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PJ wanted to hear the McCanns again - Correio da Manhã

RogatoriesJudge didn’t validate the diary immediately

Today, the process is most likely to be archived. Ten months ago, the PJ asked for the reconstitution of the crime and a new questioning of the couple

Pinto Monteiro promised a solution for the Maddie case for today. The archiving of the process is most likely to be announced on the General Attorney’s Office’s website, after more than a year of an investigation that was made of breakthroughs and retreats.

The Judiciária lost some battles and diligences that were not carried out may have compromised the discovery of the truth. That is the understanding of Gonçalo Amaral, who launches the book ‘The Truth about the Lie’ next week, in which he promises to explain the reason why he believed in the child’s death and in the involvement of the parents in concealing the cadaver.

CM knows that Gonçalo Amaral was not alone in this fight. Only days after Kate and Gerry were questioned and after they returned to England, the PJ inspector who was in charge of the process defended that he wanted to hear the couple again and that they should be subject to a more serious coercion measure. He also requested the reconstitution of the facts.

In a dispatch that is dated September 19, Magalhães Menezes, a prosecutor of the Republic, manifested himself against it. He said it was an unnecessary diligence, because Kate had refused to answer and Gerry had clarified little or nothing.

Concerning the change in the coercion measures, he said there was no legal basis for any modification. The couple had given their English address when they were made arguidos, and remained available to be contacted at that residence.

Later on, when the PJ made the requests again, the magistrate ended up admitting to the new questioning. But he postponed the decision for a later moment in time, because he understood that hearing the friends and the numerous persons that the PJ had requested might raise new questions.

It should also be noted that the judge kept some reservations about the requests that were made by the Judiciária’s investigators. Concerning Kate’s diary, for example, the judicial magistrate argued that only later would it be possible to know whether it could be validated, because it revealed facts from Maddie’s mother’s private life.

Judge Pedro Frias refused the Public Ministry to access the text messages that were sent and received by Gerry McCann, alleging that the messages were telephone interceptions and that judicial authorizations could not be given after the occurrence.

Mysteries of the process

Investigating the friends – A strong suspicion, prompted by three testimonies, fell over one of the McCann couple’s friends. But that doctor returned to his country after the disappearance and he did not explain many of the questions for which the PJ had no answers. The Judiciária failed to understand his life story.

Reconstitution – Right after the interrogation of Kate and Gerry, the PJ requested the reconstitution of the facts. The English were asked to return to Portugal for the diligence to be carried out. Kate and Gerry ended up accepting, but the friends denied it. The Polícia Judiciária did not carry out the reconstitution and the archiving of the case, waiting for better evidence, renders the diligence useless.

Irishman not heard – An Irish citizen who stated he saw Gerry carrying a child on the evening of the 3rd of May should have been questioned again through a rogatory letter. But that was not fulfilled, and his deposition ended up not being obtained. What was known was that the witness made himself immediately available for a deposition.

Text message register – The PJ wanted to access the contents of the text messages that were sent and received by Gerry during the hours immediately before and after his daughter’s disappearance. The Public Ministry validated the request, but the judge did not defer the pretention, considering that it would be equal to listening operations. And that at that point in time, there was no judicial permission for them to be carried out.

Clinical records – The Public Ministry decided that the PJ should not access the clinical records of Madeleine and the twins Sean and Amélie. The prosecutor sustained that such would violate the privacy of the children and their parents, and the evidence might be considered null. For the magistrate, the request was not duly sustained, either.

To find out whether Dave saw Madeleine in the apartment

The last time that Maddie was seen by someone outside the group was at around 5.30 p.m. on the 3rd of May. After that, only David Payne asserts to have seen Maddie in the apartment, when he went there to exchange a few words with Kate. The PJ mistrusts that thesis and ends up having doubts about the time span of the disappearance. There are also contradictions about the time that Dave spent inside the apartment. Kate says they only exchanged two or three words, but Gerry guarantees that his friend stayed inside the house where his children were, for half an hour. The fact that three witnesses launch suspicions about Dave made it fundamental to clarify this situation.

Brother-in-law washed the car due to fish smell

Gerry’s brother-in-law was also heard in a rogatory letter. He was the usual driver of the Renault Scénic and he explained to the police that he had washed the car boot because one day he had perceived that fish blood had spilled from the bag that he had just acquired at the supermarket. Alexander also added, in April this year, when he was questioned by the investigators, that one day he had noticed a strange smell in the car. But he guaranteed that was due to the fact that they usually transported waste in the car boot. He also said that the twins’ nappies were usually placed there, and that was the reason for the intense smells.

Trip to London without results

It was the last great hope for the investigation. Already in the possession of the final documents from the English lab, which launched strong doubts and rendered the results from the residues that were found inside the car that was rented by the McCanns 22 days after Maddie disappeared inconclusive, the Polícia Judiciária from Portimão made themselves available to watch the questioning of the McCanns’ friends. Paulo Rebelo, who had substituted Gonçalo Amaral, and two other investigators went to Leicester, but returned empty-handed.

It was in April this year and the hearings were held at the English police’s headquarters, a few kilometers from the couple’s house. But the witnesses added little or nothing and in many moments pointed towards what they had already told the Portuguese authorities after the disappearance. The PJ’s final report, which is most likely to prompt the dispatch for archiving by the Public Ministry today, reinforces just that and it is ultimately accepted that the investigation has reached a dead end.

Many situations remain unclear, namely how it was possible for Jane Tanner to have seen a man carrying a child while Gerry, who was standing two or three metres away, saw nothing; and how an abductor could have carried a child horizontally, through a small window that only half opened.


Teachers Heard – The PJ heard Madeleine’s teachers through a rogatory letter. They guaranteed that Madeleine was happy with the McCann couple and that there had never been any incident.

Mitchell Guaranteed innocence – Clarence Mitchell, the couple’s spokesman, was questioned on the 28th of April. He guaranteed that he had accepted to work with the McCanns because he had believed in their innocence.

source: Correio da Manhã, 21.07.2008, paper edition

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