|Fadi Nasri||The Algebra of Justice|
THE ABDUCTION OF MADELEINE McCANN - A Modern Fairy Tale
After a gruelling professional year slogging away with nothing but exploitation and degenerating services for a reward, what better way could there be to wind down than a nightmare holiday in Portugal? This was the experience of the British family the Maccans in 2007, when their three year-old daughter Madeleine was abducted while on holiday. The abduction of Madeleine Mccann is like a fairy story, a cautionary tale that encapsulates the depths to which Thatcherism and free capitalism has taken western democracy.
Madeleine Mccann was abducted on the night of May 3rd 2007, while she was asleep in the family's holiday apartment on the Algarve coast of Portugal, in the village of Praia Da Luz. The abduction happened while the parents were dining out with friends a few yards away, and it was discovered when the mother, Kate McCann, slipped away to check on her children at 10 p.m.
There are several important witnesses to the abduction. The first was the father, Gerry McCann, who returned to the apartment at around 9.05 p.m. to check on the children, and when he entered their room he found that the door was open wider than usual, but because it was an unfamiliar door and he had no reason to suppose it, he did not check to see if there was someone hiding in the room. When he left the apartment, he met a friend outside and stopped to talk to him.
While they were talking outside, a second witness, Jane Tanner, who was one of the seven British friends who were dining with the McCanns at the Ocean Club nearby, returned to the apartment building at about 9.15, and as she passed by them, she saw a man with dark, collar-length hair walking across the end of the alley with a small child asleep in his arms. The child had no shoes on and was wrapped in a blanket. The man carrying her looked Mediterranean. He was wearing long trousers and a heavy coat, so he didn�t look like a holiday tourist.
The third witness was George Burke, who saw a small girl with a remarkable resemblance to Madeleine being hauled along by a vicious-looking man and a woman in the area very early the next morning. It was dark, at 6.00 a.m., and no one else was about. The group was hurrying towards the Lagos marina and railway station and they looked very suspicious. Mr Burke informed the police, but they didn't take the incident seriously.
Given the timing of this incident (6.00 a.m.) and the age of the child (a toddler aged under 4), and given the vicious impression created by the man, George Burke's sighting is highly significant, and it cannot reasonably be ignored by any investigation into the abduction.
Four months prior to the abduction of Madeleine McCann, another attempt at an abduction is known to have occurred in this area, involving a girl of the same age and of very similar appearance. She had blonde hair and is said to resemble Madeleine McCann quite closely. Her name was Carolina Santos, and her parents were working in their cafe when their child was taken on Christmas Day. The parents happened by chance to go out and they spotted her with a man of Moroccan appearance 300 yards away. The man ran off. The Santos parents offered to help the Portuguese police after the abduction of Madeleine, but they were never questioned by them.
On May 9th, just five days after the abduction of Madeleine Mccann, a Norwegian tourist, Marie Olli, reported that she believed she had seen Madeleine at a Moroccan petrol station asking a man, "Can I see Mummy soon?" This incident is again significant because it corresponds with the experience of the Santos family and their Moroccan-looking abductor. Being locals in the area, the Santos family are likely to be reliable in their identification of Mediterranean castes.
All these witness accounts have corresponding features that authenticate them, and certainly no investigation into the abduction of Madeleine McCann could discount them.
Yet another abduction had occurred in the area in 2004, some 15 miles from Praia Da Luz, when 8 year-old Joana Cipriano disappeared from her home in Figueira near Portimao. The mother believes that her daughter was taken for a German couple. She claims that the Portuguese police had beaten a confession of murder out of her and she is in jail, retracting the confession.
The McCanns' experience with the Portuguese police supports the claim made by this mother, while her experience clarifies the situation for the McCanns with the Portuguese police.
Given these eyewitnesses, why did the investigation turn out the way it did?
It has been reported that after the abduction, the police investigated the church where Mr and Mrs McCann prayed for their daughter after the abduction. Then they turned their suspicions on to an ex-patriot Briton who lived in the village, Robert Murat, who was harassed with intensive questioning and house-searching, and who, despite there being no evidence to connect him with the incident, was subsequently declared an official suspect by the police. It is reported that Robert Murat had sat in on the police interviews with the friends who had dined with the McCanns when the abduction occurred. The police were using him as an interpreter in these interviews. This shows that he was also being used by the police for their own convenience when they named him as a suspect, and that they didn't have any other grounds to suspect him.
The same applies to the McCanns. They joined him on the list of suspects after they mounted a sustained media campaign to help get their daughter back and revitalize the investigation. The police theory to justify their campaign was that the parents had murdered their daughter in the apartment and had faked the abduction to cover this up. This is clearly not consistent with the McCann's efforts to keep the case awake when the public and the police wished to forget it, and it corresponds with the experience of the mother of Joana Cipriano in jail. If the McCanns had murdered their daughter as proposed, why did they repeatedly return to Portugal to revive the investigation? The police case is illogical and groundless.
In November, the police were willing to absolve the McCanns of responsibility and of murder by using another fantasy, and a very peculiar one it was, which was published in the Portuguese newspaper Publico. This theory was that an intruder had broken into the apartment after all, "to look at her [Madeleine], touch her or smell the fragile little blonde girl with big eyes", that she had screamed, and in his panic, the intruder had suffocated her. Aside from the elaborate perversity of the story and its motive, there has been no attempt by the newspaper or the police to explain why the intruder had carried his accident away with him afterwards.
The behaviour of the McCanns over the loss of their little daughter has been entirely inconsistent with a cover-up of any kind, or with any guilt. Their persistence can only be explained by the parents' desire to keep in touch with the situation and their daughter�s plight and their need to have their daughter returned to them. Their campaign, and the media circus that went with it, seems to be the reason that they have been listed as suspects in the abduction.
Instead of the compassion and public support that their situation merited, their campaign has unleashed a maelstrom of abuse and accusation and lawyers against them, all of which has exploited the situation. The British press has taken the side of anyone who wished to attack the McCanns, whether it was someone expressing a personal dislike for them, or a lawyer threatening them with a private prosecution, or the attempts of the Portuguese police to implicate them. And, as is typical of Thatcherist public services, the McCanns have had to abandon the official police service and hire their own detectives to find their daughter.
From the beginning, the Portuguese police have acted as though the whole incident was British, and that the jurisdiction for it is properly covered by their own competence, but this was an international incident, and national police services appear to have difficulty in pursuing international cases like this. The McCanns case shows that there is a need for an international police force in Europe, like the American FBI, which is able to investigate freely across national borders while being responsible to the respective national police forces.
In November, when the Portuguese case against the McCanns looked to be floundering, a British lawyer mounted an alternative case against the McCanns of abandonment of their child, which held them responsible for the abduction in a different way. This lawyer's idea of a family holiday seems to consist of the parents standing guard outside their chalet or apartment, armed perhaps with guns and machetes, to protect their children (and themselves) from their species and its society. The lawyer's case accepts child abduction as a way of life, and it gives the parents the responsibility for it, which is another abuse against the family. Why should parents be responsible for the abduction of their children? It should be the responsibility of the State and the public.
In December, when Christmas was approaching, the Portuguese investigators complained that the McCanns were receiving scandalously privileged treatment, and that if they had been Portuguese, they would be in jail. This is confirmed by the claims of the Cipriano mother in jail, and it shows that the only reason the McCanns are not in a Portuguese prison is because of the international trouble that this would cause to their police.
The story of the McCanns is one of innocence (Madeleine) being abducted while on holiday, and innocence (the McCanns) being vilified and abused by their society while trying to get their daughter back. In both cases, innocence is under attack from its society, which is supposed to be innocent itself, and which clearly is not.
Like any fairy story, there must be an Evil Witch in this one, and there is. Surely it is time for the West to reckon the appalling damage that Mrs Thatcher and her free economy has unleashed on western democracy. Our nations are meant to be evolving in talent and experience of self-government, while civilizing itself along the way, but the free capitalism of Thatcherism has liberated the lowest denominator of human values everywhere. These attacks against childhood and children belong to this trend and arise from the same source. It is one of the effects of the anti-talented economy of free capitalism.
August 2008: A definite sighting revealed - top secret and ignored since June 2007
In August 2008, when the files of the Portuguese police were released, they were found to contain the report of a clear sighting of Madeleine McCann in Holland just three days after her abduction. A shop employee named Ana Stam had reported to the police an encounter that she'd had with a three or four year-old girl who strongly resembled Madeleine McCann. The child had told her "My name is Maddy." When Stam spoke to her about the woman that she was with, the child said, "She is not my mummy. They took me from my holiday." The child-like clarity and simplicity of these statements clearly look authentic.
The child had entered the Ballonnerie de Ballondrukkerij party shop in Amsterdam accompanied by a couple with two other children, possibly not theirs. The little girl said to the witness, "Do you know where my mummy is?" When Stam told her that her mummy was elsewhere in the shop, the girl replied, "She is not my mummy. She took me from my mummy." When asked where she had last seen her mummy, the child replied, "They took me from my holiday." The child couldn't answer questions about what sort of holiday it was or where. When the girl told Ana Stam that her name was Maddy, Stam assumed she meant Maggie because the name Maddy was unfamiliar to her, and the child repeated that it was Maddy. The child spoke with a clean English accent, while the woman with her spoke English with a French accent and the man apparently Portuguese. The couple acted oddly when Stam asked if she could help.
Stam went to the police in June 2007 when she saw news about the kidnapping.
This report had been in the police files for two months when they named the Mccanns as suspects or 'aguidos' in the assumed murder of their daughter.
The Portuguese police files have also revealed a trail of good sightings across Holland and Belgium in the days following the abduction. In one case the witness was bewildered by the fact that the child and the couple with her did not resemble each other and spoke different languages. None of these sightings was investigated.
Perhaps the difference of languages prevented the Portuguese police from recognizing the authenticity of the Amsterdam sighting.
A sighting in the Caribbean in May 2008
In May 2008 the British captain of a chartered yacht, Trevor Francis, made a sighting of a girl he is convinced was Madeleine McCann on the island of Margarita in the Caribbean. He saw her with three women in a restaurant on a marina which was on a direct shipping route to Portugal. He told British police: "I noticed that the little girl was white with fair hair. There are sometimes white children in Venezuela but not as fair as this child. She really stood out. She was the absolute image of the missing Madeleine McCann. She was very sullen-looking and refused to eat. She looked unhappy and out of place. I shuffled in my seat so I could see 'Madeleine' clearly. I was about four or five feet away from the little girl. Her eyes met mine as I walked past and that's when I saw the little blemish in her right eye - it was like a little fleck."
There have also been several sightings of Madeleine in Brazil which is connected to Portugal by language.