Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

“There were mistakes from both sides”

Maddie’s father wants Portuguese authorities to reopen the case of his daughter’s disappearance. The PJ don’t believe it

Gerry McCann Smile - Luis Silva © 2009

Gerry McCann Smile - Luis Silva © 2009

During his recent stay in Praia da Luz, Gerry McCann stated that it was necessary that the Police could look at the results of the inquiry and say: “Where the mistakes are and what else can we do?”
Maddie’s father, who never voluntarily cooperated with the PJ’s official inquiry into the disappearance of his daughter, has now adopted a harmonizing speech stating, regarding the work done by the Portuguese Police that “they worked very hard and there were many pressures. Looking back, there were probably mistakes from both sides.” But Gerry’s statements do not convince PJ officers who worked on the case from the beginning under Gonçalo Amaral’s orders and who continue to defend that Maddie was not abducted: “I don’t believe he wants the inquiry re-opened… especially if we take into account the fact that they did everything to prevent the investigation reaching a conclusion,” a PJ officer told 24 Horas. “Even the Public Ministry mustn’t be that interested in seeing the case re-opened because that would mean having to admit that they made a mistake when they decided to shelve it,” conclude the PJ inspector who still maintains that “both the parents of the little girl and the friends never told the truth”.

The ‘mistake’ of the interrogations

Paulo Rebelo, Like Obama, he started out with a superhero’s image, only to end up as a simple human being.

Paulo Rebelo, Like Obama, he started out with a superhero’s image, only to end up as a simple human being.

As predicted, the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine was shelved by the Public Ministry shortly after the arrival of Paulo Rebelo who replaced Gonçalo Amaral in the coordination of the Portimão DIC. Paulo Rebelo, the same who had negotiated the return of Fátima Felgueiras to Portugal, was unable to continue the investigation and to carry out procedural acts considered extremely important, namely the official reconstruction of what happened on the night of the disappearance.

It was also under the responsibility of Paulo Rebelo – now assigned to the Lisbon department – that a PJ team travelled to England where the inspectors, unlike what was expected from them, were unable to follow all the interrogations of the members of the so called Tapas group, the seven English citizens who were with the McCann’s on the night Maddie disappeared. A mistake whose consequences still can’t be evaluated.

McCann family controls the financial fund

Despite the promises of transparency, it was under great secrecy that Gerry McCann, Maddie’s father, entered the group of directors who manage the financial fund that was created nine days after the little girl’s disappearance.
‘Find Madeleine’ has officially collected almost three million euros, but, not being a charitable institution, it is legally exempt from presenting its accounting, exhaustively indicating the use that was made of the money, which doubtlessly explains the fact that the documents that have been published recently, don’t include any reference to the payments of the mortgage of Kate and Gerry’s house, as well as other personal expenses.
Gerry McCann himself has recently stated that the money in the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund is soon to run out, which has prompted many negative reactions from those who initially had contributed and supported the family. The entry of Gerry into the directory actually happens after several personalities, who initially had supported the family, started distancing themselves from the couple, which has also coincided with a major diminution of financial income.
With Gerry McCann’s entry into the fund’s direction, which officially took place by the end of 2008, under great secrecy, Maddie’s parents assured complete control over the ‘Find Madeleine’ fund, given the fact that the majority of its directors are members of the family: Kate McCann, Gerry McCann, Peter Hubner, Brian Kennedy, John McCann, Edward Smethurst, Doug Skehan, Jon Corner and Michael Linett.

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

Police officers under investigation in Maddie case

Read also “Maddie died in Praia da Luz”

Internal documents

Internal documents

An investigation targeting several British police inspectors has been opened after a collaborator close to the McCann’s stated that several internal police documents – considered as confidential – were sent from Portugal to a British journalist.
The documents in question, which officially were not known to the Portuguese authorities, all concerning the Madeleine McCann case, were “marked” which made it possible to determine their origin in the team that had accompanied the investigations into the claimed kidnapping, without however identifying the specific source of the leak.
According to the journalist, he supposedly received the documents without having asked for them, which is the reason why he supposedly delivered a copy to a collaborator of the McCann couple “in order to determine their authenticity”.
According to a police source, the investigators already knew that the documents were in the hands of some foreign journalists, but it is only now, thanks to the contribution of the journalist and his spontaneous “source”, that the investigation could start, the file being entrusted to “a national security authority”.
It’s since the beginning of the Maddie case that a large number of documents have been released from the British police files, part of which were published in full or in part in the media, as well as on the internet, where some did not hesitate to share some documents with complete strangers, allowing in this way certain parts of the file to end up in the hands of the people linked to the lawsuit.

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

McCann : No comments, just “read the photos” I

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Photo : © Luis Silva 2009

Filed under: Documents, Madeleine McCann, Media, , , , , , , , , , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , ,

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