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

D-Notice 5

Mark Hollingsworth Investigates The McCann Files

Disillusioned with the Portuguese police, Gerry and Kate McCann turned to private detectives to find their missing daughter. Instead the efforts of the private eyes served only to scare off witnesses, waste funds and raise false hopes. Mark Hollingsworth investigates the investigators.

by Mark Hollingsworth

It was billed as a ‘significant development’ in the exhaustive search for Madeleine McCann. At a recent dramatic press conference in London, the lead private investigator David Edgar, a retired Cheshire detective inspector, brandished an E-FIT image of an Australian woman, described her as ‘a bit of a Victoria Beckham lookalike’, and appealed for help in tracing her. The woman was seen ‘looking agitated’ outside a restaurant in Barcelona three days after Madeleine’s disappearance. ‘It is a strong lead’, said Edgar, wearing a pin-stripe suit in front of a bank of cameras and microphones. ‘Madeleine could have been in Barcelona by that point. The fact the conversation took place near the marina could be significant.’

But within days reporters discovered that the private detectives had failed to make the most basic enquiries before announcing their potential breakthrough. Members of Edgar’s team who visited Barcelona had failed to speak to anyone working at the restaurant near where the agitated woman was seen that night, neglected to ask if the mystery woman had been filmed on CCTV cameras and knew nothing about the arrival of an Australian luxury yacht just after Madeleine vanished.

The apparent flaws in this latest development were another salutary lesson for Kate and Gerry McCann, who have relied on private investigators after the Portuguese police spent more time falsely suspecting the parents than searching for their daughter. For their relations with private detectives have been frustrating, unhappy and controversial ever since their daughter’s disappearance in May 2007.

The search has been overseen by the millionaire business Brian Kennedy, 49, who set up Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned, which aimed ‘to procure that Madeleine’s abduction is thoroughly investigated’. A straight-talking, tough, burly self-made entrepreneur and rugby fanatic, he grew up in a council flat near Tynecastle in Scotland and was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness. He started his working life as a window cleaner and by 2007 had acquired a £350 million fortune from double-glazing and home-improvement ventures. Kennedy was outraged by the police insinuations against the McCanns and, though a stranger, worked tirelessly on their behalf. ‘His motivation was sincere,’ said someone who worked closely with him. ‘He was appalled by the Portuguese police, but he also had visions of flying in by helicopter to rescue Madeleine.’

Kennedy commissioned private detectives to conduct an investigation parallel to the one run by the Portuguese police. But his choice showed how dangerous it is when powerful and wealthy businessmen try to play detective. In September 2007, he hired Metodo 3, an agency based in Barcelona, on a six-month contract and paid it an estimated £50,000 a month. Metodo 3 was hired because of Spain’s ‘language and cultural connection’ with Portugal. ‘If we’d had big-booted Brits or, heaven forbid, Americans, we would have had doors slammed in our faces’ said Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the McCann’s at the time. ‘And it’s quite likely that we could have been charged with hindering the investigation as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation.

The agency had 35 investigators working on the case in Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. A hotline was set up for the public to report sightings and suspicions, and the search focussed on Morocco. But the investigation was dogged by over-confidence and braggadocio. ‘We know who took Madeleine and hope she will be home by Christmas,’ boasted Metodo 3’s flamboyant boss Francisco Marco. But no Madeleine materialised and their contract was not renewed.

Until now, few details have emerged about the private investigation during those crucial early months, but an investigation by ES shows that key mistakes were made, which in turn made later enquiries far more challenging.

ES has spoken to several sources close to the private investigations that took place in the first year and discovered that:

* The involvement of Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick in the operation was counter-productive, notably when they were questioned by the local police for acting suspiciously while attempting a 24-hour ‘stake out’.
* The relationship between Metodo 3 and the Portuguese police had completely broken down.
* Key witnesses were questioned far too aggressively, so much so that some of them later refused to talk to the police.
* Many of the investigators had little experience of the required painstaking forensic detective work.

By April 2008, nearing the first anniversary of the disappearance, Kennedy and the McCanns were desperate. And so when ***** *****, a former ****** ****** ******* who worked on *** *******, and Kevin Halligen, a smooth-talking Irishman who claimed to have worked for covert British government intelligence agency GCHQ, walked through the door, their timing was perfect. Their sales pitch was classic James Bond spook-talk: everything had to be ‘top secret’ and ‘on a need to know basis’. The operation would involve 24-hour alert systems, undercover units, satellite imagery and round-the-clock surveillance teams that would fly in at short notice. This sounded very exiting but, as one source close to the investigation told ES, it was also very expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. ‘The real job at hand was old-fashioned, tedious, forensic police work rather than these boy’s own, glory boy antic,’ he said.

But Kennedy was impressed by the license-to-*** presentation and ****** and Halligen were hire for a fee of £100,000 per month plus expenses. Ostensibly, the contract was with Halligen’s UK security company, Red Defence International Ltd, and an office was set up in Jermyn Street, in St James’s. Only a tiny group of employees did the painstaking investigative work of dealing with thousands of emails and phone calls. Instead, resources were channelled into undercover operations in paedophile rings and among gypsies throughout Europe, encouraged by Kennedy. A five-man ******** ***** was dispatched in Portugal, overseen by the experienced ******, for six weeks.

Born in ****** in ****, ****** had been a highly effective ****** ***** for the ******** police. A maverick and dynamic figure, he successfully ******* gangs of football hooligans in the 1980’s. While not popular among his colleagues, in 1991 he was seconded to work on *** ******* ******** against drug dealers, gangsters and terrorists, and was later awarded the Queen’s Police Medal foe ‘outstanding bravery’. By all accounts, the charismatic ***** was a dedicated *****. But in November 2002, the stress appeared to have overcome his judgement when he was ****** for ********.

While working on an *** ********** , ****** was ****** leaving a ***** ***** **** area at Manchester airport with a ***** of ***** he had not **** for. The ******* were called and he was given the option of the ****** being ****** with under ******* or to face ******. He chose a ****** ***** and so in effect admitted his guilt. ****** was sacked, but was furious about the way he had been treated and threatened to sue ***. He later set up his own consulting company and moved to **** in *******.

While ******, however flawed, was the genuine article as an investigator, Halligen was a very different character. Born in Dublin in 1961, he has been described as a ‘Walter Mitty figure’. He used false names to collect prospective clients at airports in order to preserve secrecy, and he called himself ‘Kevin’ or ‘Richard’ or ‘Patrick’ at different times to describe himself to business contacts. There appears to be no reason for all this subterfuge except that he thought this was what agents did. A conspiracy theorist and lover of the secret world, he is obsessed by surveillance gadgets and even installed a covert camera to spy on his own employees. He claimed to have worked for GCHQ, but in fact he was employed by the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) as head of defence systems in the rather less glamorous field of new information technology, researching the use of ‘special batteries’. He told former colleagues and potential girlfriends that he used to work for MI5, MI6 and the CIA. He also claimed that he was nearly kidnapped by the IRA, was involved in the first Gulf War and had been a freefall parachutist.

Very little of this is true. What is true is that Halligen has a degree in electronics, worked on the fringes of the intelligence community while at AEA and does understand government communications. He could also be an astonishingly persuasive, engaging and charming individual. Strikingly self-confident and articulate, he could be generous and clubbable. ‘He was very good company but only when it suited him’ says one friend. He kept people in compartments.’

After leaving the AEA, Halligen set up Red Defence International Ltd as an international security and political risk company, advising clients on the risks involved in investing and doing business in unstable, war-torn and corrupt countries. He worked closely with political risk companies and was a persuasive advocate of IT security. In 2006, he struck gold when hired by Trafigura, the Dutch commodities trading company. Executives were imprisoned in the Ivory Coast after toxic waste was dumped in landfills near its biggest city Abidjan. Trafigura was blamed and hired Red Defence International at vast expense to help with the negotiations to release its executives. A Falcon business jet was rented for several months during the operation and it was Halligen’s first taste of the good life. The case only ended when Trafigura paid $197 million to the government of the Ivory Coast to secure the release of the prisoners.

Halligen made a fortune from Trafigura and was suddenly flying everywhere first-class, staying at the Lansborough and Stafford hotels in London and The Willard hotel in Washington DC for months at a time. In 2007 he set up Oakley International Group and registered at the offices of the prestigious law firm Patton Boggs, in Washington DC, as an international security company. He was now strutting the stage as a self-proclaimed international spy expert and joined the Special Forces Club in Knightsbridge, where he met ****.

During the Madeleine investigation, Halligen spent vast amounts of time in the HeyJo bar in the basement of the Abracadabra Club near his Jermyn Street office. Armed with a clutch of unregistered mobile phones and a Blackberry, the bar was in effect his office. ‘He was there virtually the whole day,’ a former colleague told ES. ‘He had an amazing tolerance for alcohol and a prodigious memory and so occasionally he would have amazing bursts of intelligence, lucidity and insights. They were very rare but they did happen.’

When not imbibing in St James’s, Halligen was in the United States, trying to drum up investors for Oakley International. On 15 August 2008, at the height of the McCann investigation crisis, he persuaded Andre Hollis, a former US Drug enforcement agency official, to write out an $80.000 cheque to Oakley in return for a ten per cent share-holding. The money was then transferred into the private accounts of Halligen and his girlfriend Shirin Trachiotis to finance a holiday in Italy, according to Hollis. In a $6 million lawsuit filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, Hollis alleges that Halligen ‘received monies for Oakley’s services rendered and deposited the same into his personal accounts’ and ‘repeatedly and systematically depleted funds from Oakley’s bank accounts for inappropriate personal expenses’.

Hollis was not the only victim. Mark Aspinall, a respected lawyer who worked closely with Halligen, invested £500,000 in Oakley and lost the lot. Earlier this year he filed a lawsuit in Washington DC against Halligen claiming $1.4 million in damages. The finances of Oakley International are in chaos and numerous employees, specialist consultants and contractors have not been paid. Some of them now face financial ruin.

Meanwhile, ******* was running the *********   in Portugal and often paying his ************ upfront, so would occasionally be out-of-pocket because Halligen had not transferred funds. ***** genuinely believed that progress was being made and substantial and credible reports on child trafficking were submitted. But by mid-August 2008, Kennedy and Gerry McCann were increasingly concerned by an absence of details of how the money was being spent. At one meeting, Halligen was asked how many men constituted a surveillance team and he produced a piece of paper on which he wrote ‘between one and ten’. But he then refused to say how many were working and how much they were being paid.

While Kennedy and Gerry McCann accepted that the mission was extremely difficult and some secrecy was necessary, Halligen was charging very high rates and expenses. And eyebrows were raised when all the money was paid to Oakley International, solely owned and managed by Halligen. One invoice, seen by ES, shows that for ‘accrued expenses to May 5, 2008’ (just one month into the contract), Oakley charged $74,155. The ‘point of contact’ was Halligen who provided a UK mobile telephone number.

While Kennedy was ready to accept Halligen at face value, Gerry McCann – sharp, focused and intelligent – was more sceptical. The contract with Oakley International and Halligen was terminated by the end of September 2008, after £500,000-plus expenses had been spent.

For the McCanns it was a bitter experience, ******** has returned to ***** and, like so many people, is owed money by Halligen. As for Halligen, he has gone into hiding, leaving a trail of debt and numerous former business associates and creditors looking for him. He was last seen in January of this year in Rome, drinking and spending prodigiously at the Hilton Cavalieri and Excelsior hotels. He is now believed by private investigators, who have been searching for him to serve papers on behalf of creditors, to be in the UK and watching his back. Meanwhile, in the eye of the storm, the McCanns continue the search for their lost daughter.

in ES Magazine (London Evening Standard)– Paper edition only, 28 August 2009

First Published in the Blog here: http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2009/08/mark-hollingsworth-investigatesthe.html

This article has been edited temporarily, pending legal advice.

The owner of this blog has been requested by an English law firm to remove allegedly confidential information, in observance of a D-Notice. While we do not recognise the validity of any such measure on Portuguese soil, we have been legally advised to remove the sensitive information, until the matter can be fully studied and dealt with. This may take some time, given the fact that this request has no precedent in the Portuguese legal history.

Letter to the Lawyers

D-Notice 5                           Lisbon, 25th September 2009

Dear Sirs,

I have received your emails dated September 23, 2009, and September 25, 2009.

As such, I have forwarded your emails to my lawyer, whose law Office will soon establish contact with you, in order to deal with your request to remove an article, or parts thereof, which was posted in The Maddie Case Files forum.

Under counsel from my lawyer, for the time being and while your request is being studied, I will remove mention of your client’s name, as well as references that connect him with *** and the ***** accusation, as stated in the article that was written by journalist Mark Hollingsworth for ES Magazine, included in the London Evening Standard, edition dated August 28, 2009.

Nevertheless, I must add that as a Portuguese citizen, I do not recognise any United Kingdom jurisdiction to repress or limit that which is a fundamental right of Portugal’s Democracy, which is the Freedom of Expression.

I refer to Article 37º of the Portuguese Constitution, which protects the Portuguese Citizens’ right to, and I cite: «freely express and publicise his or her 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» and also that «The exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship».

Best regards,

Joana Morais

Português : Carta aos Advogados

D-Notice                                                 Lisboa, 25 de Setembro 2009

Exmos. Senhores

Recebi os vossos emails datados de 23 Setembro 2009 e 25 Setembro 2009.

Como tal, reenviei para o meu advogado os vossos emails, cujo escritório de advogados entrará em contacto convosco em breve para lidar com a vossa solicitação de remoção de um artigo ou partes de um artigo no fórum The Maddie Case Files.

A conselho do meu advogado, provisoriamente e enquanto o vosso pedido é estudado, irei apagar as menções do nome do vosso cliente, bem como as referencias que o ligam ao *** e à acusação de *****, no artigo escrito pelo jornalista Mark Hollingsworth na ES Magazine, London Evening Standard a 28 de Agosto 2009.

No entanto, devo dizer, que enquanto cidadã Portuguesa não reconheço qualquer jurisdição ao Reino Unido para reprimir ou limitar aquele que é um direito pilar da Democracia de Portugal, a Liberdade de Expressão.

Refiro-me à Constituição Portuguesa, Artigo 37º onde está patente o direito que um Cidadão Português tem para, e, cito: «de exprimir e divulgar livremente o seu pensamento pela palavra, pela imagem ou por qualquer outro meio, bem como o direito de informar, de se informar e de ser informados, sem impedimentos nem discriminações» e ainda «O exercício destes direitos não pode ser impedido ou limitado por qualquer tipo ou forma de censura».

Os meus cumprimentos

Joana Morais


  1. Soon the McCanns and their followers/henchmen will be the most hated people in the world.
    Must be interesting to rank up there with the West couple and Susan Smith.

  2. Joana,

    Malignant as they are, they resort, like cancer, to undermining tactics as seen.

    My disgust cannot be surpassed, so this episode is, for me, only character-confirmation.

    Would only like to leave a word to all those who, for whatever reason, gave their money away so that Maddie could be found: I hope you are NOW happy to see how your money has, is, and will be spent.

    I, for one, do thank thee.


  3. well f*** my old boots,this is getting bluddy silly now ,it seems a lot of people have a lot to hide and that makes more people want to find out what it is.
    and i think they will with a little snippet here and a little snippet there it will all come out in the end, as the mccanns say no stone unturned. theres one thing im glad about though is that the mccanns are no friends of mine so i wont have the mccann curse on my back

  4. Spot on, Textusa.

    People have given their hard earned money to the Fund, in the hope that they were helping to find Madeleine.

    NOW you can see where your money is going to:

    Into the pockets of lawyers.

    Into the pockets of spokespeople.

    Into the pockets of Mafia-life 'private detectives'.

    Into the pockets of image advisors.

    Into the pockets of marketing and media damage control firms.

    Not to mention the mortgage of Orchard House, in Rothley.

    Hope you're all very happy.

    God bless for contributing to the McCanns' Legal and Image Management Fund.

    Madeleine who?!

  5. I have no experience in hiring detectives, but even I would have hired someone with a track record of finding missing children. Didn't the sharp eyed clever parent think to check the records?
    I'm glad to see this blog is not caving in to lawyers.

  6. Methinks they doth protest too much.


  7. Cara Joana,

    excelente resposta.
    pode contar com todo o meu apoio. Este país ainda tem pessoas que estão dispostas a lutar contra a censura e contra ameaças de estrangeiros. Força.

  8. This is now getting serious.
    People very high up the food chain are moving heaven and earth to keep the truth of this whole sordid affair from ever coming out.
    Freedom of speech itself is now under threat in the UK and Portugal thanks to these two child neglecting doctors from Leicester....what on earth is it all about?

  9. O meu nome é Alexandra A. Correia, sou artista plástica, e não aceito este pedido. Venho por este meio solicitar a todas as pessoas que escrevem neste blog que sejam corajosas. Por favor manifestem-se agora. Informem-se de como podem ajudar: escrever para a Procuradoria Geral da Républica, jornais, digam à família, aos vizinhos e ao patrão, que temos de nos unir para parar esta onda de intolerância, censura, invasão alheia e medo, que é uma estratégia que visa dividir-nos para alguém reinar melhor. No meu país o Povo é Soberano e ninguém está acima da lei. A Constituição é para cumprir. Exploraremos o caminho de recorrer à próxima Instância e à outra, e outra, até esgotarmos os recursos para mantermos o nosso direito de pensar e expressá-lo em liberdade, que é único, não tem preço, logo é digno. Joana, aonde quiser, diga. Eu estarei lá. E vocês todos, estão connosco? Então saiam do anonimato e dêem a cara. Muitos foram os sacrificados no passado, perseguidos e humilhados, para hoje podermos trocar ideias abertamente. Dignifiquemos as vidas de quem nos abriu este estrada, na certeza de que ninguém voltará a cortá-la.

  10. Well those letterss look like the "redacted" expenses claim forms that the MP's didn't want us to see either!

  11. Those letters remind me of the dodgy MP's EXPENSES claim forms. all redacted to stop the minions from finding out the truth about their fiddling!

  12. So now it makes sense - BK wanted to fly in by helicopter to rescue Maddie - so THAT is how he as duped into it all - always wondered what was in it for him. As to GMcC being sharp - yes - no prob about BK's money being wasted - you can bet he would been a darn sight sharper with his own.

  13. This has made me think. We may not know the whole story. But what we absolutely do know is that there is things that certain quarters do not want us to know.

  14. These laywers seem to forget about Google cache.
    For how long are the cache pages available ?

  15. Alexandra, de acordo, muito bem dito - só mudava "o Povo é soberano" por o Povo é (demasiado) sereno... mas se criarmos uma sinergia é possivel mudarmos a situação.

    Estou a reproduzir este artigo na integra, por tudo o que é sitio.

    Sugeria talvez que a Joana criasse uma base de contactos em Portugal, caso fose necessário promover futuras iniciativas...

  16. Joana, if I ever can help you, you just have to ask.

    I have send letters to my MEP's, because mccann are breaking the law in my country, the freedom of speech, wich we have in our constitution. We are all in Europe, we have rights. And I know it, you know it.

    They are worse than Black death. But now they are going too far, and they will pay.

    As I said, if I ever cand help in anyway, tell me.


  17. This is ridiculous ive read this before (unedited) and so have many others, so they're trying to shut the door after the horse has bolted!
    On another note; Sr Amaral would do well to publish his books in the US, freedom of speech is part of their constitution, it would then be available in English to us Brits, that would be the worst outcome for the McScums, Gerry thinks he can become a world power, ha ha, you dont get much bigger than the US. Best wishes to you all and thank you for keeping us Brits informed,

  18. Forca Joana,
    E bom que pessoas com coragem nao se intimidem e mostrem aqueles que se julgam acima da lei, que os paises tem leis que devem ser cumpridas para que sejam respeitados os direitos dos cidadaos: Direito a informacao nao manipulada, liberdade de expressao, direito a indignacao.

    Em Setembro de 2007, varios analistas consideraram que os Mccann tinham criado um monstro ao decidirem alimentar os Media, em vez de colaborarem com a policia. Hoje, perderam o controle do monstro e encontram-se numa encruzilhada em que qualquer que seja o caminho que sigam, ele terminara no mesmo ponto: CULPADOS. A 4 de Maio de 2007 eram culpados de negligencia e provavel responsabilidade no desaparecimento da filha. Hoje, estao envoltos numa cadeia de crimes que ja nao sabem qual deles tem a pena mais gravosa. Ingenua e irresponsavelmente, propagandearam uma fraude. Com isso atrairam gente pouco escrupulosa que vegetou a volta e a custa deles, a procura da fama e do dinheiro facil.
    Daqui, espero que tenha ficado uma licao para todos os solidarios ingenuos que contribuiram para o Fundo cheios de boas intencoes. Foram OTARIOS.... Nem um centimo dos seus Euros foi alguma vez gasto para procurar ou respeitar a memoria de Madeleine. TEM SIDO TODO GASTO EM ADVOGADOS, PORTA-VOZES, DETECTIVES FARSANTES E EM HOTEIS E VIAGENS DE LUXO A PROCURA DE ENGANAR DEPUTADOS NO PARLAMENTO EUROPEU E POLITICOS E JORNALISTAS EM VARIOS PAISES.

    A HISTORIA MAL contada desta saga, comeca agora a revelar-se com as ameacas legais feitas a tantas pessoas que, inofensivamente, so querem que seja feita justica a Madeleine.

    Que ninguem tente convencer-nos que foi o facto de Brian Kennedy se ter tocado pelo drama dos Mccann serem arguidos, que o fez ajuda=los. A verdadeira razao ainda esta por revelar mas ha-de revelar-se um dia. COMO E QUE ALGUEM PODE EMPENHAR-SE TANTO NUMA HISTORIA TAO MAL CONTADA? Ou o homem e um Otario ou tem interesses fortes que o movem. Otario nao deve ser atendendo a forma como enriqueceu, portanto fico com as minhas conclusoes.


  19. Curious? I read this page just yesterday. Here it is, although not sure for how long.....

  20. I printed already the article. I will pass a copy to all my friends and ask them to pass it as a chain.
    We will discuss it in our dinners and coffee mornings, etc, etc.

    NOBODY CAN STOP MY INDIGNNITY and ask me to not be ashame... INSIDE MY HOUSE AND INSIDE MY HOUSE FRIENDS WE CAN BREATH FREEDMON and talk about watever we want.

  21. Seems news of the D Notice is not widely knowm. A quick Google of his name brings up lots of reports, for instance The Manchester Evening News (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1065925_top_cops_to_join_maddie_hunt) and even The Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1054031/Top-UK-detectives-join-team-officers-search-missing-Madeleine-McCann.html). There are also articles and references on numerous blog. Even Credit Gate has directors’ reports on the said man!

    Makes you wonder if Joana is being specifically targeted for being a thorn in the side of the concealing the truth.

    Mr B

  22. http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Madeleine-McCann-Leicestershire-Police-Spend-Almost-750000-Looking-For-Missing-British-Girl/Article/200908115353110?f=rss

    Lets not lose sight of why we had the "victoria" in Barcelona story...This from the previous monday had to be covered up....Nearly 3/4 of a million pounds spent for what ?????


  23. I've read this exact report quite some time ago, though cannot recall where.
    So the thing is, why now?

    Is something brewing as to how the Fund/Business money has been spent?
    Or is the lid being kept firmly on till the Amaral v McCanns?
    I also thought, that a D Notice was employed by the UK Government as protection for National Security.

    If that is the case, how can Madeleine's disappearance affect that? Is there a D Notice in place? It would certainly explain the lack of neutral reporting in the British press.
    There is so much Legal posturing that it must be connected with a Court Case.
    Portugal is trying to deny us a voice, whilst Uk is doing the same to Portugal.
    Yet some Ostriches still believe that there is no inteference from above.

    Good luck Joana, hope your Lawyer has an answer.

  24. Any member of the public can check on the fund...It needs looking into and fast....

    For a couple of quid you can download them from Companies House.

    The full title is- Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited.

    Company Number: 06248215

    The accounts were ruled off at the end of March last year. Then the fund had a surplus of just over 1 million pounds-£1,052,027.00 to be exact. It's not clear from the accounts, but I suspect that figure might well include the damages paid by the Express Group to the McCanns as the result of their libel settlement. The total fund income from the date it was established was £1,846,178.00. In other words in the first year the directors have authorised nearly a million pound of expenditure. That includes the fruitless payment to Metodo 3, the Spanish private investigators, who made absolutely no progress.

    Page 2 of the accounts, The Director's Report , dated 11th November 2008, and signed by John J McCann, contained this

    " As expected, the level of donations [to the fund] has fallen over time, although we have a number of loyal donors continuing their support. Income in the new financial year is currently significantly lower than at the same time last year. However our expenses are ongoing are likely to increase."

    And this report suggests that the financial situation is now perhaps more difficult than in November 2008.

    The next accounts will be filed in about ten months time.

    It will be interesting to see just how challenging the financial situation will be then. I suspect that unlike between March 2007 and 2008, they will not contain these items.

    Campaign Management £123, 573.00

    Awareness £81,504.00

    Legal Fees and Expenses £111,522.00

    Search Fees £250,000.00

    Fund Legal Fees £68,799.00

    Fund Professional Fees £36,070.00

    I'm surprised no one has asked the McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, just what these expenses paid for. Over a third of a million quid spent on professional and management fees!

    Many thanks to Tony...

  25. anonymous said
    "Makes you wonder if Joana is being specifically targeted for being a thorn in the side of the concealing the truth.

    Mr B"

    It certainly looks that way.
    Within seconds it is possible to find the article in full.
    Not all cached versions either.
    Have all the other bloggers/site owners been sent the same letter, I wonder. Probably not

  26. Dear IRONSIDE, yes we can access the accounts, though It doesn't provide the detail.
    I am going through Divorce as a partner in a business. Oh Boy, you should see the "creative accounting". A Limited company has even more freedom.

    I am loathe to say what I think, out of respect for J+A+K's site. We all have a responsibility for it to remain here, hence why I never question, Why hasn't my post appeared?
    I still think your post IRONSIDE regarding why the Mccanns have never appealed to not leaving your children alone, was the summit of all posts.
    Maybe sometime you will re-post here and anywhere else to spread the word.

  27. Uncensored version available on my blog.

    Rather than trying to silence criticisms of their version of events, why don't the McCanns tell the truth?

  28. Gee this is explosive stuff! Come on Kate and Gerry, are you going to tell us the whole story or just carry on waiting for us to find out?

  29. Legal Fees and Expenses £111,522.00

    Search Fees £250,000.00

    Fund Legal Fees £68,799.00

    So if the fund legal fees is the bottom figure, what exactly are the considerably greater legal fees and expenses listed above it ? Is the fund paying for these people to sue everyone in sight ?

    And does this mean that from £1M spent, only £250k was actually spent on searching for the child ????

  30. "Soon the McCanns and their followers/henchmen will be the most hated people in the world.
    Must be interesting to rank up there with the West couple and Susan Smith."

    This is an interesting site that calculates people's popularity and how they are viewed in the internet.


    Mind you, it only seems to refer to people that are currently being discussed in the net. So I typed Rosemary West and it said the internet is 0% negative to her. Must be that people don't talk about her. Tony Blair comes up as 43.4% negative. Gordon Brown was viewed negatively at 76.2%, while George W Bush was 84.8% negative. Both the McCanns and Amaral came up as 100% negative. Madeleine was considered 0% negative, 80% positive and 20% don't care.

    This was only at the time I looked, as it changes all the time, according to what is being said..


  31. Interesting times ahead, methinks!

    Well done Joana and team!


  32. Dear Joana,
    I'm so sorry you have problems because of these bad parents.
    Are you sur you're not the cause of Maddie's disappearance? Whose fault? Everyone except the Mccanns.

  33. Jailhouse have been my cheeky self and copied yours and placed on American blogs...Thanks...

  34. I'm not sure this has anything to do with the McCanns; it may just be the person whose name has been edited out panicking because the personal information about him may attract unwelcome attention.

    If you Google D-Notice 5 it says this:

    "UK Security & Intelligence Services
    Special Services
    Information falling within the following categories is normally regarded as being highly classified. It is requested that such information, unless it has been the subject of an official announcement or has been widely disclosed or discussed, should not be published without first seeking advice:

    (a) specific covert operations, sources and methods of the Security Service, SIS and GCHQ, Defence Intelligence Units, Special Forces and those involved with them, the application of those methods*, including the interception of communications, and their targets; the same applies to those engaged on counter-terrorist operations;

    (b) the identities, whereabouts and tasks of people who are or have been employed by these services or engaged on such work, including details of their families and home addresses, and any other information, including photographs, which could assist terrorist or other hostile organisations to identify a target;

    (c) addresses and telephone numbers used by these services, except those now made public.
    Rationale. Identified staff from the intelligence and security services, others engaged on sensitive counter-terrorist operations, including the Special Forces, and those who are likely targets for attack are at real risk from terrorists. Security and intelligence operations contacts and techniques are easily compromised, and therefore need to be pursued in conditions of secrecy. Publicity about an operation which is in train finishes it. Publicity given even to an operation which has been completed, whether successfully or not, may well deny the opportunity for further exploitation of a capability, which may be unique against other hostile and illegal activity. The disclosure of identities can prejudice past, present and future operations. Even inaccurate speculation about the source of information on a given issue can put intelligence operations (and, in the worst cases, lives at risk and/or lead to the loss of information which is important in the interests of national security. Material which has been the subject of an official announcement is not covered by this notice.

    On Google, that text is divided into parts 1 and 2, but I copied and pasted it and didn't include those numbers."

  35. Sad creatures, trying to staunch a fatal wound with a Band-Aid. Do they really think all these articles haven't been downloaded by many people and can be reproduced at will? Or that each new attempt at silencing bloggers or forum posters doesn't do the one thing they dread, ie focus attention on what they want banned this time?

    They couldn't draw more attention to all the suspicious things in this case if they tried. The Fund is something that needs to be watched closely, because the public donated money to it to help search for Madeleine. They didn't donate money to be wasted in fruitless attempts at silencing those who speak out about the case or about anything connected with it.

    I know Amaral has a new book out soon, but what's really needed is a British book detailing all the known facts of the case as they appear in the official case files, including all the official witness statements. Plus of course all the things the McCanns have said in interviews or got Clarence Mitchell to say for them, in his role as their spokesman. If only provable facts are given there's nothing anyone can do to stop such a book being published and sold right here in the UK.

  36. Oops, sorry, put the final 'speech marks' in the wrong place in my last post about the D-Notice. The last bit was my comment!

  37. Hmmm. The McCanns have had unprecedented and unparalleled support from people in high office; there is a great deal of secrecy and mystery surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine;the McCanns' behaviour has been strange since the beginning and many of their actions and reactions have been inexplicable. I have been sceptical of theories that they - or someone they are connected with - are or have been involved in espionage of some sort, but this lawyer's letter to Joana is making me think again. Is it coincidence if someone they employed as a detective was or had been involved in espionage or something similar? It could be. But if it wasn't coincidence, it casts a whole new perspective on the Madeleine case, especially IF (because she says she didn't) Kate did scream "They've taken her, they've taken Madeleine" when she found Madeleine missing. It sometimes seemed as if the McCanns knew who 'they' were. There has always been a piece of the jigsaw missing. Perhaps things are now beginning to make more sense...

  38. Posting what I wrote about this issue on The Maddie Case Files

    I just would like to say the following. I read the D-notice site, and obviously, not being stupid, I realized that the DA-Notice cannot be applied or enforced to a foreign Citizen.

    But that is not the point is it? Nor is the article in question and its contents [even though the article is a brilliant investigative piece, that didn't have any feedback from the members here or in the blog, and it's very relevant to the Maddie Case because it is the first time that it is said that the MI5 were indeed working on the Maddie Investigation].

    The most important thing that most of you didn't even mentioned is the fact that UK based lawyers, in an imperialistic manner, tried to scare and censure a Portuguese Citizen, of a sovereign nation, against the rights that I have and are established in our Constitution.

    That is the only reason that I am fighting back - mano a mano, at their level.

    In the UK, British citizens, like the journalist who wrote that article, are being censored, and when a journalist is censored it is Democracy and its citizens who will undoubtedly suffer the most.

    First they censor words, then full articles, then books, then videos, then ... where will it stop?

  39. There is an announcement from "Nige" dated 25.09.09 on the www.mccannfiles.com site indicating "For the forseeable future, updating of the Latest News page will be erratic as I no longer have internet access." He does go on to say however he will be running the site from the local library. So thankfully the site has not been C-R'd.

  40. The guy was kicked out of the SS for thievery. He's got a criminal record. He then set up his PI business no doubt using the fact he'd been in the SS as a selling point! Why should he now be concerned about the ES article?


  41. With this and everything else the question HAS to be asked, Dr Amaral's book came out in July 2008 so why did it take the McCanns until now to sue? It can't just be to do with an English translation of the book.
    HELP THIS CASE IS SENDING ME AROUND IN CIRCLES AND DOING MY HEAD IN. I won't give up till I know exactly what happened to Maddy.

  42. Joana, go over to Little Morsals...Sasha has a new link ..the Mccanns are furious again..lol

  43. Thank you the anonymous who send me the following «Just to point out that you failed to delete his name on one occasion, at the very end of the sentence: "He was now strutting the stage as a self-proclaimed international spy expert and joined the Special Forces Club in Knightsbridge, where he met ****."

    regards, Jo

  44. I know OT, but is there a way we can help Nige?

  45. Joana, ya sabes que tienes nuestro cariño y nuestro apoyo.

    Un abrazo desde España

  46. Hmmm...I find it hard to believe that this is not a part of the McCann's legal offensive to prevent anybody (in any country but
    especially in Portugal which is to some extent the epicentre of this sad affair) from disseminating facts unfavourable to them.
    Truthful, accurate, officially recorded facts must be supressed.

    Are these the solicitors?


    "Protecting civil liberties
    Protecting the rights and freedoms of ordinary people and challenging discrimination are at the heart of Bindmans’ work -
    and have been for more than 30 years.

    We act for individuals and groups of people who believe their human rights are being violated by the state or other powerful bodies.
    We specialise in judicial review: the process by which the Administrative Court ensures that public bodies act fairly."

    What does this D-notice have to do with the rights and freedoms of ordinary people?

    Are they testing the waters to see whether they create a precedent for enforcing a D-notice In Portugal?

  47. Unbelievable! Seems to me your article holds a lot of truth for this style of letter to arrive on your doormat with words “D Notice” and “serious risk to national security.” How high does all this garbage go? It seems it’s higher than British government (wherever that may lead to) and who the hell are they protecting? It's not just the McCann couple, it can't be.

    Joana you’ve been honest to yourself and to your readers....the problem isn’t your blog, you or any of your articles, the problem is whoever is behind this. Some people have too much power.

    We’re moving into an era of total oppression where freedom of speech will just be relegated to the pages of history.

    As you know from the comments left here there’s a lot of people behind you and who appreciate all your efforts and respect you for taking a stand.

    This case has made me feel embarrassed to be English.

  48. This 'D' notice sounds like they are 'trying it on'.

    D Notices may apply in the UK, but I have never heard they can cross over into another jurisdiction.

    I would be amazed if this were so.

    Unless, of course, there is recent EU law regarding this, but I have never heard of it.

    This is why people go to other countries and get books published, where they can't be reached.

    It sounds like the information is already public knowledge anyway, so what's the fuss about.

  49. Joana, I believe article 37 has already been violated with little remonstration. Britain's libel laws are asphyxiating democracy in that conglomerate of nations and it appears that Portugal, although not officially, is part of that conglomerate.

  50. Unless they can shut down the internet completely, they are never going to shut people up.

    More and more people are getting their information from there, that's why the McCanns wont be able to stop the facts of the case getting out.

    It's the details the McCanns don't like mentioned, and there are too many people who know too many details, and those who have read Dr Amaral's book know even more.

    They are trying intimidation to scare people off, but it wont work, because there are too many people and their numbers are growing daily.

  51. Astro, Joana & Kazlux,

    Thank you so much for keeping this blog open for viewing and for all the bloody hard work you all do.

    This is my opinion (but may be other people's too).

    Is it possible for you to place a paypal button on your blog for times when you may need legal advice? If so I would GLADLY donate and I am certain many others would too.

    Once again

  52. Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system

    "The DA Notice system is a voluntary code that provides guidance to the British media on the publication or broadcasting of national security information."

    Note the word voluntary - this is not legally binding in the UK, let alone in Portugal.

    It has never applied to foreign based organisations, and it struggles with the internet.

    For Bindmans LLP to imply otherwise, is completely unprofessional of them.

    Bindmans claim to be one of the top legal firms in London, so it is astonishing that they have damaged their own reputation with such a letter.

    A favourite trick of unscrupulous UK and USA based "media reputation" lawyers", a group which up until now, one would not have associated with Bindmans LLP, is to send a legal letter which vaguely threatens expensive legal action in the future, to your Internet Service Provider or blog host. They often also try to threaten you not to reveal or publish any correspondence they have with you i.e. they try to copyright their threats.

    You would be well advised to make an up to date backup copy of this blog, in case it is taken temporarily offline semi-automatically by Google.

    Remember that the cost of getting their lawyers to respond to Bindmans etc. with even a single letter, probably far exceeds the annual revenue that they get from hosting your blog, so they are likely to opt for the cheapest option i.e. taking your blog offline.

    The other nonsense is the alleged "anonymity order", from an unnamed Court, signed by an unnamed Judge, which you have never seen and which has not been legally served on you personally. This cannot possibly apply to someone in Portugal.

    Ask Bindmans for an official copy of this alleged "anonymity order", which may, of course, not actually exist.

    Your best defence against this legalistic nonsense is the Streisand Effect - very widespread internet publicity and mirroring of the information which they trying to censor, something which would not have happened, except for the stupid illegal / legal threats.

  53. The letter, from a firm of UK solicitors not less, advises that "the publication of any such information is prohibited in the UK by Standing DA Notice 5."

    This is false. Here's what the DA-Notice website says:

    "The DA-Notice System is a means of providing advice and guidance to the media about defence and counter-terrorist information the publication of which would be damaging to national security. The system is voluntary, it has no legal authority and the final responsibility for deciding whether or not to publish rests solely with the editor or publisher concerned."


  54. The most important aspect of all of this is that "he who shall not be named" allegedly *recruited supergrasses*. Think about it for a long, long time, add all the other players into the mix and the entire cover up makes sense.

  55. Joana,

    em Portugal só os órgãos judiciais podem fazer isto, nunca uma empresa de advogados. Há algum despacho do Mº Pº? Alguma decisão de um Juiz?

    O que eles podiam ter feito era reclamar junto de um consulado ou embaixada, a fim do Estado Português saber quem és, se és tu que publicas, se o blogger está sob jurisdição portuguesa, onde estás, ou seja, elementos subjectivos que, após a verificação de umórgão judicial português que ordenasse tal, fizesse isso.

    Ora, nenhum desses pressupostos está preenchido, tanto o é que o google não o retirou doa ar.

  56. I may have some information re Praia da Luz but relates to 2009 and an British group using cyber-stalking may have relevance to Oakley International amongst other things.I will contact Home Office as well.


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