9 September 2011

English Police were in Portugal to discuss the investigation of the Maddie case



Officers from the Scotland Yard were in Portugal, last August to discuss with the Portuguese authorities the investigation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, this was confirmed today by an official source in London, however the PJ and the PGR [Attorney General's Office] state they know nothing about this information.

"They were in Portugal in August and they met with the Portuguese police, but we are not going to disclose any information", said a spokesperson from the English police to Lusa news agency.

The help of the English police in the search for Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in Portugal in 2007, just days before completing four years of age, was ordered by the British Government in May this year.

The intervention of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, happened after [the publication of] an open letter from the parents of Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry, for an "independent review, full and transparent" of the investigation process.

The couple, who were eventually constituted as arguidos [formal suspects] by the Portuguese authorities in 2007, want all the information that was gathered by the Police of the two countries to be analysed.

The investigations done by the Portuguese Judiciary police (PJ) ended with the archiving of the process by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) in July 2008.

Contacted by Lusa news agency, both the PJ and the PGR did not confirm the information that officers from the Scotland Yard were in Portugal in August to discuss with the Portuguese authorities the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

An official source from the PJ said that information was "unknown", whilst the PGR, through its spokesperson stated that "we are not aware" of that alleged proceeding, adding that "in fact, nothing was requested nor communicated".

Lusa news agency (unknown reporter) published in SIC online, on September 9, 2011



Madeleine Cops In Portugal
by Martin Brunt

They may not have welcomed the order from Downing Street to launch an investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, but at least Scotland Yard detectives have made a first visit to Portugual.

I can't imagine they were given a warm welcome by their Portuguese colleagues whose work (failure to solve the mystery) the Met team is reviewing.

Still, it's a step in the right direction and officially the two groups met "with very good co-operation and liaison will continue."

There are 30 Met officers - the equivalent of a murder squad - working on the review and I'm told that a senior officer is having to give regular spending updates to the Home Office which is funding an operation that will cost several millions and last many months.

It's four months since the review was launched with great fanfare by the Prime Minister after a plea from Kate and Gerry McCann.

The couple had long felt abandoned by the British and Portuguese authorities to hunt alone for their missing daughter.

But it's difficult to get much information about the operation from the cops, No 10 or the Home Office.

A recent Freedom of Information request for answers to a dozen of so questions has been held up by the Yard's FOI man while he considers if the info sought is in the public interest.

in SkyNews - A Life of Crime blog, September 8, 2011 [at 11:34 am]


Madeleine police in Portugal talks

British detectives reviewing the search for Madeleine McCann have travelled to Portugal for "formal" meetings with authorities.

Scotland Yard said its officers have conducted their first face-to-face discussions with police chiefs who led the massive hunt after the youngster vanished.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "MPS officers travelled to Portugal at the beginning of August and had their first formal meeting with Portuguese authorities to discuss ways to progress the investigative review."

Portuguese detectives' investigation - helped by officers from Leicestershire Police - into her disappearance prompted appeals for help across the world.

But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been actively looking for the missing child, who would now be eight.

The Met launched a review of the original investigation in May after a request from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Hundreds of possible sightings of the girl have been reported around the world since she went missing, but so far they have all come to nothing.

The Press Association [unknown reporter], Google hosted news, September 8, 2011


Thirty British Police in New Madeleine McCann Hunt
by David Pilditch and Tracey Kandohla

A NEW investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was under way last night after senior Scotland Yard detectives flew to Portugal.

Officers from a 30-strong squad specially set up to revive the search for Madeleine McCann, who vanished four years ago, met Portuguese authorities for the first time.

The top secret talks took place last month but details emerged for the first time yesterday.

Last night Madeleine’s devoted parents Kate and Gerry told how the development gave them fresh hope of a breakthrough in the hunt for their daughter. Heart specialist Gerry, 42, and former GP Kate, 43, were said to be “extremely pleased” the meeting had taken place.

It is the first time any international police force has been searching for Madeleine since the official Portuguese inquiry was shelved in July 2008. The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Kate and Gerry believed it was “a positive step in the right direction”.

Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Scotland Yard confirmed its officers conducted their first face-to-face “formal meeting” with Portuguese police who led the hunt for her.

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, believe vital clues were missed and leads never followed up during the shambolic investigation.

The despairing couple were left to search for Madeleine by themselves and hired a team of private eyes.

They insisted they would never stop looking for Madeleine, who vanished days before her fourth birthday, and were given a huge boost when David Cameron stepped in to help following a personal appeal in May.

Mr Cameron told the couple Home Secretary Theresa May had ordered Scotland Yard to launch a new operation funded by the Government. They were tasked to carry out a review of the investigation from start to finish and bring a new perspective to the case.

Yesterday it was revealed the Yard team carrying out the new inquiry consists of 30 officers, the same size as a murder squad.

It is being led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, of the Met’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command, who has been dubbed Britain’s top cold case detective. The McCanns hope the renewed efforts could unearth a vital new clue in the four-year mystery.

Mr Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry are extremely pleased that the review is progressing. It is a positive step in the right direction.”

The Portuguese detectives’ investigation, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, led to hundreds of possible sightings of Madeleine across the world but so far all have come to nothing. A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police travelled to Portugal at the beginning of August and had their first formal meeting with Portuguese authorities to discuss ways to progress the investigative review.”

The McCanns met members of the London-based squad several times before the Portuguese meeting. A source close to the couple said: “They are relieved. Things are finally being done and Kate and Gerry are being kept informed of every move.” The couple, who have six-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, are convinced it is only a matter of time before they get a significant breakthrough.

Their private investigators, headed by former Detective Inspector David Edgar, have also met the new team.

The family source said: “Kate and Gerry have had several meetings with police reviewing their daughter’s case. They know the officers have a difficult task ahead but they feel positive. They have been told that if something has been missed they will find it. They are relieved that something is finally happening.

“Kate and Gerry believe potentially vital clues were missed in the botched Portuguese investigation and their private eyes are hoping the Met will bring a new perspective to the case, which is being conducted in tandem with Portuguese police. The review is still in its very early stages. Officers are busy going through everything from scratch and analysing it.”

When the review was announced, Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, insisted there was “always a chance” it could lead to Madeleine being safely reunited with her parents.

The review team has drawn expertise from Scotland Yard’s specialist crime directorate.

More officers will be drafted in if new evidence is found, including scenes-of-crime experts and forensic scientists.

The team is currently sifting through 20,000 pages of evidence assembled by Portuguese detectives. They will review witness statements, make a fresh appeal for ­information and carefully re-check alibis.

A police source said: “They will be looking for something that has been overlooked or not developed which could lead to a fresh line of inquiry – a sighting, a tip-off, something that didn’t ring bells at the time but could be vital.”

in Express, September 9, 2011


13 comments:

  1. A Request for all Freedom of Information Requests RE: The Disappearance of Madeline McCann

    Currently waiting for a response from Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), they must respond promptly and normally no later than 5 October 2011 (details).
    Mr Jackson

    7 September 2011

    Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

    Under the freedom of information request I would like you to

    Firstly: provide the information which was previously requested by
    ITV News (Case number 201001000502) with regard to the
    disappearance of Madeline Mccann.

    Their request was to acquire any material ,
    correspondence that were conducted with the portugese
    police during 2007.

    In addition they wanted to acquire any correspondence
    that either Leicestershire police or the met police had with
    the Home Office in relation to Madeline's disappearance .
    IN news would also like to acquire transcripts of any
    interviews that were held with the McCanns or other
    witnesses. (evidently appropriately redacted if necessary)

    And any other information that you now consider no longer to be
    part of any ongoing investigation.

    Secondly: I would like to receive copies of any other freedom of
    information requests which were made by news agencies or
    journalists with regard to the disappearance of Madeline Mccann.
    Either if they received information or did not, I would like to
    receive details of their request.

    Thirdly: please provide details of any other freedom of information
    requests which have been made in relation to the disappearance of
    Madeline Mccann.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr Jackson


    in http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a_request_for_all_freedom_of_inf#outgoing-150679

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  2. I can find no mention of this latest news in The Sun (online). Given they wanted credit for persuading the Government to undertake a review by getting readers to sign a petition, I find that very odd.

    Not the sort of review they had in mind?

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  3. SHOULDN'T SCOTLAND YARD'S HACKS HAVE GONE TO GERMANY INSTEAD?

    To the University of Hamburg to see Herr Oesterhelweg, Kröber, Rottmann, Willhöft, Braun, Thies, Püschel, Silkenath and Gehl?

    Hmm. This feeds my suspicion that this review is not about finding out who did it but something else. Not quite sure what (cough).

    Reference:

    "CADAVER DOGS: A STUDY ON DETECTION OF CONTAMINATED CARPET SQUARES"

    By: Oesterhelweg L, Kröber S, Rottmann K, Willhöft J, Braun C, Thies N, Püschel K, Silkenath J, Gehl A.

    Institute of Legal Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg, Germany

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  4. "IF THE McMCANNS' ARE RELIEVED, THE PUBLIC IS NOT..."

    "The McCanns met members of the London-based squad several times before the Portuguese meeting. A source close to the couple said: “They are relieved. Things are finally being done and Kate and Gerry are being kept informed of every move.” (Express, September 9, 2011 - quoted above).

    "This may mean" - a reader of this blog sitting next to me opinionated" that the McCanns legal and PR teams will have time to prepare a defence and/or counter-arguments should anything untoward them emerge from SY review. That's cheating!"

    "It is already pretty obvious to me" - the reader went on "this is not an independent enquiry but a ploy to denigrate the Portuguese investigation. If the McCanns' are relieved, the public is not! The mind boggles!"

    Reporter X

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  5. #3

    Some of the 'sources close to the couple' are known to lie with as many teeth as they have in their mouth....:k



    Angela

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  6. Anon 3 Thank you for this study. I had to idea that scent contamination could take place so quickly (under 10 minutes!) and without even any contact! I have googled the reference you give but you have to pay to access the scientific paper. However I found an excerpt at WWW.DOGS DON'T LIE.COM .

    There is an article by Dr Rosemary Claire Taylor, MA MB BChir (Cantab) where the paper you mention is quoted with a very interesting excerpt:

    1. Cadaver dogs are known as valuable forensic tools in crime scene investigations. Scientific research attempting to verify their value is largely lacking, specifically for scents associated with the early postmortem interval. The aim of our investigation was the comparative evaluation of the reliability, accuracy, and specificity of three cadaver dogs belonging to the Hamburg State Police in the detection of scents during the early postmortem interval.

    Carpet squares were used as an odor transporting media after they had been contaminated with the scent of two recently deceased bodies (bodies are all less than 3 hours old). The contamination occurred for 2 min as well as 10 min without any direct contact between the carpet and the corpse. Comparative searches by the dogs were performed over a time period of 65 days (10 min contamination) and 35 days (2 min contamination).

    The results of this study indicate that the well-trained cadaver dog is an outstanding tool for crime scene investigation displaying excellent sensitivity (75-100), specificity (91-100), and having a positive predictive value (90-100), negative predictive value (90-100) as well as accuracy (92-100).

    Reference:
    Cadaver dogs–a study on detection of contaminated carpet squares.
    Oesterhelweg L, Kröber S, Rottmann K, Willhöft J, Braun C, Thies N, Püschel K, Silkenath J, Gehl A.
    Institute of Legal Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg, Germany.

    Notes on the scientific terminology in this study;

    Sensitivity means the number of correct detections out of 100. Here, all dogs managed to correctly identify 75-100 carpet squares out of 100. This is a good success rate.

    Specificity describes the number of false identifications. A sensitivity of 91 out of 100 means, at most, there are 9 false positives in a sample of 100 uncontaminated squares. This is a good specificity, much higher than cervical screening, which can detect far more false positives.

    The Positive Predictive Value can be defined as;

    In other words, out of 100, there are 75-100 true positives, and 0-9 false positives. A positive predictive value describes the percentage chance, if a sample is contaminated, that the dog will discover it. The value of 90-100 means that, out of 100 contaminated squares, at least 90 are correctly identified by the dog.

    The Negative Predictive Value can be defined as;

    In other words, out of 100, there are 0-9 false positives and 0-25 false negatives. A negative predictive value describes the chance that, if a sample is not contaminated, the dog will correctly identify the sample as clear of human remains. The study quotes a negative predictive value of 90-100. This means only 0-10 ‘clean’ squares are wrongly identified as contaminated by the dogs.

    Accuracy is the degree to which the evidence presented by the dogs matches known information about which squares were marked. The accuracy of dog detection is presented as 92-100. This means that dogs correctly identify carpet squares as ‘marked’ or ‘unmarked’ in at least 92 cases out of 100. This is an impressive accuracy score."

    There is other stuff as well all of which are quite an eye opener. I never realized the dogs testomony was so important. No wonder McCanns' Team keep dismissing and repressing it. It is a BIG finger pointing at them which says: NAUGHTY! NAUGHTY!

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  7. THE "BEEFS" ARE COMING...

    So, the "beefs" are coming but... what possibly can they uncover?

    The DNA samples have gone, the dogs won't be back (the apartment is no longer a crime scene and the same applies to the car), the clothes (well, forget those), a reconstruction is out of question for the "Tapas" - Tapas in Portuguese means "covers"...
    Statement contradictions? Oh! Yes! those they will be noted, particularly any "errors" of judgement by the PJ - as perceived by SY, that is...

    Have no illusions, the all objective of the exercise is to discredit the Portuguese investigation (and of course boost Cameron's loosing chances at the next election).

    Folks! We have to remember SY, Mitchell, Coulson, Cameron and K&G McCann, all belong to the same ideology (British) and ideology is a pervasive thing.

    It is unlikely they (SY) would throw two (or more) of their own "to the wolves" or as it is the case to the "Arabs" (remember Kate and McCann kneeling and imploring "a la Muslim"?) They came to Portugal to do the dry cleaning. To disinfect the McCanns' "good name" and of course to tighten the noose on Amaral - their Nemesis.

    Do not expect any prosecutions to come out of it. Unless, of course there was a video of one of them carrying the child (with a time stamp on it). In this case circumstantial evidence and witnesses will not do.

    Even if Madeleine's body was found it would prove nothing except of course she was dead. A point the PJ (Amaral) has already made.

    What about if traces of benzodiazepines were found in her bones? Oh! the "abductor" drugged her, you see..

    Same for DNA traces from the parents found on her. Oh! That would be "natural", wouldn't it?

    Let us not forget that the McCanns' have not just the British government behind them, but also the best PR apparatus any sinister celebrity could aspire to. Add to that a multi-million, multi-national defence team.

    The only thing we can hope for is for Madeleine to be found. Dead or alive.

    The way I see it, ONLY PAT BROWN "MADELEINE MCCANN SEARCH FUND" CAN BRING THE CIRCUS TO A HALT. You can help her doing so by buying her book at Barnes & Noble:

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/profile-of-the-disappearance-of-madeleine-mccann-pat-brown/1104524095

    PS I have "heard on the "grapevine" that the PJ does have a mobile phone video (Smiths'sighting) of a man carrying a child (as described). The problem is, because of light conditions at the scene the image was either blurred or unclear but I suspect this is an ace they have kept close to their chests.

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  8. FAX SCOTLAND YARD

    Dear SY,

    Would you be so kind as to clarify this with YKW and report back to the PJ?

    Thanks a million!

    According to "Correio da Manhã" (6/07/2008) there were FOUR (4) things the PJ wanted to know but they never did or were prevented from knowing by "you-know-who" (YKW).

    (1) The first one concerns the real and effective proximity between Jane Tanner, Gerry McCann and Jeremy Wilkins (a witness that stood talking to Maddie’s father at around 9 p.m.). It is mentioned in the report that it is "unusual" that Gerry and Jeremy failed to see the alleged abductor that was seen by Tanner, given the fact that they were standing within the same small space.

    (2) Another question that the PJ wanted to clarify was the situation of the window to the bedroom where Maddie was sleeping. According to Kate, it was open, but it was important to verify whether there was a draft that would allow for the curtains to move.

    (3) The verification of the manner in which the children were checked upon also seemed important. If it was as intense as the witnesses stated, it made the entrance of an abductor almost impossible, who could only pass with the child in a vertical position, not a horizontal one, as Jane Tanner says she saw a man with a child.

    (4)Finally, the inspectors wanted to know exactly what happened between 5.30 p.m. and 10 p.m. – the time at which Maddie was seen last, and the moment when the alert to the disappearance was given."

    More details here:

    http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2008/07/english-combined-depositions-correio-da.html

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  9. FAX SCOTLAND YARD

    Hi Yard guys! I wonder if (like me) you have been watching "Forensic Files" on UK Channel 5? It's all about how forensic techniques help solve puzzling crimes. No witnesses, no leads, no problem.

    Also available on DVD.

    Best wishes
    :k P.J. Tipps
    Investigateur Extraordinaire


    References:

    http://www.forensicfiles.com/paul-dowlings-latest-letter.html

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forensic-Files-Kidnapping-Cases-Region/dp/B00527TSV8/ref=sr_1_8?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1315693325&sr=1-8

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forensic-Files-Death-Poison-Region/dp/B0051QS1O0/ref=sr_1_4?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1315693325&sr=1-4

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forensic-Files-Crimes-Passion-Region/dp/B0051QS1RM/ref=sr_1_5?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1315693325&sr=1-5

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  10. Anon 8 "FAX SCOTLAND YARD"

    Good points #8. The PJ is certainly bearing in mind what Pamela Fenn (the McCanns' upstairs neighbour) had told them (PJ Files):

    "Apart from the crying that continued for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and which got louder and more expressive, the child shouted "Daddy, Daddy", the witness had no doubt that the noise came from the floor below. At about 23H45, an hour and fifteen minutes after the crying began, she heard the parents arrive, she did not see them, but she heard the patio doors open, she was quite worried as the crying had gone on for more than an hour and had gradually got worse."

    Surely this contradicts the McCanns' and their friends ("Tapas") statements that they were checking on the children every so often on the 3td of May (as in that famous doctored notebook cover).

    It seems clear the parents were NOT doing so two days earlier. OK, they could have come up with a new check-up routine following the crying episode but that is just my view, not theirs.

    To me, this suggests the checking times they gave to the police may not have been true. The checking was certainly not part of a previous pattern. Furthermore, the same witness (Fenn) also said that "on 3rd May she did not hear any noise from the McCANN apartment, not even the opening of doors." (...)

    Now, we must also in all fairness note that according to press reports (British) there had been several burglaries at the Ocean Club prior to the McCanns' visit.

    This may or may not be true. What seems true is that Mrs. Fenn was (nearly) a victim of a burglary herself. Her statement did not clarify how the burglar went in. Did he have a key? Did he come through a door, the verandah? What?

    I have kept open the possibility that someone could have got into the McCanns' flat below and taken the child, particularly bearing in mind the closeness (and access) of the apartment to a public road (...)

    Other possibilities include:

    The child walking out into the night (didn't they say at some stage that they used to leave the back door open?) and either been abducted or fallen into some hole (nearby road works).

    The child could (more likely) been victim of an accident in the apartment (ex: mummy's pills), chocked on something, fell off the verandah, been victim of an over the top slap in the face by an exasperated mummy (or daddy), accidentally fallen off the sofa while looking out of the window, etc. The possibilities are numerous and are only limited by one's imagination.

    The only think that makes such imaginative scenarios unlikely are the detective dogs reaction - particular those of the "cadaver dog".

    This gives us (and indeed the investigators) very strong evidence that the child died in her parents' apartment, unless the cadaver odour was planted by the PJ (as some pro-McCann die hards have suggested) which is preposterous.

    The investigators need to prove or disprove Dr. McCann's theory that her clothes (including the toy!) may had been contaminated by her contact with deceased patients prior to her trip to Portugal and SY is in a much better position to do that than the PJ for obvious reasons.

    Scotland Yard should perhaps check the veracity of Dr. K. McCann's statements and IF true, reality-test her assumptions (preferably with the same dogs).

    Such testing would require exposing someone for the same period (Dr. K. McCann said she was with each deceased patient) and see if contamination within the same period (with or without contact)would occur AND, furthermore, whether this would still be present a few months down the line and able to contaminate the shelves of a wardrobe, a car, etc. It is complicated but...

    ... a successful prosecution (or defence for that matter) would require such testing. As Sherlock Holmes used to say "Elementary, my dear Watson"

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  11. ''PS I have "heard on the "grapevine" that the PJ does have a mobile phone video (Smiths'sighting) of a man carrying a child (as described). The problem is, because of light conditions at the scene the image was either blurred or unclear but I suspect this is an ace they have kept close to their chests.''

    Oh FGS - aren't there enough lies, misinformation and downright silliness in this case already without people inventing more?

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  12. Anon 7
    YOU WISH!!
    Go back and report to Team McCann, or should I say report back to Beefs, whoever he is......if its a done deal why do you bother posting.

    What a load of tosh!!!!

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  13. Don't forget that 'stand alone evidence' they have. Dr Amaral also wanted to bring a woman back to PDL to give evidence until he was pulled off the case, and there is that certain apartment the McCanns were seen visiting. There are still thousands of pages in the Case File that are being kept under wraps.

    The McCanns got out of town fast after the questioning of them by the investigators in Portugal. They would never have done that if they weren't worried sick they were in danger of being arrested, and after their return to UK they looked terrible until the case was shelved. If they had nothing to fear since they insist there is no evidence, what was their problem?

    They are not the cool customers they like people to think they are. As Dr Amaral says 'they know that I know'. How many others also know? It is Payne they should be questioning because he said he wanted to say more about the disappearance of Madeleine, but that he did not want it put in his statement. Unfortunately, that was when he was being questioned in the UK without the PJ being present. Then the case was shelved. So did the PJ ever get that information sent on to them? After all, it took long enough for the Gaspar statements to reach the PJ from the LP. This case can still be solved.

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