Thursday, 29 December 2011
Clip by, who else?
Below: Please turn your volume DOWN.
I've already pinched the two clips above and I don't have the brass neck to pinch another. But watching the last clip at the same site, inspired a small modification to the original graphic.
Because as we all know, there is absolutely... Oh do be quiet!
I've just nicked another one. and if you watch it you will know why. I notice that this isn't his only webcam, but I shall save those for tomorrow's look see.
Apart from this one that is.
I wouldn't necessarily want him as a son-in-law, but I'd go for a pint with the fellow. He's a star, as mad as a brush star, but a star nonetheless. Have a wander through some of his webcams.
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Though there is much written about the McCanns, I feel that the piece affords the McCanns their true worth, that of incidental scumbags in the grand scheme of things. That's not to say the writer doesn't vent his spleen in this piece, written so obviously from the heart.
A taster then.
eta: Having read again and digested the thing at leisure, what can I say but, bloody good stuff!
h/t Gasper Statement.
Bury this McCann crap along with Madeleine
By Stanley Collymore
13 December 2011
....What has any of this to do with Kate and Gerry McCann I hear you ask? A great deal really as they’re evidently the kind of odious persons that fit comfortably into the pattern of those I have described earlier and that the world would be a great deal better off without and that’s putting it mildly. For here are two individuals that take lies and render them as the truth, who in spite of their evident and numerous faults and a marked rejection in acknowledging these must lay squarely with them instead haughtily thrust them onto the shoulders of anyone that their pathological feral mindset dictates they should and moreover can expectantly as of right anticipate that everyone else will accordingly and unquestioningly agree to; and so far they’ve been rather successful in this sick and quite perturbing ruse of theirs.
Without exception everyone I’ve spoken to about Madeleine or of their own accord has raised the matter with me in the UK or abroad is categorically of the view which I share that there has been no abduction of this girl who we firmly believe is dead and has been from the outset, and that her parents subconsciously guilt wracked but even so attention seekers par excellence and comprising mum Kate who more fittingly could be described as a contemporary Lucria Borgia kitted out with an evidently hen-pecked husband, no need to ask who wears the trousers in their house, are the ones that are solely responsible either intentionally or accidentally for Madeleine death and the disappearance of her body.
Furthermore I’m decisively convinced and every gut instinct reinforces this view that these two murderers, for if Madeleine was killed intentionally there is no getting away from the fact that murder is the crime in question and if her death was accidental and her parents are putting on this elaborate charade to deflect attention away from what really happened manslaughter is no longer a preference as would have been the case had they come clean from the start, are wholly culpable for what happened to their daughter. Let me emphasize the point; if I crash into you and you initially perceived it was an accident but my subsequent body language, no apology on my part to you and all this reinforced by a dismissive and even hostile attitude by me towards you and what happened, could anyone blame you for thinking that maybe what I did wasn’t an accident after all and what took place was a premeditated assault by me cleverly made to come across like an accident? And when one adds to that the case of perverting the course of justice I don’t any rational person would view it as a laughing matter.
It’s my honest opinion and in the absence to-date of any incontestable evidence to the contrary from the McCanns or anyone else is also my unshakable position that Kate and Gerry McCann after Madeleine’s death conspiratorially either with each other or with the misguided assistance of others whom they knew well and could therefore trust implicitly clandestinely and carefully disposed of Madeleine’s body. The rest of this absurd pantomime and especially the McCanns’ elaborate and to my mind highly improbable and entirely unconvincing story is sheer theatre of the macabre written, acted out and diligently directed by a woman that is very evil, exceedingly clever with it and with a remarkable penchant to make her malignity appear plausible and even respectable. Who knows exactly what strings to pull and when to do so; what sympathies of her audience to dexterously play on; and significantly what innate prejudices they have that she, Kate McCann can self-centredly exploit to her maximum advantage while simultaneously with a totally contrived but photogenically conspicuous humility giving a classical portrayal worthy of an Oscar nomination of a most unfortunate but run of the mill, hard done by mother, woman and wife, specifically contextualized in that order to fuel the most empathetic reaction possible in her favour, and in whose mouth butter wouldn’t melt. Well I don’t buy any of it, have never done so from the outset of this loathsome saga, and never will. more
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Thursday, 22 December 2011
Portuguese law - the 'arguido' statusPrevious: Lord Justice Leveson - Arguido
Mediabeak would like to thank an anonymous comment contributor on our previous post about the McCanns.
Given the frustration at the lack of new news coming out of the Madeleine McCann investigation it was easy to point the finger at the much maligned investigation and secrecy laws which bind it. While it would not be unfair to say that there were certain shortcomings in the early stages of the investigation, these were perhaps added to and distorted by mistaken understanding of the Portuguese 'arguido' suspect status and secrecy surrounding investigations. We are used to the way contempt laws work in the UK or the way they have minimal meaning in other jurisdictions. While the UK contempt laws seek to secure the administration of justice and its - and those concerned (jury, witnesses, public) with it who may be influenced or prejudiced, the Portuguese system focuses heavily on the preceding investigation. In the UK strict liability contempt is engaged when someone is arrested, whereas in Portugal, the 'arguido' status applies to anyone who is made a suspect (arrest not being necessary)or wants to be protected by the system.
Mediabeak thinks its time to contribute some more information about the system we have been quick to criticise. We haven't edited our anonymous friend's submission and are posting their contribution below:
The arguido status
In Portuguese law a person is constitued as an arguido when she or he is suspected of having committed a crime.
A person can request to be made "arguida" because he or she will benefit from rights that he/she does not have as a witness. Apart of the obligation of being accompanied by a lawyer when giving depositions in front of police authorities, the arguido has the right to remain silent and not reply to any questions. This means that as a potential suspect he or she is acting in their own defence. A witness by law is obliged to reply to all questions.
A person is constituted arguido during the investigation phase when sufficient evidence is collected to formulate an accusation. At that time, the less serious of the coercive sanctions which is the "term of identity and residence" is applied to the arguido. This term can be translated as a kind of conditional liberty where the arguido is obliged to inform the police authorities whenever he/she is absent for more than 5 days. An arguido can also be submitted to other coercion measures, the most severe being the "preventive arrest", which is usually applied when there is the danger of escape, disturbance of the investigation, possibility of destroying evidence, etc.
Secrecy of justice....more
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
It wasn't many minutes after this, that I shut up shop for the day and went out. I had heard quite enough by this time.
Watching someone openly pursue an agenda, does tend to have that effect on me.
Robert Jay Q.C.
Lord Justice Leveson
3 Q. The McCanns were given arguido status under Portuguese
4 law I think on 7 September 2007?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It might be said, well, you could not write the story.
7 There was no imperative to write stories which you knew
8 wouldn't stand up to legal scrutiny. Do you see that
10 A. Yes. But the position that we were in was that this was
11 probably the most significant development that had
12 happened up to that time in the investigation.
13 Q. Sorry, what was, Mr Pilditch?
14 A. Well, when the McCanns were named arguidos. It's not
15 something you could ignore. It's not something where
16 you could just present a story that was based on
17 a comment from the McCanns' official spokesperson.
18 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: Did you do any work to find out
19 precisely what that meant in Portuguese law?
20 A. Yes, a lot of work, yeah. We spoke to lawyers in
21 Portugal, and it was explained to me that there were
22 subtle differences between arguidos and suspects.
23 There's no legal equivalent.
24 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: They're merely entitled to have legal
25 representation and have other advantages, isn't that
1 right? That's what Dr McCann told us, I think.
2 I remove the word "merely" from what I just said.
3 A. No, we were given a completely different version by the
4 lawyers in Portugal. We were told that effectively an
5 arguido is a suspect. It gives the police an
6 opportunity to put much tougher questions than they
7 could to a witness, and they were allowed legal
8 representation and I think the McCanns themselves were
9 given some very, very tough questions from the
10 Portuguese police.
11 LORD JUSTICE LEVESON: So proceedings in English terms would
12 be active?
13 A. There are subtle differences, but I don't think they
14 were arrested or anything like that. But effectively
15 that was the -- was what was explained to us by the
16 lawyers in Portugal.
17 MR JAY: Yes. I'm not sure whether you fully saw the point Blah blah
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
The Dangers of Celebrity
Why won’t they just shut up? Or, to put it more delicately, why are they just as intent now on getting stories into the media as they were, say, in the far off days of November 2007? What’s going on?
Yes, absolutely. Not the diary nonsense—that wasn’t part of any plan, only Mitchell aiming a fire extinguisher at the flames ignited in the Leveson inquiry. For the rest, just look at the evidence.
The McCann stories over the last month have been invented and offered to the media, not sought out by them, and they are all linked. Equally they haven’t been provided transparently in the normal manner—by media conferences or press releases—but by a news management team using the usual tricks: anonymity, source material restrictions, contact with favoured journalists, “false dialogues” (in which one of the media team pretends to be responding to a story which they have in fact provided) and a definite “line”. All the kind of stuff which isn’t far from phone hacking in its conscious duplicity and which has helped to land the press in its present miserable state.
The material about Scotland Yard, about Metodo and about the latest “abduction” claim has all been provided using these tricks and the parents are clearly the source. Ah, the supporters of the parents might say, this is all part of the never-ending “search for Maddie”.
No. The first Scotland Yard story speculating about the Barcelona sighting does not appeal for further information but actively misleads; the second Scotland Yard-related piece about Metodo does not seek information about the child;the latest story about “police accept abduction theory” is concerned only with the veracity of the parents’ version of events and does not involve Madeleine McCann at all.
Who gains? More Steel Magnolia
Sunday, 18 December 2011
.....But Pike's actions were bizarre, and thus, this satiric "Photoshop Justice" (as BoingBoing writer Xeni Jardin dubs it) seems to better capture the moment, and the moral outrage the viewer feels, than the photo itself. Great satire does just this: it turns reality on its head, making us laugh while, at the same time, revealing some sort of ugly truth that we can't confront without laughing.
Cop Art: The Rise of the Citizen Satirist
by Adam BessieSunday 18 December 2011
"My name only comes up when some a-hole wants to end an argument..., " Adolf Hitler yells to his generals in the climax of a 2004 film "Der Untergang." depicting the final ten days of the Third Reich. "Now you tell me some campus cop is 'The New Face of Evil?'"
Indeed, Hitler is right for once - at least, the Hitler created by filmmaker Sarah Harbin, who dubbed the brilliant YouTube satire "Hitler Reacts to Pepper Spray Mime," posted November 22. Four days earlier, on November 18, University of California, Davis campus cop Lt. John Pike, who casually pepper-sprayed students at an Occupy protest in the quad of my alma mater, has become the "New Face of Evil," his blasé use of excessive force a social media phenomenon on par with Charlie Sheen's "Winning" rants.(1)Pike - "Casually Pepper-Spray Everything Cop" - has become an icon, a cartoon, digitally cut from the UC Davis protest and pasted into history. He has been Photoshopped into pretty much every famous image available on Google; he's pepper-spraying baby seals, Steven Hawking, the "Wizard of Oz's" Cowardly Lion, the Declaration of Independence, MC Escher, and doing so with his trademark cool detachment. He has a Twitter account with over 1,000 followers, where he brags: "My kid can pepper spray your honor student. " He also reviews pepper spray on Amazon: "Whenever I need to breezily inflict discipline on unruly citizens, I know I can trust Defense Technology 56895 MK-9 Stream, 1. 3 percent Red Band/1. 3 percent Blue Band Pepper Spray to get the job done!" And, of course, he has a T-Shirt available at CafePress, just for toddlers: "Eco-conscious parents love this Pepper Spray Cop Butterflies toddler t-shirt that is super soft on young skin, yet durable enough for the most rugged play time." (Like getting pepper-sprayed?) Want to know more? You can find links to all this information on "Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop" on his Wikipedia entry (or his more complete and insightful entry, where I did my research, at Know Your Memes).
But you probably know all of this. As of writing this today - one week after Pike sprayed his way into history - I'm already very, very late to the Pepper Spray Cop game (In fact, I'm already showing my age, as he already has an acronym: PSC). There have already been a number of astute analyses on PSC, most notably Megan Garber's November 21 essay from Harvard's Neiman Journalism Lab, "Image as Interest: How Pepper Spray Cop could change the trajectory of Occupy Wall Street." She dissects PSC with insight and intellectual vigor usually reserved for the famous paintings into which PSC is now carefully Photoshopped. Garber observes that the image takes on "almost allegoric dimensions," imbuing it with the universal resonance of "the powerless being exploited by the powerful," which renders the "particularities (geographical location, political context) all but irrelevant."
Pike is not a cop; he's not at UC Davis, and the students are not students. Rather, to Garber, the iconic image of Pike coolly spraying the students is transcendent, rising above any of the particularities of the real event, and reaching toward the timeless struggle for equality, "a kind of ... Platonic concern ... [becoming] something more than a political movement." In other words, the image of PSC walking down the Beatles' Abbey Road, spraying Paul in the face, is more than a joke - no, our laughter helps us reach toward the best of human nature, toward Plato's "Republic."
Call it Sgt. Pepper's Republic.
And, no doubt, the PSC craze may seem about as bizarre as the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album (on which someone has pasted Pike, as well). But Pike's actions were bizarre, and thus, this satiric "Photoshop Justice" (as BoingBoing writer Xeni Jardin dubs it) seems to better capture the moment, and the moral outrage the viewer feels, than the photo itself. Great satire does just this: it turns reality on its head, making us laugh while, at the same time, revealing some sort of ugly truth that we can't confront without laughing. Consider Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal" for helping the poor in Ireland, by serving their infants "stewed, roasted, baked or boiled, " in a "wholesome ... fricassee or ragout. " While few remember the particulars of what Swift was satirizing in 1729, his bizarre and beautiful "Modest Proposal" reveals a sort of universal moral outrage on the treatment of the poor - which still, to this day, in its utterly true strangeness, makes us laugh, and makes us mad, all at the same time.
Yet, though riotously funny, @PepperSprayingCop is not ghostwritten by Swift. It's not even written by a single author, nor by a team of comedians at The Onion - rather, this satire has been crowd sourced, composed in the cloud by thousands of anonymous citizen satirists, who use Photoshop to make a mockery out of the photos and videos taken by citizen journalists. Formerly, popular satire was only the terrain of the professionals, like Swift or Jon Stewart, who had earned and scrapped their way to satirical stardom, making it into our textbooks and TVs; now, anyone with Photoshop can cut and paste their way to our attention, and make us cry with laughter and rage.
"Pepper Spray Cop" is satire by mob.
For San Francisco State University English lecturer and Philip K. Dick scholar David Gill, writing in a Facebook post, the PSC phenomenon is "heartwarming and brilliant." The ceaseless satires of Pike, these "new juxtapositions of cruelty with iconic images of Americana allow us to replay our outrage over and over again, all the while rewarding us with humor. "In other words, Gill astutely points out that these satires - repeated over and again in new forms - make us laugh, but also allow us to experience the outrage over Pike's actions, over and again, keeping our anger actively burning beneath our chuckles."(2)
I think Gill is right - our citizen satirists, who have made Pike pepper spray the innocent across history, who have made him the "New Face of Evil, " who have turned him into a transcendent allegory of oppression, have captured the spirit of injustice, keeping our outrage aflame longer and brighter than it might with the images by themselves.
But I also think that, by pulling Pike from his original context, by yanking him from the UCD protest, and turning him into a cartoon character - "Casually Pepper Spraying Everything Cop" - we also stripped him, and the protesters, of their humanity. Pike, nor the protesters, are allegory, but are real people, engaged in a real struggle, in a real place - and once Pike is everywhere, he is nowhere. By repeating his image over and again, it is transmogrified from the horrific, to the humorous, and ultimately, the meaningless, not unlike Andy Warhol's Pop Art images,(3) yet instead of Marilyn Monroe repeated again and again, it's Lieutenant Pike's fire-red mustache.
Call it "Cop Art. "
The ultimate irony - or perhaps, "Photoshop Justice" - is that the citizen satirists dehumanize Pike as he dehumanized the protesters. In doing so, the citizen satirists have pulled the injustice of Pike's actions from the original, real-life context, and abstracted it so distantly from the "particularities" of history that the image is bled of the moment, becoming nothing more than a static icon, a symbol of injustice, to be turned into a logo for a toddler T-shirt, not unlike Che Guevara or Nike, ready for manufacture in a factory somewhere far away. (But to stave off his pain, as one of my friends put it, Pike could make a mint if he were savvy enough to trademark his image now.)
Perhaps, I just don't get the joke - as I told you, I'm late to the "Pepper Spray Cop" game. After all, as one of Hitler's generals famously advised him: "Mein Führer, some people don't understand satire. "
Crossposted at The McCann Gallery with a few examples of 'Photoshop Justice.' Although in my particular case, Paintshop Justice.
Saturday, 17 December 2011
My own observation is that the fact that Lord Justice Leveson HIMSELF is known for attending Soirées and parties at the home of Mathew Freud, husband to Elizabeth Murdoch who is the daughter to erm......RUPERT Murdoch...... kind of compromises any claim to his total impartiality in the ongoing matters. more Spudgun's Spoutings
Please let this be the long awaited back door that is the gateway to bring this farce to an end.
For more detailed coverage of this and similar, please go to themurdochempireanditsnestofvipers
News of the World made hush payment of £125K to McCanns
Confidential deal towards search fund for Madeleine was part of apology for tabloid's publication of mother Kate's diary extracts
17 December 2011
The News of the World paid £125,000 to the fund supporting the search for Madeleine McCann as part of an apology for publishing Kate McCann's diaries – on condition that the terms of the deal remained secret.
The payment was made after the missing girl's parents expressed their outrage at the story, which Kate McCann said made her feel "mentally raped". All the parties involved in the negotiations over the payment, which was agreed in September 2008, were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement hiding the scale of the newspaper's culpability.
The payment was made despite claims by the defunct newspaper's editor at the Leveson inquiry last week that he believed he had had the full support of the McCanns to publish. Colin Myler, who edited the NoW from 2007 until it closed this year, told the inquiry he had received repeated assurances from his head of news, Ian Edmondson, that the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, supported publication – a claim which has been strenuously denied.
Myler told the inquiry that he subsequently ran an apology and paid a "substantial sum" because "he felt very bad that she didn't know". However, the Observer has learned that the NoW initially tried to minimise the compensation. A source at News International, the owner of the newspaper, said there were hours of negotiations between the newspaper's lawyers and Carter-Ruck, the solicitors hired by the McCanns, in the days following publication of the story on 14 September 2008.
A deal was finally struck in which a £125,000 payment was agreed, but all parties were obliged to sign agreements that they would not talk about the size of the compensation. Last night Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman declined to comment on the revelation.
The Leveson inquiry into the media will hear this week from former NoW sports journalist Matt Driscoll, who was awarded almost £800,000 for unfair dismissal in April 2007 while on long-term sick leave for stress-related depression following a campaign of bullying provoked by the newspaper's then editor, Andy Coulson.
It will also hear via video link from Piers Morgan, former editor of the Daily Mirror and the NoW, who now works for CNN in New York. At 28, Morgan was appointed editor of the NoW, making him the youngest tabloid newspaper editor in history. He was editor of the Daily Mirror for more than 10 years, but was sacked in 2004 after the newspaper conceded that photos it published apparently showing British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake.
Morgan claimed in a GQ magazine interview in 2007 that phone hacking was "widespread" and that "loads of newspaper journalists were doing it" when Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in January of that year.
Asked in the interview whether he knew about voicemail interception while he was editor of NoW, Morgan said: "Well, I was there in 1994-95, before mobiles were used very much, and that particular trick wasn't known about. I can't get too excited about it, I must say. It was pretty well known that if you didn't change your pin code when you were a celebrity who bought a new phone, then reporters could ring your mobile, tap in a standard factory setting number and hear your messages. That is not, to me, as serious as planting a bug in someone's house, which is what some people seem to think was going on."
In 2006 Morgan wrote an article for the Daily Mail claiming that he was played a tape of a message Paul McCartney left on the mobile phone of Heather Mills. "The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back," he wrote. "He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang We Can Work It Out into the answerphone." gruniad
Friday, 16 December 2011
In a style with which we have become so accustomed to by now, sycophantic drivel, it being the only description that we can apply to any article written by Roy Greenslade on the subject of the McCanns.
But of the particular article in question, of that I will spare you, it being available at the link below.
Not the article in question then, rather, one of the subsequent comments left there. Asking as much as I would ask, albeit in a somewhat more polite fashion, this from CloudCastle.
Re - Why the press needs to highlight the sins of the News of the WorldI haven't as yet, simply because I have no desire to do so, trawled through the comments, to see if this particular one received a reply. Needs must I suppose; but not right now.
What's your blind spot with the McCanns, or are you simply using them to have a go at Colin Myler?
Let's put aside this class-warfare nonsense, shall we? It doesn't matter what class the kids were. The McCann kids and those of the rest of their party were left alone in their apartments most nights of the week's holiday while their parents went out to dinner. Madeleine, at 3, was the eldest.
Do you, like Montaignac above, actually believe the McCanns' claims of an abduction? What piece of evidence makes you think this? The released police files show no evidence of an abduction. All that we have is a claim by Jane Tanner that she saw someone carrying a little girl, at a a time when both Gerry McCann and an independent witness say Tanner was not on the street. The waiting staff at the Tapas restaurant state she didn't leave the table. The police found no evidence of damage to the shutters or fingerprints other than those of Kate McCann and the handprint of a less than careful policeman. The only other sighting that supports the view that the child was carried away is that of Mr Smith, who says he is 60% certain the man he saw was Gerry.
(No opinions here, just evidence from the police files.)
On the other hand, we have sniffer dogs who indicate the odour of a dead body in the McCanns' apartment and hire car, on the car key, on Kate and Madeleine's clothing and on the child's soft toy. In no other cars or apartments searched did the dogs indicate odour or blood. Since being released from arguido/arguida status, the McCanns have failed to address any of the contradictions in their statements or the issues raised by the dogs, not least because the British press has not raised these questions with them.
Over the last eighteen months, we've witnessed how far the standards of British journalism have fallen. Sections of the UK press have merely cut and pasted the most outlandish claims not only of the Portugese press, but the McCann PR team. We've had endless sympathetic hand-wringing opinion columns from writers - I hesitate to call them journalists - who never leave their desks. We've had articles like this one by Roy - an article about an article about the retrospectively written teenage-ramblings of Kate McCann. We've had Lori Campbell in the Mirror pointing the finger at the wrong man, Robert Murat, and getting the Young Journalist of the Year Award for it. We've seen packs of journalists chasing sightings of little girls around the streets of Brussels.
Show me, please, one article in 2008 where the editor of a newspaper has given his reporter the freedom to investigate this case properly. Where are the interviews with the Tapas 7, whose stories simply contradict one another? Why have we seen no interview with Brian Kennedy, who bankrolled the McCanns and flew down to 'interview' Robert Murat? Why has no paper investigated how the Madeleine Fund, a limited company not a charity, has spent the hundreds of thousands of pounds sent to it from children, parents and grandparents from all over the world, details it refuses to make transparent?
Is investigative reporting just too hard for your colleagues today, Roy? Is it easier, not just cheaper, to regurgitate press releases or quote 'a friend of the family'?
Is that why, Roy, the press needs to highlight the sins of the News of the World? Is it because it's easier and cheaper than highlighting the sins of the McCanns? Article
Monday, 12 December 2011
It's a Fair Cop... and the £1m Lawsuit
Such an appalling, biased report from Sky, let's spin the McSpin...
The £1m lawsuit by bungling parents Kate and Gerry McCann against the lead Portuguese detective in the hunt for missing Madeleine will be heard early next year, it is understood.
The civil case against Goncalo Amaral - who was in charge of the investigation for five months after the McCanns neglected their children - will take place in Lisbon on February 9th and 10th, according to a source close to the couple.
The globetrotting couple, both in their forties have made a fortune hard-selling a book, appearing on many television shows, selling themselves (and their children) to the highest bidder and settling various litigations out of court.
In a 36-page writ, lodge in June 2009, they accuse Mr Amaral of libel and breaching their human rights.
The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, are expected to attend court but despite lodging the writ themselves, will not give evidence. Whilst arguidos, the McCanns chose to hide behind the skirts of judicial secrecy. Due to the unscripted nature of a court case, speculation has arisen as to the reasons why their lips will once again be sealed.
"The McCanns have made Amaral's life hell and they have made themselves rich in the process." a source said. "Kate and Gerry just want him to stop quoting from the official police investigation and insisting that justice works in silence."
In their writ, the self-obsessed, manipulative, money-grabbing McCanns describe the now-retired detective as... a self-obsessed, manipulative, money-grabber with no morals. more
Friday, 9 December 2011
“Justice works in Silence”
His life has been ripped apart since he led the police investigation into the Millennium’s greatest mystery, and came into legal confrontation with Kate and Gerry McCann. Gonçalo Amaral has lost his family, his business, his assets and the income from his controversial book that states all the reasons why he believes three-year-old Madeleine McCann died in apartment 5A in Praia da Luz back in May of 2007. Now, four-and-a-half years down the line, he faces another hurdle: a trial for defamation of the McCanns – due to start in Lisbon in February – in which the couple are claiming 1.2 million euros in damages. Does he think he can win? “Of course”, he says. This is the man whose maxim is “justice works in silence”. He still believes the case of the world’s most famous missing person will be solved. And he told Algarve123 what he thinks is needed to get there…
You wouldn’t miss him in a crowd. Gonçalo Amaral, 52, is strikingly tall with a penchant for hats. He was wearing a long black coat, a black fedora and a bright red scarf when we met him on the terrace of Casa Inglesa in Portimão. He looked much more like an intellectual than a former police officer, but these days his life is spent largely writing - an activity he’s come to love as much as the police work that used to fill his days.
Our first question: “How’s life?” elicited the reply “Bad!” so any further niceties went by the board.
What Amaral has always maintained is that the McCanns’ zeal for litigation “will not bring their daughter back”. He claims various legal suits against him, and a number of other Portuguese public figures who have verbalised “anti-McCann-story” sentiments, are totally out of keeping with the Catholic faith so fervently embraced by Madeleine’s mother Kate.
“Is it Catholic to hold sentiments of vengeance? To seek to destroy a family as mine has been destroyed?” he asks.
“This litigation will carry a heavy price – but I have faith that the mystery will be resolved. “Even if I “disappear” in the process - as Kate McCann has written that she wishes I would in her book - I have a daughter and lots of friends who will make sure justice is done”.
It may sound theatrical - but Amaral is not about theatre. He is about truth – hard facts, solid investigative work.
“The case has to be re-opened, and I have faith that it will be,” he said. “It will either be when this current “procurador” leaves, or when the current chief of police leaves. It’s not something I am pushing for - even if I could - it’s just something I feel certain will happen. And when it does, the first, most essential thing to be done will be a reconstruction of that very first night – the night Madeleine disappeared. Because that’s what happened: she literally disappeared! The reconstruction will have to involve all the parties: the McCanns and their friends. You see, there are so many inconsistencies in these people’s statements that a reconstruction will very quickly highlight where they have not told the truth”.
An example of the power of reconstructions came only weeks ago in Spain where a father claimed his two children were abducted from a park. A police reconstruction quickly proved that the father had never taken his children to the park: witnesses who had seen him arrive in his car but hadn’t noticed the children in the back seat, were surprised to discover that in the reconstruction the child-sized dummies in the back were clearly visible. The children’s father is now in jail – although the children are still missing.
Amaral explained that when Madeleine disappeared police didn’t organise a reconstruction in Praia da Luz “because there were so many journalists on the ground” – and once the heat had died down, “the McCanns refused. They said any reconstruction should be made by actors – but the whole reason for reconstructions is to use the people involved, and see where their stories don’t add up!”
Going back to that first night is logical: the initial 48-hours after any disappearance are crucial. They can literally mean the difference between life and death – but in Madeleine’s case, Amaral is convinced of the latter. The theory that has led to his prosecution by the McCanns for defamation is clearly set out in his book “A Verdade de Mentira” (The Truth of the Lie) – banned from sale in 2009, and then “released” by the Appeals Court a year later. We say “released” because the books were actually never returned to publishers Guerra & Paz, and thus they and Amaral have had nothing to sell…
“It’s another part of the whole plot to assassinate my civil position,” Amaral says matter-of-factly. “I’ve been left with no chances; no way of paying my debts; liens on my property. I’ve had to move away from my family in order to protect them. My marriage, well, it’s not so good. Not good at all, really. My life seems to be all about divorce…”
So how does he find the strength to move forwards?
“Well, I put the McCanns in a metaphorical box and I am not really thinking too much about the trial in February. I think I will win, and then they will appeal – but I have to have a path. I want to open another consultancy. I had one when I left the police force, but that was destroyed when the McCanns went after me over “A Verdade de Mentira”.
So that’s one thing - and the other is writing. I have recently brought out a new book: “Vidas sem Defesa” about missing children cases in Portugal, and I have another one almost ready (I am not going to tell you what it is about!). After that, I would like to take police “mysteries” and study them and write stories, not novels; stories based on facts to show what I believe really happened. There’s a real lack of books of this type.”
So he’s not angry over the agonies and frustrations he’s endured from what came from essentially doing his job?
“I have my anger well-guarded. No feelings for revenge. Like I say, they will pay for what they have done to me and my family – but through the courts. Even after everything that has happened, I still have faith in the Portuguese justice system”.
And does he have any clues as to what catapulted the Madeleine case into the stratosphere of media attention? Why did the McCanns receive so much help from the British authorities right from the very beginning? And why were they and the so-called Tapas 7 never taken to task for child neglect – considering that they all left their children alone at night during the ill-fated holiday?
“Ah, now there we’re getting into politics – and quite honestly, those are questions for the British public to ask. I don’t have to have theories about them. My job was to find Madeleine”.
A job handed to him nearly five years ago – and one that he will never forget. algarve123.com
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Now there's a surprise for you. Whodathunkit?
Theresa May what Are you getting yourself into?
I did try to warn you!
Maddie: Attorney General's Office not part of new investigations
by Paula Oliveira
6 December 2011
The English police is investigating the disappearance of Maddie McCann without the assistance of Portuguese authorities. This information has been confirmed to TVI24 by the [Portuguese] Republic's Attorney General.
Three Scotland Yard investigators were in Barcelona between the 23rd and the 25th of November, following leads in the disappearance of the English child that disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, in 2007. The presence of investigators in Spain may indicate that the child was taken across the border. But the Scotland Yard did not contact the Portuguese investigators.
The Scotland Yard did not have any contact with the Attorney General's Office about that issue. In the process, there is no knowledge of the existence of any new data/facts about Maddie's disappearance. The process will only be reopened under the regulations of article 279 of the Penal Process Code, which is to say, if any new elements appear that invalidate the basis for the archiving, the Attorney General's Office states in a written reply to TVI24.
The case was archived by the Attorney General's Office. Approximately one year ago, Pinto Monteiro [the Attorney General] asserted that he would only reopen it if new data appeared.
In May last year, the Scotland Yard reopened the process after the personal intervention of the United Kingdom's prime minister, David Cameron.
It is not known whether the British investigators have discovered any new fact that the Portuguese police failed to notice.
In August this year, the Scotland Yard confirmed to [Portuguese news] agency Lusa that they traveled to Portugal in order to discuss the Maddie case with Portuguese investigators. At that time, the Judiciary Police (PJ) and the Attorney General said they did not know about that information. Joana Morais
And as a by the by, I don't know who designed the building, but don't dogs normally have four legs?
Saturday, 3 December 2011
The harrowing of Kate McCann
Kate misses her chance to set the record straight in a book that adds little to an extensive canon, writes Eilis O'Hanlon
May 22 2011
Bantam Press, €22.99
Why Kate? From the moment that their daughter vanished from a rented holiday apartment in Portugal's Praia da Luz resort, it was Gerry McCann who provided the public face of the campaign to bring Madeleine home. He was the one who dealt with reporters, set up websites, wrote a regular blog updating the search. If anyone was going to write a book about that time, it was surely Gerry who would've been expected to do it.
But it was always Kate who fascinated observers. Mothers are expected to behave in certain ways and Madeleine's didn't seem to be playing her role properly. She was criticised for being too cold, for not showing her emotions more. The public can be cruel juries. They want their pound of flesh. Four years on, with the fate of Madeleine still unknown, Kate has now stepped forward to tell her own story -- though her motive for doing so remains typically obstinate.
She may have kept a journal throughout the search, so that the couple's twins, Sean and Amelie -- and Madeleine too, if and when she returned to the family -- would know what happened during those terrible days, but the only reason it is being released to a wider audience now is to fund the continuing search for a missing child. "We are now the only people looking for her," as Kate notes poignantly, and that takes money. Whether it makes for much of a book is the difficulty.
It's hard to review this book with any objectivity, especially when it is such an extraordinarily controlled piece of writing. In many ways, the book suffers from the same shortcomings which led to Kate being vilified so horribly in certain quarters. She's clearly an intensely private person, for whom opening up does not come easily. Too often, there is a sense in these pages of holding back. There are some highly intimate details, for example about how she needed therapy to overcome her "revulsion" at sex after the abduction, and she writes with piercing intensity of her feelings of guilt, but it is as though these passing details are masking what is otherwise a psychological absence at the heart of the book.
After an initial preamble about her life before the holiday, the book settles down into a pedestrian chronological account of the public events that followed, peppered with asides about how she felt at certain moments.
The Tapas Nine are shadowy figures throughout; we never really get a sense of who they are. Goncalo Amaral, the Portuguese police chief who became such a thorn in the couple's side, is a peripheral presence. The night Madeleine went missing -- on which everything hinges -- is dealt with in just a few pages. The exact state of the room, and the comings and goings of the various characters in the tale, remains frustratingly vague.
This was Kate's best chance to set the record straight, but the book adds little to an already extensive canon. Time and again, her response to allegations against them is simply to reiterate what they said in statements at the time. It certainly won't change anyone's mind. Supporters of the couple will focus on the passages describing her harrowing grief and sense of guilt. Those who are suspicious will find further fuel in the dismissive and perfunctory way in which Kate answers some of the most serious allegations laid against the couple. When specially trained cadaver dogs, for example, detect the scent of death in the family's apartment, Kate is quick to highlight the unreliability of sniffer dogs. It makes absolute sense insofar as they know they didn't do anything to harm their beloved daughter.
But as a parent, surely you'd be terrified by what the dogs sensed? The fact that a strong indication of death had been found at the scene immediately raises the likelihood that something terrible happened to your daughter in that room; but Kate and Gerry are almost militant in their belief that their daughter is not dead. "Madeleine is alive until someone proves otherwise," she still insists. Maybe that's the only way you can carry on -- Kate does admit to having terrible visions intermittently of her daughter being abused and killed -- but the response still feels unsatisfactory
Perhaps that's just repeating the original error of wanting more from Kate McCann than she is willing or able to give. All too often she writes like a spectator to events, not a participant. Therapeutically, that may be a common reaction in people who have undergone traumatic experiences, but it makes for a weirdly detached and uninvolving book. It's almost as if Madeleine isn't the only one who went missing that night, but Kate as well. - Eilis O'Hanlon Independent ie