Tuesday, 23 November 2010
I will leave you to decide for yourselves - just how unbiased are the BBC?
(Many thanks to AnnaEsse of Missing Madeleine for the transcript.)
Opening words: Hello, tonight Inside Out is at Rothley in Leicestershire to ask, who are the Madeleine Foundation?
Voice over: The three year old’s parents say, they just add to their anguish.
Kate: There’s a certain group out there who...this is their job really...is to pick on a vulnerable family and I’m sure after us they’ll move onto another family.
Voice over: They’ve been described as a club for Sickos to distribute vile leaflets. Their members insist they’re only trying to discover what happened to Madeleine McCann, but the parents of the missing youngster say the so-called Madeleine Foundation is hindering the search for their daughter and adding to their anguish. Simon Hare has been investigating.
Simon Hare: Well, it’s a Saturday afternoon and most people are busy enjoying their weekend, but somewhere here in Nottingham a group of people have got together to discuss the Madeleine McCann case.
(cuts into Simon answering mobile phone...Hello, Simon...)
Simon Hare (voice over) : Secrecy surrounds what’s been billed as the annual conference of the self appointed Madeleine Foundation. They said I can attend, but I have to wait for news of the location. I’m told to make my way to a hotel with conference facilities, but this proves to be just the meeting place. I’m then taken to the real venue .... a room in this village hall in Nuttall.
A member takes some photos, including one of me. Chairman Grenville Green from Nottingham is also happy to be pictured and the organisations’ secretary and co-founder, Tony Bennett, is keen to promote his new book made up of selected extracts from the case files.
There were 19 people at the meeting and I was told that they’d come from all over the country and that one couple had even come from Northern France. Er, they didn’t want cameras to come in, but they did allow me to sit there and take notes, they discussed many aspects of the McCann case and they also sold me a copy of their new book (“The Madeleine McCann Case Files – Volume 1”)
But at the moment I still don’t feel I’m any nearer to understanding exactly what the Madeleine Foundation is about.
Cuts into an old interview: Well among those reporters was Simon Hare for East Midlands Today, he’s with us now from Portugal...(fades out)
Simon Hare: But I do know something about the Madeleine McCann case. I was part of the East Midlands Today team that covered the events in Portugal. I interviewed the McCanns in Praia da Luz.
Cuts into old footage of Kate McCann: It really does give you great strength really to see everybody in the village, you know, giving us their support and love and everything.
Simon Hare: 3 months later I was in Portamao when they were made official suspects.
Cuts into footage of Simon Hare at Portamao: The crowd of onlookers, hundreds of people turned out, many booed Kate McCann as she arrived here. (fades out)
Simon Hare: A development largely thanks to this man (shows footage of Goncalo Amaral arriving at the courts) the Portuguese detective, Goncalo Amaral. But he was taken off the case and in 2008, the McCanns had their suspect status removed.
Cuts into film footage of Kate McCann: We welcome the news today although it’s no cause for celebration ...(fades out)
Simon Hare: And won libel damages from some of the more lurid press coverage they’d received.
A year later, front page news of a different kind, thanks to the Madeleine Foundation.
Cuts into footage: people living in Madeleine McCanns home village say that they are sickened that they’re now being targeted by a campaign to reopen a case against her parents.
Male: A group claiming to want justice for Madeleine says it believes she wasn’t abducted. It’s been sending hundreds of leaflets around the area calling for support.
Simon Hare: It delivered a 150 leaflets to the homes in the McCanns own neighbourhood, repeating the now discredited Amaral theory that Madeleine had died in her parents holiday apartment and they’d covered it up.
Cuts into a female journalist holding a leaflet: And the people here in Rothley who spoke to us today say they’re horrified.
Man in street: It’s absolutely repugnant I think personally.
Woman in street: I just think it’s sad and sick that people have got nothing else better to do with their time.
(Note, the documentary failed to interview those from Rothley who thought the leaflet was informative and joined the Madeleine Foundation after searching out more details.)
Simon Hare: I would meet all of the four people who delivered the leaflets that day. Among them, Debbie Butler the Foundations former Chairman and co-founder who appeared on the BBC to justify their actions.
Cut into footage of Debbie Butler: It’s a Nationwide campaign, we need to put the leaflet into as many doors as possible ...(fades out)
Simon Hare: She’s since fallen out with Tony Bennett and is no longer a member of the Foundation, but she agreed to meet me near her home in Kent.
Debbie Butler: Mr Bennett decided that we would go to that area. I’d never been there, he’d been there before, I found out that he had been there before, erm, he knew where we were going, I drove, we had Grenville Green with us and Helene Davies, his wife. We visited the farm that Kate had taken the children to and had some lunch there. Mr Bennett leafleted there alone and instructed me to go and leaflet in the immediate area where the McCanns live, erm, which I did with Helene and then he told me I must leaflet their road, which I did...I was doing it with Helene but Helene...Helene’s legs just went to jelly and she wouldn’t do it, so I did. I didn’t leaflet their own home at all.
Simon Hare: Tony Bennett denies he told Debbie Butler what to do that day but both were subsequently pursued by the McCanns lawyers and in the November last year, Mr Bennett assured the High Court he wouldn’t distribute any more of the leaflets or he could lose £50,000 and even go to prison for contempt of court.
Cuts into BBC footage of Tony Bennett setting up placards “What really happened to Madeleine McCann” and handing out leaflets to members of the public as they passed.
Interesting the background song to this clip “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care what the people may say about me...”
Simon Hare: But by this summer Tony Bennett was distributing a new leaflet. He’s come to Bristol to what’s billed as the Goncalo Amaral Awareness Day. He’s accompanied by another Madeleine Foundation member who’s a little camera shy.
Cuts into film footage of the member hiding behind a post. Simon joking tells her he’s going around this side of the pillar
Tony Bennett: People think we are representing the McCanns in some way....
Simon Hare: Doesn’t that worry you?
Tony Bennett: Erm, not really no because it’s a chance to explain to people erm what we’re about and that there is a big mystery at the heart of this.
Cuts into film clip of woman on the street: I wouldn’t dare say what I thought – Id’ be sued! (laughs)
Cuts into film clip an elderly couple
Tony Bennett: People will no doubt be reading that leaflet as they pass around the town. Not one person’s come back to me to complain at all and say this is outrageous
Simon Hare: But in the afternoon there are a number of hostile reactions
Cuts into film footage of a group of children (you’ll have to watch the video to get the gist of what the children are saying)
Cuts into film footage of a young male adult: I think it’s a bit disrespectful
Cuts into film footage of a woman on the street: I have a two year old daughter you know, if I’d, If I’d lost my daughter like that woman has I wouldn’t want to think someone was out saying that in the street.
Simon Hare: A few days later after hundreds of copies have been handed out, he (Tony Bennett) agrees to the McCanns lawyers’ demands not to distribute this latest leaflet.
They (the McCanns) didn’t want to talk to us about Tony Bennett’s campaign, but on the third anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann seemed to allude to the Foundation.
GMTV presenter: You know to this day there are people convinced you had something to do with it, how on earth do you deal with that?
Kate: Well, erm...well I think it’s changed erm, certainly we don’t get the same level of criticism that we did and even then to be fair it was the minority really, I think most people...even if, you know, they don’t agree with...with..., you know, what we did, then they wouldn’t feel it right or fair to add to our suffering.
Gerry begins to talk: I think...
Kate cuts in: But having said that I think it’s just a small minority now and you know there’s a certain group there how, this is their job really, is to pick on a vulnerable family and I’m sure after us they’ll move onto another family.
Cuts into BBC footage of Tony Bennett.
Simon Hare: I think she meant you
Tony Bennett: Er, I didn’t hear that. I don’t know whether she meant us or not but erm we are focused on this particular case, I...my focused on the truth so are the members and supporters of the Madeleine Foundation exactly the same. I haven’t got any history of persuing any individuals
Simon Hare: Tony Bennett previously tried and failed to bring a private prosecution against the McCanns for child neglect.
In 2006 he attempted to mount a prosecution of Michael Barrymore in relation to the night Stuart Lubbock died at the TV entertainers’ home. Another high profile case at the centre of a media frenzy. Tony Bennett first came into prominence by taking direct action over the metrification of signs.
Tony Bennett: A lot of people don’t want to see metres and kilometres on our roadsigns
Simon Hare: A course which won a lot of support. He then began removing road signs to campaign for the introduction of old county boundaries
Tony Bennett: I think the majority of the public would like to see these signs ‘Welcome to Lancashire’ on the correct Lancashire boarder.
Simon Hare: Unlike some of his Madeleine Foundation colleagues, he appears to quite like the camera’s notoriety. Last year he could be clearly seen sat behind Gerry McCann as he gave evidence to a Parliamentary subcommittee on the Press and Privacy. Tony Bennett later posted on the internet:
“It was to send out a quiet message. We are looking over his shoulder, checking out what he and his team are saying. Watching.”
Tony Bennett: If it is certain she was abducted then we are (can’t work out what this word is) to their anguish
Simon Hare: And does, does that not bother you? I mean you’re a father, a grandfather.
Tony Bennett: Erm, I’m persuaded that there are still questions to be answered and, and er, as I say I’ve got to be careful what I say, but then I do question their version of events and whether in fact Madeleine was abducted as do many other people.
Simon Hare: but you don’t know what happened; I don’t know what happened...
Tony Bennett: No I don’t...
Simon Hare: And only those responsible truly know
Tony Bennett: I agree. I agree. We don’t know what happened so why can’t we say erm you know, why can’t we ... I mean after all if I’m making bad points, if we’re making points on our website er they can be challenged and refuted easily can’t they.
Simon Hare: The internet is awash with forums and message boards about Madeleine. Some of these sites have seen threats of violence made towards the McCanns and their family home here at Rothley. Inside Out understands that the police have become involved in the past. People who post on these forums describe themselves as ‘Pro’ and ‘Anti’ McCann. Those connected with the Madeleine Foundation have also been subject to threats.
Debbie Butler: Half past twelve one night my phone rang and er I was told I’d be stabbed in front of my son straight through my heart. I phoned the police...erm...I’ve had other threats
Cuts into footage of Tony Bennett with a Madeleine Foundation member walking through the streets.
Simon Hare: The Madeleine Foundation has come to London. They’re delivering more letters to both the Portuguese and British Governments.
Tony Bennett and three members stand outside 10 Downing Street for photos.
Tony Bennett: So what happens? We knock on the door and someone comes and receives it? Okay.
Simon Hare: The latest leaflet that they’d agreed to stop distributing has made a comeback.
Tony Bennett: Well we’ve had a rethink on that and we see no reason why we shouldn’t distribute it. We weren’t threatened with any libel action or anything like that. We erm, we took a decision three months ago not to distribute it but we’ve reconsidered and see no reason why shouldn’t distribute it, especially on Goncalo Amaral’s birthday.
Simon Hare: But in July the McCanns lawyers, Carter Ruck, had threatened to take Tony Bennett back to the High Court. They’re letter felt that the former solicitor had failed to grasp how libel laws work. And it said that they’d also pursue any other members of the Foundation who delivered the leaflets.
The two remaining Rothley leafleters didn’t go to London. Grenville Green and his wife Helene Davies-Green have stepped down from the Foundation Committee after she was described by the Sun as a ‘Sicko’ who distributes vile leaflets.
Cuts into BBC filming of Helene in the kitchen preparing wild mushrooms.
Simon Hare: She was back in the public eye when she stood as a UKIP candidate in the general election.
Helene Davies-Green: Apparently throwing out the odd insult isn’t breaking their code of conduct.
Cuts into film footage of Grenville Green in Portugal
Simon Hare: It’s an example of free speech that her husband doesn’t like. At the beginning of the year, Grenville Green went to Portugal to attend a court hearing about Goncalo Amaral’s controversial book (The Truth in the Lie)
Grenville Green talking to Sky cameras: Why am I here? It’s freedom of speech isn’t it. If someone has a difference of opinion to someone else er you shouldn’t have lots of money to close you down and shut you up and keep you quiet if you’ve got a difference of opinion, this is why we’re here. It’s freedom of speech; freedom of expression.
Film footage of Journalist asks Goncalo a question as he leaves the Portuguese courts: Is your book hurting the McCanns sir?
Goncalo speaks in Portuguese (presumably "pardon?")
Journalist repeats his question: Is your book hurting the McCanns?
Goncalo Amaral then says the words which have become a controversial subject of whether he swore or said something in his native tongue. Sky News correspondent, Martin Brunt, clears this mystery on his blog 'Life of Crime': “Fala com McCanns” which means “Ask the McCanns”.
Grenville Green: This man is a folk hero, a sort of modern day Robin Hood if you will. It’s like a David and Goliath fight. If something’s right, you know it’s right. If something’s wrong, you know it’s wrong.
Cuts into BBC filming of Tony Bennet: There are always going to be those who entirely believe the McCanns account and who regard me as evil and perverted for what I’m doing. On the other hand there are those who have got legitimate questions and fully support what we’re doing.
Cuts into film footage of McCanns posing for the cameras
Simon Hare: Earlier this month, the McCanns launched an online petition calling for an investigation into their daughter’s disappearance to be independently reviewed (Note: The McCanns have NOT requested an investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine; they merely want a review of the case.)
Cuts into video footage of Gerry and Kate McCann.
Gerry Mccann: there’s absolutely no evidence that Madeleine has been seriously harmed so without her we’ve got to believe we can still find her. Erm, it’s difficult, we know that and that’s why we’re asking for help, we need assistance and the authorities need to do more.
Cuts into film footage of Simon Hare: Last week the McCanns revealed that they are now writing their own book. In a statement on their website Kate McCann said “My reason for writing is simple, to give an account of the truth.” Just like that GMTV interview, I can’t help but feel that that was partly aimed at the Madeleine Foundation.
Now if this piece is really about the Madeleine Foundation, why does it include video clips of road signs, county boundaries and Michael Barrymore?
Why does it state that "Dr Amaral's theory" of accidental death and concealment of a corpse is "discredited", when in fact it is not the theory only of Dr Amaral but also of both the British and Portuguese police?
Why do most of the people interviewed first appear in a video clip from August 2009, when it could be argued that public feeling towards the McCanns was very different from what it is now?
Why did Simon Hare include the film of a member hiding behind a lamp post? If people don't want to appear in the film, surely that is their right?
But of course, this is the BBC East Midlands, and the facts can be changed for anyone. They even said so themselves.
Monday, 22 November 2010
From the Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2010
Transworld, home to best-selling authors including Dan Brown and Frederick Forsyth, secured the rights to the couple's story after a bidding war. The McCann's are part-way through writing their account.
Mrs McCann said: "My reason for writing is simple - to give an account of the truth. Publishing this book has been a very difficult decision and is one that we have taken after much deliberation and with a very heavy heart.
"However, in the last few months, with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund, it is a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands. Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl."
And from the Sunday Express, November 21.http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/212734/Kate-and-Gerry-McCann-get-help-from-JK-Rowling-
The multi-millionaire Harry Potter writer suggested they use her literary agent Christopher Little who arranged a publishing deal with Transworld. JK Rowling has been giving the McCanns support since their daughter disappeared in Portugal in May 2007 aged three. The author contributed to a reward for finding Madeleine and in July 2007 she arranged for posters of Madeleine to be made available to book retailers around the world . Kate has already written 60,000 words, covering the period up to the couple’s heart-rending decision to return to Britain.
So which was it - a "bidding war" or an "arrangement"?
If you already ringfenced £20 from your budget for your own copy, come April, you are in for a nice surprise. It has been discounted by £3 already and includes free delivery.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Dr Katerina Gaspar, in particular, was concerned that the behaviour of David Payne and Gerry McCann, together, may have indicated some paedophile activity taking place on a previous holiday. Now let me state plainly here, that as yet, no concrete proof of such activity has been made available. Dr Gaspar's statement is merely an educated guess. That guess could, of course, be completely wrong.
The Gaspars did, however, feel strongly enough about what they had witnessed, to go to the extent of making a statement to Leicestershire Police. A statement which could have, potentially, have had a massive impact on the Portuguese investigations as to what really happened to Madeleine.
We must ask why, then, both statements were withheld by Leicestershire Constabulary until such time as Goncalo Amaral, Policia Judiciaria Co-ordinator for the Madeleine McCann case, was removed from the investigation. The reason for this was given as "inappropriate criticism of the English Police who were ostensibly assisting the Policia Judiciaria in the enquiry".
The Gaspar statements may have been something, they may have been nothing; but why did LP feel they had the right to withhold them from the PJ for over six months?
"Because we have a pact. This is our matter only. It is nobody else's business."
This is the same David Payne that together with his wife Fiona, and the other Tapas friends, refused to return to Portugal for a reconstrcution of the events of 3rd May 2007.
Ask yourself what "pact" could possibly be more important than assisting the search for your supposed friend's "abducted" child.
Friday, 5 November 2010
It's dfficult to tell now whether the original libel trial will go ahead. The McCann's Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte, has publicly stated that it will be very difficult to appeal the overturn decision. This does not bode well for the outcome of any possible libel trial. However, immediately hard on the heels of this disasterous (for the McCanns) decision, we have the inevitable appeal for even more public funds to "help find Madeleine".
Which brings us to the next instalment. £300,000 of those publicly donated funds were already paid to Irish conman Kevin Halligen, one man operator of Oakley International. Clarence Mitchell, the former head of the Labour government’s Media Monitoring Unit, trumpeted their qualifiations for the job as "a highly successful international private detective agency."
Oakley International, however, was only formed after Madeleine was reported missing. The fees that the Fund paid to OI were squandered on Halligen's champagne lifestyle, and produced exactly zero results. The IT firm that handled the helpline even went on public record as stating that OI were not interested in any of the information received.
Yet Clarence Mitchell, through his media contacts, sold the public the picture of Oakley International being the "big boys". And contrary to even attempting to recover any of this £300,000, he has quite firmly stated that the matter of Halligen is "closed".
Or maybe not. Yesterday, Westminster Magistrates Court ordered the extradition of Halligen to the US, where he is wanted by the FBI for a £1.2million wire fraud in relation to the Trafigura scandal. Halligen now has four weeks to appeal. What other songs might the canary start to sing?
Of course, for the McCanns Fund, it may well turn out to be a swan song.
Friday, 8 October 2010
Insp Paiva told how tearful Kate told him about her dream in a phone call two months after Maddie vanished - and asked cops to search the hill she had "seen".
He said: "She gave me the impression she thought Madeleine was dead." He added police combed the area but found nothing.
Quizzed by the McCanns' lawyer Isabel Duarte, Paiva admitted Kate told him Maddie might be on the hillside as she had seen a lot of cars heading there.
He said sniffer dogs were then brought in from Britain.
Now listen carefully to the video below.
For those who are not up to speed with the characters involved, Inspector Paiva acted as intermediary between Kate and Gerry McCann and the PJ. He was therefore in a position of much personal contact with the McCanns, and it is a matter of public record that he was a witness to their "odd" behaviour on many occasions.
According to Inspector Paiva's own testimony the McCanns grew increasingly more negative in their reactions towards the activities of the police investigation, in particular after Martin Grime and his blood and cadaver dogs were drafted in.
So did Kate have a "dream", or not? Somebody must be lying - Doctor Gerry McCann or Inspector Ricardo Paiva. But who?
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
"The interviewee [Jane Tanner] recalls that, around 9.10pm, Gerald McCann left the restaurant (3) to go to the apartment to see the children. Five minutes later the interviewee left, in her turn, to go to her own apartment to check on her children. She saw Gerald McCann talking to a British citizen named Jez. They got to know each other during the holiday and played tennis together. She went past them knowing that Gerald McCann had already checked the children in the apartment." [From Jane Tanner's Rogatory Interview]
So was she there, or was she not?
And who was actually carrying a "child"? Listen carefully to this video.
Friday, 24 September 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
“She, yeah because erm, we didn’t, we don’t really like sleeping in the same room as her but there wasn’t really nowhere else to put her cos you know, obviously she was going to bed at seven thirty and then we’d have had to kind of hide in the bathroom or something for the rest of the night, so we put, yeah she slept in our room as well erm”.
“Yeah. So basically we’d go and have dinner and then we’d sort of run back you know every fifteen twenty minutes and have a listen at the door and make sure nobody’s screaming their head off”.
“Erm well we’d go into the room, which ordinarily we wouldn’t do to be honest, erm but she seemed to have diarrhoea and kind of, I mean she’d settled quite well actually cos she’d been tired every evening, erm but every morning when she woke up, she had diarrhoea and it had gone right through her grow bag and so there’s all of this sort of horrendous smell, so in the evenings when we were checking, we’d go into the room just to see if you know, there was any sort of smell yet, erm and just to make sure she was alright, to make sure she hadn’t been sick, partly I think cos Matt had been sick, just wanted to make sure that she hadn’t been, in case it was some sort of bug”.
1578 “Okay, and the route taken”?
Reply “Was up the road and then in through the car park at the back and in through the front door”.
1578 “In through the front door”?
Reply “Mmm yeah, I mean the patio doors were locked, erm yeah I didn’t really like going up there by myself, it was, like going through that car park was quite dark and there was never anyone around, it was a bit, you know made me feel a bit uneasy”.
1578 “Okay. Did you want to mention something about Doctors in the group”?
Reply “Yeah I was just going to say that, you know Kate and Gerry are both Doctors and you know there were three other medics in the group, erm four others actually sorry, four others, erm you know so if by any chance they’d accidentally done anything to Madeleine or she was ill or erm you know something wasn’t quite right, I mean they wouldn’t have just left her and sort of tried to cover it up as an accident or you know, they would of sort of you know, come and got Matt and Russell and Dave and Fi, erm I mean you know, not just because they are Doctors, because you know they’re parents and you’d kind of go to anyone to see who could help but if you’ve got, you know Doctors as friends who were there as well, erm you know there were kind of six people there who if Madeleine had accidentally been bumped on the head or you know whatever the theories are supposed to be, erm you know, there were plenty of people there who could of you know, tried to revive a child, erm”.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
The McCanns were duped, at best - Oakley International turned out to be a one-man band, headed by Irish national Kevin Halligen, who has since been arrested for attempted fraud, his assets frozen and today**, he faces an extradition hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates Court.
He is wanted by the US in relation to money taken from a Dutch company, Trafigura, as part of a deal to secure the release of executives under arrest in the Cote d'Ivoire. Instead, the money was spent on a mansion and a high-maintenance girlfriend.
Now given that the Find Madeleine Fund has, in all probability, been royally ripped off by this man, you would think that the McCanns would also be pursuing him to recoup at least some, if not all, of their £300,000.
But there are two interesting twists to this tale, which I believe is far from over.
1. Please Google for today's extradition hearing. You will find no mention of it at all, anywhere, in the UK media. Yet this is potentially, very explosive news indeed.
2. Far from pursuing Mr Halligen for any sort of refund or recompense, the McCann's spokesperson, Clarence Mitchell, has quite firmly stated that the matter of Oakley International is "closed".
Halligen was originally "recommended" by double-glazing and Rugby tycoon, Brian Kennedy, of the Latium group. His company lawyer, Ed Smethurst, is seconded to No Stone Unturned.
**Kevin Halligen's Extradition Hearing has since been postponed until August 18.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
As you are of course aware, we act for Gerry and Kate McCann.
You will recall that on 13 November 2009 you formally undertook (amongst other
things) not to repeat any allegations about our clients to the effect that they were
guilty of, or to be suspected of causing the death of Madeleine McCann; and/or of
disposing of her body; and/or of lying about what had happened and/or of seeking to
cover up what they had done. These undertakings were enshrined by way of Court
order of 25 November 2009.
You have continued to 'campaign' on issues relating to the disappearance of our
clients' daughter, and while you have purported since then to have abided by your
undertakings, it is clear that you have on a number of occasions breached those
For example, it has been brought to our clients' attention that in a post entitled "A
short letter to Theresa May about her proposed re-investigation into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann" you referred to a letter you apparently sent the
Home Secretary on 4 July 2010. This post continues to be published at the following
The text of the letter you quote states:
"Could you please let me know in writing whether any such re-investigation will
actively pursue the line of enquiry mentioned in the interim and final reports of the
Portuguese Police that Madeleine may have died in the McCanns' apartment and
her body hidden?"
In the post you make it clear that your intention in publishing the letter is to
encourage others to adopt it as a template so that they will send similar letters to the
Home Secretary. You then go on to state:
"Well, the letter-writing to the Home Secretary has begun, let's make the early
trickle into a mighty flow from all those who do not believe that the McCanns are telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann."
Your actions in respect of the so-called "Goncalo Amaral Support Project" have also
been brought to our clients' attention, in particular the so called 'Goncalo Amaral
Awareness Day" which is scheduled to take place this Saturday 17 July 2010 and your
leaflet which has been circulated by way of email and is headed:
"Your questions answered about Gonr;alo Amaral
The man who declared the McCanns suspects over the disappearance of
This publication goes on to state that
"Mr Amaral stunned the world by pulling in the McCanns for questioning as
suspects in the disappearance of their daughter. Three days later, an interim
report from Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, the senior investigating officer
in the case, gave reasons for the police's belief that Madeleine had died in her
"In [Amaral's book, 'The Truth about a Lie], he explains why he and his team
had good grounds for believing Madeleine had died in her parents' apartment
and covered up her death."
The rest of the piece is dedicated to defending Mr Amaral, to correcting the "many lies", and to rebutting criticism made of him generally and in particular in connection with the investigation into the abduction of Madeleine McCann.
There can be little doubt that, as you no doubt intended, readers of this publication will have understood it to mean that there are indeed strong grounds to support Amaral's suspicion that Madeleine McCann died in our clients' care and that they subsequently conspired to cover up her death.
Similarly, our clients are aware of a posting you published at 1:03am on 12 July 2010
in which you state:
"Goncalo Amaral is a Portuguese detective who has sacrificed the rest of his
career to bring us what he sees as the truth about a missing three-year-old
British girl, Madeleine Beth McCann."
As we note above, Mr Amaral is well known for having espoused the view that
Madeleine McCann died in our clients' holiday apartment, and that our clients covered
up her death to evade any liability - this is, of course, a central thesis of his book "The
Truth about a Lie." As such, readers would again have understood this posting to
suggest that Amaral's theory is correct and that our clients did indeed conspire to
cover up the death of their daughter. This theory is, however, completely untrue and
simply does not withstand proper scrutiny.
In case you are labouring under a misunderstanding as to the law, you cannot hide
behind quotes or purported quotes from other people when publishing outrageous
slurs of our clients.
Finally, your video recording entitled "Madeleine McCann: The 48 Police Questions Kate McCann Refused to Answer' has been brought to our clients attention. The video,
uploaded to You Tube on 13 July 2010 continues to be published at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZQOlx7WAMA&feature=player embedded
In light of the conduct to which we refer above, there can be no doubt whatsoever that
notwithstanding your undertakings, you remain intent upon continuing to allege at
every available opportunity that there are strong grounds to suspect our clients of
being responsible for the death of their daughter, and of conspiring to cover it up.
We have advised our clients that your conduct represents a number of clear breaches
of your undertaking to the court.
Our clients have exercised extraordinary restraint to date, and from the outset have
been reluctant to dignify your utterly misguided 'campaign' by engaging with you.
However, they are extremely concerned that your misconceived and deeply offensive
attacks against them are harming the search for their daughter Madeleine. Indeed
your behaviour often appears deliberately designed to do just that. As such, they
cannot and will not allow you flagrantly to continue to libel them and to continue to
breach the undertakings which you gave to the Court.
The purpose of this letter is to require your immediate confirmation:
1) that you will not republish (or authorise anyone else to republish) the leaflet to
which we refer above concerning Goncalo Amaral, and in particular that you
will not distribute (or allow others to distribute) any hard copies of the leaflet;
2) that you will remove the leaflet from your website(s), from where we
understand it can be downloaded;
3) that you will immediately remove the video referred to above from You Tube
and will undertake never to publish it again; and
4) that you will not otherwise breach the terms of the undertaking you gave,
whether by suggesting that Goncalo Amaral's widely-publicised (and entirely
baseless) suspicions about our clients are correct, or in any other way
We look forward to hearing from you by no later than 4pm on 16 July 2010 and in the
meantime must expressly reserve all our clients' rights against you, and in particular
their right to bring proceedings for contempt of Court against you.
No doubt you will show this letter to your fellow members of the "Madeleine
Foundation". Should they, or indeed anyone linked to them, disseminate serious
falsehoods about our clients, we shall advise our clients to pursue those individuals
directly for appropriate legal relief.
We would urge you to seek legal advice upon this letter and in particular on the
consequences of your repeated breaches of the Court undertakings you gave.
This blog and the author are not connected to Tony Bennett, or the Madeleine Foundation, in any way. I do not approve, or endorse, many of their actions; but equally, I can't stand bullies. Or people who think they can buy justice, or silence. I believe in laying out the facts so that everyone can judge for themselves.
My understanding of this letter is that now, no-one is permitted to even question the McCanns' version of events, without the threat of legal action. Since when did the UK become a Dictatorship?
*The letter and video are in earlier posts on this blog.
Monday, 19 July 2010
I have reproduced it here for you to read and judge for yourselves, whether or not this information is libellous.
You may also wish to consider just why this infomation is so "dangerous".
In this leaflet, we try to answer your questions about Mr Gonçalo Amaral, the Portuguese detective who led the investigation into the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann on Thursday, 3 May 2007. Four months later, Mr Amaral stunned the world by pulling in the McCanns for questioning as suspects in the disappearance of their daughter. Three days later, an interim report from Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, the senior investigating officer in the case, gave reasons for the police’s belief that Madeleine had died in her parents’ apartment.
Less than a month later, Mr Amaral was removed from the investigation (not ‘sacked’ as the media claimed). The British media have, since then, criticised his investigation, often referring to him as ‘disgraced’. He was accused of beating a Portuguese woman, Leonor Cipriano, into falsely confessing to murdering her daughter. He retired from the police to write a book, A Verdade da Mentira, ‘The Truth About A Lie’. In it, he explains why he and his team had good grounds for believing Madeleine had died in her parents’ apartment and covered up her death. A year after his book came out, the McCanns brought a libel action in the Lisbon High Court claiming, as damages, the £1 million profits he and his publishers had made from the book’s sale in 9 European countries. The case will be concluded later this year. We felt it was time the British public knew the facts about Mr Amaral. Here we answer some frequent questions people have about him:
1. What career did Mr Amaral have before he led the Madeleine enquiry?
ANSWER: Mr Amaral was an experienced, respected, senior detective. One of his colleagues described him as ‘incorruptible’. He had many successes in bringing drug dealers to justice and in one year netted the biggest haul of illegal drugs of any detective in Portugal. His most famous case was his success in bringing the killers of 8-year-old Joana Cipriano to court and ensuring that they served long jail sentences for their appalling crimes.
2. Wasn’t Mr Amaral accused of beating and torturing Joana Cipriano’s mother into making a false confession?
ANSWER: Yes he was. And most unjustly. Joana was reported missing by her mother, only after she had apparently been missing for two days. The sad truth was that Joana had come back from the village shops to find her mother in bed with her uncle. After an intensive investigation led by Mr Amaral, both voluntarily confessed to having brutally murdered her and disposed of her body. Today they are serving 16-year-jail terms for her murder.
3. What about the photos of her in the press showing her with black eyes?
ANSWER: Since being convicted of their crimes, both the mother and the uncle have tried to claim they were beaten by Mr Amaral and his men and forced to confess to something they had not done. However, it is clear that Leonor Cipriano suffered her injuries as a result of a beating by fellow female prisoners after being taken to Odemira Prison. During a recent court case, the Director of Odemira Prison was forced to admit to asking her Prison Medical Director to lie about the cause of Ms Cipriano’s injuries. Ms Cipriano changed her story many times.
4. Why was Mr Amaral removed from the Madeleine investigation?ANSWER: Shortly before he was removed, he made some ‘off the record’ comments to a Portuguese journalist detailing how the British government was interfering with his investigation. A leading Portuguese newspaper published his remarks, giving the Portuguese authorities an excuse to remove him from the enquiry. As Mr Amaral has set out in a second book, ‘The English Gag’, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was told of his being removed from his post before he was. Mr Amaral has provided evidence of British government interference in his enquiries in his two books on the case. As we have shown elsewhere, the British government heavily influenced this investigation from the outset, sending several top-level people out to Portugal in the first week alone, including staff from MI5. We aim to cover this topic in more detail on our website in the coming months.
5. Wasn’t his enquiry incompetent, as the British news media suggest?
ANSWER: No. As was clear from the interim police report of 10 September 2007, the investigation was severely hampered by overwhelming international media coverage, requiring the police to follow up literally hundreds of false ‘sightings’ of Madeleine. Despite that, the police conducted a meticulous investigation with the help of hundreds of police officers. The interim report was very thorough. We have reproduced the whole of it in our recent book on the case: ‘The Madeleine McCann case Files: Volume 1’, available for purchase from our website.
6. But isn’t it true that the police failed to secure the crime scene properly?
ANSWER: This is one of many false stories about the Madeleine McCann investigation put about in the British media. What most people do not know is that despite the McCanns and their friends apparently genuinely believing that an abductor had taken Madeleine from her room, they themselves tramped all over the McCanns’ apartment and allowed several others to do so before the police arrived. This contaminated the crime scene, making the Portuguese police’s task much more difficult. In fact, the police sealed the crime scene later that night as soon as they were reasonably able to. The McCanns also criticised Mr Amaral, amongst other things, for never meeting them and never visiting the crime scene. But then the head of any major criminal investigation must be a good delegator. Mr Amaral’s enquiry was also hampered by many inconsistencies in the accounts given by he McCanns and their friends and by the McCanns’ refusal to disclose certain information such as their telephone, credit card and medical records.
7. Is it true that Mr Amaral and his publishers have made £1 million from the sale of Mr Amaral’s book?
ANSWER: Yes. We must remember that in trying to bring us the truth about what really happened to Madeleine Mr Amaral gave up his job many years ahead of his normal retirement date, thus losing huge amounts of both salary and pension entitlement. The McCanns threatened to sue Mr Amaral and his publishers for libel when his book. ‘The Truth About A Lie’, was first published in July 2008. But they did nothing about it until over a year later, by which time his book had sold over half a million copies across Europe. The McCanns have never explained why they waited for over a year to take action, but they are now claiming the £1 million profits the book has made. As a result of the McCanns’ libel action, Mr Amaral’s book has been banned from sale in Portugal since September 2009.
8. Was Mr Amaral convicted of filing a false report in the Cipriano case?
ANSWER: Yes. However, he has appealed, and under Portuguese law his sentence, a suspended prison term of 18 months, cannot take effect until his appeal is heard. He was found not guilty of any suggestion of being involved in the alleged beating of Leonor Cipriano and her brother. On the basis of precious little evidence, he was found guilty of ‘filing a false report’ about the case. There are many indications that Mr Amaral’s trial was politically motivated. In this connection we would commend our article on the prosecutor in this case, Mr Marcos Correia. We have a lengthy investigative article about him on our website.
9. What kind of help and support does Mr Amaral need?
ANSWER: His most urgent need is for financial help towards the huge costs of his legal expenses for defending the McCanns’ libel action and the various unjust criminal charges bring levelled against him. It is very easy to support him; his representative Mr Paulo Sargento has created a website to give practical help to him. You can donate by PayPal. Here is the link: http://pjga.blogspot.com/
Friday, 16 July 2010
These questions have already been published by several newspapers, in the UK, Portugal, and other countries. They are a matter of public record, and have been for some time.
Recently, the Madeleine Foundation created a video of retired solicitor Anthony Bennett, reading aloud the questions to camera. The video was uploaded to YouTube where, after only two days but many hundreds of views, it was removed.
The official reason for the removal of this simple, factual, inoffensive video was that it was "in violation of the terms and conditions of YouTube."
Here is the video, for you to watch and judge for yourselves - Anthony Bennett reading out the 48 questions that Kate McCann refused to answer.
Oh, and the one that she eventually did.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Dad Gerry believes that poor Madeleine may have been "abducted to order" by a "Belgian paedophile ring". There is, of course, "no evidence that any harm has come to Madeleine." This photograph was taken by "family friend" Jon Corner, who has described Madeleine as a "beautiful" child with "special qualities".
Or perhaps you may wish to consider the latest picture in the context of a picture released on a previous occasion by Team McCann.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Just why is this article so "dangerous"?
’MCCANNS ARE LYING’
Monday September 24,2007
By David Pilditch and Martin Evans in Praia da Luz
Portuguese police believe Gerry and Kate McCann are using friends to hide their role in killing Madeleine.The Daily Express can reveal that their seven holiday friends may now be named as suspects as police believe they are hiding the truth about Madeleine’s death.The dramatic move comes as it was reported that former chief suspect Robert Murat is to be told he will not face charges over the four-year-old’s disappearance. Ruling him out of the four-month investigation will leave Kate and Gerry McCann as the sole suspects.
Last night police sources said the decision could have a devastating impact on the McCanns’ defence. In an astonishing twist, British expat Murat could be used as a key prosecution witness against the McCanns. Almost the entire police case against Murat was built on evidence from the couple’s holiday friends.
Investigators believe the McCanns “cooked up a story” that Madeleine had been kidnapped to throw them off the trail and enlisted members of their party to provide them with an alibi. They also believe the group tried to turn the focus of the investigation towards Murat.
Yesterday it was revealed that police are questioning new witnesses who cast doubts over the evidence of members of the holiday group.The McCanns and their friends told how they took turns to check on their children every 30 minutes as they ate at a tapas restaurant on May 3, the night Madeleine vanished.
But one Portuguese newspaper reported that employees at the restaurant insisted that only Dr Russell O’Brien, 36, and hospital consultant Matthew Oldfield, 37, left the dinner table that evening. Another witness has come forward to refute the testimony of a third friend Jane Tanner, 36, who told police she saw a man carrying a child rushing from the Ocean Club complex at around 9.15pm on May 3.
Yesterday it was reported in Portugal that a new witness, an unnamed Irishman, told police he was in the same spot as Miss Tanner at the same time and saw no one. He is the second independent witness to dispute her story and police sources said they viewed Miss Tanner’s evidence as “unreliable” because of inconsistencies. Officers are concerned that she apparently changed her version of the sighting.She originally claimed she saw the suspect rushing towards the Baptista supermarket in Praia da Luz. She told police the child was wrapped in a blanket. A second independent witness reported seeing a similar man with a child in a blanket near the town’s church heading towards the beach. The route he took matches the alleged trail of death discovered by British sniffer dogs who detected the scent of a corpse. But Miss Tanner has now told detectives that the man was heading in a different direction – towards Murat’s home. Police regard her account as one of a series given by the McCanns and their friends to convince them that Madeleine had been kidnapped.
Officers believe former hospital anaesthetist Kate, 39, killed her daughter by accidentally giving her an overdose of sleeping pills. They are working on the theory that consultant cardiologist Gerry, also 39, helped to dispose of Madeleine’s body. Police are awaiting results of toxicology tests carried out on bodily fluids with an 88 per cent match to Madeleine’s DNA found in the boot of a hire car the couple rented 25 days after she went missing.
Dr O’Brien, along with Mr Oldfield’s wife Rachael, 36, and another friend Dr Fiona Payne, 34, said they saw Murat near the McCanns’ apartment on May 3 and their claim appeared to shatter Murat’s alibi.Detectives interrogated the McCanns at police headquarters in Portimao 17 days ago over the discrepancies. The couple were told separately later that day they were being named as suspects or arguidos.
Last night another member of the McCanns’ holiday party was reported to have stepped into the mystery. The move came after it was revealed that police in Portugal were focusing their investigation on a “lost seven hours” on the day Madeleine disappeared.Now Dr Payne’s husband – medical researcher David, 41 – has claimed he saw Madeleine being put to bed when he visited the McCann flat at 7pm. Before his new testimony, police sources admitted they could not confirm the whereabouts of Kate and Madeleine after 1.29pm that day. Kate’s movements were said to be unaccounted for until she sat down to have dinner with Gerry and their friends at around 8.40pm.
But the McCanns believe Mr Payne’s testimony will be crucial in proving their innocence. That would leave just an hour and a half in which they were supposed to have killed their daughter and disposed of her body. But last night a source in Portugal said police were viewing alibis provided by the McCanns’ friends with suspicion. They are convinced that some or all of them may have known what happened to Madeleine and may have helped to cover up her death. The source said police had not ruled out the possibility of naming them all as suspects – and they could face being charged as accessories.
The source said: “It has long been considered a number of people may have been involved in this unfortunate case.”In Portugal yesterday it was revealed that detectives have seized a British police manual from the McCanns.Officers believe the book could be used as a key piece of evidence in building a case against them.A Portuguese police source said: “It is certainly not the sort of reading material you would expect a couple to take on a relaxing family holiday".
Thursday, 4 March 2010
There is no mention of Madeleine McCann in all of this. Nothing, nada, zilch.
Yet Hanover are proud to have won an award by giving journalists "positive stories to report".