The testimony as it happened...
Francisco Moita Flores is a retired
Polícia Judiciária (PJ) Inspector, he is also a
He is the only witness who has greeted the
public before sitting in the witness chair. This
was repeated at the end of the session when the
witness turned towards the public and again
acknowledged them with a smile and a slight nod.
The Judge asks the witness what sort of
contact he has with the McCann process.
MF says he has known Gonçalo Amaral since
the time they were both in the PJ. He says they
are more or less contemporaneous; although GA is
younger than him.
The Judge asks whether apart from
professional relations they are friends.
MF says they know each other, he says
they never went to each other's home.
The Judge asks if the witness knows the
MF says "no".
The Judge asks MF if he wrote a book on this
MF says he didn't, but commented on the
case many times, particularly on TV.
The Judge – Have you read the book?
MF says he did.
The Judge – Have you watched the documentary?
MF says he didn't.
The Judge – Then you were a commentator on TV
and also wrote chronicles?
MF answers "yes".
1) Defence lawyers
a) Dr Santos de Oliveira, GA's lawyer, is the
first to question the witness.
SO – What reason did you have to comment on
MF says that first it is his job. He does
it professionally because he has experience of
being a police inspector and has connections
with the police. In this particular case he says
that very early he claimed that the police were
SO – Why?
MF Because they should have considered
all the possible hypotheses instead of
restricting the investigation to the
prefabricated idea of abduction.
SO – When did you read the book?
MF says he only read it after it was
published. He adds that he first read the book
and then read the criminal process report.
SO – Through those readings do you consider
that the "death" theory...
The Judge overrules, she says the questions
cannot be commented upon.
SO – When you became aware of the book and
the Report have you heard...
The Judge overrules.
SO protests’ arguing the issue is to consider
the conclusions. He asks about the "death"
MF says it is more likely that the child
died. And he adds it is impossible that someone
passed through the window with a child. He says
the abduction theory then doesn't make sense. He
observes that there are many possibilities, it's
perfectly admissible for instance that the child
went out to search for her parents. If the child
died, it could have been outside of the flat or
in the flat. But, he says, the disappearance
never could have happened through the window, he
insists that it is essential to understand that
it is technically, humanly, impossible. The
witness concludes affirming that all the
hypotheses are possible, except for the
abduction "through that window".
b) G&P's lawyer, Dra Fatima Esteves.
GP – Is it possible to determine a "before"
and an "after" the book's publication, in a
MF says he was in Greece at the time. He
learnt about the disappearance of Madeleine
McCann through CNN or Sky News. He returned to
Portugal a few days later and doesn't remember
having ever seen such a large media circus. It
was so enormous that it lasted for weeks and
The witness recalls how the parents were
filmed every time they went out. When they were
made arguidos, he claimed that they
should be well treated. Eventually they could be
blamed for having neglected their children. Many
TV programmes were done. He says the book was
published in the continuity of chronicles,
interviews, documentaries that this case
elicited: the witness statement of an inspector.
GP – What about the documentary?
MF only remembers that someone talked to
him about it, nothing more.
GP – Do you think that, because of the book,
they stopped investigating the case?
MF says he was perplexed when the case
was shelved. He feels he has to say that the
case was very well investigated. If the Public
Ministry doesn't reopen the case, it's because
no relevant piece of evidence has been brought.
The witness suggests that the case suffered
carnival aspects and early errors, the biggest
being not to have investigated the parents. Life
shows us that there are parents who mistreat
their children and this eventuality could not be
GP – Do you know about the note sent to the
media by the PGR (Procuradoria da Republica)?
MF says the PJ cannot do diligences
without authorisation from the Public Ministry.
He insists very much on this.
GP – What about the Scotland Yard rogatory
MF says that what SY requested was in the
criminal process, such as the checking of
cell-phone communications. Recreate everything?
Yes, I suppose everything can be done again only
to reach the same conclusion. The witness
remarks that SY only contemplated the abduction
hypothesis. What if for example the little girl
went out, fell and wasn't found? He qualifies
the restricted vision (of abduction) as
"prophetic and dogmatic" and observes that the
police knew that what was crucial was finding
GP – Are there some books published on this?
MF says in Portugal and in the UK many
books are published on relevant cases.
GP – Cases with media coverage are a subject
matter for books?
MF says that the majority of the authors
are journalists. He adds that he himself writes
about crime and refers to the many books in
which he contributes his opinion on cases.
2) Lawyer for the Plaintiffs in substitution
of Dra Isabel Duarte, Dr Ricardo Afonso.
RA – When you said that the police had
committed an error in investigating only the
abduction hypothesis, what do you base that
MF answers that it is based on his own
experience. Experience says that the main
suspects are closest to the victim and that the
solution is often the simpler one. He adds that
an abduction assumption cannot be discarded, but
should not be the first or only one to be
RA – Gonçalo Amaral says that on the 4 May
2007, all the hypotheses were taken in
MF Yes, at that time.
RA – Whom would you point to?
MF Nobody in particular.
RA – Why were you perplexed when the process
MF I found that the contradictions by the
people who had access to the McCann apartment
were not explored sufficiently. It was a
fundamental error not to isolate them, check who
had access to the apartment and collect the data
relating to their phone calls in order to
clarify the discrepancies in their statements.
If it had been done, we wouldn't be here,
involved in a trial on freedom of opinion.
Witness for the Defence, Hernâni Carvalho,
was scheduled to give evidence on the 10th
October. . The Judge asked Defence lawyer Dr
Santos de Oliveira, if he wished to give up this
witness to which he replied that he doesn’t. The
Judge then dictated to the clerk a note of the
fine this witness will have to pay for not
having presented himself before the Court (if a
valid justification is provided, the fine will
be set aside).