Duarte Levy..

Freelance journalist

McCanns ask for thousands of Euros from Amaral

The couple wants between 100 and 500 thousand Euros compensation

Even with Oprah “help” the financial capacity of the fund no longer is the one the couple got used to in 2007

Donations increased after the Oprah Show but not enough to keep the fund active for much longer.

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One hundred to 500 thousand Euros compensation is the amount Kate and Gerry McCann want to receive from Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC) of the Judicial Police (PJ) of Portimão. The lawsuit, according to the McCanns, aims at putting money into the fund that the couple uses to finance its expenditures of the campaign they have promoted since the disappearance of their daughter.
The information has been confirmed to the 24horas by a source of the “Madeleine’s Fund – Leaving No Stone Unturned”, the financial fund created by Maddie’s parents nine days after the disappearance of the child.
“The couple is hoping to receive at least a six-digit compensation,” said the same source adding that “other legal actions are not excluded, which will help putting money into the Find Madeleine fund and helping the campaign.” 24horas knows that since 2007 – soon after Kate and Gerry McCann’s return to England – the couple’s lawyers have a list of media, of journalists and even of Portuguese and English blogs that the McCanns are looking at as a possible “target”.
Gonçalo Amaral is the main target of the McCanns: according to the same source, the person in charge of the investigation into Maddie’s disappearance is “the only person who continues to question Madeleine’s abduction” and this “affects the credibility of the couple and the work of the investigators”.
The former PJ coordinator’s movements have always been the target of greatest attention for the detectives hired by the McCanns – an initiative started off by the Spanish people from Metodo 3 but remaining up to date in a report disclosing information about Gonçalo Amaral’s private and professional life and lists details such as the family’s bank accounts, and even the list of their closest friends. Part of this report, however, has been transmitted to a Portuguese lawyer who has used it in declarations and accusations related to another process.
The lawsuits seem to be the best means Kate and Gerry McCann found to finance their activities of the “Find Madeleine” campaign – a private organisation mainly managed by the family and now having Kate and Gerry as directors.
After having received more than 700,000 Euros compensation in lawsuits against various English newspapers, which have never gone through any court rooms, the couple is now aiming at various targets in Portugal: “It is clear that Amaral is the main target, but other possibilities exist, especially amongst the media and on the internet where defamatory statements regarding the couple have been made,” said the same source.

The millionaire “drops” his support

Despite the numerous donations made to the “Find Madeleine” fund since Kate and Gerry McCann’s interview at Oprah’s talk-show – a North American television programme that SIC has broadcasted in Portugal – the financial capacity of the fund no longer is the one the couple got used to in 2007, and even the Scottish multimillionaire Brian Kennedy turned his back on the expenses of Clarence Mitchell, the spokesperson of Maddie’s parents.
As 24horas already revealed in March this year, the multimillionaire, Brian Kennedy, ceased to support the activities of the McCanns alleging financial reasons to justify his withdrawal. Clarence Mitchell, the spokesperson of Kate and Gerry McCann, had already confirmed this piece of information to the 24horas saying that the multimillionaire neither paid any longer for his services nor for the payment of the detectives hired by the couple.
Despite the abandon of the multimillionaire, Clarence Mitchell assured to the 24horas that he will continue to work alongside Kate and Gerry McCann. The spokesperson of the couple, communication and public relations specialist has reduced the number of his declarations but keeps in permanent contact with the journalists.
Brian Kennedy would have seen his fortune diminishing for more than 50 million pounds which, however, would not be the only reason behind his decision to abandon his support to the couple – a source close to the multimillionaire told 24horas that Kennedy had neither appreciated the expenditures of the Spanish detectives (Metodo 3), nor the half a million pounds paid to an American company for six months of a supposed inquiry.

Paedophile says he knows nothing regarding Maddie

Raymond Hewllet

Raymond Hewllet

Raymond Hewlett, the English citizen denounced by the two former British detectives hired by the McCanns as the alleged suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance, denied to have seen or approached the child during the time he lived in the Algarve and has reaffirmed to the 24horas “that he had no involvement in the disappearance” of the child. This is Hewlett’s reaction to the information published during the past few weeks in the various German and British newspapers saying that the English citizen supposedly saw Maddie on two occasions.
Yesterday, in declarations to the “Sunday Mirror”, Hewlett confirmed what he had already said to the 24horas: “The only time I saw Madeleine McCann was on posters regarding the disappearance,” adding that he saw her once on television but “never in real life”.
“It is obvious why they are interested in me. But they can think what they want. I did not kill the girl. This is the truth and it will never change,” said the British to the English newspaper.
Sources close to the Leicestershire police revealed to the 24horas that the Hewlett’s profile does not correspond to the one of an eventual abductor of Madeleine and that “all the suspicions of the McCann’s detectives in relation to Hewlett are based on assumptions, as facts or evidences to support them in this direction do not exist”. – “In the first phase of the joint investigation carried out in Portugal, all the individuals registered on file or suspected of sexual aggression acts, paedophilia or abduction, had been investigated and eliminated as suspects one by one,”  concluded the same source.
The alleged suspect, currently in Aachen (Germany) in the terminal phase of a cancer disease, confirmed having been questioned by the West Yorkshire police but denied having been questioned regarding Madeleine’s disappearance.
“Yes, I have spoken to the British police and am willing to collaborate as far as my state of health permits, but they were not interested in Maddie’s disappearance,” said Hewlett to the 24horas adding that on 3 May 2007 “I was not in Praia da Luz”.

Hewlett appeared on the front pages of the British tabloids after the two former British detectives, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley – known on Internet as “Dupont et Dupond” (Thomson and Thompson) referring to the two police officers of the comic book Tintin – revealed that the British citizen lived in the Algarve in 2007 and that the man had already been condemned in paedophilia cases in the 70s.
“An alleged paedophile who is about to die would be the ideal suspect to divert the attention of the public opinion and raise doubts in people’s minds,” said a PJ inspector in the Algarve to the 24horas, adding that “all the alleged suspects so far indicated by the private detectives had been investigated and nothing indicated that they were involved in the disappearance of the girl.”
Questioned regarding Gonçalo Amaral’s theory, the inspector only added that “Amaral has much experience, without enough elements he would never put this theory forward”.

Duarte Levy on 24horas

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

6.000£ more and “Kate pain is eased”

The People

The People

The entry of another 6.000£ into the Find Madeleine Fund has relieved Kate McCann’s suffering. This is what one of the media that is closest to Maddie’s parents tells us. According to that weekly paper, approximately 200 people took part in a fundraising evening that was organised at the “Bishop Ellis RC School” in Thurmaston, near Rothley, the school where Maddie should have started her school life and where Sean and Amelie will go to in September.

“It helps us so much”, Madeleine McCann’s mother said about the obtained results.

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

Maddie’s parents will not receive money for going to Oprah show

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Kate and Gerry McCann will mark the second anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance with an interview with Oprah Winfrey, on the most famous American talk show. 24horas had already advanced this news, but official confirmation of the show’s date was lacking.
Maddie’s parents are travelling to Chicago next week, where they will complete filming, which had been started in England, of a one-hour special that is dedicated to the case, which will be broadcast on the 3rd of May, and during which they intend to present a new digital image representing the child with the look that she would have today if she were alive.
Contrary to what he had announced in Praia da Luz early this month, the couple’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed Maddie’s parents’ participation in ‘Oprah’, stressing the fact that the couple is counting on the interview’s broadcast in 144 countries to re-launch the searches for the little girl.
When questioned about payment or a possible financial participation by Oprah to the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell denied by saying that “Kate and Gerry won’t receive the smallest dollar”.

Reply to Gonçalo Amaral

Meanwhile, the documentary that an English television channel came to record in Praia da Luz, early this month, and in which Gerry McCann and two of the friends that spent their holidays with Maddie’s parents participated, is going to be altered.
The producers thus want to include a series of ‘replies’ to the one that TVI broadcast on Monday, which is based on the version of Gonçalo Amaral. This information was confirmed to 24horas yesterday by a member of Mentorn Media, the company that is producing the documentary that Channel Four broadcasts in England on the 7th of May.
According to the same source, the changes were made at Gerry’s request and take into account the version that was given in Valentim de Carvalho’s documentary, where the former inquiry coordinator reaffirms his conviction that the child died in the couple’s apartment at the Ocean Club resort.
The English version of what happened points at an abduction that was carried out by a local resident or by someone with Mediterranean features.

Documentary on the Internet

The documentary from Valentim de Carvalho that TVI broadcast last Monday is being a victim of its own success. The Portuguese company has already been forced to impose its rights with various internet sites, namely the video platform YouTube, where only hours after the end of the programme, the documentary could be seen in its entirety. Despite the action, numerous sites now allow for the programme to be downloaded.

Duarte Levy on 24horas
Translated by Astro from Joana Morais blog.

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

“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.

Português

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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