29 October 2014

'In the Maddie case the English institute took a year to make the DNA tests whilst we took only two months'


Duarte Nuno Vieira photo by Miguel Silva

Duarte Nuno Vieira, the former president of the Portuguese National Institute of Forensic Medicine [acronym INML], has left, about a month ago, the board of an institution that he spearheaded for 13 years, for feeling "hostility". He laments the way in which he was dismissed by the Justice Minister [Paula Teixeira da Cruz] and guarantees that he never increased his own salary. In the future, he will work for privates and create a Lusophone [Portuguese - Lusitano, from Latin Lusitanus of Lusitania (ancient region corresponding approximately to modern Portugal)] Human Rights Observatory.

'Forensic sciences should not be under the tutelage of the police or magistratures'

by Sónia Graça

You left the Institute on the 26 September. Why did you decide to leave?

For three reasons. Firstly, because I got invitations for extremely attractive projects which in someway would be incompatible with me staying at the institute. Then, for some of the discomfort felt in the environment that we live in the delegation in the Centre of Portugal [Coimbra], where I worked, and also for some displeasure related to an obvious hostility from some elements of the current direction in relation to my person.

What is the feeling of leaving an institution you presided for 13 years?

Some sadness and nostalgia. It means 28 years of my life. This is an institution in whose creation and development I committed myself deeply. When I got here, there was no national institute, but three (one in Porto, another in Coimbra and another one in Lisbon), all working virtually with their backs turned, and there was an almost total absence of forensic services in the rest of the country. Today the entire country is covered. I also had the pleasure of creating the medical speciality of forensic medicine and of placing it on par with the other fields.

You were removed in November, last year and accused of increasing salaries without the authorization the tutelage. Is that true?

The dispatch that ceases my duties was based only on an organic recomposition. No member of the Institute increased their own wages. Since 2007, when it was published a new organic law, we sent multiple letters to successive persons responsible at the Ministry [of Justice] alerting that there was a need for the salary of members of the governing board to be set. The law states that we were entitled to opt for the original wage plus 35%. In my case it was about 3,500 euros net wage. Because we were in a situation of manifest irregularity, we asked for an assessment to the legal department that clearly stated that this is a way to solve the problem and for us to be paid what we were entitled. I opted for the original wage like other board members did. And no overseeing body has ever censored that decision.

But did you report those adjustments to the Government?

Of course. That decision was taken still under the previous Government and was reported to them. After this Minister begun her term it was also reported to her.

Did you get a reply?

The previous Government that had ceased their secondment could no longer make a decision. From the current Government we never got a reply (which if different, could only mean increasing the wages) - not to this, nor to several other requests which were fundamental to the day-to-day management of the institution.

Is it true that you had already express your desire to leave to the Minister?

No,because the Minister never received me. However inside and outside the institute my intention was already known. Since 2012 I made repeated requests, by phone, by email and circular letters, to the chief of cabinet to have an audience with the lady Minister. In March 2013, I stated in the recorded minutes of a meeting of the governing board what my intention was, that as soon she received me I was going to request for a replacement. This, because it seemed to me that after all those years it would be wrong to resign by letter. I was finally summoned, by fax, for a hearing on November 13, when the cabinet office knew I was in Ghana, in a UN mission (between the 7 and 15). I admit that they did not inform the Minister, but the truth is that when I was summoned, I was unable to return before the 14th. In the evening of 15 November, the institute received a fax from the Ministry, signed by an advisor, communicating me of a dispatch stating my functions as president had ceased.

How did you feel?

I felt hurt, it would be hypocritical of me not to assume it. Over time, I also had to fire some people I worked with and I always did it eye to eye. Obviously the lady Minister has every right to choose with whom she prefers to work. What hurt me most were the insinuations in some media, trying to associate my departure to the wages.

After 13 years, what improved in Forensic Medicine?

A lot was improved. From the facilities and working conditions to the forensic technical procedures, to the scientific investigation, education and training. People are unaware, but when I arrived to the Forensic Medicine [30 years ago], in some cases, autopsies were made in the open-air. I still remember the counties where they were made, ​​inside barracks in the middle of cemeteries, without running water or electricity. There was no respect for the dignity of the victims and of the experts. There were no minimal conditions, based on technical and scientific rules, of protocols or standardized models. There was no guarantee of the chain of custody, each one worked his own way, there were no regular meetings or conferences, there was no internship program ...

But the slowness of the tests is a flaw pointed out by different judicial operators.

That was a false issue some newspapers overemphasized. When I left, there were about 2% of delays in an institute that made over 180 thousand to 200 thousand forensic tests per year. This represents about four thousand forensic tests delayed. Things in Forensic Medicine don't happen like in the CSI TV series. I always give the Maddie case as an example: the Forensic Science Service, in the United Kingdom, took almost a year to make the DNA tests whilst we had the results by the end of two months.

The DNA database proved ineffective...

It was an enormous civilizational advancement. From a technical and scientific standpoint, it is an international reference. We were one of the very few databases when subjected to international inspection that was approved right the first time. From the functional point of view, it happened what I had foreseen at the time and for which I was even criticized: the law is too restrictive and does not allow to expand the database, especially since it depends on the ruling of a magistrate [judge].

Does it make any sense to have an institute and a Police Laboratory of Forensic Science (LPC​​)?

I defended publicly that there was no point we had a duplication of means and that there should be a single national institute of forensic science. Forensic sciences should not be under the tutelage of the police or magistratures. In fact, that is a recommendation of the American Academy of Sciences. By this I don't mean to imply that many police laboratories, including the LPC, do not work with impartiality, but this does not always happen in every country. It's not enough for Caesar's wife to be serious, it is also necessary that she appears to be...

What are you going to do now?

I will remain connected to the public service. My reference place is of being a professor in the Faculty of Medicine. I have always considered myself primarily an academic and it is that world I enjoy above all. Moreover, I will put my knowledge available to those who understand it may be useful: forensic tests for insurance companies, lawyers, victims... In international terms, I will continue as a consultant to the UN, for the International Red Cross, for Amnesty International and other organizations. Meanwhile, I was appointed as the chairman of the scientific council of the International Criminal Court Prosecutor and of the scientific board of the Association for the Prevention of Trauma and the Violation of Human Rights, that was created this year in Coimbra. I would like to found, together with other colleagues, a Lusophone Human Rights Observatory in the PALOPs to develop projects of investigation in this field. These are all Humanitarian projects, non-profit. Projects abound.

Do you feel that you are more recognized abroad?

It's an issue that does not worry me. But I was particularly heartened to have been awarded this year's Douglas Lucas Medal award, precisely because it is attributed by colleagues who are references in international forensic sciences.

in newspaper SOL, Oct. 23 2014

12 comments:

  1. :h NOT QUITE CLEAR WHAT TO MAKE OF IT

    Either he is against the British meddling in Portuguese forensic affairs and the others are subservient nerds curtsying The Queen or, as himself puts it...

    "He will work for privates" - implying perhaps The Fund - and create a Lusophone Human Rights Observatory. - implying perhaps the McCanns' VIP rights were not respected for being investigated by the PJ in the first place :o

    Now seriously. Am-I being too cynical?

    Okay! Perhaps it is the other way around and he will speak out loud and clear about what Scotland Yard is up to.

    What they did actually find in two-months as opposed to the British comedy of errors and boycotts that went on for a year or so. May be he was trying to tell us something here...

    It is also possible Her Majesty government has ordered Steps-Rabbit to discredit him by forcing him to resign. "Get that sardine-muncher out of our way!" but that, again, is unlikely as the Rabbit is busy with the Sticks and Carrots dished out by Angela Merker and the IMF...

    That said, I don't see anyone in Portugal with sufficient executive power and "cojones" to say "enough is enough" and order the McCanns, their alleged "swinging friends" - the one with paedophile-like behaviour in particular - to be brought back to Portugal for trial and...

    .... see what their multi-million, international team of designer lawyers, global reputation managers, Con (or Lab) prime-ministers and top influences in the Portuguese legal system (e.g. Marinho "Photoshop" Pinto) could do against a no-non-sense independent and determined judicial system...

    Let us wait and see. May be there is nothing to it. It is all conspiracy theory.

    Poor McCanns' - if only they had not medicated (?) and abandoned their children to their fate night after night - as some conspiracy theorists have alleged and Mrs. Fenn witness statement seems to support.

    Sue Sky

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  2. PAT BROWN'S LATEST...

    Let's Talk about Curtains

    Anyone who works in a lab that tests hotel bedspreads from a crime scene can tell you that they may find dozens and dozens of DNA samples on just one item, perhaps even semen from more than two dozen men. Why is this? Because hotels don't wash bedspreads very often.

    Now, let's talk about curtains. How often do you think curtains in rental flats are washed? Yeah, about as often as those hotel bedspreads; actually, probably far less often because curtains are not usually a place where spilled drinks and food, vomit, pee, or semen tend to land. Unless those curtains get really disgusting (full of cigarette smoke, for example), they probably hang around without getting a wash for quite a long while.

    And while they are hanging around, they are touched quite often.....open, close, open, close, open, close. So, if you want to find a location in a rental unit that might still have a lot of DNA from a number of people, you just might choose the curtains.

    After, you test them, you would then have to run down everyone who ever stayed in the unit (and their friends who visited) and all the employees who might have entered the room in order to exclude anyone who have had reason to be there. You could then try to match the DNA to known criminals if you have their DNA or their DNA is in a data bank.

    Of course, in the end, if you still have some DNA that can't be matched to anyone, you can always suspect that mysterious DNA be the calling card of some unknown person who committed some terrible crime that happened in that location.

    Just saying.


    Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

    (Quote/unquote)

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  3. Interesting to note that the Portuguese minister of Justice, Paula Teixeira da Cruz, does not seem to see eye-ball to eye-ball with the operatic Marinho "Photoshop" Pinto - which some conspiracy theorists have argued to be on the Fund's payroll as a pro-McCann witness in the on-going McTrial of "Big Rock" Amaral...

    I am not quite sure what to make of this new development.

    Either Nuno Vieira is pro-McCann and the Portuguese minister stands for "enough of this non-sense" or Nuno Vieira left because of his organization subservience to Scotland Yard's one-sided strategy.

    Far fetching? Well, let us not forget that the facilitating attitude (to put it mildly) of the Portuguese so far...

    May be he simply left because someone is paying him more money or...

    May be he left because he had to and is above suspicions...

    One thing is for sure - is academic and professional tracks cannot even start to compare with the toilet...sorry! I mean... with the laboratory attendants of the defunct, pro-Government and pro-McCann FSS (Birmingham) who bungled up the forensics in the first place.

    We will soon find out, after learning the kind of DNA strategic results Scotland Yard will come up with but... for that we shall have to wait until the trial resumes and Burson-Marsteller pulls its global media strings.

    May be "Little Red Riding Wood's" team were just trying to find out what the Portuguese really had in store, in order to know how far they can push the odds when framing those "suspects". Not the real suspects, of course! The chosen ones!

    This is all conspiracy theory of course! No allegations made!

    Very much like the conspiracy about "The 9/11 Cover-up". Meanwhile let us not forget Clarence Mitchell and his immortal line (was his line was it not?) "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!".

    OK so may be it was Tony Blair's line but was not "Mickey Mouse" at the the time the head of the government Media Monitoring Unit? Very much as he is now the Head of Burson-Marsteller and The McCanns' Reputation Management Unit ?

    Sue Brunt

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  4. Again, I ask what happened to the floortiles from behind the sofa in the 5a apartment. The dogs signed that blood and cadaver traces were there. Those tiles hold the real evidence and appear to have disappeared...

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  5. This Duarte Vieira was nominated as an expert in the Ségalat case (a CNRS investigator accused to have thrown his step mother down a staircase) and insisted vehemently that it wasn't an accident, against the head ot the Paris Legal Medicine Institute and a Swiss Prof.
    About 10 years ago he didn't react like a gentle man, to say the least, in a car accident that killed one lady, he argued she had no belt... and that his car only bumped into the other, judging that it wasn't enough to induce a disaster..
    He had many VIP to testify he was a honest guy..
    http://www.publico.pt/sociedade/jornal/presidente-do-instituto-de-medicina-legal-acusado-de-homicidio-involuntario-167284

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  6. Tens reticencia em criticar Duarte Vieira, Joana ?
    Apesar de o titulo do artigo ser um puro aldrabice..

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  7. Can you confirm that Jill Haverns forum has been removed as per today?

    A new post about mr Bennett is now heading the list, when you google her name

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  8. @7 Google stopped indexing the pages of that site and plenty others, such as this blog.

    They will appear in other search engines still. Requests don't need to prove slander, just ask for the right to be forgotten from the internet.

    If you google search "joana morais" there's an warning at bottom "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. Learn more"

    But what they've done to "The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann" forum is much worse, it should come on google at first result entry and nothing.

    It does appear on first result entry if you google for "jillhavern.forumotion.net" but before it had, like my blog, several results entries, connected to the first result.

    It's clear case of censorship, no doubt.

    Links affected on this blog, warned by google and by lawyers representing their clients were so far (only aware of this two):

    http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2008/01/murats-clones.html
    http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2009/03/max-mosley-gerry-mccann-clarence.html

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  9. The people in the whole world very angry of the Portugal government they let Mr Amaral wait seven years for his case story, they rather listen to Mccanns lie story. They have given Portugal a bad name. How can they listen to them when they know all the stories have not been true and not listen to their own police, Mr Amaral who had the true story. This has nothing to do with his book its just the truth what he wrote and its time they finish the case. If it was in any other country the Mccanns would have been arrested. don't forget Mr Smiths evidence people believe they know where Madeleine is. they should have made them answer the questions, separately. The British police believe something happened to Madeleine in the flat.

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  10. Dear Joana, I am getting Joana Morais top of the list, complete as usual here on my side (somewhere in the UKGB) but of course you may be right.

    On the other hand Jill Havern Forum is not popping-up anymore! Oh! Dear! Pro-McCann crap (pass the colloquialism) pops-up first.

    This is a new development probably instigated by Burson-Marsteller departments of "E-fluentials", Crowdverb" and/or some other Mickey Mouse Mitchell's bunch of wise-cracks..

    :h What has the world come to?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I note the remarks of Anne Guedes - I love her work BTW - in relation to Nuno Duarte Vieira.

    I agree that the car incident and his attitude in relation to it may point to a flaw in his character but could it not also denote a deep rationalistic approach to Life? Kind of professional deformation?

    He is probably just saying: "Hey guys! I am not the bad mother you are painting! What about the victim's over-reaction? What about the fact she was not wearing a security belt? What this? What that? - all of which are good points, depending of course on which side you are on.

    Personally, I am also more inclined to sympathize with the dead victim but I must give the living victim (Duarte Vieira) the benefit of a doubt. Call me partial!

    The point Ms. Guedes seems to miss is:

    Does Nuno Duarte Vieira cease to be a top-notch professional as a result of his attitude way back when? Has anyone asked him what does he think of it now?

    Ms. Guedes points to flaws in his behaviour or character which I take on board (the one concerning the accident, the other I did not quite get what she was driving at) but...

    .... has she anything positive to say about Duarte-Vieira professional status vis a vis FSS (Birmingham) AKA "The Bunglers". "Um puro aldrabice?" :o

    "Como assim?"

    Sue Brunt

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  11. Sue, Duarte Vieira was exonerated after managing an excellent defence. He was on a private trip in an official car.. But I mainly didn't like the manner than the matter of what he said, how could he know that his bump in a car from behind wasn't able to disturb the lady driver ?
    And also how, just reading an autopsy report, could he violently argue that Ségalat had killed his step mother (who brought him up and adored him) ?
    I first heard of Duarte Vieira in a French documentary about the Ségalat case. I was shocked enough to make a google search. That's how I discovered the accident case. It was many years ago and I forgot. Reading the article, something in his manner again made me suddenly wonder, I did a little google search...
    I think that the title is abusive. The "dogs" samples from beginning of August were partly analysed one month later. The FSS could have certainly drawn more conclusions than they did, but it would have cost a fortune and finally perhaps only discarded the presence of a body in the car boot, which imo was implausible.

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  12. what is taking place now .....is all part of the cover up strategy.

    Over the last 7 years - false elements of the case have been deliberately thrown out there... for the cunning SY to join together ...then finally slot the last piece of the jigsaw together ...close the case with no chance of reopening and cover up is complete.

    Retire with golden handshake and off to work for dandelion and burdock - giving professional opinions on future cases.
    You all know the words to describe such people.

    There supporters are trying so hard to steer the story - that if you invert what they say you get closer to the truth lol ....they have been giving the game away for a long time in their attempts to cover up the murder ? death of a child.

    There are very many involved in this cover up who have been duped and are to scared to speak out - the action plan was in place before the child was reported missing - however there was a disaster with its execution.

    I believe they had arranged for Madeleine to be collected from the apartment and taken away via a driver.
    It didn't happen as planned and i believe he/she left the scene without carrying out the arranged plan throwing everything into chaos.

    This left them with having to move Madeleine quickly and were having to think on their feet.
    It also explains why they have had to make up and change their statements along the way.

    Portugal will hand over the samples and assist in the cover up - rest assure.
    There's alot of people involved in this disgusting saga ...far more than people can believe and some are VIPs.

    Its obvious what is happening - don't rely on justice to work in silence - Its not going to work at all, if left to any officials either in the UK or Portugal.

    2 peas in a pod as said before.

    need to break the power base and people will speak out - they are in fear for their lives with the forces involved.

    Mojo

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