In April 2008, this blog exposed in an article titled: " El Mundo Article: Lies and Plagiarism", how the journalist Aníbal Malvar wrote a piece copying parts and citing quotes of fictional characters of the book “The Star of Madeleine” written by former Judiciary inspector and author Paulo Pereira Cristovão.
In fact, in his article, Malvar included a description of a meeting with former inspector Gonçalo Amaral, something that was dismissed by Paulo Santos, Amaral's lawyer: “Those statements are a complete lie. Gonçalo Amaral never told the journalist anything.” The Spanish journalist even tried afterwards to justify the use of two inspectors who did not exist: “The article is a literary one and has several sarcasms and it's perhaps because of that that it was misunderstood”.
As someone said, “stupidity is not a crime”, but whose stupidity, we ask, the foolishness of Malvar or the imprudence of the Editors of the El Mundo newspaper?
Why point out Malvar’s article today? Because, apparently El Mundo has learned nothing from the past. Today in El Mundo we can read an article pieced together by Nando Garcia. It’s a poor patchwork based on a press note released by the Spanish National Police on the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ site, which made the news on the 15th of December last year.
Today in Nando Garcia’s article, we can read that the Barcelona based detective agency, Método 3, detected a paedophile network in the internet through an anonymous email received by their ‘call-and-email center’. The email, allegedly received two months after the detectives were hired by Team McCann, tipped the detectives to the alleged existence of a paedophile video where Madeleine Beth McCann appeared. Further Nando Garcia explains that although it turned out that Madeleine was not in the video, the Método 3 agency warned the technologic brigade of the Spanish police force, who arrested a total of 34 individuals on paedophile charges.
This number of arrested individuals, 34, coincidentally is the exactly the same number of the above mentioned Police press release titled: "La Policía Nacional detiene a otras 34 personas en su permanente lucha contra la pornografía infantile” – The National Police arrested 34 persons in its permanent fight against child pornography, published last year. Believe it or not, the content of Nando Garcia’s article in El Mundo today is in many ways similar to the press note published by the Spanish Police apart from the Método 3 agency role. In fact, from the press release and subsequent news of that period we see that an International and Spanish judiciary police force worked on the case, however there isn’t a single mention of a private detective agency.
From then on we can read an article that deliberately omits certain aspects of what would be complete fresh news, like the fact that Método 3 are no longer employed by the McCanns after a rather tumultuous ending to their relationship, as reported in several British media. The piece reads more like an advert for Método 3 than a proper news article, taking full advantage of the known fact that any report that mentions the name ‘Madeleine McCann’, no matter how remotely related – if at all – the object of the article actually is to the missing child, said article will benefit from a worldwide media echo.
A mysterious e-mail
And the illustrious journalist who signs the article is indeed someone who has been following the Madeleine McCann case in a close relationship with the Spanish detective agency, as he openly recognises in an email sent to the authors of this blog in the 22nd of July, 2008. At the time of the release of the ‘PJ final report’ PDF file by the Portuguese Expresso Newspaper.
Nando Garcia an alias for an El Mundo Journalist told us:” I have had access to some information due to my relation with the Spanish detectives but for me it’s impossible right now to get access to the summary of the case which I see you have. Could you please send me a copy, I would share me discoveries with you” in exchange he would allow us to “be co-writer of what I publish”.
We take this chance to answer and thank Señor Garcia but we have standards and ethics contrary to so many newspaper editors - but then again, we can afford the luxury of independence and free speech.
Joana Morais and Astro