"Top 10" Portuguese Press Gutter News and Journalists

1 – Correio da Manhã: A different “key to solve the crime” almost every week...

Few days after Madeleine disappeared, Correio da Manhã (CM) revealed that “Polícia Judiciária believed they could find Madeleine alive in the next hours”. The edition of May 12 has a phrase we will see again, later: “They key to solve the crime is with nine British citizens, all guests of Ocean Club, that PJ is questioning”. Right. Next day, May 13, Correio da Manhã gave a more detailed explanation: “Revenge is the motive behind the kidnapping” and the revenge is related with something that happened, in the past, involving Gerry and Kate McCann: “The key to solve the crime (…) is with the nine British citizens who were questioned last Thursday and Friday”. CM quoted a non-identified source, close to the police investigation.

Only two days later, the nine British citizens that were holding “the key to solve the crime” disappeared from the newspaper pages. On May 15, Robert Murat is referred as “a predator” that, “CM knows”, was a regular visitor to web sites with sexual violence. “It is this 33 years old Englishman that Polícia Judiciária believes grabbed Madeleine from the bed were she was sleeping, taking her to the home where he lives with is mother”.

And the follow-up about Robert Murat brought “new leads” and a new suspect, on May 21: “The key to solve the crime may be with Romigen and Polícia Judiciária is investigating Genaro Gonzalez”, introduced as “The third friend of Murat”. Romigen was a company set up by Murat and his girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch. The name of the company has the first letters of their names – Ro(bert) Mi(chaela) – and the last two letters could be from GENaro Gonzalez, described as a man in his 50's. Genaro is not a suspect, says Correio da Manhã, “but PJ investigators insist in the relationship of these three partners with Sergei Malinka, the Russian web site designer who build the page of the real estate company (Romigen)”. Mr. Genaro Gonzales disappeared from the pages of Correio da Manhã after Gazeta Digital talked with him. He denied any connection with Murat and said that he was 29 years old - not exactly a man in his 50’s…

On June 19, Correio da Manhã wrote that the lead given by António Toscano is now a priority for Polícia Judiciária, and they were in close cooperation with Spanish authorities: ”Toscano is already working with Judiciária”, claimed the headline of that day. “CM knows that PJ has contacted, yesterday, Toscano, to prepare a meeting in Spain, as soon as possible, to try to find a man with strong connections to an international paedophile ring, known as “The French”, who Toscano believes was Madeleine's kidnapper”. A few days before, the newspaper had quoted António Toscano, who told that his lead “is the only reliable lead” to find Madeleine, who Toscano believed was still alive. Portuguese CID director made things clear, on June 30, saying that Antonio Toscano's information “does not deserve particular credibility” to Police.

2 – Diário de Notícias: The quotation that never existed

On May 23, Mr. Duarte Nuno Vieira, head of “Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal” (National Forensic Institute) said that the tests to the samples collected at Robert Murat’s house were inconclusive, because those samples have been contaminated. This was the version of Diário de Notícias (and also Correio da Manhã…), both quoting the head of INML. But, that same day, Mr. Duarte Nuno Vieira denied he ever said what the two daily newspapers wrote and explained that the results of the analysis could only be revealed to Police, by that Government department. Also, the analysis weren’t finished, so there were no results to be announced, he further explained.

(To be continued)

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