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Rebuttal of "Fact" 22

Page history last edited by Chinagirl 11 years ago

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22. The McCanns said publicly in August 2007: “We will take a lie detector test at any time”. Then a newspaper offered to pay for one. They then changed their mind and said they wouldn’t.

 

Verdict - False Claim and Misquote.  Neither Kate nor Gerry McCann made any such public statement.

Source - Media articles

 

 


 

 

Summary of Verifiable Facts

  1. The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell is quoted as saying that the McCanns would take a lie detector (polygraph) test if the Portuguese Police asked them to - NOT one sponsored for the media and administered by a polygrapher who works in the entertainment industry.
  2. The Portuguese Police did not ask the McCanns to take a lie detector test.
  3. Lie detector tests are not admissible in Portuguese courts, nor in British courts.
  4. The McCanns declined a lie detector test administered by Don Cargill who is a polygrapher on daytime entertainment programme "Trisha".

 

Discussion

 

Media reporting that the McCanns were willing to take lie detectors

Several media stories were reported on 21 September 2007 which indicated that the McCanns had said they would be willing to take a lie detector test (polygraph). 

 

None quotes the McCanns directly but several attributed the claim to either anonymous friends or an un-named source:-

 

 

Un-named Sources

 

Daily Mail - 21 September 2007

Quote:

 The McCanns' offer to submit to lie detector tests would only serve to help clear any public doubts about the McCanns' guilt or innocence, as polygraphs are inadmissible in Portuguese courts and are never used by Portuguese police during the course of investigations.
The source said last night: "If they were asked to take a lie detector test, of course they would agree.
"Kate and Gerry are happy to do anything that would help clear their names."
Lie detectors work by measuring physiological responses such as blood pressure levels, pulse rate and skin conductivity when the subject is asked questions.
Any significant difference in these rates as the subject gives answers to different questions, may indicate that the subject is lying.

 


The Times - 21 September 2007 

Quote:

 Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, said last night that they were prepared to take a lie detector test if requested by the Portuguese authorities. “Kate and Gerry are happy to do anything that will help them to clear their names,” a source close to the couple said. “They have said all along that they want to cooperate fully with the Portuguese police, but as of today they have received no such request.”

 

 

The Sun - 21 September 2007

Quote: 

 KATE and Gerry McCann are willing to take a lie detector test to clear their names, it was revealed last night.

Thousands of Sun readers wanted to know why they had not taken a polygraph test over missing daughter Madeleine, four.

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, have now broken their silence on the question — two weeks after being named as suspects by Portuguese cops.

A source close to the family, whose daughter went missing in Praia da Luz on May 3, said yesterday: “If they were asked to take a lie detector test by police, they would.

“They have said all along that they want to co-operate fully with the Portuguese police but, as of today, they have received no such request from the Portuguese authorities. Kate and Gerry are happy to do anything that will help clear their names.”

 

 

Metro News (no date)

Quote: 

The parents of Madeleine McCann are prepared to take a lie detector test to prove their innocence.

Friends say Kate and Gerry McCann want to show they have nothing to hide over the disappearance of the four-year-old who went missing on a family holiday in Portugal in May.

 

 


The Mirror - 21 September 2007

Quote: 

McCann are willing to take a lie detector test to clear their names.

The couple are desperate to refocus the hunt for daughter Madeleine, four, as the tide of suspicion against them recedes.  A source said: "They're happy to do anything that will clear them.  "If they were asked to take a lie test by police, they'd agree.  "They've said all along they want to co-operate." Kate and Gerry, both 39, were named suspects two weeks ago. Police believe they may have accidentally overdosed Madeleine and hidden her body.

 


Named Sources - Clarence Mitchell (McCanns' Official Spokesman)

 

The following two reports quote Clarence Mitchell and more detail is given about the offer to take a lie detector.  Specifically:-

 

  1. The McCanns would have no issue with taking a lie detector if requested to do so by the Portuguese Police.
  2. Provided it is overseen by an appropriate expert who can ensure the absolute reliability of the equipment being used.

 

This is London - 21 September 2007

Quote: 

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said that it was "extremely unlikely" the couple would be asked to take a lie detector test by police. He said: "Kate and Gerry McCann have absolutely nothing to hide and, if a request from the Portuguese authorities was made for them to undergo such a lie detector test, they would have no issue with it, provided the test is suitably overseen by an appropriate expert who can ensure the absolutely reliability of the equipment being used.  However, it is my understanding that such machines are not used in Portuguese criminal cases, nor is the information from them deemed admissible in court, and there are question marks over their reliability. Therefore we think it is extremely unlikely that such a request for a test would come through."

 

 

Sky News - 21 September 2007

Quote: 

McCann are unlikely to face a lie detector test in connection with the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, the family's spokesman has said.

The couple had said they were prepared to take a test to prove they had nothing to do with the child going missing.  But spokesman Clarence Mitchell said evidence from any test would not be admissible in a Portuguese court.  "Kate and Gerry McCann have absolutely nothing to hide," Mr Mitchell said.

"If a request from the Portuguese authorities was made for them to undergo such a lie detector test, they would have no issue with it, provided the test is suitably overseen by an appropriate expert who can ensure the absolutely reliability of the equipment being used."

But he said he understood that such machines were not used in Portuguese criminal cases, nor was the information from them admissible in court.

"Therefore we think it is extremely unlikely that such a request for a test would come through," he added.

The McCanns' declaration that they would be happy to take a lie detector test is just the latest stage of a public fightback to show they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance.

The couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, were declared suspects by detectives after DNA traces were found in a car hired after Madeleine's disappearance.

The couple have returned to Britain after a four-month stay in Portugal and have been told that police do not have enough evidence to justify interviewing them again.

 

 


Report that the McCanns would not take a media sponsored lie detector

 

This following report was published two months later and headlined to suggest that the McCanns had "changed their minds" about taking a lie detector.  However, a comparison with the above reports which quote the McCanns' Official Spokesman, proves that there is no retraction and no change of mind,. 

 

In the original 21 September statement, the McCann's spokesman made it clear that they would only be willing to take lie detector tests at the request of the Portuguese Police and if they were 100% accurate and admissible in Portuguese courts.

 

 

Daily Mail - 19 November 2007

Don Cargill is the polygrapher in the UK daytime magazine show "Trisha".  The British police do not use lie detector tests.

 

Quote: 

Don Cargill, chairman of the British and European Polygraph Association, said the McCanns told him they would only take the test if it was 100 per cent accurate and admissible in a Portuguese court.
He told the Sunday Express: "Kate said she'd take it to prove her innocence but in reality, she wasn't willing.  "I was dumbfounded, to tell the truth.
"I don't think it was the McCanns' fault. I was left with the impression the whole thing was a PR exercise to get sympathy at a time when Kate was under increasing scrutiny."  Lie detectors work by measuring physiological responses such as blood pressure levels, pulse rate, breathing and sweat gland activity in the skin during questioning.  Any significant difference in these rates may indicate the subject is lying.  The process has been criticised but the American Polygraph Association claims the current computerised technology is 98 per cent accurate.  They are not admissible in British or Portuguese courts.
McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Of course they are not going to take the test. It's inadmissible in Portugal and there are doubts about the accuracy.  "Gerry and Kate don't need to do one as they are telling the truth."

 

 

Conclusion

There are no contradictions in those statements which came directly from the McCanns' official spokesman.   The McCanns said all along that they would have no issue with lie detectors requested by the Portuguese Police.  However no such request was received as indeed lie detectors are inadmissible in both Portuguese and British courts.  The lie detector test which the McCanns declined was not an official one, but rather one sponsored by a newspaper at the height of the media frenzy surrounding the case and which would have been administered by a polygrapher best recognised for his participation in a daytime entertainment programme specialising in sensational human interest stories.

 

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