Updates

  • Court Case (Injunction) in Lisbon 14th January 2010

    We are currently in Lisbon for the trial to determine whether the injunction against Mr Amaral's book and DVD should remain in place. This trial is about whether the book is a true reflection of the official judicial process in to Madeleine's disappearance and whether its contents damage the ongoing search for Madeleine, her siblings and our reputations.

    Mr Amaral's book and DVD contains some information from the PJ files but there is a lot in the files which is not in Mr Amaral's book. Hence it is highly selective and therefore biased. Mr Amaral's book contains his opinions rather than fact. His opinions differ from the findings in the PJ file. The conclusions of the latter are: 1.there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and 2. there is no evidence that Gerry or I are involved in Madeleine's disappearance. This is very different to the theories and conclusions of Mr Amaral. It is logical and common sense that spreading these theories as Mr Amaral did (and continues todo) damages the search to find our little girl. If the general public (and the Portuguese people in particular) are bombarded day in and day out with such theories, this will eventually 'colour' their understanding and judgement -lies and inaccuracies become fact. If people subsequently believe that Madeleineis dead and that we are involved in her disappearance then they will not look for Madeleine, will not consider any suspicions about others which they may have and will not come forward with information. We consider this highly detrimental to the search for Madeleine.

    There are few points which have been raised in the last few days which I would like to address specifically:

    Abduction theory:For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself. It is obvious and right that the police should consider other theories initially.

    The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'

    The dogs: We realise that the behaviour of the dogs was the turning point in the investigation for the PJ. The use of dogs has proved to be problematic and unreliable in previous cases

    (please refer to the Jersey 'Haut de La Garenne' case and other research published about their use and reliability). It is vital to note that alerts by such dogs are classified as intelligence rather than evidence, as police officers familiar with their use will verify. These alerts must be supported by forensics in order to be used as evidence. The results of the forensic examinations did not identify any blood or Madeleine's DNA. To suggestor use the dogs´ reactions as evidence is simply wrong and abusive.

    The proposed reconstruction: The suggestion of a reconstruction of our movements and other key witnesses at the crime scene and/or surrounding area in the early days following Madeleine's abduction was declined by the PJ as 'not usual' for Portugal. When the PJ finally requested a reconstruction to take place in 2008, Gerry and I were still arguidos and as such would have attended for a reconstruction. Some key witnesses (including some of our friends)declined to attend the planned reconstruction as they were not convinced of the aims and usefulness of it. In particular, as the reconstruction was not to be shown to the media (and hence the general public), they did not feel it would help to find Madeleine. Had the intention been to show it to the general public, it may have 'jogged' memories and encouraged people to come forward with information. It should be added that other key witnesses were not invited to attend.

    Our team is confident that the injunction will remain in place because none of thewitnesses thus far have been able to prove in court that Mr. Amaral's right to express his opinion is superior to the rights of our family to peace, respect and protection of reputation, and above all, the right to continue the searchfor our daughter Madeleine effectively and without hindrance. As has been made clear this week, Mr Amaral's 'thesis' is not supported by any evidence. The search for Madeleine must go on until we find her and bring her abductor(s) to justice.

    Kate McCann

  • Christmas Update: December 18th 2009

    It is heartbreaking for our family to accept the likelihood of spending a third Christmas without Madeleine. Her absence is even more tangible at this time of year. It is difficult also to believe that another year has passed by.

    It has however been an incredibly busy year with so much hard work going into the investigation and campaign to find Madeleine. This fact alone is positive in many ways and probably explains why the last twelve months appear to have flown by! There is however also a feeling of great disappointment when the one thing that we want so badly still eludes us.

    Some people (thankfully in the minority) may have their own reasons and agendas for wanting to discontinue the search for Madeleine, and for others it may be easier or more 'convenient' to give up. For us, there is no option, no alternative. We long for our 'baby', our daughter, our sister, our granddaughter, our friend, our dear sweet Madeleine to be home. This drive and perseverance to find her is not wishful thinking; it is reinforced by facts and evidence. The facts and evidence say: Madeleine is still missing and there is a very real likelihood that she is alive. Hence the search to find her must continue.

    Whilst it has been left for us as Madeleine's parents to find our daughter, there is no doubt that our chances of finding her are much greater with the eyes, ears, hearts and minds of the general public assisting us.

    We would like to thank everyone who continues to support and help us. Thank you also for all the Christmas cards, kind messages, flowers and gifts, as well as the many masses and prayers offered for Madeleine. This wonderful support, together with the commitment of so many people to finding Madeleine is quite incredible and invaluable.

    We can assure you that we will never stop looking for Madeleine and our resolve will not weaken, no matter what challenges are put in our way. We are prepared to pursue all avenues if it is felt to be of benefit to Madeleine. We continue to hope and pray that the coming year will be a happy and successful one.

    Merry Christmas to all of Madeleine's supporters and our best wishes for a very good and peaceful 2010.

  • Saturday 12th December 2009:

    Yesterday morning Gerry and I attended the Civil Court in Lisbon for the planned trial relating to the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD. The trial was postponed until January as Mr Amaral's Lawyer was unable to attend. As the injunction remains in place (following the Judge's decision in September), we have no reason to be dissapointed. For us it was important to be there, especially for Madeleine. 

    We travelled to Praia da Luz yesterday afternoon. I have longed to come back here for two years for personal and emotional reasons. Early this morning we went to the lovely little church of Nossa Senhora da Luz. It was so quiet and peaceful - a real sanctuary. Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine. We then walked down to the rocks on the beach, with its crashing waves and sense of vastness and freedom -
    another place where I've always felt able to reach out to Madeleine and find a little solace. For the rest of today we are planning to catch up with some very good friends. We hope that the media will respect our privacy and needs, as requested, as well as those of the local community.

  • Update November 2009

    Thank you to Tony McVey and all at Atlantic Scaffolding in Liverpool for this fantastic show of support and help with our campaign to find Madeleine.

     

  • Update: 8th November 2009

     

    Earlier this week, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) launched a special message, an appeal, to the person who knows or strongly suspects who was involved in Madeleine's abduction. The aim of this initiative was (and still is) to prick the conscience of that person who knows and prompt them to come forward with that key piece of information which could lead to Madeleine coming home. The more people we can reach worldwide with this message, the greater the chance of us reaching that person who knows. And the more times this message reaches that person, the greater the chance of them doing the right thing and passing on the information that they have been keeping secret. With this in mind, we would like to thank everyone around the world, individuals and organisations, who have helped us by watching this special message on-line and forwarding it on to their friends, business contacts and network communities. We are once again overwhelmed and uplifted by the amazing commitment and kindness shown by the general public in our efforts to find Madeleine. The message can still be viewed, downloaded and forwarded in 7 different languages from http://www.ceop.police.uk/  We would be really grateful for your continued help.

    Together, we can reach that person who knows. If you are that person, remember that it is never too late to do the right thing. This will never go away until we have found Madeleine. We love her too much. Please do the right thing by giving that information to your local police. Alternatively, please call the 'Find Madeleine' investigation team on +44 (0)845 838 4699 or email the team at investigation@findmadeleine.com.One email or one phone-call – and this nightmare could be over for everyone.