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Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

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Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  Annabel on Thu 22 Dec - 12:11

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2011/12/21/police-were-silent-over-hunt-for-madeleine-mccann-leveson-inquiry-hears-100252-29993108/#ixzz1hGH7Vhqm

Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears





JOURNALISTS covering Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in Portugal were under great pressure to bring in stories although it was “near impossible”, the Leveson Inquiry has heard.

Daily Express reporter David Pilditch said it was a “ludicrous state of affairs” because the police were not providing any information directly to the British press.

Madeleine went missing from her family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents Liverpool-born Kate and Gerry dined with friends nearby.

Mr Pilditch was dispatched to Portugal to cover the story six times between 2007 and 2008, he described how he had to resort to gleaning information from Portuguese journalists who were speaking to the police.

He admitted that although he was “confident of the veracity of the reports” he was writing, he did feel uncomfortable about the situation.

He said: “I knew that the reports were correct but I also knew that because there was no confirmation, there were going to be difficulties if any complaints were made because they weren’t publicly declared statements.”

Asked if he had hesitated at all before writing the stories that he did, Mr Pilditch said he had.

He added: “I feel uncomfortable writing stories where you’ve been put in a position where you can’t do it in the way that you’re used to, to be certain that what you’re saying is fair and accurate.”

He said there was “obviously a lot of pressure” to produce stories as newspapers and television networks from all over Europe were taking an interest and “you can’t not cover the story”.

As the law in Portugal prevents police from discussing details of their investigations with the media, “this was a ludicrous state of affairs which made covering the story near impossible”, Mr Pilditch wrote in his witness statement.

In March 2008 Express Newspapers paid £550,000 libel damages and printed front page apologies to Madeleine’s parents over a series of articles falsely alleging that they were responsible for their daughter’s death.

Robert Jay QC, counsel to the inquiry, asked Mr Pilditch if he shared his concerns about what he was writing with his news desk.

The witness replied: “I said ‘If we’re going to have any problems, we might not be able to defend these things because we just can’t get any information’. and that was the difficulty.”

Mr Pilditch went on to say that his bosses “took my comments onboard”.

But he added: “You’re in a situation where it’s a story of great interest and you’ve got newspapers and television from all around the world who are covering it and you know that your rivals are working on similar information and they’ve got similar issues.”

Mr Pilditch was questioned about the sources he used for stories he had written after the McCanns were made “arguidos”, or official suspects.

“It’s not something you can ignore,” he said. “It’s not something where you can just present a story that was based on a comment from the McCanns’ official spokesperson.”

Mr Pilditch was asked about his story which claimed a priest in Praia da Luz would not tell police about what Mrs McCann had said in a confessional. The article included a reference to the priest vowing “to take the secrets of the confessional to the grave”, Mr Jay said.

Lord Justice Leveson, chairman of the inquiry, commented: “All the stuff, for example, about what the priest might have been told, it’s all fluff. There’s nothing to it.”

Mr Pilditch replied: “It’s all the things that were happening at the time, but if you look at things now, knowing what we know in the public domain, it’s a very different picture.”




Read More http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2011/12/21/police-were-silent-over-hunt-for-madeleine-mccann-leveson-inquiry-hears-100252-29993108/2/#ixzz1hGTn3eQQ


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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  kitti on Thu 22 Dec - 17:10

Why has this turned into PJ bashing?


You go to portugal you abide by their laws , simple as that and blaming the secrecy law in portugal....is outrageous ..

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  Guest on Thu 22 Dec - 17:18

Indeed.

First rule of visiting another country is to be happy to respect and abide by the local Law and Culture.

Those who aren't of that mind should stay in their own little box.


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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  wjk on Thu 22 Dec - 18:16

So.. this is the PJ who were 'leaking' onfo left, right and centre according to some. Who, now we're being told, 'were silent'?

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  tanszi on Thu 22 Dec - 18:25

oh wjk its leaking stuff when someone wants it leaked and silent when someone else wants it silent. The PJ just cannot win can they. Oh yes and I agree totally, when in Rome, especially when its preparing itself, you do as the Romans do. Where is the respect for the culture and laws of other countries when you visit them, seems that got left behind with the children. jimo

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  Panda on Thu 22 Dec - 18:33

Actually I don"t think the British Police give out too much information, I like many was stunned when Tabak was arrested. Pilditch bemoans the PJ but
first of all a Foreigner should respect the Rules of a country and secondly,. Justine was giving daily Bulletins to the British Press, Clarence did the same
and the McCanns blatantly insulted the PJ rule that a secondary investigation is not allowed.....so why should the PJ change their Law????

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  Claudia79 on Thu 22 Dec - 19:25

So, the PJ were leaking like a sieve but they were silent at the same time? Have these people been on the cough medicine?

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  almostgothic on Thu 22 Dec - 19:49

Over on JH's forum, candyfloss makes a good point by recalling how, when KM was being questioned in the police station, Justine McGuinness and Trish Cameron were texting out info from the same building to meet deadlines.
And then afterwards Philomena was telling everyone in the media about the deal-that-never-was ...

Leaking like rusty old buckets, the lot of 'em!

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

Post  kathybelle on Thu 22 Dec - 19:51

kitti wrote:Why has this turned into PJ bashing?


You go to portugal you abide by their laws , simple as that and blaming the secrecy law in portugal....is outrageous ..

Hello Kitti, I don't know why the journalists have turned on the PJ. The McCanns used the secrecy laws when they didn't want to answer a question, they were asked by a journalist. I didn't see the British media turning on them.

Also Dave Edgar was severely criticised when he spoke to the media, about the "Victoria Beckham lookalike" and other aspects of the case, that should have remained a secret.

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Re: Police ‘were silent’ over hunt for Madeleine McCann, Leveson Inquiry hears

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