“Tie sales are booming as men smarten themselves up to improve their image in the workplace and avoid the sack”, according to Moss Bros, the clothing retailer.
Certainly one man was paying attention to this piece of non news this week. Gerry McCann arrived in Faro last night in a funereal black suit and tie – gone are the days when his normal attire was running shorts and sweaty t-shirt as he searched for his ‘lost’ daughter, whilst out on his daily run in Praia da Luz.
He was met at Faro by ‘British Officials’ – presumed to be Consular officials, presumed to be based in Lisbon. Since Lisbon was his final destination, this immediately begs the question of why he didn’t fly directly to Lisbon. Why did those consular officials have to travel to Faro to meet his flight, what was their purpose? Gerry McCann, outside of his own imagination, is neither visiting royalty nor a political leader. We can presume that there was more to their presence than simple good manners.
Why was he traveling to Faro at all? He claims this was for a meeting with his lawyers. Since he is on record as having been unconvinced of the necessity of traveling to Faro to attend a reconstruction of the crime scene from which his daughter went missing, it seems strange that he wishes to attend a meeting with his lawyers – they have telephones, faxes, conference lines in Portugal these days, the fund is sufficiently well endowed to compensate the lawyers for traveling to England.
What is the purpose of this meeting? During an exclusive interview with ITN (Sky presumably having blotted their copybook in some way) he vouchsafed the information that he wanted to put the past behind him and persuade the Portuguese authorities to continue the search for Madeleine, on the basis of information he has discovered in the PJ files. If he had attended the reconstruction some months ago, he would have had no need to persuade the authorities to continue the search – it was as a direct result of his ‘inability’ to attend, allegedly because the so called ‘Tapas 7′ could not attend, that the case was archived. Now that the case has been archived, only ‘new’ evidence can re-open it. Any information in the PJ files, by definition, is not new evidence. He further said that he wanted the current firm of ‘private investigators’, and I confess that I have temporarily lost track of exactly which firm of retired detectives, debt collectors, drug dealers, and strong arm men is currently refurbishing their offices on the strength of a monthly stipend form the widows and orphans fund known as the ‘Find Madeleine fund, to co-operate with the PJ in the investigations – there is no current investigation, there is only an archived investigation pending new evidence. If Mr McCann does not know this, incontrovertibly his lawyer, Senor Alves does – he was once the Head of the Portuguese Bar.
Why is Senor Alves still retained? – he is a criminal lawyer.
Could the answer lie in the request made on behalf of the Madeleine Foundation by Tony Bennett to Dr Alberto Costa, of the Ministério da Justiça in Lisbon to hold an inquest into the disappearance or death of Madeleine McCann? Such an inquest would inevitably be a ‘difficult’ time for the McCann’s. How could they not attend? How could they not appear as witnesses and answer questions? Probably the very same questions they refused to answer many months ago to the PJ.
If Dr McCann, now recast in suit and tie as every inch the Consultant Doctor, can persuade the PJ to re-open the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, despite the fact that it was closed as a direct result of his, and his friends, refusal to attend the reconstruction, if Dr McCann can persuade the PJ to re-open the case despite not having any new evidence, then he might just avert an inquest.
If he can’t, and Senor Alves would be the first to advise him that he can’t, then making it look as though it is the Portuguese authorities who are refusing to co-operate, is just yet another salvo in the on-going media battle for hearts, minds, and donations to the fund.