husband of a Portuguese woman jailed for the murder of her child spoke last
night of his fears for Kate McCann.
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.”
demanded that one of the detectives leading the Maddie investigation should be
dropped from the case.
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.
Kate ... Leonor's husband Leandro
exclusively to The Sun, Leandro said: “Goncalo Amaral shouldn’t still be
investigating the McCann case.
“I believe he
will be proved to be a bad policeman and a bad operator.
“I don’t believe
Kate and Gerry have anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.
“I just don’t
believe they would do such a thing. After losing Joana I know the pain they are
going through. It’s terrible.”
In news that
shocked the world Kate McCann was yesterday declared an “arguida” ? Portuguese
for suspect ? in the hunt for Maddie.
And the story of little Joana Cipriano has some chilling echoes of
the British child’s disappearance.
Joana vanished on
September 12, 2004, just seven miles from the spot where Madeleine went missing
on May 3.
brown-eyed youngster, her chestnut hair cut into a boyish crop, set off from
home in the village of Figueira to collect groceries.
But she never
returned. Like Maddie, it was as if Joana had disappeared off the face of the
appealed to the public like Leonor
According to a
neighbour of the girl, Joana was mature for her age.
“Instead of playing with other children she spent her time taking care of her
two little brothers.”
described her as the “Cinderella” of the household, seen at all times of the day
and night running errands for her family.
Her mother made
public appeals for her daughter’s safe return, claiming she had been kidnapped.
started to suspect the disappearance.
Nídia Rochato remembered that Leonor neither cried nor seemed unduly concerned.
When asked about
this, Leonor is said to have told Nídia she believed her daughter was still
case, the investigation into Joana’s disappearance got off to a bad start.
National Guard failed to seal off the house where she was last seen.
In November 2005
Leonor, 34, was found guilty, along with her brother Joao, of Joana’s murder and
is now serving 16 years.
stepfather, said: “Leonor never did anything yet 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.
Leonor alleges police beat her
“I just pray
Madeleine appears. With Joana the police did a bad job. They didn’t spend enough
time looking for the child.”
A photograph of
Leanor's face ? black and blue with bruises ? was published in Portuguese
The mum accused
police of beating her during an interrogation that took place without her lawyer
present or with the knowledge of the public prosecutor.
head of the regional Judicial Police, is one of five officers accused over the
balding senior cop in his 40s has also been heading the Maddie McCann
Ministerio Publico said in June it had charged three police officers with
torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of
It did not reveal
who had been charged with which offence.
Police sources in
Portugal deny Mr Amaral has done anything wrong.
allegations, the detective has not been removed from the McCann case.
They say he is a
dedicated and professional officer. Police sources said Mr Amaral was “very
angry” about the allegations and was considering taking action against the
A source said:
“He is very professional and has had a lot of success in solving cases. He is
very upset because reporters never speak of these successes.”
leading the search for Maddie
family reacted with disbelief to the claims against Mr Amaral.
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.”
parents, Kate and Gerry, were informed of the charges by the a Foreign Office on
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.”
Supporters of Mr
Amaral claim Leonor didn’t report her daughter missing for two days.
her trial claimed Leonor and her brother were found by Joana having sex when she
returned with the groceries.
They said the
pair were afraid Joana would tell what she saw and claim the pair beat the child
in order to frighten but killed her in the process.
behind bars for news on the case against the officers accused of beating her.
Only time will
tell if anyone will ever be prosecuted over Maddie’s disappearance.