News Recap: Amaral, McCanns, Halligen and a FOIA request
On Gonçalo Amaral: According to an article on the Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã, published on the 17th of March, Gonçalo Amaral was questioned at the directory of Faro regarding a new accusation made by the McCann couple lawyer, Isabel Duarte, who alleged that Gonçalo Amaral had violated the secrecy of justice of the so-called Maddie Case process. In January, during the hearing of the injunction that banned Gonçalo Amaral's book 'Maddie, The Truth of the Lie' from the Portuguese bookshops, Isabel Duarte stated to the media that the breach of the secrecy of justice was made because Gonçalo Amaral had sent his book draft to the publishers «Guerra & Paz» before the process was archived by the Public Ministry. On the 1st of July the Portuguese Public Ministry prosecutor evaluated the PJ final report to decide on the continuation of the investigation or on the archival, on the 21st of July the Portuguese Attorney general in a press note announced the Maddie Case process archival. From that date the process of the investigation to the disappearence of Madeleine McCann was released to the media and to interested persons upon request. Gonçalo Amaral's book 'Maddie, The Truth of the Lie' was publicly presented on Thursday, 24 of July 2008 at the El Corte Ingles, in Lisbon. Since September 15, 2007, with the amendments made to the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 86, paragraph 6, the secrecy of justice stopped being enforced on all the process cases except when and if decided by the Public Ministry or by the Instruction Judge heading the inquest to an investigation.
On the 18th of March, Correio da Manhã newspaper gave notice that the process made by António Leandro David da Silva's lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia against Gonçalo Amaral was dismissed by the Court of Faro. Leandro accused Gonçalo Amaral of aggression at the PJ of Faro headquarters on the 13th of October 2004, and asked 500 thousand euros for compensation. The complaint, however was only presented in July 2009.
Leandro was Joana Isabel Guerreiro Cipriano [who disappeared on the 12 September 2004] 'stepfather' and companion of Leonor Cipriano, the woman who was accused by the Supreme Court of Justice of qualified homicide, hiding the cadaver and cadaver profanation of the eight year old girl body, along with her brother, João Cipriano. Leonor and João Cipriano were convicted by the Supreme Court [link to the Supreme court decision, process JSTJ000 - fully translated in this blog at «Supreme Court of Justice - 'Joana case' ruling»]; in March 2006 to 16 years and eight months imprisonment for Joana's murder.
On the Cipriano case, the Supreme Court of Justice [link to the Supreme court decision, process 330/04.2JAPTM-B.S1] of 17/12/2009 signed by the judges Souto Moura, Soares Ramos and Carmona da Mota dismissed the new appeal to revise the sentence of Leonor Cipriano presented by her lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia. The lawyer presented as new evidence for the appeal a confession letter signed by João Cipriano where he allegedly stated that he had «attempted to sell» Joana Cipriano - a confession, as the lawyer bragged on the media, that was given because he 'bluffed' João Cipriano, telling him to «sign the confession adding that if he did not say the truth, an inmate from another prison that was going to be transferred to that establishment would murder him, simulate his suicide, on behalf of the people who wanted to buy Joana». João Cipriano ended up presenting a different version to the Sentence Execution Court, in Lisbon, he “denied to have written, signed and did not remember having dictated", to anyone, the contents of a statement that was presented as being authored by him but admitted to his sister lawyer visit.
Marcos Aragão Correia stated that on his visit to João Cipriano on 18th May 2009, who is detained at the Carregueira prison, in Belas (Sintra) he saw [as a psychic] "lots of blood running down his face as if he was guilty of an heinous crime" - the same lawyer also said that he is not completely sure that Joana is dead because in another «vision» he saw her "walking accompanied by a couple". The lawyer also presented the 8 page declaration written by Leonor Cipriano on 15 January 2009 [translated here] which gave [another] different version of the events of that night, accusing her brother of murdering Joana, a declaration that at the same time admitted that Leonor was willing to «sell» her daughter Joana to an alleged foreign couple. The lawyer also presented witnesses statements made by elements of the Cipriano family, excerpts of the book written by criminologist Barra da Costa, a private letter and a PJ's old report to which the lawyer admitted receiving in an unclear manner. Marcos Aragão Correia additionally fundamented the appeal using a persistent attack on Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ coordinator of the Joana Case - in the appeal the lawyer stated that «We can not therefore be admired by the calamitous results of a criminal investigation handed to a dangerous and violent alcoholic, even more catastrophic when we are before serious crimes committed against children, to whom, only too late appeared the good sense of removing him from the investigations when the same alcoholic repeated the same gross mistakes without fundamentation and without any evidence against the mother of another missing child in the Algarve (Madeleine Beth McCann)» [in the process document 330/04.2JAPTM-B.S1 and from Marcos Aragão Correia own site 'The little girls that came from the stars'].
The Public Ministry understood that the revision should be denied, adding that "Having seen the text of the appeal, there is a clear attempt to tarnish the image of the Judiciary Police, especially of one former element of that Police who was involved in the investigation of the case which led to the conviction" and "this animosity can not serve to justify the application for review of the decision, much less affirmations like «Apparently, II [Gonçalo Amaral] took a course in criminal investigation in Guinea-Bissau or in an analogous country, or was driven by motives for us as yet unknown so that the truth was not to be discovered». The Public Ministry also added «But beyond this, and still under the same scope, the Public Ministry has to raise the question about the legitimacy of joining to the appeal a private letter, referred to as a letter sent by the wife of one PJ element to his hierarchy superior, as well as a service report from the PJ picket, documents that the distinguished lawyer stated to have reached his hands in an illicit manner, which nevertheless did not inhibit the the lawyer of joining them to the process."
On the confession forced by Marcos Aragão Correia «bluff» the Public Ministry stated: "And, in that which refers to the co-defendant CC [João Cipriano], it is understood that the activity of the distinguished lawyer goes beyond all legal and ethical rules to which he owes obedience" and "The description given by the distinguished lawyer himself of how he obtained the 'declaration' signed by the arguido [João Cipriano], who is represented by another lawyer, is almost frightening, and an absolutely forbidden method of obtaining evidence". Regarding the new declaration made by Leonor Cipriano the Public Ministry stated: "It is pathetic the justification that she gave - of only now revealing the facts for being afraid of being arrested for trying to sell her daughter" and "what follows here is a desperate attempt by the defendant/appellant to escape liability for the acts performed by her and for which she is serving a sentence".
On Barra da Costa texts, taken from his book "Maddie, Joana and the Criminal Investigation" and presented as well as basis for the appeal by Marcos Aragão Correia, the Public Ministry wrote: "Finally, as to the alleged scientific view of the criminologist Dr. BBB, the applicant limits to transcribing long excerpts from a book that was written by the above mentioned in which he "established that the criminal investigation" that was carried in this case and in another highly mediatic case [Maddie's] "was poorly made". The PM continued, "no matter how scientific it is the opinion of that author, all that the same states is totally irrelevant to the case at issue here, it is nothing more than personal opinions of a person who was not even involved in the process and who only criticizes the actions of everyone, including the one of the Supreme Court of Justice."
The Public Ministry then summarizes the grounds for denying the appeal: «Appeal for revision, which, from the above, should be denied by:
- Not being admissible, given the failure to report «new» facts, already known by the defendants at the time of conviction;
- Even admitting the possibility of the review with those facts, it is certain that the «declarations» appended to the process are not valid;
- Even accepting that validity, they do not contain credible evidence;
- And, even if they were understood as that they would not be enough to raise a sufficient doubt to review the final decision, since they are unaccompanied by other elements of evidence;»
The Supreme Court of Justice collective of judges gave a similar fundamentation for the denial of the appeal to revise Leonor Cipriano's sentence.
On Marcos Aragão Correia: this was the lawyer who was recruited by the McCann's Spanish private detectives Metodo 3 to collaborate with them in the objective of «promoting the intersection of the Joana and Maddie cases» in order to make Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator of the PJ of Portimão, the main target. In the process that accused Gonçalo Amaral of failing to denounce acts of torture during the interrogation of Leonor Cipriano, Marcos Aragão Correia even tried to make a deal with the defence lawyer of 4 of the 5 PJ officers accused of torturing Leonor Cipriano, the «dodgy» deal, according to one of the 4 PJ officers was: "All of you incriminate Gonçalo Amaral and I’ll arrange so that Leonor Cipriano says that you have nothing to do with this" - a deal that was obviously rejected. When Gonçalo Amaral received the suspended sentence for failing to denounce acts of torture, which according to the court ruling were acts performed by unknown persons; the lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia gloated in the media "Target was hit, Gonçalo Amaral was convicted". This was also the lawyer who interrupted Gonçalo Amaral's 50st birthday party, in October 2009 - Gonçalo Amaral, his family and friends were on the street in front of a restaurant in Portimão, making a toast when the lawyer approached them inside a car making obscene gestures, perhaps trying to provoke a violent reaction from those attending the birthday party.
The lawyer is also a member in «Justice 4 ALL Madeleine McCann Family» forum, aka Rosiepop's forum, and uses the original nick name of "Leonor lawyer" - the forum and the blog of the same name are well-known for defaming and creating scurrilous lies about anyone and everyone who has a contrary view and opinion to the McCann couple alleged thesis of Madeleine's abduction. Some members of that forum wrote and self-edited a book in 2008 titled 'The Madeleine Investigation: Incompetence or Corruption?' where some of the documents and photographs were allegedly provided by the lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia. The book basically is an attempt to defame the Judiciary Police, targeting Gonçalo Amaral in particular.
It is still incomprehensible how the OA - the Portuguese lawyers order does nothing to prevent the systematic abusive and unjustified persecution of a citizen by the self-called psychic lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, who in the words of the Public Ministry (in the decision to Leonor's appeal ) states that the actions of the lawyer "go beyond all legal and ethical rules", in other words the lawyer breached his obligation to the deontological code of the Portuguese Lawyers.
On Kevin Halligen: CourtNews.uk reported on the 26 of March, that Halligen is unable to afford a barrister. «A private detective accused of conning the McCann family of £300,000 to find their missing daughter Maddie could not afford to be represented in court today (fri). Security consultant Kevin Halligen, 48, is fighting extradition to the United States over claims he cheated Dutch company Trafigura out of £1.3million by offering to secure the release of their employees from an Ivory Coast jail.» One wonders what has happened to Mark Summers, the Matrix Chambers lawyer who was supposedly to represent Kevin Halligen and contest the extradition order requested by the US Government, after an indictment on charges of wire fraud and money laundering was given by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia, last year in November.
On the McCann Case: One of the High Profile FOIA Requests made early this year concerns an appeal, under the MPS Publication Scheme, for the release of the Metropolitan Police Service correspondence with other forces regarding Madeleine McCann, as well as transcripts of interviews, made by an UK TV news channel, in it we can read: «In particular, the «TV news channel» would like to acquire any material, correspondence that were conducted with the Portuguese police during 2007. The «TV news channel» would also like to acquire any correspondence that either Leicestershire police or the Met police had with the Home Office in relation to Madeline's disappearance. The «TV news channel» would also like to acquire transcripts of any interviews that were held with the McCanns or other witnesses. And any information that you now consider no longer an ongoing investigation.»