The archiving dispatch, authored by public prosecutor José de Magalhães e Menezes, and joint prosecutor João Melchior Gomes, is the document that analyses the case investigation and justifies the decision to archive the process.
I personally respect, but disagree with the decision that was made on the case one year ago. The archiving dispatch itself is riddled with contradiction and recognises the very significant amount of aspects of this case that remain unclear. How any case can be archived, sustained on a 57-page document that lists nothing but doubts, can only be justified by the need to comply with the new Penal Process Code, which was enforced on the 15th of September 2007. Under the new code, any judicial process starts a countdown on the day that the first arguido is made: after 8 months, with two possible extensions of 3 months each, there has to be a decision to either accuse, or archive the case.
Robert Murat was made an arguido on the 14th of May 2007 - 4 months before the new Penal Process Code was enforced -, and 14 months later, the case was archived, caught in time between two different legal frames.
Nobody wants to believe that Justice could be anything but blind. Personally, I don’t want to believe that this case was archived due to a technicality, at a time when there were still diligences to be made, leads to be followed, important details to be clarified.
But that is precisely what the archiving dispatch tells us.
Today, we start the publication of translated excerpts of the document. The full text will be made available when finished
E – About the Interest of the Reconstitution
Taking into account that there were certain points in the arguidos’ and witnesses’ statements that revealed, apparently at least, contradiction or that lacked physical confirmation, it was decided to carry out the “reconstitution of the fact”, a diligence that is consecrated in article 150 of the Penal Process Code in the sense of duly clarifying, on the very location of the facts, the following very important details, among others:
1 – The physical, real and effective proximity between Jane Tanner, Gerald McCann and Jeremy Wilkins, at the moment when the first person walked by them, and which coincided with the sighting of the supposed suspect, carrying a child. It results, in our perspective, strange that neither Gerald McCann nor Jeremy Wilkins saw her, or the alleged abductor, despite the exiguity of the space and the peacefulness of the area;
2 – The situation concerning the window to the bedroom where Madeleine slept, together with the twins, which was open, according to Kate. It seemed then necessary to clarify if there was a draught, since movement of the curtains and pressure under the bedroom door are mentioned, which, eventually, could be verified through the reconstitution;
3 – The establishment of a timeline and of a line of effective checking on the minors that were left alone in the apartments, given that, if it is believed that such checking was as tight as the witnesses and the arguidos describe it, it would be, at least, very difficult to reunite conditions for the introduction of an abductor in the residence and the posterior exit of said abductor, with the child, namely through a window with scarce space. It is added that the supposed abductor could only pass, through that window, holding the minor in a different position (vertical) from the one that witness JANE TANNER saw (horizontal);
4 – What happened during the time lapse between approximately 6.45/7 p.m. – the time at which MADELEINE was seen for the last time, in her apartment, by a different person (David Payne) from her parents or siblings – and the time at which the disappearance is reported by Kate Healy – at around 10 p.m.;
5 – The obvious and well-known advantages of immediate appreciation of evidence, or in other words, the fulfilment of the principle of contiguity of evidence in order to form a conviction, as firm as possible, about what was seen by Jane Tanner and the other interposers, and, eventually, to dismiss once and for all any doubts that may subsist concerning the innocence of the missing [child’s] parents.
In this sense, the legal procedures were followed, according to the norms and conventions that are in force, and the appearance of the witnesses was requested, inviting them to be present inclusively appealing to solidarity with the McCann couple, as it is certain that since the beginning they adhered to that process diligence.
Nevertheless, despite national authorities assuming all measures to render their trip to Portugal viable, for unknown motives, after the many doubts that they raised about the necessity and opportunity of their trip were clarified several times, they chose not to attend, which rendered the diligence inviable.
We believe that the main damage was caused to the McCann arguidos, who lost the possibility to prove what they have protested since they were constituted arguidos: their innocence towards the fateful event; the investigation was also disturbed, because said facts remain unclarified."
in: Processo 201/07.0 GALGS - Volume XVII - pages 4636-4638 (Public Prosecutor's Archiving Dispatch)
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part I
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part II
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part III
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part IV
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part V
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VI
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VII
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VIII
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