At the High Court, Family Division, RCJ London
IN THE MATTER OF MADELEINE BETH MCCANN
Mr Tim Scott, Q.C., International Family Law Group, acting for Gerry and Kate McCann : Madeleine McCann is a ward of Court. She had her 5th birthday on 12 May 2008. Gerry and Kate are not here as they are on holiday with their twins, Sean and Amelie. Who could deserve a holiday more after a period more traumatic than any family should have to cope with.
Mrs Justice Hogg : I did not expect to see them.
Mr James Lewis QC, for the Chief Constable of Leicestershire : We would like you to approve the Order. As the Court heard, any person served with the Order should disclose any information that would help to find Madeleine . We wish to make it clear that the primary aim is to ensure that no stone is left unturned.
Representative of the Attorney General : The Attorney General intervened as Guardian of the public interest and has no further comment to make.
Judgement of Mrs Justice Hogg : Madeleine went missing on 3 May 2007 just a few days before her 4th birthday, while she was holidaying with her family in the Algarve in Portugal. On 17 May 2007 Madeleine’s parents invoked the jurisdiction of this Court under the Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court, and The Child Abduction and Custody Act, and the Hague Convention. They sought various orders and directions aimed at ascertaining the whereabouts and recovery of Madeleine. I became involved with the proceedings shortly afterwards. On 2 April 2008 Madeleine became a Ward of this Court, and since that date has remained a Ward. At all times jurisdiction was assumed by the Court because, there being no evidence to the contrary, it is presumed Madeleine is alive. She is a British Citizen, and like her parents habitually resident here.
The terms of this paragraph shall not apply to the Chief Constable of Leicestershire or any other United Kingdom law enforcement agency. And for the avoidance of doubt all the evidence submitted to the Court and the Case Summaries and Skeleton Arguments remain confidential to the Court save that the Chief Constable may use his discretion to disclose his evidence, case summary and skeleton arguments filed in this Court and the Orders of 22 May 2007, 2 April 2008 and this Order. Any other documents and their contents are not to be disclosed to any person or published save in accordance with Orders already made by the Court or further Order of the Court.
Interview de Francisco Moita Flores à Semanario
How do you read the process of the removal of Gonçalo Amaral Dias?
Gonçalo Amaral is a great policeman who did an excellent job and one day couldn't take the pressure anymore and said some unpleasant things to the English. He shouldn't have said it but the world was not damaged because of him saying it, either. The truth is that he understood where the investigation was being stalled, and well fed up of being insulted, maltreated without a single voice to defend him. In fact, he should have remained silent but it is also true that a man is not made of iron.
Can we say that, together with the novella of little Madeleine and the removal of the coordinator of the Criminal Investigation Department in Portimão, we're looking at another case of Portuguese submission to the "perfid Albion"?
I don't know. It will take somewhat longer until we manage to understand how far this mess has reached.
Do you maintain your conviction that Madeleine McCann was killed in Aldeia da Luz?
I do. There are no material conditions to opt for another solution. The mystery lies with one or two of the ten or twelve elements that used to enter that apartment.
There will be some damage to the PJ's image that the criminal turbulence itself and the succession of solved crimes will dissolve. This, if it is confirmed that there is no indicia and the process is archived. And of course the Portuguese can believe in their police. It has a history of prestige and their level of effectiveness is one of the highest within Europe. It is not by one unsolved crime, among hundreds of thousands that are solved, that the capacity of the PJ can be evaluated.
Within this process, which was often surrounded by obscure outlines, what do you think has failed?
Let’s see when the process becomes public. It is too early to make that evaluation.
Was the archiving of the process foreseeable?
I don’t know whether the process is going to be archived.
What illations can be taken out of this case, in order for another process not to suffer the same outcome?
I don't know what the outcome is going to be but every case is a case. There are no formulas or rules. That is why criminal investigation is a set of methods and not a science.
In what aspect did the media influence the course of the investigation into the case of Maddie's disappearance?
The negative aspects are related to the natural pressure on the investigation. The PJ wants evidence, the journalists want news. Those are different things. But the publicizing of the problem was positive because it caught the attention of so many people about children’s rights, about the duties of protection towards the minors.
What measures should be taken to diminish the abductions of children and adolescents?
Abductions are hard to predict and to prevent. The only way to avoid them, or at least to reduce the possibility, is to watch the children directly.
Do you consider Portugal to be a safe country?
It’s the safest country within the European Union.