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

29 Aug 2010

KEVIN HALLIGEN: British taxpayer will pay tens of thousands to try to keep 'Madeleine con-man' Kevin Halligen in Britain

Foreword by Tony Bennett, Madeleine Foundation:

Almost exactly a year after Mark Hollingsworth sensationally, in the Evening Standard, revealed that con-man Kevin Halligen had wasted half a million pounds on highly questionable activities in the Madeleine McCann investigation, Hollingsworth pops up again to inform us that the British taxpayer will now have to pay hefty barristers' fees on Legal Aid to try to get him out of having to face trial in the U.S. on an alleged $2 million (£1.3 million) fraud.

A reminder of our article: 'The McCanns' private investigators - investigated' by John Whitehouse on our website: http://www.madeleinefoundation.org.uk/ - click on 'Articles'

Historical note: Kevin Halligen was personally chosen to head the McCanns' private investigation by Brian Kennedy.

By Christopher Leake and Mark Hollingsworth
Last updated at 4:16 AM on 29th August 2010

Maddie McCann investigator to get legal aid in battle against U.S. fraud charges

A private detective whose firm was paid up to £500,000 from publicly donated funds to find Madeleine McCann is to get tens of thousands of pounds in legal aid to fight extradition to the US for fraud charges.
Kevin Halligen, 50, told Kate and Gerry McCann he could find their daughter but allegedly spent the cash on a lifestyle of first-class flights, chauffeured cars, nightclubs and luxury hotels and goods.
In a separate alleged scam he was arrested last November at the £700-a-night Old Bank Hotel in Oxford.
US authorities issued an extradition warrant accusing Halligen of defrauding a law firm of £1.3 million by ­claiming he could help free two men jailed in war-torn Africa. It is claimed he instead spent the money on a mansion.
A document filed in the District Court of Columbia claims he took money, saying his firm could help secure the release of two executives from the multi­national company Trafigura jailed in Ivory Coast in 2007 for allegedly dumping toxic waste.
He is said to have suggested a rescue operation to fly in South African mercenaries, but it was cancelled. The duo were freed a few months later after a reported £120 million payment.
Halligen, who claimed to have worked for MI5 and the CIA, linked up with the McCanns a year after the 2007 disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine on a family holiday at Praia da Luz, Portugal.
He boasted of ‘contacts’ in Washington who could provide satellite imagery to help the search. Oakley International, a company run by Halligen, was hired by the fund set up by Madeleine’s parents, but was dropped after six months due to claims of too little progress and too much spending.

Now British taxpayers are to pay for top-flight lawyers to fight Dublin-born Halligen’s extradition. His team includes a leading extradition barrister whose fees are thought to be at least £2,000 a day.
Additional fees for renowned London fraud solicitors Janes will boost costs even further.
The award of legal aid to ­Halligen, remanded at a London jail since arrest, was confirmed by Westminster magistrates this month. His next extradition hearing is on Wednesday.
Last night a spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann would not comment on the case.
A spokeswoman for the Legal Services Commission said last night: ‘The decision on whether legal aid is required is made by the court.’
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: ‘We’ve announced the start of a fundamental look at the legal aid system.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1307149/Maddie-McCann-hunt-fraudster-legal-aid.html#comments#ixzz0xyWzCGxF

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