When we broke up for Christmas, on our list to Santa we had 3 presents: the SY questionings in Portugal, the final allegations of the McCann v Amaral Lisbon trial and the Pre Review Inquest on Brenda Leyland’s death.
Santa Claus was very generous with our presents. In each he gave us more than we were expecting.
Let’s go through from the least to the most complex of them.
1. The Final Allegations of the McCann v Amaral Lisbon Trial
The first surprise we got was to find out that Isabel Duarte only represented the McCann couple and it was up Ricardo Correia Afonso to represent the McCann children.
This means, unless we have stopped knowing the meaning of words, he has represented Maddie throughout this trial. It will be up to him to handle the WoC question raised by GA a year ago.
We do however find it strange to not have seen this division of responsibilities in the prosecution team through out all the sessions. Only one lawyer spoke in the name of ALL plaintiffs.
We think if the prosecution was indeed divided between parents and children that after each time Isabel Duarte finished her questionings there would be some sort of note that “the McCann children’s lawyer had no questions”.
We won’t comment on the arguments presented by Ricardo Afonso during his final allegations speech outside noting the two reasons with which he justifies that Mr Amaral’s book is filled with lies.
As a sidenote someone should have reminded him that the contents of the book have already been subject to a decision by the Portuguese courts and so to discuss it further in a court of law not only shows ignorance as, in our opinion, also professional incompetence. In fact we don't know if he didin't commit some sort of illegality as same facts cannot be judged twice in court and that was what he proposed to do.
The 2 reasons Correia Afonso bases his claim that the book has no credibility are that GA says, on the opening sentence of his book, that the Carnival is on a Sunday, when it’s always on a Tuesday, and that the hare hunting season was over when he claims having heard hunters shoot on that particular Sunday.
Correia Afonso implies that as the book starts with lies so all the rest are lies
The opening sentence of the book is “O Domingo de Carnaval tinha começado ao som de tiros dos caçadores, os quais, por entre o mato rasteiro do barrocal algarvio, perseguiam, deslealmente, indefesos coelhos” which translates to “The Carnival Sunday had begun to the gunshot sounds of the hunters, who, through the low vegetation of Algarve’s hilly inland, chased, disloyally, defenceless rabbits”.
The Carnival in Portugal are the three days that precede Ash Wednesday, the first day of Quaresma, a period of penitence self-imposed by the Portuguese Catholics that leads up to Easter.
These three days of Carnival, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, are called “fat” days and culminate with “Terça-feira Gorda” or “Fat Tuesday”, in French “Mardi Gros” which has evolved to the Mardi Gras of New Orleans, a region of the US that is proud to keep a strong francophonic influence.
So, to say Carnival Sunday is absolutely correct. To question its veracity is to show a very significant amount of ignorance of a very common and popular yearly occurrence of the country.
The hunting season for rabbits and hares in Portugal goes from September to December. It is extended up to February for hares hunted by “corricão” (hunter on foot or horse, without shotgun, with or without a stick and only helped by dogs).
In 2008, the Carnival Sunday was on Feb 3. That means that is was still season to hunt hares by “corricão”. Not by shotgun. Using guns would be illegal. And not to hunt rabbits. To hunt rabbits would be illegal. And GA does speak of gunshots and rabbits.
By the way, this apparent hunting “imprecision” made by GA was also the main argument used by Miguel Sousa Tavares, a self-assumed hunter, to deem the book rubbish and defend the parents’ innocence to this day when he interviewed the Portuguese detective on March 2010.
According to Correia Afonso, and Miguel Sousa Tavares, as it was illegal to hunt rabbits in early February 2008, GA is evidently lying because there were no hunters hunting rabbits that day.
But then what Correia Afonso, and Miguel Sousa Tavares, are also saying is that both SY and the McCanns are lying.
SY is lying when it raises the possibility of a bungled burglary. As burglaries are illegal, so, according to Correia Afonso and Miguel Sousa Tavares, there wasn’t one.
Also, as abductions are illegal, according to Correia Afonso and Miguel Sousa Tavares, Maddie could not have been abducted, so the McCanns are lying.
Back to Isabel’s Duarte absence, it seems she was busy that day, presumably another trial. It seems she tried to get the session postponed but did not succeed.
Having to choose between the two, she thought the other trial she had – for which surely she also failed to get a postponement – more important than this one and so left Kate and Gerry McCann without final allegations.
Final allegations are, we believe, only the most important day of any trial for both defendants and plaintiffs.
Can it be any clearer that in this trial the McCann ship is one that has been abandoned by all including rats and doomed to crash against the rocky coast just up ahead?
2. Pre Review Inquest on Brenda Leyland’s death
We were wrong when we said that “nothing much is expected to happen on that day”.
And in our opinion, it did happen but unfortunately people concentrated on things that, for us, weren’t important at all, namely whether the coroner said at the end of a sentence “this may change on the day of the inquest” [20MAR15] and Sonia Poulton’s documentary with the working title of “The Untold Story of Madeleine McCann”.
About Sonia Poulton’s documentary, after listening to her words on the video in which she announced the documentary to be released after the inquest, we have already condemned its contents.
“We would like to be very clear to our readers that we do NOT support the outing of anyone, under any circumstances.
If and only if those in Poulton's documentary (the door-stepped and "shocking" personality) have previously involved themselves publicly in the case, via PJ Files, media or internet, should they be named.
Otherwise their anonymity should be preserved and respected.
To support this outing would be to support, or at least accept, the way Brenda Leyland was outed by Martin Brunt. Something we clearly have condemned.”
If the anonymity of those who have not been previously involved publicly in the case and wish to remain anonymous is preserved – much like in the way the duck-lady’s was in Brunt’s piece on Brenda – then we see no problem in having it aired.
If it reveals that a known personality in the case is working behind the scenes to disrupt the internet, then it has our full support, as long as, we repeat, there’s no Brunt-like outing.
About what the coroner may have or not said at the end of the sentence, without in any way contradicting Sonia Poulton’s word that she did hear the coroner say them, for us it’s completely irrelevant wheteher she said them or not.
The coroner determines if there is foul play in what caused the death. If the physical reason(s) why person has died is of criminal origin.
“An inquest is an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a death. The purpose of the inquest is to find out who the person was and how, when and where they died, and to establish the details the Registrar of Deaths need to register the death.
An inquest is not a trial – it is not the role of the Coroner to decide any question of criminal or civil liability or to apportion guilt or attribute blame.”
The coroner’s conclusions may, or may not, give reason(s) for there to be a prosecution. But a coroner does not determine if there is to be one or any other sort of legal action.
According to BBC:
“A pre-inquest review was told it will hear evidence from a toxicology expert, police and the Sky News journalists.
The coroner said no criminal action was planned against any witnesses and adjourned the hearing until March.
“Leicester Coroner Catherine Mason said: "I understand from my officers that, of all the witnesses who I have said that I will call to give oral evidence, there is nobody to which there is any foreseeability of any criminal action being taken."”
The Leicester Mercury:
“Mrs Mason had opened an inquest into Ms Leyland’s death on October 8. That hearing was told that the cause of her death had not yet been determined. It was not revealed at today’s hearing.”
The Belfast Telegraph:
“Confirming details of a full inquest due to take place next year, Leicester Coroner Catherine Mason said she would hear evidence from Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt and Head of Newsgathering Jonathan Levy.
Two police officers, a toxicologist and a doctor are also due to give oral evidence at the one-day hearing on March 20.
Adjourning the pre-inquest, Mrs Mason said she would be presented with written statements from a pathologist and one of Mrs Leyland's sons at the next hearing.”
When the coroner says “there is nobody to which there is any foreseeability of any criminal action being taken” we thnk she’s saying something like “as far as can be seen up to now the cause of death is explainable and was not due to any criminal physical act on the victim but let’s wait until we have all the reports before coming to a definitive conclusion”.
One of the reports being written is the pathology report to be handed in at the March Inquest.
Only then will the coroner determine what the cause of death was.
To say any decision has been taken is ridiculous. If there was one, then there would be no need for the March 20 Inquest.
This will take place because there still are things pending to allow a full decision by the coroner, otherwise there would be no need to hold one.
If the decision is that there was foul play, then it’s up to the coroner to put that in her conclusions but it’s up to the British justice system to determine how the prosecution will run its terms.
If the decision determines it was suicide, then, again, it’s only up to the British justice system, and not the coroner, to decide if the case requires prosecution or not.
So if she said “this may change”, it’s only an opinion, with no legal value able to enforce any sort of action.
But what a coroner can do however, in case cause of death is deemed suicide, is to help establish if it was in any way provoked by an external source.
If the victim was put in a situation in which death appeared to her as the only option to escape clearly provoked surrounding circumstances or if the victim decided to put an end to her life as the culmination of an individual ongoing internal process. If the suicide was unexpected and provoked or if it was just an individual tragedy.
But as the coroner’s job is only to determine if it was or wasn’t suicide, any opinion given about causes of said suicide, are just that, opinions.
It will be only up to the British justice system to determine if those opinions should or shouldn’t result in prosecution.
To say that Mr Brunt will not be charged with anything related with Brenda Leyland’s death is as inappropriate as it is to say that he will.
By the list of those called for the March 20 inquest, it seems coroner does wish to provide an opinion about reasons of suicide, if suicide is determined to be the cause of death:
“Dr West – pathologist (statement only)
Dr Smith – toxicologist (oral evidence)
Dr Zakrzewski – not Brenda’s GP, but had knowledge of her
Jonathan Levy – Sky (producer?)
Martin Brunt – Sky reporter
Ben Leyland – evidence only
Sgt Taylor – Leics Police
Det Sgt Hutchins – Leics Police”
Of these witnesses, clearly Jonathan Levy, Martin Brunt and Ben Leyland have nothing to say about the physical reasons that caused Brenda Leyland’s death.
We do think they can certainly contribute in helping ascertain the reasons for the suicide, if suicide is determined to have been the cause of death.
Only after all decisions are taken at this inquest can the British justice system determine what it will or won’t do next.
A verdict of unlawful killing, for example, we think would be followed by police action. Suicide verdict unlikely to result in any further action.
As the coroner is part of that system, one thing is certain and irrelevant of there being a prosecution or not, Sky and Martin Brunt have been legally involved in the case of Brenda Leyland’s death.
We think some people are hoping the dossier compilers will be prosecuted.
We can’t see that happening as they were entitled to compile it and present it to the police, whatever we may think of their actions.
The fact something is amoral doesn’t mean it’s illegal.
If Martin Brunt lied to Brenda about a pending prosecution, we think he must have breached the code of practice for Sky and may also have breached the code in door-stepping her.
But unless Brenda wrote a note or spoke about her reaction to what Brunt said, it could only be surmised that it may have led to her death.
There was one particularly vile tweet directed towards her, which seemed to come from an individual and has been drawn to the coroner's attention, we believe, by the Express newspaper. Whether it is enough to constitute an offence of a threat of violence, we don't know.
If it did, we presume a family member would need to make a complaint to the police. If threatening tweets are pursued by the police, it would be a separate matter from the coroner's court.
3. SY December questionings
The last present we’re going to speak about was the first one to arrive, the SY Rog Questionings, or what we called the “Gang of 11”.
In the July “4-arguido” episode we showed how the intent was to bring Robert Murat back into the picture, via having Malinka as an arguido, and to turn the spotlight to the Ocean Club, via driver José da Silva.
The other two individuals were just the green plants around these 2 flowers of this particular bouquet.
In December, the bouquet had many more flowers than green plants and, as we’ll try to show, only one of the eleven was truly green.
Our reasoning was confirmed by bringing onto centre stage Robert Murat himself. He was the star of the show, no question about it.
That little stunt about him not being able to be heard because he had already been heard as an arguido was unnecessary.
The case had been archived, not closed and no one was declared innocent. Even if it was PJ questioning him, we see no reason for him not to be heard again as an arguido, if there was reason for that.
But as he was heard by SY, if he was to be heard as an arguido all required was to notify him of that fact. If as a witness, simply hear him as such.
There’s a limit on how many times one can be formally accused of something and that limit is once. There’s no limit to our knowledge how many times a person can be an arguido or person of interest to the authorities on a case.
Besides, as we said, he wasn’t being questioned by the PJ but by SY. The fact that it was a PJ officer voicing the questions was simply a technicality because the request for them to be made came from the British and pertained only to Operation Grange.
Anyhow, the proof that it was a non-issue was that it was solved in less than 24-hours. It may have broken a record for the fastest time a problem was solved by the Portuguese justice system.
To understand the importance of the SY December questionings, one has to divide the witnesses into groups:
- Robert Murat;
- Michaela Walczuch, Murat’s wife;
- Luis Antonio, Michaela’s ex-husband;
- Joaquim Marques, a pig-farmer publicly revealed by the Mail online in 25 January 2008 as “the man in the sketch of Madeleine McCann's alleged abductor has been identified as a pig farmer who raped a British tourist in the town where the three-year-old disappeared.”;
- John Hill, manager of Ocean Club
- Donna Hill, manager of Ocean Club
- Silvia Batista, head of maintenance
- Tiago da Silva, maintenance man
- Mario Marreiros – Laundryman of Ocean Club
- Michael Green, the man whose photofit PJ shows TS to see if he was the man (Pimpleman) she says she saw twice. She says he’s not. His details were withheld at the request of the UK police.
- Mysterious Brit woman heard in UK.
a. Group 1 – Robert Murat
Of this group, the first 3 names are transparently linked: Robert Murat, Michaela Walczuch and Luis Antonio.
Robert Murat, without question, was the person who was put most under the spotlight in during these questionings. He took the stage from the moment they questionings were announced in early November.
His wife Michaela was the one, we think, who had the longest questioning of all witnesses but it was Robert everyone centred their attention on.
It's not everyone who enters PJ facilities via the garage after being driven there. That's usually reserved for arguidos or VIPs.
Strangely enough, to this day, we still don't know under what status was he heard. If as an arguido, if as witness. The fact he had a lawyer present doesn't clarify anything as witnesses are also allowed to have them present when questioned.
In fact, unlike what happened in July, we don't know under what status were any of the people questioned in December.
Luís António, at the time of Maddie’s disappearance lived with Michaela in some sort of “open-relationship” as she was living with him while in a romantic, apparently public, relationship with Robert Murat.
Luis worked for the Ocean Club and was fired by a “Silvia” who we suppose is Sílvia Baptista:
“From memory, he began servicing the "Ocean Club" tourist complex in Praia da Luz - Lagos, between 1998 and 2000, not remembering precisely the exact dates.
It was his client until his services were dispensed with, he thinks because his wife Michaela Walczuch having been ill (later being determined that she was pregnant) and having failed to maintain the pools several times, having been at home. The person who had contacted him, the person responsible for that service in the "Ocean Club", was an employee named Silvia (he thinks that she still works there). She had told him that his services were no longer required.”
The link between Joaquim Marques and Robert Murat is a woman who intersects Marques and Sergey Malinka: ex-pat Kelsie Harris.
Marques was denounced by an ex-British girlfriend of a former partner of Sergey Malinka:
“The man whose face is similar to the photo-fit made from a testimony of a tourist [Gail Cooper?] who spent holidays at Praia da Luz, in April, shortly before Madeleine McCann has disappeared, was denounced to the Judicial Police (PJ) by an ex - British girlfriend of a former partner of Sergey Malinka, the Russian which is one of the witnesses of the case, discovered the DN.”
Matthew Fazackerley was Sergey Malinka’s business partner in “Inter-Net I.T company”.
Kelsie Harris is the ex of Matthew Fazackerley.
Kelsie Harris apparently likes to point her finger at people. She’s the one who points the finger at Sergey Malinka on the day he and Robert Murat are formally questioned by the PJ, and when, in theory, no one outside the PJ investigation knows about the phone call between them on the night of the 3rd:
“5. She indicates that the SERGE is an expert in computers. In her view, there is not a problem in computing that he is not capable of resolving;
6. He was a partner of her husband for about two years, in a computer store called "INTERNET", located in xx, Avenida dos Descobrimentos, in Lagos;
7. That company was dissolved in August last, and the shop was closed;
8. That one of the reasons why this happened, in her opinion, was because SERGE is not an honest man, withdrawing money and values from the firm without her husbandâ€™s knowledge, leading to bankruptcy;
9. He always showed great interest in money;
10. She would also like to say that this was her principal motive that led her to go to the police, that SERGE always demonstrated a very big preference for younger girls, even boasting publicly about his sexual conquests;
11. Around one year ago, she remembers him telling that he was caught by the father of a 14-year-old young girl, when it was having sexual relations with her;
12. Shortly afterwards, he boasted that he was going out with a 33-year-old woman, but that he was also hoping to "eat" the 16-year-old daughter;
13. She does not know if he sometimes showed preferences for girls younger than these;
14. She does not know what kind of sites he consulted on the Internet, namely if he consulted "sites" of paedophilia;”
Not very nice things to say about hubby’s ex-partner.
What is relevant to retain is that at with this December questioning, SY, not PJ, has pointed the finger at 5 people who can be linked to Robert Murat: Sergey Malinka, Michaela Walczuch, Murat’s wife, Luis Antonio and Joaquim Marques, this last one simply being a bystander caught up in the events.
But we think Kelsie Harris also links the body disposal to Sergey Malinka and by doing so, to Robert Murat.
The Express of July 13, 2014, reports that:
“A BRITISH woman has told Scotland Yard detectives seeking Madeleine McCann that she overheard a conversation in which a man said: “Why did you bring her here? Now we will have to dispose of the body.
The woman gave an interview to Portuguese detectives 13 days after the disappearance but the report on the informal interview does not mention her overhearing a conversation about disposing of a body.”
13 days after Maddie’s disappearance is May 16, the day Kelsie Harries gives her statement to the PJ.
The woman, says the Express “has since returned to Britain with her child and is living in the Home Counties.”
In Correio da Manhã, exclusive paper edition, pages 4 and 5, July 2, 2014:
“Box [text inserts on red boxes at middle of page]
Woman says that she overheard conversation
A woman said that she overheard the following sentence spoken in English, between two men who were at Malinka's house door, a few days after the crime: “Why did you bring her here? We have to get rid of the body.”
Note, both news AFTER the “4-Arguidos episode”.
In Jornal de Notícias, paper edition, page 13, July 3, 2014:
“The car of a relative of Sergey Malinka, one of the arguidos in the English police investigation, was inspected yesterday by sniffer dogs. The inspection took place at the Judiciary Police premises in Portimão, and it was done to verify if the car had been used to carry the body of Madeleine McCann. JN knows that nothing relevant was found.”
In broadcast by TVI on July 3, 2014:
“The sniffer dogs were used in an inspection to a car of a close relative of Sergey Malinka, one of the arguidos, since the car that he owned at the time of the child's disappearance was set ablaze. No relevant indicia were found to the English investigation.”
It doesn’t take a mathematician to add all this up to see that SY is, is in our opinion, clearly making a link between him and the disposal of the body.
b. Group 2 – The Ocean Club
This group is made up of John and Donna Hill, Silvia Baptista and Tiago da Silva.
Unlike what happened in July, when the resort was involved through a minor employee, a driver, Ocean Club has now been involved at managerial level by SY. Nothing more, nothing less than 2 of them and the resort’s head of the maintenance.
Silvia Baptista “works at Ocean Club since 03/03/1986, as a receptionist for about a year and a half, and as head of Reception for about three years. After and until the present date, as a head of maintenance and services.”
We find it quite odd for the head of maintenance and services to be made aware of what happened by one of the Ocean Club Owners: “She is aware of the events that occurred in the Ocean Club resort, having had knowledge of the girl's disappearance, by 22H.30 on 03/05/2007, through a telephone call from the administrator George Robin Crosland”
And it becomes even more strange because on May 7, Crosland doesn’t remember this call: “That at around 22h15 of 03 May 2007, he was alone in his residence, situated in Lagos, and was contacted by John Hill, Mark Warner manager who works in the Ocean Club establishment and who informed him that a child, a minor, of the feminine sex, who was staying with her family in that resort, had disappeared and that he was going to initiate the 'procedure for missing child' (sic); . The deponent left toward the local where he arrived at 22H25 and there found John Hill and other functionaries, Silvia Batista, Joao Batista, the former who is employee manager and the latter maintenance;”
John Hill, the manager, arrives at the scene at 22.33 after “he knew of these facts by means of a phone call from Lindsay, head of the child care service, who told him about a female child staying at the resort who had disappeared. This phone call was made to the deponent's mobile phone at about 22.28 on 03-05-2007. About 5 minutes later the deponent presented himself at the resort”
So, John Hill calls George Crosland around 13 minutes before John Hill knows Maddie had gone missing and then Crosland doesn’t remember calling the head of maintenance who assures he did but who he, Crosland remembers seeing when he arrives on scene.
Why call the head of maintenance when one already has the manager engaged? See how strange it all seems?
Silvia remembers seeing a man that night who might have been Robert Murat but doesn’t confirm to be him:
“She remembers, although she is not absolutely certain, given the time already elapsed, that an individual of about 1,70m, short light brown hair, with thin framed and light brown glasses, wanted from the start to help finding the child Madeleine McCann.
She doesn't remember at what time she saw him.
She doesn't remember how he was dressed up.
She doesn't remember who was with him, whether he came walking or in some vehicle. That same individual, she was told later, is the son of Murat, his first name is ROBERT.
Robert speaks fluently English and Portuguese. He helped the GNR of Lagos and later the PJ, translating the testimony of some British persons.
She admits as possible that Paul and June of the bar "Duke of Holland" and Mr. Byron of the firm JNB (management of properties in PDL) should be able to confirm if Robert Murat was there when Madeleine disappeared, and eventually other details.”
The head of maintenance is not a job where one is holed up in an office. After having worked in the Ocean Club for 21 years, in such small community, we wouldn’t say it was unlikely but affirm impossible for her not to know who Robert Murat was.
If she saw the man she says she saw then she had to know clearly whether this man was, or wasn’t, Robert Murat.
She speaks of him as if she’s never seen Robert Murat before in her life. A man whose girlfriend at the time was married to an employee she had fired. An expat who has a business in town and who lives in a villa less than fifty yards, if that, from one of the Blocks (Block 1) of the resort:
She speaks as if she only knew Murat’s father but never had seen his son.
And on May 15, she even doesn’t remember the first time she spoke to Robert Murat: “She clarifies that on Saturday (05-05-2007) or Sunday (06-05-2007) or even Monday (07-05-2007) she spoke to Robert for the first time, during breaks between interviews, where he was acting as translator.”
Silvia, it seems, has since been made redundant and no longer works for the Ocean Club.
Donna Hill, is the one the Portugal Resident says in the whooshed article on December 22, 2014 that “only last month, Ocean Club manager Donna Hill told us: “I really cannot comment. One day I would love to break my silence”” and is the one who is really optimistic concerning Mark Warner’s exit from the Ocean Club (their only operation in the Algarve) as per the same Portugal resident on January 8, 2015:
“But as Ocean Club manager Donna Hill told us, they were reacting without knowing the facts.
Mark Warner’s owners, Mark Chitty and Andrew Searle, had simply decided to offer the Ocean Club exclusively to travel company Thomas Cook.
Chitty and Searle’s holiday company has pulled out of Portugal - not because of any fall-off in business over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann but because Thomas Cook has offered them “a very good deal”, said Ms Hill.
“We’re all excited about it,” she added. “This is actually a golden opportunity for the Ocean Club as now everyone staying here will come from the same operator and we will be able to offer the same services for all our guests.
“This didn’t happen before as we had some people staying on the resort that came through Mark Warner and others that didn’t.
“It made organising activities extremely difficult, whereas now we’ll be able to put things on for everyone equally.
“We are all looking forward to it - and we’re hoping for an excellent 2015 season!””
Lastly on the list we have maintenance worker Tiago da Silva.
He’s brought to the case by the Express on February 9, 2014:
“The Sunday Express tracked down the maintenance worker who allegedly lost the keys, 29-year-old Tiago da Silva, who lives a few miles from Luz in Lagos, a pretty coastal town.
When we put it to him that keys were lost, he paused momentarily before saying: “That is not the case. I can’t remember any keys going missing. The keys in maintenance were kept in a safe and nobody could get to them.””
However an unnamed colleague insisted:
“I know what he told me at the time. The keys for all the blocks were kept on a cable and clearly marked.
He said he had lost the keys to block five. He told me in the same week when the little girl went missing. I am sure of this.
From my memory I think they were replaced with duplicate keys for the apartments which were held at reception. I remember all this very clearly. He did not want us to tell people about it, so we didn’t say anything.”
This, according to Sunday Express suggested “the kidnap was well planned and executed using stolen keys.”
Tiago da Silva, is in our opinion, the green plant in this group’s bouquet. To show Swinging BH Deciders that the burglary thesis hasn’t been abandoned completely.
But another way to look at Tiago da Silva being part of the list would be to highlight that from the Ocean Club 2 managers and 2 maintenance personnel were questioned, thus highlighting the maintenance area. You know, shutter fixings and washing machine operation lessons.
Laundryman has, for us, a completely specific reason to have been called, as we’ll explain.
SY by calling John Hill, Donna Hill, Silvia Batista and Tiago da Silva are clearly involving Ocean Club in this affair. Please add José da Silva, the driver who was given the arguido status in July 2014.
c. Group 3 – The Laundryman
This group is made up solely of one man, Mario Marreiros, the laundryman
On 8th May 2007 Mario Marreiros, the laundryman, says in his statement in the PJ Files:
“When questioned about the day of the disappearance (03 May 2007) of the girl whose name he does not remember, he says he carried out his normal routine, arriving at his place of work at about 10.00, with a lunch break from 13.00 to 14.30, returning to work until 18.00. After work he returned home where he stayed with his wife until 21.30 when he went alone by car to Barão de São João, where his step son works.”
“He does not know of anything suspicious that could be related to the events.”
But 6 years later, on May 29, 2013 00:00, according to the Mirror, he seems to contradict himself as apparently he did seem to have seen someone “suspicious that could be related to the events”:
“Mario Fernando, 47, told Portuguese cops about the “weird” stranger lurking at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz but has never been quizzed by British police or spoken publicly.”
“Mario recalls a “nervous” man wearing big sunglasses hiding in a stairwell seconds away from the holiday apartment where parents Gerry and Kate were staying with their three children.
The laundryman is convinced the lurker was involved in the kidnap.”
“He said: “I was at my last collection point near the girl’s flat. I was always rushing. I’d park the van any-where.
“It was 7.30pm to 8pm. When cleaners cleared sheets they dropped them down the hole in the stairs to be collected by me at the bottom.
“When I walked down and turned into the hole to get the laundry, I saw the weird guy and we nearly bumped into each other. He was embarrassed. He looked nervous.
“He was walking out from the hole under the stairs and must have been much further inside but had taken several steps after hearing me coming. We were, like, dodging each other.
“He had a really fat face and had two-tone sunglasses on, they got lighter at the bottom and were big. I will never forget those glasses.
“There was no reason for him to be there and no reason to wear the glasses as it was dark under the stairs.”
“He did not walk away but watched what I did. I collected the sheets and took them to the van outside. He stayed there watching me.
“I had never seen him before. I knew everyone who was living at the complex and he was not one of them.
“It is still recorded in my head like it was at the time. It was not usual for people to be there, in the shadows.
“My theory is that guy must have been involved, either in the kidnapping or studying what to do — their movements.
"He was there for something, for sure!”
This could easily just be tabloid talk with the usual lack of corresponding credibility.
But, in this particular case it is not so. And what gives credibility to what Mr Marreiros says in the Mirror comes directly from the PJ Files.
First let’s sum up what Mr Marreiros says in the Mirror:
On May 3, he, an Ocean Club employee was in Building 5 (where apartment 5A is) to collect laundry between 7.30pm to 8pm. He sees a man with a really fat face and wearing a two-tone sunglasses walking out from the hole under the stairs, generally acting strangely, like they were dodging each other.
Now compare this with the questions that Neil Berry was asked to answer on Apr 23, 2008, via rogatory letter:
“Where were you on this day between 8.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m?”
“At about 6.00 p.m., in particular, where were you? Who were you with?”
“Considering the fact that you were seen by a witness, clarify what you were doing at that time next to the stairs leading to the upper floor, which are located next to the lift of Block 5 at the Ocean Club, i.e. not far from the apartment from where Madeleine McCann went missing?”
“On that occasion, did you actually pass by an Ocean Club employee that went there to pick up laundry?”
“If yes, what was the reaction like and why?”
Mr Marreiros in the Mirror is clearly talking about Neil Berry.
Please note the “fact that you were seen by a witness” written in one of the questions. A fact, not a supposition.
Why Mr Marreiros didn’t say any of this on May 8, 2007, is only for him to know. What is clear, because of the contents of the questions Mr Berry was asked via rogatory letter, is that he did say it to PJ at a later date.
By bringing in Mario Marreiros, SY is involving that group of people who have been left out to this day: the guests.
If this isn’t upscaling the game, we don’t know what is.
Note the involvement of the guests is not done as clearly as it was done with the first 2 groups, Murat and Ocean Club.
To notice how SY has brought the guests into the spotlight one has to have attentive eyes. But we’re sure that all those to whom the message was directed to, read it with clarity.
d. Group 4 – The expats
This group is made up of Michael Green and a mysterious Brit woman heard in UK.
As we have said above, a photofit of Mr Green was shown to TS to see if he was the man (Pimpleman) she says had seen twice shortly before Maddie disappeared lurking near apartment 5A. As TS denied it was him, PJ ruled him out.
The Mysterious Brit woman was identified via a blog. That, for us is not reason enough to reveal here her identity.
We shall call her Mrs X. Although Mrs X has been named, we decided not to give her name any further publicity in this post, until we have confirmation from another source.
We were able to see that Mrs X has a daughter, Ms Y who lives in Lagos.
In turn, Ms Y is a Facebook friend of a Michael Green who also lives in Lagos.
We're either seeing an enormous series of coincidences or SY, by wanting to question Mrs X, is making a link to the Michael Green mentioned in the PJ Files.
Why is Mrs X included in the list? It is supposed to include the names of only those who reside in Portugal, those who SY needs PJ to question due to questions of sovereignty and jurisdiction.
If Mrs X is in the UK, why bring her name up now. Couldn’t SY question her there without any need to publicise the questioning?
By questioning Michael Green and Mrs X, SY is subtly involving, via TS, the last group of people that was being left out and needed to be called in, the ex-pats.
If we consider, like we do, that Murat and Malinka were part of the over-arching structure that was responsible to oversee the swinging event then we can see that SY in its December Questioning involved:
The swinging event control structure
The Ocean Club
Government BH has raised the stakes. Raised them significantly.
Poker can be played in various ways. One of them is Texas hold ‘em. Each player starts with two cards seen only by him/her. There’s a round of betting. Once that is finished, the dealer then turns 3 cards on the table for all to see. This is called the flop. The various players evaluate possible combinations possible with the 5 cards at play, 2 in their hand, 3 on the table. A round of betting takes place and when finished, the dealer, turns another card, called the turn. Betting again, after that, the dealer turns the last card called the river and final betting takes place, each player still in game evaluating the combinations of the 7 cards in play, 2 in their hand, 5 on the table.
Using a Texas hold ‘em poker game analogy, the “4 July arguidos” were the flop, and the December “Gang of 11” the turn. Only the river card is left to be shown.
As we said, the stakes were raised. We think in this play Government BH have gone as far as declaring themselves “all in”
The only choices Swinging BH now have is to either fold or call to see the river and take the consequences of whatever that card shows.
4. The way ahead, first sign of optimism
There have been two signs that show the Swinging BH hand is getting weaker by the day.
The first is from one particular grapevine.
As we have told readers and again reaffirm, we have no inside information.
Our information comes only from public sources, what we internally call “grapevines”.
Each grapevine has its own kind of “Maddie-grape” Understanding the various kinds of grapes out there has allowed us make deductions and interpretations that, as far as we can tell, have been rather accurate.
This grapevine we’re talking about specialises, amongst other kinds, in “Murat-grapes” and after Murat was questioned it there has been really optimism as to the down-fall of the McCanns. It even risks a timetable and says it’s very soon.
5. The way ahead, second sign of optimism
The second sign is MW pulling out of their only operation in the Algarve.
The Algarve is a well known touristic region with lots of high and very-high quality tourist offers. Its sunny climate, beaches, renowned golf-courses and an international airport make it a very appetising prospect of investment for any tourist operator to invest there.
For some reason, with Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura, Albufeira and Alvor to name some, Mark Warner decided to invest only in Praia da Luz. Not even in Lagos.
And now have decided to pull out.
As a sidenote, we must say that the way we saw this issue being dealt with on the internet was our biggest disappointment concerning the Maddie Affair during the Christmas season.
The pulling out was first announced on December 12, 2014, on the MW site:
“12 December 2014: Ocean Club
We regret to inform you that Mark Warner no longer have a contract with the Ocean Club and therefore this property has been removed from their Summer 2015 programme with immediate effect.
Our website will be updated shortly to reflect this.”
The issue was thoroughly discussed on the internet. Then, 10 days later, a local paper for ex-pats in Algarve, the Portugal Resident, published an article 10 days later, on December 22, 2014. The article was wooshed the next day.
So, with the exception of a period of 24 hours, this issue had not been on the media, mainstream, tabloid or other.
On January 4, 2015, the Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail published the article “Madeleine McCann holiday firm pulls out of Portuguese resort where she vanished”
The internet treated it as old news, when, in fact, it was the first time it really was news. And what news!
The article in itself can be divided into two separate issues, the Mark Warner bit and the rest.
The “rest” is highly unfavourable to the Swinging BH:
“They [Operation Grange] are keen to establish if there are any inconsistencies in statements.”
“This place has never been the same since Madeleine went missing… [instead of abducted]”
“As soon as Madeleine went missing [again instead of abducted], Mark Warner sought to reassure parents, insisting the incident was a “one-off”. [how can anyone assure a criminal act on their premises is an “one-off” unless one knows that it was indeed a one-off event?]”
The Mark Warner bit is just the company slandering the Ocean Club in it:
“The firm has been struggling to attract bookings there following the three-year-old’s abduction in 2007.
British holidaymakers shunned the complex as worldwide media coverage of the case raised safety concerns and profits dwindled.
A source said: “Mark Warner ended the deal recently after trying to make it work for a few years.
Now people feel the resort will become deserted. It is a huge blow.””
Isn’t this just saying that the place is doomed? It’s not only pulling out but it’s doing it in a way that tries to cause causing the most possible damage.
By reading what MW has to say one would think Ocean Club relied exclusively on this particular company to have clients. Now that it’s gone, it will take with it any possibility for the resort to survive.
But reality shows otherwise. In the week Maddie disappeared, Mark Warner was responsible for only a little over 26% of the overall reservations. In fact it came significantly behind Thomas Cook, responsible for 36%. And even behing the 28% of bookings that didn’t use any operator:
To claim that by going the place will collapse is a little exaggerated in our opinion. And it does contradict all Robin Crosland said in October 2008 in the Portugal News Online article “Business as usual in Praia da Luz”
“Robin is quick to rubbish all of these reports, as have other leading authorities and tourism officials, denying that having the resort’s name associated with one of the biggest child-related mysteries of modern times had a damaging effect.
“The Ocean Club continued to attract families with children of all ages with the exception of April and early May when there were fewer families with pre-school children. But by June, these had also returned to normal and by July and August things were more or less back to normal occupancy figures”.”
It is interesting to note the timing of this Mark Warner pull-out. It just might clarify this strange commercial move on the part of Mark Warner.
December 12, 2015, the day MW announced they were pulling out was the day Robert Murat was questioned. It was the last day of SY’s December questionings.
Maybe more than being like a rat abandoning a sinking ship – which would be perfectly useless as Mark Warner’s name will forever be linked to the Maddie case – MW is being, in our opinion, simply spitefully vengeful.
It is not happy with the way things are going on the Maddie case. And if the swinging theory does happen to see the light of day, then Mark Warner really has reasons not to be happy.
One very litigious divorce.
6. The way ahead, the silence of realism
The optimism from the aforementioned grapevine and Mark Warner’s fierce sulking are indeed positive signs.
Add to this the evident loss of hope from Team McCann on the outcome of the trial.
But one should never underestimate the opponent.
One does not know what cards the Swinging BH hold, so we don’t know if they’re going to fold or if they’re going to call the Government BH’s “all in”.
And if they do call, we don’t know if they’ll win or lose. The odds are increasingly stacking up against them, that’s a fact. For example, with each passing day, the expenditure of public funds on this case increases making the option of not having results less viable.
But, in these 8 years we have seen much, so nothing will surprise us.
And it might explain the sudden silence that has fallen on the subject lately.
We think there’s a lot of negotiations going on, a lot of damage control being done, a lot of threats being made, a lot of blackmail being exercised.
It the timelines of this issue are to coincide with those of the trial, as we think they are, there’s only 2/3 months left to make final decisions.
The blog will modestly continue to exert the pressure it is able to the clarification of the material truth.
7. The change
Lastly, an unexpected present, Nicola Wall.
We knew that Andy was due to retire at the end of the year but we thought with all the forensics asked and the SY questioning ongoing, he would hang on for a little while longer.
The transition was done quietly, very discreetly.
For us, it pleases us that it’s a woman.
To DCI Wall, may the real realities of reality not affect you.