"The little girl died in that apartment" - Gonçalo Amaral on TVI
Júlia Pinheiro (JP): The Attorney General’s Office has archived the process, but everything indicates that a new stage of the Maddie case is about to begin. Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ’s former coordinator has launched this book (Maddie – The Truth about the Lie) which is already here and also in my hand, where he numbers some surprising facts. He is going to be my guest today, he has not arrived yet but he will soon be here, and as these things work best with more than one accomplice, I have two journalists present to talk with me and to interrogate and talk a bit with Gonçalo Amaral. These are also two well known faces, who have been following the Maddie case in a committed and involved manner, please welcome Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis.
JP: Hello good afternoon! Now tell me, you have obviously read the book already.
Paulo Reis (PR): Yes.
Duarte Levy (DL): Yes.
JP: Right away, right away.
PR: On the day before.
DL: Right on the day before.
JP: Right on the day before. So while we wait for Gonçalo Amaral, and we’re talking in his back, afterwards we will talk in front of him, what did you think? Duarte?
DL: There are still things that remain unsaid. I think that this book already opens a path, it already shows, clarifies a lot of things, many doubts that existed concerning the case, but I think that former inspector Gonçalo Amaral probably has a lot more to say.
JP: So there is a certain feeling that there could be more. Is that it?
DL: There could be more. I think that sooner or later he will do it. The book should maybe be read twice, because there is a lot between the lines but it’s a book that I strongly advise people to read.
PR: Just one detail. We read the book on the day before like so many other journalists, because the editor offered copies to the journalists that requested them on the eve of the publication. I make a very simple initial analysis that is the following. I presume that what is in the book is what is in the process. Dr Gonçalo Amaral would not make things up and include things that are not in the process. And after reading the book, I remembered the PJ’s final report which led to the archiving. I went to re-read and compare both.
JP: And what about that comparison?
PR: The perception that I have is that there are two perspectives, the perspective with which the PJ looks at the process’ contents, in the light of what is contained in Gonçalo Amaral’s book, it gives me the idea that the PJ’s report focuses on what was not discovered.
While the book contains what was discovered and what was not discovered. This would be almost like looking at a glass of water that is filled up to half, and saying it is half full or half empty. But I think that the PJ’s report says that the glass is half empty, and Dr Gonçalo Amaral’s book says that the glass is two thirds full.
JP: And we are desperate to read the whole liquid, to drink the whole liquid, aren’t we? Gonçalo Amaral could not endure us speaking about him in his back and he is already here. A round of applause for Gonçalo Amaral. Please come in…
JP: Good afternoon! How are you?
GA: Good afternoon.
JP: Please be seated.
JP: Yes, here. I finally get to meet the man who everyone is talking about and I can’t resist the first question:
Are you apprehensive about the McCann couple’s threats?
GA: No. The book is based on facts and like someone told me it was written honestly, therefore it does not contain falsehoods and I’m not apprehensive.
JP: Why do you think that they went as far as making sure that it reached Portugal, especially that sentence: “He should be very careful” the McCann couple said two days before the book was published?
GA: I didn’t hear the McCann couple say that. I heard a person who says he is a spokesman. Therefore it is not a status within the process, I think he is even a witness in the process at the moment, so that gentleman should know what he is saying.
JP: You don’t give it anything more, another value…
GA: I have already thought about what I should do regarding that gentleman, but I’m keeping it to myself, therefore…
JP: With Clarence Mitchell?
JP: It is curious that he is one of the persons that are not mentioned in the book.
GA: Yes because the book is about a criminal investigation of which that gentleman is not part. There may be an area, which is the journalistic area to understand the political pressure, but maybe a journalist could write about that area, even concerning the role of the media, the book doesn’t focus much on that.
JP: Yes but it also covers it.
GA: It mentions facts, a set of facts, diligences, testimonies and scientific and documental evidence that is featured in the process. Therefore that gentleman is not part of the investigation despite all the noise that he has produced in the investigation.
JP: Indeed and you report his entry into the process. There are so many questions that have not been clarified to this day
GA: The investigation does not have to worry about that gentleman, does it?
JP: Duarte Levy and Paulo, who will ask questions just like me, were saying that they were left with the feeling, may I call you Gonçalo?
JP: That’s settled, then. They were left with the feeling that you leave a lot out of the book. And that the book does not contain everything.
GA: Something has to be left out.
GA: I’m a trained jurist, I’m a jurist, and we don’t say everything, do we. It may be for a second edition of the book, it may be for certain explanations that someone wishes, therefore… it’s my own secret.
JP: It’s your own secret. So there is a secret? You haven’t told everything?
GA: No, but it’s details, anyway.
JP: But I get the feeling, precisely in this book, you two can join the conversation if you wish (to DL and PR), that in this book the details are very important, in fact, it’s in the details that for people like us who follow things attentively, that this book becomes surprising. I’m going to let Paulo launch…
PR: A very precise, very direct question for Dr Gonçalo Amaral. Do you think that the PJ’s final report, which was widely reported by the media and even was published online by Expresso newspaper. Do you think that the report faithfully reflects, does it make an accurate balance of the investigation?
GA: Well before anything else, I want to thank you for the work that you have done since that time, the manner how you have followed the investigation and the way that you have been solidary with truth and justice.
PR: That is my obligation as a journalist.
GA: You may not have done more than your obligation but I want to thank you and to thank all the journalists. Concerning that report, I have to be sincere, I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t had time to read it but if it is a report that led to the archiving, it cannot be faithful towards what exists in the process, so it’s an imposition, I would not like to comment much further on that, but it’s the position of police professionals who took it, that decision to write that report that was being very well written…
JP: Weren’t you curious to read that report? That final report from the PJ?
GA: No, no. I haven’t had time, either. I haven’t had any time at all to read it. This has been a bumpy ride…
JP: I find that absolutely impossible, I don’t believe it. Have you cut all bonds with what you left behind? Have you distanced yourself emotionally from all of this?
GA: No. I haven’t cut all bonds. No.
JP: I don’t believe it!
GA: But sincerely I haven’t read the report yet. I haven’t read the report, I know it’s on the internet, so I will read it but I haven’t read it yet.
JP: I’m not convinced at all but say it.
GA: But I’m telling you the truth.
JP: Yes, Duarte?
DL: There is a question. We heard, a short while ago, about the existence of an investigation into your private life, yours, inspector Tavares de Almeida’s private life and even Guilhermino de Encarnação’s private life. Carried out by private detectives that are connected to the McCann family. And in the book, at some point you mention your dog. What happened to that dog? This is a question.
GA: A mere coincidence, at the beginning of the investigation, the dog died. Surely nobody went there and killed him, it could have been other dogs, right.
DL: But during this investigation, did you never feel that maybe there was a pressure on you, on your colleagues…
GA: The pressure was the persecution that we were subject to, but it was not much of a persecution anyway, because they didn’t find out where I lived, they didn’t find out outside of Portimão and not inside either, which was 100 metres from the police building that we all lived, they just followed me during those 100 metres from the police building and from the restaurant where I had lunch, so that big investigation that was done, by those journalists from English tabloids, they only managed to check 100 metres, because in fact nothing more apart from that. Concerning those gentlemen’s investigation, it’s the first time that I hear about that, I’m not worried. I only hope that if it is true, I hope that the entities that have responsibilities in criminal terms in this country act, because in fact it has been too much time. There is a very serious interference that started after I left Portimão, to try to carry out investigations, not only in this case but also related to the Joana case. And I think that -
JP: In order to discredit you, to ruin your credibility, is that it?
GA: Me and the Polícia Judiciária. I mean, they tried to question both investigations, there are things that, people came up and told me that this is for the little girls, for Joana and for Madeleine. Therefore, and they want to obtain information and things, therefore. In Portugal, criminal investigation it’s well defined in the law who can carry it out, those gentlemen cannot do it and what they do here in Portugal has to be sanctioned somehow.
JP: Obviously. Before I let Paulo speak, I would like to ask a question which I don’t know whether Gonçalo will answer, but as you are not an inspector anymore and are now out of the circuit and haven’t even read…
GA: I was never an inspector. I was a coordinator… it’s a matter of…
JP: Coordinator, I apologize, but as you are not with the PJ anymore, maybe you can, we have already talked more about states of the soul, about impressions. You started shaking your head as a no, but anyway. The first contact that you had with the McCann family, father and mother, what did you think?
GA: Well, I don’t speak English, therefore the contact was made through other persons, but I had no reaction.
JP: But did you think that you were in the presence of a genuinely worried couple, desperate to find their daughter?
GA: I didn’t make that type of judgment. In a criminal investigation, we have to base ourselves in facts, we have to be objective and leave emotions behind. The parents’ situation of anguish is logical, there was anguish, now whether it was anguish over the disappearance of their daughter or over knowing that their daughter was dead, it’s different and it cannot be distinguished like that. But in fact there was anguish contrary to what is being said, not in the police building but it’s known that the little girl’s mother cried she apparently cried that morning, so that anguish could be over the loss of her daughter, right? Therefore if they are committed to searching, it’s not normal that on the first day, the first hour, the only possible lead was abduction, abduction and it’s extended into saying abduction by Portuguese paedophile networks, therefore, these conclusions are made too soon after the event, because several possibilities were open at that moment, therefore, from then onwards I also find that strange and we took it into consideration.
JP: And later on? When you continue the investigation, you cross ways with this couple several times, did your opinion change or do you think that…
GA: The idea that I got and that my colleagues got, things have to be put in their place, don’t they, I was the coordinator of an investigation team, which included English, Portuguese, joint national directors, vice directors, this was the operational part that was being directed from Portimão, where the investigation was based. The advance that happens, is relatively changed. There is a sort of flight forward, we can understand that, it happens and possibly not only in this case, but in other cases where people sort of, I don’t want to say lie, half truth, they stick to the idea that there is an abduction and they don’t think about anything except abduction and psychologists and psychiatrists have already mentioned that, so it’s as if they believed it was true, there is this flight forward, therefore, from that moment onwards they continue to say that they search for their daughter.
JP: But did they change their behaviour, or did they have a more cold, more reserved attitude, more contained or more emotional…
GA: There are situations that are reported in the book but there are others when there isn’t a normal behaviour, so the person despairs during a moment of anxiety and we actually try to understand, we try, if it’s an obstruction that was the issue there, if it was really a demand for ransom, and we try to negotiate with that individual who was in Holland.
JP: That episode is particularly surprising.
GA: And then we watch that, us Portuguese who were there...
JP: ... and the English...
GA: ... and the English, we watched it in stupefaction, he was sitting there with a lollipop laughing on the phone and we were all waiting...
JP: We’re talking about Gerry McCann, at the moment when, because someone did try a coup like that, correct? So while you were waiting for him to make contact with you…
GA: … maybe it was his way of reacting to that tension, maybe it’s justifiable but to us, we were shocked, it’s not. We were searching for his daughter, doing our job.
JP: While he visited sites on the internet...
GA: No, he was on the phone.
JP: Ah he was on the phone and sucking on a lollipop wasn’t it and laughing and chatting?
GA: Yes! Completely detached from what was going on and about to happen…
JP: So that shocked you in particular?
GA: Me and the colleagues who were present.
JP: Very well. Paulo wanted to ask a question. Let’s hear it –
PR: A very specific question that stands out in your book. There are 7 witnesses, 4 friends of the McCanns, 2 English tourists that were there at the Ocean Club, and one of the nannies from the crèche who guarantee that they saw Robert Murat near the apartment on the evening that Madeleine disappeared. Robert Murat denies this, he says that he was with his mother, and then the Judiciária questions several members of the GNR, of the staff from the Ocean Club, and people who live there and who participated in the searches and who know Robert Murat perfectly because he lives there and all of those people deny those witnesses and peremptorily state that they did not see Robert Murat that night. This is the question that I ask you. Isn’t it obligatory even from a legal standpoint, faced with what to me seem like false statements, that certificates are extracted and that there are legal procedures against those witnesses because they are giving a false statement?
GA: Provided that the Public Ministry proves that they are really false statements.
PR: I’m aware it’s a decision for the Public Ministry, I only –
GA: I think they are. As a jurist, I think they are, I have that notion that they in fact don’t give a truthful testimony.
PR: But there is no news that those persons were targeted by a process from the Public Ministry.
GA: In fact there is another situation with Mathew Oldfield who says he went inside the apartment and states that he saw two windows, and his wife says that moments before that, minutes earlier, he had listened at the two bedroom windows, so that detail of the two windows, which seems to be a mistake but it’s not quite so, therefore, if they had been in the bedroom they would know that there was only one window in the bedroom, even outside of the bedroom if they had been listening it would only be one window as well, therefore there is only one window.
PR: So it is not known that the Public Ministry acted on the matter of the false testimonies by those witnesses, which in fact, Robert Murat’s lawyer has already announced that as soon as he has access to the process –
GA: Yes because there even was a confrontation between them…
PR: Yes precisely, precisely.
JP: So for now there are no consequences?
GA: Well, it seems not.
JP: It seems not. I insist on the questions concerning your impressions because it was maybe the aspect of the book that I was most avid to know whether or not you would take that route, and twice or thrice you let the text slide towards it, and I was really very surprised over that behaviour from Gerry McCann at the moment when the possibility of his daughter’s ransom is being discussed, which was obviously fictitious, but his behaviour relating to it and some observations that you make concerning Kate McCann. Namely a certain irritation and ill humour under several circumstances. Can you define who is Kate McCann?
GA: It is difficult to define, isn’t it. She almost cried in front of us, and then she lowered her head and when she returned she came back more aggressive, more –
JP: But within the couple she is the more combative, the more controlling person.
GA: I didn’t want to take that route in terms of rendering things subjective but…
JP: I noticed that.
GA: … but that is how it was. It was a bit, there was something not right there, but maybe a psychiatrist or someone could analyze the behaviour.
JP: Very well, you don’t want to say much about your personal impressions of her ahaha
GA: The issue here is not… I don’t have to worry about the McCann couple. What I have to worry about, or had to worry about is that little girl and find out what happened to her. It’s logical that knowing who the parents are and their behaviour, how they react, all of that is important within an investigation. But the most important thing is for us to integrate with what we have, to find the facts and to follow a route in terms of the final objective. Therefore, discussing the parents… it’s a question…
JP: But surely the second route that was chosen was the possibility that they are involved in her disappearance it had to do with that behaviour that we just referred… some coldness, some…
JP: It wasn’t only about that?
GA: It was about the entire investigation that is made isn’t it, but…
JP: And these elements aren’t analysed?
GA: We don’t base ourselves on empathies and we don’t like or dislike persons, we focus on the investigations.
JP: I’m not talking about empathies; I’m talking about behavioural observation. That is also analysed.
GA: It is, but –
GA: But what leads us into the direction of the little girl’s death is facts, not only looking at people and thinking that…
JP: Do you really reach the theory of an accidental death according to your theory, before the dogs arrive in Portugal, or…
GA: Yes, before the dogs come to Portugal, there are signs of death as I say in the book, signs which are given by the family that a cadaver is being searched. This gentleman comes from South Africa, and hair from the little girl, supposedly from the little girl, he places it inside a machine which he invented and we hear its contents which says that there within a certain area of the beach lies a cadaver. So he came on the couple’s request, otherwise he would not be requested. Then, the dogs’ intervention follows a work of analysis, of planning carried out by a British national consultant, from the British police, he was here in Portugal, he saw the area, he consulted the process with what happened, therefore with facts that existed, he went to the area, he rode a helicopter, consulted with academics, and all that and he reached the conclusion that we have to search for a cadaver. In order to search for a cadaver these experts have to be used, these dogs and that was what happened. So from there on…
JP: So that was what is called a good relationship between British and Portuguese investigators.
GA: Very good.
JP: Very good. Contrary to everything that was later reported by the press.
JP: So your opinion is that an accidental death took place in that apartment.
GA: It is not my opinion. It’s the opinion of the investigation. This has to be made very clear. I have repeated this several times but it’s important.
JP: You are absolutely right, so according to the investigation…
GA: According to the investigation that was composed of English, Portuguese investigators…
JP: Exactly. The little girl died in that apartment?
GA: The little girl died in that apartment.
JP: On the evening of the 3rd of May.
GA: And we reached that conclusion with the data that we have.
JP: And before the time that was announced? Before 10 pm which is the time that was…
GA: The time is not known because the reconstitution was not carried out, which could be important in order to define the times and to verify if they could have attended all that vigilance from the parents, every 10 or every 5 minutes, so if they were having dinner and all of a sudden almost nobody dined, isn’t it. But it seems that only one plate went back, a steak that had to be warmed up. It was necessary to understand who it was that failed to eat that steak and what everyone else ate, how long the dinner lasted, how long the meals take to be confectioned, and all of those things in order to understand it all afterwards.
The reconstitution was not carried out and from there on it’s difficult to know at what time it could have happened. There is one piece of data in terms of accurate time that evening, it exists and it concerns the little girl, it’s the time at which she left the nursery.
JP: At 5.30 pm.
GA: At 5.30 pm, concerning the other witnesses that were at the beach there is the video registry, they were filmed by the camera that was there, at 6.36 pm they leave the beach, first the men and afterwards the women and children, in terms of times and then there is the time of the Irish witness who knows at what time his dinner ends, and he has the receipt of the payment with the time at which he paid, when he leaves the restaurant across the street –
JP: Across the street he sees a man walking down with a child…
GA: He sees a man walking down with a child.
JP: … who he only realizes to be Gerry McCann when he sees Gerry McCann descending with his children…
JP: … when they return to England.
GA: The files that mention the testimony, they mention the clumsy manner in which he carried the child, the posture which we could call athletic, that he was an athletic individual and they offer a description, they reach the point of saying that, it was maybe possible in terms of saying who it is physically, but with those characteristics, the manner in which he walked, how he carried the child, they could know who it was. And so when he sees, when that family sees Gerry McCann descending from the airplane carrying the child and he starts to walk on the pavement, they realized. Now he says it’s 80%, if you tell me ah that is not evidence, I also agree it’s not evidence but at least it’s a piece of information and that information should always be worked out.
JP: And was it?
GA: When I left Portimão, on the 1st of October, I left on the 2nd but on the 1st we were arranging for those witnesses to come to Portugal. We already had permission from the national director, all that was left to do was to choose a hotel for them to stay and to schedule a date. After I left I know it took several months until the witness was heard, which happened around January or February this year, I don’t know, through a rogatory letter or a request for assistance under international cooperation.
JP: That is really one of the surprising bits of data. Another piece of data which is also surprising is related to that towel that Kate McCann gives for the first dogs, our dogs, the Portuguese. Why did she give a towel and not a piece of clothing? After this I’ll let Paulo speak.
GA: That is another question that has to be understood as well, doesn’t it? The towel because supposedly she had had a bath that day, right? It would therefore carry more of the little girl’s smell, the little girl’s odour, so this was an option between her, I think, and the members of GNR.
JP: The GNR which was there. Let’s hear Paulo.
PR: Now before I move on to another question, concerning the towel has the PJ established for example how often the bed sheets and the towels in the apartments are changed. Because if memory doesn’t fail me, the towel is delivered to the GNR 48 hours after the little girl disappeared.
GA: No. The towel was handed over right on that night.
PR: On that night.
GA: The GNR dogs also arrived that night. But the last time that the apartment had been cleaned was on Wednesday.
PR: A while ago, you mentioned an English policeman, a great expert, I suppose you were referring to Mark Harrison who is one of the two or three best British policemen in terms of investigating complex crimes. He was here, he spent a week in Praia da Luz, he rummaged through Praia da Luz, he walked everywhere, the saw the process upside down, he read the entire process, and then he wrote a report in which he concludes that the most likely hypothesis is the child’s death, and if I’m correct, he proposes the dogs’ coming, right?
PR: Was he the policeman who also retired, a reference that you made during a press conference? That there was an English policeman who retired.
PR: Was there an English policeman who also retired?
GA: The English policeman who retired is from the Leicester police. Now the reasons I would prefer not to talk about him at the moment. As a matter of fact I’d like to talk to him personally and I don’t want him to be pressured so I would reserve myself the right not to comment any further.
PR: Just to make this very clear, is that English policeman, Mark Harrison…
GA: No, no, no.
PR: … who comes here, writes a report, no, I’m not talking about the retirement issue, I’m just saying that he came here, that he is an expert in complex crime, one of the most prestigious from the English police, he walks the streets of Praia da Luz from one end to another, he measures, routes, timings, he analyses the process and after that he writes a report in his quality as one of the finest English experts, where he writes black on white that the most likely possibility is that the child died in the apartment, is that correct?
PR: That is what marks the turn in the investigations.
PR: And then the famous dogs arrive…
GA: Yes, to detect cadaver and human blood odour.
JP: So you don’t want to tell why your colleague retired. He has his own reasons. But you are aware that all of this thickens the public’s perception of a Machiavellian conspiracy theory. I understand your position, maybe at the moment you don’t want to say more or you can’t, it’s a fact that your book has brought us something more but we still fail to understand everything. Mainly, possibly the macro-structure that surrounds all of this. Duarte?
DL: No, I just wanted to talk about the issue of the English lab’s reports.
JP: That is very important, yes.
GA: The reports from the English labs… the English reports arrive shortly before the questionings that were scheduled. And it contained certain conclusions, if they thought they were inconclusive they shouldn’t have mentioned it, the question of the 15 alleles in a profile of 19 from the little girl, stating that they match Madeleine McCann, but they also say that it could have been a construction let’s say from various donors, from other persons, a contamination could have produced Madeleine McCann’s profile by coincidence. But there are no excuses for saying that it is not from Madeleine McCann because they held the profiles of the father, the mother, the siblings, therefore there are no doubts that at least within that family they only matched Madeleine McCann’s.
DL: In Portugal, for example, we only need a match of 15 alleles out of 19 in order to determine someone’s paternity, therefore… That is the first fact. The second fact is that at this moment, the institute for Forensic Medicine is already prepared, they already own the same equipment as the FSS in England to carry out this type of analysis. Why does the Public Ministry or the Polícia Judiciária not request, or don’t they have any more samples to carry out…
GA: As far as we know, they have all been destroyed by now, namely the hair. Nothing can be done.
PR: Concerning the FSS reports –
GA: And the samples were microscopic, weren’t they…
PR: Are you absolutely certain that the reports that reached you, namely those concerning the blood residues in the car boot, are exactly the reports that left the FSS?
GA: I have no doubts whatsoever, in fact, they were delivered by a senior official from Leicester police, it carries a logo, they came and went by email, so there is an existing origin, therefore the report is signed, so I have no doubts about that.
JP: You have no doubts whatsoever about that.
GA: On the official document.
JP: But wasn’t it published in Belgium that…
DL: … that there are two reports. There is one report that left the FSS and there is a second slightly different report that arrived in Portugal.
GA: There is a recent report and there are two other reports. The first one mentions 15 alleles and here is the main question, it places the focus, they place the focus on that part of the exam from the vehicle, in the second [report] they then focus on the apartment, if on one side 15 alleles were not enough, in the other there were only 5 alleles that matched Madeleine McCann’s genetic profile, what could be read there was that there were almost no problems. Because it’s easily justifiable. It may not be justifiable with the cadaver odour on the spot where the blood sample was collected, but therefore, inside the house it is easy to justify, it’s more difficult with a car that was rented more than twenty days later. So this is where the major confusion lies.
JP: Yes, Paulo?
PR: At a given moment in time, around the 9th or 10th of May, starts what you mention in your book, a wave of sightings of Madeleine. Madeleine is first seen in Morocco, by a…
GA: First she is seen here in Portugal. The wave starts to spread in Portugal.
PR: Exactly. Portugal and then –
GA: Then she is seen in the North, then jumps to South America, Brazil…
PR: One that was largely publicised by the English newspapers, was from a Norwegian lady who was spending holidays in Morocco and who swears that she saw the little girl. What the English press does not mention at that time is that the lady is Norwegian but she is married to a man who was born and bred in Rothley, the town where the…
JP: It could be a tremendous coincidence.
PR: … the McCanns resided for the last few years. This is the question that I ask you: The wave of sightings, namely in Morocco, where witnesses state that they are 100% certain that it was the child, I have no doubts. Beyond the usual confirmation with Interpol, Interpol and the police forces in those countries were requested to investigate those sightings and those witnesses.
GA: The witnesses, it was necessary to hear those witnesses and she lives in Southern Spain. She lives near Valencia. That is one of the diligences that possibly remained to carry out. But concerning those sightings in Morocco, it was through the cooperation with the English police, with liaison officers with the Moroccan police that tried to obtain the video tapes from that petrol station where the little girl was seen, in order to try to find out if it could actually be her or not. It was all handled from there.
JP: And you don’t value the fact that really the lady who saw is married to someone who coincidentally is…
GA: That was actually taken into account and it happened later, as Paulo Reis said, and as a matter of fact it’s something that should have been worked upon in terms of being heard.
JP: Well, let’s talk about what worries…
GA: But I can also say that apart from those sightings all over the world, in Praia da Luz there were little girls that strongly resembled Madeleine, blond with blue eyes, many of the same age as her. Therefore, someone could have spotted Madeleine there, in Praia da Luz, something that was not done.
JP: That’s true, that’s true. In your opinion, Maddie, in the opinion of the investigation and of your colleagues and the team that you coordinated, did Maddie die that evening?
GA: She died.
JP: And someone took her from that apartment and placed her where?
GA: Look, when we are in an investigation of this kind we have to understand what the knowledge of those persons is, if they know other people, what contacts they have. If they have means at their disposal. We have to know the area itself, to know about the facility or the almost material impossibility to conceal the corpse within few hours and few minutes. And the conclusion that we reach with all of this, with all of this data is that, if there was any involvement from those nine persons, the corpse could only be in the beach area. And that is in fact where the gentleman…
JP: The investigator.
GA: Not the investigator, the Irish witnesses…
JP: Ah yes!
GA: … see a person passing, a man carrying a child, a little girl, they say that it is in effect Madeleine going towards the South area, let’s put it that way, towards the sea side. Now whether or not she stayed there, that is another question. For how long she stayed there, what happens next, only the development of the investigation of that area of death, let’s put it that way, could take us there.
JP: Would you have followed that investigation line?
GA: It was the direction that I was following at that time so until we emptied it we weren’t stopping, were we…
JP: It sounds so unbelievable, the possibility that a body was placed on a cliff, or in any other area on the beach, and then removed and transported in a rental car.
GA: The corpse couldn’t have remained there all the time. It’s impossible.
JP: So where was it taken next?
GA: If we take into account that, if we consider the traces that were found in the car boot…
JP: … which are in fact…
GA: … which are in fact from the little girl. In order to justify that bodily fluid as the lab says, it could only have been preserved and conserved in the cold because otherwise it would have been…
JP: That means that…
GA: … in an advanced state of decomposition, at least it’s a hypothesis. Therefore it’s a question of a deep freezer, or something similar, and there we had to search for it and that was what we were doing. This means, the contacts that they had, where they went, where they were seen… There are people who say that they were seen entering an apartment block near the cemetery in Praia da Luz. At that point in time we weren’t able to detect which apartment they entered, who lived there, because it’s also a bit complicated because you have to understand it’s a tourist area and often it’s not known who the apartment belongs to.
JP: Of course, of course…
GA: Who lives there, for how long they live there, so all of that was being worked upon. To try to understand the support…
JP: If someone discovered a deep freezer in the area and…
GA: If it was actually a deep freezer, it doesn’t exist anymore now.
JP: Is that still possible to find out? I imagine…
GA: Look, a few years ago on the Azores, after a homicide that had taken place years earlier, we managed to locate a vehicle that was already in a junk yard in which a taxi driver had been killed, a taxi driver from Praia da Vitória in the Azores. But we were unlucky, normally the van’s back had a carpet but it didn’t exist anymore. That carpet didn’t exist anymore, so if we had found that carpet it would have been possible to prove that the death had taken place there, so anything is possible.
JP: Anything is possible. I don’t know if Paulo and Duarte have any further questions, you have to be brief, we’re almost finishing.
DL: One more doubt, I read in your book that you never received the medical report, Madeleine’s clinical history. For example I also know that –
GA: We think, because that’s the way it is, we spoke to the English police, they said right away that there were problems in England to hand that over within the rogatory letter’s context. There is a rogatory letter that was carried out but before that there was another rogatory letter that was being prepared which also contained those questions and which also contained questions about other tests, other tests by the dogs with the friends that were there, namely on the clothes with those same dogs in order to try to find cadaver odour or any other trace, that was important. So there was that rogatory letter…
DL: And you never received those reports, you receive the reply that the McCanns had no credit cards, you already knew that was false, could it then be said that there were two English teams working on this case? The one that in fact stood beside the PJ and the one that worked against…
GA: I don’t speak with the English police, I can assure you…
JP: And now we don’t speak at all because we’re arriving at the end. I only want, Gonçalo Amaral, I only want to know one thing. Will Maddie return to your life one of these days, or not?
GA: I think yes. This book has the will of clarifying and of contributing to the investigation, I think yes, there are more things to talk about.
JP: Is that your mission?
GA: It’s not a mission, it’s a question of recovering my dignity and my honour and that of my colleagues and of this institution to which I was so proud of belonging to for so many years, and of justice being done for the little girl.
JP: Thank you. A round of applause for Gonçalo Amaral. Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis, thank you very much.