Although by no means exhaustive, the following list marks my own attempt to identify the broad range of interest groups and supporters loyal to the McCann lobby. It also offers something of a glossary on topics and issues discussed on the site so far. The list does not include figures like Brian Kennedy or Robert Murat, enough of whom has already been made of elsewhere. The input of Tony Blair, who was the first to dispatch Mitchell and Dodd in May 2007, and Brown, who recalled the pair in July 2007, also goes unchecked. Whilst their influence can pretty well be assumed, it is not exactly clear what part they played or the scope of their contributions.
Again, I must reiterate, this site offers no explanation for Madeleine's disappearence, only for the fierce press, PR and lobbying activity that erupted in its wake.
Morocco and Belgium have accounted for more sightings of Madeleine than all other regions put together. In fact, there are alleged to have been over a hundred in each. The McCanns are also reported to have spent the greater part of the Find Madeleine Fund chasing up leads in these countries. There has to be some explanation for their sustained interests in this region, even if that interest in purely arbitrary; a response to either the excutive fictions of the press, the lively imaginations of the public or on intelligence of various merit.
This list will be added to on an ongoing basis. Parallel Intelligence Operations taking place in Morocco and Belgium (2007-2008) May 03rd 2007, Madeleine goes missing from her parents holiday apartment in Pria da Luz, in Portugal's Algarve. Earlier in the day tens of thousands of Israeli protesters at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv had called for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government to resign over their mishandling of the 2006 Lebanon war.
On June 03rd 2007, Rachael Bletchly of the Sunday People ran a story about British Intelligence agents picking up conversations in Arabic about a little ‘blonde girl’. There were also references to the McCann’s meeting with the Pope, a German man, and discussions about Morocco, Germany and the Netherlands. It was alleged that the conversations had been made with a pay-as-you-go Spanish phone and detected by the Echelon spy system. Was the phone call genuine, or was it a deliberate attempt to steer the investigation along a particular course? Whether the story was real or not, Morocco, the Netherlands, Germany were all to feature in the McCann’s itinerary the following week, commencing with a trip to Berlin on June 6th, Amsterdam on June 7th and Morocco on June 13th. And eventually, even ‘the German man’ made an appearance – Karl Kleine-Brockhoff disappearing in the Algarve on June 9th – little more than an hour’s drive from Praia da Luz near Alcoutim on the Spanish Border. The conversations are also alleged to have mentioned ferry crossings from the Spanish port of Tarifa to Tangiers in Morocco.
Nouredine el-Fatmi - Implicated in the murder of self-styled infidel and misanthrope, Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004. el-Fatimi was regarded by the AIVD (Dutch Intelligence) as one of the main figures in the Hofstad Network - an Islamist organization operating out of the Netherlands and consisting of mostly young Dutch Muslims of mainly North African origin. An old friend of Mohammed Bouyeri, el-Fatimi was born into a Berber family and grew up in the Rif Mountains of Morocco (mentioned here). In his teens he moved to Spain before eventually finding work in Portugal. Although radicalised in the Netherlands he attempted to move back to Portugal. It was here that he was first arrested for planning attacks during the 2004 European Football Championships. It is alleged that he also helped plan an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Jose Barroso, now president of the European Commission. However, the evidence against him was found to be inconclusive. Another Berber family in the Rif Mountains of Morocco became the centre of a media storm when pictures of a child resembling Madeleine McCann - Bushra Binhisa - were splashed across the frontpages of newspapers worldwide. The family had been spotted by a Spanish tourist (Clara Torres) being carried along a dusty road by a group of Moroccans near Tangier. Morocco Casablanca Bombings (March 2007-April 2007/May 2003, Jewish Targets) Riyadh Compound Bombings (May 12 2003, US/European Targets). Carried out by Abdelkader Belliraj - 51-year old Belgian-Moroccan serial killer and terrorist (grass for Belgian State Security Services, France's DGSE and CIA). Links also to Hezbollah through Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. Trained Casablanca plotters Belliraj in Afghanistan. Said to have received orders from al-Qaeda second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Arrested in Belgium in March 2008 after a length intelligence operation carried out between Belgium and Morocco. see In The Eye of the Storm Tongeren: An ordinarily small and sleepy town on the Dutch-Belgian border more popularly known for its Roman ruins, a Gothic church and a Sunday antique market. Tongeren, however, has over recent years become the scene of a series of unlikely events, the most famous of which was when 33-year-old child therapist, Kate Sampermans, claimed to have seen a child resembling Madeleine at the De Pauze cafe in Tongeren (DNA tests later ruled out the sighting). Little more than 12 months previously Tongeren had also been at the centre of a number of arrests relating to members of a terrorist group known as the Moroccan Islamic Combatants’ Group. Most of those arrested were Belgian, two of Moroccan origin and one from Tunisia. One of the men arrested was wanted by the Moroccan authorities in connection with the May 2003 bomb attacks in Casablanca and to the Madrid bombings. The town had similarly been associated with a supply and sale of fraudulent passports and travel documents which had been used and distributed amongst Afghan terror-training camps or cells in Europe. Another Belgian-Moroccan man, Abdallah Ait-Oud, was recently convicted of the murder of Belgian schoolgirls, Nathalie Mahy and Stacy Lemmens in June 2006. Case relived in June 2007 with Madeleine Letter and Map of Odiaxere Scrubland to Dutch Newspaper, De Telegraaf.
David James Smith of The Times alleges that the Portuguese Police were surprised at the inclusion of Mi5 members at UK Meeting Team.
Kate recounted, "I can remember our friends shouting, 'You need to close the borders' and they were shouting 'Morocco, Algiers!' Convicted Dutch terrorist, Eef Hoos (owner of a pet crematorium in Portugal) and one time 'Al Capone of the Hague'. Interviewed by Police in connection with the Madeleine case. On Saturday June 9th 2007, a 69-year old German man went missing without trace in the Algarve. Karl Kleine-Brockhoff and his wife had been holidaying with another couple in the village of Casa Branca. His body was eventually found in October that year, in the advanced stages of decomposition. But this was no ordinary German tourist. Karl Kleine-Brockhoff’s son was Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, Senior Director for Policy Programs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. An expert on transatlantic relations and foreign policy, he was regularly called upon to provide expertise as a witness to the U.S. Congress and highly regarded by both Angela Merkel and the German Interior Minister, Wolfgang Schauble (whom the McCanns met in Berlin a few days prior to Kleine-Brockhoff’s disappearance). Kleine-Brockhoff was also a fierce critic of the American Rendition Programme and the human rights abuses taking place at Guantanomo Bay, Haditha and Abu Ghraib. In January 2006 he became famous for grilling ex-CIA man Michael Scheuer about the realities of rendition in an interview published by Die Zeit. On another occasion he raised the issue of Binyam Mohamed – the Ethiopian-British National who was captured and reputedly tortured in Morocco as part of the US military’s extraordinary rendition program. In another article, Thomas told of how his uncles – brothers of his father, Karl Kleine-Brockhoff – had been responsible for overseeing the execution of thousands of Jews in the Nazi Concentration camps during World War II. His newspaper, Die Zeit was responsible for a major diplomatic controversy when it published caricatures of the prophet, Mohammed. see also: Secrets of Karl Kleine-Brockhoff Private Investigators & Risk Assessment
Oakley International - McCann Private Investigators stake out paedophile network in Belgium (costing £500,000 of funds). Alleged to be staffed by former members of Mi5, the CIA and FBI.
Metodo 3 - repeated investigations in Morocco (costing over £500,000). Members are alleged to have spied on Government Officials. Control Risks Group - Not 'private investigators' as alleged by the press but a highly respected risk assessment company, allegedly consisting of ex-SAS and former intelligence personnel. The group was hired by the McCanns in late May 2007 to investigate sightings of Madeleine in Morocco. Control Risks Group's four main operating areas are: political and security risk analysis, corporate investigations, security consultancy, and crisis response (90 per cent of the FTSE 100 use one or more of their services). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) asked Control Risks Group to draft risk assessments for business development in Iraq (it was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who seconded Clarence Mitchell from the Central Office of Information to work on the McCanns' behalf). Sectors include Aerospace and Defence, Insurance, Mining, Oil and Gas as well as a number of financial services. see also: Risk Assessment in 'New Morocco' Research, Information and Communication Unit (RICU) - Established by the UK Government in June 2007 to confront the 'ideological challenges' of dialogues forming online, as part of a campaign to counter radicalism in Britain. The unit - which set out to 'channel messages through volunteers in internet forums and blogs like those at the BBC' - reports to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - the Office that Blair's former Communication henchman, Howell James seconded Clarence Mitchell to in June 2007 (the very month that RICU was established). RICU is trilateral unit, jointly owned by three departments – Communities and Local Government, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office. see also: Developing Counter Narratives/RICU Dr Sarah Meyers - In October 2007, Dr Sarah Meyers, Senior Consultant at Control Risks Group took part in a Trade and Investment Conference in London in a programme that looked at the 'Economic and Social Challenges of the 'New Morocco'. Mr Abdelmalik Kettani, Vice President of the Confederation of Moroccan Industry also took part. In October 2004, the Control Risks Group prepared a War, Terrorism and Political Violence briefing that was eventually released by Hiscox Syndicates.
Sightings: Mari Olli in Morocco in May 2007, and in May 2007 by Melissa Fiering who claimed to have seen Madeleine at a Cafe in Southern France with an 'Algerian looking man'. Mari Olli Pollard and her husband lived in Groby, Leicester before relocating to Fuengirola near Malaga in Southern Spain a few years ago. Groby is only a 5 minute drive from Rothey, the home of the McCanns. The vast majority of alleged sightings took place in either Belgium or Morocco (estimates put it at over 100 in each). Almost all of these sightings were proved to have been false and yet the McCanns handed over £500,000 in Belgium and £500,000 in Morocco to companies like Control Risks Group, Metodo 3 and Oakley International to search in these specific areas. There was also a disproportiate number of 'sightings' with Madeleine in the care of Arabs or immigrants. For a full list of all the Gibraltar Straits, Arab, Malta 'sightings' click here
Economic and Political Background
Portugal and Morocco - 'Memorandum of Understanding’signed July 2008. Advancing cooperation on security and economic matters.
NATO & Morocco - Morocco contributes to Operation Active Endeavour - to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity, drugs trafficking, irregular migration and the black market trafficking of goods in and around the Gibraltar Straits.
NATO & Israel - Israel joins Operation Active Endeavour - to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity, drugs trafficking, irregular migration and the black market trafficking of goods in and around the Gibraltar Straits.
Prum Treaty (incorporated into the EU's legal framework in 2007) was to address the field of cross-border cooperation, with particular emphasis given to the fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and illegal migration. Morocco and Algeria came under particular scrutiny - not least because oftheir increasing association with al-Queda networks. many of the issues addressed in the Prum Treaty were addressed in the McCann's exhaustive press campaign. see also: Grooming the McCanns
Azores Summit March 2003 - The decision to invade had been finalized at the Azores Summit in Portugal, organised and hosted by José Durao Barroso who was, at that time, Portuguese Prime Minister (now Preseident of the European Commission). Cash For Honours Scandal - In 2006 and 2007 the UK Police investigated claims that Life Peerages had been exchanged for major Labour donations. A number of Labour Friends of Israel members were at the centre of the Cash For Honours and Donorgate scandals (Lord Levy, Lord Sainsbury and David Abrahams). Another member, Jon Mendelsohn is Gordon Brown’s party fundraiser, replacing disgraced peer, Lord Levy.
Gerry McCann 'Fact Finding Missions' June/July 2007. Visits include Justice and Security Ministers: Wolfgang Schauble (German Interior Minister responsible for reviving the Prum Treaty and co-hosting the 'First Europa Forum on the Rights of the Child' with the EU's Justice Minister, Franco Frattini).
Alberto Gonzales - Minister of Justice and US Attorney General.
Baroness Ashton - Junior Justice Minister.
Lutz Diwell - Germany's Deputy Justice Minister.
Chakib Benmoussa - Morocco's Justice Minister. Consular Support John Buck - British Ambassador to Portugal at the time of the disappearence. Replaced within a week of the McCanns being made 'arguidos' in September 2007 by Alexander Ellis (former advisor to President Barroso). It has been alleged that John Buck pressed the Portuguese Police to issue a statement to the press about an 'abduction' within 24 hours of Madeleine going missing, at a time when even the Police did not know in which direction the case would be heading (unsourced). Bill Henderson - British Consul in Portamaio at the time of the disappearence. Retired in August, some two-three months ahead of schedule. Henderson was replaced by Celia Edwards. Edwards resigned her position in July 2007 to puruse her legal career. Celia Edwards - replaced Bill Henderson as British Consul in August 2007 - shortly before the McCanns were made formal suspects. Replaced by Paul Rodwell when Edwards left to pursue her legal career.
MEPs and EU Ministers.
Franco Frattini - former Justice, Freedom and Security Minister and Vice-President of the Barroso Commission. Brainchild of the original Missing Children Alert Scheme and EU-Wide Alert Number (116 000). Produced 2006's 'Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child' for the Barroso Commission.
José Manuel Barroso - President of the European Commission (otherwise known as the 'Barroso Commission'). Responsible for adopting 2006's Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child policy. Former Prime Minister of Portugal and ally of Blair and Bush. Hosted the Azores Summit between Portugal, Spain, the US and UK on the even of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 - prior to the first Casablanca Bombings. Former advisor to Barroso, Alexander Ellis replaced John Buck as British Ambassador to Portugal in September 2007 - within a week of the McCanns being made formal suspects.
Liz Lynne - West Midlands MEP and Human Rights campaigner. Met with the McCanns in Brussels in April 2008 in support of Amber Alert.
Lady Glenys Kinnock - Human Rights campaigner and Labour Party Member of the European Parliament. Sponsored the McCann's 'Written Declaration' on their Amber Alert Campaign.
Edward McMillan-Scott - President of the European Parliament and supporter and sponsor of the Amber Alert Campaign. The McCanns joined him on their lobbying of EU ministers in April 2008, in Belgium. He co-presented their televised press conference with the couple and their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.
Sir Christopher Meyer - Former British Ambassador to the US and Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission. Married to Lady Catherine Meyer - Director of PACT and supporter of the Eu-Wide Amber Alert.
Lady Catherine Meyer - Director of PACT, wife of Sir Christopher Meyer and supporter of the Eu-Wide Amber Alert. Patrons include Cherie Blair and Laura Bush.
Esther McVey - Conservative MP. Studied A Levels at same college as Kate McCann. Find Madeleine Fund Director. Works for a range of charities. Friend of former Mentorn chief-executive, Tom Gutteridge. Mentorn produced the 'Madeleine McCann: One Year On' documentary for ITV. Screened May 2008. Also a former colleague of 'Missing Persons' director, Paul Tuohy (the two worked together at Action Medical Research). Producer and TV responsible for the BBC's 'Heaven and Earth Show' (religious magazine programme).
Peter Mandelson - Rebranded New labour with close friend, Tony Blair. Staunch critic of Gordon Brown. Friend of Howell James - the man who requested loan of Clarence Mitchell. Vice-President of the EU Commission. Gary Titley - The European Labour Party Leader, Gary Titley MEP, responsible for supporting (and prefiguring) the McCann’s EU-Wide Alert Scheme and EU-Wide Emergency number (EU Helpline) campaign holds vice-chair at Labour Freinds of Israel. As a result of his efforts the 116 000 number was reserved. He was also present at a meeting in Belgium on May 2nd 2007, at which the European Parliament discussed the Prum Treaty’s entry into the legal framework of the EU (Diana Wallis, who sponsored the McCann's 'Written Declaration' in April 2008 also attended this meeting). His support for both EU-Wide Alert Schemes goes back to 2006 when the policy was first introduced by the European Commission (featuring Mandelson). In January 2007 Titley addressed the 'Making EU Enlargement Work' conference - an invitation only event held in Central London which was to address cross-border issues, such as transnational organised crime and people trafficking". Titley asked: "Can effective pan-European strategies be formed – and does an EU of 27 need institutional or policy reforms to achieve this? "What is the key to an effective strategy to maintain sufficient public consent for enlargement in both established and new member states? If this cannot be done, could this be the last EU enlargement?" Diana Wallis - Fromer leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament 2000-2004 and Vice President of the European Parliament, since January 2007. Responsible for co-sponsoring the McCann's 'Written Declaration' to the EU Parliament in April 2008 and which was finally adopted by the European Parliament on September 2nd 2008. Wallis was present at the final vote in which it was determined that the Prum Treaty would be written into the legal framework of the EU and extended to all 27 member states. The Treaty was fiercely criticized by the British Press and a good number of conservative MEPs, including Syed Kammall. Contrary to what the European Parliament's Official Press Release stated, the EU-Wide Alert was not 'inspired by the disappearence of Madeleine McCann'. The idea was first introduced by Frattini and Wallis as early as 2006. Initial requests to have the Alert Scheme approved had not been successful. It is, however, widely accepted that the McCanns raised the profile of the declaration and that their input was instrumental in its success. important documents: 'Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child' - A series of recommendations put together by the Barroso Commission in 2006. Recommendations include cross-border Police cooperation, Eu-Wide Alert Scheme, EU-Wide Alert Number (116 000), central European DNA database, tighter border controls and EU-Wide Criminal/Sex Offenders Register. Many of the issues addressed by the strategy repeat and reinforce those addressed by the Prum Treaty. Objective: safety of children.
Prum Treaty (otherwise known as Schengen Agreement/Prum Convention). Controversial security policy originally signed by Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in May 2005. It was later included in the EU legal framework and extended to all member states in June 2007. Major cheerleaders include Wolfgang Schauble (German Interior Minister) and the EU's President Barroso. Targets include EU-Wide DNA database, EU-Wide Criminal database, tighter border control, greater control of migration. Objective: Multi-national security against terrorism and crime. Child Helplines in Europe - In 2005 a ‘written declaration’ was submitted to the EU Parliament by the German Socialist MEP, Lissy Gröner, Genowefa Grabowska, Karin Riis-Jørgensen, Gér-ard Onesta and Vasco Graça Moura. The declaration requested the reservation of the 116 000 EU helpline number. The consultation phase was launched by Child Help International and Professor Jaap Doek in the Netherlands (Deputy Justice in the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam and founding member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect). The declaration was signed by Edward-McMillan Scott, Roberta Angelilli, and Evelyne Gebhardt – the very same group of members that would sponsor the EU-Wide Child Alert on behalf of the McCanns. Written Declaration on EU Wide Alert System - The declaration was drafed by Geoffrey Robertson QC and sponsored by Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Diana Wallis MEP, Glenys Kinnock MEP, Roberta Angelilli MEP and Evelyne Gebhardt MEP - the same MEPs who supported Gröner and Frattini's 'Helpline' number. The McCanns travelled to Belgium and Strasbourg in April 2008 to lend their support at the invitation of Glenys Kinnock and Edward MacMillan-Scott. There is some confusion about who conceived of the declaration. MacMillan-Scott alleges that the Written Declaration was 'proposed by the McCanns' and Lady Kinnock says it was the idea of the EU Parliament to draft it. See also: Response from Lady Glenys Kinnock First European Forum on the Rights - On June 4th 2007 - Franco Frattiini - Vice-President of Barroso's European Commission travelled to Berlin to attend the First European Forum on the Rights of the Child to be hosted by German Interior Minister, Wolfgang Scahuble. The Forum was deemed to be the next step in the Commission's work on Children's rights. The first step had been the 'communication: an 'EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child' adopted by the Commission on 4 July 2006. The McCanns met with Wolfgang Schauble and Germany's assistant Justice Minister two days later on June 6th 2007 on a promotional trip to Berlin.
the McCanns also lobbied on the following issues: Extending EU and National DNA databases - June 01 2007 EU-Wide Rapid response System - August 8, 2007 (later re-branded as the EU Wide Alert System, April 2008) EU-Wide Sex Offenders Register - August 22, 2007 Cross-Border Cooperation Between Police Forces, August 23nd, 2007 EU-Wide Sex Offenders Register - In 2006, Lady Glenys Kinnock – one of the sponsors of the McCann’s Amber Alert – also sponsored a communication on the creation of a ‘Europe Wide Paedophile Register’, proposed initially by Franco Frattini in the Commission’s highly regarded Towards A EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child policy. The urgency of the request came in direct response to the murder of the two Belgian schoolchildren, Stacy Lemmens and Nathalie Mahy in June 2006 by Belgian-Moroccan, Abdallah Ait-Oud. Referring to the Belgium Murders the previous week, Kinnock warned that “there must be no more toying with children’s rights” and immediately launched proposals allowing EU police and law enforcement agencies to build Europe-wide databases of child sex offenders. The request, however, was met with considerable reluctance. In August 2007 the McCanns repeated this request - calling for an EU-Wide database. The McCanns believed such a database would help prevent child abuse and track offenders. Perhaps as a consequence of the profile of the Madeleine McCann case, a decision was made by Barroso Commission on 27 May 2008 to adopt a proposal for a Council Decision establishing the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). Whilst it is not a centralised database system, ECRIS will offer a standardised European format of transmission of information on convictions, allowing information to be exchanged in a uniform, electronic and easily computer translatable way. see also: Peculiar Fact about EU-Wide Alert Sponsors and Latest Response from Lady Glenys Kinnock
Blair and Brown's Circle: Tony Blair - Former British Prime-Minister. Blair was Prime Minister when Madeleine McCann disappeared from her parent's holiday apartment on the 3rd May 2007. The post taken up by Gordon Brown in July 2007. Upon Blair's retirement, Blair took upon the role of Special Envoy to the Middle-East - a post previously occupied by disgraced labour peer, Lord Levy. He also accepted a job as advisor to the US Investment Banking company, JP Morgan Chase - a move widely criticized as being at odds with his role as Peace Envoy. As major shareholders in the US and Israel Defense Contractors, Northrop and Raytheon, JP Morgan Chase have invested a significant amount of money in the Middle East. More recently, Raytheon secured a windfall contract on 24 f-16 combat aircraft purchased by Morocco (December 2007). As a result of Morocco's continuing cooperation in the fight aginst terrorism, a broader range of trading opportunities have opened between Europe and Morocco (see Memorandum of Understanding signed with the EC, July 2008). Member of pro-Israel lobby, 'Labour Friends of Israel'. see also: Dear Professor Mearsheimer and In The Eye of the Storm
Sir Philip Green - Jewish Millionaire who loaned the McCanns private jet for trip to Rome. Received his peerage during the notorious 'Cash For Honours Scandal' in 2006. Disgraced peer Lord Levy was due to meet Sir Philip on the day Levy was arrested for his part in the peerage scandal. Supports a number of Jewish foundations and charities.
Lord Michael Levy - Close friend of Tony Blair. First meets Blair at a 'Labour Friends of Israel' event in North London. Becomes Labour Party fundraiser. Implicated in the 'Cash For Honours Scandal' (2006-2007)
JP Morgan Chase - US Investment bank. Tony Blair joins Bank as advisor upon his retirement in July 2007 - shortly after accepting role as Britain's Envoy to the Middle-East (unpaid). JP Morgan Chase are major shareholders in US Defense Contractors, Raytheon.
Raytheon - Major pro-Israeli US Defense contractor. Major shareholders include Blair's investment bank, JP Morgan Chase. Raytheon makes pro-Israel statements in 2006 and wins lucrative (and controversial) contract supplying arms that would later be used by Israel on Lebanon in the Israel-Lebanon War in 2006 and on attacks on Palestinians. Other major share holders include Fidelity Investments Company - also major shareholders in The UK's Daily Mirror.
Labour Friends of Israel - A pro-Israel interest group within the UK parliament. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson and Gary Titley are all senior members. Lord Levy was due to meet Sir Philip Green (Jewish Retail Millionaire, Philanthropist and Labour donor) on the day of his arrest over the Cash For Honours Scandal.
David Abrahams - Senior figure within 'Labour Friends of Israel' group and at centre of Cash For Honours Scandal.
Jon Mendelsohn - Gordon Brown and Labour Party fundraiser and senior figure at 'Labour Friends of Israel'. Passionate Zionist.
Lorraine Kelly - GMTV Presenter and fierce supporter of the McCanns. Rumoured to have been offered a role in New Labour government. Regular guest of Tony Blair at Prime Minister's Country Residence - Chequers. Patron of 'Missing Persons' - the UK charity. Also presents DNA Stories for Scottish Television.
Fiona Philips - GMTV Presenter and fierce supporter of the McCanns. Rumoured to have been offered a role in New Labour government and peerage by Gordon Brown. Regular guest of Tony Blair at Prime Minister's Country Residence - Chequers. Hosted Tony Blair's retirement evening in late May 2007.
JK Rowling - Socialist novelist and passionate human rights campaigner. Published her first book in 1997 as Blair came to office and her last in 2007 as Blair left office. Close friend of Gordon Brown and his wife. Pledged £500,000 to the Madeleine reward fund. Married to Dr Neil Murray. Former resident of Portugal.
Dr Neil Murray - An anaesthetist. Married to JK Rowling. Attended Glasgow Medical University at the same time as Gerry McCann.
Press Daily Mirror - British newspaper owned by Trinity Mirror and fierce supporters of the McCanns. Previous owners and directors include the pro-Israeli Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch and Sir Victor Blank - Chairman of the Union of Jewish Students (the President of the Union is Lord Levy). Current figures at Trinity Mirror are Sir Ian Gibson and Gary Hoffman - both executives at Northern Rock. Fiercely loyal and protective of the McCanns. Tends to lend uncinditional support to all manner of alleged sightings and publicity drives. The Mirror's Lori Campbell was the journalist responsible for reporting Robert Murat to the police. Breakfast TV presenter and equally fierce McCann supporter Fiona Philips contributes a weekly column.
Fidelity Investments Company - pro-Israeli US investment management company and one of The Mirror Group's major shareholders. Also own major shares in Raytheon,US and Israel Defense Contractor.
Daily Express - Agreed an £500,000 out of court libel settlement with the McCanns in February 2007. Owned by controversial Jewish Millionaire, Richard Desmond - former Labour Party donor and one time close friend of Tony and Cherie Blair. As a result of substantial libel payouts, the Daily Express was forced to lay off over 70 sub-editing staff in September 2007 (some 8 months ahead of the next General Election). Notorious and provocative critic of the McCanns prior to their libel payout.
Richard Desmond - Owner of the Daily Express and major shareholder in a substantial 'porn' empire. Desmond fell out with Blair and New Labour after Blair appointed Gordon Brown as his successor in Downing Street. Moved over to the Conservatives in 2004. Daily Telegraph - In May 2007 it was reported that The Daily Telegraph's newspapers were to be printed on presses owned by rival media group News International - part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Fiercely loyal to the McCanns and sensitive to their campaigns and publicity drives.
Rupert Murdoch - Australian media magnate. Father-in-law of Freud Communications founder Matthew Freud and father of Elisabeth Freud (close friend of Peter Mandelson). A strategic alliance between News Corp and New Labour was formed just before the 1997 election when the media magnate’s Sun and Times newspapers switched sides to support Blair’s election bid against the Tories, who had been discredited by a series of scandals. Murdoch has been a regular visitor to the Downing Street ever since. His friendship with Blair and Mandelson has also been fomented as a result of the pair's membership of Labour Friends of Israel – a Parliament-based lobby group promoting support within the British Labour Party. Murdoch’s vested interests in Israel and his close friendship with Ariel Sharon needs no further elaboration. Murdoch is a major shareholder in News Group who own News International Ltd and Times Newspapers Ltd (The Sun, the News of the World, The Times, and Sunday Times). see also: Clarence Mitchell, Freud Communications and Tony Blair Paulo Reis - Freelance Portuguse Journalist and editor of Gazeta Digital - a news blog that became first port of call for many Internet users following the investigation. Claims to have re-launched his blogging career just a few days before Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Resort complex after a period of several months undercover. Former member of the communist MPLA when it operated as a guerrilla/liberation army in Angola in the early to mid 1970s. Appointed as Press Officer and Deputy-Director of Macau Government Press Office when Macau was under the administration of the Portuguese Government. The duty of the GCS was (and still is) to inform the public, acting in a liaison capacity between the media and the government. The closest thing we have in the UK is The Central Office of Information, which housed Clarence Mitchell's Media Monitoring Unit. see also: Paulo Reis - Busting a Few Myths and O Independente Felícia Cabrita - The irrepressible Portuguese journalist responsible for writing 'Pact of Silence' - the SOL report that first pointed the finger of suspicion at the McCanns. Also responsible for breaking the 'Casa Pia Scandal' - a series of allegations of abuse aimed at senior members of the Socialist Party and TV personalities. Cabrita was also held to account for her controversial biography of Pinto da Costa – Chariman of Portugal’s football team Porto and brother of José Eduardo Pinto da Costa in which it was alleged that Portugal's Prosecutor's Office was behaving like the Estado Novo - the aggressive, facist regime that flourished between the years 1930 and 1970 in Portugal. Also made a name for herself supporting the 9/11 conspiracy line. She appeared in court in 2008 accused of 'violating the rules of all professional conduct and possible fabrication' in a complaint lodged to Portugal's Council Of Ethics.
see also: O Independente, Casa Pia Scandal and SOL Journalist to Appear in Court
Charities Missing Persons - On May 25th 2007, Paul Tuohy re-launched the charity, 'Missing Persons' (previously known as the National Missing Persons). The event is alleged to have been instigated at the behest of the European Commission, spearheaded by former EC Vice-President and self-appointed 'Guardian Angel of Children', Franco Frattini. The event was attended by John McCann. Paul Tuohy is an ex-colleague of Esther McVey. Tuohy says it is 'peculiarly ironic' that they should launch at the time Madeleine McCann went missing. Patrons include Lorraine Kelly (ITV)
National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) - Charity with headquarters in Virginia, USA. Pioneer of Amber Alert. Visited by Gerry in 2007 and 2008 as part of his 'fact finding' missions.
PACT - Charity supporting the US Amber Alert and founded by Lady Catherine Meyer. Patrons include Laura Bush and Cherie Blair. described as a 'friend' the McCanns in January 2008.
PR and Media Relations:
"The government has 1,500 press officers, issues 20,000 press releases a year, and also spends millions more of our money on PR firms. The Foreign Office spends £600 million a year on `public diplomacy'. The CIA spent $265 million on `information operations' in 1978 alone, more than the world's three biggest news agencies together. It focuses its efforts on the New York Times, CBS, Newsweek and Time." (William Podmore, Reviewer) Clarence Mitchell - Former BBC Crime Reporter and Head of the UK Government's 'Media Monitoring Unit' (Central Office of Information). Seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 'Consular Assistance Group for period of 25 days in May 2007 to provide assistance with the media for the McCanns.
Howell James - Former Head of Communications for the UK Government. Appointed by Tony Blair in 2004. Resigned in June 2008. It was James who personally requested Mitchell's presence in Praia da Luz. Very close friend of Peter Mandelson - a fierce opponent of Gordon Brown.
Sheree Dodd - Passionate Blairite and former Director of Communications at the Department of Trade and Industry. Dispatched by Blair to Portugal prior to Mitchell as 'media advisor' to the McCanns. Dismissed by Gordon Brown in June 2007. Returned to represent the McCanns in June 2007 on a temporary basis. Her expenses were this time met by the McCanns.
Alex Woolfal - Specialist in crisis management at Bell Pottinger. One of the first people to act as media adviser to the McCanns on behalf of their client, Mark Warner Resorts. Ex-Labour Party staff at Bell Pottinger include Cathy McGlynn (an adviser to Jack Cunningham when he was Agriculture Secretary), Amanda Clow (Tony Blair's office prior to the 1997 election), Amanda Francis (a former adviser to Mo Mowlam), Jav Chavda (a former researcher for the 'Rapid Rebuttal Unit') and Nick Williams.
Justine McGuiness - Liberal Democrat MP for Dorset West and professional Lobbyist. Media Advisor to the McCanns at the time of their arrest in September 2007. Famous for spearheading a campaign that eventually won the release of Daisy Angus, the Dorset teenager jailed in India on a drugs trafficking charge. Freud Communications - It was announced in August that, Clarence Mitchell, Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman, had joined PR and marketing agency Freud Communications as a consultant specialising in crisis and issues management, media training and scenario planning. The company’s founder is Matthew Freud, celebrated Labour supporter and unofficial PR consultant to Tony Blair. Freud was responsible for organising the 1998 Labour Party Conference. At that time the former ‘enfant terrible’ of London society was boyfriend of Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of the world’s foremost media magnate, Rupert Murdoch. see also: Clarence Mitchell, Freud Communications and Tony Blair Elisabeth Murdoch Freud - Matthew Freud and Elisabeth Murdoch Freud are now regarded as the United Kingdom's best connected 'power couples'. Elisabeth Murdoch is also a close friend of Peter Mandelson. Julia Hobsbawm - daughter of Marxist Historian, Eric Hobsbawm and fierce Blairite. A close friend and former business partner of Sarah Brown, Hobsbawm appeared on BBC News 24 criticizing the Press and Portugal's treatment of the McCanns: "It is time this country asked questions of the Portuguese police and Portugal itself, else we won’t go on there on holiday any more", she said. She was wrongly introduced on the programme as 'Head of Media Monitoring and Analysis' for the UK Government. Founder of 'Editorial Intelligence' a Mew Media PR company intended to bridge the gap between the two sparring worlds of public relations and journalism. The company puts companies and interest groups in touch with the most powerful figures of the online and offline worlds of opinion (a highly potent lobbying tool) Justice and Criminal Prosecution Figures:
Leicestershire Police Authority. One of the Find Madeleine Fund Directors is Philip Tomlinson (76) - former County Coroner for Rutland and North Leicestershire and now solicitor. In Britain a coroner is someone who is responsible for investigating deaths, particularly those that happen under 'unusual circumstances'. Well established connections with Leicestershire Police Authority. The Coroner works with the Police to determine the cause of death. In this respect they have a judicial function. Stuart Prior - Police Superintendent from Leicestershire Police Authority who lead the British side of the investigation. Madeleine Fund Directors Michael Linnett - a retired accountant - Linnett made to 120th place on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2001 through his marriage to wife Freddie, who inherited a significant stake in Leicester's Charles Street Buildings in 1991. Profits fell by £10m in 1999m but the company still has net assets of £223.3m, the Sunday Times reports, and the Linnetts have £40m of family assets to shelter them from the whims of the property market. Freedie Linnett (a former secretary) was once the second richest woman in Britain after the Queen. Educated by nuns in a convent, Linnett learned shorthand and typing before joining her Irish uncles property firm in Leicestershire (the Murphys of Ireland). Recent accounts reveal the business to have made a profit of almost £32.3m and its net assets had risen to £264m. Between 1995 and 2001, Linnett and the Murphy family received dividends of £47m. Now estimated to be worth £450 million.
Peter Hubner - 64, former hospital consultant (Cardiology and Anaesthetics). Hon. Secretary of the British Cardiovascular Prevention Society (1988-1992). Lives in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire. Went to Saint Benedicts School in Ealing. Graduated in medicine in Middlesex. Seems to have a private practice at Kirby Muxloe.
Brian Kennedy - Madeleine's Great Uncle - A retired head teacher. Lives in the McCanns' home village of Rothley. Likely to be the same Brian Kennedy who is the creator/coordinator of Leicestershire County Council Environment and Heritage Services.
John McCann - Gerry's brother and Madeleine's Uncle: 48-year old John McCann, is a medical representative for AstraZeneca, an International Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company ( sells pharmaceuticals to treat disorders in the cardiac and vascular, neurological and psychiatric, respiratory areas) HQ is in London. Sales in 2003 totalled $18.8 billion, with a profit before tax of $4.2 billion. The products licensed by AstraZeneca have special relevance to Gerry McCann's work in Cardiology. Unlikely to welcome such adverse publicity. Attended St. Mungo's Secondary School (the McCann girls attended Holyrood Grammar School)
Philip Tomlinson - 76, a lawyer and former HM Coroner for Leicester North. Family links to Leicester County Council (going back years). Being a coroner he is likely to have connections within Leicester Police Authority (when a sudden, unexpected death occurs a police will be asked to attend with a number of responsibilities and duties that will need to be carried out. Any Police Officer assigned to a case will also act on behalf of the Coroner as a Coroner's Officer during the investigation). Lives in the Woodgate area, Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Doug Skehan - Clinical Director and LNR Cardiac Network Clinical Lead at Glenfield Hospital. Dr. Doug Skehan is a cardiologist at University Hospitals of Leicester and his wife, Mrs. Marcelle Skehan (also known as Dr. Morris), is a general practitioner (GP) in a Coalville practice. Qualified in Leicester. Keen marathon runner and charity fundraiser. Also carries out cardiac scans for new Leicester City signings during medicals (The Blue Army). The Labour Government invested over £17m in new heart facilities at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital in 2003 (in 2003 the government invested £93m pounds in heart treatment facilities across England). Has 4 children. Psychic Investigators Amanda Hart - Psychic predators? Ghouls? Crazypeople? Call them what you will but in May and June 2007 it was reported that the McCanns and the Police were enlisting the help of ‘psychic advisors’ on an unprecedented scale. One of the first to fly out to Praia Da Luz was Amanda Hart, a former contestant and finalist on Teresa Goddard’s ‘Psychic Challenge’ (Channel 5). Accompanied by fellow ‘psychics’ Ben Murphy and Diane Lazarus, the Hertford-based Hart flew out to Portugal for several days on May 11th 2007. A former resident of both Spain and Portugal, Amanda had been in Portugal some months before researching an Atlantis project. On one of her trips she claims to have been contacted by a representative of the UK Government who had been seconded to Iraq on a Defense project. A week prior Madeleine going missing, Hart registered the company name ‘Amber Connections (UK) Ltd' at Companies House (April 26th 2007). She also registered a website domain name, ‘amberconnections.com’ (28th April 2007 - the day Kate McCann starts her 'fateful' diary). Styling themselves as ‘psychic detectives’ Hart and Murphy had hit upon the idea of specialising in missing persons, corporate fraud, miscarriages of justice, murder, psychic investigations and corporate malpractice. The flamboyant public relations specialist, Kizzi Nkwocha, a writer of religious thrillers and one time advisor to Chris Eubank, backed the project and press releases announcing their arrival in Praia Da Luz were routinely distributed amongst the media. If his website is anything to go by, Nkwocha has subsequently landed windfall contracts with the British Home Office (Justice Information). Hart claims that she too had a daughter nicknamed ‘Maddie’ who was similarly taken from her. In a number of emails I exchanged with Amanda in early June 2007, it became clear that Hart was expecting Madeleine to figurehead a series of worldwide events.
The registration of the company name, ‘Amber Connections’ in many ways pre-figured the McCann’s subsequent, 'Amber Alert’ campaign - a project with parallel concerns.
Diane Lazarus – Friend and colleague of Amanda Hart, and winner of Channel 5’s ‘Psychic Challenge’. The Sun Newspaper described how a close friend of the McCanns invited the group to Portugal to advise them in the search for their daughter. In an interview with The Sun she described her four day stay on the Algarve where she hoped to link up with the couple shortly before their audience with Pope Benedict. Diane said: "I would never go to Portugal without the consent of the family". Lazarus is based in Swansea (edited 09.01.09 from Cardiff).
The owner of the Ocean Club is David Symington of the famous Symington Wine Dynasty in Porto, Portugal. The British Press publish reports on Angus Symington'slikeness toRobert Murat.
David Symington is brother of Ian Douglas Symington, who is an old friend of ex-British Prime Minister, John Major.
John Majorregularly holidays with Ian Douglas Symington family in the Duoro valley near Porto in Portugal.
David's nephew John Symington is Britains' Honorary Consul in Porto and a colleague of former British Ambassador in Portugal John Buck (who was consul to the McCanns).
The Ocean Club employs Bell Pottinger to handle 'crisis management'. The Bell Pottinger company is founded by Lord Tim Bell - good friend of John Major and Conservative/New Labour Spin-Doctor (Alex Woolfall is Head of Crisis Management at Bell Pottinger and also handled US Giant Monsanto's Genetically Modified Food controversy)
The McCanns employ Hanover PR an agency owned by John Major's Director of Communications and Press Secretary, Charles Lewington (also featured in the 'lobbygate' row)
McCanns befriend Sir Christopher Meyer and Lady Meyer in the Amber Alert Campaign. Christopher Meyer was press secretary to John Major and is Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission. The Press Complaints Commission's row with the Express over the McCanns led to the award of £500,000to the couple and the departure of Express Editor, Peter Hill.
Justice Hogg is made the 'legal guardian' (ward of court) of Madeleine McCann.
Howell James (ex-personal aide to John Major and Blair minister) and Vanessa Branson (brother of legal fees guarantor, Richard Branson) own the Riad el Fenn hotel in Marrakech, Morocco - about 15mins walk from where Madeleine was 'spotted'.
Shaun Woodward (Conservative MP and former Press Secretary to John Major) has 50th Anniversary bash at the Riad el Fenn hotel onwed by Howell James and Branson. He also sits on the 'Committee on Human Rights' at the House of Lords. Woodward is a close friend of the openly gay Howell James and Peter Mendelson.
Shaun Woodward is also the new 'unlikely confidante' of Gordon Brown (as reported by The Telegraph in August 2008)
Shaun Woodward is co-founder of Childline with Sarah Caplin and Esther Rantzen.
Ocean Club witnesses Jeremy Wilkins and his partner Bridget O Donnell are former producers of the BBC's 'Crimewatch UK' (specialising in docu-dramas and crime reconstructions).
Madeleine McCann goes missing two-weeks before the high-profile re-launch of UK Charity 'Missing Persons' (re-launched on the EU's Missing Children Day). The McCann family are in attendence. Patrons of the charity include Nick Ross, Sir Cliff Richard, Richard Branson and Lorraine Kelly. Director of 'Missing Persons', Paul Tuohy is a former colleague of Esther McVey.
Missing Persons patron, friend of Tony Blair and celebrated Algrave Wine producer, Sir Cliff Richard has a villa and vineyard just outside Praia da Luz. Sir Cliff now lives with his 'friend' Father John, a former Catholic Priest.
Rupert Symington and the Symington Family Estare are members of the exclusive Primum Familiae Vini, a grouping of eleven leading wine families in the world that include Mouton Rothschild. Here is a picture of Rupert with Julien de Rothschild at a Vinni event: http://www.pfv.org/html/fichactu.php3?N=34 The Rothschilds are renowned for their generous donations to the Conservative Party and their bipartisan activities with Lord Mandelson.