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

Breaking News: Judicial Secrecy Extended Another 3 months

O prazo do segredo de justiça nas investigações ao caso do desaparecimento da criança inglesa Madeleine McCann no Algarve foi prorrogado por três meses, disse hoje à Agência Lusa fonte da Procuradoria-Geral da República (PGR).

Caso o prazo de segredo de justiça não fosse prorrogado por mais três meses, o mesmo terminaria a 15 de Maio.

13 de Maio de 2008, 18:05

Lisboa, 13 Mai (Lusa) - The deadline for the judicial secrecy over the investigations into the case of the disappearance of the English child, Madeleine McCann, in the Algarve, was extended for three months, a source at the State Prosecutor's Office told Lusa Agency today.

If this deadline had not been extended for another three months, it would have ended on the 15th of May.

Source Lusa News Agency

An interesting fact from today's Diário de Notícias (not on-line):

NOTW paid around 40.000 euros/61.88400 U.S. dollars/31.769598 British pounds to do the pictures inside the McCanns apartment.

The apartment 5A, was registered at a certain time to 4 people. In 2006 after the death of Michael William McCann, Ruth Margaret McCann become the sole owner. The apartment has a T2 Typology, which in architectural terms means a two bedroom flat. Ruth McCann told her conditions to the persons responsible of the tourist's resort, Ocean Club, that the apartment would only be available to rent for a period of one year and for the minimum amount of 24 thousand Euros.

Several proposals appeared, the majority came from British Tabloids, surpassing the value requested by the owner of the apartment.

Last week, Ruth McCann, who lives in the UK, arrived at Praia da Luz (PdL) and requested the key from the reception at the Ocean Club. Discretely, she entered the apartment with a photographer from the English Tabloid News of The World (NOTW). The photos and the footage taken that day from inside the apartment costed around 40.000 euros (61.88400 U.S. dollars/31.769598 British Pounds).

The apartment has been closed since July for the Judiciary Police investigations, who awaits for the possibility of a re-enactment of the night of the 3rd of May to be done on that location. That diligence is the one who is conditioning the rental of the apartment.


  1. Joana is the3 secrecy being extended 3 months good or bad news for the McCanns?

  2. Hi Speak.
    Let's put it this way - It's a big Slap in their face. As this 3 months extension has everything to do with their unwillingness to return to Portugal. Also it has to do with the McCanns apparent refusal to take part in the re-enactment and in facing the contradictions and incongruences of the Tapas 9 statements given to the British and Portuguese police forces in several occasions.

    This means that the McCanns last battle is to fight the extradition to return to Portugal, if they indeed refuse to come after being officially requested to do so.

    The fight they'll put in these scenario will be against a very likely European Arrest Warrant, that's why the McCanns have hired 6/7 months ago, Pinochet's infamous extradition Lawyer, Michael Caplan.

    Bad News for the McCanns, worst even for those who are entangled in a spiral of lies and deceit and who have perverted the course of Portuguese Justice, and who obviously will be the firsts to take the fall.

  3. Joana do you really think the P.J will try to get the McCanns back to Portugal and if so what would be the purpose of getting them back because I cant see the McCanns getting charged...can you?

  4. Bom dia!

    Li as belíssimas explicações dadas à pergunta colocada por Speak.

    Excelente,para todos nós.

    Quanto à proprietária do ,infelizmente famoso apartamento,também sabe fazer dinheiro.Será do apelido ou estará isto genéticamente definido no clan?

  5. I gather the McCanns will be charged with:

    1. Abandonment resulting in death (a death which, presumably, the PJ can prove beyond doubt).

    2. Wasting police time.

    3. Improper disposal of a body.

    Is this how you see things developing?

  6. Joana,

    I have been reading your blog for many months and applaud you for your efforts and clear and thorough writing about this case.

    Your comments to this, your most recent post, give me hope that justice will be served. It is very promising that the Prosecutors have extended the time of secrecy on the investigation, a sign that they are not ready to file the case away without charges.

    Recently I have been trying to locate information online on Portuguese laws on child abandonment and neglect, looking through translations of Portuguese press articles on blogs, as well as searching in general. The most I could come up with is this post on the Websleuths' forum:

    "In Portugal the Law for leaving children alone is very harsh
    Penal code 138 below

    The article #138 (Portuguese Penal Code) says that it’s a crime not to attend children, not providing the necessary “surveillance” regarding children. So, any action that puts a child (or children) at danger/risk, is a crime. This type of crime is punished from 1 year to 5 in Prison, or from 2 to 8 years in prison, if the action is done by parents.

    This is not a common type of crime in Portugal, but one Court from Porto (a town in the North) has found a father guilty by leaving a 4 month child, for brief moments, on the street.

    If the outcome of action brings the death to the child, the penalty goes from 3 to 10 years or from 2 to 8, if it brings significant physical damage to the victim."

    Is this an accurate representation of the law? Do you have a link to an article or source written in English that would explain the law? I remember reading an article, months ago, quoting some expert or authority figure in Portugal stating that the McCanns leaving their children alone at their apartment was considered child neglect and abandonment under Portuguese law. I haven't had success in relocating it, though. Some people who believe the McCanns are not guilty of neglect insist that they have broken no law in Portugal with their 'system' of child minding. (No, I am not one of them.)

    Your help would be much appreciated, as I have spent hours trying to locate the information on my own.

  7. Hi Joana....just wondering what you make of the latest news in the Sun saying Madeleine was spotted on a plane going to Brazil and that interpol have been alerted?

  8. "speak your mind"
    The Brazilian sighting was just spin, to counter the breaking news about the 3 month extention of their arguido status.

  9. Boa tarde Joana!

    Em primeiro lugar, quero manifestar o meu apreço pela excelente informação sobre este caso aqui no seu blog.

    Congratulo-me com o facto de o prazo ter sido alargado e de que a PJ tenha colocado a bola no campo dos MC Cann.

    Espero que esta notícia da suposta pista da criança no Brasil não tenha nada a ver com futuro spin à volta do crime da pequenina Isabella Nardoni talcomo aconteceu com Mari Luz.

    Obrigada por este espaço.

  10. Speak,

    Mariana is absolutely right.

    Every time that the media hypes Madeleine's face in one country that causes people to see Madeleine every where.

    The Brazilians have been following this story, TV Globo [Brazil most watched Channel] made a documentary on Madeleine, the printed press publishes often about this case, Brazilians blog about it.

    Another aspect to consider is the social hysteria of the latest Media hype over a very similar case in Brazil. The case of two Parents who murdered their own daughter Isabella Nardoni.

    Just google Nardoni and McCann and you’ll see a multitude of articles in various languages.

    Now, let’s think of Madeleine’s mediatic face, her mediatic coloboma eye, the mediatic 2 million pounds reward. And specially relating to the original Brazilian article from where the spin in the British media came from: the weirdness of the sightings of a little girl with blonde hair, something that a kidnapper would immediately change.

    No doubt a leak to the press made an Interpol Brazilian Inspectors do a statement, where Marília Moreira Marques, lists some details of unconvincing sightings to her and to Interpol, she calls them 'Trotes' which means Lies.


    The details of the sightings according to the article:

    The alleged sightings of a man called Mark in a Book Fair one year ago (May 11th 2007) in Rio de Janeiro, where only he saw a little blonde girl. Another sighting of a little blonde girl walking in in the side walk of one of the most dangerous cities in the world to walk - Rio de Janeiro again. Another blonde girl seen across the city on a bus station. Another sighting in Malta - this one stinks of metodo3. And that last sighting of a man that saw a little blonde girl inside the airplane - just him no one else saw the girl.

    Side Note: Is every blonde girl Madeleine? Are people trying to get some money? Is Brazil in a serious economic recession?

    Oh another question, how do you think that the most recognizable face in the world would escape Airport security, CCTV’s and several check points?? Hysteria.

    No Interpol, No Europol, Just good old fashioned Metodo Horribilis and Pink Spin

  11. Jolie,

    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.

    The 138 Article is correct.

    Artigo 138.º
    Exposição ou abandono (61)
    1 — Quem colocar em perigo a vida de outra pessoa:
    a) Expondo-a em lugar que a sujeite a uma situação de que ela, só por si, não possa defender-se; ou
    b) Abandonando-a sem defesa, sempre que ao agente coubesse o dever de a guardar, vigiar ou assistir;
    é punido com pena de 1 a 5 anos de prisão
    2 — Se o facto for praticado por ascendente ou descendente, adoptante ou adoptado da vítima, o agente
    é punido com pena de prisão de 2 a 5 anos.
    3 — Se do facto resultar:
    a) Ofensa à integridade física grave, o agente é punido com pena de prisão de 2 a 8 anos;
    b) A morte, o agente é punido com pena de prisão de 3 a 10 anos.

    That is in Portuguese, obviously if it is proved that they accidentally killed their daughter, hidden the body, and obstructed the course of Justice their penal charges can be aggravated.

    Verbo Jurídico - Portal de direito in Portuguese
    Legislation and Case Law.

    The Portuguese Penal code in English - PDF File which unfortunately just goes until article 130

    GDDC- A portal for comparative law and documentation in English, French and Portuguese

  12. Thank You for your Blog Joana.
    Your english is awesome.
    I am portuguese ( as you ) but since this is a Blog written in English
    I think I should write in english.
    I agree with you in some stuff and I do not agree when it comes to other stuff.
    When it comes to the case of Joana..., I am not sure she was guilty of murdering her daughter.
    As far as I am aware blood was found in the refrigerator but there was no evidence blood belonged to Joana.
    I find amazing that pigs can eat every bitt of a human being , hair and teeth included.

    I know you do not agree with me.
    When it comes to the Mc Can case we completely agree.

  13. Mariana Im glad you see the sighting in Brazil as you do because sometimes these sightings give me cold feet so to speak, it makes me wonder if there was an abduction and I am being harsh in my judgement, but yes the sightings do always follow negative news on the McCanns...and as my mother would say if it walks like a duck, swims and quacks like a duck its a ...duck!!
    Joana...do you think the P.J will do them for abandonment because with the inspector his own country would not back him and accepted his resignation and even criticised his critism of the british police.
    Does anyone else think it a strange coincidence that the apratment rented by the McCanns happens to be owned by a Mrs McCann?

  14. Thank you very much for the information about Portugal's child neglect laws. Your help is very much appreciated.

    So you really think that the PJ will go forward with charges on child neglect, if they cannot prove further crimes were committed? While many people would support that action, many others will be up in arms. I also would expect that the UK government will continue to put pressure on Portugal to prevent that from happening.

    What are you basing your projections that the PJ will press charges on? I am curious: do you have a source(s) that gives you an idea of what is happening within the investigation?

    The BBC article about the extension of judicial secrecy states: "Most Portuguese legal experts are reported to believe that legislation that took effect last year, loosening Portugal's strict secrecy rules, will not permit yet another extension."

    Do you think is true, that this will be the final extension?

  15. speak your mind
    I have learnt to "read" the McCann's.
    The "stupid" abductor, was met by an imbecile witness who "spoted" Madeleine inside a plane on a flight to São Paulo six weeks ago.
    This imbecile guy by the name of Mark did not alert the pilot, did not do anything (yelled, screamed, shouted) after touchdown and went on to his embassy to "report" the "sighting".

    Thanks for clarifying the law.


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