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Witness was forgotten - 24Horas

Mistake in the rogatory letter prevents interrogation of Irishman

Witness was forgotten

In a report that was sent to the Public Ministry, the PJ admits that it does not have evidence to accuse Maddie’s parents and does not know what happened to the little girl. A case where Justice is revealed as ineffective, like other recent cases that we remember in these pages

Madeleine’s parents will remain arguidos and may still be accused over having left their children alone

An important witness was not officially heard by the Judiciária within the investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, 24Horas was able to establish. The PJ requested for the witness to be questioned, in the rogatory letter that was sent to England, but the Public Ministry and the special team that was created to investigate the case, headed by the superior coordinator Paulo Rebelo, forgot that the witness is Irish, and is not within the acting sphere of the British Home Office, the equivalent to the Portuguese Internal Affairs and Justice ministries.

“The Home Office controls all the information that is related with the English territory. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are outside this cabinet’s control”, a source at Eurojust, the entity that helps European authorities when it is necessary to establish international contacts, explained to 24Horas. “If we are requested to speak to the British authorities, we have liaison officials that do just that. But it is necessary to specify what country the request is destined to. In the Maddie case, it was requested only from England”, the same source clarifies.

Case has not been archived

Neither the PJ nor the Public Ministry have requested the hearing of the Irishman who, in his first witness statement, early September last year, guaranteed to the PJ that he saw Gerry carry a child away in his arms on the evening of the disappearance, having clarified that he only remembered who it actually was after he saw on television how the missing child’s father carried Sean, one of her siblings, when they arrived at Birmingham airport.

The problem was that the hearing of this witness and of his family was requested to the English authorities, not the Irish. “It’s a mistake that may have cost the investigation dearly”, a source at the Public Ministry in Portimão admitted. The PJ knows very little about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It only holds a few witness statements that say that the child stopped being seen from 6 p.m. onwards, and the dogs’ smelling that detected cadaver odour in a car that was rented by the McCanns 25 days after Maddie disappeared.

Therefore, the Portuguese police hold no evidence that Madeleine’s parents killed her or concealed her body, as they suppose. According to a report that was sent to the Public Ministry this week, the PJ team, lead by superior coordinator Paulo Rebelo, did not manage to find an element to incriminate the McCanns. There is only the hypothesis of accusing them of exposure and abandonment of minors, crimes that may lead to a condemnation of between five and ten years in prison.

Thus the McCanns will stop being arguidos within the coming months, but they will gain access to the process from mid-August onwards.

Pinto Monteiro, the Republic’s General Prosecutor, manifested yesterday that the Maddie process is not over yet. “The Public Ministry will globally analyse and evaluate the entire process (which contains tens of volumes) in order to determine whether or not other diligences are requested or if the necessary and sufficient conditions have been gathered, in order to close the inquiry and to elaborate the final dispatch”, the Prosecutor’s Office refers in a statement.


  1. How sad...a witness says he seen gerry carrtying a child the night Madeleine disappeared and becauuse of some red tape he cannot be heard!! So the McCanns are offf by default not lack of guilt!!
    Surely there is some procedur that can be undertaken to undo this gross mistake? In England the CPS would appeal to re admit the evidence.This is speak your mind...cant sign in to blogger!!

  2. Sad,very very sad.But PGR had a last word,I HOPE!

    o mc carrega as suas crianças de um modo inesquecível.
    1 imagem de Tv relembra a uma pessoa o que viu.

    P.G.R. please do not close the case.(I do not know if it is possible because I do not know the laws).Only a BIG,BIG HOPE.


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