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

McCanns: Secrecy of Justice up to August

If there was no understanding of when the period began to count in September, the secrecy of justice would be lifted in April, but having this agreement the secrecy in the process will only end in August. “In declarations, to the CM, Rogério Alves, lawyer of the McCanns, contradicts the news circulating yesterday in the UK press, according to which the process of the inquiry to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz, in the 3rd of May of last year, would be available for consultation after the 14th of April.

“It is out of question", said also to the CM a source close to the investigation. According to several English newspapers, quoting an interview of Rogério Alves to the news agency Associated Press [you can read his interview and see the differences in the UK tabloids for yourself], the former bar of the Order of the Lawyers, would have informed his clients that they might try the consultation to the process from the 14th of April. “What I speak with my clients I do not speak in public ", said to the CM Rogério Alves, explaining that "the secrecy will only be lifted in August".

In the count down for the investigations to the friends who were on vacation with the McCanns in the Praia da Luz, predicted to begin day 8 of this month, in Leicester and in the presence of elements of the PJ , Rogério Alves also said to the CM: "I was not notified of anything, neither were my clients." Kate and Gerry, who are preparing a documentary to be exhibited on the 30th of April, about an alert system for missing children, might not be, for the moment, questioned by the police.

Source: Correio da Manhã

Maybe, and knowing for a fact that Team McCann spin has previously 'modified' what people say, like Mr. Alípio Ribeiro comments, and others, Mr. Rogério Alves should take the advice given to Hugo Chávez by His Majesty Juan Carlos, the King of Spain: ¿Por qué no te callas? [Why don't you Shut Up?]

Yesterday, once again spinning, Clarence Mitchell had this to say:

Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, welcomed the lawyer’s comments and called for the arguido status to be lifted.

Mr Mitchell said: “We would hope that the police will do the decent and proper thing and open up the files."

“I would go further than that, and say once they have completed the interviews with the friends, they should go back to Portugal and assess the evidence and eliminate Kate and Gerry and allow everyone once again to concentrate on the search for Madeleine.”

"Kate and Gerry and their friends have long expected this visit by Portuguese police officers."

"It comes as no surprise to them at all that some reports in the Portuguese papers in the last few days have been speculating about the arrival date."

" I am not in a position to confirm any dates or give any details about the re-interviewing of the friends and all matters will have to go to Leicestershire police to be dealt with."

"However, Kate and Gerry and their friends welcome the police interviews. The friends are more than happy to co-operate fully, as are Kate and Gerry, although in this case Kate and Gerry will not be re-interviewed."

" This has not been requested but Kate and Gerry would have agreed to answer any questions had they police wished to put anything to them.

" There were some reports from Portugal last week that police were not going the question Kate and Gerry because they thought they would not co-operate. This is utterly ridiculous and completely baseless."

"Kate and Gerry and their friends see this as an important chance to help the police."

" We hope that the police will realise that there is no evidence to link Kate and Gerry with Madeleine's disappearance in any way and that they will be rapidly eliminated from the inquiry and the arguido status, which was imposed too hastily as the head of the Portuguese admitted, will be lifted as soon as possible"


Source: The UK Tabloids, Sky News aka the McCann's Media


7 comments:

  1. I’m a Portuguese citizen. Incidentally, I am also a lawyer. While trying to remain unbiased, neutral and dispassionate, I thought it could be helpful to throw some light on:

    i) the allegation that PJ has offered a deal to Mss. McCann in exchange of a confession; and
    ii) the fact that no charges have been brought against Mr. and Mss. McCann

    For the sake of objectivity and neutrality, facts are in ALL CAPS, my opinion in normal caps, so that you can distinguish the text of the law from my views on the case.

    1 – PJ HAS NOT LEGAL POWERS TO SETTLE OR OFFER DEALS WITH CRIME SUSPECTS. IN FACT, NOR EVEN THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR HAS SUCH POWERS. ONLY THE MAGISTRATE THAT JUDGES THE CASE IN A COURT OF LAW CAN DETERMINE THE PUNISHMENT /PENALTY APPLICABLE. I UNDERSTAND THIS TO BE QUITE DIFFERENT TO THE COMMON LAW JURISDICTIONS, NAMELY THE UK AND THE US.

    This is common knowledge in Portugal. One of the first things taught in law schools is that our criminal system is not like in the (American) movies. The police do not cut deals. Nor the Public Prosecutor has the power to offer deals and settle with suspects. Only the Judge can determine the penalty. It is actually quite common for the judge to deviate from the accusation and proposed penalty presented by the Public Prosecutor (for example, the Public Prosecutor charges someone with murder and asks for a 20 years jail penalty but the Judge, while finding the defendant guilty, condemns him/her to serve only 18 years).

    This is such a basic principle that no detective would try to pull this stunt with a lawyer present.

    2 – ONLY THE CONFESSION MADE DURING A COURT HEARING IS LEGALLY VALID (SECTION 314 OF THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE).

    It seems unlikely that the PJ would push for a confession that it is not legally valid. Of course that a confession would be a huge breakthrough in the investigations as it would rule out other scenarios and allow the police and the Public Prosecutor to build a case, but if Mss. McCann later (i.e., during the court hearing) denies what she has confessed, the originally confession cannot be considered by the Judge.

    On a side note, this is why the questioning at the PJ is not recorded. Contrarily to what a British gentleman was saying this afternoon on SkyNews, the reason for not recording the interview is not archaism or lack of technical means – it is actually to protect the suspect against something he/she may later regret.

    3 – PJ DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER TO CHARGE MR. AND MSS. MCCANN. THE PJ ROLE IS TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY AND PUT TOGETHER THE FACTS. BASED ON THE FACTS GATHERED BY THE PJ, IT IS UP TO THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR TO CHARGE (OR NOT TO CHARGE) THE SUSPECTS. THE PUBLIC PROSECUTOR HAS BETWEEN 6 AND 12 MONTHS (DEPENDING ON THE SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ALLEGED CRIME) FROM THE MOMENT ON WHICH THE SUSPECT IS NAMED “ARGUIDO” TO DECIDE IF IT PRESENTS OR DISMISS CHARGES – SECTION 276 OF THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE.

    It seems that the focuses being placed on the fact that no charges have been brought against Mr. and Mss. McCann is deliberately trying to pass the message that the evidence is weak. Well, I don’t know if the evidence is weak or strong. What I do know is that from a procedural point of view there could never be charges at this stage of the process.



    Personal feelings now. I am trained to and effectively believe that anyone is innocent until proven guilty and I am therefore applying this principle to my personal assessment of this case. I also have no problems admitting ,not I feel ashamed or inferior to acknowledge, that the British police is technologically more advance that the Portuguese and probably more experienced – it is a matter of scale.

    The sister of Mr. McCann is lying. Such lye seems to be an attempt to make the PJ look desperate. Having been on the other side of PJ interviews many times before, I can assure that they never get desperate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 05:35

    @ anonymous lawyer.

    Thank you for your insight on this case. The system is very much different to the US or the British. Can you explain to us please, for how long can a person stay an arguido?

    Please bear in mind that the McCanns asked for the arguido status, because they did not want to answer the police questions.

    In my language, it means, "PJ go find your own evidence and prove that we have committed a crime", which is something widely used in our systems too. Not every criminal confesses the crime.

    My dear lawyer, don't worry about Philomena McCann. She is worse than the UK tabloids.
    Ignore her.
    She may "suffer" if we all do that.

    Thank you
    Nicholas

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, PTLW78, how are you? And how is our baby? You and your expertise are sorely missed in the forums. Any chance you can spare sometime to enlighten the masses? A bem da nação?
    Pretty please...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rogério Alves, lawyer of the McCanns

    ----------------------------------

    "Tudo isto é triste,tudo isto é Fado"


    Só se pode estar mesmo muito triste.

    O P.R. voltou.Ainda bem, embora também esteja bastante triste por ele.Tudo de bom,P.R.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would like to know what the lawter from Portugal thinks as to the McCanns not being charged with leaving three children with a combined age of 7 alone to fend for themselves? Does he think it likely they will face charges of that nature?
    Also will the forensic evidence the pj collected ever be know to the public?

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://sosmaddie.dhblogs.be/
    01.04.2008

    L’affaire McCann : succès des interrogatoires compromis

    Secret n’a pas été respecté

    L’objectif visé par la police portugaise avec l’interrogatoire de plusieurs témoins sur le sol britannique, connus dans l’affaire McCann comme les "tapas 7", serait gravement compromis par la divulgation du contenu des lettres rogatoires et d’une partie de la version anglaise du dossier.

    L’information est avancée par une source du Leicestershire Constabulary et confirmée par une copie du document à que SOS Madeleine à pu avoir accès. Selon la même source, le contenu des lettres rogatoires et une partie du dossier aurait été copié et envoyé à un ancien officier de la police, actuellement dans le secteur privé, proche d’un témoin et intéressé dans le déroulement des investigations.

    Après quelques mois d’attente, mis à profit par les témoins pour préparer les prochains interrogatoires, la Police Judiciaire est sensé voyager vers le Royaume-Uni pendant le mois d’avril afin de poursuivre son enquête à la disparition de Madeleine McCann.

    Plusieurs témoins, et pas des moindres, ont reçu, de la part d’avocats et d’anciens officiers de la police britannique, des consignes et informations de comment faire face aux questions préparés par l’équipe de Paulo Rebelo.

    (à suivre)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Portuguese lawyer,

    I wonder if you would mind answering a question; I have heard that under Portuguese law that the first statement you make is the one used in court. e.g. Ms Tanner made her 'Egg man' running towards Murats house statement to the police when they were called on the 5th may. She then has done various other statements (we've all seen the different photofits). It has been suggested she will, if it goes to court be asked if her original statement was right...if she says 'no' he will ask one more time then if she still says 'no' it is more than possible she will get a prison sentence on that alone. Is this true?

    ReplyDelete

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