Saturday, 23 June 2007

A few questions to the Editor of Reuters News Agency

In the dispatch “TIMELINE - The disappearance of Madeleine McCann”, from June 22, Reuters wrote: “May 4 - McCann family members and British media criticise local police for what they call a slow initial response, failure to notify ports and borders in time, and failure to secure the crime scene, which may have led to vital clues being lost.”

On a story published by Guardian Online, at 2.30pm, Friday, May 4, the journalist Mark Olivier quotes Mr. John Hill, the manager at Ocean Club, as having said this:“(...) AROUND 60 STAFF AND GUESTS at the complex had SEARCHED UNTIL 4.40PM, WHILE POLICE NOTIFIED BORDER POLICE, SPANISH POLICE AND AIRPORTS (...) There is A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR HERE in charge of the situation and AROUND 20 OFFICERS (..).
Mark Oliver also wrote, on May 4, in the same story: “Assisted by sniffer dogs, police, who started the search last night, were today continuing to comb the resort and the village. Detectives were also speaking to guests at the resort, asking if they had seen anyone acting suspiciously last night
(..)”
The next day, Saturday, May 5, Guardian Online published another piece, signed by Sandra Laville and Dale Fuchs. They wrote: “Police helicopters flew over Praia de la Luz yesterday as the hunt intensified for Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her bedroom in the apartment on Thursday night. Teams of officers used sniffer dogs to scour the resort, in the south-west of Portugal, where Gerald McCann, a cardiac surgeon, and his wife Kate, had taken their three young children
(..)”

A few questions to Mr Editor of Reuters: It seems clear that somebody is lying. Who? The journalists from Guardian, Mark Olivier, Mrs. Sandra Laville and Dale Fuchs? The unidentified McCann family members quoted by Reuters? Mr John Hill, manager of Ocean Club, a privileged witness of everything that happened, since Mrs Kate McCann discovered Madeleine was missing?

About the reference Reuters does to British media criticizing local police, could you explain the reasons why Reuters doesn't refer that not all the British media criticized the “slow initial response” of Portuguese Police? Indeed, the Guardian said exactly the opposite. Reuters doesn't consider Guardian Online as part of British media? Or is that the case The Guardian is not considered a newspaper reliable enough to be trusted and quoted by Reuters?

Looking forward to hear from you soon,

Paulo Reis

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