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 High Court Bid : Inside Report

Madeleine McCann; hearing 7.7.08 by Emma2 on the 3 Arguidos Forum


Lawyer on behalf of the McCanns/Madeleine: Madeleine was made a Ward of Court before her 5th birthday. The McCanns are not in Court, as they are on holiday and no-one deserves a holiday more than them.

Judge: I did not expect to see them.

Lawyer on behalf of McCanns/Madeleine:The world knows that Madeleine was abducted from an apartment in the Algarve on 3 May. No-one has been arrested or charged in connection with the matter. Her whereabouts are unknown and there is not a scrap of evidence that she is not alive. Gerry and Kate McCann set in motion a search and a fund was set up. A massive international police search followed. Leicestershire Police (LP) are the lead force among UK agencies. The McCanns would like to acknowledge the enormous effort by LP and other agencies and they wish to thank individual officers for their kindness and concern. A summons was issued in this Court on 17/5/07, the sole purpose of which was to invoke the extensive powers of the High Court in the case of a missing child. It is quite routine for parents to invoke the wide-ranging powers of the Court, eg. mobile phone records can be disclosed; this example has no bearing in this case and is given by way of illustration only.

On 22/5, the Judge ordered that any person with information about Madeleine disclose any such information which might assist to locate her. The Order was served on Leicester Police who had doubts as to whether the Order properly extended to them. My instructing solicitor sought clarification and directions were given on 22/4 for a hearing. LP and other agencies, whilst sympathetic to the McCanns, objected on a point of principle and raised a number of legal arguments re the public interest in confidentiality of a police investigation. Both SOCA and the AG sought to intervene and advanced arguments on the grounds of public policy. If contested, a number of points of law would have to be considered and the McCanns became concerned that this would be a distraction from Madeleine. Meanwhile, there have been 2 recent developments:
(1) LP has now agreed to release limited information
(2) As widely reported last week, it is now expected that the parents’ arguidos status will be lifted soon, and it is hoped that this will have a bearing on what will be disclosed and that negotiation about disclosure will be possible.

Gerry and Kate McCann wanted to work on a cooperative basis with LP and have withdrawn their application.

With respect to the draft Order, the chief Respondent, the Chief Constable of LP has prepared a document will provide contact details of people and a resume of information that they wished to pass to the investigation. LP set up a major incident room and provided a telephone number in the period before the telephone number became widely known. Anne Thomas, of the Family Group was instructed and her firm’s telephone number got into the press and all those callers were referred on to LP. The solicitors thought it right that police should be receiving the information and did not retain notes nor contact numbers. The Chief Constable will provide contact details for those people who came forward in the immediate aftermath, together with a summary of the information provided and it is likely that this information will be of great help. The documents in the case shall remain confidential to the court, with the exception that the Chief Constable shall have discretion to reveal contents of certain documents. The parents understand the points of principle are of wider interest to the police and whilst they would not wish to restrict discussion, are confident the Chief Constable will exercise his discretion in a responsible way. The fund remains involved in the search. The intention is to lave no stone unturned. We hope my lady, that you will be able to say that the parents have behaved responsibly. We ask that the wardship continue and that you will remain the Judge concerned.

Mr Lewis on behalf of the Chief Constable:We would like you to approve the Order. As the Court heard, any person served with the Order should disclose any information that would help to find Madeleine . We wish to make it clear that the primary aim is to ensure that no stone is left unturned. There must be a balance between the rights of Plaintiffs to have as much information as possible and the risk of compromising a criminal investigation; and a potential breach of Portuguese law. The parents get information that emanates fro them and there is no breach of Portuguese law. The Chief Constable asks the Court to make clear that previous Orders don’t apply. The case is not closed. The Chief Constable wishes to reiterate anyone with information should come forward to the police. The amount of information is 81 pieces of information out of 11,.000 pieces of information on the computer system. Representative of the AG:
The AG intervened as Guardian of the public interest and has no further comment to make.

Judgment of Justice Hogg:Madeleine went missing on 3/5/07 a few days before her 4th birthday while on holiday in the Algarve. On 17/5, Madeleine parents invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under the Children and Custody Act and the Hague Convention. They sought various Orders and Directions to assist in ascertaining her whereabouts. Madeleine became a ward of court. It is not known if she is alive, but there is no evidence to the contrary. She is a British citizen and habitually resident in the UK. The Court made an order on 2/4 against the Chief Constable to assist in providing information. Such is the complexity of the issues in relation to other investigations, that other parties were invited and joined. The parents reached an accommodation. The Chief Constable will provide contact details for people who contacted the parents’ solicitors. The parents do not wish to pursue other applications and withdraw their application. I have no criticism of the parents who have behaved responsibly and reasonably. The parents should be allowed to withdraw their application. An Order is made by Consent. The terms of Orders made on 22/5/07 shall not apply to the Chief Constable nor any other agency. All evidence submitted to the court shall remain confidential, save the Chief Constable may at his discretion release the Case Summary and Skeleton Argument. Any other document is not to be disclosed or published save in accordance with other Orders. It may be noted neither parent is present. I agreed last week with this provided their legal teams were fully instructed. My belief is that they have suffered enough and I wish to ease their burden. I know that agencies here in Portugal will continue to strive to find Madeleine. I urge anyone with any information to come forward. There is at least one person who knows what happened. I ponder whether that person has a heart and to consider what it is like for Madeline to be secreted from her siblings. Whether than person has a conscience, remorse or cares about hurt caused to an innocent child; whether he has faith and what justification he will give to his God. I entreat that person to show mercy and compassion and to tell us where Madeleine is. I hope she will be found very soon alive and well. I confirm the wardship will continue.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not meant to be a word for word repetition of what was said. I have done my best to repeat the entirety of the hearing, but have not managed to take down word for word.


High Court Today by Donna on the 3 Arguidos Forum

As I live in London, and seeing as a trip to the high court was just a short hop on the tube for me, I went along to the hearing this morning.

I arrived probably about 9.30am and already outside there were plenty of camera crews outside no doubt awaiting the arrival of Clarence Mitchell and co. I found the court where the case was being heard and there were members of the press waiting in the corridor to enter the court room. The court clerk explained that she was just awaiting security and then we would all be allowed inside.

The press went first and then members of the public were shown in. INitially we were allowed to sit in the back row (in the seats where the lawyers and their teams sit) but when there was already around five of us there, and with more members of the press showing up, we had to leave and go upstairs to the public gallery. I had already got chatting with fellow 3a's member jean, but she decided she would try to blag it to stay downstairs whilst the rest of us made our way upstairs.

Before this I had seen enter into the court various members of the press and media including Martin Brunt and the BBC reporter (whose name escapes me currently) who did the panorama programme. I also saw Clarence Mitchell enter and he was just in front of me so was quite glad to move upstairs to the gallery to be honest!

Once Justice Hogg entered the court room, the lawyer representing the McCann's (didn't catch his name sorry, but I'm sure he'll be mentioned in the news reports) started the opening speech by saying how everyone was aware of Madeleine McCann's history; how recently it would have been her 5th birthday; and that the parents, along with their younger children, were currently on holiday saying of his clients "I'm sure nobody could argue that no-one deserves a holiday more than them".

He spoke about the abduction on May 3rd 2007 and how there has been no arrest or charge since then, saying "there is no positive proof she's alive, but similiarly there is no proof that she isn't".

He spoke about the fund, how people had given generously and spoke of Leicestershire police and was practically fawning in what he said was the McCann's thanks of their enormous effort and would also like to thank individual officers too.

Proceedings started two weeks after the 3rd May last year in which it was asked for court help to acquire assistance for the missing child, and thus on the 22nd May 2007 Madeleine McCann was made a ward of court.

Since then there were orders made to disclose any info which could help investigators (assume he meant private investigators) in relation to Madeleine's abduction, and that order had been served on Leicestershire Police. Leicestershire Police (via the chief constable) had experessed doubts on this and so instructions were sought and on 22nd April 2008 there was a hearing at which it was asked for this issue to be resolved by all parties.

Leicestershire Police and other law enforcements objected to the order/s on principle due to not only confidentiality reasons but also because of the secrecy law in Portugal. He also said that the serious crimes squad had also issued argments of their own relating to this too.

Kate and Gerry McCann were therefore becoming concerned that legal proceedings were becoming a distraction rather than helping their investigators towards their goal.

He went on to say that they expected their arguido status to be removed and that Kate and Gerry had always wanted to work with the police. Their resolvement was a withdrawal of the order to show them all the evidence and for just some of the early details to be released to them.

He said that the chief constable of Leicestershire Police is currently preparing a document which will include a brief resume of such details.

He said that at the start of the enquiry, Leicestershire Police set up an incident room - with a tel no for info - and this was in the very early days. Some time after the McCann's had their own hotline number but all those early callers had been referred to Leicestershire Police and therefore as those people who came forward first might have provided info which will be of great help to their investigators, it is on that basis that they are content to withdraw the order for all details on the investigation for the prior disclosure details.

He said that the wardship of Madeleine via the court still carries on and that all court documents relating to her shall remain within there. (or something like that!). "No stone should go unturned" he carried on saying and said that the wardship should continue so if something arises in the future (if she's found etc) there would then be a platform for any processes.

James Lewis, the lawyer representing the Leicestershire Police then said his bit. He began by stating how a court had made the order in 2007 (wardship and about any disclosure) and that the primary aim of the chief constable is that no stone should be left unturned when it came to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He said how it was vital to balance as much information as possible to lessen the risk should there be any criminal case.

He continued by saying that the case is not closed and that if anyone has any information regarding the disappearance of the child, that they should come forward. He said the amount of pieces of information to be disclosed to the McCann's is 81 out of 8000 pieces of information. He ended by saying how there was no objection by Leicestershire Police for Madeleine McCann to remain a ward of court.

The judge, Milady Justice Hogg, then spoke. She said how Madeleine McCann went missing just before her 4th birthday and that on the 17th May the parents, under the child abduction act had proceeded with an order whereby on the 22nd May 2007, Madeleine had been made a ward of court. She went on to say how Madeleine is a British citizen and that there is no proof of the child no longer being with us and therefore remains a ward of court. A current application had been made on the 22nd April 2008 to ask for information from Leicestershire Police and other interested parties.

The parties had now agreed and that the police will give the parents the details of people who had come forward before in the early days. The McCann's have withdrawn the other parts of the order.
This order has been made by consent and that all orders shall be varied. All evidence/case summaries shall remain confidential and is not to be published.

She then ended her summing up by saying how she had agreed in April that it was not necessary for the parents to make an appearance and that she understands they are currently on holiday. She commended them for their impeccable behaviour throughout; that there was no criticism from her to the parents; and that she thought it fitting to do anything to help ease their pain (hence them not being required in court).

She said there is one person who does know what happened to Madeleine and that she implores that person, should they have a conscience to come forward, whoever/wherever they are and that she was ending by saying to hope and pray that Madeleine be found safe and sound.

That ended court proceedings and we were asked to clear the gallery.


Thank you so much to Emma2 and Donna for taking the time to go to the Court and for sharing this information with us all.
Muito Obrigada. JM.

4 comments:

  1. The parents acted responsibly be fucked....What is the owrld coming to when judge makes such a spurious statement about two poxy bastards who abandoned their three children night after night to go on the lash? What hope have we got with a judge who is so out of touch with reality presiding over our courts.

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  2. Of course,I thank to Emma and Donna a lot.

    And like the judge ,I ask to the person?-the person?-who knows what they do that night at the flat.
    The truth!

    Ufff!!!!!

    Outono/Shu

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  3. The McCanns lawyer got it wrong or was misquoted, Madeleine like judge Hogg said was made a ward of court before her 4th birthday and not her 5th. I'm confused by these statements:

    The parents get information that emanates fro them and there is no breach of Portuguese law.

    The Chief Constable will provide contact details for people who contacted the parents’ solicitors.

    Why would they seek information that they have given or that they already have? I think this was just another public relations stunt. I believe that even if there is evidence to prove guilt, the chances of conviction in England are slim to none. My advice to the Portuguese police is: if there is enough evidence to convict issue a warrant for them to appear in Portugal, even if they know they won't be successful in getting them to Portugal. If the evidence is not strong enough to convict, archive the case and maintain the arguido status. These 2 have known from the beginning that no one could touch them once they left Portugal. They do not care if the case is archived or left open, their main concern is the lifting of the arguido status, which could be financially beneficial.

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  4. What about people and their privacy?has this been TOTALLY overlooked?
    WHAT if they refuse to go if and when called?Are they going to be sued and harrassed by the mccanns?

    ReplyDelete

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