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

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Gerry's Blog

Day 329: 27/03/2008

Kate and I arrived back from Washington yesterday. We went primarily to visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and to learn more about the implementation of their national AMBER alert system (child rescue alert). The whole experience was very positive. The staff at NCMEC is the most experienced in dealing with missing and abducted children anywhere in the world.

The AMBER alert system should be used in the most serious child abduction cases (usually by strangers, when the child is considered at risk of serious harm) to recover the child as quickly as possible. The alert is based on the realisation that galvanising the local community can play a huge role in finding missing children. Last year alone 68 children, and almost 400 in total since its’ implementation, were recovered safely as a direct result of the AMBER alert. In 16 cases the abductor released the child safely when hearing the AMBER alert. We strongly feel that Europe should have a similar integrated child rescue alert.

Our visit to Washington and meetings with other relevant European organisations will be shown on a documentary to be screened by ITV on the 30 April. The programme will focus on the campaign to introduce a European version of the AMBER alert. There will of course be massive media interest in Madeleine’s disappearance at this time, if she remains missing, and we hope that the programme is shown in most European countries and further afield.

During our Washington visit we were also very encouraged to hear that, in NCMEC’s experience, the younger the child at the time of abduction the less likely that child will be seriously harmed. Such information makes us believe even more fervently, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that Madeleine can be found safe and well.

Gerry’s blog, Day 130 10/09/07

“…On Saturday we asked the Portuguese police if they had any objection to us coming back to the UK. We had assured them that we will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and of course will return as requested and for our own emotional reasons….”

At least he mentioned Madeleine's name one time, ITV special Docusaga one time, Europe four times, Washington two times, NMEC three times and AMBER five times. That's what important, obviously. I won't even comment on the hypocrisy of two formal suspects in the alleged accidental murder and concealment of the body of a child, giving interviews to the media instead of answering the Portuguese Judiciary Police, and won't comment neither on the fact that the two parents who broke the Law in Portugal by abandoning and exposing their children to a very real chance of endangerment, Madeleine with almost 4 years old and the two year old twins, now try to assume a high profile role, as 'ambassadors' of all missing children in Europe. Something is smelling very bad, and I think it's the Moral decay of all who takes sides with this farce.

The Law

The law in Portugal says that it is a criminal offence, punishable by fine or incarceration or both, to leave a child under the age of 12 alone.

According to Portuguese law, a defendant faces up to 10 years in jail if a child dies as the result of being abandoned. Fortunately for the McCanns there is no concrete proof that Madeline is dead. According to an official spokesperson:

"The fact the McCanns were made arguidos means that there are justified suspicions against them of committing a crime"

From the Portuguese Penal Code:

Article 138.º

Exposure or Abandonment

1 - Whom endangers the life of another person:
a) By exposing the child in a place where the person is subject to a situation which the child cannot defend herself/himself from on her/his own;
b) By abandoning the child in a defenceless state, for motive of age, physical defect or illness, when the agent had the duty to guard, watch or assist to the person;
is punished with a prison term of 1 to 5 years.

2 - If the fact is practised by an ascendant or descendant, adoptant or adoptee of the victim, the agent is punished with a prison term of 2 to 5 years.

3 - If the fact results in:
a) Serious offence to the physical integrity, the agent is punished with a prison term of 2 to 8 years;
b) Death, the agent is punished with a prison term of 3 to 10 years.

A witness to the exposure and abandonment and careless neglect by the McCanns:

The tapas waiter who served the McCanns while they dined on the night of their daughter's disappearance, has said the McCanns left their young family alone while they ate with friends on a number of nights.

He said the fathers in the group usually checked on the welfare of the children every 20 minutes and could not recall Kate McCann returning to check on the children except on the night of May 3 - the night of Madeleine's disappearance.

Jose Baptista served at the tapas bar and told The Sun newspaper the McCanns had dined with friends at a poolside table with friends for four nights.

"There was a big round table near the pool,"Mr Baptista told the newspaper.

"The McCanns and their friends had it every night. They obviously thought it was fine to leave the children in bed. They left their children alone for up to three hours every night. If I was in their position I wouldn't have done that," he said.

"Even though they were checking on their children, there was a lot of time they were alone, when someone could have taken them. The routine was set in stone. If somebody had been watching they would have been able to choose the right moment to take the child."

Image credits by Only in America

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