Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Court agony for McCanns: Couple listen in disbelief as Portuguese police say Maddie is dead and abduction was faked


Portuguese police convinced themselves Madeleine McCann's parents faked her abduction, despite having no evidence against them, a court was told yesterday.
Officers leading the investigation into the three-year-old's disappearance believed she died in a 'tragic accident' and that her parents hid her body, a senior detective admitted yesterday.
The dramatic confession was made during a tense legal battle in a Portuguese courtroom, played out in front of Kate and Gerry McCann.
Gerry and Kate McCann arrive at court in Lisbon yesterday
Reliving the pain: Gerry and Kate McCann arrive at court in Lisbon yesterday
After almost three years of leaks, slurs and innuendo, Inspector Tavares Almeida laid bare unsubstantiated police suspicions against the couple.
It was the first time any Portuguese police officer has spoken publicly about the decision to name the McCanns as arguidos, or official suspects.

Mr Almeida said the decision was taken after he filed a damning report to the Portuguese prosecutor in September 2007, four months after Madeleine's disappearance.
'The conclusion arrived at in the report was that Madeleine McCann died in the apartment and that the McCanns simulated the abduction,' he said.
Madeleine McCann
Portuguese police believe Madeleine McCann died in a 'tragic accident' and that her parents hid her body
'So they are suspects. It was a tragic accident in the apartment that night.'
Mr McCann shook his head in disbelief as Mr Almeida gave his evidence on behalf of his former senior officer, disgraced detective Goncalo Amaral.
He put his arm around his wife as they sat in the public gallery of the court.
The couple, both 41, have accused Mr Amaral of libel after he wrote a book accusing them of covering up their daughter's death.
Yesterday's hearing was part of that £1million libel case.
Mr Almeida claimed that British police had also believed the McCanns were involved after Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.
'We all believe she is dead,' he declared defiantly. 'It was our conclusion as police professionals, both Portuguese and British police. The McCanns didn't kill her but they concealed the body.'
Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment while her parents ate dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant on May 3, 2007.
The McCanns led a worldwide campaign to find her, but there have been no confirmed sightings.
The 'turning point' dream - McCann graphic
A second officer, Ricardo Paiva, said Portuguese police were suspicious of the couple's 'merchandising' operation in the months after Maddie disappeared. The Madeleine Fund they set up sold wristbands and T-shirts publicising the case and used the money to support the search.

Mr Paiva said they should have faced prosecution for leaving their children alone, saying: 'People have been arrested for far less - even in the UK.'
Former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral wrote a book accusing the McCanns of covering up their daughter's death
Former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral wrote a book accusing the McCanns of covering up their daughter's death
He admitted that Mr Amaral's conviction about the McCanns' involvement had stopped police from investigating other theories.
But the only evidence the Portuguese police could amass against the McCanns was the reaction of sniffer dogs sent into the couple's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, which smelled 'the scent of death'.
The performance of the dogs has been called into question after they also reacted to remains at Haut de la Garenne orphanage in Jersey, which were later found to be animal bones.
Mr and Mrs McCann, both doctors, were finally cleared when the police investigation was officially shelved because of a lack of evidence.
Mr Amaral, 49, was sacked from the investigation after launching an outspoken attack against British police.
Speaking after the hearing, McCann family spokesman Claudia Nogueira said the couple, of Rothley, Leicestershire, had been 'hurt' by the day's allegations.
She said: 'However, they know what really happened, so they're confident. They just want to find their daughter.'
The case continues.

Read more:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Madeleine McCann Died From Overdose

McCann children 'were not alone in apartment'

3D model 'casts doubt on Madeleine abduction'

Significant new evidence about the night Madeleine McCann disappeared has been uncovered, it was claimed, as one of Portugal’s most senior detectives took charge of the investigation.
Paulo Rebelo, an assistant national director of the Pol√≠cia Judici√°ria (PJ), took over responsibility for the case last night. He made his name in the investigation into Portugal’s most notorious paedophile ring.
His appointment was made amid reports in Portugal that detectives have evidence contradicting Kate and Gerry McCann's version of the events of the night that they reported their daughter missing.
Police believe that Madeleine and her twin brother and sister may not have been alone in the McCann holiday apartment, but that the children of seven British friends who were on holiday with the McCanns were also present when Madeleine disappeared on May 3, the 24 Horas newspaper claimed.
The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have insisted that Madeleine was with only her two-year-old twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, while they dined with their friends at a tapas restaurant at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz. The group has claimed that their children were in their own apartments and that they made checks on their own children and those of their friends during the evening.
However, a source within the investigation was quoted by 24 Horas as saying: “It’s not only the collected evidence that points to the fact that there were more children inside that [the McCanns'] apartment.
“Evidence also exists, following the interrogations to the other people who that were at the Ocean Club, that only the McCanns’ apartment was visited by the people who attended the dinner.”
The children had visited each other’s apartments regularly in the six days that they had been at the Ocean Club. The newspaper does not explain how any forensic evidence could be pinpointed to the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance.
The newspaper also casts doubt on claims by one of the McCanns’ friends that he was looking after his unwell daughter when he was away from the restaurant on the evening Madeleine disappeared.
It says that Russell O’Brien, a hospital consultant from Exeter, left the restaurant at 9.35pm and returned at 10pm, just minutes before Mrs McCann discovered that Madeleine was missing. Mr O’Brien has strenuously denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance and has never been a formal suspect in the investigation.
24 Horas reported: “The British man guaranteed he took that long because he visited his sick daughter, and she vomited. He says he asked for the sheets to be changed, but the staff at the Ocean Club assured the investigators that nobody asked for any bedsheets to be changed that evening.”

Madeleine McCann 'died of sleeping pill overdose'

  • Maddie died of sleeping pills overdose - media reports
  • Body fluids in car 'show sedation'
  • McCann English home set to be raided
FORENSIC tests show Madeleine McCann died of an overdose of sleeping pills, media reports said today.
Body fluids found in the boot of a car hired by the parents of the missing four-year-old British girl 25 days after she went missing in Portugal showed she had been sedated, according to a French newspaper which said it had seen the evidence.
France Soir said DNA results of the fluids showed Maddie had swallowed enough sleeping pills to cause an overdose.
Guilhem Buttut, an investigative reporter for the newspaper, said he had seen "hard evidence" about Madeleine's death in a report now in the hands of Portuguese prosecutors, the news website reported.
Buttut said toxicological tests on the liquids "proved the little girl had ingested medicines, without doubt sleeping pills, in quantities large enough to cause an overdose".

Sources close to the investigation said earlier this week that police discovered an 88 per cent DNA match to Madeleine in the boot of the McCanns' rented Renault Scenic.

It was also reported that hair was found in the boot, allegedly showing that her body had been in it.
The McCanns are reportedly planning their own independent forensic tests on the hire car.

A family friend said the car was being kept in a "safe place", believed to be a pound at Faro airport in Portugal, The Independent newspaper reported today.

The latest revelations come as Portuguese media reported that police wanted to question Madeleine's mother Kate yet again.

Sources close to the McCanns said they were not aware of plans for a second interrogation.

Police may also quiz her about her diary, which police are seeking, along with her husband Gerry's laptop computer.

There are suggestions the diary has already been seen by detectives who took photocopies but police want to examine it in more detail.

Overnight, a warrant was passed from Portuguese authorities to British police to go to the McCanns' home in Rothley, Leicestershire, as early as today.

Portuguese newspapers said yesterday that they had seen the photocopies of extracts.

Correio da Manha said Mrs McCann wrote in the diary that her children were "hysterical" and exhausted her.

It also said her husband gave her little help with family chores.

"She complains frequently that her children are 'hysterical' and speaks of Madeleine as a child whose excess activity exhausts her," the paper said.

The daily Publico said Mrs McCann's worries about her children's behaviour and her difficulties disciplining them were contained in the diary.

Social workers have also visited the MCanns to discuss the welfare of the couple's two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

It is standard practice for a mother or father named as a suspect overseas to have their case considered by British authorities.

Read more:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Petition: Free The McCanns: No Signatures.

Petition Spot
Free the Mc Canns
Published September 8, 2007
What does the Portuguese police have on the Mc Cann's,
blood in a car they rented 25 days after Maddy disappeared?
They want Kate Mc Cann to "confess" so the cops can save face?
Make a statement that the cops there screwed up the investigation,
please sign this petition.

Below is a Time magazine article:

Friday, Sep. 07, 2007
Could Kate McCann Be a Murderer?
By Catherine Mayer

From a distance, Kate McCann looked like a well-heeled holidaymaker enjoying the dog days of summer on Portugal's Algarve coast. But a closer look revealed the faint shadows under the 39-year-old doctor's eyes, and the set expression on her face. Kate McCann was under stress, and with good reason, as she ignored crowds of onlookers at the entrance to Portimao's police station on Friday. Four months ago, on May 3, her daughter Madeleine went missing in the nearby Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, apparently abducted from her bed after Kate and her husband Gerry left the three-year-old and her younger siblings unattended to dine with friends nearby. Since then, the McCanns have spearheaded a high-profile international campaign to find Madeleine. They have traveled across Europe and to the U.S., attended an audience with the Pope and roped in celebrities such as footballers David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo to keep the case in the public eye and encourage the police to redouble their efforts to find Madeleine. But as Kate McCann submitted to a second lengthy interrogation by police in the past two days, it became clear that the couple themselves were now the focus of the investigation.

They have been named arguidos, official suspects under Portuguese law. This means police have evidence they believe could point to the couple's involvement, but neither McCann have been arrested or charged with a crime. Robert Murat, a resident of Praia da Luz, was named an arguido at the start of the investigation but has protested his innocence and has never faced any charges. Press reports in Portugal and the U.K. have suggested that new forensic evidence may finally provide stronger clues about what might have happened to Madeleine. Yet false leads and dashed hopes have characterized the investigation almost from the start. Philomena McCann, the sister of Gerry McCann, told Britain's Sky News that the Portuguese police were suggesting that her sister-in-law accidentally killed Madeleine, hid the body and then disposed of it. "I've never heard anything so ludicrous in my life," she told Sky News. Philomena McCann told ITV News that the Portuguese police also offered Kate McCann a plea deal through her lawyer. Justine McGuinness, who heads an organization that had been raising money to search for Madeleine, told the BBC that the Portuguese authorities had based their allegations on blood found in a car rented 25 days after the child's disappearance.

As Kate McCann answered questions in Portimao police station, her husband Gerry wrote a new entry on the blog he maintains on the couple's website, "Anyone who knows anything about the 3rd May knows that Kate is completely innocent. We will fight this all the way and we will not stop looking for Madeleine," he wrote. Both McCanns have repeatedly asserted their innocence, but suspicions and resentment have flourished. Criticism by the British media of the way Portuguese police have handled the case has helped stoke hostility towards the McCanns in Portugal. Last month, the McCanns said they would sue the Portuguese newspaper Tal & Qual over its report alleging police believe they accidentally killed their daughter.

In interviews, the McCanns have expressed anger, despair and guilt over their decision to leave Madeleine alone. Yet, in the eye of the storm, Kate McCann cuts a dignified figure, calm and quiet, and rarely tearful.

That has done little to win her friends or allay suspicions. On the contrary. The Portuguese daily Correio da Manha alleged on Friday that that police had always been suspicious of Kate McCann's behavior. It may be that regardless of the outcome of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, her mother stands accused in part of a lack of visible emotion. It's a charge women may find themselves facing whether they are victim or suspect. "You aren't handed a manual when you become a victim of crime. 'Dress like this, act like this, cry now.' I didn't know there were all these ways you were supposed to behave." These are the words of Joanne Lees, a Briton whose boyfriend Peter Falconio was murdered in the Australian outback in 2001. During the trial of Falconio's murderer, Lees, a crisp and unemotional witness, found herself standing trial at the hands of a hostile media who interpreted her composure as a sign of complicity. In 1982 in another case before the Australian courts, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of the murder of her baby Azaria, whom she said had been taken by a dingo, a wild dog, during a family camping holiday. Her dry-eyed testimony was not believed. She was exonerated after 6 years in prison. With reporting by Martha de la Cal/Lisbon
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