1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

First PJ Coordinator in the Madeleine’s Case leaves the Police Force

Gonçalo Amaral leaves losing money

Sad with the way he was treated by an institution he served during 28 years, Gonçalo Amaral decided to pack and went on holidays. It’s unlikely that he will ever return.

Sad. This is how the coordinator of the Judiciary Police Gonçalo Amaral is going to leave the institution which he served during 28 years. The man who initially directed the investigations to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann leaves “tired and saddened by the way he was treated” by the persons in charge of the PJ, as several of his colleagues confided to 24horas.

The police officer who was the one most attacked by the British media, and that ended up being withdrawn of the Maddie case by the national director of the PJ, Alípio Ribeiro, after having given an interview to the “Diário de Notícias” in which he criticized the British police, decided to pack and to go on holidays ... never to return.

He handed over the pre-retirement papers at the age of 48 years-old, even knowing that, like that he is only going to gain 60 % of his current salary – which means he will be receiving monthly a little more than one thousand euros. “He is not at the age for retirement nor has he the time of service. He will have to pay the difference to the Social Security and he will receive practically half of his current salary. But there are things that have no price. The dignity is one of them. And that one was being withdrawn by superior officers in charge of the institution”, said to 24horas an investigator who worked with the coordinator of the PJ during more than a decade and who asked to be kept anonymous.

Several apprehensions

Gonçalo Amaral was responsible for several drug apprehensions, and besides the Maddie case, he was in charge of another mediatic case: the investigation of the case Joana, the 8-year-old girl disappeared from the town of Figueira, in the Algarve.

“He is without a question a refined person, of an intelligence and of an intuition above the average. Besides, he has a rare respect for the rights of the various people who are intervenient in a process”, guaranteed to 24horas Guilhermino Encarnação, the assistant director of the Judiciary Police and the very person in charge of the Directorship of Faro, place where Gonçalo Amaral is still placed.

The coordinator of the PJ who is now retiring was in charge, between other posts, of the Department of Criminal Investigation of Portimão. 24horas tried to contact Gonçalo Amaral, but he was unavailable during the whole day of yesterday.


Gonçalo Amaral is one of five elements of the PJ that are indicted to go to court accused of having agreed with alleged aggressions inflicted to Leonor Cipriano, the mother of the girl Joana.

Most of Gonçalo Amaral career was dedicated fighting narcotraffic. He participated and directed various operations that culminated in the apprehension of more than a dozen of tons of drug.

Hated by British
Gonçalo Amaral never was supported by the British press. Infact he was a victim, according to some of his colleagues, of a campaign to harm his reputation, launched by the press advisers hired by the McCanns. When he attacked the British police, accusing them of protecting Kate and Gerry, Amaral saw his career at risk, being then removed from the Madeleine process by the national director of the institution, Alípio Tibúrcio Ribeiro, on the 2nd of October of 2007. Previously, the spokesman nominated by the institution, the inspector-chief Olegário de Sousa was also removed, for the reason that he had “spoke to much to the press”.

“Drunk”, “fat” and “incompetent” were some of the various adjectives which Gonçalo Amaral was given by some of the British media outlets who were questioning the investigation to the case Maddie.

Before leaving the PJ, Gonçalo Amaral set up processes against several newspapers, radios and international televisions, demanding to all compensations for the alleged slanders of which he was targeted and for abuse of press freedom.

Source: 24 Horas

Carta Aberta:

Exmo. Sr. Gonçalo Amaral,

Lamento imenso que ninguém da instituição da Polícia Judiciária, ou do Ministério da Justiça tenha sentido o dever de o defender contra os ataques infames dos tablóides Ingleses e da Família McCann. Lamento também, que a pressão à qual foi alvo tenha apressado a sua reforma, e só espero que a ASFIC e os outros seus colegas entendam que mais do que nunca é necessário a Polícia Judiciária ter, entre outros direitos, o direito à greve, e o direito de se exprimir através de um bom gabinete de Imprensa para que situações destas, caso voltem a acontecer, tenham uma resposta adequada. Acredito que a Polícia Judiciária tem sido bastante injustiçada, e que os sucessivos governos Portugueses têm boicotado e criado instabilidades no vosso trabalho, por exemplo não promulgando a lei orgânica da Polícia Judiciária, um diploma, aprovado em Conselho de Ministros há mais de um ano e só aprovado recentemente, em Abril de 2008.

Agradeço-lhe ter tido a coragem para dizer a verdade sobre o processo Madeleine, e espero que os outros agentes que continuam a trabalhar no caso continuem firmes, que sejam destemidos, e acima de tudo que arranjem provas para acusar todos aqueles que têm pervertido o curso da Justiça.

Por último, Exmo. Sr. Amaral espero que após um momento de pausa e reflexão, surja por algum meio e de forma mais aprofundada o seu ponto de vista sobre este caso.

Com os meus agradecimentos,

Joana Morais


  1. Mais uma vez,LINDA JOANA!

    Subscrevo a carta aberta.
    Que parem as trovoadas.

    28 anos de trabalho intenso( ontem enganei-me e coloquei mais 10).
    Merece calma,férias,Familía.Então não. É de Homem bater com a porta.
    Maus tratos? Nem pensar!

  2. Absolutamente, é de Homem com H grande. Pena é que haja poucos como o Dr. Goçalo Amaral.

  3. For a better understanding of the PJ in this case:

    Isto é a transcrição do que eu disse numa discussão em 2 fóruns acerca da difícil tarefa da PJ, principalmente sobre a cobardia de alguns dirigentes Judiciais e Políticos e sobre os ataques à PJ/this is a transcription of what I wrote in two forums regarding the ignoble lack of courage of certain politics and some judicial directors and the attacks to the PJ:

    Regarding the smears against Gonçalo Amaral:

    [My answer to another poster who said she didn't trust Amaral]:

    "Do you know Mr. Amaral personally? Or are you judging him for what you read the british tabloids- aka gutter press aka mccann’s media? What do you know about him, the Judiciary Police or the system of Justice in Portugal?

    I’ll give you my opinion regarding the book ‘Truth of the Lie’ – ‘Verdade da Mentira’.
    “It is going to explain the whole lie that was created and to put in question the institutions that investigated and that are connected to the case ”

    The fact is that the Judiciary Police Organic (Structural) Law took almost 2 years to be promulgated after it was approved at the “Concelho de Ministros” - ‘Ministries Council’(don’t know if I can translate like this), that huge delay undermined and affected greatly the work of the PJ.
    It was passed at 10th April 2008 with the votes of the PS (socialist party) only.

    The law in itself would and will close some of the Police departments, like the DIC in Faro, and others in Portugal.

    Some elements like Paulo Rebelo, Gonçalo Amaral even asked for their resignations as PJ Chief inspectors and coordinators of Portimão’s DIC as a way to express that they were not pleased.

    The Judiciary Police, though it has a union - ASFIC - lead by Carlos Anjos are not allowed to go on strike.

    Last time (21 April 1989/ PSD - right wing government) Police Officers tried to go on strike, one of the most horrible situations happened. Police forces pro and anti strike met in Terreiro do Paço, a big square in Lisbon’s downtown, and a battle between them started, luckily no one pulled the guns, but there were lot’s of injuries because ’shock’ police forces appeared with dogs and water cannons. Horrible scenario, even now subsists some hatred between those who fought for the right to strike over poor conditions in the Police force, and those who attacked them.

    The name of that fight is now remembered symbolically as the : “Secos e Molhados” - “Dry and Wet” day which the various Police unions now celebrate as a day never to be forgotten. A symbol for their fight.

    see the video remembering that day after 17 years here

    Another fact that Mr.Gonçalo Amaral is going to probably explore in his book is why Alípio Ribeiro, national PJ’s director who talked to the media was supported by Alberto Costa the Minister of Justice and not sacked like Gonçalo Amaral was “removed of Maddie’s investigation” and like Olegário de Sousa, the PJ’s PR was taken off the case for speaking “too much to the media”. There are more internal situations which would be hard to explain to foreigners but now maybe you understand a bit better the reason for the book. Freedom of speech, democracy, dignity, morals are not empty words in Portugal.

    About the Cipriano case, and for those who defend neglectful parents: Why you defend child killers and paedophiles like Leonor and João Cipriano as well ? Did you know that Joana’s blood was found inside the freezer of the Cipriano’s house, in a T-Sirt, in another Shirt, in the sofa? Did you Know that it was confirmed by Laboratory analyses that some of Joana’s clothes (like her knickers) had traces of sperm and blood, that her bed had traces of sperm. That Leonor and João Cipriano were brothers and had sex with each other. That João Cipriano explained step by step how he carved Joana’s body and how they gave her body parts to the pigs (who eat everything). Did you Know? Or are you defending something which cannot be defended. Where is your moral, do you have ANY left? Can you imagine the SUFFERING OF A LITTLE GIRL BEING RAPPED AND SODOMIZED?"

    And the discussion continued where I explained to the same poster my opinion on the case:

    "...the problem was how Amaral was portrayed in the B.Media. Did you know that there was a line up of all the Police officers that Leonor Cipriano accused allegedly of torture, and she failed to recognize any of those officers? Did you know that Leonor gave several statements to the Portuguese Media in a similar way to the McCanns, crying and everything. That only after a year in jail or so, she stated that Joana wasn’t dead but she was sold by a uncle who had drug problems, however in court she never showed any remorse while the video of the carving of Joana’s body re-enacted by her brother, João Cipriano, was displayed. Many “consumers” of British Media have another idea, and that’s because most British journalists covering Madeleine McCann abduction strongly believe that truth never should be allowed to “kill” a good story. Even if I means destroying the reputation of an experienced CID Chief-Inspector- Gonçalo Amaral.

    1 – Joana Cipriano vanished from a small place 10 km in the outskirts of Portimão. Last time somebody saw her, she was on her way to a local groceries shop;
    2 - Her mother, Leonor Cipriano, only reported to Police her daughter has disappeared two days after;
    3 – After a long and difficult investigation, headed by Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, Leonor Cipriano and her brother were accused of murdering the eight years old child;
    4 – The body of Joana Cipriano was never found, but samples of her blood were found in her mother refrigerator;
    5 – Her mother justified those samples of blood admitting she had beaten Joana, for some reason, she was hurt and she bleeded from her nose;
    6 – Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were sentenced to 16 years in jail, for the murder of her daughter and niece;
    7 – Before the trial, Leonor Cipriano accused five CID officers of beating her, trying to extract a confession. She named the five CID officers, and included Chief-Inspector Gonçalo (”Amaral Lector”, according to British tabloids…);
    8 – The Public Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal investigation and ordered a police line-up, with the CID officers named and accused by Leonor Cipriano of beating her;
    9 – The line-up took place with Leonor Cipriano behind a two-way mirror and she couldn’t recognize any of the aggressors;
    10 – The Public Prosecutor’s Office magistrate that was in charge of the criminal investigation decided to accuse the five CID officers, but didn’t mentioned, in the accusation sent to the Court, that Leonor Cipriano couldn’t identify any of the aggressors, in the police line-up;
    11 – Leonor Cipriano never confessed the murder of her own daughter. Her brother, in a letter written from jail, accused Leonor Cipriano of selling her daughter;
    12 – Police is convinced (and the jurors at the trial found enough evidence to pass a verdict of guilty) that Leonor Cipriano and her brother were found, by Joana, having sexual relations, when she came home, back from the groceries shop. As Leonor Cipriano had a lover, at the time, they were afraid she would tell him what she saw;
    13 – So, they beat her, in order to frighten her and keep her mouth shut up;
    14 – Perhaps accidentally, they beat her so violently that they killed her. So, they decided to get rid of he body and cut it in pieces, keeping some of them in the freezer, while they gave the other pieces to be eaten by pigs (this is what police believes is the strongest possibility, because there was no other trace of Joana Cipriano, unless the blood samples in her mother freezer…)
    15 – The body of Joana Cipriano was never found.

    Joana’s uncle had contempt for human life*

    Leonor and João Cipriano, who have been held on remand for over a year, stood silently and without emotion as they heard prosecutor José Pinheiro outline his case. He described João Cipriano as a man who “has contempt for human life, psychopathic tendencies and difficulty in controlling impulses”. Pinheiro also castigated Joana’s mother for her “emotional instability, insensitivity and disregard for other people’s needs”. Only when Pinheiro announced that he was pressing for a 24-year jail term for both defendants did Leonor show emotion, sobbing uncontrollably.

    Pinheiro explained why his team was pressing for such a long sentence. “The defendants’ guilt is heightened by their cold and calculating behaviour after their child’s death, as well as the devious manoeuvres they adopted to conceal the crime,” he said.

    The trial included key testimony from Joana’s stepfather, António Leandro, who related that Leonor had confided to him that she had had a sexual relationship with her brother. He also told the court that during this conversation, which took place a few days after Joana’s disappearance, at judicial police headquarters, Leonor had admitted that she and her brother had killed the little girl.

    A key element of the prosecution’s case rests on the fact that the couple dismembered the girl’s corpse. António Leandro, confronted with photographs of tools allegedly used by the couple, said he recognised a saw he had kept at home. In the video taped confession, João Cipriano admitted that the body of the girl was dismembered and placed in a refrigerated trunk. A doctor involved in the case, Albino Santana dos Santos, conceded that body parts, matching the size of a girl of Joana’s height, could have been stuffed inside the trunk.

    *source for above: http://portugalresident.com/portugalresident/showstory.asp?ID=10046"

    And my final answer to the same poster:

    "It’s not quite as you say is it xxxxx? The Press didn’t embellish/adjust, they’ve hidden the truth and defamed Gonçalo Amaral spinning only parts of the Cipriano case. And the reasons that made the British Press to take that stance and maintain a racist editorial guideline is relevant to understand the development of the Maddie case in the Media. The abuse of the press calling a CID Inspector of Pig, Fat, Lazy, Drunk was without a doubt an attempt to undermine Amaral’s reputation and an attack to the Judiciary Portuguese Police. It’s not even ethical in any journalists code to express systematically such biased opinions and sometimes even lies, manipulating the general British public and setting off a war of words between two countries."

    Regarding my personal fight as a Portuguese Citizen:
    "I, myself felt desperate at times not understanding the reasons behind the support given to the McCanns by the British press and the British authorities, I even felt disgusted and embarrassed with Alípio Ribeiro's attack in the media to the PJ officers handling the case and the Minister of Justice Alberto Costa, support of Alípio after Olegário de Sousa and Gonçalo Amaral were removed from the case for apparently the same exact reasons.

    Worst of all, was when we knew that our Prime Minister José Socrates and Gordon Brown talked about this case, and it was obvious then, for most of the Portuguese citizens, that Gordon's implication and pressure in this case could almost undoubtedly mean the McCanns would never be considered guilty.

    Sometimes I felt like dropping everything and close my eyes to all the injustice, racism, media attacks but then I found out that I'm very proud of my small and beautiful country and even prouder of our people and history; and though writing a blog and putting my self at risk using my real name I'll keep on defending my country. Unlike others who are in the government and in the right positions to do so but seem to be cowards."

    ... Força PJ!


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