Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

“Maddie died in Praia da Luz on the night of the disappearance”

McCann case: “what lies beneath the truth”

Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral

TVI, the television station in Queluz, is going to broadcast tomorrow, Monday, right after the evening news, the documentary that is dedicated to the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which was produced in our country by Valentim de Carvalho Filmes, based on the book “Maddie: The truth of the lie”, which was written by former Polícia Judiciária coordinator, Gonçalo Amaral.
For the first time after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on the 3rd of May 2007, a documentary will show on television the reconstitution of what, according to the PJ senior official, really happened that night in apartment 5A of the Ocean Club. During 50 minutes of images, spoken in Portuguese and English – with subtitles – this documentary strengthens the version that Madeleine died on the night that Kate and Gerry McCann said their daughter was abducted.
In this documentary, which was directed by Carlos Coelho da Silva and produced by Manuel S. Fonseca, the former head of the investigation explains which are the inconsistencies in the testimonies that were given by the McCann couple and their seven friends, but also demonstrates, with unique documents, the results of the forensics tests that were carried out in Portugal and in England.
The former head of the PJ in Portimão further explains how the investigation evolved and the brutal manner in which it was interrupted after the British authorities intervened, namely diplomats in Lisbon and two prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
“There was a political and rushed archiving [of the process]”, Gonçalo Amaral states during the documentary, adding that “there are people who are hiding the truth, but sooner or later, the varnish will crack and revelations will appear”.
An important member of the team that is behind this documentary, Nuno Ramos de Almeida has read the process, carried out numerous interviews and wrote a script that is already prompting reactions in England.

English documentary is reaction to Amaral’s version

It was after hearing that the documentary which is based on the book “Maddie: The Truth of the Lie”, by Gonçalo Amaral, would be broadcast on Portuguese television,  that the McCanns realised the urgency in showing their version of the story to the public. The information was now confirmed by a source that is close to the couple, that further added that “the campaign that was launched in the Algarve was merely a manner of preparing and justifying the documentary that they want to show as quickly as possible to the English public.”
The same source, in a statement to 24horas, further confirmed that during the last few months  “several attempts were made for the couple to have access to the Portuguese documentary even before it was shown on television”, which also explains the secrecy that surrounds its contents.
“They even considered the possibility of buying the documentary’s rights for England, thus preventing it from being broadcast in the country”, the source close to the couple concluded.
In Portugal, 24horas was able to establish that all the participants in the documentary that was produced by Valentim de Carvalho have been forbidden by contract to reveal any details or officially answering any questions before its broadcast.
While the documentary with Gonçalo Amaral’s version is going to be the first one to be broadcast in Portugal, even before the second anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance, the McCanns’ version has already secured a wider diffusion throughout Europe: Channel 4 is going to broadcast the documentary that was recently filmed in Praia da Luz, and several contracts have been negotiated already. Including for Portugal, where it will be broadcast by SIC.

Duarte Levy in 24horas

PS – Due to my work as an investigative journalist, I have been summoned to participate in this documentary as well, where I make a brief appearance.


Filed under: Madeleine McCann, Media, Portugal, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

McCann : Priest didn’t want “circus” in his church

Gerry McCann

Gerry McCann

Film crew prevented from entering the temple in Praia da Luz

Father Pacheco, who once gave the church keys to the McCanns, affixed posters at the door with the words “no cameras allowed”
Father Pacheco, who is responsible for the little church of Praia da Luz, refused for the filming of the new McCann documentary to be carried out inside the church, and even journalists were invited not to enter the place. Posters in Portuguese and in English were even placed at the entrance, forbidding the access of cameras.
According to a source that is close to the priest, Father Pacheco, who was vastly criticised in 2007 for giving the church key to the McCanns, this time didn’t want the “circus” that was created by the presence of Maddie’s father to affect the religious ceremonies of Palm Sunday, and even feared the reaction of the people.
Warned about the priest’s refusal, Gerry McCann ended up going to the church alone, yesterday morning. Madeleine’s father entered the church at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than scheduled.
Clarence Mitchell had informed the journalists that Maddie’s father would go to church at around 9 a.m., and asked journalists not to be on location: neither Gerry respected his spokesman’s schedule nor journalists failed to be on location.
Contrary to what happened during the months that followed Madeleine’s disappearance, when the McCanns were warmly welcome in the church by the public, this time Gerry McCann was ignored by the vast majority of residents, with only a few comments of revolt being heard upon exit from the religious service.

Little girl threw a “tantrum” during filming

The false ‘Maddie’ from the new McCann documentary didn’t make the production’s work easy, and on Saturday night refused to cooperate in the filming despite the insistence of her mother and of the other actors.
The little four-year-old girl, who is the daughter of Kate and Gerry McCann’s friends, ended the night of Saturday crying and fighting in her mother’s arms.
Wearing socks and a pyjama that was identical to the one that Madeleine allegedly wore on the night of the disappearance, the little girl, who somewhat resembles the true Maddie, was always in the company of her mother and of the wife of the Anglican priest of Praia da Luz, but not this made it possible for the filming to be concluded, and everything was postponed to yesterday evening, away from the disapproving looks from members of the public who were present on location.
It was at around 11.45 p.m. on Saturday evening that Kate and Gerry McCann’s spokesman ended up apologising to the journalists, saying that it would be impossible to photograph or film the child that evening.
“Can you see that… It’s so cold and the child is standing there wearing socks”, a member of the public protested incredulously, adding that “it had to be English people to do something like that.”

Truck greeted with insults

The last outdoor

The last outdoor

It was with insults and whistles that the local population greeted the only truck that circulates in the area of Praia da Luz with an outdoor where the photograph of Madeleine McCann can be seen with the key words of the little campaign that the couple has launched: “Don’t give up on me!”
The driver himself, with a thick Northern accent, explained to 24horas that he has been circulating in the area “because work has to be done”, but that when he needs to park, he “feels safer near the journalists and the GNR that is present on location”.
The truck, which was always present near the filming location, is one of the few pieces of the campaign that can still be found in Praia da Luz, given the fact that almost all the posters have been ripped off and even the outdoor that is located at the village’s entrance is only partially visible after unknown persons covered it with white paint.
According to a representative of the company, “dreamMedia publicidade” from Vila Nova de Gaia, the truck arrived in the Algarve on the 29th of March and will remain there until Tuesday, the day when the campaign ends.

Surprised about the bad reception

Kate and Gerry McCann, like their 7 English friends, didn’t come to participate in the reconstitution that the Polícia Judiciária had requested earlier “because that was only for police work” and didn’t help the search for Madeleine at all.
For the couple’s spokesman, only a documentary on television can make people see what happened that night.
To 24horas, Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann’s spokesman, lamented the upset that the filming may have caused to the inhabitants and the tourism in Praia da Luz and confessed that he was surprised about the reactions that he could observe, but stated again that “it is necessary for people to understand that the new leads that were revealed by the ongoing private investigation in the area have to be complemented with this documentary.”
“We have already apologised over the disturbance that we have caused to the people of Praia da Luz but you must understand that Maddie’s parents see this documentary as necessary to continue the investigations into their daughter’s whereabouts”, the McCanns’ spokesman said, stressing once more that “there is no evidence that Maddie is dead”, despite recognising that “according to logics” many people may think the contrary.

An American was hired to play Kate McCann

Lisa Donovan, the "fake" Kate McCann

Lisa Donovan, the "fake" Kate McCann

The actress that came to Portugal to play the role of Kate McCann is Lisa Donovan, an American, aged 40, who was chosen due to her vague physical resemblance with Madeleine’s mother.
Chosen during a casting in England, Lisa didn’t even have the opportunity to talk to or to meet Kate to prepare her role, but said that she is very nervous and emotional about entering the bedroom where Maddie was supposedly abducted from. ‘Supposedly’ because, as the actress confesses, it’s not her “who can say” what actually happened to the little girl.
During her only contact with the media, always under Clarence Mitchell’s vigilant look, the actress, who was born in Philadelphia, in the United States, came to Portugal for the first time but confessed that she was delighted about our country and the marvellous climate that she encountered in Praia da Luz.
Just like had already been the case with the other actors – a total of 15 – the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, followed attentively everything that Lisa told the journalists. All the actors, who are paid by Mentorn Media, were forced to sign a confidentiality contract that prevents them, even after the filming is concluded, from revealing what happened away from the eyes of the media professionals.
Without revealing what steps she walked during the reconstitution, the American actress simply followed instructions from Merntorn Media’s production team and Gerry McCann’s advices, after visiting several times all the locations that the couple said it had frequented during their stay in Praia da Luz. “I just learned about the area, the locations and what I had to do”, Lisa said, shrugging her shoulders at any question that might reveal the contents of the script that was used for the filming.

Negotiations to be broadcast by SIC

The two private investigators who followed all of the filming will remain in Portugal and expect the broadcasting of the documentary, which included “new leads” that were obtained through witness statements that were collected in Praia da Luz, to help to find Madeleine’s trail.
According to Clarence Mitchell, “leads that were discarded by the Polícia Judiciária” are still being followed by the investigators.
The communication and public relations expert confirmed that the actors and everything that relates to the filming was being paid by Mentorn Media, the company that is producing the documentary that Channel Four will broadcast in England on the 7th of May.
“In Portugal, the documentary may equally be broadcast on the 7th of May, a few hours after Channel Four does it”, Clarence said, adding that “everything depends on the final agreement with SIC”.

Duarte Levy on 24horas

Translation by Astro on Joana Morais blog.

Filed under: Madeleine McCann, Portugal, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gerry McCann took false ‘Maddie’ to Praia da Luz

Gerry McCann and the fake Maddie

Gerry McCann and the fake Maddie

Gerry McCann, accompanied by Clarence Mitchell and by his friends Jane Turner and Matthew Oldfield, two members of the Tapas group, were in Praia da Luz yesterday to follow the first day of filming of a new television documentary where the English production team didn’t hesitate to use the services of a child to play Maddie’s role.
Maddie’s father arrived at the Ocean Club in the company of Jane Tanner and returned to the same locations that the group of English people frequented when the little girl disappeared, having inspected the Tapas Bar, the tennis court and even apartment 5A, where cots just like the ones in which Sean and Amelie slept on the night of May 3, were brought in.
The documentary, in which 15 actors participate, intends to reconstruct the McCanns’ version of an abduction that allegedly took place at around 9.30 p.m. on the evening of the 3rd of May 2007, and which gives the idea that the man who was seen by Jane Tanner, was the perpetrator.
In the presence of several members of the GNR [local police force], who were sent on location to guarantee the safety of the group of English citizens, the production team from Mentorn Media filmed inside and outside of the Ocean Club, including in the apartment where Madeleine was allegedly abducted from.
That documentary, which “is going to be centred on leads that were undervalued by the Portuguese police”, may be broadcast in Portugal by SIC [tv channel], with which conditions are to be negotiated that may include a “contribution” to the financial fund that was created by the McCanns in 2007, a fact that Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, denied to 24horas: “there won’t be any contribution to the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund or even to the family. The parents simply want to find further leads that help the private investigation to find Madeleine McCann, nothing else”.
The members of the public that were present around the entry to the resort’s reception didn’t enjoy the presence of the English group, accusing Gerry McCann of carrying out “burnt land” politics in Praia da Luz: “Two years later, what do they want to prove?”, a member of the public asked, stressing that it was incomprehensible that the Portuguese authorities permitted “to carry out this circus in a village that hasn’t stopped suffering with this case yet”.
According to the filming – that doesn’t match the statements that were made by the nine English citizens when they were questioned in Portugal and in the United Kingdom – the documentary now intends to transmit the idea of a predator in Praia da Luz, who allegedly watched the group’s steps, the reason why the filming includes the dinner at the Millennium restaurant, where the couple dined on the evening before the little girl’s disappearance, near the Ocean Club swimming pool, and near the church of Praia da Luz.

Private investigations continue

Just like 24horas had reported yesterday, the McCann couple’s spokesman confirmed to journalists that two private investigators are in Praia da Luz working on still unexplored leads, without specifying any further.
The two men were even observed in terrains not too far from the Ocean Club, where they inspected a cane field under the attentive look of members of the PJ.
During the filming, which continues today (Sunday), those investigators will observe the reconstitution of the case “according to the description that was given by Gerry and his friends”, which according to the couple’s spokesman, “may help to understand where Madeleine went to”.
Among various key scenes of this documentary, large emphasis is placed on the witness testimony of Jane Tanner, who states that she observed a man carrying a child, but which she was incapable, since the outset of the official inquiry, to describe in a coherent manner.
When questioned by 24horas, Clarence justified the decision by the couple and their friends not to participate in the reconstitution that was requested by the Polícia Judiciária, explaining the fact that by not being broadcast on television, it couldn’t help the McCanns.
“Now we believe that this documentary may generate new information that help us to find Madeleine”, Clarence Mitchell added, explaining that after being negotiated with several countries – including Portugal – the video will be available on the webpage that was created by the couple: http://www.findmadeleine.com.
During the course of the filming, the GNR will keep teams on location to maintain the tranquillity of the film crew’s work and to keep the population away, which is openly unhappy about Gerry McCann’s presence.

McCanns may return by the end of the month

A source close to the couple confirmed once more that Gerry McCann and some relatives may return to our country as early as the end of April in order to be in Praia da Luz in time for the second anniversary of Maddie’s disappearance, but that “Kate is not prepared yet” to face a return to our country, which was confirmed by Clarence Mitchell.

Priest doesn’t want the McCanns in church

Father Pacheco has informed Gerry McCann that he doesn’t want him in the little church of Praia da Luz this Sunday, neither him nor any of his friends.

The false ‘Maddie’, dressed thoroughly like Madeleine at the moment when she disappeared, cried to avoid walking the steps of the real one…

Duarte Levy on 24horas

Translation by Astro on Joana Morais blog.

Filed under: Madeleine McCann, Portugal, , , , , , , , , , ,

Gerry McCann is in Praia da Luz

Gerry leaving Praia da Luz (2007)

Gerry leaving Praia da Luz (2007)

A month before the second anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Gerry McCann, the little English girl’s father, arrived yesterday evening at Lisbon airport for a 48-hour visit.
During his stay, Gerry McCann will follow the filming of a “kind of” mini reconstitution of what allegedly happened on the night that Maddie disappeared. The filming is made by ITV, that intends to record a documentary and counts on a group of actors who will play the roles of the nine British citizens: Kate, Gerry McCann and the other members of the Tapas group.
According to the couple’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, Madeleine’s father allegedly also comes to follow the couple’s ongoing private investigations on the terrain.
“Gerry is not going to meet the PJ or any member of the Portuguese authorities”, Clarence told 24horas.
The couple’s spokesman, now also working for a communications and public relations company, further promised that during Gerry’s visit to Praia da Luz, the media would be offered “relevant news” concerning the search for Maddie.
Clarence Mitchell refused to confirm or deny the presence of private investigators in Praia da Luz, but 24horas knows that during last week, while the campaign was ongoing, at least two former members of the English police visited the locations where supposedly Maddie was abducted from.
As 24horas had published already, Gerry McCann returned to Portugal alone because “Kate is not ready yet”.
Yesterday evening, Maddie’s father travelled directly to the Algarve, after being greeted by members of the British embassy, who awaited him on his arrival.
Clarence Mitchell confirmed to 24horas that “just like Gerry had announced a few weeks ago, during his first visit, this is just one more visit”, and other visits are scheduled, with “the purpose of searching for Maddie”, according to the couple’s spokesman.

PJ follows Gerry’s visit to the Algarve

A source at the Polícia Judiciária in Portimão confirmed that Maddie’s father’s visit to our country is being watched closely, yet lamented that the couple didn’t carry it out at “the time when the inquiry demanded it”.
The population of Praia da Luz, which is upset by the campaign that has been carried out in that area of the Algarve, fails to understand the visit’s purpose: “They did nothing to help the police and ended up fleeing this place like criminals”, Rui Macedo told 24horas, adding that “they won’t rest until they destroy our region”.
But Gerry McCann isn’t the only one returning to Portugal, as 24horas was able to establish that several other persons who intervened in the Maddie case are in our country at the moment.

Duarte Levy for 24horas


Translation by Astro on Joana Morais blog.

Filed under: Madeleine McCann, Portugal, , , , , , , , , ,

McCanns want to return to television

McCann’s : Escape from Portugal – September 2007

McCann’s : Escape from Portugal – September 2007

With little over a month to go for the second anniversary of the disappearance of Maddie, the little English girl that went missing in Praia da Luz on the 3rd of May 2007, her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, are once again negotiating a television interview, during which they expect to launch a new public appeal, according to a source close to the couple.
According to the same source, the McCann couple’s interview would be recorded in England, but equally broadcast in our country, as there are contacts with a Portuguese television channel which, as usual, would be prepared to make a financial contribution to the fund that was created after Madeleine’s alleged abduction.
Kate and Gerry McCann – as 24Horas had already reported – are equally considering the possibility of travelling into our country, to the Algarve, to mark the second anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance and to reinforce the campaign that is presently being carried out in the area of Praia da Luz and its surroundings.
The announcement of a television interview with the couple has even surprised the British professionals in the sector, as earlier this month, Madeleine’s father had issued violent criticism against the work of English and Portuguese journalists, in front of a parliamentary commission.
After refusing to cooperate with the PJ in the official inquest into their daughter’s disappearance, Kate and Gerry, already as arguidos, abandoned Portugal with the assistance of diplomatic representatives of the United Kingdom in our country. An escape that was recorded and broadcast live by various television channels.
The McCanns stopped being arguidos when the Public Ministry decided to archive the process, which currently awaits better evidence, after Gonçalo Amaral left and the process was handed over to Paulo Rebelo, who did nothing to pursue the line of inquiry that had been opened in the first months of the investigation, as the PJ’s final report proves.
Several diligences remained to be carried out, including the reconstitution of the gestures and movements of the nine English adults who accompanied Maddie in Praia da Luz and who, according to their own statements to Portuguese and British authorities, were always very contradictory. Several Spanish, English and Irish witnesses were never heard in the process.

Duarte Levy

Filed under: Madeleine McCann, Portugal, , , , , ,

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