The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
Soon, very soon the world will know the "Truth about the Lie" and "we will gain truth and justice for a little girl who
has no voice", dead on the evening of May 3rd at apartment 5A, Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal" - Goncalo Amaral, 22 April 2008
Goncalo Amaral with wife Sofia
Message to readers of this site, from Goncalo Amaral - 22 April 2008
As you can understand, I can't do any comment about the investigation on the "McCann Case"... (I have omitted the next
part, in the interests of privacy and it did not in any way compromise the judicial secrecy laws)
Looking towards my freedom of speech, I asked for my retirement last month. All the insults, false accusations and lie's
from the past year are now being brought to court from my lawyers (the very last one is from Daily Mail, yesterday).
would like to say thank you to the thousands of persons that every day, for the last year, are supporting me all over the
world. I would like to answer all the phone calls, emails and letters, but is not possible...there are so many! As you can
imagine, most of the days are not that easy, and these messages have been a great support not only for me, but also for my
family. Once again, thank you all!
You're allowed do display this message on you site, and I thank you for that. One last thing:
*Soon, very soon the world will know the "Truth about the Lie" and "we will gain truth and justice for a little girl who
has no voice", dead on the evening of May 3rd at apartment 5A, Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal"*
Best regards, Goncalo Amaral
that Maddie is dead, 03 May 2008
gain truth and justice for a little girl who has no voice, dead on the evening of May 3rd at apartment 5A, Ocean Club, Praia da Luz"The sentence is from Goncalo Amaral, former-coordinator of the inquiry
into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Word by word, the
inner feelings integrate the text sent by the inspector of the Judicial Police (PJ) - in pre-retirement - for an English site,
which collects information on the mystery created around the English child, missing one year ago today.
The message was published on April 22 and is followed with the announcement that 'soon, very soon, the World will go
to know 'truth of the lie''. Curiously, it is the heading of the book that, as CM already reported, Goncalo Amaral intends
to launch, with explosive data on his investigating experience whilst with the PJ during the period when he was at the front
of the Maddie case.
CM knows that this is the full conviction of this
element of the PJ, which is based on 'strong indications' which lead them to follow the theory of negligent homicide, following
an accident inside the apartment where the McCann couple were on holiday.
On the same British site (www.mccannfiles.com), without
ever accusing anybody, Goncalo Amaral relates that "I can't do any
comment about the investigation on the "McCann Case", so as 'not to compromise the secret of justice'.
He also underlines that, looking towards his proper
freedom of speech, he asked for retirement from the Judiciary in the month of May. At the same time, he thanked 'the support
of thousands of people' that have contacted
him and have sent letters and e-mails, from all over the world.
Goncalo Amaral also clarifies that "All the insults, false accusations and lie's from the past year (when he still investigated the
Maddie case) are now being brought to court from my lawyers", as was already notified by CM.
On the same British site - whose author says 'to look for the truth on Madeleine McCann and to highlight
concerns and inconsistencies' - the result of a poll on what happened to Madeleine is published, where the great majority
of the voters declared that the English child 'died as the result of an accident involving the parents'.
Former inspector of the PJ believes that Maddie is dead, 03 May 2008
Former inspector of the PJ believes that Maddie is dead - RTP video featuring Goncalo Amaral's email to
Goncalo Amaral, the former inspector of the PJ, removed during the investigation, for the first time,
made a public declaration on a British site on the internet.
The ex-inspector doesn’t have any doubt that Maddie is
dead and that the truth will be known very soon.
03 May 2008
Thanks to 'Luz' from the3arguidos forum for
[00:00] This is a confession (desabafo)
written in English, «soon, very soon the world will know the Truth of the Lie».
[00:04) These are the words of Goncalo Amaral and they are the first since
he was removed from the investigation on Maddie’s case.
[00:15] «…and it will gain truth and
justice for a little girl, who has no voice, dead on the evening of may 3rd, at the apartment 5A, Ocean Club, Praia da Luz,
[00:26] In October, declarations to the press about an alleged favouring of the British Police to
the McCann, opened to him the exit door of the PJ. Goncalo Amaral is now in a process of pre-retirement.
the British site, that collects information about the disappearance of Maddie, the ex-investigator left thanks, confessions...,
and he «doesn’t say more because of the secret of justice».
doesn’t speak about his retirement from the Judiciaria, but for those that defend him, they make, with caution, a reading,
[00:57] "I think that his removal may have been useful, I don’t know
to whom, but may have been useful at least on one fact: we knew for sure that as long as he remained in the process there
would be a strong investment in the investigation" (Paulo Santos – G. Amaral's lawyer)
[01:13] One year has already
gone by and what we know about the night of May 3rd remains involved in mystery. Making a reconstruction of the disappearance
is a hypothesis that is not excluded by PJ.
[01:25] And in case that happens, Alipio Ribeiro says that the presence
of the parents is very important. In declarations to the Lusa Agency, the National Director of the PJ "considers that it would
be of indispensable that the McCann couple accepted to participate under the Portuguese legal rules".
Alternative short RTP video (01:24):
The following article is the one that is commonly quoted as having led to the removal of
Goncalo Amaral from the investigation:
PJ accuse English police of favouring the McCann couple, 02 October
PAULA MARTINHEIRA JOSE MANUEL OLIVEIRA 02.10.07 Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
"The British police have only been working on the issues that
the McCann couple wants, and which are convenient to them." It was with an explosive and rebellious tone that the coordinator
of the investigation into the Madeleine case, Goncalo Amaral, commented in brief statements to DN the news that was
published yesterday in several English newspapers. This news was about an anonymous email that was sent to Prince Charles'
official site, which accuses an ex-employee of the Ocean Club of kidnapping the four-year-old girl, as an act of revenge against
the resort's administration, after having been dismissed.
"That situation is completely set aside, and
it has no credibility whatsoever for Portuguese police", the leader of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of
Portimao told DN, considering that his English colleagues "have been investigating leads and information that were created
and worked by the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspected of the death of their daughter Madeleine".
"That story of a kidnapping for revenge is another fact that was worked by the McCanns", Goncalo
Amaral accused, stressing that the Ocean Club "is located in Praia da Luz and not in London, which means that everything
that concerns the resort and its employees (present or former) was already, or is being, investigated by the Policia Judiciaria".
"It's not an email, even less an anonymous one, which is easy to track, that is going to distract our investigation
line", he said.
Goncalo Amaral, before entering the CID in Portimao, was at the PJ's Directory
in Faro, having been mainly responsible for fighting drug traffic.
The position of the coordinator of CID in Portimao
comes to meet the statements that were made to DN by the president of the Union of Criminal Investigation Employees (ASFIC),
Carlos Anjos, who accuses Gerry and Kate McCann of "trying to distract and confuse the investigation by announcing a
new fact on a daily basis". For him, as DN could report, "the McCanns have launched a campaign to discredit the
Portuguese police when it presented the theory of the girl's death, substituting that of an abduction, which was very
convenient to them". "As long as the theory of the disappearance because of a suspected abduction subsisted, the
PJ were very pleasant company for the couple. When things changed and the death theory emerged, there was a radical change
in the stance of the McCanns, who by the way never helped or facilitated, since the beginning, the investigation".
In late August, early September, a few days before Gerry and Kate were constituted arguidos, for suspicions of the
negligent death of their daughter Madeleine, a top member of staff of Judiciaria commented the following: "After buying
ourselves a war with British media, we are now buying one with English police."
Over the last few weeks,
the Policia Judiciaria has been silent, which was helped by the fact that the spokesman of this force for that case, Olegario
Sousa, has left that function, which he occupied since the child's disappearance.
July 3, 2008 Thanks to Astro for translation
When, in late 1983 (it's
been some 25 years) me and a few other colleagues, after finishing the training at the School, we were placed in the Training
Group which operated at the then called SCITE/CICD, at the end of the Rua Conde de Redondo.
There, we met a group
of police investigators whose characteristics, both individually and as a group, and the way they worked, led us (at least
most of us) to want to be placed there permanently.
In fact, the motivation and the dedication to service, the
enthusiasm and the joy with which they carried out their functions, the competence and the professionalism that they demonstrated,
were for us, recent trainees from the Barro School, the certainty that the profession that we were just starting translated
into an activity filled with achievement and into a magnificent career with a radiant future.
Many of those colleagues
were more or less our age, not much older than us, from the immediately preceding training course, and therefore, had just
completed their internship.
Among them was Goncalo Amaral. Maybe with more abundant hair than now, and eventually
a little lighter. The rest of him was just the same. Back then already, we were surprised by his commitment to the profession,
the competence that he displayed, the assurance with which he worked, the courage with which he went everywhere and faced
any situation and any adversary. In the same way, the good mood with which he faced setbacks and adversities of the function,
as well as the tolerance with which he faced the sometimes irreverent jokes by one or another colleague (and I should say
so, as conscience accuses me of having been such, not only a few times), were notorious.
Later on, Goncalo
would go to work in Faro and in Ponta Delgada. Always with the personal availability and the professional capacity that are
his characteristic. And in all of the countless areas that are nowadays included in the work of a Policia Judiciaria
investigator. Investigating homicides or collecting information about organised crime networks. Analysing documentation that
concerned complex financial movements or capturing dangerous individuals. Without eschewing difficulties or losing heart when
faced with setbacks. Showing his face and taking on the fight. Always.
Back in Lisbon, and in the fight against
drugs trafficking, Goncalo was nominated, still as an Agent, to head a Investigation Squad at the DCITE. Anyone who
was with that department at that time, will remember that the results that were achieved by that Squad, under the charismatic
leadership of Goncalo Amaral, soon surpassed the average statistics. The numbers that were achieved by him and his
men, both in terms of arrested individuals, and of narcotics or possessions and valuables that were apprehended, or even of
condemnations in court, marked an epoch at the DCITE and set an example.
I know. I remember it well. I was there.
He would accumulate the leadership of the Squad with the role of a University student. And his characteristic form
of direction, always direct and frontal, in a style of permanent and fully assumed leadership, always present and always available,
did not refrain him from, as swiftly as permitted, achieving a degree in Law. Despite his earlier training in Engineering.
We met again at the training to become Subinspectors. Once more, Goncalo showed his remarkable work capacity,
as he completed that training, intensive and demanding, in accumulation with the leadership of the Investigation Squad. Once
more, his significant studying ability was patent, as he finished the training top of his class of 99 colleagues.
He would, later on and as a natural and logical consequence of his professional career and his life, apply to become a Criminal
Investigation Coordinator, and as expected, he was promoted to that functional category soon afterwards.
Well, approximately one year ago, we all watched, stupefied, a sort of spectacle that had until then been unheard
of, among us. Like in the witch hunts of the past, a certain media (mainly English, but unfortunately not only that) destroyed
a Man from the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria in public. A high-ranking Criminal Investigation career official.
A colleague and a friend to so many of us. A character assassination like no other employee of this House had ever been a
victim of, before. And why?
Because, as had always been his hallmark, Dr. Goncalo Amaral, a Policia
Judiciaria Criminal Investigation Coordinator, went to fight, committed himself, faced, bravely and decidedly, the
difficulties and the setbacks of a service case that is extremely complex and whose outlines are still undefined, and may
remain so forever.
Maybe for the first time in the Policia Judiciaria's History, an investigator
is exposed in public and his private life is rummaged. Merely because he was investigating a certain suspicious case. Because
he was working. Maybe the Portuguese State, the Public Administration, our Policia Judiciaria, should have mechanisms
in place to protect its representatives in situations like this one. In order to safeguard them as they carry out their professional
activity for the benefit of Public Service. Maybe all of us, colleagues in profession, should have stood up, and honouring
the so famous, so traditional and so bandied about "Esprit de Corps" that they say is characteristic of our "House",
should have somehow manifested our support of Dr. Goncalo Amaral.
None of that happened. Goncalo
If this strategy catches in the future, tomorrow, when facing powerful, well connected arguidos, it
could be other investigators who suffer this ordeal. It could be any one of us. And that may, in a way, mean the end of criminal
investigation. At least in the way that we see it and develop it.
May this case be an object for reflection. And
an example. And may it allow for us to create ways to avoid its repetition. The ASFICPJ should, maybe, analyse all of this
situation, in a serious, conscientious and exhaustive manner. It is its obligation, too.
My friend Goncalo,
I sincerely regret your leaving the Policia Judiciaria, which seems precocious to me, because I admit that you
still had a lot to give to the cause of Society, of Justice and of Public Service. Furthermore, our "House" does
not own that many resources, both in quality and in quantity, to be able to afford not profiting from them, or, even worse,
The only thing that is left for me, facing the reality of facts, is to thank you for your friendship,
and to wish you the best of happiness and of success in the new stage of your life that you decided to start now.
Lisboa, July 3, 2008, Joao Fernandes Figueira A.S.F.I.C./P.J. member nr. 711
Goncalo Amaral will strengthen the range
of specialised columnists at CM. The author of 'The Truth of the Lie', who has now published his book, will share
with the reader a different view on the criminal investigation and its contours and also on the issues of Justice.
of Saturday, do not miss 'Matter of Fact', signed by the man who was investigating for the Judicial Police since 1981.
Goncalo Amaral, Ex-coordinator
of criminal investigation
02 August 2008 - 00h30
"A criminal investigation does not have to be
Those who knew me through social communication got an opinion based on my connection with the
so-called Maddie Case. During the investigation and after being removed, I was a target of the most terrible accusations from
the British press, some local commentators and a man named Clarence Mitchell, whose role is not very well understood. On the
eve of the publication of the book you already know, this gentleman was sending me threats : "that I should take care" - I
Let me make it clear that I consider this to be an unacceptable tone, coming from a citizen of the oldest
democracy in the world. Take care, why? Because I might step on a banana peel while walking? Is Mr Mitchell concerned about
my health? I do not think so. We all perceive his threatening tone.
In Portugal, we are not used to people speaking
that way. Nor is this the view we have of the British people, but there are always some people that fall out of standards.
A criminal investigation need not be politically correct, nor fear veiled threats. The book only contains facts and contains
no indictment. So the differences stand out.
Goncalo Amaral - 'Matter of Fact' column,
09 August 2008
Goncalo Amaral, Ex-coordinator of criminal investigation
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
so-called "Maddie Case" process was made public last Monday. On that day, a new era in the relationship between the Portuguese
Justice and the public was started. Journalists from all over the world jumped on the thousands of pages, looking for secrets
as if they were the key to a mystery. It did not take more than a few hours for the brilliant minds to discover what a vast
team of Portuguese and English investigators and experts hadn't found in 14 months.
Leads and sightings jumped up in
great numbers – all of them credible and despised by the police, obviously. It is only elementary commonsense that the
process is read and re-read, so it can be understood completely and in a serene manner; criticism, if it exists, should come
afterwards, or we risk falling into the gratuitous sensationalism that some of the press victimised us to (us, incautious
citizens). The right to inform is not to speculate. And that is not what is expected from our journalists who, truth be told,
always knew how to distinguish themselves from the British. Do not lose reason now. You are thanked by Justice, by the citizens
– and, let’s not forget, by the child that disappeared on the 3rd of May 2007.
Rights for paedophiles and witnesses, 27
Measures for the limitation of personal rights are being adopted against paedophilia
– such as professional restrictions to prevent working with children.
In some countries there is an
obligation for those condemned of paedophilia, once their sentence has been served, for the authorities to be informed as
regards change of address or trips abroad. In other countries chemical castration is talked of. These restrictive measures,
according to some, are aimed at protecting children.
As regards rights, situations
occur that at first sight, are incomprehensible. A few months ago, a crime trial [Madeleine McCann Process] was made
public, in which care was taken to "hide" the identities of condemned paedophiles who were resident in Portugal or who were
there on holiday. As in our country there is no obligation for paedophiles to inform their address or travel, such a decision
appears to be legally right.
What can not be understood is how the identity of hundreds of witnesses as well as their
families, addresses, place of work and telephone numbers of those who have just complied with their civil duty of providing
witness statements can come to be known. Do paedophiles, even those who have been condemned, have more rights than a mere
On July 17, 2008, the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) sent a letter to the Public Prosecutor Melchior Gomes, after a meeting with him, complaining about the intention of
Portuguese authorities to give third parties access to information sent by the British police to the PJ, because, among other
reasons, a large part of the intelligence reports from the British police had unsubstantiated information related with identifiable
persons. The letter was reviewed by William Hughes, head of Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) and was signed by Ken Jones,
chairman of ACPO. The arguments on this letter are exactly the same that were used, later, by Portuguese lawyers, hired to
present a formal request to Portuguese authorities, asking for that information to remain confidential, according to the investigation
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Chief Constable of Leicestershire,
the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Crimestoppers and several British police forces and judicial bodies presented a
formal request to the Portuguese Public Prosecutor's Office to keep secret almost all the information made available by those
organisations to the PJ.
One of the most prestigious Portuguese legal offices – "Morais Leitao, Galvao
Teles, Soares da Silva and Associates" - was hired to present the request with those demands, after the Public Prosecutor's
Office issued the statement declaring the case shelved, on July 21, 2008.
Privacy rights in danger
They justified the request, presented on July 23, 2008, because most of the information
was sent to PJ by informal channels, not following the formal procedures of "Letters of Request", and argued that making public
such information as personal data could collide with privacy rights.
There was also the risk of jeopardizing future British police investigations, because
some information was related to techniques and strategies used by British police. Advice from the National Policing Improvement
Agency (NPIA) was quoted as an example. Also, shared intelligence reports should not be made public, for obvious reasons,
said the lawyers representing those organisations.
The request pointed also to the large amount of data sent by Crimestoppers. As the
protection of the identity of sources of information is basic, for the work of Crimestoppers, the lawyers argued that not
keeping it secret would be a breach of the rules of cooperation defined between authorities and those sources.
Future cooperation at risk
The formal request emphasised that not respecting these limits, when access to files
was given, could seriously undermine all future cooperation with Portuguese Judicial bodies. It's even argued that the referred
British institutions and police forces would never have sent that information to the PJ, if they had any doubts about the
commitment of Portuguese authorities to keep it confidential.
Resuming the request, the lawyers asked for all information sent without a "Letter
of Request" to be kept secret or, if Portuguese authorities didn't accept this demand, to reduce it just to personal data
concerning suspected and registered sexual offenders and all information sent by Crimestoppers. They also requested a CD copy
of all investigation files, in order to evaluate the specific information sent by the British police forces, judicial bodies
and other institutions. A final demand was to suspend all access to the investigation files, until the request was decided.
A three-year-old little girl is missing. The police started an investigation.
It collected traces in the boot of the mother's car that point towards the child's death. In the car boot, the dogs marked
human cadaver odour, and hair that is similar to that of the missing girl was found. The mother was charged with homicide,
abuse, neglect and perjury.
It's difficult to escape comparisons with recent cases that happened in our country. While
it's certain that every case is different, even more so because this little girl's name was Caylee, she was a brunette and
lived in the USA, there was also the creation of a fund and of an internet site, posters were distributed and bracelets were
sold. It seems that in the United States justice is working, not allowing for processes to be archived awaiting better evidence,
valuing indicia that results from inconsistencies or contradictions in witness statements and/or biological residues that
are found in a car boot.
I don't know whether our lawyers and other experts, who oppose canine faith and defend the
archiving of processes waiting for better evidence, may have something to learn from North-American magistrates and investigators,
or if it's only an issue of nationality of the dogs. Wise words were spoken by someone over the evidence of Caylee's death:
"Speaking as a father, a day doesn't pass where I wish the evidence that we have gathered didn't add up to the painfully obvious.
Sadly, I cannot change the facts surrounding the investigation."
The Bar Association [Lawyers Order], in an unprecedented way, has taken
the decision to constitute itself as assistant in a media focussed process where the arguidos are the police and the eventual
victim, a mother convicted for the death of her own child.
It is a decision that one praises, acknowledging the help
that it will bring for the good of the cause, but it gives pause for thought. Being certain that the Bar Association has a
different head bar, it is not wrong to say that, in the recent death of another child, those responsible for the Bar had an
active intervention concerning the law. They did not constitute themselves as assistants, fighting against the premature archival
of the process and investigation, but only as arguido defenders. That is, they did not collaborate with the Public Ministry,
defending the interests of the victim, but with the interests of those, who at the time, were considered to be suspects in
the criminal undertaking of concealing a corpse.
Another time, another head of the Bar Association. One can
argue that in that case the law would not allow the constitution as assistant. But isn't the Bar Association at this
moment intervening for justice to be made? Can this only be done by constituting itself as an assistant? Shouldn't [the Bar]
intervene, for example, in that and in other processes where the dust can be taken from the archives for justice to be
done? We shall return to this issue next week!
To assist and to archive processes (2), 08 November 2008
"I make an appeal to you from where I stand: do intervene, with the knowledge and the competence that you are known
The Lawyers' Order has made itself an assistant in a case trial concerning alleged torture that was committed by policemen
against a woman who was condemned for her daughter's death. It could make itself an assistant in other cases as well, like
those of corruption and of financial criminality in general. As far as we know, it hasn't made itself an assistant in inquiries
like those of 'Operacao Furacao' and Freeport.
It would be nice if the Lawyers' Order wouldn't leave us thinking that it doesn't do so because there [in those cases]
the suspects or arguidos aren't policemen. Certainly not. Alas, in those cases, I prefer to think that it didn't do so due
to pure distraction; therefore, I leave an appeal to whomever it may concern. Not only concerning processes of financial crimes
but also thinking of so many other situations. Mister President of the Order, as a father and as a citizen of this country,
I make an appeal to you from where I stand: do intervene, with the knowledge and the competence that you are known for, and
make yourself an assistant in all of the criminal processes where the law permits such.
This is the only way that you
can become a precious instrument in the fight for the un-archiving of those cases where the victims were helpless children.
This is the only way to prevent that processes are archived without everything having been investigated, and justice done.
Examples of British 'justice' (I), 15 November 2008
The detention of a Portuguese truck driver in the United Kingdom, following a brutal accident that cruelly decimated
a family, makes us think. We have serious doubts that such a detention could take place in Portugal.
about the case of the taxi driver in Oporto who, a few months ago, mortally ran over two young girls and fled the location,
presenting himself at a police station later in the day. As far as we know, he is free and practicing his profession.
cases of reckless driving, so often under the effect of alcohol, are normally treated as mere accidents in our country and
rarely produce preventive custody. Maybe if we would follow the example that comes from the United Kingdom, it would be possible
to reduce the numbers of road deaths.
But other examples have been arriving from England, which are not quite as favorable
for British Justice. Let’s look at the case of the Portuguese lawyer who was condemned to a prison sentence in Portugal,
and the difficulties that Portuguese Justice has been facing in carrying out an International Arrest Warrant in England. Is
the different treatment of these two cases due to the type of crime, or the type of person: a lawyer versus a truck driver?
Examples of British 'justice' (II), 22 November 2008
There is indeed a huge difference between the various crimes. The British Justice arrested a Portuguese truck driver
that in a brutal accident, decimated a family of six persons.
But from the United Kingdom come other unfavourable examples
to justice. Let us pay attention to the Portuguese lawyer [Vale e Azevedo who fled to England] sentenced in Portugal to imprisonment
and the difficulties that the Portuguese justice has met there to carry out an International Arrest Warrant. The difference
between the two cases is the type of crime or the type of person, a lawyer versus a truck driver? Is that what allows the
lawyer to show himself unconfined at court and the truck driver to be dragged by the handcuffs in an humiliating way? There
is indeed a big difference between several white-collar crimes and the death of a family in a tragic car accident.
example of British justice is the strong likelihood that agents of the U.S. secret services will be judged by the torture
of a British subject at Guantanamo. Here it will be applied the British law since it is a crime against a British subject.
And I ask: that little girl missing in the Algarve last year wasn't she also a British subject?
Let us see
the good examples and apply the British law to all things British.
'When Goncalo went out of the PJ door there was no one saying goodbye
to him', 05 December 2008
'When Goncalo went out of the PJ door there was no one saying goodbye to him'
By Nigel Moore
05 December 2008
The 30th of June 2008 marked Goncalo Amaral's last day of service for the PJ. It
was a day that passed like many before, in a proud 27-year career, with the apprehension of two and a half tons of hashish
and the detention of six traffickers.
After handing in his duty pistol, his badge, his card and his service mobile phone it was time to close the door on a job
which he had served proudly and to which he had dedicated his life.
For Goncalo Amaral, it had been more than just a 'job'.
"He would have rather preferred being a cop until he died," says Sofia Leal, Goncalo Amaral's wife, talking exclusively
to 'mccannfiles.com'. "He loves me very much and he loves the girls, but he really lived for his job."
What should have been a momentous and joyous day, looking forward to the new chapter and new challenges of retirement
- armed with the well wishes and plaudits of his colleagues - instead became tinged with sadness and profound
"When Goncalo went out of the PJ door there was no one saying goodbye to him. No director. No one. After a life dedicated
to the PJ, it was what most got him down," says Sofia.
The nature of the departure, and premature retirement, made it difficult to get an aim for his life until he got
busy with the presentations of his book, 'Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira'.
"Goncalo had a bad time with his retirement, but it was the anonymous bloggers and common citizens that he met everyday
in the street that were his support.
"Although we've tried to give him strength and hope, we were supposed to, weren't we? It was the people that he never
knew before, and most of them he will never meet, that were the true providers of hope for Goncalo Amaral."
Sofia was able to confirm that editions of 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie' were now assured in France, Germany, Holland,
Norway, Sweden and Finland. There is no concrete news of a UK release date yet, although negotiations are progressing well.
Finally, Sofia revealed that some weeks ago she wrote a letter "to a friend of mine that lives in
the UK," and had "until now, got no answer". She wonders "if everything is ok?"
"She lives in Rothley."
The sad cases of a policeman's life, 27 December 2008
reminds me of children that have already left. With violence or by negligence."
In this season it is usual to
remember the past year, even the life that goes on, and the experiences we had. It is a time for memories and for wishes.
For me, Christmas reminds me of children that have already left.
I remember the sad cases of a policeman's life. There
is Joana, killed by her mother and her uncle. There is Mariana, kicked until death by her father. There is the one of Filipa,
hanged by her father, for jealousy. There is that premature baby girl who died of starvation because her mother cut the serum
Those were violent deaths, but there also the deaths of children by neglect, abandonment, disregard. If the
most atrocious suffering to which a human being can be affected by is to see their offspring passing, the most dastardly crime
that humanity can witness is a parent who ends up with a life which she/he has created.
Of the cases I mentioned, the
parents/murderers were brought to Justice and punished. But there are many infanticides in this world who do not know the
face of the Lady which, blindfolded, holds the balance.
In this Christmas season, after the reminiscences, a wish jumps
to mind: that [Lady] Justice removes the blindfold, that politicians do not hide behind obscure interests and give these children
the only thing that we can still give them: Justice.
is a candidate in Olhao, 07 January 2009
Goncalo Amaral is the candidate that was chosen
by the council section of PSD [Social Democratic Party] in Olhao to lead the list for this year's local elections. The former
PJ coordinator has been a member of the party since 2002 and says that he accepted the invitation because he feels "the need
to intervene in society and in political life".
In a statement to CM, Goncalo Amaral points
out 'social intervention' as one of the priorities in his agenda and does not fear the lack of experience in the political
arena. 'I'm a valid person, I have some competences and something to give', he told CM. It is recalled that Goncalo Amaral
opted to disconnect himself from the PJ after, in October 2007, having been removed from the investigation into the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann, an issue on which he would end up writing a book.
The decision was made last night, in a meeting
of the council section of Olhao, that was scheduled for today. The council section's proposal will now be sent to the district
political committee, which has the competence to decide, but everything indicates that the name will be accepted.
Goncalo Amaral will presumably
compete with socialist Francisco Leal, the present Mayor, who is carrying out his third mandate. The present Mayor has not
presented himself as a candidate yet, but he is foreseen to accept the challenge. PSD Algarve has established as an electoral
calendar to define the candidates for the municipalities where it is now the opposition, until the end of this month.
Goncalo Amaral goes back
into politics and wants to become mayor of Olhao, 08 January 2009
Goncalo Amaral goes
back into politics and wants to become mayor of OlhaoSOSMaddie
The former coordinator of
the PJ, Goncalo Amaral, is the name chosen by the Social Democrat Party (PSD) to head the party's list for the forthcoming
urban district elections in the town of Olhao, in the south of Portugal.
Goncalo Amaral, former coordinator of the Department of Criminal Investigation
(DIC) for the Portimao PJ, was head of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
According to a PSD official for the Algarve region, the former PJ investigator
is open to leading the opposition party in the 2009 municipal elections in spite of his lack of political experience.
Born in the north of the country in the Viseu region, Goncalo Amaral currently
lives in Portimao, but, according to the same PSD official, he has family in Olhao, the town where he will be candidate for
the post of mayor, held since 1993 by the socialist Francisco Leal.
The chances of Goncalo Amaral becoming mayor
of Olhao are, however, slim, because the town has always been a socialist stronghold: after the Carnation Revolution in 1974,
and since the first mayoral elections in 1976, the socialists have been the most popular political group in Olhao elections.
Goncalo Amaral splits PSD
coordinating commitee for local elections, 09 January 2009
JOSE MANUEL OLIVEIRA & PAULA SA 09.01.09 Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
Candidacy. The former inspector's name has caught the Algarvian mayors
The PSD Algarve district section votes on the name on Monday
The candidacy of Goncalo
Amaral to become Mayor of Olhao on behalf of PSD [Social Democratic Party] has been the cause of disruption within
the party. And it even splits the social democrat coordinating committee for local elections. DN knows that at least one of
its members, Miguel Macedo, has frontally manifested himself to his peers against the name of the former inspector, considering
that he does not match the profile of mayor that PSD should defend.
But the tendency within the group that is presided
over by Castro Almeida – which also includes Luis Marques Guedes and Jose Luis Arnaut – is
to consider that Goncalo is a good bet for one of the city halls that are most hard to conquer in the Algarve.
The former PJ coordinator's candidacy has caught most of the party's supporters and mayors of the Algarve by surprise.
"For me, it's a surprise. I only know the gentleman from the media, due to the media-exposed processes of the Maddie
case in which he was involved until he left the PJ, and more recently for being on trial at the Court of Faro, with other
colleagues, in a process of alleged aggressions against a lady who was condemned for killing her daughter", said Fernando
Viegas, a town councillor in Tavira and president of the Party Members' Assembly of the party's municipal section.
For the president of the Municipality of Alcoutim, Francisco Amaral, the former PJ inspector represents "added value
and a breath of fresh air in politics because this is a serious person who is free of other interests, who is used to deeply
investigating the processes and who, above all, cares about justice". Nuno Marques, a town councillor in Lagos and president
of PSD's municipal section, as well as member of the board of the district section, prefers to wait for this organ's
meeting, on Monday evening, in Faro, where Goncalo Amaral's candidacy will be subject to a vote, to pronounce himself.
Amaral for President, 09 January 2009
Amaral for President SOSMaddie(Portuguese version)
The announcement of the possible candidacy of the former PJ inspector Goncalo Amaral
to the Olhao City Hall as head list of the PSD was dividing the municipal coordinating committee of the Social Democrats,
causing a certain controversy... at least that is what the journalist Jose Manuel Oliveira says in Diario de Noticias today.
At first glance, the appointment of the former inspector of the
Madeleine McCann case as head of the list of the Olhao City Hall seems to serve more the interests of the PSD Algarve than
the own personal aspirations of Goncalo Amaral, who never hid his true political colours.
But the news goes further
and says that the Social Democrat Miguel Macedo is against the name of Goncalo Amaral, considering that the former inspector
of PJ does not fit the profile of the mayor defended by the PSD. Now it remains to know whether the lack of profile pointed
to "Goncalo" is due to the fact that he came from the Judiciary or for his lack of experience in municipal politics.
both cases, the arguments of Miguel Macedo should not convince the Algarve PSD constituency, if they take into account the
case of another former inspector of the Judiciary Police: Francisco Moita Flores, who was candidate of the PSD, who was elected
chairman of the City Hall of Santarem, where the results of his work, despite his apparent lack of experience in municipal
politics, did not prevent him from being seen by its residents as a good mayor.
It is obvious that Olhao is not Santarem,
and that Amaral is not Moita Flores, but if the fashion kicks in the next generation of Portuguese mayors can even come out
from the work force of the PJ, from the PSP or even the from GNR. They won't be the most politically experienced mayors, but
in compensation, we will have fewer presidents tried for corruption or crime.
Oliveira and Amaral
If the entry of Goncalo Amaral into Portuguese political life surprised
me only by its speed, what is certain is that the announcement did not go unnoticed in the Portuguese media, where the reactions
were not always positive; see, for example, the case of "24horas" where Ricardo Pereira qualifies as "orange despair" the
choice of the former inspector as candidate for Olhao.
Still Diario de Noticias stays with the "surprise of the choice"
made by the Social Democrats of the Algarve, although the more surprising is in fact the almost sympathetic style adopted
by Jose Manuel Oliveira, the journalist who signed the famous article that, publicly, would have been at the origin of the
removal of Goncalo Amaral's investigation into the death of Madeleine McCann.
By using the friendship between the journalist
Paula Castanheira and the wife of the inspector to obtain some off the record confidences about Amaral's disappointment at
the lack of cooperation of the English police, more interested in protecting the McCanns than truly helping in the investigations,
Jose Manuel Oliveira created the ideal excuse for the removal of Goncalo Amaral.
A decision which had already been
adopted, even promised to the English, but that was necessary to justify to the public opinion.
of Goncalo Amaral during the investigation into the McCann case, Jose Manuel Oliveira is now more subtle in the treatment
given to the entry of the former inspector in the political life of the Algarve, which surprises... or not.
Maddie Cop Vote, 11 January 2009
Maddie Cop Vote News of the World (appears in paper edition only)
Power Bid: Amaral
January 11, 2009
THE shamed cop who led the investigation into missing Madeleine
McCann is running for MAYOR after being booted out of the force.
Portuguese officer Goncalo
Amaral caused outrage when he made Kate and Gerry McCann suspects in their daughter's disappearance from the family's holiday
flat in 2007.
Right-wing Amaral is now
standing for election in the nearby town of Olhao.
Maddie, the candidate Goncalo Amaral, the ambivalence of some political
cowards and the – inevitable – feast of the British tabloids, 12 January 2009
Maddie, the Candidate Goncalo Amaral, the ambivalence of some political
cowards and the – inevitable – feast of the British tabloids Camara de Comuns
by: Paulo Sargento
Dr Paulo Sargento is a forensic phychologist, a University
professor, and author
Today, I leave you a short post to highlight some issues
relating to the controversy that silently has been insinuating itself concerning the candidacy of Dr Goncalo Amaral, in the
lists of PSD [Social Democratic Party], to the Presidency of the Municipality of Olhao.
As was to be expected, even
within PSD itself the choice is not unanimous. But that is perfectly normal and healthy in a democracy. Pity the man who thinks
he has nothing but friends and supporters.
Nevertheless, in these cases, there are always five political types:
those who genuinely support because they believe in the candidate’s qualities – (the Genuines);
who support due to conjectures of various natures (for example, "Now he is very notorious and the Portuguese people think
highly of him. And he has already lived in Olhao…") – (the Opportunists);
c) those who don't support because
they state that the candidate doesn't have the adequate profile (generally, these are those who wanted to be candidates, or
who already had someone else in mind – inter-party lobby) – (the Resentful);
d) those who prefer to speak
at a later moment in time and who think it's too early to make considerations about the candidacies because the election is
still far away – (the Stoppers);
e) those who state that the candidate, despite his great merit as a citizen,
doesn't have any political experience – (the Aristocrats).
I must say that those who cause me most irritation
and indignation are the Stoppers and the Aristocrats. For all the others, the argumentation is understandable. But the cowardice
of the Stoppers, who stay aside and prefer to wait to celebrate or criticise, depending on polls or the prevalent opinions,
or the ignoble haughtiness of the Aristocrats, who surely were already born with experience or who believe that the participation
in public life is a privilege for the few, is something that upsets me.
But to help fuel the party, the feast of the
English tabloids has started already, as could be foreseen, anyway.
Yesterday, on the 11th of January, the 'News of
the World' presented a very small, but incisive article with the following title: "Maddie Cop Vote". This title was placed
beneath a photograph of Dr Goncalo Amaral where he is still wearing a moustache and with his necktie somewhat misaligned by
the open collar of his shirt (as a matter of fact, this type of photograph is not systematically used by the British media
per chance; Goncalo Amaral has photographs that are more flattering to his image but are never used). The news refers that
"the shamed cop is running for Mayor after being booted out of the force". Further ahead, it is subtly recalled that "the
Portuguese officer caused outrage when he made Kate and Gerry McCann suspects in their daughter's disappearance" and finalises
with the sentence: "Right wing Amaral is now standing for election in the town of Olhao".
Despite the fact that I understand
the meaning of 'tabloid', I must say that what I have just summarised is absolutely shameful, premeditated, with a Portuguese
hand (certainly from a non tabloid media with pseudo-intellectual aspirations and from characters whose known behavioural
bizarreness anticipates their true motives), and, even worse, will be the first and the most simple of a predictable and massive
offensive against the person of Goncalo Amaral, which will increment its tone and its frequency from the second half of January
onwards, with a lift, or even a full impulse from the Joana case. I'm even convinced of this. God willing, I'm mistaken.
me finish by saying that, independently from the political colour (which, in this case, I don't share), every citizen who,
within the legal frame of the Portuguese Democracy, presents the conditions to exercise mandates of public posts and truly
wishes to do so, should, in my opinion, exercise that Right in a Free and Conscious manner.
More! The arguments from
the Aristocrats don't work. A former PJ inspector (but also a University Professor, with a degree in Sociology and History,
a writer, and many other things) like Francisco Moita Flores, despite his inexperience in political activities, but very experienced
in other areas of civic and social intervention, has been carrying out his mandate as the Mayor of Santarem in an incommensurably
superior manner, compared to other "lifelong experienced" mayors elsewhere. Why is it that Goncalo Amaral, a former PJ inspector
(but also with 3 years of attendance to an Engineering course, a degree in Law and many other things), with years of life
in the region that he is running for, with a visible civic and social participation, despite his discrete appearance, why
is it, we questioned, that Goncalo Amaral couldn't be a candidate? Why is his candidacy so uncomfortable for some?
the time when Goncalo Amaral was removed from the Maddie case, I presented him publicly with my solidarity, and challenged
Dr Alipio Ribeiro to render his "obvious motives" for said decision public. I now reiterate my full solidarity with Goncalo
Amaral in this "nerve war" that I believe he will face.
Let's remain attentive and from the second half of this cold
month of January onwards we will see some men with two faces (and opinions) that were inspired by the Roman God who originated
the name of the month: 'Janus'.
former detective in the Madeleine McCann disappearance case and author of the controversial book 'Maddie: The Truth about
the Lie' has confirmed he is set to run for Mayor of Olhao, representing social-democratic party PSD/Algarve.
The former Chief Inspector has also said he already has architectural
projects in the pipeline, though his priority is to combat the "chronic unemployment" that is affecting the region.
Better known for his roles in the 'Madeline McCann' and 'Joana' cases – two children,
one British, one Portuguese, both of whom disappeared in separate incidents in the Algarve – ex-police officer Goncalo Amaralo said his most recent challenge is the "result of my availability and an invitation that was made by PSD/Algarve and
the local municipality".
He said "the time has come to offer support, to intervene and not stay sitting at home. I
will once again be serving people, but this time with a different function".
As Olhao is the country's fourth city with the most unemployed citizens, the ex-cop has decided
tackling unemployment would be his first mission.
Tavira Mayor of twelve years Macario Correia has voiced his approval of Sr. Amaral’s
nomination, considering it "positive", that the PSD party has found a candidate that has "a strong civic participation and
who has fought for justice".
Now 48 years old, Goncalo Amaral joined the PJ police force in 1981, studying sociology, psychology,
psychiatry and Criminal Investigation at the Lisbon police school.
This was followed by a course in law and a 17-year career with the PJ force culminating as
chief inspector, in 1998, before controversially retiring under much speculation during the Madeleine McCann investigation,
of which he was the original case coordinator.
However, his downfall in the force started during the 'Joana Cipriano' case, in which he was
accused of allegedly beating the missing, then seven-year-old girl's mother into confessing her murder. The child's body was
never found, and the mother, Leonor Cipriano, is serving a 25-year jail term for murder.
Social-democrat section of the district of Faro approve Goncalo
Amaral's name, 20 January 2009
Social-democrat section of the district of Faro approve Goncalo Amaral's name TSF
The Social-democrat section of the district of Faro has approved the name of Goncalo Amaral as a candidate to the
Municipality of Olhao by a large majority. Nevertheless, the name of the former Policia Judiciaria inspector does not earn
approval from the leader of PSD, Manuela Ferreira Leite.
The name of Goncalo Amaral has been approved
by the vast majority of the members of the Social-democrat section of the district of Faro, as a candidate to become Mayor
of Olhao, according to this entity's political commission.
In a public note, the district section stressed that the
former PJ inspector, who has investigated the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, possesses the political and personal profile
that has been defined by the guidelines for local elections which have been approved by PSD.
Despite the fact that
the Social-democrat leader does not see this candidacy in a positive manner, the Faro district section of PSD recalled that
Goncalo Amaral retired on the 30th of June and that if he steps into functions, this will occur one year and four months after
he left the public service.
The district section's political committee also noted the valuable and brilliant curriculum
of the former inspector, who has been a member of the Party since May 2002, and which he didn't desert despite the less positive
moment of the Social Democrats.
One week ago, PSD's president rejected the former inspector's candidacy because he
has recently left a post within Justice and that there could be no promiscuity between this sector of society and politics.
Moita Flores, an independent who was elected through PSD, thinks that the objections
from the "orange" leader make no sense
Francisco Moita Flores, a former PJ inspector,
and Mayor of Santarem - who was elected as an independent in the PSD lists - doesn't agree with the party's veto on the candidacy
of Goncalo Amaral for Olhao.
"I think that he would be a good candidate, with the experience that he acquired at the
police and his vast knowledge of life", Francisco Moita Flores stated to 24Horas yesterday.
At the PJ, "he was not
an inspector, that's a mistake that people make, he was a coordinator. And he directed several brigades, which means he's
a man who has vast experience as a director", the mayor adds.
An experience that could be taken advantage of by PSD
in the Olhao candidacy, according to Moita Flores. "Of course, why not?", he stressed.
Flores even says that the position that was displayed by Manuela Ferreira Leite last
Thursday, on RTP, when she justified her refusal of Goncalo Amaral's candidacy because it gives "the idea that there is promiscuity
between politics and justice" simply "has no coherence".
to the rule
Even more so, he recalled, because "there is no shortage of cases": "Fernando Negrao left
his position as a PJ director and went into politics; Laborinho Lucio, who became a secretary of state and then a minister
of Justice, probably the best one we ever had...".
"I'm the only one who didn't go directly [from the PJ into politics].
I spent 15 years as a University teacher before I entered politics", Moita Flores stated.
What Francisco Moita Flores
declined to reveal was whether or not he is running for Mayor of Santarem again. The answer to that question is postponed
into February, he asserted.
PSD Algarve's strangeness
Marques, head of PSD Algarve, manifested his strangeness yesterday at the fact that Goncalo Amaral's candidacy to Olhao having
been analysed already. "I manifest great strangeness over the fact that a meeting of the Municipal Coordinating Commission
(MCC) was summoned, apparently, to discuss something that has not been made official yet", he told Lusa. "The district section
hasn't sent any process to the national MCC yet", he stated, also denying that the president of the district section of PSD
Algarve, Mendes Bota, has already been contacted by the MCC to inform him that they would request the national Political Commission
to veto the name of the former PJ inspector. Amaral's process "will soon be sent" to the national [commission], he further
Mendes Bota says there is persecution of Goncalo Amaral, 24
Mendes Bota says there is persecution of Goncalo Amaral Barlavento
"Goncalo Amaral has been a victim of a camapign to discredit
him that has international contours". Who defends him is Mendes Bota, leader of the PSD Algarve who presented the book
by the former PJ inspector 'The Truth of the Lie', about the Maddie case, which took place yesterday [24th January] at the
Library of Loule.
Mendes Bota considers that Amaral has been victim of "a campaign of misinformation that has
lasted for more than a year and which has sought to discredit him" and he spoke of the "powerful forces which are behind this."
Bota's words referred to the closing of the Maddie case and the removal of Goncalo Amaral from the process.
the leader of the PSD Algarve, in an allusion to the candidacy of the former inspector for the municipality of Olhao, said
that he noticed that "there has been the expression of public opinion, in the media - particularly commentators – that
do not recognise to Dr. Goncalo Amaral the right to exercise citizenship like any other person".
"I do not know if
the commentators are organised or not, but they converge in a flow called by someone who knows what he is doing and he intends",
Asked if the campaign against Goncalo Amaral extends to the Social Democratic Party, Mendes Bota said that
he believes that "there are people from all parties."
In relation to possible pressure from the British Prime Minister
for the name of the former inspector not to be approved as a candidate to the City Hall of Olhao, by the National Policy Committee
of the PSD, Bota said he had no idea, since he does not investigate "the activities of the British Prime Minister".
Previously the words of Manuela Ferreira Leite [Social Democratic Party Leader] to the RTP, when she affirmed that the
candidacy of the former inspector will be rejected by the Social Democratic Policy Committee, did not deserve a comment from
the leader of social democrats in Algarve because "what had to be said has been said and certainly there will be more things
Although he appeared to be evasive on the subject matter of the candidacy of Goncalo Amaral, Mendes Bota
said that "the proposal for the candidacy followed today [yesterday] by mail to the National Policy Committee," and that "there
is a course of action that is being followed".
Bota also mentioned that he has nothing to say about the position of
the District Commission of the PSD, which suggested to the Policy Committee to reject the candidacy of the former inspector,
ensuring that the "District Commission is not empowered to take any decision".
The support of Mendes Bota to Goncalo
Amaral remains. "I exercise the rights and responsibilities in what is confluent with the interests and wishes of Goncalo
Amaral, but I can not overcome my competences", stated the President of the PSD Algarve.
Goncalo Amaral refused to
speak with journalists, saying that he is not in campaign and that to comment about his candidacy in that place would be 'rude'.
Political Commission has refused Goncalo Amaral, 28 January
Political Commission has refused Goncalo Amaral Destak
The Social Democratic Party's National Political Commission decided to refuse the candidacy of former Policia Judiciaria
inspector, Goncalo Amaral, to the presidency of the City Hall of Olhao.
According to Radio Renascenca. Which cites an element of PSD's directory, the Political Commission merely approved the
decision that had been sent by the Coordinating Commission for the Local Election, which had shown itself against the name
that had been indicated by the Olhao section of the party, in early January, and afterwards approved by the District Political
It is recalled that when a possible candidacy by the former PJ inspector to Olhao was publicised, the president of the
party, Manuela Ferreira Leite, pronounced herself against the possibility of PSD supporting such a candidate, due to his close
connections with Justice.
Goncalo Amaral was coordinator of the investigations into the disappearance of little English girl Madeleine McCann,
from Praia da Luz, since the 3rd of May 2007, the date of the disappearance, until the 2nd of October.
On the 30th of June 2008, the investigator left the PJ for retirement, and according to his statements at that time,
he can exercise his right to free expression and defend himself from the accusations that he had been the target of.
The United Kingdom, a country that finds it difficult to respond to cooperation requests, has
asked for access to our prime minister's bank accounts.
It seems that said request is imperious due to mere hypotheses
and few or no indicia of illegal practices in the Freeport case. In the 'Maddie case' we only requested the registries of
the parents' and the friends' credit cards.
The reply was hilarious: "Bank accounts and credit cards are not known."
Those doctors had mortgages and used credit cards to travel and to acquire goods and services, yet the information was denied,
not even a rogatory letter managed to obtain something that was considered essential for the investigation, which was based
on strong indicia and not on mere speculation.
If at the moment, for political reasons, the death of that child is
considered, in England, a matter of national security, what can be said about the British attack against the prime minister
of an independent, democratic country? Do the English continue to see Portugal as a banana republic where we always say 'yes'?
It's about time to say 'no'.
What we expect is a reply that complies with the principle of reciprocity: bank accounts
or credit cards belonging to our prime minister are not known...
The following article provides some background to the Freeport case:
Authorities in London have reportedly
requested their Portuguese counterparts expedite access to the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Jose Socrates. This
unusual demand that has apparently been made by the British Serious Fraud Office is supposedly based on suspicions that the
Prime Minister could have "accepted, requested or facilitated" cash bribes in exchange for licensing a controversial shopping
centre south of Lisbon on previously protected land. Portuguese authorities have meanwhile insisted Jose Socrates is not under
investigation, nor is he a suspect, while the Serious Fraud Office on Thursday refused to confirm the veracity of reports
emanating in Portugal.
Prime Minister Jose Socrates
Portuguese media and politicians were increasingly polarised this
week as they both assumed distinct positions regarding the implication by UK investigators that the Prime Minister was involved
in shady dealings concerning the licensing of the British-financed 75,000 square-metre Freeport outlet south of Lisbon.
While the media has been relentless in disclosing 'new'
revelations implicating the Prime Minister, opposition parties have come out in support of Jose Socrates, even supporting
his suggestion he might be victim of a plot to derail his political aspirations in the run-up to the upcoming autumn general
The current controversy surrounds allegations that back
in 2002 the Freeport project was given the green light in record time by Jose Socrates, who was the Environment Minister at
Previous plans to build the shopping centre had failed
due to its precarious location on protected land. But three days before the 2002 general elections, which resulted in Jose
Socrates's Socialist Party being removed from power, the project was approved.
Reports allege that the approval came only after environmental
restrictions were waivered by Jose Socrates’s office.
But according to the Prime Minister, the timing of the
centre's approval had nothing to do with the pending 2002 elections, which polls correctly said the ruling party would lose.
Earlier this week, Portuguese investigators searched
the home the Prime Minister's uncle Julio Monteiro in connection with the Freeport scandal and have also started scrutinising
offshore bank accounts.
Reports in Portugal have focused most of their attention
on Julio Monteiro and his son Hugo.
The latter is reported to have had meetings with Scottish
expatriate Charles Smith, who served as an intermediary in Portugal to deal with bureaucracy and ease the deal.
In seemingly good spirits earlier in the week, Charles
Smith, who was speaking from his home in Almancil, told reporters he had no comments to make on the case, but said all will
be clarified in time.
In its edition on Thursday, the Diario de Noticias alleged
that British detectives are in possession of a DVD apparently showing Charles Smith admitting to a having paid commission
to Jose Socrates for his assistance in approving Freeport after its construction had been successively blocked.
It is on this evidence alone, says the DN, that investigators
in the UK have shown an interest in the Portuguese Prime Minister, along with seven other Portuguese-based suspects.
Over the weekend, Charles Smith, when questioned by reporters,
denied having ever met Jose Socrates.
In the meantime, investigators in Britain, other national
media said, were also looking to follow the trail of anything between one and five million euros transferred into Portuguese
bank accounts at the time the project was approved.
The British Royal family is reported to have a large
stake in Freeport, which was taken over by the US conglomerate Carlyle in 2007, whose interests in Portugal stretch back to
the pre-revolution days under Frank Carlucci.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly refuted charges of
nepotism or abuse of power this week, while launching an attack on the press.
"The reports and the way they have been presented are
intended to target me personally and weaken me politically in an election year", he said in a personally written statement.
Promising to not go down without a fight, he added: "Those
who think they can beat me this way are wrong, as I will fight to defend my honour and integrity."
Jose Socrates has also stated the Freeport project was
in due compliance with all legal requirements at the time.
"I never gave any instructions to expedite the case.
I reject all insinuations and allegations that involve my name regarding this case", he added.
Candida Almeida, director of the Criminal Investigation
Department in Lisbon said Thursday no suspects or even persons of interest to the case had been identified, but said that
the case was receiving her department's full and urgent attention.
"All cases involving politicians have to be conducted
in a swift manner as these are citizens who mirror our society and who will be even more in the public eye in this, an election
year. Whoever the politician might be, we need to be above it in order to clarify the issues at hand", added the police chief.
While British authorities had this month reportedly sent
a rogatory letter (a formal request to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance) to Portugal concerning the Freeport
case, Candida Almeida explained that an "essential part" of a rogatory letter sent to London in 2005 regarding the case was
"We cannot ask foreign authorities to carry out our priorities
as we have deadlines and they don't", she said. The four-year wait for information from British police might just have come
to an end with their sudden reported interest in the financial affairs and integrity of Portugal's Prime Minister.
If the elections were today, Goncalo Amaral would be elected president, 03 February 2009
If the elections were today, Goncalo Amaral would be elected president SOSMaddie
The Maddie case led to Amaral's being dropped as a candidate
If the Portuguese local elections were today, "Goncalo Amaral would win with 53% of the vote," defeating the current
socialist Mayor of the town of Olhao (Algarve)". This is what the leader of the Algarve region's Social-Democrats, Mendes
Bota, says, quoting a poll commissioned by his party. (PSD)
The former coordinator of the Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC) for the Portimao PJ had been approached by the
local party leaders to become their candidate for the post of Mayor of Olhao, a town where the socialists have not lost since
the carnation revolution in 1974.
In spite of the excellent results for Goncalo Amaral in the poll by the Institute for Market Research and Public Opinion,
commissioned by the Algarve PSD, the Social-Democrat Party's National Policy Committee ruled out the candidate without giving,
"any reason for rejecting the nominated candidate, as the party's regional leader confirmed.
According to the poll commissioned by the Algarve PSD, conducted between January 22nd and 23rd, the former coordinator
of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance would have overtaken the current Mayor, Francisco Leal (PS), in
the polls, obtaining a "comfortable victory" for the PSD which they would never otherwise obtain.
It was Manuela Ferreira Leite, the PSD's national president who was the foremost opponent of Goncalo Amaral's candidacy,
rejecting the "promiscuity between politics and the law," a justification that convinced neither the activists nor the regional
officers, who stated that they were "saddened," by the decision.
According to the National PSD's decision, Goncalo Amaral will not be the party's candidate, and any possibility to support
him from a list of independents would also have been ruled out.
British influence ruled out Goncalo Amaral
It was Mendes Bota himself who said that Dr Amaral was an excellent candidate and that, for the first time, the PSD would
win the elections," a Social-Democrat activist in Olhao stated after the announcement that the ex-coordinator of the PJ would
not be the PSD candidate for Mayor of the town, adding, "it's an unbelievable decision. I want to know why. It's the least
they can do."
In spite of the justification put forward by the party's national leader, there are those who suggest other explanations,
notably the right of the British to vote in the local elections: "they (the English) have the right to vote in the locals,
and they were not going to vote for the PSD anywhere if Goncalo Amaral was our candidate in Olhao," an activist stated.
Gerry McCann's recent meeting, during his visit to Portugal, with a member of the PSD's national committee and the party's
national leader's frequent visits to London, is not going to calm things down, even raising questions in the media.
According to a local party official, it is effectively "external factors," which dictated the dropping of the candidacy
for Amaral, "who has an enviable CV," but the orders from Lisbon are quite specific: Goncalo Amaral will not be the PSD's
candidate in any town in the country.
Wife of Goncalo Amaral denies having reported her husband to the PJ for abuse and threats
of death, 19 February 2009
Wife of Goncalo Amaral denies having reported her husband to the PJ for abuse and threats of death O Crime (appears in paper edition only)
"Our marriage went through a difficult phase and he always respected me"
Interviewer: Jose Leite
Issue: 19 February 2009
Thanks to 'Beachy' for translation
- "The McCann couple is clearly guilty of one thing: not telling the truth" - "Goncalo Amaral had no choice: to
defend his dignity he had to leave the PJ"
In an exclusive interview in "O Crime", Sofia Leal, wife of Goncalo Amaral, said the letter that the press suggested
was directed to the PJ, and which speaks of insults, death threats and her husband's alcoholism is false, and that its disclosure
is intended only to tarnish the image of the principal investigator of the "Maddie case".
Meanwhile, in a notice filed this week in the Court of Faro, Leonor's lawyer, who made the letter public, requested that
the National Director of the PJ confirm the authenticity of the document.
O Crime - Do you consider that the letter disclosed by Leonor's lawyer is false? Then
how is it explained that your signature is on it? What do you think is behind its dissemination in the current context?
Sofia Leal - Completely false, both the content and authorship. Furthermore, we need only look
at the credibility and reputation of those who made it public, it is just one more slander, an attempt to tarnish the image
of my husband. It seems that this time, in a desperate attempt, they are attacking one of the key pillars of Goncalo Amaral's
life: the family.
Accepting that the letter is false, has any legal action been taken against the perpetrator
of the forgery?
Let me be very frank: unlike my husband, I do not believe in the justice system. This is not a critical sector, or even
corporate. I respect, of course, the professionals of this sector. But, like nearly all the Portuguese, I know what would
happen. From here until ten years, more or less, we would be in court discussing this issue, which, meanwhile, would have
already expired. Anyway, I hope that Dr. Marcos Aragao, in the near future, will be committed in order to receive psychiatric
treatment, his dementia being declared and considered inimputable in relation to the acts he has committed. Anyway, this week
he will be reported to the Ethics Council of the Bar, an institution that does not accept in its midst people who do not conduct
themselves with dignity in the career of the law.
Did Goncalo Amaral once threaten you with death and insulted [you] as it says in the letter?
Never, as I said, the content of the document is completely false. Goncalo is a very (sometimes too) peaceful person.
[Anyone] who lives with us and knows our relationship knows the affection and respect with which he has always treated me.
And this is indeed the pillar of our relationship.
How do you see Goncalo Amaral as husband and father of your daughters?
As a husband, Goncalo surpasses what we committed to on the day of our wedding. I can tell you that goes far beyond "for
better or worse." And if in recent times, Goncalo's professional life has been complicated, a few years ago I myself went
through a very difficult period, both professionally and physically. My husband was my support and I do not know if I would
be here today had it not been for him. As a parent, he is the hero of his daughters. This has nothing to do with the public
or the media cases. He is their hero because he meets all their needs and even makes a "little cushion" to [soften] the restrictions
and punishments of the mother. It is necessary to see it to believe it, all three looking at me smiling shamelessly, it is
impossible to resist!
At any time did you ever complain to Dr.Guilhermino Encarnacao about any thing related
to your husband?
Dr Guilhermino Encarnacao was, during recent years, the National Deputy Director for Faro, and therefore the superior
of Goncalo. He is a person for whom I have enormous respect and appreciation, he is an exceptional human being. I have no
memory of ever having complained, since I never had reasons to do it.
Now you saw the fire, due to the constant involvement of Goncalo Amaral in the investigation
of the "Maddie case", your relationship became something of a troubled period? What happened during that difficult phase of
In fact, our marriage went through a very difficult phase. The disappearance of Madeleine McCann coincided with the date
on which I began my duties in the City of Portimao and I moved to this city. On holidays Goncalo should have been able to
help with the girls, who were still in Faro, a time when the school term had not yet finished. Then, the process was extended
in time and, in September, the girls came to Portimao, and their father was still absorbed by the investigation. In October,
Goncalo returned to Faro, and our daughters did not understand why their father left a week after they have arrived. It was
very hard, and even the smallest had to go and live with Goncalo in Faro. Happily, my mayor, Manuel da Luz, always helped
my family, but it was, above all, faith which enabled our family to overcome all this. Today, happily, we are all together
and we thank God every day.
Have you ever been pressured by someone or threatened by Goncalo Amaral's involvement in
You know, I'm very distracted, I never noticed anything...
We would like you to give us the view as a woman who was for several years married to an
officer of the PJ. Is it hard to maintain a strong marital relationship for a long time?
Well, according to statistics, the routine is the main reason for the "death" of marriages. In the PJ it is the exact
opposite, the total lack of routines which condemns relationships. There are moments in which it is even funny, in which it
is possible to get past it, but there are days that it is impossible. I remember the baptism of our little daughter was delayed
numerous times because he was for months in the imminence [a situation where something important might be about to happen]
of an investigation which might coincide with the date of the ceremony... I cannot say that love overcomes everything, especially
when you have young children, but it really helps. I think at that point, to be an officer of the PJ is very similar to other
professions such as medicine or journalist.
How did you see the conduct of Maddie's parents during the police investigation? In your
opinion, what do you think happened to the English girl and the fact that the parents sought to keep alive the flame that
she was kidnapped, as was evident during the recent visit of Gerry in Portugal?
In relation to this matter, I share the view of my husband, which is widely known.
Is it true that you exchanged international correspondence on the "Maddie Case"? With whom?
For what purpose?
Yes, it is true. There are numerous websites on the Internet where people from the four corners of the world are interested
in this case and try to find the truth. I normally correspond with Nigel Moore of
McCannfiles.com, with Tony Bennett
of the MadeleineFoundation.com, with the3arguidos, with Joana Morais blog. These people frequently forward messages of support
to Goncalo, and that was one of the reasons that prompted him to write the book. It was assumed that friends, the family,
would support Goncalo, but people that he has never seen and probably will never know, they had supported him, and it really
affected him and showed him that "he who is right is never silent," as the confessor of our family says.
Do you think the McCanns are guilty of something? Would you leave your children alone in
an apartment in these conditions?
The couple is clearly guilty of one thing: not telling the truth. As to leaving our daughters alone, there is a Portuguese
saying "Those who have glass roofs should not play by throwing stones into the air." I am a mother, and that's the role I
like to play in life, and therefore the safety, health and happiness of my daughters are in first place. And if one day priorities
were reversed? And if you take some drinks with friends and fun became predominant?
Do you wish to comment on the words of Kate McCann during an interview with the newspaper
"Expresso" when she said that your husband was a disgrace?
I wrote an open letter to this lady, who has not yet responded. While I understand that she has been busy reading the
How do you see Aragao Correia's intervention in the trial of your husband, accused of failure
to denounce the alleged assault on the mother of Joana? As was revealed in a recent report by SIC, Aragao had been hired by
Metodo 3 "to burn" Goncalo Amaral? Could this be a "black hand" of the McCanns to try to discredit those who investigated
I think the story says it all. I would like to salute the journalist Pedro Coelho for his boldness and courage. It is
seen that the spokesman for the couple is about to come on stage to say the usual. "Our attorneys are attentive..."
What do you think about the fact that they tried to present the image of Goncalo Amaral as
an inspector of the PJ that chose the easiest way in the investigation of the disappearance of Joana and Maddie, that is to
say, he blamed the mothers for the disappearance of their daughters?
It seems that once again Pedro Coelho of SIC explained that very well in the report. It was almost like explaining it
to me as if I was four years old...
Did Goncalo Amaral do well in applying for early retirement from the PJ?
Goncalo had no alternative. To defend his dignity and to speak openly he had to leave the PJ. But I can say that it is
a bitter retirement. He is accustomed to saying that the Maddie case was interrupted, so was his career. He would have been
a policeman until his death. Inside he will always be a policeman...