Saturday, September 08, 2007

Both of Madeleine's parents made suspects

At 23:45 UK time, 0:45 in Portugal, a police car pulled up outside the police station where Gerry McCann had been questioned for some 9 hours. Earlier his wife had left after several hours of questioning but was not charged with any offence. The weekend papers were already set to lead with much the same headlines as yesterday. The Sun was perhaps the strongest headline”Confess and your out in one year”. The studio guests during Sky’s paper review, equally agreed that the papers were being over sensationalist. The Mail leads on Saturday with some of the questions posed to her during her ordeal of police questioning. “Why was her [Madeleine’s] blood in your car? Did you drug her that night? Confess and you’ll get two years?” read some of the headline under the banner “ACCUSSED”. The Daily Express inferred that evidence had been found on a Bible. “Death on mum’s bible” is the headline there. The discussion in the studio dismissed some of the press speculation as incredulous and said there was a sense of ‘mob mentality’. Some of the headlines are based on the assertion that police told Kate McCann, “Confess and you’ll be jailed for two years”. Meanwhile, the McCann spokeswoman, Justine McGuiness, said it was “ludicrous” to suggest blood belonging to Madeleine had been found in a car hired by the parents.

Before arriving at the police station to take his turn in being interrogated by the Portuguese police, Gerry McCann posted a comment on his blog protesting his wife’s innocence and declaring the allegations as being “ludicrous”. He added; “We will fight this all the way and keep looking for Madeleine”

As the media waited for Gerry McCann to emerge from the police station, Sky’s Ian woods said he had no indication whether he was to become ‘Arguido’ or an official suspect in the case [BBC]. Then Mr McCann emerged from the station accompanied by his lawyer. He then read a short statement in Portuguese and English. “Both Kate and Gerry McCann have been declared Arguido” he said. He added that no bail conditions had been set and no charges had yet been brought.
Bizarrely, at the same time CNN told their viewers that Gerry had not been declared a suspect during a Breaking News item and would bring viewers an update when Gerry McCann left the police station. It took another few minutes before CNN brought taped pictures of Gerry McCann leaving the station and told viewers that both parents had been declared as suspects. Paula Hancocks told viewers that the spokeswoman for the McCanns had said the allegations were ‘ludicrous’. She also said the Portuguese police were also on trial. “They don’t want to mess this up when the whole world is watching”. Certainly the whole world was watching. But it is the lead item only in British and Portuguese papers. It also made little major prominence on Russia Today, CCTV-9 or Al-Jazeera.

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