Friday, 13 July 2012

Stephen Birch - Genius or Fraud?

By Honestbroker.

South African sleuth, Stephen Birch, certainly caused a blaze, if not with the UK media (where he has been largely ignored), then elsewhere.

Birch asserts, with apparent conviction, that he has found the final resting-place of young Madeleine, described weeks before by Scotland Yard as quite possibly alive and findable.

To take Birch seriously, we must suspend a great deal of evidence which points powerfully against his apparent findings.

Whilst, in other articles, I have expressed reservations about the way cadaver dog Eddie was deployed in Praia da Luz, I've never had the slightest doubt about his ability to find a cadaver. Eddie was a part of the team that searched the Murats' back yard and he didn't alert. But even if we assume (I do not!) that Eddie somehow missed a cadaver, he needn't blush.

Mrs Murat has two guard dogs, although never trained as cadaver dogs, no doubt perfectly capable of detecting a scent, particularly of a body (according to Birch) buried less than 2 feet (500 milllimetres) down.

But that isn't all. Ground penetrating radar of exactly the type Birch claims to have used was actually used in the original investigation and in the search of the Murats' back yard.

From UK investigator Mark Harrison's report:

On 04-08-07 and 05-08-07 a search warrant was executed at the villa and gardens belonging to the PJ suspect Robert Murat. This search involved both PJ and GNR personnel supported by civil defence, geophysical equipment operators and a canine handler.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

This consists of a radar antenna transmitting electromagnetic energy in pulse form at frequencies between 25 MHz and 1 GHz. The pulses are partially reflected by the sub-surface geological structures, picked up by a receiving antenna and plotted as a continuous two-way travel time record, which is displayed as a pseudo-geological record section. The vertical depth scale of this section can be calibrated from the measures two-way travel times of the reflected events either by the use of the appropriate velocity values of electromagnetic pulse through the ground.

The depth of penetration achieved by the radar pulse is a function of both its frequency and the conductivity of the ground.

The equipment benefits in use by detecting anomalies in the ground and is particularly effective through sand and concrete. However, it is limited in undulating terrain or areas where it is an anomaly rich environment such as a wooded area.

This equipment whilst readily available in the commercial surveying industry and university geophysics departments requires expert interpretation of the imagery for grave detection.

If Birch is to be believed, two dogs of Mrs Murat's and one trained to find cadavers, as well as operators of exactly the same equipment Birch claims to have used, which requires specialist expertise for use in grave detection, all missed what Birch found. How clever is our man Stephen Birch? His genius, apparently, extends further.

In (by his own admission) trespassing on the Murats' property, Birch and his team somehow evaded Mrs Murat's two guard dogs, Estrelas, a Portuguese breed of dog, soft and gentle with humans it is familiar with and recognises; ferocious with strangers.

But others, sharper-eyed than me, have poured over video footage of Birch's you-tube releases and are satisfied that it was, indeed, taken in the Murats' back yard.

It is a fact that the Portuguese authorities have distributed material from the process, including rogatory interviews to fraudster Levy, offically never released, into the public domain.

What happened to the official video of the search as part of the official investigation in the Murats' back yard?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

“Plea Bargains” and Lies – But Not the Lies You Might Think

Article By Honestbroker

It's begun already, the attempted “rebuttal” to Kate's magnificent, unputdownable, superbly narrated heart-rending book. Said 'rebuttal' has got off to a damp squib of a start. Somewhere in the ether (I'll leave you to find where) floats a youtube video that casts aspersions on Kate's description of the offer that was put to her and Gerry in the early hours of the morning 7th September, after Kate's pre-arguida interview had finally finished at 0040 hours the same day. If the poster Heidi Ho (who produced this video) doubts the veracity of Kate's account, she should try something novel, such as reading the files, then she would know beyond doubt that Kate is telling the truth.

The video makes one point that is true, but also a non-sequitur – even in judicial systems that allow them, 'plea-bargains' are only possible after charges have been brought. The plea bargain is an arrangement intended to speed up the course of justice whereby agreement can be reached with the accused that more serious charges will be dropped in return for a promise from the accused that he/she will plead guilty to less serious charges for which comparatively lenient sentences will be imposed. Before charges are brought, a plea-bargain is impossible, and in countries such as Portugal, where the police and judiciary operate independently of each other, they are not possible at all.

Of course, Kate and Gerry were never charged. Still, in Portugal, as elsewhere, there are prescribed punishments for specific crimes. And in Portugal, the particular crime of concealing a body in an attempt to hide a death carries a sentence of two-years' imprisonment. So the offer put to the couple that if Kate agreed to plead guilty to the charge of finding and concealing a body (that of her beloved and cherished daughter, Madeleine), she would receive a two-year sentence, while the PJ would not pursue charges against Gerry, is quite feasible and quite lawful. Whether it is also ethical is a whole different question. But let's ignore that.

The alternative put to the couple was that the PJ would pursue charges, not of attempting to conceal a body, but of murder, against both of them, for which the maximum term of imprisonment in Portugal is 25 years. That, also, is prescribed in law, and so doesn't remotely invoke “plea bargain”.

We can be certain that what Kate says is true by comparing what Amaral says in interviews with what is written in the files.

In that El Mundo interview I have referred to before, Amaral says this:

A - Both the British and Portuguese police, and even the prosecutor, who has already changed his mind, thought the same. We talked about death by others, not murder. In the room, blood and cadaver odour was found just below a window where a sofa was. The father was talking to a friend just outside that window for a while. The girl was not a heavy sleeper, that's what the parents said. Perhaps she heard her father and climbed to the sofa below the window. But the parents, for the girl not to go out, moved it away from the wall. Madeleine could have fallen.

Q - The girl falls from the sofa, dies with the blow and the parents find her.

A - The mother. It is the mother who finds the girl dead.

They didn't talk about murder? Oh yes they did!

Read this, from Mark Harrison's report:

In considering the two scenarios that Madeleine McCann has been murdered and her body disposed of by a person on foot or in a vehicle, I have reflected on the areas within zone 1 that have been previously searched or subject to forensic examination.

Note that the two scenarios are disposal of a body by foot or by car. Both are death by murder.

The strategy of the PJ becomes clear and is laid bare. From way before Eddie and Keela even arrived, the PJ had formulated their theory of death by unnatural means and had invited exploration of death by murder. They wanted a conviction and they'd go for the 'soft option' of concealment of a crime by disposing of a body, applicable to just one of the arguidos, as a fall-back position from the more aggressive approach of threatening to bring murder charges against both arguido/as. That fits in perfectly with what Kate describes.

However (thank goodness) the joint reaction of Kate and Gerry was not what the PJ was hoping for. The McCanns' initial, and primary response, was thought of the implications of what had been proposed for Madeleine. If they agreed to this, in the eyes of the PJ and the world, the crime would be 'cracked'. What odds of finding Madeleine then? Obviously nil. On that ground alone, the McCanns would not entertain any such chicanery. But there was the ancillary point that they had no intention of submitting to scurrilous accusation of misdeeds of which they were completely innocent. More than that, having been shown the videos of the dogs in action, they were convinced that ex-PC Grime's finest (allegedly employed by the FBI!) were really not very good, and inclined to obey the beckon-call of their master (allegedly advisor to the FBI) after copious direction. Countless others of us who have watched the same videos have come to the same conclusion.

Still, the PJ availed themselves the maximum chance of this strategy working. They hit the McCanns with this proposed 'deal' in the early hours of the morning, when they were surely at their weakest and most vulnerable, after Kate had undergone gruelling examination, had seen videos of the dogs in action and had been subjected to the corrupt misinterpretation of John Lowe's report that 15 of 19 markers of Madeleine's DNA had been found in the car. At that stage, of course, neither Kate nor Gerry had had the chance to read the report of John Lowe of the Forensic Science Service themselves, and so were unable to separate the wheat from the chaff, (the latter) copiously served to them by the PJ. But against all the odds, they didn't crack. Thank goodness they were, at least, spared the added ordeal of pysical assault to which Leonor Cipriaono, who languishes in a Portuguese jail to this day, was subjected.

So, there's just one question left to answer: plea-bargain, Where did it come from?

In an interview to an Irish radio station, Gerry's sister and Kate's sister-in-law, Philomena McCann, in describing accurately what, exactly, had befallen Kate and Gerry in those offices in Portameo, had let slip layman's use of a legal term, 'plea bargain', that wasn't quite exactly accurate, in the scheme of things, a trivial slip, scarcely worth any more acknowledgement than a passing nod.

Finally, Heide ho should catch up on her knowledge of those dogs. They never were employed by the FBI as she claims. Indeed, the licences of both dogs to operate as sniffer dogs expired while they were employed under the direction of the (freelance, ex PC) handler, Marin Grime, in Haute de la Garenne, Jersey.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Declaration of Rights

By Deuce

I believe it is sensible to take stock of the need to question the book and sum up the basis for challenging a very public doubt-raising agenda, being sold for monetary gain by an ex policeman, convicted of perjury, Goncalo Amaral.

The basis of challenging such agenda’s, arises from the declaration of human rights. The source we are all bound by, as equal in assured protection. The three human rights that concern this blog are the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, the right to privacy and the right to free speech. I have a personal fourth, but will cover that to wind up this article.

Let’s examine the bloggers covering the missing Madeleine topic found in various places on the Internet. Those who support Amaral’s thesis often quote from the files a comment which says the McCann’s lost the opportunity to prove their innocence.  I have even witnessed comments that suggest declaring the McCanns as being presumed innocent, does not mean they are, as if the presumption has an excuse to be ignored. This urge to reform the meaning of the presumption of  innocence, in such a manner,  contravenes the human right to privacy.  As normal people know, two wrongs don’t make a right especially when breaking one human right to uphold another.

Presumption of Innocence.

1.  Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Ok, from the above statement, the right to be presumed innocent is afforded primarily to those who have been charged, awaiting trial. Therefore as Kate and Gerry have never been charged of any crime, they are not just presumed innocent. They ARE innocent. But the essence of this human right affords them the same protection from false accusations.

The McCanns are innocent without doubt as confirmed by the law and democratic human rights. Anyone who suggests otherwise by public implication that they are guilty of a crime, are breaking the human right to privacy.

Right to Privacy.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, or to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Yes indeed, the McCanns daily receive interference with their privacy with attacks upon their honour and reputation from public comment boards, propaganda forums, Goncalo Amarals book and the more local group led by Anthony Bennett. If the McCanns had to deal with all of these attacks individually, they would be unfairly and overwhelmingly diverted from their campaign to find Madeleine. It is a sad and perverted agenda that some people choose to be involved in, that risk diverting the McCanns attention and priority of searching for their beloved daughter.

What about free speech? Amaral upholds the human right of free speech to excuse the publishing of his book, yet ignores the right to privacy and the fact of being innocent without any suspicion; even more profound than the right to be presumed innocent, alone.

Freedom of Expression.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

This right comes with responsibility. To directly contravene two other human rights in order to practice one is not responsible. But the law and the declaration of human rights protects us from irresponsible freedom of expression. Indeed we can rely upon the right to privacy. When freedom of expression is without doubt an attack on the honour, integrity and good name of innocent people, these victims have the right to the protection from the law against such interference and attacks.

Currently Goncalo is being challenged for his attacks on the McCanns integrity, good name and innocence, in the Portuguese justice system. There should be only one right outcome, we shall see as it does not bode well when the prosecutor who shelved the case suggested he considers a presumption of guilt needs to be proved innocent.

My personal addition to the list of human rights covered here, the right to life.

Right to Life.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

I think this right is important to remember. Especially in the absence of the missing whose fate remains unknown.  For Madeleine McCann, in her absence we must uphold the right to life on her behalf. We must never give up believing that Madeleine McCann can be found alive and well. Any public suggestion that she is dead as closure for any search is an attack on the human rights of Madeleine Beth McCann. People like Goncalo Amaral, Anthony Bennett and those who comment publicly on the Internet, will do well to remember this before exploiting the child’s name for their negative agenda’s.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

For the Love of Madeleine.

By Deuce

This article is related to the conspiracy umbrella which Goncalo Amaral has parked himself under, to justify his own explanation of his fall from grace. It should have come as no surprise to Amaral that he should find himself sheltering from the storm he created alongside fringe elements of an active group of conspiracy theorists. He has certainly reached rock bottom, in my opinion, to need the support of such groups to maintain momentum for the sale of his written word. That written word tainted by the fact he is a convicted perjurer.

Vee8 and Honestbroker have covered aspects of the contribution of conspiracy theorists already. I would like to focus on the Madeleine fund. The fund set up by the McCann family is the only campaign actively and practically searching for Madeleine. Yet these fringe lunatic groups spam media sites proclaiming the fund as a fraud. They know the truth and the facts, yet with great disrespect for missing Madeleine, they rely on recruiting the more gullible of folk into their groups. How could these people be a worry when normal folk can see right through them? I believe the most damaging work that erodes hope for Madeleine is Amarals book. Yet there is the addition of publicity from fringe groups, momentum to that damage from one small group in particular, headed by publicity seeker, Anthony Bennett, who regularly receives monies from members of the public through the use and exploitation of Madeleine’s name as title for his group of fanatical conspiracy theorists and you can now see why the search for a missing child can be damaged, even by 'The moon landings were a lie' types.

The most prolific of statements being spammed on media and social network sites, is that raising monies through charity events for the fund is morally corrupt because the fund is not a charity. That the monies raised do not go to searching for Madeleine, but to fund the family's finances.

Charities, by law, can only be named and managed as such if the monies raised are for the benefit of the public in general. When a child goes missing and the police investigation goes cold, funding becomes crucial to the family still searching. There are charities that raise money to elevate awareness for all missing children, which is fantastic. The McCann’s support such charities themselves. But without taking anything away from the crucial and hard work of selfless volunteers who support these charities, it is without question beneficial for a child to achieve individual attention if possible. With the extraordinary media attention on this case, a fund for Madeleine makes absolute sense. The extraordinary media attention indirectly raises more awareness for all missing children.

Let’s get back to the law regarding fund raising. As the Madeleine fund is for the benefit of one child, logistically, it cannot legally be called a charity. But the law does not frown upon raising money for a missing child. Without the umbrella of protection afforded by the label ‘charity’ the law requires a fund to be practiced as a Limited Company. This gives similar, if not greater, protection to those supplying funding and assures transparency and legality for those running the campaign.

A full and comprehensive definition of the fund can be found on the official campaign website.

The Madeleine fund follows the codes of practice as set out by the Institute of Fundraising.

The Madeleine Fund is a legal and above board fund. That is without question. What is questionable is why there is a minority of people who would suggest otherwise in face of the facts, which are readily and openly available. I don't know why.

I do know why the McCann family set up the Madeleine Fund.

For the Love of Madeleine.

Mothers Day Sunday, 3rd April 2011.  Please contribute to Kate and Gerrys Miles for Missing People run which took place on Mothering Sunday weekend. 

Monday, 14 March 2011

Eddie and Keela in Praia da Luz – Matching claim and Performance

Article by Honestbroker.

In various places in the file, Grime makes specific claims about the performance of his dogs. Matching claim with the record from the file or other sources reveals an, at times, incongruous picture. About Eddie, Grime says:

The dog's olfactory system is so highly developed that it continues to be efficient at cellular level:

Distinguish the time difference between footprints to give a direction of travel.

Distinguish live from dead within minutes.

The first claim seems to be for dogs trained to track the scents of living people. Cadaver dogs, as a rule, are trained to ignore the scents of living people.

The second claim is perplexing, too.  For a long time, it was accepted without question on-line that the time interval between death and emission of a scent from a corpse detectable to a dog was 90 minutes. 

Then someone established the provenance of the claim, research in America on a so-called 'body farm', to which people donate their bodies after death for the purpose of training cadaver dogs, and also research.  A study into the very question of how soon after death a scent is released detectable to dogs yielded a soonest time of, actually, just less than an hour and a half.  But that was an isolated result.  The majority of all results yielded what the study took as the actual average time, 2 and a half to 3 hours.  So we can only guess where Grime gets his time of "minutes" from.
Grime says that Eddie is sure of the scent he is trained to detect and won't bark if he has doubts.  From Grime's profile, he cites this from a case Eddie worked on in Northern Ireland:
Page 2267

APPENDIX.... (To Martin Grime's Profile Report)


A missing person, last seen returning from church, on foot, in N. Ireland.
A missing person search did not reveal her whereabouts.
The search of a suspect's 'totally burnt out vehicle' by forensic scientists did not reveal any evidence.
A 'one minute' search by the EVRD identified a position in the rear passenger footwell where the dog alerted to the presence of human material.
A sample was taken and when analysed revealed the victim's DNA.

And in his rogatory interview, he says:
The dogs' passive CSI [Crime Scene Investigation] alert provides an indication as per their training and does not vary. They only give an alert when they are 'positive' that the target of the odour is present and immediately accessible. If they had any doubts they would not give an alert.
This is about both dogs.  The alleged scent from the 'cuddlecat' toy was, apparently, more accessible to Eddie when the toy was hidden in a cupboard than when he could see it, touch it and play with it.
Yet, following the inspection in the villa the Mccanns hired after vacating the holiday apartment, we read this from the file:

Following the search effected at Rua das Flores, 27, during which certain items were seized, this present inspection was performed, in a place appropriated for its purpose, attempting to identify particular pieces of clothing possibly indicated by the dogs, namely Eddy [that] indicates cadaver odours and Kila [that] indicates blood odours.

Possibly indicated?  The scent of which Eddie, is, apparently, quite certain might, or might not, have been detected in the villa, and so everything had to be taken up, relocated to a different venue (a gymnasium) and re-checked.

There is also research which suggests that sniffer dogs worked too hard get tired and are more likely to make errors; further, that handlers who have a strong reason to think that a scent might be present in an area being searched are more likely, subconsciously, to give a cue to a dog that leads to a false alert.
The second search of the clothing in the gymnasium was conducted in the early hours of the morning.  It is surprising and worthy of note that, during the inspections in the gymnasium, both dogs trampled over clothing they were inspecting and Eddie in particular picked certain items up in his mouth. That seems an odd way to treat items that might have held crucial forensic evidence. Perhaps that also, in part, explains why nothing reacted to during that search was forwarded to the forensic laboratory in Birmingham.

From video footage, it has been widely remarked how many times Grime had to call Eddie back to the Renault hire car before the dog, finally, reacted (we know) to spots of Gerry's blood on the ignition card.  Eddie simultaneously inspected 10 vehicles, and it seems reasonable to speculate that other cars, too, might have had blood deposits.  Could that be why it took Eddie so long to react (in contrast to the vehicle in the Attracta Haron case cited above)?  There were also the 'Madeleine' stickers on the back of the McCanns' hire car.

About Keela, Grime says:
'Keela' The Crime Scene Investigation (C.S.I.) dog will search for and locate human blood to such small proportions that it is unlikely to be recovered by the forensic science procedures in place at this time due to its size or placement.

I think we're entitled to ask how Grime would know.  However he does, Keela, apparently, reacted to blood on a curtain in apartment 5a they could find no trace of at the Forensic Science Service forensic laboratory in Birmingham.

Grime says about Eddie:
In six years operational deployment in over 200 cases the dog has never alerted to meat based foodstuffs.

From the file and the search of apartment 5D we learn:

Apartment 5 D

We've put the victim recovery dog through this apartment, the only interest has been in some food that he has found, other than that there is no interest in anything that he has been taught to tell me that he has found.

Eddie reacts to swine cadaver scent. That much is known. Many people have wondered, therefore, why he wouldn't react to meat products derived from the pig.

Lastly a point about Grime himself.  In the search of the vehicles in an underground carpark, he is seen on video dressed in the protective overalls of his trade, to prevent cross-contamination.  In the searches of the apartment and in the villa, Grime is dressed in jeans and tee-shirt.  Why?
According to one press report, Grime showed film of Eddie reacting to the McCanns' hire car (where Grime was correctly dressed) at a presentation before he was hired for the  Haut de la Garenne children's home job in the British island of Jersey.  If the report is accurate, the veil of sercecy still rested on the Madeleine investigation at the time, and so the video ought not to have been shown.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Greece Lightning

Article by Deuce. 

In the book, Truth of the Lie, Amaral makes a comment which compares the Gaspar statement with other information, which serves to raise suspicion about a member of the Tapas group, through his use of words to interpret what was said by a witness and the addition of pure hearsay.

Firstly, Goncalo talks about the Gaspar statement itself. Actually he talks about a section from the statement and interprets a specific piece of information which manipulates the truth effectively to point fingers at a member of the Tapas group of friends. Something the Leicester police were no doubt aware of as a risk and therefore had declared their intention to protect innocent people and witnesses through their regulation that this information was not be revealed until the crime had been solved.

Katherina Gasper wondered if two friends she was observing were talking about Madeleine when they were making adult gestures. She did not hear them mention any names, she just wondered, assumed who they were talking about. Yet Amaral twists what the statement says.

Amaral . “She hears the latter ask if she - probably Madeleine - did "that".

The actual statement says.

K. Gaspar. “I was sitting between Dave and Gerry whom I believe were both talking about Madeleine.”

Katherina believed they were talking about Madeleine. That is not the same as knowing as fact that they were talking about Madeleine and certainly not, as Amaral interprets it, Probably talking about Madeleine. Probably means the same as most likely. Why would an investigator charged with finding the truth, take a witness statement and tell readers of his book that the witness meant her assumption of who was being discussed was probable?  He then goes on to make a further link to add value to his probability.

“This witness statement from the couple, S.G. and K.G., is taken by the English police on May 16th, thirteen days after Madeleine's disappearance. That information, very important for the progress of the investigation, was never sent to the Portuguese police. When the Portuguese investigators learn about similar events that allegedly took place during a holiday in Greece - without, however, obtaining reliable witness statements, they tell the English police, who, even at this point, refrain from revealing what they know on the subject.”

Do you see what Goncalo did? He used information learned by Portuguese investigators, but not from a reliable witness statement.  He heard gossip about an issue that allegedly took place on a holiday in Greece and there is no information in the files about this gossip. So isn't Goncalo actually gossiping himself?

Then further along in the same chapter, Goncalo ends the subject with.

“It is difficult to seriously doubt these witnesses.”

He said ‘witnesses’! There is only one witness statement in question. The other unreliable sources which produced gossipers has pluralised his official witness. Even so, if he was just talking about the official witness and her assumption, being 'difficult to doubt an assumption' doesn't really make sense, unless Amaral meant he has no reason to doubt Katherina made an assumption. However, it seems with the addition of hearsay and his use of the word 'probable' to interpret Katherina's own words, I believe Goncalo was manipulating; painting a picture that Madeleine WAS being discussed and raising a suspicion of paedophilia as 'probable'. His statement that it is 'difficult to seriously doubt these witnesses' reveals Amarals real agenda.

Installing such propaganda to add value to an assumption, add value to a witness statement with cheap hearsay, can strike unfounded suspicion upon an innocent individual forever. I have no doubt common sense will prevail and most intelligent people will see through this use of misinformation.

Lightning only needs to strike once. Perhaps Goncalo is relying on that Greece Lightning to manipulate opinion and suspicion?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Can we trust these files?

Article by Honestbroker.

There is a tale to tell from the enclosed correspondance, in the files, between Goncalo Amaral and the Portguese Forensic laboratory. Or at least, that's how it's presented. But closer analyis suggests a different story and raises some intriguing discrepancies.

Amaral sent a pair of duplicate pyjamas, pristine and unworn, to the forensic laboratory. Why he did that is an intriguing question in itself, and perhaps, one deserving of an article in its own right. But my focus, here, is very different.

Here is Amaral's letter, dated 5th of June, when he was, indeed, coordinator of the case:

To: Police Scientific Laboratory

5th June 2007

Subject: Sending of Pyjamas

The present inquiry investigates the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on 3rd May 2007. I am herewith delivering to the Police Scientific Laboratory a pair of girl?s pyjamas.

The Pyjamas are from Marks and Spencers, size 2 to 3 years -97 cm.

The pyjamas are composed of two pieces: camisole type without buttons and half sleeves, pink with designs, letters and tracing in white with (small) floral patterns, the right pyjama bottom leg has a design (smaller size) which is identical to that of the camisole.

The pyjamas being sent are 'equal' in make, model, size, colours and designs as well as presumably the texture, to those the little girl was wearing at the time of her disappearance. The article sent serves for eventual comparisons with fibres collected by the competent officers of the Police Scientific Lab, within the scope of the current investigation.

With compliments


The Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation

Goncalo Amaral

Here is the response:

Processos Vol VII Page 1723 to 1725 07_VOLUME_VI1a_Page_1723

To: The Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation

Date: 2007/03/15 (sic)

Ref: NUIPC 201/07 GALGS

Your communication: 2007/06/05

Ref n? 15971 Reg Correspondence 6429/07

Subject: Information

With reference to the abovementioned letter and in compliance with the despatch, we request you to provide us with information with regard to what should be done with the material sent, given that in this Scientific Police Laboratory there are no fibres that have been collected within the scope of the investigation mentioned above.

With compliments.

PP The Director of the SPL
Armando Santos
(Haed of Sector) 07 Processos Vol VII Page 172407_VOLUME_VI1a_Page_1724

The first thing to note is the date. 15 March 2007, some six weeks before the McCanns arrived in Portgual. The translator, not me, added 'sic' after the date, to indicate that he/she had registered the error and copied, literally, what was written.

So, is this a straightforward typing error by the laboratory? Closer analysis suggests it might not be. Notice that the letter is addressed to the [i]coordinator of the criminal investigation[/i], but that the person is not named. In the text of the original Portuguese document, from which the translation is derived, and which can be enlarged to readable form if clicked on, the name of the addressee is given -- not Goncalo Amaral and neither his successor Paulo Rebelo, but Joao Carlos, an inspector in the Madeleine investigation, but never the coordinator.

Notice something else, too. The reply makes no reference to 'pyjamas' -- only 'material'.
The anomolies don't stop there. Here is Amaral's response to the reply from the Portuguese Forensic Institute:

To: Scientific Police Laboratory

Date: 5th June 2007

Subject: Sending of Pyjamas

The present inquiry investigates the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on 3rd May 2007 from P da L.

By means of this note I am sending a set of child?s pyjamas to the Scientific Police Laboratory.

The pyjamas are of Marks $ Spencers make and size 2/3 years, 97 cm.

The pyjamas are composed of two pieces, a camisole without buttons and half length sleeves, pink in colour with designs and letters and white trousers with floral motifs (small), on the right leg there is a design (smaller size) that is the same as the design on the camisole.

The pyjamas being sent are ?equal? in make, model, size, colours and designs and presumably texture, as those the girl was wearing at the moment of her disappearance.

The article sent serves for eventual comparison with ?fibres? collected during the competent examinations carried out by staff from the SPL, within this inquiry.


G. Amaral

(Note: there is handwriting over the text which I can?t fully make out).

This reply is word-for-word the same as Amaral's original letter, except for the last sentences of each letter, which are ever so slightly different. And Amaral's 'reply' has the same date as his first letter. Presumably they are two different letters from Amaral, because each has a different reference number within the file.

The reference number of the first letter is 07 Processos Vol VII Page 1713. The second is 07 Processos Vol vVII Page 1724.

Is the 'reply' to Amaral from the Institute, actually, from an altogether different case? We'll probably never know.