The Star of Madeleine: Maddie will remain missing
After 'Estrela de Joana', the former PJ inspector has now written about the disappearance of Madeleine, mentioning the similarities and the differences between both cases. Concerning the British child, he regrets the external interferences into the police investigation, and for that reason, shows his skepticism about its success: "I would really like to believe there will be a complete clarification of all the facts, but I fear the maintenance of a missing child on the PJ's website".
Paulo Pereira Cristovão
An interview by Patrícia Susano Ferreira
What led you to write the 'Estrela de Madeleine' and when did you start writing it?
What led me to write this book can be divided into two reasons. The first one was the challenge that was launched by Presença [the editor] to write about this particular issue. The second one was that I think that not only the Policia Judiciaria as an institution, but the country itself had been the victims of some of the most violent attacks that we can remember, without there having been the necessary defence that the Portuguese and its institutions deserved. I started writing this book approximately 5 months ago and I finished it one month ago. I am privileged to be invited to write for magazines, newspapers or books, like in this case, which are read by a considerable number of people. Using that privilege, I decided to transmit what so many feel but have no possibility to express in public. Those who do not identify with my way of being and behaving, have the option of not buying the book. After all, it's only a book, not the decision from a superior court.
Why did you maintain the same notion of the title of 'Estrela de Joana' for this book?
The 'Star' carries the symbolism of destiny, not only that of a child, but also of those who, in both cases, carry out the difficult task of clarifying for society what happened to those children. It's the fate, the destiny of all those who are involved in the case. In this one, particularly, I guarantee to you that the policemen will carry the marks of what they have been through, just like the Joana's Case. In any of these cases, they will be simply discarded when they are not further needed.
What are the similarities and the differences between both cases?
Concerning the similarities, I fear the worst, because in both cases, the policemen did not have, from a certain moment onwards, the institutional solidarity that they should have and which, above all things, they deserved to have. The differences lie within the dimensions that each one of the cases has reached. One on a national scale, the other one on a planetary scale.
And between both books?
The 'Estrela de Joana' was something that I lived from the inside, so no matter how well I dominated the literary angle - which I don't - I could never transmit everything that I lived and still live through, what I felt and still feel about all the parallel situations and the usage of this case by people without scruples. The 'Estrela de Madeleine' is something that was also written from the heart but it is mainly a Portuguese cry against those who passed the threshold of our door but did not want to and did not know how to respect us.
Do you think that the fact that you are an arguido in a process could remove credibility from this book?
Does the fact that a journalist is an arguido in a judicial process, remove credibility from the news that he publishes? What matters is the essence of what one writes, and not the qualities that are assumed here or there through the will of others.
If, in the case of Joana, you were involved in the investigation, and it was easier to write about what you had witnessed, in this case the situation is different. What did you base the book on, and what information sources did you use?
The book is a challenge to the reader. It is also a thought about this case, and about 'being Portuguese'. I don't think the most important part is the source for inspiration, but rather what ended up coming out of that same fountain. The 'Estrela de Madeleine' has a subtitle that reads 'Where, when, how, who, what and why'. This means it has a beginning, a middle and an end. I don't like leaving things half finished, and I'm not going to change into that convenient mode now.
If you had to coordinate this case investigation, what would you have done differently?
I cannot seriously reply to that question, because an investigation has its own life and its own personality. At every moment, there are situations that cannot be conveyed into the case files. Men are not machines and as human beings they work all the time with the information that is available at that single moment. It is very easy to judge things in hindsight; things that one does not dominate at all. In any given moment, one acts and decides according to one's experience of life, of the techniques that were acquired throughout the years. Comfortably sitting and commenting on other people's work, is something that has unfortunately become too common, these days.
What are the big problems in the investigation into the Madeleine Case?
Men, always men. They are to blame for all the evil in this world, anyway. The big problem is always the human factor that tries to gain advantages from every single situation, at any given moment. It's an evil of the world.
Do you think that the constant presence of the media has harmed the investigation?
I think there was not enough protection from the external incursions into this investigation. It should have been more of a police case, and less of a political matter. This process should never have left the police's and the Public Ministery's sphere. It did, and that was the worst that could have happened to it.
What is your theory about what happened to Madeleine McCann on the evening of May 3 at the Ocean's Club?
The 'Estrela de Madeleine' says what the author thinks that happened.
How do you evaluate the attitude/behaviour of Maddie's parents during the investigation?
In their shoes, I'd do precisely the same. I would defend myself with all the weapons that I could use. The difference in this world is that some have more weapons than others.
Where do you think the future of this process lies?
I would really like to believe in a complete clarification of all the facts that are at stake here, with a full and well-fundamented identification of the authors of this disappearance, but I fear that a missing child will remain on the PJ's website.
And what do you think will happen to the Leonor Cipriano case, in which you are an arguido?
I believe, together with those who are with me, that good sense will appear at some point. The strange accusation that is pending on us, and which I recollect for you, is not that we hit Mrs Leonor Cipriano, but rather that we plotted a plan that led to some unknown individuals entering the PJ and hitting her on our behalf, and then leaving, which now leads us, in an unusual reversal of the onus of proof, to be forced to prove that on that day we did not think about doing or had someone do whatever. This means that we are going to use all the legal means that we can to make sure that the truth will be restored. We are not settling for a statement of innocence for the lack of evidence, but rather for a statement of innocence because we are completely innocent of plotting anything. What will happen? Justice above everything. Regardless of those that are moving in the shadows to make sure that this process hits not only the accused but the Policia Judiciaria itself, we believe that it is likely that, in the course of our defence, some revelations will be made that will lead some people to rethink the posts that they occupy and the professions that they are dedicated to.
Do you think that some day the truth about the Madeleine Case will be discovered, and the child or her body will be found?
It is evident in this case, and it was evident at some point during the Joana case, that the truth is always and at all times, what men want it to be. In our days, that concept has been enlarged to the point where reality is confounded with fiction, and that has happened more than a few times. What distinguishes a truth from anything else is the strength of those who defend any given theory, and that was, and is still seen, in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine.
The new book, "A Estrela de Madeleine" is going to be presented on March 9, in Lisbon.
Translation by Astro
Madeleine Case: The biggest siege done to the PJ in 60 years
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, accused of being involved in the eventual maltreatment of Leonor Cipriano, currently serving a sentence of prison for the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Joana, talks about the lack of institutional ...
Joana Cipriano Case
Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were both sentenced to 16 years in jail, after appealing to Portuguese Supreme Court, for the murder of Joana Cipriano. Her body never appeared, but blood found inside ...
RTP: Sem rasto da Joana
A menina Joana Guerreiro, de 8 anos, desaparecera da aldeia de Figueira, no concelho de Portimão. A mãe, Leonor Cipriano, desdobrou-se em entrevistas à comunicação social onde lamentava o desaparecimento da filha. ...
PAULO CRISTÓVÃO Grande Entrevista
Os casos de Joana Cipriano e de Madeleine McCann. Citação: «Qualquer um de nós é um homicida em potência» Quem é Paulo Pereira Cristóvão? Paulo Pereira Cristóvão nasceu em Lisboa há 38 anos. Em Novembro de 1990 entrou para os quadros da ...
Missing Children 2007
The case of Joana Cipriano highlights serious omissions on the part of authorities who failed to spot that the little girl was being exploited and neglected. According to a neighbour of the girl, Joana seemed unnaturally mature for her ...