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Quote:'Very ugly' new Madeleine suspect

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An artist's impression of a suspect in Madeleine's case has been released

An artist's impression has been drawn of the latest suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The image shows a "very ugly" man who appeared to watch the apartment where the three-year-old's family was staying on the day before she vanished.

The McCann family were staying in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz when Madeleine went missing on 3 May, 2007.

Investigators have received hundreds of phone calls since the McCanns appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in the US.

The latest image is based on the account of a British woman on holiday in Praia da Luz.

She said she saw the man, with pitted skin and a large nose, twice in the days before Madeleine's disappearance and told police he was "very ugly", about 5ft 10ins tall, slim and was wearing casual clothes, probably jeans.

“ In my experience random just doesn't happen - someone just doesn't go in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it. ”
Dave Edgar, former detective inspector

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Another two witnesses - a 12-year-old schoolgirl and a man from Cheshire - also reported seeing a man watching the McCanns' apartment in the days before Madeleine vanished.

They have not yet confirmed whether the person they saw was the same one depicted in the new artist's impression.

Meanwhile, retired British detectives believe five separate sightings of a suspicious man could help solve the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance.

Former detective inspector Dave Edgar, 52, and former detective sergeant Arthur Cowley, 57, are being employed by the McCanns to continue the search for their daughter.

The former policemen have examined thousands of pages from the official Portuguese case files, which were made public last July.

They have formed a theory based on several previously unreported accounts along with two better known sightings of a man carrying a child away from the flat on the night Madeleine vanished.

Their idea, revealed in a documentary to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Thursday, is that someone watched the McCanns' apartment for up to a week before Madeleine disappeared.

Mr Edgar said: "In my experience random just doesn't happen - someone just doesn't go in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it. These things are planned.

"There's three [witness accounts] of exactly the same location.

"I don't know what the Portuguese authorities have done to eliminate these people from the inquiry. So we've got to presume that they haven't done it and go with that.

"This offence happened in Praia da Luz. It's a very self-contained resort, and that's where I think the answer is."

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, used their appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show to release a computer-aged picture of how their daughter might look now.

Madeleine's sixth birthday will be on Tuesday.

The recent calls made to the couple's private investigators include details of around 30 possible sightings of the missing girl, mostly in the US and Latin America but a few in Europe.

There is some evidence that Maddie was "stolen" to order and was headed to Belgium, home of the very ugly and very highly connected Dutroux paedo ring.

The power of the paedo's is astonishing:
The picture I have of what she might look like now unfortunately does not look like that.

Wasn't there a Portuguese pedophile racket busted a few years before Maddie was stolen? It was supposed to have gone high up also.
Yup, there was (and is) a powerful paedo group in Portugal (and in the UK and the USA amongst others) that, like those in other countries, reaches up into very lofty places.

The following is but one report of the usual orphanage scenario (note the report is dated well before Maddie was stolen to order):

Quote:Portugal's elite linked to paedophile ring

Abuse was reportedly going on at Lisbon orphanage for 20 years
Giles Tremlett in Lisbon

The Guardian, Wednesday 27 November 2002 11.38 GMT

A scandal over a paedophile ring run from a state orphanage gripped Portugal yesterday as it threatened to engulf diplomats, media personalities and senior politicians.

Photographs of unnamed senior government officials with young boys from Lisbon's Casa Pia orphanage were among the evidence reportedly available to police after they arrested a former orphanage employee called Carlos Silvino.

A number of former residents, and the mother of one boy who is still there, have denounced sexual attacks on children at what is known as Lisbon's most famous orphanage.

Mr Silvino, it was claimed, abused children himself and procured boys for a powerful group of clients.

He has publicly denied the allegations and was expected to repeat that denial at a closed-door bail hearing in Lisbon yesterday.

What has most shocked the Portuguese have been the revelations that systematic sexual abuse of children at the home had allegedly been going on for more than 20 years and had been known to police and other authorities for most of that time.

A former president, General Ramalho Eanes, was allegedly among those who knew about abuse at the home but failed to stop it.

The identity of the mysterious group of powerful paedophiles remained a secret yesterday, with only one person prepared to admit she knew at least some of the names.

Former secretary of state for families, Teresa Costa Macedo, said she had sent a dossier containing photographs and testimonies from children to the police 20 years ago but they had done nothing about it, while she was subjected to a campaign of threats.

"He [Silvino] was just one element in a huge paedophile network that involved important people in our country," Mrs Costa Macedo explained in a newspaper interview. "It wasn't just him. He was a procurer of children for well-known people who range from diplomats and politicians to people linked to the media."

The material sent to the police, which yesterday appeared to have been lost, was damning proof of the activities of the paedophile ring, Mrs Costa Macedo said.

"There are photographs, an account of the methods used to spirit children out of the orphanage and testimonies of a number of children," she explained.

Mrs Costa Macedo said that many of the photographs were found at the house of a Portuguese diplomat in the town of Estoril, 20 miles from Lisbon. Four children who had gone missing from the orphanage were discovered at the house, where they had spent several days allegedly under lock and key.

President Eanes was introduced to five boys who told him of the abuse occurring at the orphanage in 1980 but failed to act on it, according to Mrs Costa Macedo.

There was no suggestion that General Eanes, a popular and respected figure who did not comment on the allegations yesterday, was involved in the paedophile ring.

Portuguese police insisted yesterday they had no record of the documents sent to them by Mrs Costa Macedo.

She said she had been the target of a campaign of intimidation to make her stop investigating the case.

"I received anonymous threats, by phone and post. They said they would kill me, flay me and a lot of other things," she said.

That campaign had started again yesterday, she said, with threatening phone calls made to her home.

Portugal has increasingly been under the scrutiny of anti-paedophile groups who have denounced its lax laws and uninterested courts for creating a paedophiles' paradise in Europe.

Belgian and Dutch paedophile groups are reported to have operated in Portugal, with foreigners travelling to the island of Madeira to seek out young children.

Investigators from the Swiss-based Innocence in Danger group, which claims children regularly disappear from the poorer streets of Portuguese towns and cities, say they too have been harassed and threatened.

Mr Silvino claimed his accusers were making up their allegations. "It is all lies," he said.

The orphanage's director and deputy director were sacked on Monday as the government pledged to clear up the case as soon as possible.

My bolding.
More. And you can bet that the truly powerful have not been arrested...

Quote:Ten charged in Portuguese paedophile ring scandal
By Peter Popham
Ten people, including members of the political and media elite in Portugal, have been charged in Lisbon with the sexual abuse of children, more than a year after the scandal broke.

Ten people, including members of the political and media elite in Portugal, have been charged in Lisbon with the sexual abuse of children, more than a year after the scandal broke.

It is Portugal's biggest scandal since the collapse of President Salazar's fascist regime nearly 30 years ago. Some Portuguese claim that the two events pack a similar punch for this insular corner of the European Union.

And with a former ambassador, a former senior government minister and two famous television presenters among those charged, Portugal's justice system - much denigrated by the public - faces its biggest challenge since the arrival of democracy.

In November 2002, whistleblowers inside Casa Pia - a state-run institution that cares for 4,600 vulnerable children, many of them blind or deaf mute, in 10 homes - told Portuguese news media that children in the homes were being sexually abused by wealthy paedophiles.

As details began to emerge, the nation looked on in horrified fascination.

A key figure in the scandal is Carlos Silvino, 46, a caretaker and driver at one of Casa Pia's homes. He is accused of organising a paedophile ring centred on the homes, in addition to assaulting several boys himself.

Mr Silvino went on trial in October on 35 charges of rape and abuse relating to four boys in the homes. His victims are alleged to have included a boy with mental disabilities and a deaf-mute boy.

Taken to court in a convoy of police cars, he was loudly barracked by protesters. One of them shouted: "You deserve to be slowly killed."

Pedro Namora, a former Casa Pia child who is now a successful lawyer, said of Mr Silvino: "I know that he raped 11 children. He would come to their rooms, tie them to the beds, and assault them."

Horrifying as the scandal was, the nation was stunned when famous names began to be called in for questioning about their alleged participation in the paedophile ring.

Those arrested and detained for months include two television presenters, Carlo Cruz and Herman Jose, Portugal's former ambassador to South Africa, Jorge Ritto, and a minister of employment in the last socialist government, Paulo Pedroso. Mr Pedroso, who claims that he is the victim of a smear campaign, insisted on having his parliamentary privilege lifted so that he could prove his innocence in court.

Nine of those charged are men. The tenth is a 61-year-old woman who is alleged to have managed a house in the countryside where boys were taken to be sexually abused.

The nine men are alleged to have abused as many as 100 children in a scandal that covered a number of decades. The victims include some of the most vulnerable children in the country.

Confronting the widespread fear that Portugal's justice system could fail this crucial test, President Jorge Sampaio said in May: "The impunity which for decades on end has made this case a shame for all of us will finally end.

"Faced with the horror that so many children, who were entrusted to us to be educated and cared for, were victimised, it is necessary to declare here that the President is certain that the guilty will be severely punished."

Underlining the challenge the system faces, Marcello Nuno Rebelo de Sousa, a law professor and social commentator, said: "It is not just solving the Casa Pia case, it's believing in democracy. It is believing we belong to Europe, not just because we are in the European Union, but because we have a democratic system where justice works. Portuguese society looked in the mirror and said, 'we are ugly'."