When Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007, the British public soon found out that the Portuguese Police system was run on completely different lines to that in the United Kingdom. In Britain, when a crime is committed, the police typically appear on television news bulletins to give regular updates to the public about their investigation. The Yorkshire Ripper case, the Soham murders and more recently, the Shannon Matthews faked abduction, are three famous high profile cases where we saw the police making regular appearances in the media.
In Portugal, policing doesn’t operate like that.
Their laws call for a strict judicial secrecy. This means that the police will not make the same kind of public updates that we are accustomed to in the UK. As the Madeleine disappearance unfolded in 2007, these laws seemed draconian at the time because not having updated information seemed to allow rumours and false stories to fester in the public domain.
Of course, the Portuguese judicial secrecy was not foolproof and for whatever reason, we had several leaks of information throughout that summer of 2007 and in 2008 before the case was shelved as a cold-case. The McCanns used those leaks to criticise the PJ. Their main complaint was that they themselves couldn’t speak out in public so why were unknown persons within the PJ leaking information from the ongoing investigation?
This criticism was a valid point by the McCanns but was it entirely true? More importantly, did it make any real difference?
Despite Kate and Gerry hiding behind the judicial secrecy veil in interviews, they didn’t exactly keep their mouths shut either. In Kate Healy’s latest book “madeleine”, she describes how she and Gerry met up with Freemason solicitor Ed Smethurst and their soon to be benefactor, Brian Kennedy. Kate goes on to describe her meeting in London with Scottish tycoon Kennedy on Friday September 14, 2007:
Brian was much younger than I was expecting, very relaxed and personable. He told us a little about himself. Originally from Edinburgh and married with five children, he was wealthy, obviously, but a self-made man: he had started out as a window cleaner. Then he asked me to give him an account of what had happened on the evening of 3 May. I talked for a couple of minutes before he stopped me. ‘OK, that’s enough. I’ve always believed you. I just wanted to hear it from you. That’s fine.’
So in Kate’s own words, four years down the line she reveals that she deliberately broke the laws of judicial secrecy by describing what happened on the night of May 3, 2007 to a man she had only just met that day – a comparative stranger. That’s funny: when Kate appeared on many interviews, she would refuse to tell the interviewer how she knew that Madeleine had been abducted because Kate would claim that she was prohibited from doing so because of “the investigation”.
In the BBC’s Panorama documentary aired on November 19, 2007, Smethurst appears in the documentary and he effectively reveals that Kate and/or Gerry have broken the judicial secrecy laws:
…part of the reason why we’re here disclosing evidence to you today as opposed to keeping our powder dry is a recognition that there were two strands to this case…
Whether Smethurst was officially hired by the McCanns as their attorney, Smethurst had no right to disclose anything his clients or acquaintances had revealed to him, and certainly not to a television programme aired in public to millions of viewers.
There are other examples of the McCanns’ double standards in respecting the judicial secrecy laws but the general point is that Kate and Gerry used those laws in ways that suited them. If a negative leak came out they would jump all over the PJ. Clarence Mitchell served as their amplifier in this regard and we can famously remember him claiming “the gloves are off” after a leak in 2008 when the McCanns visited the European Parliament. Leaks about Murat and Malinka didn’t seem to evoke any responses from the McCanns. Of course it wouldn’t – the heat was off them in those kind of leaks!
On the whole, the Portuguese system doesn’t seem so bad. In the UK, a veil of silence descends on a case when someone is charged and the case is declared sub judice. Even in prolific crime cases, the police will only divulge what they want the public to know and there really isn’t that much difference between the two systems.
But what then of the British police with the responsibility of investigating the Madeleine disappearance? Leicestershire Constabulary are entrusted with that task, and, quite literally, the case file at police HQ in Enderby, Leicestershire is called “Operation Task“. The Leicestershire police were the obvious choice of investigating law enforcement because that is the county where the McCanns live.
Have Leicestershire Constabulary fared any better with public liaison and handling the media with regular updates on progress in the case?
That has to be a resounding NO! To date, Leicestershire Constabulary have:
- Allowed the key suspects (Kate and Gerry McCann) to be on first name terms with the investigators.
- Allowed MI5/MI6 to accompany them in meetings with the Portuguese police.
- Allowed the key suspect (Gerry McCann) to retrieve unknown DNA from his home to send to Portugal for DNA testing.
- Allowed Kate’s aunt to retrieve DNA samples (and who knows what else!) to send to a quack in South Africa (Danie Krugel) with a Heath-Robinson contraption that he imported to Portugal without passing through customs (Was this part of the charade used to send an item or items to the McCanns that would have been intercepted had it gone straight to Portugal from the UK? Krugel could quite easily have been a mule…)
- Advertised the commercial money-making website “findmadeleine.com” on their own website.
- Met with Gordon Brown 3 days after the McCanns returned to England from Portugal under the pretext of a Community/Neighbourhood Policing smokescreen.
- Hidden a vital police interview from Portuguese Police after 2 doctors who alleged that David Payne and Gerry McCann were possible paedophiles only 13 days after Madeleine was reported missing.
- Not publicly mentioned the aforementioned interview where Payne and McCann were suspected of paedophilia by their doctor friends who went on holiday with them to Majorca in 2005.
- Given a police escorted ride to the McCanns from East Midlands Airport to Rothley in September 2007. (West Yorkshire police also gave Kate McCann, Michael Wright and the McCann twins an escorted ride from Leeds/Bradford Airport to Skipton in 2007).
- Refused to properly reply to legitimate Freedom of Information requests citing exemptions of either National Security or that this is an ongoing investigation.
- Never given proper updates typical of a major crime to the British public.
- Performed an abysmal job with the rogatory interviews of the various witnesses and the Tapas friends of the McCanns. In Russell O’Brien’s interview, the DVD recorder was not functioning properly and large chunks of his interview were not recorded on video. They also asked many leading questions and they did not seem to interview witnesses with a view to finding out the real truth.
Given the above, which police force has been the most secretive? Quite clearly Leicestershire Constabulary is running Operation Task like some Cold War era Stasi (German Secret Police) investigation. After four years, the public knows little about Operation Task apart from information in the Portuguese police file released in 2008 and the associated financial costs of the investigation. Given the lack of feedback it makes one wonder whether Operation Task is really a Government cover-up masquerading as a real investigation.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone because it has happened before. Former Leicester MP Greville Janner QC was implicated in a paedophilia scandal in the city of Leicester back in the early 90s. That scandal was hushed up swiftly and efficiently by the same police force. The Greville Janner case even involved the same freemasonic law firm that the McCanns used and is the location where they met Ed Smethurst and Brian Kennedy in September 2007: Kingsley Napley.
Apparently there is a law for the public and there is a different set of laws for the McCanns.
And then we have the suspected influence by Freemasons within the ranks of Leicestershire police. Another example of how freemasons in the British police reek of corruption came to light after two Leicester businessmen were awarded £85,000 compensation after being beaten up by Lancashire police. Their story illustrates the depth and depravity of the “Brotherhood” within the UK police:
…what happens to others who have run-ins with Freemasonic officers? Two Leicester businessmen found out when they decided to have a late night drink at the Goat Moat House Hotel in Blackburn where they were staying in April 1988. Sidney and Shaun Callis (father and son) were unaware they had walked into the ‘Ladies night’ organized by the Victory Lodge of Blackburn. Two Masonic Lancashire police officers approached the pair and ordered them out of the hotel bar. After refusing to leave, the couple were beaten up and then charged with assault by other Masonic police officers also present. When the two men were released on bail the following morning, they found that the hotel management had seized the Callis’ belongings demanding compensation for damage to the bar. The Hotel manager was later found to be a Mason and a member of the Victory Lodge. The Callis’ also found that the tires of their car had been drained of air and the hubcaps removed.
When their assault charge reached court the following year, the jury rejected police evidence and acquitted the pair. The Callis’ subsequently sued Lancashire Police for malicious prosecution and won £85,000 in compensation. The total pay out, including court costs, came to £170,000. However, the retribution did not stop there. Since 1989, unknown police officers put phony criminal records for Sidney and Shaun Callis on the police national computer. Another unnamed person wrote to police suggesting that Sidney Callis was responsible for murdering two people, shot dead on the Pembrokeshire Coast in 1989. He was arrested for murder and interrogated at Hinckley Police Station before being released. Leicestershire Police also made efforts to revoke Sidney Callis’s 12-bore shotgun license. As Callis told Private Eye magazine in April: “I’ve never had so much as a parking fine.”
The Home Affairs Select Committee was told that the Victory Lodge in Blackburn, whose members triggered this catalogue of retribution, is a lodge set up for police Masons.
Anyone thinking that Stasi is an exaggerated term for Leicestershire Constabulary, think again. Look at the logo for the Stasi and see the Masonic influence in the compasses at the centre of the wreath. This part of the logo is derived from the flag of the former East Germany.