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Madeleine McCann: Swiss watches a waste of time



Original Source: All Voices Sunday 21 July 2013

London : United Kingdom | Jul 21, 2013 at 11:44 AM PDT
By Nigel Moore


"Freedom of speech should not include distortion of the truth," said Kate McCann

Scotland Yard officers currently undertaking an 'investigative review' of the Madeleine McCann case could be about to arrive in Portugal to 'interview witnesses and suspects, search properties and even make arrests,' reports the Daily Mirror, 20 July 2013.


They 'could arrive in Portugal within days', we are told. Indeed, they could. In fact, they 'could' be about to do any one of a number of things but does the British press really know what?


In October 2011, the Metropolitan Police Service stated the following in response to a Freedom of Information request:


'High profile reviews, such as this one, are highly emotive and the manner in which they are conducted are usually kept in strict secrecy so that the tactics and lines of enquiry that are followed do not become public knowledge thereby rendering them useless.'


Yet, on 26 May 2013, the Daily Mirror reported the following, in connection with Urs Hans Von Aesch, who abducted and murdered 5 year old Ylenia Lenhard, in Switzerland, on 31 July 2007:


'Officers from Scotland Yard's Operation Grange, who are investigating Madeleine's disappearance, say von Aesch is one of 20 "persons of interest".'


Really? Even allowing for the fact that von Aesch is dead, can we really believe that Scotland Yard openly released his name to the press as a 'person of interest'?


If they did - to tweak a famous quote of Eric Cantona - it would appear they are throwing red herrings to the journalists who follow their trawler.


But the Mirror wasn’t alone. Just two days previously a Daily Mail headline had screamed: 'Was Maddie snatched by monster [von Aesch] who killed this little lookalike? That's the dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives so why are the Portuguese refusing to investigate?'


That 'dramatic new lead uncovered by British detectives'? That would be the one that was plastered all over British newspapers throughout August and September 2007. The truth is, there never has been any connection between the abduction of Ylenia Lenhard and the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann.


Interpol confirmed as much on 17 August 2007, when they informed the Portuguese police (PJ) that Swiss police had not managed to 'establish any link to the case of the disappearance of the British girl Madeleine McCann.'


Is it any wonder then that the PJ decided instead to concentrate their efforts on the 'real' indications of the two operational specialist search dogs - which indicated at a number of locations, as well as items, connected to the McCanns - as opposed to some spurious connection to von Aesch, that even the Swiss police said didn't exist.


Despite various newspaper reports, there is no evidence that von Aesch was in the Algarve at the time or that he was in Praia da Luz on May 3rd. It was an unsubstantiated rumour which the press were happy to utilise to add credibility to their wafer thin 'account of the truth'.


This is confirmed by Vreni Von Aesch, Aesch's widow, who has categorically denied that her husband was in Praia da Luz on the day of Madeleine's disappearance. No doubt there will be those who think, 'she would say that, wouldn't she?' But is her word any less than Jenny Murat, who says her son Robert was with her all evening of May 3rd, or that of Kate McCann, who 'just knows' that Madeleine was abducted.


The truth of the matter is that Scotland Yard officers travelled to Switzerland in September last year to investigate von Aesch. The greeting they received from the Swiss police was unequivocal. "Based on the previous findings that can be made between the cases of Ylenia Lenhard and Madeleine McCann there is no connection," said Hanspeter Krüsi of the St. Gallen District Police.


So why did the UK press make a big splash on von Aesch in May and July this year, when any link between the two cases was already dead in the water? Were they really tossed a fishy line by Scotland Yard?


If not, it would seem that the reports were based on pure speculation, thus revealing they have no more idea what, or who, Scotland Yard are really investigating than Patrick Starfish.


 Nigel Moore is based in Leicester, England, United Kingdom, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.


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