Saturday, 5 July 2008

Gonçalo Amaral and Madeleine's case: “There was more politics than police”

The former Polícia Judiciária investigator criticized the PJ director and the Justice minister, on a interview, tonight, with TVI, a Portuguese TV channel. Asked if he believed that Madeleine was dead, Gonçalo Amaral said that he was “convinced” she was dead “based on the evidence collected”. When the journalist asked: “Was she killed, there (in the apartment)?”, the former PJ inspector said: “She died there”. About Madeleine's parents being named as formal suspects, Amaral spoke about “strong evidence” as the base for the decision and referred that “there was a common understanding”, between Portuguese and British police officers involved in the investigation, about the fact that Madeleine was dead.

There was evidence, about two different crimes – which were referred by the defence lawyer, Pinto de Abreu, in a public statement – and it was hiding a body and a criminal simulation. That was the situation, when I left the investigation,” Mr. Amaral said. The former PJ inspector, who has a Law Degree from Lisbon University, mentioned the fact that “these kind of cases of disappearance, frequently bring with it other crimes, sometimes fake statements or physical abuse”.

Questioned about the fact that the McCann were not accused of negligence or child abandonment, Amaral said that “it was clear they (the McCann children) were not safe”, when Madeleine disappeared, but reminded that it's easier, with UK laws, to charge parents in those kind of situations, once the Portuguese Law is more complex, it requires the existence of intention to left the children in a dangerous situation. Gonçalo Amaral refused to comment any decision from the Public Prosecutor's Office of from the Courts and refused to admit that he was “frustrated” with those decisions. Asked about his removal from the investigation, the former PJ inspector told the journalist that he had no contact with PJ director, on that day, and he only knew the reasons when he had a “private conversation” with Alípio Ribeiro – refusing to give details about it.

Gonçalo Amaral revealed that the “statement” he gave to Diário de Notícias – and was the reason for his removal, according to the PJ director – was not correctly reproduced and it was not a statement to a newspaper, but just an informal talk with a journalist from Faro, “very close to the family, a friend of my wife”, who called him to ask about the email sent to the web site of Prince Charles, denouncing a former employee of Ocean Club as the kidnapper. “What I said, talking not to a journalist, but with a friend, a personal talk, was that Police should concentrate in what was the common conclusion of British and Portuguese Police: the child was dead and it was necessary to consolidate the existing evidence and move forward, to find where she could be and what happened.” At that moment, the kidnapping line of inquiry was “already closed”, and “another door was opened”, Mr. Amaral said. When asked about the existence of political interference in the investigation, is answer was short and clear: “I think there was more politics than police.”

We did our job, the best we knew and we were the target of a lot critics and insults, from the British newspapers”, the former PJ inspector said. When the case of Joana Cipriano was first raised by the British Media, Mr. Amaral contacted the PJ director and called the attention for the risks, because those news about his alleged involvement in the “torture” of the mother of Joana Ciprianio would be, soon, a large campaign against him, and talked about the convenience of taking him out of investigation. “What they told me, later, was that I had all the support and should continue the work.”

Surprised” with his removal from the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral used a popular Portuguese phrase to explain what he felt, when he knew about his removal: “I felt as I was kicked up in the ass, on October 2.” About the influence and importance of the McCann, Mr. Amaral said that “there is a all story to be told, about this case, and I think that the journalists that followed this case, have a great opportunity and responsibility, in helping to understand what happened. This is really, a case that is different from all other cases.” Gonçalo Amaral criticized the Justice minister, who said, after his removal, that “it was, now, time to work”: “Mr. Justice Minister Alberto Costa, we worked hard.”

Download the audio from the full TVI report and interview here.

(Transcription with the help of Cláudia)


Cláudia said...

Very interesting. So the British Police were aware...

viv said...

Thanks so much for this and of course my dear friend Claudia's help. I hope you will not mind if I reproduce it as a thread on my own blog.

Viv x

guerra said...

Claudia, do you think Mr. Amaral's interview will be picked up by the British Press? If so can you guess what direction it will be spun? Let me see, how about this "Disgraced detective admits his failures." I should be careful, once I used the word fiasco in a comment and the following day there were a bunch of headlines with the word fiasco, probably a coincidence.

Shu said...

Yes,no doubt about what G.A. said and the Minister!...ungreatfull comment("the Justice minister, who said, after his removal, that “it was, now, time to work”....
(what a submission to the political power from UK and,very probably anothers interests)

: “Mr. Justice Minister Alberto Costa, we worked hard.”

Of course they did.

Nice and calm and assertiv MAN,G.A.

Anonymous said...

The journalist "was a friend of the family"...

Well, with friends like her , who needs enemies?
It would be interesting to know if this "lady" has made a public apologize to him !

Again, almost 2000 years later,"friends" continue to betray for money the one's they were supposed to support. Really sad..


Cláudia said...

Hey, Viv! :-)
Great to 'see' you here! :-)

Guerra, I think they will pick up Mr Amaral's interview to TVI around 48 hours later and with a few twists, facts wrong and a bit of spin, spin, spin just like you said! :-) You know, not to p*** some people off.
I noticed that they already picked on Expresso's interview. Since investigative journalism is apparently not very popular in the UK, I can help them out. Mr Amaral is not a father of three, like some tabloids keep saying. And Paulo Pereira Cristóvão is not his close friend. This is not exactly classified information. Maybe they do need to help of a good translator. I would be happy to assist. Free of charge, of course! :-)

Joana Morais said...

beijinhos Paulo, excelente trabalho.

Shu said...

Boa,Joana.Saí do SEU também com o propósito de vir aqui agradecer ao S.M. não só todo o excelente trabalho realizado desde o início;agradecer-lhe também por não se ter escusado jamais a tantas dificuldades que lhe foram aparecendo pelos caminhos,pela AE,por outros Países e por mais coisas que só ele saberá e não nos contou.Jornalistas,Bloggers,P.R.,S.M. OBRIGADA,MUITO OBRIGADA;MUITISSIMO OBRIGADA.


Shu said...

Do "SOS M":
"Selon la même source, au moins deux témoins ont mis directement en cause la responsabilité d’un membre du groupe des neuf britannique – connu comme les “Tapas 9” — dans la disparition de Maddie, mais le contenu de leurs déclarations n’a jamais été transmis aux autorités portugaises."
2 persons doubt about 1 from T9.
But nothing about they said,arrived to our´s P.J.(seems).

I hope they have all security.

maria said...

Sou diurna;portanto boa noite e boa madrugada a todos.

A Si,S.M.

Eloisa said...

Excelente trabalho Paulo
Muito obrigada,

Victoria said...

I feel so ashamed to be British.

Apologies to our Portuguese cousins for producing such a pair of preening little psychopaths.