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

Justice Minister considers it is "premature" to speak of the failure of the investigation

Sol/Lusa: Madeleine case

Justice Minister considers it is "premature" to speak of the failure of the investigation

The Justice Minister, Alberto Costa, considered today it was "premature" to announce the failure of the investigation into the Madeleine case and defended that the development of the process should be awaited "without noise"

"We should await the development of the process without noise and we should not be premature in marking the outcome of the process", Alberto Costa said during the First Parliamentary Comission about the controversial statements that were made by the national director of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) concerning the case of the English child that disppeared in the Algarve in May 2007.

The national director of the PJ, Alipio Ribeiro, stated, during an interview, that there may have been precipitation in the constitution of Kate and Gerry McCann, the child's parents, into arguidos.

When questioned by Nuno Melo, an MP from CDS/PP, about the truthfulness of Alipio Ribeiro's statements, the minister was peremptory: "I don't know, I don't want to know, and I cannot know whether they are false or true".

In another phase of the audition, which had been requested by CDS/PP, Alberto Costa remembered that "as a member of government, he never publicly comments on statements from persons who depend from him".

Earlier, the minister had guaranteed to the MP's in the Parliamentary Comission for Constitutional Matters that the comment from the PJ's top official had not affected "the superior course of the process" and that he has no indication that there may have been a "violation of the judicial secrecy".

Aguiar Branco, an MP from PSD, criticised that the Minister of Justice and communist MP Antonio Filipe - who dismissed the initiative from CDS/PP as "noise" - had diminished the value of Alipio Ribeiro's statements.

"We are playing with fire. There is an ongoing dismissal of the statements that are made by judicial agents within this Commission", the former Justice Minister said, also referring to the parliamentary audition of the Public Prosecutor, Pinto Ribeiro, about his statements concerning phone tapping.

Like Helena Pinto, from Bloco de Esquerda, Aguiar Branco considered that the minister only gave "procedural justifications".

"This is not a technical issue. The problem is one of political management of the situation", Aguiar Branco said, questioning whether the minister considered that Alipio Ribeiro's words were "innocuous".

The social-democrat MP insisted that this is "a problem of institutional trust", and that it was necessary to "draw political consequences from the statements".

Nuno Melo also criticised the alleged attempt to dismiss Alipio Ribeiro's statements, mentioning that those "had consequences on the credibility of Justice" and "external and internal" repercussions on the image of criminal investigation and of the country itself.

Translation by Astro

Related: Minister of Justice, Alberto Costa in the Parliament

A typical UK Article

Maddie probe 'will be halted in Portugal'
Last updated at 20:59pm on 13th February 2008

Police are ready to halt the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance without solving the case, Portugal's justice minister admitted yesterday.

Alberto Costa said officers are "approaching the conclusion of the process" - dropping the strongest hint yet that they might never discover what happened to the missing girl, who disappeared on May 3, days before her fourth birthday.

He told the Portuguese parliament it is still "too early" to say if they would ever know the truth about Madeleine's disappearance, claiming 80 per cent of missing children cases in Britain go unsolved.

Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, launched a new poster campaign to find her hours before the minister's speech.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell demanded that Portuguese police clear the couple, who are official suspects in the case, before calling a halt.

Mr Costa was summoned before the Portuguese parliament after his head of police, admitted officers had rushed the decision to name the couple as suspects.

Police are to fly to Britain to re-interview the friends who dined with the McCanns the night Madeleine vanished.


  1. Aplauding the CDS-PP for the first time in my life. :)

    I hope Alberto Costa can understand how much this case can affect our country image.


  2. I have always since I took an interest in this case wanted to know what the mechanical problem was that put the vehicle of Robert Murat in the garage necessitating a car rental. The hundreds of news reporters found out about the rental but they could take it no farther. Was it an air conditioner. Or was there mechanical or structural damage to the underpart of the vehicle. Hundreds of reporters becoming alcoholics at the Praia da Luz restaurants and bars at the beach but only Martin Brunt or Paulo Reis or a few could get any good source information. The Paraia da Luz mechanics union was tight lipped about the mechanical problem. Most reporters never seriously visited the scene of the abduction. None knew the names of the streets. They did not even bother to rent an internet at the beach and go to Google Maps. They did not bother to look at the crime scene on Gazeta Digital. They did absolutely nothing but drink and have a vacation. When the cat is away the mice will play. It did not matter anyway as ninety nine out of every hundred reporters at Praia da Luz could not get any good source information. Only a scarred war veteran like Martin Brunt could do that. The PJ is frightened of him. But ninety nine out of one hundred reporters they are not frightened of. There happens to be a street curb on avenue Dr. Francisco Gentil Martins to negotiate to get a service vehicle onto the strolling alleyway that runs along the rear of the McCann apartment facing the Tapas restaurant. The strolling alleyway is meant only for service vehicles and portable curb ramps are used not to damage the integrety of the curb. Or should be used, perhaps not always. A nervous pull out of the abduction vehicle having Madeleine McCann in onto avenue Dr. Francisco Gentil Martins and the getaway, given too much gas with accelerator pressure could cause severe damage to the under the car mechanics or structure of the vehicle by the curb. Yet we have no idea. The auto mechanics union of Praia da Luz was not going to release any information to reporters as they do not want to get in bad with the PJ and the reporters did not know how to get the mechanical information anyway nor were they much interested. And hundreds of reporters went no farther but settled with a copy on line of the rental car paperwork contract. Which only a moron would want to read without also the mechanical problem.

  3. Mr. Martin Brunt’s agenda like that of the British media has always been to discredit the Portuguese police. They have pursued this objective, with such fervour, to the point where individuals in Portugal have been offered money to speak harshly of the PJ. In a Portuguese television program Mr. Cristovao Pereira, former PJ detective and currently the Head of the National Missing Children's Association claimed that a British TV station offered him 2500 euros / day to do an half hour show from Praia da Luz in which he would criticize the PJ. He declined the offer. The last thing on the mind of the Portuguese police is Mr. Martin Brunt. The PJ doesn’t care what Mr. Brunt thinks much less fear him.

    The PJ have spent a lot of money on this case. They intend to find out what happened to this child and I’m sure they have taken all the evidence into consideration without any bias toward any individual or individuals. Innocent until proven guilty, but don’t forget equally as important no one is above suspicion.

    Some people are curious about a broken down car, I’m curious about a trip made by Gerry McCann from Portugal back to England on June 19. It was reported that a fellow passenger on that flight collapsed with a heart condition and that Mr. McCann attended to this person. Apparently an ambulance took this person from the plane and took him to the Hospital. Joana do you know of any article that states that Mr. McCann accompanied this person in the ambulance? My concern is: did Mr. McCann go through customs? June 19 was a very eventful day for Mr. McCann, he said that on the same day his wallet was stolen and as a result he was late for his meetings.

  4. Indeed, I did read about that peculiar(almost unbelievable) situation, and Gerry's blog had the strange mention of the stolen (at ATM machine) and returned wallet in the same night (by mail).
    This happened 4 days before that anonymous letter was sent to the Dutch Newspaper De Telegraaf, stating that the body of Madeleine Mccann was near Odiaxere. Regarding that man that had an heart attack or problem it's another strange story playing on the general public commiseration while subliminally stating: he is a doctor, he cannot do any arm.

    Articles for the wallet and heart failure stories.


    Thursday June 21,2007

    THE father of Madeleine McCann revealed yesterday how a sneak thief has stolen irreplaceable photographs of his kidnapped daughter.

    The pickpocket stole Gerry McCann’s wallet minutes after he arrived in London to boost the search for Madeleine.
    It contained two treasured pictures of the missing four-year-old, who was snatched 49 days ago as she slept at the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve.

    They include one showing Madeleine aged 15-months, while another was taken in church more recently.

    Relatives expressed anger at this new outrage against Gerry and Kate McCann, who have endured unimaginable torment in their long wait for news of their daughter.

    Madeleine’s aunt Philomena McCann, 48, a teacher, said Mr McCann was distraught at the loss of his favourite pictures, which were so precious he always kept them with him.

    She said the family was hoping the “dirty animal” who stole the wallet was shamed into handing them back. “How can you do that to someone who’s been through what he has?” she said yesterday.

    “He’s already demoralised enough and to be put on the back foot like this, you can’t believe some people can stoop so low. It was some dirty animal.”

    The thief struck soon after Gerry, 39, arrived in the UK on Tuesday for a meeting with lawyers, after he withdrew money from a cash machine at London’s Waterloo. The pickpocket snatched the black leather wallet containing £100 from his back pocket.

    “We don’t care about the money, but we do care about getting the pictures of Madeleine back,” said Philomena McCann. “They were his favourites – really treasured pictures. They are irreplaceable.”

    She urged the thief to consider his conscience, adding: “They can contact any member of the family, or go through the campaign website, hand the wallet into a police station, anything.

    “Gerry’s desperate to get them back, he’s not bothered about the money, he’d just like whoever stole them to hand them back because they’re precious to him.”

    She added: “The whole family have been overwhelmed by the support and affection from all around the world, but it takes just one rotten article to bring you down. How can you be so selfish?”

    She said the theft meant Gerry had to delay a round of meetings to assess candidates to head the Madeleine campaign while he reported the incident to police and cancelled his bank cards.

    Madeleine’s grandmother Susan Healey, Kate McCann’s mother, described the theft as “yet another kick in the teeth”.

    “Hopefully when they see the photos of Madeleine in the wallet they will realise what they’ve done,” she said. Before he landed in London, Mr McCann, a heart specialist, was involved in a mid-air drama when a passenger on his flight from Portugal to Gatwick collapsed. Mr McCann managed to stabilise the man, who is in his 80s, until the easyJet flight landed shortly before midday and he could be moved to hospital.

    An easyJet spokeswoman said: “The crew were full of praise for Gerry and grateful for his expert help. We want to thank him for the support he gave.” Mr McCann was modest about his role in the drama. He said: “I flew in to London for a series of meetings and had to help a passenger on the flight who collapsed.”

    He said he hoped attention would be turned away from him and Kate so that they could look after their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie. “The role for Kate and I in the campaign will not be nearly so public,” he said.

    However, tomorrow they will go before the cameras in Praia da Luz to mark the 50th day since Madel­eine disappeared. At the same time, 50 green and yellow balloons will be released in 50 countries.


    Be the first reader to comment on this story

    10:30 - 29 June 2007

    Precious pictures of missing Madeleine McCann are on their way back to her dad after his stolen wallet was returned.

    The theft happened last week while Gerry McCann paid a brief visit to the UK for a series of meetings about the missing four-year-old.

    The wallet turned up at her parents' Rothley home after it was first posted to their former house in Queniborough, the address for which was inside.

    A postmark suggested it was sent from London last Tuesday, the day the wallet was stolen, but the package did not arrive in Rothley until this week.

    There was no note inside.

    Brian Kennedy, Madeleine's great uncle, said Mr McCann was "pleased" the pictures had been recovered.

    Although a number of pictures of Madeleine and credit cards were still inside, a sum of cash had been taken out, leaving just a few coins.

    Mr Kennedy said: "From what we can tell, it was posted at about 8.15pm on the evening it was stolen.

    "Either someone with a conscience has realised who they had stolen it from and decided to return it, or it was discarded by the thief and sent to us by someone who found it.

    "It's possible that they would have heard about the theft by then.

    "There were sufficient stamps on there to make sure it got to us.

    "I have spoken to Gerry and he is pleased. As far as I can tell, all the pictures that were in there of Madeleine are still there.

    "It'll be taken back over to them in Portugal with a family friend who is going over there in the next few days.

    "It's a bit of good news, which we haven't had for some time."

    Madeleine's family made an appeal for the pictures to be returned after Mr McCann's wallet was stolen by a pickpocket as he used a cash-point in London.

    It is now 57 days since the youngster disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve, while her parents ate at a restaurant nearby.

  5. On Gerry's Blog:

    Day 57 - 29/06/2007 - Friday
    Early rise this morning dropping off and picking up good friends from the airport. One of our friends from Amsterdam, who has been actively campaigning to publicise Madeleines disappearance, dropped in to see us for a couple of hours since he is on a golfing trip in the Algarve.

    Our friends brought back my wallet which had been returned, needless to say minus the Sterling, although all my cards and €30 were still in it! It is good to have my driving license back and one or two other important things.

    Day 56 - 28/06/2007 - Thursday
    Busy day- some very good phone calls with important child welfare organsations who we will be working closely with in the future. I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleines disappearance in the long term.

    There has been a lot of media publicity over arrests in Spain tonight following information related to the investigation to find Madeleine. This appears to be a clear signal from European police forces that they are treating all information relating to Madeleines disappearance very seriously

    Day 49 - 21/06/2007 - Thursday
    Met with the Portuguese police today for an update. Their committemnt to find Madeleine matches ours and we all hope for that vital breakthrough every day.

    We have literally received thousands of letters, cards and messages of support here in Portugal which have helped give us strength during this terrible time. Yesterday we received a particularly touching gift which is entitled Madeleines Book of Hope made up with comments from children of all ages from 3 different schools including a pre-school. The messages in different coloured pages with green and yellow ribbons had both the power to us cry and laugh!

    The response to the balloon launch to mark 50 days that Madeleine has been missing has been incredible. There are close to 300 centres, and countries all over the world, participating. There has been a lot of local media interest but remember to take digital photographs and videos if possible which will be able to be uploaded to the website so we can display them. The message of Madeleines disappearance will reach many more people tomorrow.

    A pleasing aspect of the launch will be the highlighting of other missing or abducted children, many of whom will have recieved little public attention. I know that 7 year old Yeremi Vargas will be remembered in Madrid and his family will be releasing balloons from Gran Canaria where he disappeared in March of this year.

    Our campaign to find Madeleine will be associated with other child welfare issues in the future. We are very keen to see more debate on issues that we and other families in similar situations have to face. Child abuse is a taboo subject still in many countries and we must encourage responsible debate around how child abuse can be prevented.

    ay 48 - 20/06/2007 - Wednesday

    Another busy day of meetings this time in Leicester. No mishaps thankfully.The main meeting was that of Maddeleines fund where we discussed implementing a strategy to maintain our campaign to find Madeleine. It was agreed in principle to appoint a family spokesperson who will act, not just for Kate and I, but also on behalf of the extended family who have been liasing with the media. This appointment will take a lot of strain off family members who have been putting in such massive efforts to help find Madeleine.

    We are delighted with the response to the 50th day balloon launch which will truly be a global event. There will be a few variations to the release of balloons however. In Ventura, Southern California, 50 white doves will be released and in Afghanistan kite racing, an activity banned under the Taliban, will be the order of the day.

    Arrived back in Praia da Luz this evening and it was great to see Kate and the Kids, even though I was only away for a day and a half.

    Day 47 - 19/06/2007 - Tuesday

    Flew in to London to for a series of meetings. Helped a passenger on the flight who collapsed. He was ill enough to require a full assessment on arrival and went off to hospital in an ambulance.

    Unfortunately shortly after arriving in London I had my wallet stolen which meant I was running late. I did manage to get to all my meetings which ran late into the evening. We had very good discussions regarding sustaining the search for Madeleine long term. The role for Kate and I in the campaign will not be nearly be so public. We have to balance any campaigning in the search for Madeleine with protecting Sean and Amelie and making sure their privacy is protected.

    We are exploring the use of new media and using local advertising, particularly in Europe. There will of course be event driven media exposure such as the balloon launch on Friday 22nd. There are several other very good ideas being developed and a few large companies are willing to help us.


Powered by Blogger.