Saturday, 24 December 2011

Season's Greetings


Wishing you all a warm and wonderful festive season.

Your visits and comments have been greatly appreciated throughout the year.

Merry Christmas from Me, Myself, Moi...

All the very best for 2012.


Friday, 16 December 2011

Ambiguous or Equivocal?... Or just tongue in cheek.

Taken from the statement of Daniel Sanderson who appeared at the Leveson Inquiry on 15th December 2011

I believe 18,000 Euros were paid to the Portuguese journalist (the P J). It was paid in two parts; 9,000 Euros up front and 9,000 Euros on publication.  I can’t be certain of this figure, but it is certainly a fairly accurate estimate.  I am aware of the approximate figure because that is the price that had been agreed with the PJ in my initial phone conversations with the PJ.  The PJ set the price, which I had communicated to Mr Edmondson.  Mr Edmondson then authorised both payments to the source.  The PJ then contacted me after publication to organise the second payment, which was authorised by Mr Edmondson.

For the benefit of the Leveson Inquiry...
PJ = Portuguese Journalist

For the benefit of the rest of the astute world...
PJ = Policia Judiciara (Portuguese police)

I assume that Mr Sanderson is well aware (him being a journalist, like) that the Portuguese police are referred to worldwide as the 'PJ'. Surprised he would use such wording on an official statement?

Some pertinent questions people would like answers to...

Who was the Portuguese journalist involved?
Where is the original Portuguese copy now?
Who were the London-based translation service?
What is the proof that the Portuguese police were the original source?
Was there another diary - pre 3rd May?
If so, which diary did the police really want?

And one final question...

What is the relationship between Gerard Couzens, the diary picker upper and Tom Worden, the 8 new leads leaker?  Which may be answered by putting their names into a Google search.

**thanks to the smarties online for spotting the 'PJ' gaffe.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Who's Lying to Leveson?...

Kate McCann's diary... modern day plague, capable of extreme violation and mental rape - but only in the English language it would seem.  The diary entries previously made the front pages in Portugal, without so much as a whimper from the McCanns.

So where did the diary come from and who did or didn't give permission for its extracts to be printed in the News of the World.  Despite the newspaper sitting on the story for some time, Mr and Mrs McCann and their spokesman deny all knowledge of it's then impending print.  The main players at the News of the World maintain every authorisation was given to go to print, and that emails and transcribed phone calls exist giving permission.

The important job of tracking down, translating and forming a story on the diary was given to intrepid reporter Daniel Sanderson, in his own words... the most junior reporter on the paper.  He was originally unaware of the ultimate source although when repeatedly pressed by Counsel, contradicted himself and said it could have come from the Portuguese police.  He was reassured that the story would not run without the green light and express permission from the McCanns. 

Former Legal Affairs Manager for News International, Tom Crone played some part in clearing it up afterwards, his understanding was that the representative of the McCanns had given permission to the head of the news desk to run the diaries.  Mr Crone claims there are supporting emails.

Former News of the World editor, Colin Myler is adamant that the paper had permission to print from Clarence Mitchell (the man paid to speak on behalf of the McCanns).  During his appearance at the Leveson Inquiry, he stressed over and over that Mr Mitchell had given his utmost assurance that permission was granted. was absolutely clear from the Friday to the Saturday that that assurance had been given to him (Ian Edmondson) and given again to me.
Because I was given an absolute categoric assurance that Clarence knew what we were doing.  Ian Edmondson was probably at that stage almost in daily contact with Mr Mitchell.  What conversations had taken place, I don't know. But I know that they had a very close relationship and a very close working professional relationship.
...Ian Edmondson had assured me on more than one occasion that Clarence was aware of what we were intending to do and had said, "Good".  I think it was very clear from Mr Edmondson's point of view how he'd spelt out what he was doing,
Mr Edmondson, given the number of times I asked him for the assurance to make sure that there was absolute clarity and understanding, had no view that there was anything ambiguous in what we were going to do.
Daily contact... very close relationship?...  Mr Myler and the McCanns also had a very close relationship.  Until Mr McCann accused Mr Myler of being irate and berating him on the telephone, that is. Something which disappointed Mr Myler to hear and which he categorically denies. 

A 4-page transcription of a phone call between Mr Edmondson and Mr Mitchell was submitted to the inquiry.  Mr Mitchell last night issued a denial and described the phone call as brief...
At no point in the one brief call that I received from Ian Edmondson on the Friday evening before publication did he spell out categorically that he had purchased a version of Kate’s diary that had been leaked by the Portuguese police and that they were planning to publish it in as big a way as they subsequently did.
Brief = 4 pages?  Perhaps the caller forgot to hang up and all that was transcribed was background noise. Or the dialling tone.  Ding dong. Interesting that Mr Mitchell contradicts himself by saying that he had no knowledge of the purchase of the diary, yet he was also unaware they were planning to publish it in as big a way as they subsequently did... Were the News of the World planning to simply translate the original Portuguese press reports?  If so, where did the other extracts come from?

The jungle drums are already beating on McCann supporter sites, thanks to Counsel to Inquiry, Robert Jay QC's persistent references yesterday to the diary's original source as being the Portuguese police.

Did Mr Edmondson tell you clearly that he had told Mr Mitchell that a copy of the diary had been obtained via the Portuguese police...
I think it was a woman journalist, but it's not going to matter.  Made clear to you that the Portuguese police had translated the diary and therefore they remained in Portuguese.
Were you concerned by the fact that the diary had been obtained from the police in some way?
But were you aware of some of the background which comprised this: that the police had obtained the diary, having seized it from Dr Kate McCann, and then there was an order by the Portuguese judge for the diary to be returned, but I think a copy by then had been taken?
But it was clear to you that the ultimate source -- the proximate source was the journalist, but the ultimate source was the Portuguese police.  That much was clear, wasn't it?

While the proximate source is brushed over, the ultimate source has been named over and over as fact.  A very serious allegation to make and something which is against the law in Portugal. Was Mr Jay so sure of his facts today when he questioned Mr Sanderson's thoughts on whether the McCanns put the diary out in some way themselves?  A very pertinent question which should be explored further.

The Portuguese speculation has in turn led to the usual suspect, Goncalo Amaral to be named, shamed and put in the line of fire by supporters of the McCanns.  Smeared yet again, and tied up with a pretty ribbon ready for the libel trial in February?  

[Unlike some, I don't find it easy to lie, neither would I write something which I deliberately knew to be untrue.  Thanks to an excessive amount of muppet froth directed at me, I've been alerted an error on my part and have removed the said error.  My mistake gov, it's a fair cop...  I would like to thank the said muppet for alerting me on this matter, although for speed of correction, it would have been helpful if a comment had been left instead of just whining with Kermit and co.  Thankfully, I never blogged under oath...]

Another claim from Muppetland is if Clarence Mitchell really did know about the diaries being printed, then the News of the World could have cut out the middleman and headed straight to Kate McCann for an original copy of the diary. The only problem with this theory is the price - the diary most certainly wouldn't have been available at the Portuguese snippet price of £20,000.  We have some seriously deluded muppets prancing about, tread carefully.  Side splitting stuff yet again, they really should go back to knitting.

Mr Jay asked...
The newspaper was very supportive of the McCanns, and you wouldn't adopt the stance that other national newspapers had taken by printing malicious stories which had no foundation and emanated largely from the Portuguese press. So that was your position.
Isn't that what the News of the World did, took old news from the Portuguese press and regurgitated it to the gullible British public?  The diary could be described as a British 'exclusive', but the NOTW were really just paying a cut price for old, already printed news.

A week after print and nipping at their ankles, there followed the swiftest of negotiations between the News of the World and Mr Thomson from Carter Ruck.  An apology was given and the McCanns' palms were oiled, with a substantial amount of dosh being paid into their private company, the Madeleline Fund.

All done and dusted within the week.  The way things are looking, the Team could well be commended for pulling a blinder on Murdoch... good play.

And the question remains... who lied under oath?

Monday, 12 December 2011

It's a Fair Cop... and the £1m Lawsuit

Such an appalling, biased report from Sky, let's spin the McSpin...

The £1m lawsuit by bungling parents Kate and Gerry McCann against the lead Portuguese detective in the hunt for missing Madeleine will be heard early next year, it is understood.

The civil case against Goncalo Amaral - who was in charge of the investigation for five months after the McCanns neglected their children - will take place in Lisbon on February 9th and 10th, according to a source close to the couple.

The globetrotting couple, both in their forties have made a fortune hard-selling a book, appearing on many television shows, selling themselves (and their children) to the highest bidder and settling various litigations out of court.

In a 36-page writ, lodge in June 2009, they accuse Mr Amaral of libel and breaching their human rights.

The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, are expected to attend court but despite lodging the writ themselves, will not give evidence. Whilst arguidos, the McCanns chose to hide behind the skirts of judicial secrecy. Due to the unscripted nature of a court case, speculation has arisen as to the reasons why their lips will once again be sealed.

"The McCanns have made Amaral's life hell and they have made themselves rich in the process." a source said. "Kate and Gerry just want him to stop quoting from the official police investigation and insisting that justice works in silence."

In their writ, the self-obsessed, manipulative, money-grabbing McCanns describe the now-retired detective as... a self-obsessed, manipulative, money-grabber with no morals.

They claim Mr Amaral's repeat insistence that their daughter is dead discouraged people from looking for her.  Yet the McCanns' own Official Facebook group has over 90,000 followers, all praying and lighting candles daily for the safe return of a live Madeleine.  The private investigator hired by the McCanns, claims there is a constant stream of new information and tips coming through.

The couple also describe the pain and anguish they say Mr Amaral has caused them by repeatedly smearing them - saying the slurs "totally destroyed them"...

"...totally destroyed."

The McCanns are seeking at least £1m in damages from the ex-policeman, and if they win the case, the money will be transferred directly to their own private company, Leaving No Stone Unturned, of which they are both directors.

Mr Amaral's book titled 'The Truth of the Lie' was translated into six languages and has sold more than 330,000 copies worldwide.  It was also made into a 50 minute documentary.  The McCanns failed in their bid to ban and prevent the book from being sold and despite again being available for sale, they have also defied a court order and failed to return confiscated copies of the book to Mr Amaral.

Madeleine vanished into thin air on May 3rd 2007 only days from her 4th birthday. Despite vehemently denying any involvement in her disappearance, the McCanns managed to mark the occasion of that sad day by appearing in person at the local church in Praia de Luz.

9 days missing...
McCanns mark Madeleine's birthday

The 3 year old had apparently been left alone with her younger twin siblings in their rented holiday apartment while her parents joined friends at the local Tapas Bar.

View of apartment - as the crow flies

The country's attorney general Jose Pinto Monteiro shelved the case in July 2008 and declared that it should be reopened when further credible evidence arose, with the status of the arguidos being temporarily lifted and reinstated if any such point was reached.