by João C. Rodrigues
The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in Praia da Luz, in May 2007, started as if it was an abduction. But “Kate and Gerry McCann were made arguidos because the elements that were collected during the investigation pointed towards death, simulation of abduction and concealment of the child’s cadaver”, chief inspector Tavares de Almeida, one of the PJ investigators who held the case until he was removed from it – in early September 2007 – when he requested the change of the coercion measures into preventive custody “to prevent them from leaving Portugal”, said in court yesterday.
“We always spoke about an accidental death. Even prosecutor Magalhães Menezes [holder of the process] believed in Maddie’s death, just like Kate herself, at a given point in time. But the PJ does not have the power to accuse and the process was archived”, Tavares de Almeida explained – in front of the McCann couple – during the first session of the opposition to the injunction that prohibited the sale of former PJ inspector Gonçalo Amaral’s book ‘The Truth of the Lie’.
“The dogs detected blood and cadaver odour in the apartment and in the rented car. And all that was collected was [done] jointly with members of the Birmingham laboratory, in order to avoid any discrepancies. But, as incredible as this may sound, after the first result showed that 15 out of 19 alleles from the sample of Madeleine’s DNA coincided, they came and said that they had contaminated the samples”, Tavares de Almeida accused.
The thesis of death and cadaver concealment was also defended by inspector Ricardo Paiva, who served as the liaison officer between the PJ and the British family. “I share Gonçalo Amaral’s statement in the book. Maddie dies, probably in a tragic accident, and all indications point towards the parents concealing the cadaver”, he stated.
The thesis was defended by the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Unit, Luís Neves – ‘the simulation of abduction, concealment of cadaver and accidental death are possibilities’ – and by prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes – ‘it is more likely that the child is dead’.
English surveillance hampers investigation
“There were English elements here, incognito. We were targeted by surveillance and highly controlled by the English authorities”, Tavares de Almeida accused. “And official cooperation was done at the measure of the Anglo-Saxon authorities. For example, when we requested information from England, still during the investigation into the abduction thesis, it never arrived”, he stresses. Ricardo Paiva explained that three British agencies were involved – Leicester Police, NPIA and Scotland Yard – and that many of the diligences were suggested by them.
source: Correio da Manhã, 13.01.2010