Friday

UK police chief hits back at Portuguese detective's claims


Sunday Express, Sunday November 08, 2009, paper edition only

The head of Leicestershire Police has rejected claims from a former Portuguese detective that his officers withheld a witness statement from the Madeleine McCann inquiry.

Chris Eyre, the Temporary Chief Constable, who recently apologised over a mother and daughter driven to suicide, said "I can assure you that at no time were statements withheld and not passed on."

Goncalo Amaral, the Algarve detective who was removed the inquiry early on, made his claim in a book, which is now banned.

Mr Eyre responded after Freedom of Information requests were submitted by the Sunday Express.

A team of Leicestershire family liason officers went to Portugal on May 5 2007 to support the McCanns.

It has also emerged that the Foreign Office has withheld details about the investigation so as not to damage relations between Britain and Portugal.

An individual submitted Freedom of Information requests to get details of negotiations by John Buck, Britain's former ambassador to Portugal.

The then Information Commissioner Richard Thomas refused in case it caused Portugal to lose trust in Britain's discretion.

(Well done Sunday Express for helping the McCanns get this case reopened - keep at it!)
David Payne and Jon Corner: Those sleazy comments
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Excerpt from The Truth of the Lie: Chapter 9

This witness statement from the couple, S.G. and K.G., is taken by the English police on May 16th, thirteen days after Madeleine's disappearance. That information, very important for the progress of the investigation, was never sent to the Portuguese police. When the Portuguese investigators learn about similar events that allegedly took place during a holiday in Greece - without, however, obtaining reliable witness statements -, they tell the English police, who, even at this point, refrain from revealing what they know on the subject.

It will only be after my removal from the investigation, in October 2007, that this statement will finally be sent to the Portuguese police. Why did the British keep it secret for more than six months? It is all the more surprising that David Payne, who had planned the trip to Majorca - of whom it was known that his behaviour towards the children was, to say the least, questionable -, is the same person who organised the holiday in Portugal, that he is one of those closest to Madeleine and that he is the first friend of the family to have been seen with Kate McCann just after the disappearance (we will talk further about this). He was still present in Vila da Luz when the English police received that witness statement: why wasn't he interviewed immediately? Without doubt, the Portuguese police could have made progress with the investigation thanks to that lead: such behaviour would merit close attention. Were we looking in the right direction? Might we have established a link with the events of May 3rd? It is difficult to seriously doubt these witnesses.
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Quote of the Day by 'Catalina':

"Have you noticed how many 'former' people seem to be involved or quoted in the Madeleine case? It's all former detectives, ex- police officers, now the 'former' chief of Scotland Yard. All people who used to be something.

I bet Leicestershire police aren't pleased at being accused of not playing their part properly, and not inputting their information into the ludicrously named 'Holmes' system. If Scotland Yard has all this technology and it hasn't been used in the Madeleine case in two and a half years, why do the McCanns think that might be?

Gosh, what victims they are, aren't they? What more could have gone wrong for them? How can one couple be so unlucky? First their daughter goes missing through no fault of their own, then the Portuguese police mess up the investigation and don't do what the McCanns want, then some people don't believe Jane Tanner's story or all the pictures of the different but always ugly, pock-marked, sinister and usually swarthy abductors, then totally useless sniffer dogs are used, they sniff blood and cadaver odour around the McCanns and nowhere else and people actually think that means something, then they're suspected of being involved in the disappearance or death of their own daughter, then that nasty Portuguese policeman writes a book saying cruel things, the police files are released and people can see for themselves what is in them and why the McCanns are suspected, then they're criticised for not going back to do a reconstruction, none of the detectives they have spent vast sums of money on have come up with anything, then it turns out there may have been satellite images which haven't been released to them, now it appears that Scotland Yard has had all this technology all along but hasn't used it.... and while all this bad luck is happening to them, ghastly bloggers keep pointing out all their inconsistencies and accusing them of lying all the time! How can they go on? Oh yes, well, there's always the Fund of course. That's one consolation."