July 2014 brought the following news development. According to media reports, three of the new arguidos are connected by phone communications. The timing of three calls and one text on the evening of 3rd May 2007, involving two of these three arguidos (José da Silva and Ricardo Rodrigues), are alleged to match movements of the Tapas 9.
Read on and make up your own mind.
Call #1 at 17:26 is allegedly linked to when Madeleine was signed out of her playgroup to go to apartment 5A. The records show that Gerry McCann signed the twins out at a time of 17:25, while Kate McCann signed Madeleine out with a time of 17:30. The records show children of the twins age being signed out from 17:20 to 17:25, while those of Madeleine’s age record 17:30.
If call #1 is linked, surely it has to be because someone could see all of the children were in the process of being signed out. Someone could see the end of the children’s high tea.
Phone communication #2 is a text at 21:25. This is allegedly when Matthew Oldfield and Russell O’Brien conducted a check. Broadly speaking, Matthew Oldfield’s statements support this time. However, other Tapas 9 members make it later, putting it in the gap between starters and main meal, and timing it at 21:30 to as late as 21:40. Even if the time matched perfectly, would someone send information of a dual person check by text?
Communication #3 is another call at 21:38. The media suggests this is a move by Jane Tanner, presumably to take over baby sitting duties from Russell O’Brien, who had stayed in his apartment because his daughter had been sick. There is little to define the time of this movement, other than Rachael Oldfield, who says 21:40 to 21:45. The meal ordering, serving and eating times suggest Rachael is correct, but the important word in this sentence is ‘suggest’.
Communication #4 is the final communication. It is another call at 21:51. The media alleges this is linked to Kate going to check. The Tapas 9, in the main, disagree. Matthew Oldfield does make Kate’s check around 21:50, which fits well. The bulk of the Tapas 9, and particularly Kate and Gerry, time Kate’s check to 22:00 or a few minutes after.
A slightly better fit for communication #4 is Russell returning to the Tapas restaurant, after Jane replaced him as the baby sitter. Russell estimates this as 21:55.
As far as I can tell, the original source for the communications is Correio da Manha, which claimed to have taken its information from an official document from Scotland Yard to Portuguese legal authorities. That media report is replete with errors, thus it is difficult to be sure what happened.
Before you make your mind up, please bear in mind the following facts.
Kate and Gerry arrived at the Tapas restaurant around 20:30. There was no ‘suspicious’ phone communication at this time.
The rest of the Tapas 9 arrived in dribs and drabs up to 21:00. None of this seems to have attracted phone communication.
Matthew Oldfield went back and checked around 21:00. Then Gerry shortly after. Then Jane Tanner. There was nothing on the suspicious phone front for any of these.
Perhaps the key is darkness. Up to the time when Jane Tanner saw her man, one could see well enough to work out a little bit about colours. After that, it was black and white only. Perhaps the 3 communications after dark were because it constituted an opportunity.
If the media reports are correct, the three people involved were made arguidos in July 2014, and were still arguidos in December 2014, which of course begs the question why. Sergey Malinka was made an arguido in 2014, but this status was removed by August 2014 latest.
What is Scotland Yard up to?