Former PJ coordinator Gonçalo Amaral retired at midnight on 30 June 2008, to "savour freedom of expression".
Since then, he has given a number of interviews to Portuguese and European TV and press. This page covers interviews
for August and September 2008 - including the launch of 'The Truth of the Lie' in Spain.
An interview in three parts with Gonçalo Amaral, 03/04
An interview in three parts with Gonçalo Amaral IOL PortugalDiário (Links provided beside each part of interview)
03/04 August 2008
Maddie: the questions that were missing
IOL PortugalDiário spoke with the former PJ inspector, Gonçalo Amaral
and asked some questions
This Monday, the Maddie process will no longer be
subject to the judicial secrecy, and can be consulted by who requested to do so. IOL PortugalDiário asks the former inspector
Gonçalo Amaral some questions. The goal is to try to shed some light on aspects of the investigation, which was questioned
In your book, you write that you believe that
Maddie died in the apartment, on the 3rd of May. When did you form the conviction that the child was dead?
was with the dogs' work. That was when we were most convinced.
when did you sum "two plus two"?
That is part of the investigation work and the logics of the investigator.
He joins things throughout time. There was atypical behaviour from the witnesses right away, which then transforms into indicia.
one realises that people are lying. How can anyone who has the obligation to cooperate with the police, not do so?! All the
person wants is to receive information and all that the person says is a lie?!
Then it was necessary to understand
why they lied. Were they afraid of the police? Of its reaction? Of the exposure and abandonment of the children? But when
we asked, they said no, and insisted that the little girl had been abducted. This immediately caused strangeness and suspicion.
According to your book, the body was preserved and you have already stated that
you suspect it was frozen. If it were so, were could it have been hidden?
Any investigator knows that
when there is a group of people that is on holidays, foreigners or not, it is necessary to discover what means they had available
to, for example, move the body. But the McCanns and their friends, at that point in time, only knew the route between the
beach and the resort. To us, taking into account how little they knew the area, it would be normal that if they did anything,
they would move towards the beach. Later on there is the Irish family, which guarantees that they saw a man walking towards
the beach, carrying a child. It was something that matched our suspicions.
that mean that from your point of view, the body may have remained on the beach?
Yes. But how long was
it there for? It is unknown. It is true that the area was searched by the dogs. But some people say that the smell of salted
water may lead the dogs not to indicate where the body was. There is also the possibility that the body was taken to another
location on that very same night. It is materially possible. The body may have been moved three or more times.
In your book, you also mention political and diplomatic pressures. Was the PJ
ever contacted by the British government?
There was an intervention from the British government, even
though it was somewhat clumsy. Mainly from the present Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. He spoke with Kate and with the English
authorities that were involved in the investigation. And he also spoke with José Sócrates [Portuguese Prime Minister]. As
far as I know, he never spoke directly with the PJ.
But where did
the alleged power of the couple, which you have been suggesting, come from?
On the first night, a dossier
about the family was requested, which the English authorities never sent. It was said that they were connected to commissions
that emitted opinion reports on nuclear issues, but none of that was ever confirmed officially. Connections to political parties
were also mentioned.
Did the British police send information about
the McCanns and their friends?
No. They never sent the information that we requested. In fact, they did
send only once, financial information. They stated that the couple had a mortgage and that there was no knowledge of any credit
or debit cards. How didn't they have any? The registration of the rental car mentions the card numbers. Concerning the other
members of the group, the information was also only that.
Maddie: the leads that remained unexplored Link
The former inspector speaks about what could have been done in the investigation
and says that making Murat an arguido was not a mistake
PJ's report dismisses the Smiths' testimony, due to the hour at which they say they saw the person with the child…
It cannot be that way, because nobody knows for sure at what time the things happened. The reconstruction was not
made, therefore it is impossible to know for certain. The employees do not state that Gerry McCann was in the restaurant.
They only say that people were sitting down and getting up from the table. Their testimony [Smith] is very credible. The way that
the person walked, the clumsy manner in which the child was held. It is nothing that sounds invented. Is it evidence? Certainly
not. It is information that has to be worked further.
were removed from the case, they were planning to return to Portugal. But they desisted from the diligence…
family should have come to Portugal and they didn't. It was not done on purpose, but a person cannot be left waiting to be
heard over five months. That allowed for, according to what I have heard, the Irish family to be contacted and the target
of coercion. Several people went there and they were not from the police. He even had to get himself a lawyer to try to get
things into order. Before the police arrived to hear them, several persons had tried to speak to them. And they were not the
In the book "Maddie Truth of the Lie" you mention a
Polish lead and you say that it is a loose end…
Nobody cares about that. We should have gone there
or made a rogatory letter. They (Polish police) misunderstood the goal. They went looking for the child and we asked for an
intervention to control them first. The issue was the photographs. The man never let go of the camera. We wanted to know what
photographs were on the camera and if maybe there was one of Maddie.
Despite your theory that the girl died on that evening, wouldn't there be a possibility that this couple "dispatched"
the child within a few hours?
That is already speculation. We inspected the apartment where they were
staying. Blood was even found inside the apartment and it was not Maddie's. We cannot forget that when we intervene, they
are not in Portugal anymore.
Could you have gone further with this
We could. And if they were here in Portugal we could have done even more. But then the route
of the investigation takes us elsewhere.
Was it a mistake to make
Murat an arguido?
No, it was not. A mistake would have been if we had not acted in the manner that we
did and he would always remain a suspect without being able to defend himself. Now he has even received compensation.
Have you noticed that nobody has requested the instruction of the process? He could have done that.
Did the Joana case contribute to your removal?
It cannot have contributed.
The national director knows that the issue are two social psychopaths – considered by the IML [national institute for
forensic medicine] – that lie. The issue is my word and the word of a psychopath.
May the noise of the case have had some influence?
When the first news came out I called for the
attention of the director in Faro. What I said at that time was: maybe it's best for the process to leave Portimão, or for
me to step aside from the investigation.
Did you consider the possibility
of leaving the Maddie case?
I did. And the feedback that I got was that I had full support.
Don't you regret that you did not go to the location [on the night of the events]?
are several ways to coordinate. And one of them is over the phone. No, I have no regrets.
Don't you think that the result might have been different?
It is possible.
At least there would have been someone, and I have a good memory, who would remember how they were dressed that evening.
Maddie: the questions from readers Link
IOL PortugalDiário allowed its readers to ask questions from the
former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral. Among several that were received, here are the ones that were chosen by the editor
Could the tests have been made at another laboratory, like for example the FBI's?
(question from Michael Williams)
That is another group decision. And it is decided in order to somehow
compromise the other side. There was already that "bad posture", let's put it that way, from the English tabloids. The idea
was for them to be compromised with the results. But yes, it could have been done at another lab, it didn't even need to go
to the United States, there are some very good ones in Europe.
the diligences the same in the cases of Joana and Maddie? (question from Luís Nogueiro)
The first diligences
were the same.
How do you comment on the statements from the former
President Jorge Sampaio? (question from Fernando Moura das Neves)
I think it is a concern. Deep down,
he is not against the publication of the book. Maybe what he meant is that it was not necessary to go this far.
Was anything done about the church where the McCanns spent so much time and
to which they had the key? (identified reader)
There were never any motives to question the Catholic
church. There is no indice that points towards the child being there, at least up to the moment when she was transported in
the car. Even because there are no freezers there, or cold spots that would allow for the body to be kept at that location.
Was no cadaver odour or other indicia ever found on the father's clothes? (identified
No. We don't know what he was wearing on the night of the disappearance. If it was him who was
seen carrying the child, those clothes may even not exist anymore. He went to London and he might have washed it. As a matter
of fact, we never knew what anyone of the group was wearing on the evening of the facts.
PortugalDiário remembers that the process of the disappearance of Maddie was archived and that Kate and Gerry McCann and Robert
Murat, stopped being arguidos on the 21st of July. Maddie's parents have made it known that they intend to sue Gonçalo Amaral,
following the publication of the book "Maddie: Truth of the Lie".
Gonçalo Amaral interview with 'El Mercurio', 10 August 2008
Translation of Article published in "El Mercurio" Santiago, Chile, Sunday August 10, 2008
Portuguese Gonçalo Amaral, ex-Chief Inspector on the case, insists on his theory of
"There is strong evidence that Maddie
is dead" El Mercurio
by Graciela Almendras
10 August 2008
Thanks to 'carmerina32' for translation
Traces of blood and of a body detected by dogs in the belongings, flat and
car occupied by the couple were part of the proof collected during the period of time when Gonçalo Amaral
was in charge of the search for Maddie.
Last October, one month after the McCanns were declared suspects, he was removed
from the case – "without any explanation" he says – and two weeks ago he published the book "Maddie: The Truth
of the Lie", wherein he considers it proved that the British girl died and that her parents are lying.
Who supports your theory that Gerry and Kate McCann are the guilty parties in Madeleine’s
In September 2007, the investigation, Portuguese and British police, reached the conclusion that Maddie
had died and that the parents were responsible and were involved in the crimes of hiding a body and simulating a kidnapping
and potentially the crime of abandonment.
You have said that the
child died when she fell from a sofa – why are you so sure of this?
First of all, there is strong evidence that Maddie is dead. When
I left the case, the investigation was pointing at the sofa, due to the cadaver odour and blood tracked on the floor behind
this piece of furniture.
Which are the clues that indicate that
the McCanns simulated a kidnapping?
The thesis of the kidnapping was based upon two issues. The first, the testimony
of Kate's friend Jane Tanner, who said she saw a man carrying a child, while none of the other witnesses mentioned this fact.
However, one of the suspects was the man recognized by Tanner, Robert Murat.
I involved him because of his behaviour. Later, Tanner said she recognized him during that night. And
also according to statements from other friends in the group holidaying at Praia da Luz.
The second issue…
That Maddie's mother is the only person who says that the window
was open. When she calls to the other members of the group, she goes out leaving her twins, exposing them once again, to danger.
Further proof is Kate's finger prints that describe the movement when she opened the windows – we know that the window
was cleaned the previous day -. However, Kate says she never opened the window. And most importantly, there were no signs
of breaking in.
You have been under pressure from the McCann family
I felt strong pressure from the British press. I think that nobody has ever seen such a tendentious campaign
such as this one, with the sole purpose of denigrating the Portuguese police and myself.
After publishing the book, have you received any threats?
Before publishing it, I received some warnings. Afterwards, these
became legal threats. In any case, I am not afraid, because this book presents only data and facts.
This week, the McCann's accused the Judicial Police of having withheld crucial information at the
time you were Director, regarding a witness who said she had seen Madeleine last June.
It appears that the McCann family is playing their part defending the thesis of a kidnapping. The Dutch
police evaluated this evidence, which proved to be ridiculous. We are aiding the marketing of a kidnapping which, obviously,
does not fit within a modern law system.
Do you believe that what
happened that night was an accident?
When I left the investigation, all evidence was leading us in that direction.
was close to finding Maddie" - Gonçalo Amaral interview, 13 August 2008
"I was close to finding Maddie" Focus (no online link, appears in edition No. 461)
by João Vasco Almeida and Frederico Duarte Carvalho
13 August 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
The inspector of the McCann case demolishes the abduction theory: "The
sightings are marketing". He explains, for the first time, what remains to be done in order to find the body
Amaral has already sold 140 thousand copies of his book 'Maddie: The Truth about the Lie'. The former coordinator of
the investigation into the case that shocked the country explains his theory to Focus.
– A newspaper reported that your book could be summed up as "murder, the dog wrote", given the fact that it was the
cadaver odour and the blood that were found that led you to sustain the theory that Madeleine McCann died. What do you actually
know beyond the dogs?
Gonçalo Amaral – That comment only reveals the ignorance
of the person who wrote it. The technique of residue collection using special dogs like these, CSIs, is usual in England,
in the United States and it has already led to more than 200 condemnations. The laboratory where the samples [of blood, cadaver
odour and DNA from Maddie] were analysed has corroborated these experts' work.
– It has corroborated it, but it does not specify that they belong to Maddie McCann.
– They can only match that from Madeleine McCann, because the lab had the twins' DNA and it was not a match. Those
are 15 out of 19 markers that match.
Focus – What else sustains the theory?
G.A. – There is evidence from indicia, which is possible in this country, as long as the prosecutor
possesses the conviction and the elements that indicate that, in court, there will be a condemnation. The Public Ministry
has to value this evidence that was collected. This time, the Public Ministry considered that the indicia are not sufficient
and archived the process.
Focus – And what are those indicia that you understand
G.A. – The atypical behaviour of the parents: The fact that the lady says that she
had three children sleeping in one room, that she arrives and one is missing, the window is open, she mentions it's a cold
night, the shutter is up… and she goes away, leaving two children asleep, with a possible abductor around. I know that
[the reports from the PJ and from the Public Ministry] didn't give any relevance to the contradictions and didn't expose the
falsehoods and the false testimonies that exist there from all the persons who intervened. That, deep down, is the evidence
that indicates that everyone is lying and those lies cannot be understood.
And who took the child from her bed?
G.A. – That is the question that
we were investigating on the 2nd of October 2007, when I left. From that moment on, little investigation was carried out in
that apartment. The parents should have come over for a reconstruction and they didn't. That was necessary to understand what
Focus – Which was…
– The death of the child in the apartment. The Public Ministry even mentions homicide. The abduction theory has
been dismissed due to everything that has been made public.
Focus – How
do you defend the "accidental" death?
G.A. – There is indicia behind the
sofa [of the McCanns' living room]. The sofa is under a window that looks onto the street, which is three or four metres high.
It is normal behaviour, and justice deals with normal behaviour, that the parents would have moved the sofa away from the
window, given the fact that they had small children and alone at home. The window was easy to open and the shutters were not
Focus – But why "accidental"?
- I don't say it's accidental. Up to that moment, we could only reach an accidental death, because we had not worked on
the rest yet. We had yet to understand what had happened there. Cadaver odour and blood from the child appear next to the
sofa. Death has presumably taken place there. There are no doubts that it is a death and that it took place on that spot.
We are not going to say that the mother did this or that, that would really be speculating, the only hypothesis is the accidental
death. In the continuation of the investigations is where we could go further or not.
– You said that the mother can't be accused of having done this or that… How far can you deduct?
G.A. – As far as we could deduct on the 2nd of October. I believe, and so did my colleagues
in the investigation, that if we had continued into the same direction of the investigation, we might eventually have gone
further. We might even have reached a point where we dismissed any suspicion concerning the parents. Investigations that only
go half the way is what leaves things as they are now.
Focus – Are Madeleine
McCanns' parents responsible for their daughter's death?
G.A. – No. There
is a neglect in the guard [of the children]. There are no doubts that those children were not safe, because if they were,
one of them wouldn't have disappeared. Now, saying that "the responsibility of the death belongs to…" We had to understand,
to collect data about what happened from there on. The reconstruction is essential. I did not understand, but I accepted the
decision from a hierarchical team that I was part of, why the reconstruction was not done right away. The possibility of trying
to make a new reconstruction was opened, but the arguidos had already left Portugal. A thing like this is only done with arguidos.
The ideal is to have everyone, but even only with the couple, that were arguidos at that point in time, the reconstruction
could have been carried out.
Focus – And with actors?
G.A. – No. It would be enough to tell them: 'You say that you did this and that, then do it,
where did you enter, were you having dinner, weren't you having dinner, what did you order for dinner…? Where did you
touch and where didn't you?' All of this. It was important for Kate and Gerry McCann to come over, but the Irish witnesses
could also come…
Focus – Those who say that they saw Gerry McCann
carrying a child, down the street, on the night of the disappearance.
Yes, those who assert that they saw, with a certainty of seventy, eighty percent, Gerald McCann carrying a child, walking
in the street, it was already night-time.
Focus – You suggest that the little
girl was frozen or conserved in the cold. How do you reach that?
There is a bodily fluid, inside a car boot, above an "embaladeira" [note: metallic piece of the car that reinforces the lower
part of the doors], from a child that presumably died on the 3rd of May. The car was rented 20 days later and was even new.
It had been rented two or three times. Taking into consideration the circumstances of the climate, the temperature, the decomposition
of a body… A body, in order to leak a fluid in that manner, a body with more than a month of decomposition had to be
Focus – Did it have to be close by?
– And why?
Focus – It could have been taken to Lisbon, Oporto, Badajoz…
G.A. – That was what we were taking care of at that time. The body could have been moved, but
nobody knows when the body was transported in the car. The car ran several kilometres [around 3000, according to the process].
And given the fact that it is not known when the body was transported, according to the analysis of the fluids, we have to
attend to where the car went through. The McCann couple and their relatives. For example, the relatives later state that they
transported garbage, a package with meat from the supermarket, but the dogs can tell those things apart very well.
Focus – There is a contradiction in the valuation of the dogs' evidence.
G.A. – What happens is that the Public Ministry devalues it. In Portugal, we are all very skeptical
towards this form of collecting indicia.
Focus – You state that you have
not told everything that you know.
G.A. – And I haven't.
Focus – Why?
G.A. – Because I am a jurist,
too. Let's see how the situation evolves.
Focus – And how can the situation
G.A. – The things that are missing are important in terms of the
investigation, but they are ours… When it is said: these are your convictions… This is the understanding of a
work team and even with the English police. And with documents. It's this kind of thing, for any action that may be coming.
I don't believe, but who knows.
Focus – Does the English police agree, then,
with that "understanding" about what you are saying?
G.A. – The work with
the English police went very well. Then, certainly due to a mere coincidence, when the McCann couple leaves, all the English
policemen leave as well…
Focus – You are convinced that someone made
the process reach the hands of the English.
G.A. – I have that idea. I
think that it even fits into that marketing campaign that is saying that the little girl is alive.
– But don't you admit you may have doubts if there is a sighting?
– How many sightings have there been? Thousands. It's been a year. I stopped giving them a lot of importance on
the day that the dogs confirmed the cadaver odour and the blood.
Focus – But
you did start with the abduction hypothesis.
G.A. – If you look closely,
right in my first document, the process mentions "abduction" followed by two question marks.
– Then, you were thrown out…
G.A. - … that is a good expression…
Focus - … because of the reports that mention that you drink whiskey at lunch or because,
in your work, you believe that there is a death?
G.A. – I don't drink whiskey.
I drink beer at lunch time, if they had written that, they would have been right. Before I left, a weekly magazine says: "That
person does not last beyond October as the head of the investigation." This happened a month or two before. And then I was
given a speech like that one from the Attorney General: 'Not all investigations can be successful, or the authors of the crimes
are not always discovered…' What may have hurt many people was my will to discover the material truth. And when I left,
I was naturally closer to the truth. Two examples: Apart from our need to know who the friends of the McCann couple were,
or if they knew anyone in Portugal, or who drove the car… if they eventually visited another apartment, if they used
to meet someone, if they deposited someone… just for us to understand. Towards the end, I was informed that they had
visited people at a villa in Praia da Luz. We went to check it out. Then, we were informed that the McCanns had visited an
apartment block near the cemetery. And we were working on that, in order to confirm whether it was them or not. This was how
we were trying to understand where the body was. And there are many persons who were not investigated, who were not in the
Focus - So are you going to let this entire case pass into the clear?
Don't you at least want to be sued by the McCanns over everything that you leave in the air…
– So we can have a chat…? (smiles)
Focus – Are you going
to sue the McCanns?
G.A. – No, as far as I know the McCann couple has not
been speaking, the one who has been speaking is their press advisor, Mr Clarence Mitchell.
Gonçalo Amaral: Gerry McCann hid Madeleine's
corpse on the beach, 06 September 2008
|Gonçalo Amaral, El Mundo interview
Gonçalo Amaral: Gerry McCann hid Madeleine's corpse on the Beach El Mundo
06 September 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais and 'Ines' for translation
Thanks to 'Mercedes' for complete article
Gonçalo Amaral at the Barcelona press conference
on 09 September 2008, posted here: 16 September 2008
Gonçalo Amaral at the Barcelona press conference on
09 September 2008
Please note that this video is not professionally recorded. However,
it is an interesting record of Mr Amaral's press conference in Barcelona. Many thanks to Mercedes and Mila for sharing this video. The translation below is a part transcription/part summary of the press conference recording.
Video by Reme, special reporter.
At what point did the PJ think that the girl was alive?
Gonçalo Amaral: As investigators we always think of
the best scenario but also of the worst. During the early hours we believe that the girl might be alive, but whilst the witness
statements were being taken we began to have doubts.
Reme: Is there any chance that the investigation may be
G.A.: Yes. The case is not closed and can be re-opened if there are relevant data. You can see
from the police file that has been handed to reporters that there are still some procedures that have not been carried out.
example there is information that can't be said whether it is new or old.
He says that as early as May, they began
to hear a rumour that the British police had information about Payne having strange behaviour during a trip to Mallorca, but
this information was not sent to the Portuguese police until October 26. Nothing has been done to neither check this witness
statement by the British police nor by the Portuguese police. Therefore this investigation could yield new data that would
re-open the case. It should be taken into account that, according to his statement, he was said to be the last person to have
seen Madeleine (about 19h00).
Payne was also identified as the person who was with McCanns the following morning when
an employee of the British Social Services turned up at the apartment to offer her help (Mr. Amaral clarifies that she is
a person with 25 years of experience) and claims that she was kept away from the couple on the advice of Payne. She says she
knows David Payne from other cases she worked on in the past. Mr. Amaral says this should have been investigated in England
as well as in Portugal.
Journalist: How did the parents react to the publication of the book?
The only reaction that parents have had about the book was this week during an interview to Expresso, though they often use
other people (such as their spokesperson) to speak for them. In the criminal proceedings in Portugal the figure of spokesperson
does not exist, there are witnesses, defendants ... but not the position of spokesman, that's why for me there are persons
who should not betaken into consideration. The McCann's have said they have not read the book, but the other gentleman...
said that they will file a lawsuit, that I should be very careful ... all I say in the book are the facts, based on the testimony
of witnesses, physical evidence, the evidence here is not anything speculative, there is only objective data.
see the need for them to submit a claim, but if they are to sue we will present the book and the police report page by page
and verify that only objective data are presented.
Reme: Asked if Mr. Amaral is aware of the 24 photographs
whether he has ever seen them.
G.A: He says he has not seen them, he has spoken to the person who said that
he has, but he has his doubts that they actually exist. He says that if they exist he hopes they come out, but strangely they
have not been handed over to the judicial police.
He explains that it seems this Spanish person was celebrating his
birthday and he went to dinner at Tapas with some English friends, but that the camera was stolen from his vehicle and that
it was not until a couple of months ago that the Spanish police returned the camera to him, at which time he realized that
he was in possession of these photos.
Reporter: What reaction do you have when you see parents crying on television
G.A. He says that they are people with feelings and we should realize that they have lost a daughter whom
they surely loved much and that is why he fully understands those images.
Regarding the visit to the Pope he said that
at that time they were immersed in a media campaign ... He says that the Holy See kept information about Madeleine on their
website until a few days before the McCann's were made arguidos, he said that they were the first to withdraw the information
from their Web site.
Reme: Asked if the towel found with blood and fibers of the Scenic is in the police file.
He states categorically that there is no towel. He mentions that the dogs carried out their research on all clothing, furniture
and so on.
He said that when they took the twins from cots (May 3), they also took the sheets. He also said that he
did not understand the statement when Russell said he had to change the sheets because his daughter had vomited, however cleaning
staff say they are not aware of this and did not provide him with clean sheets.
The police should have been able to
analyze the clothes Madeleine wore when she left from the creche to see if there was any sign of violence on them. That is
something normal in any investigation. In this case it seems they had changed her clothing, since they said that she was wearing
her pyjamas. He would like to know where those clothes are. He says he made the mistake of treating them too soft-handedly,
that they felt pressurised regarding this theme, as well as to the taping of telephone calls.
you think that this case will be resolved at any time?
He says that more than one person can still give information,
said that even within the group of 9 people there still exists the possibility that anyone of them can talk about something
that could reopen the case file
Reme: Do you know which secret holds the key?
G.A.: He doesn't
link the secret to the holiday in Mallorca, but said that the group may have one or more secrets. All of them had left the
children alone that night, and English law in this regard is very strict. He says that, so far, all have stated that they
were carrying out regular checks, but the day could come when they retract their statements and say that somebody asked them
to say this. He says that with regard to holidays in Mallorca, Portuguese police should have questioned the couple in order
to try to understand what could have happened, he said that it may have nothing to do with the case, probably has nothing
to do with it, but this has be understood/known.
"The McCanns hid the body on the beach", 11
Published: 08:29 h. 11-09-2008
Gonçalo Amaral was the first inspector who coordinated the search for Madeleine, the girl who disappeared
in Praia da Luz (Portugal) on May 3, 2007. In October the same year, after considering the parents of the small
child, Kate and Gerry McCann, as arguidos (suspects) for having concealed the corpse of their daughter, he was removed
from the investigation. In July 2008 he decided to leave the police to tell his version of what happened. The result is Maddie,
the truth of the lie, published by Esquilo.
According to you, what happened on May 3, 2007?
Madeleine McCann died from accidentally falling behind the sofa in the living room of the apartment. That couch
had been moved during the alleged disappearance. I think that someone discovered the body, concealed it, cleaned
everything and pushed the sofa to the window.
The parents of Madeleine.
On what basis can you say that?
The dogs brought in by the British police discovered cadaver odour behind the sofa and in the bedroom
of the parents of the girl. Also on the small child's toy, the clothes of Kate and in the trunk and the keys to the car
that was rented later.
And how did they conceal the body without anyone seeing?
Yes they were seen! An Irish family saw a man pass by them with a child in his arms at 22.05,
on the way to the beach. Later, the girl was identified as Maddie. But they did not realise that the man who they had seen
was Gerry until they were following television and saw how the McCanns landed in the UK.
The position in which Gerry held one of the twins and his way of walking were identical to those of
the individual who they had seen that night.
But, 22.05 was when Kate said that the
girl had disappeared and Gerry was with her…
The hours are unclear. The only thing certain is that the McCanns told the National Republican Guard at
22.40. So, before that, Gerry had had time to bury the body of the girl on the beach.
And nobody saw him there? During the night when they were already looking
for the girl.
Yes, but they were looking for a girl alive, not a girl dead. In addition, I am not saying that the body remained
on the beach all the time. Clearly, the first thing was to remove it from the apartment. Later they could find other solutions
to hide it. Witnesses of the National Republican Guard said they had seen the McCanns directed onto the beach twice in the
course of that morning. Surely they quickly found a better place.
How does it explain that the dogs found the smell of a corpse in the McCanns
They rented it 24 days after the disappearance. It was what was being investigated when I was removed from the
You believe that they conserved it in a freezer all that time? Where?
There is a journalist who says that he saw the McCanns enter a block of apartments close
to the beach, in the month of June… But we do not know in which flat they were. It is a building for tourists and they
passed many people.
And why is it the dogs did not detect the smell of a corpse on the clothes
of Gerry McCann?
You know which clothes Gerry was wearing that night? I do not yet know it.
There is more information that is still missing?
We asked the English police for reports on the couple, if they had a nanny in the United Kingdom, if
they had had some problems in their work... We never received those answers.
Why? Do you believe that the McCanns have high level connections?
I do not know. I do not want to comment on that, but it is curious how the British Prime Minister,
Gordon Brown, showed his support to the couple even after they were declared arguidos.
Gonçalo Amaral in Madrid : "The PJ were obliged to issue a statement regarding Madeleine's
Gonçalo Amaral in Madrid : "The PJ were obliged to issue a statement regarding Madeleine's
abduction" SOSMaddie (French language site)
John Buck, the British Ambassador in Lisbon at the time of Madeleine McCann's disappearance
went to Portimão to demand that the PJ immediately announce to the media – especially the British media – that
the disappearance of Madeleine was an abduction and that her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann were two innocent victims.
after Madeleine's disappearance, when we did not yet know whether it was the case of an abduction or a different kind of crime,
the PJ were obliged to issue a statement, on 5th May, announcing the abduction thesis", announced inspector Gonçalo Amaral,
emphasising that the statement had been issued in spite of his opposition and that of other inspectors participating in the
Gonçalo Amaral was speaking yesterday in Madrid as part of an exclusive interview with SOS Madeleine McCann
and Gazeta Digital.
According to sources close to the British Embassy in Lisbon, the Ambassador John Buck, previous
to this intervention at the PJ in Faro and Portimão, had already discussed the affair with the Portuguese Minister for Foreign
"In a situation like the one we were presented with, in the interest of the child, no possibility would have
been discarded, even the possibility concerning the parents, those that were close and the friends. Above all there was not
the slightest indication of abduction", Amaral concluded, emphasising that the "rest of the investigation has proved that".
"They took advantage of the space
we gave them, it was a mistake on our part."
Also on 5th May 2007, two days after the announcement of Madeleine's disappearance,
the police, according to Amaral, would commit an important error: "We were busy checking all the traces that came with the
Ambassador. Traces that were moreover, found to be false".
New instructions from the regional national directorate
of the PJ, given after the intervention of two British diplomats – Ambassador John Buck and Consul Bill Henderson –
turned the investigator's attention away from the McCanns.
Kate and Gerry McCann, for the first and only time, went
to hand in clothes to be washed in the Complex laundry, including Madeleine's clothes, which the inspectors only heard about
two days later. Too late, according to Amaral.
"At the time we had not established exactly which clothes Gerry was
wearing on the night of the disappearance nor which clothes were handed in to be washed on 5th May", says Gonçalo Amaral.
It was by means of the statements
by various members of staff from the complex, linked to the laundry service, that the inspectors were to learn that the McCanns
had their children's clothes - those of Madeleine and also those of Sean and Amélie - washed.
"That would never have
happened without the intervention of Mark Warner and, in particular, of the Ambassador. They took advantage of the space we
gave them, It was a mistake on our part", admits Gonçalo Amaral.
"Last Saturday (05/05/2007) I
received a bag of clothes brought in by Mark Warner staff, and was told expressly that these belonged to Madeleine's family
– there was adult clothing (male and female) and children's clothing... ", states one of the laundry workers.
the laundry worker only remembers a pink skirt belonging to Madeleine, she has no uncertainty in confirming that there were
also other clothes belonging to the small British girl, which has also been confirmed to the police by other colleagues.
STATEMENT BY BRITISH AMBASSADOR
IN PORTUGAL (10/05/2007)
DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE
McCANN UK in Portugal FCO
Statement to the media by John Buck, British Ambassador to Portugal
Praia da Luz, Algarve,
'Ladies and gentlemen good evening. As you know I spent quite a lot of time with the McCann
family on Friday and over the weekend and also supporting our Consular staff here in the Algarve. I wanted to come down today
to see Kate and Gerry again and to continue to support our Consular staff who've been dealing with this case continually now
for a number of days. I also wanted to assure myself personally that the necessary links between British and Portuguese experts
here on the ground are working well and they are.
'As you know we have had three family liaison officers from the Leicestershire
Police here with the family acting as a point of communication with the Portuguese Police. As I think you also know additional
experts arrived today to work with their Portuguese colleagues on this investigation. I don't want to say anything in detail
about the investigation but it might be helpful if I said a word or two about the background.
'This is and must remain
a Portuguese Police investigation. As you know the Portuguese Police operate under Portuguese law and Portuguese law puts
constraints on what they can say publicly and the information they can release. Against that background I have been in touch
closely over the last few days with Cabinet Ministers here in Portugal, with the Prime Minister's Office and with the Portuguese
Police authorities. They all assure me that everything possible is being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine.
continue to work closely with the Portuguese authorities. They are very pleased with the collaboration with the British authorities.
They are in close touch with Interpol and Europol and I and I know Kate and Gerry with whom I've just been speaking for the
past hour are very grateful for their efforts. Thank you very much.'
"The McCanns are parents who have lost their daughter, whom they loved very much
and I understand their pain and anguish", 11
"The McCanns are parents who have lost their daughter, whom they loved very much
and I understand their pain and anguish"
Thanks to 'Ines' for translation
inspector from the Portuguese Policía Judiciaria presents "Maddie, the truth of the lie", an account
of the most media covered investigation of recent times.
"Maddie, the truth of the
lie". That is the title that Gonçalo Amaral, former inspector of the Policía Judiciaria and coordinator of the investigation
into the "Madeleine case" during the first five months, has chosen in order to reveal how the search for the little Madeleine
McCann, who disappeared on 3rd May 2007 from the Algarve, was carried out.
The text summarises the doubts, facts and
the questions of an unprecedented investigation. 14 months after the disappearance all suspicion has been lifted from Kate
and Gerry McCann, the child's parents, and the case has been filed, but little Madeleine is still missing.
Gonçalo is a tall and corpulent man, as we could imagine of a police officer who has worked against crime for more than
25 years and who, for the first five months bore the weight of the most media covered investigation of recent times, the disappearance
of Maddie. Yesterday Gonçalo presented the book in Madrid, surrounded by a large media expectation and made room in his agenda
to talk to Hola.com.
Q: The disappearance of Madeleine has been one of the most followed cases
by the press throughout the world. Now you have decided to publish a book about the investigation, was there anything
left to say?
I decided to write the book to defend our dignity. Part of the British press and even the McCann
couple have defamed my name and that of the Policía Judiciaria in Portugal; I requested authorisation to speak but I never
obtained it, that is why I decided to write the book.
Q: What relationship do you have
with the McCann couple?
I was the head of the department investigating the case within the Policía
Judiciaria in Portimao. I was responsible for organising the work of the investigation and ensuring that it continued
on course, and therefore I was with the couple once or twice as well as with all the witnesses and with inspectors working
on the case. I do not want to discuss publicly with the McCanns, they have lost a daughter. Neither I, nor the parents are
of interest, the only victim here is the little girl.
Q: We are obliged to ask this
question. Do you know what happened to Madeleine?
Madeleine died in the apartment on the night of the
disappearance. It is complicated to be sure how she died because there are many indications. What is certain is that the girl
woke up, the girl has disappeared and that behind the sofa there was cadaver odour and human blood.
You state that the girl fell from the sofa, they found her and that her father took her to the beach.
There are witnesses who claim to be 80% sure that Madeleine's father was the person who was carrying a covered child towards
the beach, in the apartment cadaver odour and the girl's blood were found as well as in a car rented 23 days later. In the
apartment there was a sofa next to a window, at a aheight of three or four metres from street level and which did not close
properly. The sofa appears to have been pushed towards the wall again, as can be seen by the photos. What could have happened?
The girl woke up during the night, went to the window in order to look towards the restaurant where her parents were dining
and could have fallen.
Q: The book says that the witness statements from the couple
and their friends are contradictory. Is it not normal for there to be some confusion during these moments of tension?
are contradictions that are not possible in material terms. For example, the mother speaks of an open window (when she discovered
the little girl to be missing) and I wonder how it can be that the witnesses responsible for checking on the children, who
passed by the window, at a distance of only two metres, and who entered Madeleine's room, said that they saw the window was
closed. If events had occurred according to the first version, the window should already have been open. There are many contradictions
that lack truth. If one reads a summary of the movements told by these persons, there are things that are not certain.
Q: How is it possible that the first examination of the site, carried out by the technical police, was not sufficiently
rigorous in order to provide conclusive evidence?
Unfortunately this is something that can happen.
The first police officers who went to the site thought of a possible abduction as well as theft, they did not find any door
or window that had been forced, they searched for finger prints from people unrelated to the apartment and witness statements
from people who could have seen something in the street. It did not occur to them that the parents could have had anything
to do with the girl's disappearance.
Q: Did you think from the beginning that this was
not an abduction?
It is not normal that someone should insist and be determined that this was an abduction
without considering another option. When a child disappears, one thinks she could have escaped and many other hypotheses.
And the contradictions from all of them, lead one to think that something totally different happened. We worked on the abduction
theory for two or three months and then we began to think about the theory of death.
The police continued maintaining the abduction theory after considering that the girl was dead. Why?
parents spoke of the abduction as a necessity. There was no security for the children because if there had been Maddie would
not have disappeared. And the abduction theory was dropped when it was proved that it could not be based upon the open window.
Q: In the book you state that even Kate, the young girl's mother, at one moment assumed the
death of her daughter. Let's talk of this moment.
Yes. As is mentioned in the files, once the entire
world had been upturned with the search for the child, Kate received a disturbing email from a woman who claimed to have powers.
This woman said that she had had a premonition according to which, Madeleine's body was in a sewer in Praia da Luz. At that
moment, Kate believed in the premonition and a search for the little girl was made. Kate began to act as though she were assuming
that Madeleine had died; she even contracted a former South African Colonel who could locate the girl's body using a machine
that searches for atoms. The man participated in the search, but without success. There were many psychics who wanted to contribute.
However, at that time Kate returned to her thesis that the small girl had been abducted.
More controversial evidence. The dogs detected cadaver and blood odour, but these conclusions were not admitted as official
evidence. What credibility does dog tracking have in police investigations?
In England it has much
legal value, as in the States, but not in Portugal. Its credibility has been undervalued, it has been said that dogs obey
the trainer's voice. But they found cadaver odour and human blood that coincided with Madeleine's blood and although it was
not admitted as material evidence, it did serve as information for the police.
Q: The consideration
of Kate and Gerry as suspects was very controversial. However, in your book you say that the status of "arguido" brings with
it the right to silence, or that of non self-incrimination, something advantageous for any person being interrogated. The
press understood it as an attack.
They were considered "arguidos" on the moment when the evidence indicated
that they could have committed a crime. "Arguido" is not the same status as "accused" in Spain, it is a status that provides
the rights to defend oneself and remain silent, and often serves in order to exonerate them later. If one speaks as a witness,
one is obliged to speak of everything that happened, and therefore there are things that could make you culpable.
Q: The media has played an important role in this case. Has all this media expectation helped to find the girl?
In my opinion, justice is done in silence. And with all this noise, it is very difficult. I say: who is interested in all
this publicity? All the "sightings" of the girl around the world? Does this help to keep her alive? No, they would kill her.
And the parents do not want their daughter to die, so why do they publicise the sightings? Because they know the girl is dead.
Otherwise they would not do it.
Q: But, how can parents maintain the abduction theory of
their small daughter, if they know what really happened to her?
It is a way of moving forward, of surviving.
It is like a snowball that keeps growing in size. With everything that they have stirred, with the financial fund they created,
how can they step backwards and say that she died? It is not a case of coldness but of survival. But the police investigation
was also centred from the start on the principle that Maddie was alive. In effect, and all those sightings that were made
public were not beneficial to the girl. If she were alive, and not dead as we think, what would all this publicity do to the
Q: How did you experience the search for Maddie? Has this case affected you?
have been some very difficult moments. My family has suffered much, my wife and my daughters… I kept them away from
the press and concentrated on the case. In September, when school started, they left our city for Portimao in order to be
closer to me but they had to go back. The press followed us and tried to find out where we lived. It is only now that it is
known who they were, now that I have decided to publish the book.
Q: Can we learn anything
from such a tragic case as the story of poor Maddie?
Unfortunately for the girl, her case has served
as a case study. Before I left the police force, on 30th July of this year, a commission had already been set up in order
to establish a better way of dealing with this kind of situation.
Q: You have entitled
the book "The truth of the lie". What is the big lie in this story?
The truth of the lie is what we
call the material truth, the pure truth. The truths are the analyses, the procedures and the mechanism that are covered in
the case. The lie, or in other words, the lack of truth, is that the girl is alive. The girl is dead. The McCanns are parents
who have lost a daughter whom they surely loved very much and I understand their pain and anguish.
Do you believe that we will know what happened to Maddie one day? Will we get to know the truth?
There were 9 people in this Holiday Group. Maybe they do not know that the girl is dead, but they could have received instructions
about what to say, such as "you went to the room and you saw the girl", however they know that this is not true. By that means
the case could be re-opened; one day the full truth could be known.
'Gonçalo Amaral, former inspector
from the PJ coordinated the investigation into the "Maddie case" for the first five months. Now he has presented a book about
his experience in the case.'
'14 months after the disappearance,
the investigation was archived without revealing the main question: 'Where is Maddie?''
Gonçalo Amaral, police chief of the Madeleine case : "Justice is working in silence", 12
Gonçalo Amaral, police chief of the Madeleine case : "Justice is working in
silence" Granada Digital
Friday, 12/09/2008 08:39
In the pages of his book 'Maddie. The truth of lie', the reader is confronted with mixed feelings:
the agony of parents for their missing daughter and the stubborn quest of a policeman to know what happened that night
of May 3rd 2007.
He has spent all his life in the Police; On May 3rd 2007 he was directing the
Criminal Investigation Department in Portimao, a city on the Portuguese Algarve. Before 12 o'clock that night a
phone call changed his life, he was notified of the disappearance of a 4-year old English girl in Lagos, in an urbanisation
called Vila da Luz. He led the investigation for five months until October 2nd 2007 when he was removed without
warning. Now comes to light a book which explains what happened: His truth.
GD .- Reading this book, reveals the strong personal and emotional
impact that these events have had on you. Is that true?
Yes it is true, but this has
nothing to do with any revenge; it answers to the need to respond to many accusations, to many slanders suffered, both
personal and at corporate level. During the time I handled the investigation I always said: Justice is working in silence,
but in the end I could do no more, I asked my superiors permission to respond to so many lies, but I was refused.
I was forced to leave the police in July 2008, after the case was archived, and after 27 years in the Force, to have the freedom
to express myself and restore my honour.
GD .- If Justice is working in silence, is this book a cry to
have not stopped working?
If it is true, it is a way of saying that it is better to have
honour without life, than life without honour.
THE ERRORS OF THE INVESTIGATION
GD .- Following the report of the disappearance, a police squad arrived
at the scene. What went wrong?
I do not intend to blame any colleague, although the photo report left
much to be desired, by not collecting any person in those photos, when there were a lot of people in the house that night,
it would have been important to have that. There were also weaknesses in taking fingerprints. It was normal, we were a small
police station without specialised personnel in an investigation of this nature.
Gonçalo Amaral says
that Madeleine McCann died that night of May 3, by accident, that an abduction was simulated and that the corpse was hidden, the
parents being suspected of this crime.
GD .- What were the most important facts and evidence which led to
the parents of Maddie being declared arguidos (suspects)?
Fundamentally the reports from the DNA laboratory
in England confirmed the work of the British police dogs who found a cadaver odour and biological traces of
the girl in several rooms of the apartment, on the clothes of the mother and in the car that the McCanns rented twenty days
after the disappearance of Maddie; another important test is the statement by the Irish family, Smith, who stated that they
recognised the father Gerry McCann carrying a girl in his arms, who seemed to be asleep, at 23h00 that night.
GD .- Then, why did your place in the investigation cease and
the case be provisionally dismissed recently?
I do not know, it probably had much to do with changing
the British police. Whilst the family were in Portugal there was a colleague who supported the thesis of the
death of the girl. Later when the couple left Portugal, he changed his line of argument returning to the thesis of abduction;
and that change, from one to the other, could have been due to some political pressure because of the significance of
the media event. The parents raised more than 2 million pounds to find the girl, do not forget that those dates coincided
with the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon. Anyway, it is not understood, not only my retirement, but the filing of the proceedings.
THE WORK OF THE INVESTIGATION AND THE MASS MEDIA
GD .- How do you remember the work of those days?
it was very hard, working with a lot of pressure, especially from the media that had moved there; there was
a huge television presence and an investigation requires a lot of discretion that unfortunately we did not have. I felt
like I was kidnapped, we could not eat or go anywhere peacefully. In addition, it was not the only issue that we carried.
That was hard, very hard.
GD .- How did you work then?
We sought out a place far away, where all the police officers could meet, it was the called the crisis
cabinet, there we shared all the information and decided the steps to continue; it was an investigation of the team,
not of a single person.
ON THE FUTURE
GD .- What will be the future of this case?
now the summary is closed, if new evidence or the Smith family were willing to testify in Portugal, maybe things would
change. I hope that in time it will be the Judge who gives or removes reasons.
GD .- What now? What is your professional future?
thinking of working in support tasks to law firms, preparing criminal reports; conduct investigations. That is my future
that I hope will be interesting.
There are many journalists waiting to interview this former policeman;
it is noted that he is tired and, at the same time, satisfied; having given his version, he has recomposed the puzzle,
his puzzle. In the book's pages the reader will be faced with mixed feelings: the agony of parents for their missing daughter
and the stubborn quest of a policeman to know what happened that night of May 3, 2007. The reader and time will
have their say.
Gonçalo Amaral: "The McCanns are guilty, they abandoned their children", 12
Gonçalo Amaral: "The McCanns are guilty, they abandoned their children"
12 September 2008
Is this book a necessity or revenge for having
been withdrawn from the case?
It is simply a necessity, to defend
the attacks I received during the time that the investigation lasted until they removed me from the case. I wanted to talk
then, but I was refused that option.
Gerry and Kate McCann guilty?
Yes, because nobody can deny that
they abandoned their children, and that also has a punishment.
takes a lot of coldness to hide the corpse of a child, right?
It is not coldness, it is
the need to decide. The father is a surgeon and is accustomed to making decisions in times of stress. That's what he did that
night, deciding to remove the body of Madeleine.
We may never know what. Most
likely, thrown out to sea.
to Nigel at