Thursday, 4 November 2010
It is exactly three and a half years since our daughter Madeleine was so cruelly taken from us. Three and a half years without her seeing her brother, her sister, her Mummy, her Daddy or her best friends. We need your support to continue to lobby the British and Portuguese Governments to undertake a joint or independent review of Madeleine’s case.Independent review of Madeleine McCann's case
Independent review of Madeleine McCann's case
We call on the UK and Portuguese authorities to conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
The court of appeal in Lisbon today, the 19th day of October, 2010, revoked the ban imposed by the civil courts placed upon Sr Amaral's book, The Truth of the Lie.
The question being tested is one of free speech. The appeal court has decided that Amaral's book is allowable as a publication under the European understanding of human rights and free speech.
The book was written by the former inspector leading the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The ban was invoked after the parents of Madeleine, Kate and Gerry Mccann, challenged the book which contains the inspectors opinion that the child was killed and the body hidden with the parents involvement. The evidence the inspector presents is flawed. His main 'facts' pointing to a reason leading to proving a death being the use of Calpol to induce the child into a deep sleep, the sniffer dogs indicating the presence of Cadaver and misunderstandings of 15 out of 19 markers in Madeleine's profile being a percentage indication of a dead Madeleine.
Only 'Calpol Night' can induce sleep and that had not come into production at the time Madeleine vanished. Basic Calpol is not a sleep inducer. The internationally renowned forensic organisation, FSS, concluded that the dogs findings indicate no conclusive evidence of death or presence of Madeleine. Possibly dried body fluids which can indicate the same as cadaver scent being equally as possible of actual cadaver scent. Not withstanding that Madeleine's DNA was not conclusive in the results either. 15 out of the 19 markers in Madeleine's profile were found within 37 markers. That is 37 markers contaminated by several known alive people and no conclusive indication of Madeleine's identity in the results as contamination included the family who share her markers. That puts a different picture on evidence showing 15 out of 19. Therefore the forensics proved a false positive and in layman's terms the Dogs evidence canceled itself out.
Commonly the argument is being used that presenting evidence of 15 out of 19 markers indicating Madeleine's cadaver is enough to convict the parents by circumstantial evidence and probability. Enough evidence to test Amaral's theory in court. Yet after the explanation by experts that the math is actually 15 out of 37 markers also contaminated by people who would share those 15 markers, the thesis has not been revised and the argument, totally flawed, is still being promoted.
All the former inspector Amaral could gain from the book is money. Not the truth, not the sharing of evidence, just monetary gain. That to any fair minded person is offensive, but free speech does not define offense. That definition is tested by the law if the offended take it to court. Currently Sr Amaral is being tested in court for libel and damaging the search for Madeleine. Personally I view his book as an exploitation of a child......abuse. To make money from a tragedy yet to be solved using the name of a child and misinformation for monetary gain.
In short. The appeal court has decided the publication is acceptable within the boundary of free speech. That is, one can say whatever they want in the Portuguese constitution. But the human right to test such a publication's value of defamation, libel and damage to the search for a child who may well be alive is still in the hands of the Portuguese judiciary. The result of that case will be more telling of the complete package.....free speech with responsibility.
If we are to gain any positives from this. I would like to think that a book being sold internationally, trying to convince people a missing child is dead and therefore there should be closure on searching for an alive child, will have more weight for it's author being successfully sued than a book not being sold to the public. The biggest positive being the funds raised from the book will help find Madeleine!!
It is important to remember that despite opinions about what happened to Madeleine The Portuguese prosecutor studied the case files, including Amarals conclusion and gave us the legal conclusion to the unsolved mystery.
Quote from: http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/PJ/LEGAL_SUMMARY.htm
Therefore, after all seen, analysed and duly pondered, with all that is left exposed, it is determined:
a) The archiving of the Process concerning arguido Robert James Queriol Eveleigh Murat, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code;
b) The archiving of the Process concerning Arguidos Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, because there are no indications of the practise of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code.
Mr Amaral, freedom of speech is no defense against exploiting Madeleine McCann.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Shane Meadows, This is England. This is a briliiant film covering England in Thatchers early 80's through the eyes of a group of Skinhead friends. The skins were second wave, relating the history of their roots from the original, spirit of 69' Trojan Skins era, to the next generation. Back in 1969 the original Skins grew out of working class culture fashion with a mix of the Jamaican rude boys and Mods having Ska and Reggae as the sub culture's music. The music reflecting the mixed races dealing with their shared working class oppression in the UK. The second wave found the sub culture infiltrated by the National Front, who hijacked the skinhead and the national flag to turn the working class sub culture into a white supremacy fascist public profile. The film, however, did not dwell on just the politics of that era, touching on Thatcher and the Falklands war while staying firmly following the lives of the group of friends and how life in that era treated them and how they treated life, consequently.
Then this year Shane Meadows presented us with a mini series of This is England. Set with the friends a few years on, into 1986. Still showing their Skinhead culture roots with Reggae music and including the mod links with songs from the Jam. The mini series dived deeper into the individual characters and we had an explosive, moving, sad and funny view of life, almost in their skins (excuse the pun). The series reminded me very much of another mini series, the Boys from the Blackstuff.
Boys from the Blackstuff received many accolades which have never been repeated for a British produced series. A strong, moving and funny account of having to deal with unemployment in Thatcher Britain, the Blackstuff is part of the 80's. Now we have another mini series with the same power and soul. Will we be treated to more?
Yes please Shane. Bring back the Skins!!
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Child abduction, exploitation and abuse has historically been low down in the list of government priorities in this country. Having spoken to parents of missing children and charity workers, the hunger for support is huge. The very few charities that offer support are all that has been available.
The CEOP and Gamble offered a professional and well organised standard of support and prevention to the general public. It was an extremely positive application to protect exploited and abused children, not stopping there; going on to offer support for those who, before CEOP, it was too late.
At the end of the day, it should come as no surprise that money talks with government policies and sadly the latest changes being made as to who runs CEOP is a step nearer to it being at risk of being cut back or chopped altogether if cut backs are required.
So it could be back to charities and volunteers to plead for help and provide support. Saddest of all, left to the parents and families of the missing themselves to only have those few charities and volunteer support groups for help. That doesn't devalue those charities at all. It actually compounds how important they are. It compounds how important they need government backing.
This is why it was such a positive battle won for the parents of missing children. The battle to get Amber recognised Europe wide with awareness and ground level support from parents of a missing child, Kate and Gerry McCann. Kate and Gerry have not only had to deal with their loss but have used their tragedy to help massively all other missing children and those groups who support and really, really, need that help.
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers, questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.
Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above, even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time, when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.) Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on and on at enormous length.
Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make.
Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?" (which is always the government) is therefore the truth.
Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor. Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account.
Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.
Inability to withdraw. It's a rare day indeed when a conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see 3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by "swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.
Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions, small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the "official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.
Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six, the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than extremely unlikely.
It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length. Because the most important thing about these people is that they are people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason, they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same question.
A spoksman for the BBC reminded Bennett that Torchwood is fictional and that the BBC assumes people are innocent until proved guilty. Not the other way around.
The appeal was exterminated.
Monday, 6 September 2010
There is nothing wrong with questioning a case. What is wrong are those who see the possible theories as some sort of competition.
The McCanns promote abduction so the competitors promote death and concealment. Why the need to compete? I think those who are cynical about the beliefs and hopes of the McCanns, also base their feelings including a prejudice against them which is rooted in believing they committed neglect. They cant deal with looking at the case objectively without prejudice and that is unhealthy. This prejudice, after 3 years has become an obsession to justify their own feelings of seeking punishment. So much so they cannot see that there could be no worse punishment upon the parents than a missing child. still without information to help find her.
Sadly, it isn't about seeking the truth for those obsessed with 'paying the parents back'. It is more about not recognising that prejudice is the wall that prevents them from looking for the truth, if that is how they justify the forum campaign....seeking the truth.
On the other hand there are those who say they support the Mccanns, who also have developed a prejudice against anyone who questions the case and have also propagated a competitive stance which has helped to create an unhealthy 'us and them' 'your wrong I'm right' attitude. Either stance results in people seeking the truth. blindfolded.
There is only one fact that we should all recognise. The McCanns are innocent....INNOCENT. They have not been proved guilty of anything, have never been charged of committing any crime and therefore any opinions about what happened should remain just that. Taking action against them. campaigning to get them charged or at least have an opposing theory suggesting the abduction theory and any hope of an alive Madeleine is presented to the public as a choice is nothing short of propagating hate and vigilantism.
The police are he recognised agency to find truth and evidence. People like Tony Bennett are nothing more than trouble makers, causing pain to justify their own belief in self-importance and the need of publicity. The police? ok so some champion Amarals theory. He was a policeman so that can be used to justify believing him. He made a big mistake understanding the forensic results, he has an unprofessional history within the police and the fact he was removed should all be enough to discount his wasted time on the case. If using Amaral as the last straw to clutch and justify being cynical about the McCanns, I would say that straw is the only one left, is poor quality and about to turn to dust.
Sadly now though, money is the reason no police force are prepared to pick up the case. If Madeleine is found, it will only be through information that has not yet come to light. Hence keeping awareness and seeking information is her only hope of being found alive.
Friday, 6 August 2010
Seeing as I painted the Rod in Satin Black, I used grey and red oxide primer for the artwork.
The cat in the picture is our Jessy, RIP.
Roll on the NATS ad things that really matter. Rockabilly, Ska, Rods, family and friends.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Sunday, 1 August 2010
Living in a democratic society, we can expect to be able to challenge being offended, legally. A recent situation has alarmed me, how the internet opens the door to irresponsible behaviour to incite hatred, harassment and bullying by anonymous perpetrators.
Forums covering moral issues are particularly open to negative behaviour . Usually a safety net is provided, which holds the administrators of forums responsible, to a degree, by law. Something that is not set in stone though as forums can be hosted anywhere in the world, with varying laws.
Yet, one could expect responsible behaviour on a forum that supports a family with compassion and empathy, provides much-needed information, not available elsewhere and which evaluates it’s moral limits, hosted in the UK. The site being a free forum is hosted by a company that facilitates a complaints procedure. Very professional and quite right in a democratic society. Where would we be in the UK if companies, organisations and agencies did not provide a line of complaint? The alternative would be a requirement to put up or shut up.
Recently I had an issue with a specific thread within such a forum. An issue which had content I was offended by. The issue was not just personal to me, but also involved a charity I do fund-raising for. Following the insults I received., which contravened the sites Terms and Condition’s, negative links made on the thread were used to complain to my superiors in another organisation I do volunteer work for. An organisation directly linked to supporting the same people the forum admin claim to support. I deleted my account on the forum to end the stupendous invitation for a continued argument. An opportunity that had been deliberately practiced several times previously on the same site.
I had removed myself from the ensuing confrontation and complaints were met with the admin locking the thread and leaving it open to public view. The reason given for leaving it in the public domain being nothing short of deliberately trying to humiliate me for complaining. Confirmation that this site does not afford me the right to feel offended and have the right to complain about it. Complaints to the site host followed with further humiliation, insults emotional blackmail and false accusations.
I believe that I had a valid and reasonable issue of grievance. I followed the correct escalation of complaint procedure as I am entitled to, without publicising my grievance and complaint. Instead of being met with help of an amicable solution, I was met with very public escalation of humiliation from the admin. included were accusations that I am attacking the forum and attempting to close it, despite my making it clear to the hosts that the complaint was specific to one thread and my wish was to have it removed from public view. Accusations which were spread on several fora, based on what the admin had preached and taken as gospel by other sites. The admin also expressed the intent of closing the site themselves because of my complaints and preached to their membership that I am jeopardising the search for a missing child because I feel offended. Public demonizing, emotional blackmail and false accusations. All wrapped up, using the campaign of supporting the family of a missing child to demonize me. Not very responsible, democratic behaviour and that does not include the accusations I received from the admin via email of colluding with others to bring down the site.
Such is the virtual world we live in. That a site so important regarding information is jeopardized by its own admin who act irresponsibly by allowing a grudge against a member become more important to publicise than the case itself.
‘Nobody has the right not to be offended’ is a worrying right to be practicing.
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Monday, 1 February 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Tuesday 03 November 2009
A MINUTE FOR MADELEINE …
HELP SPREAD A NEW ONLINE POLICE MESSAGE AVAILABLE AT CEOP.POLICE.UK
UK’S CHILD EXPLOITATION AND ONLINE PROTECTION (CEOP) CENTRE ASKS THE PUBLIC TO SPREAD A NEW MESSAGE
For those who can't get You Tube. Click Here
Please post this to your Blog, send on by Email, Facebook, Twitter etc. Thank you.
Look Up and Look Out for Madeleine
27th January, 2010. Symbolic flight of lanterns.
Update from the official site http://www.findmadeleine.com/
Wednesday 27th January 2010
Today marks 1000 days since Madeleine was taken from us. It’s hard to even say the number. We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour. Now we’ve reached 1000 days.
It’s difficult sometimes to understand how we’ve been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night. Madeleine is still missing. Sometimes it even feels ‘wrong’ to be coping. And yet if we weren’t, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn’t bear thinking about! We are very aware though that our ability to cope and keep going for Madeleine has been greatly augmented by the incredible support we have received from so many people and this should never be underestimated. We will always remember and be forever grateful for this help, support and kindness.
This evening we will be holding a fund-raising event in London – ‘Still Missing,Still Missed; An Evening for Madeleine’. We will be remembering Madeleine and other missing children throughout the world. We are hoping to raise a good amount of money to further the search for Madeleine but also to benefit the charities, Missing People and Missing Children Europe and the fantastic but often unrecognised work that they do on behalf of all missing children in the UK and Europe.
Also this evening, 1000 lanterns will be released into the night sky – an event which has been called ‘Look Up & Look Out for Madeleine’.They will be released from many different locations in the UK, Portugal and the USA. It is a symbolic way for our family, friends and supporters to show that we have not forgotten Madeleine and will never give up on her.
In addition to the above, Simon Armitage has very kindly(and courageously) written a poem for Madeleine to coincide with the 1000th day since her disappearance. It is called ‘The Beacon’. We think it is an incredible and really beautiful sonnet. It manages to convey so accurately and succinctly, both our darker moments and the reality of hope and possibility, aswell as including powerful and touching references to Madeleine. We hope it will be read by many.
One thousand days.
Madeleine is still missing and she needs to be found.
We will continue to turn every stone. We will never give upon Madeleine.
Thank you for your support and solidarity. Together we can bring Madeleine home.
Turn Hope Into Action
A video I put together of a family split. Through hope, light and positive action, will be put together again.
Madeleine's Song (Children's Version)
"We're Still Looking For You"
Helping to promote for Nigel Graham and Janet James.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
27th January 2010 – Holocaust Memorial Day – marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
Monday, 25 January 2010
Joana Morais. Championing free speech without censorship. In my opinion she champions free speech without responsibility as part of an extreme political campaign. Currently Joana is supporting Sr Amaral's attempt in the courts to have his book returned to sale after the McCanns successfully had it removed as the way the facts from the case files are being spun is causing damage to their search campaign. The courts agreed but Amaral is appealing the decision.
A video appeared on YouTube, presenting a thesis which opposes Dr Amaral's Truth of The Lie. Yet Joana Morais complained to the Tube about it. Allegedly she has also complained to Amnesty International about it as well. Can you believe that? The champion of free speech attempting to gag a video which opposes what she believes. How hypocritical can Morais get?
So as well as recently announcing on Twitter that she admitted telling lies about the McCanns solicitor being involved with terrorists. She now shows the world what a hypocrite she is.
At the end of the day. If Joana had not kicked up a fuss about this video it wouldn't now have gone viral.
The irony of complaining to Amnesty International, is what the organisation says about him on their own website.
Human Rights in Portuguese Republic.
Allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials remained a concern. The prosecution of law enforcement officials implicated in two high-profile cases of torture and other ill-treatment proceeded slowly. Domestic violence continued to be a widespread problem, leading to numerous deaths.
Torture and other ill-treatment
There were continued allegations of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials. In February, the UN Committee against Torture expressed its concern about reports of torture and other ill-treatment in prisons and the excessive use of force, including the use of firearms, by law enforcement officials. It also expressed concern at the acquisition of Taser weapons by law enforcement agencies, stating that the pain such weapons inflict constituted a form of torture.
Regarding Amaral and his team
In October, the trial began of four police officers charged with torturing Leonor Cipriano in 2004 to obtain a confession that she had killed her daughter. Medical reports and photographs of Leonor Cipriano recorded extensive injuries after two days in police custody in Faro. Police officials said that she fell down a flight of stairs in the police station; however the Institute of Forensic Medicine stated that her injuries were not consistent with such an incident and were more in keeping with an assault. Leonor Cipriano said that she was punched, kicked, had a plastic bag placed over head, and was forced to kneel on glass ashtrays during interrogations. The trial was ongoing at the end of the year.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Mr Amarals attempt to overturn the banning of a controversial book claiming Madeleine McCann is deadHeartfelt thanks to Maria. This deserves publicity as does all Maria's valuable information from inside Portugal.
Replies and comments included on above link.
DAY ONE Tuesday 12th January 2010
Yes, Amaral got a nice bunch of witnesses;
1. The prosecutor (Magalhães e Menezes) who signed the final report stating or reinforcing the conclusions in there, which are, as you remember, in a nutshell, there is not enough information to decide on which crime has been committed, let alone who committed it. It was him who corrected Cabrita about the role of the dogs: a means of proof, not a proof. Also, he did not read the book, and answering a question from Isabel, he states that, to him, the title seems an attempt of saying that the book is the truth about a flawed investigation (an investigation that lead to a false conclusion, final report). That one is very serious (on Amaral).
2. Then Amaral's pal (Tavares de Almeida) putting all on the boicot by the 'english' police, politicians (en passant), the McCanns. Yes he did write the report stating that the parents should have their status aggravated because they were suspect of having concealed their daughter's body. Yes, the book is a summary of the investigation. Yes the dogs are super and marked everything, if forensic evidence wasn't found it is all down to FSS, who first said that there were 15 markers out of 19 and then said there was contamination, how could they do that as they (PJ) were getting all the directions on how to recover the indices from them (FSS)? (my comment, what great investigators we've got, they need directions on how to collect residues, evidences, indices!!!). Just remembered, Isabel showed him a map in the book where Amaral explains that the Smiths saw a man that would have come from OC. They had a slightly heated argument, and he lead Isabel to conclude, without any denial, that that map was incorrect, so what else was incorrect in the book?
3. The liaison officer (Ricardo Paiva) speaking in a very very low voice, who basically confirmed everything that is in the book (I think as I haven't read it), being the dogs the main 'dish'. Isabel asked him if he didn't think if the book and the thesis it expresses could hamper the search for Madeleine, to which he answered no, only last week he received several messages that were duly investigated and then he was in complete disarray when Isabel put a question to him ,sorry, can't remember which one because she was careful to remind him that he was under oath!!! And then Isabel asked him 3 (three) times how did the parents hide the body for at least 23/24 days (he wasn't sure about the time) and everytime he answered that they must have hid the body cause the dogs marked the car...blablabla... then Isabel wrapped up her questioning with a 'Right, I understand you do not want to answer my question. That's all, thank you'
4. And finally the director of the national unit of combat of terrorism, formerly and at the time, the unit of combat of bandistry (Luís Neves). A heavy weight, strong voice, but deaf of his left ear (Isabel was on his left). Only one meeting with the British Ambassador (10-15 minutes), two or three meetings with the parents, the consul, Guilhermino Encarnação and two high rank british officers, very helpfull the british police, no, he doesn't know Clarence Mitchel, no pressure while he was there (until August), the dogs came very highly reccomended, no false positives in 100 or 200 cases. Suggestion for the dogs to come from the british. No he did not read the book, he just went through it quickly on the eve of the December hearing so that he could prepare his statement... Yes, what is in the book is also in the files. But the book is a view over an investigation, an 'outburst' of GA, so angry he must have been by loosing 'his' investigation .'We' hate that, 'we' do not like when an investigation does not lead to a charge. Yes, if Gonçalo stayed in the investigation it would probably end in a different way.
Some or all of them said that Kate 'started' admitting that Madeleine 'was' dead when she asked for Krugel to be called and even asked that his searches to be widened to the rocks, some scrubland...
Sorry for the scattered report, it is my first court case... Tomorrow I will take notes, it will be easier.
About the questions, you were complaining that without knowing the questions it became difficult to understand the answers. Well, Cabrita is not very imaginative. Always the dogs (why, what, how), the 'coincidence' between the files and the book, the strange behaviours, namely Kate's, no much more than that.
Oh, and the mad woman was there! I didn't see anybody besides the media at the door, but ten meters away I heard her 'long live Dr. Gonçalo Amaral'. I believe she was completely alone.
My opinion? Amaral must be thinking to himself 'with friends like these who needs ennemies?'
Well, and I'm going to try to get some sleep, I'll have to get up at 4:30...
Night all, hope this very very short summary is of any use.
Rosie, you are being very unfair to Amaral. I went down with him today on the elevator and his earring is very very discreet, small even. Actually, I believe he must have two, cause yesterday I could sware he was wearing a cross, silver, white gold or platinum...
Another important issue. Do you know what a majorette is? I believe that the mad woman is a Gonçalette... And she takes her job very seriously, shouting everytime someone gets in or out. Tonight she decided to declare that Gonçalo Amaral is a grande (big or large, take your pick...) man, he is no cheminee cleaner...???
Pedro, you are in charge of the press, they all are writing about the trial and the McCanns. Of course, do not expect big surprises. But I have a good one on that aspect. There is an article in Destak, a free paper available at all train stations (and subway?) about the couple/case. Didn't read it, stupidly today I did not pick up a paper, but I know it is a good article. Will try and see if I can get it tomorrow.
Do not worry, Amaral had no better luck with today's witnesses. The first was great Moita Flores, on video conference. As you know, we can't see anything, the screen is oriented to the judge, lawyers etc. We can only listen. And I listened. I listened to him saying that Amaral was a good professional, the best, they had a workplace frienship, not more than that, but he knew he was very very good on everything he did, starting at the drug squad. I listened him saying that the book faithfully reflected what is in the files. I also listened him saying that if what happened to Amaral - the defamation, descredit, family intrusion, insults - from the english press had happened to him, he would probably do much worse than Amaral. I listened to him when he said that from the very first minute he and all the others knew that the parents were staging something by staging an abduction. I listened to him saying that the media circus was very well orchestrated and aimed at putting pressure on the police, to descredit and demoralise them.I listened to him saying that no abductor could ever remove Madeleine through that window unless he had 4 hands and 4 feet, and he should be very stupid to use a window when he had a door easily at hand. Then for a moment there was some confusion with the lawyers looking for something, I did not listen to him telling an employee of the tribunal of Santarém that he was giving a witness account to a trial, he didn't know which trial it was, but a trial anyway. I did not listen, I only heard the judge telling him, with a very nice smile, that he was on loud voice (loud speakers?) and the whole court room heard his doubt so she informed him that he was giving evidence on the appeal moved by Amaral. I just heard Sandra Felgueiras on RTP2 saying that MF made a two hours statement, so I would say that he repeated these things I just said for one hour and a half, varying only the format, not the contents. Then, Isabel started her questioning. She was divine (lack of better word).(we had been talking before and agreed that MF was THE man needed to descredit the 'book'). She asked him if he ever had been at PdL, to which he said yes, once, for a SIC direct programme. She asked him several times how high was that window, to which he always answered he did not remember (although he had been in front of it during that tv program). She told him that the book in fact contained some things that are not in the files, like descriptions of the weather, states of mind, feelings of the author. He agreed. So the book was not in 'investigation format', he agreed again. So, she said, if the book was not an investigation, what was it, a romance, a novel, an essay? He thought loud, expressing why it was nothing of that, as it was not fictional, and concluded it was an autobiography. Isabel asked then if an autobiography was unbiased. He hesitate only a moment and said no, not necessarily, but the conclusion stands (that there was no abduction, Madeleine died at 5A, the parents concealed the body, etc). Even if it contradicts the conclusion drawn by the prosecutor, she asked. Yes, he said, the conclusion drawn by the prosecutor is nothing more than the prosecutor's opinion. Bruhaha in the room. I was so busy bruhahaing that I did not look to the judge, but I'm sure she jumped like everybody else. Isabel insisted, who directs an investigation? The prosecutor, he answered. Who concludes an investigation, she asked. The prosecutor, he answered. 'Are you saying that the opinion of an investigator is more accurate that the technical, founded opinion of a prosecutor?' 'They are not the way, the light and the life' (Jesus words, I'm the way, the light and the life, I don't know if this translation is correct). End of statement. I bet a penny to one hundred quid (as you say) that the judge wasn't happy.
Then Luis (?) Anes, a retired university professor (antropology) and former director for many years of the forensics lab of PJ (LPC). He did read the book, did NOT see the files. Well, yes, the book looked accurate, but if it was him he would probably handle it in another way or even not do it at all. Yes, of course he understands the anger and sense of useless (not a good word) of Amaral, but if it was him he would probably handle it in a different way or even not do it at all. Oh yes, he understands the position Amaral was put in, he himself went through similar processes once or twice in his time, but he handled them in a different way. And so on and so forth. Very honest man, therefore not very much in line with Amaral.
The two other witnesses were from Guerra e Paz, not very interesting, the judge did not allow Isabel to even touch the subject of how much money ... So, I did not feel they were exciting, sorry. Also, they didn't look to have slipped much. It was only determined that Amaral would write/publish the book after his retirement had come through (when he finally regained his 'freedom of expression'), no special concerns about publishing before or after the process shelving and secrecy lifted. They came out quite clean I think. 180.000 books printed, not necessarily sold. Very difficult to know exactly how many weren't sold given the distribution organisation. There is no brazilian edition, only Dinalivro, a company dedicated to sell brazilian books in Portugal and portuguese books in Brazil, requested for 4 000 books to export to Brazil.
And now, my dear friends, bedtime. My dogs look at me in the morning and I can clearly see in their eyes that they think I definitely went nuts: breakfast at 4:30 in the morning? After last pee and dinner the previous 21:00? They are asleep already, like babies.
Good night all, talk to you tomorrow.
2ndday (part two)
Because he knew that Amaral was such a good investigator, he decided to write the preface of the book titling it as 'The truth of Locard' (actually, I'm not sure if it is the 'truth' or the 'question', this confusion also lead Isabel, later, to ask the question, and he answered that it was the same thing, so no problem with the title of the preface), being Locard (end of XIX century) the master and creator of modern criminal investigation followed by all police forces all over the world. (Bluj?). It is pathetic to say that the book could hamper the search for Madeleine. The parents want to convince the police that it was an abduction. This doesn't happen anywhere in the world. All the hypothesis must be followed. Madeleine's death is not attributed to the parents. He knows the reasons why they were made arguidos, and they were correctly made arguidos. They knew from the beginning that there was no abduction at all but not that the child was killed by A or B. They knew that a story, a fable was being told, built. He also spoke to a french colleague who agreed with the view that all hypothesis should be taken into account. What is astonishing is that portuguese authorities have 2 weights and 2 measures re negligence. He does not agree that a case already closed cannot be commented. There are cases of censorship in dictatorships. There is no attack on the good name and dignity, not on the McCann's. All the PJ suggestions were accepted by the prosecutor, although the final PJ report was not. On the reverse, the final (prosecution) report is a handwash (not a 'whitewash') and must be discussed it is 'pilatesque' (from Pôncio Pilatos, the roman consul who washed his hands handing Jesus to the jews to be trialed). It was Amaral who was insulted. JFK case is still discussed today. The same will happen with this one. It would be a mistake to forbid it. He doesn't know people who had written on cases they worked on (?). It is normal, it is not normal in China and other countries without freedom. The activities of searching Madeleine are just mystifications to pass the idea that there were no investigations on the hypothesis of abduction.
He followed this case. He was interviewed and answered objectively. English media reported that he minimized the results. He worked for Amaral in Joana case as well as on this one. There was strong conviction as methodology it is good to go public sa Amaral went public but then there was process archiving, there had been contamination, we know about contamination (OJSimpson). The court needs indices. It is not common to go public, this case was victim of friendly fire. It is understandable but there were moments when he (Amaral) couldn't keep quiet.
Answering Cabrita's questions
He read the book quickly, he thinks the hypothesis is good but there is something missing. He remembers Moita Flores writing about the Cavacos (should be some old case, don't know). His thesis (the witness') about Camarate (a plane crash in Lisbon where the prime minister and several other government members were killed more than 20 years ago) was not accepted, he still makes statements on that, he doesn't ponder to write a book about that. He applies self-'restriction', does not cross that boundary. He still respects Amaral but he immediately suspected that these proclamations would have consequences, but he still thinks that things should be public. There are repreensible procedures from the english forensic police, it happened before in other cases. He did not read the process. The book didn't seem very offensive.
Answering another lawyer's question (TVI I think)
There were incorrect procedures on the crime scene isolation (it doesn't come to me the correct word now, sorry), not only by PJ the family as well. Foreign detectives are usually impecable, although sometimes there are interferences. When it comes to DNA questions, it must be 100%, 80% is simply not good enough. This investigation was victim of friendly fire, with new news everyday in the press. Causes the desire of a public investigation. The investigation is blocked but Amaral's is a good theory. If a correct attitude in the gathering and preservation of indices is not in place, the investigation is lost. (Isabel-Amaral's thesis exclude the thesis of abduction and that Madeleine is alive) There is a strong belief, but it should be said in a different way. It is safer, more 'armoured' not to talk. We all have the right to free speech but it is necessary to think about the next step, it can offend someone else's rights. (Isabel-do you think that an investigator who believes that Madeleine is dead will investigate for a living Madeleine) There are experiences where changing the investigator the investigation changes.
Well well well...
Mário Rui Sena Lopes (publishing director for Guerra e Paz)
It has been his responsibility to make the deal to acquire 'patrimonial' rights (physical not moral) over the book, no rights regarding audio-visual of any kind. Launch on the 27/28th of July 2008. On sale on every kiosk, book shops, supermarkets, distributed with Correio da Manhã (bought separately). Many books offered to tv entertainment programs. The book was ready during the first week of July 2008, already revised and printed. By the launching date, there were already two editions ready. Promotion, media impact immediate. Sales team procedures normal for a book based on facts non speculative. Available to journalists 24 hours in advance. Press release. Interviews directed to the author. 12 editions, 10 to 30.000 books each, 170 to 180.000 in total. It is difficult to say exactly how many books were sold, giving the structure of distribution. Before the last edition, there might be 30 to 35.000 books still in the market, so in practice it was not sold out. Last edition September 2008. Several foreign editions.Spain (could cover spanish latin America), France (could cover Belgium) Germany (could cover Austria and german swiss cantons), Holland, Denmark (could also be sold in Sweden and Finland, languages very easily understandable between these countries). There were requests from UK and USA. English translation not authorized (net). Portuguese edition on the net, suspended.Images in the book were drawings, the pictures were made available by ??? (couldn't aunderstand). New editions no changes to text, changes on the distribution only. The cover is not Amaral's, it is done by a designer they probably exchanged opinions. On Amaral's request, the book wasn't launched before he was definitely retired. No he didn't take any precautions re the secrecy law that could still be in force. There were already conversations for an edition in the UK, they were at a preliminar phase at the date of the injunction. They still hadn't precise juridical informations. Isabel calls his attention to the fact that the french version does not include a full chapter (the one about the 'fraudulent' fund). He feels that the cover calls the attention to the essential thesis of the book. They had very little time to make the book.
The second witness from Guerra e Paz, can't remember exactly her job, gave more or less the same information, not so complete, but in no way contradictory and certainly nothing new.
I went through your posts and felt very 'cosy'. I'm happy that my accounts, although incomplete and sometimes too light still do interest you and provide some additional information. Thank you all.
I was planning to write a similar report today, but it turned up that today was a very emotional day, so I decided to write two posts, being this one dedicated mostly to relationships.
In the morning, it actually was funny. Fiona came with Kate and Isabel. I was introduced to her and without warning Isabel said 'They want to know everything about you' and all of them laughed out loud. I was intrigued, but somewhat reluctantly I started 'I'm sixty,...' and Kate and Fiona laughed even more and said 'We don't want to know, we don't want to know'. I didn't get it, so I turned to Isabel and asked her why were they pulling my leg. She explained. It was the 'media circus' downstairs who were very curious about me and asked questions to ALL three of them trying to know who I was, thinking that I was british... (they said that I was portuguese and they didn't know me at all). The portuguese pink press even called the PR people yesterday, asking them who I was and if they could arrange for a press conference... We certainly had a very good laugh this morning!
Isabel invited me for lunch and that's when it started. I don't know how, they started talking about ages, and it turned out that I was the eldest. I think it was Isabel who said that they all should look at me and I said that I was no role model to anyone. That's when Kate, already in a mixed mood, said something like 'I think you'r good'. I noticed the sad tone and Fiona's worried look at her. But we were already late, so me, Isabel and her assistant rushed back to court, leaving them behind doing something on the computer. When Kate arrived at the courtroom, she had already aged again, she looked again very fragile.
About 4pm the judge made a break. I went to the toilet and when I was coming back I met Kate and Fiona by the elevator, preparing to leave to the airport. My heart suddenly became very heavy, I kissed Kate and Fiona, Kate said with very strangled voice 'I hope we meet again in better circumstances'. She was very close to tears, I was frozen. It only occured to me 'Come on' and I caressed her in the face and kissed her. I didn't dare hugging her, she would certainly break down. I almost run away, couldn't do anything else.
More to follow.
At long last, I'm starting the report on the third day of hearings.
As you remember, Gerry is back home, Fiona takes over supporting Kate.
Today, there will be two witnesses for Valentim de Carvalho, the video (and future fiction film) producer, and another 2 from TVI, the tv station who bought the transmission rights for Portugal.
I did not take note of the names and jobs, sorry, but I believe we will be able to discover them, either somewhere in the forum (I'm sure I have seen them already) or outside in reports and media pieces.
1. ? Director for Valentim de Carvalho
When identifiying himself, he reveals that he is a former PJ, not at the course as Amaral but they had sporadic contacts, so he knows quite a bit about criminal investigation. He trusts Amaral. As usual, the judge asks for dates for the different jobs he has had.
Starting his statement, he says that VC acquired the rights to make a video and, later, a fiction film on the subject. The video will be made based on the book. As a remark, the video will contain the refference that the only certainty is that Madeleine disappeared on that night, he says. VC is a producer. He refers his personal previous contact with Amaral, then refers that he signed the contract without any discussion, gave advice to Amaral (presumably on the contract) but didn't discuss. It was a licensing contract, with VC acquiring the rights to make a video or a film, and where Amaral would necessarily be the narrator. The narrator has rights, very similar or the same as an actor. No, neither the book or the video do accuse the parents of murdering Madeleine. He knows the files through the media. He explains how the criminal investigation is conducted based on his experience. It looks to him like that some facts are missing. Amaral ommitted his interpretation of the facts. During the investigation an hypothesis was built according to which Madeleine died in the apartment. Soiled reputation, he decided to retire and write, he was angry.. The book points out to one dilligence, or lack of it, this dilligence was necessary to confirm or deny the hypothesis. The judge interrupts to confirm if the contract was signed on the 12th of March 2008? It was. He goes on. What triggered the writing of the book was that he was being contradicted (not good translation...), he had lost the investigation, had no support from PJ, therefore he decided to bring out in the public what he thought. Because he was convinced that there were interferences, he decided like that. In defence of his professional honour, he didn't do anything to defend his personal honour, didn't sue, nothing. Again, he understood that not all dilligences had been made . The objective is to clarify. To bring back the issue of professional competence or incompetence. To the question if he didn't think that that book added to the pain of the parents, he answers no. The biggest pain anyone can suffer is the loss of own child. Nothing coming afterwards would be worse or add to that pain, that would be impossible. He's a father too, may God forbid, he doesn't know what he would do if he lost a child. It is normal to loose your parents, your partner even, it hurts but that's normal in life. But a child... God forbid. Doesn't he think that the book could slow or stop the search for Madeleine? No, the process was shelved, so it even helps. Before the book was published, the leaks were so many that everybody already knew. He saw (read?) the process on the net. The documentary was shown on TVI, then subtitled and put illegally on the net. It was legally shown and then sold with Correio da Manhã. Everything on the net is illegal and not authorized. A complaint was filed to the PJ. When this injunction took place everything had already happened. The fact that there is no more propagation doesn't change the one that has already been made. Isabel then explains that the injunction was filed 4 days after the first airing of the video, it couldn't be done before that. (somehow, he gets angry and starts explaining what criminal investigation is, ending with the hypothesis, that, after demonstration, becomes a thesis). What is in the book is an hypotesis. Isabel asks if it is an hypothesis or a thesis. Hypothesis or thesis that's the same thing, he shouts. The aim was to prove the hypothesis. Saw the video and owns one. Doesn't know if Levy, Corte Real, the Ministry of Justice interfered/intervened (???). He didn't read the process in its entirety. Isabel: where did he read it, in the net. What colour has the first page of the process in the net? What colour? Does it matter? Doesn't remember. Isabel then asks if he thinks that it is right that, to defend himself from offences committed by third parties Amaral makes accusations to two people that were illibated, but the judge didn't accept the question.
2. ? Video Director
The contents of the video is an adaptation of the book and this has to do with Amaral's thesis. The screenplay was made by a journalist with Amaral's cooperation. It contains material from archives as well as original images, Amaral's declaration and reconstitution. The master id an HD cassette. He stresses that the conclusion from the video is that the mistery persists. (I stopped taking notes, I was astonished, so from here on it is only by heart). Nothing special about the screenplay, it is just a screenplay. The important thing was that screenplay was faithful to the book, which it was, so he had not to worry about the book's contents or accuracy. He is a film director, his job was to direct the video, which he did. No, he doesn't think about feelings when he directs a film or a video. Isabel wrapped up with the question 'Do you have children?' No, he answered. (so low voice that I can be mistaken).
3. ? TVI
TVI aquired the rights of transmission of the video for the portuguese market. TVI was very enthousiastic about the video as it was about a subject very much on the top interest of the public at the time, this would ensure high audience level. Specially if aired in prime time, that is, just after the evening news. So it was, the audience topped the 2.4 million people, by very far the highest audience level that evening.
4. ? (International Relations?) TVI
TVI did not intervene on any phase of the video making. She didn't know Amaral and never spoke to him. The decision to buy was their General Manager's, José Eduardo Moniz. They thought it was a good acquisition (subject, contents) because it was on the top of public preferences. Current contents, no collages. TVI did not make comments on the video, only a short declaration to position the spectator (actually, Amaral's declaration from the video was included on this self promotion TVI spot). Objective : national interest, so spread (propagate). TVI doesn't make judgements. A short framework just before the airing, at least the first time. They reached some 2.4 million people. Then they were approached by Menthor, distributor for Channel4 about the other video and after very quick negotiations they signed the Memo Deal (or Deal Memo? seems this is the correct title, but everybody calls it Memo Deal), which would give them exclusive rights of transmission in Portugal. On international relations, everybody accepts this Memo Deal as a real contract although it states 'contract pending'. However, some 10 days later, they were informed that the deal was off as the McCann family would not allow it. They were also informed that the reffusal was not for the country but for the station. They were interested in presenting another documentary, probably defending a different thesis (???...). High pressure from the General Manager, because of the audience level it could reach. Again, a 'clean' acquisition without any intervention of the station over the contents (thesis). Pressure over Menthor and C4. They were informed that another station had bought it (SIC). Tried an injunction based on the Memo Deal but lost given the fact that it says 'contract pending', that is, for a court this is not a contract, although internationally regarded as such. C4 documentary aired on SIC. Oprah's interview as well, as SIC has an exclusive contract with Oprah. Saw just a bit of Oprah's interview in one of the SIC news bulletins. So, second exhibition of Amaral's documentary on the same day and time as the C4 video on SIC, only to 'hit' SIC on the audience share (answer to Isabel). Yes, a bit 'foul play' (answer to Isabel). Had an idea that there was some special date approaching, but didn't know which or when (answer to Isabel). Again she reinforces that the only objective is audience share, no judgements are made over the contents (answer to Isabel). Several times she comments that TVI is the station with the highest share. Several times she refers that the GM (at the time) was sort of obsessed with audience share.
And that's all for the day, I think. More to follow on the 10th of February.
Friday, 15 January 2010
Something for the extreme McCann cynics.
Those who can only see guilt in the McCanns, can only see guilt.
Those who can only see evil in the McCanns, can only see evil.
Those who can only see lies in the McCanns, can only see lies.
Those who can only see suspicion in the McCanns, can only see suspicion.
Those who can only see darkness in the McCanns, can only see darkness.
Those who can only see a dead Madeleine, can only see a dead Madeleine.
Those people need to open their eyes.
Those people would then, not only see what is in their head, they would see everything.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Isabel Duarte is currently representing the McCanns who are challenging the ex police officer Goncalo Amaral for his attempts to undermine the search for Madeleine Beth Mccann.
The screenshot of Joana’s admission is posted on extreme Pro site, PFA2. Isabel is aware, but as Joana is generally considered of no consequence, it is unlikely that she will be taking action.