It’s been a very busy few weeks for all of us here, but we have been keeping abreast with developments, both McCann and non-McCann and made a few notes on recent events.
We try to maintain the non-political nature of the blog, appreciating that people who strive for justice in this case cover the political spectrum and we don’t wish political arguments and debate to distract from our purpose. That’s not to say we haven’t had any debate or differences of opinion between ourselves regarding Brexit. We have discussed it in great detail and the one thing we do agree on is our great concern for the upsurge in racism and xenophobia which appears to be linked to the Brexit debate and its outcome. The legislation proposed by the British government’s hate crime action plan is to be welcomed.
The McCann case has been a case in point; the UK media and certain twitter users, Mr Twitter in particular, using every opportunity to insult Portugal, the PJ and the ordinary residents of Praia da Luz.
We don’t hate anybody connected with this case, including the McCann team but we certainly hate the injustices that have arisen from it, including the ongoing case against Mr Amaral.
We have seen one reference on twitter on July 16th, saying the appeal by the McCanns has been accepted, as we said it would be, and that Mr Amaral’s team has responded. Unfortunately, no confirmation or denial has been forthcoming from the PJGA blog or twitter. On balance, we decided it was probably accurate, given the timescale we have stated on our “The “Friend” and the Appeal” post. As the Portuguese Judicial holiday started on July 15th, we don’t expect to hear the outcome this autumn. As we said, more likely to be around December, given the usual delays in the system.
We also followed the Clement Freud story. We don’t believe his hospitality towards the McCanns in Praia da Luz was connected to any paedophile activity and Madeleine’s disappearance. Freud is accused by 3 women who were assaulted and raped by him as children below the age of consent; the youngest child assaulted reported as being 10 at the time.
However, we noted that out of the three alleged victims the one who really called attention onto herself, the 3rd victim coming forward, was at the time a 17 yr old girl who just happened to have a convenient nightgown to wear when alone with a 49 yr old man in his house.
Appalling as his activities were, there is no evidence to date of any interest in very young children. There’s absolutely no evidence that he was a nepiophile.
However, Freud had very powerful contacts, as can be seen from the attendance of politicians of all parties at his funeral in 2009.
Whether he used those contacts to help the McCanns seems likely, given that his son Matthew was married to the daughter of Rupert Murdoch at the time. It was Murdoch’s favourite, Rebekah Brooks who supposedly “persuaded” the PM, David Cameron to open the inquiry named Operation Grange Matthew Freud subsequently employed the McCann’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, with his PR company.
The e-mails between Freud and the McCanns will now be investigated, but not by Operation Grange. Operation Hydrant, the investigation into historic child abuse by high profile people, including deceased politicians, will deal with this matter and will be headed by the Chief Constable of Norfolk.
But we would like to propose that our readers think for a minute about the implications of the e-mail exchange between Freud and the McCanns REALLY being investigated. What sort of information would this exchange contain, if it happened?
Would it be about handing a 4 yr old to the hands of a nepiophile? We think it very unlikely.
Or would it be about the real goings on of the cover-up taking place? Suggestions, doubts, advice and orders about what had been done, what was being done and about what to do? With names and places?
Wouldn’t that be a find by Operation Hydrant that would interest Operation Grange very much? We think it would be and we think it will be on the day whoever is deciding finally decides to finally make Grange a real police operation instead of the ridiculous farce it has been to date.
And yes, we do think there were e-mails between the McCanns and Freud.
And yes, we do think there were e-mails between the McCanns and Freud.
After their association with Freud and the now reviled Sir Phillip Green, raider of BHS pension funds, it seems likely that the McCanns will no longer be the popular sofa-sitting television guests.
There are indications that the McCanns, or more specifically Kate, wish all of this to come to an end. On February 15th, we had the headline “Kate McCann believes missing daughter Madeleine ‘is not a million miles away from Algarve’” and that Praia da Luz is the place where she felt closest to her. Her research into similar cases had led her to believe abducted children are not usually taken far from the scene.
It’s taken her 9 years to research the subject? No further trips to Morocco required? HTFM teams in various countries disbanded?
No age-progressed photograph or renewed appeals to people in the area to look out for her. No Crimewatch appeal ever shown in Portugal. No search activities in the Algarve paid for by the fund.
She goes on “I want an end, an answer. Whatever that is.”
Was Kate’s nightmare vision of Madeleine “lying cold and mottled, on a big stone slab” a tortured mind or something closer to reality?
According to Hogan-Howe in the following month, Operation Grange had only one more line of inquiry to follow and expected to wind up in the next few months - unless the “source close to the family” (no, not Clarence… or if Clarence then continuing under the orders of that “friend of the family”) is correct in saying the McCanns have appealed to the new PM, Theresa May and she, in turn, responds to their appeal to extend Operation Grange beyond the expected few months timescale. When SY do eventually reach the end, there is no decision yet as to whether their results will be made public, according to a FOI response we have seen recently.
Hogan Howe, interviewed by LBC radio in April 2016, made this oddly worded statement in response to a caller. “ …. there’s been a lot of investigation time spent on this, it’s a terrible case isn’t it, of a child who went missing and everybody wants to know if she’s alive or if she is, where is she, and if sadly she is dead then we need to give some comfort to the family…”
He really doesn’t have a way with words, does he? He never once mentions Madeleine by name during the interview!
We are of the opinion that the final line of inquiry mentioned in this interview is likely to be the outcome of the 6th rogatory letter, which SY were said to have “expressed their desire to make a new letter rogatory (the sixth) requesting the re-analysis of the samples that had been collected from the apartment…. namely hair samples and the fabric belonging to a curtain” in October 2014.
On November 4th, the 6th request had not yet been submitted, according to Jornal de Noticias.
This request was to re-test the curtains of the living room of apartment 5A, not the bedroom curtains as reported by the media. As the bedroom curtains were never tested in the first place, it stands to reason they cannot be re-tested.
The 5th rogatory related to potential suspects. Interviews have taken place, no arrests have been made and the “imminent arrest” of the car driver, rumoured in mid-July, hasn’t happened to our knowledge.
Supposing we are correct about the final line of inquiry and also supposing that independent tests did prove the curtains had traces of Madeleine’s blood, would that be all that was needed to bring a case against the McCanns? It would certainly indicate that the CSI dog Keela was accurate in her alert. The McCanns seem to have covered themselves on this one by Gerry’s PJ statement that M did have nosebleeds and Kate’s book, where she also says this was a possibility. However, it would add one more reason to doubt them, as children of Maddie’s age are usually very anxious about nosebleeds and would draw it to their parents’ attention. Not to be certain if she had a nosebleed in 5A is highly implausible, in our opinion.
And there would be Eddie’s markings, signalling the exact same locations where Maddie’s blood was found. Maddie missing plus Maddie’s blood plus cadaver scent is not a very complex mathematical equation to be solved very safely on this side of reasonable doubt.
The hairs from the Renault Scenic would be more likely to provide damning evidence - if they could be proved to be Maddie’s and showed post-mortem banding - a subject Paulo Rebelo was interested in. 4 hairs were preserved and sent to the Portuguese laboratory. Whether these hairs have ever been or will be re-tested, we have no idea.
We will now return to our holiday break, unless we hear of any important developments, so please excuse any delayed publication of or response to your comments.