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Public Ministry did not authorise a new questioning of the couple by the PJ

Jornal de Notícias

The McCann couple will not be questioned again, when the investigators of Judiciary Police (PJ) travel to England, on the 7th of April, the foreseen date for the fulfilment of the diligences that were requested on the rogatory letter. The Judiciary wanted to, but the Public Ministry (PM) did not deem it necessary to hear the parents of Madeleine, the English girl who disappeared in the Algarve, on the 3rd of May last year.

As far as JN was able to establish, the PJ had prepared several questions that they wanted to ask from Kate and Gerry. But following a suggestion from the Public Ministry, the diligence was removed from the list of priorities. A source that is connected to the process explained that "the prosecutor understood that the diligence was useless and a waste of time, because the parents could refuse to answer the questions, according to the rights that the Portuguese law gives to arguidos".

That was precisely what the couple did when they were questioned by the PJ in Portimão, before they suddenly left for home, in Leicester, England, right after they were made arguidos. "The couple never cooperated with the Portuguese police, in spite of what they publicly announce, through their spokesman. There were no guarantees that they would do so now, but in a criminal investigation, there are no absolute certainties. It was necessary to take the risk", JN was told by one of the investigators, revolted by the fact that the parents of Madeleine can't be questioned again.

Both the PJ and the Public Ministry have been criticised over the delay in writing and sending the rogatory letter to England. But JN knows that the document was changed several times. The issue, among other factors, were new diligences that were requested by the McCanns, through their lawyers, a right that also belongs to arguidos. Among those requests are the questioning of the psychologist who has been accompanying Kate, and of Justine McGuinness, a former spokesperson for the couple. These diligences were accepted by the Public Ministry.

On the other hand, after having received the letter in January, through Eurojust, the Home Office - the equivalent of our Internal Affairs Ministry - returned it. It contested the legality of procedures, demanding that they were assumed by the State Prosecution Office.

Among other diligences, the rogatory letter includes new questionings of witnesses, including the "Tapas 9" (the English people with whom the McCanns were spending their holidays in Praia da Luz), and the apprehension of Kate's diary. In England, the Portuguese investigators will only be allowed to accompany the performance of these actions, that have to be made by the local police. The date that has been advanced for the trip has yet to be confirmed. The PJ awaits confirmation from Stuart Prior, the top senior official at Leicester police.

Translation by Astro

1 comment:

  1. Por esta lógica, de que valem as investigações? Qual a sua credibilidade? Numa investigação criminal não existem certezas absolutas, por isso era necessário insistir neste interrogatório. Se for assim, para quê constituir alguém como arguido? Para quê encontrar culpados? Se estas pessoas nunca falarem e não existirem provas suficientes… Isto é um boicote ao trabalho da polícia, que vê assim barrada a sua função. Ainda que não sejam considerados culpados do que quer que tenha acontecido a Maddie, eles não precisam de falar para se saber que cometeram um crime, ao abandonar os filhos para irem jantar. Em Portugal, este é um crime punível!


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