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 to visit European Parliament next week

Before you read this article remember that Piers Merchant and MEP Roger Knapman attempted in 2007 to dismiss the McCanns guilt, blaming the Portuguese Police and stating that Portugal was a corrupted state. An article from the Daily Mail in November 2007 (not on-line anymore):

Madeleine police are 'corrupt and amateur'
Last updated at 11:00am on 14th November 2007

Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been accused of being corrupt and carrying out a flawed investigation.

The accusations are contained in a letter sent from the office of British MEP Roger Knapman to a woman who had lobbied several MEPs complaining of the damage the case was doing to UK-Portugal relations.

The letter, sent from the office of the MEP for the South-West of England, says: "The Portuguese police and judicial system is known to be suspect.
"Elements of the police are corrupt... the original police investigation was amateurish and flawed.
"It is important to realise that Portugal has no real history of citizen's rights and liberties or democracy."

It points out that Portugal became a democracy only 30 years ago.

The letter was written on Mr Knapman's behalf, by Piers Merchant, a former Tory MP who was forced to quit after his affair with a 17-year-old hostess.

He now works as an assistant to Mr Knapman at the UK Independence Party.

The national director of Portugal's Policia Judicial federation said Mr Merchant's comments were "unacceptable and irresponsible".

SIC NEWS 14/11/07 Roger Knapman in the European Parliament as a group of Portuguese MEP's express their displeasure at Mr Merchant's views:"It sounds fair enough. Piers has very carefully investigated this matter and responded on my behalf."


Independence/Democracy Group

United Kingdom
UK Independence Party
Born on 20 February 1944, Crediton (Devon)

Press release

European Parliament: The Week Ahead – 7-13 April 2008
Institutions - 03-04-2008 - 19:17

Plenary session and committee meetings - Brussels

Official visit to Ireland. European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering will meet Prime Minster Bertie Ahern and President Mary McAleese during an official visit to Ireland (Monday-Wednesday).

Official visit to Qatar. The President will then make an official visit to Qatar at the end of the week, where, in addition to a series of bilateral meetings, he will speak at the 8th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade (Saturday-Sunday).

Plenary session. Parliament holds a plenary session in Brussels (Wednesday and Thursday). Highlights include:
- vote to approve Commissioner Vassiliou;
- oral question on combating cancer;
- progress reports on the accession of Croatia and FYROM;
- resolution on Tibet.

Juncker. On Monday the Eurogroup President will address the Economic Affairs Committee, which is also holding a hearing on hedge funds (Tuesday).

CFSP. Javier Solana, High Representative for the CFSP, will discuss current external relations issues with the Foreign Affairs Committee (Tuesday).

Waste. The Environment Committee will vote on a draft second-reading recommendation updating the framework directive on waste. Some amendments rejected by Council will be re-tabled, on topics such as recycling and hazardous waste (Tuesday).

Terrorism. A round table with national parliaments will tackle the issue of "provocation to commit terrorist offences", with the European Commission, the EU Counter-terrorism co-ordinator and the Council of Europe (Monday).

Immigration. Civil Liberties Committee MEPs travel to Denmark, for the next in a series of visits to immigrant detention centres across Europe (Thursday).

Nepal. An EP delegation will travel to Nepal, to observe its legislative elections (Monday-Saturday).

Missing child hotline. A meeting to consider prospects for a Europe-wide alert system for missing or abducted children will hear from Gerry and Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since May 2007 (Thursday).

Notice that
in Europe there is already a missing children hotline to call:116000

Plenary agenda for Thursday 10/04/2008

11:00 - Missing child hotline - Edward MCMILLAN-SCOTT (EPP-ED, UK)

Other events
Alert systems for missing or abducted children
09:30 - 10:30 Brussels, ASP 3E2

A meeting of MEPs with an interest in child welfare issues will discuss the prospects for setting up a Europe-wide alert system for cases of child abduction. They will hear from Gerry and Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since May 2007.

The meeting coincides with the tabling of a draft written declaration on emergency cooperation in recovering missing children. Among those taking part in the meeting are its authors: Roberta Angelilli (UEN, IT; rapporteur on the Communication “Towards the rights of the child”); Glenys Kinnock (PES, UK); Edward McMillan-Scott (EPP-ED, UK); Struan Stevenson (EPP-ED, UK) and Diana Wallis (ALDE, UK);

A press conference, including Gerry and Kate McCann, will be held in room PHS 0A50 at 11.00.

Edward McMillan-Scott backs the McCanns

A Yorkshire MEP will meet Kate and Gerry McCann as he presses ahead with his campaign to introduce a high-powered child abduction warning system to the UK.
Edward McMillan-Scott said that the McCann tragedy, the Shannon Matthews disappearance and the abduction of two children from Rotherham this week showed how important it was to introduce a new system.

The Tory vice-president of the European Parliament wants Britain to introduce a similar system to those found in the United States, France and Belgium. He will meet the McCanns in Brussels in the next two weeks to help press the case.

In those countries a hotline is available for parents to report missing children. News flashes are then broadcast on television, motorway gantries and town centre information screens; airports are automatically informed; and police have access to a central database helping track down those who may be responsible.

While a British version exists – the Child Rescue Alert system – not all police forces are signed up; each force runs on different technology, making it difficult to roll out instant alerts; and there is no central hub available to assist detectives in their search.

Mr McMillan-Scott said that children's charities including PACT and Missing People were convinced Britain needed a better system. The McCanns are in Washington this Easter studying the US Amber Alert system before meeting him in Brussels to discuss how they can help the campaign, he said.

"It is my understanding the McCanns are in favour of the American system," he said. "In the last few weeks we have heard in the House of Commons that many Asian children in Bradford are the victims of forced marriage, we have heard about Shannon Matthews and now about the Rotherham children.

"We should be considering as a society whether we are getting things right and working out the best way forward. I'm calling for police forces in the region to get together and take into account the recent issues here.

"The Government has to take this issue up as it is being asked to by a number of charities. The current situation is to the disbenefit of our children, and I speak as a father and grandfather."

He said 17-month-old Alex Mendoza and his sister Eva, eight months, who were snatched from their Rotherham home on March 8 and taken by their father to California, could have been kept in Britain if an Amber Alert system had been in place. "We need a children's resource centre at a national level and a hotline that Cara Mendoza (the children's mother) could have rung and known that the person on the other end knew what they were talking about," he said.

The Rotherham case "was about getting the information out fast, making sure airports were informed straight away, and for that we need a properly constructed missing children portal".

The MEP said he "stood by" comments made last weekend when he said an Amber Alert system would have helped find Shannon Matthews, despite claims from the West Yorkshire Police that he did not know what he was talking about.

"Because of the central hub in America there are lots of statistics available that aid police in finding missing children," he said. "They show, for example, that the abductor is likely to be in the extended family, likely to be local, and recovery depends on getting out the information early.

"The police did not put out an alert until 9am on the day after Shannon was abducted. All of this suggests the police inquiry went in the wrong direction."

In a letter this week to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Mr McMillan-Scott wrote: "The West Yorkshire Police spokesmen have suggested that it is 'totally inaccurate' to suggest, as I do, that had we an Amber Alert system in place in the UK and had it been activated, the statistics suggest that an inquiry based on them would have resulted in an earlier discovery. I hold to my view."

West Yorkshire Police said last week that UK police had the Child Rescue Alert Scheme, "designed for use in potential child abductions when the vehicle or partial vehicle details are known. As such its use would have been wholly inappropriate in this case and any suggestions that it would have speeded up the Shannon operation is wholly inaccurate."

Who is Edward McMillan-Scott?

Edward McMillan-Scott (edward.mcmillan-scott@europarl.europa.eu) is a European MP from the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats. Conservative and Unionist Party
Born on 15 August 1949, Cambridge

From is site: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, elected to represent the people of Yorkshire & The Humber in Europe... "The UK has a patchy child alert system which relies on poor communication between 53 police forces, charities and volunteers. I am convinced that we need a single national Amber Alert system, based, as in the US, French and Belgian systems, in the responsible government department, namely the Home Office. This should have the capacity to network, when necessary, with the developing EU network."

Plenary session - 15 January 2008 for "Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child"

0:11'19'' [b]Title 5: Towards an EU strategy on children's rights - Extract from the report of Roberta ANGELILLI (UEN, IT) (15 January 2008)[/b]

0:11'22'' Roberta ANGELILLI (UEN, IT), (in Italian) We have to have participation of children in choices relevant to them, so called mainstreaming as well putting in fostering children's rights into all the policies of the European Union, and the right of minors should a political priority for Europe as a whole, because children represent around about of 30% of the European citizens.

0:11'47'' Franco FRATTINI , EU Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, (in Italian), Still more than half of Member states don't have this children's hotline up and running. Even those, it struck me, this being an initiative of could have been implemented very quickly. In October last year along with the Presidency in Lisbon, we talked about the possibility of setting up a European network for early warning systems if children were kidnapped or disappeared.

0:12'22'' Glenys KINNOCK (PSE, GB), (In English) , We talking about the rights of children, the rights of children to be consulted, the rights of children to be listen to and the rights of children to have the respect of adults and not told by adults what they meant to be doing. I also I would like to say how much I welcome the fact the there a reference in the Lisbon treaty to children's rights, we welcome that Commissioner, because at the moment only animal rights only have a legal base in this way in the European Union and it is of course urgently needed that we have children identified in this way.

0:12'53'' Marie PANAYOTOPOULOS-CASSIOTOU (EPP-ED, GR), (in Greek), The idea of having an co-ordinated approach for protecting the rights of the child at EU level, after all is covered by the interesting made by the COM. The child shouldn't been simply as a victim, but someone who has right to grow up in a healthy family environment and we will be able to his psychological and physical needs met.

Source: European Parliament

Video of the Plenary Session:"Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child " for IE only: link

Related/External Links:

Children - European Forum on the Rights of the child

On April 11, 2008, a golf tournament will be organised by the Supporting Committee to raise funds for Missing Children Europe.


  1. I'm incredulous at all of this.

  2. It appears to be a cynical and exploitative attempt by the McCanns to make more money to the fund.

  3. This is absolutely disgusting! How can the British government lobby for the McCanns, 2 formal suspects in a crime to speak at the European Parliament? The case is still ongoing, THEY ARE STILL ARGUIDOS!!!

  4. The McCann's career as doctors is probably over and they intend to parlay their daughter’s disappearance into a new career. Their intent is to champion causes of child welfare; I predicted this in September. The British government is not stupid and their continual interference in the matter suggests to me that they are quite comfortable in sweeping the facts under the rug, as one is apt to say. At the risk of offending some people, my theory is that the girl is buried in England. There is no telling what you can do when you have access to a private jet and the luxury of not going through customs.

    With regards to the interrogations I don’t believe that a judge would allow the Portuguese and English police to waste their time and money unless there was already substantial evidence in the case file. I suspect that this case involves a lot of circumstantial evidence that points in the same direction. In a case of this sort getting a guilty verdict is difficult but not impossible, such cases result in a protracted and expensive trial. The McCanns are fortunate though in having, by coincidence, just received a large settlement from British papers, and who knows maybe 50,000 pounds isn’t really the going price for a collection agency.

  5. Might complicate an European Arrest Warrant if the McCanns are to be arrested next week, and they are in Brussels.

    European arrest warrant

    The glossary is being updated given the recent signing of the Treaty of Lisbon.

    The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a person being sought for a criminal prosecution or a custodial sentence.

    It is a tool designed to strengthen cooperation between the judicial authorities of the Member States by eliminating the use of extradition. It is based on the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters.

    The European arrest warrant is based on a Framework Decision adopted by the Council on 13 June 2002. This decision is applied from 1 January 2004.


  6. Kind of ironic isn't...

    Suspects in the disappearance of their own daughter and linking themselves with 'missing children's organizations...

    Which ignore the plight of the missing kids in Portugal.

  7. Its clear that they are involving as many rich and powerful people in this case as they can. Its a smart strategy and they do it in a way that those involved only figure out the things when its to late to step back. In the end, those can't let them go down, otherwise they'll go down with them.

  8. I agree with all the comments,completly.

    Qual a razão,estando com termo de identidade e residência,podendo ausentar-se de casa com a permissão da P.J(penso eu),para que haja tanta e tanta permissão e liberdade para o casal em questão?

  9. Descaramento,
    enormissima falta de bons valores;
    valores éticos completamente invertidos;
    completa ausência de pudor.


    Vivemos onde? Em que Mundo?

    Cada vez mais se assemelha a Sodoma e Gomorra.
    Isto,como está não pode continuar.É estranhissimo.
    Mas que mundo é este?

  10. What remains is to know whose interest was in having the McCanns as the 'head ambassadors' for this 'amber alert' campaign when it was obvious that it was a fraud and it would become a total fiasco? Why was the couple allowed to lie about the missing European hotline number 116000, which is already in use - ex: APDC - Portuguese missing children association. http://www.ap-cd.pt/

    And coincidentally, why was that date in Brussels arranged to be on the exact same date of the arrival of a Judiciary Team in England? To protect Mitchell from Facing The Portuguese Inspectors - he was on the list allegedly requested by the McCanns? Why didn't the Home Office or the Europol, or Eurojust intervened in this embarrassing situation?


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