1. Déposition de Russell O'Brien - 04.05.2007 (21.45)
The informant completely corroborates the statements by his partner Jane Tanner and Rachael Mampilly, interviews taken by the signatory to the present document, João Carvalho, police inspector, concerning the journey, the make-up of the group and the usual routines of the adults and children of the group, of which the informant is part, at the Ocean Club, he states that :
- Apart from his partner, he is on holiday with their children **** O'Brien, aged three years and **** O'Brien aged one year. He works as a doctor. He is a colleague of (Gerry) McCann, having worked together for six months. His partner became pregnant around the same time as Gerry's wife. The informant's daughter, ****, and Madeleine Beth McCann are more or less a month apart in ages. **** and Madeleine go to the same room at the Kids Club, near the reception. The staff are Cat and another person named Emma.
Until yesterday, May 3rd 2007, he has no knowledge of anything suspicious or strange happening around the group of friends or their children. Everybody seemed normal to him from the cleaning staff, to the gardeners, to the rest of the employees of the complex. Also on the beach, he never noticed anything strange or people who could have been thought of as strange enough to attract his suspicions.
Yesterday, as his daughter **** was feeling ill, the informant dropped **** (his other daughter!) at the Kids Club at around 10am after breakfast. He completely corroborates his partner Jane Tanner's statements for the rest of the day.
At around 7.15/7.30pm, the informant went back to his apartment. He read stories to his daughters, including **** who was feeling better. His partner, Jane, went to have dinner at the "Tapas" restaurant at around 8.30pm and he went there at around 8.45pm. When he arrived at the restaurant, nearly all the adults were present, without children, with the exception of David, Fiona and Diane. They arrived more or less 5 minutes later.
At around 9pm, they had all ordered their meals. While they were eating, it was normal that every 15 minutes, one person from each apartment would go to the apartments/bedrooms make sure the children were ok. Yesterday, as **** was not well, the interval between checks was reduced. He recalls that Matthew Oldfield left the restaurant at shortly after 9pm to check the children. He is no longer sure who went out first, but five minutes later, Gerry McCann and his own partner, Jane, went out, almost at the same time, to check the children. Jane could have come back first because she found Gerry chatting with a person who is also a guest in the same place, named Jez. He thinks that Jane only checked their apartment, being worried about ****. Then Gerry came back at around 9.25/9.30 and they started to eat the first course".
On sait que ce n'est pas vrai, la cuisson de son plat avait été suspendue et a repris lorsqu'il est revenu à table (selon le serveur, la cuisinière, etc.).At a round 10pm, Kate Healy went out to check her children in her apartment. When she came back, she came towards our table, shouting that Madeleine had disappeared. They all went out, running, and he with a few more people decided to look around the apartment blocks, and in their own apartments, to see if they could find Madeleine. In the personal search that he did following the disappearance he did not manage to identify any suspect item/person/object. When it seemed to them that possibly she didn't have to be in the immediate surrounding area they widened the search area having the same fruitless result.
He does not know who called the police.
No more was said ...."
Cette fois-ci, des questions sont posées..
Executing officer: Joao Carvalho, Inspector
- Is assisted by interpreter Alice Dias Avakoff
- Questioned how he came to know the elements of the group which accompanied him on holidays, states that he has known David Payne since 1989, having frequented the same University where they both studied medicine. He also worked with him in the same hospital even though in different specialities. He got to know Fiona through David Payne, a couple that married four years ago, with the deponent serving as the couple's best man.
- He got to know Matthew Oldfield in 1994, as they were both doctors. They became friends and Russell served as Matthew's best man at his marriage to Rachel Mampilly in 1999.
- He got to know Gerald (Gerry) McCann more recently, in 2002 or 2003, given that Gerry was also a doctor. The contact between them was established by the Payne couple. The four couples get together when they have an opportunity but, as they live certain distances from each other, they seize the opportunity to get together during holiday periods. All the couples have children of roughly the same ages, which is also a factor in their friendships.
- Questioned if anyone of them has had problems related to their profession, given that all the men of the group are doctors, and also Fiona Payne and Kate Healy, the deponent states that for his part and from what he remembers, there has never been a situation of this kind. However, he remembers that Matthew Oldfield did experience a situation which consisted of a patient's family member accusing the team lead by Matthew of the untimely death of his patient. This family member accused the team of making a late diagnosis which resulted in the death of said patient. He has no other knowledge of any threats made against Matthew Oldfield or his medical team except for this case which was formally lodged in the hospital where his team worked. He has no knowledge of any similar situation having happened with Gerry or with Kate.
- Questioned whether problems exist between the couples, between each couple or with third parties, be these questions of professionalism or sentimental ones, or vices, states that he does not know of any. Each couple has been together for many years and one of the points they have in common, is that there is an understanding between each couple and the couple between themselves. When he has the opportunity of meeting up with them, they pass time together, conversing and playing activities together, for fun. Clarifies that the couple with who has done this less is the McCanns, but he also has no knowledge of any strange or complicated situation. He has no knowledge of vices, drugs and/or games, on behalf of anyone in the group.
- Questioned, states that this was the second time that the four couples came together (the first was at David and Fiona's marriage, in Italy), although he has already vacationed with two or three couples, but not with the group presently in Portugal. He remembers that, in September of 2005, three couples, excluding the deponent and his wife, went on holiday to Mallorca and that they did not accompany them as Jane Tanner was in the final stages of pregnancy. They travelled together, as did the other couples, to David and Fiona's marriage, which occurred in Italy.
- These holidays were combined between themselves, and it was David and Fiona Payne who organised the details. The deponent and his companion Jane Tanner travelled with Matthew and Rachel and their respective children on the plane given the tourist package that they had organised initially. Because he does not know, he cannot say who took care of the details but believes that it was David Payne who took care of the major part of the formalities with the agency.
- The deponent clarifies that, when they were on holiday in Greece via a booking with MarkWarner, they verified that they had available a type of service called 'baby listening', clarifying that it consisted of leaving the children asleep, at home, while the parents went out to dinner, with the checking of the children carried out by nannies, who would listen close to the room windows, to hear if the children were crying, immediately informing the parents, if there was a problem. He explains that MarkWarner makes this service available in Greece, but that in Portugal it is not; a fact that they came to know when they made their bookings. In the Luz Ocean Club, a baby-sitter service is offered so that the adults can dine. This service is free. However, the children do not stay at home, but in the creche installations. The nanny service costs around 15 euros per hour and functions until 01H00. In this case, they opted for a type of vigilance of the children like that they experienced in Greece. They thought that, given the number of adults present, it would be easy to carry out. Sporadically, when someone would get up, they would offer to go and listen for other couple's children, next to the window of their rooms. Questioned, the deponent clarifies that the Payne couple did not get up as they had a baby monitor on the table, that they considered sufficient and did not consider it necessary to personally check on the children. States that he does not know how many times each member of a couple got up to check on their respective children, and that he and Jane Tanner found it more convenient to check on their own children.
- Questioned regarding his routine during the holidays, he confirms in all of his previous declarations and that his version is absolutely in line with his companion's Jane Tanner. He also verifies in the total conformity between his declarations and those of Jane Tanner regarding the holiday trip, of the constitution of the group and of the daily routine of the adults and the children which accompanied this group in the tourist complex, the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz-Lagos.
- Until the past Thursday, 3rd of May 2007, he has no knowledge of any strange/suspicious happenings in the group of friends or with the children. Everything to him seemed normal, from the cleaning staff, gardeners, and the rest of the functionaries of the complex. He also saw no strange people on the beach who looked of a suspicious nature.
- Questioned, states that no one from the group used a vehicle, particular or rented and that they went everywhere in Praia da Luz on foot.
- He made note of the activities on the 3rd of May p.p.. This note consists of all the facts presented, of his activities and those of the group. They are in accordance with the version already represented by his wife, Jane Tanner.
- Regarding the night period, affirms that, on this day, around 19H15/19H30 he went to his apartment. Told his daughters some stories, having stayed with Evie O'Brien, who was a little better but had a hard time sleeping. Meanwhile, his companion Jane went to dinner in the restaurant the Tapas around 20H35/20H40 with the deponent going around 20H45. As the menu was always the same, the group already knew what plates made up the menu, for this reason the deponent told his wife what he wanted, and that she placed the order, while he tried to put Evie down.
- When he arrived at the restaurant, all the adults were there, without the children. David and Fiona were missing and Dianne Webster. They arrived more or less 10 minutes after.
- Around 2100 they ordered dinner.
- As was normal, in more or less every 15/30 minutes, one person from each apartment would go to the apartments/rooms to check on the children and if they were well. On that day, as Evie O'Brien was ill, this time was reduced.
- He remembers that Matthew Oldfield left the restaurant, around 21H00, having gone to the apartments to ensure that no noise was coming from within.
- He is not sure who left first. But has the notion that, about five minutes after, Gerry McCann went to check on his children. Around 5 or 10 minutes after Gerry McCann had left, the deponent's companion, Jane Tanner, also left, to check personally on how her two children were doing. Changement avec la version n°1. He doesn't remember if Jane or Gerry arrived first but remembers that Jane commented on having passed Gerry on the road, and that he was talking to another guest in the same locale, named Jez.
- Matthew Oldfield returned to the restaurant, having told Jane Tanner that the deponent stayed behind with Evie O'Brien because she was crying.
- The truth is that after the crying, the deponent had to change all the sheets and his daughter's clothing as she had vomited.
- His companion came to change places with him 15 minutes after and told him to go finish dinner.
- Around 21H55, he returned to the restaurant, having stayed there for 5/10 minutes waiting to be served his plate. At this point, all the others had already finished eating.
- All of them left, except Dianne Webster, and the deponent with some other people decided to start looking around the apartment blocks, and in the apartments, to see if they could find Madeleine.
- In the searches they carried out, after the disappearance, they did not identify any element/person/or suspicious object.
- Because he is asked, states that he cannot describe the state of the children's room after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, because he never entered there. When they were alerted to the situation, they immediately left the table, and the deponent immediately began searching the immediate areas, heading towards the village and the beach zone.
- Questioned regarding if he noticed whether the blind to the children's room was up or down, states that he cannot answer because he did not look. He remembers that when he went to check on his children, together with Matthew Oldfield, they were talking and did not look to the windows.
- Questioned whether he knows if Matthew Oldfield went, or not, to check on the McCann children, he states that he does not know as he stayed with his daughter Evie Obrien in the apartment, but heard, after, a comment that he was supposed to have gone, but that in the checking, he went to the outside of the door to the room, saw the twins, and not Madeleine McCann's bed, which was situated at an angle which did not give him visual contact.
- States that he has no suspicion to present, and doe not remember any detail of situation that could be related to the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann.
- States that he does not remember any discussion between any of the couples, or any other element of the group with him, nor equally between any of the group with a third-party.
- The deponent remembers only one episode, that for him did not have any importance, but that, given the circumstances, make him relate it. States that between the activities of tennis and others on the beach, he took notice of an individual who he only knows as Nigel - a British individual, married, and with a daughter of 3 years whose name is Ixxx. He had trivial conversations with him. On the day of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in the middle of the morning (au milieu de la matinée, donc vers 10h), part of the group, with their children, were next to the tennis courts when Nigel approached him. He was filming his daughter, with a video camera, and the deponent, questioned, states that he does not remember seeing Nigel with such an apparatus before. Considering the current particulars of paedophilia, they had a conversation that the deponent considered perfectly normal and innocuous. Nigel commenting that he felt uncomfortable in filming his daughter. The deponent finished by concurring with him and together they spoke about the ridiculous situation and 'the state to which the world has come'. The deponent states that he has no reason to suspect Nigel, in any circumstances whatsoever, and that he appeared to him a normal citizen, with a normal family. He never again thought about this conversation and only reports it of all the situations of the week, he has no incident to register or relate.
- At this moment a mouth swab collection was requested of him, to be taken by Special Adjunct Irene Trovao, police officer in the current investigation. The same, and voluntarily accedes to the request and signs the respective declaration of consent, after it is read and translated by the interpreter, who has also signed together with the deponent.
- And nothing more was said.