Kate McCann's lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu: ''If you were Portuguese this would be enough to put you in prison.''

21 Jun 2010

Short report on 5th Madeleine Foundation Conference

By Tony Bennett

Conference members discussed a number of topics.

A very detailed presentation was given by a visitor who had prepared a paper dealing with a number of aspects concerning the DNA samples analysed by various laboratories.

He also dealt with the work of cadaver dogs in detail, pointing out that Eddie was specifically trained and used to find the scent of a cadaver, not blood. Keela was there to find the blood, and of course did so in the very same location where Eddie alerted strongly to the odour of a corpse.

A further presentation examined the astonishing fact that not a trace of Madeleine McCann’s DNA could be found anywhere in Apartment 5A, nor on her hairbrush, toothbrush, clothes etc. This necessitated the police to go hunting for some of Madeleine’s DNA weeks later in Rothley, where they found a stain on a pillow case which matched a sample of blood provided, though the precise source of that blood sample has not been disclosed by the Portuguese police. The absence of Madeleine’s DNA in Praia da Luz was a fact which called for very close attention and the meeting discussed a number of alternative explanations.

We hope with the author’s permission to publish these articles in due course.

The recent rebuttal by ‘Chinagirl’ of our leaflet on Goncalo Amaral was discussed and we agreed to provide a response on behalf of The Foundation.

The role of Brian Kennedy in supporting the McCanns was much discussed, including an examination of his activity in the so-called ‘Kennedy triangle’ of (a) Wilmslow, (b) Knutsford and (c) Swettenham, near Crewe. These are, respectively, the locations of (a) his Latium Empire, (b) the secluded house in a leafy Knutsford suburb which is the official headquarters of the McCann private investigation operation, and (c) his family home at Swettenham Hall. His role in interfering with witnesses was discussed, including claims made in an Evening Standard article last year that this interference had been so serious that some witnesses were frightened into not making statements to the police. It was the opinion of some at the meeting that since this involved the search for a British missing girl and that he may have actively prevented witnesses from giving relevant facts to the police, it may be a criminal matter and should be reported as such by British police for them to investigate.

Local newspaper cuttings were viewed which clearly showed that Brian Kennedy had been involved in setting up an operation to help the McCanns long before his involvement was first publicly admitted on 16 September 2007. Prior to then, of course, he had appointed his in-house lawyer Edward Smethurst as ‘the McCanns’ co-ordinating lawyer’.

New material about former Detective Chief Inspector Dave Edgar was discussed, and as he has had such a prominent role in the past 12 months in the Madeleine McCann saga, we thought we should add a feature article about him to our website as soon as possible.

His activities have included the now notorious claims that he was ‘convinced’ that Madeleine was being held in a ‘prison lair’ in the ‘lawless hills’ around Praia da Luz and that the Victoria Beckham-lookalike from Australia was a ‘strong lead’. This despite the fact that the information about this woman had come from a British banker who had been drinking in various Barcelona bars until 2am, when he met her, and that it had taken him over two years of ‘agonising’ before going, of course, straight to the McCann investigation team with his ‘information’ instead of to official police sources. A course of action of which Leicestershire Constabulary would no doubt approve since their website encourages the public to contact Dave Edgar and not the official police.

A leaflet distribution of the Goncalo Amaral leaflet took place on Saturday evening in nearby shopping centres, with many leaflets handed in to the owners and staff of restaurants, pubs and fast food outlets.

One young assistant at a Co-op shop was given a leaflet and asked to pass it to his manager. When we returned 10 minutes later to stock up on drinks for the evening, he was seen carefully reading page 3 of the leaflet on the till counter.

After leaving one pub, one of our leafleters was chased down the street by a pub drinker. Clearly a McCann-sceptic and not a McCann-believer, he asked for, and was given, a dozen extra leaflets to hand out to his mates.

Around 300 leaflets were distributed during the evening, and many more taken away by conference guests to hand out in their local areas.

The identity of ‘muratfan’ was discussed, together with the additional query as to whether the Ian West of Norwich identified as ‘muratfan’ was also the Ian West, photographer, also based in Norwich, who until October last year had a website. Shortly after there was speculation last September about whether these were one and the same, Ian West the photographer posted his last-ever message, the following month (October) on ‘Twitter’.

His intriguing message read simply:

‘everything is changing’

P.S. If Ian West the photographer can substantiate that he is not the ‘muratfan’ Ian West, I’ll be happy to acknowledge that and also withdraw this posting.

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