The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part V
G - Appreciation and Juridical Frame [continued]
In a final synthesis, based on facts, it seems to us that the following can be asserted:
- On the 3rd of May 2007, at around 10 p.m., at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz, Kate Healy – like her, her husband Gerald and their friends, while dining at the Tapas, did with a periodicity that has not been rigorously established – headed for apartment G5A, in order to check on her three children, who had been left there, asleep;
- She’d barely entered the apartment when she noticed that her daughter Kate [sic] had disappeared, not being in her bed nor in any other location inside the residence and that the bedroom’s window and shutters were open;
- Then, Kate Healy ran to the restaurant, immediately alerting Gerald McCann and the other friends;
- Following that alert, the entire apartment was searched and rummaged by an indeterminate number of people, thus resulting in the contamination of traces, with irreversible and undetermined damage in terms of the acquisition of evidence;
- Immediately, intense and extensive terrestrial, maritime and aerial searches were launched, which lasted for several days, involving hundreds of people and equipment and means, as sophisticated and advanced as presently available;
- Several hundred people were heard, formally and informally, whose hearing was anticipated as being of interest for the clarification of the matter, thousands of pieces of information and suggestions were analysed, and tens of sightings and locations that seemed plausible were checked. Telephone interceptions were performed and the traffic data from thousands of telephone conversations was analysed and crossed, and many thousands of diligences of the most diverse nature were developed;
- The obliging cooperation and commitment of Police forces from many Countries, with a very special mention for the British police entities, was counted upon;
- Tests and analyses were performed in two of the most prestigious and credentialed institutions for this effect – the National Institute for Legal Medicine and the British lab Forensic Science Service -, whose final results did not positively value the collected residues, or corroborated the canine markings;
- Despite all of this, it was not possible to obtain any piece of evidence that would allow for a medium man, under the light of the criteria of logics, of normality and of the general rules of experience, to formulate any lucid, sensate, serious and honest conclusion about the circumstances under which the child was removed from the apartment (whether dead or alive, whether killed in a neglectful homicide or an intended homicide, whether the victim of a targeted abduction or an opportunistic abduction), nor even to produce a consistent prognosis about her destiny and inclusively – the most dramatic – to establish whether she is still alive or if she is dead, as seems more likely.
But therefore we do not possess any minimally solid and rigorous foundation in order to be able to state, with the safety that is requested, which was or were the exact and precise crime(s) that was or were practised on the person of the minor Madeleine McCann – apart from the supposed but dismissed crime of exposure or abandonment – or to hold anyone responsible over its authorship.
Finally, it should be underlined that this case, unfortunately, is not a police novel, an appropriate scenario for a “crime” that is tailored for the success of the investigative work of a Sherlock Holmes or a Hercule Poirot, guided by the illusion that the forces of law and justice always manage to re-establish the altered order, returning to society the peace and the tranquillity that were only accidentally disturbed.
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is rather an implacable and intricate case of real life, which lies closer to the lucid narrative by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, - “The Pledge. Requiem for the police novel” – because reality and everyday life owe little or no obedience, most of the times, to logic.
Life’s events do not conform to stereotyped novel-like schemes, it is rather the case that its outcome is often the product of chance or conditioned by accidental and unpredictable factors, and therefore, hard to envision.
The investigators are well aware of the fact that their work is not exempt of imperfection; they have worked with an enormous error margin, and what they have achieved is very little in terms of conclusive results, especially concerning the fate of the unfortunate child. Nevertheless, they always knew that action was necessary and in reality they acted intensively and with commitment, even at the risk of erring.
Nevertheless, anyone who feels unsatisfied about the epilogue of the investigations, will have the possibility to react against it, having the possibility of eventually changing that epilogue, by prompting diligences based on new evidence, as long as that person has the legitimacy to request them and the requested diligences are serious, pertinent and consequent. They may do so in three ways: by requesting the reopening of the inquiry, under article 279, number 1 of the Penal Process Code; by appealing hierarchically against this dispatch under number 2 of article 278, or in another case, under number 2 of article 279 of the Penal Process Code, or by requesting the opening of the instruction under article 287, number 1, item b, of the Penal Process Code.
Finally, it should be noted that an archiving decision may be a fair decision, although of the possible justice, and, especially, to underline heavily that the archiving of the present files does not equal a definite and irreversible closing of the process. This process, as long as the prescription deadline for the possibly committed crimes does reach its term, and if new evidence that justifies it, appears, can always be reopened, officiously or through the request of an assistant, again ordinate to a final decision of accusation or non accusation.
Therefore, after all seen, analysed and duly pondered, with all that is left exposed, it is determined:
a) The archiving of the Process concerning arguido Robert James Queriol Eveleigh Murat, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code;
b) The archiving of the Process concerning Arguidos Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code.
Article 277 number 3 of the Penal Process Code is to be fulfilled.
Under article 214 number 1 item a) of the Penal Process Code, the coercion measures that have been imposed on the arguidos are declared extinct.
The Republic’s Prosecutor
(José de Magalhães e Menezes)
The Joint General Prosecutor
(João Melchior Gomes)
in: Processo 201/07.0 GALGS - Volume XVII - pages 4645-4649 (Public Prosecutor's Archiving Dispatch)
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part I
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part II
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part III
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part IV
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part V
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VI
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VII
The Archiving of the Madeleine McCann Process: One Year On - Part VIII
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