Posts Tagged ‘Scotland Yard’

It has now – tragically, unbelievably, shockingly – been six years since Maddy McCann disappeared in Portugal. If she is still alive – which may well be true – the young girl will now be 9 years old.

This is what she would look like now.

Madeleine McCann

Have you seen her? Imagine her with different hair, different hair colour. Does she look anything like any kid you know? And if not, keep your eyes open!

British police have identified 38 “persons of interest” in their search for clues about what happened to Madeleine McCann, a young girl who disappeared in May 2007 from a holiday resort in Portugal.

Twelve of the individuals are British. The rest are from a variety of European countries, the Metropolitan Police Service said Thursday.

Critically, the police also said Thursday that Madeleine could possibly still be alive.

“Over the coming months we will be conducting assertive (inquiries), with the assistance of host countries to establish more information about the individuals concerned and any potential involvement,” the police said in a statement. They also said that the case has moved from a review status to a full investigation.

“This process has been complex and issues such as translation of material have presented particular challenges,” police said in a statement. “To date, some 30,500 documents have entered into the process.”

The review has “generated new findings and new witness evidence.”

McCann vanished from a vacation home in Praia da Luz, Portugal just days before her fourth birthday. British police said that they are in close contact with her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who remain active in the search for their daughter.

“We remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened,” Madeleine’s parents wrote on FindMadeleine.com on May 2, 2013, the day before the sixth anniversary since her disappearance.

FindMadeleine.com is a website dedicated to raising awareness and funds to help locate Madeleine.

Associated Press and others

assange-wanted-poster_53We were rather circumspect in reporting late last night that Julian Assange had been arrested while visiting a medical specialist, and indeed, now, rumours that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London are “false,” the whistleblower website said on Saturday UK time.

Indymedia UK had reported that Assange, the 41-year-old Australian who sparked a diplomatic row when he was granted asylum by Ecuador, was arrested while secretly visiting a medical clinic five minutes from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

“Sources close to this reporter have confirmed that Wikileaks founder and international fugitive Julian Assange has been arrested by Scotland Yard detectives at a private medical clinic located just a five minute drive from the Ecuadorean Embassy,” Conal Urquhart wrote in an article posted on Friday.

But Wikileaks vehemently denied the story, tweeting that “Reports of Julian #Assange arrest are false and derive from a fabricated story.”

“Such media smears are common,” Wikileaks tweeted. “Reader beware.”

Indymedia UK has since ‘hidden’ the spurious article about Assange’s arrest, citing a breach of editorial guidelines. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since last June.

He entered the embassy in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on charges of sexual assault.

The charges reportedly stem from Assange having unprotected consensual sex with two Swedish women, which can be considered a crime in the Nordic country under certain circumstances.

Assange has refused to go, asserting that Sweden’s record of sending persons wanted by the USA to America for detention or trial meant he would be laying himself open to “rendition” against his will, possibly to face execution, and has offered to meet Swedish prosecutors in London where he believes his deportation to the USA is less likely.

Assange rose to international prominence after Wikileaks began leaking and publishing hundreds of thousands of classified US military and diplomatic cables, many of them detailing atrocities committed by US troops and local authorities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange has been hailed as a champion of free speech and transparency by progressives around the word, and even by some libertarians like US congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul. He was voted Australian Journalist of the Year in 2011 by his peers in the prestigious Walkley Awards, and Wikileaks has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

But he has also been vilified by reactionary forces, especially conservative American politicians, some of whom have called Wikileaks a “terrorist organization”. Former Arkansas governor, presidential candidate and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee has gone so far as to call for Assange’s execution.