The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Goncalo Amaral - The Interviews (Oct '08-2010) *

Former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral retired at midnight on 30 June 2008, to "savour freedom of expression". Subsequently, he gave a number of interviews to Portuguese and European TV and press. This page covers interviews and talks during October 2008 through to 2010.

Relevant to this page: McCanns Try To 'Gag' Gonçalo Amaral

Gonçalo Amaral: "It is still possible that justice can be done for Madeleine", 04 October 2008

Mr Amaral in Vigo

Gonçalo Amaral: "It is still possible that justice can be done for Madeleine", SOSMaddie
Duarte Levy
04.10.2008 - 15h48 Lusa
Thanks to 'AnnaEsse' for translation
A year after leaving the Portuguese Judicial Police (PJ), Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of Portimão's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said yesterday in Vigo, Spain, that despite political pressure, "it is still possible that justice can be done for Madeleine."

Gonçalo Amaral, former head of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, was a guest at a conference organised yesterday by the Spanish daily newspaper, "Faro de Vigo," in the context of his book, "Maddie: The Truth of The Lie," coming out in Spain.
Several officers of the National Spanish Police, respectfully referred to as, the "Comisario," stated that they did not understand why the authorities of the country where Madeleine was born have never opened an investigation to find out what happened and continue to support the abduction theory.
According to Amaral, the result of work carried out by his team and several British police officers is recorded in the reports of the investigation and as long as they are not destroyed, there is always the possibility to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion: "it would only take one of the nine friends to decide to talk..."
The former coordinator of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance states that it is still possible to find out the truth, stressing that the investigation from a legal point of view is neither finished nor closed: it is only waiting for better evidence and it is necessary for those who are able to to bring new details to the Portuguese authorities.
Duarte Levy (Vigo - Spain)

Amaral: 'Madeleine's parents are suspected of hiding the body', 04 October 2008

The audience for Mr Amaral's talk in Vigo

Amaral: 'Madeleine's parents are suspected of hiding the body' Faro de Vigo
The policeman who handled the McCann case, before being removed, affirmed that there are indications of negligence.
Saturday 04 October 2008
F. FRANCO / VIGO Before being removed from the investigation of the Madeleine case, the policemen who were involved came to very firm conclusions. Madeleine died in the apartment of the Ocean Club, there was a simulation of an abduction, the McCann couple are suspected of participating in the concealment of the body, death could have occurred as a result of a tragic accident and there is evidence of negligence in the care and safety of the children.
These are the final theses defended by Gonçalo Amaral, the inspector removed from the so-called Madeleine case, the child who disappeared in the Algarve on May 3, 2007. The Coordinator of the investigation yesterday opened the new season at the FARO Club with a lecture - "The Truth of the Madeleine Mystery," after being introduced by the FARO journalist, Ujué Foces. Along the same lines and responding to a question, Amaral made it clear: "If I had done the politically correct thing I would not have had to retire but a criminal investigation is only committed to the truth. It should not be concerned about political correctness. But in this case other, not strictly police issues, have prevailed."

Amaral suspects that, five months after the incident took place on May 3, Portuguese political power had already decided on a strategy. "For me, the investigation was dead from October 2nd 2007, following a new English ultimatum. I have the feeling that the statements made by the national director of our national police sought to prepare public opinion for the inevitable, that is to say, the end of the investigation and the filing of the case."

Responding to different questions, some generalisations, others specific, including some from Rosa Neira, the mother of the Vigo resident Déborah, who appeared dead in bizarre circumstances, Amaral also gave his impression on the McCann couple, the parents of the girl. "They are normal people, parents who have lost a daughter whom they certainly loved very much and for whom they have cried, and they feel guilty for that. The father wanted to save at least the rest of the family, the children who are left."

The inspector was referring to the possible negligence for having left the children alone while they had a system of checking every so often but, above all, the suspicion of the concealment of the body falling on them.

Amaral said that the fact that McCanns would be considered as "charged" created a turning point in the investigation between the Portuguese and English police. "There was a spoken understanding between two policemen to continue the line of investigation seriously, facing the possibility that her death had occurred in the apartament but, suddenly, the English changed course without any coherent technical explanation. It was always strange how the couple were treated, even after they were considered suspects, and the police information to which they occasionally had access."

Concerning the participation of the media he said that "a global phenomenon occurred, never before seen, in which the British press acted with very suspicious organisation, maintaining the thesis of the abduction. They said many things, truths and lies, and attended, in addition to the duty of information, disinformation campaigns that sought to discredit the criminal investigation and those responsible for them, considering them as a Third World country."

Questions that he had asked himself were reported or left hanging in the air: "How is it possible that a criminal investigation questions Portuguese justice, the Judicial Police and police cooperation between two countries with one of the oldest alliances in the world? What powers hindered and harmed such research? There is something disproportionate in this whole case... "
Amaral in Vigo: "Justice is Possible for Madeleine McCann" Faro de Vigo (no online link, appears in paper edition only)
04 October 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation

The Former Coordinator of the Judicial Police talked about the different paths taken by both the Portuguese and English police forces, of the feeling that it was an investigation destined to be archived, of the role of the media in a case which turned out to be extremely media focussed…

"I thought, after my removal – said Mr. Amaral – that if the authorities from the country where the girl was born, certainly, never opened an inquest for her, if they did not want to know what happened to her and if they endorsed the abduction thesis, why should I worry? Our work is out in the open on the process files, destroying them is the only way to erase the record of what was done. It's still possible that Justice can be done, for example if anyone from the group of the nine friends decides to talk."

Someone asked him if writing a book on the case, as he did, wasn't opportunistic, of a pure financial interest. "Opportunism? – he said – The British press, to undermine my work called me alcoholic, incompetent, vague… and the attacks continued even after my removal from the case. I wrote a book so I could restore my good name denigrated in public, since the institution of the Judicial Police, to which I belonged for 26 years, never allowed me to defend myself. For that I requested an authorisation to express myself and never got an answer. Afterwards I was removed from the case and asked for my retirement to regain my full freedom of speech. And obviously, to contribute to the discovery of the truth."

The Former Coordinator advanced some conjectures, to questions put by the audience, regarding how Madeleine could have died, maybe in an accidental fall while the parents and their friends had dinner 100 metres away. He also answered to suppositions regarding the participation of certain friends of the couple in hiding the cadaver or in their silence…

Amaral in Vigo: "In the Madeleine case politics aborted the police investigation", 06 October 2008
Gonçalo Amaral in Vigo
Gonçalo Amaral in Vigo

Amaral in Vigo: "In the Madeleine case politics aborted the police investigation" Faro de Vigo
Monday 06 October 2008, 10:23
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
"I was attacked, defamed and humiliated by the ignoble British Press", claims Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the Portuguese Judiciary Police.

F. FRANCO / VIGO That disappearance of a girl on the night of May 3, 2007 in the Portuguese Algarve while her English parents, the McCann couple, had dinner with several friends a hundred metres away from the apartment in which she was sleeping with the siblings, was only that. A tragic disappearance like thousands that take place in the global geography and not even anything particularly unique in its dramatic quality. Nevertheless, it turned into a universal and invasive phenomenon as a result of the media attention. In his Esquilo book, "Maddie, The Truth of the Lie", he clarifies the questions.

- Was this case blown out of proportion?

- It's understandable that the parents turn to the media in cases like this one but we believe that on this occasion they have done it trying to create a sense of victimisation to conceal what has happened. I agree with you that there are cases that are very much more tragic which are not so media focussed, that do not transcend to the entire world.

I see Gonçalo Amaral between smoke scrolls, a cigarette after another, forthright face and the eyes with a 'broken glass' look. 

- They finished you off...

- Certainly, I was attacked, vilified and humiliated by some of the ignoble British press which contributed to the interruption of the investigation with their continuous onslaught and interrupted, therefore, the Justice. Portugal was treated like a Third World country and there is one thing where they behaved as such: when they removed me, the person responsible for the ongoing investigation. There were no police, but political reasons for this. The politics aborted the investigation.
- Is it the fact that your investigation was contradicting their interests?
Of course. The thesis of our latest work remained in the process and there it is summed up that the minor died in the apartment, there was a simulation of abduction, the couple is suspected of hiding the body, the death could have been accidental and that there is evidence of negligence in the care of the parents for leaving them alone even if they were one hundred metres away.

- Didn't you rush yourselves in having them imputed [constituted as arguidos i.e. official suspects]?
How is it possible to speak about haste when we only accused them four months after the facts? On the contrary, we believe that one of the errors of the investigation was to have treated the couple "with tweezers". Soon enough we saw that there were things that did not match and they were treated with privileges. They might have been imputed earlier...

"The citizen pays to have the right to safety"

Specialist equipment and dogs to search for a living or dead Madeleine, hours, days and months of police work in the middle of a huge international media noise, vast numbers of followers or detractors... Can the public finances destine so much money to the investigation of every case? Amaral thinks that on the Portuguese part there were no special expenses, except the hiring of an English laboratory and the British police officers were paid by their country. "Nevertheless – he says - the criminal investigation has no price because citizens pay their taxes to have their safety".
- You worked for 28 years in the police. You have worked with cases enough to write a book of mystery...

- (smiles). True. For example, I had interesting cases of drug trafficking, some of which we worked with the Galician police, but those who have touched me most, emotionally, were some that included children. A father who killed his three-year-old son, for example, for jealousy. More tragic than the Maddie case although it has not received such media attention.

- To what extent can the media interfere in police work?
That is a very complex theme with many nuances. Our Judicial Police does not have a press office to face the current challenges, nor does the general director have an image consultant, or assistants that will examine what appears in the press or on the internet. With this lack of resources it cannot respond to a British press that seemed very channelled in its constant barrage of information toward the abduction thesis that influenced the investigation to stop.

"The McCanns knew that I was going to catch them", 20 October 2008

Moita Flores with Goncalo Amaral

Moita Flores interviews Gonçalo Amaral TV Guia (no online link, appears in paper edition only)
Interview: 02 October 2008, Published: Satruday 18 October 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
"The McCanns knew that I was going to catch them"

TvGuia invited me to interview my former companion in the PJ, and former coordinator of the Maddie case.

He tells why he was the target of lies and how the little girl's parents concealed the truth.

Moita Flores (MF) - Anyone who reads this conversation on these pages will say: there it is! This guy went to TV to say what the other one told him and it's going to be difficult to convince the gossipers that we had not spoken to each other for years.

Gonçalo Amaral (GA) - True. The last time that we chatted before I left the PJ, I was stationed in the Azores.

MF - And how are things now? The book that you wrote, "Truth of the Lie", is out there. You have retired and people are calling for you from all sides…

GA - Don't even mention it. I'm exhausted. I came to have lunch with you because I had made you a promise, and I'm on my way to Vigo. I know that there are hundreds of persons waiting for me.

MF - Vigo, Madrid…

GA - I also presented the book in Seville and Barcelona, in front of hundreds of readers and the full force of the media.

MF - I read it in El País and I saw you on one or two Spanish TV channels.

GA - Eight TV stations! Can you imagine what that's like? The whole of the press. I didn't know where to turn to anymore. Even Hola!…

MF - What about sales? In Portugal, I know it's selling well. At least in the bookshops where I usually go, I see it listed high in the best-seller lists.

GA - Here we have sold 180,000 copies and we're rapidly reaching the 200,000 mark. From Spain I have no figures yet, but I know it's been selling well.
MF - And in England?

GA [laughs] - You're joking…

MF – I'm serious. It was where your life was most ruined, where you were insulted and defamed…

GA [laughs] - It's over now… The book will get there, you'll see…

MF - What about other countries?

GA - It will be published in Italy, in the Netherlands and in Denmark. I'm going over there soon, because the Danish editor has mentioned the possibility of distributing it into Norway and Sweden. We'll see…

MF - Your determination is to get even with those who worked for the McCanns. They've mistreated you.

GA - Believe me, I feel no rage, I'm not even angry. I have understood their game and you also know how this game works. The lies about me, the manipulation is not exactly against the citizen Gonçalo Amaral. They were against the investigator who knew their weaknesses and was going to catch them sooner or later. It was all a matter of time. The McCanns knew that I was going to get them. As you could see, all it took was for the process to be archived in order for everything to be finished. At this moment in time, I'm convinced that they don't even remember my name anymore. So the game is always the same. We want to catch them, they want to escape, and that's it. Sometimes the bandits win, sometimes the policemen do. This time around, and concerning this case, it was how it was. They stopped insulting me, they stopped the campaigns to find their daughter, it's over. They got what they wanted and therefore, peace is back.
MF – And you launch a "grenade" that is called The Truth of the Lie into the midst of that peace. Whoever reads your testimony is left with few doubts about the little girl's destiny. She died in the apartment.

GA – Do you doubt it?

MF – No. Neither I nor the older people who used to work with me. When this happened, I was in Greece and I heard the news through an English channel. The story was so badly told, that only a naive or silly person would believe it. As a matter of fact, when I arrived, I had dinner with several already retired colleagues that worked in homicides, and their opinion was the same. The detail about the window killed the version. Nobody passes through that narrow window space carrying a child.

GA – The window made me doubt. And not only that.

MF – But I do insist on the window. The mother said that she never touched it.

GA – That she never even opened it.

MF – Now, when I read the process, I realised that her fingerprints were on it. And positioned in a manner that coincides with an opening movement.

GA – It was with that, with Kate's fingerprints on the window that I wanted to catch them.

MF – That's the truth of the lie.

GA – Among other things. It was one of the best games that I ever saw played out, to divert attention from what really happened in the apartment. The manner in which they "worked" for the Smith was brilliant.

MF – The couple that recognised the father carrying the little girl.

GA – Exactly. It was done in such a manner that at one point in time, it was Gerry himself who informed that someone had witnessed the situation, as if the person that was recognised had been someone else.

MF – Wearing the clothes that the friend mentioned for the photofit.

GA – Precisely.

MF – Do you still drink beer, or did you stop drinking red wine after the news in the English press?

GA [laughs] – I never drank wine. I don't like red wine.

MF – What really made them mad was being made arguidos.

GA – Now that you know the process, tell me… Under the old Penal Process, how do I ask Kate: "Are you lying when you say you didn't touch the window? As a matter of fact, it was you who opened the window. We have material evidence of that." A question like this forces the constitution of arguido because it invades her sphere of constitutional rights. I have to give her the right not to reply, instead of lying. The only solution was to make her an arguida.

MF – Things were different in my time. She would have been under such an attack that before she realised anything, she'd be in jail.
GA – Right, but in your time, in our old times, investigation was made with fuel. Now we all move on honey. Apart from that, this is a process that is uncomfortable for everyone. Nicely archived, nice and quiet, that's how it looks better. Everyone was happy.

MF – And nobody was tried.

GA – Not yet…

MF – Do you still believe?

GA – It's too big and too serious a burden to be concealed by so many people for their entire lives.

MF – I also agree with you. Now, tell me. Do we eat grilled squid or do we play the premier league? There is bean and piglet casserole.

GA – You're crazy. Grilled squid.

MF – It definitely looks like things now move on honey.

GA – We're too old for such a bean casserole. Today is my birthday and I don't want to die of overstuffing.

MF – You're 49 and you say you're old? What am I then, I'm six "minutes" ahead of you on the scoreboard?! I’m 55, and on the 23rd of February I receive another free one.

GA – Get sensible and order the squid.

MF [speaking to the waiter] – Squid for both of us. Now it's like in the movies. Bean casseroles are for under 40s only.

Do you think Madeleine's parents are guilty?, 02 November 2008
Do you think Madeleine's parents are guilty? El Patio
Spanish radio interview with Gonçalo Amaral
Broadcast: 27 October 2008
Thanks to 'Ines' and Joana Morais for translation
Cristina López Schlichting - CLS
Carmen Candela – CC
Pilar Cambra - PC
Gonçalo Amaral - GA

Cristina López Schlichting: It was a tricky affair because the McCanns - Maddie's parents, as you know, launched an international fund raising appeal, have appeared in all the media, they put obstacles in the path of journalists and finally, they insulted the Portuguese police. The person in charge of the Maddie case, former inspector of the Portuguese PJ, was removed from his job and is now retired, precisely because of this case, an individual who had a brilliant police record behind him and who had solved all the previous cases that ended up in his hands.

Now he has revealed all that he knows in a fascinating book, 200 thousand copies sold in Portugal, "Maddie: The Truth of the Lie".

CLS: Gonçalo Amaral, good afternoon.

Gonçalo Amaral : Thank you very much.

CLS: Thank you very much for being here with us today.

GA: Its my pleasure.

CLS: Well, in effect you tackle the principal aspects of the Maddie case and have a very bold thesis: do you agree?

GA: Well, I do not have a thesis, the thesis is that of a team of investigators, composed of Portuguese and English police officers, who in September of last year prepared a report that is included in the investigation files, which says that the girl died on May 3rd in the apartment, that the body was concealed and that a crime scenario was simulated, that of abduction.

CLS: That's clear. The commissioner says the little girl died on the same day she disappeared, on May 3, 2007, the body was concealed and abduction was simulated. Pilar Cambre has a question concerning this.

Pilar Cambra: I have a question, because you state that the parents gave the girl a sedative, Calpol, because she had problems sleeping...

GA: Yes.

PC: ... of insomnia, and that this medication probably led to her death, and that from that point... or that it is possible that the girl, upon getting up from her bed under the effects of this medicine, could have sustained a heavy fall, which caused her death. You deduce as proof, that her siblings who were sleeping in the same room, even when the room was full people, did not wake up when the investigation began. My question is: how is it possible to state that the girl, Maddie, Madeleine, died as a consequence of consuming a sleeping solution and that she died from a blow, if the body has not been found?

GA: It is in the book and is in the indictment, which points to death by accident, it was accidental. Death because cadaver odour and human blood were found behind a sofa, that is why it is considered that an accident could have happened.

CLS: In other words, there was blood and cadaver odour.

GA: Exactly. This is what we had in October of last year when I left the investigation. Also, in addition to this, it was considered that the girl had a problem with falling asleep and with sleeping and whether the parents, like other parents in England were giving her Calpol to sleep. It is said that there is a Calpol generation in England, because the mother says that it is a medicine, paracetamol and there are experts who say that it is an antihistamine with sedative effects.

It is true that we did not find the body, but it is certain that those children were sleeping, it is true that they did not wake up during all that noise and it is also certain that the mother, according to a witness, Fiona Payne, held her hand under the twins' noses to see if they were breathing - what was going on there? She could have been worried about the fact that the children were still asleep.

CLS: Surely she was checking to see if the other two children were all-right?

GA: We do not state that it is due to the Calpol, because the body has not been found, but it is a hypothesis, a thesis that has to be worked on. What cannot happen in a criminal investigation, is that course of the investigation is cut off when we think about death, if there is the thought of death, it is not possible to continue to think about abduction, this is not possible. If we had continued with the investigation, we and other persons who came to this conclusion, surely would have been able to arrive at a point of inflection, and have looked at the thesis that the parents could have had some responsibility in this and concluded it was impossible, because now we have found this or that, but we needed to investigate the death.

CLS: Concerning the Calpol perhaps Dr Candela can tell us more.

Carmen Candela: Well, I think... really what struck me most, as I was saying to you earlier, is the lack of breaking down, in the statements, when the father and the mother had to give statements, this struck me... this is perhaps part of the structure of a certain personality, which will not give way to anything, or, in other words, the lack of breaking down by a mother with all the drama that these parents have had to experience...

CLS: The coldness...

CC: The coldness, or rather, the emotional detachment from what was happening to her as regards her daughter, that has made an impression on me, from the maternal point of view, or, in other words I think as a mother. It is true that I am a mother of six children, I am a doctor and I have given my children sleeping solutions, and I being a doctor and knowing how to administer sleeping medicine, the anxiety that Pilar was mentioning, of placing your hand to see whether the child was breathing or not, always stays with you. I remember when my children were babies, and they would sleep for two hours longer before waking up for their bottle and you would get full of anguish. In other words this hypothesis, for me, is very credible, very credible. Above all, what has had impact on me is that in a determined moment, because of all the evidence I have read about, what has had most impact on me, was the search of the car by the sniffer dogs...

PC: On the clothes, on the cuddly toy...

CC: There were accurate tests, or rather, they exist and everything else are hypotheses without any proof. And what really annoys me is that with all the means that exist, at the level of the police, which I do not know about, is that he has been taken off the investigation, really that just seems surreal to me.

I do not know if there is a real greater power, interests, I get lost in this world, but really the accounts of the officer make sense to me.

CLS: What explains that they should have removed the officer from this investigation? What is the power?

GA: In the book I say that in this case there has been more politics than police...

CLS: More politics than police...

CC: ... it is the only thing that makes sense.

GA: As police officers, we must always work in an objective manner, we base ourselves upon the facts and try to understand the facts and what could have happened. We do not worry what is politically correct, in this case there have been many political pressures, there has been an implication on the part of the British government, I do not know if this is the same in other cases in England, a Prime Minister is concerned about some parents who have lost a daughter and I do not know if he does this for all children and all parents who lose children, it is a domestic problem in England. I do not know why with...

PC: ... why they got so involved...

GA: ... why a spokesman of the British government leaves his position to become the spokesman of a couple. Why does he not work as spokesman for another couple? Why an Ambassador in Lisbon does not remain in Lisbon and speaks to the National Director of the Police. Why does he have to speak 24 hours later with the police officers who are working on the case? Why does he have to speak with us later? Why do we have to come out later with a press release saying that there has been an abduction, when we did not even know if there was an abduction? All this is very complicated.

CLS: Or, you practically...

GA: ... this questions the objectivity.

CLS: Practically you were forced to say that there had been an abduction, without your having any certainty...

GA: Yes, we had to form a strategy, well, we are going to prove that there was no abduction and next we will think about death. When the death thesis began to be discussed, well, then the parents said... 'we're leaving'. They decided to leave on the day that the dogs, the English dogs who are only used as a means to locate cadavour odour (were brought in).

CC: And another (for detecting) blood...

GA: ... and another for blood and they left on the first day...

CC: I get lost when it comes to Madeleine's mother. I imagine, as a mother, that if a child of mine disappears and that the police accuse me, that this is the most serious, it will destroy me and will annoy me, but I would say, all right I am the guilty one, let's see it through until the end, what I would not do is leave the story incomplete...

PC: No Carmen, but look, I wanted to ask the ex-commissioner, for me he is the commissioner, because I believe that it is something that is not lost, the investigator's character, which, Carmen was commenting about before saying that they have never broken down...

C: The McCanns.

PC: The McCanns. I noticed, when they were declared suspects or charged...

GA: Yes...

PC: ... their entrance into the police station, I did notice from the news images, a certain collapse, or, rather an insecurity, in the sense that up to this moment they had been the stars of this terrible drama, and in this moment even if just by the way they walked, by the way they hid, yes I did perceive that to be a definite change of attitude, do you agree?

GA: Yes, this began on a day when a colleague of mine went to the McCanns’ house, where they were living in Praia da Luz, and notified them of the date when they had to go to the police to be constituted arguidos, to be questioned. The mother said, and it is written in the indictment, what she said was this: "What will the press say? What are my parents going to say"? Well, this is not a normal reaction.

But we do not work with reactions of this type...

CLS: I have not understood this: have you understood, Pilar?

PC: What was she going to say to the press and what she was going to tell her parents?

GA: ... What the press were going to say and what her parents would say.

CC: Ah yes,

GA: ... That is what the mother said when the police notified her of the day they would have to go to the police station to be constituted arguidos and to be questioned: 'What will the press say?' and 'What are my parents going to say?'

PC: What are they going to say?

CLS: … The press and my parents.

GA: We do not work with this type of attitude, we work with facts. There is a very important issue in this, we investigated the abduction thesis and all the other theses, and when we came to the hypothesis of investigating the death, the parents said that they were leaving...

CC: That they were going away...

GA: At that moment they removed themselves from the case, because a criminal case, everybody knows it, all the police officers know it, we can think things like that, but tomorrow or the following day something else may turn up. Why did we have to maintain the abduction theory? This was not possible.

CC: No, it is necessary to investigate another possibility...

CLS: And that a father should bear, as Carmen says, being charged with murder himself whilst the case of his child is solved. Therefore leaving the country, saying I'm going, because they are going to investigate the hypothesis of murder...

CC: One of them could say, I cannot bear it, cannot take it, emotionally this seems to me super cruel, and the other, because of course...

PC: I do not know if you remember, Carmen, the interview in Antenna 3 with the two of them, with the father and the mother in the moment in that he, who is the coldest person of the couple, she is more vulnerable, you say very well he is a surgeon, he is a man...

GA: Yes...

PC: ... accustomed, to taking decisions, he, when the camera is about to continue filming, says to her that she has lost her composure and started crying, "do not say another word", that is to say that in this couple there is also... commissioner, if the girl is dead, where is she, buried on land or at sea?

GA: Well, this is speculation, we do not speculate, they removed us from the case on October 2 we were working on all that, trying to understand how the death had occurred, in what circumstances and what happened to the body, now in these moments I cannot tell you, the most difficult thing this is...

PC: Of course, and why did they remove you from the case, what did they say to you when they told you: 'withdrawn from the case'.

GA: Before withdrawing me from the case, a director came to see me, who knows me and who tells me, 'look you have to think that there are cases that have no solution'.

PC: But it seems to me incredible... but it seems to me inconceivable...

GA: ... I have already said so, we will arrive to where it is possible to arrive, this has not finished for us, later it turned out that I did not give an interview that was attributed to me at a given moment, it happened in an interesting moment, when we were trying to bring the Smith family to Portugal, who said that they saw Gerry McCann, with a possibility of 80%... of having seen Gerry McCann carrying an inert girl towards the beach.

CLS: An Irish family that seems that they saw the father...

PC: The Smiths...

GA: It was part of the investigation and they removed me, and three or four months passed until the Smith family speaks for the indictment, and this procedure occurs in Ireland, not in Portugal as we had wished. During this time, it is said that this family has been the object of several visits, I do not want to speak about pressures, they have been the object of visits by persons who...

PC: Two or three months passed, these Irish...

GA: ... had to change their phone number, it is said that they had to move house and resort to the services of a lawyer.

PC: As if they had received pressure …

GA: To avoid these persons... It is sad that this has happened this way, that shouldn't have happened... and now it has been withdrawn from the investigation.

PC: Well, that's the point I wanted to arrive at.

GA: In the book, the book begins by saying that the indictment was going to be filed, and I do not mean that this was when the case has been already filed, but at the beginning, months earlier, because we knew that it was going to be filed.

CC: It was known that it was going to be filed... because you saw that you would not be able to conclude it.

GA: Yes, and because of facts...

PC: Because of political pressure...

CLS: It is incredible, because it is also an insult to the skill of the Portuguese police, the McCanns in a certain moment say that they are not capable of solving it, an insult to Portugal and in this sense the book is a real apology, or rather I believe that Gonçalo Amaral has done very well in putting in white on black or black on white all that is known about the case and that now all our listeners can know.

We have asked this evening's listeners to make their opinion about whether the parents are guilty or not, if they were involved in the disappearance of Maddie's body and 36 % of our listeners say that they are not guilty but, listen to this: 64 %, a large majority of listeners, say that yes, Maddie's parents are involved, the thesis you have already heard, the other two children had been conceived by IVF, the McCanns had had reproduction problems for a long time, it had been difficult for them to have children and the British authorities are very tough on parents who commit negligence in the case of having given sleeping solutions to the children and would have taken the children away, withdrawn custody of the other two ...

PC: And they were doctors...

CC: I find that hard to believe, I don't know about the legislation over there...

CLS: Its very tough in Great Britain...

CC: ... but even so I can't imagine it...

GA: Only a minute is necessary, not hours... in one minute...

PC: It is possible to demonstrate that, with them both being doctors...

GA: It is negligence...

CC: But it is possible to prove it, it is not negligence the fact is that we are not machines, from the medical point of view, that is very easy, we are not machines.

CLS: Yes, but in Great Britain...

CC: The same medication, for one person...

PC: No but, but what the inspector says is that a minute is enough, then it is possible to demonstrate that it was an accidental death, but with the sole fact...

GA: They are English...

CC: If they administered a sleeping solution to the children and that as a consequence of this medicine, British legislation would take the children away in a minute, as he says, the paternal custody and the children would be taken away.

GA: But you do not even need the medicine, it is enough to leave them alone as they did...

CC: That is, that they went for dinner and left them alone...

GA: ... another thing, its all of the children, not only Madeleine who has disappeared, but the twins who were also left alone, all the children of other friends also. They were all left alone.
And it is not possible to say that these children were not at risk, that there was no danger, because if they had not been in danger Madeleine would not have disappeared.

CC: Of course.

CLS: Certainly, and it is even possible that the McCanns might have been helped by this group.

CC: No, what the inspector says is that all the other couples who went to have dinner with them did the same. They left the children alone and they could also have the custody of their children taken away from them.

CLS: Therefore the group of British couples who met for dinner leaving their children alone, very probably could have helped the McCanns to make the body disappear, of course there are so many people involved.

GA: I do not say to make the body disappear, but at least to invent the story of the checking, to give the impression that the children and Madeleine were safe. It is said that they went every five minutes...

CC: They went...

GA: but that night, only that night, they all went to see the girl. This is interesting because the McCann couple never went to check the others' children.


CC: They were going to see Madeleine, all of them, every five minutes and why not the others' children who were also sleeping alone.

PC: As the commissioner says, it seems to be of a crushing logic.

CLS: OK. Everything seems quite logical and clear, in this sense, 64% of our listeners say they have clear criteria.

Anyway, we now thank Gonçalo Amaral who at least tries to clean the reputation of his country and of the police of his country, I believe that this is a very noble desire and a very noble motive, to explain... to write the book and, in any case, he has provided this text from the publishers Esquilo: Maddie: The Truth of the Lie, which as I say has sold more than 200,000 copies in Portugal.

Many thanks for being with us.

CC: Congratulations.

GA: Thank you very much.

C: Thank you.

Source: Full Audio Interview [link to download mp3] to Radio Cope - La Tarde con Cristina

Gonçalo Amaral will go to Granada, Spain, in November, 23 October 2008
Gonçalo Amaral will go to Granada, Spain, in November
23 October 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The next 14th of November, Gonçalo Amaral, the Portuguese Judiciary Police inspector who coordinated the investigation of the globally famous 'Maddie Case' will be at the Aula de Cultura de IDEAL and the Confederación Granadina de Empresarios to speak about his book titled 'Maddie, The Truth of The Lie', which was just published on the Spanish Market and that has sold in Portugal more than 200 thousand copies.

The 'Maddie' case has given place to a huge scandal of political implications in the British and Portuguese circles of power. The inspector Gonçalo Amaral de Sousa was removed from the investigation of the disappearance of the girl Madeleine Beth McCann, an act without precedent in the history of the Portuguese Judicial Police.

He retired in the last month of July, after 27 years of police work with the objective of  "regaining the full freedom of expression about the case that I have investigated, and to contribute, as possible, in the discovery of the truth of the facts and for the delivery of justice."

Political pressure explains the Maddie Case, 15 November 2008
Political pressure explains the Maddie Case Ideal (Granada newspaper, paper edition only, page 16)
By S. Pardo
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Thanks to 'tothelighthouse' for translation
Madeleine died the same day her parents said she had disappeared, according to affirmations by Inspector Gonzalo (Spanish for Gonçalo) Amaral, in the Aula de Cultura of the CGE and Ideal Newpaper.

The exchange of political favours between the British and Portguese governments are the basis for the explanation of the surprising end to the world famous "Maddie Case". The coordinator general of the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, was taken off the job when his line of investigation began to make manifest the contradictions in the final official thesis of an abduction.
Gonçalo Amaral said that all signs pointed to the McCanns
According to Gonçalo Amaral the couple were responsible for the death of their little Madeleine. The child would have received a lethal dose of a tranquilizer in their apartment, applied by her parents so that they could dedicate themselves to chatting, drinking and enjoyment.
When the mother went to the children's room Madeleine was unconscious. Instead of calling the police, the same parents thought up an abduction. The idea began to gather strength with assessors of public image, press interviews, reports, gifts (financial), a visit to the Pope, and the "anguish" of the parents grew accordingly.
When the British police dogs arrived, the moment of truth came... they detected the smell of a dead body in the bed, various places in the aparment and then in the boot of the car used by the father. But the McCanns did not want to end up being charged, nor to lose the 2 children left to them.
Some important British power asked for and received an exchange of political favours: the silence and shelving of the file on the administration of justice by the Portuguese in the "Maddie case"... in exchange for something very important. Amaral does not know what this would be and does not want to speculate on this. What is certain is that "Maddie" cost him his job.
Note: It is reported, by someone who attended the Granada event, that Gonçalo Amaral did not say that the smell of a dead body had been detected 'in the bed' or that "Maddie" cost him his job. It may well be that the body of this article was written prior to the event and then fleshed out afterwards.

Maddie case: Coordinator's children suffered from the case, 26 November 2008

Gonçalo Amaral and Sofia Leal

Gonçalo Amaral and wife Sofia Leal's three children suffered from their father's work with the Maddie case. Photo: Claus Bech
Maddie case: Coordinator's children suffered from the case (Denmark)
Five months intensive investigation of Madeleine McCann cost the chief coordinator's own children dearly, not so much their father, and now they have had to suffer accusations about their father's poor work.
49-year-old Gonçalo Amaral, who has now arrived in Copenhagen to promote his new book about Maddie's disappearance, says in an interview with how he was hung out in the media as untrustworthy and drunken.
- "I felt that it was a relief to write about what had happened. I felt attacked by the English daily press, who called me all sorts, ranging from a drunk to a torturing executioner. When I wrote the book, I felt that it was the only way to defend myself. When I was employed by the police I was not allowed to answer back at the criticism, for which the police are very hierarchical. I tried to get my boss to defend myself in the press, but he would not. I therefore chose to retire, so that I could have full freedom of expression," says the former investigating police officer to
Felt like their father had left them
He has three daughters, the youngest is the same age as the missing Madeleine McCann. They all suffered greatly during his absence in the five months, he was head of the investigation from May to October 2007, says his wife Sofia Leal to
– "It was very hard. While the investigation was on, the girls were away from their father, because we would protect them from all the attention that surrounded the case. It was therefore very difficult for them to understand how their father had been taken off the case, when he had been away from them so long investigating the matter. They even felt like they had sacrificed so much, because they had to do without their father," said Sofia Leal.
- "They felt that their father had left them during the proceedings, and afterwards they felt, he was hanging out. It is only now that we can explain to them that not everyone sees a case from the same page. What is important, it is to believe and fight for what you believe in, and that is what their father continues to do," said Sofia Leal, who following the publication of his book was criticised by Kate McCann in the media.
– "Kate McCann said in an interview with the English media that I was ashamed of my husband, after the book was published. I subsequently wrote a letter to her, which was also published in the British media."
On retirement as a columnist
Gonçalo Amaral's beliefs are continuous, even though he has chosen to retire and leave the police, where he has spent 27 years.
- "I have always believed in the law and I still do. When investigating a case like this, we must realise that the press stands ready to criticise if we do not do our job properly. It is their job. I have made a civil law suit against all these English newspapers, who wrote all this about me. It might be, that it will give rise to a discussion of the case in England," says Amaral, who now writes his thoughts in the sections of two Spanish newspapers.
He plans to write several books about the many cases he has seen during his life in the police.
The then three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared from an apartment, numbered 5A, at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz in Portugal on 3 May 2007. The girl was alone, with her two younder siblings, in a room of the apartment while her parents, together with some friends, had dinner in the resort restaurant. When the parents later came back to check on the children, she was gone.
Several have been suspected in the case, including the parents Gerry and Kate McCann. Police have not yet found traces of the girl, and we do not yet know whether she is still alive.

Exclusive interview with former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral, 23 February 2009
Exclusive interview with former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral Joana Morais
"The political will does not exist; there is no political will to reopen at the moment, because if there was a political will it would mean that there was a political will before the process was closed, in order to continue the investigation. And when a process of this type is archived, with so many diligences to take care of, with so many facts that needed clarification, that's because there was no will to continue the investigation and that was clear when we left the investigation on the 2nd of October [2007]." Gonçalo Amaral in Vigo, October 2008

video to follow

A collaborative interview by Duarte Levy, Joana Morais, Astro and Mercedes

All Rights Reserved © Joana Morais 2009

Transcript & Translation

Duarte Levy: You have now seen that the Constitutional Court has authorised the use of phone taps in the "Golden Whistle" case [football corruption]. Do you think it would be possible to see the same happening in the McCann case, taking into account that the judge didn't authorise access to the registers and taps that were carried out at that time?

Gonçalo Amaral: The issue is not the permission to access the phone taps. He didn't authorise the access to information concerning the text messages. That is related to a bureaucratic matter. When those text messages took place, there was no phone surveillance. The understanding of that judge... to access that information, that data, there would have to be a duly authorised phone tap first, it's a procedural matter. Some think it's not like that, others have a different understanding, the Public Ministry did not appeal the decision of the Appeals Court, and therefore the case was tried and closed.

DL: Did the PJ ever read the contents of those text messages?

GA: Yes it did. Later on, when it was not very interesting anymore. What was at stake was the situation of the national service providers.

DL: During the first phase of the inquiry, after the disappearance of Madeleine, the PJ offered the McCanns a mobile phone with a Portuguese chip that the McCanns never used. On the other hand, they used two phone numbers that were supplied to them by Portuguese friends. Were those phones under surveillance?

GA: That phone that was offered to them, was the one that was tapped, right? That phone was for them to receive calls, this was during those diligences that were related with possible extortions, from the Dutch and the Spanish and it was to find out, for them to give that number when necessary, when they were asked for a contact number and a way to listen into the conversation with the possible abductor asking for money. It's a perfectly normal procedure. As for the other phones that they may have used, I do not know about that.

DL: In the case, during the first weeks, in some reports, in some cases similar to this one, with the same resemblances, often the parents are advised not to publicise the case, based on the principle that this publicity can place the child's life at risk. Were the two first press conferences that were held by the McCanns carried out with the agreement, the authorisation from the PJ?

GA: No. The same happened in this case. They were advised not to publicise and to be careful with the press. And the person who did that right away wasn't even from the PJ, but a member of the English social services, who had been working in that area for 25 years, working with endangered children, with abuse situations, who was on vacation in the area, in Praia da Luz, who on the very morning of the 4th [of May] contacts the couple and alerts them to that. But she is thrown out of the house, we can say.

DL: At which point in time did you consider the McCanns to be suspects?

GA: Let's see: In terms of suspicion, from the very first hour. The procedures in this type of case are to find out who the persons are, who the missing person is, in this case the missing child, and to find out all the antecedents. And now the first question that is asked from the English authorities, from the British police forces, is that one. Who were the parents, that group of people, and who was the child, was she the target of abuse, was she not. Then, it evolves, it's a formal procedure, it's general for all cases and when the first statements are made, that's the day when we start to suspect that something is wrong. Things evolved, they were suspects until we reached the work of the English dogs and then the suspicions ultimately became indicia [evidence].

DL: During that whole phase, and until you were removed from the field, the English policemen that were in Praia da Luz, how was the cooperation with them? Was there actually cooperation?

GA: Yes. The cooperation was very tight, very intense; there are no doubts about that.

DL: So which part of the English authorities originated that blockade?

GA: That is certainly, and it was, coming from the top of the English hierarchy.

DL: The English policemen were invited to sign a confidentiality document. At the PJ, is that a normal procedure?

GA: No. And it's not normal with the English police, either. It is normal in cases with the secret services, and that document is signed right at the beginning. Now with normal police, undertaking a criminal investigation, that doesn't happen.

DL: Concerning participations from outside of this case, it is normal for the ambassador, this has happened before in the Algarve, unfortunately, other cases involving British citizens. Is it normal for the ambassador to travel there?

GA: No. Neither in British cases nor non-British cases, they don't have that responsibility. What is normal is for the information to be relayed by the consulate, that is what happens and only then the ambassador may come. And now we think that the ambassador came right away because of those initial suspicions and the first requests that were made which indicated that we suspected the couple, and he intervened in a manner that is not normal. He should have stayed in Lisbon, at the police's National Directory, speaking with the National Director and not on location. And him leaving Portimão then led to a communiqué that the PJ somehow was "committed" to the abduction theory.

DL: Concerning other individuals that were connected with this case, the appearance of Brian Kennedy, namely during the meeting that he held with Murat, did the PJ ever find out about the purpose of that meeting?

GA: I was not in the investigation anymore during that phase, I had already left, but I know that this gentleman has gone as far as meeting people from the PJ after I left, which is not correct. Even more so because that gentleman brought certain Spanish detectives with him. That behaviour from the PJ's senior officials in not the most acceptable one.

DL: Concerning not only this case, or other cases, how seriously could the events of the Madeleine case affect future cases?

GA: Well, in this case, like in all other cases, they affect the future [cases]. We have to learn from our mistakes and from the difficulties that we experienced. For example, in an earlier case, from 2004, the so-called "Joana case", a disappearance as well, us investigators requested for the National Directory of the Police to intervene in a manner that would produce new regulations, new procedures for this type of inspection, to treat these disappearances. For example, there's a very important issue. The disappearance in itself, when you go to a police station, or to the GNR or to the PJ, for missing persons, there is no specific competence for missing persons. There is no process for that. We have to investigate everything. The disappearance may or may not be related to a criminal situation and the issue may be whose competence is this? This has to be defined very quickly, we have been talking about that for a long time, over many cases and so far, nothing has been done about that. To define the competence from the outset. In all cases, the competence should be, at least in children’s cases, the PJ's. Because many times what is at really the issue is that the disappearance has the parents' intervention, in situations of divorce and there is a need and they take the children abroad, because it is the PJ that has the competence and the contacts on an international level, namely with Interpol, so the PJ dominates those channels for international cooperation, and from there, right away these cases should be the PJ's competence, but that has not been defined. This leads to an initial intervention by the criminal police force that is informed of the disappearance. It's always an intervention, almost always a disastrous intervention, because the more time goes by, the more pieces of evidence, opportunities to collect evidence are lost and only at a much later moment in time the PJ appears. When one thinks it's an abduction, normally that's what happens, it's an abduction, it's the PJ's competence, nobody mentions a homicide or a voluntary disappearance, what is mentioned is abduction then it’s the PJ, and when we intervene it's at a latter moment.

What happened in this case of Madeleine, we were called almost when the disappearance took place, only a few hours later, but still things went wrong. Why did they go wrong? Because there is a lack of said procedures concerning these situations. And this sensibility that many investigators have, to understand that an abduction is actually the theft of a person, but it cannot be handled like any theft. For example, all possibilities must be kept open, from a voluntary disappearance to, effectively, abduction, or homicide, or the death of the child. Therefore, it is necessary for the PJ to create this very quickly, I think they are doing that, I don't think actually, I'm certain of it, there is already a commission that has been nominated to do that, to define those rules and those procedures for us to act. In my book I even mention it would be enough to follow the English, what the British authorities have concerning these situations. They have much more cases in situations of this type, don't they? With the number of times that this happens in Portugal, maybe it doesn't lead to, it hasn't been that essential element that would lead the Police's National Directory, or the Ministry of Justice to care for it, to feel the need for these new procedures. That's where, that's the manner in which it so often interferes. When there is a likelihood, the PJ acts. The PJ cannot be measured by one case. A PJ is measured through its entire history which is vast and includes many success cases, it is in fact one of the most successful police forces, on an international level, and also in this area of missing children, a very high success rate.

DL: In the Madeleine McCann case, who made the decision to send the analyses to Birmingham, to the FSS? In Portugal there is the National Institute [Forensic Medicine].

GA: This is the question. At that point in time, we were already feeling the pressure of the British media, we felt incompetent, that was what they said, and anything that we might do, would be questioned. It was a political decision by the PJ, but which was understandable at that point in time and it is still understandable now because it was a way of compromising, an attempt to compromise a British institution with the results that were to be found. If you ask me now if I would do the same today, I don't think I would. Maybe there would be another laboratory, or at least, I wouldn't have sent all the samples to that laboratory. But I can also tell you that at the IML, the Institute for Forensics Medicine, there was not the full capacity to carry out all of these tests, namely the low copy number analyses. Only in England, at this laboratory or at other laboratories outside of the country. We could have chosen another laboratory, but we opted for this one. It was a disaster. The decision was not disastrous; it was the tests that were disastrous to say the least.

DL: But do those samples still exist?

GA: No. They have all been destroyed. From the hair samples, it's all been destroyed. There is a situation that is reported that is the following: there are several hairs, lots of hair is found in the car boot, in the car that was rented 23 days later, a comparison is made in terms of colour and colouration where they say yes indeed, these could be from the little girl, but then the laboratory says that they don't manage, it doesn't have any roots, they cannot define the DNA, they cannot define whether it's from a living or a dead person, and when a team of Portuguese investigators go to the lab, accompanied by a Portuguese scientist, Dr. Francisco Corte Real, they ask for that hair, they went as far as holding that hair in their hands. And they had that hair, duly stored, that package with the hair, but then a report from the FSS appears in which they realise that they'd better keep them, and that later on they destroyed them in an attempt to define the DNA, or to discover whether it was from a living person or not, and they destroyed all of that hair. It's a bit hard to understand how in order to define the DNA, or to carry out another test, such a quantity of hair has to be used, like there existed in Portugal as well, and then it wasn't possible to perform analyses of other types, namely the possibility of sedatives that the little girl might have ingested or was forced to ingest.

DL: Among the English officers that participated in this case, there's Stuart Prior, to what extent can we today, after you left the case, with everything that the press has already published from part of the Public Ministry's process, to what extent can we say today that Stuart Prior cooperated in this case, or not?

GA: Stuart Prior initially appears, he appears as number 2 or number 3 of the British police. The senior officer..., who had a meeting with us, and the first person to come to Portugal on a personal level is him, he always had lots of contacts and interest in the investigation. Stuart Prior appears during a phase, later in Portugal, first it was in England. I particularly wouldn't have liked to be in his shoes, with the choices that he had to make in terms of the investigation, and not only that, in his political knowledge. He is a good policeman, he cooperated vastly with us, but it was he who said that he had arrested people in England with much less. So he probably knew the value of these indicia that already existed, but as to whether he made good choices, only he can answer those questions.

DL: Last question, at this moment in time, in order to reopen the process, what elements are needed, or what could reopen the process and to what extent do you think that there is a political will in Portugal to do it?

GA: Now a process of this kind that is archived like this and remains waiting for better evidence, it needs just that: new elements of evidence, which means, new data. There are situations in the process which in our opinion have not been taken into account, which have not even been read or became known to those who had the duty to know it. Namely that statement from the couple of English doctors who mention a vacation in Mallorca, those situations where there were gestures and words indicating the existence of a child molester within that group of people who were on vacation and not even that was taken into account, because they didn't read it, they had no knowledge. I cannot believe that they read such statements and passed over them.

If eventually those persons would make a new statement, again, with other details, certainly there are details that they didn't remember, the process might be reopened. But also other data, other situations that might lead to the reopening of the process, namely someone from within the group may come to talk about something, for example, the invention of the surveillance scheme; it would have to be reopened. There are situations, like the FSS's work, if some report appears, which might exist, that in fact there were not only 15 alleles but more than 15 alleles from the little girl's DNA profile, situations of this type have to lead to the reopening of the process.

The political will does not exist; there is no political will to reopen at the moment, because if there was a political will it would mean that there was a political will before the process was closed, in order to continue the investigation. And when a process of this type is archived, with so many diligences to take care of, with so many facts that needed clarification, that's because there was no will to continue the investigation and that was clear when we left the investigation on the 2nd of October [2007]. That will was lacking, what was necessary was to archive the process, there was a strong will to archive the process. Now, it will be very difficult for the process to be reopened but every citizen has a word to say and there are ways to intervene with the Attorney General in a manner that the process is reopened.

"Even if Marta's cadaver does not appear it's still possible to go to trial and convict the suspects", 25 February 2009
Gonçalo Amaral, ABC Sevilla interview
"Even if Marta's cadaver does not appear it's still possible to go to trial and convict the suspects" ABC Sevilla
Gonçalo Amaral - Former ispector of the Policia Judiciária and coordinator of the Madeleine Case
25-02-09 Aat 07:21
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The former Inspector of the Judiciary Police of Portugal Gonçalo Amaral coordinated during five months the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was removed from the investigation when his team gathered evidence that pointed to the involvement of the parents in the concealment of the corpse. He requested his early retirement in order to publish a book about the case, his experience in the disappearance of children and the close relationship he has with Spain (living in Southern Portugal), led him to follow up cases like the one of Marta or as it once was the one of Mari Luz. He believes that the Spanish police are working very well and considers that it was essential to have being carried out the reconstruction of the case. And he insists on recalling, even though that the opposite is generally believed, that the suspects of the case can be convicted although the body of the young Sevillian girl may never appear.
Have you followed the case of Marta?
It has not been followed thoroughly by the Portuguese press, but being in southern Portugal I am able to see the Spanish TV channels. I was in Madrid shortly after her disappearance, and I was able to follow what happened. The fact of being a teenager, albeit a minor, makes a difference as to other missing children cases. However the police work is identical to others until the hypothesis is placed on the suspect.
Now the problem is the appearance of the cadaver. There is a myth in society that without the body of a murder or of a disappearance nobody can be blamed. But it happens quite the contrary to what people may think, suspects can be convicted. What the Spanish police is doing is what we did with the Maddie case and what is done in other countries: to collect the biggest amount evidences and to have the investigation closed in terms of evidence, whether those are testimonial, confessions or materials. Thus, even without the corpse they may have enough evidence to bring the suspects to court and convict them. The Police did a reconstruction of the events, which is crucial for this type of investigations. That is what we tried to do with the McCanns and couldn't do it.
Do you believe that they may find the body of Marta?
It's very complicated, especially after all the rain since that time. In the case of Mari Luz they were very lucky.
Is it normal to find people who commit crimes by the contradiction of their statements?
We the police start almost from scratch, all we have is a missing person. The biggest difficult is to know whether the person has disappeared by his/her free will, in this case having 17 years old that could be very likely, or if it is by the intervention of a third party. Even in the case of Madeleine, it could also have occurred that the girl, herself, had left the house alone and then gone astray. After understanding the relationship of the group of family and of friends with the recent steps taken by the missing person, we'll have to listen to these people as witnesses and at the end of that day surely contradictions will be found. Therefore conclusions will be drawn and they'll point in a certain direction. Small details are very important.
So, for what the Police have said regarding the evidence they have and for the reconstitution of the facts, I have no doubt that they are working out everything in case the body does not appear. And I have no doubts they will go to trial and will be able to sentence him. It is difficult to investigate without a body, there's a need to present the evidences. We need to go a little further back to fit the pieces [like in a puzzle]. The reconstitution has another important effect. It's the reaction of the person when they are faced with a contradiction. When you talk you can concentrate better at lying, but when moving the lie can fail. It can lead to a confession and so they escaped.
Therefore, you consider as essential the reconstruction of the facts.
The reconstruction is not considered as a suspect's statement. The statements which are carried out during the legal proceedings, after, when the trial arrives, if the persons are silent they won't have so much value. However it is possible to fetch data from there since they are not statements, those are made before a judge or before a public prosecutor. Those have more value and are usually recorded and photographed. It is something that should be done as soon as possible and not to left to a later time. In the case of Madeleine we wanted to do it but there were various objections, since there was a lot of press behind us at the time, we considered to do it afterwards, something that has never happened.
In the disappearance of Mari Luz her body ended up being equally thrown to the water. Do you believe that the same thing happened to Madeleine?
It's speculation. We were removed from the investigation in a phase where we were trying to understand the circumstances of the disappearance. And there was an understanding in regards to the death by the Portuguese police as well as the English. It was necessary to work well a series of data, like the fact that the car rented 23 days after the death had traces of blood, we needed to know whether they had access to other houses, or to a refrigerator where they could have kept the body. As the investigation we was cut off we were left without knowing what happened to the body. Nevertheless there is still a way to get to the Truth, and that goes through the parents.
When Mari Luz disappeared some people linked the two cases, did the same thing happened to you?
No, never. And though I was out of the investigation to the Madeleine case, I was still working in Faro at the time and we collaborated with the Spanish police. They worked very well. Even if they had not found the body they would have arrested the murderer. And it was the first suspect singled out by Mari Luz's uncle. I followed the case but didn't connect it with the McCann couple, some people wanted to make a shared poster set, which was rejected by the family of Mari Luz. The cases were different, Mari Luz was in the street and Madeleine at home. Furthermore, the context in itself was different.
In these cases there is much talk of what should be done from the government. Do you believe that the correct steps are being taken?
It is very difficult to know what to do and even to what point can we hold the governments responsible. There is a child abduction alert which the McCanns wanted to be connected to, but it depends on the EU. We live in an area without borders, and nobody who abducts a child travelling with him/her maintains the same image of the minor. That warning can pressure the kidnapper (if he exists) and this can lead to the killing of the victim.
I remember once in Marbella in a seminar where I spoke with Spanish colleagues to try to understand how the justice system worked, in terms of courts. In Spain there is confusion that nobody understands. I believe that because of that pyramid system - which is not possible to construct - the arrest warrant for the author of Mari Luz's death was never disclosed publicly and no one knew about it. Even the police had no knowledge that that existed in a court. It has to do with the "disruption" of the Spanish system. Portugal is smaller, so its size can help to be more organised in terms of courts.
Are you obsessed with the Madeleine case?
No, I'm not. My only concern is knowing the truth. But I have other things to think about. I am frustrated by the failure of not being able to continue the investigation and to have gone further.

Gonçalo Amaral: "I don't have any quarrel with the couple", 03 May 2009
Gonçalo Amaral: "I don't have any quarrel with the couple" Jornal de Notícias
The former inspector would have liked Oprah Winfrey to ask direct questions to the couple and speaks about the "provocation" that was Gerry's visit to Luz
03/05/2009 00h53m
Thanks to Astro for translation
Kate and Gerry McCann were on Oprah's show, one of the most watched worldwide.
The invitation had been made in 2007, but the couple only accepted now. Gonçalo Amaral was not invited and denies that he showed any interest in participating. But he knows by heart the questions that he would ask them if he was there and regrets that they weren't asked, because they could help to discover the truth. Which, in his understanding, points to Madeleine's death.
The McCann couple participated in Oprah Winfrey's programme, which will be broadcast in the United States. Have you shown interest in participating in this programme, or not?
I manifested no will to go there, and there was no obligation for me to be invited. The only thing that I'd like is for some very direct questions to be asked, namely about the lack of cooperation with the police; the need to archive the process, and about the couple limiting the purpose of the process, when they stated that their daughter had been abducted for a paedophile network.
Did you want the couple to talk, something that didn't happen during the investigation?
I have no quarrel with the couple. It would be important to try to understand what happened. I don't understand why people are satisfied with the archiving of the case. The criminal investigation was suddenly interrupted, it was not even half way.
Do you remain without doubts about what happened?
I have no doubts that Madeleine died in that apartment, and that it may have been an accidental death. This was the base of the suspicion that had to be worked upon and investigated, but we were not allowed to.
Has this case definitely marked the investigators that were connected to it?
Why are the persons that were connected to the Maddie case, burned? There should be courage and someone should say why. People worked with their heart and soul, as professionals. And now we see our career cut short? What is this if not pressure? And pressure affects the career.
In what terms?
Dr Luís Neves [PJ's head of heavy crime combat unit] could be the national director. It was said, or ordered to say, that he could not be chosen because he had been connected to the Maddie case. What are this ministry or this government afraid of? Why can't competent people, who were connected to the case, who did an excellent job one way or another, within the scope that was determined, continue to progress in their career and occupy leading posts?
What comment do you have for the recent presence of Gerry in Praia da Luz?
Apart from a major lack of judgement, it's almost a provocation. To go somewhere where one knows that unemployment exists, where the difficulties of the shop owners are related to that non-reality, that invention that they came up with, which is to say that there was an abduction. Maybe it's time for the couple to think about those that they hurt. There are people who were made redundant and who are thinking about asking the McCanns for compensation. They should use the fund to subsidise all of those people. That would be interesting. It would show good will. Instead of being used only to pay for other things.

"The obvious is painful and Maddie is dead" - Interview with Gonçalo Amaral, 04 May 2009
"The obvious is painful and Maddie is dead" - Interview with Gonçalo Amaral 24horas
by Miguel Ferreira
Thanks to Astro for translation
Knowing what you know today, could the investigation have gone into other paths?
I'd advance with the reconstruction of facts, even against the decisions that were made by superiors at that time.
Do you admit any possibility that the child is still alive?
As a father and as a policeman, I wish I was completely wrong, but unfortunately the evidence doesn't leave any margin for hope or doubts: the obvious is painful and Madeleine is dead.
Could there have been an investigation strategy that would lead to the process not being archived?
The only strategy would have been not to change the investigation's coordinator. The coordinator was substituted so the process could be archived. At that time, it was the "politically correct" solution.
How do you classify the McCann couple?
Were you ever contacted by them, or by their advisor, because of your book?
I was never contacted by anyone from the McCann team. I was targeted with threats, with lawsuits, but it never materialised. I must confess I was disappointed...
Do you still think about the Maddie case in terms of joining pieces of the puzzle? Of trying to find loose ends? Alleys are not blind after all?
Yes... This case still resembles an Escher puzzle, one of those with 5000 pieces in a grey scale. The pieces all look the same and they don't fit. With time, patience and persistence, the end result will happen.
What pieces of the process were underestimated, from your point of view?
Many. I give you three examples: remember the denunciation that was made against David Payne in England on the 16th of May 2007; remember the statement from a lawyer that lives in Luz, who said she saw the boot of the car that was rented by the McCanns, where cadaver odour had been detected, open night after night. This witness was never formally questioned.
Other examples? I also remind you of Fiona Payne's statements, under the rogatory letter, when she says that on the night from the 3rd to the 4th of May, she saw Kate McCann worried about the twins' breathing, in an attitude that denounces fear and the knowledge of the effect of sedatives. Nothing was asked from Kate McCann.
What new information has been taken to the process? There is no new information in the process. The police and the court have been receiving messages that are forwarded by the couple, about sightings or psychic activities.
Do you miss being a policeman? Do you miss the PJ?
I will always be a policeman and yes, I miss the PJ very much.
Are you recognised on the street? Do you recall any comment?
A while ago, I was having dinner with my family in Portimão. An elderly gentleman came and spoke to me. He wanted to express his solidarity and started crying hard, unable to speak a word. It was his wife who told me about the feelings which that man had for me.
Does fame always come with a price, even when you attain it involuntarily? It was the end of a spotless career and many successes.
What projects do you have in professional terms?
I'm working in the area of literary production. The book "The Truth of the Lie" will be edited in Belgium, Holland and France next week.
Before the end of May, it will reach Germany. We still await the English language edition, against the McCanns' will.

Gonçalo Amaral wants to reopen Maddie process, 04 May 2009
Gonçalo Amaral wants to reopen Maddie process RTP

04 May 2009
Thanks to Astro for transcript/translation
Gonçalo Amaral promotes investigation to reopen the process
Voice Over: A man carrying a child in his arms in the night of the 3rd of May. This is the description made by Jane Tanner and the basis for the kidnapping theory.
Gonçalo Amaral: "It's a false testimony, it's a lie. I affirm from here that it is a lie. And if that lady has any problems, she can make a claim against my person, so that I can prove to her that it is a lie."
Voice Over: It is one of the central images of the documentary, which is soon to be broadcast world-wide, made for the English Channel 4. The documentary filmed a month ago in Praia da Luz with Gerry and two of the friends of the McCann couple. Gonçalo Amaral speaks of a web of lies.
Gonçalo Amaral: "As a document, that documentary that they made here, it's important for the reopening of the process. It should be adjoined to the process, to understand the reasons for the lies, and we are going to comprehend various things. It's important, quite important that document. I believe that if the Attorney General of the Republic is attentive, then he has to reopen the process."
Voice Over: It is exactly to reopen the process that the former coordinator of the Judiciary Police advances but in a different path. He has joined a group of former policeman to analyse the process, to send to the Attorney General a document with that request.
Gonçalo Amaral: "They are police inspectors who came from important criminal areas, as the kidnapping department, sequestrations, homicide... They are policemen, Portuguese but as well from other countries. Namely in England where we are going to try to understand and verify, in terms of analyses, of that process; and after that day, the 2nd of October*, what is still left to do."
Voice Over: Gonçalo Amaral speaks of diligences which were not performed, after his removal in October of 2007. The former coordinator of the Maddie case believes that the girl died on the 3rd of May, in Praia da Luz.
*2nd October 2007 - The day Judiciary Police Inspector Gonçalo Amaral was removed from coordinating the investigation into Madeleine McCanns' disappearance and not sacked. He then requested for his early retirement, to gain his full freedom of speech and wrote the book 'Maddie, The Truth of the Lie', available in book stores at most European countries, except in the UK.

Gonçalo Amaral in Amsterdam, 05 May 2009
Gonçalo Amaral in Amsterdam

Sofia Leal and Gonçalo Amaral in Amsterdam
Sofia Leal and Gonçalo Amaral in Amsterdam

05 May 2009
With many thanks to KazLux for transcript
Whilst in Amsterdam, for the launch of the Dutch version of his book 'A Verdade da Mentira', Gonçalo Amaral took time out to answer some questions. 
The questions/anwers are not verbatim but from notes:
Q: Have you considered the possibility that Madeleine died on the previous night or even when Mrs. Fenn heard the crying?
A: Naturally - the investigation begins with establishing if the person who disappeared, does actually exist and then, who was the last person to see her - the investigation shows clearly that she was last seen around 17.30.
Q: Have you any doubt as to the validity of Madeleine attending the creche on 3/5?
A: No doubt whatsoever.
Q. Do you think the case will definitely be opened soon?
A: We would like it to be reopened, in fact I wrote my book to prevent the shelving of the case, but it did not work out that way, the book actually came out one week after the case was shelved. The counterforces were very strong.
In the political climate of today, there is a movement leaning towards the reopening of the case.
Q: What is the most efficient way for us to help you?
A: To let it be known there is a certain pressure, from the pubic opinion.
Q: So it is useful, then, to write to the Prosecutor?
A: Yes, and also to the Justice Minister and Members of Parliament.
Q: Did the content of the 14 text messages have any relevance to the case?
A: No. But what IS relevant is that they deleted calls from their mobile phones.
Q: If the McCanns had been honest about Madeleine having died in an accidental manner, what would have been the juridical consequences in Portugal?
A: Almost none. A mild punishment for neglect. That is provided the body did not show signs of violence. In England, as in Germany, punishment for neglect of children is more severe.
Q: Do you think the McCanns knew that?
A: They have made a decision very fast. It is well possible they did not know about the law in Portugal, but not that they did not know the law in England.
Q: Are you hoping the McCanns will sue you?
A: Yes! (here he gave a Portugese metaphor about a bullfight, something about having to first entice the bull into the middle of the ring before the fight can start).
Q: Is it true, as was reported in De Telegraaf, that an injection needle was found in the apartment?
A: No, that is not true. In fact we have found no medication at all. None at all. Except for 'likdoornpleisters' = litt.: corn plasters (for your feet - sorry can't find a better translation).
Q: Do you think the children were sedated?
A: There is no doubt.
(Here he told an anecdote: that Kate called a colleague of Gonçalo Amaral's in the PJ, in August, to ask them to check the twins for traces of sedation. Apparently Kate was alone when she called, and a bit upset. That same afternoon, Gerry called and cancelled the request.)
Q: What do you think is the meaning of the blood behind the sofa?
A: Possibly from an attempt at resuscitation.
Q: At what time do you think the death has occured, given the fact that cadaver odour needs time to develop?
A: Cadaver odour begins to develop at the moment of death, due to chemical reactions in the body, it is not a matter of hours before it develops, to the nose of a dog which is very sensitive it can be detected very soon. More important is that from the inquiry we know that before the 3rd of May nobody died in the apartment, nor in the car.
Q: There was a story in a newspaper that the dogs followed a trace to the beach, is that true?
A: No. Mark Harrison had made a schedule, a plan, for the dogs, where they should search. They have searched all the apartments, the villa, the cars, the church, the sewer pipes near the church, the beach, fields, but the only traces the dogs found were in the apartments and the car of the McCanns, some clothes, and the soft toy.
Q: Do you think the body was refrigerated?
A: Yes. The bodily fluid in the car show that. If the body had been buried there would have been mummification. The fact that there were fluids points to refrigeration.
Q: Where do you think the body was kept?
A: That is what we were trying to understand when I left the investigation. 15 alleles might not have been conclusive in the eyes of the Public Prosecutor, but for the investigation it was sufficient. The body must have been in the boot of the car. We want to know who drove the car, who was behind the wheel.
Q: Do you know if Gerry is a FreeMason?
A: Police does not investigate such things. It can be he is, but I don't think it is of significance to the case.
Q: When Justine McGuinness left she did not want to speak to the Portugese press, why not, do you think?
A: In her diary, Kate speaks very badly about Justine.
(Mrs. Amaral: There were problems between Kate and Justine)
Q: Do you think Justine knew something was not right?
A: I rather think that money was the problem.
Q: The Daily Express mentions that Madeleine's body could be in the tunnels. What do you think?
A: These tunnels have been investigated, we would have known. Last year an English lady also pointed them out.

"Maddie's parents don't want the truth", 07 May 2009
"Maddie's parents don't want the truth" Le Parisien

The Portuguese policeman, who was in charge of the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, remains convinced of the responsibility of her parents. He has published a book against the McCann couple.
Timothée Boutry
07.05.2009, 07h00
Translation by Nigel Moore
Gonçalo Amaral led the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, in Portugal, for several months before being dismissed for having publicly criticised the attitude of the English police. Since then, he has retired early. In a book out today in France*, he delivers his truth. According to him, the investigation is definite: Maddie died accidentally in the apartment where the family spent their holidays.
The parents would then have staged an abduction. Without formal proof, his book, very much against the parents, raises real questions.
What evidence do you have to support your version?
Gonçalo Amaral: There are several. We constantly noted the contradictions in the statements of the McCanns and their friends. An Irish couple say that they saw Gerald McCann, on the evening of the events, with a child in his arms. In terms of findings, we discovered the fingerprint of Kate McCann on the window of Madeleine's room. The shape of the fingerprint indicates that it has opened this window. But she says that the window was open when she entered the room. It is therefore clear that she wanted to steer the investigation toward the thesis of the abduction. Finally, there is scientific evidence. The dogs detected a scent of corpse in the living room and discovered a trace of blood in the same place. Traces which were also discovered in the rental car.
Rather, they are clues, not evidence. Blood, for example, has not been identified 100% as that of Maddie...
True, but the results still indicate that the samples resemble the DNA profile of Maddie. These indices are in addition to one other.
Why would the McCann couple lie?
Because they had been negligent with their children. They went for dinner and left them alone. Such behaviour was condemned. They therefore made up the kidnapping story.
Your book shows that the investigation by the Portuguese police has not been flawless. Including the crime scene...
That's true. At the time, there was no specific procedure in case of a missing child. The site has not been well preserved. Since then, these shortcomings have been repaired.
What is your main regret about this investigation?
I think it would have been to very quickly organise a reconstruction. We could then have realised the contradictions in the statements of Kate McCann and other witnesses. Unfortunately, my leader considered that it was impossible to implement. Then, the parents refused.
How was the collaboration with the English police?
With the investigators on the ground, it went very well. However, it was much more complicated with the headquarters in Great Britain. The information we had asked for created a lot of trouble to be taken up. The McCanns have managed to influence the opinion of the British police and to win their case. In Britain, the vision of the record is political. On the ground, it remained the police.
Will Maddie be found one day?
Today, the file is archived. The parents do not feel it will be reopened. They do not want the truth to be known. Yet I am convinced that there are still avenues to pursue. Unfortunately, it is a dead body which we need to search for.
* « Maddie : l’enquête interdite ». Bourin Editeur. 19 €.

Café crime: L'enquête interdite, 07 May 2009
Café crime: L'enquête interdite Radio Europe 1
Presented by Jacques Pradel
Jacques Pradel on Europe 1 with Gonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas
Thanks to Duarte Levy for transcript and AnneEsse for translation

Georges Moréas is a former chief police officer of the French Judiciary police.
Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the Portuguese PJ, Lisbon.
00.28 Jacques Pradel: Hello everyone. Welcome. The "Café crime," switchboard is now open on 01 42 32 15 15 for questions and reactions on what is coming up in this broadcast. If you are on the interent, we are also receiving emails on
And two years after little Maddie's disappearance in Portugal, there are still many gray areas surrounding the circumstances of this news story, which within a few months acquired global magnitude. The case is still not resolved. The investigation is officially closed.
01.04 Maddie's parents, under suspicion at one time, went home to England, exonerated. They continue to focus on the theory of abduction and to mark this anniversary, the coordinator of the Portuguese PJ's investigation cell, who facilitated that cell for some months, Mr Mr Gonçalo Amaral, has decided to break his silence on the behind the scenes details of the case. He resigned to put in writing, in a book that comes out in France today, the reasons for his not believing that Maddie was abducted.
01.38 In this book, titled "Maddie, l'enquête interdite", published by Bourin, Gonçalo Amaral puts forward his reasons for thinking, in all conscience and freely, that Maddie died in the apartment where her family spent their holiday in south Portugal. For him, Maddie's parents are involved. They invented the theory of their little girl's abduction, with the certain complicity of other British couples who were there, to evade their responsibilities.
02.12 Mr Gonçalo Amaral is the guest of "Café crimes," together with Georges Moréas, former chief superintendent of the PJ, who himself is passionate about his case. And then we will also have live on this broadcast, from London, Europe 1's British correspondent, Amandine Alexandre. She is going to tell us what Maddie's parents Gerald and Kate McCann are doing now. She will also tell us about the contents of a television show which will be shown this evening in England on Channel 4.
02.47 But first of all, we go back to the precise circumstances of a mysterious disappearance.
02.59 On Saturday April 28th 2007, four British couples accompanied by their children, and one of the couples by the maternal grandmother, arrive at the airport in Faro, capital of the extreme southern region of Portugal. Nearly all of them are doctors. They've regularly spent short holidays together for several years. On that day, they boarded a minibus, available for the tourists to travel the 70 kilometres to their final destination, a tourist complex, the Ocean Club, in the town of Luz, not far from Lagos.
03.36 On their arrival they were allocated several neighbouring apartments, on the ground and first floor of a block, the rear of which faces onto a swimming pool, a tennis court and a restaurant, the "Tapas." The front entrance faces onto the car park in front of the building, which is surrounded by a one metre high wall, open in the middle. There is no video surveillance or private security. Access to the recreational areas is not monitored either. Luz is a tourist village, built in the 60s - 70s and most of the tourists are British.
04.16 On the evening of May 3rd, the McCanns dine with their friends at the "Tapas," restaurant. At around 10pm, Kate gets up from the table to go and see if the children, who are sleeping in their apartment on the ground floor of the nearby block, are ok. Her two year-old twins are sound asleep in their cots. The door to her nearly four year-old daughter Madeleine's bedroom, is not closed, which alarms her. She goes in. The window is open, the shutters raised, the breeze ruffles the half-open curtains. Maddie has disappeared. Immediately, panic-stricken Kate runs back to the restaurant to alert her husband and they return together to the apartment, accompanied by their friends who cannot take it in. The four couples then set to search the surrounding area, and, finding no trace of the little girl, they call the police.
05.13 That same evening, the director of Lisbon's PJ gets a call on his mobile phone from the British Ambassador. His caller asks if he is aware of the disappearance of a little British girl. He dropped everything and made lots of phone calls to find out. During this time the Portuguese police arrive at the Ocean Club. They determine that there is no disorder in the bedroom where Maddie was sleeping. The bed is not disturbed, there is no evidence of tampering, either on the window, on the blinds that open from the inside, or on the door. Investigation of the surrounding area leads the police to find witnesses, Irish holiday-makers who state that just before 10 o'clock, they noticed a man carrying a small female child whose description matches that of the little girl. Everything now supports the idea of an abduction. The general alert is put out to all Portuguese police.
06.17 In the days and weeks following, the Portuguese PJ gather hundreds of witness statements, more or less fanciful, but all are checked, without success. Very quickly the police note certain contradictions between the accounts of the evening given by the four couples and the mother of Fiona Payne, wife of the doctor who organised the trip. She is called Dianne Webster. She is 65 years old.
06.43 One of the women states, for example, that she walked past the McCanns' apartment earlier in the evening. She noticed that Maddie's bedroom shutters were closed. Later, Kate stated that the window was open and the shutter lifted. A shutter, let's repeat, that can only be opened from the inside and which was not forced. The child's bed, according to her, was not disturbed, as if the child had not slept there. Intrigued, the Portuguese police officers noted that the calls log on the McCann couple's mobile phones had been deleted. That could only have been the result of a deliberate action. So, why, why did they delete the memory on the two telephones when a child had just been abducted?
07.31 Meanwhile, pressure on the Portuguese police was quickly becoming unbearable. They had a hard time working calmly in the middle of the pack of journalists from around the world, while the British ambassador was on the spot, accompanied by the big wigs of the police and Portuguese legal authorities. British police would soon arrive too to lend a strong hand on the ground, while for the Portuguese, the contact, let's say, isn't good, the Portuguese police feel humiliated, are they incapable of leading their investigation by themselves?!
08.03 The McCann couple, on their part, make statements after statement before the television cameras, and the director of the Portuguese PJ himself states officially, while the investigation is a long way from being complete, that it's an abduction. The investigators on the ground, themselves, are thinking of another possibility - the involvement of the McCann parents.
08.30 In fact, a certain number of worrying details have been noted on the quiet by the investigators.
08.35 Two dogs were brought from England, trained in the detection of corpses and traces of blood, and these dogs mark several places inside the apartment - in the couple's bedroom and in th dining room - as well as outside the building. More worrying still, these dogs alert on the child's soft toy and on clothes belonging to Maddie's mother. Placed near a car hired by the McCanns after Maddie's disappearance, there too they sniff suspicious odours. On the other hand, they didn't react in the car of a British suspect who lives a hundred metres from the leisure complex.
09.16 The noose tightens around Maddie's parents while the police recover, from the places marked by the dogs, minute organic traces which are compared with the McCann family's DNA. the analysis is conclusive. It indicates 15 markers identical to the little girl's DNA. In France, let's say, while we're at it, only 13 are needed to expose a suspect.
09.39 The McCanns are placed under investigation from the start of September, but their movements are not restricted.
09.46 Meanwhile the case takes on this international magnitude. The British press let loose against the incompetence of the Portuguese police. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is himself contacted by Maddie's parents. You said pressure? They present themselves as victims of slow-witted police who are blaming the family rather than searching for the missing child. There are sightings meanwhile from around the world, and in particular in Morocco, which will turn out, later to be a real red herring.
10.16 A support fund is set up. Donations flow in from all over. Money that will be used above all, to defend the suspects.
10.29 And then comes the sudden turn in events. At the end of September - beginning of October, new DNA analyses carried out by the British forensic laboratory in Birmingham, take the opposite stance to the first analysis. Once again, the Portuguese police are accused of having mixed up Maddie's DNA with that of her parents during the lifting of the samples. The Commissioner, Gonçalo Amaral, immediately requests a second opinion. "Impossible," the English reply. There will not be a second opinion, the samples have been destroyed or lost, we don't know.
11.02 Amaral has had enough, he says in his book, all this media hooha, the pressure from the political authorities, the pressure from his bosses prevent him from working calmly. he is set on by the press, by his English counterparts who cause trouble for him at the slightest provocation. Exasperated, he lets go one day during the umpteenth interview with the press. Immediate disciplinary action. His bosses leap at the opportunity and take command of the investigation from him. Without beating about the bush: he is fired!
11.30 Gonçalo Amaral, after several months of bitter reflection, convinced that he had come close to the truth with his fellow investigators, but also convinced of having been prevented from going further, took the only decision that reconciled it with his honour and that of his PJ colleagues: he resigned and he explains in his book the reasons why he is still convinced that Maddie's parents have made, perhaps, a simple domestic accident, look like a mysterious abduction. You might think, that's his position, he will tell us all about it presently, about a fall by little Maddie in her bedroom, or death due to an overdose of sleeping medication given to the child to leave the parents in peace with their friends in the nearby restaurant. One question presents itself now in this case: where is little Maddie's body?
12.36 Jacques Pradel: Hello Mr Gonçalo Amaral
12.38 Gonçalo Amaral: Hello
12.39 Jacques Pradel: OK, I'd like to say that there is another person who is participating in this show, it is Mrs Paula Martins. Hello. And she is the translator.
12.47 Paula Martins: Hello
12.48 Jacques Pradel: Hello. OK you are going to translate for us, my words and those of Georges Moréas, hello.
12.54 Georges Moréas: Hello.
12.55 Jacques Pradel: Georges Moréas, then, former commissioner of the French Judiciary Police and who feels passionately, and who will tell us why in a moment, about this case. And for me, it is very important today to have a police officer with all that represents in obvious experience and I would hazard a guess - if I dare say - to go a lot further in this case, in this impossible case, in this forbidden case as suggested by the title of this book that comes out today in France, from the publishers Bourin. One, one first very brief question, Mr Amaral . This book came out, I believe, a year ago in Portugal. For you, you were humiliated, you were angry, what state of mind were you in when you decided to write this book?
13.45 Gonçalo Amaral: I was in a normal state of mind, aware of my actions and I never felt myself to be humiliated, or frustrated. Police officers do their work to achieve a goal. We work in a way that's impartial, objective and the final objective is effectively that justice is done and that we find the truth. But, it's something that couldn't be done and the investigation was closed before we could get there, and my book is just a way of trying to bring the truth to light and to show the work that was done by the police. Because we are accused, amongst other things, of being incompetent, we had spent many hours in the restaurant, nothing was done and here it is, the result of this work is in this book.
14.37 Jacques Pradel: Yeah, I....
14.38 Gonçalo Amaral: So, I present it here in this book. Had we been truly incompetent?
14.43 Jacques Pradel: OK, but I agree with you, but it must be said that at that time certain of your British counterparts and all of the British press unanimously presented Portugal as a third world country, incapable of carrying out a police investigation.
14.57 Gonçalo Amaral: A job that was beautifully done by a government spokesperson who was with the couple, with a very specific focus, that is to say that, it isn't the police who are accusing us of being incompetent because the investigation, the investigation was Portuguese and British. So, at that time, we were all of us incompetent.
15.23 Jacques Pradel: Hmm mm. OK, we will obviously come back to the details of this case and with you, Georges Moréas, then, in a short while. We are going to take the first break and we will come back to the impossible investigation and the forbidden investigation.
(After the break)
15.45 Presenter: It is now two years since little Maddie went missing. On this occasion, "Café crime," welcomes a special guest: The inspector of the Portuguese PJ who led the investigation for several months, Mr Mr Gonçalo Amaral. Jacques Pradel.
15.56 Jacques Pradel: Yes and facing him a colleague, Georges Moréas. They have just met in this Europe 1 studio. OK, let's recap, eh, you were commissioner for the judiciary police. So, why have you been passionate from the start, I know, about this case, you talk about it in your, in your blog on the internet.
16.13 Georges Moréas: Yes, absolutely. In fact I was asked at the start by....My attention was drawn. It was the organisations that wrote about the abduction on the internet and I tried to find out, I gathered information, I found this case absolutely gripping and so sad. And, and so on my blog I talked about it as it went along, and I have lots of questions come up on this blog. And there is one which I could put directly to Mr Amaral, because it comes up a lot, it is, in fact: why the Portuguese police...there is the impression, elsewhere, and in reading your book, that you set out solely on one track, the track of abduction, ruling out, a priori, the possibility of an accident, of murder, or whatever.
16.55 Gonçalo Amaral: That's a good question. It's perhaps the most important error of the investigation. But it is a decision that was a strategic decision by the police, of the leadership. There was fear of a reaction from the parents if they learned that they were suspects. And so that track of abduction was tried. The idea then was to carry out this investigation on the basis of, of abduction and then, if we arrive at a standstill, to retrace our steps to find out what happens, what happened in the apartment. Good, you know that abduction is the kidnapping of a person and those who did the inspection, they did that inspection as if it was about the theft of an object. The entry and exit of a ???? were looked for. They weren't very bothered about DNA, or about fingerprints, or about those who were residing, or about how the people were dressed. It was a failing of the PJ, a failure of protocol in cases of this type and there is actually a protocol conforming to international standards. The case can no longer be approached as simply an abduction.
18.26 Jacques Pradel : Yes, but at the same time, Georges Moréas, how did you get on? You have read the book this year? (laughs) While it comes out today. Eh, it was noticed however, Mr Amaral that, parallel to the research on abduction, however, you lift fingerprints in the apartment, notably very significant, in this story of closed shutters and of that window open or closed, and then the arrival of the dogs, who tell you that there was a body in the apartment.
18.53 Gonçalo Amaral: Absolutely. The dogs said it. There was a body and we had also seen that neither before or after May 3rd, someone died. So, it is a recent body. There is no doubt that the blood that was found there was the blood from the body of Madeleine McCann.
19.14 Jacques Pradel : OK, then, Georges Moréas, I think you have made a lot of enquiries, obviously, in your career. Who represents that external pressure when you heard me just then recall the pressure, then, eh: political authorities; superior authority; the English ambassador; the press....How does it feel when you are leading an investigation in those conditions?
19.38 Georges Moréas: It's terrible for the investigators to have such pressure. And on a case, whether it's an abduction case or another case. But in a case of abduction it is more unusual because we know that there, when it happens, there is a small child, the life of a small child who could be at risk. What I don't know, but perhaps Mr Amaral could answer, is: what is the independence of the judiciary police in relation to political power in particular, or the administration in general?
20.09 Gonçalo Amaral: Nowadays, there is none. That is one of the big questions, and it is what drove me to leave the police. It is felt that there is a heavy political weight in the police, notably in investigations. This is something that must change. The directors, now, they are political commissioners. Each time the government changes the director of the police changes. So, it is really a political dependency that goes from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy.
20.37 Jacques Pradel : Yes. But were very rapid results required of you?
20.43 Gonçalo Amaral: Actually the opposite. I remember that in September we already had the results of the laboratory tests. And as we work, we set about finding the cause of death - because that is what interests us: the circumstances of death, and if there is involvement of third parties or not, or if we are only looking at an accident or something else - I was contacted by a director of police who told me not to preoccupy myself with it because this wasn't the only case looking for a solution, not to take this case so much to heart, there would no problem if the case did not proceed. And so I understood that, at that moment that, the case was going to be archived.
21.26 Jacques Pradel: Yes, and you particularly understood, eh....can we talk about protection of the McCann couple? And by whom? You say in your book, for example, that they obtained details about the investigation that should never have known given that they could be liable to be themselves suspects.
21.46 Gonçalo Amaral : Exactly. And meanwhile they should have been suspects. The protection came directly from England with Gordon Brown's intervention. Truly disastrous intervention because he believed from the start, in this couple and in political terms, subsequently, he cannot go back on it. Kate McCann's notes record this elsewhere, "the political pressure must be increased." That is what she wrote about it in her diary. And everything turns on this question in fact. They had the information. From a certain moment they had access to British liaison officers. The first were sent away because, from the first day, they asked Kate McCann where her daughter was, because they understood that she must know. So, there was immediately from that moment pressure from the chief officers of these police. There was disciplinary procedure and their careers are at risk.
22.54 There's another fact. That couple had meetings practically every week with the directors of police where they were given information about all progress in the case. It's not possible!
23.06 Jacques Pradel : That's when you hold your head up high, Georges Moréas, isn't it?
23.08 Georges Moréas: It's ???????? In France, however, we haven't got there.
23.13 Gonçalo Amaral : In no case.
23.15 Jacques Pradel : OK, moving on, we're going to return to other aspects of this investigation in a short while. Coming up, after the break, rejoining Amandine Alexandre in London to update us on what is happening on this "anniversary," day, two years after Maddie's disappearance. A little bird tells me, as Amandine Alexandre is going to tell us more about it in a moment, that in the course of a television show to be shown on Channel 4 this evening, a new sketch is going to be shown of a new suspect that the McCann family says wasn't checked out by the Portuguese police.
(After the break)
23.59 Jacques Pradel : With the former coordinator of the Portuguese investigation squad, Mr Gonçalo Amaral, who has just published this book in France, "Maddie, l'enquête interdite" published by Bourin. With Georges Moréas, former commissioner of the judiciary police. With Amandine Alexandre in London whom we will go back to shortly. But first an archive, a Europe 1 archive, dating from the month of September 2007. September 9th to be precise. Remember that Maddie's disappearance took place on the night of May 3rd 2007, and then McCanns went back to Britain very quickly and you are going to hear the spokesperson, the couple's spokesperson, who is called Justine McGuinness, explain this return to their country.
24.45 Justine McGuinness : Kate and Gerry McCann return to Britain today with their twins, Sean and Amélie, as planned. They want to get them back as soon as possible to a normal life in their own country. The family's return is done with the agreement of the Portuguese police authorities. The family requests, with all their heart, that the search to find Madeleine goes on and that everyone remains vigilant. The Portuguese law forbids Kate and Gerry to make any further comment on the investigation. Although they have many things to say they can say nothing, except this: they are absolutely not responsible for the disappearance of their beloved daughter.
25.38 Jacques Pradel : OK, we'll go back in a minute to the McCann couple's current situation since they were both told the case is closed. But Georges Moréas, you were telling me while we were listening to that, it isn't possible. They are still the accused, in the position of being accused, the couple.
25.57 Georges Moréas : There you are, it seems that the Portuguese procedure is very different from the French procedure.
26.00 Jacques Pradel : Of course.
26.01 Georges Moréas : And well, it's not really an accusation, nor being placed under investigation.
26.04 Jacques Pradel : Yeah.
26.05 Georges Moréas : It's a position of, you might say, assisting witness.
26.06 Jacques Pradel : Assisting witness. That's the closest to us.
26.07 Georges Moréas : Yes, the closest, that tallies.
26.09 Jacques Pradel : Right, so that means that if there were a trial tomorrow they could appear as assisting witness.
26.12 Georges Moréas : That's it.
26.13 Jacques Pradel : OK, we're going back immediately to Amandine Alexandre in London. Hello Amandine.
26.16 Amandine Alexandre : Hello
26.17 Jacques Pradel : So, on this "anniversary, day, is it an anniversary in London too? What's happening around the Maddie case?
26.24 Amandine Alexandre : Lots has been said about the Maddie case. At last, it's being talked about again, in fact, from this weekend. First of all because Kate and GerryMcCann have been invited, guests of Oprah Winfrey, that...
26.35 Jacques Pradel : Yes, in the United States, yes.
26.36 Amandine Alexandre : Right, in the United States. And in fact, it is on the platform of Oprah Winfrey that they revealed, they showed a photo of Maddie, Maddie at 6 years.
26.45 Jacques Pradel : Yes.
26.46 Amandine Alexandre : So, it's a photo that's been produced by computer from photos of Kate and Gerry McCann at age 6 years.
26.52 Jacques Pradel : Yes.
26.53 Amandine Alexandre : And it's true that it's going to be talked about again for a few days now - I would hope to say - the Maddie case. And now even more than ever.
27.01 Jacques Pradel : Yes.
27.02 Amandine Alexandre : Because this morning the press published the portrait of this suspect. The computer sketch of a man who was allegedly seen by three different people.
27.10 Jacques Pradel : Mmm
27.11 Amandine Alexandre : And this evening, then, British television is going to show a documentary.
27.14 Jacques Pradel : Yes, I saw it because you sent me the internet link to see that photo of the new suspect. Eh, "scarface," named by the English press because his face is marked like what is called "pock marked," hmmm?
27.29 Amandine Alexandre : Yes, that's it. In fact this computer portrait, from what I understand, from the information that came through this morning...
27.35 Jacques Pradel : Yes.
27.36 Amandine Alexandre : ...has been produced, above all, from a witness statement. That, that of a British tourist who says she saw this man on two occasions in front of theMcCanns' apartment and that this man looked like, hmm, that he wouldn't pass unnoticed because he effectively had a pockmarked face. She described him as, "a very ugly man."
Jacques Pradel : Yes, he looked the part, hmmm? He was a kind of...
27.57 Amandine Alexandre : Yes.
27.58 Jacques Pradel : ......nitwit rocker, emaciated face, eyes deep-set in their sockets, a big hook nose....In short, he had an ugly mug.
28.07 Amandine Alexandre : Yes, and so she said that when she saw this man, in fact, she was almost afraid. She was walking with her little girl and she was even stopped in her tracks. Finally, she gripped her little girl's hand, because that man frightened her.
28.18 Jacques Pradel : Yes.
28.19 Amandine Alexandre : And, eh, there are two other people, two other witnesses, who say, they too, and well, they saw a man standing at the front of the McCanns' apartment and who was staring at the balcony of the apartment.
28.31 Jacques Pradel : Yes, OK, this evening, eh, there's going to be the showing on Channel 4 of this documentary which you haven't seen, obviously. But we know a little more, we know what's in it, or...?
28.42 Amandine Alexandre : Well, yes, we know, in fact, that this documentary shows Gerry McCann, Maddie's father, going back to Praia da Luz. It was filmed last month. He went back with two friends who were also on the spot, who were part of the group of his friends with whom he went on holiday and in fact with the help of a team of actors, as well as the television team, reconstructed Maddie's disappearance, and Maddie's abduction, since Maddie's parents are convinced that their daughter was abducted.
29.10 Jacques Pradel : Yes. Reconstruction of the famous evening of, the night of May 3rd to 4th. I'll be back shortly, Amandine. I would just like to get Mr Amaral's reaction to what he's just heard. This computer portrait, notably, this man described by the witnesses, the English journalists are saying that, once again, the Portuguese police did not follow up that lead but that these witnesses had approached you at the time. Is this true?
29.36 Gonçalo Amaral : OK. I could laugh about it if the question was not serious because it's sad to see this evidence, quote, of abduction. Because investigation of the surrounding area that we carried out led us to several suspects in that area. We interviewed everyone, but it's truly sad to see that there was someone in the garden that we didn't identify. We've got an idea of someone who matches that, and I'm not talking about that person who is in the garden. There is gentleman who matches the physical description of that colleague David Payne, who was seen in that place. It's strange, that this kind of thing is put out and that people are looking for computer portraits. This has always got to be somebody who looks Mediterranean, ugly, not at all British, somebody who causes fear. And it's somehow how the English do things. It's another thing in the same vein as what's been done. And it's sad.
30.50 Jacques Pradel : That's it. Well. OK, and well, it's very clear from everything you are saying. We're having another break and then we'll be back to the Maddie case shortly with MrGonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas.
31.10 And before handing over the stage to my guests in the studio, we're going back to London to Amandine Alexandre. Eh, you were telling us that the English press is finally talking about this case again, mainly because of the show the McCann couple did in the United States with Oprah Winfrey. It's also being taken up again because there is the publishing of that famous computer portrait in the television show this evening, and that reconstruction, of the evening of May 3rd. But as well as that, the idea that the McCann parents could be implicated in this case, Amandine. What do the British say about it?
31.45 Amandine Alexandre: OK, listen to the British press since last July, since the Portuguese investigation was closed...
31.53 Jacques Pradel : …was closed. Yes.
31.53 Amandine Alexandre : OK, eh, for the British press, Maddie's parents are innocent. There's more. There is no longer any question of the parents' guilt, and, the documentary takes up the McCanns' life now without their daughter. Eh, the fact that Kate McCann has stopped working to devote herself solely to the search for Maddie and that in the couple's house, Maddie's bedroom is still there, and in the documentary Kate McCann apparently relates that several times a day she goes into her bedroom to talk to Maddie, to say to her, "this is what we're going to do today," and that the couple's two children, the twins, who are now 4 years old, also talk to their sister. So, the suspicions that weighed on the McCanns are totally gone, no doubt about it in the British media.
32.46 Jacques Pradel : OK, thank you very much for that spot, Amandine. I remind you that Amandine Alexandre is Europe 1's correspondent in London. I think you'll be watching telly this evening?
32.55 Amandine Alexandre : Yes. That's the plan.
32.56 Jacques Pradel : Thank you very much, Amandine.
32.57 Amandine Alexandre : Bye.
32.58 Jacques Pradel : Good afternoon. Eh, Georges Moréas you you had questions, questions that bring us back to the McCann couple.
33.05 Georges Moréas : Yes, because if I understand properly this evening there is going to be a reconstruction with comedians. So, I would like to ask Mr Amaral if after the events, after Maddie's disappearance, was there a reconstruction in Portugal or not?
33.22 Gonçalo Amaral : It was amongst the first things we tried to carry out, but it was decided higher up that conditions were not right on the ground to do this reconstruction. There were too many journalists present. Too many people were there on holiday and we would be interrupting the holiday of these people. We would have to have closed the airspace and then it was said that the reconstruction would be done later. But later, after the couple were made suspects, placed under investigation, the couple refused. And those who replaced us, the Public Ministry acted in a way that we consider a bit strange because the reconstruction, there were witnesses and suspects under investigation and it wasn't obligatory to carry out the reconstruction with everyone present. But the couple would have to do it, would have to come back to Portugal, but the Public Minister decided that there was no interest in doing that reconstruction with just the couple. And it's a shame because now we wouldn't have all the confusion.
34.39 Jacques Pradel : Of course. But I think that even if you are no longer in the investigation, since you have retired, remember this, for writing your book, your Portuguese colleagues will be watching with a great deal, a great deal of attention, the reconstruction that has been done. As everyone is saying, under the direction of the McCann family and their friends.
35.00 Gonçalo Amaral : We're all going to watch it together, because it shouldn't be forgotten that this reconstruction is based on three people. Mr Gerald McCann , Mr Matt Oldfield and us, and everyone allegedly lies. So, we are going to see who is lying and we hope that the investigation will be reopened. They hope not. But this will be an important document, even for the investigation. The document that will be seen today, founded on lies, is important. Then, what must be seen is what lies behind.
35.36 Jacques Pradel : Yes. And have I understood properly that Portuguese law retains the possibility of relaunching the case even if the investigation is now officially closed?
35.49 Gonçalo Amaral : The investigation is not in fact closed. it's archived awaiting better evidence and that's why they are still suspects, under investigation. Because if the case is closed...
36.03 Jacques Pradel : I just interrupted you.
36.06 Gonçalo Amaral : Yes.
36.06 Jacques Pradel : Yes. Excuse me.
36.06 Gonçalo Amaral : We must be able to reopen the case.
36.07 Jacques Pradel : Yes, exactly. But it's there that I would like to add a question. It's what we call in France - Georges Moréas, stop me if I'm wrong - a new detail that could relaunch a case which is within the prescribed period.
36.21 Georges Moréas : That's the difference. With us, the investigation is not archived, let's say.
36.23 Jacques Pradel : Archived. Yes, that's it. So, a new detail can relaunch the Portuguese investigation.
36.28 Gonçalo Amaral : Yes, absolutely. But it's the Public Minister who has to analyse it.
36.34 Jacques Pradel : OK.
36.35 Gonçalo Amaral : Only the Public Minister can make the decision by analysing these new details, if he considers it of interest. But perhaps the Attorney General of the Republic will have to be changed for that.
36.47 Jacques Pradel : OK, yes, that follows on from what you were saying before. Yes, Georges...
36.51 Georges Moréas : Yes, if the parents requested the relaunch of the investigation?
36.55 Gonçalo Amaral : That would be interesting. But you know that the parents don't want investigation in Portugal and don't want it either in England because we have heard, just now, that the British press is on the side of the parents, so consider them responsible for nothing, but the English public, on the other hand, it's not altogether the same thing. There are people who are trying to find out what happened to that little girl. It's not about accusing the parents , but they want an investigation to be opened in England because the child is British and as you know, the British authorities have the skills to do it. But the parents don't want the investigation. A police investigation, they don't want it.
37.33 Jacques Pradel : Ok, we're going to have a last break and go to the last part of the show. The time is going really quickly. I remind you, if you pick up the invest...the investigation, listen now, we are talking about the investigation about Maddie. "Maddie,l'enquête interdite" it's the title of the book by Mr Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator, of the search for Maddie. This book comes out today published by Bourin. There's not bad revelations inside, some of which we haven't talked about yet. We will get there in a minute.
(After the break)
38.12 Jaques Pradel : Ok, if you doubted that we are live, you know now. OK, a direct question immediately for Mr Gonçalo Amaral and here I refer directly to the book that has just come out. You talk about, you say that all these couples have been getting together for years for short holidays, like that, a little unusual and notably so in Minorca, I believe, in Majorca, pardon, in 2005, and me, when I read your book, I understand that David Cayne, David Payne, pardon, looks very much like a paedophile. You don't write the word "paedophile," but you hint that he has inappropriate gestures related to children.
38.57 Gonçalo Amaral : No, I don't use that word. I talk about his obscene gestures in relation to Madeleine McCann. It's an accusation that had been made on May 16th 2007, in England, 14 days after the disappearance, and which only got to the PJ on October 26th, after I had left. And nothing was done about it.
39.23 Jacques Pradel : OK.
39.24 Gonçalo Amaral : So, other than that gesture, if you look carefully at what is written, he was bathing the children in a certain inappropriate manner. It was he who was bathing the children and I wonder if he didn't do that with her, with the little girl that day of May 3rd.
39.43 Jacques Pradel : OK.
39.44 Gonçalo Amaral : It's an accusation but there is no investigation in England. Meanwhile, they say they no longer have the paperwork for this accusation.
39.50 Jacques Pradel : So, if we care to continue with the reasoning, which is that of your book, where you say, quite clearly for me, that little girl died in that apartment, the dogs proved it for us, the traces of blood proved it for us, and what happened was made to look like an abduction, but that you found it to be total fantasy. So, that means that all the couples who went on holiday with the McCanns are complicit. And they are listened to.
40.19 Gonçalo Amaral : Let's say that, for me, they are complicit in negligence or perpetrators of negligence on their own children because they abandoned their children during these nights out. Children of 2-3 years who stayed in the apartments alone until very late.
40.36 Jacques Pradel : Very late, yes.
40.37 Gonçalo Amaral : It's something that in England leads to the children being taken into care. So, if that happened to Madeleine, if the investigation carried on, it could have been understood why they lied, why Matt Oldfield lied, and why several people lied? Because at 10pm someone on the other side of the village sees Gerald McCann with the child, carrying the child and someone else says that the child was seen carried by Gerald McCann but that he was going in the opposite direction. So, that has to be understood.
41.15 Jacques Pradel : You have, Georges Moréas, a personal conviction, like that, about this case?
41.19 Georges Moréas : Maybe, I must confess that I am, I am rather in agreement with my Portuguese colleague Amaral because it doesn't fool anybody, and I understand very well that he is a bit - excuse my expression - that he is pissed off.
41.34 Jacques Pradel : Yes, because, well, you've read this book in depth too, eh? So, eh, there is perhaps a last point that Mr Amaral needs to clear up. It's that the domestic accident that you envisage - I ask you to answer very quickly - it's the child falling, a story about, about, about seating, eh, I'm looking for the... a sofa - but you have explained that in the book - the fact that she was given a sedative and apparently you have proof that the parents gave sedatives to their children?
42.06 Gonçalo Amaral : There is a witness, a witness statement. There is no other evidence. The question of the accident is very simple. It's a pyramid that could only result in death by the intervention of third parties. That was the postulate from the start. The initial hypothesis, to justify the blood and cadaver odour behind the sofa , it was an accident. Noticing the position of the sofa and the window. But that's a postulate. A starting point for understanding what happened, given the circumstances, the cause of death and if there was intervention or not by a third party. As the couple did not allow us to do something, get on with the investigation sooner, we were not able to develop this.
42.54 Jacques Pradel : Right. So, point of debate but at the same time a well argued case. Thank you very much Mr Amaral. Thank you Georges Moréas. Look, he has handed over his place to Faustine Bolleart. But no, Faustine, not yet.....I simply give you once again the title of this book which has just come out today. So, "Maddie, l'enquête interdite", revelations from the Portuguese commissioner in charge of the investigation. It's published by Bourin.

"Maddie's parents put on a show to hide their lie", 13 May 2009
"Maddie's parents put on a show to hide their lie" L'Illustré

Gonçalo Amaral with age progressed image of Madeleine

The Portuguese policeman who was responsible for the inquiry into the disappearance of the little girl is categorical: Maddie died and, despite their apparent anguish, her parents are implicated. In an explosive book, "The Forbidden Investigation" [French title for 'The Truth of the Lie'], he recounts how, due to political pressures, he was prevented from proving it.

L'illustre front cover

by Christian Rappaz
13 May 2009
Thanks to Astro for translation
The investigation of his life. It occupied Gonçalo Amaral day and night, between the 3rd of May 2007, at 10 p.m., and the 2nd of October 2008 [Note: Amaral was actually removed from the inquiry on the 2nd of October 2007], the date of his departure into early retirement: the Madeleine Maddie Beth McCann case. A 3-year-old English girl that disappeared from a holiday apartment from Vila da Luz, in the Algarve, while her parents dined in a restaurant at the hotel resort, a few dozen metres away.
Amaral is now 50. The son of a working class family, the fifth of six children, he is himself the father of two little girls, aged 4 and 9. He had to leave his post as an inspector, he says, because "in Portugal and elsewhere, the politicisation of the police places hurdles into the latter's work and prevents justice from being done. Just like the Maddie case, more and more inquiries are stifled or archived before conclusion". He is now a judiciary consultant for television, a columnist for a leading Portuguese daily newspaper and he teaches criminology.
Gerry and Kate McCann, Maddie's parents, both doctors, have transformed the disappearance of their daughter, two years ago, into a worldwide drama. From David Beckham to Cristiano Ronaldo, passing through pope Benedict XVI, they have orchestrated a huge mobilisation and created a support fund that attained 6 million [Swiss] francs in three days.
Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation, which the Portuguese police officially archived on the 21st of July 2008. But Amaral has rediscovered one freedom: the one of telling his version, his conviction. His word as a cop.
What are the elements that allow you to accuse, with such conviction, Maddie's parents of lying to the whole planet?
There are several of them. For a start, just like their friends, their witness statements and their depositions reveal a major level of imprecision, of incoherence and contradiction. Then there's the smell of a cadaver that has been confirmed by the detection dogs and the existence of blood traces behind the sofa in the apartment, which was confirmed by preliminary analyses. One can presume that the little girl fell behind that piece of furniture, maybe due to tranquilisers that her parents gave her regularly, as they later admitted. The same for the finding of odours and traces of blood in the vehicle that was rented by the McCanns, three weeks after Madeleine's disappearance. It was the only vehicle among eleven that retained the dogs' attention. There is equally the witness statement of an Irish couple that states they saw Gerry McCann carrying a child on the evening of the events. Finally, there's Kate McCann's fingerprint on the window of Madeleine's bedroom, which clearly indicates that she opened that window, undoubtedly to make believe in the abduction theory, while stating that the window was already open when she arrived on the spot at 10 p.m., the time at which she noticed Madeleine's disappearance and raised the alarm.
That's your truth, which is not supported by any evidence...
That's not my truth, those are the conclusions of an investigation that lasted for fourteen months, carried out by over one hundred policemen and experts. Concerning the facts, the results indicate that the analysed samples coincided with Madeleine's DNA profile in 75%.
Why are all those indications not enough evidence?
Because those results needed to be confirmed and it would have been necessary to carry out other investigations based on this data. Undoubtedly the last ones. One might, for example, perfectly imagine that Maddie's body was concealed in a freezer between the 3rd and the 27th of May. All of this should have been minutely checked. Well, that was the moment when the will to archive the process emerged and I was removed. That the case was actually smothered.
By whom and why?
That's a good question. You'll have to ask the Portuguese Public Ministry. There were talks between British prime minister Gordon Brown and Portuguese prime minister José Sócrates. What have they said to each other, what did they decide? A mystery...
In your book, you go as far as suggesting that England's adhesion to the Lisbon Treaty was connected with the case's archiving?
I state nothing, I simply say that rumours in that sense have circulated.
Those are particularly serious accusations, and you carry an enormous responsibility if by hazard the parents' theory is proved...
It won't be proved. Maddie is dead, and her parents know it. Their behaviour proves it. After having set the scene for abduction, they immediately passed the abduction theory to the media, without even accepting another possibility. Concerning that, do you know many parents who, as their daughter is supposedly abducted, hired a communications chief before hiring a lawyer? I also remember a statement that Kate McCann made to the media, only a few days after the drama: "In two years' time, we'll still be meeting to search for Maddie". How could she be that categorical? Finally, why did they leave Portugal almost immediately after being placed under investigation, while the investigations that they financed with their fund continued?
Why would they lie and display such cynicism?
Because they made a mistake in leaving their children alone and were completely run over by the media attention that they brought onto themselves. Having said that, the simulation of an abduction is something that is usual in these type of cases. The statistics prove it. Since 1960 until today, in England – but they are very close, no matter what Western country – 1528 children were found murdered. Eighty-four percent of them were murdered by their parents and even 96% if we widen to the persons close to them. In the vast majority of these cases, the parents made up an abduction story.
Has the McCanns' spokesperson invoked the idea of a complaint against you?
I impatiently await that, since my book was published in Portugal, a year ago. That would allow for the case to be reopened and I could explain myself in front of a court of law. But Maddie's parents obviously don't want for the truth to emerge.
They accuse you of wanting to make money on their daughter's back...
That argument is easy, and it demonstrates that they don't have a lot more left. It's not serious. I wrote that book for public opinion to be able to know about the backdrop of this investigation and its conclusions. I was forced to abdicate, but I wanted to defend the truth and the values that I upheld throughout the twenty-seven years that I spent with the police. Today, the Maddie case is archived and her parents don't have any will for it to be reopened. Personally, I did what my conscience told me. My mission is accomplished.

Video: Gonçalo Amaral and Paulo Sargento on the McCann case (27 May 2009), 05 June 2009
Video: Gonçalo Amaral and Paulo Sargento on the McCann case TVI
Recorded on 27 May 2009, at 14h10 (Lisbon)
Thanks to Joana Morais for videos and translation/subtitling

Related segment:

Related article (extract):
Extract from Textusa's blog referenced in the above interview: 'Even Geographically, the Abduction Theory is ABSURD'
'Let's all make one effort into ABSURDITY and, for a moment, just pretend to look the other way, assuming that there was an infamous abductor and that he was even able to do everything the McCanns have given him credit for. Let's freeze time at the moment is has just jumped through the 5A window with Maddie peacefully in his arms.
Now, there are only 2 possibilities: this is an opportunistic kidnapping, or a planned one. Even the McCanns have put aside the first as it would be so cumulatively absurd that we would have to resurrect Einstein himself so we could get a faint grasp on how illogical that would be.'

Maddie blues, 01 June 2009
Maddie blues Libération

Gonçalo Amaral in Libération

The Portuguese police officer, who suspected the parents, saw the inquiry into the disappearance of the little English girl taken away from him. A sanction that he finds difficult to digest.
by Marie Piquemal
01/06/2009 at 06h52
Thanks to Astro for translation
No case has ever troubled his sleep. Not even the mysterious disappearance of little Maddie, who remains to be found after two years. At that time, he was a police inspector in Portimão, in Southern Portugal. A few kilometres away from the seaside resort of Praia da Luz, where the McCann family spent their holidays. When the little 3-year-old girl vanished on the night of the 3rd of May 2007, Gonçalo Amaral found himself on the front line. As the head of the investigation. And propelled onto the front pages of magazines, side-by-side with the pretty face of the missing child.
The image of the little blonde girl and of her pink soft toy went around the world. The media coverage, with a dimension that had never been seen before, was sagely orchestrated by the parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, and their press attaché, hired during the initial hours. In this maelstrom of emotions and images, inspector Amaral soon became a key character of the drama. A controversial figure. From the beginning, the British tabloids made fun of his bellied physique, of his glittering Prada glasses, his tendency for alcohol and napping. When the cop started suspecting the parents over "simulation of abduction" and "concealment of a cadaver", the press went wild.
We meet him again, two years later. In a Parisian hotel, on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré street. He has changed. Less belly and less hair. He has also shaved off his moustache, which was worthy of a gendarme in Saint-Tropez. Stuck in his suit and tie, a haggard look behind thick eyebrows, he seems subdued. "The Maddie affair has changed him, he has become sad," says his wife, Sofia, who doesn't leave his side for a second. Dynamics for two.
Amaral is in Paris to launch his book, which has sold 180,000 copies in Portugal. After the Maddie case, he left the police force. On the 2nd of October 2007, after five months without news about the little English girl, he was removed from the inquiry by his superior. Offended, he goes into early retirement, at the age of 48. "I wasn't removed from the inquiry over incompetence, but for a moment caught off-guard," he insists. Which means, over criticism of the British police officers, accusing them of being manipulated by the McCann clan. The Portuguese police irritated the McCann family from the outset. A lack of professionalism, some say, with the Anglo-Saxon arrogance. Different work methods, others defend. Between both parties, the pit widens, incomprehension and hatred take over the exchange. The culture of secrecy that involves the Portuguese inquiry clashes with the excessive media coverage that is orchestrated by the English.
Inspector Amaral doesn't relent: "Why take the risk of publishing the child's photo since the first hours, all over the world? That's good to make a potential abductor panic and kill the child. It is necessary to work in silence. At least during the initial stages." Incomprehension becomes an open war when, during the summer after the disappearance, the Portuguese investigators emit the possibility of a simulation. And what if the parents are guilty? Officially suspecting the McCanns, placing them under the particular status of arguidos, ("official suspects"): the passionate British public opinion doesn't accept it. It cries out over the scandal. It's too much, inspector Amaral falls.
Today, he explains himself. Here's his theory, in short: The parents are responsible for their daughter's death. Domestic accident, maltreatment or death. It doesn't matter. "The politically correct theory of abduction doesn't stand, he assures. The child is dead." He articulates his demonstration around two key points. First, there are blood traces that were detected by the sniffer dogs, in the apartment and in the car that was rented by the McCanns over twenty days after the child's disappearance. "The analyses demonstrate that the blood partly fits Madeleine McCann's DNA profile." Then, there's statistics. "Crimes against children, including of sexual nature, are committed by parents in 84% of cases." For him, not a shred of doubt. Us, we close the book just like we opened it, without a certainty.
Why did this man write this book? Conviction or obsession? Tenacity or stubbornness? To make money from sensationalism? He waves criticism away with a wink of his hand. "It's a matter of values, of justice and the truth."
Nowadays, the former cop wishes for the process to be reopened, to "find Maddie's body". And to rehabilitate the Portuguese police's image. And his own. The former inspector has been charged over false testimony in another case that involved a missing child, whose body was never found. Leonor Cipriano, the mother of Joana (aged 8), who was condemned to sixteen years in prison, states to having confessed her daughter's murder after having been beaten by policemen under Amaral's control, and that he covered for them afterwards. Without blinking, he sees there another attempt at destabilisation.
Gonçalo Amaral is one of those people with an ice cold intelligence, which surprises, intimidates and disconcerts. No space is left, however tiny, for compassion, emotion or any form of affection. To him, Maddie's parents (and their friends) are guilty of having left their children alone without surveillance in their room, while they dined at the hotel's restaurant. Without pity, he states: "They should be punished for that. It's the parents' duty to watch over their children. Do you think a three-year-old child is safe, alone in a room? Anything could happen to her: an electrical malfunction or whatever, not even speaking of abduction."
Gonçalo Amaral has three daughters from two marriages. "He's a very relaxed daddy. With him, the children are allowed everything," says his wife Sofia. In his book, Amaral evokes his youngest daughter Inês, the same age as Maddie. "A brunette version". Not a word about his infancy north of Lisbon, with his five siblings, his homemaking mother and his working class father. He doesn't tell us how he entered public service as a simple agent, at the age of 14, either, "because at that time, it was possible". His path is sown with evening courses, to climb the stairs until that post as coordinator of the criminal investigations department of the judiciary police in Portimão.
Apart from the Maddie case, he has worked on delicate cases, namely those that are related to drugs trafficking. "That work, it was his life. To stop was a deep gash," his wife says. He has tried a rebound in politics. He wanted to run for the municipal elections in October 2009 in Olhão, for the social democratic party (centre-right formation). The party's president refused "because she feared a mixture between politics and justice". Therefore, he's taken to writing another book, about other police affairs. There is still a page to turn.

Gonçalo Amaral: Interview with Semanário Privado, 16 September 2009
Gonçalo Amaral: Interview with Semanário Privado Semanário Privado (appears in paper edition)

Semanário Privado, 16 September 2009
Semanário Privado, 16 September 2009

"The apprehension of my book only gives me more strength to discover the truth about the Maddie case"

Gonçalo Amaral is going to request the political parties and the Republic’s President an audience, after his book "Maddie – The Truth of the Lie" was ordered apprehended by a judge at Lisbon's Civil Court. The former inspector thinks that freedom of expression is under threat, at a time when new facts concerning Maddie's disappearance may come to light

by José Leite
16 September 2009
Thanks to
Joana Morais for translation

How do you comment on the apprehension of your book, "Maddie – The Truth about the Lie"? Do you think there's the "hand" of the McCanns in this? Has the book started to be apprehended from the stores?

My comment is a concerned one, as an author and as a citizen who still holds his full civil rights. I remind you that I left the PJ in June last year, in order to recover my freedom of expression and that, 15 months later, they want to strip me of that freedom. The "hand" is evident: those persons filed the request for the injunction. I have no idea if the book has started to be apprehended, the fact is that it hadn't been sold for months and now it seems to be sold out.

How many copies have been sold?

I don't know the number of copies that have been sold, it seems that those persons know more than I do, they must hold privileged information.

If your appeal wins, do you intend to sue the judge who prohibited the sale of your book, and the McCanns, over the damages?

As you know, it is not yet possible, in this democratic, lawful country, to notify judicial decisions through the media, at least when those affect and restrict fundamental rights. I will not pronounce myself about the illustrious judge, because I respect, obey and believe in the judicial system, and mainly because I do not know the fundament and the contents of the decision. As far as the authors of the injunction are concerned, I will exercise my rights, whether in a civil or in a criminal court.

When you mention limitations on the freedom of expression in Portugal, are you solely referring to your case, or also to other recent cases, like that of TVI? Or the processes that were filed against "bloggers" who disturbed the socialist power, especially José Sócrates?

It's not me that says it, it's the politicians who speak about an asphyxia of democracy in this 21st century Portugal, 35 years after the [revolution of the] 25th of April. There are limitations to the freedom of expression, there are journalists who are prevented from informing, this is a tragic reality. On the other hand, I do not point my finger at any specific party, the limitations come from those in power, who are possibly disturbed by the objectivity and the freedom that assists those who write and who have the duty to inform. As an attentive citizen, my opinion is that the concentration and the monopoly of the media have prompted a crisis and are limiting the freedom of information, of opinion and of expression. The journalists have become employees of corporations, more interested in profit than in informing (maybe not in its entirety, but it is close).

Has anyone at the PJ shown his or her solidarity with what has happened to you?

My friends stand with me. As far as others are concerned, it needs to be recalled that the PJ, just like other institutions, is going through an electoral period and some fear changes, therefore no major solidarity should be expected from there.

When will the English version of the book be launched?

It will be launched, that is all that I can tell you right now.

Do you think it was a mere coincidence, the fact that the judge who decided over the apprehension of your book was the same who condemned the Portuguese State to pay 131 thousand euro of compensation to Paulo Pedroso?

I trust the judicial system and its independence, therefore I'm not commenting on the coincidence, which is probably just that, but we are attentive.

Don't you think that there is a personal persecution against you, after you saw your pretension to run for mayor for the Algarve's PSD, dismissed?

That's a good question. Two or three days before the president of PSD vetoed my name, the now author of the injunction was in Lisbon. According to what is being said, he met with his then lawyer and with a politician from that party. We are interested in confirming said meeting and its relation with the decision that affected my civil right to be elected.

What hidden interests – masonry, national and international political lobbies – are moving in order to set you up?

I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, there may be coincidences concerning the people who are trying to destroy me, but on the other hand, I have been receiving support from people who are connected to the masonry. I do not believe in any concerted effort to destroy me, this is something personal, not organised.

Should Maddie's parents worry about the fact that Gonçalo Amaral mentioned that he is going to continue, in private, to investigate the case of the disappearance of little Maddie? What passage of your book may have disturbed them most?

The authors of the injunction are worried about the fact that I am a rather experienced criminal investigator. My book tells about that experience and knowledge. Many books have been published about the little girl's disappearance, some more aggressive and more violent, but written by journalists, and they were not targeted by any injunction. The authors of the injunction fear my knowledge and my experience.

One of the new facts that have already been revealed by our newspaper – and that was also mentioned during the McCanns' interview with Oprah Winfrey – concerns a blanket that disappeared from the Ocean Club and that, allegedly, was used as a shroud during a funeral. Could that be one of the worries for those who persist in preventing the discovery of the entire truth about what happened to little Maddie?

I'll explain: this child, like so many others of her age, slept with a certain blanket and with a certain soft toy. During that interview that you mention, the interviewer spoke to the mother, saying that she knew about her concern in knowing if the abductor covered her with "her blanket". So far, nothing much. Now notice this, the blanket was left behind when the disappearance happened. There is documentation that proves that it was not taken with her, and there is no known testimony saying that it was seen when she was being carried away in a man's arms.

What is being asked is the following: Was this a gaffe by the interviewer? Was "her blanket" the one that was left behind? How did "her blanket" go back to the child? These are the questions that need an answer and at the very least, they may indicate that there is something wrong.

Is there any other fact in the process that should be investigated further?

Yes. To find out why the soft toy that the little girl used the most – and that was later used by Kate McCann in all of her public appearances – was washed before the sniffer dogs, that are experts in detecting cadaver odour, arrived in Portugal.

Do you continue to defend that the key to the mystery lies in Aldeia da Luz?

We have no doubts whatsoever. That is where the little girl disappeared from and where she was seen for the last time. A reconstruction is still necessary.

Does this episode of the veto on the book give you strength to proceed with your investigation, or to publish more books about this case?

They want to destroy me. They started out by attacking my good name, my honour and my professional pride. Now they want to attack my patrimony, apart from affecting my civil rights, the freedom of expression and of opinion. What is still left is freedom and life, will the next step be an attack against those? I have reasons to be afraid, but they won't shut me up, and this sad and worrying episode will give me strength to proceed and to contribute towards the discovery of the truth and the fulfilment of justice. God protect me, but they won't shut me up.

Attorney General receives information that may reopen the Maddie case

We have been informed that psychologist Paulo Sargento, a regular commentator of the Maddie case on television, has sent the Republic's Attorney General a letter with information that may reopen the "Maddie case" process.

Although he declined to reveal the contents of this letter, he advanced that there is something "very important" concerning the cuddle cat (Maddie's soft toy, that Kate often carried with her during her media appearances), an object which, as has been made public, was positively signalled with cadaver odour by the sniffer dogs. Together with "Maddie's blanket", the pink soft toy may be a starting point to reopen the process "at a time when, apart from an attempt to silence Gonçalo Amaral, through an injunction against his book 'The Truth about the Lie', a shameful picture of an attack on the family of the former inspector, by the British media, is starting to emerge," the psychologist told Semanário Privado.

Gonçalo Amaral: "The executive power is increasing its influence over the judicial", 25 February 2010
Gonçalo Amaral: "The executive power is increasing its influence over the judicial" Campeão das Províncias

Gonçalo Amaral

By Benedita Oliveira
Thursday, 25 February 2010 09:54
Thanks to Astro for translation

This Friday evening, Gonçalo Amaral will be in Coimbra, invited by "Campeão das Províncias". The former Polícia Judiciária inspector will lead the second session of the "Province Evenings" cycle that takes place at the restaurant of the Coimbra camping park, in Portela.

In an interview to our newspaper, Gonçalo Amaral regrets that the "performance of justice is dangerously slipping into media exposure" and that there is an increasing "baleful influence of executive power over judicial power".

Campeão das Províncias (CP) – Could one say that you are a 'beirão' [a native of the Portuguese region of Beiras] who is impelled by determination?

Gonçalo Amaral (GA) – There are no doubts left about that. I was born in Beira Alta (Torredeita – Viseu), I came to Lisbon at a young age, within a migratory movement that populated the capital. Nevertheless, I never lost my origins and my roots, and I never stopped being in touch with the region and with its inhabitants. I am proud to have been born in Beira and to have apprehended its stance in life, a very determined stance that has nothing to do with obsession.

CP – You have always bet on academic education throughout your career. Are you a man of diversified interests?

GA – I am a simple and humble man with strong beliefs. I defend principles and values that should shape our society, like the search for material truth and the performance of justice. My interests, while diversified, are based on respect and solidarity with other people, with a good dose of common sense.

CP – How would you describe the period during which you were a PJ inspector?

GA – It was a period of learning and a great contribution towards the performance and the making of the principles that I mentioned above. We are aware of the fact that we serve the State and society.

CP – Do you have an unfulfilled dream?

GA – I have the dream of actively contributing towards the well-being and the fulfilment of dreams of helpless, abandoned, mistreated and abused children. I believe that I still have a strong contribution to make in that area, which may include creating a foundation to support those children, and possibly teenagers in our country.

CP – Do you feel penalized or the victim of injustice with all the media exposure from the Maddie case?

GA – No! Unfortunately, I am starting to understand that the performance of justice is dangerously slipping into media exposure. Which is not good for justice.

CP – Were you surprised about the McCann couple's commitment to remove your book about the case, from the market?

GA – The timing of the injunction was surprising. I remind you of the fact that in August of 2008, the couple stated that my book was innocuous, that it brought nothing new and that they weren't thinking about suing anyone. It is legitimate to ask why they did it one year later, when the book wasn't selling anymore.

CP – The child's parents allege that there are several leads that were not followed. Do you think the reopening of the process is possible?

GA – The child's parents talk about pseudo leads, that are always related to the abduction theory. I remind you that they "demanded" the archiving of the process, in 2008, when they were arguidos, merely to defend their image. They are not interested in the reopening of the process or of the investigation, where all hypotheses remain open, from a voluntary disappearance up to homicide, like the Public Ministry mentions in the archiving dispatch. They are only interested in the defence of their image.

CP – Do you still consider that Portugal is a country with freedom of expression?

GA – Portugal is a country with freedom of expression, insofar as there is no previous censorship or editorial prohibitions that emanate from the State's executive body, which is to say, our governments, after the [revolution of] 25th of April [1974], did not create any institutions that limit the exercise of freedom of expression. Nonetheless, the judicial system, through injunctions, has been the target of attempts to limit freedom of expression, through the tenebrous instrument that is an injunction. This juridical instrument allows for the limitation of fundamental rights without the possibility of contradiction, which becomes baleful for our democracy.

CP – What is your opinion about the Portuguese judicial system?

GA – The justice system has serious problems of inefficiency and inefficacy. On the other hand, within the model of separation of powers, there is an increase in a baleful influence of the executive power over the judicial power. The independence and the irresponsibility of the judicial magistrates is at stake, because of some media exposed cases, with premature changes in the penal and penal process laws.

CP – Does Portugal have the necessary means for an effective combat against corruption?

GA – I think it does! Over the last few decades, there have been significant advances in the anti-corruption legislation. The problem does not lay in the creation of new criminal types, like that case of illicit enrichment. The question is the investigation method. Criminal investigation of corruption has to be pro-active, one cannot await the criminal action and then "go out to search for kilos and kilometres of papers" to analyse. It will be effective and efficient to start the investigation before the action, and to seek the end of said investigation with a possible detention in flagrant offence.

Gonçalo Amaral will appeal the decision

The former Polícia Judiciária inspector will appeal the sentence that maintains the prohibition to sell the book "Maddie – The Truth of the Lie". Gonçalo Amaral has classified the decision as "fully out of frame" and considered that the sentence is a reflection of "the state that freedom of expression is in, in Portugal".

The book defends the thesis of Kate and Gerry McCann's involvement in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, in the Algarve, in May 2007.

The former Polícia Judiciária inspector has devalued the decision, noting that the trial was "one more step" in the fight that he holds in Justice, with the McCann couple.

Admitting that he is suffering "a persecution" by the British couple, who has filed other lawsuits against him, Gonçalo Amaral advanced that he is willing to go up to the European Court of Human Rights.

When he was removed from the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral has placed a full stop on his career at the police, with the purpose of reacquiring the plenitude of his freedom of expression about the case.

The book "Maddie – The Truth of the Lie" was removed from the market approximately one year after it was launched, due to the injunction that was requested by the McCann couple, and granted in a provisory way on the 9th of September, 2009.

Publishing house Guerra & Paz, TVI and Valentim de Carvalho, that sold the video with a documentary that was broadcast by the television station, will also appeal the sentence.

Gonçalo Amaral: "The McCanns did not oppose the archiving of the process", 25 February 2010
Gonçalo Amaral: "The McCanns did not oppose the archiving of the process" O Crime (appears in paper edition only)

O Crime, 25 February 2010

25 February 2010
Thanks to Mercedes for scan/article

Interview: Carlos Saraiva / Oscar Queiroz

The former head of the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie considers it advantageous to reopen the process and admits that this approach may shed light on the fate of the English child.

"O Crime" - During the trial of the temporary injunction of your book, the existence of a confidential report from the National Policy Investigation Agency was cited. Is it the same as mentioned in the "Maddie process"?

Gonçalo Amaral:
It is. It is one of several British police agencies, but with a particularity: the NPIA, is the one which has behavioural analysts.

This is a private agency?

No, it is not a private detective agency. It's as official as Scotland Yard. Moreover, they had already said that this report existed; realized on the advice of the police.

Under what circumstances and what emerges? Who commissioned the report?

No one ordered it, I think. It was their own initiative (the British), initiated as soon as they arrived, shortly after the disappearance of the girl.

And what does that report say?

It speaks of several hypotheses but, as you know, I cannot speak, I have been banned.

It was annexed to the investigation based on the assumption that some of the information was relevant? Which?

I do not know if I can respond to that. I think this report is important, it concludes by saying that you cannot set aside the hypothesis of... And it is true that whilst there is no evidence of the involvement of certain people, the fact remains that there is no evidence of an abduction. And indeed, no one has ever presented proof of the abduction. I recall that the facts in the book relate to the first 6 months of the investigation, while I participated. It was a situation where we had the support of the MP [Public Ministry]. In other words, until that time, the status of the investigation was in accordance with the Public Ministry. Later there was a change of mind, so it seems from the archiving despatch. The despatch is just an opinion of the Public Ministry, not a declaration of innocence.

Why do you think that the ruling banning the sale of your book was somehow unfavourable to the McCanns?

Because, basically, what the lady Judge said in her statement is that the book "The Truth of the Lie" tells facts, though, she says, out of context; they do not coincide with the final opinion of the Public Ministry. Apparently, the opinion of the Public Ministry is sacred. Though only in my case. In the "Hidden Face" case, the public prosecutor's opinion of Aveiro did not even serve to open the investigation. This country is a disgrace!

Generically, what could be argued in the appeal?

I am not going to answer that, obviously. What I can advance is that my lawyers say there is sufficient material for recourse.

There is news of a criminal complaint by Robert Murat against Jane Tanner, one of the friends of the McCanns. She was questioned at the time of the investigation?

That process exists, yes, I was even heard as a witness. Tanner was questioned in the Maddie process yes, as a witness. First she said she saw Murat at the scene, recognized him by the way he walked. And then she said other things, later on. Besides there was a diligence in which she said that yes, it was him, and there were later recognitions and a witness confrontation carried out between them, with Murat, in which they said it was him.

Who are they?

Those who I remember, besides Jane Tanner, were her husband and the wife of Oldfield. They faced a confrontation with Mr Murat.

And how would you evaluate her testimony [Jane Tanner]?

As I said, she, at first, said she saw him at the scene. Then she began to retract it, saying that, after all, she had recognized him through an Indentikit picture. For several months, she came to recognize a number of people, through Identikit pictures. This speaks for itself about the credibility of her statements. Yet in the investigation there is a moment, a confrontation between the people previously mentioned, who say that Murat was there at the time the alarm was raised. That, and other things, is what has motivated the libel suit that Murat has brought against Ms. Tanner.

Do you agree with the possible reopening of the "Maddie process"?

That is what I have advocated since it was archived. Now, they do not advocate that. If they wanted, they have ways of opposing the archiving, specifically calling for the reopening of the investigation. What they want is that the police (here) follow the leads, sightings that are sent from England. They act as if the girl was a Portuguese citizen and not a British subject.

Do you fear for your heritage, given the possibility of a civil conviction for 1.2 million that the English couple demand?

I do not think compensation will be paid. Anyway, what little I have is embargoed.

Do you think this case will, over the years, become a mystery without being solved?

I think it can be solved. When they reopen the process and the trails which are there are investigated, I think it will be solved.

Miguel Sousa Tavares interviews Gonçalo Amaral, 28 February 2010
Miguel Sousa Tavares interviews Gonçalo Amaral SIC

Sinais de Fogo

Published: 28-02-2010 21:52
Thanks to
Astro for article

Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ inspector and author of "The Truth of the Lie", about the Maddie case, is the guest of Miguel Sousa Tavares in the second edition of Signs of Fire. Watch this Monday, on SIC, shortly after Jornal da Noite.

Miguel Sousa Tavares interviews Gonçalo Amaral (video)

McCanns left Portugal when the Cadaver Dogs arrived, says Gonçalo Amaral SIC

SIC interview, 01 March 2010

Published: 01-03-2010 23:32 | Last updated: 01-03-2010 23:41
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation

The former coordinator of the Judiciary Police Gonçalo Amaral was interviewed this Monday night by Miguel Sousa Tavares in SIC's program "Fire Signals". Following the injunction of the book "Maddie - The Truth of the Lie", Gonçalo Amaral speaks of the investigation and casts more suspicion on Kate and Gerry.

"The McCann couple spoke about leaving on the same day that the English dogs arrived in Portugal and after the McCanns knew the capabilities of those dogs. Full stop", he stated categorically.

Despite the insistence by Miguel Sousa Tavares in questioning what difference would the presence in the country of Maddie's parents do to the investigation carried out with the aid of sniffer dogs, Gonçalo Amaral declined to clarify the relationship between the two issues.

The English dogs that were in Praia da Luz detected cadaver odour in the car used by the McCann couple during their stay in the Algarve and one of the dogs signalled blood odour in the boot of the car.

The former Judiciary Police Inspector defended himself several times during the interview with the injunction that was imposed by the court, which obliges him to silence with regards to the thesis that is defended in the book "Maddie - The Truth of the Lie".

In the book, Gonçalo Amaral defends the thesis of the involvement of Kate and Gerry McCann in the disappearance of their daughter in May 2007, from an apartment in a tourist resort in Praia da Luz, Algarve.

As coordinator of the Criminal Investigation Department of the PJ of Portimão, Gonçalo Amaral joined the team of investigators who tried to find out what happened to Madeleine.

Kate and Kerry McCann, who always maintained the position that Maddie was kidnapped, were constituted arguidos in September 2007, but were eventually acquitted in July 2008 for lack of evidence to support the hypothesis advanced by the investigation of the accidental death of the girl.

The McCanns Innocence

"I sleep well rested do you know why?", answered Gonçalo Amaral to Miguel Sousa Tavares when he suggested the scenario of the possible innocence of the McCanns 'versus' the possibility of having lost their daughter and still having to overcome the fact that they are suspects in her disappearance.

"It was the McCanns who conformed with the archival of the process", he said.

Insults from the English

At the end of the interview, Gonçalo Amaral, who had brought with him a paper where he had noted down all of the offences to which he was a target from the English media, read them, justifying thus the controversial book as "an exercise of his right of Freedom of Expression" : "I was called 148 times 'torturer'; 45 times 'bungler'; 37 times 'incompetent'; 23 times 'imbecile cop', and 220 times 'sacked'."

"I haven't lost my dignity", 20 December 2010
"I haven't lost my dignity" Nova Gente (paper edition)

Gonçalo Amaral and family, Christmas 2010

The former inspector spends Christmas with his wife, his daughters and his parents-in-law. He tells 'Nova Gente' that he will not give up on finding out "the truth" about Maddie.

By Alexandra Ferreira
20 December 2010
Thanks to Astro for translation

For a year, he was silent due to the injunction that had been filed against him by the McCann couple, for all copies of 'Maddie – The Truth of the Lie' to be taken off the shelves in bookshops. Nonetheless, he never gave up and appealed to the Appeals Court, which in October overturned the prohibition to sell the book and the video that was produced from a TVI documentary, because "it does not offend the McCanns' fundamental rights", further stating that Gonçalo Amaral's freedom of expression is protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. At the time, the English couple also demanded compensation in the amount of 1.2 million euro, over statements that they consider to be libellous. For the former PJ coordinator and his wife, Sofia Leal, those were months of suffocation that forced them to make some changes, namely to perform cuts to their family budget, in the education of their daughters, who left the school where they were studying due to the financial difficulties that the couple faces.

"The exile that I was subject to is coming to an end, I have not lost my dignity or my integrity and I feel strong enough to intervene, in a more active way, in the search for truth and in the performance of justice," Gonçalo clarifies, adding that this was a complicated year. "It wasn't easy, actually nothing has been easy since I retired from the Judiciary Police and decided, at my own cost and risk, to affront instituted powers within the search for the truth," he mentions. "The seizing of assets remains unsolved because it took place outside of the injunction. The losses, financial and others, have yet to be counted, there has been extensive damage, but we continue to believe in justice. We have been living with the support of family and friends, who have never abandoned us," reveals the former police officer, who resides in a rented apartment in Portimão with his wife, his daughters and the cat, Bolachinha [Cookie].

Gonçalo Amaral and Sofia Leal defend a family Christmas and insist on keeping the tradition of the 'Presépio do Menino ao Alto' [Nativity of the Child on the Height] alive, which dates back to the Middle Ages. "In the Algarve, it's he who brings the presents and it's to the Child that children pray every day of the year. On the 8th of December, the day of ‘Nossa Senhora da Conceição’ [Our Lady of Conception], the 'searinhas' [little corn fields] or 'cabeleiras' [wigs] are sown. Those are wheat seeds, which are placed in small containers, under the bed, where it’s dark and warm. Nine days before Christmas, a chest of drawers is 'dressed' with the finest needlework that one owns and a stepped throne is built. Then, the 'cabeleiras' are placed, symbols of abundance, as well as the oranges and the pomegranates. Finally, Baby Jesus is placed on top of the throne. It's a very emotional moment, where the family all comes together. While my father says the prayers, my mother and I finish arranging the throne, the girls place the fruits and in the end Gonçalo places Baby Jesus. On the Kings' Day, we take the 'cabeleiras' into the field and sow them into the earth. That's the Algarve's mixture of the sacred and the profane. We also build the common Nativity, as it was created by St. Francis of Assisi, but with a very Portuguese touch: with clay figures that are placed on a base of cork and moss, with water streams, fountains, sheep and a little rock," the wife of the former PJ coordinator explains.

The season has almost always the same taste to the Amaral family. "Christmas Eve supper and Christmas Day lunch are the most important meals in the year. Therefore, on the 1st of December, the women in the family gather to decide on the menu, the dinnerware, the linen, the details...", she says, adding that they spend Christmas in Portimão with her parents, her sister, her brother-in-law and the neighbours.

In a conversation with 'Nova Gente', Gonçalo said that the McCanns continue to attack him: "What they are trying to do to me is not only to limit my civic and constitutional rights. They try my civil assassination, to destroy my life, not allowing the exercise of any licit activity, or for me to comply with the existing compromises and those of my family," he explains, stressing that "while limiting my freedom of expression, they have destroyed the firm that I had created, they tried to forbid my access to the Lawyers' Orders' stay, and they have seized assets and income sources," he says, justifying that everything was done "under the banner of searching for a mysteriously disappeared child, who is probably dead – as the Public Ministry says -, people and their relatives are being destroyed. One has to say that this is not catholic at all, coming from people who say they are so religious and pious. This is not how they will find the child!"

Gonçalo Amaral says that he will wait to read the book that the McCanns are writing. "It's being said that the book is an aid to find their daughter. As it will only be published towards the end of April, we can conclude that until then, their daughter won't be found."


The Appeals Court agreed with Gonçalo Amaral, and that was a "beautiful moment" that was used to plan the future. "The books remain illegally with their keeper, the McCanns' lawyer, and I doubt that they still exist. Now, it is up to Guerra e Paz to ensure that the Appeals Court's decision concerning the book 'Maddie – The Truth of the Lie' is fulfilled." All in all, "over 120,000 copies have been sold", and the book was translated for France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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