Monday, 30 March 2015

The First Photo - part 2: The GNR statements

Pages 2294 to 2296
On the 25of the month of June of the year 2007, the Territorial Post Commander of the Lagos GNR, delivers to your Excellency Mr. Goncalo Amaral, Chief Inspector of the Portimao Policia Judiciaria, four photographs, two by two in different positions of the minor Madeleine Beth McCann, which were together with the copy of the missing notice NUIPC 201/07.OGALGS and which were given to us by family on the day of the disappearance.
Processos Vol XIII  Pages 3988 to 3990  Witness Statement
Date: 08/11/2007

Antonio Henrique de Conceiçâo Duarte
Comes to the process as a witness GNR officer.

Upon questioning, he states that he arrived at the site of the disappearance of the young girl on 3rd May of this year, about 25 to 30 minutes after the patrol.
Upon arriving at the site he was told that this was a case of abduction, this information being transmitted, he thinks, by the girl’s father. He was also informed by Silvia (head of maintenance at the resort) that the parents and friends said it was an abduction, their intention being to inform the media, and that they were in fact making phone calls to this effect.[..]

After the arrival of the police, also accompanied by a member of the GNR, he continued searching, checking the beach and all the paths leading to it.
As concerns the photos of the child, he says that he only saw what he calls
the originals, poster type 10 x 15 cm on photographic paper. He did not see any other type of photos. Upon being shown a sample, he recognises it as being identical.

When asked he say he does not know the quantity of photos, but that there was more than one. He says that of these photos, at least five, he annexed one to the document he sent to the Tribunal and another four were handed to the officers carrying out searches, which were later returned and handed to the police, in due course.

He says he does not know who handed him the photos, different from each other, two by two.

He states that the photos came from inside the apartment, he still cannot say who had them
. When he was inside the police car, gathering identification documents from the parents, he asked someone nearby for photos, he does not know if that person was Portuguese or British. This same person entered the apartment and came out with the photos.

He does not know whether it was Silvia Baptista who gave him the photos, as she was translating the conversations, neither whether it was someone from the family or friends.

He is sure that he received them in the early morning, at about 02.00, when the police arrived, after having carried out the first search.

He has the impression he saw the girl’s father, however he cannot confirm whether he was the one to give him the photos.
When questioned he says that the photos could not have been printed/revealed at the Ocean Club installations (they do not have this kind of paper). He adds that the photos produced the following day, which he observed, were printed on A4 paper, which was available at the resort.
The timeline is (this statement is given six months later)  as the PJ arrived at the very latest at 01.00. Silvia Batista makes is even earlier as she relates this event soon after she met Gerry and the first patrol at reception. 
 If Duarte arrived about 30 minutes after the first patrol, that would make it around 11.30. 
This time is agrees with the statement of Silvia Batista. So the photographs would have been given to the GNR soon afterwards. 
Processo Volume XII
Pages 3885
Witness Statement
Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa  17-10-2007
He also emphasises the situation that someone, who he cannot identify, having contacted Sky News and the Embassy that night. He does not know if it were the parents.

He also notes that he saw various photographs on normal A4 paper of the girl, which had been printed at the reception, as well as other photos on photographic paper, poster type 10 x 15, that could not have been printed at the reception. This seemed unusual to him and he later confirmed that it was not possible for them to have been printed at the reception.

Processos Vol XII

Pages 3259-3263

External Inquiry Report

Date 02-10-2007
Place: Ocean Club
Executing Officers: Paolo Ferreira and Ricardo Paiva

On this date, at 15.00 we went to the Ocean Club where we were received by the Maintenance and Service Manager, Silvia Baptista, and by the Mark Warner director, John Hill. We asked them to show us all the printers and photocopiers existing at the OC, which were operational at the time of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and that were used to print colour copies of Madeleine’s photo.

Silvia Baptista informed us that at the request of John Hill and his wife D****, hundreds of colour copies of a photo of Madeleine McCann were printed on 4th May 2007 with the aim of distributing them in Pda L and Lagos. For this purpose a colour photocopier, Toshiba, in the main OC reception was used as well as an HP laser printer, HP Color Laserjet 2840 located at a desk at the Ocean Country company, a colour laser printer Epsom Aculaser C1100 located on the desk of the administrative secretary and a colour laser printer HP Color Laserjet 1600 located on John Hill’s desk.

On his part, John Hill informed us that the printing of large quantities of Madeleine’s photo was carried out by himself with the help of his wife, at the request of Russell O’Brien, a member of the McCann’s group of friends, John Hill
stated that the photograph the colour prints were made from a mobile data disk of the “memory stick” kind that Russell O’Brien gave him on the morning of 4th May.

They both stipulated that these were the only colour printers and photocopiers in existence at the Ocean Club and that there was no other place with the capacity for colour printing.


08 Processo Volume 8 pages 1975 to 1977 

Witness statement of Silvia Maria Correia Ramos Batista 2007.07.26
Date: 26 July 2007; Time: 16h00; Place: DIC Portimao
Officer: Paulo F., Inspector

To the matter at hand she said:
--- Already having given declarations in this case several times recalling the content of what she  had stated previously, reproducing [repeating] them all unchanged for this document.
--- The deponent appears again given that in the time since Madeleine disappeared she [S.B.] has  remembered some details of witnessed facts/events that she considers may, in some way, be of interest to the investigation.
--- As already stated she was alerted to disappearance of Madeleine between 22h30 and 23h00.
She was at home and was informed of what happened by telephone. She went immediately to the Ocean Club where she
arrived a few minutes before the GNR officers arrived there. When she  arrived at the resort she went immediately to apartment 5A where she found several people as  much/many inside the apartment as outside it. Still she entered the apartment but left straight away  without having spoken with anyone who was there, since at the same time she was told that GNR  officers were at the main reception and she went to find them.
--- When she arrived at the officer's location she saw that behind them was Gerry, Madeleine's
father, with another person but she does not remember who it was.
[...] Then  Gerry stood up and accompanied the deponent and the other person to the GNR vehicle next to the 5A apartment.
--- Once inside the apartment she asked those present for the passports of all members of their families
, as well as photographs of the missing girl. The deponent accompanied Gerry to the GNR  vehicle in order to deliver the requested documents. She states that she did this work, as well as  other work, at the request of the GNR Commander because they used her knowledge of English to  translate questions put to members of the family of the missing girl, as well as the answers that  were given. She recalls Gerry delivered several photographs of the missing girl to the GNR  Commander. The photos were postcard-style, they having that dimension and format. In truth they  were photographs of the dimension and format [size and shape] of a postcard, and they all looked the same to her.

Both these statements are of interest. I take John Hill’s statement to mean that the photocopies were made from the colour prints given to him by Russell O’Brien. Why he should feel the need at this stage (note that both these statements are six months later) to assert where the original photo came from and has gone into some detail on this point is interesting. 
He received the photos, how and why should he know in which manner they were produced? 

The two posters have slightly different photographs, the poster with the Portuguese text seems to be cropped. The English one not. 

The text is strange too: ‘Missing, 3 yrs from last night. Please contact Luz Ocean Club. 
The Portuguese: Desapanceo ontem as 22.00 as Luz se vea por favor contacte a policia. 

Most of all it is Silvia Batista who gives a time when the photos were produced well before 24.00 when Ms. Tierney went off to find her printer. 
Officer Duarte says: 
When he was inside the police car, gathering identification documents from the parents, he asked someone nearby for photos, he does not know if that person was Portuguese or British. This same person entered the apartment and came out with the photos.

It appears from the above that as from June/July 2007 the PJ were looking into the First Photo and the printing thereof. But it is not untill after the Arguido status and the flight back to the UK that more evidence is gathered, culminating in the statement given by Ms. Tierney  of which more later. 

From Gerry McCann's arguido Interview 7th September 2007: 
Regarding the disclosure of Madeleine's photograph, he says that he gave the authorities a photograph from a digital camera and he thinks it was Russell who printed it at the main 24-hour reception. 
He made the delivery of this, or those, pictures on A4 paper to this Police but he is absolutely certain that he never delivered any of these photographs to the GNR. 

But is appears that Silvia Batista was sure, very sure, even six months later and also sure that it happened before 24.00.
Somehow Gerry's statement above reminds me of the Expresso Interview of 5-9-2008 when he was asked about those text messages on the 2nd of May:  

Gerry McCann: 'No one has asked to see any of my text messages. There is no way there was 16 messages on the day, or even, you know, the day after. You know, the day after we got hundreds of text messages.'

He never gave photographs to anyone, A4  Yes, photos No, PJ yes, GNR no... 
He never had 16 text messages, hundreds the following day, that Mr. Policeman?

Around 10.00 am on the morning of the 4th Gerry and Kate were taken to Portimao police station and did not return until around 7.30 pm.
Kate writes in Chapter 6 about meeting Murat: ....when one of the GNR officers came over to request more details  about Madeleine and any distinguishing features she had, this man stepped in to translate. I was holding a photograph of Madeleine, which he asked to see.

So Gerry chose to give A4 paper to the PJ instead of a 10 x 15 photograph? His statement seems clear that the 'photograph'he is talking about is on A4 paper. So not a photograph. Kate has a real photograph in her possession, the official PJ poster in part 1 here is a photograph, not a cut-out. So it looks as if at some stage the First Photo was a bit of a problem for all concerned.  In any case, there were two sets of photographs, same clothes but different poses.


  1. Silvia Batista's account tallies with GM's mobile records. He went down to OC reception and called Kate twice at 23.15 and 23.17 probably to tell her that they had arrived and then they were on their way back to the apartment. There was then a 23 minute break between calls where he would have accompanied the GNR back, they did their kneeling thing and answered questions and presumably had time to find the passports and go to the patrol car with Silvia. If that's the case GM would have been occupied with the GNR who would have noticed anyone who handed him photos so it suggests that the photos were already in situ well before he went to the OC so sometime around 23.00?

    From 23.40 he was almost constantly on the phone for an hour with short gaps in between when he would also have spoken to Kate's mother presumably from Kate's phone as the call wasn't made from his own mobile. During this time he was mainly communicating with Trish & Sandy and Brian & Janet Kennedy and then he received some calls from the Consulate contact Angela Morado.

  2. 3 GNR and 1PJ officers acknowledge receipt of Kodak photos - Duarte, the commander is the only one who also acknowledges receipt of ID as in passports with the photos - in line with Sylvia's witness statement only Duarte says he received them at 2am. Barreira photographed from 1am to 3.30/4am, passports being the last number lot to be printed suggesting Duarte hung onto the passports before returning them to be photographed.

    Not sure if Bridget O Donnell got a photo that night, she had one the following day.

    Going with 2am (on GNR Commanders word) over 2 hours to find and print the photos out, but doesn't explain how they did it, ROB being busy until the GNR first arrived.