Gonçalo Amaral: 'Irish family's testimony has enormous relevance to the investigation'
Former PJ coordinator recalls that testimony pointed to Gerry McCann
by Nuno Miguel Maia and Óscar Queirós
How do you see the fact that only now Scotland Yard has presented an e-fit alleged to be of the main suspect? And of having made an arrest of another suspect?
- If the the e-fit is based on the Irish family's testimony that, in the night of the facts, saw a man carrying a child walking towards the beach, that e-fit will have to be in someway similar to Gerry McCann, since it was that person [Martin Smith] that has identified him with a high degree of probability. Why was this published only now is something you will have to ask Scotland Yard. As to the "another suspect", no suspect was detained. It was someone who "bragged" about having seen Madeleine and it's alleged that he had paedophile material in his computer. Thus, his detention is not a direct result of any investigation related to the disappearance of the child.
Why was that e-fit only made now and which criteria are behind that arrest? Do you believe that it has any veracity and is it important for the investigation?
- I believe I have already answered partially to your question. If we are talking about the Irish family's testimony that I have referred to, then it has an enormous relevance to the investigation. We only hope that their initial statements aren't misrepresented and "rewritten".
BBC made a programme on the reconstitution of the events related to Maddie disappearance. How do you see the fact that the McCann couple and their friends have refused to do a reconstitution at the time of the [PJ] investigation?
- It's not a reconstitution. Or rather, it is not a reconstitution as foreseen in our Code of Criminal Procedure, which was rendered impossible due to the unavailability of the participants (suspects and friends). It should be recalled what the prosecutor of the Republic stated at the time of the archival of the process: with the non-participation in the reconstitution, the couple lost the possibility to prove their innocence. In fact that is what the reconstitution offers, the opportunity to enlighten and clarify any doubts, and it should be done by the participants, while alive.
In the investigation that you coordinated, were there suspects and identikits?
- The investigation had had three suspects. Some identikits were made.
Did you, as coordinator of the investigation, had at your disposal all the necessary means?
- The only problem that we had was lack of time. As you know, I was removed from the investigation after six months. Therefore, we lacked time.
In this type of investigation, what is the importance of the time factor?
- It is crucial. It's necessary to act quickly and in a timely manner. Initiate the investigation immediately and then have time to investigate all the leads and answer to all questions. That was what I didn't have.
in Jornal de Notícias, October 15, 2013, paper edition
ITV News' Europe Correspondent Emma Murphy interviews Gonçalo Amaral, ITV, October 15, 2013