by José Bento Amaro
Present and former Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspectors are indignant about the recording of the television documentary that Gerry and Kate McCann – the parents of Madeleine, who disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz, almost two years ago – filmed in the Algarve, during the weekend. And they recall that the couple and its friends refused to participate in the reconstitution that the PJ wanted to carry out in 2007.
“We’re looking at a clear process of whitewashing of the situation”, former coordinator of the PJ’s investigations Gonçalo Amaral told ‘Público’ yesterday, further mentioning that “the theatre play” that was carried out in Praia da Luz “is not even complete, because one of the main characters is missing, doctor David Payne”.
The former senior PJ officer understands that David Payne should have been summoned by the McCanns, given the fact that it was him who, right after the child’s disappearance was communicated, on the 3rd of May 2007, prevented other persons, namely an employee of the English Social Services (who happened to be in the area) from adopting measures. “That’s right. The doctor who used to bathe the children is missing, the doctor whom an English couple complained about, in England, on the 16th of May, over something that happened with an underage daughter of theirs, in Mallorca, in 2005”, Gonçalo Amaral added.
The former investigator further recalls that last weekend’s action possesses no juridical value whatsoever, and regretted that when Madeleine went missing, “there was no courage to counter the political pressures that led to the archiving of the process” and that prevented “the execution of a reconstitution that might even have led to conclusions beyond the hypothesis of a mere accident as being the little girl’s cause of death”. For Gonçalo Amaral, the little girl’s parents, together with David Payne, remain the main suspects – “I remember well that he [Gerry McCann] said, in May 2007, that in two years, we’ll all be back here [in Praia da Luz]. And in fact, two years on, here he is…”, he added.
The reading that Amaral makes from the McCann family’s filming in the Algarve is practically the same that is made, individually, by the president of the PJ’s Criminal Investigation Workers Union (ASFIC). Carlos Anjos said that ASFIC does not adopt an official position in this case because “the English are free to do what they want”. Nevertheless, he understands that we’re looking at “an image cleaning, through a reconstitution that is worth rigorously nothing”.
“A reconstitution only has value when all the persons that intervened when the facts took place, are present, which is not the case. This is a theatre play and it doesn’t match what happened, but rather what they [the McCann family] wish had happened”, Carlos Anjos added.
The McCanns’ presence in Praia da Luz has not been well accepted by the majority of the local population. After an immense wave of solidarity that appeared as soon as the disappearance of Madeleine became known, Gerry and Kate would be looked at with suspicion when they were made arguidos in the process.
Their popularity would suffer even further when they left the Algarve, headed for England, from where they would then, surrounded by a team of lawyers and advisors, impute responsibilities to the Portuguese authorities. Two years after the child’s disappearance, business in Praia da Luz gets worse by the day.
At the resort where the couple stayed, 21 out of 48 employees have been dismissed, due to financial inviability.
Yesterday, as a kind of consolation, the English family’s spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, lamented the “negative impact of the case on the local economy”.
source: Público, 07.04.2009