Interviews with PJ’s National Director, Alípio Ribeiro II
Alipio Ribeiro on Maddie's Case
Question: Do you consider or not that there was a precipitation in establishing Kate and Gary (the journalist doesn’t say Gerry) as arguidos (suspects) in this process?
Alípio Ribeiro: In this moment, at this point in time, with the experience that I have of the magistracy from the Public Ministry… even, as you may know the constitution of arguidos in the processes are not… the director of the Judiciary, doesn’t give orders, constitute or not constitute, and he cannot. …maybe, there should have been another assessment. For that I have no doubts.
Question: There was some precipitation then?
Alípio Ribeiro: There was some precipitation. (asserting)
Público - an excerpt from Alípio Ribeiro's interview:
03.02.2008, Paula Torres de Carvalho (PÚBLICO) e Celso Paiva (RR)
"There was a certain precipitation" in making Kate and Gerry McCann arguidos.
To what point did the Maddie case and the criticism that has been wrapped around it, shake the PJ?
It is, without a doubt, a high profile case that has gained an extraordinary media dimension. I have not felt any internal criticism. We have dedicated all our knowledge to this case, we have incorporated our best [people] into the investigation, and there is a multidisciplinary team of officers still working on it, but the whole process is a work of patience.
There has clearly been an unequal treatment when compared to other cases of missing people in Portugal. Why? Was there pressure from the English?
There have been no cases of unequal treatment.
How many people go missing and they do not benefit from all the investment that was made into this specific case of Maddie...
We have no other missing persons cases with this dimension. You have to understand that this case is difficult, to start with.
Was all of this investment due to pressure from the English?
What did you discuss with the English ambassador, when you met him?
I have spoken to the ambassador several times. The first one was on the morning after the disappearance, when he told me about his concern over the child's disappearance and informed me about the English police's availability to cooperate.
It is well known that the PJ was confronted with a scenario of great difficulty when they arrived on location. But there were some procedures that were considered by some observers as mistakes within the criminal investigation. For example, the fact that the location of the disappearance was not immediately sealed. How do you face the criticism, that came mainly from England?
I don't think we ever had that type of criticism from the English policemen. We have always talked with them, we have told them what we were doing and we never received any criticism from them. That is what is important to us.
Wasn't the removal of inspector Gonçalo Amaral from the directory in Portimao due, in part, to the recognition of those failures in the investigation?
The gentleman left for obvious reasons. He made statements that should not be made within that context.
Do you consider that there was precipitation in constituting Kate and Gerry McCann as arguidos, or not?
At this moment, at this distance, with the experience that I have as a magistrate (* see note) of the Public Ministry, I think that maybe there should have been another evaluation. I don't have any doubts about that.
There was some precipitation?
There was some precipitation.
* Alípio Ribeiro exact words on the interview are "with the experience that I have of the magistracy from the Public Ministry" not "with the experience that I have as a magistrate of the Public Ministry". The Público journalists are wrong in their transcript.