Tuesday, 21 December 2010
GONCALO AMARAL: THE PORTUGUESE VIEW.
The following is a press article from the well respected Portuguese newspaper, EXPRESSO. The translation is a little clunky but the message, I think, is loud and clear. They have no time for Amaral's clearly flawed and discredited theories, and draw paralells to his previously botched handling of the Cipriano case, one which has resulted in an innocent woman being framed for a crime few in Portugal believes she committed.
It needs little more in the way of explanation from me, so here it is, in full.
When Maddie case began, I wrote that would be the biggest and most decisive test done on the ability of the Judicial Police. This was not a view difficult to subscribe: From the beginning, right from the first day, it was realized that the case would reach an impact far beyond what we are used and a media coverage that quickly spillover boundaries. He demanded that, in light of a different spotlight, PJ was able to demonstrate competence and savoir-faire, on how they would manage the investigation.
Well. Reportedly, next Monday, the attorney general's office will announce that the case be closed without any finding and following the report of the PJ in the police acknowledge that they are in the same point they was like in the first days, more than one year: no opportunity to present any consistent version of the disappearance of Maddie. Even accepting that, as Pinto Monteiro, there has always been and there will be unsolved cases in the field of criminal investigation, an investigation of a crime that has just filed for lack of clues and will always be a defeat for the police. But in this case, the loss is much greater, because the proportional investment - in men, media, money, time and cooperation of all - that there is no memory whatsoever between us.
The PJ, take turns to give it, fails because, first of the objectives which was to demonstrate its expertise, unlocking the case. I admit that would not be easy, but failed and soon began to fail from the beginning, when they didn´t tried to isolate the crime scene, ensuring the preservation of all possible clues. Since the early days, I got the impression that the PJ had no thoughtful strategy, before or during, to handle a similar case: accepted random searches at the whim of volunteerism GNR or popular, it took an eternity to investigate possible leaks raptor abroad by sea or land, accepted the first volunteer interpreter who came to him (Robert Murat, later turned into the accused), and only much later and with the collaboration of the British Forensic Science, that it started to worry with some work with the old and effective style Sherlock Holmes. But it was too late.
The worst, however, came later. Unable to find Madeleine or her body, with no clue about possible kidnappers and some data about the abduction, PJ decided to invest everything in a thesis of its own and without any support that enabled them: that they were the parents themselves who were involved in the disappearance of Maddie. The same officers who had investigated the disappearance of Joana, also in the Algarve, and had concluded that that was her mother, Leonor Cipriano, who killed her daughter and hid the body, advanced to the Maddie case with the ease of those who thought that history is repeated. That should immediately have alerted the national leadership of the PJ, not being able to ignore that never found the body of Joanna nor conclusive evidence that the mother killed her - except the 'confession' of her own, ripped at the premises of the PJ in Faro , late at night, with no judge or lawyer present, and in circumstances that interrogators who tore the confession are now being at court for the crime of aggression. Can not for reasons to view, support the theory that the McCanns had sold the child or arranged this kidnapping, not daring to suggest that they would have simply murdered, suggested a milder case, they would have beaten their daughter, both or only one, causing her accidental death. Then, faced with the drama, they would, by common consent, the disappearance of Maddie's corpse and found it missing and abducted by strangers.
The thesis was, in itself, truly unbelievable. A couple of foreign citizens who never came to Portugal on holiday, in a small village with intense movement of people and tourists, would, during a dinner with seven friends in a restaurant for all to see, arranged a way to go to the room where their daughter slept with brothers, take her body to give her disappearance and return to dinner as if nothing had happened. All this done over a period of half an hour to an hour, without anyone's notice and with such success that they neither knew the terrain and its surroundings, able to elude the search of hundreds of popular and GNR, made days within a radius of wire fifty miles. You had to believe this nonsense, and yet researchers believed and national leadership of the PJ, it seems, too.
And then followed what PJ is a specialist, every time it cannot unravel a media case: start blowing information and opinions to the press, suggesting that knows very well what happened, but that strong obstacles (in this case, diplomatic ), to prevent yet to be able to say. Men's PJ hand in the press - journalists, former policemen and other 'experts' - then began to feed the dirty campaign against the McCanns, that was very strange that she would not cry, the couple had sexually immoral habits, which friends were all suspicious, she had complained that Maddie was a difficult child, etc.. and such. Prepared the ground, it was then the final blow: the constitution of the McCanns as suspects - which, for the bulk of public opinion, national or international, only meant that the Portuguese police had the suspects as the death and concealment of a corpse of the daughter.
Then, also as usual, began searching for evidence to support the thesis - the opposite of any serious investigation. The McCanns and the friends were being interrogated for hours, hoping that one of them is 'sagging' with what the investigators wanted to hear. As The Times wrote, to their astonishment, the Portuguese police still clinging to research methods that are essentially self-incrimination by taking the suspects, or through wiretapping or the confession, both spontaneous or not, of themselves. As explained by an 'expert' in RTP, when the suspects are not available to continue to be asked “ad nauseam”, the Police has no 'investigative means. " And so, when the McCanns are all gone home, tired of being there and always on hand to see the police obtain incriminating only concerned with them as murderers of their own daughter, instead of seeking their captors, the PJ did not know what to do. The old and lazy methods had not resulted and there were others who knew her. More than a year later, will lift up the infamous suspicion about a couple who had the misfortune of losing her daughter in Portugal and about an Englishman who had the misfortune of being neighbor to the village and have raised suspicions of a journalist. Archive itself.
No, do not archive. There has to be responsible and they can not hide behind books designed to further extend the slander and violence against innocents. And there has to be responsible among journalists and editors who have been given lightly to adhere to and publicize an argument that the police sold them and served them to sell more newspapers. No, do not archive. Enough of filings.