Comment un événement singulier, une disparition, un fait-divers simple mais poignant car enfance et innocence en formaient le cœur, devint, porté par une houle médiatique déferlante, une effervescence nourrie comme un grand fauve, une ténébreuse affaire. Comment la liberté d'expression s'y trouva en danger. Et ce qu'on peut en apprendre sur la nature humaine.
Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées. Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)
Being of British nationality and in spite of living
in Portugal, does not have knowledge of the Portuguese language in
its oral and written form, therefore a police interpreter is present,
Ueve Van Loock. Thus, according to the facts noted in the files, she
says that she has lived in the apartment since 2003, which is located
on the upper floor, immediately above the room from which the child
She also refers to the day of the 1st May 2007, when
she was at home alone, at approximately 22.30 she heard a child cry,
and that due the tone of the crying seemed to be a young child and
not a baby of two years of age or younger. Apart from the crying that
continued for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and which
got louder and more expressive, the child shouted ?Daddy, Daddy?, the
witness had no doubt that the noise came from the floor below. At
about 23.45, an hour and fifteen minutes after the crying began, she
heard the parents arrive, she did not see them, but she heard the
patio doors open, she was quite worried as the crying had gone on for
more than an hour and had gradually got worse.
When questioned, she said that she did not know the
cause of the crying, perhaps a nightmare or another destabilising
factor. As soon as the parents entered the child stopped crying. That
night she contacted a friend called EDNA GLYN, who also lives in
Praia da Luz, after 23.00, telling her about the situation, who was
not surprised at the childs crying.
She did not have anything to report for the 2nd May,
because she was only home at night.
On the 3rd May she received a visit from her niece
Carole during the morning, who said that when she was on her terrace
she saw a male individual looking into the McCanns apartment,
situation which has been told to the police, her family member even
made a photo fit"
During the day nothing unusual happened, until
almost 22.30 when, being alone again, she heard the hysterical shouts
from a female person, calling out ?we have let her down? which she
repeated several times, quite upset. Mrs Fenn then saw that it was
the mother of little Madeleine who was shouting furiously. Upon
leaning over the terrace, after having seen the mother, Mrs Fenn
asked the father, Gerry, what was happening to which he replied that
a small girl had been abducted. When asked, she replied that she did
not leave her apartment, just spoke to Gerry from her balcony, which
had a view over the terrace of the floor below. She found it strange
that Gerry when said that a girl had been abducted, he did not
mention that it was his daughter and that he did not mention any
other scenarios. At that moment she offered Gerry help, saying that
he could use her phone to contact the authorities, to which he
replied that this had already been done. It was just after 22.30.
She said that after the mothers shouts, she had seen
many people in the streets looking for the girl. She also refers to
an episode when Gerry was speaking to a policeman and he refused to
recognised the police force, saying that more agents of authority
were needed to carry out the search.
When asked, she replied that on 3rd May she did not
hear any noise from the McCann apartment, not even the opening of
doors. She also said that before hearing the shouts she was watching
television, as she often stays up late.
When questioned, she said that she never heard any
arguments between the couple or with their children. She said that
the family would spend much time outside of the apartment and
therefore she did not notice their presence.
She said that until that night she had never spoken
to the McCann's, because up until the 3rd May, she only sometimes saw
them walking in the street. She never saw them with any vehicle. She
also said that she never told the McCann's that she had heard their
daughter crying previously on 1st May because she thought it would
just increase their suffering.
When questioned she said that she never saw any
strange person or action before or after the event. She claims
however, that a week previously she was the victim of an attempted
robbery, which was not successful and neither was anything taken,
thinking that the crying of the child could be linked to another
attempted robbery in the residence.
Having read and approved the statement, she signs,
together with the interpreter.
British couple on holiday in the Algarve resort where Madeleine
McCann was abducted told today how frantic staff knocked on the doors
of holidaymakers to get them involved in a search for the missing
58, who is on holiday with his wife, Susan, said: "At 11.30pm
there was a knock on the door. I went out in my dressing gown and
there was a distressed gentleman there saying that a child had been
abducted and could we help with the search. Everybody got involved."
The couple said the drama unfolded after what they described as "a
fabulous day" in the Praia Da Luz resort.
as the couple were sleeping that three-year-old Madeleine was
snatched from her parents' holiday apartment below. Mrs M, 58, from
Middlewich, Cheshire, told how they had returned to their apartment
(2 étages au-dessus de celui des MC) at around 9.15pm after an
evening out. "We went into the apartment, I went out on the
balcony, looking over at the tapas bar, and remarked to Paul that
there were so many people in there eating and drinking – 'what a
fabulous day'." Among those dining in the tapas bar opposite
their apartment were Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, who were
making regular trips back to their own rooms to check on their
said: "I felt quite shattered, to be quite frank. The people
were themselves extremely sad and it was quite sad for everybody. "We
were quite emotionally shattered, seeing the family that distressed."
He said that among those who joined the search were many off-duty
police in plain clothes who had been called in to help.Mrs M said:
"Walking around you would see individual men, they were police
but you wouldn't know because they were in casual clothes." The
couple said they remained on the search until 4am on Friday morning.
described the resort as idyllic and safe. His wife added: "It is
Interview de Susan M - BBC - 14.08.2007 transcrit par Nigel Moore
:This is a story you've followed incredibly closely because you were involved on the night; you helped the police and the family in looking for Madeleine, didn't you?
M :Yes, we did and, yes, very, very concerned... concerned for the family and followed it, every day... every day.
:Can you take us back to that night and... and what you were doing and when you first heard there was a problem?
SM :Sure. We went out for a meal about 7 o'clock, down in the town, we walked back about 9 o'clock, round past, errm... the... the church, round past the supermarket, back to the apartment, went out on the balcony about quarter past nine - everywhere was peaceful, everywhere was lovely - we then went to bed.
We were woken up at half past eleven at night by one of the friends of the McCanns to say 'a little girl' had 'been abducted'; those... those were the words used. So, we got dressed and joined in the search, we were out until about four in the morning with, oooh… about, I don't know, thirty people... thirty other people, maybe. The Mark Warner team were out, errm... and other guests at the Ocean Club.
:Now, to... to put it into perspective, we've all seen the pictures of the apartment where the McCanns were staying. How close is yours to theirs?
SM :Directly above, errm... we are but one above. Mrs Fenn, that lives there, was in the apartment below us and then below that was the McCanns, so directly above.
: And, errr... you were out there for a considerable... a considerable period of time?
SM :Yeah, we went out on the Wednesday; the day before sh..., errr... Madeleine went missing and we were out for the month of May.
:Tell me about the affect all of this has had on the... the local community there.
SM :It was, errr... unbelievable really. Apart from the disruption from the mass media, the helicopter - constantly circling round - and sheer disbelief really, everybody was completely, errm... well, amazed by it. Gobsmacked, really.
:What... I mean, what were the local community saying to you because obviously being out there such a time, you must have spoken to a lot of people about it? It must have been, if you like, the talk of the town.
SM :Mmm... There was a lot of criticism of the police, which... which we felt was unfounded, errm... at that time. And... really, a lot of... unsure about exactly what happened. How did somebody get in? Was it the front? Was it the back? Was it left open? Was it forced? A lot of different stories...
:Speculation, if you like...
SM :Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, yeah.
:And... we've got a copy of the newspaper here - in fact it's one of today's newspapers - The Express and... and it's still front page news, of course. Back in the news, there...
SM :Big... big style, yeah, yeah.
:How do you feel when you see the pictures here in the newspapers? I mean, have you... have you collected newspapers over the period?
SM :Oh yeah, I get the paper every day anyway but obviously followed it very closely and I just… disbelief, no way... no way do I feel they were any way involved in it. Not at all, no.
:How do you feel they… they've been treated?
SM :I think, errm... initially it was very supportive. Personally, I think probably if they'd left the Algarve maybe a month ago, errm... it... it would have been treated more favourably, I think.
:It's difficult to know how... how to handle that kind of situation, from their point of view though, I suppose, isn't it?
SM :Beggar's belief... it beggar's belief, yeah, you just don't want to be in that situation, errm... but, yeah, I can't understand this, errr... the turn of... of people's attitudes towards them, some being really quite nasty, unfounded and... and wrong, I think.
:Have the newspapers got it right in terms of... of where they were that evening, I mean, the distance from the... the restaurant to the apartment and what have you?
SM :Well, yeah, as the crow flies, errm... they're probably about right with the 50 yards but, in actual fact, you do have to... it's walled off, in a walled area - about six foot of wall - so you have to actually have to go through a little, errm... entrance building, out onto the road and then round to their apartment.
:And line of sight, is there any?
SM :Difficult... they wouldn't have had vision of the whole of their, errm... errr... balcony, they would only have had the top of it from... from where they were sitting, because of the wall and because of the flowers on top of the wall.
:How do you feel about the... the criticism of the McCann family for leaving the children?
SM :Harsh... very, very harsh. Hand on heart, we've all done something like that, I think, and errm... no, it's... it's just unfortunate. Just a sad, unfortunate accident.
:And how do you feel having been, if you like, errm... being swept along with all of this, having been part of this story from the start, being there, at that time when it all happened, I mean, I suspect as a family you must have talked about this over the dinner table for... for weeks and weeks and weeks?
SM :Yes... yes, we have, we have, errm... and I just can't get my head round it at all. I can't... I can't understand it and I don't... I don't know if it'll ever be resolved, really.
:You're off back to... to Portugal soon, I gather, and errm... how do you think Praia da Luz will be when you get back?
SM :Yeah, we go back in a couple of weeks, errm... and my husband has actually said for the first time he's going to feel very differently about it, errm... I... I... no, I'm fine about, I'm fine about it, errm... but, yeah, it’s a shame, it's kind of tainted what is a lovely... lovely spot.