The British Ambassador certifies to the US the accusations presented by the Portuguese police
by Miguel Mora
Only one among the 250,000 cables leaked by Wikileaks makes reference to the sad and tragic case of Madeleine McCann, the British girl who disappeared in Praia da Luz (Algarve) on the night of May 3, 2007 and whose fate is still no known.
The confidential cable was sent by Lisbon on 29 September of that year, only 20 days after the girl's parents leaft Portugal in haste after being questioned at Portimão's police station on suspicion of accidental death and concealment of Maddie's cadaver.
In the cable, the then new British ambassador in Lisbon, Alexander W. Ellis admits to his U.S. counterpart, Alfred Hoffman, that it was the British police who found the evidence against Madeleine's parents. According to what Hoffmann wrote, Ellis "did not go into details of the case" but "admitted that it had been the police of his own country who had developed the evidence."
The ambassador, Ellis, also told his counterpart that the security forces of both countries "were working in a coordinated way" on the case, and regarding the huge media frenzy, he said that it "was expected and acceptable, as long as the representatives of the Government maintained their comments behind closed doors."
Ellis recommends total secrecy, suggesting that their job is to keep the case secret with the Portuguese government. And above all, he admits privately what the spokesperson for the family and the British Government never admitted publicly, that the move of making Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, official suspects [arguidos] was due to evidence obtained by the British police who was sent to the Algarve.
Many Portuguese and international media, amongst them EL PAÍS, told at the time what Ellis confirmed in secrecy: that it was the British police, with the help of the [CSI] expert dogs brought from England, who found the evidence of Maddie's likely death (cadaver odour, blood and residues of bodily fluids), both on the wall of the apartment to the trunk of the car that the McCanns had rented.
Those findings, together with some inconsistencies shown by the friends and Maddie's parents, prompted the Portuguese police to declare Kate and Gerry McCann as arguidos (suspects in the Portuguese judicial system) and to take their statements on September 6 for almost 11 hours.
Three days later, the McCann staged a spectacular escape, at dawn, from Praia da Luz to Faro airport and from there to England. On July 21, 2008, the Portuguese Attorney General decided to shelve the case and exonerated the parents for lack of conclusive evidence.
Source: El País
Date: 2007-09-28 15:36:00
Source: Embassy Lisbon
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ZNY CCCCC ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6308
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 002527
STATE FOR EUR/WE KEVIN OPSTRUP
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2017
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, OFDP, PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL: UK AMBASSADOR ON ENERGY SECURITY,
RUSSIA, EU-AFRICA SUMMIT, AND MCCANN CASE
Classified By: POL/ECON TIFFANY MCGRIFF FOR REASONS 1.4 (B),(D)
1. (C) On September 21, newly-arrived British Ambassador Alexander Wykeham Ellis informed Ambassador Hoffman that European concerns over Russia's aggressive energy policies and the need for market competition were the driving forces behind the third EU energy liberalization package. He suggested that Russia's position with its neighbors was guided by a self-proclaimed right to do "what it wants, when it wants" in its own neighborhood. Regarding Robert Mugabe's participation in the proposed EU-Africa Summit, Ellis said the UK would not discourage other member states from participating if PM Brown stayed away. He doubted, however, if the Dutch, Irish, or Swedish would attend in Brown's absence. Ellis also noted that it was the British police that developed the current evidence against Madeleine McCann's parents in the high-profile case that has captured international attention. He informed the Ambassador that former British Ambassador John Buck had accepted a private-sector position at a UK gas company and that his departure had nothing to do with bilateral issues. END SUMMARY
RUSSIA'S ENERGY GAME IS COMING TO AN END
2. (C) According to Ellis, European concerns over Russia's aggressive energy policies and the need for increased market competition were the driving forces behind the third EU energy liberalization package. He called Russia the greatest threat to European energy security and described its energy policies as a "game that's coming to an end." He argued that Gazprom's sustainability depends on the European distribution network and that Putin, who is "always trying to make a point to Europe," knew and understood this reality. Quoting a statement he had heard elsewhere, Ellis described Russia as "too strong, too weak"; suggesting that it was a bipolar society divided by feelings of strength and empowerment and internal fears of national failure.
RUSSIA, THE BIG BAD NEIGHBOR
3. (C) When questioned about Kosovo and Russia's relationship with its neighbors, Ellis suggested that Russia's position (on Kosovo) was driven by a self-proclaimed right to do "what it wants, when it wants" in its own neighborhood. Ellis did not believe that Russia had high regard for Serbia or any of its other neighbors, but rather it feared outside influences in the region. Reflecting on his position as Director of the EU Enlargement Team in London (2001-2003), Ellis noted that completing the 2004 EU enlargement phase had been difficult, and hypothesized that if the Russia of now were the Russia of then, the process would have been nearly impossible.
MUGABE...AND THE OTHER BAD GUYS
4. (C) According to Ellis, the UK's position on Zimbabwe has not changed; if Robert Mugabe showed up, then Gordon Brown would not. However, he could not confirm if the British government would send any representatives. While he claimed that the UK had steered away from discouraging other member stated from attending, he noted the possibility that the Dutch, Irish, and Swedish leaders may follow Brown's lead. Regarding Chavez and Ahmadinejad, Ellis commented that Portugal's approach was centered on "engagement" -- even with the so-called bad guys. Ambassador Hoffman countered that "irrational people cannot be expected to behave rationally." While acknowledging that the US position was justifiable, Ellis responded that there were sensitivities at play for Portugal, especially regarding Venezuela. (Note: There are
approximately a half-million Portuguese living in Venezuela. End Note)
THE MADELEINE MCCANN CASE
5. (C) Madeleine McCann's disappearance in the south of Portugal in May 2007 has generated international media attention with controversy surrounding the Portuguese-led police investigation and the actions of Madeleine's parents. Without delving into the details of the case, Ellis admitted that the British police had developed the current evidence against the McCann parents, and he stressed that authorities from both countries were working cooperatively. He commented that the media frenzy was to be expected and was acceptable as long as government officials keep their comments behind closed doors.
6. (SBU) Ellis, a former school teacher, joined Britain's
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1990 and moved progressively up the chain to Ambassador. Lisbon was his first foreign tour as a diplomat, followed by postings in
Brussels, Madrid and London. He has also served as Director of the EU Enlargement Team in London (2001-2003) and as adviser on energy policies and trade issues (2005-2007) under EC President Jose Barroso. He is married to Portuguese citizen Maria Teresa Adegas and has a nine-year old son. Ellis informed Ambassador Hoffman that former British Ambassador John Buck had accepted a private-sector position with a British gas company and that his abrupt departure in August 2007 had nothing to do with bilateral issues.
Watch: What Lies Beneath the Truth - based on the book written by the Portuguese Judiciary Police former Inspector-Coordinator Gonçalo Amaral, the officer who was removed from the investigation to the so-called "Maddie Case" (English Subs)
This documentary was censored in the UK and banned in Portugal, it was based on a book which was also banned in Portugal via an injunction filed by the McCann couple after more than one year had gone by since both documentary and book were, respectively broadcast and published. The McCann couple only filed the above mentioned injunction when negotiations were taking place to publish both book and documentary in the UK. The censorship of both documentary and book envisages their destruction, that is the ultimate McCann couple objective, as stated by their own lawyer. The McCann couple action is a clear attack to a fundamental and inalienable right as stated in Article 37 of the Portuguese Constitution, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and UN's Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sign the Petition created by Citizens in Defence of Rights and Freedoms - Project Justice Gonçalo Amaral and help us restore Freedom of Speech & Expression in Portugal. International : http://gonaral.epetitions.net Portuguese Citizens & Foreign Citizens residing in Portugal please sign this Petition instead 'Petição Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral' http://www.peticaopublica.com/?pi=PJGA Both Project Justice Gonçalo Amaral petitions will be sent to the European Court of Human Rights, the European Parliament, the Justice Ombudsman; the Portuguese petition will also be sent to the Assembleia da República in Lisbon. More information in different languages here: http://pjga.blogspot.com/
Note: the McCann's injunction on the book was overturned by a Superior Court ruling: Lisbon Appeals Court Decision on the McCann Couple Injunction
Related: 'Maddie: The Truth of The Lie' Documentary Transcript in English & Exclusive Video: McCanns Press Conference
Read as well
WikiLeaks cables: UK police 'developed' evidence against McCanns
Looking Back on the McCann Case: British Ambassador John Buck and Algarve Consul Bill Henderson
McCann Case: Freedom of Information Act on John Buck former Ambassador
McCanns Strange Connections: Another British Consul Resigns
Good Riddance Mr. Ellis
McCann Case: Foreign Office Secrets
"Maddie died and the parents concealed"