Friday, 31 July 2015

Dura Lex Sed Lex

1. Introduction

Sometimes when confronted with a mountain that we have to climb it is not important how we got to be there, by its base, looking up but what is important is both having to climb it and the reason why.

It’s only important to just focus on the task ahead and not lose a moment dwelling on what happened before.

This is such a situation.

We will not explain why we’re breaking from the break again, which we in reality did a few days ago on Facebook, nor about the short but eventful trip it has been from then to now.

As a background to what we want to say today will be the following:

(a) Concerning the contest to Mr Amaral’s appeal made by the McCanns on July 13, Mr Tony Bennett, among other considerations, also had this to say: “this case has now been running in the incompetent and corrupt Portuguese judicial system for 6 years and 1 month”;

(b) There was a reaction to Mr Bennett having called the Portuguese judicial system incompetent and corrupt;

(c) Mr Bennett counter-reacted by first showing through some studies how corrupt a country Portugal was and then making an 18-point list about how the Portuguese justice system had been unfair to Mr Amaral.

2. Needless insult

This list made up by Mr Bennett showed, in our opinion, that he had some misconceptions about the Portuguese judicial system that apparently made him draw wrong conclusions about it that in our opinion he shouldn’t have and because of these make unfounded criticism of it.

These misunderstandings needed, in our opinion, to be corrected as if Mr Bennett had reached such conclusions then so could others do the exact same.

About Portugal being corrupt Mr Bennett quoted various studies and media articles but all was about a perceived corruption and not a factual one.

Not saying there isn’t corruption in Portugal and we will soon show that there is evidence that there is.

Nor are we saying the studies quoted by Mr Bennett are untrue but if one takes a citizen from any country (including the UK) and one asks him if he thinks his country is corrupt or not he will most probably answer that it is one of the most corrupt in the world.

The citizen is not being dishonest. On the contrary. He’s being absolutely honest and responding with the knowledge he has and that is the reality of his life.

His opinion is based on his experience and with the ignorance of what the reality of other countries truly is. He doesn’t know how to compare his country to others and will evidently exaggerate the problems that affect him directly.

However, and that is what mattered, under scrutiny was the Portuguese judicial system being corrupt and incompetent and not the country itself.

The closest Mr Bennett came to addressing that issue was in these words he quotes, “scandals of corruption, recurring obstacles in pending investigations, crimes that go unpunished and new anti‐corruption policies that have no effect on these issues”.

However this happens to be said about Portugal but it could be said about UK or almost any other country in the world.

Portugal’s judicial system record against corruption seems to be impressive:

The “Casa Pia” process, sentenced a diplomat Jorge Ritto, the most popular TV presenter Carlos Cruz – active and alive – known at the time as “The TV Man”, and two other prominent members of society - Manuel Abrantes (deputy responsible for Casa Pia) and Ferreira Diniz a doctor known as the “Ferrari doctor”. In this process, a former minister Paulo Pedroso was under preventative prison and was released without charges. Pedroso was a member of parliament when he was arrested.

The process concerning the way submarines were purchased for the Portuguese Navy, in which the current Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister of Defense Paulo Portas was involved. It was archived, no charges.

The “Freeport” process, which involved former Prime Minister José Sócrates when he was a minister in a previous government. No charges.

The “Face Oculta” process, in which a former minister Armando Vara and José Penedos, ex-president of the public electrical company REN, sentenced both to 5 years in prison.

The “Homeland” process, which sentenced Duarte Lima to 10 years in prison for fraud. Lima was a prominent PSD politician having been this party’s parliament leader.

The “BPN” process, involving former ministers Oliveira e Costa, then banker, and Dias Loureiro. They were charged but acquitted in court. Oliveira e Costa was under preventative prison.

The Isaltino Morais process, he was the most popular head of a township in the country (he was the President of Oeiras township at the time) and was sentenced to 2 years in prison for money laundering and fiscal fraud.

The ongoing “Monte Branco” process, in which Ricardo Salgado is currently an arguido. Salgado, banker and head of BES, the biggest private bank when it was dissolved August last year. Salgado was then considered the most powerful man in Portugal. Then he had the epithet of “Dono Disto Tudo” or literally translated “The Owner of All This”;

The ongoing “Operação Marquês”, in which ex-Prime Minister José Sócrates is under preventative prison, the former minister Armando Vara under house arrest with electronic monitoring among other very wealthy men who are also arguidos in this process;

Finally, the ongoing “Caso BES” process, in which the once very powerful banker Ricardo Salgado was very recently made an arguido and was subject to the coercive measure of house arrest.

The list above clearly shows that the Portuguese judicial system is fighting corruption at the highest levels of political and economic powers.

Safeguarding the presumption of innocence of all the above listed who are awaiting the outcome of their processes, what has been listed shows that there is corruption but also there is a judicial system set in fighting it where it matters in a way we do not see in other countries.

The politicians and bankers of a country may be corrupt but that doesn’t mean that the judicial system of the country also is. To make such an extrapolation is absurd.

But then Mr Bennett adds unfairness to his accusations against the Portuguese judicial system. One must note that although the initial question was about accusing a system of being corrupt and incompetent, Mr Bennett deflects the issue to unfairness. To be corrupt is always to be unfair to someone one way or the other but most often to be unfair doesn't mean one is corrupt.

And as we will see later, a system can be unfair and that doesn’t mean it is in any way corrupt or incompetent.

Mr Bennett uses the example of one citizen, Gonçalo Amaral, to show how corrupt, how incompetent and how unfair the Portuguese judicial system is according to him.

Can a single person, as in the case of Mr Amaral,  represent an entire system? We don't believe so even if Mr Bennett was right on all 18 points of his list, which he’s not.

Mr Amaral has been involved within the Portuguese judicial system in the following processes, that we are aware of:

#1 – Death of Joana Cipriano, investigation and trial. Closed.

#2 – Disappearance of Maddie McCann investigation. Archived and re-opened. Mr Amaral no longer has any relationship with it.

#3 – Torture of Leonor Cipriano, trial. Closed.

#4 – Libel against Marcos Aragão Correia, trial. Closed.

#5 – Damages suffered by the McCanns, trial. Ongoing.

To Mr Bennett, #2 to #5 clearly represent that the Portuguese judicial system has been unfair to Mr Amaral.

But as we will see, not even in #2 is he right and in all the other 3 counts he’s completely wrong.

About #5 we remind that the decision taken by the 1st Instance Court at the end of April this year has no effect as the process is still continuing.

Mr Bennett says the fact that the Book trial has taken 6 years and 1 month and one simply cannot foresee when it will end he claims “I rest my case” about the incompetence of the Portuguese judicial system.

As a man of the law Mr Bennett should know and apparently doesn’t, that each country has its own legal system and to establish parallels between any 2 is absurd.

For example, in the UK in a libel process the offending party has to prove it has not offended while in Portugal the burden of proof lies with the offended one. In criminal law, Portugal is inquisitorial while in the UK it’s an adversarial system. UK has juries in higher courts, Portugal doesn’t. UK has a life sentence, Portugal the maximum sentence is 25 years.

Besides, each country has its own legal schedules and timelines.

To accuse someone of incompetence because it follows schedules and timelines determined by law is wrong and is insulting.

One may be baffled by them but as they are what they are by legitimate law one simply has to accept them.

Unless Mr Bennett has evidence that a schedule was not adhered to by any of those involved he should simply be silent about linking the time the process has been going in a judicial system to that system being incompetent.

If that is all which Mr Bennett rests his incompetence case on then we think best he rethinks before making such hasty assertive judgements. Hasty judgements seldom are right.

It has taken 6 years, it could be more, it could be less and it simply is what it is and most importantly it is what is written in law.

In our post “Nobel Stupidity Prize of the Millenium” in January 2010, we warned very clearly of this. To consider it a problem, which we do, is to give an opinion which is to be respected but to consider it incompetence is just wrong.

A system that safeguards personal guarantees to the extreme is permeable to legal games. However the Portuguese judicial system was set up legitimately that way by those rightfully elected to do it.

Just to give an example, José Sócrates hasn’t been charged yet but by now over THIRTY judges have taken a legal decision about him, on various appeals and habeas corpus since he was arrested in November last year. His legal team has used all possible legal tools available to them by the system. This is taking the legal games to its allowed extreme, being allowed is the keyword. To be very clear, allowed legally.

These unquestionably legal manoeuvres deplete resources, both human and of time.

It’s true the process involving Mr Amaral’s book has been ongoing for 6 years but it has to be said it has been delayed in legal games by both sides of the fence.

One may not agree with the system as it exists and is designed. One may criticise it fiercely and harshly, one may say it’s inefficient. That is only an opinion to be respected but doesn’t constitute grounds to accuse it of incompetence.

One is allowed an opinion but what one may not do is to insult it just because where one lives things are done differently and/or better according to one’s opinion.

Using Mr Bennett as an example. He saw himself in a legal situation in which he felt had to sign an agreement. He breached that agreement and was sentenced because of that. Was the system corrupt? No. Was it unfair? Probably but it’s the law.

One must not confuse an unfavourable decision with corrupt or incompetent ones.

One must however note that the corrupt and incompetent system, the one Mr Bennett seems to say is after Mr Amaral like a vicious dog, is the same one which Mr Bennett recognises has decided wholly in favour of Mr Amaral.

And it’s the same corrupt and incompetent system Mr Amaral says he trusts.

We would also like to point out that if Mr Bennett’s intent was to help Mr Amaral, by calling the Portuguese judicial system corrupt and incompetent he’s doing exactly the opposite.

If the system is indeed corrupt and incompetent as stated by Mr Bennett (which we will say again it is NOT) would it be wise to call it corrupt and incompetent now just BEFORE it is taking a major decision that directly affects the life of a person we all care about?

In what way would that help Mr Amaral if indeed Mr Bennett was right? Wouldn’t that make a corrupt and incompetent system even more resolute in deciding against Mr Amaral?

As we said, fortunately Mr Bennett is not right as we will proceed to show by going over the points Mr Bennett has listed, so little harm is done.

3. Mr Bennett’s 18 points list

“1. Frustrating Amaral’s investigation. The Portuguese judicial system hampered Amaral’s investigation by restricting his ability to look at the historic ’phone records of the McCanns and their ‘Tapas 7’ friends.”

The law is clear and it states that telephone tapping of any private communication interception can only be made with a court order and it applies only AFTER that decision is taken.

Retroactive intrusion by the state in private communications is illegal. The judge allowed a record of telephone traffic i.e. numbers called and numbers dialled but not any its contents which is what the law states.

Mr Bennett’s expectations are that the judge should have gone against the law of the Portuguese Republic.

This was decided by the judge in Portimão and further validated by the Évora Appeal Court.

Not seeing any form of corruption and incompetence here.

“2. The long-running libel trial. After 6 years and 1 month, the Portuguese judicial system still cannot decide (a) whether Amaral libeled the McCanns and/or (b) whether his book ‘The Truth about A Lie’ should be banned.”

It is not a libel trial.

Portugal has many legal Codes, in which two deal with what we could call “infringement of the general law”: the Civil Code and the Penal Code.

Whatever is stated in the first, the Civil Code, are non-criminal offences, what is in the second, the Penal Code, is criminal. Libel or defamation is part of the second, so clearly a crime.

Libel (or defamation) in Portuguese Law is a criminal offence as contemplated in article 180 of the Penal Code.

In Common Law, “Libel” implies a defamatory comment, either written or spoken and, as per above, in Portugal defamation is under the jurisdiction of a criminal court and subject to the Penal Code dispositions.

The court proceedings to judge libel HAS to be a criminal court, in Portuguese a “Vara Criminal”.

What we have currently in the McCann v Amaral trial would be best translated as a Civil Law suit for damages.

To be precise, in Portuguese it is an “Acção de Processo Comum Ordinário, objecto: Factos Ilicitos (Vara Cível)”, which literally translated is “Normal Common Procedural Action, Object: Illicit Facts (Civil Court)”-

Note that it’s about illicit facts and not criminal ones.

The object of this case is to prove the relationship between proved illicit facts committed by the one who has breached a right of the others and the PERCEIVED harm caused to those who had their right breached and then establish the damages to be awarded.

The McCanns decided not bring a private criminal action via a lawyer with regards to the crimes of defamation but instead to bring a Civil Law Suit for Damages.

The verdict was achieved with basis on articles 484 and 483 of the Civil Code and also on numbers 1 and 2 of article 335 of the same code, within the scope of a right to a good name and a conflict of rights (i.e. between the right to a good name v freedom of speech).

Please kindly check the verdict and court details.

About the time the process is taking we have already addressed and will address again.

Fail to see corruption and/or incompetence. 

“3. He was denied ‘Legal Aid’ for the trial.”

Mr Amaral does not fulfil the criteria for legal aid. In a country where the minimum monthly wage is now 500 €uros it would be insulting to those in need, to those for whom legal aid was conceived to give such legal aid to Mr Amaral.

The criteria is determined by law and the law was simply followed. No unfairness.

No corruption or incompetence.

“4. It is probably the longest-running libel trial in the history of the earth; even now the appeal probably won’t be heard until October, and almost certainly, it will run for some good time after that.”

Again not libel. It is fascinating how persistent Mr Bennett uses the term even after Mr Amaral coming out publicly to clarify that it is not libel.

The civil law suit for damages was filed by plaintiffs who live outside Portugal (who have complained how bothersome it is to go to Portugal) and who have convened witnesses who also live outside the country.

This fact alone implies a complex logistic operation on notification and confirmation of presence.

It also requires translation services that are time consuming.

The appeal will probably take time, and rightfully so, as it means it is being properly studied and analysed in legal terms by a collective of Judges.

Like it or not, there are far more urgent cases than this in Portugal that need to be decided.

The world does not revolve around Kate and Gerry McCann or this case. Although it does make the news that is mostly due to media marketing than of priority given in legal terms. In fact when there was the computer glitch last year, the process was given a low priority.

In terms of visibility the case has much more relevance in the UK then it does in Portugal.

There is a limited number of judges responsible for both criminal and civil cases in first instance courts as well as the number of courts which has been reduced due to the economic crisis. Time consuming, yes, but with good reason.

The process is taking the time any other process in similar circumstances takes.

No corruption or incompetence of the Portuguese judicial system.

“5. That is fair neither to Amaral nor to the McCanns. Only the lawyers benefit, in terms of vastly increased fees. ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ is a popular saying here. So too for Amaral. The continuing uncertainty and anxiety. The rising costs. The inability to ‘move on’. And on.”

Judicial costs in Portugal are a mere fraction of those in many other countries.

Mr Bennett shouldn’t judge, as we think he is doing, the costs based on his experience in the UK.

We’ll return the British popular saying quoted by Mr Bennett with 2 Portuguese ones: “to rush is the enemy of perfection” (a pressa é inimiga da perfeição).

In the ideal world each country would have an abundance of judges and courts, such is not the case in Portugal or anywhere in the world.

As mentioned above the trial has been delayed by both sides of the fence on several occasions, requires translation and availability from witnesses and plaintiffs to go to Portugal.

Is it fair? No, it is not but it can’t be done faster and one either follows what the law states or then uses google translate in court and a Star Trek “beam me up Scottie” system for all those convened.

And because it can’t be done faster it cannot be considered unfair. It is, again, just the way it is.

The uncertainty, anxiety, costs and inability to move on are the consequences of the way the system is designed and not because of corruption and incompetence as stated by Mr Bennett.

Mr Amaral is not being treated any different than any other person would be.

“6. The ex parte proceedings that Amaral never knew about. Three months after the McCanns issued their writ for libel damages, the Portuguese judicial system allowed the McCanns an ‘ex parte’ hearing (that is, the other party (Amaral) is not even told about it). Amaral wrote about it in Chapter 6 of ‘The English Gag’ (see ‘TERRIBLE NEWS’ thread, here: ). He was in a restaurant when the owner ran out to him and said ‘I’ve just heard about it on the radio – your book’s been banned!’ This was a wholesale denial of natural justice and fairness to Amaral.”

Mr Bennett should please not confuse trials. This was a “Providência Cautelar” or an Injunction as it has been called, nothing to do with libel again.

We should clarify the term injunction that is being used when describing what happened in 2009/2010.

The procedural term in Portuguese is Providência Cautelar. Would translate it into Cautionary Action.

A Cautionary Action is requested by individuals and the other individual notified afterwards in several cases. It is a temporary measure until a full audience decides the case.

Unfortunately as reality shows that processes do go on for a significant period in time, it is a legal procedure used very often.

The system basically recognises it’s slow and provides the parties the possibility to request an “anticipation of the decision” to ensure that the effects desired are those that are achieved when the decision is finally taken.

To exemplify, 2 examples from Mr Amaral:

- banning of book, in case it is decided it is to be banned, then to do it only when final decision made then meanwhile the book would have been sold and read and the effect of banning would be nil in terms of dissemination of the information it contain;

- seizure of assets, same logic, if one was to wait until the end then the defendant upon realising he would lose the case would have time to change the property of his personal assets.

The procedure for the application of a Cautionary Action is a simplified one and is of an urgent nature, so much so that in many cases it does not require the presence of the person(s) to whom the injunction is against, should the judge decide that would risk the object or efficiency of the Cautionary Action.

Mr Amaral was not singled out by Cautionary Actions. As said, it’s a procedure commonly used.

The book trial began with a Cautionary Action to ban the book because it infringed McCann’s right to a good name because it COULD be defaming them.

The 1st Instance Court decided to implement the requested Cautionary Action and so the book was banned, the Appeal Court decided against that decision and allowed the book to be put on the stands again.

The McCanns appealed to the Supreme Court. After the appreciation of the Appeal Court’s decision the higher court decided that the Appeal Court’s decision was correct and that there were no grounds for appealing its decision, so refused the appeal.

The fact that Mr Amaral first heard of the decision from the media is because as experience has shown it seems that the connection to the media seems to work really fast when it comes to decisions that don’t favour Mr Amaral.

It has nothing to do with corruption or incompetence but with the way “sound waves” travel. He was treated unfairly by the media not by the Portuguese judicial system.

“7. Not only was this secret hearing grossly unfair (it would be unlawful in such proceedings in the U.K.), but it also took several truly draconian steps:”
a. immediate banning of his book
b. impounding all books printed but not sold
c. ordering delivery of the books by Amaral and his publisher to the lawyer acting for the McCanns
d. sequestering many of his property and other assets
e. denying him about one-third of his income”

Please see reply to #6. The Appeal Court decision on this Cautionary Action overturned, when it was legally competent to do so, the 1st Instance Court decision listed from a. to c.

Some of the items listed above (d. and e.) are part of the current civil law suit for damages and not of the Cautionary Action.

The draconian steps are but what is stated in the law and Mr Amaral was not singled out.

No corruption and no incompetence.

There are no such thing as “secret hearings” in Portugal. Not only would they have no legal value as they are absolutely illegal.

To make such a statement is to show ignorance about how the Portuguese judicial system works and about its limitations set by the Portuguese Constitution.

“8. The failure of the Lisbon Civil Court to follow the rulings of the Portuguese Appeal and Supreme Courts. Both courts were clear that Article 10 of the European Human Rights Convention: ‘Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression’ favoured Amaral’s right to publish. For whatever reason - corrupt or otherwise – the judge in the recent trial found a way to ignore these two rulings.”

The constant decisions of the Appeal Court and Supreme Court are jurisprudence and a source of law or law.

However, since we are talking about a case of a conflict of rights the judge decided totally within the law, although we personally don't agree with her decision.

That does not make it illegal, much less corrupt or incompetent. She applied the law as per her legal duties and boundaries and did not in any way circumvent this.

There are cases where what is being analysed that not everything is predicted in the written law and the judge has a margin for interpretation.

The fact is that here is a case of two conflicting rights. Freedom of expression and the right to a good name.

It’s on this point that the judge deemed necessary, which she was legitimately entitled to do, to source other jurisprudence to decide which right should prevail, in her legitimate opinion.

If law was simply black or white there would be no need for courts, judges or lawyers. It isn’t.

Disagree as we do, the judge acted within the law.

Especially since the matter being analysed, damages inflicted to individuals, is a very subjective one.

Moreover, one must not forget that on all other points the judge ruled in favour of Mr Amaral, so it cannot be considered unfair.

The damages awarded are in my opinion excessive and the decision is subject to disagreement but we STRESS, a legal one. We have already had the opportunity to consider it completely disproportionate but it’s neither corrupt nor incompetent.

It cannot be considered unfair as it isn’t considered effective by the Portuguese judicial system as this is now a matter for the appeals court to decide with its collective of Judges.

“9. The removal of Amaral as Investigation Co-ordinator. The Policia Judiciara (PJ) is part of the Portuguese judicial system, run by the Ministry of Justice. It was senior officials in the PJ, certainly influenced by the British Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, who ordered Amaral to be removed from his post.”

Here Mr Bennett is right. we totally agree, although we do not know who the participants were, it was a clear manoeuvre to avoid a diplomatic clash.

However it must be said that when Mr Amaral gave his interview while heading the investigation he was aware that he would suffer some sort of consequence.

“10. The inadequate Attorney-General’s Report. In July 2008, the Attorney-General’s final report was published. It recommended that the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance merely be archived. It showed every indication of being a politically watered-down report, bearing little relation to the robust, well-evidenced and well-argued interim report of Tavares de Almeida, dated 10 September 2007.”

Firstly, it was not the Attorney General, it was the District/Local Prosecutor. And it’s not a report but a dispatch.

Everyone knows our opinion about this but here and now we must play the devil’s advocate.

The prosecutor considers that as it stands, there is not enough evidence to bring the case to a court of law and we must agree with him as we’ll explain.

There are leads in the report that were left as uncertainties and which, in our opinion, could have easily have become certainties. Namely the forensics. But fact is they were left as uncertainties when they arrived at the hands of the prosecutor for a decision.

The whole Maddie process is too peculiar and too specific that it has to be studied on its own. It doesn’t reflect either of the judicial systems involved as they have been victims of outside interference at political level. It’s not corruption or incompetence but something much more serious than that.

What happened cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the Portuguese judicial system as Mr Bennett does.

The report as it stood, or how it was made to stand did not present enough evidence to charge, that’s a fact.

Portuguese courts do not allow cases to be brought based on circumstantial evidence alone. And rightly so. “In dubio pro reo”.

What precisely did Mr Bennett expect the prosecutor to do when there is not even any knowledge of what crime it really was?

Was it manslaughter or was it homicide? Was it with or without intention? Was it planned or not? Was it only the couple, were theT9 collectively responsible or was a third party responsible? Was there an abduction or did the child wander off and have an accident?

What was the cause of death? Even though there is no need of a body to make a charge, where is it? What happened to it?

Tavares de Almeida says that all evidence points towards the parents but doesn’t take that decisive step which would be to ask for them to be charged.

And the investigation continues after the Tavares de Almeida report meaning there were things that still needed further clarification.

If these things weren’t clarified by July 2008 as they weren’t, then the correct interpretation for the dispatcher to make is that what was uncertain in September 2007 remained so in July 2008.

If there wasn’t enough evidence to charge in September 2007 then the same amount of evidence continued not to be enough to do so in July 2008.

The prosecutor is not being corrupt or incompetent when he deemed it necessary that evidence for this kind of crime needs forensic corroboration, a decisive witness, a confession and a reasonable explanation as to what happened to the body. At the moment we have none, sadly.

The decision is not dodgy. What was dodgy was the way the process was prepared for such a decision and that was the doing of both the Portuguese and British judicial systems.

To say that it was just the Portuguese one is wrong. But again must stress that the Maddie investigation doesn’t serve as an example for anything.

However, one thing must be said clearly, the prosecutor failed when not charging them with abandonment and exposure, something we don’t believe happened but it’s a fact that they claimed publicly to have done on more than one occasion and hasn’t been contradicted, legally, by anyone.

On this aspect we must subscribe that the decision (or non-decision) on the part of the Portuguese judicial system was highly irregular to say the least.

“11. Allowing the lying murderess-of-her-own-child to bring a criminal prosecution against Amaral. Leonor Cipriano murdered her daughter in 2005, pretending that she had been abducted. She lied about this and was shown to be a serial liar on many other occasions. Yet the Portuguese judicial system allowed her to bring a state-funded criminal prosecution against Amaral and 4 other detectives, alleging she had been tortured.”

Even a murderess has a right to bring a judicial action against another.

The decision of the court was that there was no torture and Leonor Cipriano had more time added to her sentencing due to perjury in court. Justice was done.

No corruption, no incompetence and no unfairness.

“12. The prosecution failed to prove that any of the 5 detectives she had named had tortured her.”

The Court decided that there was no torture. Justice was done.

If the system was corrupt and had its cross-hairs set on Mr Amaral, wouldn’t this be easily “proved”?

“13. During the proceedings, the lawyer representing Leonor Cipriano, Marcos Aragao Correia - who was paid by the McCann Team - was barred from continuing to represent her any more because of his conduct in court and due to his having been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Lawyer’s Association in his native Madeira. The judicial system miraculously ordered the judge to reinstate him two days later.”

The lawyer represented Leonor Cipriano till the end. Marcos Aragão Correia was suspended by the order of lawyers but this did not reflect on his representation of Leonor Cipriano.

Mr Correia was suspended in January 2009 preventatively and provisionally by the Lawyer’s Order.

This had nothing to do with the judge, it was a decision applied by and lifted by the Lawyer’s Order.

This Order represents the profession of Portuguese lawyers but is not part of the Portuguese judicial system. His suspension was a professional problem, not a legal one.

While he was provisionally suspended the judge denied his presence in the trial as she should have. Once the Order lifted the provisional measure he continued to represent Ms Cipriano till the end.

The Portuguese judicial system had nothing to do with any eventual hastiness of the Madeira Section of  the Lawyer’s Order in deciding on this matter.

Publico in its article of Feb 15 2009 “Detective agency that looked for Maddie recruited lawyer to burn out Gonçalo Amaral in the Joana Cipriano case”, describes how Aragão Correia was involved in the trial Leonor Cipriano moved against the Portuguese detective:

“Leonor Cipriano was defended during all the inquiry phase by the lawyer João Grade dos Santos but, “on the eve of the trial starting, the client dismissed the services of the lawyer”, states SIC.

Years later, after the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann, on May 3 2007, the detective agency Método 3 enters the scene, which then tried to recruit Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, João Grade do Santos, explaining to him that his help would be very useful due to the similarities of both cases.

At the time Método 3 showed itself to be highly available, inclusively indicating that “money for expenses was not a problem” and brought up the “Gonçalo Amaral” theme. Only months later, already after having refused to work for the Spanish agency did he realise that Método 3 had an “agenda.”

According to SIC this “agenda” was to get a lawyer that would put Gonçalo Amaral “out of combat”, as in both cases the detective seemed to want the same thing: the culpability of the parents.

Faced with the refusal from João Grade dos Santos, Método 3 approached another lawyer – the young Marcos Aragão Correia, who had participated in the search for Madeleine as a medium and later got involved in investigations related with the Joana case, ending up accepting to defend Leonor Cipriano in the trial against the five PJ inspectors from Faro. [note from blog: we find strange the use of the verb “to defend” as Leonor Cipriano was the Plaintiff, so the adequate verb, in our opinion, should have been “to represent”]

“The detectives [from Método 3] came to me and told me – we are very worried because there is a common element in both cases – Gonçalo Amaral – who is not interested in looking for the children, he is only interested in incriminating the parents. It happened in the Maddie case and also in the Joana case”, explained Aragão Correia, quoted by SIC.

The young lawyer accepted immediately the proposal from the Spanish agency to do what João Grade dos Santos had refused to do. “I was outraged – he reminds us – I thought that Mr Gonçalo Amaral had a hidden interest in systematically incriminating the mothers, without having proof against them. “


Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, former PJ inspector and one of the five arguidos from Faro, accuses Marcos Aragão Correia of trying to make “a deal” with the arguidos, writes SIC. “And that deal was: you all accuse Gonçalo Amaral and I will make Leonor Cipriano say that none of you gentlemen have anything to do with this”, he explained.

Marcos Aragão Correia, heard by the journalist Pedro Coelho, does not deny the existence the deal, but explains it was related to “outburst from one of the arguidos”. “That arguido sent a mail to a friend of mine win which he points the blame to Gonçalo Amaral”, denounces the lawyer.

Shielding himself behind a “secrecy agreement” which links him to Método 3, Marcos Aragão Correia did not give the news team any more details, but still said: “If I am taking sides for one of the parties, it is obvious that party is giving me moral support”.

Both Método 3 and the McCanns spokesperson were contacted by SIC and refused to issue any statement.”

To quote Marcos Aragão Ferreira outside court after trial “‘The target was hit, Gonçalo Amaral was convicted'... Marcos Aragão Correia, Leonor Cipriano's Lawyer.”

As can be seen, there is no relationship between the Portuguese judicial system being corrupt or incompetent and the McCanns using a lawyer without scruples to pursue their intent against Mr Amaral. 

“14. These proceedings lasted 7 months with 7 hearings from October 2008 to May 2009. In the U.K. the trial would have been heard over 7 continuous days. Spreading the hearings over several months significantly increases the lawyers’ costs.”

With a significant number of witnesses from outside the country, with hearings having to be translated, with lawyers excusing themselves for health reasons and for having been surprisingly dismissed, with the request for witnesses who weren’t part of the submitted list to be heard, with decisions to appeal the refusal of hearing new witnesses, with the introduction of requests to clarify the legitimacy of applicants we very much doubt that in the UK these proceedings would last 7 days. In the UK or in any other country.

Mr Bennett may counter that many of the procedures above would not have been allowed in the UK but all of them were in Portugal because the law states they can and that they should be respected.

Also, looking at current murder cases in the UK, many months elapse before one has a trial date or the trial date is set for months in the future, lawyers are engaged from the beginning.

Where is the difference?

We would like to note that in Portugal the lawyers are not paid by the time a trial lasts, it is the fees for their legal work they are paid for. They get paid by the hour they effectively work on a case.

For example, Mr Amaral’s lawyer after having submitted the appeal is not getting paid. If the decision is taken tomorrow or in 6 months, his fees between submission and decision will be exactly the same, which will be the hours he worked on the case in between these 2 times.

“15. At the end of the proceedings, and based solely on the testimony of a serial liar who murdered her own child in cold blood, the court convicted Amaral of the offence of ‘filing a false report’.”

Already answered. Mr Amaral was made accountable for what he did wrong. Justice was done.

Does that tarnish his reputation? He who has never made mistake please pick up the first stone…

“16. Those who are utterly opposed to Amaral have ‘milked’ this perverse judicial finding for all that it’s worth, labelling this as ‘perjury’and constantly referring to him as a ‘convicted perjurer’.”

Is the Portuguese Judicial system now to be considered corrupt and incompetent because of the manipulation of information done by third parties? Mr Amaral was not convicted of perjury.

“17. Amaral brought a perfectly proper case for ‘criminal libel’ against Marcos Aragao Correia, after he made a series of libelous statements about Amaral. The Portuguese judiciary would not allow him to proceed with this claim.”

Yes, this was a libel case, defamation and with the trial in a criminal court.

There is no such thing as ‘criminal libel’ in Portuguese law. As said, it's simply libel (or defamation). To distinguish between libel/defamation and civil law suit for damages please revert to reply to #2.

Under the Portuguese law libel is a criminal offence as contemplated in article 180 of the Penal Code, so always a crime

Such was the case that Mr Amaral brought against Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, a Criminal Law suit for defamation, under the referred article 180.

In Joana Morais' “Addendum to the Criminal Process for Defamation Against Marcos Aragão Correia” post:

“Brief introductory note: The hereunder addendum belongs to a process for criminal defamation [in Common Law, “libel” implies a defamatory comment, either written or spoken] and vilification against Marcos Aragão Correia filed by Dr. Gonçalo Amaral in April 2008. While this process is at the moment stalled in the Public Ministry, a counter-complaint filed against Dr. Gonçalo Amaral by the psychic lawyer, in October 2008, was urged forward.

The following document is published with the author's permission:



Process 87/08.8JAFAR


Mr Prosecutor,

Gonçalo Amaral, the offended party with the capacity to constitute himself as an assistant, and better identified in the files, comes forward to APPEND the following to the CRIMINAL COMPLAINT that was presented against arguido Marcos Aragão, under the rights of petition and of probatory intervention:"

In the libel case filed against Marcos Aragão Correia, Mr Amaral did go to court and lost. He lost his case on the 17 July 2012 in Faro Court.

The Portuguese judicial system did not deny him the right to proceed with his claim. He simply lost in court.

An unfavourable decision, not a corrupt or incompetent one. Or unfair.

“18. As a result of the way the Portuguese judicial system has treated him, Amaral has at times seemed close to being a ‘broken man’, he and his wife divorced, and he has had to rely on donations for Portuguese, British and other people even to be able to afford to carry on defending himself.”

Maybe more as a result of how the McCann machine has treated him. Also by using the Portuguese judicial system in a perfectly legal and legitimate manner.

It’s called legal games and the harsh reality is that he who has more money gets better legal help. Nothing to do with corruption or incompetence. Just the way it is.

We agree that he appears to be a broken man (although we really do think he still has a lot of fight in him and doesn’t seem to be wavering in his resolution).

Mr Amaral has unquestionably suffered enough, more than any man ever should. But not due to corruption, incompetence or unfairness of the Portuguese judicial system but rather because of an efficient mean legal machine he has working against him.

The evil is not in the system that Mr Bennett accuses without any basis to be corrupt and incompetent but the use evil people make of it using its known and public rules.

Mr Bennett himself has been a victim of the exact same thing in the UK.

We, like Mr Amaral, trust in the judicial system to deal with this in the appeal. We also trust that in the future evidence will surface that will allow charging those responsible for the demise of a helpless child.

Then that same judicial system Mr Bennett now criticises will be blind as it must be and apply a severe sentence to those responsible, in a criminal court.

It will be then up to UK courts to deal with them for financial fraud. In justice we trust. Dura lex, sed lex.

4. Corrections

We would like to make two corrections to what Mr Bennett has stated also regarding this issue.

Mr Bennett claims were that the former Prime Minister José Sócrates is in a high security prison and charged with crimes: “Does he not know for example that the country's former President, Jose Socrates, who met Gordon Brown, our Prime Minister, twice, and personally discussed the Madeleine McCann case with him, is now remanded in a top security Portuguese jail charged with all manner of corruption?”

José Socrates is not a former President (saying he is that is the same mistake as saying Brown is UK’s former King) but former Prime Minister and we find it perfectly natural and understandable for two Prime-Ministers of two European nations to meet and to discuss the hot topic at the time that involved both their nations.

But what we want to correct is that Sócrates has not been charged with anything nor is he in a high security prison. In fact he is in preventative prison and has NOT been charged to date.

He was given the opportunity to have his coercive measure changed to house arrest with electronic monitoring and he has refused. He preferred to stay under preventative prison in Évora.

The prison in Évora is not a high security prison but one for the police forces, military and people with special status, such as being a former Prime-Minister. That’s why he’s in Évora and not in Lisbon.

He will remain there until it is legally decided for him to be released.

We must add that the preventative prison is one of the most arguable coercive measures the Portuguese judicial system use. But however one may or may not agree with it, one has to accept it. It is the law.

Second correction we want to make is when Mr Bennett says that the British government has let down Mr Amaral, he’s being as correct (both in fact and politically) as anyone saying the Portuguese government is able to let down any British citizen in the UK under a judicial process in the UK.

5. Conclusion

This is not an attack on Mr Bennett. We will not accept any comment attacking Mr Bennett personally.

We attack messages not messengers. We attack ideas not people. We carry too many wounds while our message remains untroubled to know very well the difference.

Our points regarding the legal aspects of points #1 to #18 are approached in simple terms and can be verified by anyone who researches the information available. We always stick to facts (when we don’t we clearly assume the speculation) and we think it is the best approach in this case.

Several points needed to be clarified and they were.

This has nothing to do with people. Facts are what they are and they cannot be changed nor are they subject to interpretation from us or anyone else.

We do not call other people bonkers. It's rudeness that destroys truth seeking.

We did not enjoy seeing former PJ inspector Barra da Costa being called bonkers with the implication he would have lied about his info coming from inside sources about swinging.

We did not enjoy seeing Richard Bilton being called bonkers on Panorama because he mentioned swinging on Panorama, although he hastily had to add it was just a theory

We did not enjoy seeing an Anonymous being called bonkers because he was posting about swinging before the files were released, as per our “The Best Answer ?” post.

We did not enjoy seeing PJ being called bonkers for using “swing” as search terms on Murat’s and Malinka's computers as we showed in our “Why Swing?” post.

Especially when we saw those who were calling all of the above bonkers have not used the same word to those defending a pre-planned murder involving two families who have no problem in lending their 3/4 yr old daughters to cover-up a death nor to those saying CEOP was involved in covering up that death as early as April 29.

About seeing these two families involved let us just say that one is being involved because of differences of signatures in documents we have proven have been tampered with in our “3 Penguins in the desert post” so no information in them can be considered realistically trustworthy and the second family is involved just because someone decided to do so without any sort of proof.

Acknowledgement: We would like to thank Isabel Oliveira in her important and significant contribution especially but not only with the stated in the legal points #1 to #18. Isabel shares our concern in correcting misunderstandings that seem to exist about Portuguese legal matters in general and with the book trial in particular.


  1. Great post. I was particullarly comforted by your response to #18. Its to scary to comptemplate that overall we can't trust judicial systems of modern counteries. Thanks fo removing those fears

    1. Sorry meant response to #8

  2. Brilliant, for someone who believed Amaral was stitched up I'm pleased to say you've changed my mind
    Enjoyed this Bronte very informative and straightforward x

  3. Thank you for another insightful post. I had never read an earlier post you reference called 'The Best Answer' which was alarming in its accuracy: the need to cover 'swinging' at the expense of what happened to Maddie. It's still shocking, even years later.

  4. Hi Textusa,A new DCI Nichola Wall was given the task of Opreation Grange 22 Dec 2014,Remit Abduction by UK Government?
    My understanding is that Portugal PJ have the overall legal capacity of any prosecution in regard to the missing child Madeleine McCann, last seen alive by the parents and a Doctor friend,3 May 2007 5a Ocean Club Apartment.
    The UK Government seem for some reason of protection in this case, as is proven or a pure coincidence that Operation Grange began to reinvestigate the case after Mr&Mrs McCann,Rebecca Brooks,Rupert Murdoch, tired to Black Mail the UK Home Secretary for the uk police re-open the case on the couples be half,via Prime Minister David Cameron?
    Is it a coincidence that "Operation Grange" has been reinvestigating the case for over five years at a cost of over 11 Million Pounds to the UK tax payer alone?
    One can only hope Justice prevails in this case, but I have my doubts, this being the amount of collusion by UK Police force assisting persons to "Flee the Scene" after being named arquidos, travelling home with them, thereby Not allowing the judicial process to takes it's course?
    Imagine Scotland Yard having suspects and allowing them to depart the Country of an alleged crime?
    It seems as though they have been assisting them for the last five years and the UK Government is picking up the Tag on their behalf as well!!?
    Ludicrous situation or protection!?

  5. Textusa thank you for your work in allowing me to understand the Portuguese court system I do agree that there has been a lot written and said about the system without taking the time to verify if the criticism stands up to the test of what is the norm for that particular system.

    I however would like to look at point 8 in more detail which I think may be the source of Mr Bennets and a lot of other peoples fustrations. I recognise that you yourself don't agree with her decision and accept that your answer is based on the judges application of the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. I understand when you s a y "The constant decisions of the Appeal Court and Supreme Court are jurisprudence and a source of law or law. " that you mean in simple terms that the judge is not legally binded to accept these decisions but it is a source that she can refer to. ( correct me if I am wrong) That being the case I think that Mr Bennett was quite timid in his criticism of her when he says "corrupt or otherwise – the judge in the recent trial found a way to ignore these two rulings.” . Surely her first source of law when applying the spirit of the law should have been to respect the earlier judgements in the same case she was working so to ignore in favour of another source is while not illegal is at best incompetent and at worst corrupt. Add that to the value of the settlement given when no damages was proved directs me to the latter. All court services whether Irish, British, Portuguise or any other democratic country should work to the spirit of the law as well as letter of the law I think in this case this particular judge has used her own discretion to work outside the spirit of the law and as such I think Mr Bennet may be correct in his statement.

    1. Anonymous 2 Aug 2015, 16:27:00

      Thank you for your comment.

      We respect fully your opinion but the truth is that point 8 is correct in the sense the judge did not use her personal discretion but decided within the scope of the law.

      In UK courts are bound to follow case law, which sets a precedent for any cases which follow, to ensure consistency in judgements.

      Portugal has the codified law system rather than case law to guide decisions. When matter under analysis is not defined in the letter or spirit of law then judge has resorts to what jurisprudence she deems necessary to do so.

      This is a case where law is unclear, both in letter and in spirit and it is correct that it is so. The law states what the rights are but doesn’t compare rights in importance as it shouldn’t.

      Your words are correct but they reach a wrong conclusion. You say rightly “surely her first source of law when applying the spirit of the law SHOULD have been to respect the earlier judgements in the same case she was working”.

      It is as you say SHOULD and not HAD to. If the law stated she had to and she didn’t then there would be reason to think or either corruption and/or incompetence.

      But fact is the Portuguese law doesn’t make her respect early judgements. Do note the early judgement you’re speaking of was about a Cautionary Action and not the exact same matter that is now at stake.

      The Cautionary Action was simply about litigation over rights while now perceived damages are also involved.

      Your opinion she SHOULD have is just an opinion and in no way merits the words with which you end your idea: “so to ignore in favour of another source is while not illegal is at best incompetent and at worst corrupt.”

      You’re wrong because it’s neither. She has basically told Mr Amaral that his freedom of speech was exercised and his book was free to be published but now that the consequences have been explained to her by the McCanns and witnesses, she decided that his freedom has caused some, not major damage to the McCanns and his freedom when weighed against their right to a good name weighs less heavily, and because she deems he should not have breached what she has considered to be his duty of confidentiality, the damages will be almost those requested by the McCanns.

      Nothing corrupt or incompetent about this. Just her legitimate interpretation about what was before her to decide.

    2. Textusa thank you for taking the time to explain this. I have to say I'm with you now but I despair at how she could come to the decision she did given that little or none of the accusations made by the McCanns were proven in court we can only hope that the appeal judges see it differently.

  6. In other words, you see no bias, no prejudice, no servility, no morosity, no incompetence in the way our justice has handled the MC Saga but I am sure you sense it, don't you? I certainly do and I am Portuguese.

    Although I can appreciate the logical consistency and quality of your argument (and the shortcomings of Bennett's) I cannot help thinking it was stupid to allow the McCanns' to use our judicial system for personal vindication and reputation management.

    Whatever the reason why this farce has been allowed to proceed, it smells of servility, corruption, incompetence, bias or if you prefer, "lack of cojones" - unless it turns out to be a brilliant PR exercise! We will only know that in the end (...)

    Meanwhile a Portuguese saying comes to mind: "Quanto mais te abaixas mais o (simbolo do cobre) se vê!" - the kind of behaviour our ancestors termed "Para Inglês vêr"...

    Keep up the good work.

    1. What do you mean when you say "unless it turns out to be a brilliant PR exercise" for who????. I cant see it being a Brilliant PR exercise for the Portuguese Justice system

    2. Anonymous 6 Aug 2015, 02:40:00

      Thank you for your comment and sincere apologies in answering only now.

      Who could prevent the McCanns from using the Portuguese legal system, if they could afford, by whatever means, to pursue their case?

      Can the Portuguese lawyers paid by the McCanns be accused of servility? Isn’t the McCann money as good as any other?

      We can't see it being a brilliant tactic on the judge’s part.

      On a first impression it seems to us that because of the high profile of the case the 1st Instance Court judge preferred to place on more experienced hands the decision on the main controversial issue which was the litigation between rights.

      On all other issues she decided in favour of Mr Amaral. The sentence seems to show, in our opinion that she decided to leave the claim as “intact” as possible: what the McCanns asked of relevance remained “as is” for the Appeal’s Court to decide.

      Eventually one can accuse the judge of having lack of legal courage when she took her decision but as we pointed out, it wasn’t corrupt or incompetent. She acted within the boundaries in which the law allowed her to.

      Just like the 1st Instance Court did when deciding on the Cautionary Action (decision later overturned by the Appeal’s Court wholly in favour of Mr Amaral).

      The appeal court will be the next test. Only when there are no more appeals left will we know what is the take of the Portuguese justice system on the matter.

      But your comment misses the point of our post. It is not about the attitude or position of the Portuguese justice system in what concerns anything to do with Maddie.

      The post was about an unfounded accusation of corruption and incompetence made against the Portuguese justice system as a whole.

      About the Maddie case we have shown that it was irregular in the investigation and in one particular decision that should have been taken and wasn’t, which was to charge the parents with negligence.

      In what concerns Mr Amaral we have also agreed that the way he was taken off the investigation in October 2007 was equally irregular.

      But, as we said in the post, other than that we still have to find any other irregularity concerning Mr Amaral v Portuguese justice service.

    3. Hello Textusa. I take the points you made.

      That said, Melo e Castro is not the first judge to show "lack of courage".Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues was another.

      Both well-to-do ladies gave the impression to go out of their ways (and their roles) to benefit the McCanns' and sink Gonçalo Amaral - a Portuguese citizen and an ex-civil servant at that. Typical "para Inglês vêr" behaviour.

      Judge Melo e Castro, by deciding to go against a decision of an appeals court, went even further!

      No doubt she knew the previous Appeals Court included Dr. Bruto da Costa, a Professor of Law, a former minister, ex-president of the Commission for Justice and Peace and not least an actual State Counsellor with the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic.

      If this is not bias (or something more sinister) I do not know what to call it but, I will settle for "lack of courage" - as you diplomatically put it.

      Melo e Castro seemed more interested in the "pret-a-porter" justice "en vogue" elsewhere in Europe than in home grown ethics and, by being so "fashionist" she brought the Portuguese Justice system into disrepute - allowing for poorly differentiated and emotionally distorted comments such as those of Tony Bennett and myself.

      I can only hope the on-going McCann saga is nothing but a brilliant exercise in international public relations. A fine example of the Portuguese skilful Will operating undercover at The Collective Unconscious level but that... only time will tell.

      Keep up the good work. It is always an informative pleasure to read your well-researched postings and your intelligent replies.

  7. Only when it comes to Maddie are the dogs not reliable!!

    Missing People, who advertised non missing Ricardo Firmino get £178k whilst other charities suffer!
    That is probably only enough to pay wages of one or two top staff anyway.
    Why are they so favoured? We never get a breakdown of their proclaimed success rates. Are some children on run from care homes on numerous occasions counted more than once in their statistics?


    Syn demolishes the garden fertiliser theory

  10. Very interesting thread started by HelenMeg on JH Forum today.
    Initial post:

    Portugal Resident
    HelenMeg Today at 2:15 pm
    Interesting comment from a reader of the

    Maria Versos • a month ago
    Have someone questioned what where the McCanns doing, staying on a three star development in Praia da Luz ? Have you seen on the police photos, what this bare apartment looks like? I am a realtor, and my english clients of this level stay in 5 Star hotels or in Private villas and, anyway, if they have children and leave for dinner without them, they engage the services of a baby sitter.
    Plus, in Portugal, children are most welcome in restaurants. Not having someone to look after them, the natural thing would have been to take them with.
    The McCans situation was therefore terribly strange, to say the least.
    And if you happen to be in Praia da Luz, just ask the waiters at the restaurant where they were that night, and they will tell you what kind of "life" the McCans were leading...!!!!!! you will be veeeeery surprised...I was...also strange is the fact that the McCans, faced with the death of their child, have called first Sky News and only when Sky News arrived at the place, was the police called! Conveniently organised, I would say.
    We portuguese have no doubts whatsoever to what happened that night. I still hope that the true emerges one of this days and that punishement will be served.
    I also know the McCans were supposed to be questioned separately (they had been before always questioned jointly) by the criminal police the morning after the night they flew from Portugal. Our criminal police was sure that Kate would "break down" and the truth would come forward. But they are extremelky influent people and got away with it.
    And thank you so mych for supporting Amaral. He is a man of honour and is beeing penalised for doing his work. I am ashamed of the portuguese government behaviour in this case (allowing the McCans to flee from Portugal on the midle of the investigation).
    Maria Versos

    1. And a very interesting reply from Carry On Doctor in the thread:
      Re: Portugal Resident
      Carrry On Doctor Today at 4:31 pm
      Reading between the lines, the author is insinuating swinging or the sharing of sexual partners. My thoughts exactly.

      Not paedophilia for me, a tragic accident early on followed by a faked abduction up to protect careers and reputations. They absolutely would want to keep their kicks secret.

      With thanks to the 'brothers' for all their assistance to date.

      The truth will out.


    2. If the dogs in the street know what was going on in PDL with the McCanns and their 'friends', surely Scotland Yard must know it too? One wonders what's keeping them from making the connection. Abduction never happened: 'neglect ' was a ruse to hide something more sinister: saving ones skin because of swinging buried the truth of Maddie's death.

    3. Perhaps when they next appear in Portugal,journalists can ask Gerry and Kate about their thesis on what happened to Madeleine 3 May 2007!!?
      Probably have to have a certain person in tow, eh Clarence!
      Kate,"I know what happened, I was there?", but failed to elucidate in 48 questions to the PJ?

  11. Some news update. In case you did not know, this Summer, instead of sending Scotland Yard, David Cameron decided to visit the Portuguese Algarve himself.

    The story goes that he has just interrupted his holiday because of an ear infection. So, whereas before he has always been ready to lend both his ears to Clarence Mitchell and the McCanns, the latter will have to do with just one of his ears.

    Meanwhile, no signs of Scotland Yard. Either they are still working on those "samples" or perhaps just waiting for Amaral's appeal result to come through before restarting shooting their "investigation" blockbuster...

  12. Textusa,
    I have been following forever literally but there are two questions for me which sit very strongly and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to tell me if you have answered them already and where I missed the answer.
    The first one is 'they have taken here, the fckers have taken her and then the whole pedophile accusation from then which when danger time had passed changed to lonely couple treating her as a princess.
    If you don't believepPedophilia was involved in this case, why did they mention it and why did Kate mention that horror scene in the book? They don't every do anything without a reason.
    And that Sean has developed a liking for sea bass is a real red herring to me ( no pun intended) but that was getting a message through to many - what was the mesage?

    Is the holiday nearly over?
    Miss you.

    1. Su,

      Let us answer your last question first. It was sea bass, as it could have been mackerel or tuna. Or even Kentucky Fried Chicken. They were before the fact the dog alerted to cadaver odour and they had to find an excuse.

      It was sea bass that came to their mind. It proved to be lame as dogs distinguish smells like we distinguish colours. Dogs are not colourblind in the sense that they see more than just black, white, and grey but the colour range they perceive is limited.

      For them to distinguish between sea bass and cadaver odour is like for us humans to distinguish between yellow and orange. We make no effort, we just do it. They do the same with odours. They do not confuse fish for cadaver.

      Paedophilia is much more complex.

      It has 2 stages, and the one you referring is stage 1: paedo linked to abduction. The second stage being paedo linked to Payne.

      One has nothing to do with the other.

      The logic to the first is simple: find a reason for Maddie to have been abducted.

      The second is much more complex and we have said before that it has 3 major reasons for existing: feed distracting misinformation, punish Payne and also keep him on a short leash and send a warning to others: we have the power to brand a non-paedo as a paedo so best abide or face our fury.

      To answer your question, to raise the paedo possibility in those first few hours was with the same intent as the Smith sighting: to make something that wasn’t real a reality. In the first instance to help make the abduction real in the last to make the abductor.

      This is where Kate uses the F word as to whom would have taken Maddie.

      The only other use of the F word by Kate is in her book, where she refers to PJ interview, where she says under her breath, F Tossers.

      That will be so nice for the twins to read, as K wrote her book for their benefit!

      About our holidays, it’s nice to know we’re missed and we thank you. We will return as soon as possible.

  13. To make it perfectly clear to all:

    I am not sure if I signed up to JH Forum back in 2008/2009. I do not have any record of it.

    I probably did as I signed up to lots of Maddie related sites at the time.

    I do not know if I'm a user at JH Forum and if I am I don't know how to log in nor do I want to find out.

    I don't think I ever posted there then but not sure of that. Just saying this as some odd comment may be found in the forum's archive and I don't want to be called a liar.

    Outside that possibility, which would be over 5 years ago and we becoming a team, Textusa has never signed up to JH Forum to place a comment nor intends to.

    Witnessing what we have witnessed from the accuser on other matters we realise it will be an accusation it will be thrown against us henceforth. Being accused wrongly of saying what we haven't said and of being what we aren't is something we've grown used to and has never bothered us.

  14. Thanks Sisters,
    I think that the Sea Bass went a bit deeper than that.
    But I do have an active imagination as opposed to critical thinking.
    In- joy your break.

    1. Su,

      Please do not underestimate your imagination.

      If you think we're missing something, we welcome the heads-up. The worst you can hear from us is us not agreeing but that is a risk that exists to all those who risk putting out their opinions out there.

      If we all agreed, there would be no need to write as whatever was to be written would be known in advance.

      Criticism, when rightful and with good intent, doesn't put anyone down but is a constructive way to correct the path of one's journey.

      Ridiculous are only those who say they accept criticism but when it comes, they don't. We sincerely hope you don't include us in such a group of people.

  15. Just realised I am as interested in this case as I was when Madeleine was initially declared 'abducted'. I think that this afternoon I might trawl back through some of the posts on this site - as even though I have read many of them - there are still more gems for me to discover.

    I hope something is happening behind the scenes... somewhere.... dont want another 8 years of this - or even 12 months..
    Look forward to new posts as and when they arrive.

  16. Textusa's I hope you don't mind me going a bit off topic but I have been reading your old blogs on crimewatch which prompted me to watch it again. One thing I missed first time was that they said that 2 men were seen arguing about 1 hour after the alarm was raised. I don't know if you ever mentioned these 2 or their relevance to the case but I would appreciate your opinion on them. Surely they wouldn't be suggesting that the "abductours" we're still hanging about an hour after the abduction

    1. Anonymous 22 Aug 2015, 21:28:00,

      That encounter certainly didn't come from any Tapas statements, or indeed, any other statements we can recall. No Tapas staff said this either.

      We, unlike we have said with CrècheDad, cannot say this encounter didn't happen. However, we don't find anything suspicious about 2 men talking at around 22 pm outside.

      What would be suspicious about 2 men talking loudly?

      We're sure other similar encounters happened all over the Algarve and probably also in Luz somewhere.

      What we would find strange would be for 2 men involved in an abduction to be seen talking outside instead of getting as fast as they could away from the crime scene. Ridiculous that anyone involved would hang around, making themselves conspicuous.

      We would be more inclined to quiz the witness if we were SY.

      We have witnessed so many lies by so many witnesses, it's almost impossible to rely on anyone for truth. Even SY.

      We don't give much relevance to this episode. For us it has one of 2 objectives, or both. First, to show work on SY's part, showing they came up with details PJ missed and so justify the millions spent and the other to find a "public" excuse to haul in to be heard most of the 4 men who were heard in July 2014.

  17. Now this is interesting inasmuch as it provides some food for thought.

    Blacksmith - seen by some as a controversial analyst at times - has this to say in a thought-provoking article he published recently.It highlights the "reputation management" aspects of the case from its inception.

    Well, we all knew that intuitively - Clarence Mitchell and his PR associations - but here are the details - which I am sure Textusa knew but some of us might have missed. I did.

    May I quote? Here we go ...copy + paste ...

    "She Kate McCann) and (Lori) Campbell constructed the story together before sending it on to the Mirror’s London offices. It stated as official fact:

    Police had specific evidence from the apartment that the child was still alive when she left

    Madeleine was kidnapped, as the toy she had fallen asleep with was left on a ledge placed too high for a child to reach proved.

    There was a window of less than five minutes for a kidnapper to pounce - not enough time to kill her and clean up

    Police did not believe blood found in the apartment was Madeleine's as it was not consistent with signs of a struggle

    The McCanns had been told in a secret meeting with police within days of May 4 that the child was alive when she left the apartment

    The Mirror then invented “a police source” to disguise the fact that the source of this stuff was Kate McCann herself. The supposed police source was quoted as saying:

    "Although there has been much speculation about a 'lost hour' in which Madeleine could have been taken...the kidnapping must have been meticulously planned. Police found no fingerprints or DNA on the Cuddle Cat or in the room, indicating the intruder wore gloves.."

    "To disguise your sources is one thing. For a historic national newspaper with a proud tradition to do so by deliberately inventing a police source and putting fictitious claims in its mouth about an important crime is something else - a deception and a betrayal of readership trust from which a paper can rarely, if ever, recover.

    Criminal deception usually catches up with you in the end, whether you are a newspaper or a pair of pathological liars. Campbell's dodgy journalist partner Ross Hall passed her record of Kate McCann's claims on to the News of the World, which is now dead."

    Full article available at the Blacksmith Bureau.

    1. Anonymous 23 Aug 2015, 20:56:00,

      We disagree almost totally with the above said.

      We consider that Kate McCann, Gerry McCann and Clarence Mitchell to be mere puppets in this sick game.

      About Mitchell already in 2009 we were very clear with what we think his role in the saga has been with our post "Clarence Mitchell - The Luckiest, Unluckiest Turd of All"

      The decision taking and strategic planning takes place much more upstream than the 3 people above mentioned. Imagine all a chess game and these 3 are pawns while decisions are made in our opinion not even by the players moving the pieces but at the English Chess Federation itself.

      That is as far from any capability of deciding Kate, Gerry and Clarence are in reality.

      Giving them any capability of deciding is to help the misinformation campaign as it "downgrades" the level where it really happens.

      It baffles the mind to see how it is believed by many how 2 doctors and a government expendable are able to bend the will of a British Prime-Minister.

      If Clarence was that almighty wouldn't he manage to run in the elections where he would be sure he would get elected? Doesn't that alone show how little power he really has? In our opinion he has none and never had any.

      Nor does he run any McCann PR campaign. In our opinion he is part of it, doesn't run it.

      So when it's said "She Kate McCann) and (Lori) Campbell constructed the story together" we couldn't disagree more.

      Neither constructed it. It was way above their "pay grade".

    2. Thanks for your thoughts Textusa. What you say is certainly a strong possibility - Ideology and Cultural Hegemony work in mysterious ways - almost telepathically...

      That said, I suppose it may be fair to say - on the basis of the "arguments" provided by Blacksmith - that whoever was pulling the strings behind the media screen; the puppets-on-the strings themselves - could have been those described by Blacksmith. Surely they must have had a role of some sort - unless the "evidence" provided by B. is of the Procrustean type.

      B. inferences on Lori Campbell, seem fair to me - she did send her article "Alive When Taken" to the Mirror who had them published. Kate McCann involvement, however, can only be inferred on the basis of her close association with Lori.

      Personally, I don't think Kate is much of a strategic and creative thinker (according to some sources, J.K. Rolling helped her with "Madeleine") so, it would have to be Gerry or indeed as you suspect someone above in the game's hierarchy.

      Thought-provoking your views on "Fox" Mitchell. I now have a look at the post you suggest. Thank you!

      Keep up the good work!

    3. I have been looking over old footage and pictures of the couple in the days and weeks after the child disappeared and with the exception of the rag doll photo which ironside wrote about they are not just happy their deliriously happy. Like a couple on honeymoon. Unless these 2 people have been given 110% assurance that they would be protected there is absolutely no way they could have behaved that way. Narcissistic they may be but they still would have been terrified unless they were totally convinced by the assurance they were given. This is why I'm with you Textusa that the people involved in this are powerful powerful people

    4. Textusa is probably on the right track - that much has become apparent almost from the start of this saga. That said, here we were addressing Blackmith's trail of thought in case you missed the point. No problem.

    5. Anonymous 17.08.00
      It seems as though Black Smith Bureau has thrown in the Towel on the Madeleine McCann case,either that or he has been trying to out the non Mc supporters as per his last post which he states has been his task or has he been got at?

  18. Comment from Pamalam we thought best to bring over with thanks to her for all her hard work:

    Pamalam *
    12 hours ago
    Here is the £5 that I have just won on a scratch card. I am waiting in anticipation for your appeal Dr Amaral. **********
    Would anyone be interested in reading all of the old Donation/ comments? They also have all screenshots linked to each comment. If so here are the links *********
    Comments 01 to 499: **********
    Comments 500 to 999: ********** Comments 1,000 to 1,499: **********
    Comments 1,500 to 1,999: ********** Comments 2,000 to 2,499:

  19. Mamma mia! Talk about the devil ! After his comical attempt to become an MP for his good friend Cameron, "puppet-on-a-string" Clarence Mitchell "has left" Burson-Marsteller - the global PR company of which he was a director - to became self-employed. Suck that!

    Has the McCann Saga - and Mitchell unconditiona£ support of the couple - led to his redundancy from the blue-chip company?

    Could it be that Burson-Marsteller global name was being tarnished by Mitchell's long-time association with the two célèbre "swingers" and "child neglecter's"?


    Posted by portugalpress on August 29, 2015

    British PM David Cameron “requests meeting with Passos Coelho”

    Portuguese media is buzzing today with the story that British prime minister David Cameron is on his way back to Portugal - not this time in his holiday FitFlops - but for a meeting with Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho that some sources say he himself requested.

    Officially, Sábado says “the conversation between the two heads of government will involve European questions at a time that Passos Coelho has reinforced his role in the EU, particularly calling for rapid reforms to European institutions”.

    Unofficially, it is anybody’s guess.

    National media alludes to the fact that Cameron recently defied his country’s opinion polls to sweep the board in May’s elections and decimate the Socialist opposition.

    It was the kind of victory that Passos Coelho could be keen to learn from as he faces his own election battles here - and as Expresso points out, does not appear to have much hope in gaining a majority.

    Indeed Expresso casts doubt on claims that David Cameron requested the meeting at all.

    As Portugal’s media mulls over what “mutual interests” the pair might really be discussing, now could be the time to lay the long-running and expensive dual police investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann finally to rest.

    Certainly, there has been no news on this front for months.

    But for the moment all that is certain is that the two prime ministers will be meeting next Friday in the prime minister’s official residence in São Bento, and that a photograph of them shaking hands and looking chummy may add some useful glow to Passos’ lacklustre election campaign.

    1. Very interesting.

      One HAS to do some math:

      1. SY's wall of silence since Nicola Wall entered scene (and this includes leaks to the internet which is very important and revealing);

      2. Clarence Mitchell abandoning the McCanns under the excuse of own business after the electoral escape route failed;

      3. The Sun allowing truthful comments on its "Psychic" article (the best one we read was the one saying SY wouldn't comment until they stopped laughing);

      4. This meeting if true.

      Very interesting times indeed.

    2. Hi Textusa,10.20.
      The head of Portugal should be aware of the last time an Official UK Prime Minister came to discuss EU details as it led to the dismissal of Goncalo Amaral and as Carlos Anjos quoted that Clarence lies with as many teeth he had in his head, one would hope Passos Coelho remove Daves teeth with some pliers(sarcastic joke) to find out the true reason for the meeting?
      Do not trust this snake in the grass,as he is not visiting Portugal for anything but his or cronies he knows behalf?


    ‘We can’t keep on chasing shadows’
    Ex-Flying Squad chief John O’Connor urges Scotland Yard to consider ending search

    A FORMER Flying Squad chief yesterday urged Scotland Yard to consider winding down its hunt for Madeleine McCann — adding: “You can’t keep chasing shadows.”

    John O’Connor said the spiralling cost of the four-year investigation and the seeming lack of progress meant the Met must now ask itself whether resources should be focused elsewhere.

    He added: “If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I’d have thought they should be considering winding it down now.”

    His comments come as a Sun investigation today reveals the Met’s inquiry into Madeleine’s disappearance from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007 has cost taxpayers almost £11million.

    At the current rate it will top £12million by April — more than double the £5million promised by David Cameron when Operation Grange was launched in May 2011.

    The task force, which at its height was 37 strong, has yet to make a single arrest.

    Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent on flights to Portugal and to investigate other sightings around the globe.

    Mr O’Connor added: “You can’t keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether the detectives are making any real progress. For me it needs to be reviewed by a senior officer.

    “The Met’s rank and file would be thinking, ‘Are there more recent cases that could be progressed with the right resources?’ It’s about priorities.”

    The initial Portuguese investigation into three-year-old Madeleine’s abduction was marred by blunders.

    Officers made the catastrophic mistake of deciding parents Kate and Gerry were the key suspects — and so failed to take elementary steps to secure evidence that might have caught the real abductors.

    They failed to seal off the family’s apartment, allowing the crime scene to become hopelessly contaminated.

    They also failed to put out a global missing persons report for five days and did not bother to set up checkpoints in and around the Algarve.

    In July 2008 the Portuguese authorities admitted there was no evidence against Kate and Gerry and said the unsolved case was to be closed.

    Then in May 2011, following a campaign by Kate and Gerry that was backed by The Sun, the PM told Scotland Yard to launch its own investigation, called Operation Grange.

    It cost around £2million in its first year. By 2013 that had risen to £4.8million — then £7.4million in April 2014.

    The figure stood at £9.8million in April and is now thought to have reached £10.8million. It is projected to hit £12.2million by April 2016.

    In 2014 alone Met staff took 67 return flights to Portugal at a cost of £16,000. The bulk of the rest of Grange’s costs come from salaries, overtime and premises expenses.

    There are currently 30 police and support staff working on the hunt for Madeleine, who would now be 12. The inquiry is headed by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall.

    In March the soaring costs and lack or progress prompted Met Police Federation chairman John Tully to question whether the investigation should continue. He said: “We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

    “It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I’ve heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.”

    A source close to the McCanns said yesterday: “Kate and Gerry are eternally grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making Operation Grange possible.

    “They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.”

    There are currently 155 children on the Missing Kids UK website, including Madeleine. Research shows an average of £2,415 is spent investigating a missing child.

    1. Anonymous 2 Sep 2015, 08:47:00, there's an interesting chronology at the end of article:

      ‘I know what happened to Maddie’


      — McCann plea to PM

      — Met off to Algarve

      MAY 3: Fourth anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

      MAY 12: The Sun publishes open letter from Kate and Gerry asking the PM for independent inquiry. The next day Mr Cameron promises “new action” involving the Metropolitan Police.

      SEPTEMBER 9: Scotland Yard detectives hold first meetings with police chiefs in Portugal.

      NOVEMBER: Met officers fly to Barcelona to meet Spanish cops as part of their probe.


      — Poster of their girl ‘at 9’

      — Portugal rules out probe

      APRIL 25: Police release computer-generated image of what Madeleine would look like five years after she vanished, aged nearly nine. The picture features prominently in a new poster appeal launched by Kate and Gerry.

      APRIL 26: Portuguese attorney general rules out reopening their own investigation into the kidnapping, saying there is no new evidence to justify it.


      — 41 new leads

      — Suspect’s e-fit

      MAY: Met team says it has identified a number of possible suspects. It is later revealed there are 41.

      OCTOBER: A BBC Crimewatch appeal shows an e-fit of a man seen at Praia da Luz carrying a blonde-haired child aged three or four.


      — Dogs in scrub

      — 4 men quizzed

      MAY: Search specialists from the Met arrive in Praia da Luz.

      JUNE: Sniffer dogs and radar used to examine scrubland at resort.

      JULY: Officers interview four Portuguese suspects, including one man of Russian origin.


      — £16k for jets

      — £12m by April

      FEBRUARY: Police confirm Operation Grange team spent £16,000 on 67 return flights to Portugal in 2014.

      SEPTEMBER: Estimated total cost of Grange now stands at £10.8million. If 2015/16 costs are similar to previous years, total cost of Grange by April 2016 is predicted to be £12.2million.

    2. We note that on the chronology above no mention of the people questioned in December 2014, which included as we all remember, Robert Murat, John Hill, Donna Hill and Sílvia Baptista.

    3. Similar article in Daily Mail

    4. Again, like with psychic article, the Sun is allowing comments not favourable to McCanns.

      Unlike the psychic article, this one is not to be laughed at. A step in the "serious" direction we would say.


    6. It was just the opposite of the situation outlined in the Sun. The PJ did not immediately focus on the parents. The mistake they made, according to GA was handling the parents "with tweezers"
      If their friends and others had told the truth about that night, the PJ would have solved the case. If witnesses lie, any investigation is thrown off track.
      By refusing to participate in a requirement of the Portuguese process; a reconstitution of the night in question, the T9 brought the investigation to a halt.
      Yet again, the fact it was one of the most intense and expensive Portuguese investigation is conveniently left unstated.


    The Sun FB page. Read comments :) :)

    1. It really gets on my nerves to see how well the negligence hoax has been sold out to people! Most comments just keep repeating that over and over... grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    2. Anonymous 2 Sep 2015, 10:09:00,

      The faked checking the children every night is an obvious lie.

      8 children in total over 4 nights, what are the chances of none waking up over an average period of 2 hours per night?

      Apart from the last night, none of the Tapas group say the children woke up whilst they were out.

      How so many people fall for the neglect alibi is beyond us as well.

      It's obvious that the only way an abductor could have been involved is for a neglect scenario to be invented.

      The price of being called neglecters had to be paid.


    Bill for Scotland Yard investigation into Madeleine McCann disappearance hits £11MILLION... but after no arrests are made former police chief calls for it to end

    • Ex Flying Squad chief has suggested the probe should be wound down
    • Comes after it was revealed £11million has been spent investigating case
    • Met tasked with finding Madeleine in an inquiry called Operation Grange
    • Team of 31 British detectives are exclusively working to find the girl

    By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline
    Published: 01:32 GMT, 2 September 2015 | Updated: 07:56 GMT, 2 September 2015

    A former police chief has called for the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann to be wound up.

    Ex head of the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad, John O'Connor, has questioned whether probe should continue after it was revealed Scotland Yard has spent £11million on the case but have made no arrests.

    The Metropolitan Police was tasked with investigating the disappearance after Madeleine's family made a personal plea to David Cameron in 2011.

    Madeleine was just three when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment while her parents ate dinner nearby.

    Kate and Gerry McCann have fought a tireless campaign to find their missing daughter since, regularly appealing to police to keep the investigation into her disappearance active.

    A team of 31 British detectives are working exclusively to find the girl, who vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal eight years ago, with the inquiry codenamed Operation Grange.

    Now, according to the Sun, the Met's inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance has cost £11million, with money spent on flights to Portugal, salaries, overtime and premises expenses but no arrests have been made.

    They also report that if spending on the case continues at the current rate, the bill will top £12million by April - more than double the £5million promised by David Cameron when Operation Grange launched in 2011.

    Mr O'Connor told the newspaper's Tom Wells: 'If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I'd have thought they should be considering winding it down.

    'You can't keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether the detectives are making any real progress. For me, it needs to be reviewed by a senior officer.'

    His comments echo those of Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully, who earlier this year also called for the probe to be axed and the detectives reassigned to other investigations in the UK.

    He said that officers in London are bemused why they are working round-the-clock fighting the threat from Islamic State-inspired jihadists and solving murders while the Operation Grange detectives are barred from helping.

    Mr Tully explained: ‘It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe. We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

    ‘It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced. I have heard a few rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.'

    Even though Madeleine’s parents Kate, 47, and Gerry, 46, live in Rothley, Leicestershire, Scotland Yard was handed the investigation because of its expertise in investigating complex murder cases.


  24. cont.

    Police chiefs ‘ring-fenced’ the inquiry to prevent officers working on other case, even though the force has been forced to make £600million in cuts over four years.

    Months after the three-year-old vanished, Leicestershire Constabulary was awarded two grants by the Home Office to help fund their efforts.

    In 2008 they received £525,000 and were awarded a further £221,000 the following year before the case was handed over to Metropolitan Police.

    David Cameron set out a budget of £5million upon the establishment of Operation Grange in 2011, which has been headed up by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall since December.

    In its first year, the unit cost close to £2million, with the vast majority of expenses attributed to police officer and staff pay.

    Between 2012 and 2013, the most expensive leg of the investigation to date, £2.7million was spent on transport, salaries, overtime and premises cost.

    The figures had risen to £4.8million by 2013 and then £7.4million in 2014. This April the operation had cost £9.8million and it is now thought to be at £10.8million.

    The Sun reports that the projected figure will be £12.2million by April 2016.

    The McCanns also enlisted the services of a small team of private investigators to help with the search.

    Since the girl, who would now be 11, vanished, every possible theory has been explored, including that she was kidnapped by a paedophile, killed during a botched burglary and her body dumped, snatched by traffickers and sold to a childless couple and that she wandered out of the apartment and died in a tragic accident.

    However, not one shred of proof of what happened to Madeleine has been uncovered, though the McCanns are said to be eternally grateful to the Met for their investigation.

  25. It's September!
    Remember September last year? The build-up during that month that led up to Brenda's tragic death?


    Posted by portugalpress on September 02, 2015
    Second British police source slams €15 million Maddie probe

    A second British police source has called for “time out” in the hugely expensive hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.

    With costs of four-year-old Operation Grange now at almost €15 million - over twice the amount pledged by British prime minister David Cameron when the investigation was launched in 2011 - former Flying Squad boss John O’Connor has told the UK’s Sun newspaper that Scotland Yard should “stop chasing shadows”.

    His comments come six months after Metropolitan Police Federation chairman John Tully admitted police in UK were “baffled” as to why they are being kept on in the seemingly endless Maddie inquiry.

    And by coincidence they come days before David Cameron is due back in Portugal for private talks with prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

    Speculation as to what the two PMs will have on their agenda has already piqued the interest of the Portuguese press, but for the Sun O’Connor’s views come as the paper’s own investigations reveal the spiralling costs of Operation Grange are expected to hit €16.2 million (£12 million) by April, and there has still not been one arrest nor do there appear to be any firm leads.

    As O’Connor told the paper: “You can’t keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether detectives are making any real progress. For me it (the investigation) needs to be reviewed by a senior officer”.

    Met federation boss John Tully said much the same thing in March, adding that it was time for Scotland Yard to “refocus” and concentrate instead on keeping London safe “from the increasing threat of terrorism at home”.

    Here, PJ police are famous for playing their cards close to their chests. Last week national director Pedro do Carmo told the Resident that Portuguese costs in the hunt that began eight years ago “cannot be quantified”.

    “We don’t have budgets for specific investigations”, he explained, adding that, unlike the UK - where Grange has a 30-strong team working full time - the PJ team in Porto running the Portuguese hunt is not exclusively working on the British toddler’s disappearance.

    “It has other cases”, he told us. “Other disappearances. None of them children”.

    Carmo said the Portuguese investigation was analysed regularly.

    “If it comes to a point where there is nothing more that we think we can do, if there is no perpetrator of the crime to be found, then the next step would be to archive”, he agreed.
    But for the time being, “there is no deadline”.

    “We are still working with the Metropolitan Police”, he stressed, and there has been an “enormous effort” in terms of PJ resources in the joint police collaboration.

    As UK media follows-up the Sun’s exclusive this morning - focusing on the ever increasing millions of British taxpayers’ money spent on an inquiry that seems to be going nowhere - the paper ends it story revealing “there are 155 children on the Missing Kids UK website, including Madeleine. Research shows an average of £2,415 (€3,200) is spent investigating a missing child”.

    John O’Connor is a former Scotland Yard commander whose comments and opinions are regularly carried by British newspapers.

    1. They certainly do have friends in powerful places eh,why?
      Who is protecting them and for what reason?
      Like Goncalo Amaral has stated we probably will not know until MI 5/6 stop covering up the evidence on the communications they have,phone records, text messages, etc.
      I Do not trust Prime Minister David Cameron due to his heavy association to Rupert Murdoch,Andy Coulson,Rebekha Brooks and their cohorts Sky, dodgy Dave met Rupert on his yacht before awarding him exclusivity to TV rights, worth how much?

    2. Question 22, did you call Sky News? "No" said Gerry, why would he have to?


    Madeleine McCann's parents ready to continue search if police end investigation into her disappearance

    19:12, 2 September 2015
    Updated 20:06, 2 September 2015
    By Tracey Kandohla

    A spokesman said the couple accepted police could not continue to fund an investigation indefinitely and have set aside cash to continue the search themselves

    The parents of Madeleine McCann are preparing for the police probe into their daughter’s disappearance to be shelved, their spokesman said today.

    Kate and Gerry McCann continue to pump thousands of pounds into a special fund for use when the official investigation, codenamed Operation Grange and launched more than four years ago, finally ends.

    Family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said today: “They realise it cannot go on forever.”

    He added: “Kate and Gerry remain incredibly grateful to the Met Police for their continuing work and effort and are grateful to everyone who continues to make Operation Grange possible.

    “The Government and police make the decision about funding, it is not Kate and Gerry’s role.”

    He told how former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry, both 37, of Rothley, Leics, had moved money from the publicly-backed Find Maddie Fund into a special account in anticipation of having to finance the hunt for their daughter themselves.

    Mr Mitchell said: “In a common sense and practical move, they have kept some money back from the Find Madeleine Fund in case it is needed for an ongoing search.”

    A source close to the family said: “Kate and Gerry firmly believe Madeleine could still be alive and when the police investigation ends, they have vowed to continue looking for her.

    "They don’t know when this will be, there has been so suggestion yet, but they want to be ready and have set aside huge chunks of money for this reason.”

    Three-year-old Maddie was snatched during a family holiday in Portugal’s Praia da Luz in May 2007. She would now be aged 12.

    As Maddie’s parents brace themselves for being told Operation Grange will end, the family source said: “Kate and Gerry know the investigation will come to an end at some point, especially with police budget cuts but they haven’t been advised when.”

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann.

    "Over the last four years we have given the Metropolitan Police the resources they say they need to investigate her disappearance, and we continue to do so.”

    Sources in Portugal today insisted there was no evidence to suggest Operation Grange was going to be shelved in the short or medium term.


    British cops say Madeleine McCann investigation "still live" despite calls for it to be wound down

    20:10, 2 September 2015
    Updated 20:23, 2 September 2015
    By Gerard Couzens

    Sources reveal police are still determined despite the case costing UK taxpayers £11 million

    The British investigation into missing Madeleine McCann is still "live" and is not about to be wound down, sources have revealed.

    The news comes after ex-Metropolitan Police officer John O'Connor yesterday questioned whether the hunt for the missing child was a good use of resources.

    It has been claimed the Scotland Yard operation has already cost the taxpayer £11 million but there have not yet been any arrests.

    But well-placed sources in Portugal insisted there was no evidence to suggest Operation Grange was going to be shelved in the short or medium term.

    And they said they were expecting to receive a new international letter of request shortly from UK authorities - the second since DCI Nicola Wall took over from previous Operation Grange boss Andy Redwood at the end of last year but the first she will have been involved in preparing.

    The regular meetings DCI Redwood held with his Portuguese counterparts in the Algarve city of Faro have been put on hold since the takeover.

    Her successor is understood to have asked police in Portugal to put on hold some of the work they were undertaking while she reviewed outstanding requests and the way she wanted to progress in the future.

    Responding to grumbles about the cost of Scotland Yard’s probe and fresh claims it should be wound down, the Portuguese source insisted: “Nothing is going to be shelved.

    “Co-operation right now between the British and the Portuguese police is at a moment of great synchronisation.”

    Portugal’s Attorney General’s Office, which in May confirmed it had so far received five British requests for international cooperation on the Madeleine McCann case including one in January 2015, did not respond to emails today.

    But insiders said they were expecting to receive a new request shortly.

    The Scotland Yard inquiry is running separately to a Portuguese probe into Madeleine’s May 3 2007 disappearance.

    The Portuguese investigation was reopened in May 2014 at the request of the country’s Policia Judiciaria police force - more than five years after their original probe had been shelved.

    The reopening of the probe coincided with news a former employee at the Ocean Club holiday resort where Madeleine disappeared had been identified as a suspect.

    Recovering heroin addict Euclides Monteiro, a convicted burglar, died in a tractor accident in 2009.

    His widow Luisa Rodrigues was interviewed by Portuguese detectives but insisted he was an innocent man and has been fighting to get authorities to confirm they have now ruled him out as a suspect.

    Scotland Yard, tasked with investigating Madeleine’s disappearance after Madeleine’s family made a personal plea to David Cameron in 2011, have come to focus on the theory she was killed during a bungled burglary.


  29. cont

    John O’Connor, ex-head of the Met Police’s Flying Squad said yesterday as it was revealed the hunt for Madeleine has cost British taxpayers almost £11 million: “You can’t keep chasing shadows.

    “If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I’d have thought they should be considering winding it down now.”

    His comments echoed those made in March by Met Police Federation chairman John Tully.

    He said at the time: “We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.

    “It is surprising to see an inquiry like the McCann investigation ring-fenced.

    “I’ve heard a lot of rumblings of discontent about it from lots of sources.”

    A source close to the McCanns was quoted as saying: “Kate and Gerry are eternally grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making Operation Grange possible.

    “They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.”

    In May, Portugal’s Attorney General’s Office revealed: “Since August 2012, the Public Prosecution Service of Portimao has received five British requests for international cooperation in criminal matters, the last of which has been received on January 2015.

    “Three of these requests have been already executed and their pieces of execution were returned to the requesting authorities. The execution of two of them is still pending.

    The Prosecutor General’s Office does not provide information on the content of the requests presented by the British authorities.”

  30. Interesting games continue.

    Agree with Anonymous 2 Sep 2015, 09:58:00, September should be named Maddie silly month.

    Today we had let's close case, then McCanns saying they will continue with Home Office expressing commitment and to end the day the idea that closing the case is the last thing on anyone's mind.

    Either there are 2 sides to this issue as we have been defending, or whoever is controlling is bipolar.


    After a very quick browse of this article, I noted the following comments:
    " Responding to grumbles about the cost of Scotland Yard's probe and fresh claims it should be wound down, a Portuguese source insisted: 'Nothing is going to be shelved.Co-operation right now between the British and the Portuguese police is at a moment of great synchronisation.'


      Scotland Yard detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann stayed at £200-A-NIGHT hotels while in Portugal

      Met detectives are searching for Madeleine who went missing in Portugal
      Their probe launched in 2011 has already cost Scotland Yard £11million
      Now believed officers have stayed at 5-star hotels costing £200 a night
      This is despite cheaper hotels also available close to investigation scene

      By Jennifer Newton and Gerard Couzens for MailOnline
      Published: 02:10 GMT, 3 September 2015 | Updated: 10:10 GMT, 3 September 2015

      British police hunting for Madeleine McCann have been staying in five star hotels in Portugal where rooms cost up to £200 a night, it has been reported.

      The officers are part of Operation Grange, which was set up by the Metropolitan Police after Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry made a personal plea to David Cameron to search for their daughter, who went missing while on holiday eight years ago.

      Thirty-one police and support staff are still trying to find the missing child, who would now be 12.

      But after it was revealed that Operation Grange has cost £11million since it launched in 2011, it has now emerged that officers working in Portugal are staying at luxury resorts despite there being cheaper accommodation available near to the investigation scene.

      According to the Sun, officers have stayed at the £180-a-night Ria Park resort, while quizzing suspects at Faro Police Station, which is a 20 minute drive away.

      They are also said to have used the £200-a-night Hotel Dona Filipa, which is close to some of Portugal's best golf courses.

      However, Scotland Yard said that no officers are permanently based in Portugal and that hotels are booked in accordance with procedure.

      A spokesman said: 'Officers stay in hotels when visiting Portugal and they are booked by the MPS Travel Services in accordance with agreed Government rates which aim to ensure best value is obtained.'

      Last year, British police went to the Algarve a number of times to examine the scene and interviewed four local suspects and various witnesses.

      They are said to have taken 67 return flights to Portugal at a cost of £16,000.

      The bulk of the cost of the operation comes from salaries, overtime and property expenses but still no arrests have been made.

      Responding to grumbles about the cost of Scotland Yard's probe and fresh claims it should be wound down, a Portuguese source insisted: 'Nothing is going to be shelved.

      'Co-operation right now between the British and the Portuguese police is at a moment of great synchronisation.'

      Portugal's Attorney General's Office, which in May confirmed it had so far received five British requests for international cooperation on the Madeleine McCann case including one in January 2015, did not respond to emails yesterday.

      But insiders said they were expecting to receive a new request shortly.

      The Scotland Yard inquiry is running separately to a Portuguese probe into Madeleine's disappearance.

      The Portuguese investigation was reopened in May 2014 at the request of the country's Policia Judiciaria police force - more than five years after their original probe had been shelved.

      The reopening of the probe coincided with news a former employee at the Ocean Club holiday resort where Madeleine disappeared had been identified as a suspect.

      Recovering heroin addict Euclides Monteiro, a convicted burglar, died in a tractor accident in 2009.

      His widow Luisa Rodrigues was interviewed by Portuguese detectives but insisted he was an innocent man and has been fighting to get authorities to confirm they have now ruled him out as a suspect.


    Maddie cops in 5-star hotels

    EXCLUSIVE: £11m hunt waste

    12 hours ago

    COPS heading the hunt for Madeleine McCann stayed in five-star hotels with rooms costing up to £200 a night.

    They included five luxury resorts where cheaper hotels were available nearer investigation scenes.

    The officers were with Operation Grange, which The Sun revealed yesterday has cost £11million, without any arrests.

    Last year they took 67 flights to Portugal, costing £16,000.

    In July officers stayed at the £180 a night Ria Park as they quizzed suspects at Faro police station a 20-minute drive away.

    There are two cheaper four-star hotels five minutes away.

    Cops also stayed at the £200-a-night Hotel Dona Filipa near Ria Park. They are near some of Portugal’s best golf courses.

    Scotland Yard said hotels were “booked by Met’s Travel Services in accordance with agreed Government rates which aim to ensure best value”.

    WHY are cops living in luxury as they hunt for Madeleine?

    It is no wonder the bill has soared beyond £11million when they are blowing £200 a night on hotels.

    The Government injected those millions to give police the best chance of finding out what happened to the girl.

    Not to pay their bills at fancy golf resorts.

  33. Just to keep track.

    Once upon a time there were 2 camps, Camp 1 and Camp 2.

    Camp 2, for some reason has decided to force Camp 1 into doing something that Camp 1 does not seem to be willing to do.

    Yesterday, Camp 2 said: "Errmm... better close this thing down, it's taking up too much money"

    Yesterday, Camp 1 replied: "No way, we're not shutting anything down".

    Today, Camp 2 has reacted: "Hey PUBLIC!! Look at how they're squandering your money away,!! Tell them to shut it!!"

    Nice to realise that "Camp 1" has only woken up to the expenditure after speaking of millions for the past 4 years and the circus put on PdL last year in June.

    Better late than never.

    Camp 1, we're waiting for your reaction. Shall we order extra popcorn?

    1. Maybe new LOR very inconvenient to Camp 2? As in exposing really what happened?

    2. Anonymous 3 Sep 2015, 12:58:00,

      It may be wishful thinking but you may be onto something.


    3 Sep 2015


    Confirmation that the appeal has been accepted by the Appellate Court has been received today from the lawyer. Once again, thank you so very much to everyone who has made a contribution. We will keep you informed.

    1. With thanks to Isabel Oliveira:


      Poocess: 1454/09.5TVLSB
      Authors/ Applicants: Kate Marie Healy McCann and others
      Doc 1 –
      Subject: Appeal
      Your Ref: Defendant Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral

      You are hereby notified, regarding the above referenced case file , of the acceptance of appeal as well as the contents of the order issued in the EP (Electronic Process) , with the reference number 338001289 (Pgs 2382 of the PP (Paper Copy) , of which a copy is attached.

      Moreover you are notified that the case proceedings will be sent to the Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa on the 10.07.2015.

      Doc 2:

      Case: 1454/09.5tvlsb

      Conclusion: 02/09/2015


      Within the scope of article 617, N1 of the CPC (Portuguese Civil Processual Code) and reemitting to the grounds of the decision, I conclude that the nullities pointed out in the in the decisions rendered in the appeal are not verified, and the sentencing is maintained as issued.


      I accept the filed appeals, since they meet the deadlines, have been submitted by those with authority to do so and because the decision is appealable. (Article 629, 631 and 641 all of the new CPC).
      The “request “ is of appeal (Article 645, Section a) ), and will be elevated in the next proceedings with a mere non suspensive effect (Article 647, n 1).

      Notify and I determine the elevation of the proceedings to the Venerable Tribunal da Relação de Lisboa (Lisbon’s Relação Court – Lisbon’s Appeal Court )

    2. To clarify about this paragraph:

      “Within the scope of article 617, N1 of the CPC (Portuguese Civil Processual Code) and reemitting to the grounds of the decision, I conclude that the nullities pointed out in the in the decisions rendered in the appeal are not verified, and the sentencing is maintained as issued.”

      It seems that with the submission of the appeal, Mr Amaral’s legal team asked for the annulment of the sentence, or most probably the entire trial, on a technicality.

      Meaning, in the opinion of this team, there were grounds for the trial to not have taken place or that something occurred during it that made it null.

      If the reasons for annulment were to be verified then the sentencing would be totally void.

      We don’t know what the arguments presented were but we do know that the court didn’t agree them and rejected the claim. It is not possible to appeal this decision.

      This means that 1st Instance Court sentence remains valid as valid it is that it can be appealed.

      In very plain terms. Mr Amaral's legal team proposed for the game to be stopped and court said, no, there's no grounds to stop game, let's continue.

      Memory is short to some people. They apparently forgot that the McCann legal team has once filed an appeal to the Portuguese Supreme Court to see it be refused.

      This document is officially showing that Mr Amaral’s appeal, submitted when it was submitted, by who was supposed to submit it, has been formally accepted by the Appeal Court for due analysis and decision.


    Posted by portugalpress on September 03, 2015
    Rush of UK “Maddie” stories precedes British PM’s visit to Portugal tomorrow

    Quite what is behind the sudden rush of Maddie stories in the UK media this week is unclear, but one aspect is certain, the buzz has come as UK prime minister David Cameron heads back to Portugal, for a meeting with Passos Coelho in São Bento tomorrow.

    Billed officially as a conversation to discuss European affairs of mutual interest, it had barely been announced last week than mainstream media in UK launched into this new Maddie frenzy.

    Suggesting the €15 million Operation Grange probe into the toddler’s disappearance was due to be shelved after four fruitless years (click here), it then lurched into protestations that this could not be further from the truth and on to new “shock horrors” today, alleging that Grange detectives “spent £200 a night at 5-star hotels” on their fact-finding visits to Portugal.

    The bulk of the stories seem to have been coming from the pro-Tory Sun, though they have been followed up, almost in synchronisation, by rival tabloids the Mirror and Daily Mail.

    On the basis that there is no smoke without fire, Portuguese media has joined the fray, with national tabloid Correio da Manha reminding readers that it was David Cameron who “responded to a direct appeal from the parents of Madeleine McCann” to set up the hugely expensive Grange inquiry in the first place.

    With a spokesman for the McCann parents reportedly saying Kate and Gerry accept Grange “could not last forever” but will continue searching for their daughter, whatever happens, it is difficult to understand where all this renewed media excitement is leading.

    Certainly, the Portuguese inquiry - run out of Porto - shows no signs of closure, with national director of the PJ Pedro do Carmo telling the Resident last week that the investigation remains “dynamic” and that the unit is still working closely with British counterparts.

    Thus eyes are on tomorrow, when Cameron, under fire over Britain’s stand against fleeing migrants, is due in Lisbon for those talks of “mutual interest”.

    UPDATE: As this story went up, a small announcement on the Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral blogsite gives another clue to the sudden media razzmatazz. Could it have been to hide the announcement that Gonçalo Amaral's appeal against the record amount of damages awarded against him in the civil case taken out by the McCanns has finally been accepted by Lisbon's Appellate Court?

    The low-key announcement simply thanks "everyone who has made a contribution".

    As the news went out, the gofundme appeal - set up by a British single mother to raise money for Amaral's legal costs - has raised £38,205 (almost €52,500), with multiple people apparently contributing on a regular basis.

    The latest contributor, Peter Mac, has just posted: "The mystery of the sudden flurry of stupid "Grange is / is not going to be wound down" stories in the tabloids is exposed. News about the Appeal going ahead has been neatly kept out of any of the British press".

  36. I wonder, with Brooke back in the Murdoch seat (desire burying and trashing evidence) is David Cameron taking a tear guard action so he doesn't get coerced by the red haired one again? Just a thought.

  37. Today, we have discussed EU reform and the migration crisis - says Cameron following his meeting with Portugal's PM. courtesy of

    I do wonder if this is all they discussed or whether they managed a few minutes on another matter?


    15:23 04.09.2015
    Polícia britânica pede para fazer novas diligências no caso Maddie

    A polícia britânica pediu a Portugal para fazer mais diligências de investigação no caso Maddie.

    A nova carta rogatória chegou durante as férias judiciais e vai ser agora entregue pelo Ministério Público à Polícia Judiciária.

    Caberá à PJ cumprir o pedido da polícia britânica, que pode passar por novos interrogatórios e análise de provas.

    Madeleine McCann desapareceu de um apartamento na Praia da Luz, no Algarve, em maio de 2007, durante as férias da família.

    O processo, em Portugal, chegou a ser arquivado, mas foi reaberto no final de 2013.


    Portuguese police reveal British investigation into disappearance of Madeleine McCann is still live after Scotland Yard makes fresh request for information news
    The revelation comes days after it was reported the Met had spent £11million pursuing the case, but haven't made a single arrest - sparking criticism from the former head of the Flying Squad.

  40. And Camp 1 has played. Camp 2, the ball is on your side:

    Portuguese police reveal British investigation into disappearance of Madeleine McCann is still live after Scotland Yard makes fresh request for information

    British officers wrote to Portuguese in July making an unknown request
    Comes after it was revealed probe has cost Scotland Yard £11million
    Former head of Flying Squad said they 'can't keep chasing shadows'
    Portuguese source says it proves investigation is 'very much alive'

    By Tom Worden for MailOnline
    Published: 16:05 GMT, 4 September 2015 | Updated: 16:22 GMT, 4 September 2015

    Portuguese police have revealed the British investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is still 'very much alive' after Scotland Yard made a fresh request for information.

    Prosecutors said they received the written appeal over the summer holidays and it would now be passed on to the detectives leading the investigation in Portugal.

    The revelation comes days after it was reported the Met had spent £11million pursuing the case, called Operation Grange, but haven't made a single arrest - sparking criticism from the former head of the Flying Squad.

    John O'Connor said earlier this week: 'You can't keep chasing shadows.

    'If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I'd have thought they should be considering winding it down now.'

    However, there is no indication Operation Grange will 'wind down' any time soon.

    A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's office in Lisbon said the letter was received in July and will be acted on by the Policia Judiciaria, which is running the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine's disappearance in Praia da Luz, on the Algarve, on May 3, 2007.

    A source on the Portuguese investigation said: 'This letter shows the investigation is still very much alive and that both British and Portuguese police are still working together to try to find out what happened to Madeleine.

    'The case is not about to be shelved.'

    The statement from the Attorney General's office said confirmed they had received the letter in July, and said the request will be sent to the Criminal Investigation Police (PJ) for them to look in to.

    The spokeswoman would not comment on the nature of the request.

    The request is the second made since DCI Nicola Wall took over Operation Grange from former boss Andy Redwood at the end of last year, but the first letter she will have been involved in preparing.


  41. Cont

    Regular meetings DCI Redwood held with his Portuguese counterparts in the Algarve city of Faro have been put on hold since DCI Wall took over.

    The British authorities have now made six official requests for international co-operation to the Portuguese over the Madeleine investigation. The previous one was in January this year.

    According to the Sun, officers have stayed at the £180-a-night Ria Park resort, while quizzing suspects at Faro Police Station, which is a 20 minute drive away.

    They are also said to have used the £200-a-night Hotel Dona Filipa, which is close to some of Portugal's best golf courses.

    The Scotland Yard inquiry is running separately to a Portuguese probe into Madeleine's disappearance, which was reopened in May 2014 at the request of the Policia Judiciaria - more than five years after their original probe had been shelved.

    The investigation was reopened after a former employee at the Ocean Club holiday resort where Madeleine disappeared was identified as a suspect.

    Recovering heroin addict Euclides Monteiro, a convicted burglar, died in a tractor accident in 2009.

    His widow Luisa Rodrigues was interviewed by Portuguese detectives but insisted he was an innocent man and has been fighting to get authorities to confirm they have now ruled him out as a suspect.

    Scotland Yard launched their investigation in 2011 after Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors from Rothley, Leics, made a personal plea to prime minister David Cameron.

    A source close to the McCanns was quoted as saying: 'Kate and Gerry are eternally grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making Operation Grange possible.

    'They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.'

  42. José Sócrates' coercive measure has just been downgraded to house arrest. We believe he's already left the Évora prison.

  43. Concerning Mr Amaral’s appeal, there seems to be a confusion generated by the translation of the following phrase: “O recurso é de apelação (artº 645 alínea a), sobe nos próprios autos (artº645º) e com efeito meramente devolutivo (artº 647º nº1)”

    Isabel Oliveira translated it as follows: “The “request “ is of appeal (Article 645, Section a) ), and will be elevated in the next proceedings with a mere non suspensive effect (Article 647, n 1).”

    Anne Guedes as: “The appeal request (Article 645-a) concerns the proceedings with a merely devolutive effect (Article 647-1). [“Devolutive” means that the proceedings (facts and law) will be examined by the higher Court but without a suspensive effect on the execution of the judgement.]

    The nº1 of artº 647 of the CPC, says the following in Portuguese “se a questão da nulidade da sentença ou da sua reforma for suscitada no âmbito de recurso dela interposto, compete ao juiz apreciá-la no próprio despacho em que se pronuncia sobre a admissibilidade do recurso, não cabendo recurso da decisão de indeferimento.”

    This translates to “if the annulment of sentence or its reform [need to be redone in any way] is raised within its appeal, it is up to the judge to appreciate it [pronounce judgment] in the dispatch about the admissibility of appeal, having no place for an appeal to a decision denying it [the request of annulment]”

    This article is clearly about the request of annulment of sentence and nothing else. Mr Amaral’s legal team requested within the appeal that sentence be annulled. The judge who received the appeal HAD to decide on whether this was so or not. He HAD to write his decision on the dispatch saying whether the appeal was accepted or not.

    That is what the law states, on the act of analysing if appeal is to be accepted or not, IF in it is a request of annulment of sentence, then the decision about this particular must be made at this stage.

    The logic is easy to understand. If there are grounds to annul a sentence then why go through the trouble of analysing any other arguments that are based on its validity? The law says, first analyse if the sentence should first exist, then if it should, send arguments for analysis and decision to the appropriate judges.

    Besides, it’s a common principle of law that an appeal puts a stop to any execution of a sentence. An appeal is a party saying that a sentence is wrong, wholly or partly. If the process is not concluded, and one of the parts is stating the sentence is wrong, what legal system could execute a sentence on those terms?

    To clarify, the sentence of the 1st Instance Court continues valid and the arguments presented by the defendant to contest its content have been accepted and will be analysed and decided upon within the Appeal Court.

    The book is not to be taken off the shelf nor has Mr Amaral to pay a single cent at this stage.

    The execution of a sentence in Portugal only happens after it as “transitado em julgado” [literal translation: has gone through the traffic of judgment]. This only happens when there are no more appeals to be made.

    Hope this clarifies.

    1. Isabel Oliveira has sent us her explanation about this which she published on FB:

      "There are certain things one can claim in an appeal:

      The verdict (although it is legal and done according to the law)

      That the verdict has vices / nulities that would render it void/null/etc. In this last case there are no null aspects in the verdict so it stands as it is until revised or not by the appeals court.
      For instance this would be a reazon for a verdict to be null article 668, a. CPC :

      If it doesn't have the judges signature

      Nulities have to be appreciated by the Judge in the same Dispatch (the document translated in this case) where the the judge decides on the admissibility of the appeal. The judge decided the appeal was valid and the verdict of the first instance court is appealable.

      In other words and very simple: There are no null aspects regarding the verdict, hence it was not suspended or made null. The verdict is appealable and that is the decision of the judge. The verdict was sent to the appeals court for their decision."

    2. Textusa 10.45.
      Please forgive me if I have read your article wrong?
      So this verdict to be given on Goncalo Amarals appeal(if it is upheld)that the Couple(Mr&Mrs McCann) could then make an appeal against this new judgement if it is not in their favour!

    3. Anonymous 5 Sep 2015, 12:32:00,

      You are right but what you say is not linked with what we wrote above. Above is limited to the process that the appeal to the Appeal Court involves. Only to that, nothing else.

      Look at it in stages. Stage 1 was 1st Instance Court. This stage ended with a decision unfavourable to Mr Amaral.

      He didn't agree with it so he has appealed to the Appeal Court. When he submitted the appeal he started Stage 2. The stage we are at. At the end of it there will be a decision. It will either uphold the 1st Instance Court, overturn that decision or come to some sort of "solution" in between the 2.

      Whatever decision, either party (McCanns or Mr Amaral) have the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. That will be Stage 3.

      Whatever the Supreme Court decides cannot be appealed nationally. Which means that it will have been "transitado em julgado", meaning that it's a final decision and it has to be executed.

      But, please be aware that Stage 3 only takes place IF one or both parties appeal AND the Supreme Court accepts the appeal.


    New slap in the face for Maddie parents: Cop wins fight for libel case appeal

    AN EX-POLICE officer fined for claiming Madeleine McCann’s parents were behind her disappearance has won the right to an appeal.

    By Jerry Lawton / Published 5th September 2015

    Goncalo Amaral was ordered to pay £357,000 in libel damages to Kate and Gerry McCann after claiming that they covered up their daughter's death.

    But now he has been told the court of appeal will hear his case.

    Mr Amaral headed the initial investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine, then aged three, in Portugal in 2007.

    The latest twist means the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, may have to return to Portugal to give evidence again.

    A source close to the couple said last night: "Kate and Gerry are exasperated by this.

    "It just drags on and on and causes them even more anguish."

    Last night it was revealed Scotland Yard had made a new request to the Portuguese authorities for further cooperation in the case.

  45. Have to appear again to give evidence? Poor journalism again I see
    Great comments loving this thread


    Madeleine McCann cops make fresh plea for Portugese officials to help

    23:17, 4 September 2015
    By Martin Fricker

    Scotland Yard has made a fresh plea to Portuguese authorities for help over the Madeleine McCann case.

    Prosecutors in Lisbon confirmed they received a letter in July and said it will be passed on to detectives.

    It is not known what the request is but it comes amid calls for the £11million police probe to be shelved.

    Scotland Yard has spent £11million on the Operation Grange investigation but has made no arrests.

    A source close to Portuguese police said: “This letter shows the investigation is still very much alive.

    “Both the British and Portuguese police are still working together to try to find out what happened to Madeleine. The case is not about to be shelved.”

    The request is the second made since Det Chief Insp Nicola Wall took over Operation Grange from former boss Andy Redwood.

    It is the sixth official letter sent by Scotland Yard to the Portuguese authorities since the probe was launched.

    A source close to Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry said: “They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.”

    But their battle to receive a £360,000 libel payout from a former Portuguese detective goes on after he won leave to appeal.

    He claimed they were responsible for the death of Madeleine, three, who disappeared in 2007.

    Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007.

    Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, were dining in a nearby tapas restaurant with friends when she disappeared.

    The much-criticised Portuguese police probe was shelved in 2009 but reopened in May last year.

    Scotland Yard’s own investigation was launched in 2011 after Kate and Gerry made a personal plea to David Cameron.

    Despite officers making repeated visits to the Algarve and carrying out searches, no arrests have taken place.

    Earlier this week John O’Connor, former head of the Met’s Flying Squad, suggested the investigation should be wound down.

    He said: “You can’t keep chasing shadows. If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I’d have thought they should be considering winding it down now.”


    Concerning the above article, wit reference especially to:
    'He told how former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry, both 37, of Rothley, Leics, had moved money from the publicly-backed Find Maddie Fund into a special account in anticipation of having to finance the hunt for their daughter themselves. Mr Mitchell said: “In a common sense and practical move, they have kept some money back from the Find Madeleine Fund in case it is needed for an ongoing search.”

    Does Textusa have any comment thought? - I just wonder why Clarence chose to raise this additional special fund unless he is pre-empting something.

    1. Anonymous 5 Sep 2015, 15:16:00.

      Very nicely observed!

      About the particular issue of the special account v fraudulent fund, 2 questions arise immediately:

      - What is the fund for after all? If it is to fund the searching for Maddie (among other objectives) then we cannot see the need create a special fund to search for Maddie.

      - Where is reflected in the fraudulent fund these withdrawals? If “they have kept some money back from the Find Madeleine Fund” then these movements of money must be shown somewhere to be verified.

      About what you have implied. Yes, it’s quite clear that a hostility against the McCanns is being created, even by the articles supposedly in their support.

      For us it’s like someone is preparing the town square for a lynching. We have added this to list of things that make us believe something is afoot and coming.

      We just hope that the Appeal Court does not play a prank like the 1st Instance Court did and comes to a sensible and logical decision. Otherwise we might be forced to witness seeing the McCanns appealing to the Supreme Court a decision favourable to them.

      No one, but no one, wants to see the Mr Amaral lose his appeal. If he does, then it will cause a legal mayhem when the couple is to be put on the cart and wheeled off towards the mob waiting inflamed for them at the town square.

      We say legal mayhem because no legal decision on UK has any effect on one in Portugal. Even if the McCanns are charged and sentenced on live TV in the UK for all the world to see, that wouldn’t affect in any way a possible unfavourable sentence to Mr Amaral in Portugal.

      Nor can the Portuguese judicial system then say, “we change our minds because the British were able to see the couple’s guilt and we couldn’t”

      It would be McCanns saints in Portugal and demons in Britain. What endless embarrassment that would be for both countries.

      Lastly about Clarence Mitchell being quoted. As we hope you know, we consider Mitchell’s importance in this case to be very little. He has simply, in our opinion, given a voice to a script, a character to a script and a name to be used by whomever really decides.

      In our opinion, in this case many have been quoted without ever uttering a word. People who open up the paper the tabloids are printed on and read themselves having said things that they themselves didn’t hear them say.

      They read what they have said and could easily come back and say “I didn’t say that”. But won’t. They’re either not fools or they know that’s a price to be paid to climb that ladder they have sold their souls to be able to climb it.

      About those who are not fools to show their heads, to say that what appears to have been said by them was effectively said by them is quite ridiculous. In our opinion, of course.

  48. Thanks for coming back so swiftly on that ! Whilst I agree that CM is a 'not a significant person' with reference to this case, he is also not a complete fool and will surely be looking out for himself, and his own future.. post McCann affair.Thanks again for your astute views

  49. Textusa I see Euclides Monteiro is being mentioned again in the recent press reports. I think you have been spot on in your person of interest post


    Madeleine McCann: Doubt over police probe's future

    10:13, 4 September 2015
    Updated 10:28, 4 September 2015
    By David Godsall

    Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, have put thousands of pounds into a special fund for use when the four-year-old Operation Grange finally ends.

    THE parents of Madeleine McCann are preparing for the Scotland Yard probe into her disappearance to be shelved, it has been revealed.

    Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, have put thousands of pounds into a special fund for use when the four-year-old Operation Grange finally ends.

    Family spokesperson Clarence Mitchell said: “They realise it cannot go on forever.”

    He added: “The Government and police make the decision about funding. It is not Kate and Gerry’s role.”

    Mr Mitchell said the couple, both 47, of Rothley, Leicestershire, had moved cash from the publicly backed search fund into a special account in anticipation of having to finance the hunt themselves.

    He added: “In a common sense and practical move they have kept some money back from the Find Madeleine Fund in case it is needed for an ongoing search.”

    A family source said: “Kate and Gerry firmly believe Madeleine could still be alive and have vowed to continue looking when the police investigation ends. They know it will at some point.

    “They don’t know when this will be – there has been no suggestion yet – but they want to be ready and have set aside huge chunks of money for this reason.”

    Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007. She would now be 12.

    A spokesman at the Home Office said it “remains committed to supporting the search”.

    1. How many times in one small article can you say they have " taken money from fund"

  51. I'm counting 5 times (in different phrasing / wording) in that particular article.

  52. Well...the fund wasn't set up to "find" Madeleine?! So, why take money from it and set it in another find Madeleine?!
    The mind boggles!

    1. Anon 19.08.
      Not if your in McCann land and are able to act with impunity in the probity with a Fund set up to find your missing child and syphon off what you like from it, just as Mr Goncalo Amaral told the UK Police in 2007?
      Have the UK investigated any malpractice of the Fund?
      Probably not?

  53. Brilliant post Textusa...thanks x

  54. How many journalists were present in PdL in 2007, yet didn't notice or neglected to report the fact that the shutters weren't jemmied? This is one of the strangest aspects of the case to me, and why did Goncalo Amaral say there were journalists who swear this was something staged for the media?

    1. " journalists who swear this was something staged for the media" was Goncalo Amaral not talking about the digging up on PdL in 2014 when he said this

  55. We are witnessing that some people are trying to spread confusion about the document whereby is stated that the Appeal Court has accepted Mr Amaral’s opinion.

    To be very clear:

    There was a 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April.

    Mr Amaral submitted appeal in June. In this appeal, among other arguments, there was the request to annul the 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April. Not any other decision.

    The Appeal Court accepted the appeal and has rejected the request to annul the 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April. Not any other request, not any other decision.

    This means 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April was not annulled. It stands as it was at the end of April.

    We repeat, the non-suspension of sentence means ONLY that 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April stands as when it was pronounced. That’s it. That simple.

    Did Mr Amaral have to pay anything at the end of April? No. That means he hasn’t to pay anything now.

    Were the books seized at the end of April? No. That means they aren’t to be seized now.

    Today as we write this, Mr Amaral’s assets remain frozen, the book can continue to be sold and Mr Amaral hasn’t to pay a single cent to the McCanns. Just like when the 1st Instance Court decision at the end of April was pronounced.

    Only when the last appeal is exhausted (decision of Supreme Court) will the whichever sentence either be enforced, altered or revoked because only then will it have been “transitado em julgado” (literal translation: gone through the traffic of judgement).

    We wish people would stop feeding people who only seek disruption and morale breaking.


    Ben Needham's mum blasts police over £11m spent on hunt for Madeleine McCann

    THE mum of missing tot Ben Needham has blasted the £11million police hunt for Madeleine McCann.

    By Matthew Young / Published 8th September 2015

    Investigators have spent the whopping amount searching for Maddie, who disappeared in Portugal aged three in 2007.

    But Kerry Needham, whose son Ben vanished 24 years ago in Greece, says it is unfair the huge sum has been splurged – while just £800,000 has been spent on trying to find her missing lad.

    "My heart goes out to the McCanns – having a child go missing is an indescribable pain," said Kerry, 43.

    "There is no closure and you miss them every day. But I don’t understand why the investigation has received so much – £11m is unprecedented.

    "It seems unfair when other missing children aren’t getting as much attention."

    Little Ben vanished in 1991 outside a farmhouse his grandparents were renovating on the island of Kos, while his mum was at work.

    His family searched the area for the toddler, aged 20 months, but he was never found.

    Kerry says she has pleaded with the Government for more help in finding her boy.

    She said: "I’ve come up against so much resistance from the Home Office when I've asked for help finding Ben.

    "Kate and Gerry will never want to give up searching for Maddie, but there have been no arrests and there don’t seem to be any leads.

    "It seems the police have done all they can - which isn’t the case with Ben.

    "There is still hope for Ben. Even this year, police have uncovered information that has led to new lines of inquiry."

    She claims at the time of his disappearance nobody from the British Embassy met her and no UK cops were flown to the Greek island.

    1. Lame Camp 2, very lame.

      We understand that you have nowhere else to tackle, but to go and use Ben?? Even for you it's unbecoming.

    2. Yes, shame on them. It just goes to show the lengths people are willing to go to in order to prevent the truth from emerging. It has become grotesque - all sense of morality lost.

  57. I so wish Kerry would tell the press to naff off they only ever use her for McCann stuff
    Yes it highlights Ben again but it's looked past in favour of discussion on McCann funding
    Are they getting ready to shut down or is this team McCann at work again?

    1. Lorraine,

      We would say team McCann at work again in trying to have things shut down.

      The problem they now also have is that there is a pending LOR in Portugal. That alone makes it awkward, to say the least, to shut something down with something waiting for an answer from another country.

      Maybe this LOR is the key that unlocks this particular Pandoras' Box finally? If it is, as we think it is, about forensics (the one announced last October) then we would say that yes, it would be that key.


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