|A Passage to Amazonia|
Back to the evidence. A thesis without evidence is meaningless, says Gerry. Really? Ever heard of Fermat's Last Theorem? Three hundred and fifty eight years before a proof was elaborated, yet the stimulus for many a mathematical development in the meantime. And what exactly is the 'evidence' for abduction in this instance - An empty bed? An open window? If these are sufficient criteria for a conclusion to be reached, then we must accept that countless persons are abducted by their employers every day of the year, any time between, say, 6.00 and 8.00am. I think it's particularly disappointing that the police officers who considered us responsible for Madeleine's disappearance are the same officers we are depending on to carry on the search for Madeleine, he said. The question, of course, is: 'who is looking for Madeleine and who has been looking for Madeleine over the last two years' and that is us and our investigation team. When was this case re-opened then? Do remind us, Gerry, otherwise we're all liable to overlook your dependence upon the Portuguese police as part of your 'investigation team.' Simplistic though it may be, it rather looks as though the Portuguese came to an informed conclusion quite a while ago, and there has been nothing to sway them from it since. ...there is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is absolutely no evidence that we were involved in her disappearance. That is the conclusion.....of the process and that's what we are here debating; the conclusions of the process versus the conclusions of the book. Err, Earth calling. There's been a court hearing in which a DVD, containing the relevant process files, has been admitted into evidence, including all documentation and official conclusions. Isabel Duarte a tenté de s'y opposer. Do you not think, Gerry, that the reporters you are attempting to brainwash are smart enough to read these for themselves in due course, if indeed they have not already done so? The conclusions you are so concerned with have been widely broadcast on the Internet for months, you know. One principal signatory, among others, Tavares de Almeida has already stated in evidence that "The conclusion was that Madeleine McCann died at the apartment and the McCann couple simulated the abduction to hide the fact that they had not taken care of their children". "There was a tragic accident in the apartment that night and they neglected the care of their children. It was the conclusion of both Portuguese and British police." An echo of the document he himself signed off, and no mention of the 'absolutely no evidence' stance. Surely not a another instance of Portuguese perjury!
Les conclusions de l'équipe de GA sont clairement que ce qui s'est passé est dû au fait que les enfants étaient seuls. C'est l'opinion du reste la mieux partagée dans le grand public.
Jane Tanner: Errr... so, yeah... so, David... so, we said... we decided, oh yeah, we'll go and it'll be nice to see everybody, and we know Kate and Gerry, we'd sort of socialised with them but not as well probably as the other... as the other two couples.Leicestershire Police: Mmm...JT: Errr... but they'd been on holiday with David and Fiona before and so... and they've got children the same age as well, you know. Obviously Madeleine's the same age as E***, so a bit of a nice group.LP: So you knew them all but you hadn't all been on holiday as a group before?JT: No, we've been with Matt and Rachael and David and Fiona. And David and Fiona had been with Kate and Gerry but we hadn't been, not the eight, or the nine of us including Fi's mum, we hadn't been on holiday before.
Whether by accident or design, the 'Tanner sighting' has become the maypole around which all the other colourful threads in the McCann fairytale are entwined. Yet there are more sides to it than a threepenny bit, suggesting that design might have played a role, and that this isn't quite a case of the tail wagging the dog. Jane Tanner's seemingly coincidental sighting is but one of a medley of events itemised, for the benefit of the PJ in the first instance, by Tapas 7 members. So scrupulous were they concerning the chronology of the sequence overall, that they saw fit to annotate it twice, with small, and on the face of it insignificant, amendments. As is the case with so many things, the process itself turns out to be as interesting as the result. The informational specifics are as follows:
Jane Tanner: I didn't want to say to Kate at that point, which might sound odd now, you know, 'Oh, why wouldn't you say straight away to Kate', but, you know, the thought of telling the mother of a child that you might have seen being carried away is, it's too horrible to even say. So I just said to Fi, errm... you know, 'I think I might have seen somebody a bit odd when I came back to do one of the checks'. And I don't know whether she, I mean, she was just sort of like... I don't know whether she took it in properly, but, errm... and then they just carried on... carried on the searching.
LP: Who else did you speak to?JT: I'm trying to think of the order... it was, sort of like... it was Rachael first, then it was Fi and I can't remember when Russell and Matt came back, they came back at, errm... tut, I don't know whether they came back first or I told them or who else was there, but as soon, the police... when the police came, I know Rachael went straight away to get them to say, so that I could tell the GNR, I think... yeah, the GNR, what I'd seen, but I do'’t know if I told anybody else. I can't remember when people like Sylvie, who was the translator... I'm not sure when she arrived whether it was before the Police arrived or after the Police arrived or whenever, but...LP: But you told the Police when they came?JT: Yeah, when they arrived, Rachael, I think, went and got the GNR and I told the GNR chap and then when the PJ actually arrived they came and got me to go and talk to the, the PJ.
Rachael was the first person I told. And then Fiona and then I think when Russell and Matt or Russell and Dave, whoever it was that came back, I then, then told them."
RO : Further to that, about 10 minutes after Kate raised the alarm about the disappearance, the deponent was with Jane in the apartment of the latter. While talking, Jane told her that when she came to see their children, and passed Gerald talking to "Jez", she saw a man with a child, supported in his arms, which would not be a baby and could have been more or less the age of Madeleine... Asked, says that, initially Jane focused more on the description of the man and, only a few days later, did she make reference to the clothes that the child would have worn, which would be pyjamas.
LP: So when you went into Gerry and Kate's apartment who else was there?JT: Errm... I think there was Russ... I think Russell came with me and there was Sylvie who was the translator. I can't remember which... there was some... there was a PJ chap was sitting on the... by the table. And there was Gerry who was standing by the... the bedroom door.LP: And how was Gerry at that point?JT: Oh he was just, well obviously, obviously distraught...LP: And what was Gerry's reaction to what you said?JT: Well I don't even know whether he took it in, I mean, he was just... he was, you know, obviously just standing there looking absolutely horrified, so...
KM: Madeleine's still missing and we need to get that key bit of information from somebody, errm... which will lead to us finding her.
GM: Yeah. I mean, clearly, we haven't got the key bit of information that will lead us to finding Madeleine but, I think, the way we try to, errr... think about it is, it's like a jigsaw.NC: Do you have... do you have theories that you're working on?GM: You know, clearly, the investigators are looking at all options and scenarios and that... that's the key thing; there are a host of scenarios here, errr... and there... in very many of those scenarios, Madeleine is alive in them.
GM: We have contact with the Foreign Office, errm... from predominantly a consular basis. We do put requests in, that we do want to get as much information as possible and, I think, what we've asked, and will ask repeatedly, is: 'what evidence does anyone have to suggest that Madeleine is dead?' because we know of no evidence to suggest otherwise and we would like a public acknowledgment of that.
GM: We do want to remind people that, obviously, the key thing here is Madeleine.…... Errm... and we're in a... we're here, we're appealing, errr... we know we've been criticised for doing media. This is only the second appeal Kate and I have done in seven months, errr... so it's not like we're in... out there on a regular basis but we are in a very difficult situation because we believe someone - a member of the public - holds the key.
GM: We don't know what's been done, what hasn't been done, who's been eliminated, who hasn't, what grounds they have been eliminated on.
KM: Madeleine's still missing and we need to get that key bit of information from somebody, errm... which will lead to us finding her.
Q: ...do you have full confidence in them?KM: One hundred percent. One hundred percent.Voice off camera – of everyone?KM: Of our friends, yes.
GM: We have replied to all the questions that have been put to us and we will continue to do so, whatever the new information might be. Of course, we shall be completely honest.KM: We have said everything we know and responded to everything that we have been asked.
On ne voit pas pourquoi KMC ne dirait pas la vérité et "inventerait" qu'elle l'appelait "Madeleine". Madeleine détestait peut-être que son prénom soit prononcé de travers.
Ils ont menti à leurs proches, mais escomptaient-ils que leur mensonge deviendrait une nouvelle ? Tout ce que l'on peut remarquer, c'est qu'ils n'ont rien fait pour démentir une rumeur qui allait durer plusieurs mois.
KM: So it's difficult to hear something that's incorrect and inaccurate. At the bottom of all this is a little girl, and I think it's important that we don't forget that.
GM: Yeah, I mean, without doubt, they... they help us to continue, you know. This is every parent's worst nightmare and everyone can feel and imagine what we've gone through but, you know, if we'd had discovered all three of the children had gone or if something else had happened, then, you know, we... we'd not have had the same strength and resolution and determination to find Madeleine that Sean and Amelie give us, as well, because we know that they're there, errr... life continues but we need to bring them back... bring Madeleine back as much for them, as for Madeleine, as for us.
GM: I'd like to read this statement on behalf of Kate, myself and our three children...,the other action is about the damage that's caused to ourselves, our children and Madeleine, obviously.
During our stay in Majorca, Dave and his wife, Fiona, accompanied by their daughter Lily, took Madeleine with them to spend the day, in order to give Kate and Gerry a bit of rest and time to be with the twins.
When asked whether or not it is true that in England she considered the possibility of handing over Madeleine's guardianship to a relative, she did not reply.
JT: Madeleine, if she's dead or alive, whatever, you know... maybe it is too late to find her but there's somebody out there that's done this and it's not Kate and Gerry; it's not us, you know... they can do it again and that is the... you know, they're laughing their socks off; they've just got away with this scot free and, you know... and I think it's... the thing is, they are there, then it's not us and that person is out there and, you know, could do it again and, as I say, it might be... we obviously hope not, but it could be too late for Madeleine; but a lot of other kids out there that might not be too late for, and it's just... and to sit and see, and I know... I can quite understand why that time and effort has to be put into looking down that route and... but, you know, I can't say any more but it's not... well, it's not us; it's not Kate and Gerry and it's something happened which to Madeleine that night and none of us are involved and, you know, I just don't know what else we can do to make them believe us and I think that's the... you know, and I think that's the... you know, I think that, and I don't think there is anything else we could do to believe us but, you know, we're not (inaudible), we were normal people that made a really stupid decision because we were lulled into a false sense of security from previous holidays where baby listening was offered, so I don't know."4078: But you have a sinking feeling inside that it was?JT: Yeah, and I... yeah, and I just think, you know, they just... and, you know, at the end of the day, this person is still out there. Somebody did this and it wasn't Kate and Gerry and it wasn't any of us, you know, and it just... that is the worse thing, that person is out there; could do it again. He's absolutely, you know... they must be laughing their socks off... well... not, you know, they, so I think that's, you know... that's all we can... and I think it's just that frustration and, as I say, I mean, I can't make them believe us, and they might still not believe us, but, you know, like I say... so I'm just begging, really, that they believe us, I think it's a...
Aled Jones: Do you think God's looking after Madeleine?Kate McCann: I do. I mean, to me, Madeleine was a gift. Most of our life is pretty public anyway but obviously we had quite a difficult time trying to have Madeleine and when she was born I really did believe she was a gift and I never took her for granted... You know, every day when I'd wake up and I'd see her, these huge eyes looking at me, you know, I'd thank God for Madeleine and I don't believe that He would stop loving her now or abandon her, I mean, I don't believe that at all and I do get a comfort in thinking that wherever she... she is; whoever she's with, that He's with her and protecting her, and protecting her spirit. She's got a lot of spirit.
Aled Jones: Are there ever times when you blame God?Kate McCann: I've never blamed God for what's happened, at all. I don't think that that was anything to do with God. There are times when I've got angry with God and certainly the... the additional things that I've mentioned that have happened, where I just think, 'How can we have extra suffering put on us, at such an awful time?' And I just haven't understood it, and I've wondered why God hasn't interceded and tried to counter that. These are the times when I go off to church, to be honest. I mean I've got a key to the church; they've kindly given me one and sometimes I'll go in and, oh, its a bit of a sanctuary, its a bit of a refuge really. I'll go and I can speak out because, obviously, there's no-one there. Just get it all of my chest, really. I mean, I do wonder, you know, why should God help my prayers when there's millions of people with prayers which are equally as important around the world. I don't know. I mean, I just hope he does. My faith has sustained me a lot through all of this and there is a definite comfort there."
Aled Jones: Because in a way what you are experiencing for many people would be hell on earth.Kate McCann: No, it is. I think it is the worst thing that could happen to a parent or certainly one of the worst things. I mean, the pain was just... it's just incredible and it's a pain, you know, the pain of worry, for her, really. I mean, we live with the sadness of not having Madeleine in our lives but, you know, I'm her mum and I can't help but worry about her and I just want to be with her. When she has a sore tummy, I want to be there. When she's upset, I want to be there. And I just want to bring her back into the warmth and love of our family, really."
Aled Jones: Gerry said that his faith has been strengthened by the goodness generated by this ordeal. So there are positives that come out of it?Kate McCann: Oh, very much so. I mean we... we still get a bundle of mail every day from people, you know, willing us on and, you know, sending their best wishes. And children send pictures for Madeleine and stuff; you know, we have books of prayers sent for Madeleine that children have written. Its been amazing, its been a real eye-opener. I mean, I'd have never thought of sitting down and writing a letter to somebody I didn't know who'd suffered a tragic event and yet the strength it's give us has been amazing."
I pray for the people who have taken Madeleine.Aled Jones: Do you think you'd ever be able to forgive the people that took Madeleine?Kate McCann: It's a difficult one, isn't it. I guess, I don't know why they've taken her and I think until I know that it would be hard... hard to say. I mean, I'd like to hope that I could but its difficult.
Aled Jones: And what about your other children? How aware are they of what's happening?Kate McCann: Very aware. They talk about Madeleine every day. They know she's missing; they know she's been taken by somebody. They understand it a little bit like burgalry [sic] in that, even if you really want something, it doesn't mean that we can take it, because Madeleine belongs to us, you know, and it's not right that they've got Madeleine and need to find her.
Jenni Murray: ……Gerry McCann has just returned to Portugal from a brief trip to Britain to appoint a campaign manager to coordinate their efforts to publicise the case; only the second time he's left Portugal since Madeleine's disappearance. But I spoke to him, while he was here, and asked him what stage the investigations were at now.Gerry McCann: The actual specifics of what happened and I think the key things here about, errm... who actually has taken Madeleine, errr... why they've taken her and where she is, errr... I don't think we're any the wiser. That's very much why we're having to continue our campaign on an international front to make sure that Madeleine's image and, errr... details of her disappearance are as widely spread as possible.
JM: Are there any leads at all? I mean, is there anything that the police are now following up, for example?GM: There's a lot of, errr... information still coming into the inquiry and, errm... you know, there's a lot of hard detective work going on. We have to realise that if they were hard leads we wouldn't be telling, errr... the public because, errr... they would be handled in a very quiet, errr... fashion and, errr... investigated. The important thing, at this time, is that we don't have Madeleine and, errr... that's the only, errr... result that'll clearly make Kate and I happy, and the rest of the family.
JM: How do you think Madeleine herself would be coping?GM: You know, that's somewhere where we, errr... we can't really go because, errm... it's back to speculation and we've absolutely no idea who's taken her and where she is and, errm... you know, what sort of surroundings she's in, so there's just too many in... errr... errr... probabilities there to really consider it.
GM: The phase of the campaign now is very different to that which we, errr... have undertaken in the last few weeks with Kate and I, you know, travelling to different areas, errm... either to raise awareness in countries in close proximity to Portugal, such as Spain and Morocco, and also going directly to countries, errr... The Netherlands and Berlin to appeal for information.
JM: Has the campaign helped you and Kate to cope, in that, at least you feel you're doing something?GM: It has helped us and it helped us stay positive, errr... perhaps when our, errr... we were feeling very negative. Yes, there's no doubt having a focus and diverting your energy, errr... into the campaign, it certainly does help us but, at the same time, when you don't achieve the... the end goal of getting Madeleine back, it... it's still, you know, very difficult as time goes on. We are determined and, errr... we certainly will not give up and I think, you know, parents would know that; they would do anything to find their child.JM: You've had help from trauma counsellors. Has... has that actually helped you?GM: Without a doubt, errr... and I think what, errm... the psychologists, errm... did was give us the tools, errm... to help us cope at the beginning. We could only imagine the worst scenarios and, errm... he helped us to consider other possibilities and that, you know, there's reasonably good possibilities, errr... that Madeleine, errm... has not been seriously harmed and that has helped drive us. We have tremendous hurt that Madeleine is not here and we've had to have, you know, 50 days now, errr... without her and, of course, when you think about Madeleine not being with her family, errr... it's very distressing.JM: So, for you and... and for Kate, what actually keeps the hope alive? I mean, when... when you're together, can you actually bolster up each other? Is it... or do you simply find that when you're together you feel very depressed about it?GM: Despite, you know, a huge investigation, there is no evidence, to date, that Madeleine has been, errm... harmed, errr... physically, errm... and that, errr... means that we will always have hope and, errm... the hope is what drives us on in our determination to be reunited with our daughter. So, errr... of course, there are... we have blips and, errr... moments where, errm... we're not quite as positive and that is difficult to deal with but we support each other; we get family support and the huge amount of goodwill.JM: Are there other international cases you know about which give you hope; where the children were... were eventually found?GM: There's been a number of cases, errm... where children have been found, after a long time, errm... that, when you think about these, you know, is a double-edged sword. Errr... You know about the case of the Austrian girl who was found after, I think, eight years, errr... and you think: 'Goodness me, 'you never want to be separated, errm... that long and, in fact, every day is too long for us and there's been another case earlier this year where a boy, errr... was found in America after four... four years; well. Errm... So, yes, you know, there are clearly, errr... cases where people are returned.
"Mrs McCann, a GP who gave up work to concentrate on the search for Madeleine, said: 'We do this in medicine. You know, if there is a case that you don't seem to be getting the diagnosis, somebody will come in and review it. They'll go back to square one... and that's where you find out what else needs to be done and it will help point you in the right direction.'
Gerry and Kate McCann
As you will no doubt be aware, the disappearance of our client's daughter Madeleine from a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007 has been the subject of considerable media attention, including a number of false allegations that Mr and Mrs McCann were themselves responsible for Madeleine's disappearance or death. Our clients have from the outset vigorously denied any such suggestion.
You may also be aware that a number of newspapers have since apologised publicly to our clients for making these false allegations, and that in 2008 the Portuguese authorities confirmed that there was no evidence whatsoever to implicate our clients in their daughter's disappearance.Suffice it to say that the page repeatedly alleges that our clients caused the death of their daughter and have subsequently engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up her death.
As well as being highly defamatory of our clients, these allegations are completely and utterly untrue. Our clients had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, and there is not one grain of proper evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance.
Reporter: "What evidence do you have that there was an abduction? Can I ask this question because you say that Amaral doesn't have..."
Kate McCann: "Because I know. I was there, I found my daughter gone. I know more than you do. I know what I saw."
We also asked about the possibility of actors being used, which is obviously what we do in our reconstructions. I mean, certainly in the UK we have a programme called Crimewatch, which uses actors and I think [unclear]. Errm... it's probably detrimental to ask people who have been through something traumatic to live it again.
I knew immediately she'd been taken.Leaving the patio unlocked in case of fire would have been rather pointless if one, at least, of those trapped inside were incapable of making their way to the door and opening it. So, faced with an empty but otherwise undisturbed bed, how did Kate 'know' her daughter had been taken? Madeleine McCann was not inanimate after all, at least not at the commencement of the holiday. Does this point perhaps to 'improper' evidence of implication? It would require no more than immobility on Madeleine's part, plus a modest degree of expectation on Kate's, to convert the child's status from 'absent' to 'abducted' and confer certain knowledge into the bargain. Kate McCann, from the very first, did not fear Madeleine might have been abducted. Remarkably, even with no sign of unauthorised intrusion (Gerry McCann and Matthew Oldfield both claim to have entered the apartment before her), she knew. For someone who purports to know so much, it is noteworthy that Kate McCann shares little of her wisdom, even though she has long since been freed from the constraint of 'judicial secrecy.' Never mind. One or two of us at least know about things that others don't know we know about.