Thursday, 2 December 2010
Goncalo Amaral. Loving husband, devoted father, dedicated policeman. The image the anti-Madeleines are always pushing. But is it all true? Well we know he is a long way from being a dedicated cop, far from being honest, hardworking or diligant. That much has already been proven beyond any doubt. But what of Amaral the family man? Is everything rosy in the Amaral household?
As we know, earlier in 2009 Amaral stood trial for, and was convicted of his involvment in the torture of Leonor Cipriano, mother of a missing eight year old girl, Joana. During this trial, it was alleged that Amaral’s wife, Sofia, left him, and the family home, and lodged a formal complaint with the police for drunken abuse, beating her up and making death threats against her.
Amaral, in court and under oath, strenuously denied this, and in addition his wife withdrew the allegations, and further, denied ever making the formal complaint in the first place. There were suspicions that Sofia had received some sort of threat, in order for her to withdraw her original complaint, so as to weaken the prosecution’s case on behalf of Ms Cipriano against Amaral, but at that time there seemed to be little hard evidence that Sofia did indeed ever make the accusation.
The arguments rumbled on back and forth, on the forums and blogs, did she or didn’t she, until, sensationally, Leonor’s solicitor, Mr Correia, made public some copies of documents that he had received himself, and which he produced in court. We have copies of these documents, with full permission to use them here.
Now we must stress in the clearest possible terms that, though we consider Mr Correia a highly reputable source, we ourselves can in no way guarantee the authenticity of these documents, and so cannot make any hard and fast assumptions as to what they mean. However, if they are genuine, then the first document appears to be the original letter of complaint from Sofia Amaral, wherein she alleges Amaral, in a drunken rage, threatened to kill her. It also seems to accuse him of driving police cars while under the influence of alcohol, (Something other witnesses can verify, see the article from the Daily Mirror, where Mr Amaral is seen to consume considerable amounts of wine and beer during his two to three hour lunch breaks, before driving off, sometimes to pick his daughter up from school.)
This first document is reproduced below, with an English translation beneath.
Alexandra Sofia de Sousa Manjua Leal
Dr. Guilhermino Encarnação
Faro's Director of the Judiciary Police
As you know I'm the wife of the Coordinator of Criminal Investigation Gonçalo Amaral, with whom I have a daughter minor of age, with 4 years old, named Inês Sofia. You know also that Inês Sofia is living temporarily with her father.
By the present way I want to expose to you:
1. As agreed with my husband, Inês Sofia should spend Christmas with me, since last Thursday, day 20th. In that day, I contacted Gonçalo by mobile phone, and I was informed that Inês was with him, in trip to Coimbra and would only return on the following day;
2. On Friday 21st, I called again my husband, around lunch time. He informed me they were still on trip and at soon he arrive to Faro he will give me Inês. I waited until 8 PM without any news and Gonçalo never answered my phone calls. I then decided to go to a pub where I encountered Gonçalo and other colleagues of him consuming alcoholic beverages, asking him by Inês Sofia, he answered, visible drunken, that “she was resting” and that he will give me the child the following day. Then he departed, driving an Audi car from the police.
3. On Saturday 22nd , and after many attempts, my husband finally answered the phone in the middle of the afternoon, and asked me to get Inês in home. I rushed to the residence, but nobody was there. After a while, Gonçalo appeared driving the same car, and again in a notorious state of drunkenness. Having asked him for Inês Sofia, he ordered me to go inside the house, where he insulted me and threatened me of death. I abandoned the place.
4.Today, Sunday 23rd, and after numerous attempts, Gonçalo never answered his phone and he is not at home.
Unfortunately, this situation is not a unique and isolated act, and you Sir well know about other times in the past where I've also asked for your help. Once more, I ask again for your help, in order to guarantee Inês Sofia integrity, and in order to localize her.
Alexandra Sofia de Sousa Manjua Leal
The next document is the daily log from Sofia's local police station, filled out to show the day’s activities. As you can see, it clearly shows in item 6 the receipt of the official complaint form from Sofia Amaral. Together with the first document, if these are genuine, then it proves that Sofia DID INDEED lodge a formal complaint of violence, and the report confirms that the police DID INDEED receive it. The log entry is reproduced below, followed by the English translation.
STAND BY TEAM REPORT
Sunday, 23rd of December 2007
1. STAND BY TEAM
1.1 C.i.C. Amável de Sousa
1.2 Team Leader: Salvado dos Santos, Inspector
1.3 Inspectors: Nuno Peixe
(Indicate name and category)
2. COMPOSITION CHANGES
2.1 ABSENCES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Nothing to record
Around 08:40 Inspector Paulo Silvestre and Adjoin-Specialist Henrique Vieira were called so that they make judiciary inspections to fires that took place in Olhão, having finished the task by 11:00.-----------
(list shifts, round inspections [don't know a better expression], keys, people and vehicle mouvements, flags, break downs, etc - whenever they are not tasks assured by other services)
. Stand by vehicle: 09-79-QM
. Shifts: 00:00 - 04:15 - Salvado Santos
04:15 - 08:30 - Nuno Peixe
4 ARGUIDOS' MOUVEMENTS
4.1 DETAINEES IN AND OUT
4.2 ARGUIDOS PERIODICAL PRESENTATIONS [show up]
5. PREVENTION UNITS
(mention effective service, called employees, reason, calling time, beginning and end)
- Inspectors: Carlos Minga (SRCB), Carlos Guerreiro (SICCP) and Paulo Silvestre.
-Technical [forensic???] police: Henrique Viera [probably Vieira]
(summary of received denounciations and communications and informations compiled by the services)
. Thirty kilograms of haxixe [cannabis, I believe] were handed by the Maritime Police of Olhão aprehended under NUIPC 81/07.6MAOLH, according to handing document, which were deposited in this Directory's vault.
A letter addressed to the Adjoin-National Director, lic Guilhermino da Encarnação was handed to this stand by team by Mrs. Alexandra Sofia de Sousa Manjua Leal.
(report of facts occurring during execution of outside dilligences)
. One prevention team went to Olhão where it made forensic inspections in several streets in the city where, in the morning [dawn] of the 23rd December, several fires erupted in garbage containers of which resulted fires in several vehicles parked in the vicinity.
Faro, 24th December 2007
So, what does this mean? Well, if these are genuine documents, this would show the character of the man, painting a picture of a violent, misogynistic, abusive alcoholic, prone to drinking heavily while on duty, driving police cars while under the influence of alcohol, and even endangering the life of his own daughter during his bouts of drink driving. Sofia has had her life threatened, and not, it seems, for the first time, and is clearly concerned for the safety of their daughter.
But, most importantly of all, they would go to prove that Amaral has lied under oath in a court of law.
This begs the question, what else is he prepared to lie about? What else is he covering up, and who for? The man’s incompetence, as far as the investigation goes, is already established beyond any reasonable doubt, but we have to ask the question, is he, in fact, corrupt? If he is indeed prepared to use torture in order to secure a conviction, even without any evidence, of an innocent woman, is he then capable of lying in the McCann case? Is he capable, willing even, to break his own countries so-called strict secrecy laws and spread slurs and lies about the parents, to discredit them in the eyes of the public, in order to secure yet another unjust conviction?
These documents are damning evidence, and if they are genuine, and we have no reason to suspect otherwise, then it must be said that Amaral was not fit to be in charge of the investigation into Madeleine’s abduction, and now, more than ever, the argument for a full and open public enquiry into this man and his handling of the case is indisputable.