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The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

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The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

Post by Tony Bennett on 18.03.10 8:07

I'm compiling an article which will try to list all those who rushed out to Praia da Luz during May to assist the McCanns.

I don't mean journalists and TV crews, I mean people who seem to have gone to, well, help the McCanns, rather than to look for Madeleine.

It's not even at the first draft stage yet, but I thought this might be a good forum on which to seek further information.

Here is the article, which I shall update regularly as more information (hopefully) is received.

Tony

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here's a provisional list, without checking all the references and links:

Alex Woolfall

Came out almost immediately, Head of Crisis Management at Bell Pottinger. In other words, one of the top dogs at one of the nation's top media manipulation, sorry, public relations firms

Clarence Mitchell

Head of the government's Media Monitoring Unit at the time, whose job he boasted was 'to control what come sout in the media'. Came out in May, and has been the McCanns' chief public relations adviser ever since. No doubt he would have been involved in government decision-making about the case from Day One - indeed he boasted that before coming to Praia da Luz he had persuaded Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor to arrange for the McCanns to meet the Pope

David Hopkins, Managing Director of Mark Warners

(see below under CCP heading)

Three (?) police officers from Leicestershire Police

Including Superintendent/Commander Bob Small, who advised Jane Tanner on 13 May shortly before she adamantly identified Robert Murat as the abductor she''d seen 10 days earlier

British Embassy and Consular Officials

Control Risks Group

Two men from CRG had discussions with the McCanns and were certrainly there within days, despite Dr Gerald McCann saying in late May to a TV interviewer that they had no plans to employ private investigators. They were Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan. Mr Farrow is the ex-head of the Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr Keenan an ex-Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police with specialist fraud and investigative experience. On 25 May 2007, just 22 days after Madeleine was reported missing, in a BBC interview with Jane Hill, the McCanns were asked if, now that they had already netted £300,000 in their ‘No Stone Unturned’ fund, they would use any of that money for private investigators. Dr Gerry McCann responded: “The advice we have received is that private investigations will not help at the moment”. Despite this clear claim, a private investigation agency known as Control Risks Group announced in September that they had been helping the McCanns since May and ‘were in regular contact’ with them throughout. Iin the early afternoon of Sunday 13 May 2007, Jane Tanner, one of the McCanns’ friends and the person who says she saw an abductor, spoke to ‘some of the people that Kate and Gerry brought in’. She was referring to Control Risks Group. Who brought them in and who agreed to pay for them? Why were Control Risks Group brought in so soon? To help find a missing child? Or for other reasons?

Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff

Sheree Dodd? - or were there others?

Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP)

The shadowy group from Skipton, supposedly experienced in disaster counselling, who sent out two of its top people within two days of Madeleine disappearing, to give counselling to the McCanns. They came out very early indeed, considering that there was at that time a real possibility that Madeleine could be found.

On Monday 14th May, the Craven Herald [Yorkshire Newspaper] had carried the following report:

“Two specialist trauma counsellors from Skipton have flown out to Portugal to help the devastated parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann. Consultants Alan Pike and Martin Alderton from the Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP), based at Broughton Hall, have been by the side of Gerry and Kate McCann since their daughter Madeleine was abducted…The two experts were appointed by Mark Warner, the company which manages the resort, to assist Mr and Mrs McCann, both 38, on how best to deal with the stress and trauma of their terrible ordeal…

“Mr Pike, who is leading the team, flew over to the resort with Mark Warner managing director, David Hopkins, the day after Madeleine disappeared. Mr Alderton, who has counselled those affected by major disasters across the country, arrived the following day. A spokesman for Mark Warner said: ‘The Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) came highly recommended by industry partners and have been known to us for some time. Their experience in dealing with a variety of incidents is second to none’.

“Staff from the Skipton centre also visited Mark Warner's head office in London to offer counselling to employees last Wednesday. A spokesman for the Skipton centre said: ‘We are working with Mark Warner and cannot discuss any information because of commercial confidentiality. We have got two trauma consultants working on the incident. Everyone all over the country has been gripped, it is a very difficult case’. Mr Pike's experience in trauma work includes domestic violence and abuse, child abuse, emergency planning and assessment, and adoption.

Since joining CCP in 2004, he has been involved in consulting with companies following road traffic accidents, personal attacks, terrorist bombings, shootings, robberies, drowning and staff bereavement. Mr Alderton provided clinical support following the 2003 Manchester motorway minibus crash in which seven people died”.

That was a very heavy degree of involvement from this Skipton-based group from a very early stage. On 4th May, both Mark Warner’s managing director, David Hopkins, and Alan Pike, flew out to Praia da Luz. An unspecified number of Mark Warners’ staff were ‘counselled’ at Mark Warners HQ. Already, it was clear that this was no ordinary case. The ‘Craven Herald’ added for good measure: “The focus has shifted from a local search for Madeleine to an international child abduction inquiry, amid suggestions she may have been taken out of Portugal”.

From this report we may deduce that, already, Skipton was very close to the nerve centre of the operation to support the McCanns. The company CCP appears to have been deployed in the past by Richard Branson, who of course has strongly and financially backed the McCanns, and who also is or was the President of the ‘UK Citizens Arrested Abroad Committee'.
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Re: The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

Post by Jill Havern on 18.03.10 8:13

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Another top person sent to Praia da Luz in the early days

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.03.10 22:05

This article by thentherewere4 needs to be filed here, as it helps to complete the picture of who was rushed out to Praia da Luz:

SHEREE DODD BOWS OUT


posted by TTW4 http://thentherewere4-mccannunravelled.blogspot.com/2010/03/sheree-dodd-here-seen-on-left-of-this.html

Sheree Dodd here seen on the left of this picture was the former Daily Mirror journalist appointed as Tony Blair's 'Special Foreign Office Ambassador' to the McCanns within hours of Madeleines disappearence. This was a totally unprecedented move for any UK politican to take, it had never been done before. The Government intervened and took over news-handling on behalf of the McCanns and Sheree Dodd as a long-serving senior spokeswoman for the government was duely dispatched to Portugal.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced that she was being deployed as “press officer responsible to act as media liaison officer for the McCann family” She flew out to be at the McCanns side for press conferences and to attend police interviews. Her instructions were to offer every possible consular assistance to the McCanns, but of the assistance she was aked to give, on behalf of HMG, there was more quite alot more, all of which the public was not to be made aware.

A newspaper report surfaced in early December 2007. The report concerned an official report, a classified document that had been sent sometime earlier from the Algarve to the Foreign Office in London. This report had been leaked to 'La Dernier Heure', a Belgian newspaper. In the newspaper report of the classified document the following statements were made:

1.The diplomat warned HMG of the “inconsistencies” in the testimonies by her parents and their friends about the night the four-year-old vanished - people were not were they claimed to be.

2.After visiting the McCanns, the unnamed diplomat voiced his concerns about the “confused declarations” as to the whereabouts of Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends in the final hours before Madeleine’s disappearance.

3.The document mentioned the couple’s “lack of co-operation” with the investigating Portuguese police.

4.The letter confirmed that London had earlier suggested to consular staff that they “overstretch their authority and put pressure on the Portuguese authorities”.

5.The Foreign Office in London the day before had also commanded that embassy staff give “all possible assistance to the McCann couple”.

6.Diplomats were told the McCanns had to be “accompanied at all times during any contact with the Portuguese police” by a member of consular staff or by British police officers sent out from the UK.

7.The author of the letter then warned London of the risks of siding with the McCanns as completely as had been demanded, it said :
“With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple. Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous message.”

Dodd's penultimate appearence for HMG - the 17th of May 2007.

The diplomat's concerns were made over four months before Gerry and Kate McCann were named arguidos (suspects) on September 7th 2007. This date suggests the report was written on the 5th or the 6th of May 2007 at the very latest. On the 5th of May the Leicestershire Family Liason Officers arrived and on the 6th of May 2007 Clarence Mitchell ex of the Governments Media Monitoring Unit arrived in Luz. 14 days later Dodd was to be found on a plane on her way back to the UK.

The timing of the report and it's contents indicates that the qualities Dodd had to offer, in her professional role, would be of little or no value to the McCanns and their agenda or the aims of HMG. Clarence Mitchell her successor was, on the other hand, clearly identified as the man selected by the Foreign Office and HMG as being a man endowed with exactly the required professional qualifications to satisy HMG's objectives with regards the McCanns.

In September 2007 a Foreign Office source said: “This has been a completely new situation. We had to do something.” The leaked Dodd report detailed that the Foreign Office certainly did something alright, and that something was such that they can now rest on their laurels totally secure in the knowledge that no one has ever been or is likely ever to be charged or brought to trial anywhere either in Portugal or the UK for the accidental killing of Madeleine McCann.

Only now is it possible to summise in this way a small part of the behind the scenes string pulling that was effected on behalf of the McCanns. The leaked report gives such a small insight, but it is enough to see why all official enquires for the truth about the Foreign Office's role invariably meets with official denial and official obstruction.

In 2008 a Freedom Of Information request was made to force the disclosure of the contents of all communication between the British Embassy in Portugal and the Foreign Office in London, this was in part denied. The information that was denied was denied on the grounds that the release of such information would in some way endanger or irrepairably damage international relations between the UK and Portugal. It should be noted that there was not any mention that any such disclosure would justify or explain the actions of the Foreign Office. It is therefore fair to asume the information clearly had only political repercussions and ones that could only cause harm to the Government of the day. The only other possibility might be that we are now at war with Portugal, and sometimes I really do wonder if now this is the case.

There is however one last possibility to consider and that is what we have all witnessed in the McCann case is nothing more than the manner in which the Foreign Office and the British Government under Gordon Brown offers assistance to all British persons, whether they are involved or implicated or not in the accidental manslaughter of their child, whilst abroad.
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Re: The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

Post by aiyoyo on 31.03.10 11:07

What about the Consulate or Diplomat from the Embassy in Portugal?
Wasnt he the first foreign personnel sent to help the mccanns?

I presume he was the same guy who sounded the alarm over the mccanns?
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Re: The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.04.10 10:31

I think we can add staff from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to this already formidable list. There's a chapter in Amaral's book about the events leading up to Murat being made 'arguido', in which Amaral mentions staff from CEOP compiling a profile of the alleged abductor and - hey presto! - Murat fits the profile '90%'.

There must be a question mark about who authorised CEOP to get involved and also we are not aware, so far as I know, of either the identity or seniorty of the CEOP officers who went down in such a hurry to Praia da Luz.
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Re: The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

Post by Judge Mental on 10.04.10 21:59

May we assume that whoever arrived from CEOPS bestowed their copy of a CEOPS manual upon the parents for a bit of pool-side or bed-time reading?

I would like to know how anybody from CEOPS would explain away their missing copy of this manual.
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