The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Paulo Sargento *

Paul Sargento is a criminal psychologist, university professor and author who regularly uses his blog to write about aspects of the Madeleine McCann case

Maddie: The Dogs and the (cuddle) Cat... Questions of smell, 20 September 2008
Maddie: The Dogs and the (cuddle) Cat... Questions of Smell Câmara de Comuns
By Paul Sargento, criminal psychologist, university professor and author
Published: 20 September 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
On the 6th of September, weekly Expresso published an exclusive interview with the McCann couple, with headlines that claimed, in direct speech, through Kate's voice: "Gonçalo Amaral is a disgrace!" Twenty four hours earlier, the British daily The Sun presented an excerpt of the videos with the famous dogs (trained to react in the presence of human blood and cadaver odour, we recall) reacting in a particular manner under certain circumstances, namely in locations where the McCanns were, or to objects that had been in contact with the family (for example, the famous pink cuddle cat). These videos made the rounds in all tv stations and generated some upset.

Let’s ask: how are both situations related? Well, the time proximity may lead to suppose that, like we have stated in earlier occasions, these are situations that can be compared with guerrilla fights. I open a parenthesis to affirm that I am certain of the tolerance and good sense that are recognized in Dr Gonçalo Amaral, which continue to give him the strength and the wisdom to resist, along with his family, to this guerilla that will only intensify the confusion that is installed already.

What does this mean? It was to be presumed that after the process was made public there would be a tendency from the media to try to value some indicia that sustain the homicide and cadaver concealment theory, and that the response to that tendency would be translated into attacks on the Polícia Judiciária's technical competence, and especially the devaluation of indicia without forensic corroboration.

Within this perspective, it did not surprise me that the reports were published almost simultaneously and that for the McCann couple, the criteria to interpret and explain the behaviour of the dogs were exclusively measured by these animals' incompetence, supposedly proved by one single US study. Of course it is an argument, but once again, the argument of authority has prevailed over the authority of the argument. Is one single US study enough to devalue what the images have shown? Probably, the forensic artist who drew the photofits was also part of the team… (forgive me the irony)

It could also be confirmed, just like I had insisted, despite the legitimate and honest explanations from my dear friend Dr Rogério Alves during a debate on SIC Notícias in late July, that the couple had refused to "return to Portugal for the reconstruction" (in Expresso, Sept 9, 2008, page 25).

More recently, on the 14th of September, British tabloid "News of the World" announces, on the front page, the publication of "Kate's Diary, in her own words" and advances an exclusive that will present, "for the first time, the devastating TRUTH that destroys the Portuguese police's lies". Competing with the usual appealing images of Britney Spears, Rachel Stevens and Danii Minogue, the front page presents a photo of Kate McCann with a sad and worried expression, which supposedly would anticipate the details of her agony that the diary would expose.

In reality, across four pages of the tabloid, with some photographs that illustrated the strong emotions, Kate's diary was published and commented under the perspective of a mother in understandable despair. The comments followed the logics of the abduction theory, and in consequence carried out a violent attack on the Portuguese Polícia Judiciária, which is accused, among other things, of cruelty.

But why am I telling you this? Because following the supposedly incompetent smelling work done by the dogs, on the 12th of July 2007, Kate registers the following in her diary: "Today I washed the Cuddle Cat. I was hoping not to have to do it until Madeleine returns, but it was now quite dirty and smelly, unfortunately without the smell of Madeleine on it" (News of the World, Sept 14, 2008, page 6).

This passage is admirable, when compared to the notion that the dogs' role had to be diminished in the process!!!

The figure of cuddle cat has always claimed my attention in the Maddie case. Right at the beginning, I remembered a famous British paediatrician, Donald Winnicott, who attributed particular importance to toys (or other objects) that gain a special value for children in very precocious phases of their lives. These objects, which the paediatrician called transitional, are invested with particular passion by the children, or even with addiction, for possessing symbolic characteristics of safety, comfort, care and other qualities that emanate from the mother figure. It is almost always the mother who offers, or promotes, this relationship of passion with the object. Therefore, when she is absent or when the children, for example, go to bed or to nursery school, they absolutely need to enjoy the company of these objects. That is the only way that they can endure those moments. We all remember when our children could only sleep if they were hugging their soft toy.

But that object gradually loses that symbolic dimension, as new relational meanings emerge. Nevertheless, while the passion and the addiction over that object last, all its qualities should be maintained. One of them, very important: the scent. Who has never witnessed a child’s tantrum because she does not want her soft toy to be washed, even preferring it to remain dirty and smelly?

That's right. I have never managed to understand who the pink cuddle cat belonged to…

But I'm certain of one thing: it's a lot more important than it seems.

Even after being washed, when Kate could not feel Maddie's scent anymore, and placed, untouched, in the little bed where it slept, the dogs felt a presence.

I finish for the day with a sentence by Professor José Pinto da Costa (whom I was honoured to be a student of) that was spoken during the aforementioned debate: "I see that I still have a lot to learn about those sniffer dogs' biology".

Maddie: The noisy silence... or the extinct notoriety of a brand?, 10 October 2008
Maddie: The noisy silence... or the extinct notoriety of a brand? Câmara de Comuns
Dr Paulo Sargento
10 October 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation  
The "Maddie" case has entered into a sort of blackout for some time now. More precisely, Gerry McCann has silenced his blog, approximately, 2 months ago (his last post is dated the 14th of August) after he affirmed his surprise with the fact that the media had had access to the process, as a consequence of the archival which put an end to the secrecy of justice and, also, to his status of arguido, which also referred to his wife and to Mr. Robert Murat.

Well, the surprise shown is, in fact, surprising, in so far as, besides having been announced previously, it seemed obvious that this would happen, or was the media exposure of the case not always one of the purposes pursued by the McCanns, on behalf of their daughter. It is a surprise that surprises, in so far, as it was not expected that it constituted any surprise at all, even less for Gerry McCann.

And, what to say of Mr.Clarence Mitchell? Yes, the one that, very often tediously, used the easy verb to maintain the case in the media's spotlight? Or, who simply, threatened half the world with criminal processes for defamation, and pre-demanded fat compensations? He has been very quiet, the spin doctor. But, it does not seem to me that this is on account of the fact that he has nothing to say. Could it be that, cleverly we recognise, he knows when to speak, as much as he knows when to shut up?

This limbo into which the case has entered can have many readings. I’ve chosen two, between several.

The first one, as I stated in a previous post, can mean that the silence is due to the fact that at this moment, after the euphoria of the guerrilla war post-archival, the long process is being consulted and studied, finally, with the reflection and with the meticulousness that such a task demands, with the intention of planning the actions that will follow. However, as far as we know, no diligence was done in the direction of the reopening of the process.

So, for what reason does it need to be studied? Will the threats be made real? Is that the objective? Or is it simply, the promise done by the famous private agency of detectives (that, according to the official site continues to be the principal source of investigation of the case and where the ridiculous sketches remain as the most efficient scientific productions, the result of an authentic fortune spent by the fund to find Maddie) that is going be fulfilled with a year of delay and they are going to find the girl before the Christmas of 2008?

The second one as I said before, fits in an attempt of extinction of the media interest. Technically, a phenomenon that begins to have a break of notoriety has a tendency to be extinguished. The great trademarks, as famous as they are, always do the possible and the impossible to increase or, at least, maintain their notoriety. The investments in publicity done even at a time of economic crisis, are taken as a priority of the big brands. When such does not happen the extinction is inevitable! All of us know of that!

But is Maddie a big Brand? Should we have believed in a phenomenon of relational Marketing?

I presume that yes. I already stated that in several opportunities, when I referred to the tabloids.

But, let's pay attention to the official site:

In a very discreet way, an online store appears, above the separator of the contacts (contact us) of the above-mentioned site, at the top right corner of the web page. If we click on this online store we come across three products: wallpapers for cell phones (free), bracelets 'look for Maddie' of universal size (2 Pounds each) and T-Shirts for children and adults, of various sizes sizes already sold out (6,5 Pounds/10 each).

What does this want to say? If we read the description of the products, we are left without doubts that this it is a Marketing strategy terribly simple, almost kitsch. Let's notice the next sentences: "Polyester/Cotton High Quality T Shirt", "These shirts are made to a very high quality and have the text and picture printed directly onto the material" (The front has the text "Dont You Forget About Me" and the rear has the web site address. Madeleines picture is shown on the front and the back.) or "Good quality wristbands to keep reminding you about Madeleine".

Let's pay attention. It is not the question of a fund, or of donations, because for these there are also connections and quite visible separators. This is a catalog of products for sale. Exactly! It is the question of a catalog of products for sale.

In as much as I try to understand the despair and the necessity of money to continue, presumably, investigations, carried out by agencies that still showed nothing, I must qualify, at least, of bad taste what I have just described.

And I adjourn in this way, at least for today.

There are Deafening Silences when one attempts to extinguish the Notoriety of a Brand.

Maddie and esotericism: means or ends?, 28 October 2008
Maddie and esotericism: means or ends? Câmara de Comuns
Paulo Sargento
28 October 2008
Thanks to 'Joana Morais' for translation
Before anything else, I must confess that I hesitated quite a bit about publishing this post. Firstly, because many other bloggers have already done so, with the acuity that the theme so deserves, and then also because I wasn't sure that I should defend 'dames' who allow for their name to be used in vain by the press, without a single remark, which surely allows space for any interpretations that one may want to make.

What am I talking about? The news, a front-page exclusive, that the 'Sunday Express' published on the 19th of October: "FBI mediums present new suspect in Maddie case". The news is reported, as anyone can verify, over two pages, where a new "photofit" of a new suspect appears, as well as the photographs of two supposed FBI medium-detectives and one clairvoyant. In a subtle manner, a small inset box next to the aforementioned photo announces an apology to the Tapas Seven, particularly to Drs Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner, due to news that they could also become arguidos in the process, even advancing that the first allegedly had helped to conceal some relevant facts. In this public apology, the newspaper adds that it has also agreed upon the payment of substantial compensation which, it asserts, the victims will donate to the 'FindMaddie' fund. A coincidence? I don't think so.

The aforementioned FBI medium-detectives have elaborated a new "photofit" of a man who is suspected of having abducted, murdered and buried Maddie, supposedly through the reports from a psychic. The paranormal investigators spent a week in Portugal, where they collected data that supposedly allowed for them to reach such conclusions and to present them during a programme on American television. They also mention that they have informed the Police and Kate and Gerry's private investigators, who prefer to wait for the show's images in order to evaluate the evidence.

Now for the first question. If we search the website of the well-known investigation agency, the FBI, we don't find any one of the names that are cited by the 'Sunday Express' or even any mention of the use of said paranormal investigation methods. So we may ask: is the FBI aware of this and other news articles that use its reputation as an argument of authority to sustain unofficial theories (we may also recall the alleged forensic painter of the "photofits", although those were based on reports from real persons and not some paranormal entities)? And does it give permission? Or do these detectives abuse the acronym FBI? Or was it just a bit of "press freedom"? My understanding is that these questions should be clarified in order to avoid any remaining doubts about persons and methods.

The second question that I raise concerns the paranormal investigation itself.

I should state, before anything else, that I don't hold anything against any type of knowledge, no matter how esoteric or exoteric. I possess no type of knowledge about the methods of paranormals. What I do know about is some lines of scientific investigation into so-called paranormal phenomena and into the actors of this phenomena, namely in the areas of neurosciences and cultural anthropology. But there is something that shocks me in a significant part of the approaches that are made by so-called psychics, mediums, or other pseudo-professional adjectives: the immoral sense of opportunity to manage expectations and coincidences 'post hoc'. After holding a reasonable set of information concerning a certain phenomenon, many people are skilled in creating illusions in others with their pseudo premonitory sense. On the other hand, it's strange to notice how most of these paranormals can only experience their visions and perform their work in cases that can obtain some sort of retribution, one way or another (and if it's only for notoriety). Under this perspective, why hasn't this team of paranormal detectives discovered something concerning the thousands of cases of unknown missing children? And finally, why don't they ever explain the methods that they use in order to demonstrate the evidence that only they can see, thus claiming to be seers?

The third question, which could easily be called laughable if it weren't for the seriousness of the situation, concerns the fact that a vision from some medium can generate a "photofit". I know that Jane Tanner's report has been evaluated as lacking credibility, but still…

The fact is that if we compare the so-called "photofit" that was built with the aid of perfectly unbelievable methods, with some of Dr Gerald McCann's photographs, we encounter notable similarities. A superficial comparative analysis of the facial proportions and asymmetries (particularly observed in the right ocular cavity) of the "photofit", following anthropometrical principles, suggests a level of coincidence in said measurements that is much higher for the face of Gerry McCann than for the face of the President of the Egyptian Republic. I should remind you that a similar conclusion could be reached concerning the "photofit" that was published by Clarence Mitchell, when said so-called forensic production was compared with the photograph of Mr Joaquim Agostinho or with the face of Kate McCann. This data means simply that said productions are naturally inconsistent and add nothing to the Maddie case except for confusion.

Nevertheless, as if the para(ab)normality that is referred to in the 'Sunday Express' of the 19th of October wasn't enough, on the very next day (20th of October) 'The Sun' publishes a quarter page with a premonition from Kate McCann concerning the fateful holidays of May 2007. The Payne couple comes forward this time, to ensure that this premonition actually is a premonition and not 'post hoc' coincidence management. They both assert that Kate had a bad feeling about the vacation and that she even considered the possibility of not going. But apart from this, unnecessary and demonstrative references are made to the consequent bad emotional state of Kate and Gerry and again the idea that said premonition was transmitted to the Portuguese police is affirmed. Let's hope that this is described in the process. If it's not, then we have yet another serious mistake to blame on our PJ. Patience! Not everyone can function in the way that we fantasize the FBI functions.

I understand that the newspapers want to sell paper. I understand that the newspapers take advantage of folkloric news in order to hit one on the nail and one on the hoof, because they obtain great relational marketing (in this case by presenting public apologies in order to advertise their financial contribution to the 'FindMaddie' fund). The fact that some characters want to sell television shows of disputable aesthetic taste, does not particularly disturb me, either. The fact that the FBI doesn't take public action to deny their relationship with medium-detectives worries me a bit more. But while we're at it, the use of an esoteric argument in news that involves the family of a little girl, that an edition of (British) 'Metro' has assumed to be dead, within a compensation payment that has already been mentioned in this text, shows a lack of sense that defies qualification.

I confess that 'Halloween' is one of those popular celebrations that have never managed to seduce me. But presuming that there are persons that enjoy this type of party, it could be suggested that they should play with something else.
* Paulo Sargento is a renowned forensic psychologist, university professor and author; he was part of the team that produced a 3D simulation of the evening when Madeleine disappeared

Maddie: Watch out for forgeries..., 09 January 2009
Maddie: Watch out for forgeries... Câmara de Comuns 
by: Paulo Sargento
Dr Paulo Sargento is a forensic phychologist, a University professor, and author
09 January 2009
Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
The British press in general published a newspiece today, the 9th of January 2009, which was forcefully bombastic: a young Tory, a member of the British Conservative and Unionist Party, was expelled from said party over allegedly "offensive behaviour [that] is not only shocking but intolerable and completely unacceptable". Adding to these words from the President of the Party, Caroline Spelman, Clarence Mitchell states that the young Conservative activist's behaviour is beyond any limit of what is credible and acceptable, and, as expected, demands private and public apologies to the McCann couple due to the fact that he considers it to be "a complete disgrace that Madeleine's name and image should be made fun of in this way".

Well! What did young Matthew Lewis do, after all?

He published a note in his Facebook where he boasts about "dressing up" as Madeleine McCann, using a blonde wig, "pink pyjamas, a teddy bear and a vial of fake blood". This is the unacceptable behaviour that led to the expulsion of this young man!!! At some point on the page, the comment from a friend can be read who says he is going to dress up as Natasha Kampus (the German girl who lived in captivity in an underground bunker for 7 years, after being abducted), to which, I stress, young Matthew replied: "At least yours has a happy ending". Please allow me to underline this reply: "At least yours has a happy ending". But let me also point your attention towards the fact that at the same party there were, allegedly, "disguises" of Baby P (the baby that died a victim of severe abuse) which everyone agrees had a painful ending, and a very, very unhappy one, I want to add!

Well! Within a benign interpretation of the events, one might say: jokes in bad taste, by youngsters during a night when excesses "fuel the party". But young Matthew ends up confessing, in a comment on the same Facebook that at a certain point in time, he felt that certain elements of his "disguise" were abusive, or, at least, he sensed that he had gone too far with elements of the costume.

The other interpretation, not quite as benign, we already know it, through the statements made by the President of the Party, with the full assent from Clarence Mitchell. Inadvertently, the young man almost attained a historical feat within English politics: an agreement between Labour and Conservatives. Forgive me for not resisting this joke, as well. Whether in good or in bad taste, you'll be the judge.

But there is one thing that I agree upon. The young former Unionist member went too far with some details. Before anything else, I must refer that stating that Maddie’s pyjamas were pink is a plagiarism of Mrs Jane Tanner's statement. Let's see if we won’t soon see a lawsuit from her against him. This is because Mrs Jane Tanner is absolutely certain, just like me and every one of us, that Madeleine had pink pyjamas. Why do I say this? Because in her statement, that prompted the second photofit, she had already seen the photograph of one of Maddie’s pyjamas published in the media. Mrs Jane Tanner did, and everyone else. Alas, young Matthew must be confused, because the pyjamas (the ones on the photo) actually have pink teddy bears and white lace cuffs. Which leads us to another question: the pink teddy bear. It was not really a teddy bear, but rather a pink cuddle cat, which I never managed to perceive whether it belonged to Maddie or to her mother, Kate. We have to be more precise, dear Matthew. But, finally, and worse, a vial of false blood. Negative, dear Matthew. It was no vial, but only a few drops, and as far as many investigators are concerned, they were not fake, with very strong probabilities of constituting a sample of real blood, from the real Maddie.

Unfortunately, my dear Matthew, where you seem to have surpassed the boundaries was in the comment that you made about the alleged happy ending of Natasha Kampus. Do you know why? Because that means that Maddie had an… unhappy ending.

You know, Matthew? If you had dressed up as Maddie and, with a smile, stated – "Mom? Dad? I'm back" – maybe you would not have been that vilified. Look at what Mrs Jovey Mae Hayes did. Do learn from her! That lady opportunely offered the supporters of the abduction theory, at Christmas time, a simulation (failing to present any methodological criteria for said age progression, and taking refuge, once more, in a false affiliation with the FBI) of a portrait of Maddie in 2009. The Portrait shows a smiling Maddie, transmitting the hope that she is alive, and in good health, despite subject to Stockholm syndrome (Prof. Nils Berjerot, please forgive the incommensurable ignorance). This lady, the director of a film that works in the area of photograph manipulation, found an interesting and opportune manner to use the little girl's image, in an execrable way, in order to pursue what I have been denouncing as Relational Marketing.

Do you see, Matthew? Ah, youth...

Maybe you should stick to selling a few t-shirts and wristbands with Madeleine's name on. It seems that does not constitute any sort of abuse. Even her parents do it. Of course they do it with the intent to gather more financial means to proceed their relentless search for their... lost daughter.

Watch out for forgeries...

You must excuse me but I can't say anything further today. One of these days, in an attempt to demonstrate why things that frequently happen to couples that lose their children don't happen with the McCanns, I'll write about sacrificial dilemmas and I'll recommend the movie: "Sophie's Choice".

Maddie, the candidate Gonçalo Amaral, the ambivalence of some political cowards and the – inevitable – feast of the British tabloids, 12 January 2009
Maddie, the Candidate Gonçalo Amaral, the ambivalence of some political cowards and the – inevitable – feast of the British tabloids Câmara de Comuns 
by: Paulo Sargento
Dr Paulo Sargento is a forensic phychologist, a University professor, and author
12 January 2009
Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
Today, I leave you a short post to highlight some issues relating to the controversy that silently has been insinuating itself concerning the candidacy of Dr Gonçalo Amaral, in the lists of PSD [Social Democratic Party], to the Presidency of the Municipality of Olhão.

As was to be expected, even within PSD itself the choice is not unanimous. But that is perfectly normal and healthy in a democracy. Pity the man who thinks he has nothing but friends and supporters.

Nevertheless, in these cases, there are always five political types:

a) those who genuinely support because they believe in the candidate’s qualities – (the Genuines);

b) those who support due to conjectures of various natures (for example, "Now he is very notorious and the Portuguese people think highly of him. And he has already lived in Olhão…") – (the Opportunists);

c) those who don't support because they state that the candidate doesn't have the adequate profile (generally, these are those who wanted to be candidates, or who already had someone else in mind – inter-party lobby) – (the Resentful);

d) those who prefer to speak at a later moment in time and who think it's too early to make considerations about the candidacies because the election is still far away – (the Stoppers);

e) those who state that the candidate, despite his great merit as a citizen, doesn't have any political experience – (the Aristocrats).

I must say that those who cause me most irritation and indignation are the Stoppers and the Aristocrats. For all the others, the argumentation is understandable. But the cowardice of the Stoppers, who stay aside and prefer to wait to celebrate or criticise, depending on polls or the prevalent opinions, or the ignoble haughtiness of the Aristocrats, who surely were already born with experience or who believe that the participation in public life is a privilege for the few, is something that upsets me.

But to help fuel the party, the feast of the English tabloids has started already, as could be foreseen, anyway.

Yesterday, on the 11th of January, the 'News of the World' presented a very small, but incisive article with the following title: "Maddie Cop Vote". This title was placed beneath a photograph of Dr Gonçalo Amaral where he is still wearing a moustache and with his necktie somewhat misaligned by the open collar of his shirt (as a matter of fact, this type of photograph is not systematically used by the British media per chance; Gonçalo Amaral has photographs that are more flattering to his image but are never used). The news refers that "the shamed cop is running for Mayor after being booted out of the force". Further ahead, it is subtly recalled that "the Portuguese officer caused outrage when he made Kate and Gerry McCann suspects in their daughter's disappearance" and finalises with the sentence: "Right wing Amaral is now standing for election in the town of Olhão".

Despite the fact that I understand the meaning of 'tabloid', I must say that what I have just summarised is absolutely shameful, premeditated, with a Portuguese hand (certainly from a non tabloid media with pseudo-intellectual aspirations and from characters whose known behavioural bizarreness anticipates their true motives), and, even worse, will be the first and the most simple of a predictable and massive offensive against the person of Gonçalo Amaral, which will increment its tone and its frequency from the second half of January onwards, with a lift, or even a full impulse from the Joana case. I'm even convinced of this. God willing, I'm mistaken.

Let me finish by saying that, independently from the political colour (which, in this case, I don't share), every citizen who, within the legal frame of the Portuguese Democracy, presents the conditions to exercise mandates of public posts and truly wishes to do so, should, in my opinion, exercise that Right in a Free and Conscious manner.

More! The arguments from the Aristocrats don't work. A former PJ inspector (but also a University Professor, with a degree in Sociology and History, a writer, and many other things) like Francisco Moita Flores, despite his inexperience in political activities, but very experienced in other areas of civic and social intervention, has been carrying out his mandate as the Mayor of Santarém in an incommensurably superior manner, compared to other "lifelong experienced" mayors elsewhere. Why is it that Gonçalo Amaral, a former PJ inspector (but also with 3 years of attendance to an Engineering course, a degree in Law and many other things), with years of life in the region that he is running for, with a visible civic and social participation, despite his discrete appearance, why is it, we questioned, that Gonçalo Amaral couldn't be a candidate? Why is his candidacy so uncomfortable for some?

At the time when Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the Maddie case, I presented him publicly with my solidarity, and challenged Dr Alípio Ribeiro to render his "obvious motives" for said decision public. I now reiterate my full solidarity with Gonçalo Amaral in this "nerve war" that I believe he will face.

Let's remain attentive and from the second half of this cold month of January onwards we will see some men with two faces (and opinions) that were inspired by the Roman God who originated the name of the month: 'Janus'.

Public opinion was manipulated in the Maddie Case, 21 January 2009
Paulo Sargento: Public opinion was manipulated in the Maddie Case SOSMaddie
Duarte Levy
21 January 2009
Thanks to AnnaEsse for translation
"It is most natural for people whose child has disappeared, to prefer to have around them the police and people who, technically, are going to help them find her and not to go looking, to give an example, for a priest, and immediately after that, an image consultant. It's a simple question... This preoccupation (of the McCanns) leads us to think of something fundamental: in addition to the possible disappearance, there were other incidental concerns and those have grown in importance (in relation to the possible disappearance)." 
Duarte Levy: In relation to the McCann case, what parallels can be drawn between these two cases? Two little girls who disappeared and parents who claim to be innocent.
Paulo Sargento: Categorically, we have two or three questions... the first is unequivocal. Two little girls disappear, don't reappear, no body is found.
Second question: in both cases, from the outset, they claim, let's say, the theory of kidnap. Such as in the case of Léonor Cipriano, such as in the case of Madeleine McCann. Well... and this kidnap is still claimed by the parents. So, the theory of kidnap has been given out by the parents from the start. There is, nevertheless, a huge difference. It is that in relation to the Léonor Cipriano case, the case of little Joana, the transition from innocence to suspicion is rapid.
Rapidly, in one or two weeks, Léonor Cipriano ceased being an innocent mother for whom the whole world felt sad during the previous two weeks, notably in television programmes, where the mother cried, presented the little girl's portrait and gave out this fact, that theory that the little girl had allegedly been taken by a paedophile or someone like that, but who, thereafter, began to be suspected, investigated and then imprisoned, while in the McCann case, that shift, let's say, of assertion of guilt was generally made much later.
And from a sociological point of view, there is, in criminological terms, a clash of social levels because Léonor Cipriano is a poor woman without, let's say, political protection, nobody, because she is a simple unknown from the Algarve region, who had already, in a way... she had a charge linked in a way, to the courts, because she was on file by the Commission for Minors as being a bad mother, etc etc, and rapidly the system is inverted. In comparison to the McCanns!! Because they are of a higher social class, foreigners with protection, by all accounts, at a higher political level. And this transition took longer. But that also means one thing.
The time has come that the truth cannot be hidden forever, however overdue, things are starting to take shape. But here, the question of social level also makes us rethink all the criteria of justice, in the sense that we can think that there are two kinds of justice, according to the social class the person fits into.
DL: With regards to public opinion in the two cases, to the extent that the reaction of public opinion, notably in Portugal, was different from one case to the other, and nowadays how can we explain, for example, that there were no appearances in Joana's case, but there were very emotional appearances in Madeleine McCann's case?
PS: That question is a very interesting one. That question leads us to think that public opinion is more sensitive, has been more sensitive also in the case, in the fact that it is foreign citizens, who are away from their home country, and we Portuguese, this question we have... this hospitality of being a friendly people, who like to be welcoming, with great social skill, this is.... we very much like to help and do what needs to be done. In the first instance, that was one of the questions that helped others to make this case a media event. Because there was interest for other reasons, and these were more secret concerns, which won't be easy to explain, which time will tell, which the investigation will explain. One basic reason is that the people joined in en masse. The people made Madeleine a kind of adopted daughter of Portugal which is an interesting thing. And from that perspective, this helped to create, almost a kind of popular search patrol. A kind of popular search militia which to a certain extent could have helped, on the one hand, to confuse the police, and on the other hand, to find other leads first. So, that is one of the questions.
With regard to the appearances, I always make the comparison with the Roswell case in the USA. The USA, 40 years after Roswell, has continued with almost daily appearances of UFOs and it is all the films that are made, the great sagas with aliens, by Stephen Spielberg and with the war of the worlds. However, there is something Plato said... a very simple thing about myths. Myths are something that attract a scam, a fabulous story, a lie, but it is astonishing how it also explains reality when reason escapes us.
And here, it is the same thing. As long as these appearances are kept up, this myth, the Maddie myth then, if it was the Middle ages, Maddie would have already been beatified and sanctified. Nowadays, she isn't. Because of this fact, fortunately, it is not a problem in our time. But the myth, the appearance, or rather, Maddie's appearances are similar to appearances of UFOs, maintaining... we know that she is no longer alive, but we maintain this theory in our imagination, we know that it doesn't exist, we have good evidence that extraterrestrial life doesn't exist, at least in the extremes, of the kind like Orson Wells wanted to show in the war, when he simulated the invasion by green Martians.
There might be another possibility, but we always have the mistrust that it perhaps exists. Now another curious myth is that there remains and this is a polarisation of human thought, which persists in fact, to preserve the mistake, which is, the appearances which were more negative, more consequential, which were those in Morocco, those were the ones which, for a long time, were the most credible for a certain mass media. People swore on these appearances when we were of the opposite opinion. If I have had three negative appearances, I must immediately think that it's personal, it's about the people, the population is more susceptible, is more open to suggestion and so, there are going to be more things where they don't exist, but that curiously serves, putting this in quotations marks, "to feed," the press and maintain the theory of kidnap going around with no basis whatsoever. So, if there are appearances, it is because, yes, people put this aside and continue to believe that effectively it is a kidnap.
DL: In cases of kidnap which have been proven, where sometimes the body is not found, we always talk of grieving. The necessity for parents to find the body to grieve. In Madeleine McCann's case, to what extent does public opinion need to grieve in this case?
PS: There is a need, and that, it's a fundamental question even for, let's say, closing the case. As long as we do not know truly what happened, there is still a remnant of mistrust. Grieving helps us to compensate for a loss. That means, if we want a quick definition of grief, it is: how I succeed in filling a gap?
How do I succeed at least, in making up for the often devastating effects, from the emotional point of view that this loss has caused? And as a general rule, there must be markers. It is no coincidence that we have cemeteries. We, purely and simply, could mourn, allowing bodies to decompose naturally as nature intends and nothing more.
But no. We have symbols. Symbols which are going to help us be sure that he is there, that this happened, that it is over, and this symbol allows us a transition from the one who was real, who existed, for a memory that is another kind of reality which is proven. And as long as that doesn't happen, as long as there isn't concrete proof, the ambivalence continues and thus the appearances, because as long as we don't know that she is dead, it is possible that she is alive.
So, and it is those, I say, who have a certain interest in a certain press and in a certain type of movement of information around this case who maintain the appearances, at strategic times and circumstances, as a form of information to avoid the grief. That is to say... if we were to think about another case, the Castelo de Paiva case, where, as we all know, 4/5 years ago, a bus with many people fell... an outing... fell... where many people died where the bodies didn't reappear.
We understand that people from the families of the bodies that did not reappear had the greatest difficulty in closing that chapter of their lives. From the socio-cultural point of view we're going to find it very difficult to actually close the Maddie chapter, until we know what really happened, until we have, let's say, the unequivocal piece of evidence. As long as it's possible to counter an argument with another argument, this phenomenon will not really come to an end. Never... It is as if we may never again be at peace, never be at peace with Maddie as long as we effectively don't know, black on white: the little girl is dead. That's what happened and it's over. She will always be in limbo between truth and lie. She will always be a kind of phantom who is going to haunt Portugal and England and the relationship between the two nations.
[Translator note: * I don't know what this means! Sorry! It looks idiomatic to me. So, maybe if there is a Portuguese speaker here, we can be offered a translation. Thank you!]
DL: But... and concerning the couple? Concerning Kate and Gerry McCann, from the known images, from the couple's attitude, can we conclude that they have already grieved?
PS: No, no, I wouldn't come to that conclusion. I would conclude otherwise. All of us alive, all living human beings, have pacts. Things happen, more or less terrible, according to our value system and to the relative severity around the events and the way in which we live intensely and the way we make pacts. What is common here, to both, in the circumstances of couples, for example, who have lost a child, in one way or another, and here we are not discussing the problem of whether there is or is not responsibility, for the obvious fact that they have lost their child.
It is basically... this is described in psychological research, having break-ups. Marital break-ups happen sometimes after these events occur. And Why? Simply because we mustn't think that two people grieve for a shared situation at the same time. This is a key point in perceiving the phenomenon. As luck would have it, one of them will do it before the other. And the one who does it before the other, at a given moment stops having a fixation; for example, with the death or loss of a child, starts to have a so-called normal life. Starts to smile again, starts to go out again, starts to go out to dinner again, starts to... well, life is for living! Because he has reached a resolution, he has already repaired the devastating emotional effects and the other has not! And here, the conflict begins.
Who will be like, "how can you want to go out to dinner when it's hardly two years since our child died?" So, there, those who work from a clinical point of view, with families, perceive this clearly. But this happened a year and a few months ago, in the Maddie McCann case, and there is no visible crisis between the couple. That doesn't mean that it will always be like that, but there would have to be some kind of sign. The only sign we keep seeing is one of a superficial nature, which tallies with the image, naturally they have image advisers, which is elsewhere a social marker of great harmony, for example: from the way in which Gerry writes in his blog, now at least after having started to write's like: "Kate and I are too busy to do that..." which means, trying to always give the idea of normalcy, of someone who is getting on with this search, united with the same goal. But united in the same goal and at the same time they say that they haven't succeeded, let's say, in finding yet. This is something they also lack for grieving about the situation.
And in these circumstances it seems to me that it is nothing to do with having or not having grieved, but above all there is a pact between the two of them on that question, at least from an emotional point of view from what we can see, because they are very formal, and let's say, present, from the point of view of public debate and social behaviour, pointers that suggest making this type of pact, in a pre-defined and advised strategy to maintain the fact of this endless search, yet from a contradictory point of view.
Why contradictory? Because they are interested in keeping the case in the spotlight, they have been very silent. We can also recognise the idea "well, we have been silent because we are looking for leads... etc... " But these changes, let's say of opinion, people need to know this too, because this case, Madeleine McCann , has ceased to be one which only interests the couple, this interests the whole world, because we can't offer support and subsequently the willingness. So, I would say that it's not about grieving, they have or have not done it, but I find that that's not the problem we should be addressing, but to what extent a kind of pact, formed by strategic circumstances from a social point of view: how long is this going to last?
As long as they can stand the pressure? What is also very strange is how, I don't know if they have psychiatric or psychological or psycho therapeutic support or not, and people have different levels of resistance to stress, but for those who are not... who were not public figures, who were used to the stress of being permanently before the cameras, they were obviously, from an emotional point of view, very good. Strangely good, I would say.
DL: Going back to the Madeleine McCann case, videos that were made a while back by Paulo Sargento... what is the idea behind these videos? I am talking about, for example, in the video where we see the route taken by a car leaving the Ocean Club.
PS: OK. So, in that video where not just one but three alternative routes are drawn, what we were looking to show at that time was a car allegedly leaving from outside the back bedroom window, let's say, of the apartment where theMcCann couple were staying. The car leaving by the road that goes behind the Ocean Club to the church, or by the road that runs in front of the Ocean Club to the church, taking around 27/28 seconds to travel this route at a speed of 50km/h. This would be the maximum speed permitted in a residential area. So, that was the calculation made. In one of these routes, the car would have two advantages in taking the route. Let's say that there is someone taking the little girl in a car, alive or dead, whatever, to the point from which they can go off on another tack, notably by sea or wherever.
This route takes 26 seconds and if it's along the ring road, let's say, on the right of the Ocean Club where it doesn't pass very close to the door, that route is practically straight. It is a route with no obstacles. There are few people because it is disused land. I don't know if it still is, but at that time there was disused land of around two hectares which was off-limits to the public because of works. So, there weren't a lot of people present and so this would be a route that a car would travel in under 30 seconds to get to the church, and let's imagine that there were was a third person, an accomplice could take the little girl and take her to another place from that point.
Then there is another route that takes, perhaps a second less, but there are more turns, there are usually more people around there. It is above all a question: it goes past the door of the Ocean Club. Let's imagine that it is someone known to the group of 9, who is taking this route with the little girl, he would be noticed by many. Whatever the route, that shows one thing. It shows the possibility that in less than 5 minutes, someone could leave the table at the Ocean Club, having taken the little girl in a car, go as far as the church, come back and in 5 minutes be chatting with his friends. That's a clear demonstration.
DL: So far, we know that there were gaps in the information. We know more or less the amount of time that was available to the couple, to certain of their friends for being away from dinner at Ocean Club and in the first news that appeared, a space of time of 12 minutes was mentioned. 12 minutes then, would be enough time to get a body out of an apartment?
PS: Half that time would be more than enough, comfortably enough.
DL: In relation to the Madeleine McCann case, those Identikit pictures that appeared one after the other, up to what point can credibility be given either to the witnesses who created the Identikit pictures or the Identikit pictures themselves, because there are big differences between them?
PS: Yes, they are different. I find those Identikit pictures a complete deception and there are mistakes at all levels, the first of which is with the photo. The Identikit picture is a product, let's say, created as a general rule by an artist or a policetechnician from a witness statement. So, the first question we have to ask ourselves is if the witness statement is credible. In two situations the witness statement was from a lady called Jane Tanner, who belonged to the Tapas group, didn't she? And this lady, as can be checked, in the questionable things she produced for the police, there are modifications. That is more than enough reason for us to be cautious.
When we look at the Identikit picture, then the sketch by the police artist is the result of an attempt to transform the result of a creation, let's say, questionable, from a person who is constantly in the process of modifying her witness statement. To give an example of that, in the first sketch, we have something like having seen a man carrying something in his arms, something that looked like a child wrapped in a blanket. And in the second it was Maddie who was in the arms of that person so that in the Identikit picture we see a drawing of a little girl being carried in the arms, in a very strange way, because no human being carries carries like that... thus, it is simply in very special circumstances unless she was obviously dead but I don't see anybody out in the street with a dead child, showing her to the public.
Yet, this is deception.
What astonishes me is that an experienced artist, for example a forensic police officer, can make such a basic mistake as that and about the details, the proportions, of a three year-old child. The proportion she confers on the person carrying her, is badly reproduced in the sense that the legs are purely and simply too long in comparison with anthropometric guidelines, which I repeat, a forensic artist has an obligation to know and to work in that way. This is the reason that it's totally misleading.
But there is another very interesting question. It is that this picture is definitely produced with pyjamas, which were only presented in public, the image of those pyjamas... after Jane Tanner had produced the first story. In the second, she modified them. So, a first Identikit portrait agreeing with the witness statement. Then this is according to the technical skills which a forensic artist must have in her training and clearly she cannot make basic errors like that. And then an Identikit picture nearly always claims to identify what is most identifiable about human beings and we know that we are more identifiable. Babies look at a special part of our bodies, our face, the triangle of eyes, nose, mouth and every person having seen another person, instinctively where does she look? It's the face.

And if someone saw somebody and suspects this somebody of taking that little girl, it is somewhat astonishing how they notice the classic shoes, the beige trousers, the browncoat , the beige shirt, the qualities of the colours so difficult to see at night and is also attentive to details and retains them for a long time and yet has no idea about the face.
Well, that's not an Identikit portrait.
In finishing and most important from my point of view, and what effectively reflects the willingness to maintain the theory of kidnap at all costs, through gross errors like those which I have just been talking about and I say again; good, but look. It's a portrait created by a forensic artist with FBI training. But what do we have here? The clear imposition of an authoritative argument in favour of the authority of the argument. If the argument is good it doesn't matter whether it's made by the FBI or made by whoever else, or all the institutions known to be competent, who have 100% competent people. So, this is an absolutely extraordinary error and it is on that basis that we are trying to show that video, purely and simply to say that this Identikit portrait is a deception and further, the third to appear, a sketch of a bearded person and, as has very often been said jokingly, very like the ex-Beatle, the shy George Harrison. It was produced not by the witness Jane Tanner as we are led to believe, but by an English citizen, British, who was not in Praia da Luz at the time when the little girl disappeared, but it was around a month after she saw a man with those characteristics and it was based on those characteristics after a few discussions, she had said that it was someone who looked Mediterranean, who reproduced this third Identikit portrait.

Which means... it's too much of a coincidence that the guy stays there, after having kidnapped, nearly a month and that this lady should see the same guy. Now, this was good for a detective agency working for the McCanns, finding in Altura in the Algarve, near Vila Real de Sao Antonio, a guy who also had a beard, with quite long hair, who by chance, also had a brown shirt and who was there in Altura, which is half-way, for example, between Praia da Luz and Huelva where had also been, at the same time, as if that wasn't enough, a little girl had been abducted at the time, when it was discovered she had been abducted and murdered by a paedophile.
Only at that time, that wasn't known and probably this set up a guy, which is clearly demonstrated, by facial comparison using anthropometric reconstruction, let's say, the facial proportions, which have nothing to do with the Identikit portrait, and who, in addition is a citizen who has mental health problems.

That was useful for maintaining, for a while, an Identikit portrait which was itself a misleading portrait and constructed, I would hazard and I would say, artificially, because purely and simply the arch of the eyebrows and the lower part of the face don't coincide in proportion and we are in the process of creating an ambiguous type of human being, because the upper part is typically masculine as far as the eyebrow characteristics while over accentuating the features... his cranial prominences were more distinct and he looked nasty. When we would like to, for example... even in the cinema when we want to cast an actor to play a criminal, we are not going to cast an actor with delicate features. A more rough and ready type is cast. That Neanderthal eyebrow prominence creates fear, doesn't it?

This upper part is like that, but this lower part is more like the citizen, for example more Anglo-Saxon, while the upper part looks like a North African. But, whether what we have here is a hybrid kind of person, what we need to know is if this is another incompetence by the artist or if it is something more dangerous than that, a forgery to create an ancestral criminal stereotype.

DL: One last question, perhaps, concerning the campaign that was created around the case. From a psychological point of view to what extent can we consider the use of Cuddle Cat, the walks by the sea, their going to church, to what extent can we explain that in terms of manipulating the public?

PS: I believe that... the actions themselves are evidence of manipulating public opinion because normally when a child disappears, with the loss of a child, we should look at the more common human behaviour, which doesn't mean that being more common, there aren't other people who behave differently without their becoming suspects or whatever and being accused. But the most natural is that people whose child has disappeared, a loved one, whoever it may be, prefer to be surrounded by the police and people who can help them technically to find them and don't as, for example, on the first night, seek a priest and soon afterward an image consultant.
- Further translation to follow

Exclusive interview by Duarte Levy, with video from Joana Morais. 2008/2009 ©All rights reserved.

Maddie and Joana again? Amongst the bad parenthood, the hazelnut liars and the alleged injustice of the dogs, 06 February 2009
Paulo Sargento dos Santos
Maddie and Joana again? Amongst the bad parenthood, the hazelnut liars and the alleged injustice of the dogs Câmara de Comuns
Dr Paulo Sargento
06 February 2009 - 01:19
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The second half of January was, as I expected, very interesting.
The Maddie case came back in full force! The Joana case was interrupted by a show of burlesque and, I believe, an unprecedented legal event. Metódo3 showed its teeth. And Freeport distracted us.
The last time I wrote, I recall that Dr. Gerry McCann had returned to Portugal for the first time since September 2007, allegedly - together with one of his attorneys, the illustrious Dr. Rogério Alves - for a reunion with His Excellency the British Ambassador in Lisbon [Alexander Ellis], to understand what could still be done to find Madeleine.
The trip indeed happened! Dr. Rogério Alves was, as everyone could see, with Dr Gerry McCann and, to what is known, they met with the Ambassador.
Well, it happened! So why repeat myself?
As I had previously said and I now repeat it: the argument used by Dr Gerry McCann is illogical. By his own words, he had still not read the whole process (which includes ALL the steps taken), because the process had not yet been fully translated. I repeat the question that intrigues me: How can you want to know what you can still do about anything when it is not known, entirely, all that was done? It makes no sense whatsoever! I reiterate that this escapes any logic.
Now then, what was the purpose of Dr Gerry McCann's visit? Without anyone asking, it was guaranteed that he had not come to meet with anyone from the government or anyone connected to the government. But, what government? The current one? Well, here is something that cannot escape logic. Nor, contrary to the previous statement, we can affirm (without a pejorative assessment of the awareness of the statement) that it is a lie.
It even makes sense that Dr Gerry McCann has not come to meet with people connected to the ACTUAL government (and I swear that I am not using rhetorical imagery to induce reading into the Freeport case). However, nothing was said, and in truth, nothing was asked regarding meetings with elements of previous governments or related to them.
Right! Nice trick! In some corridors, with hushed loudness, it has been made possible to pin-point someone to the fourth chair of the said meeting: the first name, truly Lusitanian and the surname, clearly French! And I stop right here.
Do you know why?
Because, from this time on, not even Mendes Bota was able to save the honour of the monastery: the Man who, according to all the polls, would have been guaranteed to win a City Council post was rejected by the Directorate of the Party of which he is an active militant, allegedly for not corresponding to the appropriate profile for that Town Hall (well, at least, from the mouth of the censors, pardon, of the decision makers, did not come an even more ludicrous story, the lack of political experience). Of course I am talking about Gonçalo Amaral.
Besides being cowardly, shameful and, obviously, manipulated, this act of refusing Gonçalo Amaral's candidacy, is the most naive expectation of a 'currency exchange' that I have seen in Portuguese politics (besides I am only 43-years-old and there are political alliances that are secular.
Meanwhile, in the Joana case, after the confession, pre-announced by the illustrious lawyer of Madam Leonor Cipriano (I recall the interview with Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia, in the weekly "O Crime" of December 4, 2008), our courts performed one of the strangest scenes unprecedented in the Portuguese memory: the expulsion of a lawyer from the Court chambers for being suspended by the Bar Association, allegedly because of the failure to communicate his change of address.
This event made a flow, desirable for some, of more ink lines in multiple newspapers. Relative to this, we have yet to understand what really happened, However, the confession of Leonor Cipriano, that Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia referred to have been written by his own hand, but dictated by the lady is, as I had a chance to say, another point to the detriment of Leonor Cipriano herself: it's another one among nearly a dozen versions, all different.
What can we conclude here? Two things. The first is that Leonor has lost more of her, already diminutive and very doubtful, credibility of testimony. Secondly, calculating the highest common denominator of the various versions, we find a high consistency of one element in the different versions: Joana, who unfortunately, died, or rather was killed, as most of the forensic evidence indicates.
The letter, in addition to having been written by Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia, was not dictated by a person born in the Algarve area, with a very low level of education. Somehow the statement denotes a kind of legal concern, to the level of its content (namely, the legal possibility of the adoption as it is referred and the insistance on details that could, potentially, constitute evidence for the accusation - trousers with blood). But as I reiterate, the excessive use of the gerúndio [Note: form of a verb which acts as a noun] and the reversal of possessives and demonstratives add up to an aspect of linguistic expression more usual in Madeira, or with some effort, in some parts of the Alentejo. Who dictated the letter? A person from Madeira? Or, being in Odemira, a person from Alentejo?
Still in the Joana case, following the aforementioned "confession" a new search was encouraged at the place where, allegedly, the body of Joana was buried. But, after several searches, conducted by the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano and family (which family?), it was assumed impossible to continue the task due to the lack of specialist means. Indeed, this argument deserves some reflection.
Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia says, like many others, that in Portugal there are no dogs trained to detect the cadaverine scent. Nevertheless, some people said the opposite, some time ago. It is, therefore, a debatable issue. But, then, why was a search and rescue dog taken? Here, for sure the theory that those who "don't have dogs hunt with a cat" is unfounded. So, I repeat, why would there be a need for an ERVD dog that detects the scent of cadavers?
Although I accept that I am completely uninformed regarding the major aspects of the qualities of those animals, I must, however, present some speculative arguments that have emerged in the consequence of the proclaimed affirmation made by Dr. Aragão Correia: "In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidence against the parents. Why don't they do it now to find Joana's body?"
Let's try to reflect upon it.
I would not be surprised and even would agree, absolutely, with Dr. Aragão Correia if the argument of Equalitarian Justice, that he pretended to use, wasn't betrayed by its content. Let us see what I want to say, illustrating how I think the argument should be exposed:
a) "In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidence against the parents. Why don't they do it now to try to get evidence against the mother and uncle of Joana?", or alternatively,
b) "In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to try to locate her body. Why don't they do it now to find Joana's body?"
Indeed, if the issues were raised in this way, I would be in complete agreement with the thesis of Dr. Aragão Correia.
Still, we would have, in my modest and, again I repeat, little sustained opinion, a methodological problem: in the case of Maddie, we had precise locations and objects which allowed us to draw a methodology that is virtually beyond reproach as to the results observed (the dogs visited several apartments, several cars, smelled different pieces of clothing, BUT, I repeat, BUT there were control and "placebo" devices in place, if I am allowed to exploit those terms, so it is easier to understand).
In the Joana case, in addition to the search area being much larger and there being no types of marker, the search should, in my opinion, begin with archaeologists and geologists who would attempt to define areas where signs of intervention not due to natural phenomena existed (ex. erosion of wind or rain in the modification of topographical accidents) and from then on proceed to search with other methods.
I admit that it is much more difficult to detect the smell of dead bodies after almost 4 years, than after 2 months. I also admit that it would be much more difficult to discriminate odours in outdoor areas than those inside houses or on clothes worn recently. I should, therefore conclude the arrival of the friendly and competent dogs (who have 200 positive identifications), in these conditions could constitute a failure.
Furthermore, allow me one more metaphor: the conditions described for the "monte das figueiras" ["hill of figs"] (which, in itself, would involve a number of variables, difficult, or even virtually impossible to control) and after almost 4 years have passed since the tragic death of the girl, the probability of the dogs (even though they are competent) finding the corpse of Joana is, certainly lower than the likelihood that someone would win the Euromillions in 3 consecutive weeks, betting on the same combination of key numbers.
However, to whom would it help - the failure of these dogs?
Exactly! You guessed it! The defenders of the Madeleine McCann abduction theory. Thus, one of the strongest evidences of the death of little Maddie would be attacked and the headlines would be as expected: Dogs who identified cadaver scent in the Maddie case didn't detect any clues of Joana's corpse. I admit that the confession of Leonor would likewise not be in 'good sheets'. But I do not know why, I think that the media, would basically, belittle the image of the friendly dogs, and consequently of the sardine munchers.
Another issue which has come to light, and about which I have spoken [on TVI], concerns the recent news regarding the involvement of Método3 in the subject that I will only designate as Hazelnut Traitors. This Agency has shown that it has within it people who are: LIARS, SWINDLERS and SKILLFUL MANAGERS OF COINCIDENCES. For these not to be just empty words, I begin to explain:
a) LIARS! They promised that Maddie would appear by the Christmas of 2007 – IT'S A LIE! They even guaranteed to have identified the kidnapper of Maddie - IT'S A LIE! (If it is true then report it to the authorities, to not be accountable of any crime in that regard, and I'll give at that time, publicly and humbly my apologies for having said this sentence, but I'll keep the previous)!
b) SWINDLERS! They take advantage of the work of others. The hazelnuts already had owners. Copying sites is shameful. Exploiting the work of others is disgraceful.

c) MANAGERS OF COINCIDENCES! They stated that while working on the Maddie case, 13 paedophiles have been arrested. Don't make the Spanish Police a bunch of fools. Have some sense gentlemen.
Let me say that institutions should not be confused with some people who belong to it. Of course, everywhere, there is good and bad. If I am being unfair to the agency Método3, I will apologise publicly after the agency brings to an end its connection with the acts committed by some of its elements.
To the McCann Couple, I would like to start, exactly, here.
For how long do you intend to keep the link to the Metódo3 agency on the Find Madeleine site? Even after all the information regarding the said agency, it still keeps a privileged spot in the "Investigation" tab at the site where many people still want to help and contribute? For how long?
And the online store? Is it to remain, even losing a real fortune, as we were able to see in the accounts of the Madeleine Fund? Who manufactures the T-Shirts? And the bracelets?
If it is true that you have no accounts or credit cards on your behalf, how do pay for your travels? And the expenses at the Ocean Club? How do you live without financial liaisons with any bank? And the mortgage of your home?
And the price of the site? In Portugal, site maintenance costs 50€ per year. When we have no money, we draw our own pages or we ask for some solidarity from friends who are competent in that area. To spend a thousand times more is unwise. I am sure that there are thousands of web designers that would help you for free. There are caring people in this world, if they believe that it is for a good cause.

Should the translations of the process not be the PRIORITY to be able to know what was done, Dr Gerry McCann? There is STILL enough money in the fund. Please translate the process. It is urgent. It is imperative!
Dr. Kate McCann, we all understand your suffering. I do not want to believe that the idea that you are depressed and obsessively reading the process, for 3 hours a day, is an idea of your own. I believe that this is a story by the evil tabloids. Please, sue them because they are giving of you an awful motherly image. A mother of a daughter who has disappeared and who does not rest for more than three hours a day, spending the remaining 19 hours reading. Yes, it could be assumed as worrying and it would translate an emotional disturbance in which the person is, in fact, obsessed and not thinking of anything else, not even of the other children.

And speaking about, the other children.
In the first days after the disappearance of Maddie, where some people weaved considerations about the poor parental quality of the McCanns, I tried to devalue that idea on several occasions, interpreting benignly the various and more carefree parental educational practices of the Anglo-Saxons.

I even conveyed and, today I acknowledge that, stupidly, in the defence of the couple, saying that a culture of greater autonomy and its relationship with the educational development in some countries were in part, the result of parenting practices which promote more autonomy and are less over-protective, saying that the super-protection and affiliation were more common in southern Europe, in particular, and in the Latin people in general.
When I recognise the stupidity of what I said, I must confess that is not in relation of what I said. I stand by it! The stupidity was not to have thought that the educational practices that the McCanns demonstrated were predictors of one of the biggest acts of wickedness that I have witnessed against children: to give gifts to the twins, saying that those were sent by Maddie.
Mr and Mrs McCann:
Do not make of Maddie a Santa Claus who gives gifts to the children and that never, I repeat, NEVER, appears or will appear.
Let the twins do the mourning of their sister. You both know she will not appear.
Even if you believe that you had no intervention in the disappearance of your daughter (which I do not believe and I have that right as a citizen), you have been warned that the excessive media attention would increased the likelihood, in the hypothetical case of abduction, that the supposed kidnapper would kill the girl. If you do not want to face the grief of Maddie, you have that right and you have your reasons... But please, let the twins do it.
The girl, unfortunately, will not return. Do not give hope to the little ones because they will not remember their sister. They will not have a memory of Maddie, unless through pictures and what is told to them, and unfortunately, from what they will know and understand when they grow up. Do not build false memories through deceiving illusions. Tell the twins that Maddie is a little star [in the sky]. They will know what that means. Until then, do not let any pact to use the twins as a means.
These children live in a strange ambience. "Where is Maddie? Will she be back? And what if we are taken to that place?" Children do not think like us. They believe they are stolen by the boogeyman. And what if one has gone already?
Mr and Mrs McCann
I have never made any criticisms to your parental qualities.
However, given what you did with the twins I have to firmly say:
Get some counselling!
See you soon!

Dr Gerry McCann. How time runs? Thank you for the answers! Comply with the calendar!, 12 February 2009
Dr Gerry McCann. How time runs? Thank you for the answers! Comply with the calendar! Câmara de Comuns
Dr Paulo Sargento*
12 February 2009 - 01:19
Thanks to Astro for translation
Dr Gerry McCann's blog was updated on the 650th day since Madeleine's disappearance, and 3 months after his last post, the contents of which gave thanks for more donations that had resulted from an action in Liverpool.

The fact that he recognises that he's been very busy is not strange. The opposite would be strange! Nevertheless, I reaffirm the notion that the increasing time lapses between posts, and, while we're at it, the ASSUMED, I repeat, ASSUMED lesser amount of media coverage may fulfil the purpose that Dr McCann suggests (to work, finally, if not too late, in the shadows, searching for Madeleine so these factors do not disturb) or else, be nothing more than a numbing strategy with the purpose of extinguishing the Maddie phenomenon. Dr McCann will forgive me, but I'm more inclined towards the second possibility. An analysis of the posts' dates reveal that these may well constitute "replies to messages". Curiously, it's also at these times that one hears Mister Clarence Mitchell less frequently. Nevertheless, his intervention, and especially his style, are perfectly recognisable in blogs with posts that are signed by fictitious characters (I would call this counter-information, a well known aspect of espionage).

To recognise that you have a small team working hard, Dr McCann, can only make sense if you want to convey the notion that if more isn't being done, this is due to a lack of means. Nevertheless, this argument compromises the expenses that are made by Madeleine's Fund. Firstly, because if the team is small, the costs indicate that it's very expensive. Secondly, if it's very expensive, it's supposed to be very competent. Thirdly, if it's so competent, by now it should have reached a different result from what it has reached: NOTHING!

Dr McCann mentions his visit to Lisbon, maintaining the same arguments. He came to meet his lawyer and the English ambassador in Portugal, in order to evaluate what can still be done to discover Madeleine, appealing to a joint effort by the authorities. I reiterate what I have stated in a previous post:

a) You [Mr McCann] do not fully know what has been done, according to your own admission; please do concentrate on that before wanting to know what can still be done;

b) We already know that you have met your lawyer and the ambassador; please do assume that there was a fourth element and do identify him;

c) For a joint effort with the authorities, do convince your friends to carry out the reconstruction of the night of the disappearance of your daughter and do ask Dr Kate to reply to the 48 questions that she left unanswered.

Concerning the joy that the twins are giving you, I must say that it sounds like the most genuine argument that I read in your post. To see one's children grow is one of the most wonderful things that one can experience. For that very reason, do take them away from the confusion and the pacts. Do you know why they ask about Madeleine every day? Because they fail to understand the concept of death as something irreversible. Because nobody made an effort to translate that concept for them to understand. Because, on the contrary, they try to sustain an illusion that the facts deny, or at least, allow to classify as highly unlikely (I dislike the expression impossible, but I reaffirm the Euromillions metaphor). The Twins suffer a Madeleine "bath" that will intoxicate their existence as persons. Please, do take them out of that "bath" and let them deal with their sister's loss. They won't remember Maddie as a person. Allow them to build a comfortable image of a sister they once had, and who will always be part of them, even if she doesn't return. A good part. Please, do understand this. What the heck, you, apart from being a father, are a doctor!

Thanking you for the answers in your post, the next time please tell us something that we didn't yet know, instead of just complying with the calendar.
* Forensic psychiatrist, University professor, commentator, author and blogger

Maddie: Satellites and Espionage, 25 February 2009
Maddie: Satellites and Espionage Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
25 February 2009
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
Duarte Levy has published an article in '24Horas' newspaper, on Monday the 23rd of February 2009, that many unsuspecting readers might think was a Carnival joke. But anyone who knows journalist Duarte Levy knows that, both in the 'blogshpere' and in the more traditional press, he is not a man to hide behind masks. Actually, that's the very reason why, showing his face throughout the high quality investigation that he carries out, he has experienced a few misfortunes, just like Paulo Reis, Gonçalo Amaral, Hernâni Carvalho and others who, if it wasn't for the excessive amount of events, on the same "targets", and within particular time circumstances, one might state that these gentlemen share the common fact that... "they're very unlucky". Within less than 2 years, these men have experienced more flat tires, car hits, unjustified detentions, persecutions, computer hackings, cowardly dog assassinations, phone threats, computer viruses, anonymous letters, forbidden document translations, thefts, robberies, meetings with mediums and threats to their physical integrity, than they had suffered in their entire lives. Their ages lie between 40 and 50. But it took only 21 months for the number of "unpleasant" events to reach, for some of them, and within this time frame, occurrence rates that are 50 times higher than the probability that they occur with to any common citizen within an average 80 year life span. Amazing, isn't it? And everything in silence and without (apparent) connections.
Well. Let's return to Duarte Levy's article and explore a bit of the subject that he treated notably.
I retained two central aspects: that the satellites were turned towards Morocco and the existence of "spies".
Why did I retain the reply that the journalist was offered: "The satellites were all turned towards Morocco"?
Because this is a Mitchell Style reply. If we take a closer look at some of the questions and answers that appear, from a certain time onwards, in the Maddie case, we are faced with notable structural similarities, under the linguistic point of view (both in syntactical and in pragmatic terms). But, even more! While looking barbarously stupid, those questions or answers are absolutely contusing! Always! What do I mean? That they are obvious lies! Nobody believes that all British satellites (because they certainly don't own just one, and as a matter of fact, the number of objects that circle the earth is becoming worrying, namely since recently two satellites collided) were turned towards Morocco. Why? Because apart from the technical problems that would arise, there would have to be at least ONE acceptable justification for such an event. A State secret? This is where I state that the replies are contusing, despite barbarously stupid and appearing to treat us all as clowns (I beg the clowns, the real ones, whom I much admire, to forgive me).
How does one refute a State secret? Motives to point towards Morocco? Yes, of course! But they are top secret! And it had to happen in the 3rd of May 2007, of all days! What special event took place in Morocco at that point in time, for all of the satellites to be oriented into that location? As far as we know: NOTHING. NOTHING. But being a State Secret, the stupidity acquires contusion.
This type reply is typical, just like the justification for G. McCann's visit and so many others.
Allow me to say this: there probably is nothing that could be more irritating than to be forced to accept the contusion of stupidity!
But, there was a mention of spies?
Apart from the simple technique of anonymity that is permitted by the 'blogshpere' but which an attentive analysis of the timings and the "grammatical styles" unveils, we have a far more powerful trap: a new form of counter-information – the "Streisand effect".
The so-called "Streisand effect" has often surfaced on the internet. In Portugal, we have a more parsimonious popular expression: "a cat hiding with its tail sticking out".
So, what’s this so-called "Streisand effect"? This is a supposed effect that is produced when there is an attempt to censor something on the internet. In a simplified manner, given the structure, the number of people and the means that are available on the internet, if I want to prevent certain news from coming out, or if I try to censor it, the effect of said censorship is the exact opposite of what was intended, because it tends to replicate in every possible and imaginary manner, like some sort of cybernetic self-regulation.
But is it just us who know this? No! The "Streisand effect" is Poison and Antidote, an old espionage recipe. Do you know why? Imagine that I try to censor a piece of news in order to render another one innocuous? Imagine that after one undesirable piece of news is at risk of spreading, I place two or three other placebo pieces of news (but booby-trapped as pseudo-censors)? Is this possible?
Can you imagine how often this has happened in the Maddie Case? Numberless times, and almost always under the shape of CONTUSION THAT SMOTHERS STUPIDITY!
See you around!

Maddie Case: Cleaning with dirty water or "the circus is back to the village"?, 29 March 2009
Maddie Case: Cleaning with dirty water or "the circus is back to the village"? Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
Those who have been following the 'Maddie' phenomenon with some attention, verified that the month of January, particularly its second week, was fecund in events that I have already focused on, in a previous post. But the month of March, with the preambles and eclosion of Spring, has brought us some very interesting data.
On the first day of this month of spring, British newspaper 'The Independent' published an article about Clarence Mitchell that bore the title: "I am a decent human being. If I can help them, I will". This article announced a conference by Mitchell at the Oxford Union "following in the footsteps of Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa and [picture this] Kermit the Frog". Don't laugh, because I'm not making irony here. This sentence is from 'The Independent' on the 1st of March. Concerning the Muppet Show, I've always preferred the madness of 'Animal', the drummer, or the luxurious seduction of Miss Piggy (now, you can have a laugh!).
What was the purpose of this 'news'?
a) To prepare the announcement of the extinction of the biggest source of income for the McCanns, for Mitchell and for Método 3 – Brian Kennedy;
b) To initiate a campaign to clear the image of Clarence Mitchell, preparing the ground for 'other waters';
c) To clear the path for Gerry McCann's appearance in Parliament;
d) To prepare public opinion for the "circus to come to town", or more exactly, to the village of Luz;
e) Because there were approximately two months to go for the – unfortunate – second anniversary of Maddie's death.
f) And as such, a few surprises are expected!
Why and with what legitimacy do I state 'Maddie's death'? For the same reasons that Gerry McCann and Clarence Mitchell (yes, because Kate McCann has been strange and 'firmly' silent and has not been seen much, as I have been stressing lately) state 'Maddie's abduction'. But there's an abyssal difference between both statements: one represents a theory that has authority in its arguments, while the other represents a theory that has its arguments in authority.
But, while we're at it, and despite my personal opinion that the British newspaper has a lot less informative value than the popular Portuguese almanac 'O Borda d’Água', I must mention that I was absolutely stupefied about the manner in which this information was handled. I vividly recommend reading the above mentioned article in order to understand what MEDIA MANIPULATION is truly about, in a Society where I thought an ancient tradition of Civil Rights, Liberties and Freedom ruled. I confess that this last sentence is (almost) a plagiarism of a cretinous, ignorant, foolish and barbarously snob statement that was made by the Aide to an illustrious English Member of European Parliament, when referring to the Portuguese Judicial Police's incompetence. That sentence can be read in weekly 'Sol' dated November 13, 2007. I assume the ironic use of the (almost) plagiarism of Piers Merchant's sentence and the consequences that may arise thereof, and I also vividly recommend reading that article.
Because the matter that I have just mentioned was picked up again by Gerry McCann this month. After travelling to the English Parliament 'for the Englishman to see' [Portuguese popular saying that describes something that is done merely for the purpose of visually impressing others, without any substance] – notice that this Chamber let pass 'Gerry’s Lie', which Duarte Levy has subtly and intelligently denounced –, the medic (I stress medic instead of doctor, in order to avoid confusion with another type of doctor, for example of the law) criticised the Portuguese Judicial Secrecy, disserting about its obsolete character, a result of laws that "date back to them being a Fascist government and subsequently a Communist one" which explains "why they do not function". Despite the fact that everyone is entitled to an opinion, allow me to say this:
a) Does medical training, specialised in Cardiology, in British Universities, include optional classes in History of Portuguese Law in its curriculum?
b) In case it does, the teachers should be sued without delay over the manifest incompetence that they display in their teachings; if it doesn't (as I would expect, even because cardiologists have better things to do than studying History of Portuguese Law), I'm a bit more reassured and I interpret that it was the sad result of some misunderstanding due to difficulties in understanding the Portuguese language, within the British couple's assistants, because I'm absolutely certain that the Most Illustrious Lawyers who represent the McCanns in Portugal would never utter such an enormous STUPIDITY!
c) Even because Portuguese laws don't keep innocent citizens in prison, or with supposed and light-headed 'evidence', and after realising their mistake, don't repeat trials over the same crime, after its nullity was assumed by the Judicial administration, thus respecting Human Rights, contrary to certain European Nations (confront the case of Nicolas Bento, for example, which I'll return to).
But as if this bizarreness weren't enough, at the same time the most famous of all 'spin doctors' tries to recreate a theory in order to sustain the criticism over the spectacular media exposure, which at a certain time, he admits, he 'tried to control' under order ("hired in September 2007 to 'salvage their reputations'", those of Kate and Gerry; in 'The Independent', March 1, 2009): the British journalists were systematically drunk as they spent their whole afternoons drinking alcohol at the Ocean Club, begging him for news about the case, allegedly in order not to lose their jobs. As they got no news, they translated the news from Portuguese newspapers, thus justifying, from their point of view, the alleged defamation campaign against the McCanns.
This theory is particularly fascinating. Nevertheless, like all very fascinating theories, it's too exaggerated, it lacks logic, and the facts can be explained in a more parsimonious fashion. Let's see, Mister Mitchell:
a) Concerning the alcohol consumption, there would be much to say, but I'll go no further than the frequent and witnessed abuses by the 'Tapas Nine Group' (these were proved by employees and by documents – dinner invoices) and consider that you are making baseless and defamatory accusations against a class to which you belong yourself and whose members cannot be generalised;
b) Concerning the fact that the journalists were "desperate" for news, I have to state, with factual knowledge, that you manipulated many of them, from the same group of English newspapers, and obviously in some cases there were threats of firing, at some point in time, but rather if supposed "defamatory facts against the couple" were published;
c) Some Portuguese journalists were threatened with lawsuits by famous Carter Ruck, which until today never became more than it was: threats!
With this, you mean to say that the Portuguese journalists defamed the McCanns in their Newspapers, and that the British Journalists, drunk and under the threat of being fired, translated those news that you find defamatory, and in this way ended up being condemned to pay financial compensations to the McCann couple, that diluted them into the 'Find Madeleine' fund?
Fibs, Mister Mitchell, Fibs!
Do you know why? Because if it were so, the McCanns would have to thank for those supposedly defamatory news, that through the translations by drunk journalists, guaranteed approximately ¼ of the fund that was supposedly created to search for little Maddie. In this case, then, and under your perspective, 25% of the fund resulted from defamation, alcohol, incompetence and the fear of losing jobs? I'm sorry, but this makes no sense. The story is much too long!
Concerning this interpretation, Dr Gerry McCann is more parsimonious. He recognises that Maddie "became a product and profits had to be maintained"! I absolutely agree with Dr Gerry McCann in this matter and I have already spoken about this issue and the 'Relational Marketing' of the Maddie product, the fidelisation of some media's customers (I wrote about this, for the first time, in June 2007). As a matter of fact, a recent statement, during a party congress, by a Portuguese politician who is involved in a paedophilia scandal, illustrates what I mean when I mention Relational Marketing (in due time someone will pick this theme up). But, as we say in Portugal, you can't have the ball and the stick! It was Dr Gerry McCann himself who created this product, when, due to motives that have yet to be decoded, he informed some media on the fateful night of the 3rd of May 2007, thus forcing, even against the authorities' advice, his daughter's maximum public exposure, even though he was repeatedly warned about the danger that might represent for Maddie's life.
Paradoxically, Dr Gerry McCann mentions he can't forgive the Portuguese press for publishing news about the hypothetical death of Maddie. The question that I think should be asked is not whether one should forgive the press over such news or not, but rather, to try to understand the value of such news. Despite everything else, this news, as we could confirm when the process was made public, after being clumsily archived, had bases and very strong fundaments and didn't come out by chance. Of course a 'mole' in the Polícia Judiciária was mentioned. That matter, I believe, will one day emerge from the muddy waters that we navigate. But the most relevant aspect is that the abduction theory has not presented any indicia or fundaments and Dr Gerry McCann continues to claim it. May Dr Gerry McCann be aware of something that may constitute a strong indicium, which he has yet to reveal to the Polícia Judiciária? I think that this is a very pertinent question.
But as the second anniversary of the unfortunate event draws closer, a new campaign has been developed: to place billboards and posters with Maddie's image, at the surroundings of the area where the little girl disappeared. THE CIRCUS HAS COME TO THE VILLAGE! I must say that I can see only one qualifier for this campaign: CLOWN SHOW!
The arguments for this action are hopelessly dishonest.
a) Because it's not true that the populations in the area of Praia da Luz hasn't been sufficiently informed and investigated; as a matter of fact, these populations have actively participated, as if it was their own child, in everything, Dr McCann, IN EVERYTHING, even beyond what they were asked to do. In this case, comparisons that were established with the cases of Natasha Kampush and Elizabeth Smart, among others, constitute an argument of dizzying frailty, apart from unworthily opportunism, because they try to ride the impact, on public opinion, of the condemnation for life of Mister Fritzl, that unbelievable case of Amstetten! It is unacceptable, to say the least, to try to manipulate public opinion in this way, two years after the events of Praia da Luz!
b) Just like with those unfortunate and famous posters that joined the faces of Maddie and MariLuz, it would be convenient for the person who 'designed' the campaign to understand, once and for all, that there are rules for this type of initiative, beyond the decisions of the McCann couple and of Mister Mitchell and Associates;
c) It's not true that there is strong indicia that Maddie may be alive and in good health. Even if faith could give us hope that Maddie is alive, simple common sense would make it impossible to think that a little girl that has been away from her family for so long, with the ignoble comparisons with cases like those described in the previous item, could be well and in good health. It's counter-intuitive, to say the least. Once again, that issue is different if Dr Gerry McCann possesses any type of information that he has yet to share with the competent authorities.
d) Because it's not likely at all that, after time goes by, the memory of some people may have improved to the point that they remember the claimed 'key clue' to find Maddie. Memory doesn't improve with time, Dr McCann, except under very special circumstances that you, as a doctor, also know, which would lead us to consider only 'certain persons'.
In truth, I understand the attitude of the population of Praia da Luz. To shred posters is simultaneously an action of legitimate indignation and of respect for Maddie's memory, and not an act of vandalism like tabloid 'The Evening Standard' wanted us to believe. What name do these gentlemen give to the actions of so many of the English football fans that we usually call 'hooligans'?
I am going to leave some questions searching for answers.
a) For what reason does Método 3 continue to appear as the investigation team on the official Find Madeleine site?

b) For what reason does Dr Kate McCann appear to be less visible and less 'active'?

c) For what motives, after having recognised that his family was "the focus of some of the most sensationalist, untruthful, irresponsible and damaging reporting in the history of the press", does Dr McCann insist on a new media pressure, geographically located???

d) For what motive, stating that there should be "more control over journalists to the potential to ruin people's lives", did Dr Gerry McCann NOT pursue any legal process in Portugal, when he clearly could have done it according to Mr Mitchell's statements, regarding the sources of the alleged news which were subject to translations?
I will finish for today, with two sentences by Dr Gerry McCann which, from my point of view, answer this and some other doubts present in this post:
"As Madeleine's parents we cannot and will not ever stop doing all we can to find her."
"Someone somewhere knows where Madeleine is."
Good Night!

Maddie: in Portugal, an invisible inclination?, 13 April 2009
Maddie: in Portugal, an invisible inclination? Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
13 April 2009
(...) "As recently as this week, I heard former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral referring to the McCann couple as assassins of their own daughter – the theory that he defended during the investigations that he conducted and later published in a book. During two years, Dr Amaral had every means, all the time and conditions to prove his extremely serious thesis, or to discover what had happened to Maddie and whether she was alive or dead. He failed to do so, and after all the investigation's deadlines ran out, it was closed without any conclusions, due to a lack of indicia of anything at all. But, undisturbed, the gentleman carries on, accusing the parents themselves of having killed their daughter and saying that he failed to prove it due to "political pressures". Is this the kind of 'justice' that the Freeport investigators are preparing to reserve for José Sócrates, as well?" (…)
Miguel Sousa Tavares, in 'Expresso', 11.04.2009
First, I must state that I foster a certain sympathy for Miguel Sousa Tavares. I consider him to be an exemplary citizen, a Man with a spinal column and without any need to be politically correct, with opinions and filiations that are publicly known and assumed. But it is also due to this assumed sympathy that I must state that I failed to comprehend the paragraph that I transcribed above, which is part of an opinion article that is titled "How to fry a PM on a low flame?"
To me, that paragraph seems ill adjusted to the title and to the issue that it approaches, and Miguel Sousa Tavares is a writer and a columnist who is organised in his speech. I must also state that I don't believe that José Sócrates received anything whatsoever in the Freeport case. What I fail to understand is what José Sócrates, the Freeport Case, the Maddie Case and Dr Gonçalo Amaral have in common. I also missed my opportunity to find out where Miguel Sousa Tavares heard "former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral referring to the McCann couple as assassins of their own daughter" and "undisturbed, the gentleman carries on, accusing the parents themselves of having killed their daughter and saying that he failed to prove it due to «political pressures»". Despite reiterating my sympathy for Miguel Sousa Tavares, Columnist, Writer and Lawyer, I must confess that it seems to me that he fell prey to an overly easy temptation: to embark on the Maddie case to defend the Prime Minister, blaming the Polícia Judiciária, in the person of Gonçalo Amaral. If journalist Fernanda Câncio had done so, I would find it wrong, but acceptable. That Miguel Sousa Tavares does it, without any kind of explanation, except for the one that he mentions when he questions "Is this the kind of 'justice' that the Freeport investigators are preparing to reserve for José Sócrates, as well?", seems completely unacceptable and devoid of purpose to me. The use of fallacies that are well known to rhetoric and argumentation must be pondered, to avoid confusing excellence with vulgarity.
But unfortunately, there is more.
"Something strange is going on when one accuses the parents of a missing child of a heinous crime, without any evidence"
Paulo Pedroso, in a statement to SIC Notícias during the PS [Socialist Party] Congress
What does Dr Paulo Pedroso mean, with such a statement?
I confess that contrary to the sympathy that I confessed feeling for Miguel Sousa Tavares, Dr Paulo Pedroso does not arouse either sympathy nor antipathy in me. The fact that he is situated in a political quadrant that lies close to the one that I identify myself with, may be tainting my perception of the person in a benign manner. But similarly to what I said about Miguel Sousa Tavares, I failed to comprehend Dr Paulo Pedroso's affirmation, within the statement that he was making for SIC Notícias at the time. Is it possible that he was riding one media-exposed case in order to counter balance another media-exposed case? It was hard for me to believe, back them, but today I feel compelled to accept that it may have been the case, judging from his statement when he launched his candidacy for the City Hall of Almada, where he anticipated that "no defamation will stop us" (SIC online, April 10). Thus Dr Paulo Pedroso has just proved to us that attack is the best defence, even if by proxy, warning us that the eventual usage of the Casa Pia Case does not scare him. But what does the Casa Pia case have to do with the Maddie case, and other media-exposed cases? As far as we know, Dr Paulo Pedroso has not been tried within the Casa Pia case, and has even been indemnified over the "defamation" that he says he suffered. Then, why is he pulling supposedly past waters into the matter, mixing them with others that, as we stated in a previous post, are too muddy to wash anything at all?
I would like to close this post with another equally incomprehensible situation.
José Manuel Barradas, the Director of daily newspaper "O Público", stated during a 'news review' at SIC, at around the time when the Maddie case was archived, that he agreed with the McCann couple in their refusal to carry out the reconstruction that had been requested by the Polícia Judiciária, arguing that, after one year, it would be natural for people to find it difficult to reconstruct the events in a precise manner, thus potentially falling into contradictions, sustaining that if it were him, José Manuel Fernandes, he wouldn't do it either.
The editorial line that has been followed by "Público" concerning the Maddie case speaks for itself, and therefore I'll refrain from any comments. But if José Manuel Fernandes knows what a reconstruction is, will he now accept the one that Gerry McCann says he performed, two years later? Or will he be just as critical?
Invisible inclinations or mere coincidences?
See you in a bit!

Maddie: Reconstruction, Documentary, Propaganda or, simply, a Clown act? - Part 1, 13 April 2009
Maddie: Reconstruction, Documentary, Propaganda or, simply, a Clown act? - Part 1 Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
13 April 2009
With a documentary about the book "The Truth of the Lie" drawing close (which I strongly recommend to EVERYONE), the British media have massively come out to try to protect, more than ever before, the McCanns' image. As a matter of fact, Dr Gerry McCann himself has admitted that there were "mistakes on both sides", according to what Duarte Levy mentions, today, the 13th of April 2009, in daily newspaper '24horas'. Now why is that?
But this massive defence by the British newspapers is carried out through an attack, an ignorant and often lying attack, against former PJ investigator Gonçalo Amaral, with the same means. I have already stated that the traditional Portuguese almanac 'O Borda d’Água' has much more interest than most of the press that I'm talking about. Still, I wish to signal such media production as the reflex of what I am certain is the enormous fear that said documentary is causing on the McCanns' side.
Dr Gerry McCann was in Portugal on the weekend before Easter, with the supposed purpose of carrying out a reconstruction of the events of the fateful night of the 3rd of May 2007. In practical terms, Dr Gerry McCann, Jane Tanner and Dr Mathew Oldfield came as consultants for the making of a documentary about what they want to say concerning what happened that night. That fact constitutes, as Karl Popper would say, a strong attack upon the falsifiability that is necessary for the scientific evidence, because it is deadly wounded by confirmatory epistemology. What does this mean? It means, very simply, that nobody can be a judge in his own cause, and that the documentary will necessarily reflect what the "consultants" think about the facts without any intervention of a contradictory nature. The same is to state that this is no reconstruction at all, because: the intervenients are not all present, those who came possess a theory that is not based on facts, one of them is verifiably inconsistent in her testimony (Jane Tanner) and the documentary's script is not questionable by critical methodologies or by impartial observers.
As a conclusion, this is a FRAUD that will privilege, like an alleged reconstruction from the BBC, the figure of a supposed abductor who hides inside an apartment in front of the back entrance to 5A (and nobody saw him?), studies the family's routines and those of the tapas nine (which is unlikely, given the high number of intervenients and the short number of days when that could happen – four), abducts Maddie within a relatively short time frame, exits through the window, carrying the little girl in his arms, under the testimony of Jane Tanner, and escapes through a cane field, according to the witness statement from two British citizens who have nothing to do with the case. I'm certain that emphasis will be placed upon two moments: when Gerry enters the apartment and 'senses' someone, and when Jane Tanner 'sees' the alleged abductor. The documentary's atmosphere will be tense and will show the unfortunate and sad parents who will deeply lament that they were not at the right time, at the place where they should have been. It will bring us nothing new, just like the so-called new media campaign didn't bring us anything. Another CLOWN ACT 'for the English to see'.
In October 2007, in collaboration with Professor Pedro Gamito and his team (Diogo Morais, Jorge Oliveira, Tomás Saraiva, Miguel Pombal and Joel Rosa), I carried out a 3D reconstruction of the two hours that supposedly preceded the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann. With data available from four credible sources, two Portuguese ones and two English ones ('Público', 'Sol', 'Times Online' and 'BBC'), without any previous theory, through the calculation of the index of concordance between these sources and with the intention of describing the events, we could verify that:
- The McCanns lied in their initial statements (from where they dined, it was IMPOSSIBLE to see apartment 5A and the distance that separated them from their children was 84 metres as the crow flies, 114 metres walking, and not approximately 50 as they mentioned);
- The number of comings and goings of the tapas nine members (14) in two hours, with the intent of allegedly checking on the children, produced, in average, time "windows" that were of less than 7 minutes without surveillance. But if we add the comings and goings of these people movements and the high probability of other pedestrians walking on that location, which was also visible from the buildings in front, where many people could be on the balcony, we verify that, according to Bayes' theorem of conditional probability (taking as possible hypothetical events, two abductions in Praia da Luz, that week), the possibility of an abductor (either premeditated or acting on an impulse) having entered the apartment, taking the little girl, leaving through the window, leaving no trace, without being seen, would be lower than the possibility of a cat falling on a piano's keyboard with five octaves and playing the anacrusis of the four notes of Beethoven's fifth symphony. It's obvious that the problem becomes more complex when it was the parents who mentioned the abduction, immediately and insistently.

But there was another problem. How long would it take for someone to hide the body at a location like the Church? The same team carried out a simulation where, along two alternative routes, someone who took a body by car, at a medium speed of 50 km/h (the maximum speed allowed inside an urban area), would need approximately 27 seconds to carry out that trip. If we imagine a time window of 7 minutes, we would conclude that it would be possible for someone to take Maddie to the church and to return to the Ocean Club within this time frame, even more so because some of the participants left the restaurant for periods over 20 minutes.

This is all for today, but I promise to return to demonstrate once more that the sightings were "fabricated" and that the e-fits are the most ridiculous production of this entire process.
Before I say goodbye, recommending to EVERYONE to watch the documentary that will be broadcast by TVI today, I leave you some unsettling thoughts:
a) Three months ago, on a cold Friday night, I was having coffee with a friend when we received unconfirmed news by phone, from England, that a sudden and critical deterioration of Kate McCann's health condition had led her to a border situation. This kind of reference has been frequent in certain circles, without it being possible to confirm anything whatsoever, at any hospital. Nevertheless, Kate has been strangely distant and the twins have been spotted, but not their Mother. The allusions to "Kate's depressions" have been another stumbling stone of this case.
b) Método 3 is no longer mentioned on the findmadeleine site. What happened?
c) The findmadeleine site now anticipates, on its homepage, new t-shirts of the failed campaign on Aldeia da Luz.
d) R. Murat has sued some Portuguese media, the McCanns HAVE NOT!
See you soon.

Madeleine McCann case - Maddie's mother away from the eyes of the public since Summer 2008, 17 April 2009

Lux magazine, edition no. 468, 20 April 2009

Madeleine McCann case - Maddie's mother away from the eyes of the public since Summer 2008 Lux magazine (appears in paper edition only)
Rumours grow that Kate McCann would have tried to commit suicide
Text: Evelise Moutinho
Thanks to Mercedes for translation
17 April 2009
"She is very depressed, isolated and doesn't even talk to the twins" - Paulo Sargento, psychologist
On May 3rd it will be 2 years since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the Algarve, where the British girl was on vacation with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and her siblings, twins Sean and Amelie. Almost two years later, even after the Public Prosecutor shelved the case for lack of evidence, the mystery is still alive. Abduction or crime? Dead or alive? According to the parents, there is no doubt: Maddie was abducted from the tourist complex Ocean Club in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, while sleeping in the company of her siblings. According to Gonçalo Amaral, former Inspector of the Judicial Police who led the first investigations after the disappearance, there is no doubt either: Maddie died in apartment 5A, the victim of an accident and the parents hid the body. He told so in the book "The Truth of the Lie" and he showed it in the documentary with the same name produced by TVI, on April 13. On the interest that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, then 3 years old, still generates in the public opinion in Portugal and around the world, the audiences of the program speak for themselves. "The Truth of the Lie" was seen by two million nine hundred thousand viewers. On the internet there are over 850 thousand references to the English girl.
Judging by the reactions to the documentary by TVI, which again raise the suspicion of direct involvement of Kate and Gerry McCann in the disappearance of their daughter, a new question arises. What happened to Kate McCann? Since July 2008, when she was photographed in front of her home in Rothley, Leicester, England, Maddie's mother has not been seen in public. In an interview for Lux, psychologist Paulo Sargento says he has information that Kate McCann is mentally ill and would even have attempted suicide. "This is an unconfirmed report that a friend and I received from England about three months ago. It comes from an English source, independent, close to the investigation but not close to McCanns", said Paulo Sargento. "Not knowing for certain if this happened or not, the truth is that there is a high probability of occurrence. It is a statistical figure. Mothers who lose a child will, in a large percentage, attempt or commit suicide. It is a statistical and clinical fact. I will not say whether Kate has done it or not, but yes I have received that information. I have received it and, will not deny, it is in agreement with other information that came from the family, who say that Kate is very depressed, and spends long hours alone and doesn't talk to the twins ... This is more or less public, said the psychologist, who advocates the theory of accidental death and concealment of the body. In addition, late last year, Susan Healy, mother of Kate McCann, has revealed her misgivings about the health of her daughter: "I do not know how long she will endure this. I do not know how a human being can endure so much pressure. Sean and Amelie need their mother. But I'm afraid, very afraid. I do not know how to deal with this." Contacted by Lux, Clarence Mitchell, advisor to the McCann couple, vehemently denied the rumour that Maddie's mother allegedly tried to commit suicide: "Kate is okay. That is absolute nonsense. She has never done this or will do, because she believes her daughter is alive and if she did, she wouldn't see her ever again" he said, outraged with the news. Rogério Alves, a lawyer for Kate and Gerry McCann in Portugal, chose not to make any comment on the health of Maddie's mother.
Kate McCann found on the "Find Madeleine" website a way to continue to express her pain: "With the arrival of the second anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine, there is still much to be done. We continue to focus on our objective to find Madeleine and bring her safely home. As parents, we can not and will not ever stop doing everything we can to find her." At the same site, Kate had already confessed: "As a mother of an abducted girl, I can say it is the most painful and agonizing experience that can be imagined. My thoughts on the fear, confusion and loss of love and security that my precious daughter has to suffer are unbearable. It is appalling."
During next week, Kate and Gerry McCann are expected at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, United States, where they will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. "I believe that Kate is going to the program with great difficulty and sacrifice, just to perpetuate the idea that the couple are still close, that she is unwell but recovering and will not give up the search for her daughter. It is my belief that this will be done solely for a question of image and will bring great emotional sacrifices to Kate," confessed the psychologist Paulo Sargento. The interview will be broadcast in the United States on the weekend of the second anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine who, in the next day May 12, would or will be 6 years old.

Maddie: A few loose notes, 04 May 2009
Maddie: A few loose notes Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
04 May 2009
Thanks to Astro for translation
Two years have been completed after the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann, and we are led to believe that very little is known and a lot is yet to become known. Well, I have quite a different opinion: a lot is known already and there is still something to become known. But the post that I write today does not have the purpose to make a balance of the case, as these first lines might suggest. It does instead intend to unburden a few loose notes that, I believe, will very soon become the subject of deep analysis.
Firstly, a note concerning the state of Kate McCanns' health.
As I have already mentioned, there have been many rumours concerning Kate McCanns' emotional health. There were even rumours of an alleged suicide attempt. These rumours came from Her Majesty's Land, from a source that usually doesn't mess around. Of course I'm aware that the argument that I have just given is fallacious, inasmuch as the behavioural pattern of said source doesn't guarantee the truth of the information. But the fact is that the information (true or not) arrived, as I had already mentioned, on a cold Friday night in December. Why do I return to information that I have held for a few months already? Because some indications concerning Kate McCanns' health state have been intensifying.
As a matter of fact, this issue of Kate's depressive health state started being spread by her relatives and friends, namely during the period that followed the archiving of the process (late July 2008). From August 2008 onwards, Kate McCann started seldom appearing in public, with an almost full absence after Christmas. Her own mother stated that she felt lonely and rejected, even by her own husband, Gerry McCann. She was never again seen jogging or walking the twins. This matter increases in pertinence if we pay attention to the fact that Kate is apparently thinner, a fact that is visible in her trip to the United States, to participate in the Oprah Show.
Therefore, we ask ourselves: for a person who practises sports with great regularity, what problems may appear when that practice suddenly stops? An obvious answer: that person will grow fatter and will present symptoms of anxiety, due to the deregulation of endorphins (hormones that our body processes, especially with frequent practice of sports, which constitute a sort of natural anti-depressive). Now, what could we observe? Apparently, something paradoxical. Kate does not grow fatter, she grows even thinner, and according to relatives, she has been obsessed about reading the process, depressed and not even the twins have cheered her up (depressive signs, we could speculate).
Let's recall the episode of the washing of Cuddle Cat, on the 12th of June 2007, which is mentioned in her diary. What meaning does that episode have within this story? It's very likely to be the first expression of a grieving process, which can be compared with the fact that Kate apparently didn't recognise her daughter in the age progression images that she was shown on Oprah's Show. Why? Because in the first situation, according to her own words, Kate practically doesn't admit that Maddie may return (cf. post about Cuddle Cat in this blog), and in the second one, the non recognition seems to signify Kate's incapacity to picture an older Maddie, because her last image is that of a 3-year-old girl.
Therefore, whatever happened, shows through in Kate as an IRREPARABLE LOSS.
Alas, concerning this matter, Clarence Mitchell's lapsus linguae, in his last interview with BBC is extraordinarily clarifying: when confronted with the possibility of an opportunistic abduction, after the child left the house on her own to look for her parents (a rather unwise theory, it should be said), the Spin Doctor said – "that didn't happen, Kate knows it". In short, whatever happened was certainly very hard and I'm not surprised that Kate is, in fact, suffering a severe emotional disturbance. I hope that the decision concerning the maintenance of pacts take into account the cost/benefit relationship of these sufferings. I know that I had already written about this issue but I felt the duty to explain the arguments, and to appeal for borderline situations to be avoided.
Secondly, a note about the alleged age progression portraits.
Duarte Levy, who was present at Oprah's show, didn't leave his credits to others (thank you, Duarte) and, as usual, diligently investigated with the FBI about the origin of said so-called portraits. The information that he obtained is that the FBI had no participation whatsoever in those "artistic" productions. This information is precious to explain what I have been trying to state concerning other allegedly forensic productions, like for example the e-fits: these are always fallacies that try to confuse the argument of authority (it was an FBI artist), with the authority of argument (it's a production of unequivocal forensic value).
Age progression portraits must be based on rigorous methodologies, from a scientific point of view, and not constitute a mere based photographic manipulation. There are previous issues that are related to anthropometric concepts, with developmental, racial, sexual norms, phenotypical probabilities from the evaluation of the genogram, among others. But apart from this, there is a methodology problem: a post hoc construction without the use of the notion of an independent variable. Meaning, Madeleine could have many faces today, keeping her general traits: blond hair and blue eyes, with the small mark on her iris.
And the rest? Well, if we were completely honest and the so-called forensic production had indeed the purpose of searching for Madeleine, then we would have to act differently. I propose the following methodology: to create four groups of independent forensic artists, and "blind" (meaning, none of the investigators in any given group knows what the others are doing). Two groups of artists are given instructions to create, at least, three progression portraits of Maddie, based on the SAME original photo (of Maddie) and according to the same methodology that should take into account the abovementioned variables. Then, two other groups of forensic artists take the three portraits, from each group that created the progression, in a random manner, and are given the following instruction: "these children are six years old. Please, according to the criteria (that we described before), produce three age regression drawings, that represent these children at the age of three". Of course, control or placebo pictures would have to be introduced (variations in the colour and shape of hair, eyes, etc., and the introduction of a drawing of another child). Then, the chief investigator (the only one that knows the methodology) should compare the regression photographs with the original Maddie photograph that was used as a model for the progressions, according to precise anthropometric concepts. The photo that would be the best match with the original might then constitute a good hypothesis of age progression.
The way that things are now, the only thing that we're producing is a potential error and information deviation. But could this be the purpose? Well, I don't know. But I know that one month ago, the purpose was to carry out a local campaign (Aldeia da Luz) with Maddie's photo at the age of 3, and now the purpose is to carry out a worldwide campaign (the programme is broadcast in 144 countries) with a photo that allegedly approaches Maddie's present physiognomy. Which one is it, then? Who runs the campaign? Is it those retired Scotland Yard officers? Let's wait for the next strategy. Until then, let's watch the Oprah Show attentively so we can, as Duarte Levy said it, appreciate the McCanns' Show. And a curiosity: do notice Kate's clothing...
See you very soon!

Maddie: The paradox of the Portuguese press, 29 June 2009
Maddie: The paradox of the Portuguese press Câmara de Comuns
By Paulo Sargento
Tuesday, 29.06.09
Translation by Nigel Moore
Today, in Loures, a protocol was signed between police and judicial authorities and other public and private institutions with the aim of putting into operation an alert system for missing children, using a network based on the rapid and effective dissemination of information relevant to the recovery of those children.
Contrary to what one would expect, taking into account the relevance of the theme, the event was not given the publicity it deserved. Very little media space was devoted to it or even made reference to it.
However, two organs of the general daily written press, with different profiles (a more popular one, with a tabloid inclination, and a less popular and more politically correct one) echoed the "news" of the British tabloid "The Sun" with news which constituted a sort of requiem for shameful news campaigns, and whose central theme was the subject of appeals made to the European Court of Human Rights and Amnesty International. I refer to the alleged investigations that two private detectives (retired British police) are undertaking, on behalf of the McCanns, into a 64-year-old British citizen, Raymond Hewlett, who is subject to chemotherapy treatment for throat cancer which is in its terminal phase. Now, it is known, that neither of the two detectives have a search warrant from any institution, of any European state, to carry out such procedures. Also, it is known, that the citizen had already been investigated by the Portuguese judicial police (as recorded in the process) and was discarded as a suspect. So what interest does this citizen have for the Maddie process? The answer to this question lies in all processes of life which make the dying, suddenly, prominent, to the extent that they can be simultaneously safe scapegoats and eternal guardians of "bad secrets."
The news on this citizen has decreased significantly. Because in recent days there has appeared another potential suspect who, by chance, is a prisoner in the British Isles. The piece of news that the two above-mentioned Portuguese newspapers cited, was already out of date by reason of a new set of suspects (one for each day of the week, as suggested, with appropriate irony, by the journalist Duarte Levy) refering to a hypothetical and unconfirmed investigation of the van which was owned by Mr. Raymond Hewlett. According to the two detectives, the investigation of the van is vital because they could find "a single hair or a clothing fibre (which) could provide the breakthrough for which all are desperate." Before continuing, who are "all" those who "are desperate"? Secondly for what motive would they dismiss the forensic evidence found in the grey Renault Scenic, two years ago, that they will now value from this blue "Dodge" van? Thirdly, it does not seem that the archiving of the Maddie case has now ceased, at least not up to the date of writing this post.
It was, therefore, for me, a disappointment to see that two major Portuguese newspapers did a copy/paste from this piece of news (which no longer was before it came into being) without confirming the information provided by the tabloid which, in its own head office, would have to justify some of this information. It would have been good if these two newspapers had given precedence, today, to the good news about a new and faster recovery system for missing children, instead of translating the last notes of a requiem for the announced deaths of inconsistent theories or, even, the absurd.
Since they spoke of hair and fibre, I'm waiting to see what the tabloids will say about certain fibres, of a certain "textile" lost in the Maddie case, which within a few days will be the subject of public scrutiny...
See you soon

Psychologist wants to reopen the Maddie case, 18 September 2009
Psychologist wants to reopen the Maddie case 24horas

Paulo Sargento

Prosecutor receives the request of Paulo Sargento

By Duarte Levy
18 September 2009
Thanks to 
Mercedes for Portuguese-Spanish translation,
and Dr Martin Roberts for Spanish-English translation

The man who reconstructed the disappearance of Maddie in 3D does not want the case to die

Public Prosecutor General (PGR), Pinto Monteiro, yesterday received yet another petition for the re-opening of the process in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, this one authored by Forensic Psychologist Paulo Sargento.

Besides the petition sent today to the PGR, Ana Lima, advisor to Pinto Monteiro, confirmed to 24horas that an identical initiative had already been taken by a Spanish citizen, "but without prompting anything of investigative interest, for which reason it was archived."

In the recent document - to which 24horas has had access - Sargento bases his petition on the premise that "the couple were not correctly investigated" by either the Portuguese judiciary or the English authorities following the departure of Goncalo Amaral from the PJ's Department of Criminal Investigation in Portimao.

According to the psychologist, author of a 3-D video simulation based on the testimonies concerning the night of May 3rd 2007 - when Maddie is considered to have been abducted - the McCann couple were never interrogated with regard to the circumstances which prompted the washing of cuddle cat - a pink soft toy belonging to the little girl: "It would be of interest to know if Kate and Gerry were informed of the arrival of the English dogs, when and by whom." said Sargento to 24horas.

Before the dogs arrived

For the psychologist, it is revealing that Kate should wash cuddle cat before the two dogs, 'Eddie and Keela' - trained to detect cadaver odour and the scent of human blood - had arrived in Praia da Luz.

"Today I washed cuddle cat. I hoped not to have to do that until Madeleine's return", Kate wrote in her personal diary which she began after the disappearance of the little girl from the apartment the family occupied in Praia da Luz in the Algarve. In the diary, Maddie's mother justifies her action on the grounds that the soft toy was "a little dirty and smelly", an attitude the psychologist finds strange: "It doesn’t conform to the behaviour expected of a mother in such a situation."

"I determined that the washing of cuddle cat, several days before the arrival of the investigative dogs, as well as the motive for such an act, were NOT made the subject of inquiry within the overall framework of the investigation!" wrote Sargento in the petition sent to Pinto Monteiro, emphasising the fact that 'Eddie and Keela', the dogs brought in from England, had effected a "positive identification of cadaver odour on the soft toy, but not on the bed, nor the sheets where it was found by the investigators."

Besides this formal petition for the re-opening of the process, Ana Lima explained to 24horas that the PGR had received "dozens of e-mails and letters, usually anonymous" concerning the Maddie case, although until now they have had "no judicial relevance, failing to point specifically to concrete and credible facts."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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