Friday, July 10, 2020

This Reporter Exposed Epstein & Enablers, Getting The FBI Back Into Action

Posted by Peter Quennell


1. Constraints Of The US System

Back in 2007 the FBI found their hands tied on this case - and it was Julie Brown, a Miami reporter, who got them back in the game again.

In general we’ve been warmish toward the FBI because of its major co-operation with the Italian counterparts.

Italian agents work at FBI HQ and Quantico and American agents are embedded in Italian law enforcement. We get occasional tips from both parties.

But the FBI has it less easy than the Carabinieri and Italian law enforcement generally.

The “wonderful” American political/legal system that is so much revered is really tailor-made for inefficiency, corruption, and disruption.

The FBI has to contend with the peculiarly American problem of the thousands upon thousands of ideological political appointees completely dominating the top layers of government (and costing US taxpayers many billions).

They are by far the biggest cause of legal disruptions, not least in Meredith’s case.

As we are seeing in the American news right now, urban areas, districts, counties, states, and the federal government have very ill defined legal boundaries. Tailor made for gaming.

Those thousands of political appointees make sure that hundreds and even thousands of legal cases fall through the cracks every year.

Contrast all this with Italy’s implacable fight against top-level corruption.

2. The FBI Found Its Hands Tied

The FBI was first invited in to the Epstein case by Florida prosecutors in 2006. They initiated “Operation Leap Year” leading to a 53-page indictment. What happened next, from Wikipedia: 

[Political appointee] Alexander Acosta, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, agreed to a plea deal, which Alan Dershowitz helped to negotiate, to grant immunity from all federal criminal charges to Epstein, along with four named co-conspirators and any unnamed “potential co-conspirators”.

According to the Miami Herald, the non-prosecution agreement “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes”. At the time, this halted the investigation and sealed the indictment. The Miami Herald said: “Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims.”

Acosta later said he offered a lenient plea deal because he was told that Epstein “belonged to intelligence”, was “above his pay grade” and to “leave it alone”. Epstein agreed to plead guilty in Florida state court to two felony prostitution charges, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI. The plea deal was later described as a “sweetheart deal”.

For the next decade that was pretty well “it” for the FBI and there seemed no way forward for them.

But now, thanks to the implacable Julie Harris, they are roaring back with a vengeance.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/10/20 at 11:37 AM in

Comments

Today we are told Ghislaine has been given paper pajamas.

And a cellmate. Hmmm, an FBI agent incognito?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/10/20 at 11:50 AM | #

There was no need for Alexander Acosta to agree to such a ridiculously lenient plea deal because there was enough evidence to give Jeffrey Epstein a substantial prison sentence.

The decision to grant immunity from all federal criminal charges to Epstein, along with four named co-conspirators and any unnamed potential co-conspirators makes no sense whatsoever.

Why would anyone grant sex offenders and child rapists immunity from federal charges?

Why would Alan Derschowitz help these perverts to get away with their vile crimes?

I think the answer to this question is obvious and it clearly wasn’t just to make money.

Posted by The Machine on 07/10/20 at 01:57 PM | #

In most European countries ‘plea deals’ are illegal (Germany, Italy, UK) unlike in the USA.  It leaves the system wide open to abuse.  If Maxwell gets a plea deal, once again the victims’ voices may not be heard.  A court case is needed because IMV it is in the public interest to understand the scope and breadth of these crimes.  I presume Sarah Kellen is one of those given immunity by Acosta?  She needs to be arrested and made to answer for her activities, introducing young, vulnerable, dirt poor girls from trailer parks to Epstein and between the pair of them - before Maxwell came along - normalised greatly abnormal activity by a show of great wealth and generous payments.

Maxwell’s current lawyer is quoted in the papers today as saying the charges against Maxwell are ‘meritless’ and that the girls knew what they were doing and made that choice.  Reminds me of the rottweiler lawyer in Weinstein’s case who submitted his victims to distressing cross-examination in court painting them as deserving of their fate.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/10/20 at 02:40 PM | #

Good comments. Welcome to not just not-Italy: welcome to not-Europe.

As you know Acosta did pay a price for the plea deal: https://tinyurl.com/y5zeq59c

But even with Acosta disgraced and Epstein dead, the deal may be unbreakable:

https://tinyurl.com/ycmuh2fu

In a 15-page order, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra said Epstein’s death means he can’t throw out a once-secret agreement that allowed the 66-year-old financier to escape federal prosecution for sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls at his Palm Beach mansion.

“As a result of Mr. Epstein’s death, there can be no criminal prosecution against him and the Court cannot consider granting this relief to the victims,” Marra wrote.

This was reconfirmed by an appeal court in April: https://tinyurl.com/ydc4skul

Tick tick tick to next Tuesday.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/10/20 at 05:29 PM | #

“In most European countries ‘plea deals’ are illegal (Germany, Italy, UK) unlike in the USA.  It leaves the system wide open to abuse.”

Over 90 percent of all cases in the US are plea-dealed now, there are few trials. And yes, there is abuse on an enormous scale.

https://tinyurl.com/ybqfg7mv
https://tinyurl.com/ybedkyra
https://tinyurl.com/y758nehm

“But, but, but… those Italians!”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/10/20 at 05:35 PM | #

According to media reports, the police have launched new searches for Madeleine McCann’s body:

Portuguese police ‘launch search for Madeleine McCann’s body in the Algarve’: Detectives hunt in wells after finding ‘fundamental evidence’ to prove Christian Brueckner is responsible

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8511639/Portuguese-police-launch-search-Madeleine-McCanns-body-Algarve.html

Posted by The Machine on 07/10/20 at 05:47 PM | #

Machine, what are those wells? Are they natural formations, or simply excavations for water supply?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/10/20 at 05:55 PM | #

Eight miles west of Praia de Luz suggests the cliff area around St Vincennes, as the most western point of Europe.  Praia de Luz is pretty much as far west as you can go.  There is a sheer cliff drop with no beach for a lengthy stretch.  The entire area is a mass of disused tunnels, wells and drains.  Interestingly, the McCanns hired a rental car and clocked up 11,000 kilometres of travel, al to the east of Praia de Luz and never to the west, which is surely the most logical place to look?

IMV even if they do find remains how does it prove it was Bruekner.  He lived in the area, after all.  I am guessing the ‘fundamental evidence’ is the same source as the person who reported the rape of a 72-year-old.  So the rape happened in Praia de Luz about eighteen months before the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and it turned out the source was correct about the rape of the 72-year-old American woman, based on hair DNA.  However, considering Praia de Luz has been constantly in the news since 2007, Brueckner bragging about it in a bar might simply be referring to a case that everybody was chattering about in respect of the disappearance.

As for the tabloid hacks, newspaper sales are low and they know stories about ‘Maddie’ are good for click bait.  I would take most of them with a healthy pinch of salt.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/11/20 at 03:00 AM | #

The search is being carried out in Vila do Bispo.  According to wikipedia, ‘Due to its geographical location, it is the only municipality in the country with a western and southern coastline. The southern coast, which extends until Cape St. Vincent, includes several bays and sheltered coves, including: the beaches of Praia do Burgau, Cabanas Velhas, Boca do Rio, Praia da Salema, Figueira, Furnas, Zavial, Ingrina, Barranco, Martinhal, Mareta, Tonel and Beliche.[12] Meanwhile, to the west of the St. Vincent coast are the beaches of Telheiro, Ponta Ruiva, Castelejo, Cordoama, Barriga and Murração, that include many carved cliffs and rocky promontories.’

Posted by KrissyG on 07/11/20 at 03:59 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

Christian Brueckner allegedly telling someone in a bar that he abducted Madeleine McCann and disposed of her body is already in the public domain. Hans Christian Wolters pointed out that the concrete evidence Madeleine is dead hasn’t been shared with other police forces. This indicates the fundamental evidence that proves Christian Brueckner killed Madeleine isn’t just him bragging about it in a bar.

Mark Williams-Thomas claims the fundamental evidence that proves Christian Bruckner killed Madeleine comes from court papers obtained by the media:

“Also reports that Portuguese media have found ‘fundamental evidence’ to prove that #ChristianBrueckner is responsible for the death of #MadeleineMcCann. I don’t know what this alleged proof is ,  but do know it comes from court papers obtained by the media.”

https://twitter.com/mwilliamsthomas/status/1281773317020618752?s=20

The German prosecutors clearly want to find Madeleine’s remains because it’s difficult to prosecute someone for murder without a body.

The narrative that Madeleine mysteriously died in accident in the apartment and her Machiavellian parents inexplicably covered it up, disposed of her body and then persuaded their seven friends to perjure themselves by asking them to lie for them is a melodramatic and sensational story. However, these claims are just not taken seriously by the CPS, Scotland Yard, the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany or the Braunschweig state prosecutors.

All the credible evidence points at Christian Brueckner: his mobile phone was pinged by the phone tower that covers the Ocean Club shortly before Madeleine was abducted, he re-registered his Jaguar car the day after she was abducted, he has been repeatedly convicted of sexually abusing children; he was also found to be in possession of over 8,000 images of child abuse; he has been convicted of burglary; he has been diagnosed as a psychopath, he has fantasised about sexually abusing a small child for days in an online conversation with another paedophile and a credible witness claims Christian Brueckner told him he was responsible for abducting Madeleine and disposing of her body.

I know you don’t want to believe this, but the German police and prosecutors wouldn’t be convinced that Christian Brueckner killed Madeleine unless they had a compelling reason to believe he was responsible for her death. You’re acting in bad faith towards them because their belief that Christian Brueckner killed Madeleine contradicts your belief that Kate and Gerry McCann are responsible for her disappearance.

The so-called evidence against Kate and Gerry McCann doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and it doesn’t meet the Threshold Test. The McCanns hiring a rental car and clocking up 11,000 kilometres of travel is completely irrelevant and it doesn’t prove anything other than they used this car a lot.

I have faith in the German police and prosecutors because I know they’re extremely professional and uber cautious.

Posted by The Machine on 07/11/20 at 05:09 AM | #

According to Mark Williams-Thomas, the police are undertaking a detailed search of Christian Brueckner’s former address:

“Reports from Portuguese media that police will undertake detailed search of #ChristianBrueckner address in search for #MadeleineMcCann. Which should have been done a long time ago . Given all three police forces have had all the info for years.”

If Madeleine’s remains are found in a well close to his former home, it would compelling evidence against him. Only true believer would claim otherwise.

Posted by The Machine on 07/11/20 at 05:20 AM | #

@The Machine.  I wish I shared your faith in the red top tabloids.  Brueckner had four vehicles: why would he dispose of a high profile murder victim in his own back yard? 

People want Madeleine McCann to be found that is why they want to believe the case is solved at last.

Incidentally Gerry McCann was ‘pinged’ in Vila do Bispo 27.7.2007 and so was Russell O’Brien.  Does this mean anything?  Brueckner decaying accommodation is near the black rocks, a rather crowded tourist area and also in Silves, a thirty-minute drive from there.  As of the time of MM’s disappearance he was living to the east of Praia de Luz, somewhat inland and a twenty minute walk to the beach at the Ocean Club, so the search is not in a region where he lived, except generically insofar it is in the Algarve.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/11/20 at 06:26 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

I wrote:

“I have faith in the German police and prosecutors because I know they’re extremely professional and uber cautious.”

I didn’t say had faith in the red top tabloids. I pay close attention to what Hans Christian Wolters says. I read German newspapers and watch the German news on Das Erste and ZDF.

You keep making snide insinuations about Gerry McCann despite the fact there’s no credible evidence against him. I think it’s reprehensible. Gerry McCann being at the same hotel as his daughter isn’t evidence that’s he’s responsible for her disappearance. It is to be expected. 

The mobile phone of a convicted paedophile pinging the phone tower that covers the Ocean Club shortly before Madeleine was abducted is significant given the fact that a credible witness has claimed Christian Brueckner told him he had abducted her and he has fantasised about kidnapping and sexually abusing a small child.

Madeleine wasn’t a high-profile murder victim when she was abducted. There have been numerous cases of killers hiding the bodies of their victims on their properties e.g. Fred and Rosemary West, Peter Tobin, Susan and Christopher Edwards, Dennis Nilson, John Tanner, Ian Stewart, Stuart Hazell, Gary Hopkins and and Stacy Docherty, Sebastian Bendou, Stephen Devesey, Harry Jarvis, Thomas Flanagan and Barbara Coombes.

Posted by The Machine on 07/11/20 at 08:36 AM | #

@The Machine The time of Madeleine’s disappearance is as narrated by Kate and Gerry.  It has not been corroborated that she disappeared when they claim she did.

Therefore, Brueckner being pinged ‘an hour before’ she went ‘missing’ is just an assumption that ‘he must have something to do with it’.

The police have trace whom he was speaking to and it turned out to be his ex-girlfriend - not a ‘member of staff sending secret messages that the coast was clear’ - and she wasn’t even in the country.

He lived nearby why shouldn’t he be near the beach on a warm spring evening.  It’s suspicious but hardly proof of anything.  Plus his van had noticable Minion cartoon figures at the front and no-one reported seeing it in the narrow streets as of the time.

I haven’t made ‘snide insinuations’ about Gerry at all.  I just think it rather odd that he changed his narrative a few times and thanks to Gordon Brown, he no longer needs to worry about being questioned by Scotland Yard.  That is not being ‘cleared’  that is just being ring-fenced and protected from being questioned further.

I hope there is a trial - any one will do - and that the parents and the so-called Tapas seven (I think one might have died) - at last get to be cross-examined to establish the actual *facts* rather than assumptions.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/11/20 at 10:46 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

The German police were still trying to identify the person Christian Brueckner was talking to some time after it was claimed that the phone belonged to Naskscije Miftari - which indicates it wasn’t her.

It’s highly unlikely the call was made from someone in Germany because the person who called Christian Brueckner called him from a Portuguese number - + 351 916 510 683.

Your claim that Gordon Brown ring-fenced Gerry McCann is hearsay. You’ve made this claim before and you’ve never substantiated it.

The human memory is not like a recording device. Unless Kate and Gerry McCann and the Tapas 7 were constantly checking the time, they could only give estimates with regard to the timeline which may or may not be accurate.

Gerry amending his statements after checking with the others could interpreted as him trying to make his statement as accurate as possible. Small discrepancies in the statements are to be expected.

Is there any eyewitness testimony that proves Kate and Gerry McCann and the Tapas 7 weren’t at the tapas bar at the time they claimed?

There’s a difference between being eliminated as a suspect and being formally cleared by a court. Kate and Gerry McCann haven’t been charged with any crime let alone being convicted of one. They don’t have to prove their innocence.

Why do you think Kate and Gerry McCann weren’t charged with any crime?

Posted by The Machine on 07/11/20 at 02:46 PM | #

@The Machine I live abroad but still have a UK +44 number.  His girlfriend lived in Portugal with Brueckner long enough to have acquired her own Portuguese telephone number and was still topping it up.  Police put out an alert because they thought the person at the other end of the call was either a co-partner in crime (member of Ocean Club staff giving the go-ahead), some kind of drug negotiator or another one of his victim’s.

They had lost touch with the girl and feared she might be dead.  She got in touch and they have interviewed her.  Yet the tabloids are still inserting the ‘mysterious phone call an hour before the abduction’ into their articles as though needing to pin as much suspicion on ChristianB as possible as their premise is weak.  The premise being: Madeleine McCann was abducted at about 9:15 or about 10:00 and convicted pervert Bruekner had bee pinged at 8:30 on the phone to his ex-girlfriend.

He had also raped a 72-year-old nearby up to two year’s before despite being a paedophile.  The person who recognised him on the video tape that was made of the rape also claims Brueckner bragged that he knew what had happened to ‘Maddie’.  According to the tabloids, this claim was that her body was fed to the pigs.

That may or may not be evidence that he is the culprit but it looks tenacious to me.  Yet the tabloids are claiming Brueckner abducted her and are still saying he is responsible for the disappearance of Hessee (the little boy) and Inga, when he has been ruled out (or the cases have gone cold).  Of course, there is no harm in investigated Brueckner but that is not the same as ‘case solved’ as the media are claiming.

As for the McCanns they are ring-fenced as when they fled Portugal after being made official suspects Scotland Yard made a policy of not questioning them further.  Now OK fair enough, the Queen is above the law.  However, imagine if she were a rogue?  Jimmy Savile thanks to his close friendship with Mountbatten and Prince Charles was never questioned by Scotland Yard either, nor Prince Andrew in the current Maxwell/Epstein case.

But why should certain persons be exempt form the usual procedures?  A key concept of justice is a level playing field for all, regardless of wealth or status.  Justice should be objective (cold), equal for all and not delayed.

Why shouldn’t Scotland Yard question the McCanns and in which way are they cleared apart from poor logic on the lines of ‘they would not have bee able to keep up a front at the meal’, ‘why would they?’ or ‘how could they have?’

Fact is, the last time anyone saw Madeleine McCann alive other than the McCanns and the Tapas 7 was circa 7:00 that evening when Dr Payne was seen with Kate at the apartment and Kate seen outside making frantic calls on her mobile phone.  They meal had already been booked for 8:30 so it wouldn’t have been to arrange the booking.

There are unanswered questions and I don’t see why ANYBODY should be exempted or ring-fenced from answering them.  Not Prince Andrew and not the McCanns.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/12/20 at 03:34 AM | #

Re the Gordon Brown influence. 

“With the British prime minister himself supporting the McCanns, through direct and frequent phone calls that are revealed by Kate, it became almost impossible for the English government to help an investigation that had indicated the parents as guilty.

Apart from the contacts with Gordon Brown, Kate’s notebooks reveal other important allies. From the hiring of Clarence Mitchell, who at that point in time worked for the government, as an assistant, until the conversations with the wife of Tony Blair, the former British prime minister.

Mitchell actually had a pivotal role in the propaganda machine that was built by the McCanns within a few days, and which counted on the great help from the British diplomacy in all the trips that were carried out by Kate and Gerry.” 

You can read about this PR campaign here:

https://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2008/07/kate-mccann-forced-political-pressure.html

Why does anyone need such a propaganda machine?  Fair enough: ‘Find Maddie’, but why should that exempt the parents from being asked questions?

We know PR works, that’s why people pay large sums of money for it.  We are now seeing Ghislaine Maxwell’s PR agents hard at work trying to paint her as benign and unfairly caricatured by the press as a ‘cartoon’.  She hadn’t spoken to Epstein in years, we are being told, as though in the meantime she has become a reformed character and has only been made guilty by association.

No.  Alleged crimes should be weighted up through the courts, not through press conferences and press releases.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/12/20 at 04:24 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

When you discuss the Meredith Kercher case, you’re like DCI Jane Tennison - you’re dispassionate, logical and rational. When you discuss the Madeleine McCann case, you act like Michelle Moore - you get the same basic facts wrong and you don’t substantiate your claims.

You’re wrongly assuming that the police have ascertained that the person Christian Brueckner called to was Naskscije Miftari. This is not true and that’s the reason why you can’t substantiate your claim.

I’ve already pointed out to you that the German police were still trying to identify the person Christian Brueckner was talking to some time after it was claimed that the phone belonged to Naskscije Miftari - which indicates it wasn’t her. I watched the police asking viewers if they recognised the telephone number on Aktenzeichen XY…ungelöst. They clearly wouldn’t have done this if they had identified the person Brueckner was speaking to.

I’ve also already pointed out to you that you’re confusing two different occasions with regards to comments attributed to Christian Brueckner. Apparently, he said “Pigs also eat human flesh” to colleagues - it wasn’t the person he was talking to in a bar. I’ve seen no evidence the German police are taking these comments seriously. On the contrary, the fact the Portuguese police are now started searching wells indicates the German police don’t believe that Madeleine’s body was fed to the pigs.

Martin Brunt included the following quotation in his report for Sky News:

A source said: “There are lots of leads being followed up, most of which will be of no use.

“But a search of a well is a complicated business and that suggests the police were working on good, credible information.”

https://news.sky.com/story/madeleine-mccann-teams-examine-three-wells-in-portugal-for-evidence-in-her-disappearance-12026431

Christian Brueckner hasn’t been ruled out as a suspect in the Inga Gehricke case:

“On Friday, a spokesperson for the Stendal public prosecutor’s office said it was reopening the investigation.

“Birte Iliev added: ‘It is now being examined whether there are new clues in connection with the murder suspect in Braunschweig.’

“Detectives investigating Inga’s disappearance were also involved in the searches, and Brueckner is reported not to have an alibi for the time she vanished.

“A lawyer representing her family said Brueckner stayed at the house in May 2015 and one day before Inga disappeared, police records place him in a nearby motorway service station where he had a parking accident.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/madeleine-mccann-christian-brueckner-inga-gehricke-missing-suspect-germany-prison-update-a9551421.html

You wrote:

“Why shouldn’t Scotland Yard question the McCanns and in which way are they cleared apart from poor logic on the lines of ‘they would not have bee able to keep up a front at the meal’, ‘why would they?’ or ‘how could they have?’”

You’ve glibly mischaracterised the Metropolitan Police’s exhaustive and painstaking investigative review of the case. The case is beyond the Met’s jurisdiction. However, the Tapas Seven still agreed to be interviewed as witnesses by officers from Leicestershire Constabulary in 2008. They were not obliged to answer any questions and they were free to leave at any time.

The police found no evidence that the Tapas 7 had lied or they were involved in a sinister conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

There have been many sly and snide insinuations in the media and on social media websites about the Tapas Seven. They received £375,000 in libel damages from Express Newspapers. The Daily Express, Daily Star and Sunday Express also published apologies. In other words, there is no substance to the allegations that they lied to the police and are covering for the McCanns. It should give you pause for thought.

Posted by The Machine on 07/12/20 at 05:27 AM | #

The Ghislaine Maxwell case seems to have attracted its first Steve Moore/Bruce Fischer type, who has bamboozled among other media the BBC.

https://tinyurl.com/ycaxbfu2

https://tinyurl.com/ydg274kz

Suggesting caution! If true, this seems a telling facttoid.

https://tinyurl.com/yat9uqmz

And on Friday prosecutors have filed a superseding indictment.

https://tinyurl.com/yanlqqgm

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/12/20 at 07:05 AM | #

The German police think Christian Brueckner’s phone conversation before Madeleine was abducted is significant and that’s the reason why they are so keen to identify the person he was speaking to.

Nick Pisa has written article about a Portuguese reporter who thinks Brueckner had an accomplice:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12099214/reporter-who-broke-story-on-new-madeleine-mccann-search-believes-christian-b-had-an-accomplice/

Posted by The Machine on 07/12/20 at 08:22 AM | #

If Ghislaine Maxwell is refused bail on Tuesday - and she should be considering the gravity of the crimes she has been accused of and the fact she’s an obvious flight risk - it will give us a clear indication that no-one is pulling strings in the shadows, which was the case when the FBI tried to bring Jeffrey Epstein to justice.

Posted by The Machine on 07/12/20 at 08:44 AM | #

@ The Machine That Portuguese reporter isn’t well-informed about the case because she comes out with the following:

‘She also revealed Christian B was suspected of being involved in the disappearance of a girl of 16 from near Foral — close to Praia da Luz where Madeleine vanished — where he lived in 2008.

The girl was later found and no action was taken against him but mystery remained over what happened.’

It has been revealed weeks ago that the ‘missing’ 16 year-old girl was part of a social service scheme whereby a woman in the Algarve was inviting deprived and troubled young adults to stay there as a holiday, whilst she got paid for her services.  The sixteen-year-old went off the rails - as a troubled teenager - and was later found mixing in bad company.  The scheme was then terminated by the government body.  Brueckner often went along to ‘help’ with the ‘community centre’ and I dare say he supplied drugs and arranged parties.  The reporter makes it sound as though Brueckner is a multiple abducter, when he has never been charged with abduction or even murder.

As for ‘an accomplice’, well we all have opinions.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/12/20 at 12:22 PM | #

@The Machine.  The following certainly does give me pause for thought:

‘There have been many sly and snide insinuations in the media and on social media websites about the Tapas Seven. They received £375,000 in libel damages from Express Newspapers. The Daily Express, Daily Star and Sunday Express also published apologies. In other words, there is no substance to the allegations that they lied to the police and are covering for the McCanns. It should give you pause for thought.’

You do know that originally Martin Brunt of Sky was one of those asking *questions*?  After the edict the McCanns and the Taps 7 were untouchable, the media as a body ostensibly supports them, but that doesn’t mean their reservations have gone away.

So now there is an upcoming ambitious prosecutor in Germany who’s thought, hello?  This guy with a record of child sex abuse raped a woman in Praia da Luz and that’s where MM disappeared.  He had a camper van and the campervan was seen in a photo parked in the Vila do Bispo area.  So he’s asked for the wells of VdB to be searched.  Even if a body is found does that prove Brueckner did it?  Gerry hired a rental van towards the end of July 2007 and two cadaver dogs, one scenting blood and the other scenting cadaverous odours, each barked in exactly the same spot.  Dozens of rental vans were tested and the dogs only ever barked at the boot of the Renault the Mcanns had.  The scent was on Gerry’s car keys.  Witnesses reported the couple airing the boot for periods of time. Gerry claimed to have lost his wallet which is why he could not produce key receipts.

There is no need to inform me forensic dogs are useless as I disagree.  They do not ‘find bodies’ and nor are they evidence on their own.  However, they are a great instrument in helping police find significant clues.

 

Posted by KrissyG on 07/12/20 at 12:40 PM | #

A quick look at Knox’s website “Scarlet Letter Reports” shows her defense of mostly lying sluts while Knox lies on same website about “exactly zero DNA evidence placed me at the scene of the crime.”

Note the careful wording as she splits hairs, because we know her team tried to limit the crime scene to “the murder room”, meaning Meredith’s bedroom. They dreaded the public finding out about Knox’s luminol bloody footprints in a nearby bedroom not to mention her blood smears elsewhere throughout the cottage.

More epic Knox lies on ‘SL Reports’ and this is proof of deception:  ....“for all the worldwide attention the case received, few people have ever heard of Rudy Guede.” Oh, how Knox pretends to lament that Rudy Guede has not been in the forefront.

I wonder why? If Knox is outraged that Rudy destroyed her roommate and ruined 8 or more years of Knox’s life, why hasn’t she lambasted him in her media and speaking platforms?

Why hasn’t she made him a well known name as a killer and violator of innocent women?

Why hasn’t Knox screamed and railed against Rudy Guede all these years, brought his name up in every TV interview? She has had ample opportunity to make his name known worldwide as the one man responsible for Meredith’s cruel murder, yet she rarely speaks of him!

But why not, since she now claims on SL Report that he is the one bad dude who caused so much death and misery? Why has she been mute about him, in the main?

I smell a rat. Knox or any innocent person who was wrongly convicted due to Rudy’s evil behavior would be yelling every form of insult at him on social media and she would have the right to do that—-IF SHE WERE INNOCENT.

But Rudy’s name has been kept fairly quiet because Knox and Raffaele were afraid to rebuke him publicly, certainly afraid during the trials. They did not attack Rudy in the press. Why? Because they were terrified of what proof he might speak loud and clear against THEM.

So we heard very little righteous indignation against him.  They were afraid to insult him. Why? because blood footprints and crime scene facts showed clearly that he was not the only one at the cottage alone killing Meredith. The Italian Supreme Court verified this!

Knox also lies in SL Report by suggesting that Meredith was killed merely by happenstance as the only woman who happened to be in the cottage on the night of a random burglary. That’s another lie: we know the stabbing was personal, a duvet was laid over the body, a cleanup was begun. Less conclusive but later Knox missed the vigil for Meredith’s death, did cartwheels at the police station, cuddled with her boyfriend there on his lap, stuck out her tongue, and in first Perugia courtroom displayed disgust at Meredith’s throat cut describing it as “blrrrghhh…yucky”. Why wasn’t she finger pointing at the evil Guede who had been the cause of Knox being imprisoned for his crime?

Knox on her “SL Reports” defends women like Brett Rossi a porn star and Bailey Davis a former New Orleans Saints cheerleader who broke her contract.

The rules stated no cheerleader could post nude, semi-nude or lingerie photos on social media while representing the New Orleans Saints team, nor attend parties with any of the football players. Rumor said Rossi did the latter, and she posted a racy lingerie photo on her Instagram immediately after she had been called into a meeting about her behavior. She was dismissed as a cheerleader and then she sued.

Bailey Davis now pretends to have been humiliated (she did that to herself) says she wants to break the glass ceiling and not wear a glass slipper.

Her aim now is to end a double standard where cheerleaders and football players have two different sets of rules for behavior. Like Knox she is first and foremost a rule breaker and can’t honor an agreement.

Mischa Barton is a much more sympathetic guest on Knox’s interview for SL Report. Seems her boyfriend videotaped the two of them while intimate and published it on the internet. Barton sued him but found herself scrutinized as well, being a public figure.

Daisy Coleman was found drunk outdoors after a party night. She was supposedly raped.  Her overindulgence in alcohol was naturally not her fault but the influence of others. She was portrayed as a local skank and was harrassed for trying to get justice for her injuries.

Brett Rossi was an actual star in pornographic films. A true Knox heroine. She sued for domestic violence but was ridiculed because of her porn star lifestyle. Knox bewails the injustice. The strength of Rossi’s case I don’t know.

Knox relates to having one’s identity stolen by the media and her uphill battle to rewrite her story after media wrested it from her by Foxy Knoxy label. Knox is trying to rehabilitate her image.

The main issue in SL Reports is that Knox wants a platform to lie about her crime and whitewash her wikipedia image? (my term)

In comparison with these trashy women Knox can claim she had a “vanilla” sex life but was pilloried for it.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/12/20 at 12:56 PM | #

The government’s National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) reviewed the use of the specialist sniffer dogs and their findings explain why the CPS don’t present the reactions of cadaver dogs as evidence in court:

Sniffer Dogs ‘Can Hinder Police Work’

Police sniffer dogs used to find missing people and dead bodies “urgently” need better training and monitoring, according to an official report.

The Government’s National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) said specialist victim recovery dogs are not trained to approved standards, with no way of gauging their competence.

The NPIA reviewed the use of the specialist sniffer dogs two years ago, but its report has only now surfaced following a request by Sky News.

“There is no consistency in what the dogs can do and how it is done,” the report states.

“Furthermore, there is no national standard for accrediting dogs and handlers or record keeping of the success rate they achieve.”

The report added the dogs, which are trained to detect the smell of dead bodies, have “the potential to cause complications in an inquiry”.

“There is an urgent need to have national policy on their training, accreditation and deployment,” it concluded.

https://news.sky.com/story/sniffer-dogs-can-hinder-police-work-10488976

Cadaver dogs have proved to be unreliable again recently:

Oklahoma police are called to ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic’s former zoo after film crew believed dogs had found human remains… but they later turned out to be those of an alligator

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8512357/Police-called-Tiger-King-zoo-film-crew-believed-cadaver-dogs-human-remains.html

Posted by The Machine on 07/12/20 at 03:10 PM | #

@Hopeful I agree with you.  Also, Knox inveigles herself with innocence groups, ‘sluts’ and feminists to enjoy some of their sympathy as victims of inequality and unfair discrimination.  It’s rather like a fox in a chicken coop pretending to be a chicken but fooling nobody.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/13/20 at 04:20 AM | #

@The Machine |I looked at your link and, as expected, it was merely a defence of Eddie and Keela sniffing the scent of a cadaver and of blood in the case of the McCanns.  This reminds me of the FOA claiming luminol and DNA testing is not accurate.  Accurate for Guede but not for Knox and Sollecito.  Every rule has an exception, and I suppose the key message here is springer spaniels have a supreme sense of smell second only to the Irish waterhound, but int he case of the McCanns they are both simply wrong even though both picked up the specific scents at exactly the same spot as the other but not in the dozens of similar control examples.

“As air enters the nose, a small fold of tissue divides it into two separate folds, one for breathing and one just for smelling. This second airflow enters a region filled with highly specialized olfactory receptor cells, several hundred millions of them, compared to our five million.

And unlike our clumsy way of breathing in and out through the same passage, dogs exhale through slits at the side of their nose, creating swirls of air that help draw in new odor molecules and allow odor concentration to build up over multiple sniffs.

But all that impressive nasal architecture wouldn’t be much help without something to process the loads of information the nose scoops up. And it turns out that the olfactory system dedicated to processing smells takes up many times more relative brain area in dogs than in humans.

All of this allows dogs to distinguish and remember a staggering variety of specific scents at concentrations up to 100 million times less than what our noses can detect.”  https://dogshowconfidential.com/dogs-and-their-powerful-sense-of-smell/


Of course, the dogs are totally unreliable at picking up scent when it comes to the McCanns.  😊

Posted by KrissyG on 07/13/20 at 04:31 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

Cadaver dogs have proved to be unreliable in other cases e.g. at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey, at Joe Exotic’s former zoo and the search for Shannon Matthews. No dead bodies were found in any of these cases.

According to Judge Patrick Fiedler, the reactions of sniffer dogs aren’t any more reliable than the flip of a coin:

“The state has failed to convince me that it’s any more reliable than the flip of a coin.”

He ruled that the evidence that led to the murder charge against Eugene Zapata could not be put before the jury because the dogs were too unreliable in detecting the odour of remains and noted that no remains were actually found.

He agreed with an analysis of the three dogs’ track record by Zapata’s defence team that found they were incorrect 78 per cent, 71 per cent and 62 per cent of the time.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482105/Madeleine-McCanns-consult-American-lawyers-cadaver-dog-evidence.html

“Can you trust a cadaver dog if there’s no cadaver?

“Not really—especially if a lot of time has elapsed since the body was removed from the scene.”

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2007/09/can-you-trust-a-cadaver-dog-if-there-s-no-cadaver.html

Posted by The Machine on 07/13/20 at 05:32 AM | #

“Portuguese police will search another TWENTY wells for the body of missing Madeleine McCann over fears prime suspect Christian Brueckner dumped her in disused shaft on Algarve coast”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8515793/Portuguese-police-search-TWENTY-wells-body-missing-Madeleine-McCann.html

I hope they find Madeleine’s remains and I’m quietly confident they will do. She didn’t just disappear into the ether. It’s unlikely that she was buried because the ground is so hard. It’s much more likely that the person who abducted Madeleine dumped her body in one of these deep wells in the middle of nowhere.

I have no doubts that the German police are conducting a thorough and meticulous investigation. They will leave no stone unturned. Their investigation isn’t a vanity project on behalf of Hans Christian Wolters. I expect Christian Brueckner to be be charged with abducting and killing Madeleine if her remains are found.

Posted by The Machine on 07/13/20 at 07:29 AM | #

@The Machine, Oh I do hope they find Maddie’s body now with renewed searches in wells and elsewhere. I’m of the opinion that pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated and that if Brueckner did once offend against a child, (despite raping an older woman), that streak of pedophilia is inside him and will always be a threat to children. Whether he ends up being guilty or not, I still hope Maddie’s body is soon recovered.

***

@Peter Quennell. You’re right. Ghislane Maxwell is every bit as horrible as Jeffrey Epstein was. Her dad was a criminal, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In fact, these two devils are so disgusting that I cannot tolerate reading about them, but I hope any and all of their victims get justice. I’m glad Epstein is dead, at least there’s some justice in that, considering how many lives he ruined. However, I am not a bleeding heart for women who are readily seduced and then cry rape, cry abuse.

Any female who is the AGE OF CONSENT and consents to sex (outside of threats or violence of course) is fully responsible for her own behavior.  Age of consent is cemented into law for a reason, a strong reason. The women Maxwell and Epstein preyed upon may have been unfortunate in life but a poor person can retain his or her integrity. If at the age of consent a female chooses quick money over doing what’s right, she is still at fault.

I am not sure how many of the women pointing fingers at Epstein and Maxwell have a legal case against these two hyenas and immoral beasts. Many of the women may certainly have a moral case against them as evil tempters, yes, and E and M will pay for that before a righteous Judge. In the case of any “child” under age of consent, that’s a whole different story and I wish all child molesters and especially those who abuse very very young children, would quickly receive the DEATH PENALTY.

Christ himself said it were better that such abusers had never been born, that they deserve a millstone tied around their necks and to be drowned in the sea. He cautioned all people to never injure a child or offend a child. He took the children on his lap and taught them and loved them like a true friend.

***

@KrissyG—Knox as a fox inside a henhouse pretending to be a hen, that’s priceless. Made my day. That’s exactly what she is, a triple crosser, always ready with a new mask where money is involved.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/13/20 at 02:59 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau has written an article about the police searching three wells in a renewed effort to find Madeleine McCann’s remains:

“Police in Portugal Search Wells For Madeleine McCann in Renewed Effort to Find British Toddler”

“Officials in Portugal have confirmed to The Daily Beast that they have searched three deep wells near a campground where the prime suspect in the 2007 disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann stayed. Authorities are currently examining forensic evidence taken from the wells, though the wells contained lime which can lead to a faster disintegration of human remains. Additional searches in the area are expected this week.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/madeleine-mccann-search-continues-as-police-look-for-toddlers-body-in-wells?source=articles&via=rss

I wonder what the forensic evidence is. I’m assuming it’s clothing. I don’t think lime would make a skeleton completely disintegrate in 13 years.

Posted by The Machine on 07/13/20 at 06:05 PM | #

Hi Machine

Thanks for the Barbie article.

I think it’s been presumed for millenia that lime and quicklime can cause very rapid disintegration of a body.

It could have been pretty useful in this sad circumstance:  https://tinyurl.com/yd3bzj2e

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/13/20 at 10:45 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

Re your compelling riff on child abusers, here’s a new article you might like, explaining (f that were needed) why they arouse such strong reactions in people (and even fellow inmates).

https://tinyurl.com/y8blm5xd

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/20 at 09:32 AM | #

The Ghislaine bail hearing is scheduled for today Tuesday in the afternoon in the Federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan.


_

The Brooklyn lockup is directly behind, a couple of miles away, across the East River and Red Hook, probably in line of sight from the top floors of the courthouse.

The Federal prosecutors’ office (SDNY) is the low building with the grey roof peeping out to the left there. The lockup where Epstein died is just out of sight, further to the left…  CORRECTION: The lockup where Epstein died is quite visible, it’s the small towers to the left of the prosecutors’ office; I didn’t recognize it from this angle. 

(The building at lower left is the NY State supreme court, and that to the right is the NYC municipal building. The elevated highway at back connects to the Brooklyn Bridge.)

So. Prosecutors will strenuously oppose bail, based in part on her elusiveness over the past 12 months, and confront her on a video link with at least one victim.

https://tinyurl.com/ybgm9e62

https://tinyurl.com/yc6aszw6

One Fed argument: even when arrested she was seen running around her house instead of opening the front door when so ordered.

Another Fed argument: in contrast to Italy, France has no extradition treaty with the US. As she has French nationality, if she makes it there she could live there quite openly.

Don’t be surprised to hear the name Ghosn mentioned. He paid an estimated $15 million to skip out of Japan - inside the case of a musical instrument.

https://tinyurl.com/y735lrkt

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/20 at 09:42 AM | #

Ninety minutes into the court hearing, the prosecution case was summarized as already reported, and a date was set for trial about a year away.

A predictable not-guilty plea by Ghislaine was entered, apparently her only words spoken. Important: that does not preclude a future plea deal.

Her lawyers, who have still made zero statements to the media, claimed she had been moving around in the last year to avoid the media - and maybe (my guess) avoid being taken out? 

So we are waiting only for the bail decision. Three of the accusers have spoken against it. At least one wanted to be named: Annie Farmer.

https://tinyurl.com/y855lz7g

https://tinyurl.com/y99mgwqu

A new report describes how she bought the New Hampshire house under a false name. That will not help her bail case. 

https://tinyurl.com/yczg8my3

If she is indeed permitted bail, the prosecution can appeal it; she’d remain locked up during that process.

***

Update: a reporter tweets that Ghislaine Maxwell proposes that she serve her pretrial detention in a luxury Manhattan hotel. Good luck with that one.

***

And the judge denies bail. Nice gesture to the alleged victims, surely guaranteeing more will come forward. Hard to see any attempt at a plea deal succeeding in face of them.

https://tinyurl.com/ybjyduu8

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/20 at 02:34 PM | #

Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail.

Posted by The Machine on 07/14/20 at 03:16 PM | #

The Epstein/Dershowitz deal with political appointee Acosta to shelter Epstein’s cohorts-in-crime, as described in the top post, was reconfirmed by two politically appointed judges in recent days.

And yet today it was almost a no-show. We will have to wait for the NY Times report tomorrow to see how many times it was brought up.

But only a couple of reports so far even say it was mentioned, and then only in the context of the defence lawyer arguing the prosecution would face a tough time at trial - and then using that as a reason to demand bail.

Finally in this case, the judge, the prosecutors and the FBI are all on “the Italian model” that we saw from all the Knox/Sollecito investigators and prosecutors, and almost all the judges.

Yay!!

The defence knows Ghislaine has her back against a wall - in fact Ghislaine seems to have specifically picked them to deal rather than fight. A lot should happen in the next 12 months.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/20 at 07:12 PM | #

The Portuguese police were investigating the recent murder of a local Dutchman found murdered at his home in Vila do Bispo.  That is why the German police knew nothing about it.

The mystery was solved a long time ago.  The parents’ declaration they will not accept Madeleine is dead until she is found, indicates to me they are 100% confident her body will ever be found.  The body may have been left in a well or a tunnel temporarily but once the intense spotlight had died down, it was likely removed and disposed of for good. 

A cursory glance at child abduction/murder cases tells us that the perpetrators invariably dispose of the bodies some distance away from where they were abducted.  Bellfield (Milly Dowler), Ian Huntley (Jessica Wells and Holly Chapman (?) ), the Moors murderers, Mary Bell, Thompsn and Venables (James Bulger) several US perps, some who went to great lengths to transport the body from place to place.

Sure, there is the odd case of necrophiliacs who keep the corpse in the loft (Tobin).  I am referring to people who abduct complete strangers, not people who they know in the own home before anyone cites Fred and Rose. Of course there are exceptions.  However, when it dawns on people this case will never be solved, it is because whoever was the cause of her death, managed to store her body in a concealed location and then transported it away so it will never be found locally.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/15/20 at 02:46 AM | #

For me, it was the powerful testimony of victim Annie Farmer that swung it for judge Alison Nathan.  Nathan, remember, was appointed by Obama, so likely has Democrat sympathies (the USA is a VERY divided country, with the Republicans seeing the Epstein case a deep state corruption by Billary and co, whilst the Democrats are fiercely protective of Hillary, whom they believe only lost the election because of Republican Russian interference).  So a very deep breath sigh of relief Maxwell did not manage to exert her high privilege and get to live in a luxurious penthouse suite at a plush hotel until her trial.  Of course she would have disappeared.  Her father, Robert Maxwell had SIX high up officials from Mossad at his funeral in Israel, together with a leading rabbi.  There is little doubt at all that Ghislaine has friends in, shall we say, very high places.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/15/20 at 03:03 AM | #

A quick, well-written, potted summary of Maxwell’s bail hearing can be read here:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1283080010505609217.html

Posted by KrissyG on 07/15/20 at 04:34 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

You wrote:

“The Portuguese police were investigating the recent murder of a local Dutchman found murdered at his home in Vila do Bispo.”

You haven’t substantiated this claim by citing a Portuguese police officer, newspaper, mainstream media organisation or a reliable and trustworthy journalist such as Barbie Nadeau, Martin Brunt or Nick Pisa.

Talking of Barbie Nadeau, Martin Brunt and Nick Pisa, they have all claimed the Portuguese police searched the wells in Vila do Bisp in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. I’ve provided links to all these articles.

The statistics regarding abductions and murders are ultimately irrelevant. The abduction and murder of James Bulger had no precedent. That doesn’t mean Jon Venables and Robert Thompson are innocent.

You wrote:

“The parents’ declaration they will not accept Madeleine is dead until she is found, indicates to me they are 100% confident her body will ever be found.  The body may have been left in a well or a tunnel temporarily but once the intense spotlight had died down, it was likely removed and disposed of for good.”

You’re clearly insinuating that Kate and Gerry McCann are responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance and not the for the first time. None of your unsubtle nudge nudge wink wink insinuations would be accepted as evidence in an English court. You’re deliberately twisting their words and putting the worst possible construction on them. I interpret their comments as two heartbroken parents who desperately hope their daughter wasn’t murdered because that would be too much for them to bear.

If Madeleine McCann’s body was dumped in one of these deep wells, it’s highly unlikely that the person who abducted her returned and then removed her body and disposed of it for good because that would require a complex operation involving specialist climbing gear and at least one diving suit.

You wrote:

“However, when it dawns on people this case will never be solved, it is because whoever was the cause of her death, managed to store her body in a concealed location and then transported it away so it will never be found locally.”

You’re stating your opinion that the case will never be solved as if it’s a fact. You don’t know this. The German police and prosecutors are convinced Christian Brueckner abducted and killed Madeleine. Scotland Yard are taking their claims seriously as evidenced by their public appeal for any information about him from anyone who was in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeA-8_iizeU

The police officer expressly states that they have “nominated him as a suspect”, they regard it as a “significant development” and they have been “working on this line of inquiry for a couple of years”.

Posted by The Machine on 07/15/20 at 07:28 AM | #

Hey KrissyG

“...the USA is a VERY divided country, with the Republicans seeing the Epstein case a deep state corruption by Billary and co, whilst the Democrats are fiercely protective of Hillary, whom they believe only lost the election because of Republican Russian interference… There is little doubt at all that Ghislaine has friends in, shall we say, very high places.”

Actually the country is not so divided, on a huge number of issues the opinion polls show majorities of 70-80 percent.

There was pretty well zero taking of sides politically over Epstein last year except in some tweets, and the same applies even more to Ghislaine now.

She has no constituency here; she’s seen as a third rail, more-like, a very democratic threat. I’ve seen few if any remarking that she is Jewish and the judge yesterday and lawyers on both sides are Jewish so conspiracy-mongering on those lines may not fly. 

On this occasion we can be pleased that US justice is getting it right. Yesterday’s judge commendably followed the law, and the election will be long gone when the bottom line plays out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/15/20 at 08:59 AM | #

I listened to the live stream of Ghislaine Maxwell’s bail hearing and waited with bated breath as Judge Alison Nathan weighed up the defence and prosecution’s respective arguments. I was pleased that she denied Ghislaine Maxwell bail because she clearly has no intention of spending any time in prison and will flee America if given the chance.

It was wholly predictable that Raffaele Sollecito would try flee Italy if he was found guilty of Meredith’s murder at his appeal in Florence:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25978340

Judge Nencini made the inexplicable decision not to imprison Sollecito. He had been convicted of sexual assault and murder. Sometimes, intelligent judges are guilty of crass stupidity and display a shocking lack of common sense.

Posted by The Machine on 07/15/20 at 10:40 AM | #

Hi Machine

For me the biggest plus in Ghislaine remaining locked up is that she can’t pull strings or organise retaliations from inside as KrissyG and one of yesterday’s witnesses rightly feared.

BTW I dont think she’ll be kept in Brooklyn very long, she might end up on Rijkers Island, or perhaps in a prison we are not even told about “for her own good”.

***

Late in 2011 Judge Hellman had broken Italian law in ever letting Knox & Sollecito out, thus leaving an unprecedented situation where the perps could come and go right in the middle of their own murder-conviction appeal.

He did run for the border with his girlfriend, and then for some reason he blinked.

Weeks previously, right in the middle of the Nencini appeal, Sollecito also skipped out and did this.

https://tinyurl.com/ycaps84p

He had also previously fled (to the US) after the Hellman verdict was overturned; his dad insisted that he come back.

And he later fled (toward Bari) just before the Marasca/Bruno verdict was announced.

Lots of fleeing going on. “Nothing to see here” from the enabling crowd.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/15/20 at 11:48 AM | #

@The Machine.  My source was Mark Williams Thomas quoting a highly respected Dutch journalist Hendrick Jam Korterink who writes under “Misdaad journalist”

https://www.misdaadjournalist.nl/

I know UK media likes to think Britain is the centre of all activity, but for the Dutch, one of their own was murdered in his home in Vila do Bispo.  The police were there to search the drains.

The UK mass media is desperate for clickbait at a time when thousands of journalists are being handed redundancy notices, and the Daily Express is about to fold (speculated). This has to do with the search for Madeleine McCann, making a story out of how the German police were not informed.

It is clear to me that Hans Christian Wolters is worried that the European Court of Justice is going to declare the conviction he acquired for Christian Brueckner for the Praia de Luz rape of a 72-year-old American woman as legally unsafe, as he did not have the right papers when he extradited Brueckner from Italy for a different crime.  The European Arrest Warrant needs to particularise what the crime is.  It did not mention the 2005 rape.

In other words, Wolters is using the mass media to paint Brueckner as a sadistic mass murderer and child kidnapper - despite having no former record of having done so - by linking him to the McCann case in an attempt to swing the ECJ in his favour.

In the meantime the circus continues.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/16/20 at 07:25 AM | #

When I said ‘the case would never be solved’ I was writing within the context of my post of the media theme based on the McCanns’ narrative that ‘Madeleine was abducted by a paedophile’.

That is what I meant as this premise has never been substantiated.

The case is sadly only unsolved in that we do not know the details of why, how and where.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/16/20 at 07:28 AM | #

@Pete you mentiont There is no political bias in the Epstein/Maxwell case.  I have just one word to counter this idea:  Acosta.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/16/20 at 07:35 AM | #

Hi KrissyG

“@Pete you mention there is no political bias in the Epstein/Maxwell case.  I have just one word to counter this idea:  Acosta.”

???

The whole point of the top post was to illustrate how the political appointee Acosta intervened way back.

In the revived Epstein case we saw none of that before he died, and SO FAR in the Ghislaine Maxwell case there’s none too.

The Federal and State courts in NYC and Federal (SDNY and EDNY) and State prosecutors have quite a reputation for being “above politics”.

I don’t recall even a half-hearted attempt to bend…. well, except for the firing of the top prosecutor, one in 2017 and one just the other day, and the cases that sparked this are far from done.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/16/20 at 08:23 AM | #

Krissy,

You wrote:

“In other words, Wolters is using the mass media to paint Brueckner as a sadistic mass murderer and child kidnapper - despite having no former record of having done so - by linking him to the McCann case in an attempt to swing the ECJ in his favour.”

Hans Christian Wolters hasn’t painted Brueckner as a sadistic mass murderer and child kidnapper. He said the German police and prosecutors are convinced Madeleine McCann is dead and that Brueckner killed her and appealed for information about him. It’s standard procedure in Germany for the police check to see whether a suspect can be linked to similar crimes.

Yet again you’re trying to discredit the German investigation. You’re essentially accusing the German police and prosecutors of trying to frame an innocent man for abduction and murder in an effort to keep Christian Brueckner in prison.

Do you think Scotland Yard are also part of this dastardly plot?

You firmly believe that Kate and Gerry McCann are responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance despite the fact there’s no credible evidence that meets the Threshold Test and this dogmatic belief that has left you in the realm of absurdity i.e. you believe the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Braunschweig state prosecutors and Scotland Yard are just pretending they think Christian Brueckner is the prime suspect in order to keep him in prison. It doesn’t make any sense on any level.

Scotland Yard stated they had been working on this line of enquiry for a couple of years.

Do you really think they anticipated Christian Bruckner would appeal his rape sentence to the European Court of Justice a few years ago?

That scenario sounds like a scene from Minority Report.

Hans Christian Wolters has said the chances that Brückner being released are “at zero”. Apparently, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has no power to release anyone from prison.

Posted by The Machine on 07/16/20 at 08:52 AM | #

Hi Machine and KrissyG

Yes the European Court Of Justice in Luxembourg (like the ECHR in Strasbourg which we are more familiar with) has in theory no supranational powers.

This is being tested by Germany right now - Germany’s highest court has declared an ECJ ruling unconstitutional in German law.

https://tinyurl.com/yallyt2c

https://tinyurl.com/y8w78mmd

https://tinyurl.com/y8hznzjp

I doubt in these circumstances that another German court would simply roll over and accept an advisory ECJ ruling that Brueckner must walk free.

I’m not wild about Wolters, I think he got a bit ahead of his skis, but it isn’t only the hard-pressed London media that likes the idea of his finding ways to keep Brueckner off the streets while things clarify.

Certainly many and probably most on both sides of the Atlantic like that too. Maybe only not the anti-McCann trolls that Piers Morgan complains about here.

https://tinyurl.com/ycnx3g3n

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/16/20 at 09:28 AM | #

@The Machine What I would like to see is proper process.  The McCanns and the Tapas 7 properly questioned.  That is all.  Nobody should be ring-fenced.  To make things worse, the Tapas 7 has had a libel handout of £375,000 so they will never voluntarily come forward to admit that one or two things did not happen the way they said it did. 

As I understand it, if the ECJ rules - and technically this is the actual case - that Germany did not follow proper procedure when charging Brueckner with the 2005 rape (he was extradited from Italy for drugs and child porn) then it means if they cannot hold up the conviction for the 2005 but have to start again properly, then it follows they have no jurisdiction either, to charge him for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

If he is charged in Germany, how will they get access to the case files in Portugal, assuming the PJ consider the case to be ‘theirs’.  Portugal cannot extradite Brueckner as Germany will not extradite a German citizen.  It is clear to me Wolters is leaning heavily on the ECJ to find in his favour so he can keep Brueckner in prison.

Scotland Yard decided to protect Jimmy Savile and Prince Andrew and they have also made the same decision about the McCanns and the Tapas 7.  That’s not me ‘insinuating’ anything. That’s not to say the Brits don’t have one of the finest police forces in the world apart from turning a blind eye to the well-connected in the royal family.

Brueckner is a despicable character but I am only interested in facts. If he had nothing to do with the McCann disappearance he should not be charged in the place of someone who hypothetically did do it.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/16/20 at 09:54 AM | #

“It is clear to me Wolters is leaning heavily on the ECJ to find in his favour so he can keep Brueckner in prison.”

This is too conspiracy-theorish for me. Wolters has not said that he wants to keep Brueckner in prison ad-infinitum, he has conveyed that he is buying investigation time, not only for himself but for the Portuguese, and not only for the Madeline case, and he is meanwhile ensuring Brueckner does not simply disappear.

The Portuguese seem to have understood this and moved to the same wavelength and are hard at work exploring those wells and following up other leads. They may not be able to get Brueckner back from Germany, but by way of a Europol or Interpol red notice they can keep him bottled up there for the rest of his life.

And if the ECJ does rule in Brueckner’s favor, he will not walk free that same day. The Ministry of Justice in Berlin will have an acceptance process to go through - which could be extended by many months while the bigger Germany/ECJ case I linked to plays out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/16/20 at 10:39 AM | #

OT but all this talk of Scotland Yard brings back memories. I passed the big silver New Scotland Yard sign on a red open-top bus riding around London. It felt wonderful to see Scotland Yard headquarters—always been a fan.

The time was cold February. Men were breaking ice on Trafalgar Fountain. I’d just bleached my hair super blonde, had photo taken in Trafalgar Square by the big stone lions, touching their feet or trying to reach that high. Pix is in a gold frame, was happy as a lark.

I used to ride those red buses on top in a black wool coat from Macy’s, shivering but fun to have top deck to myself as we passed Baker Street station. I had to visit Sherlock Holmes “home”/museum, bought a pearl necklace in its gift shop.

London was freezing cold but a great adventure. Big Ben, you’re beautiful. Clock is named for old Ben Hall iirc. I’d been at school with a girl from a local Hall family who were highly regarded.

There’s an old Columbo episode “Dagger of the Mind” where two English actors playing MacBeth in a London theatre had killed their benefactor.

Scotland Yard invited Columbo to help with the case. He saw the typical tourist sights: Buckingham Palace, changing of the guard, Tower Bridge, tea at elite men’s club with his host the Scotland Yard inspector.

Of course Peter Falk solved the case! In Madame Tussaud’s wax museum.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/16/20 at 10:48 AM | #

Hi Hopeful. London is special beyond belief.

That funny Colombo episode is aired again and again; as you know public TV here pretty well survives on British costume dramas and crime procedurals. Midsomer is my weekly watch “for the mo”. I really liked the Jane Tennison reboot - only 4 episodes, but the arc was one of the great jaw-droppers of all time. 

I hope you spent muchos time on the south bank (where Meredith was born). Pity the spectacular MI6 buildling was blown up for a James Bond movie and I am glad it is back up…. Theres a new Bond waiting for a less vexing time.

You looked at the great British birds? Their goldfinch leaves ours in the dust. That coat came from Selfridges, surely?!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/16/20 at 11:11 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

Kate and Gerry McCann and the Tapas Seven were questioned by the Portuguese police. The Tapas Seven also agreed to be questioned by the British police. As I’ve already pointed out, small discrepancies in their statements are to be expected. It’s almost possible for them to each provide a comprehensive minute-by-minute timeline for the evening from memory that perfectly matches the other statements.

German law allows German prosecutors to charge and prosecute German citizens who have committed their crimes in a foreign country. I’ve already pointed this out to you.

I don’t see any valid reason why Christian Brueckner can’t be charged with and convicted of any other crimes once he’s in Germany. It make no sense to release him from prison, so he can flee to another country and make Germany request his extradition.

I’m not the only person who thinks this. Felix Halabi, who is representing the German authorities, told the ECJ that Brueckner’s legal argument is “devoid of sense”. He also pointed that Brueckner broke the law when he travelled to Italy - which means he has no protection.

Posted by The Machine on 07/16/20 at 12:19 PM | #

Law, unfortunately, is not based on ‘sense’, it is based on carefully worded rules, as passed by the governing law makers, in this case the EU.  The EU states repealed the previous 1957 extradition acts (ECE) and replaced it by a framework drawn up 2003/2004.  In other words, instead of EU member states each having their own extradition rules, there is one law, the European Arrest Warrant.  In other words, it is no longer true that ‘Germany will not extradite a German citizen’. 

A key part of the EAW is:

‘While the manner in which the arrest of a person the subject of an EAW is not specified in the Framework Decision, once arrested, he or she has the right to be informed of the warrant, its contents, and the person’s right to consent to his or her surrender to the member state that issued the warrant. The Framework Decision also provides that the requested person have the right to the assistance of legal counsel and to an interpreter “in accordance with the national law of the executing Member State”.

https://tinyurl.com/j44kmly

Bearing in mind, it is the EU Commission that passes EU laws and directives.  The European Court of Justice - not to be confused with the human rights court! - is there to ensure the laws are interpreted according to the letter.

It is all very well for Felix Halabi to argue it is ‘devoid of sense’ [to have to particularise an EAW] when “it is obvious the man is a degenerate” is the undertone.  He also argues that being in the Schengen zone should not mean criminals can just go around ‘violently robbing people’ [he has actually argued today].

However, none of these appeals to the emotion or ‘common sense’, or even what the law *should* be in his view, the judges only have the jurisdiction to decide whether the EAW has been interpreted correctly.  Of course, in law, the odd typo or spelling mistake will not cancel out a prosecutor’s issuing of an EAW.  The error has to be a material one for it to be ruled the law was not carried out correctly.

Brueckner’s lawyyer, Fuschler, argued that under Brueckner’s probation terms and conditions, he was to report to the probation office once a month.  Terre was no stipulation he was not to leave Germany.

Fuschler cleverly argues that Brueckner ‘was just on holiday’.

I say ‘cleverly’ because in a case law precedent, which the ECJ concluded as follows:

“At the other extreme, the EAW has failed in some cases. The Irish Supreme Court refused to extradite an Irish citizen to Hungary who was alleged to have killed two children through negligent driving. While the Irish Court never questioned the facts of the case or the fairness or outcome of the Hungarian trial, it decided that the person did not technically “flee” from Hungary, only “failed to return”, having left the country with the consent of the Hungarian authorities; therefore, the legal requirements for extradition under an EAW had not been established.”  [ibid]

So Brueckner’s counsel is arguing that ‘Brueckner did not flee’.

The panel of judges will give their opinion by 6 August 2020, followed by their decision.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/16/20 at 03:55 PM | #

“In other words, instead of EU member states each having their own extradition rules, there is one law, the European Arrest Warrant.  In other words, it is no longer true that ‘Germany will not extradite a German citizen’.”

Keep remembering that no part of the EC is supranational (though some Brexiteers seemed to suggest that it is) and the European Arrest Warrant (which the UK is just opting out of) is not as automatic as that sounds. It is really “extradition lite” and Germany has long been picky as to what it does.

https://tinyurl.com/yarrmegs
https://tinyurl.com/rbkgnef
https://tinyurl.com/y7tp8ub2
https://tinyurl.com/yd2eht23
https://tinyurl.com/y7vutbjh

“Bearing in mind, it is the EU Commission that passes EU laws and directives.”

No, the European parliament in Strasbourg does that. And “laws” is a bit of a stretch, though often used loosely, to refer to regulations and directives under the treaties which the Commission proposes.

I continue to agree with Machine, and I think ECJ will too, that, while Wolters is playing his cards close to his chest, he is not a Inspector Javert clone. He’s quite reasonably buying time, and not allowing Brueckner to simply disappear.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/16/20 at 05:37 PM | #

Hi Krissy,

It’s my understanding that Christian Brueckner is currently serving a a 21-month prison sentence for drug trafficking in Kiel prison and that he was convicted of raping the 72-year-old woman in December 2019. In other words, he hasn’t even started serving his prison sentence for raping the 72-year-old woman. There is no need for the German authorities to apply for an European Arrest Warrant or ask for him to extradited because he’s already in Germany.

It would be manifestly illogical to quash Christian Brueckner’s rape conviction and order a new trial because there’s overwhelming evidence of his guilt e.g. DNA evidence and a video recording of the crime. It would be a waste of money and grossly unfair on the woman Brueckner raped.

The fact Christian Brueckner has been extradited from Portugal to Germany on two separate occasions in 1999 and 2017 and had been on the run for four years prior to his arrest in 1999 will surely be taken into consideration by the ECJ and put paid to his lawyer’s claim that he was on holiday in Italy. Brueckner has a proven track record of fleeing Germany in order to evade justice.

It’s extremely unlikely that Brueckner will be released from prison anyway even though he’s eligible for parole because he’s refusing to cooperate with the German police. It’s more likely that the German authorities will get a slap on the wrist if the ECJ decide the correct procedures weren’t strictly adhered to.

The law may be based on carefully worded rules, as passed by the governing law makers, but you will never remove the variable of subjectivity. The decision to reinstate Adnan Syed and Brendan Dassey’s murder convictions were narrow majority decisions. Experienced judges interpreted the law differently in these two cases.

Posted by The Machine on 07/16/20 at 05:41 PM | #

@Pete: Sorry, yes, of course the EU Parliament passes the laws.  The EU Commission:

“The Commission is responsible for making sure that all EU countries properly apply EU law. In this role, the Commission is referred to as the ‘guardian of the treaties’.

The Commission will take steps if an EU country “does not fully incorporate a directive into its national law by the set deadline
might not have applied EU law correctly”.

https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-making-process/applying-eu-law_en

@The Machine: If Brueckner has already been sentenced to seven years for the rape, then surely he has already had the trial?

The problem with the ECJ rejecting Brueckner’s appeal is that it will set a further precedent that member states do not have to bother with an EAW in direct contravention of the EU law.

The purpose of a sentence is to address law breaking that has been upheld in a court of law after a fair hearing.  If Brueckner has been convicted and has served his time, being eligible for parole two-thirds of the way through it matters not what other crimes he might have committed.

Wolters needs to use proper due process and either charge him with the other crime/s or let him apply for whatever he is entitled to.  Otherwise it just looks as though he is acting outside of his remit.  No harm asking for public help through the media but a sustained trial by media could result in a successful appeal that any consequent trial has been prejudiced and that a fair jury cannot be found.

OTOH judges are clear that they abide by a code of ethical conduct insofar that they will protect their objectivity by guarding against being unduly swayed by the mass media and people who take their cases to PR agencies.  They will be putting it out of their minds that CB is supposed to to be a child kidnapper and murderer of the worst kind and just concentrate on the specific appeal in front of them.

The case against CB if any should not have to hinge on whether he is freed from his current sentence or not.  The German prosecutors have the means by which to bring charges correctly.  It really cannot depend on the ECJ making a decision on an entirely unrelated case just because the tabloids are baying for it.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/17/20 at 02:15 AM | #

PS I do have to raise my eyebrows at Pete and the Machine believing CB is guilty of the kidnap and murder of Madeleine McCann without even knowing the evidence or having witnessed an ongoing trial, based on an assertion by the German prosecutor Hans Wolters.  Obviously I am missing something here. 😊

***

Response by Peter: Yes, what you seem to be missing is a fact-checker. It’d be nice if you could stop posting myriad mistakes, myriad misrepresentations and smears of other posters, and myriad McCann trolls’ conspiracy theories.

To repeat: I continue to agree with Machine, and I think ECJ will too, that, while Wolters is playing his cards close to his chest, he is not a Inspector Javert clone. He’s quite reasonably buying time, and not allowing Brueckner to simply disappear.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/17/20 at 03:50 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

It seems that Christian Brueckner was first convicted of drug smuggling and then some time later he was convicted of raping the 72-year-old woman. This would mean that the German authorities didn’t need to apply for an European Arrest Warrant or ask for him to extradited because he was already in Germany. I don’t understand why you think Brueckner would be entitled to immunity from prosecution. German lawyer Felix Halibi is right, Brueckner’s legal argument is “devoid of sense”.

According to The Daily Mail, Brueckner was released from prison by mistake in August 2018 and then fled to Italy before he could serve his prison sentence for drug smuggling:

“Brueckner was then released from jail by mistake in August 2018 before he had started a sentence for an earlier conviction for drug dealing.

“He fled the country but was arrested in Milan, Italy, in September 2018 and extradited back to Germany to serve that sentence.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8521865/Madeleine-suspect-Christian-Brueckner-set-learn-Thursday-hell-freed-jail.html

As I’ve already pointed out, Christian Brueckner has repeatedly fled Germany in order to evade justice. No judge worth his salt is going to believe that Brueckner was on holiday in Italy, especially if it’s true that he was released from prison by mistake. It would be akin to arguing that Rudy Guede decided to go on holiday in Germany after Meredith was murdered. You have to exercise a modicum of common sense.

Christian Brueckner isn’t automatically entitled to be released on parole after serving two thirds of his sentence. He’s just eligible for parole, but it’s up to the parole board to decide whether he’s released or not. The parole board could argue that being uncooperative with the German authorities who are investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann isn’t the behaviour of a model prisoner.

Christian Brueckner was convicted of raping a 72-year-old woman in December 2019. The evidence against him is irrefutable - he filmed the rape and his DNA was found at the crime scene. The German authorities were not obliged to release him from prison, so he could flee to another country before he could serve his prison sentence for this horrific crime. That would be absurd beyond words.

Posted by The Machine on 07/17/20 at 04:38 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

I know that the German police and prosecutors wouldn’t be convinced Madeleine McCann is dead and Christian Brueckner killed her unless they were able to justify their claims with concrete evidence.

Simon Foy - who was the most senior murder detective at Scotland Yard and part of Operation Grange - said it’s significant that German police have said Madeleine McCann is dead.

Mark T Hofmann - who is a German criminal profiler - has made the same point. He said the German prosecutors are cautious and they wouldn’t claim they are certain of something without any evidence. I have heard this time and again.

All the credible evidence points at Christian Brueckner: his mobile phone was pinged by the phone tower that covers the Ocean Club shortly before Madeleine was abducted, he re-registered his Jaguar car the day after she was abducted, he has been repeatedly convicted of sexually abusing children; he was also found to be in possession of over 8,000 images of child abuse; he has been convicted of burglary; he has been diagnosed as a psychopath, he has fantasised about sexually abusing a small child for days in an online conversation with another paedophile and a credible witness claims Christian Brueckner told him he was responsible for abducting Madeleine and disposing of her body.

A few weeks ago, I was told by a senior lawyer at the CPS that the German police and prosecutors had put together “a compelling circumstantial case” against Christian Brueckner. He also noted the significance of Christian Brueckner’s long history of sexually abusing children.

Jim Gamble - who served as the senior child protection officer in the UK’s first investigation into Maddie’s disappearance - made a similar comment recently:

“The level of circumstantial evidence pointing to Brueckner is substantial.”

Scotland Yard are clearly taking the claims of the German police and prosecutors seriously. They have categorically stated that Christian Brueckner has been nominated as a suspect and said they had been working on this line of inquiry for a couple of years.

Posted by The Machine on 07/17/20 at 05:17 AM | #

KrissyG said: “I do have to raise my eyebrows at Pete and the Machine believing CB is guilty of the kidnap and murder of Madeleine McCann without even knowing the evidence or having witnessed an ongoing trial, based on an assertion by the German prosecutor Hans Wolters.  Obviously I am missing something here.”

Yes, what you seem to be missing is a fact-checker. It’d be nice if you could stop posting myriad mistakes, myriad misrepresentations and smears of other posters, and myriad McCann trolls’ conspiracy theories.

To repeat: I continue to agree with Machine, and I think ECJ will too, that, while Wolters is playing his cards close to his chest, he is not a Inspector Javert clone. He’s quite reasonably buying time, and not allowing Brueckner to simply disappear.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/17/20 at 09:52 AM | #

It’s an interesting set of seemingly coincidental happenings.  However, whether or not the woman Nicole Fehlinger is or or is not his accomplice, to my mind there is a world of difference between stealing a suitcase of money and kidnapping and murdering a small child.  She might well have tipped him off about the suitcase, but would she consent to the latter?  With a £2,000,000 reward and her alleged cunning she would surely have got a friend to tip off the police if only to get her thieving hands on it, presuming she was happy about child kidnap at all.

THe phone call is pinged as ending circa 8:00pm but the parents didn’t go to supper until 8:30 so hardly a ‘coast is clear’ call.

Unless your friend was faxed specific points of probable cause by the German police, it remains just his or her personal opinion.  Prosecutors are not always right.  After all of the cases that go to trial by jury only about a third get found guilty (much to the frustration of the police(.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/18/20 at 02:21 AM | #

According to an article I read in the DM, which seems to have been heavily edited in your version of it, above, Brueckner was on probation at the time he went to Italy and was having to see his probation officer once a month.  There was no stipulation he could not leave Germany, according to the argument presented by his counsel at the ECJ.  So not ‘on the run’.

I do not ‘want to see him escape justice’.  As you know, in the UK, standards for justice are high.  Police do no publicise the evidence against a defendant before the trial and the families of murder victims often have no idea what that evidence is before the trial.  In addition, the jury are not told of previous offences - this comes just before sentencing - and rightly sp, that the defendant cannot complain of an unfair and prejudiced trial.

Knowing Brueckner has 17 convictions including child porn and abuse (falling short of intercourse or close intimacy and in a public place where he was quickly apprehended) and that the tabloids have already decided he should be strung up by his ankles and drawn and quartered with his limbs thrown to the four winds, how will he get a fair trial as we know it?  He will get points of appeal straight away.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/18/20 at 02:44 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

You haven’t considered another possible scenario i.e. Christian Bruckner’s accomplice didn’t know anything about Madeleine being inside in the apartment and didn’t consent to him kidnapping and murdering a small child.

The CPS, Scotland Yard, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the Braunschweig state prosecutors believe Madeleine was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered by a predatory paedophile. The scenario above isn’t at odds with their belief with regard to what happened to Madeleine.

The German police and prosecutors believe Christian Brueckner’s phone call shortly before Madeleine was abducted is significant. If it was someone who had helped Christian Brueckner commit burglaries in Praia la Luz, this would clearly be significant, especially as Brueckner’s phone pinged the mobile phone tower that covers the Ocean Club.

There’s a marked difference between lawyers at the CPS and some of the people you follow on Twitter i.e. the CPS lawyers know that what evidence is valid evidence and meets the Threshold Test and some of your Twitter followers clearly don’t.

You wrote:

“After all of the cases that go to trial by jury only about a third get found guilty (much to the frustration of the police(.”

You haven’t substantiated this claim and you won’t be able to either because it isn’t true. Conviction rates very slightly over time and according to ethnicity and gender.

In 2017, 84% of male defendants and 83% of female defendants were convicted.

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/crime-justice-and-the-law/courts-sentencing-and-tribunals/prosecutions-and-convictions/latest

I’m sure Christian Brueckner will appreciate you arguing on his behalf with regard to the legality of the German authorities extraditing him to Germany. They think Brueckner’s legal argument makes no sense and I completely agree with them. He clearly wasn’t on holiday in Italy and shame on anyone who claims he was in order to argue he should get away with raping an elderly woman. Brueckner has repeatedly fled Germany, so that he can evade justice.

You don’t know the details concerning Christian Brueckner’s convictions for child sex abuse, so you’re not in a position to state they fell short of “close intimacy”. They were serious enough for him to be repeatedly imprisoned for these despicable crimes.

Hans Christian Wolters has revealed very little evidence to the media. You didn’t seem concerned when the details of the evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and Ghislaine Maxwell were made known to the public before their trials.

Why does it concern you in this case?

Posted by The Machine on 07/18/20 at 04:42 AM | #

Re : Madeleine

I think it is unlikely after all this time that a body will be found or, if it is, that there will be any useful forensics.

In fact I understand that there is no incriminatory forensic evidence at all at the present time. If there were that would have been leaked by now.

If the police believe that Brueckner is responsible for abducting and killing the child AND, as they say, they have concrete evidence for this, then I think it is time that they owned this position by charging him accordingly.

I do not see any point in waiting, other than that they know that what they have is insufficient to sustain a conviction. It seems to me that it is doubtful that they even have a prima facie case. Were a court to agree with me then the charges would be dismissed before trial but at least by then sufficient time would have passed for these additional searches to have thrown up something, or nothing.

Until he is charged - and indeed until a trial is over - then I think law enforcement agencies should stop fanning the flames of media speculation. That is unseemly and unprofessional.

Posted by James Raper on 07/18/20 at 11:00 AM | #

Hi James,

The German police and prosecutors were very keen to identify the person that Christian Brueckner was talking to shortly before Madeleine was abducted. They clearly think this phone call is significant.

According to reports in the media, Brueckner was speaking to a German woman who helped him commit burglaries. You can see where the German police and prosecutors are going with this line of inquiry i.e. Brueckner spoke to an accomplice about robbing the McCanns’ apartment. He then sneaked in when they were at the tapas bar, he saw Madeleine sleeping and he decided to abduct her. If she confirms this their conversation was about him robbing an apartment at the Ocean Club, I think Brueckner will be charged with abducting and killing Madeleine.

Posted by The Machine on 07/18/20 at 01:27 PM | #

@The Machine You are quoting figures for all court cases.  I was quoting figures for those who pleaded ‘not guilty’ and opted for a trial by jury.  Many do plead ‘guilty’ straight away to get a lesser sentence.  Juries are notoriously sympathetic to the person in the dock, which means it is a fair system that bends over backwards for the defendant.  I was in a jury in which the evidence showed - including a public CCTV camera - that the defendant clearly did what he did, yet my colleagues acquitted him as they ‘just wanted to go home’.

I have no sympathy with Brueckner.  The fact is, however, the German authorities did fail to specify the rape in the European Arrest Warrant, which is why I said he had grounds for appeal as the ECJ is there to ensure EU directives and Acts are adhered to.  No doubt he was not on holiday at all.  However, his counsel argued this because they are aware of the legal case law precedent that an EAW cannot be executed on someone who has not fled, as per the case in Ireland when a man was held to have not fled Hungary.  That is how the courts work, they go by what counsel are pleading in their submissions and on case law.  At the sift stage, it is clear the ECJ allowed the appeal to go ahead on a valid legal point of law.  They might well take the side of the German state on the grounds of proportionality or in the public interest or it might find in favour of Brueckner yet only have the power to issue a fine.  It likely has zero jurisdiction in German criminal courts.

As for the accomplice story, this begs the question there was an abduction, that is was by a paedophile, that is was a conspiracy between at least two people, that the abduction did take place at the time Kate and Gerry say it did.  One day we are told by the media - Nick Pisa seems to have several pen names - the person who rang him was Nastjica (sp?) and the next it was Nicole Fehlinger.  Today we are informed by Mark Williams-Thomas (ex-cop who exposed Jimmy Savile) so a gumshoe who actually rolls up his sleeves and does the footwork, that he has traced the number to a dark web paedophile network, although he can’t date it.  Of course, females can be paedophiles - plenty have been convicted - so it doesn’t necessarily preclude Fehlinger who appears to be of most dissolute character, letting the young troubled teenagers in her professional care associate with drug dealer, sexual predator, Brueckner and even helped his steal €100K in cash from her little daughter’s own grandparents - but as a disposable phone the most likely explanation is that Brueckner was doing some drug dealing.  Drug dealers tend to carry numerous disposable phone on their person, changing it every couple of days to evade detection by the serious crime squads.

It also begs the question that paedophiles are child kidnappers and killers or even violent when that is a massive leap in conclusion to make.

In these dark web paedophile rings it’s no great surprise these degenerates are going to discuss children in the news.  It’s no surprise Madeleine McCann is a topic of conversation in a group of these mountebanks no doubt thrilled by the idea of a paedophile kidnap.

Brueckner did come into a lot of money so whether it was from drugs, or from the €100K heist or from child trafficking.  Surely it is not beyond the ken of the German police to work this out?  I once worked in POCA recovery and laundered money can usually be traced backwards.  If he bought this derelict factory and land in Brunswick then he would have had to do it via a bank account and all sums over a certain amount have to be checked for money laundering.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/19/20 at 03:47 AM | #

@James Thanks for your considered view, always useful to see the issue through a legal eye.

I can’t see why it would need an accomplice on a phome call, when the McCanns and the Tapas 7 went to dine the same time every day of their holiday (8:30) so a crook would not need to be a Sherlock to know the coast is clear after that time. 

In addition, the streets around Ocean Club are extremely narrow, often without pavement and having to negotiate parked cars making them one-way, in effect so any such kidnapper will be highly visible to any of the tourists strolling along the area towards or from the beach.  Certainly there are a whole crop of e-fits of various sightings.  Including Martin Smith’s, an Irish man, who is convinced to this very day the man he saw carrying a child was Gerry.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/19/20 at 03:58 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

Christian Brueckner is not the prime suspect simply because he’s a convicted paedophile.

Martin Smith wasn’t certain it was Gerry McCann he saw carrying a child that evening. His witness statement has no evidentiary value.

Grace Jones was certain she saw James Hanratty at the time of the A6 murder in 1961. James Hanratty’s claim he was in Rhyl at the time of the murder became a cornerstone of the family’s appeal to clear his name in the High Court:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1979514.stm

Grace Jones didn’t see James Hanratty that evening. DNA evidence later provided definitive proof that James Hanratty was guilty of the rape of Valerie Storie and the murder of Michael Gregsten:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1980731.stm

The moral of the story is that honest witnesses can also be mistaken.

Posted by The Machine on 07/19/20 at 04:56 AM | #

Right after Madeleine disappeared, Portugal faced the same problem that Perugia did: people fleeing, and a local economy in slow collapse.

That sure can mess with an investigation! But commendably the Perugia investigators kept going like robocops, very hard at it for 8 months, every little bit of it documented and in the Wiki now.

Did the Portuguese cops do the same? It seems to me they found it tough going for sure, and this thread does point to many more loose ends than in Meredith’s case.

To the extent I’ve watched the conspiracy-theory YouTubes I find the anti-McCanns way too shrill, very similar to those pro-Knox. Kool-aid and 4Chan stuff. Top layer of UK government as pedophiles? Really?!

I dont think I have the same problem with Wolters not yet charging Brueckner that JamesR told us he does - fast charging (and thus fast plea-bargains and very few trials) causes huge injustice in the US.

Remember it took various Italian magistrates and judges nearly a year to settle on what the RS and AK trial would be about. Defense lawyers were never shut out.

Brueckner has a strong or at least noisy team - more in the media than Wolters is. And Wolters doesn’t seem to have differences with the German police or any German judge. He’s not entirely empty handed and seems to have no reason to make things up.

https://tinyurl.com/y6sohfd9

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/19/20 at 11:43 AM | #

Mark T Hofmann - a German criminal profiler and intelligence analyst - thinks the German prosecutors have more evidence than has been made known:

“I’m sure they [the prosecutor’s office] have more than that [Brueckner’s mobile phone pinging the phone mast that covers the Ocean Club, Brueckner’s criminal record, which includes sexually abusing children and burglaries in holiday resorts, and his suspicious behaviour after Madeleine was abducted].”

“I am sure that the prosecution will pull a joker and have more than we know so far.”

He thinks Madeleine might have been abducted during a break-in:

“It could well have started as a break-in and ended up as a kidnapping.”

He also suspects there’s enough evidence now to arrest Bruckner in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance, but there’s no need to rush the investigation because Brueckner is still in prison:

“I can imagine that the evidence would suffice for an arrest warrant.”

“There is actually no time pressure to have to arrest him quickly.”

Posted by The Machine on 07/19/20 at 01:03 PM | #

Hi Pete

I did not say that I had a problem with Brueckner not yet being charged. I did say that I had a problem with the media hysteria, which to a large extent has already convicted him and which is being fanned by the constant disclosures and talking up the strength of the case from law enforcement, all whilst he remains uncharged because, it would seem, and we shall see in due course, the evidence is not yet sufficient to secure a reasonable prospect of conviction.

As soon as he is charged all that flaff will have to stop.

It will be argued in due course by the defence that what is going on now will make it more difficult for Brueckner to receive a fair trial as, when, and if, he is charged, particularly if the evidence against him has not significantly strengthened.

That is just another factor to add in to the mix if the judges are tempted to dismiss any charges because the prima facie case is too weak. There has to be more to the prosecution case than a highly dislikeable suspect and a few suspicious circumstances.

The prosecution do not have the final say on that : the judges do.

Frankly, I think that for all the talk by law enforcement, although convinced that he’s their man, they are still desperate for a breakthrough in the case.

We all are, I have no doubt.

Posted by James Raper on 07/19/20 at 05:48 PM | #

Hi James

Yes “media hysteria” could matter, I suppose, if the hysteria is in the German media and could come to the notice of potential German jury members. Is this what you fear?

Of course the media hysteria charge was a war-cry from Michael Heavey and Doug Preston etc etc from 2007-08 on in Meredith’s case and eventually Knox herself ran with it.

https://tinyurl.com/yaalffaf

But Italians will tell you they saw little or none of it in their media there. Even the RS and AK defense teams didnt complain at the Massei trial or Nencini appeal. The numerous Porta-a-Porta shows were more like kabuki-dances than flame-wars.

https://tinyurl.com/y6lbulh6

The Marasca/Bruno court simply cut-and-pasted what Bongiorno claimed about a media effect and that court was generally duped (as you showed at length).

I did a little work in Frankfurt and Berlin and the German media seemed to me even more low-key.

Really, James, I do think you can sleep tight…

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/19/20 at 06:58 PM | #

Of course, with any spontaneous serious crimes suspicions, the squads have to think on their feet and of course there is always human error whenever there are numerous officers and personnel involved.  In fact, it is thanks to the Portuguese police diligently recording all of the phone calls in the area at the time that the German investigators have the so-called ‘mysterious phone number’ pinged at Ocean Club, which I very much doubt has its own mast exclusive to the Ocean Club but covers a few kilometres at least.

Here’s the thing, the police sketcher illustrated a slim man carrying a young child across his body between both arms.  What Martin Smith saw was a man *who had the same stock build as Gerry* who carried the child exactly the same way as Gerry McCann carried one of the twins off the plane on his return to England, slung over the shoulder and Gerry carefully looking down watching his step.  Smith was so sure he rang the police several times but was largely disregarded as the McCanns were ring fenced as far as Scotland Yard were concerned.  However, why should anyone be ring fenced? 

The latest is that “Portuguese Police failed to note Brueckner’s sex offence records when he appeared in court on diesel theft charges/other charges’.  Surely these crime writers ought to know that offences committed as a juvenile are never used against you as an adult after a set number of years, yet they are bewailing that Portuguese lawyers failed to break professional ethics as if they should have divined Brueckner was the monster what took Maddie and declared his youth offending to the world, breaching protocols that are there to help young offenders rehabilitate and put their youthful follies behind them.  At least the reporters have stopped going on about how he might be responsible for half a dozen other murders throughout Europe.

Not sure why the phone call is so important, as the McCanns and the Tapas 7 went to dine the same time every night at 20:30 so accomplice not needed to know the coast is clear.

Posted by KrissyG on 07/20/20 at 02:17 AM | #

Hi Krissy,

The claim that Gerry McCann was calmly strolling through the streets of Praia da Luz whilst carrying his dead daughter, thinking no-one would notice is ridiculous. Where would he have dumped her body in this short period of time? It just doesn’t make sense.

Do you really think he returned 25 days later to the place where he allegedly hid her body, put her body in the boot of the hire car and moved it somewhere else under the eyes of the world’s media?

The scenario that Kate and Gerry McCann and their seven friends conspired to cover up Madeleine’s accidental death is utterly implausible.

What do you think Kate and Gerry said to them?

“Hey guys, Madeleine dropped dead in the apartment a couple of hours ago. Would you be kind enough to do us a favour and help us cover up her death? We know it involves committing perjury and perverting the course of justice, but we would do the same for you.”

Martin Smith claimed he saw the man that could have been Gerry McCann carrying a sleeping child at 10:00pm. This is the time Kate McCann raised the alarm that Madeleine was missing. This means Gerry McCann would not only have had to instantly teleport himself back to the tapas bar, but he would have had to travel back in time to 10:00pm.

You keep claiming that Kate and Gerry McCann were ring-fenced, but you have never substantiated this claim. Scotland Yard had no jurisdiction in the case. The Portuguese police could have charged Kate and Gerry McCann in connection with Madeleine’s disappearance, but they chose not to. This should tell you that they never had any credible evidence against the McCanns.

Posted by The Machine on 07/20/20 at 04:41 AM | #

Several emails saying this is enough to absorb and expecting there’ll be more clarity about Brueckner either way in coming weeks.

So please hold further comments for the next thread on this case when there’s some major advance.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/20/20 at 06:38 AM | #

Major advance may already be imminent.

That didn’t take long! Tips are coming in suggesting a charge against Brueckner seems imminent. Nick Pisa is reporting it.

https://tinyurl.com/y3xe4hnj

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/21/20 at 08:00 AM | #

Martin Brunt claims the Portuguese police have reopened their investigation into the unsolved rape of an Irish woman after 16 years:

“Police in Portugal reopen rape investigation after claim against Madeleine McCann suspect

“Hazel Behan thinks her attacker may have been Christian B, the main suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.”

https://news.sky.com/story/police-in-portugal-reopen-rape-investigation-after-claim-against-madeleine-mccann-suspect-12033629

I’m not sure why the Portuguese police would reopen this investigation because Portugal has a 15-year statute of limitations on rape investigations and the DNA evidence was inexplicably destroyed.

Posted by The Machine on 07/22/20 at 07:17 AM | #

There’s a documentary about the hunt for the prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case this evening on ITV at 9:00pm:

Madeleine McCann: The Hunt for the Prime Suspect

Three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared without trace from her parents’ holiday apartment in Portugal 13 years ago.

It’s a mystery that has gripped the world, and now German prosecutors say they believe they have a prime suspect, a convicted sex offender who was living near the apartments at the time.

But who is Christian B, and why has it taken a decade for him to be linked to the crime?

Julie Etchingham investigates a trail that has involved police forces from at least three European countries

Presented by Julie Etchingham

https://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week30/madeleine-mccann-hunt-prime-suspect

Posted by The Machine on 07/23/20 at 04:30 AM | #

Police search near Hanover linked to Madeleine McCann disappearance

Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt said: “It’s a dramatic development. Police in Germany started digging an allotment area near Hanover this morning, where Christian B, the main suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation lived for a period some years ago.

“The public prosecutor’s office and the federal police have confirmed to local media and to our own reporter in Germany that this is connected to the Madeleine McCann investigation.”

https://news.sky.com/story/police-search-near-hanover-linked-to-madeleine-mccann-disappearance-12037852

Posted by The Machine on 07/28/20 at 07:06 AM | #

Thanks as usual Machine. We have several important posts pending on Meredith’s case and Knox, but this looks like it might take all the oxygen out of the room very soon.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/28/20 at 11:59 AM | #

I saw same story in Daily Mail online. Christian Brueckner used to live in a trailer near Hannover. He worked in an auto repair place near there, in between spells of living in Portugal.

The police are using sniffer dogs and excavators to dig in the garden behind his trailer near Hannover. They’ve removed several bags of POSSIBLE evidence from the digs. I hope this isn’t a wild goose chase.

At the moment Brueckner is in prison in Kiel for drugs.

He is appealing against his conviction for rape of a 72-year-old woman that occurred years ago. If his appeal fails he must next serve a long prison sentence for it.

Posted by Hopeful on 07/28/20 at 05:39 PM | #

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