McCann case: The English Foreign Office refused to hand over information

The English Foreign Office refused to hand over information about the communications that were made by John Buck, then British Ambassador to Portugal, arguing that it could affect the relationship between both governments.

The request to access those documents was made by British citizens and journalists under the “Freedom of Information Act 2000”, a law that regulates the public’s free access to information about the work of the government and public institutions in general, namely the police.

Despite the fact that the English Government’s reply mentions communications between its representatives and the Portuguese police, the 13 emails that are at the core of the matter have been sent or received by the ambassador, the consulate in Portimão, and the representatives of the British Foreign Office in Portugal and in London, between the 9th of May and the 21st of June 2007.

According to a source at the Foreign Office itself, some of the emails that were exchanged between the ambassador and the ministry “contain obvious evidence of the interference of the diplomat with the PJ’s hierarchy and that fact has conditioned the investigation”.

In the same document, the English government further confirms that “a [McCann] family member had made clear to FCO staff that all comments made by that individual to FCO had been made in strict confidence and were not intended for disclosure to third parties”.

At the consulate’s door

The face of Madeleine McCann has also found a place at the new offices of the British consulate in Portimão. The space’s inauguration took place on Friday, and at that time, the little girl’s photograph was already affixed at the main entrance. The ambassador and the consul, as well as inspectors of the Polícia Judiciária, visited.

No news is good news

Kate and Gerry say they continue to believe that their daughter is alive. On the website “”, they refer a positive aspect from the absence of news, “nothing suggests that anyone has harmed Madeleine”. And they recall recent media-exposed cases like those of “Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck and Natasha Kampusch”.

Translated by astro

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