|Roy Lichtenstein - Finger Pointing, 1973|
How much they hate us – 21.03.2015
Death Sentence Pronounced on the Abduction – 24.03.2015
(...) The initial Operation Grange scheme of total silence ended in spring 2012. Its replacement was a dishonest dogs' dinner of a policy, with the Yard unable to choose between the clear future – updating the public via Twitter and social media – and the eternal temptation of using – in all senses – the MSM. The Yard/crime correspondent fix, which Kelvin McKenzie thought the Portuguese should adopt in 2007, was mocked to death in the parliamentary and Leveson hearings of 2012. It hasn’t been rebuilt, leaving ad hoc arrangements to stagger on. Redwood, having gone for shock and awe with the media like the Panorama and Crimewatch operations destroyed his own squads credibility, apparently single handed. It was the confidential media briefing sessions for crime correspondents that did it and when the Yard attempted to use those briefings to attain semi-political objectives disaster followed. What a clumsy, size thirteen boot failure! The hacks felt the game that the Yeates murder and the inquiries had called time on might be back; trust between the U.K and Portugal ruptured; it stimulated "whitewash" nonsense among the credulous; and the off the record media briefings provided deep cover for people like the odious Clarence Mitchell to join in the leaking. Since the Yard were covertly spreading rumours themselves (Portuguese feet-dragging etc.) nobody knew which rumours were authorised and which weren't. It was a lamentable performance. …but not the reality
Redwood, who may yet turn out to have won the operational, if not the information, battle has gone and for three months now there hasn't been a single instance of the gimmicks that devalued his tenure. The question is, what now lies under the silence blanket? These latest stories demonstrate that the damage may be less than we thought and that off-stage the situation might be better than it seems. What, in particular, does the latest Mail story, written by that Widow Twankey of the case,the always tearful David Jones, tell us? The Widow, older now, stouter and, judging by the factual gaffes – window ajar indeed! – losing mental concentration, is a reliable weathervane. She wept gallons, tot-wise, for the parents in early 2007 but, perhaps because Gerry McCann wouldn't speak to her, after the initial quivering she began covering her arse against "unhelpful" outcomes by using very Mail-ish sneaky asides about the couple from July onwards.
Sunday Post, March 29, Lorraine Kelly, "This utterly heartbreaking case," honk, honk, "...was abducted disappeared on May 4, [sic] 2007...exactly how all the parents of abducted disappeared sons and daughters feel."
Sunday Express, March 22, James Murray, "...time is running out for Scotland Yard to question three Portuguese suspects in connection with the abduction disappearance of Madeleine McCann."
The Telegraph, March 17, Gordon Rayner, "Madeleine McCann Latest", "...hours and days after Madeleine's abduction disappearance...on the day she was abducted vanished...area on the night of the abduction disappearance..."
I think this is unfair to Kate and Gerry. All of them suddenly saying it's a disappearance is like calling them liars and that's not right. After all they were there, weren't they? What would Maddie think? This is so wrong. Justice for_ Maddie (from Norbury)
Trickling into the Sand – 16.04.2015
Il aurait pu dire : la preuve a été apprortée que les parents de MMC ne sont pas impliqués dans sa disparition. La réponse de AR se limite à déclarer qu'aucun des TP9 n'est suspecté. Il ne dit pas pourquoi, mais la réponse s'impose si l'on songe que le cahier des charges réduit la disparition à un enlèvement.
Personne n'a jamais contesté que, quoi qu'il soit arrivé, les MC n'étaient pas des parents qui avaient perdu leur enfant.
Seeing What's In Front of Our Eyes – 21.04.2015
When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'So the dust begins to clear. I've now had a preliminary chance to look at the judgement. "Preliminary" means, among other things, there is still a full-scale examination of the text to come. Well, there isn't such an examination to come and I'll give the reasons why below. First: the implications of the trial and verdict for the investigation. There aren't any. They are irrelevant. And for vindication of the couple and their innocence? The court proceedings recorded by M/S Guedes are, as we can guarantee from personal experience, 95-99% accurate. Those proceedings are notable for the fact that the defendants made no attempt to introduce evidence supporting their innocence, except for a last minute shout at the judge from the witness box by Gerry McCann that the dogs' work wasn't any good. So much for that. And for us? The witness evidence provided a reliable fifth primary source to add to the case files, GM blogs, the Leicester interviews and Madeleine for research into the case. So, next: where do we all go from here? It would be a betrayal to cease supporting GA now. We've all stuck with him this long and neither this trial nor any actions of his own have weakened his claims. There is nothing in the findings that should make any of us, writers or readers, rethink our support; indeed the opposite is the case - in this long judgement not a single one of the horrible and mad personal accusations made in the locked wards and elsewhere about Goncalo's abilities or personal motives has been supported in any way. Witnesses from Alipio Ribeiro downwards refused to say a word against him. There are no attacks on him personally by the judge. Nowhere does the judgement suggest that he acted dishonourably, dishonestly, from wounded pride or from personal dislike of the McCanns, or in any other way that should make us lessen our support for him. Quite the reverse. So I ask anyone who has supported him financially in the past not so much to give more but to try and widen the fund-raising circle in any way that you can so that he can appeal. This weekend I'm going to try and convince my wife (!) to make a payment, not because she supports our cause – she hates the whole McCann affair – but precisely because she doesn't. I will ask her if, even as a non-supporter, she will make a small payment to see the case through. If all of us can add a few people then GA retains a fighting chance.
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.
The book at stake in this process – the Truth of the Lie – which was written by the defendant Dr. Gonçalo Amaral, has the main motivation of defending his personal and professional honour, as the author points out right away in the preface and throughout his text. The contents of the book do not offend any of the applicants' fundamental rights. The exercise of its writing and publication is included in the constitutional rights that are secured to everyone by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Portuguese Republic's Constitution, namely in its articles 37º and 38º. As we arrive at this point, we conclude that the decision that was made by the Court must be revoked, and the analysis of the other issues that are placed under appeal are not justified, as they are considered prejudiced.
In the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights the principle of presumption of innocence imposes a standard of conduct for all agents, employees and magistrates involved in the administration of criminal justice. According to the ECHR the presumption of innocence prohibits the premature expression of opinions or belief in guilt by the courts and in addition bans the claims of any public servants involved in procedures which might lead the public to believe in the culpability of suspects under investigation. In the Karaman process deriving from the German courts it has been held in this context that Article 6 § 2 aims at preventing the undermining of a fair trial by damaging statements made in close connection with proceedings. It not only prohibits the premature expression by the court itself of the opinion that a suspect is guilty but also covers statements made by other public officials about pending criminal investigations which encourage the public to believe the suspect guilty and prejudge an assessment of the facts by the competent judicial authority. The Allen process deriving from the UK emphasizes the importance of the presumption after the acquittal or dismissal of the criminal investigation, explaining that this principle prevents suspects or defendants in such cases being treated as if they were in fact responsible for the criminal offences of which they were accused and stressing that without this second level of protection - the level of full respect for acquittal or archiving - the presumption of innocence is illusory or merely ideal.
This form of conflict resolution between rights reveals the unlawfulness of the conduct of the defendant Goncalo Amaral for the purposes of article 484º of the Civil Code.
C'est une manière de voir, mais il y en a une autre. Jamais au grand jamais, compte tenu du soutien compulsionnel apporté aux MC par les autorités et célébrités britanniques, les MC n'auraient pu être traduits devant une cour de justice portugaise pour le délit de recel de cadavre et d'obstruction à la justice. Le ministère public a énoncé les règles de la reconstitution de telle manière qu'il était facile aux TP9 de se dérober et facile aussi pour le procureur de se laver les mains. Ce qui fut fait. Les règles étaient légitimes, conformes à la législation. Les avocats ont trouvé plus prudent de conseiller l'abstention. Personne n'a pensé que seul le procureur tirerait son épingle du jeu.
La faute n'est pas attribuable à la justice. Ce sont les MC, ou leur avocate, qui ont eu l'idée de geler le patrimoine de GA afin de garantir le paiement des dommages. Le tribunal a jugé la demande légitime, les compensations demandées étant exorbitantes.
Is that based on ECHR judgements of the right to timely access to justice? Of course it isn't! We repeat: they make it up as they go along. Culminating in a judgement arriving over a year after court proceedings were essentially concluded, containing material that nobody outside the case was aware would be considered. What a rotten, corrupt abortion! We'd exclude the appeal court judgement as a shining exception to this dreadful list but what use has it been? What use is it to anyone outside the system if it takes an appeal from GA to bring it back in again in, say, three years time? And then what? A counter appeal? I am not being in the least chauvinistic in suggesting that a "system" like this is simply unrecognizable to anyone who comes, for example, from the UK, where the law is what you use without dread, where people turn to the small claims courts for speedy and unfrightening restitution, finding the process much more predictable and infinitely preferable to dealing with "customer service" departments of corporations or cowboy builders. I tried to get restitution from Dell for a crappy computer for over a year without result a couple of years ago: it took me two hours and fifty quid to sue them and they paid up within a week, including, of course, all costs. In a democratic society the law is ours, not theirs, even if many people don't believe it, and its there, available, to be used by anyone who can read or write. No wonder that a Portuguese friend once told me that, deep down, he didn't believe in Portuguese law, that faced with trouble – and this was a liberal speaking – he instinctively began to think of people who might help "sort things out". And then reached for the phone. Faced with this record in the McCann affair, can you blame him?
Well Now – 27.08.2015
Secret Stuff - 24.10.2016
Pedro Mourinho: Goncalo
Amaral…is with us live. (…)A very good evening to you Dr. Goncalo Amaral.
JB writes: In Cristobell’s admirable blog recently I made a brief reference to GA’s “mistaken” view that the British security services were involved in the first investigation. That drew forth a certain amount of steam behind the ears in response, demanding evidence for my opinion. Well, naturally, I wasn’t going to give anything to an anonymous poster – that’s why we don’t have comments on the Bureau – that might be used to spread discord but, on reflection, I’m willing to enlarge a little on my view. The libel trial is, after all, over now and there is nothing wrong with disagreement. In addition, anything that further convinces the usual suspects that I am working for the McCanns is a Good Thing. A word about my knowledge of the intelligence services. It is the same, roughly, as that of anyone who reads the careful but pretty voluminous information about them published since the war. I have, in addition, had very brief contact with one agent and one officer when I was very young and knew the family of the head of one of our agencies (not the head himself) some decades ago. But nothing written here derives from that. As far as I know the claims, at root, derive from misunderstandings. The first relates to the Wikileaks document. I wrote about it years ago and drew down a storm of criticism and really rather filthy abuse from readers of the Joana Morais blog. Here is an extract from Sic Noticas, Tuesday, 14 December 2010.
GA : They can reveal who was the person that carried the child on that night on its way to the beach. According to an Irish couple's statement, with an alleged 80% certainty, it was Gerald McCann himself. That could be the confirmation of that Irish couple's statement.
PM : And those images exist?
GA : We believe that, yes. In fact, the McCann couple themselves, said, a few months ago, that they also searched for them; that they don't exist, someone else later stated that they don't exist. It's possible that the site that has divulged the cable might also be able to release those images. That would be interesting.
PM : In your opinion, if they exist, why weren't they yet revealed?
GA : *Well, probably because they are a secret of state somewhere... In fact, the whole investigation was a state secret in England. I remind you that there is documentation in that sense, referring that it is a state secret. We do not understand why it is considered as a state secret. In question is the disappearance, and the likely death of a child, and we still fail to understand why that is considered as state secrecy.
The Bewilderment Industry - 09.11.2016
We don't write these days about possible legal action against possible suspects because of the risk of prejudicing any future legal action. In this case, however, we make an exception - since Kate & Gerry McCann appear to be doing so themselves.