Rapport commandité par The Sun - 02.07.2012
Les parties de la version originale qui ont été supprimées dans la seconde version sont en vert.
Les parties nouvelles de la seconde version sont en jaune.
Quand des mots ont été remplacés par d'autres, dans une phrase, ceux de la version originale sont
On pourra ainsi évaluer d'un coup d'oeil et d'un point de vue strictement quantitatif, les suppressions par rapport aux ajouts, et apprécier les changements mineurs, mais fondamentaux de la seconde version, formulation absconse s'il en est, à la lumière de l'information potentiellement 'nouvelle', autre formulation sibylline.
Qu'on en juge !
What happened to Madeleine McCann? I obviously do not know for certain; the following may be speculation but contains inferences developed from the known facts, information available to myself, and from over 30 years experience as a police officer. The harsh reality is that only one, or in my view possibly two people know what happened on that night.
I am sure many will not agree with me, the following is simply my view and should be read as such.
I will say from the start that after looking at the information available to me, I am of the view that there is a chance that Madeleine is still alive. I will explain how I have come to this conclusion.
There are many reasons for saying this. Firstly and most importantly, it is statistically unlikely, the main reason being that there is no family history that would point in any way to this. I do not believe that anyone with any sense believes that they killed Madeleine deliberately, so this leaves a tragic accident. Even if such an accident had happened, is it feasible that they would not immediately seek assistance and call for an ambulance?
Are we saying that they coldly decided that Madeleine was dead and then put together an elaborate plan to dispose dispose of her body? Did Gerry McCann simply walk down the road with a bag containing his daughter’s body and dispose of it, and then calmly go out for dinner. This is ridiculous in the extreme. Also, have they then maintained this pretence for so long, the simple answer is no. And as for it being a conspiracy between themselves and any or all of their group of friends, this stretches credibility beyond belief.
Although it has been said by some that the apartment the family were in made it easier for the perpetrators to carry out this offence, this is in my opinion relatively academic. Unless the family were in a totally secure apartment, the abductor’s plan would simply be amended accordingly. The reality is that the only way to prevent such things happening is to keep our children within sight 24 hours a day. This is simply not a realistic option for anyone.
Others have said that the apartment is the last one that a perpetrator would choose. I disagree. I believe it provides possibly the simplest means of escape, as well as being relatively shielded from view. This on the other hand could not be predicted as many others provide the same The reason this abduction has taken place is not about the location of the apartment, it is about where this specific child was when she was abducted.
The routine of Mr and Mrs McCann and their friends, along with the regular checking of the children would have been easily observed, as well as the fact that access via the patio door was simple.
On the night itself Gerry McCann
Mr and Mrs McCann and the rest of their party would have been relaxed and having dinner. To leave it much later than this increases the chances of them coming back to the apartment earlier than had previously been the case. It is also likely that those responsible would have known that it was probable that Madeleine would be in a deep sleep by this time, and that her parents were in the middle of their evening.
However, we are now told that the person who Jane Tanner saw has since come forward and been eliminated. I appreciate that I strongly believed that this was Madeleine, but I have to accept that if the police are 100% happy with this, then this person can be ruled out. I am however, still of the belief that there is a good chance that this may have been the route possibly taken by the abductor.
Why else would the child be wearing pyjamas? If the person was taking a child back to their home or apartment, then she would not have been in pyjamas. Also the description of how the child was being held possibly indicates that the person carrying her may be unused to carrying a child of this age. I also think that if she was being carried by a paedophile or someone intent on doing her harm he would be carrying her differently with her face pointing inward with either a hand over her mouth or close to it, to prevent the possibility of her making any noise. Someone who believes they care for her would not do this.
After looking at all the information available to me, this I believe provides the most plausible explanation as to how Madeleine was abducted.
Although it cannot be under estimated the amount of planning that a paedophile without a conscience is prepared to go, I believe in this case that the choice of Madeleine and her place of abduction underlines the fact that this was not a planned or even random paedophile attack.
There are other reasons, the fact that whether one or two people were involved, that they have not shared this information with someone and who due to the very large reward on offer would be likely to report it. Also if two or more people, this is a good bargaining chip for any future arrest. This has not happened.
I am also of the view that whoever took Madeleine will speak English, albeit not essentially fluently, and not necessarily as a first language.
Now to one of the most significant questions. Were those responsible local to the area, or visitors, whether from elsewhere in Portugal or further afield. Again no one knows. The reality is that they could be either.
Whether they were local to the area or a visitor I am of the view that Madeleine was seen early in the week, and from then the plan was developed to abduct her. If local, th they could have initially stayed in the area, and if from further afield, would have left on Thursday, and possibly even vacated their accommodation before this.
The scene should have been sealed as soon as first officer arrived. This would have potentially preserved evidence that may have been left behind and enabled a more reliable forensic examination of the apartment. However, talk of road blocks and the border being closed is totally unrealistic. This would not have happened in the UK. Regardless as to whether this was done or not, there are many places to cross the border therefore this would be largely impractical and ineffective.
Regardless of whether the e-fit is of the suspect, it is clear that the UK police review is the correct course of action, in spite of what some people may think. This is being conducted by experienced investigators, and hopefully any suggestions or guidance they make will be acted upon, and that where feasible they will continue to be allowed to become more involved in the investigative process.
One of the main problems as I see it was that quite early on in the investigation, as well as looking at the offence as possibly being committed by a paedophile; the police clearly suspected that Mr and Mrs McCann were in some way involved. This was obviously an initial valid and correct line of enquiry, however, even though there was absolutely no evidence to support this, it clearly became of significance and the focus of much of their time and resources.
This was undoubtedly reinforced by the comments made by a member of the British Police team, who regardless of the fact that there was absolutely nothing to point to either Mr or Mrs McCann being involved, still stated that their involvement ‘deserves as much attention as the criminal and sexual motivations that has been previously prioritised’. This in my view misguided analysis also disregards the sighting by Jane Tanner.
Madeleine’s photograph should also have been released to the media immediately.
Jane Tanner should have been interviewed more thoroughly and far earlier and any description she gave of the man carrying the child should have been put out immediately.
There should also have been a more urgent and wider appeal for witnesses. Although there was significant publicity, this was piecemeal and in reality often generated more by the media than by the police. I am also aware that there are many people who were there at the time, whether residents, guests or staff, both at the Ocean Club and elsewhere, who even now more than five years later have still not been spoken to. It is imperative that everyone who was there needs to be identified and interviewed.
It is also clear that the difference in culture and language did not help the investigation. Regardless of this, all statements should have been either recorded or at least written by an interpreter as opposed to the information being translated back and forth and recorded by the officer conducting the interview. This is a potential recipe for confusion, and again would seem to have caused problems here.
It is also I feel important to mention the many so called legal restrictions, whether real or perceived, that may or may not have hampered the investigation, particularly in the early stages. To be perfectly honest I am not really bothered that the Portuguese Police say that they could not do such and such a thing, whether this is because of their limitations, legal rules or simply established practice. If any of these restrictions hampered the investigation, then they are clearly wrong.
Now to the main question. Where is
I obviously do not know what the police either in Portugal or the UK have done, or intend to do, other than what has been reported. I will therefore limit myself to a few points, some of which may hopefully have been done already, but some that have clearly not.
There needs to be full cognitive interviews carried out not only with Mr and Mrs McCann, but also with Jane Tanner and the others in their extended group. Also of any other significant witnesses that were identified. Those responsible for the abduction of Madeleine will have been seen by someone, although they probably have not registered it. I do not know if this form of in depth witness interview was conducted or even considered, but I do not believe so. Just because it is five years since this abduction, it is not too late. Many of those present will still play the events of that week over and over in their minds. It may be that they felt uneasy about someone and haven’t even realised the significance of it. What is needed is to record this and then compare with others. It is not a short or simple process, but it is a necessary one. Jane Tanner should also look at all the photographic material, particularly the videos. She may think that she couldn’t recognise the individual she saw, but she just may. Someone has seen who was responsible for this, nothing happens in a vacuum.
Have there been any occasions of burglaries in the region, most likely in the six months prior to the abduction, in houses with young children where nothing was taken. There could possibly have been a previous attempt at a similar crime.
Also, the numerous instances where a male got into various properties and assaulted young children who were there on holiday. It would appear that many of these were not even investigated. This is another line of enquiry that should have been pursued more vigorously and even after the passing of time still can and should be.
There have also been reports of named suspects not even being interviewed, let alone eliminated, as well as information given to Crimestoppers not being taken by police. These are matters that need to be resolved, acted upon, and procedures put in place to ensure this does not happen in the future.
I would have hoped that everyone who was in the Ocean Club and nearby at the time have been identified and interviewed, whether they were there as guests, residents or even staff, but as mentioned previously this is not the case. There needs to be a systematic analysis conducted to identify every single person who was there and also precisely where they were at any relevant times. Many will have been eliminated, and others who clearly are not responsible can also be. Those that are left need to be traced, interviewed and eliminated from the enquiry. This should start with those who would have driven to the area, as well as checking car hire companies. I am not saying categorically that the offence was committed by someone who was actually on holiday; it could be someone who regularly visits. No person or group can be totally discounted until they have been identified and eliminated in some way.
The reality is that as in any investigation and review what is needed is going back to the basics. To start at the beginning and work forward and not the other way round. There are three main avenues to solving any crime; forensics, witnesses and interviews. In this case, there are no reliable forensics, there would seem to be no apparent suspects, and therefore what is left are the witnesses. This is where the focus should obviously be.
Also, people both in the UK and throughout Europe should also be asking themselves what was their son, brother or friend doing when they were in the Algarve that week five years ago.
The police have appealed to anyone who was in Praia de Luz, and particularly the Ocean Club between the Saturday, the 28th April and Friday, the 4th May 2007 and who still have not been interviewed to come forward. This appeal needs to be continually reinforced until every person has been spoken to. It should also include anyone who still has any video or photographs taken there who have not yet handed this over.
However I do not believe this to be the case and have given my reasons why. I’m sure many people will disagree with this; that is their prerogative. I also do not wish to unrealistically raise hopes and expectations. Is believing that Madeleine is alive being overly and unrealistically optimistic? I do not think so, and until there is categoric evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe this. Hopefully those continuing the investigation have the same belief.