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Author Topic: Madeleine McCann Missing-Praia Da Luz, Portugal 3/05/07 #1  (Read 402018 times)
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Bearlyhere
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« Reply #2080 on: June 23, 2008, 04:36:03 AM »

Gerry's Blog From Day 412: 18/06/2008  (Madeleine's Dad)
 
Day 412: Kate and I had a flying visit to Strasbourg yesterday to the European Parliament. The visit was organised by one of the written declaration sponsors, Edward McMillan-Scott who is a Vice-President of the parliament.

It was hectic schedule but well worth effort. We met with the other sponsors, many MEP’s who have signed the declaration and many who did not realise that there was a declaration on the introduction of an EU wide Amber alert. As we stated when we launched the declaration in Brussels last month- the alert is not our idea. It already has the support of the European commission and they and other groups such as Missing Children Europe, PACT and Missing People have done a huge amount of work previously. Our hope is that getting the declaration formally adopted by the parliament will speed up the implementation of alerts throughout the EU member staets and facilitate cross-border cooperation. Many of the MEP’s who have not signed said they will and a lot of those who have already signed said they will lobby their National and fellow group MEP’s to sign.

Today we heard that 283 have now signed the declaration compared to 211 on Monday. We are hopeful that the additional 110 signatures required will be achieved by the next sitting of parliament on the 7-10th July. It would be a great shame if the declaration failed because of a combination of ignorance and apathy.

http://www.findmadeleine.com/ns/
 
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« Reply #2081 on: June 23, 2008, 04:46:14 AM »

Madeleine McCann: parents' court bid for information

By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter
Last Updated: 3:08AM BST 21/06/2008

Kate and Gerry McCann are to ask a High Court judge to order the release of police documents which they hope will kick-start the search for their missing daughter Madeleine, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.


Kate and Gerry McCann are determined to everything necessary to search for their daughter

The McCanns hope their application to Mrs Justice Hogg will result in Leicestershire Police opening their files on scores of reported sightings of Madeleine, most of which have been passed on to them by police in Portugal, where the four-year-old disappeared in May last year.

Until now police in Leicestershire, the McCanns' home county, have refused the couple's requests for information about sightings, saying they are bound by the terms of an agreement with Portuguese police.

But Mr and Mrs McCann, who retain the services of a Spanish-based detective agency, are anxious to make sure that every possible lead has been checked out, which they believe the Portuguese police, whose investigation is gradually being wound down, may not be able to do.

The Telegraph can also disclose that Madeleine was made a ward of court last summer at the request of the McCanns, to empower judges to act in her best interests in any legal dispute such as the case which is about to be heard.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said: “I can state that on the instigation of Gerry and Kate McCann Madeleine is a ward of the High Court of England and Wales.

“An application has been made on Madeleine’s behalf by her parents for disclosure of certain documents. The hearing is currently scheduled for July 7 in the High Court in London.

“It has been the stated intention of Gerry and Kate McCann to leave no stone unturned in doing everything necessary to search for their daughter, as would any parent.

“This application is just part of their search for Madeleine.”

Madeleine’s status as a ward of court has never been disclosed by her parents, who quietly made a wardship application in the High Court just weeks after she went missing.

The couple’s legal team had advised them to ask for Madeleine to be made a ward of court because wardship status gives the courts certain statutory powers to act on her behalf in legal disputes such as the one which has arisen with Leicestershire police.

They still believe their daughter is alive and hope the police files may contain information which could yet lead to a breakthrough.

The case is listed to be heard in open court on July 7 in the Family Division of the High Court in London, and is expected to be contested by Leicestershire Police, according to legal sources.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry have always said that they will do whatever is necessary to find Madeleine and that they will leave no stone unturned in their search for their daughter.

"They will take whatever legal steps are necessary if there is information out there that can assist their private investigation into finding Madeleine. Beyond that I cannot make any comment."

Mr Mitchell said the hearing would not involve any attempt by the McCanns to clear their names by proving they were not involved in their daughter's disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz. They remain official suspects, or arguidos, in Portugal.

In recent months the couple have become increasingly frustrated at the slow progress of the Portuguese investigation, and they suspect that many possible sightings of Madeleine have not been followed up at all.

If they are given access to the police files on reported sightings, each one will be looked into by private investigators retained by the couple.

For the past year the McCanns have employed Metodo 3, a Barcelona-based detective agency, to carry out an investigation in parallel with the Portuguese police inquiry.

The agency has checked out sightings as far afield as North Africa and South America – all of which have proved to be false – using either its own staff or affiliated firms, which it says it can do far more quickly than the police.

In one instance earlier this year, the agency ruled out a sighting of Madeleine in Chile within three hours of receiving a tip-off, by employing local investigators to track down the girl concerned. The agency argues that police would have taken days to achieve a similar result because they would have been hampered by bureaucracy and official procedure.

Earlier this week Portugal's Attorney General suggested that police files may be opened up at the end of July, but the McCanns fear his comments may prove to be another false dawn.

Their case is being heard in the Family Division because it involves the welfare of a child. Mrs Justice Hogg, a specialist in child welfare cases, is the sister of former cabinet minister Douglas Hogg and the daughter of former Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham.
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« Reply #2082 on: June 27, 2008, 07:05:56 AM »

http://madeleinemccann.blogspot.com/2008/06/madeleine-mccann-family-death-threats.html

Friday, 27 June 2008
Madeleine McCann family death threats
 
from the Liverpool Echo

MADELEINE McCann’s parents have installed panic alarms at their home after receiving threats.

Liverpool-born Kate and husband Gerry are understood to have received offensive and menacing letters and emails, including two that threatened to kill them.

The couple have installed the security system at their £600,000 detached home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

The equipment, costing several thousand pounds, is understood to include CCTV and panic buttons in most rooms to alert police in an emergency.

Police are examining the threats to try to track down the senders. One of the most disturbing messages suggested an intruder would target Madeleine’s bedroom.

Doctors Kate, 40, and Gerry, 39, have left the room unchanged since their daughter vanished from their holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, nearly 14 months ago.

A source close to the couple said yesterday: “They have had threats made against them which they find both very worrying and upsetting.

“Unfortunately there are some lunatics out there. There have been lots of offensive and vicious letters, with at least two talking about killing them.

“Security surrounding Kate and Gerry has been reviewed.

“It means they can sleep better at night.”

There was a surge in abusive mail arriving at the McCanns’ home , after they appeared in an ITV documentary last month.

The source said it is feared the couple’s visit to Strasbourg last week will trigger more.

Former Notre Dame high school pupil Kate and Gerry were in the French city to campaign for a Europe-wide alert system for abducted children.

A Leicestershire police spokesman said: “We are investigating threats made against the McCanns.”
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« Reply #2083 on: July 01, 2008, 08:43:58 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,374247,00.html



Reports: Police Ending Investigation Into Madeleine McCann Disappearance
Tuesday , July 01, 2008


LISBON, Portugal —

Portuguese police are dropping their investigation into the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann due to a lack of evidence, media reported Tuesday.

Three Portuguese newspapers said the Public Prosecutor's office would call off its search for the British girl before Aug. 15, when the customary official secrecy period covering the investigation ends.

Closing the case would mean that official suspects, including Madeleine's parents, would no longer be under formal investigation.

Police could reopen the case if new evidence were to emerge, the newspapers said.

The three — Correio da Manha, Jornal de Noticias and Expresso — cited unidentified police sources saying the 14-month investigation had reached a dead end.

The police media office in Lisbon said there was no official comment on the reports.

(snipped)
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« Reply #2084 on: July 01, 2008, 09:03:46 PM »

Thanks Klaas. this is just too hear†breaking...that poor baby and those poor parents Sad
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« Reply #2085 on: July 01, 2008, 10:32:48 PM »

 July 1, 2008, 9:07AM
Case of missing girl not closed, Portuguese official says

By BARRY HATTON
Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal — Police have completed their final report into the disappearance of British child Madeleine McCann but officials have taken no decision yet on whether to proceed with the investigation or close the case, Portugal's attorney-general said today.

Three newspapers — Correio da Manha, Jornal de Noticias and Expresso — published comments  today from unidentified police sources saying the 14-month investigation had reached a dead end and is to be ended due to a lack of conclusive evidence.

However, Attorney-General Fernando Pinto Monteiro said in a statement that prosecutors will examine the police report before deciding whether to halt the investigation or undertake further inquiries.

Officials will "determine whether further inquiries are needed or whether the conditions are in place for the investigation to be closed," the statement e-mailed to The Associated Press said.

It said the case file amounted to "dozens of volumes" and noted that the judicial secrecy law covering ongoing investigations, which ensures evidence remains confidential, expires only in mid-August.

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal's southern Algarve region during a family vacation in May 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday. Detectives named her parents, Kate and Gerry, and local man Robert Murat as formal suspects in the case. All denied involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Closing the case would mean that the official suspects would no longer be under formal investigation.

The McCanns, who have waged an international campaign to find their daughter, returned home to central England with Madeleine's younger sister and brother last September, a few days after they were named as suspects.

Clarence Mitchell, the parents' spokesman, said that if the investigation were to be closed he expected the search for Madeleine to continue.

"The information in their files surely cannot sit on the shelf gathering dust. Kate and Gerry will never give up searching for their daughter," Mitchell said.

He said that if Portuguese police end their inquiry they should hand their files over to the McCanns' private investigators.

"The police themselves must continue looking for Madeleine. We are concerned that if they are to simply shelve the case then what will happen to all of the information in their files? They must be made available to our investigators, who are working extremely hard to find Madeleine," Mitchell said.

The case has drawn global interest. A few weeks after Madeleine vanished, Pope Benedict XVI blessed the McCanns and a photo of their daughter during his weekly general audience at the Vatican. Numerous reported sightings of the blonde-haired girl proved to be false.

British and Portuguese police have cooperated in the investigation. Sophisticated forensic tests on evidence gathered at the resort where the girl disappeared were carried out in Britain.

In April, British police in England, accompanied by Portuguese detectives, re-interviewed the McCanns' friends, who were having dinner with them when Madeleine vanished.
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« Reply #2086 on: July 05, 2008, 08:30:25 PM »

Madeleine McCann Detective Plans 'Explosive' Book About Case, Believes Toddler Is Dead
Saturday, July 05, 2008

The former Portuguese detective in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann plans to publish an "explosive" book on the case in which he asserts the British toddler is dead, among other claims, London's Daily Mail reported.

Goncalo Amaral, 48, has finished writing "True Lies," which he intends to publish once a judge lifts a gag order in the case.

Amaral left the police force Monday night after 28 years as an officer, according to the Mail. He said he quit the force to get back his "freedom of speech."

Amaral believes Madeleine, who was 4 when she vanished while on vacation in Portugal with her parents and twin younger siblings, won't be found alive.

Amaral was booted from the case after five months because he publicly criticized his British counterparts. He accused them of only following up on leads that Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, wanted investigated.

"I am not saying that the English police were under the command of the McCanns, but they were influenced," Amaral said. "In a way, we were all influenced by the campaign that they organized, according to which the girl was alive and had to be found."

Amaral was rumored to be the source who leaked many of the news stories that implicated the McCanns in their daughter's disappearance.

He also was frequently photographed drinking over lunch and dinner when he was involved in the case, according to the Mail.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,376691,00.html
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« Reply #2087 on: July 07, 2008, 10:51:54 AM »

British police turn over evidence on Madeleine McCann to missing girl's parents
July 7, 2008 - 9:04
Robert Barr, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON - British police have agreed to give the parents of Madeleine McCann 80 pieces of information about its investigation into her disappearance in Portugal last year.
In return for Leicestershire police's agreement to release that information, parents Kate and Gerry McCann have agreed to drop a court case that sought the release of all information held by the force.
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns, hailed the decision, calling it 80 potential new leads in the investigation the McCanns are carrying out privately.
The couple, who live in Rothley in Leicestershire, did not attend the court hearing in London but were on vacation with their two other children.
Portuguese police said last week they had completed their final report into the girl's disappearance but have not announced yet whether they will close their investigation.
Madeleine vanished from the family's apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.
The couple's lawyer, Tim Scott, told Justice Mary Hogg there is no proof that Madeleine is still alive "but there is not a scrap of evidence that she is not."
Hogg said at least one person does knows what happened to Madeleine.
"I ponder whether that person has a conscience or any feeling of guilt or remorse or even cares about the hurt that has been caused to an innocent little girl," the judge said.
"I entreat that person, whoever they may be, to show mercy and compassion and come forward now and tell us where Madeleine is to be found."
http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=w070733A
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« Reply #2088 on: July 07, 2008, 03:43:39 PM »

McCanns drop court action as police release files

Monday, 7 July 2008

Police agreed today to hand over evidence about Madeleine McCann's disappearance to her parents.


As a result, Kate and Gerry McCann dropped their High Court bid to force disclosure of the information held by Leicestershire police.

The force has been involved in the search for Madeleine since shortly after she disappeared 14 months ago.

The parents, who wanted to avoid a legal conflict with the police or other agencies while at the same time obtaining as much material as possible to help in their continuing search, were content to withdraw their case.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell, speaking on the steps of the High Court in London, welcomed the move.


Mr and Mrs McCann were not present at the hearing in London. Mrs Justice Hogg said she had not asked for their attendance because "they have suffered enough and I wished to ease their burden".


The judge urged anyone with information about the missing girl to come forward.

"There is, of course, one person who knows what has happened to Madeleine and where she may be found," the judge said.

"I ponder about that person - whether that person has a heart and might understand what it must be like for Madeleine to have been taken and secreted from her parents and siblings and those she loved and felt secure with.

"I ponder whether that person has a conscience or any feeling of guilt or remorse or even cares about the hurt that has been caused to an innocent little girl, and whether that person has a faith or belief and what explanation or justification they might give to God.

"I entreat that person, whoever they may be, to show mercy and compassion and come forward now and tell us where Madeleine is to be found.

"I hope she will be found soon, alive and well."


The court heard that the McCanns, both 40, from Rothley, Leicestershire, were on holiday with their twins, Sean and Amelie.

Their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said outside court the couple would very much welcome the 80 pieces of information which the police had agreed to release.

"These are 80 potential new leads. We have information we can work on," he said.

The couple were also looking forward to much greater disclosure of information once their status as "arguidos" or formal suspects was, as expected, lifted by the Portuguese authorities.

Mr Mitchell said: "They will be strengthened and touched by what Mrs Justice Hogg said.

"It was immensely kind. In the context of the courtroom, it was a statement she did not have to make. It was extremely supportive and very generous and kind.

"I know Kate and Gerry will be incredibly touched."

Madeleine vanished from the family's holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year shortly before her fourth birthday. No one has been arrested or charged in connection with her abduction.

The couple's counsel, Tim Scott QC, told the judge today there was no proof that Madeleine was alive, "but there is not a scrap of evidence that she is not".

He said the McCanns acknowledged the enormous effort devoted to the search by Leicestershire Police and other law enforcement agencies.

Shortly after their daughter disappeared, the judge, in the High Court Family division, granted them a wide order requiring anyone on whom it was served to disclose relevant information to their solicitors.

The police were among those served with the order and serious issues then arose about the public interest in maintaining confidentiality of police investigations.

The Serious Organised Crimes Agency and the Attorney General intervened to advance their own arguments on public policy.

Mr Scott said it became clear that areas of law of great interest to lawyers would have to be considered.

"Gerry and Kate McCann are not lawyers and so far as they were concerned the legal proceedings were moving further and further from the only matter which concerns them - the search for Madeleine.

"The proceedings were in danger of becoming a distraction from, rather than an aid to, that single goal," he said.


Mr Scott said the information to be released by the police related to telephone calls made to the McCanns' solicitors and passed on to Leicestershire Constabulary's incident room during the early stages of the inquiry.

The chief constable has now agreed to provide contact details and a summary of the information provided by those early callers.

The McCanns' search for their daughter continued in accordance with the title of the fund they set up to help them in their task, Madeleine's Fund - Leaving No Stone Unturned.

James Lewis QC, for the police, said Chief Constable Matt Baggott shared that aim, but felt it was vital to balance the understandable desire of the McCanns to have as much information as possible against the risks of compromising the continuing criminal investigation, damaging future international co-operation and breaching Portuguese law.

The material to be disclosed consisted of 81 pieces of information out of more than 11,000, said Mr Lewis.

Approving the settlement of the case, the judge amended her original wide disclosure order to state that it did not apply to Leicestershire Police or any other UK law enforcement agency.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mccanns-withdraw-bid-to-release-files-861524.html

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« Reply #2089 on: July 16, 2008, 12:45:57 AM »

Maddie suspect 'to get huge payout'

From correspondents in London....July 16, 2008 12:25pm....Article from: AAP

    * Papers being sued for stories about Maddie suspect
    * Man was seeking more than $4 million in libel suit
    * Reports say he might get $1 million and an apology

SEVERAL British newspapers will this week be forced to apologise to a suspect in the case of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann who sued them in what was shaping up to be of the UK's biggest ever libel claim.

Reports say Robert Murat, 34, will receive between £250,000 ($512,190) to £500,000 ($1.02 million), as well as a public apology in the High Court in London on Thursday.

Mr Murat has denied any involvement in the disappearance of Madeleine, who vanished from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese beach resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.

It is understood he was seeking £2 million ($4.1 million) from at least 11 media outfits.

Newspapers both in Portugal and Britain wrote many articles about the self-employed property developer when he became the first suspect in the case of Madeleine's disappearance.

Mr Murat, who lives 100m from the La Paz apartment where the McCann's were holidaying, was hauled in by Portuguese police, questioned for about 17 hours before being released.

In April, the London-based law firm Simons Muirhead and Burton confirmed they were "representing Robert Murat in respect of a number of libel actions".

The firm named Sky, the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, News of the World, The Sun, The Scotsman, the London Evening Standard and morning freesheet The Metro.

Last month, Madeleine's parents Gerry, 39, and Kate, 40, won a libel settlement and an apology from Express Newspapers over suggestions that they were involved in her disappearance.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24028726-401,00.html
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« Reply #2090 on: July 21, 2008, 12:25:11 PM »

Kate and Gerry McCann cleared over Madeleine disappearance

July 21, 2008
Gerry and Kate McCann were today cleared of involvement in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, due to a lack of evidence against them.

The Portuguese authorities announced that they have now lifted the status of arguidos - official suspects - from the couple.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, says that the couple were “not surprised” by the news.

“There is a degree of relief but no air of celebration whatsoever,” he said. “They should never have been arguidos. The fact that they have emerged from this without being charged proves

Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, Portugal’s attorney-general, has told police to halt the investigation into the disappearance of the British girl, who went missing from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3.

A statement released by the attorney general’s office this afternoon confirmed that they have decided to “close the file on the investigation concerning the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann due to lack of evidence that any crime was committed by the persons placed under formal investigation”.

The files have been shelved but they will still be periodically reviewed and could be reopened if new evidence emerges.

>>>>the complete article
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article4373782.ece
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« Reply #2091 on: August 04, 2008, 11:59:58 AM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,396866,00.html

Portuguese Officials to Open Madeleine McCann Police File
Monday , August 04, 2008


  LISBON, Portugal —

A police file containing almost 30,000 pages of evidence from the investigation into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann was due to be made public Monday.

A court clerk in the southern Portuguese town of Portimao, near where the child vanished last year in the Algarve region, said the file would be available to journalists who file a written request and appear in person at the court.

Officials would then copy the file onto DVDs, which journalists would have to provide, the clerk said on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.

She said the file is divided into 17 volumes and comprises close to 30,000 pages.

Madeleine McCann vanished May 3, 2007, a few days before her fourth birthday, from a hotel room during a family vacation in Praia da Luz, a coastal Algarve town.

Portugal's attorney general last month ordered police to halt their 14-month investigation because detectives had uncovered no evidence of a crime.

The case will remain closed unless new evidence emerges.

Portuguese lawyers acting for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, gained official access to the files last week. The McCanns have said they hoped to find leads that private investigators could follow up.

Police last year named Madeleine's parents, and local man Robert Murat, as suspects in the case. All three denied involvement.

The McCanns have waged a far-reaching international campaign to find their daughter, but there has been no reliable indication of what might have happened to her despite numerous reported sightings from around the world.

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« Reply #2092 on: August 05, 2008, 12:37:59 PM »

I found this today -

Quote
'My name's Maddie. They took me from my holiday': The astonishing sightings and CCTV footage police kept secret

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:41 PM on 05th August 2008

A girl calling herself 'Maddie' and claiming she was taken from her mother while on holiday was seen in Amsterdam after Madeleine McCann vanished, case files show.

The secret documents gathered by police during their investigation into the three-year-old's disappearance reveals possible sightings from around the world.

Revealed to the public for the first time this week, they show how a Dutch woman reported seeing a little girl who asked her: 'Do you know where my Mummy is?'

Another girl bearing a striking resemblance to Madeleine, then three, was caught on CCTV footage taken within hours of her disappearance in Praia da Luz.

The newly-released documents include scores of e-mails from foreign police forces passing on reports that could provide investigators with a key lead but the Amsterdam sighting is one of the most intriguing.

Dutch shop worker Anna Stam, 41, said she spoke to a little girl aged three or four who said her name was 'Maddie' and replied to a question about her mother: 'They took me from my holiday.'

The girl entered her party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to a witness statement to Dutch police in the police files.

The man - who 'did not look like a nice person' - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.

Miss Stam was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in English without an accent: 'Do you know where my mummy is?'

The shop assistant answered that her mother was a little further back in the store but the child replied: 'She is not my mummy', adding:'She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy.'

When Miss Stam asked the girl where she last saw her mother, she said: 'They took me from my holiday.'

The Dutchwoman went on: 'I asked where that holiday was but the little girl was incapable of telling me.


'I even asked if she was on a camping site or in a hotel but she was unable to say. I told her I thought she was very cute and asked if she wanted a balloon. She didn't.

'I thought it all a little odd and then I heard the woman call the girl. She didn't call her Maddy, but a longer name. She could have said Madeleine but I don't remember that.'

The girl had dark brown hair in a ponytail, 'huge' green-brown eyes and a pale face which showed 'little or no emotion', she said.

Ms Stam said she thought the child looked 'very much like' Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.

The report was sent to the Portuguese authorities on June 18 last year but it is not clear what action was taken.

Meanwhile, the CCTV picture was taken within hours of her disappearance close to Praia da Luz, where she vanished from her family's holiday apartment.

Its existence was revealed for the first time today among thousands of pages of documents from the police investigation into the then three-year-old's disappearance.

Witnesses were shown the still image after it was taken at a petrol station near the town of Lagos on the Algarve's main Via do Infante highway  -  but it was never shown to the public.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1041818/My-names-Maddie-They-took-holiday-The-astonishing-sightings-CCTV-footage-police-kept-secret.html

The article also has a number of interesting photos. 
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« Reply #2093 on: August 07, 2008, 11:04:42 AM »

A follow on to Whiskygirl's post:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/07/maddie.mccann.missing/index.html

(CNN) -- British police were told in March this year that missing girl Madeleine McCann may have been kidnapped by a pedophile ring which followed her three days before her abduction, according to reports.

Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 after being left at a holiday apartment in the Algarve region.

Britain's Daily Telegraph and The Sun newspapers both reported Thursday that an email released this week as part of the documents compiled by the Portuguese investigators probing Madeleine's disappearance revealed the connection to the ring.

Madeleine was 3 when she disappeared May 3, 2007, while she was on holiday with her family at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. Her disappearance prompted headlines worldwide.

According to the newspapers, the email was sent on March 4 by a London-based Metropolitan Police intelligence officer to Leicestershire police -- Madeleine's home county -- who then forwarded it on to investigators in Portugal more than a month later.

In the email, which both newspapers printed a copy of, the officer writes that "intelligence suggests that a pedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.

"Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium. The purchaser agreed the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken," the officer wrote.

The Daily Telegraph reported the Portuguese police then asked Interpol to investigate. However, nothing appears to have come of the lead.

Belgium has already featured in the case, with a reported sighting on the Dutch/Belgian border last August already discounted. 
 
Madeleine McCann case file made public
The case files, released by the Portuguese investigators this week after they shelved the investigation for lack of evidence last month, have provided a raft of leads for the media to report.

On Tuesday, the documents revealed a previously undisclosed sighting of Madeleine in the Netherlands shortly after her disappearance.

The possible sighting of Madeleine in May 2007 stemmed from a report by a Dutch shopkeeper, who told authorities she encountered a little girl in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

She said the child identified herself as Maddie and said she was taken from her mother while on holiday.

"I start to ask where her mommy was," Anna Stam said. "She couldn't tell me that. I wanted to give her a balloon, but she didn't want that. She only wants her mommy, she said. And she said that these people took her from her mommy."

At one point, authorities had named the girl's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, as "arguidos," or suspects, along with a British man living in Portugal, Robert Murat. But a spokesman for the Portuguese public prosecutor's office said authorities found no evidence of involvement by any of the three and were no longer considering them "arguidos."


After closing the case, police turned their case file -- containing up to 30,000 pages -- over to attorneys and private investigators working for the McCanns.

The McCanns have vowed to keep searching for their daughter.


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Why am I not surprised that this poor child likely ended up in the Netherlands in the hands of depravity?



Logged

I continue to stand with the girl.
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