Gerry’s Blogs (Days 121-181) Sep/Oct 2007

Kate and Gerry questioned by PJ and made official suspects in the disappearance of their daughter. They immediately return to UK. New police chief, Paulo Rebelo, appointed and first interview since being given ‘arguido’ status.

Gerry’s complete blogs for September/October 2007
September/October 2007 (Days 121-181)
September 2007
Date
Day
Blog
01 Sep 2007
121
Today was a very quiet family day with just the four of us. Kate’s family left first thing this morning. We took Sean and Amelie to a local zoo that they really enjoyed. I managed to get the blog written early so it is off to bed for an early night.

In Rothley, our home village, there was a meeting this afternoon with the four churches all contributing prayers for Madeleine. We would like to thank everyone who is praying for Madeleine and all those who have sent us messages of support- you do help to maintain our strength and focus.

02 Sep 07
122
Another relatively quiet family day.My mum and sister arrived this morning after we had been to church. This afternoon we took the kids to a friend’s house with a pool. Kate and I went for a short run and then we all had a swim and a couple of treats brought all the way from Glasgow!
 
Several people have been asking about whether they should still be putting up posters of Madeleine since I have said the campaign will be having a lower media profile- especially of Kate and I. The advice of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is that high visibility of the missing child through posters, car stickers etc increases the chances of finding that child. Kate and I therefore would encourage you to continue taking posters on holiday and ask permission to have them displayed in supermarkets, post offices and shops.

03 Sep 07
123
After dropping the twins off Kate and I popped into church for 10 minutes to pray for Madeleine. Spent most of the day going through mail, e-mails and I had a number of calls to make. It was good to spend some time with my family and Sean and Amelie certainly enjoyed their auntie’s dinner- sometimes it is hard to beat mince and ‘tatties’!
04 Sep 07
124
Kate and I did our first interview for a French Publication today. Any interviews we do now, of which we only accept a small percentage of bids, focus on the issues that we have faced since Madeleine’s abduction. The French have recently adopted a child alert system with some early success stories. With increasing travel and movement of workers in the European Union, it is also important we standardise the way serious crimes are tackled.

This evening we were invited to a friend’s house with the children for dinner. The twins had a good time with the other kids in the paddling pool and especially enjoyed the banana splits with extra child friendly toppings!

05 Sep 07
125
We were surprised to find increased media presence in Praia da Luz again today. We were followed down to church, then to the shops and back to our accommodation which is very unusual, apart from the build up to the 100 days. All the excitement seems to be over the results of the recent forensic tests that again have created a huge amount of speculation. There has been no official conformation that the report has been received, or what the tests suggest if anything!

Kate and I went for a run along the coast at lunchtime. It was pretty windy but still warm enough. Later in the afternoon we went to visit a friend of Kate’s who is on holiday in a nearby village with her family. They brought lots of cards from well-wishers at home and we talked a lot about the search for Madeleine. The twins had a great time splashing around in a little inflatable paddle pool, singing songs and being doted on by the older kids.

06 Sep 07
126
Everyone will know that Kate attended for interview as a witness with the Portuguese police today. This is only the second time Kate has been interviewed and although it was a long day, going on past midnight, this was shorter than my second interview which lasted 13 hours! The suggestion that Kate is involved in Madeleines disappearance is ludicrous. Anyone who knows anything about the 3rd May knows that Kate is completely innocent. We will fight this all the way and we will not stop looking for Madeleine.
07 Sep 07
127
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08 Sep 07
128
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09 Sep 07
129
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10 Sep 07
130

The last few days have been incredibly busy and of course, unbelievably stressful and emotionally draining.

On Friday Kate and I were made ‘arguido’- official suspects in Madeleines disappearance. We cannot comment on any details of the investigation, interviews or any evidence that has been presented to us. We could never possibly have imagined being put in this unbearable situation. No specific charges have been presented at this point and there has been no restriction on our movements imposed.

Despite the anguish and extreme distress this has caused all of our family, long term no one will be able to doubt how intensely Kate and I have been scrutinised. We have absolute confidence that, when all of the facts are presented together, we will be able to demonstrate that we played absolutely no part in Madeleines abduction. Our primary concern has always been the search for Madeleine and this aspect, that our daughter is still missing, must remain a priority for the investigation.

On Saturday we asked the Portuguese police if they had any objection to us coming back to the UK. We had assured them that we will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation and of course will return as requested and for our own emotional reasons. We decided to fly back on Sunday as we had originally planned and all of our family spent the rest of the evening helping us to pack.

On Sunday we left for the airport at 7am with huge media attention. Camera crews followed us all the way to the airport, and the whole experience, like much of the last four months was incredibly surreal. The flight itself went quickly with Sean and Amelie constantly active and excited about returning to Leicestershire. We always hoped that we would not have to return without Madeleine and could never have imagined the possibility that we would do so as suspects in our own daughters disappearance. The pain and turmoil we have experienced in this last week is totally beyond description. Kate and I are totally 100% confident in each others innocence and our family and friends have rallied round unflinchingly to support us. We would like to thank everyone else for the support we have received since we came home.

We have had very mixed emotions since coming back to our own home. It is very comforting to have such familiar surroundings and our own belongings and the twins have settled straight back in as if they have never been away. We have had numerous visitors with friends and those in official capacities. We have appointed solicitors to advise us and assist our Portuguese lawyer in preparing our defence against any possible charges. The sooner this is done the sooner we can concentrate fully on trying to find Madeleine, which is the most important thing through this unending nightmare.

11 Sep 07
131
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12 Sep 07
132

Statement by the Board of  Madeleine’s Fund:
Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited

12 September 2007

The Fund would like to thank everyone for their kindness, support and generosity. 

Madeleine’s Fund was set up to:

  1. Find Madeleine;
  2. Support the Family; and
  3. Bring the abductor or abductors to justice

and subject to that to help other missing children. 

With the sudden dramatic and unexpected turn of events at the weekend the directors had to consider whether legal defence costs could be paid for by the Fund. 

The Board has taken advice from Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP and Christopher McCall QC.  The Board has been advised that payment of Gerry and Kate’s legal defence costs would be legally permissible subject to conditions about repayment in the event of a guilty conviction. 

The directors of the Fund discussed this today.  The two family directors, Brian Kennedy and John McCann withdrew from the meeting when the decision was made. Esther Mcvey chaired the meeting. 

The Fund directors realise that there is not only a legal answer and recognise the spirit which underlies the generous donations to Madeleine’s Fund, which it
is the directors’ responsibility to steer.

For this reason the Fund directors have decided not to pay for Gerry and Kate’s legal defence costs.  We stress that Gerry and Kate have not asked for these costs to be paid.  However, people have already called in offering their financial support.  Any such fund to pay legal defence costs would have to be separately set up and administered.     

At the heart of this campaign and Fund is a little girl confused, lonely and in need of her parents.  This Fund’s money will be focused on finding that little girl and leaving no stone unturned. 

12 September 2007

13 Sep 07
133
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14 Sep 07
134
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15 Sep 07
135

Statement from the Find Madeleine Fund
15 September 2007  

Director John McCann, said:

“On behalf of the extended McCann family and the Madeleine Fund, I would like to say how grateful we are for people’s generosity and support.

The main objective of the Madeleine Fund is to leave no stone unturned in the search for Madeleine.

To that end I would like to announce that the Fund will finance a broad range of initiatives in advertising to remind everyone that Madeleine is still missing. These adverts will focus on Spain, Portugal and other parts of Europe and will consist of billboards and other media. This financing of advertisements will complement previous efforts by the Fund and many motivated individuals – family, friends and people touched by our cause.

I hope that the general public will continue to support us in this.

It is so important that we remember: “don’t you forget about me”- our lovely wee Madeleine.”

16 Sep 07
136
Sorry for not updating the blog for such a long time but obviously we have been incredibly busy during this last tumultuous week. The entries will probably be every few days or if there is a major development in the future.
Thank you for all the cards, letters, flowers, gifts and messages of support. It means so much to us to know that so many people have not been deceived by rumour, innuendo and wild speculation. Most importantly the search for Madeleine carries on and our family have not given up hope of finding her.

Live in Rothley is still a long way off normal with the large media presence but it is beginning to settle down somewhat. We all managed to go to mass today and it was comforting to pray for Madeleine with friends and family in our local church.

17 Sep 07
137
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18 Sep 07
138
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19 Sep 07
139
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20 Sep 07
140
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21 Sep 07
141
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22 Sep 07
142
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23 Sep 07
143
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24 Sep 07
144
It is just over 2 weeks since we returned home from Portugal. The major news in that time is that we have not been charged with any offences regarding Madeleine’s disappearance. It is encouraging that the prosecutor has stated that all lines of enquiry remain open and we have not given up hope of finding Madeleine alive. It is good to see at least some attention re-focussing on finding Madeleine. Sean and Amelie have settled back in at home very well but they do miss their older sister and we talk about her every day. For Kate and I it has    been incredibly difficult to come home without Madeleine but particularly in such circumstances. Our family and friends have rallied round again as they have throughout this entire nightmare and they have also helped keep on top of the huge amount of mail from well wishers. At times our kitchen has looked like a sorting office! We would like to thank everyone for their support. It helps us keep sight of the fact that the great majority of people in this world are good.

Kate and I have been very busy with our legal advisers as we want to be eliminated from the inquiry as soon as possible and start concentrating wholeheartedly again on the search for our daughter. We are very confident this will happen when all the facts are presented together. We are very grateful and thankful to have several businessmen who have pledged financial support to cover legal costs and we were delighted Clarence Mitchell agreed to help us as an official spokesman. It is scary and daunting to imagine how we could have managed to deal with these latter ‘developments’ without such offers of support and commitment. Clarence will try and minimise the impact of the huge media interest in Madeleine’s disappearance on us, as we try and return slowly towards as normal a life as is possible. Although we will NEVER give up on Madeleine, we have to find the right balance for Sean and Amelie so they too do not suffer unnecessarily.

In the meantime we will continue to cooperate fully with the Portuguese authorities. I will update the blog periodically especially if there is any major development.

25 Sep 07
145
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26 Sep 07
146
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27 Sep 07
147
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28 Sep 07
148
It has been another busy week for Kate and I. Sean and Amelie have settled back into nursery, almost as if they have never been away. They are also enjoying playing in their garden especially on the big slide and their latest escapade is collecting conkers! When they are not in the garden, they are desperate to watch ‘Wallace and Gromit’ or build dens in their bedroom- another new activity introduced by a very special friend of theirs!

The amount of supportive mail we have been receiving has been overwhelming and shows no sign of abating. Just as when we were in Portugal, someone reads every single letter or card and your kind words really do help us. Thank you! We have once again been lucky enough to have had friends and family here helping us. Paul Seddon, the priest who married us and baptised Madeleine, also came down for a day this week too. The media presence in Rothley has reduced to a few photographers now and it has been good to get out and about a little bit in the village. We have had tremendous input from the local police who have kept a quiet presence at the end of the road, allowing us to have some privacy around the house. The support and kind words we have received from the local villagers has also helped to make our return that bit easier.

When we hear of potential sightings of Madeleine, Kate and I try not to get too excited otherwise we would be on a continuous emotional roller coaster, more than that which we are experiencing already. Despite the disappointment, it is encouraging that people are still being vigilant and have not stopped looking for Madeleine. This is so incredibly important to us both. The official advice from the authorities if you think you have seen Madeleine, or another missing child, is to call the local police force immediately and supply any information which might be critical such as a car registration or address.

We are planning a quiet family weekend, catching up with friends and some family who will be coming to visit. We continue to hope and pray that our lovely little girl will be back with us soon.

29 Sep 07
149
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30 Sep 07
150
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October 2007
Date
Day
Blog
01 Oct 2007
151
Yesterday marked 150 days since Madeleine was taken. For our family it was just another painful day without our beautiful daughter. The questions we ask are pretty much the same as those we asked in the first few days. Who took her, why did they take her and where is she? Without wanting to be boringly repetitive we believe that someone out there knows something that could answer these questions.

I am still amazed at the irresponsible reporting going on in the press with unsubstantiated reports from unreliable sources being repeated in the UK and Portuguese press unquestioningly. It is simply untrue that the twins think that Madeleine has gone on a ‘little trip’. They clearly miss their big sister and have asked on numerous occasions where is Madeleine?’. Kate I and have told them that we don’t know where she is but lots of people are looking for her and we hope that we will find her. They are not traumatised by her continued absence, simply being too young to comprehend the situation but we are well aware that their insight will change as they continue to develop rapidly.

At the weekend we again had lots of visitors with kids, which was great for Sean and Amelie. After attending mass yesterday morning we had a family lunch and then spent a couple of hours in the garden playing. There are still a few photographers hanging around at the end of our street taking daily pictures of Kate and I. We are managing to get out and about in the village and we have lots of support from the local community. On Saturday we decided to go for a run but drove nearby and parked the car but we were ‘snapped’ at the end, when I was certainly looking wearier than Kate!

02 Oct 07
152
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03 Oct 07
153
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04 Oct 07
154
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05 Oct 07
155
It has been a quieter week for Kate and I. We did go into the Leicester Mercury on Wednesday to pick up a cheque for Madeleine’s Fund from donations for green and yellow wristbands. We did our first interview since returning from Portugal to say a huge thank you to everyone, especially here in Leicestershire, for supporting us during these last few dark weeks and months. Click here to read the interview. We have talked a little of life returning to ‘normal’ in Rothley. Several photographers are still in the village but otherwise it has been very quiet.

Kate and I will be going through the judicial process in Portugal to try and clear our name as quickly as possible. Obviously it is encouraging that the prosecutor has stated that all lines of enquiry are open. It is likely that we will be ‘arguidos’ for some time since this status remains until charges are brought or up to 8 months if no charges are made. The investigation will have a new coordinator appointed to replace chief inspector Amaral. We are happy to continue cooperating with the Portuguese authorities and in fact as arguidos, we can request that certain investigations are carried out.

06 Oct 07
156
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07 Oct 07
157
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08 Oct 07
158
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09 Oct 07
159
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10 Oct 07
160
After a few days of ridiculous newspaper coverage in the UK and Portugal it was heartening to hear of the statement this evening from Mr Ripeiro, the National Director of the Judicial Police in Portugal. He has again emphasised that all lines of the investigation, not only Madeleine’s death, are open and that much of what has been written is pure speculation and in some cases misinformation. Scientific reports that we drugged our children clearly fall in to the latter category.
In the coming days and weeks we hope that only factual material is reported, allowing everyone to focus on finding Madeleine and who took her.
11 Oct 07
161
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12 Oct 07
162
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13 Oct 07
163
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14 Oct 07
164
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15 Oct 07
165
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16 Oct 07
166
Life in Rothley is definitely quietening down although daily photographs of us leaving the house still seem ‘newsworthy’ which I find incredible. We are slowly trying to return to normal and it is heartening meeting ordinary people who are very supportive and sympathetic. We have managed to catch up with quite a few friends in the last week, which we have actually had to build up to because of the emotions involved in talking about what has happened. We also had our first visitor from Praia da Luz who spent a few days with us. It was touching to hear about our friends there, who continue to hold weekly vigils praying for Madeleine and her safe return.

The media frenzy is gradually subsiding with just occasional unsubstantiated reports of ‘evidence’ appearing. It is very encouraging that Mr Rebelo’s officers will be seemingly reviewing all the material in the inquiry, which will hopefully identify areas for further investigation. Contrary to some other reports Kate and I do NOT accept that Madeleine is ‘probably’ dead. We know it is a possibility, however the fact there is no evidence Madeleine has been seriously harmed gives us ongoing hope that she will be found alive.

Finally, thank you once again to evryone who has written to us or sent messages of support. Calum has been away for a week on holiday and we will be updating the messages of support very soon. We would love to reply to everyone personally but the huge numbers simply make it impossible.

17 Oct 07
167
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18 Oct 07
168
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19 Oct 07
169
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20 Oct 07
170
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21 Oct 07
171
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22 Oct 07
172
This last weekend we went to visit friends and Kate’s parents. It is the first time we have been to Liverpool since we went to Portugal on holiday in April. Sean and Amelie had a great time playing with other young children and it was good for Kate and I to catch up with very close friends. We attended the ‘children’s mass’ in the church where we were married and I met the local priest who also happens to come from Glasgow.

We welcome the announcement from Mr Ribeiro, the National director of the Judicial Police in Portugal, that our friends who were on holiday with us in Portugal are to be re-interviewed. We do not know how many other ‘witnesses’ will be interviewed but obviously we want to be eliminated from the inquiry as soon as possible. We constantly hope that one of the other lines of investigation leads to Madeleine being found safe and well.

23 Oct 07
173
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24 Oct 07
174
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25 Oct 07
175
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26 Oct 07
176
It has been a busy few days for Kate and I. We did our first interview since being made arguidos, for Spanish TV. This was very difficult for us but had one important purpose. We announced that private investigators are looking for Madeleine and that there is a dedicated ANONYMOUS telephone line for anyone who has information, which may help us to find Madeleine. The number is +34.902.300.213. We urge anyone who may have information to please call this number.

The investigators are based in Spain because we believe Madeleine is most likely to be in the Iberian Peninsula or North Africa. They have also released a sketch of an eyewitness who saw a man carrying a small child away from near the apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared. We believe this child was Madeleine. The Portuguese police have released the description of the man previously: he is 35-40 years old, approximately 5’8”-5’10” (1.72-1.78m), Caucasian with southern European/Mediterranean appearance, slim build with dark hair. We hope that this picture may jog someone’s memory who may have seen this man in the Praia da Luz area on the night or days before Madeleine was abducted. Someone else may be aware of a man matching this description who has behaved suspiciously at any time since the beginning of May.

27 Oct 07
177
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28 Oct 07
178
The last couple of days have been hard for Kate and I. We have had a lot of ‘family time’ and despite the pleasure of seeing Sean and Amelie having fun, Madeleine’s absence was very much tangible. We were, however, bucked up somewhat after opening lots of mail, which was incredibly supportive and uplifting. We would like to pass on our sincere thanks once more to everyone who is supporting us. My mum and sister have also arrived for a few days and this is the first time we have seen each other for 5 weeks. My nephew and a close family friend also came to visit last night.

Today we all attended mass in the local church. Next Saturday will mark six months since Madeleine was abducted. We will be marking this milestone very quietly with an ecumenical prayer service for Madeleine and other missing children in the local Anglican church.

Despite sadness and despair at our own situation, it is heart wrenching to hear of tragedies affecting other families close to home this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

29 Oct 07
179
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30 Oct 07
180
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31 Oct 07
181
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