31 Jul 2008


Zodiac said...
Hi all,

I posted this on the existing thread on 3 A's site today, I do not know how to start a new thread there.

She said she would definately be able to recognize him again as he has a distinctive walk, it looks like he is doing the highland fling, she would recognize him any where despite not being able to see his face. Continued.......

The gang and l discussed this for a few minutes more and decided we would keep a closer eye on our valuables.
The next night was a lovely evening and we were all invited to Stu Pidder's garden for drinks and dinner. I was the fist to arrive (as usual) I sat and enjoyed a few glasses of wine with Stu and Ida, I was starting to feel a little tipsy as I had already drunk half a bottle wine whilst I was reading posts from some forums and blogs I visit, before I headed out for my 'me time'. The rest of the gang started to arrive and the food was served. Stu and Ida always put on a good spread, not to be missed under any circumstances. We started talking about the incident regarding my laptop. We were all disgusted with what had happened. Xavier and Sue were so worried that the same could happen to them so they brought their baby monitor with them. I thought it must be a really good one to work from that far away, wish I had one of those. I told the gang that I asked my son if he had heard anything last night and that I had explained to him someone had been in the house took my laptop used it and put it back. He said well the window in the Study must have been open and the breeze must have been making it move cos it was squeaking and I woke up, it also woke up Sian and she was crying and then I started crying. Where were you anyway? he asked then ran off to play. I thought to myself my other little one Louis, bless him slept through everything. This surprised me that my kids sleep was disturbed, they are normally bathed cleaned nappies for Sian and Louis and the best PJ's money can buy for Marty then a nice cup of warm milk and they are out like lights before their heads touch the pillow and not a peep out of them until 8am. Gosh time flies when you are enjoying yourself. Hey what time is it I asked (I did not have a watch on) ER..UM...OH..can you believe it nobody had a watch on tonight...well has anybody got their mobile...ER..UM...OH..nobody had a mobile phone either, Stu do you mind nipping in and finding out the time for me hun cos I think it is time I did a check on my house. Sorry Amya all our clocks are broken, we do not have a TV that displays the time, we do not have a land line phone and we left our mobiles at work. It was dark, the garden was lovely and cosy with the lights from the candles and the logs burning in the Chimnea. I felt so relaxed and the thought of get up and doing a check was the last thing I wanted to do, Ida was just about to serve her prize winning Pavlova if I checked now I would be back in time for a lovely big slice of it, before this greedy gang scoffed the lot. Right guys I am off to check my house, you can all check your own. I practically ran the 100mts (approx, I really should check the distance) to my house, the thought of the Pavlova had my taste buds tingling, I could almost taste it. When I got home I checked the time, my Rolex was lying on the table. FFS it was 10pm. I left at 8pm oh no wait was it 8.30pm, what time did I put the cherubs to sleep oh I cannot remember, I think Dolly did a check earlier on anyway. Or maybe she didn't, was it tonight we were going to be responsible for checking our own homes. Well I do not believe it, I am totally disgusted this is a disaster. Where is my laptop? I left it sitting safely on the study desk. The Laptop Snatcher has taken it...again! I opened the little window in the study and looked out onto to the driveway to see if he had climed out there, maybe I disturbed him when I came in through the diningroom unlocked patio doors. I think he must have been hiding behind the study door last night when I did my check. What a fly bu**ger he is. I checked behind the Study door.....nope...he wasn't there. I was bursting for the loo I nipped upstairs, just made it in time..all this drinking a glass of water with every glass of wine plays havoc with my bladder. I must have had 7 or 8 glasses of water so far tonight. As I was sitting there I thought OMG I will have to check if my precious...diamond ring has not been taken! I quickly washed my hands. I checked my make-up, thank goodness I did cos my mascara was all blotchy so I fixed that, my hair looked a little frizzy so I switched on the straighteners and fixed it. Well I could not go back to Stu and Ida's looking like that, I do have a reputation to uphold. I checked my jewellery box..thank you God...thank you God, my ring was still there. I checked everywhere there was no sign of my laptop. I sat in the Study at my desk. Everything was so neat and tidy just as I had left it. Little Mousie Mouse had been placed on the shelf above the desk. I never put him there, he is always sitting on his little comfy mouse mat. Well I could feel the tears well up. I took little Mousie and placed him on his pad. I just stood there standing over him and looking at him, then a single tear rolled down my cheek and splat landed on Mousie. I got some anti-bacterial wipes and gave him a good clean. I cleaned everywhere else in the Study, it was so clean and smelled so nice. I must have been at home for about 10-15 mins. OMG ! A horrible thought entered my head, those greedy barstewards will have eaten all the Pavlova. I quickly ran back to Stu's, thank God they had left me a lovely big slice of Pavlova...mmm...passion fruit my fav. Guys...guys..put my Pavlova in a tupperware I'll take it home...the Laptop Snatcher has taken my laptop and he has not brought it back...what should I do...I mean he could be on all sorts of sites looking, reading and posting goodness knows what. OMG what should I do? We all went back to my house and had a good look round. Do you think we should phone the Police I said. Pop Sickle said I think we should wait to see if he comes back with it, maybe phone in about 30 mins or so. Pop Sickle is brilliant, you know after a few glasses of wine, some cocktails and I take my contacts out, in the candle light he really is quite handsome as long as he does not speak. I phoned my Mum. Mum...Mum...someone has been in the house and taken my laptop. Well she p'd me off right away asking me questions...how did someone get in...what do you mean you left the doors unlocked...where were you...are you stupid or what, I thought you had more sense than that...who was watching the kids.. are they OK, hold on Mum I'll just check. Yes they are all tucked up safely, sleeping sound. Right Mum I've got to go there is a Policeman here wanting to speak to me. Who phoned the Police I asked? I did said Xavier, your next door neighbour was snooping about so I told her everything was in hand and to clear off this our business and nobody else's, we will deal with it. I was rather surprised it was just a Bobby on the beat that arrived..do they not know who I am..I mean..I'm..Amya Moron. He seemed rather confused as if he did not believe what I was telling him. He was starting to annoy me, I felt like telling him to go away. I heard him radio the station and ask for Detective Avery Goodbook to call and question me. Who T Fk is that I thought! I picked up Mousie Mouse for comfort, I started chewing on the cable nervously, at one point I thought I might chew right throught it. It seemed like ages until Det Avery Goodbook arrived, I knew right away I did not like him, he kept asking me about my kids and who was watching them. What was his problem? I told him I was having dinner in Stu Pidder's garden which is actually like dining in my own back garden as I can see the rooftop of my house from there. Look I said you are avoiding the issue my laptop has been taken by the Laptop Snatcher and he could be posting all sorts with my IP Address. At this point Pop Sickle said look this is very boring to keep going on about the kids, someone has gone into a house and taken a laptop, what are you going to do about that. Det. Avery Goodbook still did not looked convinced and was puzzled that my kids could sleep through all this noise. I said I needed the loo. On the way up I took my bag with me. I took out my mobile and phoned my Pr Spokesperson/Solicitor (what everyone has one ) The Great Boabie Puller. I gave a huge sigh of relief he was on his way and he would deal with everthing, thank heaven for Boabie.

My witnesses for all the occassions that my laptop was used without my permission are:

Stu Pidder and his partner Ida Nyit.
Patty O'Furniture and her partner Pop Sickle.
Xavier Breath and his partner Sue Cherself.
Dolly Dimple and her partner Hyman Idiot.
And of course not forgetting my PR rep should I need one Boabie Puller.

Hint: At the bottom of any page on 3A just click the 'new topic' button.

27 Jul 2008


Kate McCann: Walks were staged

Title from today's edition of Correio da Manhã

Lusa 27 Julho 2008 - 00h30
Caso Maddie
Segredos de Kate: Passeios eram encenadosKate e Gerry McCann controlaram os meios de Comunicação Social britânicos na cobertura noticiosa do desaparecimento da filha. Para não serem criticados pela imprensa inglesa, os pais de Maddie ofereceram sessões fotográficas, algumas durante os habituais passeios matinais no Algarve – aparentemente rotineiros mas previamente combinamos, como revelam os apontamentos de Kate.
Conheça todos os pormenores em exclusivo, na edição do ‘Correio da Manhã’ deste domingo.

Google translation:
Lusa July 27, 2008 - 00:30 am
If Maddie
Secrets of Kate: Tours were staged
Kate and Gerry McCann controlled the means of Social Communication in the British news coverage of the disappearance of her daughter.
To avoid being criticized by the English press, the parents of Maddie offered photographic sessions, some during the usual morning walks in the Algarve - apparently routine but combine previously as illustrated by the notes of Kate.
Know all the details in isolation, in the edition of 'Morning Post' this Sunday.



25 Jul 2008

Sky News: Madeleine Team Hope To See Files

8:11am UK, Friday July 25, 2008

Lawyers acting for the parents of Madeleine McCann expect to be granted access to police files later today.

On Monday, police in Portugal decided to close the case into the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine, who went missing in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Kate and Gerry McCann were formally cleared of involvement in Madeleine's disappearance when prosecutors lifted their status as "arguidos", or formal suspects.
Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort as her parents dined with friends nearby.
Despite a huge police investigation and massive coverage in the Portuguese and British media she has not been found.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the couple's lawyers in Portugal had applied formally for access to the complete police file and they would "be analysing everything in it in their own time without making elements public at this stage".
The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are hoping that the files will provide fresh leads in their own private investigation.
The dossier is thought to stretch to 13 volumes.
Mr Mitchell said: "It's going to be a long, slow process, both for the lawyers in examining the volumes and for Kate and Gerry to be informed of their contents and whether there's any need for legal redress.
"The priority has always been finding Madeleine so the investigative work is first and foremost.
"If there are any leads from the files, for instance new sightings, that's what the private investigators will focus on in the first instance."

Comments to the story:
Your report is wrong. They were not formally cleared. \n\nDid anyone watch 'Send In The Dogs' on Tuesday? Very interesting.\n\n Posted By :spaceman

Let us no forget that now even bloggers and cibernauts are threatned to be sued because they have DISCUSSED the book by Mr Amaral. People, like mysekf, who have read the book and summarised it in English on their blogs, are being threatned by people who defend the McCanns. Is it a crime in the UK to read a book and summarise it for people in a foreign language? Posted By :Claudia

I have seen nothing but self and profit serving motive coming from this couple.\nThose who defend their pain and say they have suffered enough, when days after their precious baby girls disappearance they are jogging and traveling. Leaving their precious twins with friends.\nI can imagine nothing more shocking than losing a child. I think had that happened to me I would have glued myself to my other children in a total way. Kate and Gerry I don't want to hear about your pain anymore. As it becomes clearer what happened to your child and your reluctance to help this police force find her, i feel nothing but contempt and loathing for you. In the begining you had my prayers, but they have recoiled and now my prayers are for truth and justice. Posted By :susana

Why can't we have proper journalism in this country?\nThe Mccanns have not been "cleared" - the Portugese prosecutors have simply decided there is insufficient proof for a Portugese court at this time. The DNA evidence is sufficient to be presented in evidence in the UK, but doesn't satisfy the more stringent requirements of Portugese law. \nHow would anyone who relied on the UK media for their infomation know this simple fact?
Posted By :Archie

I really think the police in England and Portugal need to investigate the serious accusations that have surfaced about the McCann's friend David Payne and Gerry McCann himself. I think the answer to solving this case lies with the McCann and friends' circle who were there in Portugal on the night that Madeleine "disappeared", I cannot say "abducted" as there is absolutely NO evidence of an abduction but plenty of evidence of death in that apartment, the Mcs know exactly where Madeleine's body is, In My Opinion
Posted By :GC

There is NO need for the McCanns to have a PI team. They had the police forces of Portugal and UK. They had specialists all supplied by the tax payer. Best thing McCanns can do is pass THEIR PI files over to PJ (in their entirity) and see what has ACTUALLY been done by them!\nFSS results U turn? /Eddie & Keela doubted!/ rotten meat/spilt fish/dirty nappies in the car tyre well?? PLEASE !!!\nFailure to do a reconstruction...a swarm of top celebs and financial backers..a missing sports bag?...oh yes WHAT else is missing: THE TRUTH about their daughter Madeleine's disappearance.\nA total cover up I suspect: what on earth were they doing leaving 2 year olds and a 3 year old alone and allegedly on many occassions?\nWe all parent differently?...THANK GOD yes I do very differently!
Posted By :Amber

I was saddened to read that the McCanns left poor Madeleine crying for over an hour 2 nights before she disappeared. Yet they still went out every night to enjoy themselves.\n\nI am quite amazed that this has been dropped even though:\n\nA couple gave a disturbing police statement about David Payne regarding a previous group holiday \n\nBritish sniffer dogs (who have never given a false positive) found blood and death odours behind a settee and on Kates clothes\n\nThe dubious activites of their investigators -They specialise in debt collecting and do not usually look for missing children...I'd like to know where the fund money goes every month??\n\nNot to mention the fact they hired a top extradition lawyer as soon as they got back to England. Why do that if you are innocent???\n\n
Posted By: Paula

I too would like to see the press publish the details of the accusations against Payne. They shouldnt be afraid to print this as it was an 8 page statement given to Leicestershire Police. But im sure good old Clarence will instead call them outrageous and hurtful lies\n\nGood on Amaral for publishing his book. He's not cashing in on the poor child at al l -it's the only way the world will find out what really went on in the investigation.
Posted By: jus me

18 Jul 2008


rocesso: PJ failed to discover the child's corpse Research reports abduction impossible Thirteen months after Madeleine had disappeared, the PJ concludes an investigation which is still marked by uncertainty. The final report shows that today the CM in isolation, does not determine guilt, but leaves new and strong doubts on the thesis presented by the parents of the child English. It describes in detail the steps taken by the researchers - who tried in every way, confirm the hypothesis - and shows that it was theoretically impossible to have occurred. They do not make sense to witnesses, nor how one of the friends says he has seen a man carrying a child around one hour before it was given the warning of the disappearance. It is Janne Tanner, which ensures there surprised the unknown in a street where he also was the father of Maddie and another witness. Both secured after having seen nothing, although the same angle of vision. Tanner, who later made a portrait of the supposed-robot raptor, says that the man took the child in a horizontal position. The size of the window shows that this could only have happened if the child was transported upright. Still, the PJ tried by all means find out who could have taken Maddie. They did dozens of steps to be suspected of sexual abuse. Have been collected on the registered elements that could have been on holiday in the Algarve during that period of time, to see if there any relationship with the small Maddie. They have also investigated the other users of the resort. The PJ entered into more than 400 homes from around the Ocean Club and found nothing. In the window where Kate said that Maddie was abducted were not collected traces of the girl. Only brands that confirmed the mother of the girl's DNA. The final report of PJ shows the details of an investigation that has reached levels never seen. It was investigated a couple allegedly tried to kidnap another child, were past the fine comb the tracks that gave to that Maddie had been sighted in a petrol pump. It operated a crematorium and compared the genetic profile of Madeleine with the body of a child found on the coast of the United States. The PJ investigated a supposed beggar and followed thousands of clues in the most remote places in the world. Debalde. Nothing confirmed this theory of abduction. PJ INVESTIGOU TRANSPORT One of the most lengthy research was to gather and analyse all the information on possible avenues of transport / escape, by land, sea and air. We also explored the images collected by tourists on vacation at the same time, but, again, no decisive found. This information was compiled in an annex all that is beside the process, with another only for those suspected of sexual offences. APJ also has a file of all individuals connected with violent crime, and esmiuçada the lives of those in detail. It was important to determine whether could have any relation with the abduction. MADDIE The final report of PJ does not give suggestions to the prosecutor. But lists the convictions of an investigation that points inevitably to the death of Maddie on May 3 in Praia da Luz MORE OF A TIME The CHORAR The parents of Madeleine never denied that it was a habit the three children being left alone inside the apartment in Praia da Luz while jantavam, as witnessed by several testimonies from officials of the resort, but defended itself saying that every night to visit the children of half in half an hour. The testimony of neighbor Pamela Fenn leaves completely undermine the version of the couple McCann, when assured the PJ have heard Maddie in tears during one hour and 15 minutes two nights before the crime. The British lives in the 1st floor above the apartment occupied by McCann and told investigators that on the night of May 1 last year, to 22.30, heard a child cry, that the sound would be Madeleine. The Judicial Police ensured that the child remained inconsolable one hour and 15 minutes, until their parents arrived. A neighbour heard the noise of the door at 23.45, when Kate and Gerry ended the normal coexistence with friends in Tapas bar - the restaurant of the resort where daily jantavam around the pool. This testimony contradicts the daily routine of visits that the couple was keeping with their children - and McCann is not free from criticism of other British. Yvone Martin, an official of the social security of British holiday in the Light, criticised the behaviour of negligent Kate and Gerry. DOGS FOR DECISIVOS PJ The actions of British dogs specially trained to detect odor of corpses and human blood that was decisive for Kate and Gerry were made defendants. Given the coincidence of the actions of two animals, which sinalizaram the same places and objects related to McCann, the authorities were obliged to admit any involvement of Kate and Gerry in the case of the disappearance of her daughter and provides them to the defendants face elements that could result in their prosecution - as witnesses could not refer to the silence. According cleared the CM, in the final report of investigation prepared by the Judicial Police investigators explain that animals have only signs of detection in places and objects related to the couple McCann: in the apartment where Madeleine disappeared (the fourth of the couple in the room, and be attached to the window side), in the backyard, the vehicle used by the family McCann (rented 24 days after the disappearance of the girl) in two pieces of clothing, Kate and Maddie in the plush - not that Kate dropped in the days following the disappearance . Already in the apartments of friends of McCann, in the village of Luz and on all vehicles used by Robert Murat, the first defendant to be made, nothing was detected by dogs. Faced with such evidence, reinforced by other expert examinations carried out in Portugal and England, PJ questioned Kate and Gerry and represents them as defendants. The animals, race springer spaniel, are widely used in the United Kingdom in search of missing persons or in the search for victims of murder, with positive results. KATE JUSTIFICA ODOR OF DEATH Kate McCann did not deny the fact that two pieces of clothing and plush of their daughter have been flagged by the English dog trained to detect odor of corpses and justified that with his profession. The mother of Madeleine argued that while the medical Health Centre Leicester, has witnessed six cases of death in the days immediately prior to his coming to Portugal on holiday, giving the same justification for the plush, Madeleine, which has accompanied the following months the disappearance of her daughter. 'A SENTI PONTAPÉ RABO NO' (Goncalo Amaral, former coordinator of the process madeleine mccann in the interview TVI) -- You are convinced that Madeleine McCann is dead? Gonçalo Amaral - I have this conviction. It is an interpretation in the light of law based on concrete facts, I have no knowledge of the investigation and carried out in steps. I am convinced that yes, that died there. -- If both parents have been made is because defendants were suspects? -- There were suspects and evidence for the constitution as defendants, moreover, strong elements on two types of crime: concealment of corpses and simulation of crime. That was public and when he left the investigation was in that foot. -- And the crime of abandonment, why parents are not accused? -- The question whether there is through the children were safe or not. It seems obvious, even if their own parents speak of abduction, that there was security. -- Do not be frustrated by no breakthrough in the case? -- Do not feel frustrated by the courts. Ando here for many years and I have great admiration for the judges. I understand how far can have the work of judges. -- Men do not understand why they came though? -- It does not. Respeitei the decision as a professional. There was an understanding between the Portuguese and English police that the girl was dead ed we had to solidify the evidence that existed and proceed to find where is that it could be. -- Do you think the reaction of PJ had to do with the politicization of the case? -- I think there was more political than police. But inside the ground did our best and never felt any defence. -- He felt the pressure of politics? -- I felt was a kick in the tail on 2 October. -- Do you think the normal case be shelved? -- I am not shocked. RECUARAM ENGLISH IN EXAMS It was the most remarkable volte-face in research. The first tests made by the English laboratory, regarded as pioneer in the analysis of trace organic, gave account of the likelihood of waste collected in the car of McCann be compatible with the genetic profile of Madeleine. Months later - after the Judicial Police already has moved to form accused of parents, according to the final report only on evidence that they hid the corpse of the child English - the laboratory was correct to informaçãoinicial. After all, the examinations to vestígiosrecolhidos naRenaultScénic rented by the couple were not conclusive and was not even possible to ascertain the quality of the material, or whether tratavade bodily fluid or a trace of blood. This change science, not yet completely settled, the investigation eventually lead to a dead end. The use of dogs to detect odors from cadaver or waste of blood is not validated in the Portuguese legal system was necessary and scientifically corroborate the markings canine. In addition, the option of the Judicial Police for submission of tests for England had its genesis in a matter of credibility. The researchers did not want that the results could be challenged by the English, then accepting that the remains were examined there. The IDA ENGLAND ACABOU BY SE REVELAR INÚTIL In April this year, Paulo Rebelo and two of the researchers of the process in which they tried to understand the contours of the disappearance of Madeleine Leicester were now investigating the English holiday on the beach of Light with the couple McCann. It is known now by the final report that nothing conclusive was found of such interrogations. The PJ out there who maintained close collaboration with local police, but anticipates that the testimony brought nothing new. The friends of McCann confined themselves to confirm what had already said in previous interrogations and PJ came out empty-handed this city north of London. CHANGE PauloRebelo, new leader of the research after the departure of Gonçalo Amaral, was repeatedly in the apartment of the Ocean Club, where they were collected the most varied traces. He was also in England, where witnesses heard. FIGURES 443 interrogations door to door in the Ocean Club apartments, made by PJ, are part of a total two million steps, formal and informal, carried out in research. 134 officials of the resort were heard by the inspectors in the days after the crime. The PJ also heard the 12 soldiers who passed by the GNR apartment the night of May 3. 130 elements police and Civil Protection were involved in the first 24 hours of searching. The following day the figure rose to 300. 188 boxes of trash were issued to fine comb in Praia da Luz, Lagos, in an attempt to find the body of Madeleine. 30 square kilometres is the area that the searches were extended to all land forces in the first days, in addition to the Maritime Police. NOTES 3 May 2007: DESAPARECE Between 21.05 and 22.00, Madeleine Beth McCann, of three years, disappeared from the apartment of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz 17.30 only after the parents contacted with girl. 14 May: FIRST SUSPEITO The British Robert Murat is questioned and is accused. The PJ has made home visits and telephone tapping, but never managed to relate it with the crime being investigated. 4 IN AUGUST: BLOOD Two sniffer dogs, from England, detect odor of corpses and traces of blood in the apartment, in the backyard, in clothes from Kate. 11 OF AUGUST: MORTA One hundred days after the disappearance of Madeleine, and after searches with dogs in England, researchers admit publicly that the child may be dead. 7 DE SETEMEBTO: defendants Based on the performance of the team cinotécnica, Kate and Gerry McCann are again questioned by the Judicial and they also made defendants. 29 NOVEMBER: TEST OF DNA Technical Portuguese and English shall meet at the headquarters of Leicestershire Police to discuss the results of DNA tests on traces collected in the investigation. 20 January 2008: PORTRAIT The couple McCann discloses a portrait-robot on the basis of testimony. Later turned out to the man in question was not involved in the crime. VESTÍGIOS: DELAY The remains of the vehicle used by McCann were collected in August 2007. The results of the examinations should only take a few weeks. IML: TESTS IN PORTUGAL The first traces collected by the investigation were sent to the IML. The tests were not conclusive and also not helped the clarification.

16 Jul 2008


Hi All, Whilst I know this may be a bit of a heavy read, I hope people will struggle through it. This man tried to say that because people had actually said he was guilty on the internet he may be deprived of the right to a fair trial. This was a serious consideration and website owners were asked to remove material about the case. His appeal was denied, but I do not think we can ignore the possibility that the purpose of Kate and Gerry McCann constantly seeking publicity is so that they can, at the end of the day, say, well look at all this stuff that has been written about us..how can we get a fair trial now?

Some months back I pointed out that if we got near to charges then comment on the case would have to be dramatically curtailed and I am seriously considering removing this blog now because I for one, would not wish to add to material on the internet that may enable them to raise this as a possible defence.

I realise this may be a disappointment to some people but feel that people will understand what I have always wanted is justice for Madeleine and I for one would not wish to add to anything that may detract from that although I would certainly welcome the views of others.

I hope that other web pages about the McCanns will consider this and think carefully about the Court's judgment below.

Viv x

Lord Justice General
Lord Macfadyen
Lord Kingarth

[2007] HCJAC 27
Appeal No: XC903/06





under section 74 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995






Act: Shead, Jackson; Capital Defence Lawyers, Edinburgh
Alt: Stewart, Q.C., A.D.; Crown Agent

25 April 2007

The circumstances
[1] The appellant has been indicted to stand trial for the rape and murder of two young women. These offences are said to have been committed in October 1977. The appellant has lodged a devolution minute in which he contends that any trial of him for these offences would not be a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal and would thus infringe his right to such a trial as guaranteed by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. For the Crown to insist in his prosecution on this indictment would, he contends, be ultra vires of the Lord Advocate under section 57(2) of the Scotland Act 1998. He seeks declarator to that effect. Declarator was refused by a single judge at a preliminary hearing. The appellant, with leave of that judge, appeals to this court under section 74 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.
[2] The appellant's contention is rested partly on the proposition that certain pre-trial publicity about him and about the circumstances of the offences is of such a character that a fair trial before an impartial tribunal cannot reasonably be expected. His minute also states that access to information on the internet (of a character gravely prejudicial to a fair trial) cannot realistically be controlled before or during any trial.
[3] The sequence of events which, it is alleged, resulted in the rapes and murders of the victims began in a public house, the World's End Public House, in the High Street, Edinburgh. In consequence the circumstances of their deaths have become known as "the World's End murders". For some time after their bodies were found, there was widespread publicity in the print media about their killing, but no one was apprehended. Interest was revived in the mid-1990s when against the background of advances in DNA technology there was fresh speculation in the print media that these, among a number of other unsolved murders, might be solved. This speculation continued until about 2004. It centred on the involvement of the appellant, not only in the two murders which form the basis of the present indictment but also as a possible suspect in four other murders of young women from different parts of Scotland.
[4] The appellant, who is now 61 years of age, has a very serious criminal record. In the early 1960s he received a lengthy prison sentence for lewd and libidinous practices and culpable homicide. In 1982 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a catalogue of sexual offences, including rape. In 2001 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for offences of rape and murder, which had taken place in the early 1970s. There is clearly a thread of violent and sexual offending which runs through his previous convictions.
[5] The speculation in the print media in the ten years or so prior to 2004 included speculation that the appellant had committed, among other murders, the World's End murders. It made reference to his criminal record. Some of the relative articles included a photograph of the appellant as a young man. After the service on the appellant in March 2005 of a petition charging him with the present offences the print media speculation ceased.
[6] Also founded on by the appellant as prejudicial to his prospects of a fair trial before an impartial tribunal is a book entitled "Scotland's Killers from Manuel to Mitchell" published at the end of 2005. The author asserted at page 190 of the book that the appellant was responsible for the World's End murders. The prosecuting authorities took steps to remove it from sale. It was so removed in the course of 2006. Prior to that removal it had sold about 300 copies.
[7] Of most potential significance to the fairness of any trial of the appellant is the availability on the internet of material prejudicial to him. In the week prior to the hearing before the single judge a search, initiated on behalf of the appellant under the Google search engine with reference to his first name and surname, produced from United Kingdom sources a large number of entries, some of which clearly referred to the appellant. If the searcher then clicked on to the first of these entries, access was obtained to a site entitled "Murder, United Kingdom". On that site there was a clear and unequivocal claim that the appellant had been responsible for the World's End murders. There was also an indication that since May 2004 there had been over 1,300,000 hits on that site. Additionally, a search at that time under the heading "World's End murders" produced a number of other sites which linked the appellant to these murders and to other unsolved crimes. That material may be summarised as recycling many of the claims and speculations which had earlier appeared in the media, in particular in the print media, about the appellant's involvement in these murders, his previous convictions and his supposed links to other unsolved crimes.

The submissions of parties
[8] Mr. Shead for the appellant submitted that the relevant test was whether, in light of the prejudicial material, a fair trial could reasonably be expected (Beggs v H.M. Advocate 2001 S.C.C.R. 836, per Lord Coulsfield at paras. [3] - [4]). At common law the issue was whether, in the light of the prejudicial publicity, it would be oppressive to proceed to trial; it would be oppressive where the risk of prejudice was so grave that no direction of the trial judge, however careful, could reasonably be expected to remove it (Stuurman v H.M. Advocate 1980 J.C. 111, per Lord Justice General Emslie at page 122). Under the Convention the starting point was the appellant's right to a fair trial. That right was unqualified. It was not to be subordinated to the public interest in the detection and suppression of crime (Montgomery v H.M. Advocate 2000 S.C.C.R. 1044, per Lord Hope of Craighead at page 1106). In the present case the issue was whether there were adequate safeguards in place to ensure a fair trial. The degree of adverse publicity was similar to that described in Beggs. The single judge was not exercising a discretion (McGill v H.M. Advocate 1997 S.C.C.R. 230, per Lord Justice General Rodger at page 237). It was accordingly unnecessary for the appellant to meet the test for reviewing a discretionary decision. An element of judgment was involved; but what was being reviewed was essentially a matter of law, analogous to whether there was a sufficiency of evidence to warrant a conviction. When the position in respect of safeguards (present and absent) was considered cumulatively it could be seen that the single judge had erred in the conclusion at which he had arrived. In particular he had been unduly influenced by the Stuurman test; he had failed to recognise that this was an exceptional case; he had erred in concluding that what he described as "the more immediate and comprehensive safeguards" would be sufficient to avoid prejudicing the appellant's right to a fair trial. In Scottish practice "jury vetting" was not approved (Spink v H.M. Advocate 1989 S.C.C.R. 413). But, where necessary, the court could react by changing its practice (as in Pullar v H.M. Advocate 1993 S.C.C.R. 514; Pullar v United Kingdom 1996 S.C.C.R. 755). At present there was nothing which could be regarded as an adequate safeguard against a juror having access to prejudicial material on the internet. Contamination of a single juror was sufficient to contaminate the whole jury (McTeer v H.M. Advocate 2003 S.C.C.R. 282). The risk posed by internet access was not restricted to access by persons subsequently cited for jury service but extended to access had by empanelled jurors in the course of the trial. Practice in Scotland did not provide a safeguard against that risk. That risk could clearly lead to a trial being unfair (R. v Karakaya [2005] E.W.C.A. Crim. 346, [2005] 2 Cr. App. R. 5). It had been acknowledged and provided for in certain other jurisdictions. Reference was made to a Guide to Jury Deliberations, given to potential jurors in Queensland, and to R. v K [2003] N.S.W.C.C.A. 406 and R. v Scaf [2004] N.S.W.C.C.A. 37 (both from New South Wales), the latter of which took into account the views expressed in R. v Mirza, R. v Connor and Rollock [2004] U.K.H.L. 2, [2004] 1 A.C. 1118. Reference was also made to R. v Sherratt [1991] 1 S.C.R. 509, which demonstrated that wide-ranging safeguards, including jury vetting, were to be found in the Canadian courts. The court should grant a declarator that the Lord Advocate had no power to proceed to trial on the charges in the indictment, failing which it should lay down safeguards beyond those presently in place, sufficient to ensure that a fair trial could reasonably be expected.
[9] The advocate depute moved the court to refuse the appeal and to remit the case to a preliminary hearing already fixed for 1 May 2007. The single judge, it was submitted, had applied the correct test and had had regard to all relevant and to no irrelevant material. His decision should not be altered. It could not be said at this stage that it would be ultra vires of the Lord Advocate to proceed to trial. Although the single judge's decision-making power might not be discretionary in the fullest sense, a substantial element of judgement was involved. In Beggs v H.M. Advocate the court had looked at the issue de novo only after identifying a possible error of approach by the single judge. In the present case it was accepted that there was a problem, but not an insurmountable problem, in relation to prejudicial publicity on the internet. The Crown had, since the hearing before the single judge, been able to take certain steps to mitigate that potential prejudice. With the co-operation of the website owner a particular item of concern had been removed from it - that concerning the appellant on the "Murder, United Kingdom" site. Further steps were being taken in relation to other sites. There was an important distinction between (1) pre-trial publicity affecting potential jurors (against which traditional safeguards were broadly sufficient) and (2) "intra-trial" publicity and its effect on empanelled jurors. It was clear from the single judge's Opinion that he had been addressed only on (1), which he had fully and adequately dealt with. What particular steps should be taken in relation to instructing empanelled jurors (particularly with regard to past or prospective use of the internet) was essentially a matter for the trial judge. There might, in the circumstances of this case, be advantage in possible instructions being discussed with parties at a preliminary or other hearing before the trial judge in advance of the trial. As to whether any "balancing act" was required under the Convention, the Crown reserved its position. The right of an accused to a fair trial under Article 6 might require to be balanced against the rights of victims or their relatives to have effective proceedings brought against persons accused of serious crime. It might on the other hand be that victims' rights could be encompassed within the scope of a "fair trial". It could not be right that a person could avoid trial because the process had been tainted by his own notoriety. If there were to be any suggestion that the holding of the trial in Edinburgh (as against in some other place) was prejudicial to the appellant, it was for him to raise that issue as appropriate.

[10] In Montgomery v H.M. Advocate Lord Hope opined that a feature in the case of X. v Sweeney 1982 J.C. 70 (to which Lord Coulsfield had referred in the High Court) did not deprive the Stuurman test of its utility in the Article 6(1) context. Lords Slynn of Hadley, Nicholls of Birkenhead and Hoffman agreed with that part of Lord Hope's judgment. Lord Clyde did not opine on the applicability of the Stuurman test. In Beggs v H.M. Advocate the High Court (presided over by Lord Coulsfield) expressed the view that the test to be applied in the context of the Convention was that to be found in the Opinion of Lord Justice General Emslie in Stuurman, read in the light of the comments by Lord Justice General Rodger and Lord Hope in Montgomery v H.M. Advocate. In Stuurman Lord Justice General Emslie said:
"Each case will depend on its own merits, and where the alleged oppression is said to arise from events alleged to be prejudicial to the prospects of fair trial the question for the Court is whether the risk of prejudice is so grave that no direction of the trial Judge, however careful, could reasonably be expected to remove it".
Accordingly, there is built into the common law test the concept of a fair trial, a concept well recognised in the law of Scotland before the Convention was incorporated into domestic law. We find it unnecessary in this case to express any view on the matter raised and reserved by the advocate depute, namely, whether under the Convention there requires in some way to be brought into account the rights of victims of crime or their relatives. To the approved test in Stuurman we would add only this. The reference to "direction of the trial judge" should not be read narrowly but so as to encompass all instructions and advice which the trial judge may give to the jurors at the commencement or during the course of the trial. Additionally, it will be necessary to take into account safeguards inherent in the trial process itself and in the historical context in which it occurs, which may negative or militate against the influence of external prejudicial material. These will include, for example, the discipline of the jury listening to the evidence adduced in court and any lapse of time between the publication in question and the trial.
[11] In approaching the task of evaluation before him, the single judge said, at para. [28] of his Opinion:
"The outcome in each case will always depend upon an examination of its particular facts and circumstances, but where the alleged oppression arises from events said to be prejudicial to a fair trial, the question for the court is whether the issue of prejudice is so grave that no directions by the trial judge, however careful, could reasonably be expected to remove it. In other words the court will only require the indictment to be deserted if it is established, in the circumstances of the case, that the nature and extent of pre-trial publicity is such that it would not be reasonable to expect that the trial judge could secure a fair trial by means of appropriate directions to the jury. These special circumstances must be such as to satisfy the court that, having regard to the principles of substantive justice and a fair trial, to require an accused to face trial would be oppressive. This matter must be considered in all the circumstances of the case in the light of the degree and timing of pre-trial publicity in the media, the real and quantifiable coverage and availability on the internet, and the extent of the distribution of any other material. The issue also has to be considered against the background of the warning and advice given by clerks of court and judges at the outset of the trial, the process and immediacy of the trial itself in front of the jury, and the directions available to the judge in the course of his charge".
[12] We find no error in that approach. It involved no "undue" reliance on the Stuurman test (by which we understand it to be contended that the subsequent observations in Montgomery had not been taken into account) and it encompasses safeguards going beyond those secured by "directions", in any narrow sense, given by the trial judge.
[13] Having made his evaluation of the various classes of material said to be prejudicial to a fair trial, the single judge said:
"I have accordingly concluded that the more immediate and comprehensive safeguards, described earlier, will in all but the most exceptional cases, (of which this is not one), be sufficient to avoid prejudicing an accused's right to a fair trial. The chances of selected jurors actively seeking such material on the internet in the course of the trial may require to be managed by the court, but again I have no doubt that this can be achieved. I am therefore satisfied that individually and cumulatively all these sources of pre-trial publicity or publicity which may be available to jurors during a trial, are not such as would justify the desertion of proceedings in this case".
The safeguards to which the single judge there refers are those noted at para. [28] of his Opinion. Subject to an observation which we shall hereafter make about possible access by potential jurors to internet material in advance of the trial, the safeguards referred to are in our judgment such that a fair trial may reasonably be expected. As to the judge's reference to the present case not being exceptional, we do not understand him to mean that the material is not highly prejudicial; rather that the safeguards available are such that a fair trial can reasonably be expected and that the case is accordingly not such that the court should take steps to prevent it proceeding. The judge also notes in that paragraph that steps may require to be taken against the chances of the selected jurors actively seeking material on the internet in the course of the trial.
[14] The availability of the internet and its increasingly wide use by members of the public, including potential and serving jurors, presents a challenge for the administration of justice. While news reported and opinions expressed in the press or broadcasting media on a daily basis are themselves ephemeral, the internet provides ready access to historical material, including media items. At one time a person seeking reported information about a past event or about a particular individual would require to spend significant time, and possibly expense, in retrieving it from a public library or similar institution; now such information can be accessed by the pressing at home of a few controls on a computer. Moreover, persons with interests in particular fields, including criminal investigations and criminal histories, may choose to set up websites which provide links to historical and other materials. Such materials, if accessed by a juror or jurors, may in some circumstances be potentially highly prejudicial to the fairness of the trial of an accused.
[15] The dangers have been acknowledged and addressed in other jurisdictions. In Queensland, Australia statutory provision has been made to the effect that a person who has been sworn as a juror in a criminal trial must not inquire about the defendant until the trial is over. "Inquire" is defined as including "(a) search an electronic database for information, for example, by using the internet; and (b) cause someone else to inquire". The prohibition is backed by criminal sanction, including the possibility of imprisonment. In R. v K. the New South Wales Court of Appeal recommended that legislation along these lines should be introduced into that State.
[16] In this jurisdiction there is no such legislation but, as the single judge recognised, the chances of selected jurors actively seeking in the course of the trial material on the internet about the circumstances of the murders and about the appellant may require to be managed by the court. That, if appropriate, can be done at the outset of the trial or immediately before the jurors disperse at the end of the first day or at any other suitable time, by a suitably framed instruction by the trial judge. While the possibility remains that a juror or jurors might disobey that instruction, the whole jury system depends on there being trust between judge and jury, including an understanding that jurors will not deliberately disobey the instructions on law or procedure which they are given by the trial judge.
[17] It is possible that a person or persons cited for jury service may some time prior to the commencement of the trial have used the internet and, accidentally or deliberately, have come upon information about the police investigation or about the appellant. Such a person may find himself or herself empanelled on the jury. It is customary (in the light of Pullar v H.M. Advocate) for judges at the outset of the trial, before evidence is led, to tell the jurors that if any of them knows the accused or the victim on any charge or if there is any other good reason why he or she should not serve on the jury, that juror should so advise the clerk during the short adjournment which commonly precedes the leading of evidence. In appropriate cases, and this may be such, a reference to knowledge acquired by use of the internet might usefully be added to that instruction. This is no more than a development of existing practice in the context of technological advances.
[18] We regard it as inappropriate to be any more prescriptive than we have been in the observations made above. Much will depend on the particular circumstances which exist at the commencement of the trial and as it progresses. The particular safeguards which are appropriate to the particular trial in its own time and context are best determined by the trial judge. In the course of the discussion it was suggested that there would be advantage in parties, in advance of the trial diet, making representations to the trial judge as to the terms in which he might instruct the jurors as regards any past or prospective use of the internet. In the circumstances of this case we agree that this would be advantageous - in particular, to enable the trial judge to make informed decisions in the light of such assistance. A further diet appointed under section 72(9) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 for that purpose would appear to be an appropriate mechanism. R. v Scaf (where suggested directions are discussed) and the other Australian material might usefully be considered.
[19] We are quite satisfied that, in accordance with the safeguards which are available, it can reasonably be expected that the appellant's trial will not be rendered unfair by prejudicial material coming at a significant time to the knowledge of one or more of the jurors at his trial. Being so satisfied, we must refuse this appeal. We shall then remit the case to the preliminary hearing fixed for 1 May 2007.
[20] We would only add that the discussion before us focused on the guarantee of a "fair trial" rather than of an "impartial tribunal" under Article 6. The authorities referred to have the same focus. It may be that, where prejudicial material potentially affecting the judgment of jurors is in issue, the better focus is on the requirement for an impartial tribunal. However, the difference in focus makes no difference to the general principles or to the result.


Hi all,

Given the importance of such data in the McCann case where Gerry is refusing to disclose details of texts sent to him from a mystery person the day before Madeleine died and the day after, and his extensive use of his computer (which he just happened to have handy) and presumably mobile to access the internet/send messages via both, I think the report below raises an interesting dilemma. I am sure none of us relish the thought of the government being able to read and listen to everything we do, it is a gross invasion when we have to think, hang on a minute could someone be listening in to this? But do the benefits outweigh the costs?

There can clearly be no doubt the police are struggling to successfully prosecute Kate and Gerry even though they know for a fact Madeleine died in their apartment at a time when only the McCanns could have been in that apartment with her. In the climate in the UK of such a massive number of children going missing every year, c. 77,000, most of these by various issues of foul play, I think it is right that we utilise the technology to investigate and prosecute such people. Maybe the McCann
case could have even been the inspiration behind this idea given it was initially proposed earlier this year! If you have parents who behave as badly as this and then blatantly refuse to co-operate in the investigation then surely the police should have all weapons in their armoury against them to get them successfully prosecuted and locked up. Children above all, must be protected from wicked people. There are many more serious crimes against children that spring to mind where such detailed records would be so helpful to tracking down traffickers and paedophiles etc, apart from killers.

What do others think?

Viv x

Big Brother database recording all our calls, texts and e-mails will 'ruin British way of life'
By Matthew HickleyLast updated at 1:36 AM on 16th July 2008
Comments (9)
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Plans for a massive database snooping on the entire population were condemned yesterday as a ‘step too far for the British way of life’.
In an Orwellian move, the Home Office is proposing to detail every phone call, e-mail, text message, internet search and online purchase in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime.
But the privacy watchdog, Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, warned that the public’s traditional freedoms were under grave threat from creeping state surveillance.

Big Brother: Critics warn our surveillance culture is going too far
Apart from the Government’s inability to hold data securely, he said the proposals raised ‘grave questions’.
‘Do the risks we face provide justification for such a scheme in the first place? Do we want the state to have details of more and more aspects of our private lives?
‘Whatever the benefits, would such a scheme amount to excessive surveillance? Would this be a step too far for the British way of life?’
It is thought the scheme would allow the police or MI5 to access the exact time when a phone call was made, the number dialled, the length of the call and, in the case of mobile phones, the location of the handset to within an accuracy of a few hundred yards.
Similarly for e-mails, it would provide details of when they were sent and who the recipients were. Police recovering a suspect’s computer would then be able to trawl through hard-drive records and recover particular messages. The content of telephone calls could not be recovered unless they were being intercepted at the time.
Mr Thomas’s warnings were backed by privacy campaigners, who claimed such Big Brother powers would give Government agencies unprecedented abilities to trawl through intimate details of ordinary people’s private lives at will.
He used the launch of his annual report to speak out after ministers signalled their intentions in their programme of legislation earlier this year, describing the new Bill as ‘modifying procedures for acquiring communications data’.

Warning: Information Commissioner Richard Thomas
There are fears that the data will be shared with foreign governments – such as the Americans demanding personal details of air passengers – accessed by internet hackers or lost by bungling civil servants.
Opponents pointed out that town halls are already using extraordinary surveillance powers under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to investigate minor issues such as littering, or checking whether parents are abusing school catchment area rules, and they could be given access to almost unthinkable levels of personal data under the new scheme.
Currently police and MI5 can access customer records stored by telephone companies, but only with a warrant to examine individual accounts.
Mr Thomas said: ‘I am absolutely clear that the targeted and duly-authorised interception of the communications of suspects can be invaluable in the fight against terrorism and other serious crime.
‘But there needs to be the fullest public debate about the justification for, and implications of, a specially created database – potentially accessible to a wide range of law enforcement authorities – holding details of everyone’s telephone and internet communications.
'Do we really want the police, security services and other organs of the state to have access to more and more aspects of our private lives?’
Opposition MPs said the Government’s dismal records on safeguarding private data – most notably the loss of the entire child benefit database holding millions of people’s financial details – showed it was incapable of safeguarding such a vast volume of information safely, and the scheme should be dropped immediately. An estimated-three billion emails are sent in Britain every day and last year 57billion text messages were sent.
The Home Office yesterday defended the need to keep its surveillance powers up to date with changing internet technology, and said full details of the plans would be published this year as part of a new Communications Data Bill.
Officials said the internet was rapidly revolutionising communications and it was vital for surveillance powers to keep up with technology in order to fight serious crime and terrorism.
DNA database
Britain's crime-fighting DNA database was the world’s first, in 1995, and is now the world’s largest.
Originally samples were taken from those arrested but destroyed if they were not convicted. Today anyone who is arrested - even if innocent - has DNA taken without consent, even if it has nothing to do with the case. It is added to the database, and stays there forever. It is virtually impossible to have it removed.
Unsurprisingly, new entries are being added at the rate of more than a million a year.
Number plate checks
Police forces use hundreds of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras across the UK, some at fixed sites and some in cars.
Computers are able to compare numbers with a national database of cars which may be stolen, or whose owners are wanted for questioning.
Each check takes around four seconds.
Since last year, the Government has been developing a central database which also records the details every time a car passes an ANPR camera, anywhere in Britain.

9 Jul 2008


Hi all,

As further reports emerge concerning the Irish witness Martin Smith and his family who saw a man matching Gerry McCann on 3 May I thought it would be helpful to post this very interesting article I found posted by Paulo Reis from Sol on 5 August, last year.

As you will know, it has always been my belief that Gerry McCann carried Madeleine off that night and realising he had been spotted got Jane Tanner to make up the sighting where she gave a description matching Gerry, initially saying he was Northern European and had short dark hair but then when Gran Cooper came up with her e-fit stating, well actually, yes he was just like that..he has morphed into the distinctly swarthy man with long hair and frightening teeth. I have read that thanks to Gran Cooper the PJ were forced to investigate this and wasted a huge amount of time and resources upon it. It really is heartbreaking that the McCanns and their team have quite deliberately given them so much wasted work which was clearly never going to find Madeleine.

When reading through this however what really upset me is the thought of just why would Jane Tanner state that the man was carrying the child in what she confessed on Panorama was a very odd way limply in open arms across the body..this is how you would carry a dead child, because if you held the child up against your body in the normal way the head would flop down. As will be seen in this report Martin Smith even said to this man, is she asleep, but the man put his head down and ignored him. Hardly friendly holiday behaviour!

Also, I had not previously realised that the GNR had deployed their own dog for several hours in the McCann apartment just before the arrival of the British dogs and this dog also marked Madeleine's death in that apartment and the British dogs confirmed this. Not long back I reported that this dog had passed out as a fully trained dog (I am assuming it is the same one judging by the description of it). We now have it confirmed that death was marked in the McCanns bedroom, behind the sofa in the living room and in the flower bed. As will be seen here, back in August 2007 it was realised the body had been moved in the apartment. I suppose the question is where did she die? It would seem to me to be in the McCann's bedroom and then perhaps moved to just behind the sofa near the patio door for removal. Gerry has even remarked how quiet it was normally and he you would not expect to bump into anyone, but unfortunately for him he bumped into Wilkins and I believe he also bumped into Martin Smith and his family. The fact that there are other members of Mr Smith's family who have given evidence will corroborate his evidence and make it much more powerful. If Madeleine was carried openly like this by Gerry then it would seem she did not have serious and visible injuries which again would seem to point to over-sedation. I recall there were early reports of a syringe being found in the McCann's bedroom but do not know whether that is accurate. When taken with the fact that two nights before Madeleine was reported crying by Mrs Fenn and her young visitor and the night before Kate even admits Madeleine and Sean were crying, the fact that they went and left them again can only lead to one conclusion IMO. They made sure none of the children would interrupt their fun again, fatally for Madeleine. It is simply heartbreaking and I am appalled at what a wicked liar Jane Tanner is, she can sue me if she wants, it will not stop me saying it!!

This report also confirms the factual basis for the claims made by Portuguese detectives that little Madeleine was dumped at sea. Such wickedness is very hard to comprehend. That little Madeleine could not even have a decent burial, she was just dumped. Truly terrible. For Leicester Police to go and interview Martin Smith and family and for them to then fly out to Portugal it says it all really as to how seriously they viewed his evidence and he has no reason to lie about such a serious matter. They have his evidence and I feel this talk of the PJ failing to re-interview him as though it was somehow fatal to their investigation is just pure propaganda!

Viv x

The investigations have returned to their initial course.
Portuguese and British police search for the body of the child in the surroundings of Praia da Luz.
By Felícia Cabrita (felícia.cabrita@sol.pt) and Margarida Davim (magarida.davim@sol.pt)Weekly "Sol" (Original version, in Portuguese)Translated by: Mark
“There are strong signs” that Madeleine, the English child that disappeared from Praia da Luz almost one hundred days ago, “is dead”, police sources have told Sol. The 180º turnaround that the investigation by the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) from Portimao seems to have done in the past few days, even led the Attorney General, Pinto Monteiro, to postpone the making of an interview that had been requested by British media chain BBC – an interview that would be focusing on the fact that, so long after Maddie’s disappearance, the authorities still remain without real clues concerning her whereabouts.Although an official source from the PGR justified the postponing of the interview with “agenda issues”, the moves by the PJ and some elements from the British police during these last days – accompanied by two dogs, in Praia da Luz – seem to indicate that the investigation is now centred on the McCann family and their group of friends. Sol could find out that the English dogs are trained for different tasks. One, to detect human remains originating from dead flesh, and the other one to detect human blood or fluids. A specialist that was contacted by Sol explains that the technique of these animals rests on scientific bases, and that while “one of the dogs can distinguish between natural death or death by accident that does not involve bloodshed, the other one can diagnose whether someone died a violent death, with bloodshed or other spilled fluids”.Tuesday night, a black and white cocker spaniel that is trained to detect death, spent several hours in the apartment that the McCann family occupied in the Ocean Club resort, and from where Maddie disappeared on May 3. According to sources within the investigation, the dog marked the death of the child inside the apartment.On the dogs’ trailThe English dogs do not contradict the clues that were detected by the sniffer dog that GNR sent to the location, on the day following the English girl’s disappearance. It’s an animal that only follows odours, and that “detected the movement of the child from the room to another point inside the apartment”, according to a source with the Guarda. The same source said that “based on that signal, it was not possible to conclude whether the child was alive or dead – because a sniffer dog will smell both the living and the dead”. Yet, outside the house, both through the windows that faced the Tapas restaurant – where the McCanns had dinner with their seven friends – and through the main door, “the dog lost the trail, as if the child had exited, for example, rolled up in a blanket”, that source said. A team from Sol, on the terrain for the last two weeks, could observe the work of the cocker spaniel from the British police, performing several diligences along the water in Praia da Luz and in a nearby valley.The animal’s path, on Wednesday night, seemed to test the deposition from several witnesses that were heard by the PJ in late May – namely an Irish family that have been living in Luz, and who, on the day that Maddie vanished, reportedly crossed ways with a man that carried a child that seemed to be asleep. According to their deposition to PJ, Martin Smith, his wife and his children, after leaving the Kelly bar, which is located approximately 400 metres from the Ocean Club, around 9.50 / 10.00 pm, saw an individual described as Caucasian, measuring 1.70 – 1.75 m, walking towards the beach. The Irish man told Sol that he knew Robert Murat (the only arguido in the process) visually for years – and also remembered seeing the Anglo-Portuguese man in a bar that evening, “already a bit intoxicated”. Therefore, the Irish dismissed the possibility that the person he saw carrying a child could be Murat: “If it was him, I guarantee to you that I would have recognized him”.Concerning the clothes the man he saw on that night was wearing, Smith only refers the “beige trousers”, given the fact that his upper body was hidden by the child’s body, which was not covered. It is curious that one of the elements that formed the group of Maddie’s parents’ friends, guaranteed to PJ several days before Smith was heard, that - at a moment when she left the table to check on the group’s children - she had crossed ways with a man that was wearing trousers that fit the description that was also made by the Irish man. That individual was also carrying a sleeping child. And the witness, who even managed to see what pyjamas the child was wearing, just “thought it was strange that the child was barefoot and uncovered”. This witness said it would be 9.15 pm.Direct access to the PMAccording to the course the PJ from Portimao is now conducting the investigation, and considering the trail that the British police’s cocker spaniel tracked along the sea shore, the individual would have descended to Praia da Luz, where he could have disposed of Maddie’s body. Sol knows that the English team contacted João Alveirinho Dias, a professor at the University of Algarve and a specialist in oceanography, in order to collect information about the sea’s dynamics and the beach area where everything may have happened. The investigator, who was not briefed about the context of the police inquiries, told “Sol" that he was consulted on “the sand movements, where they come from and where they go to”. The police investigation has therefore, and according to our sources, returned to its initial course, and it becomes increasingly clear, as Sol had reported previously, that there is no proof against Murat.Yet, the British media continue to point a finger at the Anglo-Portuguese man, although the criminal investigation has returned to clues that relate to the group of friends of Madeleine’s parents. A journalist with the Daily Express – who has repeatedly contacted Sol searching for new information on this case – recognized this week that it is “difficult for an English newspaper to adopt a critical tone concerning Madeleine’s parents”. The Daily Express cited, in one of its last reports, the news that have been published by Sol, describing them as a “hate campaign” against the McCanns.The same journalist ended up confessing that “it’s the only way we can transmit your data”. Sol knows that Gerry McCann has regular contact with Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister. Clarence Mitchell – who was the first spokesman for the McCanns and is now in the press cabinet at Nº 10, Downing Street – confirms those contacts. “I know there is a communication line between Gerry and Gordon Brown. I know they talk. But I don’t know what they talk about, because those are informal conversations”, he clarified, further adding: “The Madeleine case is treated whenever there are bilateral meetings between Portugal and the United Kingdom. Gordon Brown is sensitive to the case and wants it solved quickly”.Translated by: Mark 04.08.2007
Posted by Paulo Reis at 22:29:00

8 Jul 2008


Now look folks, you just need to see it like I do, getting 81 pieces of information out of the police that we gave them fourteen months ago, so that we can now start investigating them and looking for Madeleine, really is a result. Ah you say, what about the 11,000 other bits of information they have, well they can stuff them, does my face look bovvered? WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON I WON I WON I WON I WON I MEAN WE WON WE WON WE WON......You could have read that we had won in The Sun newspaper at 4 in the morning before we even went to court, magic! If you want to know more ask Docmac he spotted the Daily Mail were also running the story 10 minutes before the case was even due to start! Cynical? Moi? Of course not! I would like to see the look the Chief Constable of Leicester Police shot Clarence at the High Court today though, that would have been worth a good ticket price! Maybe it said something beginning with W and ending in R!

This little animal hails from North Africa and some of my regular posters thought it bore such a striking resemblance to Mark55 and that in his Honour, I should represent it here. I am sure the little Mole Rat has every bit as much legal knowledge and skills and dear Mark..mind you I must say I can see Clarence here as well, oozing legal skills and back on the steps of the High Court, where he is truly at home..he gives you a strange feeling of deja vous I think! Question is, when will he be going for his hat trick?

Viv x

7 Jul 2008


Hi All

Today, of course it has been announced that the McCanns have withdrawn their High Court application for force Leicester Police to dislose details of their investigation in a settlement deal that sees Leicester Police hand over just 80 pieces of information from a massive 11,000! It has emerged the information the police are prepared to release relates to call received in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine disappearing. This clearly suggests to me that the police are never going to release details of what the police are actually investigating, the McCanns simulating Madeleine's abduction, which, as we can see from the article below swung into action as early as 14 May.

Note very carefully the words John McCann used there, "they are family lawyers they are not going to interfere in the criminal investigation". Well that is odd, because we can see that those plans that were put in place to interfere in the criminal investigation, within literally days of Madeleine going missing, have just been put into action, by those family lawyers who he assured us would not interfere.

Note also John McCann refers to this Fund as a "fighting" fund, not the title that was subsequently adopted to make their intentions less clear, the Find Madeleine Fund. This fighting fund was flying lawyers out to help the hapless McCanns within days. The British Police were also there and the McCanns were in no doubt, the Police were not happy with their incoherent and ever changing explanations. The McCanns got the public to pay for lawyers to defend them and at the same time were conducting a massive lobbying campaign of famous figures to bankroll them, most of whom, have now completely disassociated themselves with this couple who are accused of killing Madeleine, disposing of her body and simulating her abduction. Hardly surprising Beckham, Rowling, Branson etc do not want to be involved any more.

The McCanns have always let it be known that what they actually dread is the investigation been archived or shelved with them still being named as the prime suspects. As they have pointed out this could mean they have this around their necks for the rest of their lives. Now, for a couple who want the world to accept they are completely innocent, and, as we know, want to do films, books, chatshows with the Americans telling us this, for absolutely massive fees, this just would not do, would it?

At this point it is helpful to think about one of these £700 per hour London lawyers the McCanns hired and what he actually specialises in:

Angus McBridge, Partner Kingsley Napley instructed by Kate and Gerry McCann, from their webpage:


He specialises in all aspects of criminal defence including fraud and defends individuals in regulatory investigations…experienced in advising members of government agencies in sensitive enquiries.

Extensive experience in advising individuals under investigation and is regularly involved in representing individuals both during the early stages of investigation, and then, if matters proceed, at the police station and to trial. Advice is often given at a stage where efforts are being made to avoid police involvement with a view to avoiding charges and resultant reputation damage.

Extensive experience in high profile matters requiring press and reputational management (many cannot be listed for reasons of confidentiality). Assists in the provision of general and PR services in conjunction with other teams and external agencies.

Experienced in preparation in serious crime and large document based fraud trials.

Lectures on criminal law including search and seizure and police powers.

What is said about Angus

"He will not leave any stone unturned and will then worry he may have missed a stone; Media Savvy" (London Evening Standard, 28 September 2007!!)

"Angus has particular expertise in dealing with the media and reputation management to high profile individuals" (Chambers: A Client Guide to the Legal Profession 2008)

The document then goes on to list high profile cases he has been involved in, including individuals being investigated by Lord Stevens for conspiracy to murder in Northern Ireland, footballers accused of rape and affray and complex fraud cases.

I believe that Mr McBride has been very busy on behalf of the McCanns. The action against Express Newspapers did not have the desired result of improving the McCanns reputation and so here we have another piece of legal work with the exact same intention. Whilst the McCanns continue to be investigated it is very important for their financial future which they have dreamed about to be considered innocent of any crime involving their daughter Madeleine. Well I for one can see all the expensive legal work that is going to pursue that aim but am just not impressed with all this "media management". In fact it makes me sick!

Viv x

Legal team assist McCann family
Updated 08.40 Mon May 14 2007
Keywords: Portugal, Madeleine McCann
A legal team has flown out to assist Madeleine McCann's family in Praia da Luz.
Her uncle John McCann, who lives in Glasgow, said the lawyers would play a liaison role and would not interfere with the criminal investigation.
John McCann said the lawyers would play a liaison role and would not interfere with the criminal investigation
They are also providing Madeleine's parents with advice on setting up a special "fighting fund" to continue the search for the youngster using donations from the public.
Mr McCann said: "Lawyers are already there I believe. The idea of having the legal guys there is to do some of the liaison between the family and the police, to do some of the press stuff, and to administer this fighting fund and so on.
"They are not going to interfere with the criminal investigation - they are family lawyers."

5 Jul 2008


Hi All, Claudia referred me to this translation she assisted with for gazetta digital and I have reproduced it below because it is obviously fascinating to hear directly now from Goncalo, just ahead of the court hearing McCanns v Leicester Police in open court on Monday. It is most unusual for a family case to be held in open court, normally strict privacy is ensured to protect the child, very sadly Madeleine is far beyond protection. Goncalo obviously realises the McCanns could not sue him because when the files are released next month they will confirm that British and Portuguese Police do of course believe that Madeleine died in their apartment and they then concocted a false abduction scenario and disposed of the body which is what they were being investigated for.


The former Polícia Judiciária investigator criticized the PJ director and the Justice minister, on a interview, tonight, with TVI, a Portuguese TV channel. Asked if he believed that Madeleine was dead, Gonçalo Amaral said that he was “convinced” she was dead “based on the evidence collected”. When the journalist asked: “Was she killed, there (in the apartment)?”, the former PJ inspector said: “She died there”. About Madeleine's parents being named as formal suspects, Amaral spoke about “strong evidence” as the base for the decision and referred that “there was a common understanding”, between Portuguese and British police officers involved in the investigation, about the fact that Madeleine was dead.
“There was evidence, about two different crimes – which were referred by the defence lawyer, Pinto de Abreu, in a public statement – and it was hiding a body and a criminal simulation. That was the situation, when I left the investigation,” Mr. Amaral said. The former PJ inspector, who has a Law Degree from Lisbon University, mentioned the fact that “these kind of cases of disappearance, frequently bring with it other crimes, sometimes fake statements or physical abuse”.
Questioned about the fact that the McCann were not accused of negligence or child abandonment, Amaral said that “it was clear they (the McCann children) were not safe”, when Madeleine disappeared, but reminded that it's easier, with UK laws, to charge parents in those kind of situations, once the Portuguese Law is more complex, it requires the existence of intention to left the children in a dangerous situation. Gonçalo Amaral refused to comment any decision from the Public Prosecutor's Office of from the Courts and refused to admit that he was “frustrated” with those decisions. Asked about his removal from the investigation, the former PJ inspector told the journalist that he had no contact with PJ director, on that day, and he only knew the reasons when he had a “private conversation” with Alípio Ribeiro – refusing to give details about it.
Gonçalo Amaral revealed that the “statement” he gave to Diário de Notícias – and was the reason for his removal, according to the PJ director – was not correctly reproduced and it was not a statement to a newspaper, but just an informal talk with a journalist from Faro, “very close to the family, a friend of my wife”, who called him to ask about the email sent to the web site of Prince Charles, denouncing a former employee of Ocean Club as the kidnapper. “What I said, talking not to a journalist, but with a friend, a personal talk, was that Police should concentrate in what was the common conclusion of British and Portuguese Police: the child was dead and it was necessary to consolidate the existing evidence and move forward, to find where she could be and what happened.” At that moment, the kidnapping line of inquiry was “already closed”, and “another door was opened”, Mr. Amaral said. When asked about the existence of political interference in the investigation, is answer was short and clear: “I think there was more politics than police.”
“We did our job, the best we knew and we were the target of a lot critics and insults, from the British newspapers”, the former PJ inspector said. When the case of Joana Cipriano was first raised by the British Media, Mr. Amaral contacted the PJ director and called the attention for the risks, because those news about his alleged involvement in the “torture” of the mother of Joana Ciprianio would be, soon, a large campaign against him, and talked about the convenience of taking him out of investigation. “What they told me, later, was that I had all the support and should continue the work.”
“Surprised” with his removal from the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral used a popular Portuguese phrase to explain what he felt, when he knew about his removal: “I felt as I was kicked up in the ass, on October 2.” About the influence and importance of the McCann, Mr. Amaral said that “there is a all story to be told, about this case, and I think that the journalists that followed this case, have a great opportunity and responsibility, in helping to understand what happened. This is really, a case that is different from all other cases.” Gonçalo Amaral criticized the Justice minister, who said, after his removal, that “it was, now, time to work”: “Mr. Justice Minister Alberto Costa, we worked hard.”
Download the audio from the full TVI report and interview here.
(Transcription with the help of Cláudia)

1 Jul 2008


Hi All

Have not had much time of late but amid the speculation this case is about to be shelved felt I should publish this report in BBC news and would point out there is an entirely similar one on Sky. The Attorney General is the most senior Government Law Officer in the UK and I would imagine this is the same in Portugal. Following these reports he had decided to speak out to quash them. Sky has the reputation of being extremely Pro-McCann and if there were any truth in the suggestions the case is to be shelved, one could guarantee they would be running it. In addition the McCanns are just about to take on Leicester Police. They would have no need of such action if they were about to have their status as suspects dropped and both they and Murat confirm they have heard no such thing. As you all know, my own view is that it is very likely the McCanns will ultimately be prosecuted in the UK, but I would like to stress again, their friends could not be prosecuted for child neglect, we do not have the jurisdiction to prosecute less serious cases that happened abroad. We most certainly do have jurisdiction in relation to homicide and other connected and very serious offences including the conduct of O'Brien and Tanner. Goncalo Amaral has been on TV tonight and confirmed Madeleine died in the apartment on 3 May. I would appeal to people to use their common sense and accept what the officer who actually investigated the case says. Clearly he would say no such thing if this were not true, knowing the McCanns have constantly searched for someone to sue, even the PJ! and extracted a settlement in their action against Express Newspapers.

I firmly believe this case is not over yet, but ultimately the McCanns will face charges, we just cannot be clear when that will be. If they have arranged for false sightings of Madeleine this is very serious evidence against them in relation to homicide and certainly not something the police would shelve or ignore!

Viv x
'No decision' on Madeleine case

Madeleine was on holiday in the Algarve when she disappeared
No decision has been taken on the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Portugal's attorney general has said.
Fernando Pinto Monteiro said the case continued to be assessed, after Portuguese media reports that police will close it due to lack of evidence.
Parents Kate and Gerry McCann are both official suspects in the inquiry, along with a third man, Robert Murat.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, went missing in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007.
She was three-years-old at the time.
'Shelved' reports
Mr Monteiro's comments came after newspaper reports that the case would be "shelved", meaning police would no longer devote resources to investigating it.
He said the final report from the Policia Judiciaria had been received by prosecutors, and it "will be the object of careful analysis and consideration".

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell gives his reaction
"Public prosecutors will proceed to the overall analysis to determine whether or not other action is necessary or whether the conditions are sufficient to rule that the investigation be closed and a final ruling made," he said.
The statement noted that the case remained covered by judicial secrecy until mid-August.
The Correio da Manha newspaper said on Tuesday that sources within Portugal's judicial police said they "do not have sufficient evidence to allow formal charges to be brought against the McCanns in the disappearance of their daughter".
The Jornal de Noticias said the police did not have enough evidence to charge either the McCanns or Mr Murat with any wrongdoing.
"The police have not found the guilty," the paper added.
One newspaper said the case had already been closed, another that the end of the investigation would be announced within the next few days.
Family 'suffered enough'
The McCanns were declared official suspects in the case - "arguidos" in Portuguese legal jargon - last September.
Earlier, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell told the BBC the family was awaiting confirmation of the latest media reports and if true, the Portuguese authorities "must lift their arguido status as a priority".
"If they are true, it's to be welcomed that Kate and Gerry are not to face any charges," he said.
What we don't want is that information to lie on a shelf somewhere gathering dust
Clarence MitchellKate and Gerry McCann's spokesman
Madeleine case begins to fade
Madeleine case timeline
"It's quite right. They are innocent of any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. They have suffered enough."
Mr Mitchell said the family wanted to know whether police planned to stop searching for Madeleine and if so, their information should be made public so the McCanns could continue their private investigation.
"What happens to all those leads, all those contacts? There are thousands of pieces of information in those files," he said.
"What we don't want is that information to lie on a shelf somewhere gathering dust.
"Surely it's only humane and decent that information that could help find Madeleine comes to the investigators, who will keep looking for her, even if the police feel they can't."
Mr and Mrs McCann are due to go to the High Court on 7 July to ask a judge to order police files on the disappearance of their daughter to be released.
Murat's status
Briton Mr Murat lives with his mother in Praia da Luz close to the apartment where Madeleine was last seen. He strongly denies any involvement in her disappearance.
His lawyer Francisco Pagarete said he had heard nothing from the Portuguese authorities about the case being closed.
Asked whether he would welcome such a development, Mr Pagarete said: "Yes, we will, but it depends on the way it's going to be dropped.
"If it's going to be dropped because there's not enough evidence connecting my client to this case or if it's going to be dropped because Robert hasn't got any involvement in this case.
"Only the second way will make us happy."