Many weeks ago, I made a statement on Facebook, that should ever I see anything happen in Portugal I would really think twice before committing myself to giving a statement. Of course that was condemned but you see, maybe it is standard practice in Portugal for files to be released to the public, but it is not where I come from.
Giving a statement to the UK Police means that at the end you have to agree to supporting the Police in a prosecution, you sign to say that you will support this. But one thing for sure you know damn well, that if nothing comes of that Police investigation, you won’t wake up one morning and find a letter on the mat from some fruitloop questioning the statement you gave to the Police.
The only time your statement would be read out and contested is when a case comes to court and someone has been charged with a particular offence and is having to appear before a Magistrate or Judge and Jury.
Initially my reason for probably turning a blind eye and saying “I see nothing” is because you don’t know who you are giving the statement against. You don’t know if they are violent and are part of a narcotics gang or criminal element and you don’t know if they would track you down for giving a statement against them.
Apart from all of that, now you don’t know if your private information, ie your date of birth, mobile telephone number, address, children’s identities are going to be placed somewhere on the internet.
And even worse you don’t know if someone like Tony Bennett will harass you and send you letters demanding to know what you did with regards to the investigation.
Yes in July this year Tony Bennett wrote to a witness in the case (screenshot). The witness replied with the following:
Dear Mr Bennett,
I am in receipt of your letter of 22 July regarding Madeleine McCann. I am sure you would appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment too much, as we do not know each other, and I have no idea what your connection to the case is. However, I would also not want further conspiracy theories to fester by simply ignoring your letter.
Therefore, I can confirm that whatever information I had (including some photos of my sons taken on the day Madeleine disappeared, which showed her in the background) was passed both to the police and to the McCanns at the time. Having been in Portugal at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance and seen all of the events first hand, there is not one shred of doubt in my mind that the events as reported were correct.
In fact one of the most terrible parts of this tragedy is that there are people out there who are questioning this, just adding further to the nightmare that the McCann family have suffered. I cannot imagine anything crueller.
I’m afraid I won’t enter into further correspondence on this matter with you.
This is wrong, who the hell does he think he is to contact witnesses in a case? He is NOT a Police Officer, he is NOT even a Private Detective working for the McCanns, he has NOTHING to do whatsoever with the investigation into what happened to Madeleine McCann.
So why is this man being allowed to carry on like this? The person he wrote to was polite, in their response, more than I could say I would be. But this man is obsessive and what he is doing must be bordering on criminality, especially with regards to harassment so why isn’t he being stopped?
How long before he contacts other witnesses in this case, especially the people who are friends of Kate and Gerry McCann who gave statements with regards to an incident on another holiday?
Fine if this is the way of the Portuguese Judicial system, but they could have blacked out all contact details and names so these people can’t contact these witnesses and I hope they realise now how many people will be apprehensive in coming forward should something happen in their Country.
It is one thing to discuss a case but it is entirely another to be so pro-active that you actually interfere with an on-going Police Investigation. Which is exactly what Tony Bennett did when he wrote to these witnesses when Scotland Yard were reviewing the case files. He and his Foundation have no rights whatsoever to contact any person who gave statements in this case.