Persons Heard by the PJ in the Maddie Case Were Sounded Out by Madeleine’s Parents
McCanns searched for Witnesses
by Luís Maneta
The mediatic process was still under the secrecy of justice, Kate and Gerry had already been constituted as arguidos, but nonetheless Madeleine's parents did not stop having contacts with witnesses. Three of them told everything to the authorities.
During the period in which the process Maddie was kept under the secrecy of justice, the McCann family had knowledge of what several witnesses knew. Persons who were sounded out and questioned by detectives hired to discover the whereabouts of the English girl, or even by a millionaire friend of the couple, reported subsequently the fact to the authorities, as stated in the process made public last month.
Between the witnesses "searched" on the McCanns request is Charlotte Pennington, one of the Ocean Club nannies, and Martin Smith, an Irish tourist who swore to be convinced of having seen Gerry carrying a child on his arms, in the fateful night of the 3rd of May in which the English girl disappeared of the apartment rented by the family in Praia da Luz.
Another witness, Catriona Baker, an Ocean Club nanny who knew personally Madeleine McCann, was received at the home of Kate and Gerry in November of 2007; months before her giving a statement to the Leicester police, in the scope of the rogatory letters sent by the Portuguese authorities for the United Kingdom.
When cross-examined by the English police, in April of 2008, Catriona Baker revealed the existence of this meeting: “I visited the family at their home in the sequence of an invitation to see how everyone was”.
Millionaire spoke with witness
In the questioning, besides describing the routine of the children in the crèche where they spent a great part of the day, Catriona shows that, when she knew of Maddie's disappearance, she searched for her everywhere, following on foot all the routes that were familiar to her, from the area around the Tapas Bar to the beach. “I did not see Kate or Gerry on that night”, she guarantees.
In his turn, the Irish tourist Martin Smith said to the British authorities that he had been contacted by Brian Kennedy - one of the biggest financiers of the Madeleine McCann Fund - in a date that he did not specify. Brian Kennedy justified the initiative with the purpose of elaborating a visual rendering of the man that Martin Smith said to have seen, a little after 22h00, carrying a child near the Ocean Club.
Initially, Smith did not identify the person. But after returning England and having seen Gerry McCann with one of the twins on his arms he was “60-80 % sure” that it was the same person. Having suspicions, Smith, did not only help to do any sketches he also refused to give informations.
Charlotte Pennington also said to have been approached by initiative of the McCanns. In this case, the contact was done through a private investigator, Noel Hagan, who works for Metodo 3, one of the detectives' agencies hired by Maddie's parents. “Charlotte assured to me that she only told him the same informations that she had already given to the PJ and to me”, wrote the English police officer who spoke with the former Ocean Club nanny.
Source: 24 Horas
article here at Joana Morais
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