All kinds of misinformation appears to be surfacing as the countdown begins on whether (or not) the Metropolitan Police search for Madeleine McCann is really due to end Click here.
The most bizarre detail appeared in Portugal’s national tabloid Correio da Manhã on Sunday, suggesting the McCanns were “reduced to €72,000” in a Fund that in its heyday had raked in close to €5 million.
The reasons, claims CM, are “travel expenses, payments to detective agencies and a €500,000 claim for damages from former PJ detective Gonçalo Amaral”, whose appeal against the €1.2 million civil suit lodged by the McCanns was upheld earlier this year Click here.
This last ‘reason’ for the depletion of the massive fund instantly set tongues wagging on various ‘Madeleine sites’ online.
No-one appears to have been aware of any kind of counter-claim by Amaral.
The truth is the ‘news’ is a red-herring.
The Resident has been in touch with the man whom the McCanns have been pursuing in court since 2009 and he told us he had “stopped reading Correio de Manhã years ago”.
“I don’t know what they are talking about,” he said. “The problems of the McCanns are their own,” he added. “I am not interested in their lives.”
But Amaral stressed that he has not asked for “any kind of compensation” - let alone €500,000.
“In my new book I touch on these subjects,” he told us, referring to the book he began writing when the Met’s multi-million pound Operation Grange investigation began Click here.
“But at this point in time, I have nothing to say.”
Amaral has always been a man who measured his words, and he has never had a press spokesman - as the McCanns have had throughout their nine-year ordeal.
Mainstream media reported last month that because of their current purported money troubles, the couple have decided to drop Clarence Mitchell as their media spokesperson.
But bystanders on fora dedicated to discovering the truth of what happened to the missing toddler have suggested the new ‘running-out-of-money stories’ could be a precursor to declaring that the McCanns will be unable to pay any kind of expenses on the legal horizon.
“I don’t know if this is just another publicity stunt,” said Jill Havern, who runs one of the many Madeleine online fora. “It was in the press a while ago that the McCanns were moving some money from the search fund in order to pay for future searches! People donated to the Madeleine Fund purely to search for her, not for legal bills, but that inconvenient truth appears to have been lost in all the PR nonsense.”
Certainly, there is a moral issue as to whether the Fund should be used for legal expenses as shortly after its inception, former trustee Esther McVey stressed the “spirit which underlies the generous donations” which she felt trustees had the “responsibility to steer” Click here.
McVey resigned from the Fund shortly after making this statement.
Meantime, eyes now are on October 5 - the date media sources claim could see an end to the Met’s long-running investigation that this far appears to have spent in excess of €15 million of British taxpayers’ money.
Caption: The McCann couple pictured in 2007 in the Algarve