Judite de Sousa [JS]: Here in the studio I have Goncalo Amaral, the
inspector of the Judiciary Police that has lead the investigations five
years ago in situ to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Good
evening, Goncalo Amaral.
Goncalo Amaral [GA]: Good evening.
JS: In your opinion what causes Scotland Yard to, suddenly, ask the
Judiciary Police to re-open the process and to categorically state that
there are 195 new opportunities to investigate?
GA: Well, we have to understand the timing, understand the moment...
Yesterday was the 25 of April [commemorative date of the end of the
dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, known as Carnation Revolution] it's
important because it's the day of freedom and democracy is celebrated in
Portugal, and a foreign power, or someone from a foreign power is
telling us: "It's like this, reopen it!". It's important. We are a few
days away of the sad anniversary of the child's disappearance, a tragic
moment... We are one year after that team started their investigation,
where they've spent millions of pounds; they have been questioned back
in England about that. To say that they have 195 opportunities of
investigation - I have to ask, why is that? Why do they still have 195,
why don't they have only 5?
JS: How do you explain that number? 195 avenues of investigation?
GA: They speak about sightings, about visions by mediums, in things that
were produced, various things that have been produced over the years and
well produced regarding those sightings, now the English police has to
pass the ball to the Portuguese police and we are left with the onus and
expenses of investigating. It is important to reopen the process, nobody
should doubt that, but to reopen the process without limitations, the
way they want to limit us.
JS: What are the limitations they want to impose on us?
GA: They want to impose an abduction. Actually they speak about two
possibilities, that she could be alive or dead. And that is what it is.2
JS: No, Scotland Yard say that...
GA: No, Scotland Yard affirmed that the child could be alive or dead.
JS: ... she could be alive.
GA: Or could be dead. Don't forget the "could be dead". It's about 50%
chances. And that is the real sadness. It's been five years and we still
do not know what happened to this child and it is our fault. It's ours!
JS: Ours? Of whom?
GA: Of our Justice system, of our Attorney General who allowed this
investigation to be shelved. In September 2007 we had reached certain
conclusions, they were interim conclusions, and a criminal investigation
needs to be concluded. It needs to be finished. The investigation was
never allowed to arrive at an end. It was important to understand if the
conclusions we had arrived at then could, in the end, be proved or
disproved, be or not different - that is how a proper criminal
investigation should proceed.
JS: Why, in your opinion, did the Portuguese General Attorney's Office
decided to archive the process?
GA: Because we are Portuguese and they are English - as simple as that.
We are small and they are big. This is what is happening right now.
JS: Then, do you defend the thesis that there were political pressures?
GA: There are no doubts about that. Just recently our current prime
minister was in England, he held talks with David Cameron and spoke or
was told (about this case)3. It would have been important for our
prime-minister to speak first with those who were involved in the
investigation in order to have a better understanding of what happened…
JS: But it becomes difficult for those that are viewing and listening to
us, to comprehend for what reason the political power in London or a
police with the prestige of Scotland Yard are so focused, committed on
this case, five years later, particularly since the process has long
been archived in Portugal. What do you think is the true motivation
behind this review?
GA: Do you really believe that they are focused, committed? They speak
about a 28-man squad, from the Scotland Yard... Allow me to inform you
that it is just a metropolitan police of a city, of the city of London.
Here in Portugal the investigation was done by the Judiciary Police, a
much higher rank police, with jurisdictional competence for the whole
country, which is not the case of the Metropolitan police. Let's be
clear about this, we [Portuguese Judiciary Police] are what we are, but
maybe we can be equally or even better than they are - that is the
issue. Now, concerning those 28 police officers, they investigated (the
case files)4 and arrived to the conclusion: "We have 195 hypothesis of".
Well, the question is why do they still have 195? Why not just 5? Don't
JS: So you think that they say 195, just as they could say 10, 15, 20,
GA: They have to
justify the money they have spent. It would have been better if they had
said only five. That would have been meaningful, it would mean that they
had closed the range of possibilities. To say that they have 20, 30, 40,
195, 200, 300, 400... Look, of sightings by psychics, dreams by mediums,
we had hundreds, dozen, thousands of those, take your pick. Now facts,
indicia, all that is in the report made in September of 2007 put
together by the Judiciary Police and by the English police - let's not
forget the fact that it was the local police where the McCann couple
lives that was working with us, not the Metropolitan police. Here we
have the Judiciary Police that has the national competence to
investigate criminal cases, for a good reason... Therefore that that was
established [in the report] at the time cannot be refuted. Why are they
asking us to re-open the case now? It's important to re-open the process
but as Dr.Rogério Alves [McCann couple lawyer, mentor of their legal
strategy in Portugal] said recently "there must be solid facts" to
re-open the process. He knows very well that when the process is
reopened, one step will immediately ensue, and that is the
reconstruction of the facts [events of May 3, 2007]. And that
reconstruction of the facts, that may be useful or not for those who
were suspects, has to be done, it's the first step that needs to be done
in proceeding terms in Portugal. And that didn't take place...
JS: Gonçalo Amaral,
so you defend that the process should be re-opened?
GA: Yes I do, I have
always defended the re-opening 6, actually it's something the McCann
couple never defended, only recently, after two or three years, they've
started to defend a review of the sightings - and that is what is being
done. The re-opening of the process in Portugal, with all the indicia
that are contained in the process, it was never defended by them. Note
that when the process was archived in 2008, there were three suspects:
Robert Murat and the McCann couple. Any of the three could have opposed
to the process archival, some received 500.000 pounds of compensation
from the British media whilst others kept quiet. Why? Because it wasn't
their interest for the investigation to carry on, but the investigation
needs to go on.
JS: You are talking
about the child's parents?
GA: I am talking
about all of them, of all those that were considered suspects.
JS: Do you maintain
GA: The investigation
needs to go on. If someone stopped, someone as an arguido, as a suspect,
for example in the case of Robert Murat, if he believes, due to his own
personal motives, that he doesn't have to advance with a request asking
the re-opening of the investigation - he received a compensation from
the English newspapers - that's fine.
JS: You maintain the
belief that this child is not alive?
GA: I have one
opinion. Just like that gentleman [Andy Redwood] has one opinion, "I
have one opinion", he said, "that she is alive", I have the opinion that
she is dead. I have the right to have my own opinion. I and other police
officers, I and other [forensic] technicians, and my opinion is an
opinion based on facts, unlike his who I don't know if it is based on
evidence, or if it is based on pseudo-sightings, or where it is based
exactly. I wrote a book where I underlie my firm belief and the facts
that support my opinion, that gentleman said "we've looked at this [the
process], and it's like this"... but he doesn't explain the reasons.
JS: And do you also
maintain the belief of the parents responsibility in the cadaver's
GA: Notice one thing,
a criminal investigation has its own dynamics, we begin at a point and
we bring it to an end. By September 2007 we had reached certain
conclusions, and it would have been necessary to validate those
conclusions, to advance or not in that path, we had to carry on with the
investigation. That is a criminal investigation. Then someone says "you
have to stop the investigation" and no progress was made since. What is
left is what was made known in the process and in my book [Maddie, The
Truth of the Lie]. And was expressed in the book because we were accused
of several things, I was accused of several things, and that book came
out in my defence. By the way, let me tell you that the book copies were
formally returned today, finally after several years [7.500 book copies
were seized after a McCann couple injunction].
JS: And it's going to
be placed again in the bookshops.
GA: I believe so,
yes. People have the right to read the book...
JS: Gonçalo Amaral,
GA: Now, those were
conclusions arrived at a determined moment of the investigation, they
are not final conclusions. They are interim, and people have to
JS: What should be
the Oporto's Judiciary Police team line of investigation if the process
GA: Oporto's team has
no chance of investigating the process, the events took place in the
Algarve, as much as they wish, as much competence they have, they can't
- they're too far away from it [as to time, crime scene/terrain and
circumstances]. It's logical that it is important for someone to be
distanced, in terms of location and time, but they don't stand any
chances, they really don't, because it all took place in Algarve. Either
the investigation is made by the Algarve or between the Lisbon and
Algarve Judiciary Police, or is investigated in England as it should be.
In fact, the English police, Scotland Yard have the money to support the
costs, they can spend an extra few million pounds and investigate what
happened to a British subject, that is, Madeleine McCann, of English
JS: Gonçalo, explain
me one issue. In your point of view, what are the reasons that led the
National Judiciary Police Directorate to send to Oporto the Maddie
GA: The reasons? They
were justified by Dr. Pedro do Carmo, because of the distance, because
of the geographical distance, the distance in terms of people, but in
terms of competence...
JS: And what do those
reasons tell you?
GA: In Lisbon, for
example the former DCCB7, the current National Unit Against Terrorism
have much more experienced people - I'm not talking about competence -
but much more experienced people in the area of abductions, kidnappings,
disappearances and so on, than Oporto has. Oporto only has...
JS: So, you don't
understand that decision?
GA: My colleague,
that I know very well, Dr. Helena Monteiro, has a big case, the case of
the young woman from Lamego, that disappeared there and later appeared
close to the motorway connection to Régua8, it's an important case but
the young woman was dead, she had been there for a month, and they could
have located her with a GPS, but well...To state that they have a great
experience [in missing people cases] it doesn't make much sense.
JS: But are you
saying that your colleagues from Oporto....
GA: They are very
competent, have no doubts about that. They are police officers, they are
competent, they are criminal investigators, they are competent.
JS: But you don't
believe that they can solve this case?
GA: Too many pages.
Too much indicia, too many things that need to be read, and sometimes
it's difficult to read 9.
JS: Gonçalo Amaral,
what happened to your team? To the persons who worked with you during
the investigation to this case?
GA: They are being
persecuted, case by case, they are being persecuted. The last case was
with my colleague, Ricardo Paiva 10, who was a target of an entrapment,
an entrapment at facebook [social site], and Dr. Pedro do Carmo
immediately stated that he had violated a number of duties, etc. It's
interesting because Pedro do Carmo....
JS: One question...
GA: Allow me to
conclude, in terms of disciplinary processes Dr. Pedro do Carmo was the
person who had to make a decision, and immediately before any
investigation is made to that incident, he stated that Ricardo Paiva had
violated the secrecy of, a series of duties, and we have to ask, why
does this happen? Why does someone, a deputy director of the Judiciary
Police, comes to the public, on his tiptoes11, speaking against him [a
colleague]? It's because they are witnesses. Ricardo Paiva is one of my
witnesses in the process the McCann couple have against me, and why do
these directors, these people who are now directors - at this moment
they are representing the Judiciary Police, but they are not the
Judiciary Police - the Judiciary Police has a history, beyond these
JS: Let me go back to
the point that you just made, what you are saying is that your
colleagues that remain active, in the Judiciary Police, are being
GA: There are no
doubts about that.
JS: Inside the
GA: Inside the
JS: They are
GA: They are
suffering retaliations, simply because they worked with me. I can't go
to the police, I can't contact anyone because immediate retaliations
follow. That has happened before. Therefore I limit myself to the life
in my neighbourhood, it's a pretty neighbourhood, very close to the
EXPO, where I lived for forty years, and now I'm back again.
JS: Did this case
GA: It didn't ruin me
per se, I live through this moment of crisis like all of us are. I am
surviving, and will continue to do so. I will go on with calm and
JS: Gonçalo Amaral,
thank you so much for coming here tonight to 'News at 8'.
GA: Thank you, good