Correio da Manhã - 29/4/2008

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Correio da Manhã - 29/4/2008

Postby Li » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:10 am

A year without Maddie

"The PJ disgraced us"

The Portuguese in England do not understand the backtracks of the Judicial Police and say that the doubts of the investigation affected the credibility of the authorities, which were considered effective.

"The PJ disgraced us by apologising. How come that one of the best police of the world commit theses mistakes? We were all confused when the director of the PJ said on the television that perhaps they were too hasty. It seemed he was afraid of the McCanns ". The confession is of 'Genito' ,the name by which is known the owner of the restaurant-nightclub Jet7 in Kensal Green, London, and illustrates the feelings of the Portuguese that live England. In the last year,they were bombarded with disconcerting information about Maddie's case, with the criticism to the Portuguese authorities rising of tone.

"Portugal is a country where justice is equal for all. The police had to be convinced that was equal to be an English or Portuguese couple. But they were wrong," says the same interlocutor, that guarantees that in the first weeks the English pressed a lot the Portuguese community. " They asked how it was possible that the child was abducted. We had to explain that our Judicial Police was certainly trying to do their best and that was not a normal thing to happen."

Another of the regrets of this Portuguese living in London for over a decade has to do with the change of leadership in the investigation of the case. "It's hard to believe that the PJ commits such mistakes,turning into suspects the parents of a kidnapped child. But the truth is that the changes that happened in Portugal discredit all of us. We did not know what to say."

Nonetheless, the entrepreneur guarantees that in England the behaviour of the McCanns was also targeted. "The English are so affectionate as we are.They do not leave the children alone at home,they will not go dine while the children are asleep. Also here their behaviour was criticized."

Fatima Marques, a native of Madeira and the owner of a fish shop in the centre of London, said that the behaviour of the English who were on holiday in Praia da Luz is incomprehensible. "I have already worked in several private homes and the English standard is not leaving the children alone. No one understands how they did it during the holidays in a foreign country, specially when we talk about a middle/ high class family. Here if we go out for five minutes and leave the children alone we will have problems. It is incomprehensible that they have done it in Portugal, "said the entrepreneur.

"HERE WOULD BEEN ALREADY SUPPRESSED"

Ant├│nio Fonseca of Mangualde, has been living in the British capital for 20 years. He saw the disappearance of Maddie with surprise, but reminds that if this had happened in England the case would have been forgotten by now. "Here would already been suppressed. They have several cases of disappearance per year and in many of them you stop hearing about them very quickly."

ROTHLEY IN SILENCE

The small village of Rothley, just over 170 kilometers from the capital, takes refuge in silence. One year after the disappearance of Maddie nobody wants to talk about the case. Either because they are people who live for long in the small community and respect the silence imposed by the McCanns or because they have just arrived to the village where Maddie lived with the family till those holidays in Algarve in May last year.
Another dominant feeling is the attempt to forget the tragedy.
The English of Rothley avoid to talk with journalists who for months "camped" in the village and in the entry of the McCanns house that now is prohibited to a press that can only come if invited.

A year later, everything is different. When the McCanns returned home there were many the expressions of solidarity .The monument to those killed in the II World War was turned into a memorial to the British child where toys were deposited.
Today, the monument is naked and there is no memory of Madeleine.

Direct Speech

Carlos Cabral, manager of a shop in London

Correio da Manhã - During months the police received critics. The British accused the PJ of not accompanying the case. How did you saw the critics living in England?

Carlos Cabral - I always thought that was an exaggeration. The case was treated differently because it was an English child. If it was a Portuguese child the situation had already been forgotten.

CM - The McCanns left the daughter alone whilst they were dinning. The British came later saying that it was normal, it was British habit.

Carlos Cabral - I don't understand. I think it was irresponsible to go to the restaurant and leave the children sleeping. What impressed me was that I was in Algarve shortly after and I saw others doing the same. It is not understandable because here the British don't behave like that.

CM- So why have they done it in our country?

Carlos Cabral - The only explanation I can find is that they felt safe. They thought that by being in Portugal they could ease the rules. Or then there are other explanations but then we will enter in the domain of insinuation.
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Li
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