Madeleine McCann: innocence not presumed, The Moorside and rewards unclaimed
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. News is that her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, are ‘not in the clear’.
The Mirror (front page): ‘McCanns’ agony at Maddie ruling by court.’
Page 9: ‘Judge: McCanns are not formally in clear’
Are they formally not in the clear? It’s a tad confusing.
Reading on we’re told that Portugal’s Supreme Court has ‘failed to put them in the clear’ over their daughter’ disappearance. Although the McCanns are no longer arguidos – what the Mirror calls the a Portuguese legal term for ‘formal suspects’ – judges says ‘this does not equate to a ruling of innocence’.
Isn’t innocence presumed?
In 2007, the Guardian told us what an arguido is:
An “arguido” – normally translated as “named suspect” or “formal suspect” – is someone who is treated by Portuguese police as more than a witness, but has not been arrested or charged. Under Portuguese law, a person declared an arguido – “arguida” in the case of a woman – has legal protection that is not extended to a witness, including the right to remain silent during questioning and the right to legal representation.
Detectives invoke arguido status on someone as a preliminary to an arrest being made or charges brought, a Portuguese law expert, Lita Gale, told Guardian Unlimited today. “If you are an arguido they have to have suspicion that a crime has been committed by that person,” she said.
The BBC said:
How is arguido status given and what does it mean?
Under Portuguese law either the police or a person being questioned can request that they be formally named as a suspect, a process called arguido. Artur Rego, a Portuguese lawyer, told BBC News: “Arguido is the person who has been accused of being the perpetrator. This is just an accusation made exactly at the end of the investigation.”
A person can ask for arguido status if they feel the line of questioning is implying that they are a suspect. This gives them more rights than a witness would have.
Back to the Mirror, which has been looking at the report into the McCanns’ failed libel case against Goncalo Amaral, the ex-copper who who wrote a book ‘claiming they were responsible for Madeleine’s “death” in 2007’. In the ruling on that case, the judges wrote, “It should not be said that the appellant were cleared via the ruling announcing the archiving of the criminal case” in July 2008.
The Mirror says the judges note that ‘the case was not shelved because prosecutors believed Kate and Gerry… were innocent – but due to lack to evidence.” Said the Portuguese Supreme Court: “It doesn’t therefore seem acceptable that the ruling, based on the insufficiency of evidence, should be equated to proof of innocence.”
The Mirror calls the ruling ‘painful’ for the McCanns.
The Mail has more. The story does not feature in today’s newspaper, only online.
Highlighting the McCanns’ Tapas Nine friend Jane Tanner’s much-questioned sighting of the suspected ‘abductor’, they added: ‘It’s true that the aforementioned criminal inquiry ended up being archived, namely because none of the apparent evidence that led to the appellants being made ‘arguidos’ was subsequently confirmed or consolidated.
‘However even the archive ruling raises serious concerns relating to the truth of the allegation that Madeleine was kidnapped.’
Facts. There was only ever one: child vanishes.
The Sun (page 1): ‘FRESH TORMENT – McCanns ‘Are NOT IN CLEAR'”
This is ‘fresh anguish’ for the McCanns, says the Sun. The judges ‘said there were “serious concerns” over the theory that Madeleine had been abducted’.
The Sun says that Amaral plans to write a second book about the case and the McCanns will ‘sue again if it it is published on Britain’.
The paper also notes that the judges said ‘It would be wrong to draw any inference about the couple’s guilt or innocence from the ruling’.
As the papers look at the parents and the courts, offering no word on any hunt for the missing child, the Sun adds a dig at the BBC. “Kate and Gerry McCann have slammed BBC show The Moorside as “appalling and insensitive”. They told pals the drama based on the 2008 search for Shannon Matthews was in “poor taste and bad timing”.
What did that case have to do with the McCanns?
Says the Sun: ‘The McCanns were mentioned in Tuesday’s drama, with one resident claiming their case received more publicity and reward money as they were “posher”.’
Tsk! Overlooking how the ‘pals’ have the Sun’s ear, you might wonder how the Sun approached the stories of the girl it called ‘Maddie’ and Shannon?
In 2008, the Sun offered a £20,000 reward to find missing “little princess” Shannon Matthews. The Indy wrote:
Even The Sun’s support yesterday caused disappointment. “I’m devastated, to be honest,” said a coach driver, as others around him agreed. “That poster should have been on the front page.” It was on page 17.
You might also wonder why the Sun dresses controversy over the Shannon Matthews TV show as a McCann issue and not one for Shannon’s family?
Daily Star (Page 7): ‘Links to Maddie “awful”‘.
The paper says Gerry and Kate McCann are ‘said to be furious at multiple references to Maddie’s disappearance in the Moorside”. But surely mentioning Madeleine McCann keeps her name in the news. That’s good, no? Maybe that’s why a ‘source’ is talking to the media?