Thursday, 13 August 2015



7th June 
Kate and Gerry fly back to PDL early evening, then drive to Lagos to attend concert in aid of Madeleine. 

8th Jun 07
Gerry's blog:  "Sean, in particular has acquired a taste for sea-bass"

9th June DATE:  9/6/2007 (from Pamalan)
Day 37 - 11/06/2007
Kate and I had a slightly busier day on the media front than expected. We did a short press interview for the Irish Sunday papers, mainly to thank the Irish for their fantastic level of support. [..]
After this we headed down to Sagres which is the very most southwestern tip of Portugal. There is a very nice beach and we had lunch with the family. [..]
After returning from the beach we did the Irish version of Crimewatch-‘Crimecall’. [..] we want the Irish public to come forward with photographs of people who they do not know who were in and around Praia da Luz in the 2 weeks leading up to the 3rd May.

The Sagres trip does seem rather strange and - considering that some of the family apparently flew in for this junket - rather short. Surely it would make more sense to make it a full day with the twins (there is no mention of them in the blog) and have a day out with all the family. I
t looks more like a few hours with the family although it is possible that if the twins came Sean could have been treated to fresh sea-bass, his liking for this food having already been announced to the world the previous day.

Why in particular are Irish people asked to send their photographs. I particularly love the phrase ‘photographs of people who they do not know’   and why is Gerry two days out? The 11th would make it day 39. 

This Sagres trip isn’t mentioned at all in the book for some reason. 

There is no previous mention of Sagres in the blog yet Gerry talks about  ‘heading down to Sagres’ as if he knows it. 
His blog religiously mentions the ‘family day’ which is always a Saturday  - the only day in the week the creche is closed and they have to entertain the twins. 

10th June (Sunday)
Mobile phone call is tracked between Gerry and O'Brien on this day. Tracking shows the two were possibly 28km apart at the time of the call.

The McCanns attend mass in the morning in PdL.

Late afternoon they drive to Lisbon airport to fly  to Rabat.
Clarence Mitchell travels with them on the flight.

From ‘madeleine’ - chapter 12: 
We were lucky we managed to get on a plane to Rabat at all. I use the word ‘lucky’ loosely. The jet had broken down and a pre-war propeller plane was drafted to help out. It was too small to carry all the passengers and had to make a return trip to get everyone to Morocco. Flying was hard enough for me now as it was, and this was scary. The plane, a bare metal tube, was basic. It had about twenty seats and no separate cockpit, no overhead lockers or storage racks, no in-flight service [..] .
Miss Biddy Brett-Rooks, the consul general for Casablanca, was there to meet us when we landed. She looked and sounded exactly as I’d imagined from her name: very sweet and very English. We went first to a hotel where we had arranged to meet
an ITN crew from the UK. They wanted to show us an interview they’d recorded with a Norwegian lady called Mari Olli. [..]  On 9 May, she’d seen a little girl who looked like Madeleine at a petrol station on the outskirts of Marrakesh. [..]
From what we could infer, this lead simply hadn’t been adequately followed up. Indeed, a month later, Mari still hadn’t been formally interviewed. It was intolerable. 

The  McCanns spent the night at the British Ambassador’s residence: 
‘It was pretty late by the time we arrived at the ambassador's residence, where we would be spending the night.’
This sighting  was on the 9th of May, reported  in Spain on the 10th. Meanwhile quite a few other sightings were being followed up - some by Leicester Police for some reason. 
The pre-war plane must have been quite a change from the private jet which had already whisked them to Rome, Madrid, Berlin and Amsterdam.  
Interesting information is that obviously  more than 18 and less than or exactly 38 people expected to travel with the McCanns as the plane had to return to pick up the rest of the group. 
Apparently the Consul-general has her H.Q. in Casablanca and not in Rabat. 
11th June:
The McCanns met several ‘important and powerful figures’  The Chief of Police and two government Ministers among them according to Chapter 12:

In the morning, at a meeting with the consular staff, we heard from a British Metropolitan Police attaché, a counter-terrorism liaison and cooperation officer, that Morocco was a police state with excellent networks and intelligence-gathering systems. If Madeleine was here, she was sure to be found. It was something we’d be told several times during our visit.

We talked to the president of the Ligue Marocaine pour la Protection de l’Enfance, the Moroccan equivalent of the NSPCC, and visited Touche Pas à Mon Enfant. [..] 
That day several senior and powerful figures spent time with us, including the minister of the interior, Mr Benmoussa, and the director general of the police, Charki Draiss. The police attaché had told us earlier that for these meetings to take place, permission must have been granted by the King himself. Both Mr Benmoussa and Mr Draiss reiterated the message of the day: ‘We will help you. If Madeleine’s here, we will find her.’

Lucky timing to launch a new computer system or just a button?
En route to our visit to the Observatoire Nationale des Droits de l’Enfant, a Palace-sponsored child-welfare watchdog, [...] From the Observatoire Nationale des Droits de l’Enfant, we learned that the heart of each Moroccan community is not the town hall or police station but the health centre. Accordingly, a new computer network system linking all the health centres in Morocco [..] ready to be launched from their headquarters. 
A special webpage about Madeleine had also been created to coincide with our visit to Rabat. Gerry and I were completely blown away to be invited to press the ‘go live’ button, activating not only Morocco’s new network but with it the ‘Madeleine page’, thereby alerting all the health centres across the country to her disappearance and our need to find her.
The western press published photographs of hundreds of children holding up Maddie posters (remember that box of posters Gerry schlepped through customs?). The book devotes a paragraph to the event.
Royalty has been mentioned twice, senior and important people have ‘spent time with them’. But it doesn’t look as if the great and good of Morocco were falling over themselves to host the McCanns. These sideways allusions to royalty and important people do not add up to the image which is projected in the press. In fact the meeting on the last morning seems to have been arranged by the translator and was facilitated by the fact that it was her father-in-law. 
Paolo Reis (Portuguese journalist)
At the press conference held in Rabat at the Hilton Hotel, the English couple was accompanied by a very ‘British’ gentleman who is presented to us as a British diplomat from the Foreign Office. John Kayne accompanies the English couple on his journey for two weeks. [..]
The British diplomat told us a few minutes before the press conference: ‘Maddie’s parents are ordinary people [..] they are not accustomed to the press’. [..]
The morning of June 11, the English couple had a meeting with the members ‘Matkich waldi’.  (do not touch my son). The parents had previously met with the Executive Director of the National Observatory for Children’s rights (ONDE), Said Raji. 
Presumably the press conference - not mentioned at all in the book - was later in the day. This time not only Clarence Mitchell, but a translator provided by the British Embassy shared the platform - respectively a question and  language filter possibly preventing unwanted questions.
June 12th
On our final morning, the lady who’d been interpreting for us arranged for us to meet the minister of Islamic affairs, who happened to be her father-in-law. I was keen to talk to an Islamic religious leader to seek the support and prayers of the Muslim community. 
The minister was an academic, senior cleric and an adviser to the King, and he seemed kind, genuine and receptive.[..] I asked if he would urge the Muslim people here to pray for her, too, and for all missing children. He promised us that he would, adding that he was certain we would be reunited with our daughter.
The  lady with the McCanns and Clarence Mitchell at the press conference  on the 11th was probably Myriam Alami Toufiq - she's on the British Embassy's list of lawyers and translators.
Therefore the  minister may have been Ahmed Toufiq, appointed as minister for Islamic affairs in November 2002).
12th June
The McCanns arrive back in Praia de Luz in the afternoon. At night they go to church for prayers. 

BBC News:  Madeleine parents 'to take stock' 
Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 05:12 GMT 06:12 UK

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann say they will spend the coming week reviewing the campaign to find her and allowing themselves time to grieve.

The couple have travelled across Europe in an effort to find Madeleine, four, who went missing in Portugal on 3 May.

But on their return to the Algarve on Tuesday from Morocco, Gerry and Kate McCann of Rothley, Leicestershire, say they will have a period of reflection. [..] When they return to Portugal, Mrs McCann said it would be time to withdraw from the media attention.
11th June:
The McCanns also did a couple of interviews for ITV and Sky focussing on a change in the phase of the campaign. They confirmed that there would be a period of reflection before they decided on the best role for themselves.

 (1) Re Sagres:  
 John McCann speaking on radio: ‘  - but some of the, some of the stuff that’s being speculated on just isn’t plausible. Like information appearing about samples in a car which Gerry and Kate only got 5 weeks after Madeleine disappeared.  Are you trying to tell me that Madeleine was hidden for 5 weeks and then was suddenly reappeared in this hire car.’ unquote
 Why did John mention “5 weeks” when he was talking in September 2007 – months after Madeleine had disappeared?
The facts are that the car had been hired on May 27 – 24 days after Madeleine was reported missing. 24 days is a significantly shorter time than 5 weeks.
So, what could be significant about something happening 5 weeks after Madeleine’s demise?
5 weeks after Madeleine disappeared was the weekend commencing Friday June 8, 2007. When we look closely at that weekend, there are several interesting things to note:
The McCann family flew in to the Algarve or were already there for that weekend. Susan and Brian Healy – Kate’s parents – were there. Trish and Sandy Cameron – Gerry’s sister and his brother in-law were there. Philomena flew in to Lisbon and Kate’s long time friend Anne-Marie Wright and her husband Michael had flown in to Faro.
Michael told the police that he and his wife flew in with the specific job of looking after Sean and Amelie while Kate and Gerry went to Morocco on Sunday June 10. Given the large number of close family relatives in town, Michael’s statement to the police is flawed.
On Saturday June 9, 2007, the entire family is supposed to have spent a day at the southwestern tip of Portugal – a town called Sagres.
On the Sunday afternoon, Kate, Gerry and Clarence Mitchell all went up to Lisbon to catch a small private plane laid on especially for them to go to Casablanca in Morocco. Their ultimate destination was Rabat, where a press conference with Sky’s Martin Brunt was held.
North Africa in June is a very hot place to be. Why then was Martin Brunt wearing a white suit, children were wearing t-shirts, but they chose to wear the worst attire possible – black suits more befitting a funeral?
It is even more remarkable that this BBC news item was apparently written before they left for Morocco. 
A number of questions arise from the above clips: 
Why have they given this information even before they left for Morocco? 
What ‘role’ are they looking for?  Gerry eventually returned to Glenfield Hospital but that’s hardly a ‘role’.
Most of all: the time to grieve - I feel this was a crucial period when a lot of things changed. End of European Tour which from the distance of 8 years looks like a damp squib. 

Plus this little item from ‘madeleine’:
Chapter 11:
At the beginning of June, Gerry had a call from the director of communications at the Foreign Office. [..] Whatever the case, it was suggested to Gerry that we should use Madeleine’s Fund to employ someone to replace Clarence once our campaign visits were complete. Reluctantly, Gerry agreed. We honestly hadn’t bargained for having to pay a salary for media liaison out of the fund, which we’d envisaged being used primarily to meet costs related directly to the search for Madeleine.


1 comment:

  1. GM's location shows Sagres/Budens on Sat 9th which puts sea bass day on Friday in PDL restaurant. It's hard to keep track but it seems Tricia & Sandy had returned to UK to look after some personal stuff and that Phil who came over with posters and that green & yellow t-shirt for Gerry (that he seems to have been advised not to wear around OC) had already returned home. Michael Wright & Anne Marie came over to relieve the Camerons and also the Healys who were to help with twins during the Morocco trip. Interesting that on day 36 plans were in motion for the 1000 balloon release to mark Madeleine's 50th day missing in 300 different countries.