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The Joana Case *


Joana Isabel Cipriano Guerreiro
Joana Isabel Cipriano Guerreiro

Just 17 days after Madeleine is reported missing, the UK press seek to connect the two cases...
Further reading:
The Joana Case (1) - the background (this page)
The Joana Case (2) - the trial begins
The Joana Case (3) - the trial continues
The Joana Case (4) - the trial continues
The Joana Case (5) - the verdict

A brief background to the Joana Case

By Nigel Moore
25 May 2009

Joana Cipriano disappeared from the village of Figueira, near Portimao, on 12 September 2004 and was later assumed to have been murdered, though her body has never been found. She was eight-years-old.

The investigation into her disappearance ended with the conviction of Leonor and Joao Cipriano, Joana's mother and uncle, for her murder.

The prosecution claimed that Joana was killed because she saw her mother, Leonor Cipriano, and her mother's brother, Joao Cipriano, having sex. This was in accordance with the testimony of the stepfather of Leandro Silva, the common-law husband of Leonor Cipriano.

On the surface, the case of Joana Cipriano bears little or no relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. However, the UK press have consistently sought to link the two, primarily due to the claims of Joana's mother that she was tortured at the hands of a number of PJ inspectors in order to obtain a confession and frame her for the death of her daughter. The PJ inspectors were working under Gonçalo Amaral at the time of the alleged incident.

The trial of the PJ inspectors revealed many attempts by Leonor Cipriano's lawyer to discredit Gonçalo Amaral, both professionally and personally. The lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correia - who previously hit the headlines when he organised an underwater seach for Madeleine's body at the Arade Dam, in Portugal - has admitted that Metodo3 ordered him to do "an investigation" into the accusation of torture but he denies he is being paid just to frame Gonçalo Amaral.

The trial concluded on 22 May 2009 with Gonçalo Amaral receiving an 18-month custodial sentence, suspended for the same length of time, for misrepresentation of evidence. He was acquitted of the charge of failing to report a crime.

All defendants who were accused of the crime of torture - Paulo Pereira Cristóvao, Leonel Marques and Paulo Marques Bom - were acquitted.

The inspector António Cardoso, accused of the crime of forgery of a document, was sentenced to two years and three months, also suspended.

Following the delivery of the verdict, Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correia, said: "Target was hit, Gonçalo Amaral was convicted".

Portugal's silent child victims, 20 October 2005
Portugal's silent child victims Algarve Resident

Updated: 20-Oct-2005

Leonor and João Cipriano, mother and uncle of Joana, stood silently and without emotion during the hearing at Portimão's courthouse.

PORTUGAL HAS been racked by soul-searching as two high profile cases involving child abuse and child murder again figure prominently in the national media, reports The Resident's Gabriel Hershman.

Last week saw the trial of the alleged murderers of Joana Cipriano, an eight-year-old girl who disappeared from her Algarve home more than a year ago. This coincided with another important development in a separate case – the impending release of Carlos Silvino, the former driver at the Casa Pia children's home, from where children were allegedly 'supplied' to prominent people for sex. The Casa Pia case rocked Portugalto its foundations when it first broke three years ago. The news that a child sex ring had been operating out of the state-run children's home prompted solemn interventions from President Sampaio, who said he was determined that there should be a thorough investigation. "The impunity, which for decades on end has brought shame on us all, will finally end," he told the nation in 2003.

During the investigation police questioned a senior Socialist politician and two of the country's most famous TV stars, as well as doctors and lawyers. Carlos Silvino, or 'Bibi' as the press refer to him, was the 'whistleblower' whose incriminating testimony ensured it was brought before the courts.

Casa Pia, founded in 1870, has cared for some of the country's most vulnerable children, including the deaf and the blind. The sense of disempowerment surrounding the abused children only served to intensify national revulsion. At the time, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a social commentator and former head of the Social Democrats, said that the whole process had prompted a sombre self-appraisal. "Portuguese society looked in the mirror and said 'we are ugly'."

Pedro Namora, now a lawyer and former inmate of Casa Pia, says the lives of many of the child victims have been ruined. "Many of my friends from that time are dead. Some of them killed themselves. Others were addicts and overdosed. Many are in jail and some are down and out," he revealed.

The case of Joana Cipriano highlights serious omissions on the part of authorities who failed to spot that the little girl was being exploited and neglected. According to a neighbour of the girl, Joana seemed unnaturally mature for her age. "She has a bearing and an attitude greatly beyond her years. Instead of playing with other children, she seems to spend her time taking care of her two little brothers." Another neighbour described her as the "Cinderella" of the household, seen at all times of the day and night in the village, running errands for her family.

Although the cases are different, they both highlight the silent nature of the mistreatment of children. Perhaps the revelations in both instances are all the more shocking in a conservative country like Portugal where family ties are deemed to be stronger than in Northern Europe and where children are supposedly more valued.

Court hears Joana's horror story

Onlookers in the public gallery screamed abuse at the mother and uncle of Joana Cipriano as they were ferried to and from court.

The case, which has shocked the nation with its account of incest, murder and desecration, took just three days to be tried. The Public Ministry has pressed for jail terms of 24 years for the defendants, who are charged with qualified murder, as well as desecrating and concealing a body.

Joana disappeared, presumed murdered, in the Algarve village of Figueira, near Portimao. She was last seen buying food from a nearby café on the evening of September 12 last year. Prosecutors charge that she came home to find her mother, 34-year-old Leonor Cipriano, and her uncle, 32-year-old Joao Cipriano, having sex. Fearful that Joana would relate the incident to her stepfather, they allege that the couple decided to kill her. The prosecution also said that the couple had repeatedly mistreated Joana, recounting that she was little more than a "servant" in her own household.

The court heard a catalogue of horrifying details, including an earlier video taped confession from Joana's uncle in which he related the circumstances of his niece's murder. This video testimony is now the subject of an appeal from the defence team who claim it should be excluded because the couple exercised their right to remain silent during the trial. In the taped confession, Joao Cipriano said he and his sister hit Joana who then banged her head against a wall before collapsing, unconscious, onto the floor. Joao Cipriano claimed that he had wanted to call an ambulance but that his sister prevented him, telling him instead to go to Joana's stepfather and inform him that she had disappeared.

Mother had appealed for daughter's return

Her mother made subsequent public appeals for her daughter's safe return, claiming that she had been kidnapped. But authorities began to suspect the couple after villagers noted their allegedly offhand reaction to Joana's disappearance. Local shopkeeper Nidia Rochato remembered that Leonor neither cried nor seemed unduly concerned. When she commented on this to her, Leonor reportedly replied that she believed that her daughter was still alive.

The absence of a corpse delayed the arraignment process but the Public Ministry were able to indict the couple following statements from neighbours. Investigators also gathered forensic evidence at the house where Joana lived with her mother, stepfather and two brothers.

A total of 45 witnesses, mostly relatives and villagers, testified in court between Wednesday and Friday of last week. Four jurors (one man and three women) and three judges will decide the verdict. The opinions of the jurors – a 20-year-old student, a physiotherapist, a library employee and a waitress – will carry the same weight as the judges.

Joana's uncle had contempt for human life

Leonor and Joao Cipriano, who have been held on remand for over a year, stood silently and without emotion as they heard prosecutor José Pinheiro outline his case. He described Joao Cipriano as a man who "has contempt for human life, psychopathic tendencies and difficulty in controlling impulses". Pinheiro also castigated Joana's mother for her "emotional instability, insensitivity and disregard for other people's needs". Only when Pinheiro announced that he was pressing for a 24-year jail term for both defendants did Leonor show emotion, sobbing uncontrollably.

Pinheiro explained why his team was pressing for such a long sentence. "The defendants' guilt is heightened by their cold and calculating behaviour after their child's death, as well as the devious manoeuvres they adopted to conceal the crime," he said.

The trial included key testimony from Joana's stepfather, António Leandro, who related that Leonor had confided to him that she had had a sexual relationship with her brother. He also told the court that during this conversation, which took place a few days after Joana's disappearance, at judicial police headquarters, Leonor had admitted that she and her brother had killed the little girl.

A key element of the prosecution's case rests on the fact that the couple dismembered the girl's corpse. António Leandro, confronted with photographs of tools allegedly used by the couple, said he recognised a saw he had kept at home. In the video taped confession, Joao Cipriano admitted that the body of the girl was dismembered and placed in a refrigerated trunk. A doctor involved in the case, Albino Santana dos Santos, conceded that body parts, matching the size of a girl of Joana's height, could have been stuffed inside the trunk.

Defence team challenges evidence

Despite the evidence, Joao Grado, Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, still pressed for her acquittal, describing the evidence as "miserable". Joao Cipriano's lawyer, Sara Rosado, reminded the court that Joana's body had never been found and dismissed the prosecution's version of events. "Joao Cipriano has an intelligence level considerably lower than the average. How is it possible that such a person could deceive everyone for so long?" she asked the court.

But prosecutors disagreed, describing the case as a "veritable horror story that proves that reality really does surpass fiction". "Nobody can say that they wanted to kill her when they hit. But later when they persisted, they knew that she was going to die. Their guilt is absolute – the victim was a minor, the daughter and niece of the defendants," they told the court. A verdict in the case is due on November 11.

Bibi's freedom raises fears on both sides

A judicial decision to release Carlos Silvino, the former driver for the Casa Pia children's home, is causing alarm among some Lisbon residents.

Silvino, or 'Bibi' as he is known, is accused of multiple crimes while he worked at the home. He faces a total of 604 counts of crimes of a sexual nature against 32 inmates and ex-inmates of the institution.

Judge Ana Peres, who is presiding over the ongoing Casa Pia trial, has ordered Silvino's release on November 25. By that date, Silvino will have served three years as a remand prisoner, the maximum period permitted by law.

Silvino will be unable to leave the Lisbon area, will be obliged to surrender his passport and will have to report regularly to police. He is likely to be placed under a special witness protection programme because his role as a Casa Pia 'whistleblower' is integral to the whole process.

Silvino's lawyer, José Maria Martins, has revealed that, although his client is happy to be freed, he is also concerned for his own safety because of the assistance he has provided to prosecutors. "Silvino has collaborated with the authorities, revealing some of the facts that he knows about the other defendants. And, for this reason alone, he is a prime target," he said. Martins added that there were many other facts that Silvino had still not disclosed about the case.

It seems unlikely that Silvino would choose to return to his old home in the capital's Rua Alberto de Sousa. But, should he do so, some neighbours are promising to make life difficult for him. Others expressed fears that Silvino, currently held in isolation in a Lisbon prison, would pose a threat to children. "We have to go to work and leave our children here. How are things going to be from now on? We are afraid. He has no business coming here," said one resident. Another man promised trouble if he saw Silvino walking down a street. "Locals are disgusted. He is going to get a punch in the face," he warned.

Carlos Silvino was first detained by police on November 25, 2002, and has been held on remand ever since. The Casa Pia trial began exactly two years later and is expected to last well into next year.

'Joana case' ruling - Supreme Court of Justice, 20 April 2006
'Joana case' ruling - Supreme Court of Justice

Today, we start the publication of parts of the Supreme Court's ruling that reviewed the trial of Leonor and Joao Cipriano, condemning them to 16 years in prison over the death of Joana Isabel Cipriano Guerreiro.

These are, according to the initial trial, the facts that were proved in court, and those that were not:

12 July 2009 | Posted by Astro


9. Matter of fact according to the appealed court

9. 1. Facts considered to be proved:

a) the arguidos are siblings;

b) the arguido AA [Joao Cipriano] has never held a regular job or residence, living inside a vehicle or at his siblings' house, surviving on occasional jobs that he performed on diverse locations;

c) the arguido AA expresses contempt for human life – a result of a poor social adjustment and affective coldness – and has anti-social/psychopathic tendencies with a difficulty to control his impulses, which leads him to be aggressive, trying to solve conflicts through said aggressiveness, feeling no remorse for the consequences of the actions that he thus performs, despising other people's rights, wishes or feelings;

d) through a ruling that has been validated in court, and given on 10.11.1993, arguido AA was condemned to a 4-year prison sentence over the practice, on 2.10.1992, of a crime of attempted homicide, (...). Said ruling includes that the arguido was convinced, by a third party that lived with one of the arguido's sisters (GG) to take the life of another person who had left him blind, in exchange for 20.000$00 and a motorbike (...);

e) the arguida BB [Leonor Cipriano] manifests socially deviant behaviour at the level of norms, values and responsibilities, emotional instability and difficulties in expressing frustration, while her socialisation was marked by immature, superficial and narcissistic interpersonal relationships, where characteristics of manipulation (to satisfy her own needs) and aggressiveness (of mainly sadistic tonality) are stand out, while in her personality the absence of empathy and the insensibility are salient, leading to the arguida's despise for other people's rights, needs and sentiments, directing her aggressiveness towards them, with a weak capacity to feel remorse. She possesses a borderline personality with anti-social/psychopathic, narcissistic and schizoid traits;

f) the arguida BB, who has six children from five relationships, has been showing some lack of interest in her elder children, throughout her life;

g) concerning her eldest daughter, EE, who presently lives with her father and grandmother in Olhao, she left her there at the age of 11 months, never cared for her again, and didn't ask about her, for 14 years;

h) her second child, FF, who lived with his paternal grandmother and presently lives with a paternal aunt, in Messines, was also left by her to the father, and she never cared for him again;

i) the fourth child, HH, who presently lives with his father in Porches, was left home alone by the arguido BB at the age of 7 months, buckled to his chair, which is how he was found by neighbours who perceived the situation;

j) at that time, arguida BB started living with II [Leandro Silva], a relationship that produced two children, JJ and KK;

l) the third child that she bore was CC [Joana], who was born on 31.05.1996, a daughter of LL;

m) minor CC, in September 2004, was aged eight, being thin and measuring between 1,20 and 1,40 metres; (2)

n) minor CC was sometimes sad;

o) the arguida BB did not exercise any professional activity;

p) when the arguida was living with partner II, minor CC helped her mother with some home chores, as she sometimes helped to clean the house, took care of her younger siblings and went shopping;

q) before arguida BB moved in with her partner II, she wanted to stop having CC under her care, and left her, at the age of 5 months, with her father, LL – with whom she had no relationship since the beginning of the pregnancy – who ended up 'returning' her 2 days later, and later, she once more handed her over to the father, who didn't want to keep her;

r) in September 2003, arguida BB left CC under the care of a couple of persons with alcoholism problems and with a bed-ridden child that had an infecto-contagious illness, in a house with no conditions whatsoever, for 2 or 3 weeks;

s) on the first day of school for minor CC at the Primary School in Figueira, in the school year of 2003/2004, arguida BB didn't walk the minor to school, and CC arrived with a neighbour, whom she asked for help because she couldn't find the way;

t) on another occasion, the same neighbour took the minor to hospital, at a moment when she was visibly ill with a strong cough;

u) in the early morning of the 12th of September 2004, arguido AA, after a row with his brother UU, went to the arguida BB's house, taking his clothes with him, and during the 12th he stayed in that house, which is located in the village of Figueira – Mexilhoeira Grande, in the area of Portimao;

v) in the late afternoon of the 12th, his sister, arguida BB, and her children, CC, JJ and KK, returned home;

x) at around 8 p.m. on that 12th of September, arguida BB sent CC to buy a package of milk and two cans of food, at a shop called "Pastelaria...", in Figueira, at a distance of approximately 420 metres from the house;

z) the living room of the house where arguida BB lived, is located immediately after the main door and the door that offers access to the street has a handle on the outside that allows for direct entry into the residence;

aa) minor CC returned home from "Pastelaria...", where she had bought the aforementioned food products;

ab) at a certain point in time, due to a motive that has not been exactly established, both arguidos started, conjointly, to successively hit minor CC on the head, prompting her to hit her head on the wall's corner, being visible that she bled, from her mouth, her nose and her temple, due to the hits against the wall, which also caused the minor's fall and her death, thus ceasing the arguidos' activity;

ac) traces of blood from the minor remained on the living room's walls and floor, on various spots, and also near the entrance;

ad) the arguidos ensured that CC was dead, verifying that she neither breathed nor reacted, and then, not wanting to be held responsible over their daughter's and niece's death, decided to prevent said death from becoming known to others;

ae) therefore, they soon decided that they would have to ensure that the existence of any signs in the house of what they had just done could not be verified, that the minor's body would never be found and that, preferably, everyone would be convinced that the minor had been taken by a third party;

af) therefore, arguida BB remained at home, washing the wall and the floor that had signs of blood from CC, as well as the spot where the minor remained slumped after death, using a mop and its bucket to do so;

ag) and, as they knew that arguida BB's partner – II – and his friend, MM, were about to arrive at home, and could discover what had happened there if they arrived before the traces were cleaned, at around 9.30 p.m. arguido AA left, headed towards "Pastelaria...", where he met II and MM, who were already there, and whom he told that minor CC had not returned home;

ah) when the three of them returned home, arguida BB had already cleaned the existing blood marks, and equally mentioned that minor CC hadn't returned home after doing the shopping;

ai) confronted with what the arguida was saying, II and MM decided to go out and look for the minor, while the arguidos remained at home;

aj) the arguidos then decided, conjointly, to cut the minor's body in order to make it possible to store it in the deep freezer that existed in the living room;

al) to pursue that purpose, the arguidos provided themselves with a knife and a metal-cutting saw that were available inside the house, instruments that were apt to obtain the results that they intended, within approximately 30 minutes;

am) with said instruments, helping each other, the arguidos cut CC's body, separating the head from the torso and cutting the legs at the knee area;

an) each one of those body parts was placed inside plastic bags – the head in one, the torso and part of the legs in another and the two legs below the knee in a third one – and after they knotted up the opening of the bag that contained the head, they tried, at least, to place said bags inside the deep freezer's three compartments, leaving blood from the minor on several areas inside the deep freezer's second drawer;

ao) the arguidos did not place the shoes that the minor was wearing, inside the bags, and all the pairs of shoes that the minor was using that summer, stayed inside the house;

ap) as the minor had already been dead for approximately two hours, not a lot of blood left the body;

aq) between 10.30 and 11 p.m., the arguida BB joined her partner II and MM, to whom she reiterated that CC was missing, and only at that point in time did she go to "Pastelaria..." and asked the owner (NN) if CC had been there, then saying that she had disappeared;

ar) nevertheless, the arguida didn't inform the police authorities about anything, despite there being GNR officers on duty in Figueira, because a popular fair called "Mussels Party" was taking place, and it was the third person (NN) that did it by telephone, at around 0.44 a.m. on the 13th of September, when she heard that the arguida hadn't done so yet, and it was following said telephone call that the arguida ended up talking to GNR officers near the church in Figueira;

as) at that point in time the arguida said she hadn't phoned because she had no credit on her mobile phone;

at) later on, at around 2 a.m., the arguida bought cakes in a pastry shop in the same village;

au) on the morning of the 13th, the arguida BB went to the GNR Station, in Portimao, accompanied by arguido AA, where she filed a complaint over the disappearance of CC;

av) and through the intervention of third parties, relatives of her partner II, the alleged 'disappearance' truly started to be publicised, with the distribution of photographs of CC, because until then the arguidos had intended not to alert the authorities;

ax) at the end of the night of the 13th, the arguidos left the house together, carrying a bag;

az) the arguido AA remained at the arguida BB's house until the 14th, a time lapse during which the two arguidos, in a manner that was not possible to determine, transported CC's mortal remains to an unknown location, thus fulfilling the intention that they had proposed themselves to – to prevent the finding of said mortal remains – and those remains have not been found to this day, just as the cutting instruments, which the arguidos have hidden in an unknown location, haven't been found;

aaa) the arguida BB gave interviews to the media, trying to make believe that the minor had in fact disappeared, a version that she maintained in front of many of the people who were interested in the minor's destiny and questioned her about the matter;

aab) during those interviews about the case, arguida BB sometimes mentioned her daughter in the past tense and wore a black blouse;

aac) ticks, namely so-called "little leads" (ticks in their early adult phase) have receptors for chemical stimuli that are associated to temperature, which allow for them to detect the existence of blood-specific chemical compounds;

aad) on the 18th of September, arguida BB bought petrol and a steel scrub-cloth, with which she washed the house, thus seizing the opportunity to erase almost all vestiges of what had happened there, and only traces of human blood which had been contaminated by the products that were used, remained inside the house;

aae) through an indication from arguida BB, Policia Judiciaria agents went to the house of arguida BB's eldest daughter's paternal grandmother (EE), in Olhao, searching for CC, and also investigated if an individual of Moroccan nationality had taken the minor;

aaf) when presented to a clinical psychologist, within an examination that was performed within the process' scope, arguida BB mentioned the existence of neighbours of Brazilian nationality who might have taken CC with them, because they had two "good" cars and left the area on the same date on which the minor had "disappeared";

aag) following indications from arguido AA, PJ agents searched for CC's body in a brown earth embankment that is located near the road that accesses Mexilhoeira, then on other locations nearby, further away in Poço Barreto, in a wrecked car, in Silves, under the Arade River bridge;

aah) the arguidos managed to disturb the investigative activities and prevented the mortal remains of minor CC, whose life they took, from being located;

aai) the aforementioned activities were carried out by the arguidos under concerted efforts and intentions, in a deliberate, free and conscious manner, fully knowing that those behaviours are punished by law;

aaj) therefore as far as taking the life of CC, their direct relative (daughter and niece), is concerned, which they did by employing force, taking advantage of the fact that she couldn't defend herself (taking into account her age and physical build) and using force in the full knowledge that, considering the vital area in which her body was hit (the head) repeatedly and violently, prompting the minor's head to hit the wall, they could take her life away from her, a consequence which they accepted, still not ceasing their activity;

aal) not seeing as an obstacle the circumstance that the minor depended on her mother and was a direct relative of both, and should be defended instead of victimised by them;

aam) in the same deliberate, free and conscious manner, and knowing that such behaviour is punishable, they carried out the above described action of cutting CC's body, demonstrating total insensibility, knowing full well that, in this manner, they offended the communitarian respect that is due to the dead, acting with the purpose of CC's body never being found again, hiding it in a location that is not appropriated for the effect, in order to try to avoid responsibility for her death;

aan) the arguida BB has no criminal record;

aao) the arguido AA, apart from the above mentioned condemnation under item e), was further condemned, in 1995, under a sentence that has been validated in court, for the practise of a qualified theft, to a penalty, accumulating with the penalty that was imputed over the crime of attempted murder, of 3 years and 8 months in prison; in 2001, over the practise of a crime of illegal driving of a vehicle, he was condemned, under a sentence that has been validated in court, to a penalty of 90 days of fine; and in 2003, over the practise of a crime of illegal driving of a vehicle, he was condemned, under a sentence that has been validated in court, to a penalty of 6 months and 15 days in prison, which was suspended in its execution, in exchange for the compliance with conditions, a suspension that was later revoked;

aap) in terms of schooling, the arguida BB completed 3rd grade, never exercised any profession and married at the age of 18;

aaq) in terms of schooling, the arguido AA completed 4th grade and has worked since he left school, but always exercising undifferentiated services and without any contract;

aas) the arguidos were born within a large family (the parents and 9 siblings), where the father's alcoholic habits and the financial difficulties stood out.

9. 2. Facts considered not to be proved:

1- that the arguida BB, throughout her life, failed to provide her children with basic care, mistreating them;

2- that HH, arguida BB's son, was helped by neighbours;

3- that the arguida BB voted her daughter CC to disinterest and overloaded her with work, forcing her to carry out the domestic chores that she should perform but did not;

4- that the arguida BB abandoned CC, just like she had done with her other children;

5- that the second time when the arguida BB handed CC to her father, the minor was approximately aged 3;

6- that minor CC was a source of fighting between her mother, arguida BB, and the stepfather II, up to the point where she was threatened by them to be expelled from home;

7- that at around 8 p.m. on that 12th of September, when the two arguidos were alone, they decided to maintain sexual intercourse between them, being that BB's minor children were no impediment for that action, because they were asleep in a room, but CC could not watch such actions;

8- that when CC left the house, the arguidos started to copulate with each other, on the living room sofa, and that they were still having intercourse when the minor returned home;

9- that upon seeing what her mother and uncle were doing, minor CC said that she was going to tell her stepfather that they were "doing dirty things", and tried to leave the house;

10- that the arguidos got up from the sofa, heading towards CC, attempting to prevent her from denouncing what she had witnessed to II;

11- that CC hit the wall's corner with the left side of her head and that said wall was the one that is located near the main door;

12- that CC tried to flee from the house, then being pulled inside by arguido AA;

13- that CC left hand prints and facial imprints on the walls, either on the outside or on the inside, near the main door;

14- that the arguidos placed the minor's body, wrapped up in a duvet cover, in the corner of one of the bedrooms in the house, in a spot that was not visible to anyone who might eventually enter it, for later to decide what destiny it would be given;

15- that arguida BB used detergent and bleach to wash the wall and the floor where blood spots from CC were;

16- that arguido AA had a beer with II and MM, at the "Pastelaria...", in order to further delay their return home;

17- that the arguidos thought about placing the minor's body in a sanitary cess-pit that was located near the house, for which arguido AA went to the location, yet verified that such would not be possible because said pit's lid was partially cemented, which he informed arguida BB about;

18- that the knife with which the arguidos cut the minor's body had a black handle;

19- that the arguidos placed CC's body on the living room floor, on a blanket;

20- that the arguidos knotted the opening of the bags that contained the torso and the legs;

21- that the arguidos effectively placed the three bags inside the tree compartments of the deep freezer;

22- that the arguidos changed the clothes that they were wearing and that arguida BB, once again that night, washed the blood that had remained on the floor;

23- that on the night of the 12th of September arguida BB invoked CC's 'disappearance' to the persons that she met (with an exception for II, MM and NN whom she told about said 'disappearance');

24- that the bag which the arguidos were carrying late in the night of the 13th of September contained the instruments that had been used to cut the minor;

25- that meanwhile, ticks started to appear in the house, due to the aforementioned activity;

26- that already after her arrest, arguida BB did, several times, impute co-arguido AA with the full responsibility for the facts, also that she imputed MM with it as well, apart from having mentioned that the body was placed inside a car that was destined to be pressed in Spain, or on several locations that she indicated throughout time;

27- that arguido AA, during the first interrogation, indicated that CC's body is beneath a bridge that connects Figueira with Mexilhoeira, on the opposite side of the location that had initially been indicated, and that, afterwards, he indicated a brother of his as having transported the body;

28- that the arguidos acted merely with the purpose to preven the minor from denunciating what she had seen, to her stepfather;

29- that the minor CC depended upon arguido AA.

Police officer made arguido in the process of assaults against Leonor Cipriano, 04 May 2007
Police officer made arguido in the process of assaults against Leonor Cipriano Expresso

An official of the PJ of Portimao is the seventh police officer to be implicated in the process of alleged assaults on the mother of Joana.

18:00 Friday, May 4, 2007

Gonçalo Amaral, coordinator of the Judicial Police in Portimao has been made an arguido in the process investigating the alleged assaults on Leonor Cipriano, which occurred in October 2004. The woman complained of having been beaten by punches, kicks and with a cardboard tube during "informal inquiries" that ocurred without the presence of a defense counsel and without the knowledge of the Public Prosecutor who investigated the disappearance of the child, the eight-year-old daughter of Leonor.

Goncalo Amaral was then coordinator of the PJ in Faro and this is why he has been made an arguido. Six inspectors of the Central Directorate for Combating Gangsterism are also arguidos and have already been acknowledged. Four were not recognized by the complainant, who identified the other two but exonerated them of any assault. Leonor Cipriano was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the murder, co-authored with her brother, of Joana. The child's body was never found.

Read more at the newsstand edition of Expresso

'... echoes of the McCann case', 20 May 2007
Algarve police 'hung up' on one suspect Timesonline
The Sunday Times
John Follain and Steve Swinford, Praia da Luz 
May 20, 2007
Last Sunday, a solitary figured stood outside the home of Robert Murat, the Englishman questioned in the Madeleine McCann case, as police forensic experts searched the villa.
A week on, searching questions are being asked about why Guilhermino da Encarnacao, the chief investigating officer, switched the focus of his inquiries on to one man. Even the police admit there is, to date, no credible evidence against Murat.
Described as a "desk strategist", Encarnacao, a methodical 59-year-old officer, now heads one of the most intensively scrutinised police investigations in recent history.
There are questions over the resources and time spent investigating Murat. It has also emerged that Encarnacao was involved in a previous investigation of a missing child, which was hit by criticism.
"As police we can't make miracles happen," he has said in one his few interviews. "Let's hope God will allow us to solve the case."
There were no miracles last week and after 17 days, Madeleine is still missing. The trauma consultants with the McCann family have gently helped them to at least consider the possibility that their daughter is now dead, although the couple are convinced she is still alive.
Police are widening their inquiry, with new searches in other European countries and northern Africa.
A report of a small child matching Madeleine's description in Marrakesh on May 9 was yesterday reported to have been discounted.
The profile of the case remains as high as ever. A two-minute appeal was shown on the big screen at Wembley ahead of the Manchester United-Chelsea FA Cup Final. The website appealing for help has had more than 60m hits.
The results of forensic tests on Murat's property are still awaited, but the questions are being asked: what was the evidence that initially made him a suspect? Were searches of properties connected to him conducted effectively? And why was he still allowed to attend witness interviews as a police translator while under suspicion?
Last week it emerged that Encarnacao was also involved in another high-profile missing child case when Joana Cipriano disappeared from her home in the village of Figueira on September 12, 2004, only seven miles from the coastal resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing on May 3.
In echoes of the McCann case, the hunt for Cipriano got off to a false start when the Republican National Guard, another police body, failed to seal off the house where Joana was last seen. It was only five days later – after hundreds of police officers, journalists and friends of the family had trampled over the scene, and after relatives had cleaned the house with bleach – that the Judicial Police took over.
Joana's body was never found, but the case was solved. Leonor and Joao Cipriano, her mother and uncle, were convicted of killing Joana and sentenced to 16 years and eight months, but they never confessed.

Madeleine officer charged over another missing girl, 11 June 2007
Madeleine officer charged over another missing girl Timesonline
David Brown in Tangier 
June 11, 2007
The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was in chaos last night after the detective coordinating the hunt for her abductor was charged with criminal offences over another notorious missing child case.
Goncalo Amaral and four other Portuguese police officers were charged over the weekend with offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano from a village seven miles from where Madeleine was abducted.
The nine-year-old girl has not been seen since her disappearance three years ago but her mother and uncle were convicted of murdering and dismembering Joana because she caught them having an incestuous relationship. Joana's mother, Leonor, has alleged that she was beaten into a confession during a police interrogation that took place without her lawyer or the knowledge of the public prosecutor.
Portugal's Ministerio Publico, the district attorney, confirmed last night that it had charged three police officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents. It did not reveal who had been charged with which offence.
Despite the charges, Mr Amaral, the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, has not been suspended from working on the Madeleine investigation, which started 39 days ago.
Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were informed of the charges by a Foreign Office representative yesterday. A spokesman for the family said: "They do not remember meeting Goncalo Amaral face to face but naturally they were concerned to hear of the charges."
Police sources said that Mr Amaral was "very angry" about the allegations and was considering taking action against the Ministerio Publico. "He is very professional and has had a lot of success in solving cases," the source said. "He is very upset because reporters never speak of these successes."
In echoes of the Madeleine case, the investigation into Joana's disappearance got off to a false start when the Republican National Guard failed to seal off the house where Joana was last seen. Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have also expressed frustration at delays in the early stages of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.
Last night it emerged that a witness who claims to have seen Madeleine days after she disappeared had still not been properly interviewed by police even though detectives had assured Mr and Mrs McCann that they had fully investigated the sighting.
Mari Olli says that she saw the girl at a petrol station on the outskirts of Marrakesh in Morocco on July 9. Despite contacting Portuguese, Spanish and British police, she has still not been formally interviewed and no statement has been taken. Portuguese police admitted last week that they were still waiting for footage from the CCTV camera at the petrol station.
A McCann family source said: "We had got the impression that they had sat down with her and gone through her statement in detail, which is not the case. The Portuguese police have complained about the lack of cooperation from the Moroccan authorities. None of it fills you with confidence."
Madeleine's family reacted with disbelief to the claims against Mr Amaral. The missing girl's aunt Philomena said: "Just about every country in the world is watching this. What do you think the [Portuguese] government would do? Would they have some kind of rogue policeman there? I doubt it. I find it highly unlikely. No way would they have him on such a high-profile case."

Background to the 'Joana Case', 09 July 2007 
The truth about Leonor Cipriano (mother of "another missing girl"...) "beaten" and "tortured" by Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral Gazeta Digital
Paulo Reis
09 July 2007 
1 – Joana Cipriano vanished from a small place 10 km in the outskirts of Portimao. Last time somebody saw her, she was on her way to a local groceries shop;
2 - Her mother, Leonor Cipriano, only reported the disappearance of her daughter to police two days after;
3 – After a long and difficult investigation, headed by Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, Leonor Cipriano and her brother were accused of murdering the eight-year-old child;
4 – The body of Joana Cipriano was never found, but samples of her blood were found in her mother's refrigerator;
5 – Her mother justified those samples of blood admitting she had beaten Joana, for some reason, that she was hurt and she bled from her nose;
6 – Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were sentenced to 16 years in jail, for the murder of her daughter and niece;
7 – Before the trial, Leonor Cipriano accused five CID officers of beating her, trying to extract a confession. She named the five CID officers, and included Chief-Inspector Gonçalo ("Amaral Lector", according to British tabloids…);
8 – The Public Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal investigation and ordered a police line-up, with the CID officers named and accused by Leonor Cipriano of beating her;
9 – The line-up took place with Leonor Cipriano behind a two-way mirror and she couldn't recognize any of the aggressors;
10 – The Public Prosecutor's Office magistrate that was in charge of the criminal investigation decided to accuse the five CID officers, but didn't mention, in the accusation sent to the Court, that Leonor Cipriano couldn't identify any of the aggressors, in the police line-up;
11 – Leonor Cipriano never confessed the murder of her own daughter. Her brother, in a letter written from jail, accused Leonor Cipriano of selling her daughter;
12 – Police are convinced (and the jurors at the trial found enough evidence to pass a guilty verdict) that Leonor Cipriano and her brother were found, by Joana, having sexual relations, when she came home, back from the groceries shop. As Leonor Cipriano had a lover, at the time, they were afraid she would tell him what she saw;
13 – So, they beat her, in order to frighten her and keep her mouth shut up;
14 – Perhaps accidentally, they beat her so violently that they killed her. So, they decided to get rid of he body and cut it in pieces, keeping some of them in the freezer, while they gave the other pieces to be eaten by pigs (this is what police believe is the strongest possibility, because there was no other trace of Joana Cipriano, other than the blood samples in her mother's freezer…)

Police accused of torture of mother of missing girl, 19 June 2007
Police accused of torture of mother of missing girl The Portugal News (no link available)
19 June 2007
The fact that prosecutors have taken the unprecedented measure of formally accusing police detectives of committing a number of crimes during an investigation, has created a stir in the legal system and could see a mother convicted for killing her daughter, freed.
A total of five police detectives from Portugal's elite Policia Judiciaria (PJ) detective unit were charged over the weekend for physically attacking and torturing Leonor Cipriano, the mother of nine year-old Joana, who disappeared from her Figueira home in Portimao, in 2004.
The case has also gained international significance when it emerged that one of the investi gators charged by prosecutors, is actively involved in the search for Madeleine McCann.
Mrs Cipriano, having been left with two black eyes, had in 2005 accused eight Portimao PJ members of torture and intimidation.
Mrs Cipriano covered the nation's front pages back then with pictures of her swollen black eyes, allegedly caused by members of the PJ in order to have her confess her daughter's murder and reveal her subsequent whereabouts.
According to Mrs Cipriano, she was forced to kneel on glass ashtrays during interrogations, with her head covered by a bag, before being brutally beaten in an attempt to force her to confess.
The officers, have since denied the accusations, claiming that she threw herself down a flight of stairs. No evidence exists to support either set of allegations, as the interrogations were, as reportedly described by the PJ, ‘informal interrogative sessions'.
One of the police officers accused of ‘torturing' Mrs Cipriano is Gonçlao Amaral, who is also one of the investigators involved with the search for Madeleine McCann.
Prior to the formal accusation by the prosecutor's office in Portimao, Mr Amaral had already made the headlines for the wrong reasons in Britain, when UK media gave extensive coverage to his "two-hour lunches" and consumption of alcoholic beverages during these luncheons.
Back in 2005, alleged police brutality victim Leonor Cipriano, along with her brother, Joao, were found guilty of gruesomely murdering eight-year old Joana Cipriano in September 2004.
The court, consisting of three judges and four jurors, found Leonor and Joao Cipriano guilty of murder, handing them prison terms of 20 and 19 years respectively.
These sentences have since been reduced to terms of 16 years each.
Since the verdict, a number of the country's leading lawyers and judges have spoken out against the decision. They claim that a conviction was almost impossible due to the fact that the child's body was never found, therefore lacking the crucial evidence that a murder had in fact taken place and that this alone, should have cast sufficient doubt for the court to absolve the two accused.
In comments to The Portugal News this week the Ciprianos' lawyer, Joao Grade, said he was confident that he would be able to clear his clients once their appeal was heard, as he believed their guilt had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
He also failed to rule out the possibility that Joana had been sold, especially after someone linked to the family made a €50,000 bank deposit in the days after her disappearance.
A letter written by Joao from jail to Leonor, which was intercepted by the authorities, also made reference to the exchange of cash and that "a grown-up Joana would one day probably return to Portugal".
However, the court, in reading out its verdict, said it felt there was adequate forensic evidence found at Joana's home, the crime scene, such as human blood found in the freezer and blood stains on the walls and floors (though laboratories were unable to prove the blood was that of Joana) to find the two accused guilty of murder.
A total of five police detectives from Portugal's elite Policia Judiciaria (PJ) detective unit were charged over the weekend for physically attacking and torturing Leonor Cipriano, the mother of nine year-old Joana, who disappeared from her Figueira home in Portimao, in 2004.
The case has also gained international significance when it emerged that one of the investigators charged by prosecutors, is actively involved in the search for Madeleine McCann.
Mrs Cipriano, having been left with two black eyes, had in 2005 accused eight Portimao PJ members of torture and intimidation. Mrs Cipriano covered the nation's front pages back then with pictures of her swollen black eyes, allegedly caused by members of the PJ in order to have her confess her daughter's murder and reveal her subsequent whereabouts.
According to Mrs Cipriano, she was forced to kneel on glass ashtrays during interrogations, with her head covered by a bag, before being brutally beaten in an attempt to force her to confess.
The officers, have since denied the accusations, claiming that she threw herself down a flight of stairs. No evidence exists to support either set of allegations, as the interrogations were, as reportedly described by the PJ, 'informal interrogative sessions'.
One of the police officers accused of 'torturing' Mrs Cipriano is Gonçlao Amaral, who is also one of the investigators involved with the search for Madeleine McCann.
Prior to the formal accusation by the prosecutor's office in Portimao, Mr Amaral had already made the headlines for the wrong reasons in Britain, when UK media gave extensive coverage to his "two-hour lunches" and consumption of alcoholic beverages during these luncheons.
Back in 2005, alleged police brutality victim Leonor Cipriano, along with her brother, Joao, were found guilty of gruesomely murdering eight-year old Joana Cipriano in September 2004.
The court, consisting of three judges and four jurors, found Leonor and Joao Cipriano guilty of murder, handing them prison terms of 20 and 19 years respectively. These sentences have since been reduced to terms of 16 years each.
Since the verdict, a number of the country's leading lawyers and judges have spoken out against the decision.
They claim that a conviction was almost impossible due to the fact that the child's body was never found, therefore lacking the crucial evidence that a murder had in fact taken place and that this alone, should have cast sufficient doubt for the court to absolve the two accused.
In comments to The Portugal News this week the Ciprianos' lawyer, Joao Grade, said he was confident that he would be able to clear his clients once their appeal was heard, as he believed their guilt had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
He also failed to rule out the possibility that Joana had been sold, especially after someone linked to the family made a €50,000 bank deposit in the days after her disappearance.
A letter written by Joao from jail to Leonor, which was intercepted by the authorities, also made reference to the exchange of cash and that "a grown-up Joana would one day probably return to Portugal".
However, the court, in reading out its verdict, said it felt there was adequate forensic evidence found at Joana's home, the crime scene, such as human blood found in the freezer and blood stains on the walls and floors (though laboratories were unable to prove the blood was that of Joana) to find the two accused guilty of murder.

Kate McCann 'being framed by Portuguese police', 08 August 2007
Kate McCann 'being framed by Portuguese police' Mail on Sunday
Last updated at 11:17 08 August 2007
Kate McCann is being set up by Portuguese police to take the blame over Madeleine, it was claimed today.
The husband of a woman serving 16 years in another missing child case in the Algarve said: "I am worried Kate will be framed for a crime she did not commit, the way it happened to my wife."
The warning comes as pressure mounted on the McCanns after Portuguese police said Madeleine, who was three when she disappeared, died in her bedroom following the discovery of specks of blood on the wall.
Three years ago Leonor Cipriano was convicted of murdering her nine-year-old daughter Joana although her body has never been found.
The detective leading the hunt for Madeleine has been charged with criminal offences in the Joana case amid claims that a confession was beaten out of Cipriano.
The Portuguese woman claims she is the victim of a miscarriage of justice over the alleged murder seven miles from the spot where Madeleine went missing on 3 May.
In echoes of the Madeleine case, the investigation into Joana's disappearance got off to a bad start when the Republican National Guard failed to seal off the house where she was last seen.
Joana's stepfather Leandro Silva told the Evening Standard: "Joana's mother never did anything and she was arrested.
"I am fearful the same thing will happen to Kate McCann. Whenever I watch the news it reminds me of Joana. It is hard.
"I just pray Madeleine appears. With Joana the police did a bad job. They didn't spend enough time looking for the child."
Goncalo Amaral, who is co-ordinating the search for Madeleine, and four other Portuguese police officers, were charged in June with offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana.
Cipriano has alleged that she was beaten into a confession during a police interrogation that took place without her lawyer or the knowledge of the public prosecutor.
Portugal's Ministerio Publico said at the time it had charged three police officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents. It did not reveal who had been charged with which offence.
Despite the charges, Mr Amaral, the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, has not been suspended from working on the Madeleine investigation.
Police sources have suggested that Mr Amaral was "very angry" about the allegations and was considering taking action against the Ministerio Publico.
"He is very professional and has had a lot of success in solving cases," the source said. "He is very upset because reporters never speak of these successes."
Meanwhile, the Evening Standard has revealed that the planned publicity campaign to mark 100 days since Madeleine disappeared have been put on hold amid the recent damaging accusations.
Mrs McCann, a doctor, and her husband Gerry, a cardiologist, have stayed in Praia da Luz with their two-year-old twins since Madeleine went missing while they were on holiday.
The couple, both aged 38, and six friends who dined with them on the night of Madeleine's disappearance, have come under suspicion as the police case against the only official suspect, Robert Murat, appears to be winding down.
The pressure on the McCanns follows a series of leaks from Portuguese police and the discovery of traces of blood in the apartment.
Police are understood to have spent the past two days studying ocean currents to determine where Madeleine's body - should it have been dumped at sea - would wash up.
Police sources said officers, including British detectives handling the sniffer dogs which discovered the blood in the McCanns' apartment, were scouring local beaches looking for a body.
That bolsters claims made yesterday that Madeleine was either murdered or died accidentally in her room. Police sources suggested the girl died in the room and her body was dumped in the sea.
The Standard reported yesterday how police no longer suspected Madeleine is the victim of an abduction.
The McCanns responded to the reports by reiterating their belief their daughter is still alive while a family spokeswoman described allegations made in Portuguese newspapers as very "hurtful".
The couple have campaigned tirelessly across Europe to keep the hunt for their daughter in the public eye.

Kate and Gerry McCann declared arguidos, 07 September 2007

'These cops framed my wife', 08 September 2007
'These cops framed my wife' The Sun
By OLIVER HARVEY, Chief Feature Writer
Published: 08 Sep 2007
THE husband of a Portuguese woman jailed for the murder of her child spoke last night of his fears for Kate McCann.
Leandro Silva said his wife had been set up and he believed police would do the same thing to four-year-old Madeleine's mother.
He said: "I am worried Kate will be framed for a crime she did not commit, the way it happened to my wife."
Leandro also demanded that one of the detectives leading the Maddie investigation should be dropped from the case.
Detective Goncalo Amaral has been accused of being involved with beating Leandro's wife, Leonor Cipriano, during her interrogation over the death of her daughter, Joana, nine.

'Portuguese police framed my wife', 09 September 2007
'Portuguese police framed my wife' The Independent
By Andrew Johnson 
Sunday, 9 September 2007
The husband of a woman jailed in Portugal for killing her child in a case with uncanny similarities to that of Madeleine McCann has spoken of his fear that Madeleine's parents may be framed for their daughter's murder.
Leonor Cipriano, 36, is serving a 16-year jail sentence following the disappearance of her daughter, Joana, nine, in September 2004, just seven miles from where Madeleine McCann vanished. The investigating officer was Detective Goncalo Amaral, now leading the McCann inquiry.
Yesterday, however, Leonor's husband, Leandro Silva, reiterated claims that his wife had been beaten by Mr Amaral during interrogation. Mr Amaral and four other officers were charged over the allegations. Despite this, he has not been removed from the McCann case.
"I am worried Kate McCann will be framed, the way it happened to my wife," Mr Silva said.

Controversial past of policeman leading the McCann investigation, 
11 September 2007
Controversial past of policeman leading the McCann investigation The Independent
By Amol Rajan in Praia da Luz
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
As the Portuguese press continued to round on the McCanns yesterday, newspaper columns remained pointedly silent on a separate investigation into the police officer leading the hunt for Madeleine.
Despite the recent furore surrounding Kate and Gerry McCann being made suspects in their daughter's disappearance, Goncalo Amaral – head of the Policia Judiciara's investigation – has himself been charged over the alleged assault of a woman whose daughter disappeared in similar circumstances to Madeleine three years ago.
Earlier this year, Mr Amaral and four colleagues were made suspects ( arguidos) in the beating of Leonor Cipriano during an interrogation following the disappearance of her daughter Joana, who vanished from a village seven miles from Praia da Luz.
Joana's mother and uncle were convicted of murdering and dismembering her after she discovered them having an incestuous relationship. However, Mrs Cipriano claimed she was beaten up in custody under the watch of Mr Amaral and accused the police of setting her up.
She has produced graphic photographs of her face after interrogation which showed heavy bruising around her eyes.
In June, Mr Amaral and his colleagues were charged, three with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth withfalsification of documents. It is unclear which offence he was charged with.
Police sources in Portimao, from where the Madeleine McCann investigation is being conducted, refused to comment yesterday but the disquiet surrounding Mr Amaral overseeing such a prominent case has raised questions over his suitability and pitched the British tabloid press against their Portuguese counterparts.
Mr Amaral is widely respected and generally regarded by the Portuguese papers as a man doing a good job in difficult circumstances. But the emergence of Leonor Cipriano's accusations and the serious charges have led to some argue he should not be working on a similar case.
The investigation into Joana's disappearance was marred by the failure to seal off the house in which she was last seen. The police investigating Madeleine's disappearance have also been criticised for allegedly being slack in sealing off the resort where the McCanns had been staying.
Local journalists close to the case say the charges brought against Detective Amaral are inconclusive.

PR expert Mark Williams-Thomas: "huge doubt" about "the integrity of the Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, 15 September 2007
PR expert Mark Williams-Thomas: "huge doubt" about "the integrity of the Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral Gazeta Digital
Duarte Levy (Rothley) and Paulo Reis (Sevilha)
15 September 2007
Mark Williams-Thomas, a former policeman and managing director of WT Associates, a PR company specialized in child protection, media handling and advice for high profile cases, urged Portuguese police to ditch the case against the McCanns – a case that he classified as "ludicrous" - and follow another lead that he thinks could take PJ to the real kidnapper.

The managing director of PR company WT Associates, who is usually introduced to Sky News viewers only as a "child protection expert" or "crime expert", criticised Policia Judiciaria for not paying attention to "such a strong line of inquiry". The PR expert referred that, even if "over 90% of murders are domestic-related", he can't "accept that Gerry and Kate as parents of the child could have been involved in her murder."
For the managing director of WT Associates, "the answer to the case may lie in the disappearance of an eight-year-old Portuguese girl in 2004". Joana Cipriano vanished from a village just seven miles from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared.
Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were both sentenced to 16 years in jail, after appealing to Portuguese Supreme Court, for the murder of Joana Cipriano. Her body never appeared, but blood found inside the family's refrigerator and the confession of Joana's uncle were sufficient to convince the jury. Her case has been referred, by the British media, in what seems to be an attempt to discredit Portuguese police, comparing it with Madeleine's case.
Joana Cipriano, who never confessed the crime, accused five CID officers of beating her. Later, she was not able to identify any of the five officers, when she was taken to a police line-up, behind a two-way mirror. The Public Prosecutor's Office decided to charge the five CID officers. ASFIC, the CID inspectors union filed a formal complaint against the Public Prosecutor's magistrate, because he didn't include in the case's dossier the results of the police line up.

The fact that one of the officers accused is Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral casts "huge doubt" to the managing director of WT Associates, who believes that Mr. Amaral should be ousted from the investigation of Madeleine's case: "Even if we work on the basis that he is innocent, given this allegation against him, he shouldn't have anything to do with the Madeleine investigation", the PR expert told Sky News.

Questioned yesterday, September 14, about his business relationship, as a expert also in media handling and advice for high profile cases, Mr Mark Williams-Thomas initially confirmed that his company had a contract to provide services to the McCanns. Asked to confirm some details of that business relationship, he changed his initial answer and denied any relationship, admitting only that he has "been in contact with the press officers for the family".

We also asked Sky News if they were aware of the fact that Mr Mark Williams-Thomas was also the owner and managing director of a PR company, as Sky News has invited almost every day, to comment about Madeleine McCann's case, introducing him only as a "child protection expert" or a "crime expert". We are waiting for Sky News answer to those questions.

Lies, beatings, secret trials: the dark side of police handling Madeleine case, 16 September 2007
Lies, beatings, secret trials: the dark side of police handling Madeleine case Daily Mail
Last updated at 18:57 16 September 2007
According to his friends, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral of the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria, co-leader of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, is a dedicated and capable detective, determined to do whatever it takes to find her - or those responsible for murdering her.
As a foreign reporter in Portugal, it is difficult to form a view. Thanks to the country's stringent judicial secrecy laws, Amaral is officially forbidden from talking to the media.
I confronted the sweaty, corpulent figure in an ill-fitting jacket twice last Friday: the first time at 10am, as he sat slurping coffee and cakes at the Kalahary cafe in Portimao with his colleague, Chief Inspector Guillermino Encarnacao; the second just before 3pm, when the two men made their way from a restaurant to a waiting black Mercedes, in which they were driven 400 yards to meet officials at the courthouse.
The reaction was the same both times: "No speak! No speak!" was all Amaral would say, making a swatting motion as though batting away an insect.
But Amaral's official silence is not the only difference between him and his counterparts in Britain.
In the UK, it is unlikely he would be leading the McCann inquiry at all.
Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry may never be charged with anything, despite their present status as arguidos, or official suspects, and by the end of last week, apparently well-placed sources were admitting that any case against them is circumstantial and weak.

A MOTHER'S AGONY: Leonor Cipriano in 2004 with a poster of her missing daughter Joana.
A MOTHER'S AGONY: Leonor Cipriano in 2004 with a poster of her missing daughter Joana.

Amaral, however, is in a similar position. He, too, is an arguido, facing possible trial on a serious criminal charge arising from a murder case brought to court in 2004, the last occasion a little girl vanished in the Algarve.
The Mail on Sunday can today reveal new details of this case, the subject of a draconian judicial order that has stopped most sources who know about the case from talking to the Portuguese Press.
According to the order, documents about the case have been restricted to a handful of officials, while the next stage of the process - a hearing at which Amaral and four fellow officers may be asked formal questions - will be conducted in secret.
It is believed that this is set for next month.
Three of Amaral's senior PJ colleagues have been made suspects for the torture of the missing girl's mother, Leonor Cipriano, who has been convicted of killing her daughter Joana, aged eight, and jailed for 16 years.
As for Amaral, the claim against him is "omisado de denuncia" - that he tried to hide the evidence of the alleged torture or, in other words, attempted a cover-up. He is said to deny it strenuously.

Leonor Cipriano

Leonor bruised and battered after her 'confession' to Portuguese police. She is now in prison, convicted of Joana's murder
In internet blogs and newspaper columns, Amaral's supporters have claimed that the Cipriano case is built on lies - a vicious smear against a decent detective trying to do his job.
It has, they say, "no connection" to the Madeleine McCann inquiry.
Experienced lawyers in Portimao, the town 12 miles from Praia da Luz where Amaral is PJ chief, disagree.
The case against the detectives began as a complaint lodged by Cipriano's lawyer, they pointed out, but has now been adopted by the public prosecutor.
"In order to bring formal charges, the public prosecutor has to believe there is a strong case," said Oliveira Trindad, who has practised law in the area for more than ten years.
"That means that after assessing all the evidence, he thinks that if the case goes to trial, a conviction is more likely than not."
That decision is likely to be made well before the McCann case is closed.
There are, to be sure, many differences between Leonor Cipriano and Kate McCann.
But there are also similarities, starting with the fact that although the bodies of their daughters have not been found, Amaral and his PJ colleagues have long been convinced that both girls are dead.
No one would suggest that in the course of the marathon interrogations that preceded their departure from Portugal last weekend, Kate or Gerry McCann were the victims of physical violence.
But at times it seemed they were also being subjected to torment, albeit of a different, psychological kind.
It, too, say Portimao's criminal defence lawyers, may have been inspired by PJ officers desperate to achieve the end they sought with Cipriano - a confession.
It isn't hard to locate the source of some of the McCanns' current difficulties: Hugo Beaty's bar.
There, amid the burnt orange concrete of the Estrela apartment complex, a five-minute walk from the Ocean Club, most of the seats along the shady terrace and more inside will be taken all day by reporters with laptops, authors of a daily verbal torrent that has come to seem unstoppable.
After Kate and Gerry's abrupt return to Leicestershire last Sunday, almost nothing happened in the McCann case last week.
The only verified fact is that after considering a ten-volume PJ dossier about Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, a junior judge in Portimao, decided to grant certain requests made by the prosecutor, Joao Cunha de Magalhaes.
Every news outlet covering the story - a waterfront that now extends across the whole of Europe to the major American TV networks and even, unbelievably, a paper in war-torn Somalia - has stated that these requests were for warrants to seize items including Kate McCann's private diary, Gerry's computer and (though this seems slightly less certain) Madeleine's beloved cuddle cat.
There is, however, nothing approaching official confirmation of these claims.
Like everything else about the case, the details of the prosecutor's approach to the judge are covered, supposedly, by the judicial secrecy laws, under which the penalty - in theory - for making unauthorised disclosures is two years in prison.
Thus it is that like almost everything else being broadcast and published beyond Portugal's borders about the hunt for Madeleine, the claim that the police want to read Kate's diary has reached its audience via Hugo Beaty's bar.
Every day there starts the same way shortly after it opens at 9am, with an informal briefing to the foreign Press by a locally resident British woman who normally makes a meagre living acting as an occasional interpreter - for the Policia Judiciaria.
Every morning, the woman - who asked me not to publish her name - goes through the Portuguese tabloids and translates their ever-more febrile articles.
Every afternoon, the foreigners - almost none of whom can speak more than the most basic Portuguese, nor claim a single, genuine source inside the police investigation - recycle the tales for consumers abroad.
By the end of last week, some of the assertions made by the Portuguese had become part of a settled consensus.
For example, it was reported from Berlin to Baltimore that the police had already made a photocopy of Kate's diary - which, if true, would mean they had broken the law - and merely wanted to obtain the judge's approval to use it as evidence.
The reason they are so keen on it, it was alleged, is that it suggests she found her children "hyperactive" and difficult to handle, while railing at her husband's allegedly dilatory, hands-off approach.
The claims about the diary's contents were first published on Thursday by Jose Manuel Ribeiro, crime correspondent for the Lisbon daily Diario de Noticias.
By chance I ran into him that same afternoon, outside the apartment where Madeleine disappeared.
I congratulated him on his scoop, but he shook his head, disconsolate. Already, he complained, it was turning to dust.
Ribeiro said he had been given the story by an impeccable inside source, but already officials in Lisbon were denying it, and the source himself could no longer assure him it was true.
"Why is bad information getting out to the public?" he asked. "Because we're being given it."
Somehow, however, the denials that had made Ribeiro so angry did not get through to the foreigners.
If the questionable leak had been planted for a purpose - to increase the pressure on the hapless McCanns - it may well have succeeded.
And, in the foreign public's mind, the germinating notion that Kate might have killed her daughter because she could not handle her had been nurtured by a further dollop of manure.
A similar, apparently sanctioned but inaccurate leak had already gone around the world to still more devastating effect.
Early on Monday evening, TV channels began to report that British forensic scientists had made a "100 per cent" DNA match to Madeleine from "biological material" - said to be hair and "bodily fluids" - recovered from the Renault Scenic that the McCanns did not hire until 25 days after she vanished, suggesting that they had hidden her body on May 3 and moved it weeks after her death.
With no time for reporters to make checks before their deadlines, the story spread like foot and mouth to almost every British front page the next morning.
It was only in the ensuing days that it began, spectacularly, to unravel.
The match was not 100 per cent after all, it transpired, but 80 per cent or less - a level that, according to Professor Alec Jeffries, DNA matching's inventor, might mean that the material had not come from Madeleine at all, but another member of her family.

Gerry and Kate McCann, pictured today

Gerry and Kate McCann, pictured today, have been told by UK lawyers that Portuguese authorities would have difficulty prosecuting them if they do not find Madeleine's body
Even if it had, other experts said, it would prove very little.
Among readers who followed the forensic details, the case against the McCanns had been seen to suffer damage.
But others were left with a clear impression - that the PJ now believed they had real evidence that the McCanns must have been responsible for Madeleine's (still unconfirmed) death.
As for those who still harboured doubts, more rococo "revelations" were being published widely by the end of the week, such as the claim that having bundled Madeleine's body into the car, the McCanns drove it to the marina in nearby Lagos.
There they are said to have hired a boat, swore its owner into their conspiracy, then sailed into the Atlantic, into which they tipped their child, weighted down with rocks.
Could such stories really be part of a conscious PJ strategy? Some lawyers around the Portimao courthouse believe that they could.
"Portuguese journalists aren't just making this stuff up," said Oliveira Trindad.
"They are getting it from the police, of course, and the justice officers, the people working for the prosecutors. It's obvious that some information is coming from the PJ."
Some of it, he added, appears to be accurate - so making it that much easier for the same sources to seed disinformation.
Another Portimao lawyer, who asked not to be named, claimed the PJ was fighting a "propaganda war" with the McCanns.
"It is the fault of the British Press," he said.
"They were the ones who started saying, 'You're no good, you're no good.'
"If you say a lie like that many times, so many people believe it. You cannot blame the PJ for wanting to hit back."
But there might be another reason.
"Some people think journalists pay their PJ sources," the second lawyer said, citing a case where an officer from Lisbon is facing criminal charges after being caught red-handed copying secret documents about a fraud case, allegedly for private profit.
"But they also have an interest in the case and its coverage."
With the forensic evidence apparently confused and contradictory, "it seems the main goal of the PJ now is to get a confession. It's like in the films, 'Aha, we have a confession, let's take them to court.'
"It's normal to want a confession when they don't have much else."
Intense interrogation of the McCanns has so far failed. But perhaps, the lawyer implied, using the media might be another way of applying the third degree.
"I want to believe that the Portuguese police do everything the right way," said Joao Grade, the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano.
"But sometimes, if they really think someone is guilty, as they did with Leonor, they may find other ways to get what they want. It's only human.
"When they believe someone has killed a child, it's normal that they will apply pressure.
"In the McCann case, it seems that the police have what they consider half-proofs.
"But it's not airtight, it doesn't interlock, so maybe they need more."
As he spoke, I found myself recalling British miscarriages of justice: cases such as the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted of IRA pub bombings that killed 21, where the police, under tremendous pressure to "get a result", built dishonest but convincing prosecutions based around confessions.
Could the same thing be happening to the McCanns? The pressure on the police is certainly intense.
The loss of a child evokes horror everywhere. On the Algarve, however, the need to solve the case - and, perhaps, not to leave the fear that Madeleine was killed or abducted by an unknown paedophile - has other roots as well.
"The Algarve is a family destination, and situations like this are not agreeable to anyone," said Elderico Viegas, the regional tourism authority president.
"Our reputation for safety is one of our most important values - especially with the British, who make up our biggest market."
And Algarve tourism, worth about £2.8billion a year and growing rapidly, is, Viegas said, the single biggest component of the entire Portuguese economy.
The police had, he added, mishandled the media, giving rise to damaging speculation.
"But for me, the details are not important. What's important is the economy. I was born and brought up here and I can't remember the last time a tourist was murdered." So far, he added, visitor numbers this year are up.
Central to many British miscarriages of justice was a shared, deeply ingrained belief among police and prosecutors that their suspects "had" to be guilty.
With the Birmingham Six, it was founded on botched forensic tests that "told" investigators that the men had been handling the explosive nitroglycerine ? false positives that arose because they had been playing with cards coated in the harmless chemical nitrocellulose.
In Praia da Luz, there are signs of a similar mindset at work, derived from equally tendentious "evidence".
For example, said a local source who knows several of the PJ inquiry team, from an early stage detectives laid great weight on Kate McCann's apparent composure when she appeared in public.
One of the strangest aspects of Portuguese coverage of the case has been frequent recourse to media psychologists, who have made all manner of deductions about her personality and state of mind by "analysing" her TV image, claiming that the absence of tears and presence of carefully applied make-up indicates a "cold", "manipulative" or even "psychopathic" personality.
In other words, someone capable of reacting instantly to the death of her daughter, whether deliberate or accidental, by deciding that she had to hide the body and conceal what had happened, and able to persuade her husband and perhaps other "accomplices" to go along with her plot.
Disturbingly, said the local source, such analysis has not been confined to the media.
"Pretty early on, they had forensic psychologists in, studying hours of video footage, drawing extremely unfavourable conclusions about Kate's personality," she said.
"You could say she's been damned by her stiff upper lip."
There have been reported claims that Kate McCann had "confessed" to killing Madeleine to a local Catholic priest.
But the Rev Hubbard Haynes, the Anglican vicar who lives in Praia da Luz and got closer to the McCanns than anyone during their months in Portugal, refuted them with controlled fury.
A young, passionate Canadian, who took up his post a week after Madeleine's disappearance, he said: "When I mention Maddie, Gerry and Kate in my own prayers, I find myself weeping.
"I have gone out into the fields and looked in the hedgerows, begging God for some sign that will help us find her, and I have wept because He has not given it to us yet.
"All I can say is that my tears are as nothing to the tears I have seen shed by Kate and Gerry.
"They may not have cried for the cameras, but to say they do not weep in private is facile and offensive.
"The man and woman I have known for the past four months are a couple whose lives have become unbearably empty because their little girl was missing.
"I do not recognise those people in recent media reports, and I find the idea that they had anything to do with her disappearance just inconceivable.
"There is great evil in this world, and someone has taken this child."
Other aspects of the emerging mindset against the McCanns seemed equally questionable.
Several Portuguese lawyers and journalists, along with a uniformed police officer from the National Republican Guard I spoke to outside the Ocean Club apartment, told me solemnly not only that the McCanns and their friends were "swingers" who had taken their holiday together to indulge in group sex (an assertion made repeatedly by the Portuguese Press), but that "everyone knows" that its tolerance of orgies is the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort's main selling point.
One afternoon I decided to test this proposition, approaching two holiday reps there, dressed in their red Mark Warner sweatshirts. "Er, is this a good place for swingers, then?" I asked.
They looked at me in total bafflement. "Swingers?" one replied.
"Look around you, sir. Most of our guests are retired, or families with children."
Another assertion published several times last week is that, on the night that Madeleine disappeared, the McCanns phoned Sky TV before contacting the police - another claim echoed by the uniformed cop.
Outside the Portimao courthouse, I asked Sky's reporter Ashish Joshi if he thought this might be true.
He rolled his eyes wearily. "It's just nonsense," he said.
"The first anyone at Sky knew about Maddy was when the story appeared on the Press Association wire.
"I was asked about this just yesterday by a Portuguese reporter. I told him it was crap. And this morning, his paper printed it."
I passed this on to the Republican Guard officer, but he was unmoved.
His unit, he said, had handled the case in its early stages, and from the start he and his colleagues had been convinced there was something fishy about the McCanns.
"My partner was there on the night of May 3," he said, "and I can tell you, that apartment was full of people, Kate was screaming - and yet her twins didn't wake up.
"How do you explain that? They must have been drugged. Nobody on the force believed their story about a kidnap for a moment.
"That little girl is dead, for sure. Soon you will see the truth."
Why the need for such bizarre allegations? The answer, I believe, is that there is a massive hole at the heart of the emerging PJ theory.
When Madeleine disappeared the McCanns did not have a car.
The Ocean Club is in the middle of a busy resort, and the notion that somehow the McCanns found a way to conceal her without transport, and then went to dinner with their friends as if nothing were amiss is beyond credibility.
One Portuguese journalist suggested to me that they might have hidden her on a scrubby headland a few minutes' walk away.
But as I found when I attempted to go for a run there, at night it is inhabited by feral dogs, whose barking would have made the digging of some putative shallow grave impossible.
The PJ enjoys a high reputation in Portugal.
"They are ranked among the top five police forces in the world," attorney Trindad said, albeit admitting he did not know the source of this curious international ranking.
Most PJ officers are graduates, and would-be entrants face severe competition, with a battery of psychometric, physical and academic tests before they can even be considered for the PJ training school.
The force's Press office likes to compare the PJ to the American FBI: "We are an elite," spokeswoman Ana Mouro said.
But beneath the veneer, as the case of Leonor Cipriano suggests, the reality can look less impressive.
"She is nothing like Kate McCann," her lawyer Joao Grade said.
"She is very poor, with maybe only three years of schooling, and her children have several fathers.
"She did not get to meet the Pope and she did not have the support of Sky and the BBC.
"But I tell you this: if Kate had been treated like Leonor, she would have done what Leonor did - ended by saying, 'OK, OK, I'm guilty, and this is how I did it.'"
The special judicial order - imposed on top of the usual Portuguese secrecy - means not only that Grade is prevented from disclosing virtually anything about the Cipriano case, but that pre-trial hearings of the charges against the detectives, due as soon as next month, will be held in camera.
The Mail on Sunday has established crucial alleged details from other legal sources in Portimao.
After Joana disappeared in September 2004, Leonor was arrested by the PJ in Portimao on October 14 at 8am.
Held there and in the city of Faro without access to a lawyer, she was interrogated without sleep for 22 hours.
Then, after a two-hour respite, she was interrogated again until 7am on October 16.
By this time, as photos published by the Portuguese media make clear, her face was a mass of bruises.
According to Grade: "Not just her face but her whole body was black and blue."
The police said she "tried to commit suicide" by throwing herself down stairs.
If the alleged torture was to force a confession, it succeeded - only for Leonor to withdraw it when she finally saw her lawyer the next day.
The supporters of the accused police have claimed that the officers must be innocent because Cipriano could not pick out her alleged attackers in an identity parade.
However, according to the sources in Portimao, this is because they are not alleged to have beaten her themselves, but to have brought in paid thugs.
In any event, she was convicted and sentenced to 21 years.
Last June, this was reduced on appeal to 16 - though one of the five appeal court judges issued a dissenting opinion, stating that he was convinced she had been assaulted in custody and was innocent.
If the criminal case against the PJ officers does lead to convictions, Grade said, she will appeal again. He has also lodged a case in the European Court of Human Rights.
Strangely enough, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral is not the only link between the Cipriano and McCann cases. Another of the senior officers who is now an arguido is the recently retired Chief Inspector Paulo Pereira Cristovao.
He is one of the McCanns' principal scourges - not as a detective, but in his new capacity as a columnist for Diario de Noticias, among the most active of Portuguese newspapers in its pursuit of stories about Madeleine derived from leaks.
"There is another link between the Cipriano and McCann cases," a Portimao lawyer claimed.
"You know, it's like if Manchester United lose a big game: next week the pressure they have to win is very big.
"The PJ are beginning to worry that now they might lose the Cipriano case.
"If that happens, they have to win with the McCanns."
Of course, there is yet another connection.
If Leonor Cipriano did not kill Joana, the chances of discovering the truth - or indeed her body - are now remote.
And as the McCanns have stated repeatedly, if they are innocent, the enormous effort being poured into trying to blame them is effort diverted from the search for a missing four-year-old girl, and the person or persons who abducted her.
That is a thought so grim that it almost makes one wish that the mindset so evident around Praia da Luz had a real foundation.
My fear is that it has as much solidity as the sandcastles on the beach.
David Rose has been investigating miscarriages of justice for 25 years and has written several books on the subject.
The most recent, Violation, about a serial murder case in America, was published by Harper Press in 2007.

Madeleine McCann police tortured me, says mother behind bars, 23 September 2007
Madeleine McCann police tortured me, says mother behind bars Timesonline
The Sunday Times
John Follain Portimao 
September 23, 2007
The senior detective leading the Madeleine McCann investigation is facing calls to step down after a woman jailed for the murder of her daughter claimed that his officers tortured her into confessing.
Leonor Cipriano, 36, told for the first time how she was forced to kneel on glass ashtrays with a bag over her head as police repeatedly hit her during almost 48 hours of nonstop questioning.
She is now serving a 16-year sentence for the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Joana, even though the body has never been found and she has since retracted her statement.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, who is jointly leading the Madeleine case, is to face a criminal hearing for allegedly concealing evidence that three of his colleagues tortured Cipriano. The hearing could be as early as next month.
Joana Cipriano disappeared from her home in Figuera, near Portimao on the Algarve, in September 2004, not far from where four-year-old Madeleine disappeared in Praia da Luz 143 days ago. Leonor Cipriano was arrested at 8am on October 14 and confessed after almost 48 hours of continuous questioning.
She retracted her statement a day later when she had access to a lawyer but was still charged and convicted of murdering her daughter.
Speaking from Odemira prison in west Portugal, she told a relative: "The police put a bag on my head, but I didn't see what I was hit with. It was something like a baton. They made me kneel on two glass ashtrays and then they hit me. I couldn't see who hit me because of the bag.
"It's not true I fell down the stairs – the police hit me. I said it [the confession] because they beat me."
A friend saw Cipriano shortly after the alleged attack. She said: "Her head was swollen, while she had huge bruises under the breasts, on the thighs and the legs."
Amaral is accused of concealing evidence supporting allegations that three of his colleagues tortured Cipriano. The four detectives and a fifth, who is accused of fabricating evidence, deny the allegations and say Cipriano was injured when she threw herself down a flight of stairs.
Roy Ramm, a former Scotland Yard commander, said: "It is extraordinary that a man accused of an unresolved, serious complaint like this is still handling a high-profile inquiry. You would expect him at best to be in a desk job."
Carlos Garcia, vice-president of the trade union for Portuguese police, which is defending Amaral and his colleagues, said: "They utterly reject the allegations."
Cipriano's boyfriend Leandro Silva, 41, a car mechanic, claims that he, too, was beaten when he was taken in for questioning in Faro in October 2004. "One officer grabbed me from behind, spun me round, then hit me in the stomach with a closed fist," he said. "They also hit me from behind with a phone book. When they questioned me, a senior officer said, 'You ate Joana's body'. I couldn't believe it. Then he said, 'You cooked her and you ate her'. I thought they must be crazy – it was like something out of a horror movie."
Silva is considering making a formal complaint.

Detective in McCann Case Investigated For Beating Convicted Child Murderer, 26 September 2007
Detective in McCann Case Investigated For Beating Convicted Child Murderer ABC News
Portuguese detective in McCann case accused of beating suspect in unrelated 2004 case.
PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal, Sept. 26, 2007
The husband of a convicted murderer has accused the Portuguese investigator spearheading the case of Madeleine McCann of beating a confession out of his wife.
Leonor Cipriano, 36, was convicted of the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Joana, who disappeared in the Algarve region in September 2004 under similar circumstances to the McCann disappearance.
In an exclusive interview, Cipriano's common-law husband, Leandro Silva, told ABC News that his wife said she was beaten repeatedly as police grilled her during a three-day long interrogation.
"'They beat it out of me', she told me, 'they beat me until I confessed,'" Silva said as he recalled his first visit to his wife about a week after police took her into custody.
"The only difference between the McCanns and us is that we don't have money," Silva said. "They have means, they have high powered attorneys that they can pay."
According to Silva, his wife told him that chief inspector Gonçalo Amaral, one of the leading detectives in the McCann case, watched as police hit her in the face and chest again and again.
Local newspapers have reported that Amaral and four other officers will be in court next month to face charges surrounding the beating allegations. But Amaral has not been suspended from his work on the McCann case.
Cipriano is currently serving a 16-year sentence for the murder of Joana who disappeared in 2004 in a town less than 15 miles from where Madeleine McCann disappeared nearly five months ago.
Joana's body has never been found. McCann, who was 3 years old when she went missing has also not been found, but the family and police still hold out hope that she is still alive.
Kate McCann and her husband, Gerry, were declared "arguido," or official suspects, last month, although under Portuguese law, the police are not allowed to divulge publicly what evidence they have. But the couple, both doctors and substantially well-off, have been allowed to leave Portugal.
Confession at All Costs Alleged
Silva said his wife retracted her statement just two days after confessing to Portuguese police, but she remains in a women's prison in Odemira, about a two-hour drive from Praia da Luz.
Joana went missing one night when her parents say she went for a short walk to the local market in her home town of Figuera, near Portimao. Cipriano was arrested and convicted, in part because of her confession, along with the discovery of some of Joana's blood, police say they found in Cipriano's home.
Maddie also disappeared just minutes from where her parents were dining at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
"I knew immediately that it was the police that had done that to her," Silva said. "They wanted her to confess to a crime she did not commit."
He shakes his head back and forth saying that the police in Portugal don't work professionally.
Amaral could not be reached for comment and police refused to talk about the allegations.
"We all saw the bruises," Silva said. "My mother, my sister and me. Leonor's face was all battered and bruised, so was her chest."
"Leonor was a good person, she didn't deserve this, but then there is no justice for the poor."
Inequality Alleged Between Rich and Poor Suspects
Silva, a 41-year-old auto mechanic, said his wife is not the only member of his family to be treated roughly by Portuguese police.
Maria de Lourdes, Silva's mother, who visits her daughter-in-law regularly in prison, said she was also abused by Portuguese police in Faro in interviews conducted during the Joana investigation.
"The police in Portimao treated us really well," she told ABC News in her home near Lagos. "But the Faro police were awful. They gave us nothing to eat or drink the whole day," said the 57-year-old mother of nine. "They battered us physically and mentally."
Amaral was always present during questioning, de Lourdes said her daughter-in-law told her.
"He controlled everything," she said. "And he kept asking me: 'Did you see blood in the house?' 'I'm sure you cleaned the house with petrol to get rid of the smell.'"
"They have accused us of everything that we killed Joana, that we stabbed her, even that we sold her," de Lourdes said.
But as far as de Lourdes is concerned, the worst thing is not knowing what happened to Joana and then being blamed for her disappearance.
"How can they prove that we had anything to do with her disappearance?"
Privileged vs. Poor
"If Kate McCann were Portuguese, she would already be in jail," said de Lourdes.
The McCann's circle of friends and savvy contacts have been able to generate the kind of media attention that has made their daughter's face instantly recognizable all over the world. They have also hired top attorneys in Portugal and the U.K., as well as forensic experts to pick apart every DNA sample gathered by investigators.
The couple has also received financial backing from a British millionaire Brian Kennedy, a move that may have saved the 39-year-old doctors from having to sell their home to cover their legal defense.
Still, despite her bitterness over what she believes is her own daughter-in-laws wrongful conviction de Lourdes is convinced of Kate McCann's innocence. In fact the slightest mention of the couple brings empathy from de Lourdes.
"I don't think that that woman is capable of doing something like that to her daughter," she said. "I just don't believe it."
"The same Portuguese press that are now chasing the McCanns are the same journalists who were on my doorstep when Joana disappeared," she said.
And while she knows that she and Kate McCann come from very different worlds their situations are parallel.
"Our plight is not so different anymore," she said. "So I cannot help but feel for that woman. After all we are on the same path."
De Lourdes recalls vividly the day Joana went missing.
"I got the phone call around midnight," said de Lourdes. "My son Leandro was asking me if Joana was here with me." They then went to look for her at the cousin's house where she spent the afternoon.
"When I didn't hear from them again, I assumed they had found her," she said.
But the following morning when de Lourdes was getting ready to pick up her son to go to work, she saw her daughter in law Leonor walking down the street sobbing hysterically.
"'Joana is missing,'" she told me.
The girl's parents called police within an hour of Joana's disappearance. But according to Leandro and his mother, police did not begin searching for his daughter until 48 hours after they reported her missing.
Life After Joana
Silva remains convinced of his wife's innocence. But he is particularly bitter about Amaral, against whom he has lodged a formal complaint.
"He (Amaral) should not even be working on this (the McCanns') case," said Silva.
If the beating charges turn out to be true it will hurt the McCann investigation, according to Roy Ramm, former commander of special investigations at Scotland Yard. Ramm told ABC News: "This is not something you would expect to find in the U.K. When someone has allegations of falsifying evidence and beating a witness and these are very serious allegations -- it does not bode well for the case."
"People have to have confidence in the person leading the investigation," he added. "Otherwise the chances of a satisfactory outcome are jeopardized."
In a book entitled "The Star of Joana," former Portuguese detective Paulo Pereira Cristovao alleges how police took too long in organizing a search for the little girl.
Silva thinks his wife's beating was a simple matter of the police needing to find a suspect as well as maintaining a safe image for tourists who come to the Algarve.
He calls the accusations against her ridiculous. "She was a great mother," said Silva. "She never even hit Joana, not once even when our little girl insulted her."
Joana was not Silva's biological daughter but he insists she was still his daughter. "First they took my daughter, now the police have taken my love, my lifelong partner."

Gonçalo Amaral is removed from the case, 02 October 2007

Madeleine McCann: Family appeal for police to 'refocus', 03 October 2007
Madeleine McCann: Family appeal for police to 'refocus' Liverpool Daily Post
Oct 3 2007
The new head of the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann should "refocus" the inquiry on finding the youngster, the family's spokesman said today.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral was taken off the case following his comments that Kate and Gerry McCann had been calling the shots by identifying lines of inquiry for Leicestershire officers.
The family's spokesman Clarence Mitchell told GMTV the claims were "ludicrous".
He added: "What they want now is whoever takes over to refocus the inquiry on to finding Madeleine."
Mr Mitchell said the decision to remove Mr Amaral was "a decision for the Portuguese authorities."
"Kate and Gerry have always said they were more than happy to cooperate with the Portuguese authorities whoever that might be.
"So in other words, whoever takes over from Mr Amaral as head of the investigation, they will continue that cooperation and do anything that is required - including going back to Portugal for more interviews if necessary."
Asked if it was true the McCann's were identifying lines of inquiry for Leicestershire Police, he replied: "Of course not, it's an absolutely ridiculous suggestion."
"It is a Portuguese-led inquiry and will remain so. And of course from time to time there is communication with Gerry and Kate as there would be in any police investigation.
"It is ludicrous to suggest that they have done anything like that."
He called for an end to the printing of "unsubstantiated allegations" in newspapers in Portugal and Britain.
"What they want now is whoever takes over to refocus the inquiry on to finding Madeleine."
"There have been so many distractions, so many unsubstantiated allegations swirling around all of this out there and repeated here in Britain.
"Surely it is now time to for all of that nonsense to end and for the search for Madeleine to be re-energised."
Mr Amaral, who heads the regional Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, was quoted yesterday suggesting that British police had overlooked the fact that the couple remain suspects.
And he accused the McCanns of releasing new information each day in a bid to distract and confuse the 152-day-old inquiry.
The authorities in Portugal refused to discuss the decision to take him off the case.
But Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa said: "We have to concentrate on the work, not on making comments."
Mr Amaral has been a controversial figure during the search for Madeleine, who went missing in May during a family holiday in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
He is one of five men charged over an alleged attack on the mother of another missing girl.
The men are accused of "scenes of aggression" against Leonor Cipriano, who was convicted of the murder of her nine-year-old daughter, Joana, in September 2004.
The detective was also forced to defend a two-hour lunch break with police spokesman Olegario Sousa at a fish restaurant in Portimao during the search for Madeleine.
The men were spotted drinking what looked like white wine and whisky as the McCanns flew to Berlin to publicise the case.
Mr Amaral's comments yesterday were the latest salvo from the Portuguese authorities in an increasingly bitter war of words over the case.
Mr Amaral broke his silence after it was reported that an anonymous email sent to the Prince of Wales's website was being investigated by British police.
The message suggested a disgruntled employee working at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz may have kidnapped the young girl.
Mr Amaral told Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias all current and former employees at the resort have been investigated.
He said: "The British police have only worked on what the McCann couple want them to work on and what suits them."
Speaking about the email lead, he added: "This situation has no credibility whatsoever for the Portuguese police.
"(British police) have investigated tips and information worked on by the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspected of causing the death of their daughter Madeleine.
"This story about kidnapping for revenge is another fact worked on by the McCanns."
Earlier, Carlos Anjos, head of Portugal's police federation, accused Mr McCann of being negligent.
His comments came after Mr McCann said he believed someone was hiding in Madeleine's room when he went back to check on the children on May 3.
Mr Anjos said: "If he was suspicious that there was a man in the apartment, and then he calmly went to dinner, then words cannot describe how negligent he is as a father."
He also criticised what he claimed was a steady stream of information from the McCann camp.
He said: "Since their daughter disappeared, Gerry and Kate have followed a strategy of almost daily announcements of new facts."

McCann cop in 'mum cover-up, 12 February 2008
McCann cop in 'mum cover-up The Sun
By GARY O'SHEA in Faro
Published: 12 Feb 2008
THE cop who first smeared Kate and Gerry McCann was accused in court yesterday of covering up the torture of a mum in a separate case.
Goncalo Amaral, 48, was alleged by his boss to have been "hasty" in making missing Maddie's parents formal suspects.
Yesterday he faced claims he concealed evidence that four colleagues allegedly beat Leonor Cipriano until she admitted killing daughter Joana.
The girl, nine, went missing from Portimao 3½ years ago.
Leonor, 36, is serving 16 years for her murder, despite retracting her statement – and the failure of cops to find Joana's body.
A judge will rule in two weeks if tubby Amaral should face a criminal trial over what many say is Portugal's worst miscarriage of justice. Amaral denies any wrongdoing.
The dad of three worked on the Maddie case after she went missing from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz last May.
The 18-stone officer made Kate and Gerry formal suspects, or arguidos, in September despite having no concrete evidence.
He was booted off the case in October after claiming British cops were trying to shield the McCanns, both 39, of Rothley, Leics.

McCanns slur cop to face trial, 23 February 2008
McCanns slur cop to face trial The Sun
Published: 23 Feb 2008
THE cop who first smeared Kate and Gerry McCann must face trial for his alleged role in covering up the torture of a mum, a judge ruled yesterday.
Goncalo Amaral, 48, faces six years for allegedly concealing that four colleagues beat Leonor Cipriano, 36, until she confessed to killing her daughter Joana, nine.
Leonor, who later retracted her confession, is serving 16 years for murdering the girl — whose body was never found after she vanished from Portimao in Portugal 3½ years ago.
Campaigners insist the case is the country's worst miscarriage of justice.
The Amaral charges — failing to report a crime and giving false testimony — follow him being accused by Portugal's national police director of being "hasty" in making the McCanns formal suspects.
He led the probe after Maddie, now four, vanished on May 3 in Praia da Luz.
But he was booted off the case in October after claiming British cops were trying to shield the McCanns, both 39, of Rothley, Leics.

Ex-chief of Maddy McCann case 'in cover-up', 26 February 2008
Ex-chief of Maddy McCann case 'in cover-up' Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:17AM GMT 26 Feb 2008
The disgraced former head of the Madeleine McCann police investigation will stand trial accused of falsifying evidence in a separate missing child case, a judge has ruled.
Goncalo Amaral, 48, who was sacked from the Madeleine inquiry last year, is accused of covering up for four of his officers who are accused of torture.
He was in charge of the Madeleine case when her parents, Gerry and Kate, were named as suspects last September. His boss has since said officers had acted "hastily" in making the McCanns arguidos (formal suspects).
The trial Mr Amaral faces relates to the investigation into the disappearance of eight-year-old Joana Cipriano from a village seven miles from Praia da Luz in the Algarve four years ago.
Her mother, Leonor, and uncle, Joao Cipriano, were convicted of murdering her.
Both claim they were beaten and tortured into confessing during a police interrogation that took place without the knowledge of the public prosecutor.
Mr Amaral is said to have helped cover up the alleged torture.
Judge Ana Lucia Cruz, who sits at the court of instruction in Faro, ruled yesterday that Mr Amaral would stand trial on charges of falsifying evidence and failing to report a crime.
Four inspectors will stand trial accused of torture.
The officers claim that Mrs Cipriano tried to commit suicide by throwing herself off a staircase.
Mr Amaral was sacked from his position as chief of the Judicial Police in Portimao in October last year. He continues his job as a police officer and denies any wrongdoing.
Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, deny being involved in their daughter's disappearance.

The case comes to court

Marcos Aragao Correia has a "vision" of the Cipriano case, 09 October 2008
Marcos Aragao Correia has a "vision" of the Cipriano Case SOSMaddie
Duarte Levy
09 October 2008
Thanks to 'annaesse' for translation
Marcos Aragao Correia, who made himself known as a protagonist in the Madeleine McCann case, is to be the new lawyer for Léonor Cipriano in the proceedings against the PJ inspectors for having tortured Joana Cipriano's mother.
The Portuguese Public Minister accuses three PJ inspectors of having tortured Joana Cipriano's mother during her interrogation. One is accused of falsifying documents and the fifth, Gonçalo Amaral is accused of non-cooperation and failure to disclose.
Marcos Aragao, who replaces Joao Grade, is the lawyer who had taken legal action against the Portuguese postal services, accusing them of not having delivered to the McCanns in person, a recorded letter, in which, according to him, he indicated leads which might have helped the investigation. Marcos Aragao, in contact with the Metodo 3 agency, then began searches in the Arade Dam, a few kilometres from the place where Madeleine McCann dispappeared, finding only rubbish and a few animal bones.
Initially, the lawyer claimed to hold information about the location of Madeleine's body, but finally admitted that the searches at the Arade Dam - the lead he was seeking to pass on to the McCanns - were carried out based on a vision, which he allegedly had about the disappearance of the little British girl.
The lawyer was already known in this case, as the author of a report from the Association Against Exclusion by Development, released in April this year, which supported the existence of a crime of torture perpetrated by the PJ. This same report, contradicting statements from Leonor Cipriano's - who has continually changed her version since the start of the trial - accuses Gonçalo Amaral of being present at the time of the alleged assaults. The former coordinator of the PJ's DIC at Portimao, has meanwhile decided to pursue legal action against the lawyer.
A trial that highlights the conflict between the Public Minister and the PJ.
Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the PJ's Portimao Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC), is accused by thr Public Minister of non-cooperation and of not disclosing the alleged assaults on Leonor Cipriano by the PJ inspectors.
After Joana Cipriano's disappearance on September 12th 2004, her mother Leonor, and her uncle Joao, were sentenced to 16 years in prison for murder and concealment of a corpse.
According to the inspectors' witness statement, after her interrogation, Joana's mother had managed to evade the attention of the inspectors and, stating that she wanted to commit suicide, threw herself down the stairs. Injured, she was then driven by the inspectors to see a doctor and then taken to prison.
A letter from another prisoner, sent to the authorities about the accusations made against the inspectors, reinforces that version: according to that witness, Joana's mother had admitted to fellow prisoners that she had fallen down the stairs, but that, after a meeting with the prison's director, she had changed her version, stating that she had been tortured and that she expected to receive compensation.
Confronted by Gonçalo Amaral, Leonor Cipriano stated that the former coordinator of the PJ's DIC at Portimao had never assaulted her. In spite of several confrontations with the other inspectors, Joana's mother never managed to identify them as being her attackers, which has not stopped the prosecutor from going ahead with the trial, admitting that he too could not guarantee that it was the right inspectors or if the assault had actually taken place.

'Sem Resto de Joana' - 'No Trace of Joana', 15 October 2008
Sem Rasto de Joana - No Trace of Joana RTP
Joana Morais
Broadcast by RTP1 on 15 October 2008
The case shocked the country in the late summer of 2004.

Little girl Joana Guerreiro, aged 8, had disappeared from the village of Figueira, near Portimao. Her mother Leonor Cipriano gave the media many interviews where she lamented her daughter's disappearance.
Only a few days after the Policia Judiciaria started the investigations, Leonor and her brother Joao Cipriano were arrested for homicide. But the story would unravel with even more macabre details. The uncle confessed that he cut the girl into three pieces but never revealed where the body was hidden. As a matter of fact, until today Joana's body hasn't been found, which leads the defence lawyers to still entertain doubts about the child's real destiny.
In this report, Joao Cipriano, who remained silent throughout the entire trial, broke his silence and gave RTP a written interview. The Policia Judiciaria inspectors who took care of the case also speak out for the first time about one of the most complex investigations that the police force ever faced.
Sem Rasto de Joana - Without a Trace of Joana is a report by journalist Jorge Almeida, with image by Pedro Silveira Ramos, image editing by Paulo Nunes and audio post production by Luis Mateus.
Sem Rasto de Joana - No Trace of Joana Video:

No Trace of Joana
Transcript and Translation by Debk
The last time that Joana was seen was as she returned to her house after going to the store for her mother. She had gone to purchase some milk and two cans of tuna. What happened after that has never been explained.
At first, Joana was reported as missing.
Fernando Ferreira, GNR police officer, Portimao: "We received notice via radio and went to the Aldeia da Figueira … attending Joana's mother and her boyfriend, Leandro. The objective was to try to obtain the maximum amount of information which could help identify the girl: name, age, height and what she was wearing at the time she disappeared. From there, having this information, we searched the village."
The night of 12 September 2004 was a festival night in the Aldeia da Figueira. The traditional Sao Miguel party was underway as shown in these amateur videos given to RTP, which show no signs of Joana. But in one scene you can see António Leandro, the girl's stepfather.
The Portimao GNR continued with searches over the following days around the Aldeia da Figueira. Posters about the disappearance were put up. But there were no traces of Joana.
The mother began giving interviews to the media.
Leonor Cipriano, Joana's mother: "Everyone in the café says, 'This is a badly told story. A girl disappearing, suddenly... it was someone from outside who headed for Lisbon and took her in a car.'"
Four days later, the case of the missing 8 year old girl is transferred to the PJ in Portimao. Another four days later, it is transferred to the PJ Directory in Faro. The inspectors had no idea they now had in their hands one of the most complex cases ever confronted.
Guilhermino da Encarnaçao, Director, PJ Faro: "In this investigation, we covered about 50,000 kilometres. 2100 official processes were created. We assigned approximately 40 inspectors and requested approximately 40 exams from the Scientific Police Laboratory and the Legal Medical Institute."
Leonor Cipriano continued to give interviews.
Leonor Cipriano: "I'm very sad. I think my daughter is really missing her mother. I just ask that anyone who knows about my daughter, that you don't hurt her. And that you can bring her to me."
Interviewer: "Where do you think your daughter could be right now?"

Leonor Cipriano: "There are only guesses. If she is alive, or not, if she's hurt. I don't know, there's no explanation for my daughter… I don't know, I don't know."
Without any clues, the PJ inspectors did find discrepancies. The statements of Joana's mother, the uncle and the other family members do not coincide.
Gonçalo Amaral, Coordinating Inspector PJ (Jan 2007): "In the first statements given to the GNR, the first agency to arrive, it was a badly told story. There were various contradictions amongst certain people, witnesses, who were part of the family group where Joana lived. Based on these contradictions, there arose at a certain time the need for a new interrogation of these individuals, with all these witnesses, at the same time, at the police headquarters, such that they couldn't confer between themselves, and with the principal objective to understand whether the girl had, or had not, returned home. From there, it was proved that the girl had returned home. That is, it was a lie, there was a simulation of a disappearance. From there, it was necessary to determine what had happened."
Leonor is taken in by the PJ on the 21 September, eleven days after her daughter disappeared. The girl's uncle, Joao Cipriano, remained free for one more day but was also arrested under suspicion of homicide.
In the next few days, Joao took the PJ inspectors to dozens of different locations to point out Joana's body. But the body was not found in any of those places.
Gonçalo Amaral: "At that time, it became, as if it were a fact, to the police that she was playing with us … She was sending a message, a message to perhaps say that the body was cut up or the body no longer existed. But, at the same time, all the diligences constituted evidence. This permitted us, as would come to happen in the trial, to speak about them, because they were diligences in which we participated and not witness statements of the arguidos. We aren't talking about declarations by arguidos, we are talking about giving witness to the diligences that we did and why we did these diligences and went to these places. On the other hand, it would not have happened, for him to indicate where to find the body or the rest of the body or pieces of the body and we then didn't go. We always had to go. And that's what happened."
The PJ's theory was that the body was fed to the pigs, a theory that was not proven in court. Shocked by this macabre story, hundreds of locals invaded the village searching for answers. The same answers for which the PJ were searching. Why was Joana killed? And where is her body?
Guilhermino da Encarnaçao: "In principal, this is a disappearance. And this crime is always, excuse me, this crime doesn't have a juridic framework but could have behind it a series of crimes, a kidnapping, an abduction, human trafficking, criminal associations, so that any of these crimes could be behind a disappearance. And the complexity begins right there."
Leonor and her brother confessed the crime to the PJ. Joao Cipriano even participated in a video reconstitution where he explained with the kitchen stool, how the girl was killed in a beating and where she hit her head against the wall. The images filmed by the PJ were shown in court against the protest of the defense attorneys.
Sara Rosado, Joao Cipriano's lawyer: "I imagine that all the pressure surrounding this process, generated that, those declarations, as well as others in opposite and various directions, with other details, with other facts. As for the rest, the version that you find constituted in the video doesn't even adhere to the accusation. That is, the actual accusation didn't even follow this theory if you examine certain details. And, in fact, only the pressure that … one of these was the enormous pressure on everyone, including the arguidos who were arrested and so…"
RTP requested authorization from the Portimao Court to emit in this report a short excerpt of the video but the judge in charge denied the request invoking the "image rights" of those who appear in the video.
Joao Cipriano also directed a photographic reconstitution where, with the help of a mannequin, he explained how he cut Joana's body into three parts.
According to the accusations from the Public Ministry, the three body pieces were placed in black sacks in the small refrigerator during the first few hours. In the various exams done by technicians from the Scientific Police Lab at Joana's house, human blood was found in one of the drawers inside the refrigerator. But DNA tests did not prove that the blood was Joana's.
Gonçalo Amaral: "It is just one of the versions that was given, and we continue to find viable and credible because blood was found in a chink on one of the refrigerator drawers. A drop of blood in the drawer. Someone opens [the refrigerator] and lets some blood run. The blood ran into the drawer and was cleaned, so it only remained in the chinks, in the areas that are difficult to clean. The explanation was necessary given the circumstances in which the homicide occurred, as this was not a prepared or planned homicide, it was a homicide "in loco." It happened, in the way everyone knows, and they had to hide the body. It's viable and an alternative that they may have used and tried, during the first phase while thinking about what to do with the body, to hide the body in the refrigerator."
During the trial, it was also proven that the body pieces would only have fit in the refrigerator if that drawer in which they found human blood had been removed from the refrigerator.
Sara Rosado: "The doctor who attended the diligences and testified in court affirmed that, very tightly, [the body] would fit. But only by removing the drawer. There was blood found on the back of the alleged drawer, having removed the drawer, but the doctor said the arguidos were surprised with this. It was an idea that had never occurred to them. So I don't think anything like this happened."
Many more vestiges of blood were found in Joana's house. Using ultraviolet light, they found blood on the walls by the door: traces of facial and hand impressions from a child of the family, but which could not be proved to be Joana's. Also by the light switch, near the front door, there was found a bit of blood from Ruben, Joana's younger brother who also lived in the house.
Joao Grade, Leonor Cipriano's second lawyer (former lawyer): "There was not blood in so many different areas... there were various exams done... just vestiges of human blood, which is normal. A housewife only has to cut herself peeling potatoes while watching a soap opera, only has to have a cut, to have blood, it just has to fall on the ground, it has to be cleaned as anyone of us would clean, and then with rigorous exams you could conclude that there were vestiges of blood. It doesn't say anything. In any of our houses, there could be blood like this."
On the floor of the house and on a mop handle, there were found a mixture of human and animal blood. These exams were also inconclusive.
Allegedly, the exams did not produce results because Leonor washed the house with gasoline because the house was infected with ticks. A doubtful motive for PJ who found the house filthy with dirty dishes in the sink. Except for some walls which were cleaned. As soon as the first suspicions arose, the house should have been isolated.
Gonçalo Amaral: "You can tell that the house had been cleaned, that area where the blood was found had been cleaned. It had been cleaned with petroleum purchased by Leonor on the day she left the Portimao police station. There was an attempt, that you might say worked well, to inhibit any laboratory results. As many vestiges as possible were obtained, given the circumstances, and the conclusion is that it was human blood. According to the court, and I agree, something serious happened in that house, on that day. And the conclusion was that it was a homicide."
Another piece of evidence found at Joana's house by the PJ were the red shoes that Joana was supposed to be wearing the day she disappeared. The PJ believe that the mother and uncle forgot to hide the shoes, just as they did the purchases from the store. The posters put up by the family said that she was wearing red shoes.
Sara Rosado: "No one knows what the child was wearing, especially the shoes."
In February 2005, photographs were published of Leonor with significant bruising (Marinho Pinto Expresso Newspaper Article). The trial will begin soon of four inspectors charged with torture, and Gonçalo Amaral of the crime of false witness and failure to denounce [inappropriate police behaviour].
Guilhermino da Encarnaçao: "This is extremely difficult because, in 30 years of criminal investigation, I've never seen the confession of such a serious crime without the arguidos saying they were tortured, attacked or raped so that this, for us police officers, and I tell you, unfortunately, it has become the norm, natural. Therefore I don't give it a lot of credence."
Leonor and Joao opted to remain silent throughout the entire trial. In November 2005 they were charged with qualified homicide and hiding a cadaver. Leonor was condemned to 20 years and 4 months in prison, and Joao to 19 years and 2 months. The three jury members and four judges felt that the brother and sister did not intend to kill the child but gave, as proven, that the body was dismembered though they were not convinced it was kept in the refrigerator. Nor was it proven that the child was killed because she caught the mother and her brother having sex. The defense attorneys and the Public Ministry presented an appeal, reducing the penalty to 16 years and 8 month.
With a lot of doubts still to be clarified, Leonor's attorney presented another appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
Joao Grade: "It's more than frustrating that we do not know what happened. We have this other child who disappeared 10 years ago, when eight years old, and now has returned at eighteen years old. We don't know whether Joana is going to appear twenty years from now, or four years from now, alive or dead, I don't know."
RTP wanted to talk to Leonor and Joao, currently serving their sentences in the Odimera and Carregeira prisons. Leonor sent a signed letter, where she agreed to give an interview. Two days after making a request to the Prison Director, that service sent us a newly signed letter when Leonor rescinded her agreement because of "lack of understanding".
Joao Cipriano agreed to give his first interview, a written interview wherein he proclaimed his innocence. "I did nothing to my niece, Joana Guerreiro. I am innocent. I was threatened with knives to make that video that was shown in court. But it is all lies. The PJ came almost every day to the Olhao prison where I was held to ask me where Joana was. And I, afraid of beatings, kept saying she was here or there, but it was a lie. My sister told me that Joana was fine. She told me that she had sold Joana to a foreign couple."
It remains to be known, what was Joana's destiny.
RTP 2007

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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