The disappearance of Madeleine McCann nine years ago is a case like no other. The role played by the media has kept her face on the front pages of the tabloid press .
Police files on the case are available on the internet. The Scotland Yard investigation is ongoing.
This blog is a collection of facts - sourced from witness statements, Portuguese police files, Leveson inquiry papers, interviews, videos, transcripts, newspaper articles and other material in the public domain.
Bell Pottinger Consumer and Resonate come together
The merger of Bell Pottinger Consumer and Resonate gives The Bell Pottinger Group a new concentrated consumer public relations offering and creates an agency that would immediately slot into PR Week’s top 15 consumer agencies in the UK.
It will be led by Michael Frohlich with Tricia Moon and Graham Drew as Board Directors.
Following on from the previous post we now see that Bell Pottinger and Resonate are in effect one and the same. Therefore Bell Pottinger was already present at the OC during the week preceding 3rd May 2007.
PR Week formulates this carefully but it is clear that the referral came from the MD of Resonate and it is in my opinion likely that he was there when it happened.
We see that - instead of other Bell Pottinger staff such as Alex Woolfall - the liaison is done by the directors of Resonate.
PR Week, 9th May 2007 :
Mark Warner brought in Resonate on a generic brief a week before three-year old Madeleine McCann was kidnapped [..] MD Michael Frohlich then referred the firm to his parent company’s crisis specialist.
Frohlich and Resonate director Tricia Moon are helping liaise with the British consulate in Portugal, the Portuguese Police and and the portuguese and UK media.
(On the 5th of May Alex Woolfall -Head of Crisis Managementat Bell Pottinger flies in.) 1)
From the book ‘madeleine’: Chapter 8 - to clarify: this must be the morning of the 5th which means that Alan Pike flew in on the 4th, the same must be the case for Craig Mayhew (MW overseas manager) who may also have flown in on the 4th to be phoned by Gerry at the ungodly hour of 5.00 am to arrange for Alan Pike to meet the McCs at 6.00 am.
‘Having been so late back from the police station the previous evening, we’d decided to wait until morning to meet the trauma psychologist, Alan Pike. But by this point we realized that we needed help urgently. Just before 5am Gerry rang Craig Mayhew, the Mark Warner overseas manager, and asked if Alan would be able to come and see us. He was at the door of our apartment by 6am.
Alan is a clinical partner at the Centre for Crisis Psychology, pioneers in psychological trauma aftercare following disasters at home and abroad. They have worked with the families and survivors of the Bradford fire, the sinking of the Herald of Free Enterprise, the World Trade Center terrorist attacks and the 2004 tsunami, to name just a few. Alan himself, we would learn, had been involved in the aftermath of, among other horrors, coach crashes in Gran Canaria, Cuba and South Africa, three hurricanes and the terrorist bombing at Sharm el Sheikh two years earlier.
[..]He told us we seemed like model parents. [..] 2)
Two Criminal Behaviour Experts from CEOP prob. 9/5
A phonecall from Cherie Blair 8/5
A phonecall from Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett
Investigators were in close touch with Interpol and Europol.
Sheree Dodd was sent from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but soon returned to London amid reports that she did not accept the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine had been abducted.
Clarence Mitchell didn’t officially work for the McCanns until the end of May, but is rumoured to have been on the job within days if not hours.
11 - friends and family, 13 experts from Foreign Office,MMU, CEOP, LP , PR and Pike...in just 5 days. That’s apart from the good people of PdL searching, the PJ, the GNR, the helicopters, the search and rescue dogs.
Ambassador Buck gave a television interview in which he said he had been in touch with Portuguese ministers and the prime minister Jose Socrates, and senior police chiefs who assured him everything possible was being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine. [..]
Buck made a statement to the media announcing the arrival of additional British experts. Said that investigators were in close touch with Interpol and Europol
Ambassador Buck said they were "kidnapping experts" and had joined the 3 other British investigators who had been in Portugal since Saturday 5th.
"... two 'Cracker-style' criminal behaviour experts from Britain flew into the Algarve yesterday to join investigators..."
They were from CEOP and their dispatch had been organised by the British Foreign Office.
A spokeswoman for the CEOP said the move was unprecedented and had been organised by the Foreign Office."
This is very interesting, I believe that these two ‘crackers’ were joining the three investigators sent by ‘Control Risk Group’. I cannot think of any other explanation. Russell O’Brien (further down) gets a little overheated about the Control Risks not having been there as early as that, despite leaving their stamp on the third effort of the timeline of the evening. Which was handed to the PJ on the 10th of May.
From ‘The Truth of the Lie’ by Goncalo Amaral
On Monday May 7th, we start to welcome our English colleagues from Leicestershire, the county where Madeleine and her parents live.
(note that these officers arrived onthe5th and had already been in contact with the McCanns - only meeting the PJ two days later seems a little strange as work continued through the weekend)
[..] Little by little, the number of English police officers grows exponentially. We place at their disposal a room next to our crisis unit, Task Portugal. These are specialists from various police services, including Scotland Yard. Special surveillance teams as well as information and telecommunications technicians turn up with their laptops and various high-tech equipment. unquote
The Portuguese police were apparently reluctant early on to accept any help beyond this from their counterparts in the UK. However, in addition to the Leicestershire FLOs, they did permit forensic psychologists from CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, and an analyst from the National Policing Improvements Agency to come to Praia da Luz the following week. Even that may have been unprecedented: we understood this was the first time the Portuguese authorities had ever allowed any foreign force into the country to assist in an investigation.
[..] In the coming weeks we would meet DCS Bob Small, who we found straight-talking and honest. A lot of hard work went on at home as well, where DS Stuart Prior, the senior investigating officer, was kind enough to show our relatives round the incident room – and Gerry, too, later on.
The US Marines arrive in the form of the IFLG - set up a mere 6 weeks earlier yet already consultants for UK government and experts in cases of child abduction -according to their brand-new website. Of more interest is ‘Hugh’ and the anonymous donor. Although ROB and Jane Tanner at a later date state that Control Risks are the company brought in by the McCanns, this seems unlikely in view of the extract below.
Hugh was clearly not working for free and had been ‘brought in’ - by whom we are not told.
From ‘madeleine’ chapter 8.
At the last two meetings the barrister and legal assistant were joined by a consultant called Hugh, whose profession was at first not explained (Just call me Hugh, he said enigmatically) It transpired that he was a former intelligence officer, now a kidnap negotiator and counsellor. We were told that an anonymous (but evidently very generous) donor had set aside a considerable sum of money for us to put towards the cost of hiring a private investigation company if we wished.
Hugh had been brought in by a firm called control risks, which was primed to help. This company is an independent specialist risk consultancy [..] the first session Hugh attended, which took place at night, had something of a James Bond atmosphere to it..[..] unquote.
Ms. Healy is spot on here, although I feel that the James Bond connection started rather earlier than the 11th.
Between May the 5th and May the 12th two other top people from Control Risks Group are dispatched to Praia da Luz. Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan. Mr. Farrow is the ex-head of Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr. Keenan is an ex-superintendent from the Metropolitan Police. ( http://miscarriageofjustice.co/index.php?topic=3083.0)
(As neither is called ‘Hugh’, one may assume he is the third of those mentioned by the Ambassador. LP initially sent two liaison officers not investigative officers so imo these are not the ones mentioned by the Ambassador on the 8th)
ABC News - London September 27th, 2007. Christine Brouwer:
[..] Sources close to the family told British media that Kate and Gerry McCann had retained the services of Control Risks Group. - an international company that employs former members of the British Intelligence services and the army.[..]
A spokeswoman for CRG, [..] ‘we don’t confirm or deny who we’re working for.’
Unquote.( To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies: well, they wouldn’t would they?
Personally I do not believe the McCanns hired Control Risks and this is evident in the above extract from the book in my opinion.)
On the 14th of September 2007 there was a meeting at Kingsley Napley in London: present were the McCanns, Brian Kennedy, Edward Smethurst, Angus McBride (solc.) Michael Caplan QC(expert in extradition proceedings) and two members of staff of Control Risks Group.
The next question is what were Control Risks Group actually doing in PdL? It seems Jane Tanner spoke with them before she identified Robert Murat.
Her husband seems to be rather anxious about Control Risks having stamped their logo on his timeline. One may wonder why and how this particular document previously in the possession of Control Risks got back to the Leicester Police.
It would be helpful if ROB had managed to finish some of his sentences.
This statement was copied and given to each of the Tapas - iirc the PJ refused to let them take this crib-sheets in with them for their interviews on the 10th of May. Below is ROB’s insistence that Control Risks had nothing to do with the timelines and wasn’t even there at the time to create them. However, I find it amazing that this three-page timeline was created by ROB. In any case the timeline was written before the 10th of May and Control Risks was most likely there before the 8th.
Forenames: RUSSELL JAMES
Statement Date: 10/04/2008 part II
Reply “And the rest of it’s, you know, in shorthand but accurate. Yeah, I’ll go just down to there because it changes there. Erm, just to clarify that you made the timeline, I’ve written it, it’s fine, all of that, I think that’s fine, the times are quite vague and I’m not sure really but they’ll do. I don’t know why it says ‘Control Risk’ in?”
1578 “That’s the company”.
1578 “I think that submitted, is this the company investigating on behalf of Gerry and Kate?”
Reply “Yeah, yeah, but the time, the timeline was done by us and us alone, the one that you got out yesterday”.
1578 “Okay. So ‘Control Risk’ needs to come out?”
Reply “Yeah, so I don’t know whether we gave, we probably gave them a copy as well, although I don’t remember specifically, but, you know, Gerry, Gerry had a copy of the file just as, as we did, but Control Risk, I don’t think were even, were even there at that point”.
Reply “Erm, and so that was a timeline that was made purely by the nine of us, erm, and, yeah, so Control Risk, certainly Control Risk had no part of it. Erm, it says it ‘Was written the first weekend after Madeleine’s disappearance’, ‘After the first weekend’, so I don’t think we did it on the Saturday or the Sunday, I think it was probably”.
1578 “So ‘Was written’?”
Reply “’After the first weekend after Madeleine’s disappearance’, so I’m not entirely sure of, of which day we started, which day we completed on, but it certainly, well I don’t think it was as early as the Saturday or the Sunday, I think I said on, the other day that it was probably the sort of Monday or Tuesday of the next week, but I’m not entirely sure, but as I say, it wasn’t the Saturday or the Sunday, it wasn’t that quick. unquote