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

Revisiting the “Maddie case”

Was it the Portuguese and English governments that decided to sabotage the investigation and to get the parents “off the hook”?

by Domingos Amaral*

Now that the Maddie case has been archived by the Public Ministry due to a lack of evidence; now that the process has been opened for public consultation; and now that the PJ inspector who coordinated the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, has already published a book about the issue, it has become possible to list my conclusions about the case. Here they are:

1 – Contrary to what was suggested by the British press, which presented him as a negligent policeman who spent his life in long lunches, washed down with plenty of wine, and with little investigative capacity, the impression that I got from Gonçalo Amaral, both from the tv interviews and from reading the book, is that he coordinated a competent investigation, that followed the rules, that was neither biased nor tendentious, and that he did everything to crack the case.

2 – All the evidence that was collected by the PJ pointed, right from the first days onward, to the little girl’s death inside the apartment and the subsequent concealment of the cadaver, probably by her parents.

3 – The indicia that was collected, both from witnesses, and later from the DNA tests, pointed into that same direction.

4 – The behaviour of the little girl’s parents’ friends is very strange. There are contradictory depositions that seem to have been “built” to lead the PJ into the direction of the abduction theory. On the other hand, the fact that all of the friends abandoned Portugal in a hurry is extremely disturbing.

5 – The manner in which the little girl’s parents behave, speaking to Sky News on the same day and transforming the case into a media event, obviously forcing the abduction theory, is extremely surprising. It does not seem normal to me that a father and a mother, when confronted with the disappearance of a daughter, establish as their first and only priority to transform the case into a worldwide media event.

6 – Since the first hour, the English press accepted the abduction theory, which was communicated to them by the parents, without judgment. Like a brainless flock, they fell on Praia da Luz exercising enormous pressure on the PJ, suggesting that Portugal is a third world country, and complicating the investigation. We remember that it was an English journalist that “invented” the suspicions about Robert Murat, thus forcing the PJ to investigate him and to waste time with a situation that was lateral, but which suited the parents’ purpose.

7 – The fact that the little girl’s father is a personal friend to Prime Minister Gordon Brown led to the English government making available to the parents, media specialists who built and forced the abduction theory. It was a highly professional operation that used sophisticated marketing techniques, in the press and on the internet, with meetings with international personalities, which culminated with the visit to the Pope in the Vatican.

8 – This remarkable public campaign was accompanied by a political pressure behind the scenes, with the English government exerting pressure on the Portuguese government, in the direction of the abduction theory.

9 – For many months, it was evident that the PJ had lost the public opinion battle and that it was not prepared to handle a media and political pressure of such proportion. In terms of public communication, the case was very badly managed by the PJ and by the Public Ministry.

10 – Despite these tremendous political and media pressures, the investigation proceeded on the terrain and was approaching important conclusions, which clearly pointed to the parents’ guilt, at least of the crime of cadaver concealment.

All of these conclusions lead me to formulate two questions: Why were the directory of the PJ and the Public Ministry incapable of having the courage to accuse the parents, like the investigation suggested? Was it the Portuguese and the English governments that decided to sabotage the investigation and to let the parents “off the hook”?

Some day the truth will emerge, but for me, and even without bulletproof evidence, a case like this should never have been archived and those parents should be tried in court.

source: Diário Económico, 01.10.2008

*Portuguese journalist and author


  1. Unfortunately, nothing new. Am not downsizing the meritorious work of the journalist. And of everybody else, specially Joana, on this issue.

    One VERY IMPORTANT proven fact that everybody has seen, has protested about but nobody has put it black and white: The Tapas 9 are allowed to lie.

    This is the fact, all by itself, that allows for the truth not to be known. You all know the reasons that I think that enable the fact. You may not agree with me, and I may be completely offmark. But that this is a FACT, nobody can deny it. They can say one thing today, and the opposite tomorrow and not be questioned for the reasons why.

    Only when whatever reasons are behind this fact no longer exist, will the truth be known.

    And only the British Public, can through political (read electoral) pressure, change the current McCann status quo.

    And don't think that a change from Labour to Conservative will change anything, Only when the politicians, whatever ideological colour, realize that they can capitilise on the issue will the the Tapas 9 face justice.


  2. And so say all of us!
    Round of applause!

    Thank you for this Joana and Astro

  3. There is much to agree with in this article but I think it is weakened by Mr Amaral neglicting to back up some points and by omitting others that don't flatter his cause.

    1) "The fact that the little girl’s father is a personal friend to Prime Minister Gordon Brown..."

    Is he? Is there any evidence that they even met before this tragedy let alone be close firends? That claim should be backed up.

    2)"This remarkable public campaign was accompanied by a political pressure behind the scenes, with the English government exerting pressure on the Portuguese government, in the direction of the abduction theory."

    I do not know if this is true or not but I do know that accusing two governments of corrupting the legal process is a huge claim and is not one that the author should expect to be taken on trust. He offers no evidence to back this up whatsoever. Why not?

    3) The British press behaved terribly... well yeah, (no surprises there), but I feel the author is selective in his condemnation. The Portugese press in colluding with Police in running a campaign of trial by leak and smear behaved in a way that earned their proffession little respect.

    As I said, I feel that the article makes some very good and valid points but Mr Amaral comes across as partisan and so the article is weakened.

  4. To me the question of conspiracy within the British Govenment and the Portuguese authorities has neer been a question, what I want to now is why? Why did these people conspire to cover the death of a 3 year old child?
    It always come back to Payne and the finger sucking, I can think of no other explanation I can think of.
    The whole lot of them involved in this are a shower of shit.

  5. Se houve conivência do governo português com o britânico com respeito ao "Caso Maddie", teremos de concluir que existem no governo português elementos que, quaisquer que sejam os motivos, estão a prejudicar os interesses do país em vez de defendê-los. Esses elementos deverão ser excluídos e substituídos sem demora. Num palco internacional de projecção global, os média britânicos desde Maio do ano passado que repetida e contundentemente apresentam Portugal como um país inferior e indigno. Isso é inadmissível!

  6. Lazarus - I agree with you. 1) There's no evidence of friendship between GMcC and GB, as far as we know. 2) Even GA acknowledges the political pressure was more imagined and feared than real.

    Textura - Not only the Tapas lied probably. And did they in the proper meaning of that word ? Sometimes witnesses add or omit details thinking they express better their vision of what happened. It is very difficult to step backwards : once you said something that after you are not so sure of, how can you confess it without compromising all your statement ?
    Authorities know the truth, even if not the "how", since the Irish family identified the child carrier. The truth is ridiculous, compared to the quantity of ink and thinking wasted on that case. They considered that concealing a body to conceal (to yourself) your defective responsibility as a parent wasn't exactly a crime and belonged more to the private area. For the peace of a family and especially of 2 little children, authorities thought oblivion was the better option. This is dangerously forgetting we live in States of Law. We, citizens, need a minimum of confidence in our institutions.

  7. Lazarus is right in his comments and in the three points he makes. I would go further in saying the piece is actually weak.

    Above all, why would the two governments corrupt the process of justice? Where's the rationale for or evidence of that?

    Also, as a Portuguese living in the UK, I know that appealing to the media is a normal procedure in the case of children disappearance in the UK - although not in Portugal.

    What is strange in the parents' behaviour are other things - never owning up to the fact that all the children were left alone, leading this huge campaign asking for public donations, the staged public appearances, previously agreed with the British press. not answering questions that could clarify the investigation, telling the PJ they believed the child was dead and arranging for the South African to come and find the body, when they still tell us they believe she is alive, the mother leaving the other children alone upon finding Madeleine had been abducted...I could go on...

    Neither the British nor the Portuguese press did in general do a very good job, with some exceptions. The British press used appalling and selective translation in many cases, the Portuguese press did not check their facts - Calpol, a commercial name for paracetamol for children, was presented as a tranquilizer, for example. Both explored prejudice on either side.

    I don't know what happenned that day for sure. What I know is British parents in general love their children as we or the Morrocans or the Brazilians or the Chinese do and most of the parents I know over here would never have left children so young alone... although it is a fact that many children meet a terrible fate at the hands of their loved ones.

  8. Domingos Amaral is yet another to have either failed to read Mr Amaral's evidenced based testimony or chosen to dismiss it.

    Mr Amarals' conclusions alongside PM's - "abandonment, endangerment, homicide and cadaver disposal" were not drawn on 'lack of evidence' but the opposite - overwhelming evidence including Madeleine's DNA/Kate's fingerprints on the window etc. etc.

    The intervention/influence of government ministers is well documented and the only logical explanation for such an overwhelming amount of evidence in a case of homicide being 'inexplicably archived'.

    The 'soap opera' acknowledged by the police continues - media and forum disinformation.

  9. Lazarus,

    May I suggest you read Mr Amaral's evidenced based testimony, to avoid further misleading citation.

  10. speak your mind,

    Vile accusations against Murat were proved untrue on police examination of his computer. The mindset of McCann protectionists is malaevolent beyond belief, truly evil.

    Payne's 'finger sucking' is akin to a pubescent schoolboy experiencing his first rush of testosterone - utterly ridiculous.
    Immediately prior to malaevolent 'anonymous' comments being handed to PJ, a lawyer for one of the Tapas group - reported as co-operating with PJ - voiced his anger at problems being caused by government intervention.

    Mr Amaral's testimony confirms DNA matches to Madeleine's in the vehicle hired by the McCanns. I've lost count of the number of innocent people who've been targeted by agents protecting the McCanns.

    Murat was used, abused and paid out .... the good and decent Payne family have, I'm told, tremendous support within the medical fraternity and elsewhere. They need it with the level of reprisal/malaelovence in this sordid, sinister case.

    The McCanns aren't paying for the situation they created .... the Portuguese & British taxpayers are footing the bill, including the 24/7 monitoring unit.

  11. For me, the question has always been who killed Maddie and why?

    There are only two groups of adults who come to mind. There is the statistically significant population of crazed mothers who drown or burn their children. These women are filled with hatred because motherhood encroaches on their carefree lifestyle and primary preoccupation with self. Ring any bells?

    And then there are the depraved folks who go around sucking their fingers, circling the nipples of innocent children and marking their prey. Ring any more bells?

    Then there are the Cash Cows who would sell their own children into prostitution.

    We know the indicia pointed in one direction, to the parents and their friends. What is not known publicly, is what the private investigation in the UK uncovered. Obviously, it is so horrible that the people involved feel it has to be kept a national secret. Time will change that perception and then the truth will start emerging.

  12. To aacg


    You are an idiot disguised as a gentleman/gentlewoman. Don’t think that you can fool me with all your politeness. Taking others for fools is what you British have been doing all along this process, taking fully (and brilliantly) advantage of the Portuguese proneness to subservience.

    To question me about the proper meaning of the word “lie” about the McCanns is to be either ignorant, or vile. They have not made minor contradictions Minor contradictions, by the way, are a relevant mean to know if one tells the truth, as when one does that one doesn’t rely on the premeditated memorization of inexistent details but only on what one’s mind has registered, thus causing one to never use the same set of words whenever asked to reply to the same answer repeatedly, which usually means minor, UNDERSTANDABLE, contradictions. You recognize that with your “Sometimes witnesses add or omit details thinking they express better their vision of what happened”. What the McCanns made were MAJOR, UNACCEPTABLE contradictions that would have put them in jail as of 23H00 of the 3rd of May 2007, were they unprotected, or at least not so WELL protected. Only mean spirited people like you continue to try to hide an elephant behind a needle.

    And if you are ignorant, please inform yourself before commenting on such a serious subject as the one in question. And no, I’m not being arrogant. Simply because I’m almost certain that you, Sir/Ma’am, are not blessed with ignorance.

    “The truth is ridiculous, compared to the quantity of ink and thinking wasted on that case”. Yes, I would think you would think that. And you wish you would convince me and others like me, to think just like you.

    “For the peace of a family and especially of 2 little children, authorities thought oblivion was the better option.” With the delicious add-on “This is dangerously forgetting we live in States of Law. We, citizens, need a minimum of confidence in our institutions”. Ok, so you think that “peace of a family and especially of 2 little children” is a plausible (although you hint that to do so is wrong) reason for a State to overlook murder. Could you please clarify me what other reasons do you think are possible for a rightful State to ignore a murder? Is two the minimum amount of little children that have to be pacified, or if we have only two children can we just kill one and get off the hook so that the other won’t be unhappy? Bad luck for you folks with only one kid. Get working fast.

    “We, citizens, need a minimum of confidence in our institutions” is EXACTLY the reason that the truth is NOT ridiculous.

    To all,

    Funny how those who desperately still defend the indefensible, use politeness to get their message across. They avoid facts, ambushed, timidly attack. Always politely, but always vague, placing the burden of proof on those that ask/raise questions but accepting as truthful all said by those that should prove what they say.

    Lazarus accuses Mr. Amaral of being “partisan”. Besides the fact that there is a formal recognition that there are effectively sides on this matter, I simply ask: on which side falls Mr. Amaral’s partisanship? Clearly there is a “McCann, Remainder Tapas & Mitchell” side. But who then constitutes the other side/sides? The Portuguese side? The PJ side? Mr. G. Amaral’s side? The Madeleine Beth McCann side? Or simply the side of the truth?


  13. Joana I protest against Textusa's argumentum ad hominem !
    Although I'm not British.

  14. Taken from Wikipedia. In parenthesis my own comments.

    An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin
    : "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim (COMPLETELY TRUE, wouldn’t describe better my intent), rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim (FALSE, the blatant evidence that is PUBLIC would make any argument from me against the claim completely redundant). The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject (IRRELEVANT, not the intent, but, however, admissible to be interpreted as such from those that qualify, implicitly, the McCann lies as admissable and justifiable).


  15. The ongoing 'soap opera' is a timely reminder that justice in Madeleine's case could and should have been concluded last September.

    Mr Amaral confirmed that at this time last year the proof required for arrests was complete. In normal circumstances, the government would not have intervened.

  16. aacg,

    Mr Amaral confirmed government intervention was shown to be very real by Brown's phone call two hours prior to Goncalo being formally notified of his 'removal'.

    The British media continues to operate under strict censorship.
    Goncalo & C d M Editor both confirmed threats meted by Mitchell for publishing the truth -
    'mafioso style' on behalf of McCann protectionists.

    English & Portuguese citizens are equally appalled. I wonder how Sir Ian Blair views the government intervention/influence in a case, according to evidenced facts, of a child homicide ? I imagine he's as appalled as all other citizens, more so given his responsibilities for maintaining law and order in a democracy.
    Mr Amaral & Sir Ian Blair have both been subjected to scurrilous, unsubstantiated attacks in the media. Disinformation and plagiarizing Mr Amaral is rife in forums. Mitchell was seconded to run the media 'soap opera'.

  17. - a question to aacg ¿is your name Mrs. Fritzl? then I understand your point of view.

    "For the peace of a family and especially of 2 little children, authorities thought oblivion was the better option."

    Let's Daddy Fritzl satisfy his evil insticts with only one daughter for the sake of the twins...oops, the sake of the rest of children, as he pays for the expenses.

    -To conceal a body is something that belongs to the private area?

    - If one makes an incorrect statement, has to hold it at all cost?. Now aacg, your name is Clarrie.

  18. One of the most profound features in this sinister case is that the Home Office blocked PJ's request to re-interview the prime suspects on earlier inconsistencies and unanswered questions.

    Furthermore, PJ were then blocked from attending the (reportedly corrupted) police interviews of Jane Tanner & O'Brian. In an unprecedented 'up yours' to PJ, Miliband reportedly arranged the McCanns trip to Strasbourg to coincide with this as prime suspects in their child's disappearance.

    In the recent Ghurka Court case, the Judge ruled that Jacqui Smith, Home Office, "acted unlawfully".

  19. Muito feios;muito porcos e muito maus........................



  20. ..."Estou numa brigada de homicídios que é tão sui generis que merecia fazer-se uma série sobre ela, caraças. A Polícia Criminal é o must das polícias, mas a minha brigada é do melhor que já se inventou neste planeta...»



  21. Spider Man; spider man.......


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