Friday

Madeleine McCann case: The letters to the Prime Minister and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were posted on Tuesday (12 June). I have also sent a copy to the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, introduces Prime Suspect, Kate McCann,
to Royalty: The Duchess of Gloucester


The letters to the Prime Minister and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were posted on Tuesday (12 June) and I am awaiting replies which I shall post here. I have also sent a copy to the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.  


From: Ms Jill Havern and members of ‘The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’
[address withheld]

Rt. Hon. Mrs Theresa May
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
LONDON
W1A 1AA

Commissioner Ms Cressida Dick
Metropolitan Police
8-10 Broadway,
LONDON
SW1H 0BG

Monday 12 June  2017

Dear Prime Minister and Commissioner Ms Cressida Dick

NEW DEVELOPMENTS SINCE September 2016: The conduct of the Operation Grange investigation into the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann

As before, I write on behalf of the members of my forum ‘The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’, whose membership has grown to 7,645 since my previous letter.

I now write to you again on your re-election as Prime Minister and as before wish you well in that capacity.

You and the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ms Cressida Dick, will recall that nine months ago, I wrote to you in robust terms about the truth about what really happened to Madeleine McCann. I gave you, in particular, detailed evidence about the misconduct of the various private detectives and agencies used by the McCanns. They had used a series of discredited or bogus investigation agencies - and at least four of their detectives had been imprisoned for criminal offences after they had been engaged by the McCanns. Two of their investigators, Kevin Halligen and Antonio Giminez Raso, each served four years in jail. Yet Operation Grange has deemed that the material collected by these criminal or discredited investigators is somehow worthy of consideration.      

I suggested to you previously that the expensive farce that Operation Grange had become should be ended, and that you should set up a fresh inquiry team, with an unlimited remit, which could investigate whether the McCanns were directly involved in any way in the reported disappearance of their daughter.

There have been at least three major developments since I last wrote to you, which fully reinforce what I said back in September - and make it more urgent than ever that Operation Grange is ended and a new inquiry set up with an unlimited remit.

These are:

(1) The original Portuguese police investigation co-ordinator, Dr Goncalo Amaral, winning, in January this year, the libel case brought against him in June 2009 by the McCanns

(2) The clear declaration by the Portuguese Supreme Court, announced in February  this year, that the McCanns had been wrong to claim that they had been ‘cleared’ by the Portuguese police investigation. The Court ruled (a) that the McCanns had NOT been cleared, (b) that the alleged criminal offence of the McCanns, i.e. having hidden Madeleine’s body, was still being investigated, and (c) that proceedings  against the McCanns could still be taken if new and credible evidence of their involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance were to emerge, and

(3) The revelation in April this year by a former senior Metropolitan Police officer, Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, that he had been advised by a very senior Metropolitan Police officer that he should not accept the recommendation of the former Head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service, Jim Gamble, that he (Sutton) should head the proposed Operation Grange Review - because it would have a strictly limited remit and he would “not be able to go where he wanted”.    

Moreover, in later remarks discussing the advice the ‘very senior’ officer had given him, Sutton stated in a SKY News documentary, and in an interview with an Australian TV network, that he had reasons for believing that the McCanns might , after all, have been involved in Madeleine’s disappearance.
               
In my previous letter I respectfully reminded you as follows, quote:

“Whilst you were at the Home Office you personally approved and organised the setting-up of Operation Grange in 2011 and approved its remit, which was to investigate ‘the abduction. The innocence of the McCanns in the disappearance of the daughter was assumed to begin with and so, contrary to all normal rules of police investigation and conduct, any lines of enquiry which might suggest that the McCanns knew or were involved in the disappearance of Madeleine were excluded right from the start.

“As Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016 you would have had regular briefings on the case from your most senior advisers, civil servants, and security service and police officers and you would no doubt have been fully informed of the intensive involvement of government security services and other agencies in the case from the very first day, and their continuing extensive involvement for many years later.

“You must have personal knowledge that the McCanns have by no means been ruled out of involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance”.

At the end of January this year, after a legal process that lasted over 7½ years, the Portuguese Supreme Court refused the McCanns’ appeal against a ruling in the Portuguese Appeal Court in April 2016 that the original Portuguese investigation co-ordinator was not guilty of libeling the McCanns in his book on the case: ‘The Truth of the Lie’. His book, published back in 2008, had given clear evidential reasons for believing that Madeleine McCann had died in the McCanns’ apartment, and that they had covered up Madeleine’s death and arranged to hide her body.

The comments of former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton

I now reproduce some of the statements made by former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton. In a SKY TV documentary on the Madeleine McCann case, he said::

“I did receive a call from a very senior Met Police officer who knew me and said it wouldn't be a good idea for me to head the investigation on the basis that I wouldn't be happy conducting an investigation being told where I could go and where I couldn't go, the things I could investigate and the things I couldn't...”

In a longer interview with an Australian news source, he said:

"There were critical errors because of a high level agenda to not interrogate the child's parents...", and

"Operation Grange's narrow remit to focus only on the theory that the four-year-old was abducted from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal was unusual and a 'missed opportunity'..."

The Australian article continued: "In 2010...Sutton received a phone tip-off from 'a very senior Metropolitan police officer', warning him about the looming investigation and how it would be handled. The insider told Sutton, who served 30 years with London's Met before retiring in 2011, that the dozens of murder detectives assigned to Operation Grange would be instructed where they could and couldn't look. 'I immediately assumed that what was meant was that the [McCann] family and Tapas 7 [the group of seven friends on holiday with the McCanns] were a no-go area', Sutton said".

The article went on "...the detective's instincts were proven correct. The 'crucial phrase', as Sutton calls it, in the Operation Grange remit was a line stating the review would be carried out 'as if the abduction occurred in the UK'. That meant Kate and Gerry McCann, despite several concerning inconsistencies in their witness statements, were not to be looked at”, Sutton said. The rest of [the remit] is really of little consequence after that because that's sort of saying…we are only treating this as an abduction and we are not looking at any other scenario."

"Sutton also hit out at Scotland Yard claims that the McCanns...had been cleared...'The PJ have never cleared anyone', Sutton said. ‘Ceasing the investigation 'just meant they couldn't find enough evidence to proceed against them'."

Moreover, they quoted more statements from Sutton: “Sutton...said it was well-rehearsed, best police practice in cases such as Madeleine McCann to eliminate those closest to the child first. 'Also any kind of investigation of murder or akin to murder the other place you need to eliminate early on is those that last saw the victim alive. In this case you've got essentially the same group of people who are both close to the victim and the last to see her alive. I'd always want to start with that. I don't understand why that hasn't been done [by Operation Grange]...'."

Sutton said he disagreed with [Met Police] Asst Com Rowley's assessment. He said inconsistencies in some of Kate and Gerry's statements, Kate's 2011 book ‘madeleine’ and also some of the witness accounts of the Tapas 7 disturbed him.

"After police found no forensic evidence in the apartment to back up claims of a break in, Gerry's statements to police detailing what doors he and Kate had used while checking on their three sleeping children changed".

The article concluded: “Portugal's police also had some doubts over the accuracy of timelines provided by Kate and Gerry, and the Tapas 7, in the critical hours either side of Maddie being reported missing at 10pm.  Specialist cadaver and blood dogs were brought to Praia da Luz from the UK, and signalled hits inside apartment 5A and a hire car rented by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine disappeared. [Colin Sutton said that] It was 'entirely possible' that some of Operation Grange's remit was forced upon Scotland Yard by government officials who rubber stamped the multi-million-[pound] funding of the investigation".

The comments of Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley

I also wish to refer to the comments made by Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley about the case in an extended interview given to the media.

He told his interviewer: “What I’ve always said on this case, and I’ve said it to Kate and Gerry as well, we will do everything reasonably possible to try and find an answer for them”. He thus confirms DCI Colin Sutton’s statements that the remit, devised originally by Detective Superintendent Hamish Campbell, excluded the McCanns from the investigation.      

In rambling responses to the interviewer, AC Rowley said first of all that: “There is still a lot unknown”, but later contradicted himself by stating: ”We’ve achieved a complete understanding of it all”. Later in the same interview he contradicted himself once again by saying: “Ten years on, we still don’t have definitive evidence about exactly what’s happened”, and further adding: “All the different hypotheses have to remain open”.  In the same vein, he continued: “This case is [one where] the evidence is limited at the moment as to which one of the [various] hypotheses we should follow. So we have to keep an open mind”.

He continued:  “As I said earlier on we have no definitive evidence as to whether Maddie is alive or dead” but then, bizarrely, claimed: “The investigation has achieved an awful lot”.

He also referred to the initial Portuguese investigation, stating that: “When we started, we started five or so years into this, and there is already a lot of ground been covered, we don’t cover the same ground, what we do is pull all the material we had at the start, all the Portuguese material…” This material included multiple lines of evidence that Madeleine died in the McCanns’ apartment.

He then said: “It would be no different if there were a cold case in London, a missing person from 1990, we would go back to square one look at all the material and if the material was convincing, it ruled out that line of enquiry, we would look somewhere else…You don’t restart an investigation pretending it doesn’t exist and do all the same enquiries again, that is not constructive… What hypotheses does it open, what does it close down…?”  

So, despite all the material in the Portuguese police files pointing to Madeleine’s death in  the McCanns’ apartment, AC Rowley admitted that Operation Grange ignored these lines of enquiry. To make it crystal clear, Rowley confirmed that “We did not interview the McCanns as potential suspects”.              

AC Rowley then developed one of Operation Grange’s favourite hypotheses over the past few years for Madeleine’s disappearance, namely a ‘burglary gone wrong’. He said:  “One of the lines of enquiry, one of the hypotheses was: could this be a burglary gone wrong? Someone is doing a burglary, panicked maybe by a waking child, which leads to Madeleine going missing”. The interviewer retorted, very sensibly: “Most burglars would just run out”. AC Rowley, aware that nothing had been stolen from the McCanns’ apartment even if this was a ’burglary gone wrong’, replied with yet another rambling, 200-word answer, and admitted that, three years after identifying three Praia da Luz residents as the possible burglars, “we have pretty much closed off that group of people”.

The arrest and questioning of these three alleged ‘burglars’ was based on records of one mobile telephone call made between two of them lasting 58 seconds at 9.51pm on Thursday 3 May, the night Madeleine was reported missing. This was the one and only piece of evidence against them, and it was achieved after Operation Grange sifted some 11,000 mobile ‘phone records obtained from some 31 countries of people known or thought to have lived in or visited Praia da Luz at the time Madeleine was reported missing. To achieve this, letters had to be sent by Operation Grange to 31 countries to obtain these records, and thousands of man-hours would have been needed to examine them all. The only result of this vast amount of expensive activity was the wrongful arrest of three local Praia da Luz residents.                      

In my previous letter, I called on you both to, quote:

1. Appoint independent assessors of proven integrity and independence to evaluate the work of Operation Grange, and make its findings public. In this respect, may I remind you of this part of the review’s remit, as determined by DCS Hamish Campbell: “The ‘investigative review’ will be conducted with transparency, openness and thoroughness…” Any such report must include a full investigation into the huge involvement in this case of MI5, Special Branch and other government  or government-backed security agencies;  

2. Appoint, via the new Home Secretary, a different police force, which has the highest possible reputation for integrity and independence, to investigate the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann;

3. Ensure that any new police investigation has an unlimited remit and can therefore go to wherever the evidence leads them;

4. Order the relevant government department to investigate all aspects of the operation of the Find Madeleine Fund, including:-
investigating the actions of all of its Directors,
the funding of the private investigations,
whether or not funds have been used to pay the McCanns’ legal fees and expenses,
why it was necessary for a separate account to be set up last year, to be controlled by the McCanns and not the Directors, and
accounting for all monies paid into and from the Find Madeleine Fund since it was set up in May 2007..    

I shall again send this same letter to the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick. Again I urge you to seek an urgent meeting with her to discuss the contents of my letter.

In the three years and eight months since a BBC Crimewatch ‘McCann Special’ on Madeleine McCann on 14 October 2013, one of my members, Richard Hall, has produced five documentary films on the case lasting a total of 17 hours. These films have had over 5 million views on YouTube alone. The films developed the evidence that Madeleine did indeed die in the McCanns’ apartment and that Gerry and Kate McCann, with the help of others, hid her body. There are in addition literally hundreds of other YouTube uploads by other Google members which also develop this evidence, many of them having a large number of views.

Another member of mine, a retired police superintendent, has published an e-book documenting in detail the evidence that Madeleine died in the McCanns’ apartment. It has been re-published all over the internet and has been read by hundreds of thousands at least. In these ways, ever more people are realising, in line with what Colin Sutton was told in May 2010, that Operation Grange is a sham investigation which was deliberately designed to cover up what really happened to Madeleine.

It would surely be in your interests to admit that Operation Grange was seriously flawed from the start and must be urgently replaced with a new investigation with an unlimited remit.              

Please give this matter your most careful consideration and I shall look forward to your response in the near future.

Yours sincerely


_______________________

Jill Havern

For and on behalf of the members of ‘The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’

Posted on CMOMM forum: https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14299-the-letters-to-the-prime-minister-and-met-police-commissioner-cressida-dick-were-posted-on-tuesday-12-june-and-i-am-awaiting-replies-which-i-shall-post-here-i-have-also-sent-a-copy-to-the-leader-of-the-opposition-jeremy-corbyn#369753