Woman Takes Maddie Case
by Luís Maneta
If Maddie's process is reopened, it will be a woman commanding the police investigation to the circumstances of the disappearance of the English girl. Investigator of the PJ at Faro, Ana Paula Rito was nominated as coordinator of the Criminal Investigation Department [DIC] of Portimão, a position hold up to now by Paulo Rebelo, the man who replaced Gonçalo Amaral.
Licensed in Law, Ana Paula Rito is in the words of her colleagues, a 'determined' woman, 'competent' and one of the 'most experienced' criminal inspectors of the PJ, with a career of more of ten years at the Directorship of Faro.
Adjustments in the Direction
"If the Public Ministry [MP], decides to reopen the Maddie case, at the front of the investigation will be one person that has all the guarantees of making an excellent work. We are talking about one investigator with several years within the Police", said Carlos Anjos, the ASFIC/PJ union president.
A source from the Judiciary Police explains that the change in the leadership of the DIC of Portimão resulted from 'adjustments' done in the new directorship cast, appointed yesterday by the national director [Almeida Rodrigues]. In that scope the superior coordinator José Brás, who left his job as responsible for the Central Investigation Department to Drug Traffiking [DCITE] in 2007, will now hold the command at the Judiciary Police Department in Lisbon.
José Brás chose as assistants Vítor Alexandre and Paulo Rebelo, who, in this way, returns to Lisbon without being able to unravel the most mediatized case in the last years.
Guilhermino Encarnação, a joint national director, responsible for the Directory of Faro at the moment when Madeleine McCann disappeared, may be the next confirmed casualty in this case. The man who became known in the investigation for having prevented Gonçalo Amaral from carrying out the interrogation of Kate McCann at a moment when she was, according to several inspectors who were present on location, “ready to talk”, has been on long-term leave due to health issues and is not returning to active anymore. in The Many 'casualties' of the Maddie Case
Described by Guilhermino Encarnação, up to now director of the Judiciary Police of Faro, as "someone who does not like media exposure", Ana Paula Rito saw herself involved in a case* where the MP accused her of violation of the secrecy of justice. In question where declarations made to the media (she read a statement) relative to the solution of an abandoned baby inside a shopping cart of a shopping centre in Faro, in May 2005. The case was closed last year and Ana Paula Rito was exonerated.
The Team is all New
With the return of Paulo Rebelo to Lisbon all the men that lead the investigation to Maddie's disappearance are 'out of scene'. The first to go was Gonçalo Amaral, removed in October 2007. To his place was nominated the then national assistant director, Paulo Rebelo. Now, it's the turn of a woman, Ana Paula Rito, to show what she is worth. The alterations in the PJ's hierarchy include the substitution of Guilhermino Encarnação at the Directorship of Faro. To his place it will go the deputy attorney general Luís Manuel Maia Mota Carmo, up to now placed in Tavira.
*Case of the Abandoned Baby
The case of the Inspector Ana Paula Rito resulted from a complaint of the Public Ministry (MP) for the alleged breach of the confidentiality of the investigation. It started with the release of a Judiciary Police communiqué on the arrest of the mother of a baby with few months which was abandoned. The child was found in a shopping cart in the car park of the Forum Algarve in Faro, in April 2004. Clarifications were requested from the PJ, after the case was solved, and the inspector made a statement to the press, since it was a case that raised social alarm. The MP felt that details were disclosed than those permitted, and advanced with a criminal process. The Inspector was absolved.