Thursday, May 24, 2007

Walking Alone

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Copyright : Paulo Reis - Gazeta Digital (

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Portfolio (I) - Pictures from Praia da Luz

Copyright : Paulo Reis - Gazeta Digital (

WARNING: Pictures posted here have printing quality. Any organization, institution, private company, media company, newspaper, magazine or TV is authorized to use and reproduce freely those pictures, with the condition that its use is directly related with the publication of news, TV broadcasting or any other initiative that has the SINGLE and EXCLUSIVE PURPOSE of helping to publicize the case of Madeleine’s abduction, her pictures and appeals for help and/or information that can contribute to bring her back home. Any individual or organization that uses these pictures for other purposes, mainly with profitable and/or financial intentions will be prosecuted. When reproduced and/or used, pictures must be signed: Paulo Reis - Gazeta Digital. (*)

(*) - I’ll appreciate if anyone who uses one of my pictures could send me a link or a scanning from where it has been published…

Mccann's parents Press Conference - 02:45 pm, May 2 2oo7

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Madeleine McCann’s abduction - Special Report (05:05 am, May 20 - 2007)

Robert Murat was under close police surveillance since the morning of May 4, the day after Madeleine was abducted

The main suspect (and only one, until now) in the Madeleine McCann abduction, Robert Murat, was under close police surveillance since the morning of May 4, the following day to the child disappearance. From that moment on, all of his movements and contacts were monitored by investigators of Polícia Judiciária (PJ - Portuguese Criminal Investigation Department). On the early hours of that day, after the first journalists arrived at the local, Murat was near the Ocean Club and talked with several of them.

Casually dressed, with jeans, blue plastic sandals and a blue and white chequered shirt, Murat took the initiative to talk with two Portuguese journalists, saying that he knew very well Madeleine’s parents, that they were both doctors, and he was “deeply disturbed with the abduction, because he had a three year old daughter who, by coincidence, was also called Madeleine”. His daughter, as was later revealed, is called Sophia.

During that day, Murat seemed to be everywhere, helping British journalists with translations, buying water in Batista supermarket to take to the GNR policemen guarding the area, asking if there was any news about Madeleine and even giving some predictions, like: “They will never find the child, probably she is already in Spain”, one the first Portuguese journalists at the crime scene told Gazeta Digital. These kinds of comments were also reported by British journalists. Next day, May 5, Saturday, he followed the same pattern. That day, around 7:00 pm, a Portuguese journalist saw him sitting at a table of Batista’s supermarket terrace, chatting with a young man – the Russian computer expert Sergei Malinka who was also questioned by police and is a witness in this case.

Murat and Malinka were here, sitting side by side, on Saturday May 5
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But on Sunday, according to Portuguese journalists, Murat seemed to have vanished. Most of them say they never saw him, but some say that he was there, sporadically, and adopting a lower profile. After Sunday, May 6, he didn’t showed up, at all. British Press reported that he went to UK, for a couple of days, and then back to Portugal. Gazeta Digital has learned that Portuguese police was able to get extensive and detailed footage of Murat’s movements and contacts, while he was among journalists and police officers or inside the Ocean Club, during those days.

Formal suspect

On May 15, Polícia Judiciária revealed at a Press Conference that they had a formal suspect, a male, 33 years of age, and that he was released, for lack of evidence, but was under a restraining order from the court – meaning he can’t leave this area (“concelho”, a Portuguese municipality). Searches at his mother’s house, where he lives sometimes – sources told Gazeta Digital he has several houses in Algarve – produced a lot of apprehended material that is being analysed at the Portuguese Police Scientific Laboratory. British Police - which has several experts working with the Portuguese police - was informed about the material, but analysis is being done only in the Portuguese Laboratory. Results of the most important analysis were expected today, May 19, according to SIC, a Portuguese TV Channel.
Murat was taken to Polícia Judiciária headquarters in Portimão on May 14 and went under interrogation for 14 hours. About the night Madeleine disappeared, he said that he was at home with his mother, and had dinner there – an information that was confirmed by Jennifer Murat.
But police detected several phone calls from Murat to a few friends, asking them if they have been together at that night, also according to CM. Another detail is the fact that Sergei Malinka called Murat, at that night, twice – first, his mother's home number and, as nobody answered, his mother’s mobile – between 11:30 and 11:40 pm.

Web site suspended and reactivated

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Murat’s business web site,, is just an advertisement site, for real estate in Algarve. A person willing to sell a house pays 37 euros to have his advert published there. The site was built by Sergei Malinka. Romigen is a company set up by Robert Murat and Michaela Walczuch (or Walczuk, as there are some doubts about it), a registered real estate professional, a foreigner of German and Polish origin, living in Algarve for many years, that Robert met when he worked, for a short period, on a real estate company. The site registration was made in April 6, 2006, at 07:11 pm, but with the name of Robert Muray (a possible mistake, as letter "t" and "y" are togheter in the keyboard). The address is from Casa Liliana, the residence of Murat’s mother, Mrs. Jennifer Ann Murat. The home number and mobile phone are from Murat’s mother. Gazeta Digital checked both of them, but the mobile phone has been disconnected, on a date we couldn’t find.

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The site, in Portuguese, English and German, has a mobile phone and a home phone, listed as contacts. The home number is listed in the front page, as a contact for those that “don’t have a computer or require any assistance”. Both numbers belong to Michaela Walczuch, who is M. Murat’s girlfriend – even if she still lives in the same house with her husband. The couple has an independent life, as if they were divorced, but live together because of their 8 years old daughter. The home number is from their residence, in Lagos. The mobile number is registered under the name Michaela António, her “husband” family surname.

There was a registered access to the web site database, by the administrator of the site, on May 15, at 08:00 pm. The site was closed on May 16, at 23:00 pm and put back online May 19, 01:36 am, sources told Gazeta Digital. On May 15, Polícia Judiciária declared formally that they had a suspect, later revealed by he media to be Robert Murat. Portuguese TV channel SIC also said that Murat, a regular Internet user, stopped accessing the Net on the day Madeleine was abducted, during almost one week. The Russian computer expert, Sergei Malinka, told journalists that the only relation he had with Murat was a professional one, when he helped him to create the web site. According to Correio da Manhã, the police found that both computers apprehended at Malinka’s home had all files in the hard-disk wiped out, but we didn’t confirmed this detail.
(End of part I - Posted 05:05 am, May 20 2007)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Front page images of Portuguese Press

May 19, 2007
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Headlines and main news from Portuguese Press

Portuguese Press: Headlines (*) and news about Madeleine McCann abduction

Today, all the national weekly (two) and daily newspapers (four) have news about Madeleine. Four of them have the story on front page.

Correio da Manhã (CM) has the largest headline, with a picture of McCann couple and their twins. The newspaper has new and important details about the case. Hard-disks of both computers of Sergei Malinka, aprehended by police, had all files wiped out. Also, Malink called Robert Murat at the night Madeleine was abducted, around 11:30 pm. First call was made to home number of Murat’s house, second was made to the mobile phone of Murat’s mother, a 79 years old lady. Sergei, according to CM, told police he doesn’t remember why he called Murat, and only remembers having done a single phone call.

Jornal de Notícias has a small headline on front page and a full page inside. The story refers also the phone calls and the car rented by Murat on May 12, in such a hurry that the employee was suspicious and called police to report the fact.

Público doesn’t have a front page call. Inside, page 5, they have a ¼ page news, with a general report of the situation. They refer, like moste other newspapers, that police divers have been searching a wheel, in a house nearby Lagos.

Diário de Notícias reports, on front page, new searches made at several houses in Praia da Luz. Central pages have a report about Madeleine, with many references to the international impact that her abduction had.

Expresso, the leading weekly Portuguese newspaper, has a small headline on front page: “30 daily reports from people saying that hey saw Madeleine”. Pages 12 and 13 have a report about the case and a story comparing statistics about missing children from several countries (Just a few details - reported cases of missing underaged persons every year (- 18 years old):

Portugal = One thousand cases
United Kingdom = Between 70 and 100.000 cases
Belgium = Around 2.500 cases
United States = 800.000 cases

The weekly Sol doesn’t have a front page call, but dedicates pages 26 and 27 to the story, with a report about four cases of kidnapped Portuguese children, all successfully solved by police and an interview with Christine Beddoe, head of “Protecting Child Everywhere” (ECPAT UK) one of the most important British ONG that monitors child abduction all over Europe. Some quotes of the interview:

- “We don’t’ belive this case is related at all with child trafficking”
- “Portugal was never refered, in international reports (about child trafficking) as a ‘source or destiny of children (trafficking)”
- “(…) in 2006, 48 children were missing only in the Birmingham and Newcastle area”

(*) Click HERE to see images of all front pages of today’s weekly and daily newspapers

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Portfolio (II)- Pictures from Praia da Luz, Algarve

Copyright : Paulo Reis - Gazeta Digital (

WARNING: Pictures posted here have printing quality. Any organization, institution, private company, media company, newspaper, magazine or TV is authorized to use and reproduce freely those pictures, with the condition that its use is directly related with the publication of news, TV broadcasting or any other initiative that has the SINGLE and EXCLUSIVE PURPOSE of helping to publicize the case of Madeleine’s abduction, her pictures and appeals for help and/or information that can contribute to bring her back home. Any individual or organization that uses these pictures for other purposes, mainly with profitable and/or financial intentions will be prosecuted. When reproduced and/or used, pictures must be signed: Paulo Reis - Gazeta Digital. (*)

(*) - I’ll appreciate if anyone who uses one of my pictures could send me a link or a scanning from where it has been published…


Praia da Luz - May 17 to May 24


Praia da Luz, Algarve - May 18

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Praia da Luz, Algarve - May 17

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Blogging from Praia da Luz, Algarve

This page is closed to posting, but still open to comments, as I have left Praia da Luz and I'm on my way to Lisbon. Another page is open, to allow a follow-up: "Gazeta Digital - MMcCan's Abduction"


(*) - May 17, 2007 - I'll write only in English, from now on. This is no more a national issue, not even a British/Portuguese issue. And almost every Portuguese over 13 years old and less than 50 has a very reasonable command of English. Another reason is that even if I can go on working with a few hours of sleep, I can’t do it without sleeping at all…


(05:00 pm, May 24 - 2007) - More than 48 hours without posting!!!! The previous post is the copy of an email I sent, yesterday, to my mailing list. I have my laptop working, a new windshield for my helmet, and I will leave to Lisbon within 15 minutes. First thing I will do (after seeing my son and my family) is to say goodbye to Mr. Bill Gates and change my laptop to a Macintosh. Thank's to all of you, for your emails, your support, your help, your tips - some of them precious for my work!!! -your visits to my page and your friendship, if I may say that. Tis will be my last post at "Blogging from Praia da Luz". I will open a new page, soon: "Blogging about Madeleine's Abduction". See you soon.

(10:40 pm, May 23 - 2007) - I'm 100 km from Lagos. The windshield of my helmet is broken. A small stone, perhaps, I don't know, exactly. It broke, suddenly, while I was driving back home. I can't continue. I just finished diner at a small restaurant near the main road to Lisbon. I’ll look for a place to stay and will travel to Lisbon tomorrow morning, after buying a new helmet. My portable is still half-dead. I can’t download, I can’t upload, sometimes I can access my Gmail, other times I can’t. I’ll look for a small and cheap hotel, I’ll take a bath and go to sleep.
When I left Praia da Luz, Madeleine’s parents had just returned from Fatima and Michaela, Murat’s girlfriend and her ex-husband went out from police headquarters at Portimão. There was no change in their situation; they are just witnesses in this case. So, nothing really new, as far as I know. But I’ve been cut from the “information highway” for a couple of hours, watched no TV, and didn’t listen to the radio (impossible do it while driving a Honda CB /500….). The restaurant where I am doesn’t have TV. Must be the only one, in all Portugal. I had to call my father to ask who won the match Liverpool-AC Milan.
Somebody put a spell on me, today. Perhaps a few of those British journalists I criticized so strongly asked to a good “voodoo” priest for a “service” against me. That’s the only explanation I can find.
One last detail, before I say goodnight to all of you. I left Praia da Luz and droved four km to a gas station, near the road to Lisbon. The employee, a smiling Brazilian, asked me from where I was coming. “Praia da Luz”, I answered. “Oh, yes?”- He said, with a subtle touch, meaning: “And what have you been doing there?”. I told him I was a journalist and spent a couple of days reporting from there.
It was the key to open his mouth. “Caramba!” – He said (an expression, in Portuguese, close to “Damned!” In English. “Anything new about Roberto?” He was asking me about Robert Murat, “translating” his British name to Portuguese. “Such a nice guy, so polite, always very kind… This was the gas station he used to come.”
I noticed he was talking in the past. So, Robert Murat used to go there but, obviously, he has been absent for a couple of days.
“And ‘Sérgio’, also, this was the place were he came to fill his tank”. He guessed, before I could ask the question: “But they never came together! I never saw them together.” Clever guy.
“Look!” – He said, pointing to pump nº 3. “That’s the place where ‘Roberto’ always stopped. And that,” – pump nº 4 – “is where ‘Sérgio’ used to come”. Ok. Final detail for my farewell to this report at Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve. Took a picture of the gas station, paid my bill and started what I thought would be a quiet return back home. See you tomorrow. I hope!

(09:55 pm – May 22, 200) - I have a new page, with all pictures I have taken here, at Praia da Luz. They were posted with printing quality and can be freely used and/or reproduced, following the conditions stated in the “Copyright -Warning”.


(17:24, May 22 – 2007) – Long absence, this one. Only thing I posted at my page, yesterday, was the comment (a "no comments!" comment…) from Police, about a new house search and a possible new suspect. I was at my physical limit, went to bed and slept until 12:00 am today. A quick update and preview about a couple if things I’ll post, in the next two hours: news, pictures and video from today’s Press Conference of Madeleine’s parents (at 02:40), Portuguese Press headlines and news from yesterday and today, a report with a general view of what happened these last 48 hours and what I’ve been doing (apart from sleeping). Main points about what Madeleine’s parents told:

- Tomorrow they are going , early in the morning, to Fátima, a well known place of pilgrimage for Catholics, to pray for Madeleine’s safe return;
- They are receiving the same amount of information, from Portuguese Police, as they would receive from the British Police, if Madeleine had been abducted in the UK;
- They will not hire privates investigators and they trust the investigation conducted by Portuguese Police with the help of British Police;
- Mr. McCann hired a manager for dealing with the financial fund resulting from the donations to Madeleine’s search;
- May be they travel to other European countries, soon, in order to keep Madeleine’s case on the public eye;
- They don’t know if Madeleine is still in Portugal or not, so they want the search to be high in the public interest, in other countries;

So, I hope I’m forgiven for this long silence. Human body has its limits. Be back soon.

Ps: There is a Press Room, in an apartment of Ocean Club. It’s a little bit crowded and this is me, at my “working desk". Blurred my face, just because I’ve been working on a good story, more or less “undercover”, for the past seven months, and it’s better that my face is not known, for now.


(oo:55 am, May 21, 2007) – Found what I am almost sure is the “Russian Fortress” police has searched today. Took some time, and after I had to find a place to connect my portable, as it was almost without battery. I’ll post some details soon.

(09:35 pm, May 20, 2007) – Found somebody who knows where is the “Russian fortress”! It’s close by the small restaurant where I am writing this post. I’ll be there in a few minutes. Just a quick description: high walls, nobody knows the people who lives there, they just see luxury cars coming in and out – among them a Dodge Viper. It seems that the reference to armed security guards the newspaper published it’s not correct. There is an area just close the “Russian fortress” where a construction company is preparing a large touristy project. The area has a lot of pine trees and, according to my source – and saviour… - the private security company is there just to prevent fires, patrolling the area in four-wheeled mottos

(09:25 pm, May 20 2007) - For a couple of hours, I’ve been in the outskirts of Benagil, a small village five miles from Lagoa. Police has been searching the house of a Russian, who may have some relation with Sergei Malinka. The house, according to news from Diário de Notícias, is a fortress, whit high walls, barbed wire, dogs and armed guards. Benagil is not even a village, just a couple of houses on the top of a hill and a small road, but in the surrounding area, there are hundreds of country houses, spreading over the hills. Finding the “Russian fortress” is not an easy task and I’ve been driving around for hours, stopping at small restaurants and bars, asking local people if they know anything about it. Until now, I got no indication about that. It’s almost dark and soon I will have to go back to Praia da Luz and try to finish the second part of my “Special Report”. Ill try for one more hour and then I will return to Praia da Luz. This is the main reason for my “silence” during all the day. Other reason is the fact that I finished the first part o my report around 6:00 am and I slept until 11:00 o’clock. After lunch and a quick reading of today’s newspapers, I came to Benagil. I’m afraid for nothing…

(04:08 am, May 20 2007) - Just finished Part-I of the "Special Report" about Madeleine's abduction and will post it in a few minutes. It has been a bad day (and night…). I have to write standing up, with the window opened, the computer half-way out of the window, to get a good connection to the Net. But my portable got very hot, after so many hours working and turned off. I put it inside the fridge, for 20 minutes, and it worked! I'm preparing now Part II and III. Don't ask me when I'll post it…Just be sure that I will post it.

(10:48 pm, May 19 2007) – As I said before, posting of my “Special Report” about Madeleine’s abduction will have a short delay, because I had to go out several times, this afternoon, to make some contacts. Also, the coffee-shop where I’m working will close in a few minutes, so I have to go to my rented room and finish it there. Again, my apologies for the delay.

(05:20, May 19 2007) – I already published a summary of the headlines and news about Madeleine’s abduction, from today’s Portuguese Press – May 19 –. Pictures of all front pages from the two national weeklies and four national dailies are also available. Today, I had time to do some investigations. I have a couple of news and I will publish, within 3/4 hours, a “Special Report” about Madeleine’s abduction. I'm writing it, now, at a small "café", where everybody is watching the final match of England's Cup, between Chelsea and Manchester United. I wish both could win, because the biggest stars of this game are Portuguese - Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho! Just a detail: There are eleven persons here, and only three are Portuguese - inclunding the owner. All the others are British (My God! Rooney has just missed an easy goal...but Chelsea's goalkeeper was superb!)

(10:00 am, May 19 2007) – I wake up at 8:30, turned the computer on an checked the news. Correio da Manhã, a leading daily Portuguese newspaper, has a story about Sergei Malinka phone calls to Robert Murat around 11.30 pm, the night Madeleine was abducted. I posted it at my page, as a “Breaking News”. Time for going out for breakfast, buying newspapers and try to finish some of the work I left from yesterday, as I spend two hours waiting outside the Praia da Luz Church, where a ceremony was held, with the presence of Madeleine’s parents.

(01:20 am, May 19 2007) – Just published the two pictures. I’ll go to sleep, now. My working list is pilling up: finish translation of main headlines of Portuguese Press from the last two days, finish the selection of “The ‘best’ of the worst reports and comments of Media about Madeleine McCann abduction (British and Portuguese…) and a few more. Now, I need some rest. I’ll be back in seven or eight hours.

(01:09 am, May 19 2007) – I will have two new pictures posted in a few minutes, from outside the church, with a group of photographers and cameramen taking images of the McCann couple. The church is in the middle of a small hill, so they went out, turned right and walked to the car. I was just two meters from them. Couldn’t take a good picture. I can’t find the words in English do describe Madeleine's mother eyes. In Portuguese, I would say her eyes show a soul that is empty. She’s a shadow of the woman I remember to see, in the first pictures that were published, the day after Madeleine disappeared. There’s no justice in earth or hell enough to punish people who is responsible for doing this. I don’t defend death penalty. If a mistake is made, there is no way to correct it. But European countries must start to reflect about life sentences for child kidnappers and abusers. In Portugal, maximum jail time is 25 years. Short time, for those that inflict so much suffering and pain to others. There should is no pardon, there should be no “rehabilitation” to these kind of people. They must be put on jail and left there until they die.

(00:28 am, May 19 2007) – I left “Igreja da Luz” (Luz Church) around 11:45 pm. The candle vigil and the religious ceremony started at 9:30 pm and ended at 11:30. A lot of journalists, waiting outside – I think I have a good picture, from the top of a wall, behind them – not many people inside the church. Madeleine’s mother face shows the hell she going through. Nobody can help her. Nothing can help her, unless her child is found. I’ll post a few details, in a few minutes, about what I saw and heard outside the church. Journalist kept a reasonable distance from McCann couple, when they left the church. Now I will prepare some pictures to publish. Took me some time to find a place in my room where I can be connected to the Net. I’m standing up, with the window open, my portable computer on a precarious balance, to be able to post. Not the best working conditions…

(20:25, May 18 2007) – I’m working hard on the translation of the main headlines of Portuguese Press. I hope to have it online after the candle vigil dedicated to Madeleine, at 09:00 pm, tonight. A friend sent me an email today because of my post where I talked about Hitler, British newspapers and the ideas of race superiority. He thinks it was excessive to write that some British media seem to be under the influence of Alfred Rosenberg’s ideas. Perhaps. May be it’s more correct to say that some British Media seem to be under the influence of Hendrik Verwoerd ideas, when they reported about Portuguese police investigation of Madeleine abduction. Time to dinner, now. I hope I can fulfil my promise of coming back soon to posting.

(*) – I believe my English is not bad, but I’m sure I have a couple of mistakes and some phrases that could be written in a better way. Please, feel free to email me with corrections and suggestions how to improve my English. Thank you.

(07:00 pm, May 18 2007) – Took me longer than I thought to post again, since this morning. I’ll start with a very serious subject: I saw a comment at CrimeBlog.US , from “debk”, who wrote “I haven’t yet found any reliable written Portuguese (or English) source about Barra da Costa’s comment that dogs found traces of Madeleine at Murat’s house… or anywhere else”. I quoted Mr Barra da Costa yesterday, in a breaking news bulletin (“A police dog found traces of Madeleine McCann at Murat's house”) posted at Gazeta Digital.

Let me make one thing very clear: I watched the news and heard the words of Mr. Barra da Costa. I wasn’t the only witness of this interview. Around 1, 2 million Portuguese viewers (average number of viewers of “Telejornal”, main news of RTP) heard Mr. Barra da Costa saying that “a police dog found traces of the missing girl near the swimming pool of Robert Murat’s house”.
I have a link to RTP page, where they have the full video of main news (“Telejornal”). This afternoon, I talked with Mr. Barra da Costa, but he just told me that he had no comments about nothing for any journalist, as he says he was misquoted on a previous interview, also in TV. In that interview, he said that “there is information that the (McCann) couple was an adept of ‘swing’, meaning sexual relations among couples”.

It seems that I was the only one who quoted the remark of Mr. Barra da Costa about the dog finding traces of Madeleine at Murat’s house. Mr. Barra da Costa is a former CID inspector, criminologist and academic, and a very regular presence at TV stations, to comment on crime cases. Why nobody quoted him on this subject? I don’t know. But if somebody has any doubt about the accuracy of my quote, just take a look at “Telejornal”, in the RTP page (if they understand Portuguese).

If not, call any phone number in Portugal. Chances are that every three phone calls, you will find one Portuguese that watches with regularity RTP “Telejornal”. As most Portuguese under 50 years can speak fairly good English, you can confirm what Mr. Barra da Costa said. Or just tell me you don’t believe my information was accurate. I’ll get a copy of “Telejornal”, translate it to English, get an official certification of the translation at the British Embassy, and I’ll send that translated copy to whoever has those doubts.

(09:47 am, May 18) - Just two more details: found this poster of Madeleine at supermarket Batista. Should have been one of the first posters asking for help. I’ve been among the British journalists, near the Ocean Club. I’ll go there, again, in a few minutes. I wonder how they will react – and I’m most curious about Mr. Martin Brunt reaction – once they discover I’m the guy who has been criticising them so strongly…

(09:17 am, May 18) - – Last night, after two hours trying to reach Mr. Barra da Costa on his mobile phone, I went for a walk in Praia da Luz, looking for a cash point. I’ve been in Algarve before – my mother is from Portimão – but this is my first time in Praia da Luz. We are far from the peak season, but it’s possible to realize that this not Ibiza or Torremolinos. Tourism, here, seems to be family oriented, with a lot of middle-aged and old British couples. And calling it a small village it’s not correct. It’s much bigger than a small village. I’ll try to get local authorities today, to ask them the area, number of residents and house units of Praia da Luz “freguesia” – something similar to a British boroughs (*). Around midnight there very few open places, just three or four “esplanadas” – those bars with tables at open air.

I had the opportunity to watch a few British men, in their 50’s, with their wife’s, on the verge of starting one of UK preferred hobby – punching each other after a couple of beers. But the decisive intervention of their wife’s stopped the brawl before it began.
Yesterday, May 17, I went to several “cafés” – a national Portuguese institution, like the French “bistrot”. A “café” is a place where families go, to have a coffee – obviously… - an ice cream for the kids, to read newspapers, and to talk with other customers. Talking is always around football, the lousy Government we have, last gossips from TV stars and politics.

Madeleine’s abduction is the main subject of conversation, now. I was at three different “cafés” and at all of them, I found people that knew Robert Murat. The opinion about him was always the same: nice guy, don’t believe he has anything to do with it. But, there was always a “but”.
We had – and still have, because the trial is going on - a high profile case of paedophilia, the so called “Casa Pia case”. The accused are a sample of Portugal’s elite: among others, an ambassador, Jorge Ritto, who hold one of the most important jobs in the Portuguese diplomacy (head of our representation with the Portuguese-Chinese Joint-Liaison Group, a diplomatic body set up by Portugal and China to oversee the handover of Macau to China, in 1999); Mr. Carlos Cruz, a TV host and entertainer known in Portugal as Mr. TV. Writing about TV in Portugal, for the last 40 years (since the end of the 60’s) it’s impossible without mentioning his name a dozen times.

So, the “but…” that people with whom I talked referred, after giving the best opinion about Robert Murat, has some relation with this case. “Well he (Robert Murat) is a nice guy, I don’t’ believe he is involved in the abduction of Madeleine”, a middle-aged Portuguese who knows him well, told me. “But, nobody could believe when Carlos Cruz was arrested….”

About SM, the young Russian computer expert, he was a 14 years old boy when he came to Praia da Luz. Yesterday, also, I was at a small “café” in the supermarket Batista, typing in my portable, and three ladies – a British living here for more than 15 years, who calls herself half-British, half-Portuguese, and two Portuguese ladies – were talking about he case and what the journalists were writing.
I made myself part of the conversation, and the British lady told me she knew SM, the young Russian, quite well. “He is 22 years old, not 33, as newspapers have put it. He is a nice, well-behaving boy, never left Praia da Luz, since he came here, eight years ago”, she said. She knows Robert Murat and her brother is a friend of him. “Now, I’m afraid that my brother may be involved in this case… Everyone who knows him may be questioned by the Police, it’s frightening”.

I will go out, now, for breakfast, a look at the place where journalists are waiting for news, a few pnone calls, some Net search, and I will be back posting soon.

(07:00 pm, May 17) – Back to work, after a couple of hours of sleep and a quick (and late…) lunch. I rented a small room at Praia da Luz, 50 meters from Ocean Resort. Near the building where Madeleine was abducted, nothing new, as you can see from the pictures: journalists waiting and all the related TV paraphernalia. Just checked my RSS and found nothing substantially new. Around midday, before leaving the area near Ocean Resort to look for a room, had a very interesting talk with three persons – all ladies, one British and the others Portuguese. Praia da Luz is a very small place, and they know very well the Russian computer expert that Polícia Judiciária was questioning, yesterday. The British lady, living in here for more than 15 years, knows him since he arrived in Portugal, a 14-year old boy. "he is 22 years old", she told me, "not 30, as the Press has been saying". I’ll give some details about this chat, later.

  • (06h55, 17 de Maio) - Estou a cerca de de 12 quilómetros da Praia da Luz. Dentro de cerca de 15/20 minutos estarei no local. A partir de agora, tenciono "postar" aqui com regularidade ou sempre que haja novas informações.

  • Cheguei ao Ocean Club, na Praia da Luz, por volta das 8:30. Muitos jornalistas, câmaras de televisão, carros de apoio, à espera de tirar algumas imagens do casal McCann e dos seus gémeos, no seu passeio matinal – uma rotina que é seguida à distância pelos jornalistas, com a preocupação de não perturbar excessivamente o sossego da família. Tirei algumas fotografias, que coloquei online. Vou tentar saber se há novidades.

  • (06h55 – 17 de Maio) I’m at a gas station, near Lagos, 12 km from Praia da Luz. I’ll be there within 15/20 minutes. From now on, I’ll post here every with regularity or always I get new information.

  • (09:03 am) – Arrived at Ocean Club at 8:30 am. A lot of journalists, TV equipment, waiting for news and for the daily walk of McCann family. They keep a reasonable distance, in order to allow them some peace and tranquillity – if it is possible, for a family that is going through a living hell like this. Just took some pictures of the journalist waiting and put it online. I traveled from Lisbon at night, arrived in Algarve around 5:00 am, and didn’t have time to check with my contacts if there is something new.

[Back to front page


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Actualidade [ 時事新聞 ]







葡萄牙治安警新聞發佈官 Hipólito Cunha 今天告訴本報“我們已查核了這幾天及今日的內部調查,直到現在並沒有任何關於瑪德琳親人在葡萄牙三大機場發生的事件記錄,包括里斯本機場、波爾圖機場及花魯機場。他還說:“我們會盡快完成內部調查。”Daily Express引述了瑪德琳親人的說話:他們投訴葡萄牙警方,當他們在里斯本機場張貼 “失蹤兒童”瑪德琳的肖像時,被荷槍實彈的警察阻止。並報導 “被綁架兒童瑪德琳的家人遭到荷槍實彈的警察粗暴對待。瑪德琳的嬸母說:”我們被荷槍實彈的警察護送出機場。”


根據葡萄牙報章Diário de Notícias 6月19日的報導,警方已翻看了油站的閉路電視錄影帶。一名挪威遊客Mari Olli聲稱在摩洛哥的一個油站見到瑪德琳。但司警否認收到摩洛哥當局送達的有關錄影帶. Diário de Notícias 還報導: “錄影帶的質素很差”。

根據葡萄牙報章今日的報導,警方已掌握法醫分析報告。Correio da Manhã報導,『警察科學實驗室』已經把法醫分析報告送達司警,該報告分析了所有與瑪德琳有關的東西,包括DNA樣本。


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sky News: A Lesson on “How to manipulate facts and produce a slanderous documentary, disguised as a news report”

On Sunday, May 13, around 02:45 pm, Sky News TV anchor introduced a story related with Madeleine McCann abduction, emphasising the fact that Madeleine’s case was fading away from the Portuguese Press. A report from a Sky News journalist in Portugal was broadcasted next. The content of that report was exactly the opposite of the idea given in the introduction of the story. The report from Portugal showed images of pilgrims in Fatima, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the sighting of Virgin Mary, and emphasised the fact that many of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had posters and pictures of Madeleine.

The report showed also images of a newsstand, where it was clearly visible that every newspaper and magazine had Madeleine’s image on the front page. The conclusion of the journalist reporting from Portugal was clear: Madeleine’s case was not fading away from the Portuguese Media. The report was broadcasted only once, and never was repeated, in the following news bulletins. It seems to me that this is a case of inaccuracy, misleading statement and distortion, and I think Sky News should have acted in order to correct it.

Also, a Sky News special report about Madeleine’s case, broadcasted the same date [May 13, 08:00 pm], had a serious breach of basic ethical standards every journalist must respect. During that special report, Sky News gave a single example of a successful case where the British Police was able to find – alive – a child kidnapped. Immediately after that, it gave a single example of one case of a child missing in Portugal [Rui Pereira] that never was found.

Sky News journalist compared the two situations and the conclusion was that the track record of Portuguese Police was a bad one. This is sheer manipulation. Comparing two singles cases and taking conclusions like Sky News did, is going against basic principles from the Code of Practice enforced by the Press Complaints Office, like the obligation of the Press “not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures” and the need to correct it, with due prominence.

I’ll remind you that in UK, according to the UK National Police Missing Persons Bureau, there was an average of 124 unsolved cases of missing children under 14, on the last four years. In Portugal, from the 80 cases of missing persons still open, from a legal point of view [missing for more than one year] only nine are children and one of them is Madeleine.
In 2006, the Instituto de Apoio à Criança (IAC, a government department in charge of monitoring child abuse) registered 31 cases of missing underage (-18 years) persons. 24 of them were found by the police. This is a rate of 77, 43 % of success in finding missing children. Two of them were found to be dead. So let’s put these figures very clear: Portuguese Police has a track record of finding 77, 43 % of missing children, even if 6,45 % of those children were found dead, and 22,58 % are still missing [mainly adolescents running from home]. From those 31 missing children, only 5 [6.45] were between one and five years old.

I challenge Sky News, the all British Media and every of those British citizens that have been posting, in blogs, sites and forums so many insulting, offensive, slanderous, racists and defamatory comments about the Portuguese police, to produce the same statistical data about British Police. Than, we can see which one has a bad track record, has Sky News concluded, after a carefully planned manipulation of facts, disguised as “journalism”.

Adolf Hitler, the nazis, and some journalists and editors from a few British newspapers

Like in the UK, in Portugal police officers need to be physically and mentally fit. To be a candidate to a CID officer job in Portugal, people must have a university degree [35% of new recruits are chosen among those that have a Law degree] and they go through very demanding physical and medical tests [and I know it very well, because my younger sister tried it, but she wasn’t admitted].

To admit that a high ranking CID officer, in charge of a investigation so important like the abduction of Madeleine, could approve a “sketch” like the one you published and send a team to the field, to show that “sketch” to some potential witnesses, asking if they could “recognize” the person on that “sketch”, is to admit that Portuguese CID (“Polícia Judiciária”) has a lot of seriously mentally handicapped people in it’s ranks, even in the highest positions. Accepting this story as truthful, genuine and authentic, and publishing it, shows how strong is the influence of Alfred Rosenberg ideas among journalists and editors of the Daily Mail and The Telegraph. Indeed, Portuguese police officer have been portrayed in the British media as members of a inferior race or “clowns” – as Mrs Jan Moir, from The Telegraph, wrote.

Thursday, at lunch time, Madeleine parents went to the regional headquarter of CID police, in Algarve. The mother went back to the hotel at 11:00 pm. The father was there until 03:00 am – 13 hours, at all. Large part of that time was used to give Mr Gerald McCann and his wife a detailed briefing of the investigation Portuguese police has been conducting. Some of that time I believe was used to call the attention of Mr and Mrs McCann to the necessity of telling ALL THE THRUTH to police investigators, as staff members of the resort told police that Madeleine parents didn’t check not even once if their kids were well, while they were dinning, according to today’s edition of Diário de Notícias (*). Let me remind you that Madeleine parents told to police and to the Press that they have been checking the kids, left alone in their room, every 15/30 minutes.

The fact is that a large part of the British media is giving an image of the Portuguese police - and of the Portuguese people - as a lost Neanderthal tribe that survived the Stone Age and is still living in a remote corner of Europe, with its primitive traditions and culture.

Some British journalists, reporting from Algarve, behave as if they were following a National Geographic expedition to study the not-so-long-ago-cannibal tribes in the deep jungles of New-Guinea. But you, journalists and editors of Daily Mail and The Telegraph, went a little further and showed your strong appreciation of the author of “Der Mythus des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts" [The Myth of the XX Century].

Paulo Reis

Martin Brunt: another howling blood-thirsty British tabloid journalist, willing to kill – or let someone be killed – to have a story (*)

“Sir: Your comments are appalling, disgusting, offensive and nauseating. The only thing that I agree with you, is when you write “[…] I really don’t know”. That's absolutely correct and it's the first factual information I got from you! That’s also the only truth in your post. When you say that most of news, published in the Portuguese Press, about Madeleine McCann abduction, are best described as “colhões” [that’s the right way of spelling], the obscene translation of “testicles” and a word no educated person would ever mention in front of women or kids, is the most offensive and unfair I ever heard.

What you call a “minefield of flyers” is a serious, professional and ethically oriented, non-tabloid coverage of the sad event of Madeleine abduction. I’ll make available, at my web page (Gazeta Digital), within a couple of hours, headlines and highlights of the Portuguese Press from the last days, with pictures of front pages and links to the stories online. This may allow British viewers and readers to have a conclusion about how wrong you are, with your racist comments, more proper from a member the Schutzstaffel.

You, Mr. Martin Blunt, are a good(?) example of those howling blood-thirsty British tabloid journalists, willing to kill – or let someone be killed – to have a story. That’s ok with me, as you keep this low form of life inside your country and don’t export it to Portugal. Most of the British journalists, reporting from Algarve, behave as if they were following a National Geographic expedition to study the not-so-long-ago-cannibal tribes in the deep jungles of New-Guinea. But you, Mr. Martin Blunt and the journalists and editors of Daily Mail and the, went a little further and showed how strong is your fidelity to the ideas of the author of “Der Mythus des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts" [The Myth of the XX Century]. Hope you are aware that your post is what is considered, both in British Law and Portuguese Law, an offensive remark, made through the media (aggravated circumstance…). Now, it’s not the right moment to do it, but I can promise you that, once Madeleine McCann case is closed – and I hope, with Maddy being reunited with her parents – you will heard, not from me, but from my solicitor. And probably, also from a few other solicitors from many other Portuguese journalists…”

Paulo Reis

The blunders of British media in the case of Madeleine McCann

Some of the British media is giving an image of the Portuguese police - and of the Portuguese people - as a lost Neanderthal tribe that survived the Stone Age and is still living in a remote corner of Europe, with its primitive traditions and culture. Other British journalists, reporting from Algarve, behave as if they were following a National Geographic expedition to study the not-so-long-ago-cannibal tribes in the deep jungles of New-Guinea.

Of course, they do it with the usual British refinement, putting a word here, a word there, an apparently simple question in the middle and, at the end, touching phrases like "Madeleine parents went to the Church to pray for her daughter and maybe, also for those trying to find her." Of course. With so much incompetence from the Portuguese police, only God and a miracle can take the investigation to a good end.Let me remind that British police SPEND 13 DAYS SEARCHING FOR JESSICA CHAPMAM AND HOLLY WELLS AND THEY GOT NOTHING. Only after three members of the public found the bodies they were able to connect all the dots and arrest Ian Huntley, the Sohan Murder, on August 17. What a demonstration of incompetence, right?

One of the main points British journalists have been talking about is this “absurd” Portuguese law that forbidden police to give to the public details of ongoing investigations. It’s a law that exists in several other European countries – Holland has exactly the same law as we have. British media is talking about it as if it was something so primitive like executing convicted people by throwing them alive to a bonfire. British police, as far as I know, has the same modus operandi as Portuguese police. I never saw details of an ongoing investigation, in UK, coming to the public knowledge through a press conference, before the case is closed and the suspects arrested.

But British police has a couple of very good public relations officers that know how to entertain blood-thirsty tabloid journalists, willing to kill – or let someone be killed – to have a story that helps them to keep their jobs. Let me quote Mrs Ros Taylor, journalist at Guardian Unlimited, editor of the subscription paper review, the Wrap: “[…]In Britain, certainly, the voracious need of the media for new information has been a huge factor in the manner in which the police 'handle' such cases. During the Soham investigation, it was policy to offer some new piece of information to the mass of waiting reporters every day, in order somehow to take advantage of the huge coverage in investigating the possible whereabouts of the girls. The Portuguese police have not been conducting their investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance in this way.”

While the operation seems to have been flawed, she says, the value of appeals for a child's safe return is at best debatable.I know that British police makes a lot of high-profile, TV-prime-time oriented public appeals, in cases similar to this. And I wonder why they do it. Do British citizens with important information concerning a crime need to be almost coerced in going to the police and sharing that information? They don’t do it by their own initiative? Or is it part of that “circus” British police need to set up, in order to placate a pack of howling journalists, throwing them some old bones to chew?

When this case is closed – with a happy ending, I hope, from the bottom of my heart, as a father of two boys - and details are revealed, we will know that a lot of Portuguese citizens went to the police, in the days following the abduction of Madeleine, with information they though useful. Without the “debatable” public appeals, as Mrs Ros Taylor wrote.

The Portuguese law that orders a total silence during a crime investigation also allows police to release details of an ongoing investigation in case there is a situation of risk or danger to the public and the society [an armed criminal on the run, after killing somebody, and willing to kill again, for example] or when the release of those details is considered essential to help save or protect the life of somebody that is in danger.

This is not a case where the second exception can be used – in my opinion. The abductor can be a cool-blooded man, a professional, working for an international organized crime network; a sexual pervert, a paedophile that has done something similar before; or a woman with psychological problems, not able to have children (in Portugal, we had two or three cases like this, recently).If the abductor is an organized crime professional or a sexual pervert, he is on the run, trying to leave to country or hiding and waiting for a better opportunity to escape.

Don't forget the possibility that, one hour after the child disappeared, she could be already in Spain. And there is not only one road from Aldeia da Luz to Spain. There is one main road and five or six secondary roads. But if she is still in Portugal, in both situations above referred, the abductor should be taking a fundamental precaution: hiding carefully the child, because her face is well known of every Portuguese (and easy to spot, as we are a dark-haired people and blonde children like Madeleine are very rare).
But he is not afraid of showing his face, or being seen by other people. Because he has been watching the news and he knows that police has no clue or tip about who he is, what colour is hair, how tall, if he is skinny or fat, long hair or bald.

Let's suppose he sees, on TV, a photo of him, or a sketch that is so close that allows people to recognize him. He will act immediately.He will do the first thing every criminal does, when he discovers police is on his trail, knows his identity, his name, his face, his last address: he will try to get rid of all evidence that can connect him to the crime. And the strongest evidence of the crime he committed, is having the little Madeleine with him. He could do it on two different ways. One, leaving the child, alive and well, near some place where somebody could find her quickly. I don’t want to mention the other possibility. But British police knows well this kind of possibility.

One last word about the list Daily Mirror published, concerning the ”Ten Blunders” Portuguese Police is responsible for, in this investigation. Police was slow to act, that’s a main idea. They were not called immediately, as Madeleine parents, friends and neighbours searched for her, during some time, in the surrounding area. When police arrived, they need to have some assurance that the child had been abducted. It’s a normal procedure, even for a “real” police, like the British.

“Child abductions and attempted abductions take place almost once a month in Cambridgeshire”, writes the Cambridge Evening News. I wonder if Cambridge police, once every month, cordons off main streets of access to the city and amass a huge force of officers, within one hour or two of receiving notice of a possible abduction.

Talking about amassing a huge force of officers let me tell you THAT AROUND 10% OF ALL PORTUGUESE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OFFICERS (Polícia Judiciária, in Portuguese) WERE SENT TO ALGARVE, in less than 48 hours after the abduction. British journalists don’t see police everywhere and they report that fact as an evidence of incompetence. CI officers don’t use uniforms. They work in plainclothes. Both the national police (Polícia de Segurança Pública, in charge of patrolling the cities) and the militarized police (Guarda Nacional Republicana, that has responsibility on rural areas) have special CI units in every major precinct.
Those men are working together with the 200 CID officers sent to the crime scene.

I hope that, in spite of the lousy job some of the British journalists are doing, in Algarve, Madeleine can be with their parents, soon. And I hope that, next time British journalists come to Portugal to report about something, they try to do some research, before. We, Portuguese, are no more living in caverns, or dressing with animal skins and hunting with arrows to have our daily meals. Next time, call some British expatriates living here and ask them those basic things that took you so long to discover, like the existence of a different legal framework in Portugal.Call the editor of "The Resident", an English language newspaper from Algarve. (There are five other English language publications in Portugal, you can find adresses and contacts here)

Talk with some Portuguese journalists. We can speak, we use computers (typewriters are a thing of the past..) we surf the Net and we even know how to send emails. Most of us, like me, have a good command of English, French and Spanish (I can also speak a little bit of Cantonese...)

Paulo Reis
PS – Forget to mention: our country is a member of the European Union

[Back to front page]


[Back to front page]

CORRECTION (May 28, 21:23): A reader called my attenction to some mistakes I did, in this opinion article, about Soham murders: "Your facts on the Soham/Huntly case aren't quite correct. The police found burned clothing and arrested Huntly on suspicion of kidnap and murder. The bodies were then found and more evidence and formal charges were brought. That isn't quite how you present it. Please check here:

The correction is made. My apologies for the mistake.

Paulo Reis


[Back to front page]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Breaking News and News in Brief

[Continued from front page]

Report sent to British Police about Madeleine's sightig in Morocco
Mari Olli: “She looked sad (...) she turned to the man and said something that sounds like: “Can we see mommy soon?”

Mari Olli, a Norwegian and a retired social worker, 45 years old, lives in Spain, Málaga, with her husband. The couple has been on hollidays in Agadir, Morocco, when Madeleine was abducted. They knew nothing about it, as they didn't watched news, while on holidays. They were returning to Spain and they stopped at Marrakesh, for the night of May 8 to 9.

Early in the morning, they drove their car to Tarifa, to catch a ferryboat back home. They stopped at a gas station to buy some water and that was the place where Mrs Mari Olli says she saw Madeleine. This is the report that she sent, by email, to British Police, after she tried, without success, to give the information to Spanish Police (and not to Portuguese Police, as some British newspapers wrongly wrote):

“At the petrol station next to Hotel Ibis Palmeraie in Marrakesh (Address, Avenue Abdelkrim Khattabi) Wednesday 9th of May, about 10 am, I saw the girl inside the shop. She was wearing clear blue pyjamas. Some pattern on the top, trousers little darker. Don’t think the trousers had any pattern. She was very small. Under 1 meter. She was with a man.”

“She was standing alone, the man about a meter from her. I looked back at her, she was very sweet. And it was a strange situation because the man didn’t look like her father. And it’s very strange to see a blond small girl standing alone in Marrakesh. She was very small and normally you would hold her in your arms or at least her hand. And he was turning away from her.”

“She looked sad. I looked at her face, she looked at me. Then she turned to the man and said something that sounds like: “Can we see mommy soon?” I am not sure if he reply. I turned around to pay my things, two bottle of water and some hygiene serviettes. I went in our car, looked for if they had a car, but could not see any special. I wanted to tell my husband, but he was busy with the driving to catch the ferry from Tanger to Tarifa. I didn’t know about the missing child at that time. Because I had not watched the news, when I was on holiday.”

“I saw the news on Thursday the 10 of may, in the evening. Then I remember what I saw in Marrakesh. I started to phone the police, Spanish and English. The Spanish police didn’t want to talk to me. I talked to the English (Police). Friday morning I gave my report to Katy Peters from Scotland Yard. She said someone was going to phone me. But I have not heard anything. I have emailed them and phone them several times. But no response. I am very worried and very sure this was that girl. Her face is very special. And that situation was very strange!”

“My mind is on this situation all the time, and I need to know if someone is looking into my report. I am sure the two Moroccan men inside the petrol station can confirm my seeing as well.”

“If I can do anything more to help, PLEASE let me know!


Mari Olli”

According to Correio da Manhã, the daily Portuguese newspaper that first got in touch with Mrs. Mari Olli, as soon as the information reached the Portuguese Police, through British liaison officers, Portuguese Police contacted Mrs. Mari Olli, for six times, on May 18 and May 21, to get more details from her.

(01:57 am, June 2 - 2007)

New information about Madeleine's abduction expected this afternoon
Police spokesman: “At any moment, other persons may be called to be questioned by Police or witnesses can be formally accused”

(03:10 pm, May 31 2007)

TVI, a Portuguese news channel said today, on its 01:00 pm news bulletin, that “Polícia Judiciária (PJ) may reveal new details about Madeleine McCann abduction this afternoon”. Police presence was very visible, yesterday, at Praia da Luz. Inspectors of PJ were in the area around Sergei Malinka's home e questioned several neighbours. This fact “may be related with the work of British police telecommunications experts, who are analysing data and records of mobile phone calls made during the night Madeleine disappeared”, according to TVI,.

PJ spokesman, Chief-Inspector Olegário de Sousa is quoted in today´s edition of daily Diário de Notícias saying that “investigations are going on” and “at any moment new information may come out”. “At any moment, other persons may be called to be questioned by Police or witnesses can be formally accused”, he said. “This a fast-moving investigation”.


White male, 35 to 40 years old, 1.70/1.75 meters high, short hair at the front, long hair over the neck, is the description of a suspect, made by several witnesses that saw a man walking around Praia da Luz, the night Madeleine was abducted. The information was released today by Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID). (09:10 pm, May 25 2007)

Police don't confirm new house searches and possible existence of other suspect (10:15 am - May 21, 2007)

The spokesman of “Polícia Judiciária” (Portuguese CID) told to Gazeta Digital that PJ “don’t confirm any of the above mentioned situations, just that investigations continue”. This statement was sent after I requested, today, a formal confirmation that a “new house search was made, on May 20, and that PJ was looking for one more already identified male, allegedly involved in Madeleine’s abduction."

“I don’t know Mr. Robert Murat”, said Genaro Gonzalez to Gazeta Digital

(11:38 am - May 21, 2007) - “I never heard that name (Robert Murat) and I don’t know nothing about Remigen”, told Mr. Genaro Gonzalez to Gazeta Digital, a few minutes ago According to Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã, Mr. Genaro is “the third friend of Murat” and maybe “the key to solve the crime” of the kidnapping of Madeleine. Genaro Gonzalez is described as a 50 years old man, “who speaks fluently Italian” and comes frequently to Aljezur, where he is in charge of a real estate business. He admitted to Gazeta Digital that he is in charge of a real estate business in Aljezur, Algarve, but said that he is 29 years old.


(click to enlarge)

“It is another person, not me!” he said, when Gazeta Digital told him what Correio da Manhã has published today. Mr Genaro Gonzalez works for Gabinohome, a real estate company, based in Malaga, Spain, and registered in the “Registo Mercantil Central/Malaga” (Central Commercial Registry of Spain) under number B92528090. His phone number (from Spain) and email address are posted at one of the pages of Gabinohome, as the person in charge of selling apartments of a urban development called Urbanização de Esparta, in Aljezur, Algarve.

Police is looking for a new suspect, an alledged “secret” partner of Murat’s Web company

(10:10 am – May 21, 2007) - Portuguese police is looking for a man named Genaro Acosta Gonzalez, who they think could be a “secret partner” of Robert Murat’s Web company, Romigen, according to Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã. The company, as Gazeta Digital wrote, was set up by Murat and a former colleague at a real estate company, where the only suspect in the case of Madeleine’s abduction worked, for a couple of months, and later became his girlfriend. The front page of Correio da Manhã says: “PJ on the track of third partner of Murat”. Inside, they refer that “police has a new clue”, which is “the third friend of Murat”. According to the newspaper, Genaro Gonzalez maybe “the key to solve the crime” of the kidnapping of Madeleine. Genaro Gonzalez is described as a 50 years old man, “who speaks fluently Italian” and comes frequently to Aljezur, where he is in charge of a real estate business. Gazeta Digital talked with Polícia Judiciária spokesman who said they don’t have any comment, for now.

Madeleine’s abduction: New house search in Benagil, near Lagoa – Owner is a Russian citizen

(02:50 am - May 21, 2007) - A house near the small village of Benagil has been searched yesterday, May 20, by Police, according to Diário de Notícias (DN), a Portuguese daily newspaper. The house belongs to a Russian citizen, who lives there since three years. DN (*) wrote that the house is a “fortress, with high walls, barbed wire, dogs and armed guards”.

Gazeta Digital went there, this afternoon and after several hours of search, I found what I believe is the house referred by DN. The fact that it’s Sunday and we are not it the peak touristic season made things more difficult, as many restaurants, coffee-shops and bars were closed. It is located near the small village of Benagil and, according to local residents; it’s the only house in that area they know is inhabited by Russians.

Benagil is a very small village, just a few dozen houses on the top of a hill. From the village to the house it’s a short distance, but it is located at an isolated area. To go there we had to leave the main road and turn to a narrow unpaved road. After two minutes, we were there. It is a large property, with a rustic wall with 1, 80 meters, topped with green painted iron bars that have around 40 cm. The wall, witch has the two main entry doors of the property – there is another one, a backdoor – is as long as the width of a football field.

At both doors, a warning saying “Beware of the dog” and what seemed to be a small video camera. I could hear the barking of several big dogs, alerted by the sound of the motorcycle I was driving. Several local residents told me that they never met personally people living there, because the only thing they see is luxury cars driving in and out. One of the cars is a Dodge Viper, a top sports car, priced at around 70 thousand dollars.

They know they are Russians because the previous owner, a Dutch citizen who built the house, told local friends to whom he sold the property, three years ago. Same sources told me that the newspaper reference to “armed guards” may have been a misunderstanding, because there is a nearby property where a private security company has several men. That property has no buildings, but it’s a large forested area, with a lot of pine trees. The owners, a Portuguese bank and a well known businessman have a project to build a resort, there, and hired the private guards just to protect the area against summer fires, they told me.

Gazeta Digital couldn’t get a formal confirmation, from Portuguese police, if the house we locate was, indeed, the target of yesterday’s search. But the resident of Benagil who showed me the way for the house, a young man whose mother owns the only restaurant located near the small fishing harbour of the village told me he didn’t knew no other house with those characteristics and inhabited by Russians.

(*) DN just made a small one-column reference with this story and didn't reproduced it in it's online edition

Rumanian child kidnapped in Malaga, Spain, found in Vila Real de Santo António – kidnaper arrested by Portuguese police(20:55 pm - May 19, 2007) -

A Rumanian child, kidnapped yesterday in the city of Malaga, south of Spain, was found alive and well in Vila Real de Santo António, in the border with Spain, according to RTP main news, “Telejornal”. The kidnaper was arrested. A spokesman from police confirmed to Gazeta Digital that he arrest was made by Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP – Portuguese urban police)

Russian computer expert called Murat two hours after Madeleine was abducted

(09:20, May 19 2007) - Phone records obtained by police show that the Russian computer expert, Sergei Malinka, called Robert Murat twice, after Madeleine vanished. According to Correio da Manhã (CM), a Portuguese daily newspaper, Malinka has made two phone calls around 11:30 pm, that night. First, he called the home phone of Murat’s mother home and, as nobody answered, he called the mobile phone of Murat’s mother – a 79 years old lady, after 11.30 pm. Malinka told police he didn’t remember why he called Murat, according to CM.

Breaking News – Police dogs found traces of Madeleine at Murat’s house(21:15 - May 17, 2007)

Police dogs have found traces of Madeleine McCann at Murat’s house, according to Mr Barra da Costa, a former CID inspector, criminologist and academic. Mr Barra da Costa revealed this detail during an interview with the Portuguese channel RTP.

(May 15, 2007 - 05:25) - Main suspect used to access pedophile sites and pages in the Net with "explicit sexual violence”

Robert Murat, the suspect that is being questioned by police, is divorced and has a daughter called Madeleine, living in UK, according to today’s edition of Diário de Notícias. Murat has been subject of an electronic surveillance operation since more than a week, according to police sources. Correio da Manhã, another Portuguese daily newspaper, says that he used to access sites of “explicit sexual violence” in the Web. Police has made a comprehensive forensic search at his mother’s home, 50 meters from the place where Madeleine’s family was holidaying.

The Police E-fit that looked "like an egg":

"The image [published by Daily Mail and Telegraph] is far from the reality”, says a Polícia Judiciária spokesman

The sketch of a possible suspect, allegedly show to Simon Russel, a British living in Algarve, by officers of Portuguese CID (Polícia Judiciária – PJ) “is far from reality”, a spokesman of PJ told today to Gazeta Digital. The spokesman refused to give more details, but he was positive in his denial that anything similar or close to the e-fit drawn by memory by Mr. Simon Russel and published on the May 11 and May 10 editions of Daily Mail and ever existed.

Sky News: Portuguese Press is “deliberately” trying “to tarnish the reputation” of Madeleine parents

The Portuguese Press went “deep in the private life” of the McCann couple, following a “deliberately policy to tarnish their reputation […]” using information that is coming “apparently from Police sources”, according to Ian Woods, reporting from Algarve. (May 14, 2007 – 05:04 pm)

Sky News: Jornais portugueses querem sujar a reputação do casal McCan

A Imprensa Portuguesa tem publicado pormenores sobre a vida privada dos pais de Madeleine, numa “estratégia deliberada” para manchar a sua reputação […] usando, aparentemente, informações provenientes de fontes policiais”, de acordo com o jornalista Ian Woods, enviado da Sky News ao Algarve (17:04 – 14 de Maio de 2007)

Madeleine parents talk to the Press (08:03 am, May 14 2007)

In a short statement to the Press, this morning, Mr. McCann thanked for the support the family received “from all around the world”, and said that the main task of the two lawyers who came from England is to help them managing the many offers of financial help they have received. The McCann couple promised to keep in touch with the media, as they understand the necessity of doing this to keep the case of Madeleine’s abduction on the public eye. Mr. McCann announced that most contacts will be made through Alex, the Press Officer of the resort, expressed his full support of the investigation and said that, “until there is concrete evidence on the contrary”, they believe Madelein is alive and well .

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