AMBSASSADOR JOHN BUCK
The British Ambassador’s .phone call to Alipio Ribeira at 11.00pm on Thursday 3 May 2007: Is this yet more evidence of a pre-planned state cover-up of Madeleine’s death on Sunday 29 April?
by John Whitehouse of the Madeleine McCann Research Group, 7 July 2017
Amidst the continuing determination by some to insist, at all costs, that the theory of Goncalo Amaral and the PJ that Madeleine died after 6pm on Thursday 3 May 2007 must be maintained, whatever the evidence, we present a discussion of a newspaper article published in Correia de Manhã on 12 August 2007. This reported a ‘phone call from the British Ambassador to Alipio Ribeira at 11.00pm that night.
We will also review other matters rerlating to Ambassador Buck, including the evidence that Robert Murat was recruited by the British Ambassador or by the British security services to supply translation services to the PJ on the morning of Friday 4 May 2007 and in the following days. We suggest that the information on this article strongly supports claims of an establishment cover-up of the truth about Madeleine McCann - run and managed by Britain’s security services, including MI5.
Our article will provide further evidence, if it is needed, that Madeleine died well before 3 May - and that those who continue to defend Amaral’s theory of ‘death after 6pm Thursday’ should once again reconsider the evidence.
In this respect we endorse the statement on Jill Havern’s forum, The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann (CMOMM) that “New research in [our research] section points to Maddie's death being on the Sunday or Monday and not Thursday 3 May”. It would appear to us that it is this positive declaration on CMOMM that has led to the unwarranted attacks on CMOMM of late by those who, for any one of a number of reasons, want people to focus their attention on the period 6pm to 10pm on 3 May and who refuse therefore to look at the evidence of what happened much earlier in the week.
It should always be remembered that both the PJ in their interim report of 10 September 2007 (by Tavares de Almeida) and Goncalo Amaral himself relied on just ONE alleged fact to determine that Madeleine died after 6pm on the Thursday night: namely they believed (a) that the nanny Catriona Baker was an independent witness and (b) that she was telling the truth about having seen Madeleine at an alleged ‘high tea’ at between 5pm and 6pm on the Thursday. We have given evidence in our previous articles that both these beliefs were very likely to have been wrong.
First, we reproduce below an English translation of the full Correia da Manhã article, courtesy of the News Winnow blog, which the blog owner uploaded the very same day it appeared, 12 August 2007, see here:
PJ forced to investigate abduction track
8/12/2007 Posted by Winnower
PJ forced to investigate abduction track
August 12, 2007 - José Carlos Marques
Introduction: Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Judicial Police received a telephone call from John Buck, the British ambassador in Portugal, on the night Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Club, May 3.
GOOGLE TRANSLATION [‘revised by MMRG simply for clarity]:
At about 23:00, about two hours after the child's disappearance, Alipio Ribeiro had to take a break from his dinner to speak to the diplomat [Ambassador John Buck]. The ‘phone call was the first sign that the British were very interested in following the actions of the PJ very closely - and push towards investigating an abduction.
"The PJ has lost too much time investigating the abduction," said a source close to Correia da Manhã. The pressure from the British Ambassador only slowed down when the British police officers arrived in Portugal. They tried to direct the investigation to follow the investigation hypothesis.
The recent biological evidence found in the apartment, however, was decisive in changomg the course of the investigation - or at least for the PJ to publicly admit that change.
The decision to strengthen the hypothesis of the death of the child at the Ocean Club - and the consequent re-evaluation of the statements of Madeline’s parents and their friend – was despite the views of the British police.
Olegario Sousa, the Chief Inspector of the Judiciary Police, who has been the police spokesman in this case, yesterday gave interviews to the BBC and ITN, and said he agreed that there was a change in the police positon.
The choice of these two television channels by Snr Sousa was motivated by the police’s outrage at the conduct of the British police and by the objectionable statements made by the British press about the PJ’s conduct of the investigation. The BBC and ITN are considered to have treated the case with more detachment and impartiality, hence their privileged access to Snr Sousa.
Olegario Sousa admitted for the first time in public the possibility of Madeleine being dead. This positon now leaves the McCanns in the very centre of the investigation, a situation which has had to be delicately managed ‘with tweezers' by Portuguese police.
The McCann couple has relied on the help of powerful friends. The former spokesman for the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell, who organised the trips of Madeleine’s parents to several European countries, is currently a special adviser to Gordon Brown, the current British Prime Minister.
Brown supported the McCanns from the beginning, with the help of the couple’s friend, Jill Renwick, a close friend of John Brown, brother of the British Prime Minister. According to the Guardian, Jill approached John on the street, leading him to contact his brother.
Father Haynes Hubbard, who conducted a special service yesterday in Praia da Luz, has expressed his support for the McCanns in their decision to stay in Portugal: "If it were my daughter, I would not leave here”, he said.. Hubbard stressed that the ceremony served to make Kate and Gerry feel that "we are with them in their grief@.
"WE WILL NOT GIVE UP"
"We will not give up looking," said Gerry McCann, his voice breaking, during the service held yesterday morning in the church of Praia da Luz, marked the hundredth day after Madeleine's disappearance. The girl's parents could not hide their emotion in the religious ceremony, celebrated in English and conducted by Anglican priest Haynes Hubbard.
Kate and Gerry Mcann each spoke twice, confessing that they are living the ‘darkest days’ of their lives, but have faith that their daughter will be returned to them. At the end they were applauded by dozens of people.inside and outside the church.
SPOKESMAN ADMITS THE JUDICIAL DEATH OF CHILD
The spokesman for the Judiciary Police in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann admitted in the BBC interview the possibility that the girl was dead. Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa also, however, insisted that the child's parents are not suspects. They are ‘victims and witnesses’, he said.
A source close to the McCann family said that “Aafter a tough week, it was reassuring for Gerry and Kate to hear from official sources that they are not suspects”. But the couple said nothing about whether her daughter was dead. The parents said that in recent days, the police presented no evidence that affected them. "Portuguese law does not allow us to put all our evidence out on the table, so to speak, even for the people involved”, the Inspector cautioned the BBC.
The PJ’s spokesman explained that: “Developments that occurred in the last few days yielded new found some clues that may point to the possible death of the child”, adding: "All lines of investigation are open and laboratory tests are awaited. But this line of enquiry that Madeleine is dead is now being pursued with greater vigour”. .
FROM THE BBC INTERVIEW:
"We have found clues that might point to the child's death" - Olegario Sousa
"We are waiting for test results to explain the evidence gathered" - Olegario Sousa
"All lines are open. But the investigation is now being pursued with greater vigour” - . "Olegario Sousa
"The couple is not suspected. They are victims, because they lost their daughter, and they are witnesses in the case”. - Olegario Sousa
Correio da Manhã returned to the Madeleine McCann case with this article on 14 September 2007 (2007-09-14 ):
Portuguese: "GOVERNO INGLÊS CORTA COM McCANN
English: GOVERNMENT CUTS LINKS WITH THE McCANNS [translation revised by MMRG simply for clarity]:
The first call Gerry McCann made the night of the crime was lo Alistair Clark, a university friend of the McCanns and brother of the current British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Clark made various calls to officials at the highest levels - and before the Judiciary Police arrived, already SKY News and the British Ambassador had been informed of the abduction.
Ambassador John Buck was in the Algarve. Gordon Brown also gave his personal contact details to Maddie's father during their many ’phone calls. However, from what Correio da Manhã has learnt, the current British Prime Minister is now “sufficiently disturbed with the route that the police investigation has taken” to decide to terminate d his direct link to the couple.
Publicity and urgent searches had been the priorities in the first hours after Maddie was reported missing. And as Correio da Manhã previously reported, John Buck, the British Ambassador in Lisbon, had called Alípio Ribeiro, National Director of the PJ, the very same evening [Thursday 3rd may] about an English girl having been abducted in Praia da Luz.
Police investigations began in earnest the following morning [Friday]. Later that weekend, the Associate National Director of the PJ, Guilhermino Encarnação, announced to journalists that this was a kidnapping – but without any traces if an abductor or any ransom notes.
As for publicity surrounding the case, the first news was broken by SKY News’s representative in the Algarve, from whence news of Madeleine McCann’s abduction spread rapidly to all the international media. It needed political involvement to create such international media interest - and Alistair Clark, Gerry's friend from the University of Glasgow, who was a student in the International Relations Department there when Gerry McCann was in the University of Medicine - was the perfect contact.
Alistair, whom Correio da Manhã was unable to contact before we went to press, is today a Professor in an university in Belfast, Ireland, and is also an Adviser to the current British government. The current British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time Madeleine was reported missing, and had been tipped to replace the then Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair.
British government support for the McCanns included the appointment of the government’s top media relations officer, the Prime Minister’s ‘right arm’ in Downing Street, Clarence Mitchell.
Ambassador John Buck, meanwhile, became Director of the government’s Central Office of Information, part of which is the Media Monitoring Unit, which was then directed by Clarence Mitchell, who was directly accountable to the Cabinet Office and to the Prime Minister.
The route that the PJ investigation took [in August and September] left Gordon Brown’s cabinet very apprehensive, leading the Prime Minister to cut his direct linking with Gerry McCann.
END OF PART ONE
The question we now have to consider is why the British Ambassador would be interrupting Alipio Ribero’s dinner at about 11.00pm that evening.
According to what we know, the alarm that Madeleine was missing appears to have been raised by the McCanns sometime between 9.30pm and 10.00pm on the Thursday night. There is some doubt about the precise time, not least because there is zero independent corroboration of the account of Kate McCann allegedly rushing down to the Tapas restaurant crying: ’They’ve taken her’. Indeed, the whole account of how Kate, alone, allegedly discovered that Madeleine was ‘gone’, is so laden with contradictions that we can accept the conclusion of Inspector Tavares de Almeida in his interim report of 10 September 2007 that the ‘crime scene’ (the children’s bedroom) was pre-arranged and that Kate’s account of finding Madeleine missing is a clear fabrication.
D1. WHAT HAPPENED THAT EVENING AFTER 10.00pm?– THE POLICE
So, what do we know about the events of, say, the first two hours after Madeleine was reported missing?
We are told that the Ocean Club reception were notified by the McCanns or their friends at about 10.30pm.
A call was made to the police - the GNR - at about 10.40pm.
The GNR arrived at about 11.10pm (see below).
The PJ arrived about midnight.
Staff had begun to look for Madeleine soon after 10.00pm. The Ocean Club/Mark Warner soon put out an alert to most of their staff. Soon word spread to some in the village, and some villagers turned out to search for Madeleine.
But how did word get to the British Ambassador, John Buck? - by 11.00pm, or just after - some time before the PJ had even arrived on the scene?
D2. WHAT HAPPENED THAT EVENING AFTER 10.00pm?– THE McCANNS AND THEIR FRIENDS
So let’s now look at the actions of the McCanns and their friends after 10.00pm that Thursday night.
Let’s start with looking at what is said in Kate McCann’s book, ‘madeleine’, about those events.
She says (p. 73) that “Just after ten past ten, Gerry asked Matt [Oldfield] to run to the Ocean Club’s 24-hour reception to get staff to call the police”, adding that our ‘screaming and shouting’ had alerted other guests and staff that something was amiss”. [NOTE: There is no independent corroboration of Dr Matt Oldfield reporting Madeleine’s disappearance at this time - and the Ocean Club have never confirmed it] Some people started to gather outside their apartment.
A little later (p. 73), she writes that “Mark Warner had rounded up as many of their colleagues as they could, off-duty staff as well as those just finishing the shifts…” Then, she says (p. 74) “Close to ten-thirty they activated the company’s ‘missing child search protocol’ and mobilised people to comb the complex…”
At 10.35pm (note the precision of the timing,) she says that “The police had still not arrived”, so, she says, Gerry McCann asked Matt to go back to the Ocean Club reception to find out what was happening. John Hill, the Mark Warner resort manager, arrived minutes later on their veranda. Kate (p. 74) “screamed at him to do something” and ‘yelled’: “Where are the police?”. She then says she was so frustrated at the delay that she “was hitting out at things, banging my fists on the metal railing of the veranda, trying to expel the intolerable pain inside me”.
A little later, Emma Knights, the Mark Warner Customer Care Manager, came to the flat (p. 75). Another British woman ‘turned up at our veranda’ and ‘at about 11pm’ the woman in the flat above (whom we now know to be Mrs Pamela Fenn) asked: “What is all the noise about?”
Finally, she says (p. 75) “It was not until about 11.10pm that two policemen arrived, from the nearest town, Lagos, about five miles away” [MOTE: These were from the GNR – the local police force].
D3. WHAT HAPPENED THAT EVENING AFTER 10.00pm? - THE MEDIA AND THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
When were any media contacted (by anyone) after Madeleine disappeared? - and when did the Foreign Office get to hear about the reported abduction of Madeleine?
The issue of when the media and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office first got to hear of Madeleine’s reported abduction is obscure, but let’s see if we can make an educated guess by looking at the data and the claims that we have.
We read above that, thanks to Correia da Manhã, that:
1 Gerry made a ‘phone call to his old university friend, Alistair Clark, brother of Gordon Brown
2 Alistair Clark duly called people in high places, including, presumably, his brother Gordon
3 British Ambassador John Buck made a ’phone call to the National Director of Police, Alipio Ribeiro, at about 11.00pm that evening, and
4 SKY News in the Algarve were the first to broadcast news of Madeleine’s disappearance.
But we don’t know the exact times nor the sequence of these and other important events that night.
As regards the early involvement of SKY News, we have a version of the night’s events by SKY News’s Ian Woods, as can be seen in this video: ‘The McCanns did not call SKY News first’, link:
In the video, Ian Woods denies categorically that the McCanns ever contacted SKY News. Instead, he says, “The first SKY News heard of it was at 8.15am on the Friday morning” when, he said, GMTV broadcast a telephone interview with the McCanns. “That”, added Woods, “was the first time that any journalists knew about this”.
Now, we can prove that this is incorrect because we know from the mouth of Jon Clarke, Editor of the Spanish newspaper the Olive Press, an English language newspaper published by British ex-pats, that he was contacted by the Sun, and maybe also by the Daily Mail, at around 5.00am (or before), and told to go to Praia da Luz and report on Madeleine’s disappearance. He later boasted in his newspaper that he was the first journalist on the scene, having arrived there sometime in the morning. Clarke lives in Ronda, Spain, a 5-hour journey by car from Praia da Luz.
For him to be called by the Sun at, say, 5.00am, or quite possibly earlier, means that someone senior working on the paper must have been briefed on the story, and made an informed assessment of its news value, before even picking up the ’phone to talk to Jon Clarke.
Clearly the news wires of the TV and print media must have been buzzing during the very early hours of the morning.
Researchers looking to study the very earliest news reports of the case soon stumbled on an online article about the case in the Daily Telegraph, timed at 00.01am, on 4 May 2007.That is, just two hours after Madeleine was reported missing.
Subsequently, we have all learnt that 00.01am is simply a common default time setting for the print media when they archive their articles online. It doesn’t by any means indicate that the report was actually written and published at that time.
Nevertheless, the interest in this apparently early press report about Madeleine’s alleged abduction led Madeleine McCann researcher Tony Bennett (then the Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation) to ask a Freedom of Information Act question, in December 2007, about this and related matters. This was the result:
MADELEINE MCCANN - ANSWERS FROM THE FOREIGN OFFICE
Answers supplied by the Foreign Office to the Madeleine Foundation, 1 February 2008 (Summary)
NOTE from T. Bennett: This information was supplied under the Freedom of Information Act in response to questions centring around the Daily Telegraph publishing an online report timed at 00.01 hours on Friday 4 May, referring to Foreign Office involvement in the abduction of a three-year-old child at 10.00pm the previous evening. I now think it is probable that the ‘00.01’ time is not the correct time that the Daily Telegraph report was filed but that the 00.01 time was left in place when the report was filed some hours later.
REPLY from the Foreign Office: Reference: FOI 0010-08 (CONS 03/2008)
… verbatim but with parts snipped:
The online [Daily Telegraph] report appears to have been posted 3 minutes after we were notified that a child had gone missing. If this timing is correct, then it is impossible that a Foreign Office spokesman could have spoken to the paper. The timing may be an error. In this case, the duty officer would have spoken to the Daily Telegraph; however we cannot give any further information due to the uncertainty over the timing.
At 23:58 on 3 May 2007 our duty officer in Portimao received a call from a Mark Warner employee reporting that a child had gone missing from the Ocean Bay Club, Praia da Luz. Our duty officer in Lisbon informed the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Response Centre in London at 00:30 on 4 May 2007.
We offer consular assistance, depending on the individual circumstances of each case, to British nationals in distress overseas. In this case, consular officials provided the appropriate assistance when the disappearance was first reported. The details about the disappearance given in the Daily Telegraph article, namely that the girl’s parents had gone to have dinner once their children were asleep that night, but returned to check on them only to find that the girl had gone missing’, were given to our Duty Officer in Portimao when the disappearance was reported.
Clarence Mitchell was seconded by the Central Office of Information, where he was the Director of the Media Monitoring Unit, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on 21 May 2007.
In accordance with the Civil Service Management code, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office refunded reasonable expenses incurred by Clarence Mitchell in carrying out his duties of providing assistance to the McCann family in exceptional circumstances. The total amount was £6,230.90.
The Central Office of Information made a statement on 17 September 2007 confirming that Clarence Mitchell had resigned as Director of the Media Monitoring Unit at the Central Office of Information. For any further information, you will need to apply to that Department.
No Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff were specifically appointed to assist the McCanns, although a number of our staff were involved in providing consular assistance to the family. We do not maintain financial records of the individual costs of consular cases.
[ Further discussions about this FOI Act question-and-answer can be found at these links:
So, the Foreign Office’s account of event is clear:
At 11.58pm, Thursday 3 May, a Mark Warner employee (unnamed) telephoned the Consular office in Portimao to say that a British girl may have been abducted.
There was then contact, presumably a ‘phone call, from the Consular office in Portimao to the British Embassy in Lisbon.
And then at 00.30am, Friday 4 May, the duty officer in Lisbon informed the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Response Centre in London at 00:30am on 4 May 2007.
Thus the very earliest that John Buck, the British Ambassador, could have learned about the alleged abduction was about midnight.
Yet Correia da Manhã learned that Alipio Ribeiro had received a telephone call at dinner from John Buck at about 11.00pm.
How can we explain this?
Gerry McCann’s evidence is that he ’phoned his sister, Tricia Cameron, on four occasions between 11.40pm and 12.10am, but apparently she did not return any of his calls.
If we then look at Tricia Cameron’s statement, she refers to a flurry of ’phone calls between her and Portugal and says that ‘eventually’ she got through to the British Embassy in Lisbon. We do not know the time when she did so.
We get a third version from Kate McCann in her book, ‘madeleine’. She says that Gerry
did speak to Tricia, while the GNR officers were in the flat, and before the PJ arrived at about midnight. She writes: “Gerry was a mess - ‘roaring like a bull’ as Trish put it - and sobbing down the ‘phone…I could hear him crying over and over again: ‘She’s gone, Trisha. She’s gone” (p. 77).
She then adds: “After Gerry rang off, Trisha and Sandy called the Foreign Office in London, the British Consul in the Algarve, and the British Embassy in London, requesting assistance”.
No time is given for this, but it must have been close to midnight, as Kate she then writes (p. 77): “At 11.52pm, Gerry spoke to my uncle Brian and Auntie Janet in Rothley at my request…Brian then got in touch with the duty officer at the Foreign Office in London”.
Now this all conflicts with the Foreign Office’s FOI Act statement. The Foreign Office say they were first informed at 00.30am, but Kate says that both Sandy Cameron and Uncle Brian in Rothley ‘phoned the Foreign Office before midnight – yet the Foreign Office makes no mention of these two calls.
Further information about this comes much later in a report by the National Police Intelligence Agency (NPIA)t de-briefing report, which included their version of
On page 13, in a section headed ‘The Initial Response’, we read:
"The first report to a UK agency in relation to the McCann case was made
on 3 May 2007, in a call to the FCO duty officer in Portugal from the
operator of the holiday resort where the family were staying. The duty
officer informed the FCO in London on the same day, by which time a member
of the McCann family had also made contact with the FCO".
So now we get a direct admission by NPIA that a member of the McCann family (presumably Sandy Camron or uncle Brain Kennedy) had contacted the Foreign Office before the call from the Ocean Club.
There was a call from the Ocean Club which began at 11:57:48secs, but the call was not to the usual telephone number of the Consul in Portimao. Possibly it was to a different, out-of-hours special number. There was a call from the Ocean Club to the Consulate’s usual telephone number on the Friday, at 14:04:30 in the afternoon, link: https://h42a.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/other-call-records-pt-3/
The Correio da Manhã story insists that the call from Ambassador Buck came through to Alipio Ribeira at about 11.00pm, though – nearly an hour or so before the calls from Sandy Cameron or Brian Kennedy and the Ocean Club.
So how did he know at 11.00pm? How did he know by around 11.00pm that this incident required the National Director of the PJ to be disturbed at dinner?
One poster on CMOMM, ‘rogue-a-tory’ summed up the discussion on this issue as follows: “I think your post confirms what many people have theorised over the years - namely, that the mainstream media were teed up ready to go on Thursday 3 May”.
But not just the mainstream media. Surely, for Ambassador John Buck to have moved so swiftly as to alert Alipio Ribeira during his dinner, he must have been briefed in advance. Did he know that Madeleine was dead and that he was being used as part of a deliberate hoax on police and public alike?
There is one further piece of evidence that suggests that Ambassador John Buck did have advance knowledge. And this comes in the form of an article by Portuguese journalist Paulo Reis.
Back in 2007, he wrote this (Link: http://gazetadigitalmadeleinecase.blogspot.com/2007/12/murat-recommended-as-translator-by.html)
Staff from Bill Henderson’s office suggested the name of Robert Murat as a reliable translator who could be used in the police inquiry, in the days following Madeleine McCann disappearance.
Murat was already known among diplomatic staff, as he had letters of recommendation from Norfolk Police, where he worked for Bernard Matthews, one of the largest poultry farm companies in UK, which employs hundreds of Portuguese workers.
The fact that Robert Murat has acted, before, as translator for Norfolk Police, and the recommendation issued by Bill Henderson’s office, at the time the British consul in Algarve, took police to accept the suggestion, according to PJ [Portuguese Police] sources.
After Murat was named a formal suspect, the police went through all translations he had done, checking their accuracy, but no problem was found, according to the same sources. Bill Henderson retired from his diplomatic post and went back to the U.K. in August.
Robert Murat was on hand early in the morning of Friday 4 May to help with the interpreting, and began work that very day. Was this in fact set up in advance by the British Consul in Portimao? - or by Ambassador John Buck himself? Did one of them speak to the PJ and recommend Murat? It seems highly likely.
Murat had another, very different, version of how he came to be an official interpreter. He said that a holidaymaker, Stephen Carpenter, just happened to be strolling by his garden the morning of Friday 4 May. Murat pretended he knew nothing about what had been going on in the resort, despite his later admission to the police that he and his mother had heard all the police sirens the previous night. Carpenter told him that a 3-year-old British girl had gone missing. Straightaway Murat volunteered his services as a translator, and made contact with the PJ at the Ocean Club a few minutes later.
It seems an unlikely cover story.
The evidence presented here strongly suggests, then, that both the British Embassy in Portugal, and well-placed senior staff in the British TV and print media, were primed in advance about what had really happened to Madeleine. It is reasonable to suggest that the British Ambassador had probably ben told exactly what had happened to Madeleine, and was just waiting for a signal from the McCann camp on the Thursday evening to get things moving - fast.
Again, the evidence presented here tends to confirm the views of many that Madeleine died much earlier in the week, maybe as early as Monday or even Sunday, and it tends to confirm that the circumstances surrounding Madeleine’s death were so serious that it required several arms of the government’s security and intelligence services to mount a full-blown cover-up of what really happened to her.
Again, our evidence is consistent with the suggestion made by Richard D. Hall in his latest Madeleine film: ‘Madeleine: Why the Cover-Up?’, that Robert Murat may have been an MI5 intelligence asset, along with SKY News’ Martin Brunt, and that he had been summoned on Monday 30 April 2017 to fly over to Portugal on the very next flight and help plan and execute the cover-up.
We will mention here one other item of interest concerning the British Embassy’s involvement in the case: their assistance in helping the McCanns to ward off any potential demand by the PJ to seize their clothes. Here is a short article on the subject by well-respected Madeleine McCann researcher, Lizzie Taylor (generally known on the internet as HideHo):
THE WASHED CLOTHES - Ambassador John Buck and Consul Bill Henderson – turned the investigator's attention away from the McCanns
(Date Posted: 03/05/2011 11:18 AM) Aimoo Madeleine McCann
Also on 5th May 2007, two days after the announcement of Madeleine's disappearance, the police, according to Amaral, would commit an important error: "We were busy checking all the leads that came from the Ambassador. Leads that were, moreover, found to be false.
New instructions from the regional national directorate of the PJ, given after the intervention of two British diplomats – Ambassador John Buck and Consul Bill Henderson – turned the investigator's attention away from the McCanns
Kate and Gerry McCann, for the first and only time, went to hand in clothes to be washed in the Ocean Club Complex laundry, including Madeleine's clothes, which the inspectors only heard about two days later. Too late, according to Amaral
"At the time we had not established exactly which clothes Gerry was wearing on the night of the disappearance nor which clothes were handed in to be washed on 5th May", says Gonçalo Amaral.
It was by means of the statements by various members of staff from the complex, linked to the laundry service, that the inspectors were to learn that the McCanns had their children's clothes - those of Madeleine and also those of Sean and Amélie - washed.
"That would never have happened without the intervention of Mark Warner and, in particular, of the Ambassador. They took advantage of the space we gave them, it was a mistake on our part", admits Goncalo Amaral.
"Last Saturday (05/05/2007) I received a bag of clothes brought in by Mark Warner staff, and was told expressly that these belonged to Madeleine's family – there was adult clothing (male and female) and children's clothing... ", states one of the laundry workers.
"Last Saturday (05/05/2007) I received a bag of clothes brought in by Mark Warner staff, and was told expressly that these belonged to Madeleine's family – there was adult clothing (male and female) and children's clothing... ", states one of the laundry workers.
Although the laundry worker only remembers a pink skirt belonging to Madeleine, she has no uncertainty in confirming that there were also other clothes belonging to the small British girl, which has also been confirmed to the police by other colleagues.
(thanks to Lizzy's Madeleine McCann Aimoo forum)
Main article by John Whitehouse.
END OF PART TWO: APPENDIX FOLLOWS
APPENDIX: Ambassador John Buck, on the Kevin Halligen Blogspot
Here we add an excellent timeline collected by the blogger "Winnower", who posted this timeline on the actions of Ambassador John Buck in the Madeleine McCann case on 11 January 2009. It's a great piece of research. We have bolded those items that seem of especial interest:
11/01/2009 Posted by Winnower
JOHN BUCK - TIMELINE
British ambassador to Portugal from 2004 to 2007
Left office the day after the McCanns were made arguidos.
Ambassador Buck drove from Lisbon to Praia da Luz. (Distance is approximately 3 hours by car.)
Saturday May 5, 2007
Drove in from Lisbon "to be with the family after they begged him for help."
Embassy spokesman said Buck was driving down to do everything for the McCanns that he could.
Ambassador Buck and 3 "family liaison officers from Leicestershire police” held a private meeting with the McCanns "at the resort" on the afternoon of May 5th.
Announced to reporters that 3 British police agents had arrived from Leicestershire to help with the investigation. He stated that the officers would act as a "liaison" between the McCanns and Portuguese police and between the Portuguese and British police. "..Mr. Buck was there to introduce the family liaison officers to the McCanns..."
The 3 "family liaison officers were flown out "at the request of the Foreign Commonwealth Office.
Leicestershire spokeswoman said the 3 officers were there "simply to assist the family" and were not going to have anything to do with the investigation at this point.
Told reporters that the investigation had been "intensive and extensive".
Reportedly Ambassador Buck "accompanied the couple...during the search on May 5"
Reported to have been "...with the family throughout their ordeal..."
Ambassador Buck's intervention was credited by the McCann's family and friends as being the only reason that the search for Madeleine was upgraded to a major investigation.
"Despite being convinced - for reasons they have refused to make public - that Madeleine is still in the Algarve, Interpol have been alerted about her disappearance and checks were being made at every Portuguese port and airport."
Sunday May 6, 2007
Ambassador Buck attended church service officiated by Father Jose Manuel Pacheco.
Monday May 7, 2007
Ambassador Buck apparently returned to Lisbon (or elsewhere, as later articles stated that he RETURNED to the Algarve on Tuesday May 8th.)
Tuesday May 8, 2007
Ambassador Buck traveled to the Algarve and met the McCanns. Reports were that the meeting lasted an hour.
He gave a television interview in which he said he had been in touch with Portuguese ministers and the prime minister Jose Socrates, and senior police chiefs who assured him everything possible was being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine. Buck said that he was making sure the links between the British and Portuguese officers were working, after concerns had begun to be expressed regarding the experience and expertise of the Portuguese investigators.
He made a statement to the media announcing the arrival of additional British experts
Said that investigators were in close touch with Interpol and Europol
Said the McCanns were "very grateful for their efforts"
Ambassador Buck was interviewed by the Leicester Mercury. Quote: "As you know, I spent quite a lot of time with the McCann family on Friday and over the weekend…I wanted to come down today to see Kate and Gerry again and to continue to support our consular staff, who have been working on this for a number of days."
Wednesday May 9, 2007
An email between Portimao and Lisbon of 9 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "Personal Information" exemption: Section 40 (2) and (3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Further information emerged regarding the 2 additional experts Buck had announced on
Tuesday May 8th.
Ambassador Buck said they were "kidnapping experts" and had joined the 3 other British investigators who had been in Portugal since Saturday
"... two 'Cracker-style' criminal behaviour experts from Britain flew into the Algarve yesterday to join investigators..."
They were from CEOP and their dispatch had been organised by the British Foreign Office.
"A spokeswoman for the CEOP said the move was unprecedented and had been organised by the Foreign Office."
Thursday May 10, 2007
A Foreign Commonwealth Office internal email of 10 May 2007 (12a) was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a (1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
A Foreign Commonwealth Office internal email of 10 May 2007 (13aa) was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Friday May 11, 2007
An email between the Foreign Commonwealth Office and John Buck of 11 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a. (1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
An email between John Buck and the Foreign Commonwealth Office of 11 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a. (1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
An internal Foreign Commonwealth Office email of 11 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Monday May 14, 2007
Ambassador Buck present in Praia da Luz
Spoke to national chief of police in Lisbon and chief investigating officer in the Algarve.
Thanked journalists for respecting the McCann's privacy and said there were impressive resources allocated to the investigation. Said the resources are primarily Portuguese but that there were a number of British police officers working closely with their Portuguese colleagues in the Algarve.
Arrived late for a scheduled news conference and found journalists fleeing toward Casa Lilliana where a search was underway.
Tuesday May 15, 2007
An email between Lisbon and Foreign Commonwealth Office of 15 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Wednesday May 16, 2007
A letter from John Buck to Foreign Commonwealth Office of 16 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Thursday May 17, 2007
An internal document was sent by the Foreign Office ordering British diplomats 'to avoid offering support' to Robert Murat unless charges were presented against him." (Note: Murat was made an arguido on May 15 and the Foreign Office internal memo was allegedly dated May 17.)
Tuesday May 22, 2007
An email between Portimao and Foreign Commonwealth Office of 22 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a. (1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Thursday May 24, 2007
An email between Portimao and Foreign Commonwealth Office of 24 May 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
Ambassador Buck, consular officials and British police had an "informal" meeting with the McCanns "over tea." Reports stated that the McCann's travel plans were up for discussion. The following day Portuguese police issued a detailed description of the "possible suspect".
Reports were that ""...The British embassy duly applied pressure on the Portuguese authorities to find more flexibility in their secrecy laws..."
Friday May 25, 2007
Ambassador Buck met again with the McCanns and British police.
Portuguese police issued detailed description of possible abductor.
Sunday May 27, 2007
News emerged that the McCanns had held discussions with Gordon Brown
Personal intervention of Gordon Brown was reported. Gordon Brown was reported to have urged police to give more public details after the McCanns voiced their concern about the lack of disclosure by Portuguese detectives.
June 18, 2007
A Foreign Commonwealth Office internal email of 18 June 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
June 19, 2007
An email between John Buck and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO)/ Portimao of 19 June 2007 was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "International relations" exemption: Section 27.1.a.(1)Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—( a) relations between the United Kingdom and any other State
June 21, 2007
An email between Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO)/ Lisbon of 21 June 2007 (19b) was the subject of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request asking for Ambassador Buck's communications related to the McCanns. This email (or a portion of it) was withheld based on "Personal Information" exemption: Section 40 (2) and (3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
September 10, 2007
Ambassador John Buck was replaced as the British Ambassador to Portugal by Alexander Ellis. It was announced that Buck had "left the diplomatic service".
The press release stated that Mr. Ellis would take up this appointment with "immediate effect."
In October 2007 an individual made an FOI request (under the Freedom of Information Act 2000) to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for information concerning communications between the then Ambassador to Portugal John Buck and the Portuguese police on the subject of the disappearance of the child Madeleine McCann. Reference: FS50188322.
Some information was released straight away and some information was withheld.
Since that time the Foreign Office released "most" but not all of the requested information. (Withheld information noted above.)
The Information Commissioner's Office reviewed the matter and in March 2009 decided that the Foreign Office had complied with section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act but had breeched section 1(1)(b) of the Act by failing to provide the information within the specified time limit.
The commissioner upheld the Foreign Office decision to withold some information, stating that the public interested in withholding the information outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information. The ICO also decided that personal information withheld was done so correctly.
December 3, 2007
A memo was leaked to the Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure regarding a diplomat's concerns about the case.
Questions have been raised as to whether the memo may have been written by Ambassador Buck or someone in his office, although diplomat's name was not published in the newspaper articles.
The leaked memo was routed through the British diplomatic mission in Brussels
The leaked memo was sent "just days" after Madeleine disappeared.
The leaked memo warned the Foreign Office of concerns regarding the McCanns and warned of the risks of siding with the McCanns in public.
The diplomat immediately had doubts after being sent to Praia da Luz due to what he considered to be inconsistencies in their testimonies and "confused declarations" as to the whereabouts of the McCanns and their friends on May 3.
The memo mentions instructions "from London" that consular staff "overstretch their authority and put pressure on Portuguese authorities."
The memo refers to orders sent the previous day from the Foreign Office in London commanding embassy staff to provide all possible assistance to the McCanns and that the McCanns "had to be "accompanied at all times during any contact with the Portuguese police" by a member of consular staff or by British police officers sent out from the UK.
He also mentioned their lack of cooperation with the Portuguese police
The memo was sent *from the Algarve* to the Foreign office days after Madeleine "went missing"
Quote: "With the greatest respect, I would like to make you aware of the risks and implications to our relationship with the Portuguese authorities, if you consider the possible involvement of the couple. Please confirm to me, in the light of these concerns, that we want to continue to be closely involved in the case as was requested in your previous message."
The Belgian report also stated that Portuguese detectives believe it is possible Madeleine died as the result of an accident on May 3 in the family's holiday apartment and that her parents hid and later disposed of her body with the help of their friends.
They said it is highly significant that almost all of the diplomats involved at the outset have now been taken off the case.
December 12, 2007
Reports emerged that British diplomats had been ordered by the Foreign Office to "avoid offering support" to Robert Murat.
The claim was made that an internal Foreign Office memo had sent the instructions three days after Murat was made an arguido (Note: May 15 is the date Murat was made an arguido.)
According to Spain's El Mundo newspaper, the order was justified due to the "specific nature of the case".
The internal memo allegedly stated that British diplomats were to "avoid offering support" to Murat unless charges were pressed against him.