Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

07/08 - DÉC/OCT - Alerte diplom et FOI Dillon au FCO

Il ne faut pas confondre le FOIA 2000 britannique avec le Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), la loi américaine d'accès à l'information, signée le 4 juillet 1966 par le président Lyndon B. Johnson, et entrée en application l'année suivante. Fondée sur le principe du droit à l'information, elle oblige les agences fédérales à transmettre leurs documents, à quiconque en fait la demande, quelle que soit sa nationalité.
Le Freedom of Information Act 2000 britannique, promulgué par le gouvernement de Tony Blair, vise à permettre et réguler la liberté d'accès aux documents administratifs. L'ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) est chargé de l'application de la loi. 
120 000 requêtes FOIA sont faites chaque année, dont 60 % par des citoyens ordinaires. Les entreprises font environ 20 % des requêtes, et les journalistes 10 %. Parmi ces dernières, le FOIA a permis à la presse de révéler divers faits et scandales, dont celui concernant la torture en Irak, celui concernant les dépenses des parlementaires (2009), etc.



Dear Sir or Madam,
Firstly, I would like to quote part of a newspaper report in order to provide you with the source of my personal concerns about the matter I have referred to in the Summary box you provide regarding this FOI request by myself.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...  (voir tout en bas)
 
"The Foreign Office was alerted to fears over Gerry and Kate McCann by a British diplomat in Portugal just days after their daughter Madeleine went missing.
The diplomat was sent to the holiday resort of Praia da Luz in the days following the four-year-old's disappearance and soon became concerned over "inconsistencies" in the testimonies by her parents and their friends.
After visiting the McCanns, the unnamed diplomat sent a report to the Foreign Office in London, admitting his worries about "confused declarations" of the McCanns' movements on the night of May 3. 

On appréciera le fait que ces remarques sont en tout point conformes à la recommandation faite par Lee Rainbow, de l'AIE, à la PJ dans un document d'une trentaine de pages dont on ne connaît qu'un bref extrait, cité à l'audience MC vs GA de janvier 2010 : ne privilégiez pas la piste de l'enlèvement au détriment de la piste familiale.
He also noted the couple's "lack of co-operation" with the Portuguese police.

 
The diplomat's concerns were made over four months before Gerry and Kate were named arguidos (suspects) on September 7. Contents of the letter were leaked to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure over the weekend. The diplomat expressed his fears after receiving instruction from the Foreign Office to provide "all possible assistance to the McCann couple". The French-language paper printed excerpts of the letter, quoting the diplomat as saying: With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple.  Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous ­message.

Although the Government was quick to assist the McCanns in the days following Madeleine's disappearance, direct contact with the couple ceased when they were named as suspects. La Dernière Heure pointed out that a majority of the diplomats originally involved in the case have now been taken off it.
 
The then-Prime Minister Tony Blair sent special envoy Sheree Dodd to act as a "media liaison officer" for the pair soon after Madeleine vanished. Elle n'est restée que neuf jours à PDL où la remplaça Clarence Mitchell. Ms Dodd has since resigned from the Foreign Office, while the British consul in the Algarve, Bill Henderson, has retired. John Buck, the British ambassador in Portugal, no longer works in the country."
 
Furthermore: 
British Consul Celia Edwards, who replaced Bill Henderson upon his retirement, resigned from her post on July 1st 2008, after one year's tenure. 

My questions which I request an answer to via the FOI facility are:
A: Was such a report forwarded to the Foreign Office in early May 2007?
B: If so, who was the British Diplomat who forwarded this report?
C: What was the reply/response from the Foreign Office to this British Diplomat's report about such concerns?
D: Why did the Foreign Office provide such an unusual amount of Diplomatic and Government assistance to the McCann's?
E: Who was the person, or person's, within the Foreign Office who seemingly overruled the British Diplomat's concerns?
 
I hope that clear and unequivocal answers to my questions about these matters can be provided via your FOI facility.
Yours faithfully, 




2. Réponse du Foreign and Commonwealth Office
 03.10.2008

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your request, which we received on the 3rd October 2008. Section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act reads: In the Act any reference to a "request for information" is a reference to such a request which 
(a) is in writing,
(b) states the name of the applicant and an address for correspondance,
and
(c) describes the information requested

Therefore, we will be unable to process your request until we receive your
contact details. 
We can use this e-mail address for further correspondance. However, I
would be grateful if you can confirm your name.
Many Thanks 
Henry Leitch 


3. Réaction du contribuable et électeur britannique concerné
03.10.2008

Dear Mr Leitch, 

With reference to your query regarding my FOI request to the Foreign Office of 3rd Oct 2008, I am forwarding my e-mail and name to you as you request.

Yours sincerely,
Mr M A Dillon.



4. Reply from the FCO
 22.10.2008
S'agissant d'une fuite, le FCO ne peut se prononcer, devant se garder de créer un précédent.








DailyMail, 03 December 2007



The Foreign Office was alerted to fears over Gerry and Kate McCann by a British diplomat in Portugal just days after their daughter Madeleine went missing.
The diplomat was sent to the holiday resort of Praia da Luz in the days following the four-year-old's disappearance and soon became concerned over "inconsistencies" in the testimonies by her parents and their friends.
After visiting the McCanns, the unnamed diplomat sent a report to the Foreign Office in London, admitting his worries about "confused declarations" of the McCanns' movements on the night of May 3.
He also noted the couple's "lack of co-operation" with the Portuguese police.
The diplomat's concerns were made over four months before Gerry and Kate were named arguidos (suspects) on September 7.
Contents of the letter were leaked to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure over the weekend. The diplomat expressed his fears after receiving instruction from the Foreign Office to provide "all possible assistance to the McCann couple".



The French-language paper printed excerpts of the letter, quoting the diplomat as saying: "With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple.
"Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous ­message."
Although the Government was quick to assist the McCanns in the days following Madeleine's disappearance, direct contact with the couple ceased when they were named as suspects.
La Dernière Heure pointed out that a majority of the diplomats originally involved in the case have now been taken off it.


The then-Prime Minister Tony Blair sent special envoy Sheree Dodd to act as a "media liaison officer" for the pair soon after Madeleine vanished.
Ms Dodd has since resigned from the Foreign Office, while the British consul in the Algarve, Bill Henderson, has retired.
John Buck, the British ambassador in Portugal, no longer works in the country.


UK Diplomat in Portugal had doubts about MCs
Daily Express December 3rd 2007
By Nick Fagge

A British diplomat warned the Foreign Office of concerns regarding Madeleine McCann's parents, it emerged last night.
Doubts about Kate and Gerry McCann were raised almost immediately by an official sent to Praia da Luz due to what he considered to be "inconsistencies" in the couple's testimonies about the night the four-year-old vanished.The warning was contained in a classified document sent from the Algarve to the Foreign Office days after Madeleine's disappearance. Details of the letter have been leaked through the British diplomatic mission in Brussels to the respected Belgian newspaper Deniere Heure.
The unnamed diplomat voices his concern about the "confused declarations" as to the whereabouts of Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends in the final hours before Madeleine's disappearance. He also mentions the couple's "lack of co-operation" with the Portuguese police in the light of instructions from London suggesting consular staff "overstretch their authority and put pressure on the Portuguese authorities". The document also asks for confirmation of orders sent by the Foreign Office in London the day before, commanding embassy staff to give "all possible assistance to the McCann couple".
Diplomats in the Algarve were told the McCanns had to be "accompanied at all times during any contact with the Portuguese police" by a member of consular staff or by British police officers sent out from the UK. The letter, sent just days after Madeleine disappeared, warns of the risks of siding with the McCanns so completely.
Excerpts published in a report by La Derniere Heure quote the diplomat as saying: "With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities if you consider the possible involvement of the couple. Please confirm to me in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous message."
A huge team of diplomats have been involved in the case since Gerry McCann asked the Foreign Office for help. In an unprecedented move, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair despatched special envoy Sheree Dodd a former Fleet Street journalist, to Portugal to act as a "media liaison officer" for the McCann family.
Direct government communications with the McCanns came to an abrupt halt, however, when the couple were made official suspects in the case in September.
Portuguese detectives believe it is possible Madeleine died as a result of an accident on May 3 in the family's holiday apartment and that her parents hid and later disposed of her body with the help of their friends.
The couple have always said they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance. The Belgian report says it is highly significant that almost all of the diplomats involved at the outset have now been taken off the case.
Special envoy Sheree Dodd has since resigned from the Foreign Office, the British consul in the Algarve Bill Henderson has retired and the British ambassador to Portugal John Buck is no longer in Portugal.
Last night the Foreign Office refused to comment on the report.