Saturday

Abuse of Power: Kate McCann Forced Political Pressure on the Investigation

Revelations –Maddie’s mother’s notes prove Gonçalo Amaral right

Kate McCann forces political pressure

The English prime minister called the couple directly and the British diplomacy took care of the travelling

“To increase the political pressure”. The phrase, by Kate McCann, written among the notes that were found in her house and which the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) had apprehended, is clear about the manner in which Maddie’s parents intended to manage their daughter’s disappearance, bringing it into the press’ first pages and turning it into a case with political outlines.

On the morning of the 23rd of May 2007 (twenty days after Maddie’s disappearance), before they left for the Sanctuary of Fátima, Kate and Gerry left Gordon Brown a message. Maddie’s mother describes it as a form of “raising the political pressure” and reveals that the present prime-minister – at that date, he was not in functions but had already been confirmed as Tony Blair’s successor – answered her only three hours later. He spoke with Gerry, was “very sympathetic and gave strength”, tells Kate, who describes the visit to the catholic sanctuary as overwhelming, potent and emotional.

On the same day in the afternoon, Gordon Brown called Maddie’s parents again. Kate’s notebooks do not report the conversation but one is able to understand that the purpose was to create political pressure, forcing the PJ to act swiftly.

Today, at more than a year’s distance from the child’s disappearance and after the case has been archived, Kate’s notes expose the pressures that were reported by the former coordinator of the case, Gonçalo Amaral, who from the moment when he was removed from the investigation, realized that the process would not produce an accusation.

With an investigation that was initially inclined towards the abduction theory, partly forced by the McCanns, the evidence of the pressures by the couple also explains the British press’ posture in the coverage of the case, mainly from the moment when Madeleine’s parents went from victims to suspects and arguidos. With the British prime minister himself supporting the McCanns, through direct and frequent phone calls that are revealed by Kate, it became almost impossible for the English government to help an investigation that had indicated the parents as guilty.

Apart from the contacts with Gordon Brown, Kate’s notebooks reveal other important allies. From the hiring of Clarence Mitchell, who at that point in time worked for the government, as an assistant, until the conversations with the wife of Tony Blair, the former British prime minister.

Mitchell actually had a pivotal role in the propaganda machine that was built by the McCanns within a few days, and which counted on the great help from the British diplomacy in all the trips that were carried out by Kate and Gerry.

The first and most media-exposed [trip] – to Rome, to be received by Pope Benedict XVI – was suggested by the assistant, on the 27th of May, after speaking to Francis Campbell, the British ambassador at the Vatican. “Rome is already preparing itself”, Kate wrote, anticipating that visit as what would become the “main” news on that day. One day later, the visit and the audience with the Pope were already confirmed, with a program that was prepared in a detailed manner.

On the 30th of May, after leaving the British consulate in Rome, Kate and Gerry, accompanied by the ambassador, made a strategic stop “for the photographers to catch an image looking at the Basilica”, and continued towards the Vatican, where they spent a few minutes with Benedict XVI. A moment that was described as very emotional, positive and important, and that summoned “loads of” journalists and photographers, which is definitely a concern that is always present with the couple.

After Rome, Madrid, Berlin and Morocco followed, trips with the purpose of publicizing Madeleine’s face and which always relied on passages through consulates or receptions by British ambassadors and political representatives of the corresponding countries.

According to Kate’s notes, the days started or ended with meetings, phone calls and emails. Cherie Blair, the wife of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown’s predecessor, was one of Kate’s contacts, as demonstrated by the reports of the 17th of July. Before Kate gives Sky News an interview, she speaks with Cherie, who agrees to make a 20 second videoclip about Maddie for the English channel. On that same day, Blair himself pledges assistance and makes himself available for whatever is needed.

Kate’s notes:

“Left a message for Gordon Brown to call us in order to increase the political pressure” – Kate McCann, 23rd of May

“Gordon Brown called and spoke with Gerry – very sympathetic and gave strength. Somewhat emotive feeling afterwards” – Kate McCann, 23rd of May

“Clarence spoke to us about a possible visit to the Vatican. Rome is already preparing itself. Francis Campbell was spoken to” – Kate McCann, 27th of May

The ambassador’s solidarity

On the 4th [of May], only hours after the alert of Madeleine’s disappearance was given, Kate wrote in her notes that the English ambassador, John Buck, had been in the apartment offering them his solidarity. She also noted the presence of two employees from the consulate and stressed the strong presence of the media on location. “There is news appearing in the United Kingdom”, Maddie’s mother remembered, also noting the “worrying” and “boring” presence of Yvone, the English social security technician who tried to understand whether there was anything in the family’s life that might explain the child’s absence.

It should be referred that on that very same day, the ambassador met with senior officials from the PJ to understand the outlines of the case.

The news

Abduction theory – On the first days after Maddie’s disappearance, on the 3rd of May 2007, the abduction theory was the only one that was mentioned in the news. “Give back our Madeleine”, the parents appealed, not admitting any other possibility.

Visit to Fátima – Twenty days after Maddie’s disappearance, the McCann couple went to pray at the Sanctuary of Fátima. But before that, they called Gordon Brown in order to increase the political pressure.

Brown’s pressure – Only five days after the McCanns’ contact with the British prime minister, Gordon Brown’s pressures on Portugal because of the Maddie case were already known.

McCanns at the Vatican - The trip to the Vatican and the audience with Pope Benedict XVI were suggested by advisor Clarence Mitchell, who mobilized the British diplomacy in order to take the McCanns to Rome.

“Former PJ director pulls the rug from under his successor’s feet”

The former President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio, said to SIC yesterday that it is “truly unheard of, from the point of view of institutions and of the prestige that we must defend before foreign countries, that the former director of the PJ, a joint prosecutor [Alípio Ribeiro], came out to criticize the archiving [of the process of the disappearance of Maddie] when it was him who managed that process, and I also presume that the constitution of arguidos [of Kate and Gerry McCann] was not entirely unknown to him. I think this is an amazing thing in terms of pulling the rug from under the feet of colleagues that succeeded him in his post. There is no democracy that justifies this”, according to Sampaio.

Concerning Gonçalo Amaral, the former President considers that “if he has factual data that is important for the reopening of this instruction, then he should present them”.

Book Complaint advances – The McCanns say that a lawsuit for defamation against Gonçalo Amaral is “likely”, because of the book, but also against Portuguese newspapers for reproducing its contents.

Amaral Everything in the process – The McCanns’ spokesman says that “from the Attorney General’s statements, they are innocent before the law”, but Amaral recalls that his statements are in the process.

Portimão Presentation – Gonçalo Amaral launches his book in Portimão today. The session is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Municipal Museum. Porto and Braga are his next destinations.

Book Reserve your copy – “The Truth of the Lie”, Gonçalo Amaral’s book, will be distributed again next week, on a date that is yet to be scheduled by CM. Reserve a copy at your kiosk.

Malinka Receives 250 thousand euros – Apart from Robert Murat, also the Russian Sergey Malinka and his [Murat's] girlfriend at that time, Michaela Walczuch, will receive approximately 250 thousand euros in compensations from the British press.

Tomorrow – The management of news in the British press

Source: Correio da Manhã

Translation by Astro


by Joana Morais

http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/

http://proud-of-the-pj.blogspot.com/2008/07/political-pressure-spin-that.html