The SOL articles

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The SOL articles

Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:02 pm

2 Jul, 2007, 17:07 ┬╗

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published in Sol, on June 30, 2007
an article by Felicia Cabrita and Margarida Davim

Madeleine Case

Pact of Silence

Madeleine's parents and the friends with whom they spent their holidays in PDL are suspects in the inquiry. There are contradictory versions about the night of the kidnapping, and an assumed pact of silence in the group

The beginning of June is flowing in a strange way in the Algarve. A chilly wind and overhead clouds help to fill the auditorium of Lagos, where a solidarity concert is being held for the missing english girl. It's been a month since Madeleine McCann vanished without a trace.

A few kilometres from Lagos, in the Ocean Club resort at Praia da Luz, the faint illumination further densifies the climate. At the reception, which leads to the Tapas restaurant, there is nobody. Getting inside is easy.

A portuguese waiter, but with a british 'behaviour', strikes the first blow on the journalist's plan: "We only serve dinner to the club's clients". "What about a drink?". He says yes.

It's 9.30 p.m. If we were to believe the several members of the McCann's holiday group, and after several mismatching versions, at this time Madeleine was being carried out of her apartment by a dark-haired man, who would be around 35 years old.

From the same table where the group of nine had dinner on that evening, one tries, in vain, to observe the apartment's front – a ground floor apartment that faces the restaurant. A linoleum screen on the side of Tapas and the corridor of bushes that follows the limits of the apartment's back yards prevents any vigilance to that level.

The image of Madeleine – big blue, questioning eyes and an innocent smile, fixed on the photographic films – is always present. It doesn't leave the conversations of whom passes by. One remembers the words that the mother, Kate Healy, is supposed to have said to a friend (and that the husband, Gerry McCann, did not know): "I had a bad premonition about my children, when I found out the Ocean Club had no baby listening service".

The choice of Algarve as a holiday destination would come to change their lives. Everything was arranged with three other couples, with whom they used to travel. Some of them had recently been to Greece, with their children, and the Mark Warner agency, the same that prepared their trip to the Algarve, had done their itinerary for the islands. According to their reports, the hotel where they stayed had a baby listening service – a service that is assured by four or five members of staff who would control the children while the adults dined, by listening through doors and windows to confirm that everything inside was quiet.

At the Tapas bar, from bartenders to staff from the Kid Club, criticism is whispered: "We have a creche where they left their children for most part of the day, where they could be until 11.30 p.m. without spending another Euro. They could also have used our baby-sitters, who stay with the children in their rooms until 1 p.m. In this case, they would have to pay an extra fee, but these people looked like they could afford it", an employee comments, concluding that "this was a very strange group, that never stayed with their children".

The children's routine

The story of Madeleine looks like a tangled ball of wool. In the last days of April, Kate and Gerry, both 39 and doctors, arrive with their friends in Praia da Luz. The weather is not very good, but the group makes the best of it. The children seem to exist outside of the adults' world. In the morning, Kate would take Madeleine, almost 4, and the 2-year old twins, to the Kid Club. The other couples in the group did the same. While the little ones entertained themselves with collages and paintings, the group divides itself between tennis and jogging until lunchtime. In the creche, the girl's picture is taken: "She was shy and had some difficulty in adapting to the group. She always stayed close to the english children she already knew".

It is at lunchtime that the families socialize a bit. After a short nap, the children go back to the Kid Club, while the parents use the activities that the club offers. They only get to meet again in the late afternoon, when the children's dinner is served. Before 8 p.m., Madeleine and her siblings, who seem to function like a clock, are already asleep. Half an hour later, the group of friends meets at Tapas. The staff remember that they only leave at midnight: "They were very lively and drank a bit too much. I didn't even realize they had children, because I never saw them around".

Mathew Oldfield, one of the elements of the group, is back in England. He reacts with surprise upon the contact of Sol, but he does not avoid the conversation: "We drank. We were on holidays. So what?".

And thus the days followed one upon another, at the Ocean Club. The holiday week is almost over and the group's spirit does not change. Nobody had noticed until then, how the children were kept at a distance.

The most reliable way to undrestand what happened on May 3, when Madeleine disappeared, is to analyze the various versions that emerged.

It would have been 10 p.m. when Kate decided to check the children at the apartment. This is the only moment in the story that gathers consensus. Madeleine had vanished from her bedroom and the twins were sleeping like nothing had happened. The mother was back at the restaurant in one leap. She was disoriented.

PJ called two hours later

In seconds, the resort is in turmoil. The group's four men and the club's employees check every corner. They seem to be oblivious of the essential: to call the authorities. GNR is the first to arrive at the scene, but the news only reach Policia Judiciaria (PJ) more than two hours later. The first explanations arise. Where were the parents when the child disappeared? Gerry explains that, inspired in the scheme that some of the friends had used on their holidays in Greece, the nine members of the group took turns in checking on the children with some regularity.

This is the beginning of a story that will change in many chapters. Gerry starts by saying that he first left the table to check on the children around 9.05 p.m. When he entered the apartment the children were fine, he just noticed that the door to their bedroom was partially open. He looked at the window, which was closed, just as the shutters, and relaxed.

Ten minutes later, his friend Jane Tanner, who went around the apartments, crossed ways with a dark-haired man who was walking in the opposite direction, carrying a child. She didn't make any connections either.

A few minutes later, Mathew Oldfield enters the room, sees the McCann children fast asleep, and notices nothing out of the ordinary. It is at 10 p.m. that Maddie's mother discovers her daughter has disappeared. The window was wide open and the shutters were up.

To GNR, who is in the area with sniffer dogs to search for the child, this is a highly unlikely scenario. One of the military assures: "This is an extremely silent area, where there are practically no passing cars. That shutter was very difficult to lift from the outside, and would have made a lot of noise. It would have been a lot easier to use the door, but there were no signs of a break-in".

This was just one of the reasons why the group became suspicious in the eyes of the investigators. Russell O'Brien, Jane Tanner's husband, is already back in England, but he knows he could be summoned back to Portugal for a deposition anytime. Over the phone with Sol, he tries to keep his british phlegm: "It is normal that we are suspects, and the DNA test is a consequence thereof. We were the closest people involved".

The conversation always comes back to the same issue: the night of the disappearance. The account of that last dinner has disparate versions among the group's members. Some swear that someone left the table every half hour to check on the kids; other reduce that time to half of it. Some say control is made window by window; others say the adults entered each other's apartments.

One of the employees that was on duty that evening does not remember a lot of movement: "I only remember a tall, grey-haired man getting up once from the table". It was Russell, who, two days earlier, also had attended dinner.

An aerobic instructor from the resort entertains the dinner guests at Tapas with a 'Quiz'. At 9.30 p.m. the game ends, and Gerry invites her to their table, where she stays for half an hour. During that time, as she later confided to friends, nobody left the table, but one of the chairs was vacant. Najova Chekaya refuses to talk to Sol. And Russell, when the questions start to surround him, loses his sympathy: "I have nothing further to tell you. I am not going to dishonor the compromise I assumed with Kate and Gerry. They want to control all infornation that is disclosed".

Gerry changes his version several times, but he maintains that the door to his children's room was open. Mat revokes his first statement: when he entered Madeleine's room, the door was open and there was more light, as if the shutters had been raised. Here starts to develop the theory that there was already someone inside the apartment. Which reinforces Jane Tanner's version (that she saw a man carrying a child).

Only Jane saw the man carrying a child

But there is a witness whose deposition contradicts this theory. Jeremy Wilkins – a tv producer who had met Maddie's father during their holidays and used to play tennis with him – was walking his eight months old son at that time. He met Gerry, who went out through the apartment's back door after having checked on the children, and the two man exchanged a brief conversation. At that time, if one is to believe the first accounts, Jane would have left Tapas in the direction of the apartment's main entrance, and would have crossed paths with both of them. "It was a very narrow road and I think it would have been almost impossible to walk by without me taking notice", Jeremy says, pointing out the fact that he saw no man carrying a child, as Jane states.

But Jane continues to guarantee that, at the top of the street, she saw a man with a child in his arms.

Although the area is scarcely lit, and the situation did not make her suspicious at the time, she describes the beige trousers, the dark thick jacket and the black classic-style shoes in a detailed way. Once again, Jeremy disagrees: "If that happened, I would have likely seen it".

On the next day, the media circus was fully installed. The first reports are on Sky News first thing in the morning, even before portuguese press takes hold of the story. Journalists and locals dispute the information. Robert Murat, the son of an english mother and a portuguese father, with little luck in business, does not waste the opportunity. He moves from failed businessman into the role of a translator for the press and the police. Some british journalists, after sucking him to the bones, start suspecting his availability.

The Murat contradiction

Contrarily to the GNR elements and the Ocean Club's staff, who participated in the searches on the night before and assure they did not see Murat around, Gerry and some of his friends guarantee that he was there. And thus he becomes an arguido.

Gerry and Kate's friends, who are interrogated tightly by the PJ over almost a month, refuse to clarify this contradiction, when asked by Sol. "We have a pact. This is our matter only. It is nobody else's business", says David Payne, another element with the group. Minutes after we tried to contact Kate, Gerry, in a fury, calls the Sol journalist: "What do you think you are doing? Do you think you're better than the portuguese police? I'm going to forward your contact to PJ and you will have to explain yourselves".


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PJ says 'everybody is a suspect'

The director of the Policia Judiciaria in Faro, Guilhermino da Encarnacao, confirmed with Sol that "we do not discard the possibility to have the family and friends as suspects". This is always done "without neglecting other clues. Everybody who was at the resort at the time are suspects".
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:02 pm

3 Jul, 2007, 18:15 ┬╗

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this afternoon in Sol online:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=43205

Madeleine case

McCanns say speculation hinders the investigation

The parents of Madeleine McCann admitted today there has been a lot of speculation around the case, a fact that does not help the investigation.

In a brief interview given to journalists today, the day it's been two months that Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Club resort, the girl's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, declared that they will try to keep the campaign to find their daughter active, through initiatives that they did not specify.

The McCann couple thanked once more the support they have received from all over the world, with a special note for the portuguese community at Praia da Luz, which has helped them cope with "one of the worst" periods of their lives, over the past two months.

Madeleine's parents,though stating there has been a lot of speculation around this case, praised the role of the media in terms of the help they have been providing to keep the campaign to find their 4-year old daughter active.

The couple admits they will stay in Praia da Luz until Madeleine returns, because they say it's where they feel "closer to the investigation", which is why it's "important" to stay on location.

"We think by staying in Portugal we can do more to keep the campaign active", the couple of doctors said, admitting the case changed their lives, namely in professional terms.

About the investigation, Kate and Gerry McCann commented that the police have been keeping them informed about its developments, and added that they have full confidence in the portuguese police authorities, as well as those from cooperating countries.

"I know polices are doing their best in this difficult investigation to find Madeleine", Gerry McCann said.

Madeleine's father made a new appeal to his daughter's possible kidnappers, asking them to "let her come back". "Please, give her back", Gerry McCann said.

()
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:03 pm

11 Jul, 2007, 13:44 ┬╗

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this on Sol website now:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=44677

Murat and 3 McCann friends confronted

Policia Judiciaria is going to confront the three elements of the group that was spending holidays with Madeleine's parents in Praia da Luz, with the statement of the person who is until now the only arguido in the process of the disappearance of the english child

()

The four persons who are being inquired are going to be submitted to a confrontation, in order to clarify the truth about what happened on the night of the kidnapping, given the fact that the statements are contradictory.

Among the english that were spending their vacation with Madeleine's parents at the Ocean Club and are going to be heard today, are the couple Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner.

We are reminded that a SOL investigation concluded that Russell was the group's element who was absent for the greatest amount of time, during the dinner that was held on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared.

The testimony of a resort employee confirms that a few days earlier, it was also Russell O'Brien who had been absent during the group's dinner.

Jane Tanner is one of the key witnesses of the process, given the fact that she claims to have seen a man carrying a child, during one of her trips to the apartments to check on the children.

The english woman states she saw a man aged 35-40, with dark hair, wearing beige trousers, a dark jacket and classic black shoes, carrying a girl, who was wearing a pyjama and was barefoot.

Yet, this portrait does not fully coincide with Murat, given the fact that he never wore his hair long at the neck, which is how Jane describes the man she saw.

Although Jane describes the individual with good detail, Jeremy Wilkins – another witness who was on the street at the exact moment when Jane says she saw the suspect – guaranteed to SOL that he saw neither Jane nor any suspect, adding that if this had happened, it would have been 'practically impossible' not noticing the ocurrence.

Another aspect that the police will want to clarify is whether Robert Murat was at the Ocean Club on the night Maddie vanished.

The McCann's friends confirm they saw the arguido at the resort in Praia da Luz, but staff and GNR elements deny this version.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:07 pm

13 Jul, 2007, 18:21 ┬╗

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The McCann's public collection

in: Sol on 07.07.2007

author: Margarida Davim


At the entrance of Ocean's Club in Praia da Luz, the journalists who participated in the press conference that was held by Madeleine's parents for the portuguese media, encountered a plastic box to collect donations. A small text, signed by Kate and Gerry McCann, invites everyone who enters the resort to contribute. This gesture was not appreciated by the members of staff, who claim that the resort "is full of collection boxes".

A fund for Maddie

This box is just one of many ways that Maddie's parents found to collect money for the 'Leaving no Stone Unturned' fund – which counts with almost 900 thousand pounds already (one million three hundred thousand euros).

Justine McGuinness, the McCann's new public relations, guarantees that the collected money "is being managed by a group of independent persons", and subject to "very rigorous rules that are imposed by british law to all charities". Still, McGuinness refuses to explain who are the "highly qualified lawyers and managers" that are managing the fund, just highlighting they are not remunerated, and offered as volunteers.

On the findmadeleine.com site there is an online store, where Gerry and Kate sell yellow rubber bracelets and textile bands, to help finance the cause. Callum McRae, the author of the site, says it was the couple's idea. Speaking to SOL, McRae explains that the child's aunt, Philomena McCann, asked him to create the internet page, just two days after the girl went missing. "She knew exactly what she wanted", says Callum McRae, who created the contents in just one day.

The McCann's internet page also publicizes several fundraising events, all taking place in the UK, and some planned over 60 days ahead.

To SOL, McRae, who was a student of Madeleine's aunt in highschool, did not want to specify whether his work on the site is paid by the fund or not: "I'm not authorized to speak about that". According to the site, the fund's purpose is to "support Madeleine's family financially" and to make sure she is found, and her kidnappers brought to trial. After reaching these targets, the collected money shall be used to help solving "similar cases in the UK, in Portugal and elsewhere".

Twins at the creche

This week, Kate and Gerry moved into a villa outside the Ocean Club, but are still visiting the resort. "They come here every day to drop the twins at the creche", a member of staff reports.

Kate and Gerry, who are now staying at a villa with a pool, never had to pay for their stay at the resort. "They were not even handed a bill", the same employee of the Ocean Club says, noting the couple's detached and somewhat "arrogant" attitude.

Reactions to SOL

Last edition's article on the McCann case (A pact of silence), has livened the discussion in the UK. Fully translated into english, it has prompted approximately 20 pages of reactions in the forum of the Daily Mirror. Among the comments, there is criticism of the alleged censorship that this work was subject to in the forums of other british media.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:09 pm

16 Jul, 2007, 17:42 ┬╗

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in: SOL on July 13, 2007

an article by Graça Rosendo and Felicia Cabrita, with Margarida Davim
translated by: summer


No clues against Murat

PJ suspected a connection between Robert Murat and one of the McCann's friends. Apart from that, there are few clues: at the arguido's home, all they found was a vibrator and an article about Casanova

Policia Judiciaria (PJ) returned this week to the investigation line that had been established on the days right after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz, and that was focused only on two targets: the group of nine english people that were on holidays in the Ocean Club, which included the little girl's parents, and Robert Murat, the only arguido in this inquiry. The various leads that were followed in other countries seem to be fully dismissed.

On Tuesday, PJ in Portimao interrogated Murat tightly for six hours. On the following day, they confronted him with three friends of the McCann couple. According to what SOL could establish, none of them was confronted with the existence of new information. PJ centered their inquiries on the contradictions that were spotted in the various interrogations they were subject to during this investigation – namely the fact that, among several dozens of witnesses, only the couple's friends and one female employee of the Ocean Club saw Murat in the vicinity of the McCann's apartment on the night that Maddie disappeared.

Not even GNR agents, the first authority that arrived on location, remember his presence that night, and guaranteed they only saw him on the next morning.

Judiciaria keeps Robert Murat as a main suspect anyway, and has been exploring the possibility of connections between him and Russell O'Brien, one of the members of the group of nine. But the only connection seems to be the fact that Murat went to Exeter, in England, where a sister of his lives, and where also Russell and Jane live, ten days before the child vanished.

This friend of the McCann's, who returned to Portimao to be confronted with Murat, is one of the three elements of the group of nine who says he saw Murat at the place where the case happened.

Vibrator and Casanova

Robert Murat, the son of a british mother and a portuguese father, was in the place where everything happened, on the morning after the disappearance, and immediately became a translator for the press, the GNR and the PJ.

It is immediately perceived how easily he moves around, entering the McCann's apartment and the tourist club several times. He therefore watches the authorities' diligences and listens to some of the depositions that are taken on those first days. But his friends say he likes being noticed. He boasts about having done translations for the british police in Norfolk, and that he knows about the actions of paedophiles in the Algarve.

But in just two days, Murat becomes a suspect. British press remembers a case that happened in London, when the author of a crime was always present during the investigations, and started raising doubts. The police was alerted, and without him even noticing, started inquiring about his personal life, preferring to keep him close, rather than excluding him from the investigation.

But Murat also noticed what was being said about him. And he stated informally, as a sort of alibi, that on the night of the events he had been with his girlfriend – as some friends have told SOL.

A week later, Murat was constituted an arguido. On the first time his deposition was taken, he presented a different version of what he had done on that night: he had not been with his girlfriend, but at home with his mother, having dinner.

This is just one of the contradictions with which Murat was confronted at PJ on Tuesday. Apart from that, the police have little to point against him, except for the fact that he owns a car – which would give him more mobility than anyone in the group of nine had, to drive away from the crime scene with the child, according to a police source.

The searches that were done in his house produced a vibrator and an article from 'Telegraph Review' with the title 'Lock up your daughters'. It's an article about a literary work on Casanova, which poses the possibility that the famous charmer was a paedophile. It was also discovered that Murat and his girlfriend used to visit adult porn sites.

'A big confusion'

Jennifer Murat, the mother, states she had dinner with Robert at home that evening. The telephone records between 8 p.m. and midnight prove just that, according to sources close to Murat: "There are phone calls both from phones and cell phones that prove that, at the time he was seen, he was actually at home".

Barend Weijdon, a dutchman who established himself in Praia da Luz as a real-estate manager 10 years ago, took notice of the child's disappearance around 10 p.m., through a friend. He was a few metres from the location, entered the Ocean Club and participated in the searches. He was there before the authorities arrived, he guarantees to SOL. "I know Robert very well, and if he had been there that night, I, just like many other friends of ours ho were there, would have certainly noticed him". And he adds: "I arrived there just after 10 p.m. and stayed until 3 a.m. I didn't see him. But I remember sseing Maddie's father and a friend, talking to GNR".

Also June Wright and her husband, who own a bar in Praia da Luz, upon hearing the news, joined the crowd and participated in the searches that night. They have known Murat for many years, and they are sure that they would have noticed his presence, if he had been there.

"It was full of people that we didn't know", June told SOL. "It was a big confusion", she adds. A confusion that, according to an employee of the hotel, could have permitted about anything.

The versions of the friends

The three friends of the McCanns who have returned to Portimao state the contrary. Fiona Payne and Rachel Mumpilly assure they saw Robert Murat at the Ocean Club around 11.45 p.m., while Russell O'Brien says he saw him around 1 a.m. These guarantees were given after Murat was constituted an arguido. Because before, when they were confronted with the possibility that they might have seen anything suspicious on the night of the disappearance, they said nothing.

"He even told me he had a daughter of the same age as Madeleine", Russell said, as he spoke to SOL about this case 2 weeks ago. And Fiona Payne said at that time she told police that "he seemed to be peeking into the apartment" on that night.

This was the highest point of the confrontation that PJ held this week, and which put the McCann's friends in front of Robert Murat. But the contradictions that led the PJ to suspect the group of nine british people right from the start, are still to be clarified.

We remember it was 10 p.m. when Kate decided to check on her children in the apartment. And this is the only moment that gathers consensus in the various versions the group delivered during the investigations. Madeleine had disappeared from her room, and the twins remained sound asleep.

In seconds, the resort was in turmoil. The four men in the group, and the club's staff checked out every corner. GNR arrives over an hour later, and PJ arrives over 2 hours later. The first interrogations start: Where were the parents when the child disappeared? Gerry replies the nine were eating at the Tapas restaurant and took turns in checking the children were ok, at regular intervals.

He starts by saying he first checked the children at 9.05. When he entered the apartment, he just thought it was starnge that the bedroom door was partly open. But he checked the window, which was closed, just like the shutters, and relaxed.

His friend Jane Tanner, Russell's wife, says that ten minutes after he returned to the table, it was her turn to check the rooms. She crossed ways with a dark haired man who was walking in the opposite direction carrying a child, but she didn't find it strange. But she memorized the individual from head to toes, so she could later describe him in great detail.

A few minutes later, it's time for Matthew, the husband of Rachel, to leave Tapas. He entered the room and saw the McCann children asleep. He noticed nothing out of the ordinary.
When, at 10 p.m., the mother notices her daughter is missing, the window is wide open and the shutters are up. To GNR, this is an unlikely scenario. One of the military guaranteed to SOL two weeks ago: "This is a silent area, where there are practically no cars passing by. Those shutters were difficult to lift from the outside, and they would have made a lot of noise. It would have been so much easier to enter the door, but there were no signs of a break-in".

The story of the group's last dinner also includes some deviations. Some guarantee that someone left the table every half hour to check on the children. Others reduce this time to half of it. Some say the checking was done through the windows. Others state that the adults entered each other's apartments.

One of the employees that was serving that evening does not remember that much movement: "I just remember a tall, grey-haired man to get up from the table". This was Russell, who had not attended dinner two days earlier, either. An aerobics teacher from the resort entertains dinner guests at the Tapas with a Quiz. At 9.30 p.m., when the game is over, Gerry invites her to their table, where she stays for half an hour. During that time, she told friends, nobody left the table, but there was a vacant seat.

Jeremy contradicts

Gerry alters his version several times, but he maintains that the door to the children's room was open. Matthew later denies his own statement of that night: He says that the bedroom door was open and there was more light, as if the shutters had been raised. The theory that there was already someone inside the apartment starts to take shape. And it reinforced Jane's story.

But there is a witness at the right time, on the wrong location. Jeremy Wilkins, who had become accquainted with Maddie's father during the vacations and played tennis with him, was walking his eight months old son around. He met Gerry, who had left the apartment through the back door, and exchanged a brief conversation with him. At that time, according to the first statements, Jane was leaving Tapas, heading for the apartments' main entrance, and meets them both. Jeremy contradicts: "It was a rather narrow street and I don't think anyone could pass there without me noticing".

When the british woman reaches the top of the street, she sees an individual carrying a child. In spite of the dim lighting, and the situation not raising any suspicions for her, she describes the beige trousers, the dark thick jacket and the black classic style shoes in great detail. Jeremy insists: "If that had happened, I would probably have seen it".

Jane did not come to Portugal to participate in this new round of depositions. And the reconstitution of the events on that night has yet to be made. Therefore, we do not know yet whether the man that the british woman claims to have seen carrying a child on that night, is Robert Murat or not.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:15 pm

4 Aug, 2007, 13:08 ┬╗

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in Sol on August 4, 2007:

a report by Felicia Cabrita with Margarida Davim
translation by summer


Looking for Maddie's body

The investigations have returned to their initial course. Portuguese and british police search for the body of the child in the surroundings of Praia da Luz

"There are strong signs" that Madeleine, the english child that disappeared from Praia da Luz almost one hundred days ago, "is dead", police sources have told Sol.

The 180┬║ turnaround that the investigation by the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) from Portimao seems to have done in the past few days, even led the Attorney General, Pinto Monteiro, to postpone the making of an interview that had been requested by british media chain BBC – an interview that would be focusing on the fact that, so long after Maddie's disapperance, the authorities still remain without real clues concerning her whereabouts.

Although an official source from the PGR justified the postponing of the interview with "agenda issues", the moves by the PJ and some elements from the british police during these last days – accompanied by two dogs, in Praia da Luz – seem to indicate that the investigation is now centered on the McCann family and their group of friends.

Sol could find out that the english dogs are trained for different tasks. One, to detect human remains originating from dead flesh, and the other one to detect human blood or fluids. A specialist that was contacted by Sol explains that the technique of these animals rests on scientific bases, and that while "one of the dogs can distinguish between natural death or death by accident that does not involve bloodshed, the other one can diagnose whether someone died a violent death, with bloodshed or other spilled fluids".

Tuesday night, a black and white thingyer spaniel that is trained to detect death, spent several hours in the apartment that the McCann family occupied in the Ocean Club resort, and from where Maddie disappeared on May 3. According to sources within the investigation, the dog marked the death of the child inside the apartment.

On the dogs' trail

The english dogs do not contradict the clues that were detected by the sniffer dog that GNR sent to the location, on the day following the english girl's disappearance. It's an animal that only follows odours, and that "detected the movement of the child from the room to another point inside the apartment", according to a source with the Guarda.

The same source said that "based on that signal, it was not possible to conclude whether the child was alive or dead – because a sniffer dog will smell both the living and the dead".

Yet, outside the house, both through the windows that faced the Tapas restaurant – where the McCanns had dinner with their seven friends – and through the main door, "the dog lost the trail, as if the child had exited, for example, rolled up in a blanket", that source said.

A team from Sol, on the terrain for the last two weeks, could observe the work of the thingyer spaniel from the british police, performing several diligences along the water in Praia da Luz and in a nearby valley.

The animal's path, on Wednesday night, seemed to test the deposition from several witnesses that were heard by the PJ in late May – namely an irish family that have been living in Luz, and who, on the day that Maddie vanished, reportedly crossed ways with a man that carried a child that seemed to be asleep.

According to their deposition to PJ, Martin Smith, his wife and his children, after leaving the Kelly bar, which is located approximately 400 metres from the Ocean Club, around 9.50 / 10.00 p.m., saw an individual described as caucasian, measuring 1.70 – 1.75 m, walking towards the beach.

The irish man told Sol that he knew Robert Murat (the only arguido in the process) visually for years – and also remembered seeing the anglo-portuguese man in a bar that evening, "already a bit intoxicated". Therefore, the irish dismissed the possibility that the person he saw carrying a child could be Murat: "If it was him, I guarantee to you that I would have recognized him".

Concerning the clothes the man he saw on that night was wearing, Smith only refers the "beige trousers", given the fact that his upper body was hidden by the child's body, which was not covered. It is curious that one of the elements that formed the group of Maddie's parents' friends, guaranteed to PJ several days before Smith was heard, that - at a moment when she left the table to check on the group's children - she had crossed ways with a man that was wearing trousers that fit the description that was also made by the irish man.

That individual was also carrying a sleeping child. And the witness, who even managed to see what pyjamas the child was wearing, just "thought it was strange that the child was barefoot and uncovered". This witness said it would be 9.15 p.m.

Direct access to the PM

According to the course the PJ from Portimao is now conducting the investigation, and considering the trail that the british police's thingyer spaniel tracked along the sea shore, the individual would have descended to Praia da Luz, where he could have disposed of Maddie's body. Sol knows that the english team contacted Joao Alveirinho Dias, a professor at the University of Algarve and a specialist in oceanography, in order to collect information about the sea's dynamics and the beach area where everything may have happened. The investigator, who was not briefed about the context of the police inquiries, told Sol that he was consulted on "the sand movements, where they come from and where they go to".

The police investigation has therefore, and according to our sources, returned to its initial course, and it becomes increasingly clear, as Sol had reported previously, that there is no proof against Murat.

Yet, the british media continue to point a finger at the anglo-portuguese man, although the criminal investigation has returned to clues that relate to the group of friends of Madeleine's parents.

A journalist with the Daily Express – who has repeatedly contacted Sol searching for new information on this case – recognized this week that it is "difficult for an english newspaper to adopt a critical tone concerning Madeleine's parents".

The Daily Express cited, in one of its last reports, the news that have been published by Sol, describing them as a "hate campaign" against the McCanns. The same journalist ended up confessing that "it's the only way we can transmit your data".

Sol knows that Gerry McCann has regular contact with Gordon Brown, the british Prime Minister. Clarence Mitchell – who was the first spokesman for the McCanns and is now in the press cabinet at Nr. 10, Downing Street – confirms those contacts. "I know there is a communication line between Gerry and Gordon Brown. I know they talk. But I don't know what they talk about, because those are informal conversations", he clarified, further adding: "The Madeleine case is treated whenever there are bilateral meetings between Portugal and the United Kingdom. Gordon Brown is sensitive to the case and wants it solved quickly".
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:16 pm

4 Aug, 2007, 13:28 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in Sol on August 4, 2007:

by Margarida Davim
translation by summer


Fund is not charity

The 'Leaving No Stone Unturned' fund can already count on almost one million pounds in donations – approximately one million and four hundred thousand euros – but is not recognized by the Charity Commission, the entity that regulates all beneficient activities in the UK. "In order to be considered a charity, the fund would have to be constituted for the benefit of the public, and not to benefit one individual or a specific case", a source from the comission explained to Sol.

According to the same source, the Charity Commission decided not to accept the request that was made by Madeleine's parents to register the fund, after analysing the purpose of the collection of donations: "The McCanns failed to prove that they are collecting money to help other cases that are similar to Madeleine's".

The information that was collected with the english authorities contradicts the statements made by the McCanns' public relations to Sol, in our edition of July 7. Then, Justine McGuinness assured that the money that is received by Maddie's parents "is subject to very strict rules, that are imposed by british law on any charity fund". At that time, the spokesperson for Kate and Gerry even explained that the decision to establish a fund was born from the need to "ensure that everything is done in a transparent way".

Confronted with this inconsistency, Justine McGuiness corrects her initial statement: "The fund is not considered a charity, but it aims to comply with the high standards that are demanded by the Charity Commission".

McGuinness does not explain why she did not clarify this from the beginning, but she guarantees that her role in the campaign to find Madeleine is to "be Gerry and Kate's spokesperson, and not the Fund's". Still, she assures that all donations "are subject to strict british rules that regulate the activities of corporations without lucrative purposes".

According to a source from the Charity Commission, this juridical status means that the money that is collected by the fund "is not exempt of taxes in the United Kingdom".

Justine McGuinness does not comment, and directs any further explanation to the presentation text that can be read on the findmadeleine.com site, where it's written that the fund's managers are committed to guarantee the finantial and juridical scrutiny of the fund.

Although Sol insisted, it was not possible to reach anyone responsible with 'Leaving No Stone Unturned' – including John McCann, Gerry's brother, and Brian Kennedy, Kate's uncle.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:19 pm

http://tinyurl.com/2znov4


SOL, 6 Aug 2007, link above:

NEW HYPOTHOSIS

Madeleine was accidently killed

Madeline (sic) McCann could have died accidently in the Ocean Club room, in the Algarve, where she was staying with her parents, proposes Jornal de Notícias in today's edition

According to the journal, vestiges of blood from a dead person, presumably little Madeleine, were discovered on a wall of the bedroom occupied by the parents, in the Ocean Club apartment, in Lagos, from whence the girl disappeared on the 3 of May.

The fact, again according to JN, places the death of the child inside the apartment but it is not clear to the investigators if this is a homicide, in spite of the fact that, and according to the elements collected by forensic experts, someone tried to clean up the vestiges, this new information could lead PJ to interrogate once again the family and friends of the missing child, suggests the journal.

On Sunday, PJ finished their two day search at the home of Robert Murat, the only arguido in the Madeleine McCann case, according to a Lusa new source from the police.

More than a dozen inspectors spent the entire day at Casa Liliana, where the arguido lives with his mother; most of them left about 3:45pm but the last men stayed until about 4:10pm, again according to the local Lusa news agency.

During the searches, the agents used Border Collie search dogs.

The PJ source did not reveal the search results, confirming that the number of agents involved increased during the day.

Robert Murat and his attorney, Francisco Pagarete, accompanied all of the PJ work and are back inside the house after a two hour lunch break.

The PJ began the second day of searches a little before 7am at the house which is located approx 100 meters from the apartment where the little English girl disappeared last May 3.

"Yesterday's work (Saturday) consisted of preparing the ground for today's scientific operations and that has been done," explained the PJ source at the beginning of the morning.

(Lusa/SOL)

Edited to add final paragraphs
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:22 pm

6 Aug, 2007, 16:38 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
today in Sol online edition:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=49176


Exclusive statement to Sol
Murat is going to sue the Portuguese State

by Felicia Cabrita

Robert Murat is going to stop being an arguido in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine. In an exclusive statement to Sol, the anglo-portuguese man's lawyer guaranteed that his client is going to "ask the Portuguese State for a compensation for the damages that were cause"

Robert Murat is going to be declared not guilty in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. A source close to the investigation guaranteed to Sol that the anglo-portuguese man is going to stop being an arguido, and that in a few days the Policia Judiciaria will release a statement, explaining the reasons for their decision.

At this moment, the GNR in Portimao is still analysing Robert Murat's and his mother's cars, in order to definitely clear this anglo-british man from any involvement in this case. All the diligences that were made until now – and which were followed by Sol on location – contributed to dismiss the suspicions that were cast on the translator.

To Sol, Robert Murat confessed he was very shaken with the situation, and that he wanted the investigation to end soon. "When all this is over, the first thing I'm going to do is travel to England to see my daughter, who has been extremely shaken with the situation, although she is still very small".

Francisco Pagarete, Murat's lawyer, even declared that his client wants to be compensated for the way he was hit by the case. "Obviously, I'm going to ask the Portuguese State for compensation over the damages that this caused", he explained to Sol.

Murat is convinced he was involved in the alleged kidnapping of the english girl, by english journalists: "I don't know how I got involved in the case, but I am certain it was the english newspapers that got me into this".

During the searches that were done on Saturday – in the garden of Murat's villa – and Sunday inside Casa Liliana, the portuguese and british agents, with the help of trained dogs, searched for any clues of Maddie's presence, without success.

Yesterday, the police even used equipment to detect false walls, after having lifted the lid to the house's sanitary pit to look for the girl's body, with the help of a video camera.

In spite of the equipment that was used, no traces or clues connected to Madeleine McCann were found.

Policia Judiciaria is now focused on the McCanns and the group that was spending their holidays with them in Praia da Luz.

Just like Sol reported, the contradictory versions that were told by the english persons to the police are being analysed by the investigators.

The possibility that Madeleine was the victim of an accident, which was initially considered, seems to be discarded by the police authorities now.

The fact that a dog detected blood traces in the bedroom of Kate and Gerry indicates, as Sol could discover, that the child remained in the apartment for 2 to 4 hours after dying – given the fact that the dogs that are used by british police only smell the blood of corpses, if these remained on location for at least 2 hours.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:36 pm

8 Aug, 2007, 15:19 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
today in Sol online:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=49474

Madeleine case
McCann talk to portuguese on Friday

by Margarida Davim

The spokesman for Madeleine's parents, David Hughes, guaranteed to Sol that Gerry and Kate will give a new interview by week's end and "will certainly include portuguese journalists from tv and press"

After the interview to BBC, the McCanns plan a new contact with the media, promising they will not exclude the portuguese journalists this time.

According to the couple's public relations, David Hughes, Gerry and Kate "are planning a series of events" to mark the 100 days that have passed since little Madeleine disappeared, next Saturday.

One of those moments will be, as Hughes explained to Sol, "a collective interview, with several media" that will also be attended by portuguese reporters "from tv and press".

The revelation is made after the new attitude of Maddie's parents towards the media was criticised by portuguese journalists.

David Hughes explains that the choice of BBC to make the first interview after the news about the possibility that Madeleine is dead "was made because BBC was nearby and had all the means to ensure that the tape would be distributed to all the media".

The spokesman for Madeleine's parents also confesses that, although the questions were not arranged, the english channel's journalist "informed the McCanns about the issues he was going to treat in the interview".

Meanwhile, english newspapers continue to dimiss the possibility – already confirmed to Sol by sources close to the investigation – that the girl's parents and the group that was on holidays with them in Praia da Luz are suspects.

In british media, the news that are reported by portuguese newspapers are even described as "evil", while the work that has been developed by PJ is under attack.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:39 pm

9 Aug, 2007, 17:44 ┬╗

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from Sol online today:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=49696

Madeleine Case
McCanns give interviews to british media

The McCanns have been giving interviews to 3 english tv stations since 3 p.m. in a private villa in the Meia Praia area, near Lagos, answering questions from the british journalists.

A video reporter from ITN, one of the tv stations that interviewed Kate and Gerry McCann today, talked to portuguese journalists that were on location and commented that the interviews had been planned for two weeks.

The interviews for three tv stations – BBC, Sky Mews and ITN – started around 3 p.m., and it is foreseen that they last for one and a half hours.

Yet, portuguese media only heard about the exclusive interviews to english journalists today, although they have contact with the McCanns spokespersons every day.

In spite of not having been invited, portuguese journalists went to the place where Kate and Gerry give the interviews, hoping to talk to the couple, or at least to understand why they changed their attitude towards the portuguese media.

Before the interviews, the couple held a photo session for english photographers in a Hotel in Lagos.

During the trip between Praia da Luz and the villa in Lagos, the three cars that were accompanying the McCanns split in different directions in order to lose the portuguese journalists.

The english media guaranteed that the interviews will be released to portuguese media, but with an embargo until 7 a.m. Friday.

The portuguese journalists had no opportunity to ask questions to the couple, and did not manage to ask any questions through the three british channels.

On Saturday it will be 100 days since the disappearance of english girl Madeleine McCann, who is 4 years old, from the apartment where she was sleeping with her two twin siblings, at the Ocean Club resort, in Praia da Luz, Algarve, when her parents were dining with friends in a nearby restaurant.

Lusa/SOL
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:40 pm

11 Aug, 2007, 13:24 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in Sol on August 11:


Under the magnifying glass

SOL reveals what the McCanns and their friends say they did on the night that Maddie disappeared. Who would have died before dinner.

by: Felicia Cabrita and Margarida Davim
translated by: summer

The tests that were made this week on the car that was used by the McCann couple, indicates that the police admits that Maddie's body may have been moved from the place where it was initially hidden, over the last two months.

As Sol could conclude, the investigators look for clues of the cadaver in the Renault Scenic, which was rented by Maddie's parents after the child's disappearance. As the abduction possibility is set aside, authorities bet on the reconstitution of the route that was taken to hide the body. During this week, PJ and elements of the english police – accompanied by the c-ockers that SOL surprised on the beach and in a valley that is close to the resort, last week – performed several diligences inside and outside several houses. The authorities seem to have concluded that Maddie's body is buried in the vicinity of the apartment that was occupied by the McCanns, or was thrown into the sea.

The english dogs marked the death inside the apartment. And portuguese dogs did not find any trace on the outside. This fact is devalued by Pinto da Costa, a forensic doctor, who says a perfume on the body is enough to lose the dogs. A source of GNR that was heard by SOL says "the dogs only detected a movement of the child from the bedroom to another location inside the apartment".

At the same time, it is still unknown at what time the alleged crime would have taken place. A specialist that was contacted by SOL guarantees: "In order for the dogs to mark the body, it would have had to remain in the area where it died for at least two hours". If so, and considering that Maddie's parents say they left for dinner at 8.30 p.m., the girl would have died shortly before that – given the fact the alarm to her disappearance was given at 10 p.m.

Blank hours

It is in these four hours – between the time the McCann couple picked up their children at the creche and the time Kate noticed her daughter was missing – that lies th solution to this mystery. This is also where the inconsistencies are found, between the versions that are reported by the couple and their friends.

The four friends couples, most of them doctors, always said they took turns among them to watch their children (either by listening through windows or by entering each other's apartments) every half hour.

On that night, if the mismatching versions of the group are to be believed, there were up to three persons doing the same job. It is in this context that witness Jane Tanner appears, who is married to Russell O'Brien. He only appeared in the Tapas restaurant almost at the end of the dinner, saying his daughter, who is the same age as Maddie, was feeling ill. Jane, on the other hand, would have left the restaurant to check on her daughter and verify the other children at approximately 9.20 p.m. And she walked a narrow, scarcely lit road.

On her way, she passes Maddie's father, who is talking to a friend, Jeremy Wilkins – a tv producer whom he met at the resort's tennis court. When Jane passed them, the two men were close to a small iron gate that leads to the back entrance of the apartment: "It's impossible. I didn't see her", Jeremy said.

That gate, which accesses a small patio, and according to Maddie's father, was used by him and Matthew Oldfield to check on the children. In that moment, the girl's father noticed that the door to the children's room was more open and that there was more light than usual. Yet, he thought that Maddie, disturbed by her siblings' crying, would have gone into her parents' room, leaving the door open. But he did not check whether his daughter was there.

With these elements, which were corroborated by Matthew, Maddie's father left the possibility that at that time the abductor was already inside the room, in the air.

Contributing to the kidnapping idea, there was also Jane Tanner's version, who says she saw a man carrying a child, shortly after she crossed ways with Maddie's father and Jeremy. But the tv producer – who was spending his holidays in a neighbouring apartment block – also dismisses that possibility: "I did not see any man carrying a child".

Jane's testimony was one of the pieces of information that would later be used to incriminate Murat, given the fact that the arguido's house is on the street where the english woman says the man was walking to.

Jane walked approximately 5 metres from the individual who was carrying the child. Although there was little light, she describes him with detail. The man, looking caucasian, was wearing beige trousers, black shoes and was covered in a thick jacket. According to her words, "he didn't even look like a tourist".

In spite of the proximity to the person who would later originate the first drawing of the supposed kidnapper of Maddie, Jane, who socialized with the girl on a daily basis, did not recognize her. According to her statement, the child was wearing pink pyjamas, seemed to be asleep and was barefoot. This was the detail that she found the strangest.

That night, after Kate discovered the disappearance of her daughter (and after Jane supposedly confirmed with another friend that Maddie was wearing a pyjamas of the same colour), Jane Tanner made no comment. "I did not want to worry Kate even further", she later guaranteed.

A witness that was contacted by SOL at that time seems to indicate that Jane, although she never crossed ways with the tv producer, may have described the right person, so if the suspect crossed ways with someone on his way, the versions would match.

The last diligences that PJ has performed do however put aside the doubts that were on Robert Murat, given the fact that the searches did not find anything that incriminates him.

----------------

The 'movie' of the night

After collecting all the elements, and crossing information from various sources, SOL's investigation makes a reconstitution of the night that Maddie disappeared.

6 p.m. The McCanns pick their children up at the Ocean Club's creche.
7.30 Madeleine and the twins go to bed.
8.30 Gerry and Kate arrive at the Tapas restaurant.
8.45 Russell, Matthew and Rachel Oldfield go to the restaurant.
8.55 David and Fiona Payne also arrive at the Tapas. According to David, all the elements of the group were already there. But Rachel assures that Matthew arrived two or three minutes after the Paynes.
9.00 Matthew went to check on the children.
9.05 Gerry left the Tapas to check on his children. When he is returning to the dinner, he meets Jeremy Wilkins – an english man he met during the holidays – and chats with him for ten minutes. Neither Gerry nor Jeremy notice Jane or the suspicious man that she says she saw, although they were all on the same narrow street at the same time.
9.10 Jane went to check on her children and notices a man walking hastily, carrying a child. She memorizes the suspect, but fails to recognize Maddie.
9.25 Gerry returns to Tapas. Russell told PJ that at this time Matt and he went to check the children.
9.30 Matthew goes into Madeleine's apartment. Russell O'Brien leaves the restaurant at the same time. In the first statements, Matt does not refer anything strange in Madeleine's room and Russell fails to explain that he stayed in his apartment because his younger daughter was feeling sick. Later, Matt said that he noticed more light in the McCanns' apartment and Russell revealed his daughter was vomiting.
9.35 Matthew Oldfield returned to Tapas.
9.45 Jane Tanner says at this time – not at 9.30 – Matthew and Russell left the restaurant.
9.55 Russell returns to the restaurant.
10.00 Jane goes to the apartment and notices her daughter has disappeared. She goes back to Tapas and raises the alarm. Everybody leaves the restaurant, except Dianne Webster.
10.05 Dianne Webster goes into Maddie's room. The twins are sleeping.
22.15 Dianne returns to Tapas, to pick up her purse and her camera.

---------------

The McCanns' friends that the police is watching

Rachel and Matthew Oldfield

Rachell Manpilly is 36 and she is married to Matthew Oldfield. The couple has a daughter, who was only 18 months old when Madeleine McCann disappeared. But not even so the Oldfields asked for the Ocean Club's babysitting service. Matthew met Gerry McCann when both doctors worked together at a hospital in Leicester. Matt has a pending accusation for medical negligence in that hospital, after a late diagnosis resulted in the death of a patient. This was not the first time the Oldfields spent their holidays with this group. The last trip had been to Greece – where they also stayed in a resort of the Ocean Club's group – but that time Gerry and Kate did not accompany them.

Dianne Webster

63 year old Dianne Webster is the oldest element of the group. This credit controller is the mother of Fiona Payne and the grandmother of two of the children from the group that was spending their holidays in the Ocean Club.
To the portuguese police, Dianne told she could not precise which elements abandoned the Tapas restaurant during dinner, on the night that Madeleine disappeared. Fiona's mother is also the only witness that said each couple was responsible for their own children, and did not enter their friends' apartments.
After Kate entered the restaurant – visibly upset and yelling "they've taken our Madeleine" – Dianne was the only one who stayed seated at the Tapas' table. Which she only left five minutes later.

David and Fiona Payne

It was David Payne who organised the group's holidays at Praia da Luz. The reservation was made over the internet, after a good experience with the Ocean Club's group, in Greece. This was the second time that David came to Portugal. The first time was eleven years ago, before he got married.
David and Fiona have been together for seven years and are both doctors, like the McCanns' friends. The couple has two children and they were the only ones in the group who used the babyphone system to keep watch over the children during dinners – which always took place without the small ones.
Fiona was back in the Algarve on July 11, along with Rachel and Russell, in order to give their third deposition to PJ.

Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner

Russell O'Brien is a doctor and lives in Exeter – the same english city where the sister of Robert Murat lives.
After studying at the same university as David Payne, O'Brien met Jane, with whom he has two children. The friendship between Russell and David is so strong that he chose him as his wedding godfather when he made his relationship with Fiona official, in Italy.
Coincidentally, Jane and Kate became pregnant at the same time, as the O'Brien couple's oldest daughter is exactly the same age as Maddie.
Jane Tanner is one of the key witnesses in the 'Madeleine case', given the fact she says she saw a suspicious man, walking with a child in his arms, on the night of the disappearance. Jane describes the individual with extreme precision, although she was not capable to recognize the child he was carrying. The man that Jane saw has dark, thick hair and is 1.70 m tall.
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Postby KazLux » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:48 pm

13 Aug, 2007, 10:28 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in Sol this morning:

http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Socied ... t_id=50174


Madeleine Case
Kate McCann prefers to discover her daughter's death than stay in uncertainty

The mother of Madeleine McCann admits that she prefers to discover her dead daughter that to remain uncertain about what happened to her three months ago, when she disappeared in the Algarve

"This is the worst kind of limbo. In our heart of hearts we'd both rather know - even if that means we have to face the terrible truth that Madeleine might be dead", Kate McCann says, in an interview to women's magazine Woman's Own.

The statements, which are cited in various newspapers today, are the first that Kate McCann admits that her daughter may be dead, after last week insisting that she expected to find Madeleine alive.

But Kate confesses that she cannot prepare "for bad news".

"I simply don't know how", she says.
The change of speech coincides with portuguese PJ clarifying that they are following a new line of investigation, which gained strength over the kidnapping theory.

()
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Postby KazLux » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:48 am

18 Aug, 2007, 11:40 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in Sol paper edition, August 18:

New contradictions in Maddie's case

By Felicia Cabrita, with Margarida Davim
Translation by summer

The version that the McCann couple and their group of friends have been giving about what happened on the night that Madeleine disappeared, is shaken by new testimonies that were collected by Sol.

The English started by saying they took turns every 15 minutes in order to, through the windows of the rooms where the children were sleeping, listen if anything abnormal was happening. This 'vigilance' system, which they assure was efficient throughout a week of holidays, is questioned by an English citizen who lives in the apartment above the one that was occupied by Kate and Gerry McCann.

Employees deny Russell

Senn told Sol that, on the night before she disappeared, Maddie cried for quite some time, calling out 'daddy, daddy!'.

Also the table waiters that were working in the resort's restaurant – the Tapas, where the group of friends had dinner that night – didn't notice much movement of checking on the children. One of them guaranteed to Sol that, since the beginning of dinner (which started between 8.30 and 9 p.m.), only two men got up, almost simultaneously.

One of them was Russell O'Brien, one of the doctors of the group, who was absent for most of the dinner and who returned to the table 5 minutes before Kate went to her apartment and noticed Maddie was missing. Russell then explained that his daughter was sick, and even "vomited so it was necessary to change her bed sheets". One of the employees of the Ocean Club, who was heard by Sol this week, contradicts his version: "If that had happened, he would have to ask the housekeeping service for some clean sheets, which did not happen".

During the short hour that dinner lasted, the group asked for, and consumed at their table, eight bottles of red wine and six of white wine, according to the restaurant's records.

GNR was on location since 11 p.m. With the help of a member of staff from the Ocean Club, who helped as a translator until 4 a.m., they collected the first reports. Although Maddie's mother guaranteed that, when she noticed her daughter was missing, the shutters of the room where the children were sleeping were up and the window was open, the members of this police force did not detect any clues to indicate that these had been forced.

On the other hand, the resort's employee guaranteed to Sol that "the shutters are so old and simple" that, with the sun exposure they were subject to in these 14 years, if anyone did "try to open them from the outside, they would have broken". The main door to the apartment didn't show any signs of a break-in, either.

The McCann family were never alone. Dozens of members of staff at the resort appealed to the local population, mostly English citizens, and the surrounding areas were searched thoroughly. The couple was busy making phonecalls.

Aurelio Guerreiro, the owner of a bar at the marina in Vilamoura, was close to being involved. His testimony to Sol confuses the McCanns' time version. Sometime between 0.30 and 1 a.m., Aurelio got a phonecall from an old customer: Pat Perkins, the human resources director from a public English organism. She calls him, upset: "She told me the daughter of british friends of her, who were vacationing close to Lagos, had disappeared over 3 hours ago, that they were completely alone and that nobody was helping them to search for her".

Kate McCann had just informed her parents of the tragedy. Pat, who lives in Liverpool, confirms: "I was at Kate's parents' house at that moment. But I have nothing further to add".

Guerreiro tells what he did after Pat called him: "I understood she wanted me to go meet them, but I was an hour away from their location, and I could not close the bar, I decided to call the police". After PJ in Portimao confirmed to him they already knew about the case, Aurelio phoned Kate, at the number that Pat had given him: "An English man picked up. He thanked me, and contrary to what I expected, he didn't ask me for anything".

Minutes after this phonecall, Gerry asks for the priest from the Luz parish to be called for him – but the Ocean Club staff members refused, given the time it was. At four in the morning, Jane was asking a member of GNR: "Have you cut off all the roads already?". Minutes later, Gerry, given the fact that the priest didn't appear, asked another element of GNR to show him the way to the church.

Couple wants to return to England

As Sol has been reporting, the clues that were collected by PJ with the help of English police, lead to a turnaround in the investigation. One of the dogs used by the british 'marked' Maddie's death inside the apartment. On the other hand, blood was found inside the bedroom where the McCanns' children were sleeping, which has been dissimulated with the help of whiteners, and is still being analyzed in a british laboratory.

The path that the English dogs followed 2 weeks ago, in the surroundings of the apartment, exclude the possibility that the child was abducted and is still alive. The dogs walked the only two paths that Maddie's family and friends knew.

One of them leads to Luz beach. The irish citizen Martin Smith, a local resident for years, told Sol that on that night he crossed ways with a man who was carrying a child, with the characteristics of Maddie. That path was searched by police and other people. Six days after the disappearance, Gerry, who was accompanied by an unknown individual, also seemed to participate in the searches, but on the opposite side of the way the dogs walked.

Parents are leaving

Throughout this week, much was speculated in the press. 'The Times' published that the blood that was collected inside the apartment is not Maddie's but "from an individual from the European northeast". The English lab denied this, stating that they have not finished their work yet. The McCanns were saying yesterday in several newspapers that they were considering going back to their country.
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KazLux
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Postby KazLux » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:49 am

18 Aug, 2007, 13:21 ┬╗

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
in Sol paper edition on August 18:

How Murat was 'betrayed'

By Felicia Cabrita
Translation by summer

Robert Murat, the only arguido in the case of Madeleine, became the character of a dark movie as quickly as he left the scene.

"The saddest part of this is that I offered to help finding the girl, and my life was destroyed for that. What planet are we living on?". The spear that would hit the anglo-portuguese man was thrown at random. On the night of May 3, around 9.20 pm, Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCann couple, under the excuse that her daughter was sick, left the restaurant where they were dining, and walked towards the apartments where the group's eight children were sleeping. On her path, she crosses ways with Gerry, who is talking with a friend. Jane assures that, when she reached the street that is perpendicular to the one where the two men were located, and which leads to the apartments, she saw a man carrying a girl.

This testimony is shattered by another English tourist, Jeremy Wilkins, who was on that street then. He guaranteed to Sol that he saw neither Jane nor any man carrying a child.

But Jane's words were taken seriously by the Policia Judiciaria, and were joined by others. The direction of the street in which the man that was carrying a child was walking to, ended at Robert Murat's house.

According to a member of the Ocean Club's staff who was helping out as an interpreter that night, between the group of nine friends and the GNR, the McCann couple didn't stop calling journalists. They were moving influences in the british media, where they also have relatives. Around 6 a.m, Sky News breaks the first news. The abduction idea is launched.

Robert Murat wakes up three hours later. His mother, Jennifer, had already been alerted by one of her daughters in England to turn on Sky. After breakfast, they decide to search the garden that is next to the Ocean Club.

"While we were searching, an English man walked by. I asked him a few questions about what was going on. I told him I spoke Portuguese and English, and that if they needed me, I was at their disposal" – Murat recalls. And that is the way it happened: on the same morning, he presented his services to GNR. On the street, he met Gerry and Kate, and from minute to the next he was the authorities' interpreter, and assisted in the first statements from the parents and other witnesses.

Around noon, Jo Wheeler, a journalist for Sky in the area of weather forecast, who lives in the Algarve, calls him: "She wanted me to work as an interpreter for the team that was about to arrive. I refused, because it didn't seem correct to be helping the family and the police, and working for the media".

Finally, it's Gaynor Jesus, an anglo-portuguese woman, jobless and a childhood friend, who accepted. "I know very well she was one of the persons who framed me", Murat says. The Murat family has roots in Portugal since the 18th century (as wine merchants, in Oporto). The parents took up residence in the Algarve in the sixties, and opened a real-estate agency in Lagos. Robert was born in 1973, with a problem in his right eye's retina (which ends up going blind).

The searches for Madeleine continue. With the help of the press, the sequestration theory is installed, connected to an international pedophile network.

Next Sunday, Robert was sitting on the boardwalk next to the apartment where Maddie disappeared from, when Lory Campbell, a reporter for the Sunday Mirror, accompanied by another English journalist, and pretending not to know how the three Portuguese police forces function, talks to him: "I was talking with them for 5 minutes, when I suddenly noticed that the photographer from the Mirror was taking pictures of me".

Hours later, it's Ian Woods, an anchor from Sky, who comes closer. Robert has one flaw, he speaks too much. And he says a fatal phrase: "You know, this affects me very much, because I'm divorced and I have a daughter who is almost the same age as Madeleine". Woods asks for his full name. Filled with the spirit of the police investigation, Robert becomes suspicious: "I told him my name was Rob and I ended the conversation".

The next day, Lory Campbell makes a denunciation to the police in Leicester, the McCanns' city: she had discovered a suspect. Not only did Robert refuse to tell the journalists his full name, but he was also concerned about being photographed. Lory finishes: "He made a great show by calling his daughter in front of the reporters".

The police process is rapidly clogged up by denunciations from several journalists and anonymous sources about Robert's behaviour: "To this day, I don't understand how I was placed in this, but someone was very interested in finding a culprit rapidly". The next day, he is at Baptista supermarket, when Gaynor Jesus walks in, whom he hadn't seen in years. Half joking, the childhood friend tells him: "Do you know that among the journalists, you're being mentioned as the main suspect". Robert also laughed.

Seven days later, following a search on his house – where they only found a vi-brator, batteries and a literary text on Casanova – the Public Ministery decides there are strong suspicions that Murat could be Maddie's kidnapper. Gaynor Jesus, who is still working as Sky's interpreter, is interviewed by Ian Woods and uses Robert's blindness for a macabre portrait: "When we were kids, while playing, he had a glass eye that he would hold in his hand to scare us".

Contacted by Sol, members of the GNR who were on location on the night that Maddie disappeared guaranteed they didn't see Murat at the time. That version is confirmed by several English citizens, who live in the area and participated in the searches.

But three members of the McCanns' group – who started out by saying they didn't see anything or anyone suspicious that night – recover the press' speech. When, approximately a month ago, Russell O'Brien, Rachel and Fiona were confronted with Murat at the PJ, they repeated the information that had been published by the media. According to a source that watched the confrontation, Russell guaranteed that Murat had told him: "I'm helping because I'm divorced and I have a daughter who is the same age". And Fiona assured (although it was nighttime): "I'm certain it was him because he has a weird eye".

To Robert, today, revolt has replaced his fears: "This is not going to remain this way".
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