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HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

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HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by christabel on Mon May 09, 2011 1:54 am

Thanks to Bonny on JATYK

There are several excellent pieces by James Murray and Tracey Kandohla in the Express, and this one is particularly striking:

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/245388/How-Portuguese-police-let-down-poor-Maddie


HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Amaral’s team was getting nowhere and so the easy option was to look at the McCanns

Sunday May 8,2011
By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla

[i]AFTER they discovered that their daughter Madeleine was missing, the McCanns’ nightmare began; one that was not helped by the reaction of the authorities in Portugal and in Britain. Gerry raced to apartment 5a as friends comforted his wife.
He rechecked everywhere Kate had looked and then dashed around the apartment block and asked fellow resort guest and Tapas Seven member Matthew to go to reception to call the police at about 10.15pm.
Gerry was impatient with the slow response and went to check 15 minutes later, breaking down in tears as the full horror began to sink in.
Back in the apartment Kate was overcome with shock and despair. She kicked and punched the walls, wailing: “We’ve let her down!”

Portuguese police failed to turn up until nearly an hour later. Two officers from the GNR, Portugal’s military police, arrived but they couldn’t speak English and needed a translator provided by a member of staff at the Ocean Club.Shortly before midnight the Policia Judiciária (PJ), which investigates serious crimes, were called in.
Along with Kate, Gerry, their friends, other holidaymakers and locals they scoured the area for two-and-a-half hours but scaled down the search at 3am, hoping the youngster would be found in daylight.

Amaral’s team was getting nowhere and so the easy option was to look at the McCanns

The day after the kidnap the McCanns and their seven friends were taken to the PJ headquarters in Portimao, a large town 20 miles away, to give statements. None of the police, who were dressed informally and smoking, introduced themselves. “No sympathy was shown and it was far from inspiring,” Kate said later. At about 3pm Kate gave a statement, accompanied by her husband and a translator.
A photo police had forgotten to show them from CCTV was waved in front of them but it was not Madeleine. Kate and Gerry were devastated. The British Embassy issued a statement declaring Madeleine missing. Her parents were convinced that she had been kidnapped.
A distraught Kate and Gerry maintained their dignity to face the press after returning from the police station on May 4. Sniffer dogs searched the area but they had not picked up a clear scent of Madeleine. Searches of wasteland also produced nothing, adding to the alarm now sweeping the Algarve.

Leicestershire police sent a team of three liaison officers to help the family deal with the crisis but in, what appeared to be a major blunder, they chose not to send detectives trained in how to deal with kidnaps.
Guilhermino Encarn-acao, director of the Judicial Police in the Faro region, said his officers were treating the case as a kidnapping and disclosed they had an artist’s impression of a suspect, which later turned out to be a very poor drawing.
Another police blunder was not publicising a key piece of information. Jane Tanner, one of the Tapas Seven, recalled seeing a man walk away from the McCanns’ apartment at about 9.15pm carrying a child in his arms. Detectives did not publicise this sighting for three weeks.
At that time, Encarnacao said police had received 30 calls which they were following up. Those calls should have been treated with the utmost care because they were the hot ones from people who had information which was fresh in their minds.
In such investigations it is vital for police to act quickly on what they believe is solid information but it will never be known if one of those calls could have provided a major clue which could have been followed up properly.
So what should have been done differently in the crucial days after May 3? The simple answer is that the Portuguese police did not throw enough support into the inquiry. There should have been hundreds of officers in Praia da Luz with experts from Lisbon drafted in to organise searches, commit information to computers and cross reference known paedophiles and those posing a risk to children.
Scotland Yard and Leicestershire police should have teamed up to send a team of at least 10 detectives to the scene to advise the PJ on what to do and interview those crucial witnesses who spoke English. They should have arrived with a police artist to create proper images of potential suspects.

Scotland Yard and PJ officers should have interviewed the McCanns and the Tapas Seven in English and then translated their notes into Portuguese.
On August 5, 2007, the focus of press interest centred on Robert Murat, a British man living close to the Mark Warner complex, who was named an “arguido”, an official suspect in the case. He was innocent but his involvement was yet another blind alley the police were walking down because they did not feel they had anything else to go on.
As Kate spoke publicly, Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ officer in charge of the day-to-day running of the investigation was working to build a case against the McCanns. Kate and Gerry may have felt closer to the investigation but the reality was that Amaral was freezing them out, telling them very little while pursuing his own agenda.
There was a formality creeping in, an officious air about the meetings that raised concerns in the McCann campaign because the focus of the inquiry was shifting away from pursuing leads and trying to find her and instead moving towards the couple.
On September 6 Kate was dropped off at Portimao police station, 30 miles from Praia da Luz, by Gerry.
She would not emerge until nearly 1am the next day. Until then she was still being treated as a loving mother who had lost her child. Now she underwent forensic interviewing and was told a great deal about the lines of inquiry, how the sniffer dogs had apparently detected blood in the apartment and the smell of a corpse, how body fluid had been detected in the family’s Renault Scenic hire car.

Before being taken to the police station, Kate told friends she thought she was being set up. One friend was quoted as saying: “Kate is terrified. This has been the worst week since Madeleine vanished. They fear they might be suspects.”
Already in the Portuguese morning papers there had been a host of salacious leaks served up by the police to pile yet more pressure on the McCanns. What had begun with lunchtime prayers ended in the early hours with Kate feeling drained, hurt, bemused and preparing herself for further agonies.
On Friday, September 7, the couple visited the police station while Gerry prepared himself for his own interview. On arrival, through a crowd of several hundred, Kate was told by police that she was being made a suspect.
Police put 22 questions to her, each one hostile and aggressive and each one sending a shiver of pain through her. Gerry’s sister Philomena gave ITV an account of the line of questioning she endured. “They were saying: ‘Tell us what you did with her.' They tried to get Kate to confess to having killed Madeleine accidentally.”
The line of questioning was Amaral’s last throw of the dice. His team was getting nowhere and so the easy option was to look at the McCanns.
Using questionable DNA data he built up a theory but there was no real evidence that Madeleine had died in the apartment and there was no real evidence she had been put in the Renault hire car almost a month later.
Detectives in this country would never have questioned someone on such flimsy evidence. The information gleaned by forensics would have been classed as useful; it would have been used as a basis for further investigation, or it would have been put to one side while officers pursued more concrete clues.
When Kate emerged from the police station on September 8 she looked a different woman with a steeliness about her. It was as though the unpleasant confrontation with the Portuguese detectives had made up her mind.
She and Gerry would return to Britain, painful as it would be to leave the country from which her daughter had been kidnapped.
So on Saturday, September 9, with the media circus in full flow, they left their apartment and made their way to the airport, their every move captured on TV to an audience of millions, and 129 days after Madeleine vanished they set foot on British soil.
On the Tarmac Gerry read a statement, subdued and clearly angered by their treatment: “As parents we cannot give up on our daughter until we know what has happened. We have to keep doing everything we can to find her. We played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter Madeleine.”


http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/245388/How-Portuguese-police-let-down-poor-Maddie





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Last edited by christabel on Mon May 09, 2011 4:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon May 09, 2011 3:14 am

Sad, but true, whose fault was also from amaral himself.

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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon May 09, 2011 3:24 am

My friend, I cannot open first link, the second link shows a different news. Already at PFA2, I have not written your name, I have not written the links.


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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by christabel on Mon May 09, 2011 4:16 am

Pedro Silva wrote:My friend, I cannot open first link, the second link shows a different news. Already at PFA2, I have not written your name, I have not written the links.


Sorted Pedro, it now works fine
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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by Tinkerbell43 on Mon May 09, 2011 7:14 am

It is a good article, if only the Express had written this 4 years ago!

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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon May 09, 2011 7:54 am

christabel my friend, thank you. I agree with you Tinks, but now it´s also good, because, it remembers the way how pj conducted (badly) the investigation, which for me, was not an investigation, but a bunch of mistakes from a police who has no experience in abductions.

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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by christabel on Mon May 09, 2011 7:56 am

Tinkerbell43 wrote:It is a good article, if only the Express had written this 4 years ago!

Yes Tinks, if only.
Bet it felt good to James Murray, after being told so many lies by Gonc and Soapy
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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by christabel on Mon May 09, 2011 7:57 am

Pedro Silva wrote:christabel my friend, thank you. I agree with you Tinks, but now it´s also good, because, it remembers the way how pj conducted (badly) the investigation, which for me, was not an investigation, but a bunch of mistakes from a police who has no experience in abductions.

The only thing they have experience in Pedro, is propping up bars.
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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon May 09, 2011 8:17 am

Yes christabel, I agree.

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Re: HOW PORTUGUESE POLICE LET DOWN POOR MADDIE

Post by dianeh on Mon May 09, 2011 2:34 pm

A good article, and even after all this time, still so hard to read. How could a missing child be so badly let down by the authorities.

The questions as to why Scotland Yard and/or Leic police didnt send officers to assist still persists. They should have offered assistance publicly, in the way the article suggests, ie to interview English speakers, to provide experts in child kidnapping etc. If offered publicly, it would be hard for Portugal to refuse.

IMO, Scotland Yard and Leic police never expected for the investigation to be run so badly and that the chief investigating office was so incompetent.
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