Maddie – The Mystery
The programme starts with an introductory video explaining, in summary, what happened on 3rd May, 2007.
In January of 2015, GA is sentenced to pay €500.000+interest to J&K. The Court also decrees the prohibition to publicise/sell his book.
In the studio:
- Gonçalo Amaral – (no introduction needed);
- Manuel Rodrigues – CMTV commentator and Former Chief Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Police (Polícia Judiciária);
- Rui Pereira – CMTV commentator and Former Minister for Home Affairs at the time of Maddie’s disappearance; and
- Tânia Laranjo – CM Editor-in-Chief and Journalist who closely followed the investigation.
GA, did this investigation destroy your career?
GA – No, it interrupted my career, so to speak. I had a dignified work path in terms of job categories at the time I was “dismissed”: I was Chief Inspector, a Coordinator and I could’ve gone a bit further. Indeed, when this case came along, I had submitted my registration for the role of Chief Coordinator of the PJ. So, basically, that was the interruption, the life & career-changing alteration to my situation… Maybe if I were in a different job category…
Have you never considered yourself a victim of the circumstances?
GA – No. I have never considered myself as a victim. At a certain point I thought that… and the reasons & motives for the book were due to a campaign of slander and insults, a campaign that will probably start again due to the most recent developments and I suppose that’s normal in these circumstances. But I requested, at the time, demanded even – so to speak – that the Directorate of the PJ speak up for us. Not only for myself, but for all the police that were working and were called “drunks”, “alcoholics”, were accused of doing nothing, “incompetents”, etc. Our lives were spied on, we were being monitored, a whole lot of things… Then I started to realize that the case would be filed (there was a conversation in that sense) and that’s when I decided that enough was enough. There’s even a time where I came to Faro…
After having been dismissed from your job…?
Yes, from having been “responsible” for Portimão. And I thought things would end there & then. But, no, the attacks continued. I even made a request to Dr. Alípio Ribeiro (PJ Director) to transfer me to the Azores where I’d be left alone on the Islands and would get away from all this. But they believed that wasn’t viable and I should do my job in Faro, so I stayed there and the case went on, until I could take it no longer and decided, finally, to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore.
But you ask the PJ for permission to write this book, to reveal your facts?
Yes, in part. Either I stayed and wrote the book (and the problem would be the PJ’s, of this I have no doubts) or I’d leave the PJ and the problems would be mine. So I left the PJ to reacquire and assume the full scope of my rights.
Did Alípio Ribeiro pull the carpet from under your feet?
No! Nobody pulled the carpet from under anyone else. There were a series of circumstances that led to this. It’s normal. I have an ex-colleague of mine here who knows that the PJ (or its Directorate) would, very unlikely, come to anyone’s defence. If it were another Director for example, like Mr. Marcos Vidal (whom I thank for being there from the 1st moment of the book’s launch and made its presentation), maybe it had been different. Maybe the staff’s protection would’ve been different. But Dr. Marcos Vidal will be an irreplaceable Director and one of the likes we’ll never have again, of this I’m certain.
So he was a leader with more courage than others…?
I think he understood his staff perfectly, was very humane and defended those who worked and took risks, and many times with the feeling of working “without a net”. And he was there for us. I could recount several stories of his - like, at the time of the “Cavacos” (Portuguese ex-President & First Lady), the support he gave to those who were on the ground… Those are things that can be documented. But we’re already straying from the main topic… Incidentally, I have nothing against Dr. Alípio Ribeiro.
But do you think Dr. Alípio Ribeiro could’ve acted differently?
No, for example in the case of speaking on our behalf or not, I actually sent him a letter – then I later found out that the letter was never handed to him. He didn’t get to read it. It didn’t even reach his assessors or… I can’t sit here and accuse him of anything. It’s the way the system works, the structure, and the Police doesn’t like standing up for someone. Take note that we're talking about the PJ Directorate but we could be talking about the PJ Syndicate (ASFIC). I ask myself: what did ASFIC do for its staff, for its members who were on the ground? And even after that? Even now, what has it done? Did any of the ASFIC’s Directors, at any moment, give me any support? Now I’m retired, but I was a successful coordinator. Did I ever even get a phone call? Did they ever, at that time, even congratulate me on my work or whatever? Nothing. Maybe it has something to do with the Portuguese culture? I don’t know. I mean, I’m not even in the Police anymore, I have nothing more to do with the institution...
But do you think they’re afraid of standing up for you?
No, I wouldn’t say they’re afraid. I just think it’s odd. I think it’s odd that these things happen because, those who congratulated me in this phase with this decision (a decision that hasn’t even become final and that can be the subject of an effective appeal), were retired colleagues, not active colleagues. Not one. This I can guarantee you. On the contrary to other support that I received from colleagues of the British Police, who were present during the years.
Let’s now turn to the other truth, the truth in your book.
That’s another issue. That’s not MY truth. It’s not even the factual truth. It relies on the evidence held by the PJ. We can actually say it’s the PJ’s truth.
And that opinion is based on the scenario in which little Maddie had an accidental death, unwanted by the parents and faced with that death, the parents hid the body.
Yes, that’s what is in the report. There was a non-compliance…
So, in your opinion, should Maddie’s parents be behind bars? Should they have been punished for this crime?
No, no, no. It has nothing to do with that. In order to read and understand the book, we have to perceive the time of the investigation and understand that an investigation has a start, a middle and an end. The point the investigation was at when it was decided to be closed in October of 2007 (and my successor - as coordinator - was told to prepare the process for its archiving) and any colleague of mine can look at the process and tell you that, we’ve all archived processes when we can’t move forward with anything and there are diligences that we can’t set aside and must be done. On that issue, that’s the PJ’s way of thinking, not mine. Mine is there, too, but it’s the mind-set of the whole team and the PJ as an institution. And furthermore, after that, nothing else was done, in that line of investigation - some probable responsibility by the parents in a mysterious disappearance of the child, with all that may implicate, but this is the crucial point – that line of investigation was dismissed. And even the investigations made by the Scotland Yard never again picked up that investigative line and have now reached a dead end. They formed, diminished, in my opinion and the opinion of many, and with freedom of speech, I repeat – in my opinion – as coordinator, as technician, as a person and an investigator, is that the “volumizing”, the “creation” of so many defendants was a diminishing of that institution. In effect, this was to say that there were 2 or 3 defendants, but what’s that? Only those? Let’s just constitute a sea of defendants instead of just a meagre couple of them! So… within that line… to suppress, to hide something…
Now I’ll ask you next to explain your version of the body’s disappearance… do you have a theory for that?
No, I don’t have a theory and that’s not mentioned in the book nor in the video that was shown here. They’re elements, information that has arisen afterwards and was never investigated. It’s just a hypothesis.
…that the body had been incinerated…
There is information here in the PJ in that sense… that, a certain evening, 3 figures were seen entering the church with a bag and within the church, supposedly, was a coffin with a deceased British resident prepared to be on its way and be cremated in Ferreira do Alentejo (in Alentejo). Nobody here is saying that the Parents (or whoever) did this or not. It’s just a clue that, for whoever’s on the ground, active and investigating, has to follow through with until the last consequences.
But you admit that, within that line of investigation, the possibility of Maddie’s cadaver being used in the church and then subsequently incinerated is a plausible possibility?
But you’re starting with the end. But, yes, it’s plausible and I’ll tell you why. Plausible in the sense that – would the body fit in the coffin with the other cadaver? – yes, it would fit. And I obtained this information whilst already out of the Police, through funeral homes who confirmed that that would, in fact, be possible. It’s not an “official” opinion, but to me, it’s possible. Whether that’s what happened or not, we’re already at the end, so there are several hypothesis for a body to have disappeared.
Back to the beginning, what clues are there (after the disappearance) that help build this material truth?
After nine years, I’d have to go back to the book and read it all to you.
There are several clues, several contradictions, inconsistencies in people’s testimonies… there are other testimonies that say they saw the father with the child in his arms at a certain time… There are several things that point in that sense. To now tell you each and every one of them, I think would be very tiresome because I think the majority of the viewers already know them, as it’s been such a talked-about topic for so many years. So, there are clues, with some kind of proof, so to say, because what was sent in terms of proof to the English laboratory – the data may or may not have been manipulated. That’s something that’s still not clear to us. I remember, before having all the reports, we had a so-called preliminary report which indicated that the fluids retrieved from the car rented a month later were from Madeleine McCann.
Now, a video reconstruction of the fatidic day of May 3rd is shown.
Maddie’s investigation followed different lines of investigation. There were political pressures that marked the beginning of the process and which moved Maddie’s parents, in a first stage, away from the first batch of suspects. Kate’s diary, apprehended months later, revealed the whole workings made by the family to nurture the abduction theory.
VIDEO: May 3rd, 2007. Just before midnight, the Police receive the alert. A little 4yr-old girl, English, disappeared from a private resort in Praia da Luz. The parents were having dinner in a restaurant nearby. Actions were to be taken with extreme care. They were doctors, unsuspicious, victims of an abduction, a hideous crime. Portimão was still experiencing the hangover of the “Joana” Case. Leonor Cipriano was sentenced to jail, but the delay in the beginning of the investigation was fatal. The little girl’s remains were never found to date. The legal conviction did not erase the doubts. At Praia da Luz, on that same night, moments of tension were lived. When the PJ arrived at the scene, lots of people had already been at the crime scene, contaminating clues, going through things that could’ve been considered as proof, destroying clues that we’ll never get to know. The English government was immediately put into action so as the parents wouldn’t be investigated, so as the kidnappers be caught. Kate’s diary, apprehended months later, revealed other pressures. On the morning of May 23rd, 20 days after Maddie’s disappearance and before leaving for the Sanctuary of Fátima, Kate & Jerry left a message for Gordon Brown. Maddie’s mother described it as a means of political pressure. Tony Blair’s successor answered her just 3 hours later. He spoke to Jerry, was very nice and offered his support, Kate describes. She also describes her visit to Fátima as astounding, powerful and emotional. Besides the contacts made with Gordon Brown, Kate’s diary reveal other powerful allies. From the hiring of Clarence Mitchell as their accessor who, until that time, worked for the government, to the conversations with Blair’s wife, ex-Prime Minister of England. What’s more, Mitchell had a key part in the propaganda machine that was set up in a few days by the McCanns. They had the aid of the British diplomacy in all of the trips made. The first and with most media coverage was to Rome. They were received by Pope Bento XVI. The trip was suggested by their accessor on May 27th after having spoken to Francis Campbell, the English Ambassador with the Vatican. The visit to Rome was described by Kate as very emotional, positive and important. It brought hundreds of journalists and photographers to the location. “Worry” was always present in the couple’s life. After Rome came Berlin, Madrid, Morocco, trips that had the intention of letting people know Maddie’s face. These trips always included visits to Consulates or receptions with British Ambassadors and political representatives of the respective Embassies. Amidst all this was an investigation that was marked with advances and setbacks. Kate and Jerry started out as victims, but 4 months later they were constituted as defendants for negligent homicide. The English dogs requested by the couple found traces of the little girl in the car’s boot. The car that was rented after the disappearance. Where DNA traces were found and indicated that Maddie could have been transported there. The genetic markers were not enough. Doubt increased. The mystery thickens. Nine years later and all that’s left are the narratives of the pressures made. Of a failed investigation. Of a little girl who, dead or alive, never appeared. We still look for the answer. Where’s Madeleine McCann?
Gonçalo, what pressures did you feel during the investigation?
The pressures start with the Consul, hours after the British Ambassador. We spoke to the Consul at around 9-9.30am of May 4th and he told us that we were doing nothing and that other diplomatic intervention was necessary, so to speak. And it happened. The British Ambassador in Lisbon (at the time) travelled to Portimão and had a meeting with us, with me, Dr. Guilhermino Encarnação (PJ Director of Faro) and Dr. Luis Neves who was also present.
And what questions did he have for you?
The issue comes straight after. At the end of that meeting, a press release is drafted speaking of a kidnapper and it is Dr. Guilhermino who reads it. The parents immediately confirm a kidnapper, so the pressure was in that sense – to say that there was a kidnapper.
So from the first moment, there’s an attempt to construct an abduction theory?
It’s almost simultaneous. That communication was read at the doorstep of the Portimão facilities, right next to us were the parents supporting this theory, minutes after our meeting with the Ambassador had ended.
When do you (and your team of PJ investigators) begin to create the conviction that the case could be jeopardised?
When the other lines of investigation, namely the abduction, lead us to a dead end and we’re back at square one. What may probably happen now, if the process is not closed and nothing else is done, is what’s mandatory: if we follow a line of investigation and that was what was opted for, the following up of third parties, not the parents of people, which is what gave rise to press releases and the couple’s press release, too, and finally, the abduction theory. But we came to the conclusion that an abduction was not a possibility. Because we start doubting a person’s testimony, another doctor that was there, Mrs Turner and the lies and inconsistencies that were said. We couldn’t follow through on the abduction theory. So we had to go back to the beginning: the house. In which new investigations were made and dogs were used, conceded by the British Police. We had all that collaboration with the British Police and they were always with us up to the day the McCanns left the country. Then they all left. So I question myself: “what were they doing here anyway?” right? Because one thing is helping us in an ongoing investigation (because the investigation wasn’t over when the couple left Portugal in September of 2007 – I think) and the other is leaving the following day, like “see ya later, we’ll continue to talk over the phone, take care” and we were left alone again, with we’d already arrived at these conclusions WITH their opinion, too. A while ago, I’d confirmed the opinion of the PJ, but these were also the opinions of the British Police.
So there ARE elements of the British Police that agree with your theory?
Exactly. I can tell you that one of the elements, one of the police officers that was present, when we found out what was on the preliminary report, what he says about those results is that if this had happened in the UK, they’d already have been arrested. And we all looked at each other, because this was only the data of the preliminary report and we were all still waiting for the data from the official report to be released and it finally arrived and in the manner we all know it arrived. So this was said before many people who can testify to that.
Manuel Rodrigues (CMTV commentator and former PJ Chief Inspector), let me set a challenge for you. Is GA altering the facts? Do you believe that GA and his team of inspectors were covering ALL the possible hypothesis?
GA never accused K&G (in his book or formally) of murdering Maddie. GA and his team followed the abduction theory until they arrived at a dead end and they went back to the beginning. I believe that the theory of what happened was an accidental death, followed by the concealing of their daughter’s body. As for that, there’s nothing more to say. If I’m allowed, this question of yours involves another. Is this investigation a failure or can it be considered anything else? I would tell you that, in a normal process, we could probably be able to call this investigation a failure. In the way in which this investigation took place, with the pressures that were felt, with the involvement of the press, with the involvement of the British government’s advisors, all the manoeuvres made by the child’s parents (always advised by image consultants and press officials and the likes) and all the dramatic stances mounted around this, in some way, may indicate that this investigation was a failure. For the rest of the investigation, I would say at this moment, it has been impossible to reach any conclusions due to the theatrical nature that surrounds it and has prevented the Portuguese police from working the way they’re supposed to work, in a tranquil environment, following the clues and accusing those who had to be accused, making the reconstructions that should be made, obtaining results that were in no way adulterated, in other words, a series of situations that I can clarify later on.
Mr. Amaral interrupts – Let me just say this. Let me just clarify that this is not MY truth. That’s the opinion of the PJ and the British police after having followed lines of investigation.
So you’re not obsessed with ONE truth?
Exactly. I’m not and I’ll tell you why. What is there regards a certain period of investigation. A line of investigation that was being followed but was never again resumed. And which SHOULD be resumed. So that line’s not a dead end yet, am I being clear? We’ll see when we get to the end of the case, but in that sense, they won’t let the investigation go further.
They clearly won’t let it proceed?
No, not at all.
They? But who? The Portuguese government? The PJ? The British Police?
No, it’s neither the Portuguese government nor the PJ. It’s the British police. At the moment, Scotland Yard is leading the investigation towards only one direction.
Let me now turn to a man who was the Minister for Home Affairs shortly after, about 2 weeks later. We know that the tutelage for the PJ belongs to the Justice Ministry, but, Rui Pereira, did the government suffer any pressure?
Rui Pereira (now CMTV commentator) – I don’t know, but I can say this and you’re going to let me contextualize this a bit.
I clearly remember, for example, having read in the English newspapers, whilst the investigation was ongoing, that Portugal was viewed as an exotic Country, in which the PJ inspectors were people with bushy moustaches, who loved sardines and glasses of red wine. Exactly! Now you’ll give me a chance to explain this. This process started with an initial mistake that truly impaired the investigation.
And what mistake was that?
The mistake? Not having accused the parents of the crime of neglect (abandonment). Because right at the beginning, there was an extraordinary theory (and ridiculous in my perspective) that said that the English had very peculiar customs therefore it was normal to leave 2 baby twins and a 3yr-old child alone in a bedroom in order to go out a few hundred metres away for dinner & drinks…
…excuse me for interrupting, but let me just ask you (GA): why wasn’t this measure taken?
The measure of constituting them as suspects? I’d go even further, why weren’t they accused of neglect by abandonment?
Rui Pereira interrupts – GA can’t answer that and do you know why? Because there’s an issue here. The distinction between what a judiciary authority and criminal police organs should be. He can’t answer that, but I can. Here’s the issue: we have a legal order (and I’m trying to blame anyone here, just explaining what should have happened) that sets the distinction between a judiciary authority and criminal police organs. What matters to an inspector, and an experienced inspector with a good reputation like GA here, is to find out the material proof. With all the difficulties he was up against in that case. There should have been an intervention from the judiciary authority who leads the case – the Justice Ministry – in order to outline the process’ strategy.
And there was no intervention in your opinion?
Of course not!
So did the Justice Ministry, as a pillar, “wash their hands” from this responsibility?
I don’t know what their intention was, I just know what happened. What happened, factually, was that in the first interrogation, only the PJ were present. The Justice Ministry, contrary to what it should have done, never outlined a process strategy. And the process strategy, obviously, plans out its play upon certainties. And what’s certain is that the parents, in an irresponsible way…
But WHY didn’t the Justice Ministry do that?
I don’t know…
But do you have your suspicions? Do you have an explanation for that? Do you think they were scared?
No, but do you know why? Sometimes, in our relations with foreign countries, you know that racism is a very curious phenomenon and, almost always, we have an inferiority complex towards some foreigners so, when I heard reports with a certain “bonhomie” in the Portuguese media (not the English) that the English had very singular customs and it was considered “normal” to go out to dinner…
But did the Justice Ministry have an inferiority complex towards the case, towards the British authorities? Is that what you mean to say?
I’m going to answer you if you give me a minute to explain, because some answers cannot be given with a simple yes or no. I’ll give you a more subtle answer. In a recent case of the “Expo” (EXPO Park, Lisbon), a Chinese child fell from a building. What happened to the parents? They were constituted as suspects. And I never heard anyone saying that it was a “normal” custom for the Chinese to leave their children alone in order to go play at the Casino!
So, did the Justice Ministry fail?
G.A. – May I just interrupt you for a moment…?
Did you feel the lack of support from the Justice Ministry?
No, I wouldn’t say that. The other children of the other couples were also abandoned, and not only on one evening, but for the whole week! In this sense, if we could constitute the parents as suspects, then we’d also have to constitute as suspects the whole group of friends. Of this, I have no doubt.
Did you feel alone, without the support of the Justice Ministry in the conduction of the case?
No, because in most of our cases, we don’t feel the constant or daily presence of the Justice Ministry. The PJ moves forward, normally, with the investigation and it’s audited by the Justice Ministry. We then have to propose or suggest certain diligences with the JM. In this case, someone from the JM should have made the decision, from the 1st moment, to come forward and be present during this investigation. A situation that did not happen.
Tânia, did the Justice Ministry fail in this process?
Tânia Laranjo – CM Editor-in-Chief, who closely followed the investigation and continues to do so. What was visible from the reading of the process and of what I accompanied during those earlier months is that the Justice Ministry was totally absent. That’s the truth and no-one can deny it, for better or for worse. The success or the failure would always fall onto the PJ and not onto the Justice Ministry. They were always completely absent from this investigation. Let me just go back a little. A while ago, GA was talking about that first meeting with the Ambassador, then, minutes later, a press release was issued at the PJ’s doorstep. And the truth of the matter is that that moment changed everything. Because, from then onwards, the PJ assumed a theory, the abduction theory. So it was conditioned from then onwards. And it was fundamental, as Mr. Rui Pereira said, that the JM be present, so it could guarantee and give the investigation that freedom to be able to follow each path. There are 2 elements of the PJ present here and they can concur that all the paths must be checked without constraints. And the parents HAD to be seen as suspects. The example of the Chinese child was given here, but years before, also in the Algarve, we had the “JOANA” case in which her mother was considered a suspect. In the majority of the cases, the parents are, naturally, considered suspects right from the start and are investigated.
GA interrupts – In that specific case, the Justice Ministry was present.
Tânia – In the case of “RUI PEDRO”, another case in which the boy disappeared and is still missing to date, his mother was considered a suspect right from the first moment of the investigation. And THAT’S how it should be, with all the pain it may bring to a mother who has nothing to do with her child’s disappearance, to be investigated. And it’s something we can’t understand, but here there was a definite inferiority complex towards the British. Us, the Portuguese, us, the Portuguese Police, us, the Justice Ministry, us, the Portuguese government and even us, the Portuguese press. Because, at a certain moment, we accepted that the English be able to impose an initial theory on us and that it was impossible that those parents had anything to do with it. The truth is that, in those initial moments, in any other circumstance, if they weren’t doctors, if they weren’t English, the Portuguese press would’ve fallen all over those parents. I remember that my daughter was of about the same age, at that time, when I was in the Algarve. Those parents sat down to dinner, every night, and they never had viewing angles. No Portuguese parent would ever leave their child alone, asleep in a room.
Maddie’s process was re-opened in 2013. All hypothesis are open. The abduction or the accidental murder committed by the child’s parents.
The process will remain open until 2027 – 20 years after Maddie’s disappearance.
(Another short video is shown.)
Gonçalo, do you think things are being routed towards the process being closed here in Portugal?
Of this I have no doubts whatsoever. What was done by the Scotland Yard is, basically, coming to an end - and what they wanted to do - which was, in fact, in some way, destabilize and discredit opinions and credit K&J, removing any possible suspicions from them. They made a reconstruction of the events with actors instead of the couple. They constituted a large number of suspects who had nothing to do with the case, just to constitute suspects. They went after a lot of false clues to now reach the end, after having spent a load of money, maybe there’s no more money to spend, maybe the British Public Treasury can no longer afford the expenditure and… the case will be closed, because I’m not seeing the PJ resume the investigation if the Scotland Yard is no longer interested in pursuing it. The truth is that the process was re-opened, basically, just by the Scotland Yard and when they leave, it’ll close like what happened the last time.
But help me out here, if a while ago you told us that there were lines of investigation that were still open…
Exactly. Sorry, let me just remind you of something. This is a ruling that has not yet reached a res judicata, there are only a few days to go.
The ruling by the Court of Appeal?
Yes, the time limit for lodging an appeal is still underway. I can tell you that, deep down, what this concludes is that this line of investigation, which is still currently open, is plausible. And it’s concluded in this decision as it’s concluded in the injunction. Furthermore, the injunction states that it was this Justice Ministry that closed the investigation, because in the case of being any other Justice Ministry, we probably would’ve been faced with a completely different situation. All the same, this line of investigation doesn’t move forward and nothing’s being done in regards to it.
But as for not moving on, what does this mean? Is it the current PJ Directorate that doesn’t want to move forward?
No, that’s not the issue. It seems like it’s a case that has traumatized a lot of people and someone with some kind of equidistance must show up to take on the investigation and continue it. Amongst all the investigative lines that have come up, this is the only one missing. There’s something that the Justice Ministry states in an order of dismissal document apropos the reconstruction that was not done because K&J and the other couples didn’t want to return to Portugal. It says that the persons standing to lose because of this and are prejudiced – are K&J themselves. We could’ve come to the conclusion that what they said, what we thought were lies and inconsistencies were, in fact, the truth and the reconstruction would actually benefit them. If the line of investigation reaches the end, with all of this and with what is still necessary to be done and it is shown that the parents, in fact, had nothing to do with the child’s disappearance – they only stand to benefit from that reconstruction.
Do you think that the Portuguese Police is not interested in uncovering the truth?
At this moment, the Portuguese police is, most probably, not interested in talking about this case. Because it’s a case that traumatized a lot of people. Because there are people who want to prove that parents don’t kill their children. With this, I’m not saying that’s what these parents did. And until recently, this seems to have been a way of thinking, a culture, or something. This has to be changed, because we’ve all been affected by this.
Manuel Rodrigues, doesn’t the PJ want to search for the truth?
Thank goodness you asked me that question, because I don’t agree with GA on this issue. Maybe it’s the only issue in which I disagree with him. I think that’s not the situation – not “wanting” to search for the truth. The issue is, and as I’d mentioned before, this process suffered such a blockage that, at this time, it’s very hard to get out of. In other words, what I want to say is that I agree (because I’m certainly obliged to agree) with GA when he says that the British police traced a line of investigation in which it decided to constitute a large quantity of subjects to give the couple credit and turn the attention away from them and decrease their possible responsibility in the case. But, in order to be able to step forward in a process of this nature, the “timings” have all gone already. Everything disappeared, we need to hold on to this notion, that it’s very hard to recover a body, it’s very hard to recover (even with a reconstruction) a credible and exact idea of what happened, but it had to have been done. I don’t understand why that was never possible. It was imperative. It wasn’t due to the lack of will by the Portuguese police, surely.
It wasn’t due to the lack of will by the Portuguese Police?
Surely, it wasn’t!
So was it due to the lack of will by whom?
Someone restricted the making of that reconstruction. And don’t make me name names. The entities who were supporting the couple were already mentioned here tonight, therefore I cannot say anything else. I cannot make a different reading when, upon an examination carried out by an English laboratory (because the Portuguese had the honesty of collecting the proof and handing it over to the British authorities without even examining them here) so there were minimum doubts… Pure ingenuity! At a first moment, 15 alleles appear out of a possible 19 that make up Maddie’s DNA, and in a second report, those 15 alleles had completely disappeared and no DNA was found belonging to Maddie!!
So the culprits won’t be brought to justice…?
Rui Pereira, do you think that the PJ are doing everything in their power to unravel this mystery?
The PJ was very pressured by the huge media coverage this case had, it was very active but, after a certain time, it short-circuited. Why? Because what happened in the Algarve was that careless parents left defenceless children (who cannot defend themselves from natural or human threats) alone. And, subsequently, to what is already considered a crime of neglect, a child disappears. For the English press, what happened is that in an exotic country in the south of Europe, in a holiday resort, a child went missing. Full stop. And the British police can’t find out why. Full stop. The second story is one that’s very far from reality. So, what failed? And I insist on this point: In a first moment, in the Portuguese criminal procedure, the Justice Ministry is considered to be leading the inquiry, but rarely intervenes. I must also say that I’m comforted to know that the Court of Appeals produced a balanced, civil ruling, although the case is still running, and what is concluded was correct. It doesn’t say that the Police investigation was correct but it does say that what was revealed in the book corresponds to the investigation and, within the freedom of information, it can be considered to be truthful.
Gonçalo, do you intend to sue the McCanns?
I’m not thinking of taking that path at the moment. There’s always “giving and receiving”, my case hasn’t yet finished, there are still appeals, let’s see what happens from this point onwards and then, I’ll decide.
But there were moral and property damages, I’m sure?
That’s not essential news at this time. I think that what’s most important now is for the time to elapse for the McCanns to appeal, acknowledge their appeal and then react.
What will really matter in order for you to take that step?
I’ve already stated my reasons. And then again, why sue just the McCanns? They live in England. I’d eventually have to go there, I don’t know, and wait for how many years until a conviction is made?
Are you going to publish your book in English?
I have every intention of doing that. I know that the couple said that they’d sue anyone who bought the book, but they don’t own the English language and the book can be published in any language, namely the English language or in any country in which English is spoken or even on the Internet. I’ll have to speak to my editor, who still has rights on the book, but, yes, that’s my intention. Especially because there are copies and bad translations all over the internet and people have the right to know my opinion and those of others in the official book, so to speak.
Thank you all for your presence here tonight.
Note from the translator:
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support and your patience whilst waiting for this translation to be finished.
In taking the time to do this, I have “stolen” time from those I love most, but I did it for YOU, because of your interest in the search for the truth, because of your respect and support towards a man who, up until now, has lost so much but is still standing proud. A man I have learnt to respect and honour. And HONOUR is something that’s lacking in so many people nowadays.
If, by chance, you disagree with anything written here, I am not to blame. I limited myself to transcribing ONLY what was said. In no way have I altered any of the text, nor have I included my opinion in anything stated herein.
I apologise in advance if any spelling/grammatical errors are spotted.
Thank you once again,