1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Cop's Confusion? No, Mr. Brunt: the mix-up is yours!

Cop Confusion In Madeleine Hunt
February 14, 2008
By Martin Brunt

I've almost given up trying to analyse announcements about the Madeleine case from Portuguese officials. Everything that appears to be a clue, a development or admission of incompetence is then contradicted. And usually blamed on a poor translation. Even those with fluent Portuguese struggle to understand the nuances of the country's complicated legal system. So how am I expected to wade through the confusion? The latest comes from the justice minister who claims, apparently, that the case is to be wrapped up with detectives conceding defeat. They just don't know what happened to Madeleine. In the wake of all this, I get two calls from colleagues in Portugal warning me to treat the story with care. "It's still not clear what is being said," says one caller. And that's from someone whose judgement is pretty good, but even he doesn't know what it means. One thing is clear. The Madeleine story is going off the boil for the British media. Page 23 in the Daily Express! Behind a photo spread revealing how much celebrity sons look like their mums. And it's not even Mother's Day.

The Secret Portuguese Police
Saturday May 12, 2007
By Martin Brunt

Sky Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt relies a lot on cultivating sources for his exclusive reports. But in Portugal, he's finding it not so easy to penetrate the Portuguese police."Sky sources" are a bit thin on the ground here in the Algarve. There's no sidling up to a friendly cop for a quick natter away from the cameras. No slipping off for a cappuccino and an off-the-record chat...or "guidance" as we call it. So I really don't know if the police have any real idea what happened to Madeleine McCann. I suspect they don't. I'm having to rely for information on the local Portuguese press whose accuracy is sometimes highly questionable. One paper seems to have good contacts. The rest of the stuff is best described as "culhoes". In neighbouring Spain that would be "cojones". Each morning, with the help of a translator, I have to pick my way through the minefield of flyers. At breakfast time, I can get away with attributing the stories to the local papers. Later I try to turn them into fact. I imagine somebody has the unenviable task of doing much the same for Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate. The couple must sometimes despair at the media interest, but they know we are their best hope in finding witnesses. The police are doing nothing to appeal for the public's help. They continue to hide behind the country's secrecy law, which even prevented them from issuing a description of the clothes Madeleine was wearing. It's the law, but that doesn't make it right. There's a feeling that law will be repealed after being held up to so much global ridicule. One morning Gerry and Kate McCann told a colleague of mine "Please, it's Madeleine, not Maddy." We've all been guilty of that.They've lost their daughter once, they don't want her taken and renamed by the media.

Finally a British reporter assumes that he simply does NOT know. And not even now he knows what the Minister of Justice said in the Parliament. Maybe Sky News should hire a translator.
In his blog, Mr. Brunt says that "the case is to be wrapped up with detectives conceding defeat" when it's clear that the Minister of Justice, Alberto Costa, said it was "premature" to announce the failure of the investigation into the Madeleine case.

So, for the last 9 months Mr. Brunt and the biased British media alike, instead of doing some 'investigative journalism' have instead taken sides with the McCanns and copy/paste whatever spins Clarence Mitchell arranged for them. What exactly was Mr.Brunt, crime reporter for Sky News, reporting about if he didn't even bothered to use google to translate the word "colhões"? This is reminds me of someone... It reminds me of another pseudo journalist that wrote in Spanglish "Oh Up yours Senor", a vile rant, attacking our Portuguese Ambassador in London.

Mr. Brunt, you sound so confused that even after your "biased reports" about Portugal, I will help you getting back on track.

Here are a couple of questions you should ask:

Why did John Buck, the British Ambassador, rang the head of the PJ and insisted the disappearance should be treated as an abduction, before any investigation had taken place?

And why did he resign from the diplomatic service within two days of the McCanns fleeing from Portugal?

Why was Mitchell, Downing Street's Head of Media Monitoring, dispatched by Blair to Portugal in the first place?

And Sheree Dodd, who was at that time Head of Communications for the Department of Trade and Industry?

Why did a British diplomat in Portugal alerted the Foreign Office (equivalent to our Ministry of the Foreign Business) for “inconsistencies” in the statements of the McCanns and Friends, after visiting them in the Algarve?

Why did that same British Diplomat ensured that no support was to be given to Robert Murat?

Why was Clarence Mitchell allowed to imitate a"official police press conference" and create a "kkk hunt" for a olive-skinned man, based on Gail Cooper's statement of a "creepy man" she saw in April, a statement that was previously dismissed by the Police?

Wasn't this was in fact a spin?

A perversion of the course of justice?

And why is that the McCann's general conduct and behaviour, since last May, has been so bizarre, when compared to other missing children parents?

Have you read Gerry's blog, where everything seems to be about "Kate and I" and not Madeleine - an example Gerry complaints of a free plane to allow them to fly to Casablanca in June last year: "We were surprised to learn that a 20 seat propeller plane was sent instead of the larger aircraft. Luckily Kate, Clarence and I got squeezed on although we were certainly rather apprehensive about flying on such an aircraft" or what about measuring jogging times only 10 days after the disappearance of Madeleine: "Kate is a keen runner and in the last few days has tried to include a run in the daily routine. Yesterday (Sat) at 7am we ran to the monument at the top of the steep cliff overlooking Praia de Luz. We reached it in 19 minutes." Have you noticed that virtually everything they have 'done' as part of their campaign seems off key and inappropriate?

Any of these questions could be a starting point for a "true" journalism. Back to you, Martin.


  1. Excellent article Joana, very good indeed.

  2. A new entry to Gerry’s Blog

    Gerry’s Blog From Day 287: 14/02/2008

    Day 287: Yesterday was a busy day on several fronts. Kate and I met with representatives of Missing Children Europe. This is an umbrella organisation that has 21 member non-governmental organisations that are involved in supporting families of missing and exploited children, from 15 EU countries. Missing Children Europe aims to share best practice, ensures a European presence at ICMEC and liases with various European Institutions. www.missingchildren.eu They have played a major role in securing the EU commission supporting a dedicated hotline for missing children: 116 000. The commission is also supportive of the introduction of a child alert system throughout the EU similar to the Amber alert system in the USA. However only a few countries run such a system and there is a lot of work to be done before the system is implemented in many countries, never mind an integrated throughout the EU.

    The Portuguese justice minister also spoke to parliament yesterday regarding Mr Ribeiro’s comments about the haste with which we were made arguidos. As I stated at the time, no one can doubt how we have been scrutinised. We hope that, if as reported, the justice minister said the investigation is nearing a close that our arguido status will be lifted in the near future so that everyone can concentrate on searching for Madeleine. We will not give up looking for her until she is found and we hope that the police are similarly determined.



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