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

McCann Friends Refused to Return to Portugal: Afraid of being constituted arguidos

The other two couples that left the children in the Ocean Club were afraid by the fact that the Portuguese law provides a penalty up to 10 years in jail to those that abandon minors

Two couples refused to return to Portugal to cooperate with the PJ in the reenactment of the 3rd of May of 2007. Amongst the motives for the refusal, the 24 Horas discovered that it was the fact that Jane Tanner, Russel O'Brien, Rachel and Matthew Oldfield were afraid of being constituted as arguidos.

From the group of nine people that dined in the Tapas Bar in the night of the disappearance, apart from Maddie's parents these were the couples who also had children. And also left the children alone in the apartments of the Ocean Club - which according to the article 138º of the Penal Code, constitutes a crime of exposure or abandonment that can be punishable with ten years in jail.

"They made several demands, from a private Jet to a five star hotel. Their last request was not to be constituted arguidos, whilst the McCanns demanded exactly the opposite [McCanns wanted their status to be removed]. According to our law that is impossible to guarantee", explained to the 24 Horas a judicial responsible connected to the process.

According to the witness statements collected by the PJ at the Tapas Bar, only Russel O'Brien and Gerry McCann left the restaurant between 19h00 and 22h00, period that the authorities believe the child went missing.

"The refusal of the friends to return to Portugal is unbelievable. Only three said they would come", David Payne, Dianne Webster and Fiona, said the same source.
Notice that the depositions of Fiona Payne and her husband are considered to be fundamental to elaborate the Public Ministry's accusation which is almost concluded.



Diane Webster, 63 years old, was the most calm person of the group. After Kate entered the Bar screaming "they've taken her", she was calm and serene.


The reservation of the apartments of the Ocean Club - made through the Internet - was done by David Payne one of the witnesses that was available to return to Portugal.

Three consistent versions

The Judiciary Police investigators who are connected to the Maddie's process, a team coordinated by the superior coordinator Paulo Rebelo and Guilhermino Encarnação, responsible for the Department of Faro, have already analysed the main statements collected in Leicester, England.

The ones that have consistency, are the ones of David and Fiona Payne and Diane Webster, the 24 Horas discovered. All the other depositions show several contradictions or do not advance anything important to the case.

In any case the statements of more than 50 persons who spent their holidays at the Ocean Club in that date and who live in England, are still being analysed.

According to the statements of these three friends of the McCanns, from 18h00 onwards none of them saw Maddie, although she was extremely active and enjoyed to be with the group.

The only person that said that went to see the child a little after 21h00 is her own father, Gerry, who has confessed that he was talking for several minutes with a friend close to the apartment and after that only his wife Kate that gave the alarm of the disappearance after 22h30 . The authorities were only called near 23h45.

Source: 24 Horas
Translation by Li/Minor edits JM


  1. The friends refusing to go does not wash with me, If I were the McCanns and my friends refused to go I would be going wild.I would woonder how they had the nerve to refuse help in to the investigation in to my daughters disappearance.I would certainly not remain friends.....unless their refusal suited my purpose!
    When Clarence speaks of their refusal to attend he justifies it by stating that their refusal is in questioning the validity of the reconstruction...its blatantly obvious this is a tactic whereby the McCanns say they are available and if it does not take place it is not because of anything to do with Kate and Gerry, its the friends....Funny friends because in their shoes I would do anything asked of me wether I deeemed it having valididty or not.
    I would lay my life on it that O'Brien, Payne, Tanner and Oldfield are in this up to their useless necks.By in it I mean directly or indirectly involved in the disappearance of Madeleines body.

  2. jo - thank you for keeping up the fight with this blog. It is so important that everything surrounding the Madeleine McCann case is made available for people to read. The information from Portugal is particularly welcome.

    If the 3As has gone down please would you let me know if another forum is started to take its place? I am unable to make a link to it tonight ... but maybe it is just something gone wrong with the server.

    Thank you again

    Leslyf (Brit A.)

  3. The 3 Arguidos Forum is changing administration and servers. Will be back soon.

    Meanwhile for people to meet and discuss the case, these are other good alternatives for the 3A's members:



    Also see my side links for other available Forums on the McCann's Case.

    Note: No News from Portugal - Enjoy your weekend.


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