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The Inspector of the Madeleine Case Accuses London of Pressurising Portugal

Original Source:  EFE: 23 DECEMBER 2010
23-12-2010 / 16:30 h
Lisbon, 23 dic (EFE).-

Translated from Spanish by Ines


The Portuguese ex – inspector who investigated the Madeleine case, Goncalo Amaral, is convinced that London pressurised Portugal in order to remove him from his post in 2007 and to avoid accusations against the girl’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

In statements made to EFE, Amaral underlined that the conversations “at Ambassador level” between the US and the UK held days before he was forced to abandon the investigation and which were revealed by WikiLeaks “do not leave doubts” about the “interferences”.

Amaral led the
investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine on 3rd May 2007, when she was about to reach her fourth birthday and was removed in October of the same year.

In 2008, when the case was closed, he published a book, which was
banned by legal action from the McCanns, in which he suggested that the couple was implicated in a presumed accidental death and the concealment of the girl’s body.

Portugal has a “weak government which is servile and submissive faced with the English “friends” and the archiving of the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of
Madeleine McCanns constitutes a shame for our country and for the Portuguese justice system”, Amaral laments.

This is how the ex – inspector comments on the report elaborated by the then American Ambassador in Lisbon, Al Hoffman, with details about a meeting with his British counterpart, Alexander Wykeham, in September 2007, two weeks after the McCanns were declared official
suspects in the case.

In this cable, Hoffman tells how the British Ambassador informed him that his country’s police has investigated the evidence existing against Madeleine’s parents, which contradicts the version previously known that attributed doubts about the couple’s innocence only to the Portuguese officers.

Amaral remembers that he was removed from duty in October 2007 and that it was on those dates that the Portuguese Prime Minister,
Jose Socrates and the British PM, Gordon Brown “mentioned the Maddie case” during a European meetings.

“In joking terms, or perhaps not, there are those who say that the UK signed the Lisbon Treaty at the cost of my head”, the now retired ex officer comments ironically, referring to the difficult re-negotiation of this historic European document during the Portuguese presidency of the EU.

In his opinion the information released by WikiLeaks is not a novelty, although it does reflect “that the news at the time were false, created within the headquarters of the “McCann couple support staff”.

They had the aim, he adds, of creating a “climate of mistrust between the Portuguese and British politicians” and to discredit the Portuguese officers.
Amaral is confident that the case will end up by being cleared up totally, but considers that it is necessary to re-initiate the police investigation and revise the case process.

"Madeleine McCann deserves justice to be done. Her probable death and mysterious disappearance can not only depend on political will", he insisted.

Amaral and the girl’s parents maintain a legal battle despite the fact that the Madeleine case was officially closed more then two years ago without the naming of guilty parties and due to lack of evidence.

The lawyers for the British couple have appealed the lifting of the banning of sales of the ex – policeman’s book “Maddie:
The Truth of the Lie” and want him to sued for damages and harm to the parents, who have always declared themselves to be innocent.

But for the moment a Portuguese appeal court has agreed with the ex - policeman, in a statement made last October and the circulation of the book is again legal.

According to the McCanns, the book has caused great harm to their ongoing efforts to find the girl.

With respect to the millions in damages that the parents of Madeleine could obtain, Amaral says that the legal confrontation with the British couple has already left him and his family “in ruins, surviving at the cost of family and friends”.

However, despite the problems that the case has brought him, the ex – inspector, who decided to retire upon being removed from the investigation, confirms that he continues to analyse all the evidence and information about the case “in search of the truth”.


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