Saturday

Madeleine Foundation funds now unfrozen after false allegations of fraud by former chairman Debbie Butler


Statement by Tony Bennett, Secretary of The Madeleine Foundation:

On 11 November, our bankers finally decided to return to members of The Madeleine Foundation the £2,766 funds that were frozen at the request of Ms Debbie Butler on 4 November 2009.

Essex Police ended their 8-month investigation into Ms Butler's allegations in July, but it wasn't until September that they sent a clear letter stating that I was 'no longer a suspect'. On receipt of that, the bank wrote to Ms Butler giving her a further period of time to raise any other reasonable objections to that money being transferred back to the members. She did not.

The whole police handling of the investigation into me, based solely on Ms Butler's false claims, is currently being investigated by Independent Police Complaints Commission Senior Investigator Chris Mahaffey. A final report will be issued by the IPCC in the New Year. I have been advised that the probable conclusion will be that no police officer should be disciplined over the way the investigation was conducted - but that there are likely to be a number of criticisms of Essex Police's actions, and 'lessons to be learned'. As a police officer put it to me recently, the police need to be very careful 'not to get embroiled in personal vendettas'. The IPCC report will be made public.

At our Committee meeting on 23 October, we resolved that on receipt of the members' money back, we would immediately pay Goncalo Amaral a further 600 euros (about £530) and we'll do that in the coming week. That will be on top of the 600 euros we donated back in June this year.
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Posted on our forum here
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Updated:

Email from Tony Bennett to his members and supporters:

Dear members and supporters,

MADELEINE FOUNDATION BANK ACCOUNT

This is a brief e-mail to tell you that, after just over a year since our bank account was frozen at the request of our ex-Chairman Debbie Butler, the bank has not only restored our funds this week in full - but also offered us £100.00 compensation for their handling of the matter.

You can read more about this on a thread at Jill Havern's site, here:

http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/madeleine-foundation-f10/madeleine-foundation-bank-account-unfrozen-t1668.htm#37654

Your Committee met on 23 October [Copy of the Minutes available to members on request] and agreed that when these funds were restored to us, we would pay a further 600 euros to the PJGA, the fund which is for Goncalo Amaral's legal expenses. THis will be done enxt week.

It's just over a year also after the press reported this:

A source close to Gerry and Kate McCann said: "This foundation is now in meltdown. They can't wait to see the end of it."

Since then:

* Our website has been restored and has much more on it than the old one

* '60 Reasons' may not be on sale but has been copied on to torrent sites and other wesbites where tens of thousand more have read it

* We have published a second book on the case

* We have distributed thousands of leaflets in support of Goncalo Amaral

* and now we've got our frozen funds back with a nice bonus.

On a personal note, I would like to thank in particular Sharon for helping to achieve this turnaround from a year ago, and also Grenville Green and his wife Helene who also played a major part in bringing this about. Plus the whole Committee would like to thank all of those who have supported us one way or another or take an interest in what we are trying to do in The Madeleine Foundation.

Tony Bennett
Secretary
The Madeleine Foundation
01279 635789