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DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

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DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:35 pm

DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 11:48 AM on 21st July 2008

Two key blunders led to Kate and Gerry McCann being declared suspects in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance, a leaked report claims today.

One of the mistakes relating to DNA tests on samples collected in Portugal was made by the British Forensic Science Service, the Portuguese document said.

The report, prepared by Portugal's attorney-general, Fernando José Pinto Monteiro, claims the two crucial errors led to the doctors from being made 'arguidos' in the case.

It was revealed as Mr Monteiro prepared to formally clear the McCanns, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire, and shelve the case.

Suspect: Gerry McCann, leaving his home in Rothley today, could be cleared of any involvement into the disappearance of his daughter

According to today's report, the Policia Judiciaria - Portugal's criminal investigation department - were told that DNA evidence found in the couple's hire car, on the window sill of their holiday apartment and in the car park of the apartment complex, belonged to Madeleine.

The report claims it was categorically given as her DNA and as a result the McCanns were questioned and later made suspects, according to London's Evening Standard.

But exactly one month later the forensic service wrote another report saying it could not be sure those findings were correct or whether the samples belonged to Madeleine, her younger sister Amelie or her mother.

The claim is likely to cause the FSS embarrassment. Last week representatives of the service went out to Portugal with Leicestershire police to try to prevent the information being made public.

The second error was that when 'cadaver dogs' smelled the scent of death in the apartment where Madeleine disappeared, detectives did not take into account that Mrs McCann, who is a GP, had come into contact with six patients who died before she went on holiday.

Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police officer and a child protection expert, who has knowledge of the report, which dedicates 50 pages to the DNA evidence, said it was 'damning'.

'The FSS was out in Portugal on a damage limitation exercise,' he said. 'They will lose credibility over this.'

Mystery: Madeleine vanished from her parents holiday apartment in Praia da Luz last May
There is also strong condemnation of the police for paying too much attention to the media and evidence given by the dining friends the Tapas seven is criticised as they are accused of contradicting each other.

The report also talks about two key witnesses. One who contacted the police on 26 May saying he saw Mr McCann carrying Madeleine away from the apartment on the night she disappeared later retracted his statement.

The other witness spoke of the behaviour of the McCanns throughout their stay in Portugal.

According to the report, the police vis- ited 443 homes in the area, sightings were examined and ruled out and they also looked at all land, sea, and air escape routes.

The report says there is a strong belief by both British and Portuguese police that Madeleine is dead.

As they waited for news of the report, the McCanns were aiming to spend today as routinely as possible.

Mr McCann, a consultant cardiologist, intended to 'go to work as normal' at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

Madeleine vanished only six days before her fourth birthday on 3 May last year. Her parents, both 40, launched an international campaign to search for her.

Fourteen months on, the Policia Judiciaria is no closer discovering what happened to her.

It is understood that even if the case is shelved, the files will be periodically reviewed and could be reopened if new evidence emerges.

Blunders: Kate and Gerry McCann became suspects after the British Forensic Service reported that DNA found in their hire car belonged to Madeleine

Once they are cleared, the McCanns, who have two other children, twins Sean and Amelie, will fight for access to all the police documentation to give to their own private investigators so they can continue the search for their daughter.

The couple have already secured access to some of the files on the case after Leicestershire police agreed to share 81 pieces of information with them - relating to tip-offs and possible sightings - received in the early stages of the investigation last year.

The two parties reached the compromise at the High Court in London earlier this month.

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the family, said: 'The hope is that they will be given access to the files. This will be a chance to reinvigorate the case.'

The McCanns' private investigators, Spanish-based Metodo 3, as well as a British-based agency will now conduct their own inquiries.

Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, as her parents dined in a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

The third arguido Algarve property consultant Robert Murat, 34, is also expected to have his 'arguido' status lifted.

Despite Portuguese legal moves, the McCanns were also bracing themselves today for more emotional turmoil as the policeman in charge of the original investigation was revealed to be publishing a 'tell-all' book this week.

Gonçalo Amaral, who was sacked as head of the inquiry in October, took early retirement last month.

Mr Amaral, 48, authorised the decision to name the McCanns as official suspects and his book, called True Lies, will be released in Portugal this week

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DNA error

Post by calcite51 on Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:40 pm

If this leaked story is true, then why continue with the arguido status for the Mccanns? How long have British and Portugal authorities known this? Is this why the British didn't want the DNA results to be made public? It boggles the mind, doesn't it? It shall all come out in the wash!
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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:47 pm

calcite51 wrote:If this leaked story is true, then why continue with the arguido status for the Mccanns? How long have British and Portugal authorities known this? Is this why the British didn't want the DNA results to be made public? It boggles the mind, doesn't it? It shall all come out in the wash!

It certainly is mind boggling Calcite.

Here is the link, which I missed from the original post:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1036898/DNA-error-British-experts-led-McCanns-accused-leaked-report-claims.html

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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by helenm on Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:17 pm

Well I really don't know what to think of this. When I heard what was being reported on sky news my initial thoughts were 'never' another spin by the Policia Judiciaria, but now I'm not so sure. I've mulled it over in my mind and come up with possible explanations. They are:

The Portuguese press have reported some days ago that a member of the Leicestershire Police along with two other men (thought to be lawyers at that time) went to the courts in Portimao to ask the judge that the PRELIMINARY report issued by the FSS remain under judicial secrecy. Now was this an attempt to cover a mistake? Did the preliminary report actually say that the DNA found definitely belonged to Madeleine or simply imply it by the use of numbers i.e. 15 of 19 markers? I would have thought that any report issued by the FSS would carry a summary of the findings. Is it possible that these findings were interpreted WRONGLY by the policia judiciaria? I remember that members of the PJ travelled to England last year and visited the FSS. Was this to clarify the findings of the FSS? I am sure it was reported as such at the time. What I can't remember is whether this was before Goncalo Amaral was sacked.

I'm sure that in the coming weeks we will get to know what in actual fact did happen with these so called results, but for the time being I'll sit on the fence for this one.
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FSS 'error'

Post by tulip on Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:42 pm

Claudia is already gleefully on the Daily Mail HYS!
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And So It Starts To Slowly Emerge

Post by Rosie on Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:51 pm

The whole sorry mess!

If this is true then why did Amaral AND his successor Paulo Rebelo continue with this ridiculous farce of keeping this poor couple suspects?

If this is true then why didn't the FSS own up and do something to stop this persecution of these parents? or is their business more important than the life of a little girl and her parents?

If this is true Portugal, you just watch how we Brits will not allow this to be swept under the carpet, you just watch how we will bring pressure to bear on this company, watch as we force our government to hold a public inquiry into this allegation.


Last edited by Rosiepops on Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:41 am

helenm wrote:Well I really don't know what to think of this. When I heard what was being reported on sky news my initial thoughts were 'never' another spin by the Policia Judiciaria, but now I'm not so sure. I've mulled it over in my mind and come up with possible explanations. They are:

The Portuguese press have reported some days ago that a member of the Leicestershire Police along with two other men (thought to be lawyers at that time) went to the courts in Portimao to ask the judge that the PRELIMINARY report issued by the FSS remain under judicial secrecy. Now was this an attempt to cover a mistake? Did the preliminary report actually say that the DNA found definitely belonged to Madeleine or simply imply it by the use of numbers i.e. 15 of 19 markers? I would have thought that any report issued by the FSS would carry a summary of the findings. Is it possible that these findings were interpreted WRONGLY by the policia judiciaria? I remember that members of the PJ travelled to England last year and visited the FSS. Was this to clarify the findings of the FSS? I am sure it was reported as such at the time. What I can't remember is whether this was before Goncalo Amaral was sacked.

I'm sure that in the coming weeks we will get to know what in actual fact did happen with these so called results, but for the time being I'll sit on the fence for this one.

Hi there Helen,

I remember us discussing the pj's visit prior to Christmas on the DX forum. Many of us felt at that time, that the pj had misinterpreted the dna results and consequently placed to much reliance on same. It appeared at that time, that the pj and the FSS were thrashing out the relevance of the results and my view at that time, was that the FSS were putting the pj in their place (so to speak) as it looked like they had hyped the significance of the results. This is well after Amaral had been sacked from the case and his successor had taken over.

In December, we had discussions on the relevance of the ruling in the Omagh case reference the lcn dna and how same could affect any results in relation to this case - which must have been closely followed by the authorities in Portugal. It was in April, that following a review of the Omagh case, a decision was made that lcn dna could be used in certain cases but should be done with great caution and caveats should be stressed as to the reliability of same in any court case. I did a quick google and this was one of the articles I found:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-558811/DNA-technique-sparked-controversy-Omagh-bombing-trial-scientifically-sound.html

As we know the samples tested by the FSS were so small and allegedly of poor quality that it is possible that the outcome of the Omagh case and the subsequent review of same, has been a consideration in the ongoing investigation here. I really feel the pj have been grasping at straws with regards to the dna results in this case and IF they were misinformed/mislead by the FSS in relation to the original test results, then this is an extremely serious matter and I agree with Rosiepops that a top level enquiry should commence at the earliest opportunity. For now, I will reserve my judgement, as it is possible that once again, the pj are attempting to pass the buck and lay the blame for their own mistakes/misinterpretations at the door of the FSS and the LP.

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Let us be patient

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:11 am

and wait until after we hear the contents of the report. In my opinion this is yet one more escape route for the PJ. Sort of "Don't blame us...blame the British". Because if this article is part of the report...then heads will roll.
The British people will want answers...and will demand answers.
In my opinion this is just one more ploy by the PJ to pass the buck.
But time will tell.

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DNA

Post by joanypony on Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:49 am

I agree with you Mum21, this is another attempt to avert the blame to someone else. The fact is the PJ laid too much emphasis on the DNA and were not pleased when the FSS did not come up with a definite conclusion. This left them with egg on their faces, remember how the rattle was thrown out of the pram when they came over to get the results, they stomped off back to Portugal a few days early.
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File is closed

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:09 am

Sky News

The attorney General confirmed that the file is closed. The reason given is that there is no evidence of any crime as far as the three arguidos are concerned.

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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by Rosie on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:01 am

Mum21 wrote:and wait until after we hear the contents of the report. In my opinion this is yet one more escape route for the PJ. Sort of "Don't blame us...blame the British". Because if this article is part of the report...then heads will roll.
The British people will want answers...and will demand answers.
In my opinion this is just one more ploy by the PJ to pass the buck.
But time will tell.

Looks like you were right to ask for patience! Just another buck passing exercise by the PJ.

I stress this is just something I heard on Sky News, I do not know how true it is.

Apparently according to Martin Brunt, there has been no official statement from the FSS but unofficial sources have said that this story about them making a mistake is ludicrous and contrary to what that report said, there were NO representatives from the FSS in Praia da Luz last week!

As the FSS is not known for leaking and making unofficial statements, if they did do this, then they must be pretty ticked off at the PJ's attempt to blame them for their (PJ) mistake!

If the FSS were not responsible for making a mistake, then this just leaves the PJ to have either misunderstood and misread this DNA report, or it has been deliberately misquoted. Either way this is explosive and is a very damning indictment of the PJ, as it proves they should never, ever have made the McCann's arguidos.

I believe if this is correct then this could form the basis for a court case for negligence and gross dereliction of duty on behalf of the PJ.

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Evidence..

Post by Mandz on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:31 am

I’ve said many times there code of conduct accountability and responsibility must be questioned.
The British police were not there right at the beginning where the so called disgusting errors were made – they declined Experts help from Britain so don’t try and blame our professionals. The FSS can only work with what was given to them. Too little too late…… :no:
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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by vee8 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:59 am

I have just watched both the BBC and ITV news reports, and both are pretty scathing of the whole investigation. Now the ball is rolling, the PJ are going to suffer severely at the hands of the British press. This is just the tip of the sword, Gonzo and friends, just the tip of the sword.
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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by clairesy on Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:14 am

And all the while..somewhere out there....a small child as been alone and frightened.....shame on you pj

Instead of thinking about the feelings and safety of madeleine the first and foremost important thing for them (in my opinon) as been trying to pin a label of blame on her mammy and daddy :cry:

god bless you madeleine I hope where ever you are tonight you are not hurting.I hope you will understand some day the fight your parents have put up for you...probably been brainwashed into thinking they dont even want you.... but its not true and each and every day you have been missing the whole world as been looking for a special little girl..you flowers
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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

Post by Tinkerbell43 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:04 am

Exactly Mandz! We also know the FSS allegedly emailed the PJ to advise their concern that the DNA results were being overplayed. This is not new news.

IF by chance the FSS did get it wrong, a BIG if, when was the mistake known and why did either side allow the persecution of the McCanns to continue. I find it extremely hard to believe that the British authorities would have allowed this.

IMO the FSS has remained professional throughout this investigation and I am sure if they are at fault in anyway an official statement will be forthcoming.

Out of interest, seeing as the PJ seem to be apportioning the blame elsewhere, who's fault is it Murat was made an arguido ? :roll:
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Hi Tinks

Post by Rosie on Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:50 am

Tinkerbell43 wrote:Exactly Mandz! We also know the FSS allegedly emailed the PJ to advise their concern that the DNA results were being overplayed. This is not new news.

IF by chance the FSS did get it wrong, a BIG if, when was the mistake known and why did either side allow the persecution of the McCanns to continue. I find it extremely hard to believe that the British authorities would have allowed this.

IMO the FSS has remained professional throughout this investigation and I am sure if they are at fault in anyway an official statement will be forthcoming.

Out of interest, seeing as the PJ seem to be apportioning the blame elsewhere, who's fault is it Murat was made an arguido ? :roll:

I must admit when I first read this today it made me really angry, I thought how cruel, how could they allow this couple to go through this all this time when they knew they had made a mistake?

Apparently this isn't true the FSS have denied making any kind of mistake at all and this paper's report said that the FSS were out in Portugal last week trying to ensure that this mistake was not published.

We now know that this was another bare faced lie to try and get Goncalo Amaral off of the hook, IMO they have invented this on purpose to try and divert attention away from the fact that the PJ made this couple arguidos on nothing and then continued to keep them there for months when they could have ended this face then, IMO this makes Paulo Rebelo as guilty as Goncalo Amaral.

Goncalo Amaral knew they did not have nay evidence to make them arguidos last September and he gambled on the snout of a couple of dogs and lost big time.

We pros have always said that the PJ did not have any evidence, it wasn't rocket science to work that one out, Amaral made them arguidos in a rush before the law changed and ever since then the PJ have been trying to make them fit the crime.

How could they have done this knowing a little girl was abducted and they just stopped looking for her? i said that Amaral was doing the rounds of the TV stations and talking to reporters to try and get in first, I knew there had to be a reason for why he was doing this and I have a feeling it is going to get a lot worse for Amaral these coming days, I have a feeling his reputation is going to nose dive as the full implications of what happened when he was heading this investigation emerge and sink in.

One question Amaral, when did you stop looking for Madeleine?

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My thoughts (well some of them at least)

Post by dianeh on Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:39 am

I dont put Rebelo in the same boat as Gonc. The damage was already done, the McCanns were made arguidos. I probably would have kept them as arguidos as well, while I continued the investigation.

As for the FSS and the 'mistake'. I think once again we are back with this Mitochondrial DNA. But the PJ can try to blame the FSS all they want, but some of these tests were also done at the Portuguese Govt Lab, and the results matched (or so another leak has said). And why didnt the Portuguese Lab spell it out for the PJ that this shows nothing. They may have, but if they did, we will never know.

It is IMO, a case of misinterpreting the DNA evidence, and the indicators from the dogs by the PJ. While these are indicators, they should never have been accepted as proof that Madeleine was dead and placed in the car. There is not even a satisfactory time line that could be established for such a thing, and that alone says a lot. Without anything incriminating to support these indicators, then it would be obvious (one would think) that commonsense should prevail and the innocent explanations for these indicators be accepted. As I have read previously, if Madeleine's body had been placed in the car, there would have been abundant evidence, not a few blond hairs that cannot even be proven to be from her.

What is amazing me though, is that anyone in the PJ could be so stupid to put out a leaked report trying to blame the FSS for the mistake. No, even IF (and there is no reason to assume this is the case) that FSS report could have been interpreted as saying the Madeleine may have been in the car, there is no reason for a whole case to be built around a maybe. IMO, the fault lies with the PJ. This evidence should have been confirmed (oh dear, it was by both the FSS and the Portuguese lab that said it proved nothing) before any accusations were made. But then we had the changing of the arguido laws coming in, so perhaps the decision to make them arguido was a bit 'hasty'.

This leaked report only makes the PJ look desperate, and as if they are trying to cover up their own mistakes. I think the PJ needs to hire a good PR firm. Perhaps Clarence could recommend someone to them.
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Hi Diane

Post by Rosie on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:19 am

You said...

This leaked report only makes the PJ look desperate, and as if they are trying to cover up their own mistakes. I think the PJ needs to hire a good PR firm. Perhaps Clarence could recommend someone to them.

LOL I hear PR guru Max Clifford is free after getting the tin tack from Murat.

I stand by thinking that Rebelo is as bad as Amaral, if he knew this about this evidence he had no business keeping 'any' of them as arguidos, he should have released them months ago.

Two questions.

Amaral, when did you stop looking for Madeleine?

Rebelo, did you ever actually start looking for Madeleine?

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Rosie

Post by dianeh on Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:59 pm

On Rebelo, I am assuming that he actually did do some investigating. He most certainly reviewed what had previously been done and I can only guess that he didnt re-interview the original people because he thought it would be pointless, or he was unable to get permission from the court, and they must have had their reasons. My feeling for Rebelo is that he was damage limitation, and that he has investigated other avenues but these have also proved fruitless. I predict that when it is public as to how they got it so wrong, that most of the wrongs will lead back to Gonc, and that Rebelo was given a massive task of taking over an investigation that went down the wrong path. And after so long, it may have been impossible to get anywhere. I wonder too, why things like that beach were not searched, or the tunnels, and whether or not all possible leads were investigated, such as the subsequent witness statements and possible paedophile leads, as well as any link between Joanna Cipriano and Madeleine. If not, why didnt Rebelo do this? What I am saying Rosie, is that Rebelo may have or he may not have, but he would have been doing what was asked of him by his superiors. I wonder what that was. Was it to pull out all the stops and find this little girl, or was it, try to get us out of this mess without making us look like fools? All of this is of course my own opinon.

I hope that when an investigation is done into the workings of the PJ and this case, that we do find out what was done.

All of this means the Private Investigators will have a hard task ahead of them. But who knows, with their own evidence/statements that they have gathered, and the files of the PJ, maybe a real lead will show up.
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Today's news re: FSS

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:57 pm

Today's news is that the Portuguese may have MISUNDERSTOOD the results, not that the FSS made the mistakes. Actually "misunderstood" in this case is probably a euphemism!

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Re: DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims

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