28 October 2013

Caso Maddie: Pistas escondidas durante cinco anos pelos McCann


Pistas de Madeleine escondidas por 5 anos

O novo suspeito foi destacado pela primeira vez por detectives privados em 2008. As suas descobertas foram suprimidas.

Análise detalhada por Heidi Blake e Jonathan Calvert

Novas pistas fulcrais que estão no centro da investigação da Scotland Yard na busca por Madeleine McCann foram mantidas em segredo durante cinco anos depois de terem sido apresentada aos seus pais por ex-agentes do MI5.

As pistas provêem de um relatório de informação produzido para Gerry e Kate McCann por uma firma de ex-espiões em 2008.

O relatório continha retratos robot cruciais de um homem que foi visto a carregar uma criança ao colo na noite em que Madeleine desapareceu, os quais apenas vieram a público este mês depois da Scotland Yard ter identificado o homem como o principal suspeito.

Uma equipe de ex-agentes do MI5, escolhida a dedo, foi contratada pelos McCann para encontrar algo que permitisse um avanço, há muito desejado, na busca por Madeleine, a sua filha desaparecida.

10 meses após o desaparecimento da criança de três anos do complexo turístico Português da Praia da Luz, os McCann começavam a ficar desesperados com o andamento das investigações feitas pela polícia local. Eles contavam com esta nova equipe de detectives para lhes trazer um sentido renovado de esperança.

Mas em poucos meses essa relação azedou. O relatório produzido pelos investigadores foi considerado como “hipercrítico” dos McCann e dos seus amigos, e os seus autores ameaçados com processos judiciais caso esse fosse tornado público. Os seus conteúdos permaneceram em segredo até que detectives da Scotland Yard, que conduziam uma nova revisão do caso, contactaram os autores do relatório e lhes pediram uma cópia.

A Scotland Yard descobriu que o relatório continha novas pistas acerca de um suspeito chave visto a carregar uma criança ao colo que se afastava do apartamento de férias dos McCann na noite em que Madeleine desapareceu.

Este avistamento é agora considerado como a linha principal de investigação da Scotland Yard e os retratos robot do suspeito, retirados do relatório, foram a peça central de um apelo emitido este mês no programa da BBC, 'Crimewatch', que atraiu mais de 2,400 telefonemas do público.

Um dos investigadores, cujo trabalho foi posto à margem, disse na semana passada que se sentiu “completamente estupefacto” quando viu o programa e viu que as evidências que a sua equipe tinha passado aos McCann eram agora apresentadas como uma nova descoberta.

A equipe de investigadores da empresa de segurança Oakley Internacional foram contratados pelo o fundo dos McCann 'Find Madeleine', que financiou investigações privadas sobre o desaparecimento da menina. As investigações foram conduzidas pelo Henri Exton, ex-chefe das operações secretas dos agentes do MI5.

O relatório, visto pelo The Sunday Times, focava-se num avistamento, feito por uma família Irlandesa, de um homem que carregava uma criança ao colo cerca das 22h na noite de 3 de Maio de 2007, altura em que a Madeleine desapareceu.

Um avistamento anterior feito por um dos amigos do casal McCann foi rejeitado por ser menos credível após “sérias inconsistências” terem sido encontradas no seu testemunho. O relatório também levantou dúvidas devido a “anomalias” encontradas nas declarações feitas pelos McCann e seus amigos.

Exton confirmou na semana passada que o fundo dos McCann tinha silenciado os seus investigadores durante anos depois de estes terem entregue as suas conclusões controversas. Ele disse: “Chegou uma carta dos advogados deles, vinculando-nos à confidencialidade do relatório.”

Ele alegou que a ameaça de um processo judicial o impediu de entregar o relatório à Scotland Yard, que agora conduz uma investigação ao caso, até ao momento em que os detectives conseguiram obter uma autorização por escrito do fundo dos McCann.

Uma fonte próxima do fundo dos McCann disse que o relatório foi considerado como “hipercrítico das pessoas envolvidas” e que “teria tido um efeito perturbador” caso tivesse sido tornado público.

A investigação da Oakley International, que durou seis meses, incluiu a colocação de agentes infiltrados no Ocean Club, onde a família esteve hospedada, testes com detectores de mentiras, vigilância secreta e um reexame forense de todas as provas.

Foi imediatamente evidente que os dois avistamentos, considerados vitais, já tinham sido relatados à polícia. Dois homens tinham sido vistos a carregaram crianças ao colo perto do apartamento entre as 21 horas, quando a Madeleine foi vista pela última vez por Gerry, e às 22 horas, quando Kate descobriu que ela tinha desaparecido.

O primeiro homem foi avistado às 21:15 pela Jane Tanner, uma amiga dos McCann, que tinha estado a jantar com eles no tapas bar dentro do complexo turístico. Ela viu um homem a carregar uma menina a poucos metros do apartamento quando foi verificar os seus filhos.

O segundo avistamento foi feito pelo Martin Smith e pela sua família, uma família irlandesa, que viram um homem a carregar uma criança ao colo na área circundante do apartamento um pouco antes das 22h.

O avistamento da Tanner foi sempre tratado como o mais importante [pelos McCann], mas a equipe da Oakley, de uma forma controversa, rejeitou a sua história.

Em vez disso, centraram-se no avistamento dos Smith, viajaram até à Irlanda para entrevistarem a família e produziram os retratos robot do homem que eles viram. No seu relatório disseram que os Smith foram “prestativos e sinceros” e concluíram: “O avistamento dos Smith é uma evidência credível de um avistamento da Maddie e muito mais credível que o avistamento da Jane Tanner”. Esta evidência tem sido “negligenciada há demasiado tempo” e uma “ênfase excessiva colocada no avistamento da Tanner”.

O novo foco alterou a linha de tempo do rapto para trás por cerca de 45 minutos. O relatório, entregue aos McCann em Novembro de 2008, recomendava que a linha temporal revista deveria ser o ponto de partida de investigações futuras e que os retratos robot dos Smith deveriam ser divulgados sem demora.

O raptor potencial visto pelos Smiths é agora o principal suspeito na investigação da Scotland Yard, depois dos detectives da Scotland Yard terem estabelecido que o homem visto anteriormente por Tanner era quase certamente um pai que levava a sua filha para casa de uma creche que funcionava à noite e que se situava nas proximidades. Os retratos robot baseados nas declarações dos Smith foram a peça central do apelo no Crimewatch.

Um dos investigadores disse na semana passada: “Fiquei completamente estupefacto quando vi o programa...Não era definitivamente uma nova linha temporal nem é certamente uma nova descoberta. É um disparate absoluto sugerir qualquer uma dessas coisas...E aqueles retratos robot que viram no Crimewatch eram nossos,” disse ele.

As imagens detalhadas da cara do homem vistas pela família Smith nunca foram divulgadas pelos McCann. Pelo contrário, um retrato feito por uma artista da face do homem avistado pela Tanner foi amplamente promovido, apesar da face ter sido deixada em branco já que ela só viu o homem fugazmente e à distância. Várias outras imagens de homens solitários vistos na proximidade do complexo turístico em outros momentos também foram divulgados.

Tampouco foram incluídos no livro de Kate McCann publicado em 2011, intitulado 'madeleine', os retratos robot baseados nas descrições dos Smith, o qual continha uma secção inteira sobre oito “avistamentos-chave”, e que classificava os avistamentos dos Smiths e da Tanner como os mais “cruciais”. Descrições de todos os outros sete avistamentos foram acompanhadas por um retrato robot ou por retratos desenhados por um artista. Os dos Smiths foram a única excepção. Porque foi então uma prova “crucial” fechada a sete chaves?

A relação entre o fundo dos McCann e a Oakley já tinha azedado na altura em que o relatório foi submetido - e as suas conclusões agravaram essa relação.

Além de por em causa partes das provas dos McCann, continha ainda informação acerca dos padrões de sono da Madeleine e levantava a possibilidade de ela ter morrido num acidente depois de ter saído do apartamento pelos seus próprios pés por uma das duas portas que não estavam fechadas.

*Houve também uma complicação incómoda com o relato do Martin Smith. Ele disse inicialmente à polícia que tinha “reconhecido algo” sobre a forma como Gerry McCann carregava um dos seus filhos, que lhe fez lembrar o homem que ele tinha visto na Praia da Luz.

O Smith desde então enfatizou que não acredita que o homem que ele avistou fosse o Gerry, e a Scotland Yard não considera [esse testemunho] como uma possibilidade. Na semana passada foi-lhes dito [aos McCann] oficialmente pelas autoridades Portuguesas que eles não são suspeitos.

Os McCann também estavam compreensivelmente desconfiados com a Oakley após alegações de que o seu director, Kevin Halligen, não tinha reenviado o dinheiro pago pelo fundo para a equipe de Exton. Halligen nega. Mais tarde, ele foi condenado por fraude num caso não relacionado nos EUA.

Uma fonte do fundo dos McCann disse que o relatório da Oakley foi passado aos novos investigadores privados após o contracto ter terminado, mas que o trabalho dessa agência foi considerado como “contaminado” pela disputa financeira.

Ele [a fonte] disse que o fundo queria continuar a procurar informações sobre o homem visto por Tanner, e que teria sido muito caro investigar os dois avistamentos na íntegra - de modo que os retratos robot baseados nas descrições dos Smith não foram divulgados. A fonte disse também que foi considerado necessário ameaçar com um processo judicial os autores do relatório.

“(O relatório) era hipercrítico das pessoas envolvidas... Não teria sido propício para a investigação ter esse relatório divulgado publicamente porque... os jornais lhe teriam caído em cima. E teria tido um efeito completamente perturbador,” disse a fonte.

Um comunicado divulgado pelo fundo Find Madeleine diz que “foi dado seguimento a toda a informação recolhida em privado durante a busca de Madeleine quando foi necessário” e que tudo tinha sido entregue à Scotland Yard.

E continua: “Ao longo da investigação, a única prioridade do fundo Find Madeleine tem sido, e continua a ser, encontrar a Madeleine e trazê-la de volta a casa o mais rapidamente possível.”

in The Sunday Times, 27 Outubro 2013

* Nota: Onde começa o spin da “fonte” [que possivelmente será o Clarence Mitchell] do fundo dos McCann - Até hoje a família Smith não alterou de forma oficial nenhum dos seus testemunhos dados à PJ a 27 de Maio de 2007, que apontam para Gerry McCann como sendo o homem que a família viu na noite de 3 de Maio de 2007, os quais se encontram no processo e podem ser lidos neste link.



Original

Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years

The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

A team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by the McCanns to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

10 months after the three-year-old had disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, and the McCanns were beginning to despair over the handling of the local police investigation. They were relying on the new team to bring fresh hope.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed “hypercritical” of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public. Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns’ Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl’s disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5’s former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns’ friends was dismissed as less credible after “serious inconsistencies” were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about “anomalies” in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: “A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report.”

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard’s fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund.

A source close to the fund said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if it became public.

Oakley’s six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were “helpful and sincere” and concluded: “The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner’s sighting”. The evidence had been “neglected for too long” and an “overemphasis placed on Tanner”.

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes.
The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard’s investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night crèche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

One of the Oakley investigators said last week: “I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme... It most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things... And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours,” he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist’s impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann’s 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight “key sightings” and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most “crucial”. Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist’s impression. The Smiths’ were the only exception. So why was such a “crucial” piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted — and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns’ evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine’s sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith’s account. He had originally told the police that he had “recognised something” about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton’s team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm’s work was considered “contaminated” by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full — so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

“[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved... It just wouldn’t be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because... the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting,” said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that “all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary” and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: “Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund’s sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible.”

in The Sunday Times, 27 October 2013




6 comments:

  1. What a nonsense. Ex-spies, etc, etc,
    I think that that photo that looks like Gerry was made by the Scotland Yard itself.
    Too perfect and the night was so dark. The Times article is based on Kevin Halligen's investigators, hah hah hah!
    And I don't believe that the Smiths changed their statements. The UK is again selling news papers, that is the goal.

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  2. My heart soared when I read this and the other articles that newspapers like 'The Telegraph',written by Ben Farmer are also pursuing.
    Let us not forget that in the five years that this intelligence report was suppressed by the McCanns,they were also taking money from the public in Britain and other countries for their appeal....
    Then they appeared on Crimewatch...supposedly delighted at this'New' Evidence'!
    Yet the breakthrough had happened 5 years before.....?
    I pray this is the turning point and that the McCann's ludicrous sense of entitlement and manipulation of the public can finally be broken down.
    This site and others which maintained the faith that true justice would prevail should be lauded.You Joana paved the way bravely for these articles to happen.Thankyou for that persistence and bravery....the mists are clearing.

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  3. I agree with poster number one that this may indeed sell some newspapers but.....
    this is'The Telegraph' and 'The Sunday Times' we are talking about...the'Broadsheets'.
    These are not some cobbled together articles,cut and pasted from the tabloids....
    The difference is significant and will be to both the British Public and the McCanns.
    They can't say that the'Gutter Press' is sensationalising their story anymore....these are the newspapers of the establishment!
    It is a tide turning moment...whatever the motivation behind the story.....

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  4. @1 The key issue here is that the McCanns have deliberately excluded a crucial piece of evidence for five years while emphasizing something that their own PI's had already discredited, the whole book and abduction story based on Jane Tanner's sighting are a lie based on a lie. So is the documentary by Emma Loach, Dave Edgar recreation of Jane Tanner's statement, in fact the Tapas 9 whole statements since day 3 of May 2007 are lies. Further to that, they hide the report where it was stated that there was a strong possibility that Madeleine could have died in an accident, and sued other people for speaking/writing about similar possibilities. Now, if they've suppressed this evidence what else have they hidden? Don't forget they've been asking for 6 years for the public to donate to a fund who has been suppressing this kind of crucial information, a fund that has been used to silence their own PI's and as well people who dare challenge the abduction version. Final thought, like you I don't believe, without seeing a police official statement, that the whole Smith family has changed what they saw and who they saw, if they did change what they saw then they have committed perjury because they had already given under oath statements to the PJ in May 2007.

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  5. Daily Telegraph website - right now:

    4th most popular article today, an article from the 12th of June 2010!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/portugal/6974917/Madeleine-McCanns-death-covered-up-by-parents-who-faked-kidnap-court-hears.html

    As Marvin Gaye sung: 'what's going on?'

    isar

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  6. The Telegraph article mentioned by poster 5 is now prefaced by the following disclaimer:

    "Update 29 October 2013: Since the publication of this article Gerry and Kate McCann have launched a libel action against former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral over his allegation that they were involved in the disappearance of their daughter. They vigorously deny the allegations which have been widely discredited. The libel case is ongoing."

    With the appearance of 'tractorman' I reminded myself of the Lindbergh case, abundant evidence of a break in, false accusations with tragic consequences, an immigrant the convicted suspect, who blamed it on a friend who had died, a case which has provoked books defying the official line, suspicions of family involvement, but if the true motive in the Lindbergh case was ransom, you have to ask why an immigrant with a criminal record would steal Maddie if not for money - a perpetrator could not predict how the Warner Club would respond to a disappearance, in any case the absence of the parents shifts the responsibility away from the Club, and the revenge would have been far more powerful if a body had been found.

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