Monday, February 23, 2009

An interview not to be missed

Exclusive Interview to the Former PJ Coordinator Gonçalo Amaral

"The political will does not exist; there is no political will to reopen at the moment, because if there was a political will it would mean that there was a political will before the process was closed, in order to continue the investigation. And when a process of this type is archived, with so many diligences to take care of, with so many facts that needed clarification, that’s because there was no will to continue the investigation and that was clear when we left the investigation on the 2nd of October [2007]." Gonçalo Amaral in Vigo, October 2008

Todos os Direitos Reservados © Joana Morais 2009
All Rights Reserved © Joana Morais 2009

video to follow

A collaborative interview by Duarte Levy, Joana Morais, Astro and Mercedes

All Rights Reserved © Joana Morais 2009

Transcript & Translation

Duarte Levy: You have now seen that the Constitutional Court has authorised the use of phone taps in the [football corruption] “Golden Whistle” case. Do you think it would be possible to see the same happening in the McCann case, taking into account that the judge didn’t authorise access to the registers and taps that were carried out at that time?

Gonçalo Amaral: The issue is not the permission to access the phone taps. He didn’t authorize the access to information concerning the text messages. That is related to a bureaucratic matter. When those text messages took place, there was no phone surveillance. The understanding of that judge… to access that information, that data, there would have to be a duly authorised phone tap first, it’s a procedural matter. Some think it’s not like that, others have a different understanding, the Public Ministry did not appeal the decision of the Appeals Court, and therefore the case was tried and closed.

DL: Did the PJ ever read the contents of those text messages?

GA: Yes it did. Later on, when it was not very interesting anymore. What was at stake was the situation of the national service providers.

DL: During the first phase of the inquiry, after the disappearance of Madeleine, the PJ offered the McCanns a mobile phone with a Portuguese chip that the McCanns never used. On the other hand, they used two phone numbers that were supplied to them by Portuguese friends. Were those phones under surveillance?

GA: That phone that was offered to them, was the one that was tapped, right? That phone was for them to receive calls, this was during those diligences that were related with possible extortions, from the Dutch and the Spanish and it was to find out, for them to give that number when necessary, when they were asked for a contact number and a way to listen into the conversation with the possible abductor asking for money. It’s a perfectly normal procedure. As for the other phones that they may have used, I do not know about that.

DL: In the case, during the first weeks, in some reports, in some cases similar to this one, with the same resemblances, often the parents are advised not to publicise the case, based on the principle that this publicity can place the child’s life at risk. Were the two first press conferences that were held by the McCanns carried out with the agreement, the authorization from the PJ?

GA: No. The same happened in this case. They were advised not to publicise and to be careful with the press. And the person who did that right away wasn’t even from the PJ, but a member of the English social services, who had been working in that area for 25 years, working with endangered children, with abuse situations, who was on vacation in the area, in Praia da Luz, who on the very morning of the 4th [of May] contacts the couple and alerts them to that. But she is thrown out of the house, we can say.

DL: At which point in time did you consider the McCanns to be suspects?

GA: Let’s see: In terms of suspicion, from the very first hour. The procedures in this type of case are to find out who the persons are, who the missing person is, in this case the missing child, and to find out all the antecedents. And now the first question that is asked from the English authorities, from the British police forces, is that one. Who were the parents, that group of people, and who was the child, was she the target of abuse, was she not. Then, it evolves, it’s a formal procedure, its general for all cases and when the first statements are made, that’s the day when we start to suspect that something is wrong. Things evolved, they were suspects until we reached the work of the English dogs and then the suspicions ultimately became indicia [evidence].

DL: During that whole phase, and until you were removed from the field, the English policemen that were in Praia da Luz, how was the cooperation with them? Was there actually cooperation?

GA: Yes. The cooperation was very tight, very intense; there are no doubts about that.

DL: So which part of the English authorities originated that blockade?

GA: That is certainly, and it was, coming from the top of the English hierarchy.

DL: The English policemen were invited to sign a confidentiality document. At the PJ, is that a normal procedure?

GA: No. And it’s not normal with the English police, either. It is normal in cases with the secret services, and that document is signed right at the beginning. Now with normal police, doing criminal investigation, that doesn’t happen.

DL: Concerning participations from outside of this case, it is normal for the ambassador, this has happened before in the Algarve, unfortunately, other cases involving British citizens. Is it normal for the ambassador to travel there?

GA: No. Neither in British cases nor non-British cases, they don’t have that responsibility. What is normal is for the information to be relayed by the consulate, that is what happens and only then the ambassador may come. And now we think that the ambassador came right away because of those initial suspicions and the first requests that were made which indicated that we suspected the couple, and he intervened in a manner that is not normal. He should have stayed in Lisbon, at the police’s National Directory, speaking with the National Director and not on location. And him leaving Portimão then led to a communiqué that the PJ somehow was “committed” to the abduction theory.

DL: Concerning other individuals that were connected with this case, the appearance of Brian Kennedy, namely during the meeting that he held with Murat, did the PJ ever find out about the purpose of that meeting?

GA: I was not in the investigation anymore during that phase, I had already left, but I know that this gentleman has gone as far as meeting people from the PJ after I left, which is not correct. Even more so because that gentleman brought certain Spanish detectives with him. That behaviour from the PJ’s senior officials in not the most acceptable one.

DL: Concerning not only this case, or other cases, how seriously could the events of the Madeleine case affect future cases?

GA: Well, in this case, like in all other cases, they affect the future [cases]. We have to learn from our mistakes and from the difficulties that we experienced. For example, in an earlier case, from 2004, the so-called “Joana case”, a disappearance as well, us investigators requested for the National Directory of the Police to intervene in a manner that would produce new regulations, new procedures for this type of inspection, to treat these disappearances. For example, there’s a very important issue. The disappearance in itself, when you go to a police station, or to the GNR or to the PJ, for missing persons, there is no specific competence for missing persons. There is no process for that. We have to investigate everything. The disappearance may or may not be related to a criminal situation and the issue may be whose competence is this? This has to be defined very quickly, we have been talking about that for a long time, over many cases and so far, nothing has been done about that. To define the competence from the outset. In all cases, the competence should be, at least in children’s cases, the PJ’s. Because many times what is at really the issue is that the disappearance has the parents’ intervention, in situations of divorce and there is a need and they take the children abroad, because it is the PJ that has the competence and the contacts on an international level, namely with Interpol, so the PJ dominates those channels for international cooperation, and from there, right away these cases should be the PJ’s competence, but that has not been defined. This leads to an initial intervention by the criminal police force that is informed of the disappearance. It’s always an intervention, almost always a disastrous intervention, because the more time goes by, the more pieces of evidence, opportunities to collect evidence are lost and only at a much later moment in time the PJ appears. When one thinks it’s an abduction, normally that’s what happens, it’s an abduction, it’s the PJ’s competence, nobody mentions a homicide or a voluntary disappearance, what is mentioned is abduction then it’s the PJ, and when we intervene it’s at a latter moment.

What happened in this case of Madeleine, we were called almost when the disappearance took place, only a few hours later, but still things went wrong. Why did they go wrong? Because there is a lack of said procedures concerning these situations. And this sensibility that many investigators have, to understand that an abduction is actually the theft of a person, but it cannot be handled like any theft. For example, all possibilities must be kept open, from a voluntary disappearance to, effectively, abduction, or homicide, or the death of the child. Therefore, it is necessary for the PJ to create this very quickly, I think they are doing that, I don’t think actually, I certain of it, there is already a commission that has been nominated to do that, to define those rules and those procedures for us to act. In my book I even mention it would be enough to follow the English, what the British authorities have concerning these situations. They have much more cases in situations of this type, don’t they? With the number of times that this happens in Portugal, maybe it doesn’t lead to, it hasn’t been that essential element that would lead the Police’s National Directory, or the Ministry of Justice to care for it, to feel the need for these new procedures. That’s where, that’s the manner in which it so often interferes. When there is a likelihood, the PJ acts. The PJ cannot be measured by one case. A PJ is measured through its entire history which is vast and includes many success cases, it is in fact one of the most successful police forces, on an international level, and also in this area of missing children, a very high success rate.

DL: In the Madeleine McCann case, who made the decision to send the analyses to Birmingham, to the FSS? In Portugal there is the National Institute [Forensic Medicine].

GA: This is the question. At that point in time, we were already feeling the pressure of the British media, we felt incompetent, that was what they said, and anything that we might do, would be questioned. It was a political decision by the PJ, but which was understandable at that point in time and it is still understandable now because it was a way of compromising, an attempt to compromise a British institution with the results that were to be found. If you ask me now if I would do the same today, I don’t think I would. Maybe there would be another laboratory, or at least, I wouldn’t have sent all the samples to that laboratory. But I can also tell you that at the IML, the Institute for Forensics Medicine, there was not the full capacity to carry out all of these tests, namely the low copy number analyses. Only in England, at this laboratory or at other laboratories outside of the country. We could have chosen another laboratory, but we opted for this one. It was a disaster. The decision was not disastrous; it was the tests that were disastrous to say the least.

DL: But do those samples still exist?

GA: No. They have all been destroyed. From the hair samples, it’s all been destroyed. There is a situation that is reported that is the following: there are several hairs, lots of hair is found in the car boot, in the car that was rented 23 days later, a comparison is made in terms of colour and colouration where they say yes indeed, these could be from the little girl, but then the laboratory says that they don’t manage, it doesn’t have any roots, they cannot define the DNA, they cannot define whether it’s from a living or a dead person, and when a team of Portuguese investigators go to the lab, accompanied by a Portuguese scientist, Dr. Francisco Corte Real, they ask for that hair, they went as far as holding that hair in their hands. And they had that hair, duly stored, that package with the hair, but then a report from the FSS appears in which they realize that they’d better keep them, and that later on they destroyed them in an attempt to define the DNA, or to discover whether it was from a living person or not, and they destroyed all of that hair. It’s a bit hard to understand how in order to define the DNA, or to carry out another test, such a quantity of hair has to be used, like there existed in Portugal as well, and then it wasn’t possible to perform analyses of other types, namely the possibility of sedatives that the little girl might have ingested or was forced to ingest.

DL: Among the English officers that participated in this case, there’s Stuart Prior, to what extent can we today, after you left the case, with everything that the press has already published from part of the Public Ministry’s process, to what extent can we say today that Stuart Prior cooperated in this case, or not?

GA: Stuart Prior initially appears, he appears as number 2 or number 3 of the British police. The senior officer…, who had a meeting with us, and the first person to come to Portugal on a personal level is him, he always had lots of contacts and interest in the investigation. Stuart Prior appears during a phase, later in Portugal, first it was in England. I particularly wouldn’t like to be in his shoes, with the options that he made in terms of the investigation, and not only that, in his political knowledge. He is a good policeman, he cooperated vastly with us, but it was him who said that he had arrested people in England with much less. So he probably knew the value of these indicia that already existed, but as to whether he made good options, only he can answer those questions.

DL: Last question, at this moment in time, in order to reopen the process, what elements are needed, or what could reopen the process and to what extent do you think that there is a political will in Portugal to do it?

GA: Now a process of this kind that is archived like this and remains waiting for better evidence, it needs just that: new elements of evidence, which means, new data. There are situations in the process which in our opinion have not been taken into account, which have not even been read or became known to those who had the duty to know it. Namely that statement from the couple of English doctors who mention a vacation in Mallorca, those situations where there were gestures and words indicating the existence of a child molester within that group of people who were on vacation and not even that was taken into account, because they didn’t read it, they had no knowledge. I cannot believe that they read such statements and passed over them.

If eventually those persons would make a new statement, again, with other details, certainly there are details that they didn’t remember, the process might be reopened. But also other data, other situations that might lead to the reopening of the process, namely someone from within the group may come to talk about something, for example, the invention of the surveillance scheme; it would have to be reopened. There are situations, like the FSS’s work, if some report appears, which might exist, that in fact there were not only 15 alleles but more than 15 alleles from the little girl’s DNA profile, situations of this type have to lead to the reopening of the process.

The political will does not exist; there is no political will to reopen at the moment, because if there was a political will it would mean that there was a political will before the process was closed, in order to continue the investigation. And when a process of this type is archived, with so many diligences to take care of, with so many facts that needed clarification, that’s because there was no will to continue the investigation and that was clear when we left the investigation on the 2nd of October [2007]. That will was lacking, what was necessary was to archive the process, there was a strong will to archive the process. Now, it will be very difficult for the process to be reopened but every citizen has a word to say and there are ways to intervene with the Attorney General in a manner that the process is reopened.

Transcrição em Português

Duarte Levy: Tu viste agora que o Tribunal Constitucional autorizou a utilização das escutas telefónicas no caso “Apito Dourado”. Até que ponto seria possível ver essa mesma situação no caso Mccann tendo em conta que o juiz não autorizou o acesso aos registos e escutas feitas nessa altura.

Gonçalo Amaral: A questão não é a autorização ao acesso das escutas. Não autorizou o acesso à informação relativamente aos sms. Isso tem a ver com uma questão burocrática. Quando esses sms ocorreram não existiam interesses telefónicos. No entendimento desse juiz ……, que para aceder a essa informação, a esses dados teria que, primeiramente, teria que existir uma escuta devidamente autorizada, uma questão processual. Há quem entenda que não é assim, há quem tenha outro entendimento, o Ministério Público não recorreu da decisão do Tribunal da Relação, por isso o caso foi julgado e encerrado.

DL: A PJ chegou a ter conhecimento do conteúdo desses sms?

GA: Sim conseguiu. Mais tarde, quando não tinha grande interesse. O que estava em causa era situação das operadoras nacionais…..

DL: A PJ, na primeira fase do inquérito, depois do desaparecimento de Madeleine, colocou à disposição dos Mccann, um telefone portátil com chip português que os Mccann nunca utilizaram. Em compensação utilizaram dois números de telefone que foram fornecidos por amigos portugueses. Esses telefones estiveram sob escuta?

GA: Esse telefone que foi entregue, é que era o telefone que estava sob escuta não é. Esse telefone era para receber chamadas, foi no decurso daquelas diligências relacionadas com possíveis extorsões não é, dos holandeses e dos espanhóis e era para saber, eles darem aquele número quando fosse necessário, quando pedissem número de contacto e uma forma de saber a conversação com o possível raptor a extorquir dinheiro. É um procedimento normalíssimo. Quantos aos outros telefones que tenham utilizado, desconheço.

DL: No caso, nas primeiras semanas, em alguns relatórios, em alguns casos semelhantes a este, com as mesmas similitudes, muitas vezes aconselham os pais a não publicitarem o caso partindo do princípio que essa publicidade pode pôr em risco a vida da criança. As duas primeiras conferências de imprensa feitas pelos Mccann foram feitas com o acordo, com a autorização da PJ?

GA: Não. Aqui aconteceu também isso. O aconselharem que não dessem publicidade e que tivessem cuidado com a imprensa. E quem o fez logo nem foi a PJ mas uma funcionária da Segurança Social inglesa, portanto, já com 25 anos de trabalho nessa área, com crianças em risco, com situações de abusos, e que estava de férias na zona, na Praia da Luz, que na própria manhã do dia 4 contacta o casal e o alerta para isso. Mas é escorraçada de casa pode-se dizer assim.

DL: A partir de que altura é que considerou que os Mccann eram suspeitos?

GA: É assim. Em termos de suspeição, desde a primeira hora. Os procedimentos nestes casos similares é saber quem são as pessoas, saber quem é o desaparecido, neste caso, a criança desaparecida e saber todos os antecedentes. E agora a primeira pergunta que é feita às autoridades inglesas, às polícias britânicas é essa. Quem eram os pais, aquele grupo de pessoas, e quem era a criança, se era alvo de abusos, se não era. Depois, isso vai evoluindo, é um procedimento formal, é geral para todos os casos e quando há as primeiras declarações aí nesse dia começamos a suspeitar de que algo estaria errado. As coisas evoluíram, foram suspeitos até que chegou-se ao trabalho dos cães ingleses e depois as suspeitas tornaram-se em indícios no fundo.

DL: Durante toda essa fase e até que o Amaral foi afastado de campo, os polícias ingleses que estiveram na praia da Luz, como foi a colaboração com eles? Houve uma colaboração de facto?

GA: Sim. A colaboração foi muito estreita, muito intensa, não há dúvidas quanto a isso.

DL: Então em que parte das autoridades inglesas houve aquele bloqueio?

GA: Isso será certamente, e foi, vindo do topo da hierarquia inglesa.

DL: Os polícias ingleses foram convidados nomeadamente a assinar um documento de confidencialidade. Na PJ, esse procedimento é um procedimento normal?

GA: Não. E na polícia inglesa também não é normal. É normal nos casos de serviços secretos, e assina-se esse documento logo que se começa. Agora com a polícia normal, de investigação criminal, isso não acontece.

DL: No que diz respeito a participações exteriores neste caso, é normal o embaixador, já existiu no Algarve, infelizmente outros casos relacionados com britânicos. É normal o embaixador deslocar-se?

GA: Não. Nem com casos britânicos nem sem ser britânicos, eles não tem essa responsabilidade. O normal é toda a informação que é dada através do consulado, isso é o que acontece e só depois virá o embaixador. E nós pensamos agora que o embaixador terá vindo logo por causa dessas primeiras suspeições e dos primeiros pedidos que foram feitos que indicavam que estávamos a suspeitar do casal e veio de uma forma intervir o que não é normal. Deveria ter ficado em Lisboa, na Direcção Nacional da polícia, falar com o Director Nacional e não no terreno. E a saída dele de Portimão levou a que depois houvesse um comunicado de que a PJ se “comprometia” de alguma forma com a tese de rapto.

DL: Em relação a outros indivíduos que estiveram ligados a este caso, o aparecimento de Brian Kennedy, nomeadamente na reunião que tem com Murat, a PJ chegou a saber o porquê desse encontro?

GA: Eu nessa fase já não estava na investigação, já tinha saído mas sei que, esse senhor ter-se-á inclusivamente reunido com pessoas da PJ após a minha saída o que não é correcto. Até porque esse senhor trazia determinados detectives espanhóis. Esse comportamento por parte dos responsáveis da PJ não é o mais aceitável.

DL: Em relação não só a este caso, nem noutros casos, até que ponto o que se passou no caso Madeleine pode afectar os casos futuros?

GA: Bom, este caso, como em todos os outros casos afectam os futuros. Nós temos que aprender com os nossos erros e com as dificuldades que tivemos. Por exemplo, num caso anterior, de 2004, o chamado “caso Joana”, também um desaparecimento, nós investigadores solicitamos a Direcção Nacional da Polícia que interviesse de forma a sair com novos regulamentos, novos procedimentos neste tipo de inspecções, de tratar estes desaparecimentos. Por exemplo, há uma questão muito importante. O de aparecimento só por si é quando se vai a esquadra de polícia, ou a GNR, ou a PJ para desaparecidos não há uma competência própria para desaparecidos. Não existe processo para isso. Temos de investigar tudo. O desaparecimento pode estar ou não relacionado com uma situação delituosa e a questão que pode ser é de quem é a competência? Isso é preciso definir muito rapidamente, nós já estamos a falar nisso há muito tempo, em muitos casos e até agora nada foi feito quanto a isso. Definir logo a competência. A competência deveria ser de todos os casos, pelos menos de crianças, da PJ. Porque muitas vezes pode estar mesmo em causa que o desaparecimento seja com intervenção dos pais, em situações em que há divórcios e há necessidade e levam as crianças para o estrangeiro porque é a PJ que tem a competência e contactos a nível internacional, nomeadamente no âmbito da Interpol, portanto, a PJ domina esses canais de cooperação internacional, e por aí, logo esses casos deviam ser da competência da PJ, mas isso não está definido. Isso leva a que ocorra uma primeira intervenção pela ordem da polícia criminal que tem conhecimento do desaparecimento. É sempre uma intervenção, quase sempre uma intervenção desastrosa porque quanto mais o tempo se passa, mais elementos de provas, oportunidades de recolher provas se perdem e só num momento muito posterior é que se aparece a PJ. Quando se pensa que é um rapto, normalmente é isso que se passa, é um rapto, é da competência da PJ, não se fala de homicídio ou de desaparecimento voluntário, fala-se em rapto é da PJ, e quando intervimos já é num momento posterior. O que se passou neste caso da Madeleine, nós fomos chamados quase logo em cima do desaparecimento, há poucas horas depois mas mesmo assim as coisas correram mal. Correram mal porquê? Porque há falta dos tais procedimentos relativamente a essas situações. E a tal sensibilidade que muitos investigadores têm de ter para entender que um rapto é de facto um furto de uma pessoa, mas não pode ser tratado como um furto qualquer. Tem que se ter, por exemplo, abertas todas as hipóteses, desde desaparecimento voluntário a efectivamente, um rapto, ou homicídio, ou a morte da criança em causa. Portanto, isto é necessário a PJ criar muito rapidamente, penso que estão a fazer isso, penso não, tenho a certeza, já há uma comissão que está nomeada para isso, para se definirem as tais regras e procedimentos para podermos actuar. Eu no livro falo até que bastava seguir os ingleses, o que as autoridades britânicas têm relativamente a estas situações. Eles têm mais casos nestas situações desta questão não é. Com o número de vezes que isso acontece em Portugal, se calhar não leva a que, não tem sido aquele elemento essencial que levasse a Direcção Nacional da Polícia, ou o Ministério da Justiça a ter estes cuidados, a sentirem a necessidade de estes novos procedimentos. É daí, dessa forma que muitas vezes vai interferir. Quando há a probabilidade a PJ actua. A PJ não se mede num caso. A PJ mede-se em toda a sua história que é muito vasta e que tem muitos casos de sucesso, aliás é uma das polícias que mais sucessos têm, a nível internacional, e também nesta área de desaparecimento de crianças, uma grande taxa de sucesso.

DL: No caso de Madeleine Mccann, quem é que tomou a decisão de enviar para Birmingham, para o FSS, as análises? Havendo em Portugal o Instituto Nacional.

GA: A questão é esta. Naquela altura já estávamos a sentir a pressão da Comunicação Social britânica, sentíamo-nos uns incompetentes, era o que diziam, e tudo o que nós fizéssemos seria colocado em causa. Foi uma decisão política da parte da PJ, mas que entende-se na altura e agora também é compreensível porque foi uma forma de comprometer, uma tentativa de comprometer uma instituição britânica nos resultados que iam ser apurados. Se me perguntasse agora se hoje faria o mesmo, penso que não. Talvez haveria outro laboratório, ou pelo menos, não teria enviado todas as amostras para aquele laboratório. Mas também posso lhe dizer que no IML, Instituto Medicina Legal não tinham todas as capacidades para efectuar todos estes exames, nomeadamente, nem fazia exames em low copy number. Só na Inglaterra, neste laboratório ou noutros laboratórios no exterior. Poderíamos ter escolhido outro laboratório, mas optou-se por este. Foi desastroso. A decisão não foi desastrosa, o exames é que foram muito desastrosos no mínimo.

DL: Mas essas amostras ainda existem?

GA: Não. Foram todas destruídas. Desde os cabelos, está tudo destruído. Há uma situação que se relata que é: há vários cabelos, monte de cabelos são encontrados na bagageira do carro, no carro alugado 23 dias depois, que se vão fazer pela comparação em termos de cor e coloração em que dizem sim senhora, pode ser da miúda, mas depois o laboratório diz que não consegue, não tem raízes, não consegue definir o ADN, não consegue definir se é de uma pessoa viva ou de uma pessoa morta, e quando há uma equipa de investigadores portugueses que se deslocam ao laboratório, acompanhados por um cientista português, Dr. Francisco Corte Real, pedem então esses cabelos, chegaram a ter esses cabelos nas mãos. E eles tinham esses cabelos, devidamente guardados, essa embalagem com os cabelos, mas depois aparece um relatório do FSS que se recordou que diz que era melhor ficar com eles, e que depois foram destruídos nessa tentativa de definir o ADN, ou descobrir se era duma pessoa viva ou não e destruíram os cabelos todos. Em Portugal também foram destruídos. É um pouco incompreensível como é que para definir o ADN, ou fazer outro exame se gasta uma quantidade de cabelos, como cá em Portugal também existiam, e depois não houve possibilidade de fazer outros tipos de exames, nomeadamente à possibilidade de sedativos que a miúda pudesse ter ingerido ou ser obrigada a ingerir.

DL: Dentro dos oficiais ingleses que participaram neste caso, existe o Stuart Prior, até que ponto hoje, depois de ter deixar o caso, com tudo aquilo que a imprensa já levou parte do processo do Ministério Público a ser conhecida, até que ponto se pode dizer hoje em dia, que o Stuart Prior colaborou ou não com este caso?

GA: Stuart Prior aparece de início, aparece como o nº2 ou nº3 da Polícia Britânica. O responsável…, que teve connosco uma reunião, e a primeira pessoa a deslocar-se a Portugal no âmbito pessoal é ele, que sempre teve muitos contactos e interesse com a investigação. Stuart Prior aparece numa fase, mais tarde a Portugal, antes era na Inglaterra. Particularmente eu não gostava de estar no lugar dele, com as opções que tomou em termos da investigação e não só e no seu conhecimento político. É um bom polícia, colaborou muito connosco, mas, foi ele que disse que com muito menos já tinha detido pessoas em Inglaterra. Portanto ele lá saberia o valor destes indícios que já existiam mas se fez boas opções só ele poderá responder a essas perguntas.

DL: Para terminar, neste momento, para reabrir o processo quais são os elementos necessários ou o que poderia reabrir o processo e até que ponto pensa que há vontade política em Portugal de o fazer?

GA: Ora um processo deste tipo que fica arquivado desta forma a aguardar melhores provas, necessita disso mesmo: novos elementos de provas, portanto, dados novos. Existem situações no processo que, quanto a nós, não foram tido em conta, que nem foram lidas ou conhecidas por quem tinha o dever de conhecer. Nomeadamente aquela declaração do casal de médicos ingleses que se referem a umas férias em Maiorca, áquelas situações onde houve gestos e palavras a indiciar a existência de um abusador de menores naquele grupo de pessoas que estavam a passar férias e nem isso foi levado em linha de conta, porque não leram, não tiveram conhecimento. Não acredito que tivessem lido tais declarações e tenham passado por cima disso.
Se por ventura, essas pessoas viessem declarar novamente, outra vez, com outros pormenores, de certeza que há pormenores que não se lembravam, o processo poderia ser reaberto. Mas também outros dados, outras situações que pudessem levar a reabertura do processo, nomeadamente alguém dentro do grupo vir a falar de alguma coisa, por exemplo, da invenção daquele esquema de vigilância, teria de ser reaberto. Há situações, como o trabalho do FSS, se aparecer algum relatório, que poderá existir, que de facto não haveria só 15 alelos mas mais do que 15 alelos lá do perfil do ADN da miúda, situações deste tipo terão que levar a reabertura do processo.

A vontade política não é nenhuma, não há vontade política para reabrir neste momento, porque se existisse vontade política era sinal que existia vontade política antes do encerramento do processo, para continuar com a investigação. E quando se arquiva um processo deste tipo, com tantas diligências por tratar, com tantos factos que tinham de ser esclarecidos, é porque não havia vontade de continuar com a investigação e isso foi nítido quando saímos da investigação no dia 2 de Outubro. Essa vontade faltou, o que era preciso era arquivar o processo, houve uma forte vontade para arquivar o processo agora será muito difícil o processo ser reaberto mas todos os cidadãos têm uma palavra a dizer e podem de alguma forma intervir na Procuradoria-geral da República de forma a que o processo seja reaberto.

by Joana Morais

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

At last some courage...

Who was listening to Kate and Gerry McCann?

By Jon Clements*

A few days ago I received an interesting letter from Leicestershire police about the Madeleine McCann investigation.

I had asked them, in July, if they had got any warrants (under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to use surveillance powers - such as phone tapping and email interception on behalf of the Portuguese police.

The force initially stalled saying it needed to "consult other Agencies" before replying. After a six month delay, Leicestershire has now claimed it is exempt from Freedom of Information laws in this case due to "national security".

I've put in dozens of FoI requests to police forces over the years, some you get and some you don't but "national security" is a new one on me.

To make matters even murkier, Leicestershire claimed a second exemption because the information I requested could relate to "the Security bodies".

A quick look at the FoI Act reveals "Security bodies" are MI5, MI6, GCHQ (pictured above), special forces (such as the SAS) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.


Despite claiming these exemptions, Leicestershire seem at pains to neither confirm nor deny they hold any information relevant to my request anyway.

Check out (slowly I suggest) the tortuous conclusion to the three page letter explaining their stance.

"It is our decision that the Leicestershire Constabulary must maintain a position of neither confirming nor denying that any relevant information is held and that this response, which neither confirms nor denies that information is held, should not be taken as conclusive evidence that the information you have requested exists or does not exist".

Thanks, but I think that is a rather long-winded way of saying Foxtrot Oscar.

However, it does beg the question just who was bugging the McCanns after they returned from Praia da Luz? And what has the answer got to do with national security ?

*Jon Clements is a crime Correspondent for the Daily Mirror. He joined the newspaper in 1999 and has been showbiz editor and a foreign reporter covering Iraq, Lebanon and Israel.

Kate, Gerry and national security - update

By Jon Clements

I've just spoken to the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell who has declined to comment. Quite sensible, really. After all, you never who's listening do you ?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Moles and Trolls always leave traces

Mole/ Troll, I know who you are.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to pervert the course of justice for Dummies

Detectives Hired by the McCanns want to Frame Gonçalo Amaral

A puzzle with crossed stories

Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns, tried to convince Leonor Cipriano's Lawyer to change the course of defense. The agency operational wanted to make of Gonçalo Amaral - the former coordinator of the PJ of Portimão, responsible for the investigation to the disappearance of Madeleine and Joana, the main target, through the intersection of the two cases

by Pedro Coelho/SIC

The contact was made during the period in which the Spanish detectives were investigating the case of Madeleine McCann, 3 years old, disappeared from Praia da Luz, Algarve, on 3rd May 2007. The agency's operationals contacted the lawyer from Algarve, João Grade dos Santos [Leonor Cipriano former Lawyer], requesting support in the investigations. "They told me that they had contacted me because I was working on a matter which according to them, had similarities", clarifies the lawyer.

João Grade dos Santos prompted the interest of Método3 because he was officially defending Leonor Cipriano in a process where Gonçalo Amaral, was accused, by the Public Ministry, of omission to report acts of torture, performed by three other inspectors of the PJ, during the questioning to the mother of Joana Cipriano. The process, still ongoing, involves 5 members of the Judiciary Police and was opened following a complaint put forward by the director of the Odemira prison [Ana Maria Calado].

In February 2005, the Expresso newspaper published [article written by the actual Lawyer's bar Marinho Pinto] a series of photos of Leonor Cipriano, where the prison inmate appears with her eyes and face bruised. The bruises denounced the existence of an aggression.

Joana's mother, the eight year old girl, who disappeared in 2004 from the village of Figueira in the Algarve, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the death and concealment of the corpse of her daughter.

In the contact made with João Grade dos Santos, the detectives of Método 3 spoke specifically of Gonçalo Amaral: "Obviously they had to speak about him: he was the inspector most talked about at that moment - mocked the lawyer - after all he was at the investigation of the two cases", he concludes. In their approach, the detectives emphasised the advantages of the proposal, "They told me that money for expenses was not a problem", stressed the lawyer.

Leonor Cipriano was defended by João Grade of Santos during all the inquest period but, on the eve of the start of the trial, the client waived the lawyer's services.

Months after having refused the proposal for collaboration with Metodo 3, João Grade dos Santos was replaced by Marcos Aragão Correia, a young lawyer with offices in Madeira [Portuguese Island]. From him it was a known a quick, but symbolic, passage through the continent: Aragão Correia participated in the searches for Madeleine, as a medium [psychic]. The lawyer had visions of the girl's corpse in the dam of the river Arade, in Silves. "The Judiciary Police - recognizes Aragão - completely dismissed these evidences, though I was a lawyer, while the Método 3 was very interested", he adds.

But the interest of the agency would focus in another objective: the detectives needed a lawyer who would assume the intersection of the Joana and Maddie cases.

Aragão Correia accepted what Grade dos Santos had refused: "The detectives met with me and told me: 'We are very concerned because there is an element common to both cases: Gonçalo Amaral, who is not interested in looking for children, he is only interested on incriminating the parents. It happened in Maddie’s case and also in Joana’s case.' Método 3 asked me to get involved in the case, they didn’t ask me to be Leonor’s lawyer, they asked me to make a few investigations as a lawyer."

Marcos Aragão Correia has accepted the challenge and, when he consulted the Joana case, he identified himself immediately, with the Spanish detectives theory. "I was outraged - he recalls - I thought that Mr. Gonçalo Amaral had a hidden interest for systematically accusing the mothers without evidences against them."

Following the interest expressed with the case, Marcos Aragão Correia visited Leonor Cipriano at the Odemira prison from where he ended up close to becoming the substitute of João Grade dos Santos: "It was Leonor who asked me. She told me that no one had ever defended her like that. After much reflection I decided to accept, and I informed Dr.João Grade dos Santos of Leonor’s decision".

As soon as Marcos Aragão Correia assumed the defense of Leonor Cipriano, the proceedings, relative to the Faro’s trial against the five PJ inspectors, changed it's course. He assumes that change himself: "The biggest nightmare of Gonçalo Amaral was when I entered in the case", he alerts.

Paulo Pereira Cristovão, a former PJ inspector and one of the 5 arguidos of Faro accuses Marcos Aragão Correia of trying to make a 'deal' with the defendants."And that deal was: all of you incriminate Gonçalo Amaral and I’ll arrange so that Leonor Cipriano says that you have nothing to do with this – well, deals like this, only in Hollywood", ironizes Pereira Cristovão.

Marcos Aragão Correia does not deny the existence of such a deal, he even alleges that the deal was related with a "confidence made by one of the arguidos" that had reached his ears. "That defendant send an e-mail to a friend of mine where he pointed Gonçalo Amaral as being guilty", denounces the lawyer.

Marcos Aragão Correia confesses that the negative opinion about the way that Gonçalo Amaral investigated the cases of Maddie and Joana, is not shared alone with the Método 3, hired by the McCann couple. The lawyer feeds the enigma: "If I am taking sides for one of the parties, it is obvious that that side is giving me moral support".

Aragão Correia does not clarify who is in fact behind this puzzle: "The secrecy of the contract which bounds me to Método 3 stops me from revealing details regarding the private investigation", concludes.

Contacted by the SIC, Método 3 decided not to give any statements. Nevertheless the McCann family spokesman alleges that the family does not comment issues that they consider to be negative.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Time flies when all's well

Dr Gerry McCann: How time runs? Thank your for the answers! Comply with the calendar!

by Paulo Sargento*

Dr Gerry McCann’s blog was updated on the 650th day since Madeleine’s disappearance, and 3 months after his last post, the contents of which thanked for more donations that had resulted from an action in Liverpool.

The fact that he recognizes that he’s been very busy is not strange. The opposite would be strange! Nevertheless, I reaffirm the notion that the increasing time lapses between posts, and, while we’re at it, the ASSUMED, I repeat, ASSUMED lesser amount of media coverage may fulfil the purpose that Dr McCann suggests (to work, finally, if not too late, in the shadows, searching for Madeleine so these factors do not disturb) or else, be nothing more than a numbing strategy with the purpose of extinguishing the Maddie phenomenon. Dr McCann will forgive me, but I’m more inclined towards the second possibility. An analysis of the posts’ dates reveal that these may well constitute “replies to messages”. Curiously, it’s also at these times that one hears Mister Clarence Mitchell less frequently. Nevertheless, his intervention, and especially his style, are perfectly recognisable in blogs with posts that are signed by fictitious characters (I would call this counter-information, a well known aspect of espionage).

To recognise that you have a small team working hard, Dr McCann, can only make sense if you want to convey the notion that if more isn’t being done, this is due to a lack of means. Nevertheless, this argument compromises the expenses that are made by the Madeleine fund. Firstly, because if the team is small, the costs indicate that it’s very expensive. Secondly, if it’s very expensive, it’s supposed to be very competent. Thirdly, if it’s so competent, by now it should have reached a different result from what it has reached: NOTHING!

Dr McCann mentions his visit to Lisbon, maintaining the same arguments. He came to meet his lawyer and the English ambassador in Portugal, in order to evaluate what can still be done to discover Madeleine, appealing to a joint effort by the authorities. I reiterate what I have stated in a previous post:

a) You [Mr McCann] do not fully know what has been done, according to your own admission; please do concentrate on that before wanting to know what can still be done;

b) We already know that you have met your lawyer and the ambassador; please do assume that there was a fourth element and do identify him;

c) For a joint effort with the authorities, do convince your friends to carry out the reconstitution of the night of the disappearance of your daughter and do ask Dr Kate to reply to the 48 questions that she left unanswered.

Concerning the joy that the twins are giving you, I must say that it sounds like the most genuine argument that I read in your post. To see one’s children grow is one of the most wonderful things that one can experience. For that very reason, do take them away from the confusion and the pacts. Do you know why they ask about Madeleine every day? Because they fail to understand the concept of death as something irreversible. Because nobody made an effort to translate that concept for them to understand. Because, on the contrary, they try to sustain an illusion that the facts deny, or at least, allow to classify as highly unlikely (I dislike the expression impossible, but I reaffirm the Euromillions metaphor). The Twins suffer a Madeleine “bath” that will intoxicate their existence as persons. Please, do take them out of that “bath” and let them deal with their sister’s loss. They won’t remember Maddie as a person. Allow them to build a comfortable image of a sister they once had, and who will always be part of them, even if she doesn’t return. A good part. Please, do understand this. What the heck, you, apart from being a father, are a doctor!

Thanking you for the answers in your post, the next time please tell us something that we didn’t know yet, instead of just complying with the calendar.

source: Câmara de Comuns blog, 12.02.2009

* Forensic psychiatrist, University professor, commentator, author and blogger

Friday, February 6, 2009

Very interesting read

Maddie and Joana Again? Amongst the Bad Parenthood, the Hazelnuts Liars and the alleged Dog’s Injustice

The second half of January was, as I expected, very interesting.

The Maddie case came back in full force! The Joana case was interrupted by a rocambolesque and, I believe, unprecedented legal event. The Metódo3 showed its teeth. And the Freeport distracted us.

by Dr.Paulo Sargento

The last time I wrote, I recall that Dr Gerry McCann had returned to Portugal for the first time since September 2007, allegedly for, together with one of his attorneys, the illustrious Mr. Rogério Alves, have a reunion with His Excellency the British Ambassador in Lisbon [Alexander Ellis], to know what could still be done to find Madeleine.

The trip indeed happened! Mr. Rogério Alves was, as everyone could see, with Dr Gerry McCann, and to what is known, they met with the Ambassador.

Well, it happened! So why to repeat myself?

As I had previously said and now I reaffirm it: the argument used by Dr Gerry McCann is illogical. By his own words, he assumed he had not still read the whole process (which includes ALL the diligences made), because the process had not yet been fully translated. I repeat the question that intrigues me: How can you want to know what you can still do about anything when it is not known, entirely, all that was done? It makes no sense whatsoever! I reiterate that this escapes any logic.

Now then, what was the purpose of Dr Gerry McCann’s visit? Without anyone asking, it was guaranteed that he did not come to meet with anyone from the government or anyone connected to the government. But, what government? The current one? Well, here is something that can not escape the logic. Nor, contrary to the previous statement, we can affirm (without a pejorative assessment of the awareness of the statement) that it is a lie.

It even makes sense that Dr Gerry McCann has not come to meet with people connected to the ACTUAL government (and I swear that I am not using rhetorical imagery to induce the reading into the Freeport case). However, nothing was said, and in truth, nothing was asked regarding meetings with elements of previous governments or related to them.

Right! Nice trick! In some corridors, with hushed loudness, it has been made possible to pin point someone to the fourth chair of the said meeting: the first name, truly Lusitanian and the surname, clearly Gaul [Gaulês]! And I stop right here.

Do you know why?

Because, from this time on, not even Mendes Bota was able to save the honour of the monastery: the Man who, according with all the polls, would guaranteedly win a City Council was rejected by the Directorate of the Party of which he is an active militant, allegedly for not corresponding to the appropriate profile for that Town Hall (well, at least, from the mouth of the censors, pardon, of the decision makers, did not came a even more ludicrous story, the lack of political experience). Of course I am talking about Gonçalo Amaral.

Besides of cowardly, of shameful and, obviously, manipulated, this act of refusing Gonçalo Amaral candidacy, is the most naive expectation of a ‘currency exchange’ that I have seen in Portuguese politics (besides I only have 43 years old and there are political alliances that are secular).

Meanwhile, in the Joana case, after the confession, pre-announced by the Illustrious lawyer of Madam Leonor Cipriano (I recall the interview with Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia, in the weekly "The Crime" of December 4, 2008), our courts performed one of the strangest scenes unprecedented in the Portuguese memory: the expulsion of a lawyer from the Court chambers for being suspended by the Bar Association, allegedly because of the failure to communicate his change of address.

This event made a flow, desirably for some, of more ink lines in multiple newspapers. Relatively to this, we yet have to understand what really happened, However, the confession of Leonor Cipriano, that Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia referred to have be written by is own hand, but dictated by the lady is, as I had a chance to say, another point in detriment of Leonor Cipriano herself: it’s another one among nearly a dozen versions, all different.

What can we conclude here? Two things. The first is that Leonor has lost more of her, already diminutive and very doubtful, credibility of testimony. Secondly, calculating the highest common denominator of the various versions, we find a high consistency of one element in the different versions: Joana, who unfortunately, died, or rather was killed, as most of the forensic evidence indicates.

The letter, in addition to have been written by Mr. Marcos Aragão Correia, was not dictated by a person born in the Algarve area, with a very low level of education. Somehow the statement denotes a kind of legal concern, to the level of its content (namely, the legal possibility of the adoption as it is referred and the insistency on details that could, potentially, constitute evidence for the accusation - pants with blood). But as I reiterate, the excessive use of the gerund [verbal noun] and the reversal of possessives and demonstratives add up to an aspect of linguistic expression more usual in Madeira, or with some effort, in some parts of the Alentejo. Who dictated the letter? A person from Madeira? Or, being in Odemira, a person from Alentejo?

Still in the Joana case, following the aforementioned "confession" a new search was encouraged to the place where, allegedly, the body of Joana was buried. But, after several searches, conducted by the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano and family (which family?) it was assumed the impossibility to continue this task due to the deficiency of cinotechnical means [K9 units]. Indeed, this argument deserves some reflection.

Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia says, like many others, that in Portugal there are no dogs trained to detect the cadaverine scent. Nevertheless, some people said the opposite, some time ago. It is, therefore, a debatable issue. But, then, why was a search and rescue dog taken? Here, for sure the theory that those who “don’t have dogs hunts with a cat” is unfounded. So, I repeat, why would there be a need for an ERVD dog that detects the scent of cadavers?

Although I accept that I am completely uninformed regarding the major aspects of the qualities of those animals, I must, however, present some speculative arguments that have emerged in the consequence of the proclaimed affirmation made by Dr. Aragão Correia: “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidences against the parents. Why they don't do it now to find Joana's body?”

Let’s try to reflect upon it.

I would not be surprised and even would agree, absolutely, with Dr. Aragão Correia if the argument of Equalitarian Justice that he pretended to use wasn’t betrayed by its content. Let us see what I want to say, illustrating how I think that the argument should be exposed:

a) “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidences against the parents. Why they don’t do it now to try to get evidences against the mother and uncle of Joana?”, or alternatively,

b) “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to try to locate her body. Why they don't do it now to find Joana's body?”

Indeed, if the issues were raised in this way, I would be in complete agreement with the thesis of Dr. Aragão Correia.

Still, we would have, in my modest and, again I repeat, little sustained opinion, a methodological problem: in the case of Maddie, we had precise locations and objects which allowed to draw a methodology that is virtually beyond reproach as to the results observed (the dogs visited several apartments, several cars, smelled different pieces of clothing, BUT, I repeat, BUT there were control and “placebo” devices, if I am allowed to exploit these terms, so it is easier to understand).

In the Joana case, in addition to the search area being much larger and that there are no types of markers, the search should, in my opinion, begin with archaeologists and geologists who would attempt to define areas where signs of intervention not due to natural phenomena existed (ex. erosion of wind or rain in the modification of topographical accidents) and from then on proceed to search with other methods.

I admit that is much more difficult to detect the smell of dead bodies after almost 4 years, than after 2 months. I also admit that it would be much more difficult the discrimination of odours in outdoor areas than inside houses or in clothes dressed recently. I should, therefore conclude the arrival of the friendly and competent dogs (who have 200 positive identifications), in these conditions could constitute a failure.

Actually, allow me one more metaphor: the conditions described for the “monte das figueras”[figs hill] (which, in itself, involves a number of variables, of difficult, or even, virtual impossible control) and after almost 4 years are have gone by since the tragic death of a girl, the probability of the dogs (even though they are competent) to find the corpse of Joana is, certainly lower the likelihood that someone would have to win the Euromillions in 3 consecutive weeks, betting on the same combination key numbers.

However, to whom would help the failure of these dogs?

Exactly! You guessed it! To the defenders of Madeleine McCann abduction theory. Thus, one of the strongest evidences of the death of little Maddie would be attacked and the headlines would be as expected: Dogs who identified cadaver scent in the Maddie case didn’t detect any clues of Joana’s corpse. I admit that the confession of Leonor would likewise not be in ‘good sheets’. But I do not know why, I think that the media, would basically, belittle the image of the friendly dogs, and consequently of the sardines munchers.

Another issue which has come to light, and about which I have spoken [on TVI], concerns the recent news regarding the involvement of Método3 in the subject that I will only designate as Hazelnuts Traitors. This Agency has shown that it has within people who are: LIARS, SWINDLERS and SKILLFUL COINCIDENCE MANAGERS.

For these not to be just empty words, I begin to explain:

a) LIARS! They promised that Maddie would appear by the Christmas of 2007 – IT’S A LIE! They even guaranteed to have identified the kidnapper of Maddie - IT’S A LIE! (If it is true then report it to the authorities, to not be accountable of any crime in that regard, and I’ll give at that time, publicly and humbly my apologies for having said this sentence, but I’ll keep the previous)!

b) SWINDLERS! They take advantage of the work of others. The Hazelnuts had already owners. Copying sites is shameful. Exploiting the work of others is disgraceful.

c) SKILLFUL COINCIDENCE MANAGERS! They stated that while working in the Maddie case, 13 paedophiles have been arrested. Don’t make the Spanish Police a bunch of fools. Have some sense gentlemen.

Let me say that institutions should not be confused with some people who belong to it. Of course, everywhere, there is good and bad. If I am being unfair to the agency Método3, I will apologize publicly after the agency brings to an end its connexion with the acts committed by some of its elements.

To the McCann Couple, I would like to start, exactly, here.

For how long do you intend to keep the link to the agency's Metódo3 in the Find Madeline site? Even after all the information regarding the said agency, it still keeps a privileged spot in the “Investigation” tab at the site where many people still want to help and contribute? For how long?

And the online store? Is to maintain, even losing a real fortune, as we were able to see, in the accounts of the Madeleine Fund? Who manufactures the T-Shirts? And the bracelets?

If it is true that you have no accounts or credit cards on your behalf, how do pay for your travels? And the expenses at the Ocean Club? How do you live without financial liaisons with any bank? And the mortgage of your home?

And the price of the site? In Portugal, a site maintenance costs 50€ per year. When we have no money, we draw our own pages or we ask some solidarity to friends who are competent in that area. To spend a thousand times more is unwise. I am sure that there are thousands of web designers that would help you for free. There are caring people in this world, if they believe that it is for a good cause.

The translations of the process should not be the PRIORITY to be able to know what was done, Dr Gerry McCann? There is STILL enough money in the fund. Please translate the process. It is urgent. It is imperative!

Dr. Kate McCann, we all understand your suffering. I do not want to believe that the idea that you are depressed and obsessively reading for 3 hours a day the process, is an idea of your own. I believe that this is a story of the evil tabloids. Please, sue them because they are giving of you an awful motherly image. A mother of a daughter who has disappeared and who does not rest for more than three hours a day, spending the remaining 19 hours reading. Yes, it could be assumed as worrying and it would translate an emotional disturbance in which the person is, in fact, obsessed and not thinking in anything else, not even in the other children.

And speaking about, the other children.

In the first days after the disappearance of Maddie, where some people weaved considerations to the poor parental quality of the McCanns, I tried to devalue that idea on several occasions, interpreting benignly the various and more carefree parental educational practices of the Anglo-Saxons.

I even conveyed and, today I acknowledge that, stupidly, in the defense of the couple, saying that a culture of greater autonomy and its relationship with the educational development in some countries were in part, the result of parenting practices which promote more autonomy and are less over-protective, saying that the super-protection and affiliation were more common in southern Europe, in particular, and in the Latin people in general.

When I recognize the stupidity of what I said, I must confess that is not in relation of what I said. I stand by it! The stupidity was not to have thought that the educational practices that the McCann demonstrated were predictors of one of the biggest wickedness that I have witnessed against children: to give gifts to the twins, saying that those were sent by Maddie.

Mr and Mrs McCann:

Do not make of Maddie a Santa Claus who gives gifts to the children and that never, I repeat, NEVER, appears or will appear.

Let the twins do the mourning of their sister. You both know she will not appear.

Even if you believe that you had no intervention in the disappearance of your daughter (which I do not believe and I have that right as a citizen), you have been warned that the excessive media attention would increased the likelihood, in the hypothetical case of abduction, that the putative kidnapper would kill the girl. If you do not want to face the grief of Maddie, you have that right and you have your reasons.. But please, let the twins do it.

The girl, unfortunately, will not return. Do not give hope to the little ones because they will not remember her sister. They will not have a memory of Maddie, unless through the pictures and for what is told to them, and unfortunately, for what they will know and understand when they grow up. Do not build false memories through deceiving illusions. Tell the twins that Maddie is a little star [in the sky]. They will know what that means. Until then, do not let any pact to use the twins as a means.

These children live in a strange ambience. “Where is Maddie? Will she be back? And if we are taken to that place?” Children do not think like us. They believe they are stolen by the boogeyman. And what if one has gone already?

Mr and Mrs McCann

I have never made any criticisms to your parental qualities.

However, given what you did with the twins I have to firmly say:


Get some counselling!

See you soon!

Courtesy of Dr. Paulo Sargento

Dr. Paulo Sargento is a Forensic Psychologist and a University Professor

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


The principle of reciprocity

Glass ceilings...

by Gonçalo Amaral*

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...

source: Correio da Manhã, 31.01.2009

* former PJ inspector