Madeleine – Sergey Malinka Arguido #4

In July 2014, four men were made arguidos in the Madeleine McCann case.

Sergey Malinka was one, but shortly after, his arguido status was removed. This makes him the least interesting of the four, so I will clear him out to make things clearer regarding the other three.

I am not sure exactly when Sergey’s arguido status was lifted, but the removal comes up in news dated mid August 2014, so whatever evidence was obtained by Scotland Yard, it seems to have been straight forward to evaluate.

This leaves a point of minor interest. What was it Scotland Yard wanted to ask Sergey Malinka that merited arguido status?

In the original case, Robert Murat was made an arguido and a phone call between Robert and Sergey was timed at around 11.30 PM on 3rd May 2007. So there was suspicion by association.

When this link was published in the news, Kelsie Harris reported that Sergey had misappropriated funds from a company involving her husband, leading to the company folding, and that Sergey had a penchant for girls in the age range 14-16.

Sergey gave a statement that on 3rd May he was in his parents’ flat from around 6 PM and had not gone out again. He could not remember a phone call, but said if it happened, it was about arranging a meeting with Robert to discuss IT work that Sergey was carrying out for him.

Nothing was asked about the allegations made by Kelsie Harris, suggesting the police did not consider this relevant.

The police searched Sergey’s home, and took away computer materials for inspection. Nothing relevant to the McCann case was found, so these were returned.

On the 3rd Aug 2007 in Portimão, Martin Grime had sniffer dog Eddie inspect 10 cars potentially relevant in the case. One was Sergey’s Audi A4, registration 10 91 FP. (It happens to appear as the 9th car in the video.) Eddie showed no interest in Sergey’s car.

Audi in car park

On 20th March 2008, Sergey’s Audi was fire bombed in the early hours of the morning, and the pavement beside it was sprayed with the word FALA (talk). Whilst this looks suspicious, the most likely solution is simple and does not imply any guilt on Sergey’s part. However, without evidence to prove that is what happened, libel laws prevent disclosure of this solution.

Sergey was one of those receiving sums from various parties in relation to slander. The dates and amounts are unimportant, but clearly a considerable body of fiction has been injected into Sergey’s story.

The next date was July 2014, when Sergey was made an arguido. The media speculation about this was long, and frankly, most of it looks like uninformed speculation, therefore I will not waste time in considering it.

Why it was deemed necessary to constitute Sergey as an arguido is baffling, particularly in light of the rapid removal of arguido status.

In December 2014, both Robert Murat and Michaela Walczuch were questioned, as witnesses.

From the list of people questioned in the second half of 2014, my first take on what was going on is that Scotland Yard was simply being meticulous. It looks like a long and systematic review of everything. From the number of questions reportedly asked, SY seemed to be going into more detail than the original investigation.

The only nugget of information that came out of the venture by SY was that a car belonging a relative of Sergey was searched by British sniffer dogs. That car is allegedly the car of Svetlana Malinka, Sergey’s mother. Svetlana is in the PJ Files as she worked as a cleaner for a company not associated with the Ocean Club, and occasionally cleaned one apartment near the top of block 5.

If the car was Svetlana’s, it reinforces the notion that SY was simply being diligent. Checking Sergey’s mother’s car 7 years on is hardly likely to be as a result of a lead. It is just as well Sergey’s Audi had already been scrutinised, otherwise there would be another rumour opportunity.

The media sources have not reported that the flat that belonged to Sergey’s parents was searched by sniffer dogs, either in 2007 or in 2014. I do not know if the parents still live there.

What is baffling me is why arguido status? I am equally baffled as to what could have been provided to rule Sergey out so quickly.


10 thoughts on “Madeleine – Sergey Malinka Arguido #4

  1. I do think this is somewhat incomplete regarding evidence and suspicious behaviour which could implicate SM.

    One brief example: from memory, police removed two hard drives which SM had for personal use which had both been wiped. That’s not the behaviour of an innocent man.

    Nor was it to deny contact with RM, nor to attempt to distance himself from him and play down their relationship.

    Now, I do not doubt that SM was libelled by the red tops… appreciate that, who wasn’t? but because the rags paid out to him and the other two, it doesn’t make them innocent… it just means irresponsible reporting was punished.

    You’ve also got the filed reports of SM having paedophile material on a computer in his flat, which he claimed he was fixing for someone, and would report to police.

    Again, have more to mention… but would look some up first. I’d love to know the reason you see for the vandalism. It’s incriminating indeed… but could be deliberately so from a oersonal enemy. Wasn’t the first attack, was it?

    Would love to know what SY were at with the ‘arguido’ status… what they wanted to know… why they lifted it so fast… were they open to litegation?

    You see, If I were in charge of the investigation, and I would love to be, I would have made SM an arguido like a flash too…

    Reason enough, never mind all you mentioned, all I mentioned and omitted here, is that he’s an absolutely top candidate for Smithman.

    • If you have a decent link for the wiped drives, I would love to see it. As far as I can see, all ‘wiped drives’ is speculation in the the media, so if I have got this wrong, I would like to be corrected.

      There IS a claimed report of Sergey having paedophile material on a computer. There IS a report of Robert Murat having a paedophile news clipping in his house. There IS a statement that Gerry McCann and David Payne had a paedo discussion re Madeleine. The fact that these things exist does not make them true/significant.

      Here’s a bit of pure speculation. I think SY went arguido to get 4 people to take a DNA test. I cannot prove this, hence it is total speculation. I further speculate that they did not get all the DNA they wanted.

      As to Sergey being Smithman, here we must differ. He is the wrong age for the 3 Smith statements. If Aiofe is correct, he was also going the wrong way. And I cannot for the life of me see him taking a kidnapped child or a dead body back to his parents’ home.

      • Age wise, we discussed this before… what seems to be poor diet and a lack of physical exercise, plus his colouring, meant that when SM was… what, 23? he actually could have looked 43 passing in poor street lights. He had dull hair, pallid complexion and a weak chin with flab underneath and no dress sense… looked as middle-aged as can be. And anyway, the age-range for Smithman ran from 25-40, did it not?

        We definitely did where he was heading… I think! The only indication was ‘towards the sea’, which came from Peter Smith, and when he spoke to local journalists in Co. Louth. That’s the origin of that phrase… not sure I ever linked you in to that, but there you have it. Now, whether that’s bollox or not is another question entirely… I think he likely went down the steps. Don’t think you committed an inkling one way or another. And PS seems to think he turned left towards Casa Malinka.

        But, hypothetically, if SM were Smithman, who says he has to be heading to Casa Malinka? The child could have been alive and he could have been off to stow her somewhere with which he was familiar. Or the child could have been already dead, and he could have been off to depose or dispose of her body temporarily or permanently, again, somewhere familiar to him. Places familiar to him for either purpose would tend to be near where he lived and worked (the same place). Massive emphasis on the hypothetical.

        What I left out was the couch and DNA… you remember… SM dumped I think two couches, and there was DNA analysis on hair samples from such which were reportedly close to a match for the child. Now, I left that out, because as nothing came of it, it either has to be wildly inaccurate, or there’s one of those mad conspiracies happening.

        What you have got is him denying contact and further meetings with RM before and after the event. It’s incredibly fishy.

        The wiped hard drives was roundly reported. I have no idea if you can find such in the police reports. What I would say is SM was litigious… and if anyone reported inaccurately he went after them. The papers that paid out are not the same as those that reported the wiped hard drives. And I have no denial from him on the matter. Further than that, you’d need to find it in the police reports. And I don’t think we have access to those.

        Two statements to the police confirm reports of paedophile material on a computer in his possession. Those were acquaintances of his… why would they decide to make that up? They went to the police, not to the Sun.

        Now, maybe his cover story was true… but he never made the report he claimed he intended to make to the police himself.

        (Gaspar statements are useless… Mr. Garpar didn’t even hear what his wife claims to have heard… there’s a fair chance Payne has a shite sense of humour… there’s also a chance Mrs. Gaspar got the wrong end of the stick in a stupid joke he was making. There’s a good chance he’s just an eejit. I find it very hard to believe that if, as is implied, DP were a paedophile, he’d make crass jokes about being a paedophile over dinner in polite company. If that’s how paedophiles operated, they’d be a lot easier to spot. Never read about clippings in RM’s possession… you have a link? I had one for you on another topic, but I’ve mislaid it…)

      • From memory I think Sergey was around 22 or 23 at the time, so I think you are correct on that.

        Age estimates from the Smith’s were in the 30 to 40 region, again from what I remember.

        If the origin of ‘towards the sea’ was Peter Smith, it is something I was unaware of.

        Sergey could have chosen to wander past his neighbourhood with Madeleine, alive or dead, in his arms. Anyone who knows the area, as Sergey did, could have avoided this completely. So why risk trotting through your home turf?

        Onto dumped couch or couches. If there is a decent source for this I would be very interested indeed. To get rid of a couch here you 1) take it to the rubbish pick-up point, where no one has a clue where it came from, or 2) call the council, who will take your rubbish away for free. Neither route gets close to the PJ, and the couch is not in the files. It would not even be Sergey’s couch, it would be his parents’ couch, given that he was living in his parents’ apartment.

        Wiped hard drives was reported in the media. True. But is it in the files? The files say he had several discs with porn and one disc with bestiality. There is nothing about paedophilia and nothing about Madeleine, and nothing about wiped drives.

        As to the Gaspar statements. I think on this I can say we are basically in the same boat. I find these simply do not convince me. I could be wrong but I am just not swayed by these.

        The ‘paedophile’ material in Robert Murat’s possession is not worth the effort of looking it up. It seems the searches of Casa Liliana turned up a newspaper clipping. That was to the effect that a famous person was a paedo. I can’t remember who, but the finger was pointed at Rasputin or Valentino. This fits into the same waste paper basket as the Gaspar statements.

      • Just memory, but I think Aoife put him at 25… could be wrong. He was a state at 23 anyway, so easily confused with an older man. Smithman to sea was from the tiny local paper with an interview with Peter. Don’t think he spoke much after that, but I can find it if interested. It was as early as can be, and he used those words. Thing is, in his statement, he gave sparse detail in that regard… so, he could be representing a kind of collective view, via Aoife… or, I suppose, in a certain sense, downhill in a seaside town is generally towards the sea… you know what I mean? walking down VdlEP where the first Smiths met him, Smithman was in a sense walking towards the sea.

        Absolute conjecture here, but why risk going near his own patch, if Smithman were hypothetically SM? (Massive hypothetically) Well, Smithman, whoever he was, knew where he was going. He had a purpose, I think (that’s if Smithman was the abductor… and I don’t know that for sure at all… I might be maybe 60-40 leaning towards Smithman being the culprit, not really scientific!). Now, say Smithman were SM, devil’s advocate, he has his purpose… that purpose is likely going to involve familiar environs. That’s why I think the direction he took casts further suspicion over the former arguido.

        Now, you’re back to lone v multiple people working at the abduction, and why no use of car, and why walk the streets at all? Cases can be made… and even made for hypothetically SM as the suspect.

        What the police took from him was 2 hard drives, 1 laptop and a bag of discs. Rather infuriatingly, the files mention the content of the discs alone… hardcore porn and some bestiality… but that they found nothing of relevance to the case. I got the impression that the porn was from the discs alone… They don’t say if the hard drives were wiped, and thus had nothing… nor do they mention encrypted files. What we can get simply won’t tell us… however, they handed everything back within 48 hours. So, that’s either them searching full hard drives and getting nothing or handing back wiped drives as there was nothing on them. What you need is the source…

        The police leaked info for dosh from day 1… true or false… you need original source or better yet, the full report of the IT copper. Without that, it can not be confirmed… but SM denied everything else… never that.

        The couch situation has manifold sources, and a full DNA analysis available. Not my bag, and I got bored looking through it… but it definitely happened.

        I slotted it into the Renault DNA category anyway… if they had something meaningful, it wouldn’t be a footnote now. They would have moved on it, rather than spoken about it or leaked it to the press. Never mind the haplotypes… as the geneticists didn’t push it through as evidence, I don’t bother with it. But it’s all there, if you’re interested. You’re talking about analysis of hairs again… thing is that has come on leaps and bounds since 2007, from what I read on the subject. So that’s the only way I can see it being relevant… and 2007 really seems to be a turning point in forensic use of DNA. You never know.

      • The origin of “to the sea” is interesting, but only in a trivia sense. It surfaced really quite early and took hold. (OK until the SY dig, when some enterprising journalist had Smithman heading up Rua 25 de Abril towards the mound and away from the sea.) I chanced upon a video recently where Paul Luckman (Algarve newspaper guy) had walked the Smithman route with Gonçalo Amaral. I think it dates back to 2013. At the bottom of the road, Luckman stated that Amaral had indicated Smithman probably took the route the Smith’s had just come up i.e. not ‘to the sea’. Amaral does use ‘to the sea’ in a chapter heading in his book, then does not mention where Smithman went, so ‘to the sea’ was well established by then.

        Murat got hauled up on encrypted files, therefore if Malinka’s drives were erased, I would expect to see him getting asked why. There’s nothing in the IT report about erased drives and Malinka was not asked about erased drives. So the ‘erased drives’ tale originates with the newspapers. It could be true, but how many other wonderfully inaccurate stories emerged in the press, particularly until they got sued. I am therefore not going to assert as true that for which I have no reliable source.

        The couch story as told by the press fails on many levels. The couches in question are in the files, because they were part of the PJ investigation. They had the ability to do all the matching then, analysed the hair DNA, and hey ho, got no match and archived the case. This isn’t DNA from after the case was archived. It is DNA the PJ already had when the case was open. It does not match. The attribution of a couch they already had in 2007/8 to Malinka looks like pure speculation.

        The 3 other people made arguidos at the time have no connection to Malinka. Yet it appears that SY wanted to get DNA from all 4. It appears that they applied for an order to enable taking of DNA and house and car searches. It appears that while made arguidos, orders for DNA and searches were declined. There is a string of “appears that” in this chain. But if accurate, it suggests the evidence was enough to make the 4 arguidos, but not for more. Therefore the unmatched hairs from 5A will remain unmatched, unless the guys volunteered DNA. As the 3 appear to be arguidos still, while Malinka is not, I have got to assume they did not give DNA. This is on the basis that if they did, they should have been cleared or processed further.

      • Wait now… where’s this IT report… and where is the record of Malinka’s interview? If you have those, I’d love to see them.

        Also, I thought you said arguidos could be forced or tricked into supplying DNA. It’s a decent idea if true… but if that were the main motivation, by that logic Malinka would have given a sample and been released, and the three amigos would not, and you’d be waiting for red tape to force them.

        But, that seems to me incredibly unlikely… if only because SM strikes me as the kind of person, massive hypothetically again, but the other way around, that if innocent and asked for a DNA sample, would refuse outright and bring several lawyers into the mix… never mind if guilty.

        Whereas, conversely, the uneducated poor are a) generally less informed about their rights b) have less access to expensive lawyers and c) are far more likely to be tortured into submission and/or confession… but, by your logic, it’s these guys that refused to give a DNA sample, and called in the solicitors and judges? That’s just never how it works.

      • I am NOT an expert in arguido status or how Portuguese law works, so I am scraping bits and pieces from people who have more knowledge of this than I have. Here is what I understand.

        People in Portugal cannot be tricked into giving DNA. That’s illegal, and any evidence arising from it would be quashed.

        Arguidos can be forced to supply DNA, but only if a judge specifically orders this. Level 1 = arguido (no DNA, no search of premises). Around level 3, you get arguido + forced DNA + forced searches. It isn’t a case of battling this out when the interview occurs. SY goes in with an ILOR, judge decides which level applies, and that is nearly close to the end of it.

        I THINK (note the capitals) that SY had enough to make the 4 arguidos, but not enough for a judge to authorise a DNA sample or a search of premises. I would GUESS (note the capitals) that Malinka either volunteered DNA or his phone traffic proved he was not near 5A that night. My bet happens to be on phone traffic, for the simple reason that a lack of his DNA in 5A is not conclusive. Phone traffic would do that quickly, DNA would take longer. Might be right, might be wrong.

      • So, is there an IT report and interview record I haven’t seen regarding SM or not?

        SM would dig heels regardless, so I doubt he volunteered anything, other than the thteat of legal action.

        Now, you’ve done all the phone data and mast locations… my basic understanding of this is one mast would be pinging if he were in his apartment or in G5A. He claims the former… and his phone activity was one of the more incriminating factors of his being a suspect. So just how could his phone activity rule him out now?

        He can hardly say ‘actually, I was in Lisbon that day. I forgot. Here’s a different phone I used. Have a nice investigation.’

        Well, he could, I suppose… do a Murat, and recant on all details of his activities he had previously given in a formal statement, and spin an entirely different yarn with no explanation for the lies apart from being a bit tired. Didn’t do RM any harm.

        So, I cannot see SM providing cheek lining or being cleared on phone data. Something else must have happened… perhaps the threat of legal action was enough to have the status lifted, as they had not enough to go on. If so, they should have waited, but remember the pressure OG was under from the press and former Met characters? Maybe they chose their moment badly… they must have had something more, but not enough to justify a prolonged arguido status.

        Meanwhile, no pot to piss in thieves cannot really complain.

        You must wonder, though… do the Portuguese police actually want a conviction?

      • Sergey’s statement is in each location that has nearly the complete PJ files, including the maddiecasefiles and mccanjpfiles. I have no doubt you are well acquainted with both. The finding re Sergey’s IT is on mccanjpfiles. It’s the bit where it says discs of porn and one of bestiality, but does not mention wiped hard drives.

        Moving on to phone data. I do not have phone traffic for Sergey, other than that which was published with the PJ Files. In Sergey’s context, there was a phone tap, but I cannot work out from that which of the 3 phone operators he was using.

        If he was on Optimus, phone calls on 3 May would not clear him even if he stayed in. His home and apartment 5A are served by the same antenna in that instance.

        If he was on Vodaphone or TMN, his flat is immediately west of those masts, whereas 5A would quite probably be picked up to the east of those masts. If this is so, then a string of phone calls to his friends while he was at home would put him west of the masts, and rule him out.

        As to what Scotland Yard have got, obviously they are not telling me, therefore I have to judge them by their actions. My evaluation is that they were still pursuing multiple lines of ‘might be’s’ at the time, rather than a hot lead.

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