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Rebuttal of "Fact" 41

Page history last edited by Chinagirl 9 years, 5 months ago

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41. Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said in September 2007: “There is a wholly innocent explanation for any material the police may or may not have found”.

 

Verdict - False.  This is a complete misquotation of what Clarence Mitchell said.

Source - TV Interview.

 


 

Summary of Verifiable Facts

  1. The source for this quote is a TV interview
  2. Various versions of this quote appear on anti-McCann websites and discussion forums
  3. In the actual interview, Clarence Mitchell is referring to claims that evidence had been found which proved that Madeleine's body had been in the McCann's hire car.
  4. This was later proved to be false.

 

Discussion

 

As with all of the MMRG's "facts", no sources have been given.  Google results for the quote resulted only in anti-Madeleine websites and references to them.

 

Some interesting examples of Discussion about the Quote

 

  • One poster attributes the quote, not to Clarence Mitchell, but to Joana Morais, who published the quote but without a source.
  • On DigitalSpy the quote was described as Mitchell’s “Infamous line”.
  • On another forum a poster stated that the quote was the one “Which stood out for me”.

 

 

The actual Source 

The actual source was an interview with Clarence Mitchell on Sky News on 20th September 2007 and is therefore a primary source.  The following is a transcript of the relevant portion (starts at approximately 0.25 secs):-

 

Quote:

 "It appears to us that they were looking at one particular set of circumstances and, as I’ve said a number of times already, any evidence they may or may not have found which gave them cause for suspicion of Gerry and Kate can be wholly and easily explained should it come to that. Please bear in mind Gerry and Kate have not been accused of anything."

 

 

 

Comparison

 

MMRG quote: “There is a wholly innocent explanation for any material the police may or may not have found”

 

Actual Quote: "Any evidence they may or may not have found which gave them cause for suspicion of Gerry and Kate can be wholly and easily explained should it come to that."

 

 

Conclusion

 

Apart from the obvious fact that the quote claimed by the MMRG bears little resemblance to what was actually said, under Portuguese secrecy law, Clarence Mitchell was forbidden from discussing the case.  However, at this time, there were news stories circulating that Madeleine's DNA had been found in the car which the McCanns hired several weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.  After the release of the police files, stories like the following were reported:-

 

 

From the Daily Mail:-

Quote:

 Portuguese police tried to force a confession from Gerry McCann by confronting him with false DNA 'evidence', it has been revealed.

Detectives told the devastated father they had found incriminating DNA from his missing daughter Madeleine.

They said it was in the family's holiday apartment and, crucially, the boot of their hire car, rented 25 days after the little girl vanished.

 

British scientists had already warned the Portuguese that the forensic evidence was far from conclusive and the DNA could have come from almost anyone.

 

 

This would certainly explain the use of Clarence Mitchell's phrase "evidence they may or may not have found" if the existence of that evidence was under question.

 

 

 

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