Gonçalo Amaral is going to request the political parties and the Republic’s President an audience, after his book “Maddie – The Truth of the Lie” was ordered apprehended by a judge at Lisbon’s Civil Court. The former inspector thinks that freedom of expression is under threat, at a time when new facts concerning Maddie’s disappearance may come to light
by José Leite
How do you comment on the apprehension of your book, “Maddie – The Truth about the Lie”? Do you think there’s the “hand” of the McCanns in this? Has the book started to be apprehended from the stores?
My comment is a concerned one, as an author and as a citizen who still holds his full civil rights. I remind you that I left the PJ in June last year, in order to recover my freedom of expression and that, 15 months later, they want to strip me of that freedom. The “hand” is evident: those persons filed the request for the injunction. I have no idea if the book has started to be apprehended, the fact is that it hadn’t been sold for months and now it seems to be sold out.
How many copies have been sold?
I don’t know the number of copies that have been sold, it seems that those persons know more than I do, they must hold privileged information.
If your appeal wins, do you intend to sue the judge who prohibited the sale of your book, and the McCanns, over the damages?
As you know, it is not yet possible, in this democratic, lawful country, to notify judicial decisions through the media, at least when those affect and restrict fundamental rights. I will not pronounce myself about the illustrious judge, because I respect, obey and believe in the judicial system, and mainly because I do not know the fundament and the contents of the decision. As far as the authors of the injunction are concerned, I will exercise my rights, whether in a civil or in a criminal court.
When you mention limitations on the freedom of expression in Portugal, are you solely referring to your case, or also to other recent cases, like that of TVI? Or the processes that were filed against “bloggers” who disturbed the socialist power, especially José Sócrates?
It’s not me that says it, it’s the politicians who speak about an asphyxia of democracy in this 21st century Portugal, 35 years after the [revolution of the] 25th of April. There are limitations to the freedom of expression, there are journalists who are prevented from informing, this is a tragic reality. On the other hand, I do not point my finger at any specific party, the limitations come from those in power, who are possibly disturbed by the objectivity and the freedom that assists those who write and who have the duty to inform. As an attentive citizen, my opinion is that the concentration and the monopoly of the media have prompted a crisis and are limiting the freedom of information, of opinion and of expression. The journalists have become employees of corporations, more interested in profit than in informing (maybe not in its entirety, but it is close).
Has anyone at the PJ shown his or her solidarity with what has happened to you?
My friends stand with me. As far as others are concerned, it needs to be recalled that the PJ, just like other institutions, is going through an electoral period and some fear changes, therefore no major solidarity should be expected from there.
When will the English version of the book be launched?
It will be launched, that is all that I can tell you right now.
Do you think it was a mere coincidence, the fact that the judge who decided over the apprehension of your book was the same who condemned the Portuguese State to pay 131 thousand euro of compensation to Paulo Pedroso?
I trust the judicial system and its independence, therefore I’m not commenting on the coincidence, which is probably just that, but we are attentive.
Don’t you think that there is a personal persecution against you, after you saw your pretension to run for mayor for the Algarve’s PSD, dismissed?
That’s a good question. Two or three days before the president of PSD vetoed my name, the now author of the injunction was in Lisbon. According to what is being said, he met with his then lawyer and with a politician from that party. We are interested in confirming said meeting and its relation with the decision that affected my civil right to be elected.
What hidden interests – masonry, national and international political lobbies – are moving in order to set you up?
I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, there may be coincidences concerning the people who are trying to destroy me, but on the other hand, I have been receiving support from people who are connected to the masonry. I do not believe in any concerted effort to destroy me, this is something personal, not organised.
Should Maddie’s parents worry about the fact that Gonçalo Amaral mentioned that he is going to continue, in private, to investigate the case of the disappearance of little Maddie? What passage of your book may have disturbed them most?
The authors of the injunction are worried about the fact that I am a rather experienced criminal investigator. My book tells about that experience and knowledge. Many books have been published about the little girl’s disappearance, some more aggressive and more violent, but written by journalists, and they were not targeted by any injunction. The authors of the injunction fear my knowledge and my experience.
One of the new facts that have already been revealed by our newspaper – and that was also mentioned during the McCanns’ interview with Oprah Winfrey – concerns a blanket that disappeared from the Ocean Club and that, allegedly, was used as a shroud during a funeral. Could that be one of the worries for those who persist in preventing the discovery of the entire truth about what happened to little Maddie?
I’ll explain: this child, like so many others of her age, slept with a certain blanket and with a certain soft toy. During that interview that you mention, the interviewer spoke to the mother, saying that she knew about her concern in knowing if the abductor covered her with “her blanket”. So far, nothing much. Now notice this, the blanket was left behind when the disappearance happened. There is documentation that proves that it was not taken with her, and there is no known testimony saying that it was seen when she was being carried away in a man’s arms.
What is being asked is the following: Was this a gaffe by the interviewer? Was “her blanket” the one that was left behind? How did “her blanket” go back to the child? These are the questions that need an answer and at the very least, they may indicate that there is something wrong.
Is there any other fact in the process that should be investigated further?
Yes. To find out why the soft toy that the little girl used the most – and that was later used by Kate McCann in all of her public appearances – was washed before the sniffer dogs, that are experts in detecting cadaver odour, arrived in Portugal.
Do you continue to defend that the key to the mystery lies in Aldeia da Luz?
We have no doubts whatsoever. That is where the little girl disappeared from and where she was seen for the last time. A reconstruction is still necessary.
Does this episode of the veto on the book give you strength to proceed with your investigation, or to publish more books about this case?
They want to destroy me. They started out by attacking my good name, my honour and my professional pride. Now they want to attack my patrimony, apart from affecting my civil rights, the freedom of expression and of opinion. What is still left is freedom and life, will the next step be an attack against those? I have reasons to be afraid, but they won’t shut me up, and this sad and worrying episode will give me strength to proceed and to contribute towards the discovery of the truth and the fulfilment of justice. God protect me, but they won’t shut me up.
Attorney General receives information that may reopen the Maddie case
We have been informed that psychologist Paulo Sargento, a regular commentator of the Maddie case on television, has sent the Republic’s Attorney General a letter with information that may reopen the “Maddie case” process.
Although he declined to reveal the contents of this letter, he advanced that there is something “very important” concerning the cuddle cat (Maddie’s soft toy, that Kate often carried with her during her media appearances), an object which, as has been made public, was positively signalled with cadaver odour by the sniffer dogs. Together with “Maddie’s blanket”, the pink soft toy may be a starting point to reopen the process “at a time when, apart from an attempt to silence Gonçalo Amaral, through an injunction against his book ‘The Truth of the Lie’, a shameful picture of an attack on the family of the former inspector, by the British media, is starting to emerge”, the psychologist told Semanário Privado.
source: Semanário Privado, paper edition, 16.09.2009