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

Sofia Leal: 'Our daughters suffered emotional damage'

The wife of the former Polícia Judiciária inspector speaks about the family problems, the difficulties in their marriage and the suffering of her daughters.

Gonçalo Amaral, a former Polícia Judiciária inspector, has become known to the public after investigating controversial cases: that of Joana Cipriano first, then that of Madeleine McCann. The balance of this valorous work was devastating for both the inspector’s career and personal life. Now, after retiring early, with several ongoing lawsuits, the former inspector celebrated his 50th birthday. His wife, Sofia Leal, tells our magazine about the last two years.

What changed since Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the Madeleine case?

He is a more present father, unfortunately perhaps, because his career ended prematurely.

Did the outcome of this case, for your husband, catch you by surprise?

At a certain point in time, I suspected that the outcome would be this one.

Did you fear that moment?

We never fear, because we have great faith in God and in our daughters’ future.

Was it a complicated time for the family?

Problems are overcome, just like in any family.

How did your daughters go through this situation?

It was very violent. They lived without their father since May, because he worked in Portimão and we still lived in Faro. Then, on the day that Madeleine disappeared, I started to work in Portimão. They remained with their grandparents, and when they finally came to live in our new home, their father ceased functions in Portimão and had to return to Faro. The girls’ feeling was a bit of abandonment.

Didn’t they understand this change?

Our daughters suffered emotional damages that are latent to this day. Their father’s court attendances were also very violent, because they were used to watching their father sending other people to court. And suddenly, it was their father on the defendant’s bench. Inês is five years old and Rita is 11, it’s very complicated.

Was there a time when the marriage was hurt?

Obviously, any marriage would hurt.

Did you feel you were receiving less attention from him?

Gonçalo’s commitment was always the same, it would never even cross my mind to complain about that. The difficulties in our marriage were basically related to the emotional part.

Do you fear that Gonçalo may be forced to pay the compensation that is being demanded by the McCanns?

I don’t think that is possible, we will appeal until the last instances.

Don’t you fear experiencing financial difficulties?

On the day that my husband left the Polícia Judiciária, he came home with a third of his salary. That was a decision that we made as a family. We were aware of the difficulties that we would experience in the future, and I have always supported him, because principles are more important. That is how we raise our daughters.

How do you seek to explain the ongoing events to your daughters?

The four of us gather when they have doubts and we clarify everything, according to their ages.

Are they approached by colleagues at school?

Yes, they are approached at school, but always in a positive manner and they react very well.

A message for Kate McCann

Sofia Leal has already come forward to defend her husband from Kate McCann’s words.

“I don’t understand, I don’t accept and I don’t even admit that a mother whose daughter has disappeared, treats my husband in that manner, saying that he is a disgrace as a man and as a professional. I do not admit that exactly that person says it, after my husband gave up so much of his family time to search for her daughter.”

“I have a feeling of fulfilled duty”

The former Polícia Judiciária inspector reunited his closest friends to celebrate his 50th birthday. “I’m happy, there are many friends here, others could not come, others are not among us anymore.” On the balance of such a special anniversary, the former policeman says that he has many reasons to celebrate. “I feel accomplished. It is the feeling of fulfilled duty, but there is something more, that I cannot speak about, of justice being carried out and the truth being discovered. These are not wishes, they are principles, I’m not speaking about any specific case”, he adds ironically. We recall that Gonçalo Amaral was forbidden by the Civil Court of Lisbon of making any comments about the book “The Truth about the Lie”.

source: Maria magazine, paper edition only, 10.10.2009


  1. Parecidíssima sem dúvida!!! As únicas diferenças são: esta miúda tem um ar feliz e saudável, provavelmente tem uns pais que nunca a neglegenciaram em tenra idade, nem fizeram fortuna à sua conta, a outra é que Madeleine morreu na Praia da Luz em Maio de 2007 (já o dia levanta dúvidas). Tirando isto, são parecidíssimas!!! Melhor do que isto só mesmo em Inglaterra (a terra dos lendas e dos spins).

  2. Gonçalo, o que eu mais desejo é que leve a tribunal provas consistentes e testemunhas inquestionáveis e muitas. Os McCann não estão aí para perder, especialmente Gerry que voltou com a força toda e vai até ao fim, já a Kate parece-me no fio da navalha. Todavia, não se deixe iludir nem seja condescendente, "o lobo está com fome e espreita a presa". Boa sorte, estamos na retaguarda.

  3. I'm impressed that the abductor continued keeping the same pink coulour the McCanns used to buy for Maddie.
    Also impressed that she walks around dressed up like that, the colour, very exagerated, attracting the attention,
    But again so far away, this time Stokholm and why not in Faro or Portimão?
    Or even in Rothley?
    She still speaks perfect Engish

  4. This sounds like the kind of family we'd all be proud to be part of. I salute the Amaral's.

  5. Joana, is this magazine a serious one or part of the new PRs tribe?

    "I have always supported him, because principles are more important"

    Absolutely! and this is why you have so many supporters.
    Your are an example of strength and dignity.
    Go get them,Gonçalo,get them for the psychological damage this has brought to YOUR family.
    Get them for DEFAMATION
    Just GET them
    Un abrazo

  6. Regarding the Stockholm 'sighting'. Is this the McCanns PR machine in overdrive???

  7. Please can anyone tell me if Martin Brunt's Life of Crime blog re Madeleine, has also been WHOOSH cluncked. It seems to have disappeared.

  8. Interesting and impressive that both Gonçalo and Sofia speak of principles.

    Sofia says 'We were aware of the difficulties that we would experience in the future, and I have always supported him, because principles are more important. That is how we raise our daughters.'

    Gonçalo says '... of justice being carried out and the truth being discovered. These are not wishes, they are principles'

    I wish other couples in this sad case had such obvious belief in principles, such as the principle of free speech.

    As for this latest wild-goose chase in Sweden, I'm sure Gerry McCann, having lectured on the subject of privacy and a family's right to such, will have already contacted the Sun and told them in no uncertain terms to take that photo of the little girl off their website as it's violating her and her family's right to privacy, and the McCanns don't want to be associated in any way with such disgraceful actions. I mean, it can't be one rule for the McCann family but a totally different one for everyone else, can it?

  9. Joana,is this magazine a "serious" one or is it part of the new PRs tribe?

    I feel very sorry for this family who is expressing high commitments in terms of moral principles

    Gonçalo,sue THEM for psychological damage to YOUR family
    Sue THEM for defamation
    Sue THEM for lying
    SUe THEM for depriving you of your most basic right to freedom of expression.

    Força Amaral Family
    Un abrazo

  10. What a decent admirable couple they are, totally unlike the McScams, i've just seen pic of girl in Sweden, nothing like maddie, except she's female! I am so sick of the despicable pair.

  11. Dimsie said 'I mean, it can't be one rule for the McCann family but a totally different one for everyone else, can it?'

    Unfortunately, it seems that it can. Can you honestly see this latest family taking any action against them, or the McCanns themselves suddenly admitting that other people have a right to privacy? I can't. No-one is prepared to go against them, except for one man - Goncalo Amaral. Thank God for him.
    Is there only one REAL man left in this world?


  12. anonymous at 10/10/09 12:04: life of crime continues at sky http://blogs.news.sky.com/lifeofcrime

    Jo, don't understand the question that you posted twice. This magazine is a daily magazine, not exactly my cup of tea, but it is said that is one of the most read magazines in the country.

    About the new PR team surely you must be confusing something, the Amaral's aren't using any PR team, the McCanns were the ones who hired a PT PR team to 'whitewash' their image among the Portuguese citizens, which won't work anyway...

  13. What a wonderful honourable couple the Amarals are good luck and our thoughts are with you, go on SUE the MC Scamms you have a good case. Has there been another so called sighting?? If so my god how low will these people go?? They will do anything to protect themselves and their reputations I really wish someone would do something to stop them its getting beyond a joke now. Too many peoples lives being destroyed by their lies!! I bet the Porteugese wished they had donme them for child neglect at least this case may have taken a different turn and the Mc Scamms wouldnt be in the newspaper all the time and interfering in other cases. O and I would like to know how the little New Zealand girl missing has any similarities to the Maddie case. Was her mom and dad out dining with friends when she went missing? Was they supposedly doing half hour checks? Have they set up a fund got the newspapers involved and the government? Are they off to see the pope? No the only thing I can see in comparison is a girl is missing and those people are in total bits not like the MC Scamms and I do hope they find poor Aishling.

  14. I join others who have said it here in saluting this man. He has fought back where many other 'yes men' would cower and look after their own hides.

    There are many of us in the UK who believe the McCann's are perpetrating a fraud, at some level. For example, I believe that the bare minimum offence of neglect was perpetrated. Even if we believe their stories they admit to only actually checking Madeliene was there in the room once, at 9 pm. All other checks, they admit, were 'listening'. Yet the UK media treats them as if their 'suffering' is the only important thing, not their failure and Madeleines loss. If we beleive she is alive, then I hope she has better parents now. If we beleive she is dead, as the evidence suggests she is, then the parents deserve to be stripped of their fraudulently gained assets, their twins taken to a new home (a more deserving home) and Clarence Mitchell and others who have perpetrated their fraud for them should be prosecuted with the full weight of the law and banned from the media and any other form of public life. I'd extend this to any editor or reporter who has prevented the truth emerging.

    I dont for a moment expect any of that to happen, life is full of injustice.

    However, we can only hope that justice will one day be done and the mcCanns will be revealed for what we know they are, greedy self serving failed parents at least!

  15. I just saw it too...a deliberately placed 'SUN' banner to prevent close viewing (so the eyes cant be blown up to have a look for Geralds 'marketting ploy'.

    All in pink and brazenly on a web site?

    Yes of course this is Madeleine...lol...NOT!

    Sadly, Madeleine, as the lying McCann's know full well, no longer exists.

  16. In the parallell universe of the McCanns every manufactured sighting and every tragedy remotely similar to the disappearance of Madeleine is a reason to have themselves and their ridiculous opinions and those of their spokesman and family members plastered all over the front pages of UK tabloids.
    They have no dignity, no sense of decency and no compassion. Compare this to the Amarals and it is instantly obvious why the McCanns regard Dr. Amaral as their arch enemy and seek to destroy him.


  17. Thanks Joana
    My computer crashed and I posted twice,unsure the first post will appear.
    I know the Amaral are not using a PR thanks god for that,they can speak for themselves.Just thought it could be an other manipulation from mccTeam.I am probably becoming paranoiac.....


  19. I also had trouble accessing Martin Brunt's "Life of Crime". It's gone from the main page but can be viewed and is still active on the previous blogs which appear on the right hand side of the main Martin Blunt blog page. Click on July and it's there.

  20. To the anonymous at 10/10/09 12:04

    Life of Crime - "Madeleine, the latest but not very much", is now in the "Archived blogs". There's a "box" with the archived blogs on the right-handside of the page, it's archived under the month of August. Just click there and you'll be able to read it and to keep posting.

  21. MARIA is a female oriented magazine. It's what I believe the spanish call "Periodismo del corazon", or "Prensa rosa", they deal with subjects that are most likely to interest the working-class female.
    I don't think they are under the "wing" of the new PR agency, well, not yet...otherwise they would not have published this, they would not give the Amaral family any printing space.

  22. Anonymous 10/10/09 12:04

    'Please can anyone tell me if Martin Brunt's Life of Crime blog re Madeleine, has also been WHOOSH cluncked. It seems to have disappeared.'



    Click on Blogs
    Click on Life of Crime

    To right of the page you will see 'archived blogs'

    Click on 'Aug'

    Hye presto Martin's last blog on Madeleine!


  23. Mr & Mrs Amaral, my heart goes out to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.

    Very best wishes from the UK.


  24. "Please can anyone tell me if Martin Brunt's Life of Crime blog re Madeleine, has also been WHOOSH cluncked. It seems to have disappeared."

    Hi Anonymous,

    Martin Brunt's most recent blog about Madeleine (Madeleine the latest, but not very much...)has been archived - this happens when Mr Brunt adds new blogs to the page.

    Just go to the main Life Of Crime page (the one Joana quoted)and click on AUGUST, in the archive section, on the right side of the page.

    Alternatively, you can follow this link: http://blogs.news.sky.com/lifeofcrime/Post:0bbe1e92-e1c8-4b58-bdad-56c06936ce55.

    Might be a good idea to bookmark the page, once you are there.

    Hope this helps.


  25. Será que percebi bem ou estou a ler coisas que não foram ditas?O Sr.Gonçalo Amaral está mesmo a dizer-nos que a justiça está a ser feita e que a verdade está a ser descoberta?Há realmente uma investigação a decorrer?Seja como for, este senhor é digno da nossa admiração e do nosso respeito.Foi o único até agora a ter a coragem de dar a cara por esta pobre criança e só ele e a família sabem com que consequências para eles todos.

  26. Sunday Express (UK) has a front page on the Maccanns, Kidnapper drugged all 3 Maccann children.

  27. Again an absurd story on Sunday Express, today. On purpose, I think.
    It says the 2 detectives don't believe Maddie was taken through the window but the abductor had a duplicate key of the front door.
    There were no traces on the open window, only Kate's.
    The abductor came in and left through the front door, using the duplicate key.

    -If he used the front door, why did he open the window? To watch the moon?

    The detectives claim there were no traces on the window, a proof the abduction did not happen through it.
    Were there traces on the door? also not.

    Those detectives could better keep their mouths.
    The more they talk, the worse it gets.

    And the Sunday Express refers to drugs.That I believe.

  28. I have no doubts, if there was a difamation on that sad story, Amaral and his family were the victims. They don't create the situation and it is a disgrace that somebody became so vilified of doing his work in a competent, straight and confident maniere.

  29. With a bit of luck those dopey detectives the McCanns have hired may stumble upon the TRUTH of what really happened to Madeleine. It will suddenly hit them in the face.

    So if they come to the same conclusions that the Official Investigators have come to, will the McCanns give them the 'order of the boot', or will they threaten to sue them to try and stop them from revealing their findings?

  30. Interesting people forget that there are children from another family who are affected by this. I wonder how the living situation of these children hass been affected by this case and the change in their father's financial position, Surely he would just have given up and walked away if he'd realised how much this would affect his family, bur he didn't. He carried on so he must have been convinced what he was doing was right.

    One thing though, the translation describes the children's situation as 'violent'. This doesn't translate very well into the English and suggests they've been subjected to physical violence. I would suggest 'chaotic' as a better translation.

  31. Wonderful Sofia, I have been following this case since it's inception , and I am from the UK.

    I share your husbands opinions on Madeleine McCann, and have read Mr Amaral's book cover to cover and agree with the entire book!

    Your husband is an honerable, upstanding man who has done so much good for his country and for Madeleine.

    Bravo! to you Sofia, for all you have been through, you are a wonderful woman, wife and mother!

    We shall pray for you as we do for our own children. Do not fear for your future, there is Hope!


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