Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator responsible for the investigation into the disappearance of Maddie, does not want to hear the case that has left him on the verge of poverty. He is ill and barely has any money to eat.
|page 74, VIP magazine|
Eight days of searches, 60 thousand square meters of scrubland investigated to analyse fully the 41 soil anomalies and over half a million euros spent in the search operations that brought to Portugal a team of British officers and forensic investigators.
This was the balance of the searches carried out in the Algarve, in the Praia da Luz area, in Lagos. Under the guidance of the Scotland Yard and the assistance of the Portuguese Judiciary Police (PJ), in this way it was concluded the first stage of the rogatory steps requested in the scope of the Operation Grange, the name of the British investigation initiated in 2011 to review the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the little British girl who, on May 3, 2007, disappeared from the apartment rented by her parents in the Algarve.
The British police released a communiqué stating that "this is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally". Nevertheless, at the end of the searches, no traces of Madeleine were found. "At this time no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified", clarifies the press statement, admitting that the searches that took place in several sites in Praia da Luz, which included drainage channels, sewage systems and derelict buildings using sniffer dogs and georadar were fruitless.
|page 75, VIP magazine|
"At this point in time I don't even want to hear about the case". This was the reaction of Gonçalo Amaral, the former inspector of the Judiciary Police (PJ) and SIC TV channel commentator, when he was contacted by VIP magazine to give his opinion about the searches that took place in the Algarve. And his motives are simple: the former inspector faces serious financial difficulties allegedly due to the Madeleine McCann case. Besides that he suffers from a critical illness (diabetes in the last degree) which has weakened him immensely.
"He is very ill. He lost over 50 kilos [110 lbs] and he has locked himself in his father's house. He doesn't even go to Júlia Pinheiro's talk show in SIC any longer. The Maddie case has ruined his life, personally and professionally. Now with the searches that are being carried out in the Algarve, it seems that he was right after all. Even the British authorities now believe the girl may be dead. Otherwise these searches would make no sense whatsoever. It's funny how the McCanns are so silent", said a Judiciary Police officer from the Algarve, who accompanied the searches made by the British on the field. "Up to now, and even though there's plenty of material to analyse, only bones of cats and dogs were found. Of the child, not a single trace", he added.
Isabel Duarte, the McCann's lawyer for the civil lawsuits, confirms that statement. "As far as I know, no trace of the child was found. In fact, the McCanns themselves have been kept aside of these police investigations. We have no control about whatever is taking place". On his turn, Rogério Alves, the McCann's lawyer for the criminal processes, revealed that he also knows nothing about the investigations. "At this moment, there's nothing. But there are more steps requested by the Scotland Yard, namely the questioning of several persons who used to go ['attend' is the literal translation] to the Ocean Club. Let's wait serenely for the results of investigations", he stated to VIP.
It should be recalled that Gonçalo Amaral was the first Portuguese inspector responsible for the Maddie case and that five months after the disappearance of the English girl, he was removed from the investigation following the harsh criticism of his British colleagues, that he voiced publicly in an interview that he granted to a daily newspaper at the time.
|page 76, VIP magazine|
The Truth of the Lie, the book Gonçalo Amaral wrote reporting his version [and the police thesis as well] of the Maddie case, after he was removed from the investigation is allegedly at the basis of the former inspector serious financial hardships. In the book, Gonçalo Amaral defends that "the minor, Madeleine McCann died in the Ocean Club apartment, in the Luz village; a child abduction was staged; Kate Healy and Gerald McCann are suspects of being involved in the concealment of their daughter's cadaver; the death might have occurred following a tragic accident; there are evidence of negligence in the safekeeping and supervision of their children. We are conscient that we have given our best to solve this case. Our beliefs are based on professional experience, on facts and indicia collected and in their interpretation according to the law".
Statements which lead the parents of the child to sue the former inspector, seizing all his assets and pushing him to the financial situation where he finds himself in today. The book was taken off the markets in 2009, in the fulfilment of a judicial decision following an injunction made by Madeleine McCann's parents. The British couple froze all his bank accounts, seized his movable and immovable assets, and the inspector was left only with his retirement wage, which was eventually also seized by the couple.
"He only survives thanks to the solidarity of friends and family"
With the cuts in his wage and with expenses and increased costs of the medical treatments of his failing health, Gonçalo Amaral, assure the PJ sources, is destitute: "He only survives thanks to the solidarity of friends and family". This, even though in 2012 the copies of book the inspector wrote were returned to the book publishers Guerra e Paz Editores. However, the sales were never the same again and Gonçalo Amaral remains with all of his assets frozen, since the couple has made another appeal and other lawsuits.
It should be noted that, as to what VIP was able to establish, Maddie's parents no longer have the legitimacy to take legal proceedings related to the case, since they have already lost, by order of the English High Court, the tutelage of the missing child. In fact, according to the English law, after seven years if the body of a missing person isn't found, the person can be officially declared dead. Maddie's parents, however, have not yet applied for a death certificate.
Back in England, the British police revealed that "further requests are being compiled and will be submitted in due course". And they state that they will return to Portugal to question eight persons of interest, whom they affirm, may help clarify the case.
in VIP magazine, nº 883, weekly edition from 17 to 23.06.2014, pages 74 to 76, paper edition | photos in the VIP article of Mr. Amaral and the McCann couple are archive images
En Español en el blog de Mercedes
Em Português em PDF aqui
McCann Couple demand Gonçalo Amaral Divorce to be Rewarded
McCanns Want Amaral's Family Home
The Temporary Injunction: Granted on September 9, 2009
McCann couple demands books to be fully destroyed
Lisbon Appeals Court Decision on the McCann Couple Injunction
McCanns appeal to the Supreme Court to forbid Gonçalo Amaral’s book
Supreme Court turns down McCanns' request
Maddie Case: McCanns lose another legal complaint
Gonçalo Amaral - Maddie Case leads to Divorce
Ward of Court: Decision issued by Judge in Libel Trial