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Is the PJ going to shelve the Madeleine case?

Under the new Penal Code it would not be required to make the McCanns as arguidos

When Kate McCan was heard on the in September, at the Department of Criminal Investigation of Portimão of the PJ, several inspectors wanted to arrest her. However, the public prosecutor of Portimão, José Magalhães e Menezes, objected to that. Even so, and already after Gerry and Kate have returned to the United Kingdom, some researchers involved in the process maintained the conviction that they have evidence that could lead to the preventive arrest of the couple. Only the political pressure from the British has prevented them from going further.

On the day in which the PJ decided to hold tight the siege to the McCanns, with searches, expert examinations and interrogations of 11 hours to Kate for example, “there wasn’t another hypothesis, only to constitute them as arguidos” – we were on the 7th of September and the new Portuguese Penal Code came into effect a week later. The current law obliges that there must be “established suspicions” so that someone is given arguido status and, up to the 15th of September, “any suspicions that existed obliged to that constitution".

The suspects were benefited with the measure taken and “the investigation was damaged”. If the MP had waited for a week for the new law, “it would be possible to keep them as witnesses and they would be more cooperatives with the proceeding inquest”.

According to another source close to the process, the McCanns were only made arguidos because, during the interrogation in September, Kate questioned the reason for certain questions and refused to answer others on the biological evidence found in the apartment and car. The police suggested they be made arguidos and the lawyer present at the questioning, Pinto de Abreu, had nothing against it. The Prosecution Office evaluated the case and made the decision. In a press release of 11 September, the Prosecution Office cleared up any doubts: “It was thus that the PJ, acting within its own competence, made the parents of the minor arguidos and established declaration of identity and residence as the coercive measure, as it considered, in agreement with the Prosecutor for the case, that at the moment it was only coercive measure possible, given the evidence collected up to that point”. Pinto Monteiro refused to comment on Mr. Ribeiro’s latest comments.

In the interpretation of some inspectors, when the national director of the Judicial Police talked about "precipitation" in the constitution of Madeleine's parents as defendants, that still remain subjected to term of identity and residence in England, he did it to "see what the reactions of the McCanns and also of the Portuguese would be.

A Possible Closure?

The Judiciary Police will have to close and shelve the investigation on Madeleine's disappearance, since there are no new developments and the police did not manage to get sufficiently strong proofs to explain what happened to the child in the last 3rd of May. The couple will only remain arguidos in the case, if the answers to the rogatory letters, which were sent to Britain this week, reveal any outstanding contradictions to previous statements.

Expresso says that Alípio Ribeiro tried to Prepare the Public Opinion

The declarations of the director of the PJ, Alípio Ribeiro, were made to prepare the public opinion for this conclusion, in accordance with today’s headline of the weekly newspaper Expresso.

According to Jose Miguel Júdice, former Head of the Lawyers Bar, there is a possibility in which the director of the PJ is anticipating a "hypothetical failure of the investigation."

“Alípio Ribeiro was aware of the impact of his own words. Somewhat after the controversy following Alípio interview to the newspaper 'Público' and RR, he began a careful plan of limitation of damages ", writes, today, the Expresso, about the declarations of the director of the PJ where he said that the constitution of Madeleine's parents as arguidos was done in “haste”.

According to the newspaper, Alípio Ribeiro contacted the investigators and the director of Criminal Investigation Officers' Union (ASFIC) of the PJ, Carlos Anjos, to explain his words. The strategy of the general director of the PJ was to prepare the public opinion for the closure of the process and not to upset the persons in charge for the process.

After a meeting between Carlos Anjos, the union leader, and Alípio Ribeiro, the PJ national director, tempers have calmed. But the matter still has to be cleared up. “We have heard the director's explanations and will continue to, as expected, clear things up. This matter must be discussed internally and not in the newspapers. Everybody has a right to speak, and sometimes they do not express themselves clearly. There are bigger problems within the PJ than the Maddie case, with all the respect it deserves. I am certain that my colleagues involved in the process are doing all they can to find out what happened”, said Mr. Anjos.

When asked about the fact that Mr. Ribeiro has not been removed from office following his comments, the union leader’s reply was simple: “If he was dismissed, that would be something to talk about. This way, all remains as it was. There is no news.”

PJ's No.2 says “it was a misunderstanding” and the Opposition explores Alípio’s statements

On the other hand, the joint national director of the PJ, Baltazar Pinto, said, yesterday, that there had been a mistake of "timing" and that gave rise to a "misunderstanding", concerning Alípio Ribeiro statements. "They were a misunderstanding, as he was referring to the timing of their constitution as arguidos, which will be clarified in due time", he said.

One week after Alípio Ribeiro made these statements; the controversy is still very strong in Portugal and has led to meetings of the attorneys for the McCann to consider further steps to ensure that their clients are no longer considered formal suspects by the Portuguese authorities.

This controversy has dotted the Government and especially the Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa, who will have to appear requested by the CDS/PP, next Wednesday before the Parliament to give explanations about the support he gave to the statements made by the director of the PJ.

Portugal's President Aníbal Cavaco Silva felt that he should "not publicly comment on the statements of the Director of the PJ."

The Lawyers make a move

Carlos Pinto de Abreu and Rogério Alves, the Portuguese lawyers, have been in contact through video conferences with their British counterparts Michael Caplan and Angus McBride. "Lawyers were discussing whether to pass a joint strategy to request that the McCanns cease to be arguidos and for the case review” said Clarence Mitchell.

Kate and Gerry McCann, as such, might end up being freed of their arguido status and the case will be shelved, states the newspaper Expresso. “After the analyses to the biological traces found in the car and in the apartment of the McCanns were found to be inconclusive and once the investigations done by the police "reinforcements" sent to the Algarve had not found anything new, the PJ has no conclusive proof or evidence against Madeleine's parents", adds the article.

The Portuguese weekly "Expresso" suggests that the last opportunity to keep alive the process would be the existence of contradictions by the McCanns and their friends, who where with them on the night the child disappeared, during the new interrogation that Portugal has asked to carry out in the UK.

Everything depends now on the answers of Maddie's parents…

The PJ has no conclusive evidences against the McCann couple. They will only remain arguidos in the process if the rogatory letters reveal major contradictions with their first statements. Despite the fact that the team investigating Maddie's disappearance has been the same since the beginning (lead in the field by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida and Inspector João Carlos Pereira), with only the coordinator Gonçalo Amaral being replaced by Paulo Rebelo, there have been no developments in the PJ's lines of investigation. The case has been reviewed by homicide specialists, but without results.

After the parents had been constituted arguidos in the inquiry, the process was declared on the last 14th of January of special complexity, which allowed extending the term of the secret of Justice for more three months.

…and on the Home Office acceptance of the Rogatory Letters

The rogatory letters for the purpose of re-questioning the McCanns and their seven friends who dined with them at a restaurant in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, Algarve, have now been forwarded for a second time to the British Home Office, the equivalent of our Ministry for the Interior.
This comes after, as 24horas reported last week, the first letters were returned for merely bureaucratic reasons. The British authorities were of the opinion that the request should be formalised directly by the Public Prosecutor Office and not via Eurojust. An official Prosecutor’s Office communication stated that it was trying to solve out a problem which had nothing to do, and that had led to a climate of tension between the Eurojust and the Prosecutor Office officials, but it has now been resolved. Now, Prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes, who is in charge of the process, is waiting for green light from Britain to send a PJ team there.

Source:(clipping media)


  1. Isto é que foi jogo sujo, e os ingleses falavam sempre mal da nossa polícia, dando-lhe uma imagem de polícia incompetente, e nunca ninguém se preocupou em responder à altura aos ingleses e defender a imagem dos nossos policiais.
    Na minha opinião, a PJ foi uma bola, apanhada num joguete entre o nosso governo e o governo inglês, usaram e abusaram da pj. Que fica mal vista.
    E os Mccann saem disto a rir..

  2. First the Portuguese police were not allowed to again question the couple and their friends until further evidence was found. Then the PJ were given the go ahead to question the couple and their friends, because it was deemed that they had additional evidence. The term for which the details of the case are to remain secret was even lengthened. Now you have Expresso reporting that there is no conclusive evidence. Aren’t you starting to smell the stench, I am. Expresso in my opinion has always had a subtle fondness for this couple. From what I have seen in this case it wouldn’t surprise me if certain people were receiving a monetary boost to their bank accounts. I have read on Duarte Levy’s Blog how Mr. Mitchell had predicted that the British Press would take care of Mr.Amaral and that he would be removed from the case. If this is true it does cast my suspicions on Mr Alipio Ribeiro. Someone should ask the person who interviewed Mr. Ribeiro what led him to ask the “Hasty” question. I just hope that people in Portugal realize how much damage this case has already done to Portugal and how scandalous it would be if the PJ were not allowed to finish their investigation.

  3. Eu só gostava de saber porque é que o Sr. Alípio Ribeiro não disse à jornalista "sobre esse processo em curso não falo"? Não seria essa a melhor atitude? A PJ não pode falar, está de mãos atadas devido ao segredo de justiça, não têm um PR nem um gabinete de imprensa eficaz sequer, no entanto o Sr. Alípio Ribeiro na qualidade de Director da PJ (leia-se não de cidadão) já deu entrevistas ao Público, ao El País, ao Expresso, opinou no Prós e Contras, na Sociedade das Nações, e sei lá mais aonde. Era um teste para ver as reacções dos McCann, dos Portugueses? Mas como? É absolutamente irresponsável esta atitude. O director-nacional da PJ não deve dar entrevistas, muito menos sabendo que essas entrevistas vão ter uma enorme repercussão internacional, está em causa a imagem de Portugal no mundo, o profissionalismo da PJ e as contribuições dos Portugueses – ainda por cima tendo conhecimento, Alípio e eventualmente o resto do mundo ocidental, a batalha de difamação, tipo eles contra nós, e toda a xenofobia, racismo e spin iniciados e apadrinhados pelos media e governo Ingleses. A atitude do ministro Alberto Costa em apoiar e reiterar a confiança em Alípio é de facto bizarra, no mínimo naive. Então vejamos, Alípio Ribeiro o homem que nos últimos 9 meses pediu contenção, reserva aos seus homens, calma a Portugal, o homem que mede milimetricamente tudo o que diz e que prudentemente enrola a conversa sem dizer o que os jornalistas querem realmente saber, desculpa-se que se sentiu pressionado pela jornalista? E que cometeu uma gaffe? E agora a segunda desculpa é a do “teste”? Como é que se atrevem a tentar fazer de nós todos lorpas? Até agora confiávamos que a PJ estivesse a fazer o seu trabalho a aguardar pelas respostas das cartas rogatórias, numa semana tudo muda, mesmo assim nós as “sardinhas” calamo-nos. Mas agora chega! Esta é a gota de água! Perdemos toda a confiança política, a confiança em quem nos lidera, a confiança em quem nos deve proteger, e esta confiança traduz-se por votos e impostos. São necessárias explicações, da Procuradoria, do Ministério Público, do Ministério da Justiça e do Home Office no atraso das cartas rogatórias e nas pressões efectuadas à PJ. Queremos resultados, a verdade e a justiça porque merecemos, porque estamos cansados de sermos aviltados por gente sem cultura, ignóbeis, vindos de uma País que exporta pedófilos e negligentes, porque este caso não pode ser mais um como o caso da Joana Cipriano, do Rui Pedro, da Sofia, da Cláudia, do Rui Pereira e por todas as outras crianças desaparecidas no nosso país. Para que não volte a acontecer, para que futuros “McCanns e amigos” não deixem crianças de três e dois anos sozinhas, noite após noite num apartamento aberto, para que não se instaure o precedente que em Portugal apesar de ilegal pode ser negligente, egoísta e abusar as crianças impunemente. Haja responsabilidade!

  4. The PJ will not put the case in the archives yet but will continue to work on it. The only thing Director Ribeiro ends up as is a witness for the McCanns should the case be tried with them as the defendents. Precipitation on a case can cause skewness of the input into the case. Always precipitation will cause some skewness. Generally it can be adjusted if caught within a few months but that is for the trial to decide if there is one.


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