27 October 2008

The case of Leonor Cipriano, or how to test reason

Let’s see if I have properly understood the case against the five PJ inspectors that are going to stand trial in Faro today.

The accusation states that “unknown individuals” were instructed by three PJ inspectors – Pereira Cristóvão, Marques Bom and Leonel Marques – to enter the PJ building in Faro and beat up Leonor Cipriano, in order to make her confess to killing her daughter Joana.

Now you ask, what evidence is there for this? There are, according to Expresso, fourteen photographs that were taken by an employee in Odemira prison, plus assorted medical reports that state that the bruises that Leonor presented could not result from a fall from the stairs. There is also the testimony of Leonor Cipriano, of course, who reportedly gave a detailed description of the beating. The fact that this woman was exaustively analysed by expert psychologists and clinically classified as a sociopath with an ability to lie for self-protection and to pursue her personal interests, was apparently deemed irrelevant by the judge who allowed for this case to even go to trial. Before the court, Mrs Cipriano's words have the exact same value as anyone else's, including police professionals with immaculate careers of decades.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s presume that Leonor was, indeed, beaten by someone, and that the suggestion that was made by one of the defense lawyers last Friday, who came forward with homemade samples of how to use Photoshop to achieve certain effects, was simply a strategy to instill doubt into our naturally skeptical minds.

Is there a single piece of information that allows for anyone to establish a nexus of causality between Leonor’s bruises and the “unidentified individuals” that were allegedly hired by the three inspectors to inflict torture on the prisoner?

Unless there is information in the process that has not been disclosed to the public, I don’t think that any rational, straight thinking person can objectively say that there is any type of evidence linking Leonor’s apparent physical state to these three inspectors.

Leonor failed to identify any one of them as the perpetrators of her torture session.

Therefore, the accusation could only conclude that “unknown persons” were directly responsible for the alleged beating; "unidentified individuals" who must have entered the PJ's building under orders of the three inspectors, unseen by anyone including Leonor herself who apparently never managed to even remotely describe the persons who assaulted her.

Now you will forgive me this comparison, but as a Christian, I have often been confronted with the argument that ‘we’ invented God in order to explain the things in life that escape our understanding. It seems to me that someone is inventing “unidentified persons” in order to force an explanation for a situation that defies logics.

And while we’re talking about logics, what sense does it make to try to force a confession out of a prisoner who had already confessed to the crime in the first place – a confession that is completely worthless as it can be retracted in court? The only thing that was presumably important for the PJ at that point, would be to find Joana’s body; if there was any reason to exert pressure on Leonor and on her brother João – who coincidentally ‘remembered’ that he had also been tortured by the PJ, when the Madeleine McCann case was well under way, along with a media campaign to discredit the investigative police force – its only purpose could have been to discover the little girl’s body. But the reported fact remains that Leonor accuses her ‘torturers’ of trying to extract a confession over murder, nothing else.

There are certainly issues in this trial that should be addressed: if it is true that Leonor was questioned without a lawyer present, that fact shows a considerable lack of caution on behalf of the PJ; a lack of caution that cost them dearly, as the present situation unfortunately shows. Any single PJ inspector that ever feels tempted to repeat this ‘stunt’ in the future will surely think twice.

Another issue that should be evaluated is the sudden ease with which people go around accusing perfectly respectable people – remember the principle of the presumption of innocence? – of slapping them around for absolutely no reason. As things stand, the vast majority of the Portuguese population would gladly slap Leonor and her former partner Leandro around. There is no need for Leandro to increase this disposition by going live on television to defame Dr Gonçalo Amaral, whom he so familiarly addresses as ‘Gonçalo’. The poor man definitely failed to realize that he was not helping Leonor’s case at all.

After media reports on Friday informed us that the case judge accepted an imposition that was made by the Lawyers’ Order, which clearly serves no other purpose than to promote the personal agenda of the Head of the Order while instilling collateral damages on the defense strategy, one has to ask: Will justice be served in a case that looks more Kafkaesque by the day?

We cannot hope otherwise. The contrary would be a statement of complete faithlessness in the judicial system of this country.



22 comments:

  1. "Another issue that should be evaluated is the sudden ease with which people go around accusing perfectly respectable people – remember the principle of the presumption of innocence?"

    Whilst I'm no fan of the McCanns, and would wish to see the person responsible for Maddy's demise brought to justice, isn't this what is happening to them?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous, I understand your point. Still, on the day that I see a member of the public live on a British tv channel accusing the McCanns of anything, I'll agree with you wholeheartedly. Until that happens, the comparison lacks consistency - at least in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Joana,

    Would you like a copy of the Court Report, Judge's rulings and findings, including exemplary work of PJ in this case ?

    anonymous - 11.29

    The McCanns were prime suspects on the basis of hard evidence - PM's evidenced conclusions were "abandonment, endangerment, homicide and cadaver disposal".

    Political intervention prevented those responsible being arrested and tried. Madeleine had rights to protection whilst alive and rights following police conclusions of her death and disposal.

    No one has the right to take the law into their own hands, especially in a case of this magnitude ... an innocent 4 year old child. Britain & Portugal are not 'banana republics', both are governed on the basis of democracy and it's laws.

    ReplyDelete
  4. astro,

    I agree ... the McCanns had the option of facing the overwhelming evidence in a Court of Law to prove their innocence.

    Innocent people would have taken this course 13 months ago.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I dont know how this will be taken by readers but I think the fact that their confession was found to bare truth at the crime scene and they undoubtedly killed the child is reason enough for her to have a beating anyway...I dont beleive she did get a beating but if she did and anyone is deserved of a beating its her.
    People who kill their kids or indeed commit any crime do not play by any rules in fact they will employ all kinds of devious underhand methods to cover themselves, the police who investigate these crimes are human beings, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, it must diusgust them when they are dealing with ckild killers and their ilk, what I am trying to say is the perpertrators of this kind of crime follow no code of conduct and therefore they should not expect the people who deal with them to.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pois,mas tudo o que se passa,
    é bem de 1 processo/Kafka-(iano).

    Tão,tão obscuro.
    ****************************
    Só me resta fazer "piada":

    a familia cipriano e afins vão passar férias a Rothley;
    vão passar a viver num condomínio de luxo;
    as próximas férias dos Ts vão incluir estes seres.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Na situação ideal,os Ts virão visitar os novos amigos no local onde deverão continuar e estar(gaiola,sem ser doirada).Viverão felizes para sempre além de aprenderem muito uns com os outros.

    GRANDE POLVO!

    ReplyDelete
  7. interessante sera saber onde os dois casos se tocam: Maddie e Joana. Tocam=se em Goncalo Amaral e nos advogados de acusacao aos inspetores da PJ. Quem esta a pagar os honorarios de Aragao Correia, Rodrigo santiago e Marinho Pinto? Hoje no telejornal Aragao Correia, sem querer, revelou a ponta do fio ao insinuar com cinismo ironico que as fotografias iam ser enviadas para um laboratorio no reino unido a fim de ser averiguada a sua autenticidade. Porque no reino unido e nao em franca, na Alemanha ou em Portugal? Talvez porque ja haja um Clarence Mitchel a traballhar as provas para descredibilizar Goncalo Amaral e assim ter a certeza de que Maddie e um assunto definitivamente enterrado. Leonor cipriano e apenas o bode expiatorio porque o objectivo deste julgamento e outro. Espero que este julgamento seja apenas a ponta que demonsrtrara publicamente a corrupcao que liderou o processo Maddie com o objectivo de calar a PJ e que a seguir se sentem no banco dos reus a Ordem dos advogados e Aragao Correia que ate hoje nao explicou porque procurou Maddie na barragem do Arade. Foi mais uma visao como a das fotografias. E que tera ele prometido a Leonor Cipriano para ela trocar Joao Grade por ele? Estao bem um para o outro: dois criminosos!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. If I understand correctly these investigators, whom this woman cannot identify, are accused of ordering unknown individuals to torture this woman. Even if these investigators are indeed guilty, which I doubt, there is no way of proving it and if they are not acquitted then there is something seriously wrong with the Portuguese justice system.

    I would like to respond to the first anonymous comment with regard to this article. The McCanns acquired the services of high priced lawyers, public relations firms and bogus detective agencies for what, to find their daughter? If the police were allowed to conduct an adequate investigation without hindrances, i.e. having access to basic information such as credit and phone records, and as a result of such an investigation concluded that the McCanns were innocent then that would be the end of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. SYM,

    Reason is the reason why people like Leonor Cipriano should not be beaten up.

    I understand your pain. Understand your anger. Rant as you will, like you do in your blog, but never lose reason. Don't try to punish today yesterday's evil.

    Your children demand it, if you have any. ALL children deserve it.

    That's what separates us from Cipriano's and McCann's.

    Textusa

    ReplyDelete
  10. On the super cop figure who will rule all the investigative forces and the eternal political fight between the MAI (Internal Affairs), The PGR (Public Ministry and Attorney General), the Justice Ministry and whoever [the Mason lodges, the Opus, the OA(Bar Lawyers, the Media)], is backing and supporting the current Governmental colour - political colour.

    Amaral is absolutely correct in his last opinion article in CdM when he talks about masons - the situation here is that the Portuguese Masons have several lodges, each has members of different political parties.

    It's obvious that the main attack, done here to the PJ, has the involvement of masons who are key figures in each one of the Ministries, or departments I mentioned previously - and then each of those key figures has its own agenda, an agenda of power. Of political gain.

    Let me try to explain this a bit better.

    Let's see the media first and question the motives behind Público owned by Belmiro de Azevedo and Expresso owned by Francisco Balsemão.

    Both are masons, don't ask me the lodge. Both have very interesting pasts, both are old enough to have been living during the fascist period and they got through those bad times and ended up as being 2 of the most influential, rich and powerful men in Portugal. Both of them have 'issues' with the PJ, either for former cases or for current ones where they are being investigated.

    The Expresso, once thought a more centrist and leftist newspaper - though Balsemão is one of the PSD founders - has taken a curious approach to the Madeleine case. The Editor, Henrique Monteiro, in a recent article expressed that he would loose his complete trust in the Human Mankind if the McCanns where ever going to be judged in a court, and that he was glad his newspaper didn't follow editorial guidelines from other papers, that is that they didn't follow the McCann Case - which is a lie- they have published McCann case stories always with an against-the-PJ subtle tone.

    So, not only they did an interview with Gonçalo Amaral, a very discreet one, they followed that with an explosive and sensationalist interview with the McCanns where the first thing you could read in the cover page was:"Gonçalo Amaral é uma Vergonha!" - Gonçalo Amaral is a Disgrace!.

    Balsemão, is the owner of Impresa, a media company who has several newspapers like Expresso, magazines and the most powerful of Balsemão's fingers is the SIC- TV Station- which includes,: SIC, SIC News, SIC Radical, SIC Mulher and SIC International. Balsemão is our very own media mogul Murdoch, Rupert. Like Murdoch he is a man who belongs to the Billdberg Group, to the Masons, and more. He is a man who invests only in the winning horse.

    Moving on to Belmiro de Azevedo, a self made man, rich, powerful, cold as ice, a man who wouldn't and won't stop until he gets what he wants. Currently being investigated by the Judiciary Police for crimes related to traffic of influences, money, etc... Público, Belmiro's Daily Newspaper is now the most right wing and biased paper on the Portuguese Market. Público only published and publishes material, where they can attack the PJ. Alípio's famous last words were given in a joint interview done to Rádio Renascença and Público, broadcasted in the RR radio and RTP2 - State Channel TV. The journalist who made the question was Paula Torres de Carvalho who just at the last minute tricks Alípio with the following question, which is then consciously followed by Alípio or not : PTC: There was some precipitation then? Alípio Ribeiro: There was some precipitation. (asserting). From this peculiar question and answer we saw before our very own eyes that the case outcome would be only one - the archival. When the National Director of the PJ states something so grave on an ongoing case, pulling the rug under the feet of the investigators and PJ coordinators, we can see that the MP - Public Ministry is forcing the closure. Obviously, Alípio was and is a magistrate, a man who has never had a formation as a police, or as an investigator. He is appointed to that place as a PS man, a man with a political past - like the previous one was Fenando Negrão for the PSD.

    The problem in Portugal, as in many other countries, once the Government changes, all those that belong to the opposition jump or are removed from their current positions, and substituted by men of confidence of the party who is currently in government.

    To end in a quick summary the explanation - it's hard to give you a better insight, basically there are various interests that go from hidden agendas, private agendas, political agendas, and power related agendas to burn some of the most prestiged men of the PJ and DCCB. The Cipriano versus PJ has one objective in mind, which is to dismantle the power of the PJ, and create a unified force under one ruler. The Super Cop, who only answers to the Prime minister and whose powers are equivalent to one or two ministries and three or four ministers. Gonçalo Amaral is targeted mainly because he is the most mediatic figure since the strange McCann affair and because he knows, he knows a lot, and he single handed can make more damages to this 'new country order' that MAI, PGR, MP, MJ. etc are trying to establish.

    Marques Aragão is a pawn, the little black pawn in a chess game which you feed the enemy horse with to be able to get it with your bishop. The King, however is secured.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pois!

    O MAC+insinuações maliciosas*investigadores ingleses+laboratório inglês+barragem.

    Enquanto os olhos de todos se viravam para as águas de Arade....terão ido recolher algumas cinzas ou os restos mortais de alguma criança?

    ******

    Ser-se de 1 ilha é mto. complicado....água por todos os lados....é de se passar da cabeça....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Textusa...normally I am in agreement with you but not in this instance, Firstly I do not believe she was beaten up BUT IF she were so what? There is nothing honourable in battering a child to death and then cutting it up like a piece of meat, they followed no code of ethics so why should those that deal with them?
    Its like me saying you slapped me for killing your cat.

    ReplyDelete
  13. http://www.correiomanha.pt/Noticia.aspx?channelid=00000009-0000-0000-0000-000000000009&contentid=F9928B3D-19D7-48E7-A026-5C647339E676

    Rodrigo Santiago: a memória é assim tão curta?

    Não,não é!

    Lamento bastante a existência de tantos tentáculos do polvo.

    ReplyDelete
  14. speak your mind,

    The Judge's findings and rulings in Court Report of the case confirms 'no beatings' or accusation of beatings. PJ's exemplary work was acknowledged - as it was in Madeleine's case.

    Mitchell's predictable spin ...

    ReplyDelete
  15. guerra,

    The photos are blatantly faked.
    The extent of injuries denoted would have resulted in secondary internal injury/hospital monitoring.

    The Court Report confirms no allegation of 'beating' or it being used in the mother's defence.

    It was spin to support Kate's false allegation of ill treatment at the hands of PJ in the presence of her lawyer !!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Textusa,

    In the event that Joana's mother had been beaten, as alleged in McCanns' media 'soap opera', the lawyer would have acted appropriately at the trial.

    The Court Report confirms is was media spin ... the lawyer made no claim on behalf of Joana's mother.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Out of curiousity because I can not remember, did the beating allegations come before the Mccann case or after?

    ReplyDelete
  18. To Anonymous 27/10/08 23:57:

    I do agree with most of what you’ve said, although, as I've stated, I don't think it's as profound and murky as pictured.

    The linkages are valid. However a question for you anonymous, if you wanted to set up G. Amaral, would you choose these morons as your instruments? I think you agree they could find better, if in the the same gutter that they found these. And would you hire THAT lawyer? Even if he came crawling and begging you to take up his services? Get the point?

    I feel that you are worried sick about G. Amaral's well being, due to the fact that you fear he will be condemned for jumping from a roof although the accusation states that the crime was committed at ground level.

    Should you feel worried? Well it all depends on the amount of lack lack of shame of the system. We both agree that this is a farce and very nice case-study in the future for misuses of justice. And I’m talking arrogant-rub-in-your-face kind of shamelessness. The conviction would go against the general consensus concerning Leonor Cipriano’s honesty, thus the roof jumping analogy used just now. But if they want to go after Mr. Amaral’s neck, there’s nothing one can do to salvage him, only mitigate, as through public forums such as these, the blood sucked.

    But my heart, unfortunately, goes out to you, anonymous.

    ******

    To SYM:

    I’m sure that Leonor wasn’t beaten. Nor did I say she was. But you did make the point that you thought right for her to have been, because she’s a monster.

    Yes, she’s a monster, but civilized societies don’t beat up monsters. But certainly also don’t give them center stage either.

    Textusa

    ReplyDelete
  19. To Anonymous 27/10/08 23:57:

    I do agree with most of what you’ve said, although, as I've stated, I don't think it's as profound and murky as pictured.

    The linkages are valid. However a question for you anonymous, if you wanted to set up G. Amaral, would you choose these morons as your instruments? I think you agree they could find better, if in the the same gutter that they found these. And would you hire THAT lawyer? Even if he came crawling and begging you to take up his services? Get the point?

    I feel that you are worried sick about G. Amaral's well being, due to the fact that you fear he will be condemned for jumping from a roof although the accusation states that the crime was committed at ground level.

    Should you feel worried? Well it all depends on the amount of lack lack of shame of the system. We both agree that this is a farce and very nice case-study in the future for misuses of justice. And I’m talking arrogant-rub-in-your-face kind of shamelessness. The conviction would go against the general consensus concerning Leonor Cipriano’s honesty, thus the roof jumping analogy used just now. But if they want to go after Mr. Amaral’s neck, there’s nothing one can do to salvage him, only mitigate, as through public forums such as these, the blood sucked.

    But my heart, unfortunately, goes out to you, anonymous.

    ******

    To SYM:

    I’m sure that Leonor wasn’t beaten. Nor did I say she was. But you did make the point that you thought right for her to have been, because she’s a monster.

    Yes, she’s a monster, but civilized societies don’t beat up monsters. But certainly also don’t give them center stage either.

    Textusa

    ReplyDelete
  20. Textusa we are going to have to agree to differ on this I am afraid, I dont actually recall calling her an animal, i said the crime she undertook was moraless and without any decency, it was probably the lowest you could get, Imagine being the officer trying to solve that crime, the details they would be listening to, Imagine knowing for absolute certainty what she had donme but then having to prove it..My point was even if she was beaten, so what?

    ReplyDelete
  21. SYM,

    Agreeing to the disagreement.

    :-)

    Textusa

    ReplyDelete
  22. Textusa I am glad we can amiably agree to disagree.

    ReplyDelete