Reconstitution de la disparition de MMC
CMTV - 23.11.2013
Andrea Vale : Good evening and welcome to this “Maddie Special”! For the first time in Portugal, has been attempted a reconstitution of the main events leading to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the little girl who disappeared in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on the 3rd of May 2007. A disappearance shrouded in mystery, and beset by various contradictions.
Narrateur : On that Thursday, the McCanns’ decide not go to the beach with the other three couples – their friends. Instead, Gerry and Kate spend their day at the Ocean Club. That day, the couple never leaves the holiday compound but, even so, they do not keep their children with them. Maddie aged three, and the twins Amelie and Sean, aged two, spend their day at the Ocean Club’s crèche. At 9:10 AM, Gerry delivers the children to the crèche.
At exactly 18:13 hours, the men from the group – David Payne, Russell O’Brien and Matthew Oldfield abandon the restaurant and head in the direction of the Ocean Club. The women, Fiona Payne, Jane Tanner and Rachel Oldfield remain sitting on the esplanade. They get up from their chairs at 18:30 hours – about 15 minutes after their husbands who, by then, have already arrived back at the Ocean Club. (4)
At 18:30, David Payne goes to meet Gerry who is (already) playing tennis. He asks him where Kate is. Gerry tells him, Kate is in the apartment with the children. David heads towards the apartment. No one knows for sure how long David stays in the apartment with Kate – his visit is shrouded in mystery. Gerald MC says his friend was in his apartment for about half an hour while he played tennis, but Kate says he was not there for more than 30 seconds. To deepen the mystery further, Fiona Payne attests she accompanied her husband to their friends’ apartment and the couple, both Gerry and Kate, were at home. (5)
One thing seems certain, the (McCanns’) first floor neighbour, Pamela Fenn, saw David Payne, around 19:00 hours, on the McCanns’ balcony. (6) David Payne will later tell the Judiciary Police that he had gone to the apartment “to find out whether Kate needed help with the children” and that he had seen Maddie and the twins there – a moment he had come to remember as “the vision of three immaculate angels.”
The McCanns and their friends assured the police they had a scheme of vigilance for checking on the children). Each one of them, in turn, would get up from the table to check on the children. According to the members of the group, the checking rounds took place every half an hour and sometimes, every fifteen minutes. But the truth is that what the group actually did during that dinner has never been fully clarified. (9) After the authorities were alerted to Maddie’s disappearance, Russell O’Brien provides the police with a schedule of the checking rounds done that evening. He drafted it himself on the back of a cover he tore off from a children’s stickers leaflet. Days later, the police find among Kate’s papers a draft with the hours of the rounds written on it – except, this differed from the one her friend Russell gave to the PJ. (10)
There are lapses in the memory of the McCanns’ friends and contradictory versions of the same alleged events. The police never knew with any degree of certainty the movements of each of them during that dinner. There are only four moments that coincide, the only ones corroborated by witnesses.
At 21:00 hours, two men get up from the table – one is Russell O’Brien; the other Gerry McCann. They set off to the apartments to check on their children. In order to reach the apartment, Gerry has to leave the Ocean Club and walk 20 meters of a dimly lit street to reach the small access gate to his apartment. (11) On the way back to his dinner, Gerry encounters Jeremy Wilkins, a BBC producer whom he had met during this holiday. It is now 21:05 hours. Jeremy is strolling, pushing a pram, trying to lull his baby son into sleep. The two men greet each other and chat for a while. The street is deserted. Jane Tanner, the partner of Russell O’Brien, worries about his absence from the dinner table and gets up. (12) Later, she assures the police that between 21 and 21:05 hours, she saw a stranger carrying a child in his arms at the top of the same narrow street she was walking up and on which, at that very same time, Gerry stood chatting with Jeremy. Nor Gerry or Jeremy saw anyone passing by, nor even for that matter, noticed Jane Tanner’s presence. Around 21:30 hours, Gerry returns to the restaurant’s table. Russell had not yet arrived back. He finally returns close to 22 hours – nearly half an hour after Gerry. (13) Russell explains his older daughter had vomited, that he gave her a bath, changed her clothes and put her back to sleep. At 21:55, as soon as Russell O’Brien arrives at the restaurant’s table, Kate McCann gets up to check on her children. (14)
Five minutes later, around 22 hours, she shouts from the apartment’s balcony facing the restaurant: “They have taken her! They have taken her!”. (15) No one from the group is able to see her. They can only hear her. Then, they all rush towards the (McCanns’) apartment.
Gonçalo Amaral : Good evening! The reconstitution was never made, because we kept waiting for a better opportunity. Everything was happening then. We did think about a reconstitution; it is the normal thing to do under the circumstances but there were so many journalists in Praia da Luz, we decided it was not convenient. All that (media) circus; all that spectacle! It was not practical! As someone then remarked – to go ahead with a reconstitution it would have been necessary to close the air space! (16) So, for this reason we left the reconstitution for a later date but, by then, the couple had left Portugal and did not wish to come back. I mean, their friends – who were not defendants, but mere witnesses – did not wish to come back. They refused – and the couple (perhaps) for convenience, went along with them. (17) Also, the Public Ministry decided the reconstitution was not worth doing (18) but the fact is, it could still have gone ahead just with the couple since they were still defendants at the time. It could have gone ahead! Because if you pay attention (to the video), all we have seen so far, are just moments in time. A reconstitution is built upon of a series of moments. Each person (involved) has to explain what he or she had done or was doing at the time. Simple. I would not need to have all of them together, simultaneously, even (assuming) that would have been convenient. If I had only the couple, I could have done that bit extra . I could have advanced a bit further with the investigation. Also, there was a witness, Jeremy W – a BBC TV producer – who was willing to come to Portugal. (19)
As it happened, on that evening Mr. Wilkins was walking about, pushing a pram with his baby son; trying to lull him into sleep, when he encountered Gerry McCann, leaving his apartment, around 21:30 hours. Therefore, at least these three persons could have come (the MCs and Jeremy W) not to mention an Irish family (Martin Smith) and possibly others. (20) There seems to have been a decision against this – and if I may pick up on the words Dr. Rogério Alves said earlier (see above) – we must not forget that it was convenient to archive the investigation process. The mother of the child went so far as to write in a book that she was very satisfied with the decision to archive the investigation. For her, then, the archiving of the investigation was the correct course of action. So, the reaction of her lawyer we heard about earlier on, was very much the same. It was as if their lawyer was suggesting: “Do not touch the process, let it be and that was the end of it !” The investigation was closed but it is still there! It is still there, and makes it clear a reconstitution was essential to better establish the facts! The Public Ministry made it clear that they the McCanns were the ones who lost with not doing the reconstitution. In its archiving dispatch the Public Prosecutor asserted that avoiding the reconstitution they lost the opportunity to prove their innocence. This is all recorded there, in the process files, and in this respect, correctly so. (21)
AV : Let me now ask you, Francisco Moita Flores – what would have been the importance of doing a reconstitution in the days immediately after the event – and not some time later, as it was then attempted?
Francisco Moita Flores : From a purely technical standpoint, a reconstitution in this case, would have been decisive but, I do not know how the police could have gone about it, bearing in mind the difficulties imposed by the media circus pitched in Praia da Luz. A reconstitution was necessary and would have been decisive because, as we can see from the reconstitution – and it is clear that it carefully follows the witness statements of all those involved – it soon becomes evident the case is full of contradictions. Or, rather, that there are several versions of the truth, or may be there is no truth at all in the middle of all this! The chances are, then, that some of them are not telling the truth. A reconstitution would have had that kind of technical effect – namely to establish the actual facts.
AV : (A reconstitution) is to revive everyone’s memory by returning those concerned to the very heart of events, is it not?
FMF : The technical aim of a reconstitution is to establish the facts. So to give you an example: “So tell me, you said you got up at that time? Did you go out with your wife?” Take that story of Payne staying 30 minutes or 30 seconds (in 5A, the MC flat) – that is a most important point! Here you have a contradiction. A reconstitution is about addressing such details.
AV : In order to facilitate proceedings, we have extracted material that is pertinent to what we are discussing. I will rephrase it again:
Narrateur : So how long did David Payne stay in Kate’s apartment? Gerry, Kate’s husband, says his friend was there for half an hour but Kate says he (DP) did not hang around for more than thirty seconds. Payne seems a rather enigmatic character. He seems to have been in the habit of bathing the daughters of friends he spent holidays with.
AV : We also have this individual’s profile ready to go through in a moment but first (to FMF) what we have here is a great discrepancy, is it not? From thirty seconds to thirty minutes, the difference is brutal!
FMF : It is indeed – and it is very odd too. It is rather strange that in the nucleus of a group of friends, one of them bathes the children of the others – and all that seems entirely natural to them! Worst of all, none of the detectives (past and present) interpellates this state of affairs from an investigative standpoint. Bathing our children is something that lies in a region we might describe as very personal, of a deep affective bond…
AV : We will get there. We have that prepared…
FMF : This is important to us as parents – and by the way, we are all parents here so – surely it would seem bizarre to any of us, to have someone from outside our families come to bath our children for us !
AV : Of course! We will address that in a moment.
FMF : And therefore, a reconstitution was necessary to clarify what such a state of affairs was all about.
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, concerning this serious doubt – that is, the time this person (DP) stayed in the McCann’s apartment – surely, at the time of your investigation, doubts must have been raised about how long this person stayed in the apartment, no?
GA : Those doubts are referred to in an interim report elaborated by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida in September 2007 and are clearly outlined along with some conclusions drawn from them. This is the very same report the parents of this child, and their lawyers, deeply dislike. They argue it is just old stuff, a story that isn't part of, but the story is very important, it was after all this doctor (DP) who, on behalf of his friends, had organized this trip to the Ocean Club as he had organized others for them before. And ten days after the event in May two other doctors, the G, who had spent a holiday together with him and the McCanns did not hesitate to report him to the police. (22)
AV : We also have that story prepared …
GA : I ask myself what is going on in here. I find it all rather enigmatic, particularly since those people were not interviewed despite being listed in the “rogatory letter”. (23) But that person was not questioned because she was not present at the police headquarters when the questioning took place. Rather conveniently, she only arrived (or was made to arrive) after the Portuguese police had already left the premises…
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, we do have that nuance in a clip that will be shown later but, right now, we have here material that is important in terms of the reconstitution we are attempting this evening – a reconstitution of events that has never been tried before and, as you have pointed out, the Portuguese police never did. So, let us give more attention on another moment of the reconstitution. A moment, which exposes the contradictory versions Gerry McCann gives the police about the manner in which he entered his apartment around 9 PM, to check on his children..
(Program reverts to reconstitution mode)
(back in the studio)
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, this detail, must have been important during the investigation – this contradictory version ?
GA : What is important, erm… if we pay attention to these reconstitutions and the statements of those who were suspects plus those of the witnesses, one observes two important things: The first is there seems to have been a preoccupation to suggest the children were safe; that no harm could befall them – for although they were left alone, they were secure since they had been locked inside ! And so, we have the father saying he entered through the front door with the key but in fact the key was left inside – and this information comes from a detective agency employed by the couple (25) Then, there is another aspect to it – if you pay attention, at the end of this reconstitution, you are bound to notice one thing – and you would conclude that this scheme of checking seems to have been designed to benefit only the McCann children! The McCanns never bothered to check on their friends’ children! The story we heard originally, that they got up in turns (from the table), went and checked on all the children, does not ring true, for it is apparent they did not. (26) The couple itself – the mother of the missing child to be precise – seems to have been at the table for nearly two hours, without checking on her daughter. When she finally goes to check on her children again it is apparent she does not seem to have gone there with that sole preoccupation in mind. If you pay attention to her witness statement, what she says is that she went to the apartment, that she was there and suddenly felt a wind, a cool draft – and only then does she goes to inspect the children’s bedroom to see what was going on. The father, on the other hand, says he had gone there first of all to empty his bladder, and afterwards, happened to see the bedroom door at a certain angle, and so on. It is this the kind of detail that leads us to question the veracity of their accounts. Why did they say there was a scheme of checking when it seems evident from their testimonies, there was none? And by the way, all this is written there in that report. They – their lawyer Rogério Alves or whoever else – may insist it is “all story” but it is history as recorded in a process of a proper judicial investigation – a process that has been re-opened as we speak and which should be properly examined. There is no way to eradicate these statements, no way to destroy these documents. From what it is stated there, the father and the mother first preoccupation (as they arrived at the apartment) does not seem to have been to check on their children. (27) One appears to have gone there to empty his bladder, the other said she went there to check on the children, but then it seems she was there doing something else when, suddenly – she says – she felt a gust of wind. Only then does she goes to the bedroom, notices some light seeping through from outside… and her daughter missing. (28)This is there and in the statements she (KMC) has produced along the years – some of which changed and keep changing.
AV : (to FMF) We still have two other specific moments of the reconstitution to go through but – we already have here so many contradictions! Surely, these could have been addressed properly if a reconstitution had been done to sharpen those memories. This was precisely the conversation we were having before I interrupted you. It ought to have been made straight-away! I mean, in the days immediately following the child’s disappearance…
FMF : From the standpoint of forensic procedures, that would certainly have been decisive. In fact, if I may remark, the reconstitution CMTV has just made – and I did see the one made by the “Crimewatch” (BBC1) – it is easy to perceive the difference between them in terms of rigour. It is like day and night! (29)
GA : One has more red wine and the other more empty glasses of …water?
FMF : This one (CMTV) has the wine, the group and its mood, and the location in relation to…
AV : The surrounding environment …
FMF : The surrounding space is important – all this is important. Given some effort, I can try to understand these people, allowing for the fact we are dealing here with individuals from a cultural background different from ours – and I can try to understand these parents leaving their children asleep, out of their sight, rather far from where they were enjoying themselves until midnight – I mean, from 20:30- 21:00 until midnight. But still, it is still very difficult for me to accept such attitude towards children. Particularly if we contrast their attitude with that prevalent in our Latin culture, where the parents have a much more direct daily involvement with the children – it is all very hard for me to comprehend.
AV : I understand this sad state of affairs would have been regarded under Portuguese law as (inaudible, pre-abandonment of children?…
FMF : Have no doubts ! If this case had involved a Portuguese child, our Public Ministry would have immediately set off legal measures which are in place to protect children! Have no doubt, whatsoever, about that! In our culture, this kind of behaviour would have not been tolerated as reasonable – or indeed susceptible of rationalization! I am not even sure (this kind of behaviour) is tolerated by Anglo-Saxon cultural values!
AV : But for this group this was all perfectly normal …
FMF : Now from a purely technical standpoint, from an investigative perspective, a reconstitution of these events is the only way for detectives to serve the Public Ministry, the judges and the investigation itself. Questions needed to be asked – not just to those directly involved in the case but also to certain people not directly involved – I am referring here to that gentlemen who was pushing a pram, lulling his son to sleep.
GA : (interrupting) Ah! But that challenges your ideas about Anglo-Saxon cultural values… He took his son with him to lull him into sleep…
FMF : To lull him to sleep, yes.
GA : During at least half-an hour…
FMF : Also, the staff of the restaurant-bar should have been included (in the reconstitution) – to find out whether those glasses contained wine or water, as the BBC “Crimewatch” tried to suggest, to determine the sequence of them getting up from and returning to the table, to confirm the distances they covered, to…
GA : and to confirm who sat down at the table moments before the mother of the child gives…
AV : Gives the alert!
GA : Gives the alert! Because there are two employees – a man and a woman – who maintain that the person who sat at the table, just before the mother of the child gets up, was Mr. Gerald McCann – the father! There are witnesses for this! (30) There are a number of things that need to be clarified and in my view the (new) investigation should proceed as follows. When a process is re-opened and one starts to read it almost from the end, then one makes the a priori assumption the case is about a kidnapping; and then goes on to assume (the crime) was committed by a an individual who is dead; who died under a tractor. The first diligence that should have been made at the start of this re-investigation, was precisely a reconstitution. The new investigation, should have started at the point where the attempt of reconstitution had failed ! This point was the last act before the investigation process was forcefully archived. Therefore, it is from there it should have started. (to FMF) You know very well this is how it should be done!
FMF : But, Gonçalo, allow me to say this – do you know the drama inherent in this reconstitution? The real drama of this reconstitution is that it provides no answers, it raises questions instead – and a criminal investigation ought to seek answers, not pose more questions!
GA : Ah! But it is still possible to come up with answers…
AV : (The investigation) has revealed several contradictions. We are going to show another of these contradictions. Matthew Oldfield – one of the group who visited the McCanns’ apartment but was not sure if Maddie was there …
(the program goes back to reconstitution mode)
Narrateur : Matthew Oldfield feels uneasy about the delay of Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien. (31) He gets up from the restaurant’s table and goes looking for his friends. He says he entered the McCanns’s apartment and looked inside the bedroom where Maddie slept with her brothers. He is not sure whether the little girl was in the bed but alerts no one. (32)
(back to the studio)
AV : Now we are going to see another of these moments. The mystery this time, involves the father of Maddie. It is not known where GMC was at the moment his daughter was found missing.
(back to the reconstitution)
Narrateur : Where was Gerry McCann at 22:00 hours when his wife Kate cries out that her daughter is missing? Two employees of the restaurant guarantee (stated) that around that time he was not at the dinner table. Could he have been the man, Martin Smith, an Irish tourist, saw carrying a blonde girl in his arms? (33)
(back to the studio)
AV : Gonçalo, this is the last contradiction, as it were, and…
GA : This is a contradiction that goes beyond contradiction! According to a certain family testimony, there was an 80% probability the man they saw was o pai da criança – and this is a already a figure which has a British variable on top. At first, the family was quite sure that the man who was carrying the child in his arms was Gerald MC but, once they were questioned over there – in a rather informal manner it seems then, they lost that certainty and gave the sighting an 80% probability that it was the father and a 60% chance it could have been Madeleine. (34) What I would like to add is "we have repeatedly spoken here about the hour of the sighting of Martins Smith being at 22:00, but we do not know for sure. (35) A reconstitution would have to deal with that. There are only three moments that we know with some certainty, happen at a precise time. One is when the child leaves the crèche or, for that matter, a family member (mother) collects her at 17:30 hrs. The other is the Irish family payment (of their bill) at the Dolphin restaurant. They made that payment with a debit card at 21:27 hours but – you have to bear in mind that after they left the restaurant they went to a bar… (36) And the third, was a phone call made to the GNR (National Republican Guard) at 22:47 hours. Everything else is just chitchat – exactly because the precise times are not known. (37) For example, in the case of Jeremy W it is not known how long his conversation lasted. It is not known how long that Irish family stayed in that bar after leaving the restaurant. They say they left around 22:00, but it is not known if it was at 22:05, 22:10, 22:15 or 22:20 PM. (38)
A while ago we spoke of Pamela Fenn – an elderly lady who lived in the apartment above – and who has since passed away. Now, this lady only hears the commotion in the apartment below at 22:30 hours. She places the moment of the all scene – in which the mother purportedly finds her child missing, not at 22 hours but at 22:30 hours! This person (Pamela Fenn) is no longer with us but her testimony is. (39)
AV : We are now going to show the exact part of the evening when the child disappeared. This excerpt shows the family Smith – an Irish family holidaying in the Algarve. On the evening Maddie disappeared, they crossed paths with a man carrying a blonde child in his arms. Four months later (one of them) Martin Smith was convinced the stranger was Gerald McCan.
(back to the reconstitution)
Narrateur : At 21:50, the Smiths, an Irish family comprising four adults and five children who were holidaying in Praia de Luz, leave the Kelly’s Bar and head to their accommodation in the Estrela da Luz urbanisation – not far from the Ocean Club. A few minutes later, Kate McCann will alert others to her daughter’s disappearance. (40) Meanwhile, not far from Kelly’s Bar, in the Escola Primária Street, the Smith family crosses paths with a man who walks in the opposite direction towards the beach. The time is around 22 hours. Martin Smith, the eldest of the group, describes the man to the police as white, 1,75 or 1,80 meters tall ( 5′ to 5′ 11″) and a normal physical complexion. His hair was brown and cut short. His skin seemed tanned by the sun. He wore plain trousers – colour beige. The man, Smith says, carried in his arms a blonde child. The child was wearing pink pyjamas, her feet were exposed, her arms were hanging down by her body with her head laying on the left shoulder of the man. The child appeared to be around the age of four and about one meter in height (3′ 3″”). Martin Smith was unable to see the face of the suspect because the man turned his face as they cross paths with him.. Back in Ireland, four months later (on the 9th of September 2007) Martin Smith is watching on TV the news of the arrival of the McCanns’ back in England. As GMC comes down the stairs of the plane carrying (his son) Sean in his arms, MS suddenly remembers the shape, gait and countenance of the stranger he crossed paths with in a street of the village of Luz. He seems to have recognized his physique, his way of holding. MS is convinced the man he saw in Escola Primária Street could have been GMC and informs the Polícia Judiciária of his discovery. (41) The PJ wants to hear him (in Portugal) and Smith expresses his readiness to travel. The PJ National Directory authorizes the financing of his passage and accommodation expenses. Everything is arranged for Martin Smith to come to Portugal. But, meanwhile, Gonçalo Amaral is removed from the investigation and substituted by a special team co-ordinated by Paulo Rebelo. The new head responsible for the investigation considers Martin Smith’s planned trip to Algarve as “pointless”. (42) A report written later by the team of Paulo Rebelo states that at the time Martin Smith sees his suspect, GMC may have been sitting at the table of the tapas’ restaurant. The report choice of words is an ambiguous one. It does not say yes; it does not say no. “May have been” does not necessarily imply GMC was or, for that matter, that he was not. It merely states there is no absolute certainty of GMC’s whereabouts on that evening, around 22:00 hours.
(program reverts to studio mode and the conversation resumes)
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, what happened to this Irish family?
GA : As far as I know, this Irish family continues over there in Ireland. Immediately afterwards, they were the target of several contact attempts – by private detectives contracted by the couple, by some other people, you know, by journalists and the like. They have since remitted themselves to silence. They have not spoken to anyone since. Recently, news have surfaced about some kind of detectives, hired by the couple who, claim to have spoken with the Smiths and made e-fit pictures of the man seen by the Smiths – but given the kind of shadowy detail provided by the Smiths, it would have been impossible to make an e-fit of anyone.
AV : But why have they remitted themselves to silence whereas before they were willing to talk to the extent they were ready to travel and arrangements had been made ?
GA : They were available to talk to the police but, where journalists are concerned, in terms of communications with the media, in that respect, they have kept things to themselves. However, as far as I know, they are available to co-operate with the police.
AV : And why did they not come over then when everything was arranged?
GA : They did not because of a coincidence, if you like. I left Portimão (GA was removed from the investigation) on the 2nd of October 2007, which was around the time those arrangements were made. Then the arrangements were cancelled, as it were. Then, there was a short hiatus during which my colleague was appointed. When he arrived, he has his own vision, his own reading of events so, instead he simply asked for the co-operation of the Irish police and, afterwards reached the conclusion it was not necessary for Martin Smith to come to Portugal, but I beg to differ …
AV : I have always believed that this question was…
GA : I have always believed it would have been important for him (MS) to come to Portugal. It was not just about him coming over to confirm when they paid their bill (at Dolphin’s). It was necessary to clarify the time-frames of other related events. Let me explain … I have already told you that time is correct. That, is well-documented in the kind of record no one can argue with – that it was more or less a minute, say. These are…
AV : Informatic records !
GA : Now this 21:27 record, refers to the exact time they paid their bill. It does not mean they left the restaurant at 21:27 sharp! It is only evidence that they paid their bill at 21:27 hours. Then, sometime later, the family leaves the restaurant and heads to a nearby bar – the Bar Kelly, located about 20 meters from the restaurant. Here they had a few more drinks but we do not have a record (of expenses) (43) nor do we know how many drinks they had and how long they stayed there. They say, they may have left around 22 hours, but again, this is not for sure. The eldest, Martin Smith himself, says his son had to travel the following day and, for that reason, it is unlikely they had hanged in there much longer than that… So, it would have been important to have them in order to try to understand how long they may have stayed in the bar. (44) In addition, it would have been important to have an idea of how long a person leaving the (Ocean Club) apartments would take to cross paths with the Smiths … We would need to hear him (MS) in more detail in order not to end up with a testimony of hearsay – the kind that is now in the process. What we now have on file is a statement of what Martin Smith to the Gardai and not us, the Portuguese police!
AV : Very quickly, just before we go for a break. We also have here the question of the statements as to the times at which GMC was present at the restaurant’s table. (45)
GA : That is not a certainty! What is in the process states, more or less, that the Smiths’ trip to Portugal was “useless” and that such a decision was justified vis a vis the Smiths’ testimony because the father of the child may have been (at the time) sitting in the restaurant – even if there is no certainty that he was! So, if there was no certainty, then Paulo Rebelo felt free to assume that the information about the Smith’s sighting “lacked significance”. But of course, this assumption was based on second-hand information received from Ireland … Martin Smith was only 80% certain. Furthermore Smith reached this conclusion from TV images, from his gait and countenance, from his manner of holding the child, and so on – all of which (in Paulo Rebelo’s opinion) did not constitute any proof per se. It may be true to say it did not constitute proof per se but, nonetheless, what we have here is an encounter that demands to be investigated. We cannot just go after proofs; we need to understand the hows, the whys and the wheres of events as well. If the Smith encounter took place and for all we know it did, then if the man was not Mr. Gerald McCann, then who was he?
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, Francisco Moita Flores, we are going now for a short pause....
...We are now resuming this “Maddie Special” and (as we do) we return to one of the (many) questions posed by this disappearance and its investigation. A British tourist who was near Praia da Luz when the child disappeared, happened to work in England for the Child Protection Services. This woman seemed to have recognized David Payne as a man who appeared in some report in connection with inappropriate behaviour towards children.
Narrateur : The day following Maddie’s disappearance, a British tourist in Algarve switches on her TV on an English channel. The news, in direct from the Ocean Club, travel around the world. The woman is moved by the suffering of the couple and decides to try and help these shattered parents. The woman who rushes to the village of Luz is Yvonne Martin . She is not an ordinary tourist. She works in England for the Child Protection Services. She is conscious of her duty to give all assistance she can to this couple, who are living through the pain of their child’s disappearance, she is not welcome by the McCanns… The English social worker tries to find out if the parents need help. She wishes to know the circumstances in which the children were left alone, and expresses interest in knowing details of their scheme of checking but Kate and Gerry response thwarts her initiative. Kate seemed much tenser than the others. Yvonne tries to talk to her alone, but Kate, brusquely, puts a stop to their conversation. Desolated, Yvonne Martin abandons the Ocean Club. (46) During the brief minutes she was with the McCanns’, she fixed the face of a man who was always around them. This man was not introduced to her. They simply told her he was a close friend of the family but, Yvonne knew that face. She had seen that friend of the McCann’s before. Then, she seemed to remember the name and where she knew him from. It transpired later, David Payne had been reported in England as suspect of inappropriate behaviour towards children! (47) The case that involved David Payne, occurred during holidays in the island of Mallorca in September 2005. Towards the end of that Summer, the McCanns’ went on a holiday with some friends – three other couples; among them David and Fionna Payne. The group rented a spacious villa. Once at the dinner table, Katherina Gaspar, also a medical doctor, overhears a comment DP makes to GMC. Obviously referring to Maddie, David asks Gerry if she “would do this” – sucking one finger and sliding it in and out of his mouth. While demonstrating this with one hand, he makes circles in the region of his nipples with the fingers the other hand … On another occasion, the same witness, saw DP repeat the same gestures as he spoke about his own daughter. Until the end of their holidays in Mallorca, this doctor and her husband never again allowed DP to come close to their one and half year old daughter. After Maddie’s disappearance the couple reported the suspect behaviour of DP to the English police but, the English authorities did not disclose this to the PJ until much later.
(program returns to the studio and conversation resumes)
AV : So, these allegations which were reported to the police in England, were never taken into account in the investigation …
GA : Hmm, this is very interesting. No and I will explain…
AV : (interrupting) This was never investigated !?
GA : I am going to elaborate on it if I may, for your benefit, and for those who are watching the programme. From May 2007 onwards, we became aware of information from our British colleagues about something very odd that had happened within that group during a holiday. They never told us specifically what. It has something to do with Madeleine but they never gave us any details. Some time later – and by then I had already been removed from the investigation and reassigned to Faro – and for no specific reason, except it reminded me of the “we can’t tell you" attitude of the British, a fax from the UK police arrived in Portimão ostensibly about some other matter – and this, by the way, is all in the process; this is all clearly stated in the investigation process files – and, attached to this fax were the statements of the G – which had been made to the British Police ! These statements were not referred to in the main communication. The Gaspars’ statements entered the process by the grace of a (British) colleague who was probably fed-up of hiding what he had been told to conceal… And it is very strange not to see anyone on behalf of the family – I mean the family of the missing child – showing any concern, any interest in these allegations ! And I don’t see anyone from Scotland Yard preoccupied in clarifying these, either! Recently, they were talking about paedophile networks in Albufeira and I ask: What if there was a paedophile in the very middle of this group ? I do not know if the Gaspars’ denunciation is relevant! I have no idea if the gentleman in question is a paedophile or not , but if we ask if his behaviour was very odd, we have to admit it was! Now concerning the British senior social assistant YM, what she said was that the person she saw in Praia da Luz had already passed through her hands either as a witness or a suspect. She recognized him afterwards from a photo. In spite of this, when the British police was questioned by the PJ about David Payne, they replied that this gentleman had no records. The fact is, this gentleman was the one who organized the group’s trip, it was he who, for years, had been bathing the children, the little girls of the other couples and – as is contained in the investigation files – had gone to the McCanns’ apartment that afternoon, to see if Kate needed help with the children. Furthermore, it was he who that afternoon, gave bath to his own daughters, while his wife went for a jog on the beach… He is the one who, over the years, had the preoccupation about bathing the children of the other couples… I do not know if this is normal, if it is part of British culture or not, but I do not think it is. The gestures he made in Mallorca were very serious, particularly since these gestures related to Madeleine! The gestures – according to the report of Katherina G , who is herself a medical doctor… if in this case we have to show reverence to the couple and their friends because they are doctors, then we should remember she is a medical doctor as well – and her husband too! The gestures were aimed at Madeleine, and Katherina G was shocked when she witnessed them – it was not just the gestures, but the very question he (DP) poses to the father (GMC) right in his presence! This evidence has never been denied by anyone, anywhere – not least by any of those concerned. It is as if it never happened and then, (much later), it arrives in the process in the manner in which it did… And these statements do not even arrive in time to be included in the rogatory letters which were drafted around October/November (2007)! Nor were they later included into the amended round of rogatory letters the PJ tried to carried out in England.
In my opinion, the G are a couple that should have been heard in the investigation – particularly since this was something about which they promptly contacted the police in England – exactly when they see that person (DP) on TV, ten days after the event. When Katherina G sees him (DP) on TV, she realizes who this person was – and she felt very strongly, that she simply had to report him to the police – but all this information was withheld from the Portuguese police… (48)
AV : (to FMF) A suspicion of this type, with such characteristics and, moreover, witnessed by members of their own profession should have been investigated, surely!
FMF : Of course it should! In fact everything that has resurfaced in this reconstitution is of such gravity, that I think the only thing for the PJ and the Public Prosecutor to do, would be to request this footage from CMTV – and while they are at it, examine the reconstitution done by the BBC “Crimewatch” as well – and, then, try to explain, how so many questions like these were left unanswered! Questions of such gravity! Questions that could involve paedophilia, sexual abuses… (49) But going back to that Irish gentleman’s sighting … it could have been possible for us to know, by the manner of description, if that child was dead or alive.
AV :(interrupting) Particularly since such possibility was available – certainly the Smiths were very willing…
FMF : From the position of her hanging arms; her hanging legs and other indicators, it might have been possible to find out if that child was dead or alive; whether we were dealing here with a kidnapping or a homicide… (50)
GA : (interrupting) And remember! In this instance we have more than one witness! We have a whole family! And (inaudible)
AV : Forgive me to interrupt! I am going to follow on what you have just said, and invite our viewers to review the reconstitution – or, for those who are only watching us now, to view it for the first time. This was the first time a reconstitution of the case Maddie was done in Portugal. The little girl who disappeared in Praia da Luz on the 3 of May of 2007. A disappearance shrouded in mystery and beset by various contradictions.
Follows a repetition of the reconstitution footage (translated above).
AV : One of the mysteries that shrouds this case, concerns the car the family rented after the disappearance of their child. Searches were made on this vehicle and odour of cadaver was found in it.
Narrateur : On the 27th May – 24 days after the disappearance of Maddie, the McCann’s rented a grey, Renault Scenic. The rental contract authorized another person besides Gerry, to drive the car. This person was Michael Wright, a cousin of Kate who in the meantime arrives from England… It is in this car that in September (2007), dogs from the British police encountered cadaver’s odour and traces of dried blood. The Scenic is delivered to GMC on the 27 May with 3114 kilometers on it. Seven days later it had already done 744 kilometers. The rental contract is renewed for another month. Between the 27th of May and the 3rd of July, in just over a month, the Renault had been driven 2750 kilometres. The car seems to have been driven most of the time by Michael Wright, Kate McCann cousin’s husband. For most of this period the McCanns were away from the Algarve. They travelled “half the world” and when they had to reach the airports of Faro or Lisbon they hired taxis. The cadaver odour detected in the car contributed to the suspicion that the corpse of Maddie had been transported in that Renault.
AV :: Right up to this very day, nothing has been known about what Kate and Gerry McCann said in private about their daughter’s disappearance. In spite of suspicious traces having been found in their clothes and the car hired by the couple, the phone-tapping and electronic surveillance of the parents were never authorized (by the judge).
(short revert to reconstitution mode)
Narrateur : At no stage during the investigation did the police place the McCanns and their friends under surveillance – nor did they exercise any effective control of their actions. The McCanns and their friends were always able to use their phones in complete privacy and they free to move around where they wished. Gonçalo Amaral recognizes that the absence of surveillance was an error. Only at the beginning of August (2007) when the English police dogs detected the odour of a corpse in apartment 5A – for example in a pair of trousers and a blouse belonging to KMC, a pink soft toy (belonging to Madeleine) as well as their (rented) car – did the investigators realize they had committed a serious error by not monitoring the McCanns’ and their friends. But, by then, it was too late. Only then (after the dogs' alerts) did the PJ request the Public Ministry permission to bug the villa rented by the McCanns. It would have been useful to the investigation to hear what the McCanns had to say to each other about the mysterious disappearance of her daughter. The Public Ministry agrees with the surveillance, but the procedure needs to be authorized by the Judge in charge of the preliminary enquiries. This request is made during the Portuguese judicial break and the judge on duty refuses to grant the request of the Public Ministry. The surveillance is not authorized… And, with such decision, that possibility sunk, the possibility of the PJ knowing exactly what Gerry and Kate said (to each other) about the disappearance of their child when well away from the microphones and TV cameras.
(back to the studio)
AV : We are back to our conversation in the studio with Gonçalo Amaral and Francisco Moita Flores. (to FMF) Concerning the tapping and surveillance during those initial, critical hours – surely this must have been a crucial error of the investigation!
FMF : It was a crass error! This would have been decisive! Gonçalo Amaral forgive me, but I cannot forsake my opinion! This should have been done in the hours immediately following the event! This is standard procedure – it is (the investigation protocol) in the history of homicides and kidnappings of children all over the world! The principal suspects are always the persons who are close to the children! Irrespective of whether it is their parents, their friends, uncles, cousins! It doesn’t matter! It is always the people who are close to the child. This must be the basic initial hypothesis, the a priori starting point for crimes of this nature – not just for this concrete case, but for all of them! This was a decision that should have been taken immediately! That’s besides taking witness statements for all of them, members of the staff, people who had access to the apartment and so on, all these people should have been placed under telephone tapping !
And in retrospect, knowing as we do today of what goes on the backstage, what about that man (Clarence Mitchell, the spin doctor) who promptly arrived from England? Their PR agent sent by the government to assist the couple, to closely monitor the news agenda, to monitor what newspapers knew, what TV stations were doing! This kind of person's phone should have been placed under immediate surveillance! For now we know, well I knew it from away back, when I was invited to work on a TV station, to comment directly from the Algarve. There the views of the couple, their family and friends were organized, pre-selected according to some kind of strategy or schedule by this media monitor who dealt with the McCanns’ public appearances. As we can see from this reconstitution, there seems to exist a mystery within a mystery – a mystery which for years has unsettled analysts world-wide and certainly disturbs me personally, for I believe the solution of this case ought to pass through the kind of analysis we have been carrying out here, tonight. And I believe the reconstitution on the one hand, and the surveillance and tappings on the other, would have given a decisive contribution and brought this soap opera to an end. A serial drama that has since spread throughout the world – with more or less shambolic claims of kidnappers found here, there and everywhere – and always, stupidly it seems, of kidnappers who have died! No one has yet found a kidnapper who is alive! They are all dead! And this most recent one is also dead! Not one of them seems to be alive! And so, apparently, what we have now is a stage setting of events to prevent the addressing of those questions which, would have been critically important from the standpoint of a genuine, no holds barred, criminal investigation. The mitigation resulted in an even greater spectacle which, in turn, has come to legitimize certain unreasonable courses of action! In my opinion, this reconstitution should be kept as a reference, as a source of elements, of questions which are crying out to be heard!
AV : Before we return to the subject of surveillance and phone-tappings which is just as important – I am going to place one more question, Francisco… Since we have been talking here about images it would have been important to collect, to gather up all the footage from CCTV cameras up to a certain radius, a certain distance, from the crime scene ?
FMF : On the subject of images – the data which I think would be of paramount importance is the one that relates to that Irish family’s sighting. The point at issue here – the crucial problem Gonçalo brought is the question of time-frames. Those, would be decisive! From the point of view of an objective search for the truth, all these elements cannot be rationalized in terms of rhetorical, legal exploits or indeed TV studio discussions – which are also rhetoric. What we have been doing here is not an investigation. We were just discussing a case, right?
AV : But at the very least there are contradictions – that is a fact!
FMF : From the point of view of the Police and the Public Ministry, all the questions that have been raised here form, in my opinion, a serious and important document! This programme tonight, is in fact a document which, by its objectivity, compels to a through re-reading of the investigation material. That much is evident! (51) This is based on the very witness statements, written and signed by those who were involved. This is a document that attempts to deal with all the missing time-frames, in order to effectively arrive to what really happened.
AV : (to GA) Essentially, what we have been doing here tonight is also an exercise in memory, a reconstitution as it were and the question of the wire-tappings and surveillance – why were these not authorized? Bearing in mind, as Francisco was saying, they would have been crucial in this investigation?
GA : Diplomacy overruled the freedom of the investigators. Diplomacy or the British political power. I was introduced to the ambassador (John Buck) who, just about 24 hours after the event, was already on the ground, meeting with the investigation team, using diplomacy to draw our attention to the fact it would be a kidnapping. (52) and following this the Judiciary Police issued a communiqué along the same lines. From then on, the question of phone tapping of the couple could not be authorized – bearing in mind the focus had been diverted to the kidnapping hypothesis! May be the idea of that communiqué was simply to try and ease the pressure on the couple, the burden of the media on them, but they evolved exactly in the opposite direction. We believed a time would arrive when it would have been possible to carry out various diligences but that particular undertaking was never put into effect.
AV : But for an investigation with such contours, certainly it would have been a much more sensible approach …
GA : That is easy to say with hindsight. That we should have done this or done that, it is logical we should have but, you know…
AV : Of course.
GA : You see, there were a number of situations that conditionned us. Besides all that we known today about the investigation, there were a number of elements, a host of restrictions that limited our work, constrained our decision-making – and that is what happened. And what happened, was the imposition of restrictions by the legal and political superstructure which continue to this day. Now, concerning the CCTV images… all those images in the area were collected with the exception of one, that was missed. Someone who was in charge of the task of finding those cameras, fell short. We checked ATM cash machines, pharmacies which had a system of video-vigilance in place, petrol stations, and so on. We kept widening the perimeter (of the search). Unfortunately, there was one camera, as we later found out, that was not detected. When we realized there was a camera in that place and tried to get those images, it was a bit late.
AV : The (footage) was no longer available…
GA : You know, walking the streets, with your head up, looking for surveillance cameras, seems like an easy task but, it is easy and yet not so easy. In this instance, the camera was not detected. The officer who was given that task found several cameras, but missed that one – one that was perhaps right there in front of his eyes but… there you are.
AV : Gonçalo Amaral, I thank you for your presence in this Maddie Special and Francisco Moita Flores as well. Thank you for both coming here to our studio.
(26) C'est le scénario de cette reconstifiction qui est fautif, le groupe n'a jamais dit qu'un parent à tour de rôle allait faire une ronde générale.
(27) On ne peut pas dire ça, mais ce qui semble certain est que le silence était pour eux le garant que tout allait bien, autrement dit qu'ils ne se méfiaient pas de l'eau qui dort.
(28) Non, Kate MC tout simplement, n'entendant rien, s'apprête à repartir. Elle n'avait donc pas l'intention de voir les enfants, mais seulement de s'assurer qu'ils dormaient. Elle n'a jamais parlé de lumière ayant éveillé son attention. Dans sa première narration, tout est ouvert et elle comprend immédiatement que Madeleine a été enlevée. Dans les narrations suivantes, le vent fait claquer la porte des enfants, elle va la rouvrir mais se dit que tant qu'à faire elle va regarder les enfants et finit par s'apercevoir que Madeleine n'est pas dans son lit.
(29) Non, toutes les deux pêchent, la portugaise par erreurs et la britannique par omissions.
(30) Encore une de ces erreurs qui parfois produisent des rumeurs. Selon le serveur Ricardo O, Russell O'B est revenu à table à 21h45 et a demandé qu'on lui amène son beefsteak. Kate MC est partie faire sa ronde quelques minutes après et, quand elle est revenue en criant que Madeleine avait été prise, ROB avait seulement eu le temps de manger trois ou quatre bouchées.
(31) Nième erreur qui jette moins un voile de suspicion sur tout le documentaire qu'un doute quant à la connaissance du dossier qu'a Gonçalo Amaral. Matthew O et Russell OB se lèvent de table vers 21h25 pour aller faire leur ronde. C'est un peu tôt pour Russell, mais peut-être est-il en train de parler avec son ami Matthew. Ce qui suit est loin d'être clair. Les MC disent que MO a proposé d'étendre sa ronde aux enfants MC, Matthew dit que Russell et lui ont proposé et Russell ne s'en souvient pas.
(32) Cette phrase ambiguë ne rend pas compte de la situation. Matthew n'est pas entré dans la chambre, il a regardé et écouté de loin car la porte des enfants était ouverte. Madeleine n'était pas dans son champ de vision mais, comme il n'y avait aucun bruit, il a pensé que tout le monde dormait.
(33) Non, aucun employé n'a déclaré spécifiquement que Gerald MC n'était pas à table (cf. le rapport de police de juin 2008), le procureur (rapport de classement de juillet 2008) a seulement observé une différence entre dire que quelqu'un n'est pas là et ne pas protester quand une tierce personne dit que ce quelqu'un était là (At this time, au moment où Martin Smith croise Smithman, Gerald’s presence at the restaurant was confirmed by his friends and has not been denied by restaurant employees). Ici comme ailleurs les indications horaires sont floues, mais il serait déraisonnable de penser que les compagnons de voyage ait menti sur la présence de Gerald MC.
(34) Aucun témoignage des Smith en général et de Martin S en particulier ne dit une chose pareille. Tous les S s'accordent à dire que l'enfant était très pareille à ce qu'ils ont vu de Madeleine grâce aux photos, mais seuls Martin et sa femme Mary ont eu l'impression que le porteur pourrait être Gerald MC. Martin a dit que sa certitude était de 60-80%.
(35) GA a raison, les heures sont extrêmement floues, il est dommage que cette question n'ait pas été examinée rapidement de plus près. On observe, dans les témoignages, une nette tendance à repousser l'heure de l'alerte, pourquoi ?
(36) La facture du bar est dans le dossier, demandée par Paulo Rebelo.
(37) L'ironie ici est que GA n'est pas capable d'indiquer correctement à quelle heure a eu lieu le premier appel (de l'OC) à la GNR : 22:41.
(38) Aoife S, la plus précise des S, a dit que la famille avait quitté le bar à 22h.
(39) Où l'on verra que PF s'est contenté de dire qu'elle avait entendu des cris à 22h30, après avoir éteint son poste TV où elle regardait le journal du soir.
(40) À quelle heure ? Selon Martin S, 22h, puis 21h55, selon Aoife quelques minutes après 22h, heure à laquelle ils s'en vont du bar. Kate MC, selon certains, part faire sa ronde vers 21h50, selon GMC après 22h.
(41) MS est entré en contact avec les Gardai qui ont alerté le LC, qui a alerté la PJ.
(42) Il n'y a pas trace d'une telle justification dans les PJFiles, mais le fait est que MS ne fut pas ré-interrogé par la PJ et, plus troublant, il figurait parmi les témoins dans la lettre rogatoire envoyée au Home Office... comme s'il n'était pas un citoyen Irlandais. Une drôle de bévue qui aurait pu être corrigée, mais ne le fut pas. Troublant.
(43) Il est étrange que GA ne sache pas que la facture du Kelly's est dans le dossier, à la demande de Paulo Rebelo.
(44) Qu'est-ce qu'attendait GA pour le faire, le 26 mai, quand il fit revenir Martin, Peter et Aoife ? Faut-il inférer qu'il ne les avait fait revenir que dans l'espoirt qu'ils incrimient le suspect idéal du moment, Robert M ?
(45) C'est peine perdue que d'essayer de prouver que Gerald MC n'était pas à table lorsque Kate a lancé l'alerte. Il y était bien sûr. Mais lancer l'alerte à propos d'une disparition ne signifie pas que la disparition a eu lieu.. Ou tout du moins a déjà eu lieu.
(46) Yvonne Martin aurait pu/dû proposer ses services au consulat. Personne ne l'ayant mandatée, elle était en villégiature, elle n'avait pas à tenter de s'immiscer. Sans la moindre délicatesse, le moindre égard pour la réputation de DP, elle a fait part de ses soupçons sur quelqu'un qui lui a paru familier (qui venait surtout de la prier de cesser d'importuner ses amis). YM envoya ensuite une lettre anonyme à la PJ. Force est de penser qu'elle voulait, elle aussi, ses 15 minutes de gloire à n'importe quel prix.
(48) GA semble insinuer une sorte de complot. DP serait un grand méchant que les autorités britanniques, pour des raisons inconnues, protégeraient, l'hypothèse que le LC ait négligé d'enquêter sur la dénonciation des G n'étant pas plausible. Il faut savoir que la principale "accusatrice" de DP est Katherina G, son époux ne la suivant que mollement et, semble-t-il, uniquement par solidarité. Il faut savoir aussi que KG s'est gardée de réagir immédiatement pour dissiper les doutes qu'elle semble avoir préféré laisser fermenter. "De quoi parlez-vous au juste ?" aurait sans doute suffi pour établir qu'il ne s'agissait que d'une plaisanterie d'un goût douteux par des carabins sur le tard. Si les intéressés n'ont pas réagi, c'est probablement pour éviter de jeter de l'huile sur le feu. Du reste les G se sont cachés, aucune trace d'eux sur la Toile.
(49) Le manque total de rigueur de cette "reconstitution" la rend impropre à servir de fondement à tout examen sinon des motifs, s'ils existent, d'un tel laxisme concernant les faits.
(50) Le point soulevé par FMF est important et une reconstitution avec un manequin aurait peut-être aidé MS et sa femme à comprendre ce que le premier avait trouvé bizarre dans la manière de porter l'enfant, une manière qu'il avait qualifié de "maladroite".
(51) FMF n'a manifestement pas conscience du fait que ladite reconstitution pèche par un nombre par trop excessif d'inexactitudes, dans le meilleur des cas, et d'éléments totalement faux. Il a manifestement été trompé par l'absence de critiques de la part de GA qui, malheureusement, connaît mal le dossier et semble ne pas en avoir conscience.
Oui, l'essentielle question du temps, de la ligne du temps, a été singulièrement négligée.
(52) Le ballet diplomatique a été particulièrement impressionnant. Il est curieux que l'ambassadeur John Buck et le consul Bill Henderson, tous deux en poste depuis environ un an, aient tous deux quitté ce poste pratiquement en même temps, le deuxième un peu avant la constitution des MC en arguidos et le premier deux jours après. Chronologie intéressante ici.