Amaral in Vigo: “In the Madeleine Case Politics Aborted the Police Investigation”
“I was attacked, defamed and humiliated by the ignoble British Press”, claims Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the Portuguese Judiciary Police.
That disappearance of a girl in the night of May 3, 2007 in the Portuguese Algarve while her English parents, the McCann, couple had dinner with several friends hundred meters away of the apartment in which she was sleeping with the brothers, was only that. A tragic disappearance like thousands that take place in the global geography and not even anything particularly unique for its dramaticism. Nevertheless, it turned into a universal and invasive phenomenon as an effect caused by the media. His book in Esquilo [Publishers in Spain], "Maddie, the truth of the lie ", clarifies the questions.
- Was this case blown out of proportion?
- It’s understandable that the parents turn to the media in cases like this one but we believe that in this occasion they have done it trying to create a sense of victimization to conceal what has happened. I agree with you that there are cases that are very much more tragic who are not so mediatised, that do not transcend to the entire world.
I see Gonçalo Amaral between smoke scrolls, a cigarette after another, forthright face and the eyes with a ‘broken glass’ look.
- They finished you off...
- Certainly, I was attacked, vilified and humiliated by some of the ignoble British press which contributed to the interruption of the investigation with their continuous onslaught and interrupted, therefore, the Justice. Portugal was treated like a Third World country and there is one thing where they [Translator's note here I assume some politicians, Justice Minister, Public Ministry, Attorney general & former PJ director] did behaved as such: when they removed me, the person responsible for the ongoing investigation. There were no police, but political reasons for this. The politics aborted the investigation.
- The fact is that his investigation was contradicting their interests.
Of course. The thesis of our latest work remained in the process and there it is summed up that the minor died in the apartment, there was a simulation of abduction, the couple is suspected of hiding the body, the death could have been accidental and that there is evidence of negligence in the care of the parents for leaving them alone even if they were one hundred meters away.
- Didn’t you rush yourselves in having them imputed [constituted as arguidos i.e. official suspects]?
How is it possible to speak about precipitation when we only accused them four months after the facts? On the contrary, we believe that one of the errors of the investigation was to have treated the couple “with tweezers”. Soon enough we saw that there were things that did not coincide and they were treated with privileges. They might have been imputed earlier...
"The citizen pays to have the right to safety"
Teams and special dogs for the search of living or dead Madeleine, hours, days and months of police work in the middle of a huge international media noise, vast numbers of followers or detractors... Can the public finances destine so much money to the investigation of every case? Amaral thinks that on Portuguese part there were no special expenses except the hiring of an English laboratory and the British police officers were paid by his country. "Nevertheless – he says - the criminal investigation has no price because the citizens pays taxes to have their safety".
- You worked for 28 years in the police. You have worked with cases enough to write a book of mystery...
- (smiles). True. For example, I had interesting cases of drug trafficking, some of which we worked with the Galician police, but those who have touched me most, emotionally, were some that included children. A father who killed his three-year-old son, for example, for jealousy. More tragic than the Maddie case although it has not been so mediatised.
- To what extent can the media interfere in the police work? ?
That is a very complex issue with many nuances. Our Judiciary Police has no press office to face the current challenges, nor an image consultant for its general director, or assistants that will examine what appears in the press or on the Internet. With this lack of resources it is not possible to answer to a British press that seems much more guided feeding information towards the thesis of the abduction and that influenced the investigation until the investigation stopped.
Source: Faro de Vigo
by Joana Morais