Thursday, 24 July 2008

“The Truth of the Lie” - The British police officers (*)

The first British police officer to come to PJ headquarters in Portimão, on Saturday, May 5, was Glen Power, liaison officer for the British Police, assigned to the British Embassy in Lisbon. Amaral knew him very well and since long time, they worked together in many high profile cases, related to organized crime. Glen told Amaral that he was “too busy”, so he couldn't stay there, Leicestershire police would send a team.

Two days after, British police officers start to arrive. Bob Small, Leicester head of CID came with a colleague. Amaral put one of his inspectors “close” to Bob Small, because, as he wrote, “in Portugal, it's still the dog that wags the tail”. After that, another two police officers arrived – family liaison officers, to give psychological support to the family and to work as a “link” between the family and PJ.

But more and more British officers keep coming. PJ gave them a room, next to their own “crisis room” and the British called it “Task Portugal”. Experts in communications, special surveillance teams, profilers, specialist in information analysis, there are “all kind of specialized British police officers.” They had access to all information related to the investigation, participated in every meeting and took part in the decision process, as the investigation developed.

On May 14, the McCann “dismissed” the two family liaison officers, after Kate was “shocked and frustrated” because they asked her where was her daughter. They were in PdL for less than a week. British police told nothing to PJ, officially, concerning this incident, but Amaral knew it and one of the PJ investigators, who spoke fluent English, was assigned to be the communication “link” with the parents.

A large amount of information came from Leicestershire police. On May 15, Inspector Ricardo Paiva goes to Leicester. But most of that information was “hundreds of daily reports” coming from all over the world, including many psychics messages.

On June 12, Leicestershire's assistant chief constable Chris Eyre and CID head Bob Small went to Faro, for a meeting with Amaral, Luís Neves (head of Serious and Organized Crime Department of PJ, also assigned to the investigation) and Guilhermo Encarnação, the regional PJ director for all Algarve. The idea was to evaluate the level of cooperation between the two police forces

We had the feeling that the kidnapping theory was the 'politically correct one', even if other lines of inquiry were still on the table”, Amaral wrote, concerning the results of that meeting. As time went on, we realized that not everybody in Leicestershire police knew how the investigation was developing”

(*) Summary of pages 94 to 98