Sunday, September 27, 2009

Someone's certainly not happy today. Furious, probably...

Someone must be distracted...

Sunday Express Exclusive Interview with Sofia Leal



Sofia and Gonçalo Amaral

THE wife of Portuguese detective Gonçalo Amaral has denied they are locked in a personal battle with Kate and Gerry McCann and has spoken of their pity for the distraught couple.

By James Murray

“Everyone thinks we are fighting the McCanns but this is not true,” said 38-year-old Sofia Leal in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express.

“I tell people all the time that they are having to endure the hardest pain in the world, which is losing a child.

“As a mother I cannot imagine what kind of pain that is. It is so hard.

“Like Kate McCann, I am a ­Catholic. The image of pain in the Catholic church is not Christ on the Cross but Mary holding her child in her arms. It is the pain of the loss of a child and there is no worse pain in the world. We are sorry for that.”

That pain was etched on the face of Kate McCann when she made a fleeting visit to Lisbon last week to meet her lawyers and to appeal for help in finding her daughter, snatched in May 2007 from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve.

Close to tears, Kate said: ‘‘She’s six now but we’ve just got to keep going. It has been very harrowing and draining. But there is no choice, she needs us to find her and bring her home.”

In Portimão, 20 miles up the coast from Praia da Luz, Sofia spoke of the anguish suffered by her husband, who coordinated the McCann investigation. The McCanns are suing him for £1million they believe he has made with his book about the case, The Truth Of The Lie, and a documentary.

They are particularly angered over his claims that Madeleine is not alive. Civil servant Sofia says her 49-year-old husband suffered post traumatic stress after he was removed as head of the Madeleine investigation in September 2007. He took early retirement the following month, even though he lost two-thirds of his pension.

“It was a bad time for Gonçalo,” said Sofia. Even in his sleep he was going over in his mind what had happened to him and how his career was brought to a premature end.

“I heard him talking in the night ­because of nightmares. Everything he did, every action he took was going through his head.

“I was worried ­because he is such a calm, tender man but luckily over the past few months the nightmares have stopped.” Sofia, who works in the Portimão mayor’s office and is responsible for three major projects, including a new Algarve airport, speaks English fluently and is both amused and angered by comments aimed at her husband from some people in Britain. “We know how Gonçalo is portrayed in Britain, the caricature of a foreign detective missing the clues, but the reality is that you will not find a better detective in Portugal.

“There were many times in the investigation when his bosses said, ‘You have done enough’ but he kept working and working, chasing all the leads.

“There are satellites which probably have close-up pictures of what was happening on the ground that day. He tried to get the images but he couldn’t. The US said the satellites were trained on Morocco at the time and that was it. That is what annoys him because he says the inquiry was not completed to his satisfaction.

“Goncalo loves me and our three girls very much but he lives for his job. For him an investigation is like a mathematical equation.

“One and one has to make two. Until the answer is found he will not give up.” From the proceeds of the book her husband has bought a Jaguar car but she insists he has not made a lot of money and that he will defend the legal action.

“We are now living on one-third of our budget for the month but that is OK for us because he made the right decision,” she said.

“If he was financially motivated, he would have stayed in his job for the full pension but that is not his way.”

His 25-year-old daughter from his first marriage, also called Sofia, has just passed a law degree. His wife has a daughter Rita, 11, from her first ­marriage and she has a daughter, Agnes, with Gonçalo who will soon be six.

This week there is a double birthday celebration, Sofia’s today and her ­husband’s 50th on Friday.

“We will see all our family and friends and enjoy ourselves,” she said. “We are so lucky to have three beautiful girls in the family.

“Gonçalo is very proud of them all. He is very good with them at home but my only complaint is that he is not strict enough with them. He lets them do what they want where I have to be a little stricter.

“He never yells at them but he can also be a little overprotective. He is always worrying about them having accidents in the playground or ­wherever. I could not wish for a better father.”

The couple met 10 years ago through a friend and married in June 2000. They spent their honeymoon in the Azores, where her husband dreams of ­spending his retirement.


in Sunday Express


21 comments:

nancy said...

I don't speak Portuguese Sofia, but I can wish you and your beloved husband a happy birthday in Spanish.

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS PARA VOSOTROS DOS!

Your surname befits you - Leal, meaning loyal in Spanish.

Cláudia said...

Hi, Nancy!
Great words.
In Portuguese the meaning is the same. Very appropriate. :-)
xxxx

Anonymous said...

Well done to the Amarals for being resolute and strong despite all that has been thrown at them. I would not take any comfort in what the Express says. Even in the article its says Madeline "was snatched" so it cannot even be accurate and state disappeared as it has never been established the actual cause of the disappearance as we all know.

Cláudia said...

Hello, anon.
Agree. On both counts. :-)

Zodiac said...

Hi Claudia and all,

The SE article imo was a welcome change from the usual McPoop they print. There is imo still a lot of wording that should be changed and perhaps through time this change will come. I honestly never expected to read what I have read today in a UK newspaper!

"They are particularly angered over his claims that Madeleine is not alive. Civil servant Sofia says her 49-year-old husband suffered post traumatic stress after he was removed as head of the Madeleine investigation in September 2007. He took early retirement the following month, even though he lost two-thirds of his pension.

“It was a bad time for Gonçalo,” said Sofia. Even in his sleep he was going over in his mind what had happened to him and how his career was brought to a premature end.

“I heard him talking in the night ­because of nightmares. Everything he did, every action he took was going through his head."

Wow! I'm surprised no gobsmacked to read this article in the SE! How refreshing to read some real news and not a heavily laden pink sticky syrupy McNon news article. Yes UK, Sofia and Goncalo are real people. Real people who have had their lives turned upside down and inside out because Goncalo was good at his job! I particulary like the above imo a clear indication that Sofia herself has material for a best selling book! Sofia when you write your book please publish in English also!

Cláudia said...

Hi, Zodiac.
Very tired. Had family over and I'm so tired all I can say is that, as usual, I agree. It was clearly unexpected. But it isn't enough to gain my trust, obviously.
Going to say my family members goodbye, put the dishes in the dishwasher, have a coffee, go through my e-mails and then sleep. :-)
xxxx

hope4truth said...

Hello ALL

I can see a change in the papers after all they dont want to be silenced and if the McCann's have their way the press will never be able to report a story again without checking it is ok with whatever child neglector they are writing about.

Papers need to make money and I have heard more snorts of discust at the latest McCann Pink headlines from people at work in shops and in general than ever before it is ludicrous the rubbish they write about the saintly duo when at best they were selfish for leaving the children alone in an unlocked apartment.

Kate is on the cover of todays DX wearing a running vest (probebly in a marathon or fun run) with the old picture of Madeleien on it with the words "Dont you forget about me" never mind the parents forgot about her a long time ago by refusing to answer questions or do a reconstruction or even asking for the case to be kept open. No no no they have far more important things to do like sue Amaral for doing his job and turn Portugal into a scary place for children.

Why the aged photo is not on her chest I have no idea the picture on there is of a much younger Madeleine the tennis balls pic would have been better.

No mention of the reward either...

As the press need to make cash and people no longer worship at the feet of McCann the press need to get the other angles so if the truth of that night does come out and the McCanns had anything to do with it they can make money with storys of I Told you so and we knew they were lying...

xxx

Cláudia said...

Hi, Hope.
All attempts to silence people throughout History ended up in revolutions. Try to silence people and they will shout. Try to ban something and people will look for it through alternative ways.
Yes, using a t-shirt with Madeleine's aged photo could help. Unless it really doesn't make a difference.
Hope you're well.
xxxx

nancy said...

Hi Hope - nice to see you!

So all that talk about 'fragile' Kate. She could hardly get the energy to do a half marathon or whatever if she was as bad as the tabloids would have us believe, and as you say if she was serious then she would have had an up to date photo of Madeleine - the one in the newspapers not long ago!

As for the reward - if they were really convinced that Madeleleine was 'findable' they would have had that reward advertised around the world on a continual basis till she was returned - what parent wouldn't, especially when they have so much money in the kitty from their millionaire backers!

And they would have a lot more in the kitty if they didn't dish out thousands of pounds to Carter Ruck, who are the most expensive lawyers they could use. And why do they need them if they truly are innocent! Begs the question!

hope4truth said...

Hi Claudia and Nancy

Hope you are both well...

It is becoming a joke how is a picture of Madeleine taken months before she vanished going to help her??? I dont know who advises them on how to conduct themselves in public but they make them look cold and uncaring..

Or maybe no one advises them and they are just cold and uncaring???

xxx

Cláudia said...

Hi, Hope.
Well, whoever it is, can't be that smart... :-)
I'm ok. Could be better, but c'est la vie. :-) Hope you're well too.
xxxx

Gina said...

Hi all

Here we go again with McCanns publicity! Yesterday the papers full of Kate's run & all about them again. This was a charity run for a very worthy cause and as such it should have focused on that not the McCann's. No mention of all the other people who ran in the race or the good work of the charity.
There was a comments page in the mail and someone wrote something like
"why is everyone so critical of the McCanns. Sarah Paynes mother allowed her child to play alone in a corn field, so why did she not receive the same abuse.

I replied "Sarah Paynes mother called the police first not the press, She CO-OPERATED with the police, she did not allow celebrity status to take over, she did not find the need to hire a PR team and lawyers and waste vast amounts of money on them. These are a few of the differences, if you want more get back to me

IT WAS NOT PUBLISHED!!!

Cláudia said...

Hi, Gina!
Did you just find that out?
The British press is run by a bunch of eunuchs. I've done the most interesting experiences posting very different types of comments and always reached the same conclusion: a back bone is urgently needed.
Hope you have a nice day.

Gina said...

Claudia, there were quite a few critical comments which they allowed but they did not put any more comments on in the afternoon: The daily mail have a vote to rate the comment and the one that was top was

"How's this for an idea, no more about the McCanns until they answer the police questions".

Now I agree with that, it seems very fair to me but I think the DM thought this meant no more comments. I am sure it meant no more unecessary articles in papers too

nancy said...

Hi everyone -

Today's picture of Kate and Gerry, with Fiona Payne, after their Charity run (McCann Files) shows the three of them laughing as if they hadn't a care in the world!! In fact, just like they always have since Maddie disappeared! No shame at all with that lot! But then they just love the cameras on them don't they? All this talk about Kate being shy and hating the limelight - that's a joke!

I imagine they are paid a fair sum for allowing their famous physogs to be taken by the newspapers, which all helps with the expenses incurred to find Madeleine!

Cláudia said...

Hi, Gina.
That's a brilliant idea. A blackout on those people until all Police questions are answered. Brilliant! I, for one, would comply if I was assured no more crap was published in the crappy press. But hey, let's get back to reality! :-)
xxxx

Cláudia said...

Hi, Nancy.
Well, after those photos taken outside the church nine days after Madeleine vanished nothing can surprise me anymore, to be honest.
xxxx

Zodiac said...

Hi Claudia and all,

Nancy I had a look on McCannfiles. That pic imo is truly sickening. The 3 of them look like they are having a jolly old time! What happened to the K who was in Portugal recently!

There is another article by Dr Martin Roberts called
Coming In From The Cold, 29 September 2009

http://www.mccannfiles.com/id232.html

Cláudia said...

Hi, Zodiac.
It must be something in the atmosphere. ;-)
Thanks for the link. Will check it.
xxxx

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.

Cláudia said...

Glad you liked it, Anon.