterprises have had a registered legal structure, such as a company limited by guarantee, a trust fund or a private limited company, the CPS might feel that a prosecution for fraud is in the public interest. That would not involve any evidence from this Deborah person. And the fact that he is, in some sense, a solicitor means an even greater incentive for the CPS to prosecute as a matter of public protection, however small the sums.

Tony: withdraw from the limelight for a while, for your own good and the good of the campaign to discover the fate of Madeleine McCann. We are not talking forum opinions here - this legal stuff is for real.

ETA: an "institution" was not threatened with libel action by Carter Filth: they are much too knowledgable for that. They proceeded against individuals. Individuals are not the Foundation - therefore the solicitor's bill was exactly the same as a bill in a restaurant for a TB meal.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 11:30

Smith thankyou for your reply, and i have to agree now you have explained in full. Their should have been a seperate fund for any such eventualities in my mind.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Re: Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 11:53

trunky wrote:I'll repeat my question from another thread, because funnily enough TTW4 has perhaps inadvertently highlighted something that I asked.
He says, and this was my understanding too:

Bennett and Butler handed over £500 in full and final settlement of their 'account', an account which barely 3 hours prior to their meeting on Friday they had no knowledge of, or it seems had not formally existed.

and yet TB claims (above) that Debbie Butler had already been sent a bill for £500 to be paid 'on account' and he had advised her to wait until the meeting before paying anything.

The two viewpoints are not stacking up.

Actually there are three...
1. It would be done pro bono (or maybe that was just a bit of bullshit to the faithful to make them think that working lawyers were supporting this bizarre, blame the victims view, in much the same style as Mr Bennett's habit of reposting gushing emails whenever he is asked a tough question on a forum, deflect deflect deflect)
2. That they knew they had a bill to pay
3. That they decided voluntarily to give some money but didn't have the ability to pay it themselves and took it from foundation funds.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Re: Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.11.09 11:58

[quote='justagrannynow"]I am not a member of the Madeleine Foundation but have been a supporter of it since the publication of the '60 Reasons' booklet. Personally, I see nothing wrong with using Foundation funds for the purpose of paying the Kirwans legal bills except that you and Debbie issued a statement earlier that said you specifically would not do this. Ask yourself why that public statement was made in the first place if you were unwilling to follow through with that commitment. Was it to point out a difference in the way the Foundation funds were handled in comparison to how the McCanns' Fund was/is handled, in stating they would not use the Fund for their legal expenses and then that changed? That the McCanns used the Fund for mortgage payments? Didn't they earn much disrespect from many for how the fund was used? How could you not know that by backtracking on that initial commitment to pay the legal bills yourself, you harmed your own standing and the value of your word? The next time you make a claim or statement, people will be less likely to believe you are telling the truth, that you can be trusted to honor your word. Trust is an important, essential part of any relationship. Successful leaders must earn trust by proving their trustworthiness.

I think you should be making a statement on your official, new MF website that the Madeleine Foundation paid the 500 pounds for the legal advice from Kirwans and perhaps offer that any donor (not a member) who contributed monies to the Foundation and would like their money returned to make an official request and that once the contribution is confirmed (and the bank account is unfrozen), the donation will be refunded. Another option would be to repay the Foundation fund the total amount of 500 pounds and announce that fact online and explain what happened and why. Transparency in use of Foundation funds is essential for holding trust. Didn't the McCanns refund their Fund for the mortgage payments (allegedly) after the public outcry?

Making an announcement that the e-mail related to Debbie Butler's mental health was sent to justagranny, without being sure of your facts first, without checking with her first and without concern as to how it might affect her by revealing that, is careless and thoughtless, in my opinion.

Tony, you have done so many good things in the cause of bringing information to the public about the Madeleine McCann case, and I have hope that you will continue to do so, even though you are under fire from so many people trying to get you to discontinue your efforts. I ask that you take great care in your words and actions to protect the integrity of what you do.[/quote]
I deal first of all in time with Jolie's points.

On the first paragraph, it was in hindsight unwise of both me and Debbie to commit publicly to paying Carter-Ruck's bills. And I further concede that then to have paid Kirwans' bill from Madeleine Foundation funds to an extent would lead to a loss of trust in our words.

In those two respects your points Jolie were both well made and are fully taken.

However, members at our meeting on 3 October, the very day after our meeting with Kirwans, were adamant that neither Debbie nor I should refund MF that £500. Among the factors were that MF had gained valuable legal advice which would guide our future activities. Indeed, in some respects, it came cheap at the price since Kirwans' partner Michael Sandys had gone through '60 Reasons' with a fine toothcomb and analysed which sentences in the book might be determined by a court to be libellous.

As I've said before, all members of MF were informed of the payment to Kirwans and not one has objected to the payment nor even raised queries about it. And it is the members, via the Committee of course, who make the decisions about what MF does.

The action against Debbie Butler and myself, it must be remembered, was NOT against us as individuals as such but because we were, respectively, Chairman and Secretary of The Madeleine Foundation, and because things like the publication and distribution of '60 Reasons' and '10 Reasons', writing our report for the DCMS Select Committee and attending its hearing, all action regarded as both harassment and libellous by the McCanns and Carter-Ruck, were done in the name of The Madeleine Foundation.

Now, if anyone had donated to us personally or to The Madeleine Foundation based on the commitment I made on 17 September, and wants their money back, I have no problem with that, even though The Madeleine Foundation accouht is currently blocked at the instigation of Ms Butler. I don't think anyone did, but nevertheless the offer is there and we may say something about this on our website when we can upload more material to it.

Finally, I concede fully your point re identifying 'justagrannynow' (though of course not her real identity) in connection with the truly appalling email sent out by Ambersuz to one of her Moderators/Admin. We can be certain she did send this. We do not yet know who she sent this to. I have apologised both here and by private e-mail to 'justagrannynow' whom I have always found to be a genuine seeker after the truth about Madeleine and I regret any personal embarrassment caused to her. I made an educated guess and was wrong. I most certainly apologise fully for that.

smith wrote:In the interests of truth once more:

Tony Bennett said:
"Neither of us had £500 cash on us so we both signed a Madeleine Foundation cheque for £500."

Er, I don't/can't follow all this stuff Tone and it's none of my business except that you've made it my busines by broadcasting your stuff all over the internet so I couldn't miss it, just as the McCanns made it my business when they aimed their vile little appeal at me and 60 million others over the media.

I doubt if anything is going to happen to you legally because the sums are so small and because the CPS won't be able to bear the thought of you and your friend Debbie shouting at each other in court, but in case you didn't know - you broke the law when you did that.

I find it hard to believe how ignorant of the law, both criminal and civil, you seem to be. You used funds that were not yours, not in any sense yours - they belonged to a quite separate legal entity called the Madeleine Foundation. Your writing of a cheque drawing on a separate entity's funds was exactly, and I mean exactly, the same as a finance director of a company or a local council writing a cheque in favour of themselves.

You just don't get it, do you? At the very least that was what is called fraudulent misappropriation. If the sums were bigger the CPS would go for you on a theft charge - ie "taking with the intention of permanently keeping what you have stolen."

They won't do it because for a lousy £500 they'll say it's not worth spending money to prosecute you on a theft charge because they would have to prove the permanent bit - whereas you can claim, of course - especially if you talk this Debbie woman, whoever she is, round - "sir, sir, it was only temporary, sir".

Honestly, I find it hard to believe your f*****g front. Owning a chequebook does not confer any legal right to use or take the money in that account for your own purposes. It doesn't make any difference if you needed to borrow that money for twenty four hours for a cancer operation for your mum or anything else - it didn't belong to you. You took money that wasn't in any way yours, Tone - you nicked it.
The allegation that Debbie Butler and I committed a crime by signing that cheque together at Liverpool is novel and also false. By the way, I don't know you but I am not impressed with the tone of your remarks. As signatories to the account and as Chairman and Secretary, we were entitled to sign any cheque that in any way helped to further the aims of The Madeleine Foundation. Plainly, that payment to Kirwans helped to further our aims, not least because extensive legal advice was given to us - and thereby to all other members of the Foundation - in relation to the contents of our publications '60 Reasons' and '10 Reasons' and more generally in relation to current principles of libel law in the U.K.

If you would like to specify what section of what Act of the criminal law you think we have broken ("you nicked it" is your summary of us writing out that £300 cheque from MF funds), I will consider it. If you think it should be a Police matter, you could of course telephone the person currently investigating The Madeleine Foundation account at Essex Police.

Finally, an update on the amount of £440.00 I was required to pay to Carter Ruck and did so on Friday 13 November.

£40.00 of that was refunded by Carter-Ruck and paid into my personal account to date.

Kind donations - all unasked for - have been made by four members/supporters and total £270.00.

That leaves me £130.00 down. I do not and have not asked anyone to help with these costs. I also have other expenses incurred in respect of my work with The Madeleine Foundation that have not been reimbursed. I have made a small financial loss out of starting The Madeleine Foundation. However, I've had the personal satisfaction of pointing out to thousands of people some of the many facts about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann that our mainstream media have failed to report and discuss, an action which literally hundreds of people have written to thank me for, by e-mail or letter.

Amidst all the unfair attacks and accusations I have endured from certain quarters, that gives me some cause for consolation.
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Dealings with Kirwans from 19 Sep to 2 Oct 2009

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.11.09 12:04

clarity wrote:
trunky wrote:I'll repeat my question from another thread, because funnily enough TTW4 has perhaps inadvertently highlighted something that I asked.
He says, and this was my understanding too:

Bennett and Butler handed over £500 in full and final settlement of their 'account', an account which barely 3 hours prior to their meeting on Friday they had no knowledge of, or it seems had not formally existed.

and yet TB claims (above) that Debbie Butler had already been sent a bill for £500 to be paid 'on account' and he had advised her to wait until the meeting before paying anything.

The two viewpoints are not stacking up.

Actually there are three...
1. It would be done pro bono (or maybe that was just a bit of bullshit to the faithful to make them think that working lawyers were supporting this bizarre, blame the victims view, in much the same style as Mr Bennett's habit of reposting gushing emails whenever he is asked a tough question on a forum, deflect deflect deflect)
2. That they knew they had a bill to pay
3. That they decided voluntarily to give some money but didn't have the ability to pay it themselves and took it from foundation funds.
For the sake of 'clarity', to ask Debbie Butler for £500 'upfront', as Kirwans did, is not the same as issuing a bill.

For the record, here in full is the initial e-mail sent to Debbie and myself by Mr Nick Mason on 21 September 2009; unfortunately I was on holiday at the time in Northumberland and never saw it until I returned home:

Tony/ Debbie

I am contacting you in the light of the weekend’s press reports regarding Carter Ruck being instructed to close down your website and to prevent the publication of leaflets etc.

David Kirwan, one of the country’s most campaigning solicitors, would be interested in speaking with you regarding the case and to see if he may be able to act on your behalf, possibly in a pro bono capacity.

David has represented a number of high profile clients in recent years including Winnie Johnson, the mother of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett, and the Liverpool football fan Graham Sankey who was accused of committing the crime in Bulgaria for which another fan was convicted. Only yesterday, David featured in an article in the Sunday Times in connection with this case.

His Liverpool based law firm, Kirwans Solicitors, is one of the North West ’s most established firms and includes a specialist libel/ defamation team which has acted in cases involving politicians and celebrities.

Should you be interested in having an initial phone conversation with David, please let me know and I will happily put you in touch.

Kind regards

Nick Mason

[Tel: 0151 239 rest withheld]
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Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009 Empty Re: Why The Madeleine Foundation - not Tony and Debbie personally - paid Kirwans £500 on 2 October 2009

Post by Guest on 30.11.09 12:15

Let me get this right, you thought they were acting pro bono because their PR man had suggested that they might do so?

Since when did you become so trusting of a law firm's PR man? lol!
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