21 October 2013
Key witness identified Maddie's father
Gonçalo Amaral reveals that key deposition was devalued at the time of disappearance
by Sara G. Carrilho
"The testimony of one of the members of the Smith family that identified Gerry McCann as being the man he saw on the night that Maddie disappeared, carrying a child in his arms as he walked towards the beach was devalued after I left the case. It is a lie that the e-fit that the British police now made public is based on the Smith family's witness statement."
The statements are from Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ coordinator who investigated the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, to Correio da Manhã. They appear following the publication of e-fits by the Scotland Yard that point one of the drawings out as being that of the main suspect over the presumed abduction of the English child, on the 3rd of May of 2007 - which they say was based on the testimony of an Irish family that was on holiday in Praia da Luz when Maddie disappeared.
"The Smith family told us what they saw that night. A man, a foreigner, of athletic build, a sunburned face, like those of tourists, who was hiding his face in order not to be seen, carrying a blonde child in his arms", Gonçalo Amaral said. "A short time later, when the McCann family 'fled' to the United Kingdom, and were welcomed by the television at the airport, a member of the Smith family called us, very upset. Gerry [Maddie's father], who was leaving the plane, was the man that Mr Smith had seen carrying a child that night", the former coordinator explained.
For Gonçalo Amaral, "there was a positive identification, which was set aside". "The McCann hired detectives who made a portrait, a man that resembled Gerry, in order to devalue the deposition", he concluded.
in: Correio da Manhã, 21.10.2013