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

MPs attack press watchdog for failing to rein in Madeleine McCann reports

image courtesy of  The McCann Gallery

By Vicky Shaw

A GROUP of MPs made a raft of recommendations yesterday to increase the powers of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

The culture, media and sport committee's wide-ranging report into press standards criticised the PCC for failing to do more to act over "false and damaging" newspaper coverage relating to Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

It said the press watchdog should be renamed the Press Complaints and Standards Commission, with powers to fine members and suspend printing in the cases of the worst rule-breakers.

The report described the McCann case as "an important test of the industry's ability to regulate itself, and it failed in that test".

It said the newspaper industry's assertion that the McCann case was a one-off event showed that it is "in denial about the scale and gravity of what went wrong".

It continued: "In any other industry suffering such a collective breakdown – as for example in the banking sector now – any regulator worth its salt would have instigated an inquiry."

Committee chairman John Whittingdale said there was also a "serious concern" over the "increasing evidence that in recent years investigative journalism was being deterred by the threat and cost of libel actions".

in New Scotsman

read as well extended coverage at the Guardian and Independent, alternatively download the report at HoC's Culture Media and Sports Committee and remember to sign the Libel Reform Campaign petition

On this matter, a few articles filled with blatant xenophobia [Lusophobia] and defamation are listed bellow as an obvious example of how the PCC and the UK media, particularly Murdoch's media, failed to give an unbiased reporting about the Madeleine McCann Case.

«Some reports in the British press branded the Portuguese police as lazy, inept, secretive and drunk and, in the hysteria, an impression was created that the place was a haven for paedophiles.» in the Times

«While most journalists in Britain and in Portugal at first seemed united in sympathy toward the McCanns, the coverage and commentary around the case has taken on increasingly xenophobic tones. In the British press, the Portuguese police have been widely portrayed as lazy bunglers. Portuguese commentators have found the McCanns insufficiently emotional and have questioned their parenting skills.» in The New York Times

«There’s a killer on the road (*), and his name is "Amaral Lector". This is what most readers of British Media should think, after what was published by tabloids like Daily Express and Daily Mail, about Portuguese CID Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, the man in charge of the investigation of Madeleine disappearance.» in Gazeta Digital

Telegraph Simon Heffer: Boycott Portugal [title has changed] self-explanatory

Daily Mirror Tony Parsons: Parsons wrote a column, titled "Oh, up yours, senor", regarding the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. One of the complainants was the Portuguese ambassador to Britain, whom Parsons told to "keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut". [article was deleted, but others where he calls the Portuguese of 'pigs' and similar remain]

Daily Mail Vanessa Allen: Why Portugal is a haven for paedophiles an article that tried to join the Casa Pia Case with Madeleine McCann

The Sun Lucy Hagan: Portuguese cops' booze botch self-explanatory

Daily Mirror Nick Owens : 262 Days missing and... Maddy's blunder cop back on case self-explanatory

read as well  Adjectives used by the British Press to describe Goncalo Amaral

«53 articles: "boozy" or "boozer"

418 articles: "disgraced, disgraceful, disgrace"

440 articles: "outrage, outrageous" etc. 

37 articles: "bungling"

23 articles: "Keystone cops" (or Kops) (or Keystone cretins) etc, etc»


  1. It took time but looks like we might get there- about time a full aopology was made to Dr Amaral and Mrs Amaral -even if he had been an inept policeman persuing his own agenda rather than a man dedicated to his job and part of a team the comments directed towards both him and his wife were disgusting. I was ashamed to be British and what made it worse were that these comments were magnified into a rant against not only one man but a whole nation.It would have been disgusting if the parents had been genuine;not claimed abandonment and had completely cooperated with the police.

  2. Okay, so now they cannot be rude about our Portuguese friends - especially that Tony Parsons, I met him once had I known what he was going to be like about this case I would have smacked him one in the teeth!- perhaps we can have decent honest reporting with a bit of investigative work thrown in. If they write about what is in the PJ Files the mcscammers cannot sue surely, let's have a bit of the truth, please.
    Going back to Robert Murat at last taking action against four of the nine, I would think his mother should too after all it was her property that was torn apart. I spoke to both of them in October 2007, Robert was on our flight from Exeter and then we met his mum when we went to be nosey parkers in Luz!

  3. The ones who instigated Madeleine's disappearance, her parents, continue to be revered, for not giving up on Madeleine and treated as victims, by the British Media.

    The British media just can't print the truth about the McCanns, it was lies that got them into trouble before, because they were sued by the McCanns. They went quiet for a time, now they are printing lies about them again.

    The McCanns don't mind this time around, because the lies the media print about them, are the same lies that they and their spokesperson have been spinning for almost 3yrs.

    Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese police have been treated appallingly by the British Media, in their quest to make the McCanns into something they are not.

    They have also been treated appallingly by the Portuguese Government who have a duty to protect these people from vicious attacks, by the British media. Especially when the attacks were based on lies.

    The Portguguese Government, have let down badly those, who are helping to protect the citizens of Portugal and those who visit the country. They should hang their heads in shame.

  4. No matter which way they spin it you cannot take away the FACTS.

    Snippet of interview with GA and MF.


    GA – The window made me doubt. And not only that.

    MF – But I do insist on the window. The mother said that she never touched it.

    GA – That she never even opened it.

    MF – Now, when I read the process, I realised that her fingerprints were on it. And positioned in a manner that coincides with an opening movement.

    GA – It was with that, with Kate's fingerprints on the window that I wanted to catch them.

    MF – That's the truth of the lie.

    GA – Among other things. It was one of the best games that I ever saw played out, to divert attention from what really happened in the apartment. The manner in which they "worked" for the Smith was brilliant.

    MF – The couple that recognised the father carrying the little girl.

    GA – Exactly. It was done in such a manner that at one point in time, it was Gerry himself who informed that someone had witnessed the situation, as if the person that was recognised had been someone else.

    MF – Wearing the clothes that the friend mentioned for the photofit.

    GA – Precisely.

    MF – Do you still drink beer, or did you stop drinking red wine after the news in the English press?

    GA [laughs] – I never drank wine. I don't like red wine.

    MF – What really made them mad was being made arguidos.

    GA – Now that you know the process, tell me… Under the old Penal Process, how do I ask Kate: "Are you lying when you say you didn't touch the window? As a matter of fact, it was you who opened the window. We have material evidence of that." A question like this forces the constitution of arguido because it invades her sphere of constitutional rights. I have to give her the right not to reply, instead of lying. The only solution was to make her an arguida.

    MF – Things were different in my time. She would have been under such an attack that before she realised anything, she'd be in jail.

    GA – Right, but in your time, in our old times, investigation was made with fuel. Now we all move on honey. Apart from that, this is a process that is uncomfortable for everyone. Nicely archived, nice and quiet, that's how it looks better. Everyone was happy.

    MF – And nobody was tried.

    GA – Not yet…

    MF – Do you still believe?

    GA – It's too big and too serious a burden to be concealed by so many people for their entire lives.

  5. " MADDIE FOI LOCALIZADA 200 VEZES DESDE 2008- Os ex-policias contratados por kate e Gerry Mccann dizem ter recebido centenas de denuncias"- joaquim Eduardo Oliveira in 24 HORAS.

    A pergunta e inevitavel perante esta manchete: O QUE E QUE OS DETECTIVES PRIVADOS FIZERAM PARA INVESTIGAR FISICAMENTE E LOCALMENTE ESTES AVISTAMENTOS e o que e que os Mccann fizeram para pressionar ou exigir as policias e autoridades dos paises onde a crianca foi avistada, que investigassem? NAAAADA!!!!


    Souberam manchar a imagem da Marina de Barcelona com suspeitas de uma sosia de Vick B. que se passearia altas horas da madrugada anunciando a vinda de uma crianca a desconhecidos, uma especie de ESTRELA DE BELEM PROCLAMANDO A RAINHA MAGA, O NASCIMENTO DA MENINA SALVADORA. ( Desculpem a falta de acentos e cedilhas).


    Depois 200 avistamentos e muito avistamento. Nao ha uma semana em que Maddie nao tenha sido vista em qualquer lado. convenhamos que para a crianca mais mediatica, mais procurada e mais conhecida do mundo, e muito azar que nao tenha havido uma alminha que lhe tivesse deitado a mao e gritado bem alto ate aparecer um policia, um seguranca, um outro transeunte que resgatasse a crianca. 200 pessoas viram e 200 pessoas foram MAS, CINICAS, VIS.... porque a deixaram partir sem se esforcarem por a deter. Ou ela e um anjo visivel so para alguns, ou e um PESADELO para DOIS PAIS DESESPERADOS.
    Como e mesquinha esta estrategia de manipular a imprensa. Basta OLHARMOS PARA O DESESPERO DAS IMAGENS DE VIDEO, MOSTRANDO NA MADEIRA COMO VIZINHOS MORRERAM OU SE DESFIZERAM EM ESFORCOS A TENTAREM SALVAR OS QUE ERAM ARRASTADOS NAS DERROCADAS, para percebermos como estes avistamentos anunciados agora, sao um insulto a inteligencia de todos nos. O MEU FILHO DE 7 ANOS, SE VISSE MADDIE OU ALGUEM PARECIDO COM ELA, GRITARIA AOS 4 VENTOS O NOME DELA E NINGUEM NAS REDONDEZAS FICARIA INDIFERENTE. NAO SE CONTROLAM SALVAMENTOS NEM RESGATES DE PESSOAS EM PUBLICO. E um acto impulsivo. Primeiro faz-se, grita-se, age-se e depois se pensa. Nestes 200 avistamentos, todos pensaram antes e nenhum se deixou guiar pelo impulso. Todos se controlaram o que faz de 200 avistamentos, 200 mentiras na SPIN-MACHINE EM QUE SE TRANSFORMOU ESTA COMEDIA. ( CONT)

  6. (CONT)
    "Segundo a nota dos "contactos e referencias" recebidos, destacam-se os mais de "3ooo contactos e registos gravados em sistema telefonico" e os mais de "3500 contactos para o e-mail da equipa" - Continua a noticia.

    Meu Deus, como gostam de numeros grandes. Ja la diz o ditado que pescadores e cacadores quando sao amadores, gostam de mentir com numeros grandes sempre que a faina foi infrutifera. AFINAL COM TANTO CONTACTO SO HOUVE 200 AVISTAMENTOS? ESTES CONTACTOS DAO MAIS DE DUAS PESSOAS A VEREM O MESMO NO MESMO LUGAR. E NENHUMA DELAS FEZ NADA? COMECAMOS A TER AGRUPAMENTOS DE IMBECIS....

    " O documento sobre a actividade dos detectives diz terem sido " enviadas as policias britanica e portuguesa um numero significativo de possiveis linhas de investigacao" ".- Continua a noticia.

    ANEDOTICO. E A POLICIA BRITANICA TAMBEM NADA FEZ PARA LOCALIZAR A MIUDA? E so ha um Inspector acusado pela advogada em tribunal? Devia haver pelo menos um ingles tambem, para a coisa ser justa e equilibrada. COMO SEMPRE, QUEM PAGA A FACTURA E O PORTUGUES DO BURGO, AQUELE QUE OS CHEFES NUNCA DEFENDEM. Vergonhosa sina....

    Interessante esta das "possiveis linhas de investigacao" Afinal ha LINHAS e nao apenas a LINHA. Sera que dessas linhas, a eventual morte da miuda foi um dado na equacao? E que se nao foi, entao estes detectives sao GROTESCAMENTE 2 ENORMES BURLOES. Sera que a policia britanica nao mexeu o "rabiosque" do seu office porque sabe qual e a LINHA DE INVESTIGACAO, e estes videntes ainda nao conseguiram provar-lhes que MORTOS ANDEM E APARECAM A TRANSEUNTES?

    " AS DOACOES PARA O FUNDO ATINGIRAM O NIVEL MAIS BAIXO DESDE QUE A MENINA DESAPARECEU..... cairam num ano cerca de 2285 milhoes de Euros para 743 mil " - CONTINUA A NOTICIA


  7. Someone should send this group of MPs a copy of the article in which Mr. Mitchell boasts that he sat down with the editors to shape the stories.


  8. www.libelreform.org/sign

    35.000 signatires for libel campaign...need many more

  9. This from the BBC this morning ......

    An Army search dog, who saved lives in Afghanistan, is to be honored with the animal version of the Victoria Cross
    Black Labrador Treo, eight, will be awarded the Dickin medal at an event at the Imperial War Museum in London.

    The now retired dog, from 104 Military Working Dog Support Unit, North Luffenham barracks in Rutland, TWICE FOUND HIDDEN BOMBS, in Helmand Province.

    It goes on to say Treos detective work saved the lives of many soldiers ....................

       .................... Ask the dog's Sandra .....................


    Very well done Joana and all, for keeping this train on track.

    In spite of the awful recent decision in Lisbon by a Portuguese Judge!

    It looks like the "Justice Train" is coming out of a dark tunnel in the UK.

    I would like to know who this group of MPs are?

    An Englishman

    In the interest of JUSTICE at last there appears to

  11. Are we now about to see some truth printed for a change in the UK newspapers?

    Perhaps even the allowance of the mention of the UK sniffer dogs used in the case!

    That is a subject that appears to have been airbrushed out completely by most of the press.

  12. What I still cannot understand is this.... The Portuguese police files are out there for the public to read freely available.

    The public also includes them smucks in the press.....why don't the press just print what is in the files, no libel there just public police documents......let the readers make up their own minds

  13. I did not read yet the article above but I did not resist to share my feelings. For me seems that the PCC were gagged, I did not know for who, but they are gagged and pressured on all complaints regarding the Mccann's. I use to complaint to them and also to the Portuguese authorities. from the portuguese authorities, I just receive automatic confirmation from the PR.
    MY first complaint was against Tony Parson's article "up yours senor" and the way the PCC deal with my complaint seems normal at the time( 2 years ago).
    One of my last complaints was again against Tony Parson's and his article "Maddy McCann cop adds insults to injury".
    When I compare the way they assess my last complaint with the first one, I can see a huge difference. On the last complaint they made it more difficult. asking back several questions before taking it forward. Here is the email I got from PCC in response of my complaint against Tony parson's article " Maddy McCann cop adds insults to injury":

    1-"Before we can assess your complaint fully, it would be helpful if you could indicate which Clause or Clauses of the Code of Practice you believe have been breached. We would be very grateful to receive this information within the next ten days."

    2- "In order that the Commission is absolutely clear about your complaint, would you be able to confirm precisely which parts of the article are inaccurate, perhaps in the form of a numbered list?

    We will then take the matter forward."


    A couple of days, or weeks, after, I received the last e-mail on the same issue:

    "Further to our recent correspondence the Commission has now made its assessment of your complaint under the Code of Practice.

    The Commission members have asked me to thank you for giving them the opportunity to consider the points you raise. However, their decision was that there was no breach of the Code and a full explanation is enclosed. Please let me know if you would like further clarification of the reasons for the Commission’s decision.

    Although the Commissioners have come to this view, they have asked me to send a copy of your letter to the editor so that he is aware of your concerns.

    If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled - as opposed to the Commission’s decision itself - you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner, whose details can be found in our How to Complain leaflet or at http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/process.html"

    FED-UP. ENNOUGH! So many questions and steps to complaint against this toxic evils which fabricate a lot of news in the papers.

    THE PCC IS GAGGED ASWELL, this means Maddie crime is more serious then a disappearance of a child.

    "Before we can assess your complaint fully, it would be helpful if you could indicate which Clause or Clauses of the Code of Practice you believe have been breached. We would be very grateful to receive this information within the next ten days."

    "In order that the Commission is absolutely clear about your complaint, would you be able to confirm precisely which parts of the article are inaccurate, perhaps in the form of a numbered list?

    We will then take the matter forward."

  14. I note that not one MP on the committee even thought to suggest that representatives of the Portuguese Police and Media should be invited to have the opportunity to counteract the unsubstantiated criticisms made by Clarence Mitchell and others.

    Sadly,under the present Portuguese regime, I don't suppose for a moment the Portuguese ambassador will be heading towwards the Foreign Office with a protest.

  15. Joana

    I think perhaps you need to make it clear that not one of your xenophobic quotes is in the parliamentary report, or the subject even touched on, in fact the report itself has a xenophobic bias?

  16. The tabloid industry in Britain is in trouble. People have simply stopped buying their trashy rags. People don't even bother reading their news websites. Advertisers are cancelling contracts and many journos are being made redundant. In about a decade, the British tabloid press might be no more. I won't worry too much about them.

  17. Found this pearl in Volume 1, page 85, chapter 342, Gerry whingeing about the Press:

    " Gerry McCann told us: “Madeleine, I
    believe, was made a commodity and profits were to be made.”"

  18. Please read the report. I just have... there is no mention about the Lusophobia in the press reports. It does seem that the report is somewhat one-sided in that respect - I cannot recall if complaints were actually made to the PCC about the xenophobic reporting and comment (I am sure they must have) and what any ruling by the PCC was.

    However, at paragraph 339 Peter Hill, editor of the Daily Express, says:
    …they would have been able to sue and still could sue any newspaper at all.
    This is surely a green light for Goncalo, the PJ and other Portuguese persons and bodies to sue the papers for their remarks.

    Of course the report is predicated on the basis that abduction took place (even though it uses the word 'disappearance'). This does make it somewhat biased.

    A couple of things struck me in the report that seem a little hypocritical of the McCanns (you don't say!). At paragraph 356 GM says:
    Aspects with the PCC have been helpful in terms of protecting privacy particularly for our twins, which was a major concern for us. They were continuing to be photographed and we wanted that stopped.
    Since then, and before, if I remember correctly, they published pictures of the twins (the Punch and Judy picture for instance) and have used them in many instances to engender support and sympathy. As has been said before many times, The McCanns want to control the press, to use it only when it suits their agenda.

    And mistakenly, in my opinion, it says at paragraph 334:
    ... The coverage, notable from the outset by its speculative character, became increasingly so once the McCanns were named arguidos, often implying, with little or no qualification, and certainly no evidence, that the couple bore some responsibility for their daughter's disappearance.
    This is surely wrong - the fact that the McCanns admitted to leaving their children alone in 5A surely is an admission that, at least, they bore some responsibility for their daughter's disappearance.

    From the Independent this morning I was encouraged by a couple of statements:
    Investigative journalism in Britain is being "deterred by the threat and cost of having to defend libel actions"...

    The Culture, Media and Sport Committee warned that the balance in libel cases had "tipped too far" in favour of those who bring actions. The law should be changed in respect of large corporations reversing the burden of proof so that organisations which sue the media have to prove that accusations are false.

    Mr B

  19. I have said many times our press have been a disgrace especially that vile Parsons, i complained at the time about that, i wonder how much the "fund" paid Parsons you "pig, filth, etc"(isnt that what you called the Portugese police you disgrace?!) maybe this is too little too late though im afraid the damage was done ages ago by our media, press, goverment, and most of all by that spinning prat Mitchell, MCCANNS and the lieing tappa's lot.

  20. The Culture Media and Sports Committee should take the press editors to task for printing Clarence Mitchels shaping of the stories, not for anything else.

    By the way a brave UK army sniffer dog has been awarded a medal today for his work in finding bombs in Afghanistan, on behalf of all the sniffer dogs. The handler said that any dog can do this if trained. See how reliable they are, McCann? they're so reliable that people's lives depend on the dogs' accuracy.

  21. This looks promising indeed!

  22. This will not please Clarence and the McCann's!

    Clarence may have to re-think his plans to try to become an MP as clearly his role as a propaganda mouthpiece for the litigious McCann's (whose income is from suing people!) is likely to be exposed at some point in the future!

    The McCann's income may now be at risk - lets hope the Portuguese judiciary continue to obey their UK political masters and now stop trying to emulate the UK judiciary!

  23. Kathybelle in post 3.

    A very good point regarding the Portuguese government not complaining to the UK government at the UK state treatment of the Portuguese police!

    I agree 100%


  24. Parsons should be SACKED along with Ann Smith and 'Antonella'

    For once the MP's have got this right - freedom of expression has been badly damaged and abused by these people who use our right on our behalf yet dont listen to us!

  25. The British goverment want to enhance the PCC's powers. Effectively this will clam up British Newspapers coverage of ths McCann case. This is a sad day for freedom of speech. There is an indication that the McCanns were libelled!! What a joke! Show me a British newspaper report where they were libelled. Poor old Amaral was libelled by all quarters of the British press. BBC Five Live has brief but interesting discussion this morning which will be available as a podcast for 7 days. See link below to listen. Slide the bar to about 2:38:00.

  26. I suppose it is a start ,but more is needed to out the Mc`s,the British media need to start printing the case FACTS,if they did this case would be blown wide open ,and this is what it would take to see the case re-opened,but until they get themselves a pair of gonads Im afraid the Mc`s are still laughing all the way to the bank

  27. Yes, first of all, because everything started there, the Portuguese authorities should hang their heads in shame for lacking to support at any cost GA when pressure was made to have him off the case. From then on, the British tabloïds started to easily vomit insults that the same Portuguese authorities should have perceived for what they were : total despise for Portugal, authorities included.
    We can't blame the McCs for that, but we can wonder, and I did wonder a lot about this, that, after suffering themselves because of the media and finally gaining respect (even through fear), they left the media insult GA without at least a comment. Why should they have bothered ? They should have, not for ethical reasons, but in their best interest, because the medias' insults induced a latent hostility among the portugueses and this is no good for the search of Madeleine McCann.

  28. We must insist the english media for a public apology to GA and the PJ.
    End off

  29. It's hard to take seriously anything that comes from MPs. In my mind they are the lowest of the low. You only have to look at the expenses scandal to know that nothing they say can be trusted.

  30. Its Mr Amaral Mr Murat and the Portugese nation that has been mistreated in the UK Press The Maccanns and their friends have been revered, and adored by them, walking saint's almost its a disgrace to the UK. Because they were gagged by the Maccanns was no excuse. Sue them all.

  31. As an Englishman I've always been disgusted at the xenophobic racist comments directed at Sr.Amaral and the Portuguese in general during this case via our media.

    Madeleine herself protested before vanishing. Yet her parents paid no attention and continued to neglect her (and the twins remember) by putting their selfish needs first. This is not normal behaviour at all. The story of Madeleine's unhappiness has been spun as a potential 'Abductor' on a dry-run! Yet, the British media have trodden on egg-shells around this subject and given the McCanns an easy ride because of privileged position in society.

    Cut the nonesense out McCanns; the child was scared in the dark with only babies to keep her company; and the demons. VERY small children are afraid of everything and many have nightmares. Your actions that week are UNFORGIVABLE. Yet you continue the charade and have never been bought to book about these negligent actions. That's the real tragedy here.

    What's next? A 3-year celebration party? SHE WON'T BE FOUND BEFORE MAY 3rd. All of us know it including you McCanns. None of the words written on the Internet prick any conscience in either of you. Are you totally heartless? Your remaining children will read all about this soon. How will you look them in the eye? Take if from a Father with older children: It's IMPOSSIBLE to lie to your children if you truly care. It cannot be done, if you truly have any soul.

    What particularly irks me, is that the very people the British press have been attacking are the very people trying to get justice for Madeleine. The official story sounds like a pack of lies. There is much circumstantial evidence that it is not true. If Madeleine's parents had taken more time to consider that their actions were improper, we would never have known who these people were.

    As a point of law it is wrong to defame reputation; using that as an excuse to gag an ex-detective who didn't believe the fairytale 'Abduction' is quite immoral. How low will they sink? After the 9/11 attacks in New York, does Human behaviour shock any of us anymore? Do the McCanns and their loutish parental skills, bordering on vandalism, surprise anybody? Human life seems so cheap these days. Even a small child seems expendable.

    As only 1 Englishman I hope the nation of Portugal will accept my apologies; apologies for the way our media have derided your police force, your nation, your customs. I am sorry we have people in our nation who think 'it's okay' to leave pre-school children alone in an allegedly 'unlocked' apartment.

    Sorry Portugal. But do keep up the good fight. They ain't won yet. How sad for Madeleine. How sad for Portugal that this pair of villains stepped foot on your soil and ruined YOUR REPUTATION. Can Portugal sue the McCanns for this? That would be interesting.

    I often feel sad for Madeleine. I do so hate injustice.

  32. "Committee chairman John Whittingdale said there was also a "serious concern" over the "increasing evidence that in recent years investigative journalism was being deterred by the threat and cost of libel actions".

    There was, and is, virtually zero genuine investigative reporting on this case, with the major publishers relying mainly on press releases issued by the spokesman of the main suspects. It is high time that this penny-pinching attitude was ended. Journalists should be made to get off their backsides, get out of the office and get the real story.


  33. The BBC lunchtime news has just covered the story - without a single mention of the McCann case - the NOTW phone tapping scandal aspect of it are what they're concentrating on http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/22.gif

  34. If the media only printed facts and the truth about the McCanns they would surely have been charged with neglect at the very least.
    I have always been suspicious that the Mccanns may have left the bedroom window/shutter open for ventilation before going out or forgotten to close it and that is why Kate's fingerprints were the only ones found.
    It would then make some sense that had Maddy been abducted via the open window the McCanns would try to cover up their stupidity for leaving it open with three babies inside.
    Looking back to Maddy's disappearance, her parents first claimed the window was forced. This was proved to be a lie, but why lie about something that is so easily disproved? They also lied about the patio door being locked and later admitted to it being left open. Is that in fact also a lie to cover up an abductor gaining entry through the open window?.
    It would have been viewed as highly irresponsible to leave the window open on the far side of the apartment from where they were dining.
    This may also make some sense of the friend that claimed to listen outside the window when checking on the children, which would have been near impossible with the shutter down and window closed.
    It may even be possible that Maddie walked over to the window and was lifted out by the abductor who may have been known to her.
    I'm looking for alternative explanations to Maddie dying in the apartment, which seems the only other possibility.
    Other than this I think Maddie could have fallen from the veranda earlier in the evening, her body then hidden behind the sofa until later, then before going out one of her parents moved her to the bedroom wardrobe, out of sight to any of the friends that may have called in to check on the children that evening. Gerry may then have moved her when going to check on the children himself.
    The McCanns jogging outings a few days later may have been to overview the hiding place from a safe distance.
    Hiring the car the day before going to Rome seemed suspicious and I wondered if the trip was an opportunity to move Maddy's body, maybe to Italy? They did travel by private jet. Could Maddy's body have been concealed in a suitcase? Maybe somebody else moved her while they were in Rome.

  35. Before we think that our perpetual search for the truth is to no avail, look at Tony Bennett’s input and where it has been recorded / noted.

    Honest and fair-minded citizens from around the world will always far outnumber those who seek to conceal the truth, and we will persist until the truth is known.

    House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports committee.

    Session 2009-10
    Publications on the internet
    Culture, Media and Sport Committee Publications

    list of participant statements etc. including Carter-Ruck reps.


    Amongst which is:-

    The Madeleine Foundation. Tony Bennett

    It takes many drops of rain to make a mighty river. We may think that our individual inputs are worthless, but joined together they can change the course of history.

    Some very important people are supporting the petition for libel reform.

    Sign the 'libel reform campaign' petition, your input is as important here.

  36. Anon 13, Sir Christopher Meyer was chairman of the PCC at the time. Mrs Meyer, I believe, supported the McCs amber alert and has been, I seem to remember, described as their friend.
    I think newspapers should tell their readers when a McC press release is published and when it is their own report too.

  37. I´ve only read newspaper summaries. Is there any reference whatsoever in this report to the appalling treatment of Amaral,Portugal and Murat by the British press?

  38. Maybe we could not find a better example of how corrupt newspaper editors and senior politicians work together to spin and manipulate the news than this quote below from The Independent. It certainly gives me little confidence that the likely new conservative administration we are probably about to get will be any less corrupt than the others that have gone before them.

    I have to say it was like a breath of fresh air to read many Pt papers on the McCann case where nothing got spun, there were no emotive adjectives, we just got the news and much of what got leaked on the McCann case clearly was factual evidence direct from the police files. But that in itself is a problem in allowing criminal suspects to know far too much and as has been pointed out in the report potentially putting at risk any future trial of the suspects. There was a lot that went wrong with the press reporting in the McCann case IMO the outrageous bias towards the McCanns by some of the lower class papers and serious insults to Goncalo Amaral and Portugal being the most sickening. At no stage did these papers stop and think this is a serious criminal investigation where a little girl is missing, quite possibly dead, instead the reporting was just a contemptuous shambles that never demonstrated any respect to Madeleine at all. Far more respect being demonstrated to what clearly concerns her parents, making money.
    Quote from The Independent: (Is this how Kate and Gerry got an interview with the illustrious Mr Cameron who is clearly no better than the rest?)
    The report was critical of the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who is now the director of communications for David Cameron at the Conservative party. Although the committee said it had "seen no evidence" that Coulson, who was questioned by the MPs, knew that phone hacking was taking place, it still found him culpable.

  39. Letter from Iberia
    The problem is not only the British press and Mccan spin

    The Portuguese justice system has let down Madeleine in assisting the Mccans to flee Portugal without charge, in continuing to not provide justice for her and all the peoples in Portugal Particularly those who are and were trying to establish the truth behind the lies

    Justice and Portugal two words that are not compatible.

  40. The Guardian today :
    "But Buscombe said the PCC had been constrained to act because the McCann family had not made a formal complaint to the watchdog about newspaper coverage.
    The McCanns instead took legal action that resulted in a £550,000 payout from Express Newspapers, a private settlement with Associated Newspapers and an apology from the News of the World. It's very important to put it in context, Buscombe told The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 today. What actually happened was that as soon as the story broke, the PCC was very much in touch with the McCann family and repeatedly offered to help. The McCanns and the PCC over the months that followed were in touch and indeed Gerry McCann in this inquiry actually praised the PCC for helping very much in terms of privacy matters relating to their other children.Buscombe said the PCC had held "numerous discussions internally" about the McCann case. The difficulty that it had was that it's very difficult for a self-regulatory body such as ours to actually pre-empt and decide in some ways whether a headline or statements that are being made are something that we should be tackling without proper engagement of the complainants. And we did say that there were lessons to be learnt from that, absolutely. We just think it's regrettable in some ways that the McCann family didn't actually come to us for us to be able to act on their behalf."

    They did'nt ask...Just like for reopening the case...

  41. I don't know if anyone has seen this, Unrelated but thought it worth a mention

    Jim Bates, once recognised as one of the country’s leading computer forensic experts, has made the extraordinary claim that senior police officers in Avon & Somerset and in the Met’s Child Exploitation Online Protection Team (CEOP) have deliberately stirred up and misled public opinion, in an effort to distract attention from a scandal that could soon engulf them.

    I notice Gerry McCann is very close to the CEOP


  42. As a Portuguese I am touched by the sensitiveness shown by many English people who are courageous enough to appologize, on behalf of their press, for their atrocious behaviour towards Portugal, the Portuguese police and GA.

    However, the McCanns should be the first ones to come forward with apologies. All this was of their doing. We are still waiting to hear from them a big thanks for the tremendous efforts put into the search of their daughter by the Portuguese police forces and private persons, while they were staying put in their apartment, setting in motion their publicity campaign, and asking money from people in Praia da Luz.

  43. The forensic evidence of the DNA of blood found in the living room of the McCanns’ apartment, and in the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns, analysed by the Forensic Science Service here in England

    There have been claims and counter-claims about the significance of the forensic evidence obtained by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in Birmingham on samples of blood or body fluids found in the McCanns’ apartment and in the boot of the car they hired. The Doctors McCann and their spokesmen have claimed that the FSS results did not confirm that it was Madeleine’s dead body in the apartment and in the car.
    So let us look carefully at what the FSS found.
    In Apartment 5A, Eddie, the ‘cadaver dog’ and Keela, the ‘blood-hound’ both clearly marked precisely the same location – behind the sofa in the living room (which had been moved by the McCanns from its original location). The tiles where Keela scented the blood were carefully removed and sent to FSS.
    The blood found by Keela was by then degraded, quite possibly as the result of cleaning agents having been used, and the FSS lab was able to check only 5 markers. Each one of those 5 markers matched Madeleine’s DNA – or, to re-phrase this a different way, there were no markers that could not have come from Madeleine, so the idea that it was her blood could most certainly not be discounted.
    As for the Renault Scenic, registration no. 59-DA-27, Eddie and Keela both clearly marked the same car and the same location within the car. The blood found there by Keela (beneath the carpeting in the boot) was also degraded.

  44. http://www.nfh.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?28947-What-really-happened-to-Madeleine-McCann

  45. I think its disgusting how Snr Amaral has been slurred by the UK papers he was only doing his job he didnt ask for this. If the Mc Scams had been PROPER parents THEY wouldnt have lost a child its THEIR fault no one elses. Its about time the press printed the truth about the process like somneone said above they have access to the files why not print them. Why pussyfoot around the Mc Canns ? Is it because they feel sorry for them for losing a child well it was their fault and I wish someone would tell them!!! MOney grabbing child neglectors.

  46. I don't think some of you are reading this right at all. There is no mention of the reporting on the PJ - that's been added to this report.

  47. What I fail to understand is how can it be permissable to slander the Portugese, in particular Goncalo Amaral, without restraint and yet allow the Mccanns to continually ruin just about everybody that dares to challenge their adbuction theory. We all know that the investigation case files (at least a portion of the files) have been floating about the globe since the case was shelved. However one wishes to interpret the files they are based on fact NOT fiction as clan Mccann wish us to believe. So where do you draw the line between what can or can't be considered libel?

    To put this into perspective, should not the machinations of the illustrious Clarence Mitchell be brought into question? His self confessed manipulation of media coverage since his appointment as spin doctor for the Mccanns is tenuous to say the least. Through his persistant involvement the public have been grossly deluded which in itself is tantamount to treason. He has far exceeded his position with regard to image protection and has ultimately become someone we can only liken to an unofficial defence lawyer! This surely is not acceptable as indirectly it hampers any official investigation, in his own words "any evidence found or not(?) found against Kate and Gerry, there will be an inoccent explanation" - if thats not a distortion of the truth as to any likely evidence I don't know what is! His actions could even be said to "stop people searching for the child", if not for the fact that so many of us want to see justice for this missing child his constant subtifuge is enough to deter anyone from bothering to even take any interest in the case.

    So why is this individual allowed to continue? Why has he not been told to back-off? Why is nobody prepared to challenge his involvement? Why is he allowed to manipulate the media to such an extent that truth is stiffled?

  48. The McCanns are, at the very least, money grabbing child neglectors, (I think much worse) who have not hesitated to use and abuse everyone who has acted in a decent way to just find Maddie and find the truth about what happened to her.

    That conduct, those smirks on her birthday, their campaigns, their sue fests, at the end of the day, this is how ordinary and decent people in both Portugal and UK stand to judge them and it is precisely what they deserve.

  49. SB@46

    I agree 100% about Mitchell's role in disseminating lies and half-truths to the media. If he was taken out of the equation, the media might have had to do their work and investigate. I suppose it was cheaper for them to sit on their backsides and let Mitchell dictate his fairy tales to them.

    I also agree he should have been reined in. By whom, I just don't know. I always thought after his pretendy police performance that perhaps the real police might have a word in his ear and tell him, apart from anything else, that he was making a complete prat of himself. But it seems he's been given free rein from the word go, including his role in the framing Robert Murat.

  50. hi viv did you have agood holiday,are you starting up your blog again soon????

  51. 40 Of course they didn't ask, after all the wife of the then chairman of the PCC was taking Gerry to Washington!

    But not only that, why ask the PCC when you can sue and get lots of lovely money to pay the bills and share around the family?

  52. 46 Its the way this has been posted here, you are right - the McCann case has not featured anywhere near as prominently as it ought to - and where it has, it has been for the wrong reasons.

    The papers have not been castigated for the words of Parsons or Anna Smith or 'Antonella' or Fiona Phillips or Lorraine Kelly..etc etc.

    The MP's are only concerned at suggestions by the Portuguese press that the McCann's were not showing enough genuine emotion and the outrageous (well, unsubstantiated!) claims by the Express that they were swingers etc.

    The McCanns chose to go the litigious route - much more profitable than the PCC!

  53. Check this:
    1st- McCanns turned into celebrities... famous ppl.
    2nd- Famous people (using their known name) can call ppl in high places and get direct contact them.
    3rd- They start using the 2nd point, and in a few days they can contact many high profile ppl.
    4th- All they do in many contacts, is play their side of the story and act as victims.
    5th- High profile people not knowing more then just that Maddie has desapeared, start by believing their side of the story and give their support.
    6th- General public doesnt swalow all they are fed with, they don't believe the McCanns anymore and stop giving to the fund.
    7th- McCanns aware of the 6th point, move with different strategies. They don't care anymore about the public opinion. They know they have dragged many important people that gave them their support and now don't want to admit they did wrong and step forward.
    8th- All they want now is to keep up with those high profiles, because they keep them away from being uncovered and brought to justice. Due to the 6th point, money stops coming from one side but now they have other side, they sue and sue, and get support from those high profiles they dragged in.
    9th- The McCanns now ignore and despise the general public, because they know they don't believe them. But they feel pretty confortable by the monye they get that keeps them up with their agenda, and they know their suppoirters don't want to admit their mistake.
    10th- But they forget one thing... No matter how big and far an agenda can go, life always takes its course and ppl move according to it.

  54. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=43544

    found this in press gazette - the editor of the Express was as surprised as the rest of us!

  55. Without apology, Meyer admits that the McCann's just wanted money - hence going down the litigious route.

  56. Sorry, I'm 13. I did not got time to check my previous post and by mistake I paste 2 times the e-mails from the PCC.

  57. Clarence Mitchell said he saw this (inaccuracies in reporting) happening in Praia de Luz day after day:

    "They would get the Portuguese press each morning translated for them, with mistranslations occasionally occurring in that as well. Then, no matter what rubbish, frankly, was appearing in the Portuguese press from whatever source, they would then come to me and I would either deny it or try and correct it or say, 'We are just not talking about this today.' That was effectively a balancing of the story and there was no further effort to pursue any independent journalism as we might recognise it."
    Wasn't his function to prevent the Portuguese press "whatever sourced" "rubbish" to contaminate British press ? How could the Coffin detect mistranslations and correct them ? Had he linguistic help ?

  58. Anonymous @ 49

    Amen to that! Not only has Mitchell involved himself with the framing of Robert Murat but I rather suspect he has either condoned or is personally responsible for other delusatory aspects of the Mccanns subterfuge.

    Clearly he has control of not only the media but also of proceedings appertaining to the case in so far as it concerns the populace. This amounts to unprecedented manipulation and distortion of the truth which should never be permitted in the 21st century.

  59. Mitchell is currently waiting for a Tory seat to come up. When that happens he will not 'directly' represent the McCanns.

  60. Given that Mitchell has been called a liar by the Portuguese police investigators saying 'he lies through every tooth in his head' when he openly stated untruths in an ongoing criminal case, he should not be allowed to stand as an MP.

    Cameron would be a fool to allow this man near the Conservative Party. Who knows but that he may be another one involved with the McCann case that ends up getting sued.

  61. Anon 51

    'The wife of the then chairman of the PCC was taking Gerry McCann to Washington'. What on earth is going on here?

    Is there nobody the McCanns don't know and are ready and willing to help them?

    It is bloody unbelievable.

  62. aacg at 57

    Clarence Mitchell said he saw this (inaccuracies in reporting) happening in Praia de Luz day after day:

    "... they would then come to me and I would either deny it or try and correct it or say, 'We are just not talking about this today."

    'We are jut not talking about this today' As in green light to publish but my back is covered?

    He referred to Amaral's and his witnesses evidence as 'rubbish' in his interview with channel 4.

    Little England eh.

    It was probably inevitable. The McCann case just highlighted how easy it is to get away with murder when you know how to work the network. a gullible media, small police force, small judiciary, small press, an entrenched establishment network in a small country.

    I hope people who have come into contact with this farce have learnt some lessons.

  63. Oh, and why have we not seen the full press conference of K & G on the 19th Feb on youtube? Is it embarrassing?

  64. One of the troubles with the McC abduction is that it produced quite a few abducted girls finally found sequestered under a bed or fell in a drain.

  65. The Mccann's are protected by somebody with power in UK. just remember when Gerry and mitchell went to the parliament. What happen after? What changed? Nothing.... A CHARADE!!!

    On One thing, they maybe have some reason.... There is a ring, a paedophile web surrounding maddie disappearance. And they are somewhere in the center and some more british people as well. Not Common people. Famous. Perhaps politics, business people, etc.

    Revealing pieces of the web will expose the web with a big scandal associated. UK will loose all the power in the EU and the Iraq and the afghanistan monsters will be awake again. BROWN WILL DO EVERYTHING TO HIDE A SCANDAL SUCH THAT. THE PCC WIL ACT ACCORDING TO WHAT IS MORE CONVENIENT FOR THE GOVERNMENT


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