sábado, 28 de janeiro de 2012
The interim report of Tavares de Almeida of the Portuguese Police, 10 September 2007
Report for the attention of the Criminal Investigation Co-ordinator
We began with an abduction scenario:
The child’s parents immediately attributed her disappearance to the action of a third party, promoting the scenario that she had been abducted. Abduction was only one of a number of possible scenarios, but the family publicised their claim that Madeleine had been abducted in a manner that had never been seen before. On the very next day, English television stations led their broadcasts with the news of Madeleine’s disappearance. The media presented the abduction as the truth, although we were looking at other scenarios.
As time went by, the abduction scenario was not confirmed. The abduction hypothesis did not stand up. For instance, no ransom was ever demanded in exchange for information by the alleged kidnappers or for the child herself.
The McCanns worked on their account of events:
The information that was initially collected from family and friends was uncertain. In addition, the McCanns and their friends worked on their account of events in order to strengthen and defend their version of what had happened Madeleine.
The group’s programme for checking the children:
This claim, that the group had a shared programme for regularly checking their children, had the effect on English public opinion that the whole group was exonerated from any blame. Their claim meant that any abnormal event that might last longer than 30 minutes was impossible, as they all agreed that that was the interval between the checks. The group could not sustain the claim that there was checking ‘every 15 to 30 minutes’. In fact the contradictions between their statements made it easy to see that they were all lying.
The abduction claim was strongly maintained:
The fact is that the claim of abduction plus the claims of regular checking led the investigation to meander, and to waste time and resources. It is hard to understand how the abduction claim was presented at the beginning and was maintained so strongly. Anyone can see that persisting with the abduction scenario for so long harmed our investigation.
Even after all this time, both the McCanns and their friends and the general public believe the claim of abduction, while the McCanns and their friends claim that all they want to do is ‘assist the investigation’. In order to move the investigation forward, we were forced to assume that much information given to us was incorrect.
The evidence of Jane Tanner:
Continuing with our analysis of information offered to us, one of the group’s members, Jane Tanner, apparently became an important witness, due to what she told us. She said she saw someone crossing the street at dinner time from the location of the McCanns’ apartment towards Robert Murat’s house. [He was later made an ‘arguido’ (suspect)].
This information directed and occupied our work for a long time. This may be an example of how information that is not correct may not only delay the investigation but could even have led to losing the little girl. Jane Tanner insisted on the truthfulness of her account. This led to certain scenarios being developed. But these scenarios were not sustained in reality despite long and intense work being carried out.
There was a discrepancy [about the moment Jane Tanner allegedly saw an abductor] between the statements of Dr Gerald McCann and Jane Tanner. They claimed to have passed each other at only two or three metres’ distance [7 to 10 feet], yet failed to see each other.
How could they position themselves as both being together in quite a confined space, yet both fail to see each other walking by; or, more correctly, one sees the other but the other doesn’t see her? Even the exact location where they supposedly crossed each other’s paths is not very well defined by both.
The precise moment when Jane Tanner chose to make her statement about what she had ‘seen’ and the explanation for choosing that moment, is unreal. That is to say: it is not easy to accept that any witness (from the group), on seeing someone with a child in their arms walking away from the McCanns’ apartment, didn’t act and speak immediately. Then there is her description of the abductor being altered, or ‘perfected’. These reasons mean there is little credibilty in what she says.
Dr Gerald McCann:
The information from the immediate family and their group of friends which is fundamental in investigating this type of crime was always distorted.
The events of 3rd May:
While the tennis match was taking place, another member of the group [Dr David Payne] visited the McCanns’ apartment whilst Dr Kate McCann was there. He was there for a period of 30 seconds, according to Dr Kate McCann, but 30 minutes according to Dr Payne, until Dr Gerald McCann showed up.
If it was 30 seconds, then all we can do is ask if everything is O.K. and if anything is needed - little more. But if we have 30 minutes available, then we can go ahead and do something [during that time] that may be asked of us.
Although they say in their statements that their strategic position in the Tapas restaurant allowed them, the McCanns, to see the apartment where they’d left their underage children asleep, the examination of that spotrevealed their claim to be false. It must also be noted that according to our investigation, everything points to their position at the table being with their backs to the apartment.
Leaving the twins in a dangerous situation:
It must be noted that Dr Kate McCann knew that, going back to the restaurant as she did, she would leave the twins, Amelie and Sean, in the same dangerous situation. It is beyond comprehension why she didn’t use her mobile ’phone to call her husband or another member of the group or, even simpler, why she didn’t walk out on to the balcony and shout out from there, where she could easily be heard by the members of the group.
The media coverage:
The authorities, the local police force the GNR, were alerted at around 10:40pm. It was after this that the people of the village were alerted to Madeleine’s disappearance and began searching for her.
But the facts surrounding her disappearance were not kept within the proper authorities and the normal channels. On the following day, British and Portuguese television news bulletins were already broadcasting the news [as the top item in their bulletins].
The McCanns’ group of friends gathered in the McCanns’ apartment which they searched, without result. Even before any search by the authorities in the surroundings started, the news about a possible abduction was already circulating.
The group’s initial informal statements given during the initial stages of the investigation immediately introduced the abduction hypothesis. But even simple things were the subject of misinformation:
1) was the window open or closed?
2) was the shutter up or down?
3) was the balcony door open or closed?
4) was the front door merely shut or locked with a key?
The McCanns suggest someone to the police who might be able to find Madeleine’s corpse:
Despite everything, until a certain time in the investigation, the family fed and sustained the theory of an abduction. However, on a date on which we cannot be precise, it was suggested by the McCanns themselves that a person should be consulted who might be able to, eventually, indicate the probable location of Madeleine’s corpse.
This suggestion was inexplicable to members of the investigation team. Why were the family themselves raising the hypothesis that little Maddie was dead?
Our decision to bring in the cadaver dogs:
A human has 5 million cells to assist the sense of smell while a dog has 200 million. We need to highlight that this kind of inspection is frequent in the U.K. and the dogs’ success rate is 100%. We need to emphasise that when the cadaver dog alerts to the cadaver odour, this does not signify that the body is in that place, but it does signify that the body has been there at some time in the past.
Among the great number of items and locations that were inspected, the dogs marked the following locations and items:
Apartment 5A, Ocean Club resort, the McCanns’ apartment from where the child disappeared: The cadaver dog alerted to the scent of a corpse in the master bedroom, in a corner, by the wardrobe; in living room, behind the sofa, and by the side window, while the bloodhound alerted to blood in the living room behind the sofa, and by the side window (in exactly the same spot that had been signalled by the cadaver dog).
Front garden of Apartment 5A: The cadaver dog alerted to the scent of a corpse on one of the flower beds.
The McCann family’s clothes and belongings: The cadaver dog alerted to the scent of a corpse on two pieces of clothing belonging to Dr Kate McCann, one piece of clothing belonging to Madeleine (a red T-shirt) and on Madeleine’s soft toy [Cuddle Cat]. The cadaver odour was detected when the toy was still inside the McCanns’ residence in July 2007; the scent was later confirmed outside the house as well.
The vehicle that was used by the McCann family: The cadaver dog alerted to the scent of a corpse on the car key and on the inside of the car boot, while the bloodhound also marked the car key and the inside of the car boot.
In a total of 10 cars examined [in an underground car park) the cadaver dog and the blood dog marked only the car of the McCann family.
No less relevant is the refinement of the results that point towards Madeleine’s DNA as being present in Apartment 5A, behind the sofa, a spot that was marked by both the cadaver and the blood dog. In every place marked by the blood dog, the laboratory confirmed that this DNA was present.
The McCanns evolved their story to adapt to the police questions:
The media attention that has been given to the case and the search for information by the said media has led to an evolution in Madeleine’s parents’ statements. All the information that has been made public has contributed to the McCanns rebuilding and adapting their story to fit the eventual police questions. They have attempted to explain the forensic evidence that we have collected and are collecting.
Excuses for blood in the apartment and the car:
When the media first informed the public that blood had been detected ‘in the car and in the apartment’, Dr Kate and members of her family made statements to the public with the simple excuse that it had been someone, who had access to the apartment, that had deliberately placed this evidence there.
Now they even say that it was the criminal investigation team that placed this ‘false’ evidence (i.e. blood and cadaver odour in the apartment and in the car). In an attempt to justify the finding of [Madeleine’s] blood in the apartment, Dr Kate McCann went even further, stating on that occasion that Madeleine sometimes suffered nosebleeds.
Strong evidence that the crime scene was altered:
There is strong evidence that the crime scene was altered, and some furniture was moved around. Those changes are indications that the abduction was a stage-managed simulation.
The McCanns dismissed a child care worker who wanted to help them:
In the night that Madeleine disappeared, the McCanns were contacted by a lady who identified herself with appropriate documents that credited her as somebody who worked professionally with children in the U.K, in hospitals and children’s centres.
She offered her help in whatever was needed. No doubt this person could have been of valuable help, even about such things as procedures, but she was dismissed by the McCanns, who rejected her offer of help.
The facts point to Madeleine’s death on 3rd May in Apartment 5A:
From everything that was established, the facts point in the direction of the death of Madeleine McCann occurring on the night of 3 May 2007, inside apartment 5A, at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, which was occupied by the McCann couple and by their three children. There is a coincidence between the markings of cadaver odour and blood [by the two dogs], according to the (partial) Laboratory Report that has been annexed to the files.
The said marking occurred behind the living room sofa (cadaver odour/blood/DNA), which unarguably proves that said piece of furniture was pushed back by someone, after the death of Madeleine McCann was confirmed. Because of the few traces that were recovered on location and subject to examination, it has to be admitted as a strong hypothesis that it [the room] was subject to a clean-up operation at some time following the occurrence of death.
In the same manner, the soft toy that was used by the dead child, which was found at the top of the bed where she usually slept (see the photos from the initial inspection) reveals that someone put it there at a moment after Madeleine’s death, given the fact that the bed itself doesn’t have any cadaver odour.
This is to say, an intentional alteration of things in that apartment took place, in order to create a false scenario that doesn’t match reality, in an attempt to develop opportunities to create a bogus abduction scenario. It must be added that the cadaver dog strongly signalled the bedroom where the McCann couple slept, which may indicate the moving of the corpse from the actual death spot (the living room) into a non-visible part of the said master bedroom of the McCanns.
Furthermore, a strong marking of cadaver odour was made on Kate McCann’s clothes, which may indicate that she was in touch with the cadaver. There was also a strong marking of cadaver odour in the car that was used by the McCann couple after 27 May 2007). Taking together the blood dog’s marking, and based on the forensics that are included in the process files, which indicate the presence of Madeleine McCann’s DNA in the car boot, we cannot exclude a strong hypothesis that this vehicle may have possibly been used move the cadaver, 24 days or more after Madeleine’s death.
From everything that we have discovered, our files result in the following conclusions:
A. the minor Madeleine McCann died in Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May 2007
B. a simulation - a staged hoax - of an abduction took place
C. in order to render the child’s death impossible before 10.00pm, a situation of checking of the McCann couple’s children while they slept was concocted
D. Dr Gerald McCann and Dr Kate McCann are involved in the concealment of the corpse of their daughter, Madeleine McCann
E. at this moment, there seems to be no strong indications that the child’s death was other than the result of a tragic accident, yet;
From what has been established up to now, everything indicates that the McCann couple, in self-defence, did not want to deliver up Madeleine’s corpse immediately and voluntarily, and there is a strong possibility therefore that it was moved from the initial place where she died. This situation may raise questions concerning the circumstances in which the death of the child took place.