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Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

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Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by honestbroker on Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:50 am

Firstly, my thanks to Vee for discreetly highlighting my error in the last thread I began in naming that place that shall not be named on this forum. I shan't repeat that error this time.

There remain (on that board that shall not be named) posters of honesty and integrity whose posts inform, or express informed, sensible and intelligent opinion. But their numbers dwindle steadily as the board mafia, that formulates, dictates (literally!) and expresses policy gradually forces them out. Indeed, one is left wondering why any are allowed to remain. I think I may have hit upon, at least, one answer. However unwittingly, they occasionally help to serve the mafia cause.

Two examples will suffice. Very shortly before the case was shelved, one poster (of good faith) commented that there was a September 20th (2007) deadline for all parties to apply to the presiding magestrate for the investigation to continue. For that to happen, the party concerned would have needed to highlight some new and unexplored lead (always unlikely, hard on the heels of an investigation lasting longer than a year). And, predictably, the 20 September deadline passed without application. But, of course, the real deadline for the case to be re-opened remains until May 2nd 2027 -- and any interested party may still apply, any time until that deadline. Still, the internet myth was born -- and repeated, over and over -- that the McCanns clearly didn't want the investigation into their daughter's disappearance to continue because, well, they didn't apply by that 20 September deadline and, well, that's one indicator proving their guilt (etc.)

The second example: there were a number of interesting and informative posts about the Portuguese legal system and how it works. In particular the various phases of a criminal investigation in Portugal were described. The first two phases are the enquiry stage and the instructory stage, both presided over by an instructory magistrate.

There are three key points about the instructoy phase. Firstly it is entirely at the discretion of arguidos, who must apply for it to happen, otherwise the phase is skipped and the case goes straight to the following phase, which is trial. The second (self-evident) point is that the instructory phase only arises at all if the PJ and the presiding magestrate decide that arguidos have a case to answer and that charges will be pressed. And lastly, where there is an instructory phase, that is the opportunity for arguidos and the defence lawyers to nominate witnesses they wish to be questioned and formulate questions they wish to be asked. Where it is found that the arguidos have no case to answer, the instructory phase doesn't arise because there is no need for it. The case is simply shelved.

We know that the case against the McCanns was shelved without charges being brought. Hence, there will have been no instructory phase. So then, the cyber-space myth that the McCanns had a say in formulating questions asked in the rogatory interviews, or nominating witnesses to be interviewed must have sprung from the posts of this particular poster. I think we can safely say that he never intended for that to happen.

There's something else still more worrying, though. In the rogatory interview of Stephen Carpenter, DC Sophie Fergusson of Leicesterhire Police is quoted as having bought in to exactly that cyber space myth. How on earth did that happen?

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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:28 am

Brilliant post HB. You do your homework don't you.

That is worrying if police persons buy into forum myths. I suppose anyone interested in this case cant miss the site that cannot be mentioned. It would be worrying indeed if that is where she bought into the myth.

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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by dianeh on Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:13 am

HB

Great Post.

I just want to re-iterate to make sure I understand exactly.

The investigation into the McCanns and Murat never reached the instructory stage. We know this because it must be sort via the magistrate by either the PJ if charges are being instigated, or by the arguidos themselves. Neither of which happened.

Therefore the McCanns were not able to ask questions of the witnesses (via the magistrate/pj).

So then, are the questions which the McCanns wanted answered, that appeared in the press (or at least mention of them, as I dont beleive we ever knew what the questions were supposed to be) just a figment of the imagination of the Portuguese press? Or did the McCanns in fact have questions they wanted answered? Because even if they had questions (prepared them in case they instructory phase was implemented???), it doesnt automatically follow that they had the right to ask them of anyone, under the Portuguese legal system.

All in all, very interesting. And once again showing just how careful we need to be with taking anything from that site. Even when posted with the best intentions, things end up being twisted to represent something quite different from the truth.
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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by honestbroker on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:18 am

dianeh wrote:HB

Great Post.

I just want to re-iterate to make sure I understand exactly.

The investigation into the McCanns and Murat never reached the instructory stage. We know this because it must be sort via the magistrate by either the PJ if charges are being instigated, or by the arguidos themselves. Neither of which happened.

Therefore the McCanns were not able to ask questions of the witnesses (via the magistrate/pj).

So then, are the questions which the McCanns wanted answered, that appeared in the press (or at least mention of them, as I dont beleive we ever knew what the questions were supposed to be) just a figment of the imagination of the Portuguese press? Or did the McCanns in fact have questions they wanted answered? Because even if they had questions (prepared them in case they instructory phase was implemented???), it doesnt automatically follow that they had the right to ask them of anyone, under the Portuguese legal system.

All in all, very interesting. And once again showing just how careful we need to be with taking anything from that site. Even when posted with the best intentions, things end up being twisted to represent something quite different from the truth.

Well, as I understand it, Diane, the intstructory stage comes about, only if charges are to be pressed and there is to be trial and only then, if the defence or the arguidos request it.

I confess, I've not read any of the press reports about questions from the McCanns in the rogatory letters, but what first made me sceptical was the fact (also confirmed by this poster) that at no stage during the first enquiry phase is the veil of secrecy on the case lifted, meaning that the defence lawyers never get to see the case. Stemming logically from that, if they don't know what the case is, how can they possibly call witnesses or frame questions? They surely can't. Whether or not the case is shelved or progressed, the veil of secrecy is lifted at the conclusion of the enquiry stage and not before. That is the point at which the defence get to see the case. The final rogatory interviews were a couple months before that point. So how can either the McCanns or Robert Murat have had any input into it? Surely not at all.

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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by dianeh on Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:43 am

HB

I agree with you on this.

And it makes me think that the supposed questions that the McCanns wanted answered, didnt ever exist. Just another myth circulating to try to discredit them.

I can remember all the howls about how dare the McCanns try to influence the police etc. And I am sure that the issue of the questions came up in regards to rog letters. I am in 2 minds as to whether to try and find the references to these 'questions'. All it would prove is that whoever said it, was at best misinformed, at worst being deliberately deceptive.
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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by Catkins on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:44 pm

dianeh wrote:HB

I agree with you on this.

And it makes me think that the supposed questions that the McCanns wanted answered, didnt ever exist. Just another myth circulating to try to discredit them.

I can remember all the howls about how dare the McCanns try to influence the police etc. And I am sure that the issue of the questions came up in regards to rog letters. I am in 2 minds as to whether to try and find the references to these 'questions'. All it would prove is that whoever said it, was at best misinformed, at worst being deliberately deceptive.
Thats the HUGE problem with poor Madeleine's case........distinguishing Fact from Fiction and internet drivel........spouted and encouraged by a certain site.........
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Re: Bona fide posters, misrepresentation and the Rogatory letters ...

Post by Rosie on Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:05 pm

Catkins wrote:
dianeh wrote:HB

I agree with you on this.

And it makes me think that the supposed questions that the McCanns wanted answered, didnt ever exist. Just another myth circulating to try to discredit them.

I can remember all the howls about how dare the McCanns try to influence the police etc. And I am sure that the issue of the questions came up in regards to rog letters. I am in 2 minds as to whether to try and find the references to these 'questions'. All it would prove is that whoever said it, was at best misinformed, at worst being deliberately deceptive.
Thats the HUGE problem with poor Madeleine's case........distinguishing Fact from Fiction and internet drivel........spouted and encouraged by a certain site.........

This has always been the problem! Some milder mannered people have remained that, mildly angry at Kate and Gerry McCann for leaving the children, but have managed to remain and act like reasonable human beings and have been able to understand that this couple were and still are in the throes of unimaginable pain and grief. However others, have gone on to turn into what can only be best described as 'wailing banshees'! These people not only scream abuse at this couple at every chance they get, they take unsubstantiated myth and present it as fact and the less discerning poster reads this and just accepts it and hey presto another myth based on lies is born.

Those of us who have stuck around these past months hoping for a breakthrough, some of us who believe, praying for a breakthrough, that leads to Madeleine's whereabouts, have witnessed some of the most despicable of human behaviour and each of us can name people, who make us shake our heads at the sheer disbelief at the words swimming before us. We are so disbelieving at those words, that we re read them because we think we have misread what they said.
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