“Despite everything, until a certain moment in the investigation, the [McCann] family sustained and fed the abduction thesis. Nevertheless, at an uncertain date, the family suggested to consult a person that might, eventually, indicate the probable location of little Madeleine’s cadaver. This fact became inexplicable to the members of the investigation, given the fact that it was the family members themselves who raised the possibility of little Maddie’s death.”
in Process 201/07.0GALGS, volume XVII, page 2594
Gonçalo Amaral's book did not add “anything new”
Two members of the Judiciary Police have stated yesterday in court, that Gonçalo Amaral's book did not add anything new to what was already known regarding the process of the investigation of the English child, who disappeared in the Algarve, in May 2007. The statements of this two witnesses, Luís Neves and Ricardo Paiva, concur with Gonçalo Amaral's defence argument, which alleges that the book written by the former coordinator of the Judiciary Police “contained nothing new, nothing that it wasn't published before”.
Gonçalo Amaral is being tried at Lisbon's Civil Court after a complaint from the McCanns, who claim the book “has deeply affected the family” and seek 1,2 million euros for alleged defamation. Inspector Ricardo Paiva, who was directly involved in the investigation, considered that the book did not add “anything new”.
Luís Neves, who coordinated part of the investigation and was the then director of the Judiciary Police Organized Crime Unit, stated the same. The judge ended up by ironically saying that the book had “misleading advertising”, since the cover promised “revelations” about the case.
Jornal de Notícias, Paper Edition, page 10, October 9, 2013
Gonçalo Amaral's book may have “misleading advertising”, said the Judge
Trial - PJ Director admitted that initial thesis of Maddie's abduction was rushed
by Valentina Marcelino [Translation Astro/JM]
The Judge at the 1st Civil Court of Lisbon who is presiding the McCann couple's lawsuit against the former PJ inspector - who defends the thesis of the parents' responsibility in their daughter Madeleine's death - suggested that Gonçalo Amaral's book may have “misleading advertising”, because contrary to what is announced on its back cover it does not contain “unique revelations” about the case of the disappearance of the little girl in 2007, in Praia da Luz.
The magistrate's conclusion followed the statements of one of Amaral's defence witnesses that was heard in court yesterday, the PJ inspector Ricardo Paiva, who took part in the investigative team. He stated that 'The Truth of the Lie' did not contain any more information than what was in the files of the process that has been shelved in the mean time, and made public. Thus Gonçalo Amaral's defence seeks to devalue the impact of the accusations that are contained in the book on the McCann family and to empty the arguments that sustain Gerry and Kate McCann's request for 1.2 million as compensation over moral damages.
“What are the 'revelations' in the book?” the judge asked Ricardo Paiva. “There is nothing new compared with the inquiry”, the inspector replied. “But it says the contrary on the back cover, it says that there are 'unique revelations'. What are those?”, the magistrate insisted. “They may be unique to those who bought the book and didn't read the case files”, Ricardo Paiva suggested. Ironically, the judge concluded “Then it's misleading advertising!”.
The McCann couple's lawyers, on the other hand, have been trying to demonstrate that the book contains a lot more information than the criminal process, namely the author's final conclusion that the little girl died in the apartment, which is the motive of the moral damage that was caused to the family.
During yesterday's session, the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Unit (UNCT) testified for Gonçalo Amaral's defence and implied that the abduction theory, with which the investigation started right after the little girl's disappearance, may have been rushed. “When Dr Guilhermino Encarnação [former PJ director] held the first press conference and spoke about an abduction, we still didn't know whether it was one thing or another”, he said. According to Luís Neves, an abduction expert, at the time, the signs that usually support this type of crime, like “a ransom note”, were missing. The director of UNCT also recalled that it was Maddie's parents who, being first to admit that their daughter might be dead, ended up indirectly triggering the arrival in Portugal of the English dogs that detected cadaver odour in the apartment where Maddie disappeared from. And that was when Amaral's thesis started to gain strength.
SIC guarantees that they were not approached
SIC [Portuguese television network and media company, which runs several television channels] was not approached to broadcast BBC's Crimewatch program on the “Maddie case”, contrary to what the English press published. Next Monday, on 14 October, the English TV channel, BBC, that broadcasts Crimewatch, promises to show a reconstruction of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. The script is a result of Scotland Yard's investigation. The British press assured that Portuguese TV channels refused to broadcast it, however when questioned by DN, an official source from SIC guaranteed that they were never contacted. RTP and TVI did not reply up to the closure of this edition.
Diário de Notícias, Paper Edition, page 19, October 9, 2013
Astro's update from the Court
The day in court has ended.
A brief update:
- Isabel Duarte did not attend, the plaintiffs were represented by another lawyer from her office.
Kate has also requested to be heard as a party. The judge will decide whether or not it is necessary/pertinent to hear Kate, Gerry and Gonçalo after all the witnesses have testified.
- Ricardo Paiva also said that after Gonçalo's book was published, the flux of information did not go down. The only changes happened around anniversaries of the disappearance, when it would go up. The judge asked what were the revelations of the book. Ricardo said that there were none.
- Tavares de Almeida was also heard via videolink. He was asked about his participation in the investigation, which ended in late September. There were no further questions because he said he had only read the last two pages of the book and had not seen the documentary.
- Luis Neves was the last witness before lunch. He read some parts of the book and did not see the documentary. He testified about the initial investigation thesis being that of an abduction, which was why his unit was involved early on. He was present during a meeting with the parents at the British Consulate in Portimão. That was the first time that the hypothesis of death was mentioned. It was the parents who first mentioned it. They wanted Krugel to be brought over with his machine. When the British officers saw Krugel's work and the area that he covered, they suggested the dogs. That was the start of a new angle to the investigation.
- After lunch, we heard Manuel Catarino. He followed the case as chief editor of Correio da Manhã. He read both the book and the files. The contents of book and files is the same. He also wrote a book because the case is of public interest. There was no difference of any kind in the reporting, before and after Gonçal Amaral's book.
- The last witness today was Moita Flores. He read the book but did not see the documentary. He has 18 years of experience as an investigator for the PJ, homicide division, and is a teacher in criminal investigation. He says that all theories are valid, except for one: an abduction through that window is completely impossible. He thinks the investigation made a fundamental mistake because it started only with the abduction theory. The classics teach that first one must look at who had access to the apartment. Solutions to crimes are usually the most simple ones. He was perplexed by the shelving of the investigation, as all of the contradictions between the parents and the friends had not been thoroughly investigated.
- The last witness for the day, Hernâni Carvalho, did not appear in court.
Jerry Lawton's [Daily Star Chief Crime Correspondent] tweets on Court session
- Gerry and Kate McCann and Goncalo Amaral have all now applied to the judge to give evidence at libel trial
- Judge says book cover says it contains `exclusive revelations'..`ok so then I have to conclude this is misleading advertising'
- Judge to Paiva: `What's new in the book that's not in the police files?' Paiva: `Nothing'
- Judge stops lawyers on both sides asking Amaral's former cop colleagues their conclusions on McCann case because `opinions' not `facts'
- Flores says `prophetic and dogmatic vision' behind current SY McCann probe. UK cops `only putting forward the hypothesis of abduction'
- Flores: McCann and Tapas 7 friends should have had their phones tapped because of `inconsistencies' in their statements.
- Retired cop Francisco Moita Flores said McCann probe was one of `most complex and well-investigated cases' he'd seen..Amaral `competent'
- Neves: Brit police suggested bringing in sniffer dogs..`not accepted lightly' due to `cost' and `no experience of it in Portugal'
- Neves: Kate driving force behind failed July 2007 search by controversial ex-Sth African cop Danie Krugel with body-finding machine
- Port police organised crime unit head Luis Neves said Amaral's conclusion Madeleine was dead was accepted early on by parents
- Paiva says everything in Amaral's book `can be found in the case files' which have been made public
- Contrary to McCann claim Paiva says publication of Amaral's book did not hinder the `flow of information' coming in to police
- Paiva: the book `contains the professional and personal opinions of Goncalo Amaral as a police officer'
- Former Portuguese police family liaison officer Ricardo Paiva tells McCann libel trial Amaral's book was `based on our investigation'
- Kate McCann asks judge for permission to give evidence at libel trial.
- Madeleine McCann libel trial resumes. Parents suing ex-cop Goncalo Amaral for £1m over his book's claims they covered up her death.
Similarities between the case files and Gonçalo Amaral's book
“From all that has been exposed, it results from the file that:
a) The minor Madeleine McCann died in apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, on the evening/night of the 3rd of May 2007;
b) an abduction was simulated;
c) in order to render the child’s death before 10 p.m. impossible, a situation of checking on the McCann couple’s children, while they slept, was made up;
d) Kate McCann and Gerald McCann are involved in the concealment of the cadaver of their daughter, Madeleine McCann;
e) at this moment in time, there seem to be no strong indications yet that the child’s death was not the result of a tragic accident;
f) from all that has been established up to this moment, everything indicates that the McCann couple, in auto defence, does not want to hand over the cadaver immediately and voluntarily, and that there is a strong possibility that it was moved from its initial location. This situation may raise questions concerning the circumstances under which the child’s death occurred.”
in Process 201/07.0GALGS, volume X, page 2601
“1. The minor, Madeleine McCann, died inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club, in Vila da Luz, on the evening/night of the 3rd of May, 2007;
2. An abduction was simulated;
3. Kate Healy and Gerald McCann are suspected of being involved in the concealment of their daughter’s cadaver;
4. Death may have resulted from a tragic accident;
5. There are indications of neglect in the guard and safety of their children.”
in Gonçalo Amaral's book, 'Maddie, The Truth of the Lie' [Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira], page 214