The testimony as it happened...
(02.10.2013, 2:50pm) – Eduardo Dâmaso is
a witness for both parties. He is a journalist
with the Portuguese Morning Mail (Correio da
Manhã) based in Lisbon.
The Judge asks what exactly his job with the
newspaper was when the interview with Gonçalo
Amaral was published. (Note: The article
referred to only exists in print, a copy of
which has been lodged with the Court).
ED says that at the time the book was
published he was Deputy Director with the
Correio da Manhã.
The Judge asks whether he knows why he has been
called to testify.
ED says he is aware the reason is because
he took part, he was present, at the interview
of Gonçalo Amaral.
The Judge asks when that was.
ED thinks it was about one year after the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The Judge asks how the interview was set up and
organized, who contacted who.
ED says that he and Henrique Machado
contacted Gonçalo Amaral.
The Judge asks whether he remembers what they
ED says he doesn't remember.
The Judge asks the Clerk of the Court to show
the witness the newspaper clipping previously
shown to the previous witness.
ED confirms that it is indeed the article
mentioned which he has been shown.
The Judge asks whether the witness has any
connection with Gonçalo Amaral or with the
ED says "no".
The witness first takes the stand on behalf of
1) McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is
the first to question the witness.
ID - wants to know whether Gonçalo Amaral's
answers were subjected to alteration or does the
article represent the transcript of what was
ED says that sometimes there's a
difference and it may happen what is published
doesn't reflect rigorously what was said.
ID - asks if it's common practice for
journalists to edit their articles.
ED answers that it's an obligation. He
explains that an interview represents hours of
words whereas the space in the newspaper is
ID - Do you edit?
ED answers "yes".
ID - asks who was in charge of editing this
ED says he doesn't remember.
ID - announces that she will read an extract from the
(Note: it hasn't yet been possible to find the
original article. This is a Joana Morais'
“The little girl died in the
apartment. Everything is in the
book, which is faithful to the
investigation until September: it
reflects the understanding of the
Portuguese and the English police
and of the Public Ministry. For all
of us, until then, the concealment
of the cadaver, the simulation of
abduction and the exposure or
abandonment were proved.”
ID - asks whether the extract was actually
worded as it was reported.
ID reads another extract:
“And the issue of the bedroom
window, where Maddie and her
siblings slept, is vital. It leads
to simulation. The question is
whether or not it was open when Jane
says that she saw the man carrying
the child. The little girl’s mother,
Kate, is the only person that
mentions the open window.”
ID - pauses reading...
ED answers that he thinks so.
ID - reads another extract from the interview:
“Due to the type of fluid, we
policemen, experts, say that the
cadaver was frozen or preserved in
the cold and when placed into the
car boot, with the heat at that time
[of the year], part of the ice
melted. On a kerb, for example,
something fell from the car boot’s
right side, above the wheel.”
ED says that it was what Gonçalo Amaral
ID - resumes her reading:
“It may be said that this is
speculation, but it’s the only way
to explain what happened there.”
ID - asks, if the sentence "the cadaver was
frozen" hadn’t existed, would the newspaper
have had a banner headline.
ED says "perhaps", he can't say.
2) Defence lawyers.
a) Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions
SO – Did you have any prior knowledge of the
case before the interview?
ED answers "yes".
SO – Taking into account the information you
had, was the book unexpected?
ED says that after the McCanns were made
arguidos the case was widely discussed.
SO - asks whether the information was easily
accessed using the internet for the UK media.
ED says he was amazed by the depth and
volume of detail given by the UK Press. He says
they (the journalists) stayed up very late to
see what would be printed in the front pages of
the British tabloids the following day.
SO - asks if the content of Gonçalo Amaral’s book was a
ED says it wasn't because its content was
already more or less known. He believes the book
didn't reveal anything extraordinary and refers
to the fact that the media quickly obtained the
DVD of the files.
b) Fatima Esteves (Guerra & Paz's lawyer)
GP – Do you remember the date of the shelving of
ED says it was in the summer of 2008.
GP – What happened between the date of Gonçalo
Amaral's dismissal and the shelving of the
ED says not much really happened. He says
there was much debate around the status the
McCanns had in the process, but he doesn't
remember much more.
GP – Did the interest in the case decrease after
the publication of the book?
ED says "no", the interest remained in
the media for some time, because it was an
extraordinary case. The fact it was very much
beyond other cases can be explained by many
factors like the circumstances and the worldwide
solidarity for the family.
GP – Do you know of other books inspired by this
ED says he does.
GP – Are you aware of the comments made by Moita
Flores on TV?
ED says "yes", MF made quite a few
c) Santos Oliveira (GA lawyer) questions again
the witness, this time for the Defence
SO - What effect did the book's publication have
in relation to the investigation, did it hinder
ED says that he doesn't think so. He says
the book was, in part, Gonçalo Amaral's
legitimate defence because he was permanently
hounded, with unpleasant things published about
him. He says he was badly treated
SO - In this context your conclusion is that the
book is against the institution or against the
The Judge overrules.
SO - His legitimate defence is the one of
ED (finishing the sentence)... defends
the work he did with sincerity.
d) TVI's lawyer questions the witness (here for
TVI - The suspicions concerning the McCanns
started at a certain time. In the first days the
UK media didn't criticise the parents nor cast
doubts on them. They mainly focused on Madeleine
and secondarily on the parents.
ED says that they rapidly mentioned an
abductor, which gave an extraordinary dimension
to the case, and then there was the spectacular
TV appeal of the mother to the abductor. A
mainly British media circus settled in. These
media were ready to pay anything to obtain
information. Then the parents started to travel,
there was a big wave of solidarity, they met the
Pope, etc. This was very uncommon and that's how
the disappearance of Madeleine became a big
event. In addition, an English journalist told
the UK police of her suspicions concerning a
man, Robert Murat. The event was taking aspects
of a TV series (telenovela). Whatever
happened thereafter, nothing could modify this
situation. ED adds that the parents benefited
from special treatment.
TVI - First the media's concern themselves with the child
and then they centre on the parents. Is that
ED Nobody knew whether the abductor was
imaginary or real. The media focused on lateral
aspects of the case, the group of friends, a
certain neglect of the children, some
TVI - Was the media presence generally
predominantly British or Portuguese?
ED says that they waited to see what the
UK press would publish the following day. He
says they were amazed by the extracts from the
September 2007 statements given to the PJ which
the UK press reproduced. He added that it seemed
as if the British Press had access to internal
The Judge overrules this last comment.
TVI wants to know about the importance of media
treatment of this case in order to compare
The Judge says that that issue will be
considered by the Court.
e) Dra Duarte, the McCann's lawyer, questions
the witness (here as a witness of the defence)
ID - Was Gonçalo Amaral's book published for his
ED answers "yes" and adds that the police
investigation coordinated by GA was severely
criticised thus he was entitled to respond.
ID - Do you think the book contributes in the
defence of GA?
ED thinks it does.
ID - For what reason?
ED – through this book he defends his
work as a PJ Coordinator and why he came to
ID – So why the need to publish a book?
ED answers that, as a citizen, it seems
to him legitimate to do so, he adds that GA's
team's work was attacked by many people after
the McCanns were made arguidos. He says
that the investigation led to his conviction.
ID asks about the media treatment when the book
was launched. She wants to know what the
consequences of the book and the documentary
The Judge interrupts saying that the witness has
already answered to that.
ID - asks if the witness knows when the
documentary was broadcast.
ED thinks it was later. He says he
remembers the work of the cadaver dogs.
ID - asks whether the interest was maintained
ED says "yes" and adds it's difficult to
distinguish between the motives involved. He
says there was no essential alteration.
End of day 6.