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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


  1. Is the ship now taking in Water from both sides, is there a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Can you email Mr Amaral with a message of support Joana please.

  2. I'm guessing that most of those 1000 calls following the crimewatch appeal name Gerry McCann. Does anyone else agree?

  3. I believe that Redwood looked at Tanner and said: "Ego te absolvo..." because he had to continue with the Smiths. Now I am convinced that she told the truth.
    By the way, in 2008 Amaral talks about the Smiths (book) and in 2009 on his documentary.

  4. Funny how the SY Cop spoke to a "Peter" Smith from Ireland, when it was Martin Smith that saw Gerry !


  5. It seems that Mr Amaral is now allowed to talk on prime tv, so his opinion is now regarded as valuable? May be something crucial is happening, let's hope justice for Madeleine is finally done. Thank you to all the people who never doubted it

  6. '' We only hope that his initial statements aren't misrepresented and "rewritten".''

    Fine words, I speak for myself and I'm sure others OVER MY DEAD BODY.

    Those words are recorded in the files. I have screamed and shouted for a long time, the case makes no sense, just take it from the point of the Smith sighting work backwards, since it represents the only plausible explanation. (to any scenario) And what about afterwards

    OK what about afterwards. If there was **abductor in PDL that night, it is actually irrelevant in the time scale of six years, whether he was nr 5A at 9.30 and along the road at 10 as seen by the Smiths. Since there are NO OTHER SIGHTINGS, that night of any validity. He like the child disappeared. ZAP gone. No transport.... on the hoof.... gone. (**If there was an abductor)

    But there lingers, one aspect to the Smith sighting that was only observed on the McCanns return to the UK in the September.

    Then one questions why would the media --- yes let's blame the purveyors of the myth kept banging on about Jane Tanners Sketch & Panorama programme, to name but one.

    On the false trail of Jane Tanners sighting, well supported by the British media, not to Lori Campbell's suspicions about Robert Murat, because he was helpfl!

    The only break to this case now, with be the LUCKY BREAK. Something unexpected, whether Madeleine is fortunate to be alive, which is doubtful or dead. Since everything so far has been bonded together tightly, perhaps LUCK will not actually be that necessary.


    PS: The parent+child, would have walked from the evening creche across the road right to left, not as JT's now innocent sighting suggests left to right. So whoever the parent+child, can not be the same on, if at all. Grateful if anyone can clarify this point.

  7. The problem I see is that both the British police and Cameron have lowered their trousers to the McCann couple for much too long. Now they are in troubles and it will be very difficult to backtrack. They seem to be between a rock and a hard place.

  8. I feel very sorry for Dr Amaral, he was with the Smiths and wanted to bring them to Portugal, he is right he was moved offthe case at this time but he maintained the statements of the Smiths are solid. Also why did Brian Kennedy have to go and visit them, what was he afraid of, they might just be proved right. Dr Amaral comes across as a very good man and has proved it in his search and support for Madeleine.
    It will be difficult for the PM and SY to restart investigating the MCs, and I don't think they would want to either, as their all one big family, although I was pleased to see K and G were not sitting along side SY being interviewed. This has become a very complicated state of affairs, bet the toilet is busy in rothley

  9. Right at the beginning I a catholic primary school teacher at the time spent night after night writing e-mails on the Daily Express website to counter the fact that only one view was being shown by the media in the UK. Many parents believed there was something not quite right about the parents behaviour and actions in the school I was in right from the start. One thing that nags away is why this story has been alllowed to be so one sided and one that has not placed a 3yr old girl´s interest first. There has been some very bad journalism in the UK because it provided no counterpoint to anything other than an abduction when the general public were using common sense and mentioning uneasiness. It seems incredulous that this reporting is still going on. The Smith chap said it was McCann the father that was carrying the child. Eddie and Keela don´t lie either do they. And of course who would ever wash the teddy bear of their first child if they had vanished nor say no comment to the police.

  10. The Smith family sighting was big news from the first few months onwards. I always wondered why the McCanns never showed the slightest interest in following up their sighting, despite almost falling over themselves to endorse any other sighting all over the world, then and now. Nor did the BBC once mention the fact - documented FACT, mind you - that Mr Smith stated with some strong degree of probability that the person he saw carrying a child was the father himself. Yet surely this is still absolutely fundamental. I can only assume the Smith family has since been leaned on very, very heavily indeed, and are now 'onside'.

  11. I'm afraid that someone will come forward and say that it was just himself carrying his daughter or Scotland Yard will claim that someone has identified himself as the Smith sighting and that it has no relevance to the case.

    The Tanner sighting had to be eliminated because it was problematic; Tanner's testimony is full of holes. You can also say that Mr. Redwood's story about that sighting being a man carrying his daughter from the creche has some holes of its own. The Smith sighting as Mr. Amaral says has enormous relevance to the investigation and therefore the world will be told that it was just a passerby who was carrying his daughter. Look at the crimewatch video towards the end when Mr. Redwood discusses the Smith sighting, listen to his words carefully, they will give you a clue as to what is likely to happen.

  12. Guerra ..For that to happen it cant be left up in the air ....The questions would be where were you going ( to this new person coming forward )? where had you collected your daughter from ? there would be a trail and diligences that the PJ could carry out in Portugal, to ascertain who this person was etc etc etc.

    They might want it to be that easy - but I don't think it is as easy as that- remember this case happened in Portugal.
    what you are saying surely would constitute new evidence to the case thus requiring it to be opened ?
    Unless Portugal is has corrupt as the UK - in which case it is has I have said many times before... that no attacks should be made on purely the British.. as it will prove it takes two to tango.
    Please don't take it the wrong way.


  13. reply to @9

    Why has the British Press after initial indulgence in salacious gossip gone to ground on fair reporting. One might say it paid the price both in cash and apologies. That was then reporting in 2007. And more recently the press & all things McCann reporting took an hammering at the Leveson inquiry. There is another issue about Leveson inquiry Brooks|Cameron|May|The Sun - another time

    So back to your post, to be honest no one knows. The content of the current rags is ambiguous, supportive and at the same time there's a sense of rattling chains. Otherwise, there might be Dnotices, injunctions & gagging orders in place. Certainly a very pro-active PR machine with Carter Ruck ready to pounce.

    Rattling chains: Good example is page 11 of the Daily Mail. There is a three picture line up. Madeleine to the left, then two (half size picture) to the right (in one frame\caption), the Efit & the other a picture of the McCanns under - not one I recall seeing before\social rather than to do with promoting Madeleine disappearance. The chosen McCann picture could not have been a coincidence ;)

    Then just stand back and throw into the melting pot (I love melting pots, actually slow cookers) The Libel hearing in Lisbon. It was six months ago the MET & Crimewatch did their filming in Spain. It's been over six years since the Smiths came forward & the Portuguese authorities sought a reconstruction of the witnesses. So why now?? What was the urgency? If it was so urgent why not immediately after the filming?


    All I went is the truth.

  14. Further to my comment on the Smith sighting. Mr. Redwood mentioned that the case has the hallmarks of a preplanned abduction, therefore you would have to believe that someone walking down the street in the middle of the night with someone's child does not fit into the category of your classic preplanned abduction. The Smith sighting will be discarded.

  15. Guerra.....Mr Redwood will have to tell us then if the preplanned abduction was prepared and detailed in Portugal or......in England! At least the abductor looked foreigner, British I heard! An escape car would have helped a lot...but maybe the abductor, who planned and acted alone, has no driver's license! The discarding of the Smith sighting would be so utterly ridiculous. Would Redwood dare?

  16. I know there is a lot of pessimism about Redwood and until the events of the last couple of days I thought he was a complete numptie. However, I am now revising that view.

    If the plan was to have someone come forward and "explain" the Smith sighting, it makes no sense. Now Tanner's sighting, the fundamental rock of the abduction thesis, has been utterly trashed, there is literally no other "evidence" of an abductor other than Smith man. If they remove Smithman, then there is nothing left for the Mccanns to put forward as evidence of an abduction.

    it would make more sense to encourage people to report other sightings but this isn;'t what Redwood did. He didn't suggest that if anyone saw anything strange they should ring in, he specifically is focussing on the Smith sighting. He trashed the Tanner sighting beyond recovery, and put forward the smith sighting as the key sighting to this case. The sighting that implicates Gerry.

    If I were the McCanns, I would not be sleeping soundly in my bed in Rothley .

  17. One thing I can't workout or confirm from the case files, is whether there is independent, by that I mean outside the Tapas 9, verification that Gerry did not leave the bar between 9.30 and 10pm?

  18. Fernis, why is it important to you that Mr. Redwood tell us if that preplanned abduction was concocted in Portugal or England ? I think I know why, it’s the very reason that Mr. Redwood chose his abductors to be foreigners. Mr. Redwood knows that many Portuguese are angry because of the way their country has been portrayed in the English media so he reasoned that they would be more open to accepting the bullshit if the abductors were foreigners. Your very words Fernis confirm that Mr. Redwood was right, “at least the abductor looked foreigner, British I heard.” But even that is not good enough for you, you need affirmation that the plan had not been made on Portuguese soil. I’m not criticising you Fernis; one has to have very thick skin to have endured all these abusive lies over these last 6 years without some kind of reaction.

    “The discarding of the Smith sighting would be so utterly ridiculous. Would Redwood dare?” Well, he dared to call what we saw on Monday a reconstruction and he dared to describe the discarding of Tanner sighting, which everyone knew was bogus, as a revelation.

    Mojo, what proof were we given that the person that Tanner saw was indeed a father returning from the crèche with his daughter? We either accept Mr. Redwood’s words or we don’t. The Portuguese know that Mr. Redwood is lying but they are not going to dedicate resources to prove that he is wrong. It’s pointless; that would just stir up a hornet’s nest. Yes it is possible that some Portuguese people were corrupted and therefore facilitated the case being archived, however the case wouldn't have gone anywhere anyways because the Portuguese authorities weren’t getting the cooperation they needed from their English counterparts.

  19. guerra 14

    Redwood also says Madeleine may have disturbed a burglary. Mmm. So burglar snatches Madeleine and vanishes. Mmm. So it's pre-planned and opportunistic. Mmm

    Either Mr Redwood can't reconcile his 'brief' with the facts (if it's conspiracy). Or else he's
    in the formulating a very cunning plan.

  20. reply @ 18
    ''however the case wouldn't have gone anywhere anyways because the Portuguese authorities weren’t getting the cooperation they needed from their English counterparts.''


    Now just in case there is some passing interested party, perhaps even the British MSM, they might like to look at the files from which the will have known about the Smith sighting, but to cast their eyes further, to see the communications between the LP \ Stuart Prior and the T7 and JW, in his attempt to facilitate the PJ forensic reconstruction. And just remember and recall the serious nature of what was trying to be achieved the search for a child and tell me the LP were helpful.

    Imagine had the 48 questions been answered, the forensic reconstruction facilitated where this case would have been, back six years ago.

    Also it's worthy to recall this was a holiday location, people were preparing and returning home on the Saturday. Most of the information had to be sought via police forces throughout Europe. It took time, It took translations. It took away spontaneity.

  21. Whoa! Brian "The Bully" Kennedy visited the Smith family? How is this not witness intimidation?

  22. http://thesmithsighting.blogspot.pt/2012/02/aoife-smith-describing-gerry-mccanns.html

    Aoife Smith : Description Of ' The Abductors' Beige Trousers Possibly With Buttons

    The trousers he was wearing were smooth straight-legged trousers, light beige in colour, of a cotton type material, thicker than linen, possibly with buttons and without any patterns.

    (click on Gerry's photo to enlarge it, and see the buttons)

  23. I am still not convinced that Tanner's sighting has been properly 'put to bed'. My suspicion has always been that the person she saw was Gerry and did not realise she wasn't supposed to tell anyone. To fix that, she then had to say she passed Wilkins and McCann chatting. This gave McCann an alibi, clearly he was not the man crossing the top of the road. But Wilkins was with him, so McCann has to deny Tanner - hence the 'confusion' about what side of the road McCann and Wilkins were. Also Gerry had blogged that he had his 'proud father' moment at the time Tanner said she saw bundleman. So the new dismissal of Tanner's sighting fixes the confusion, even though it has the unfortunate effect of focussing on the witness thinking he saw Gerald McCann carrying the child. I suspect the next step will indeed be negation of the Smith sighting, but it will have to be cleverly done to avoid the massive scrutiny of the worlds free onlookers - like you guys!

  24. The trousers with buttons are unusual and distinctive, the investigation if it is a real investigation, surely could not ignore this? If it is a real investigation and not a whitewash, Gerry McCann must be arrested under caution so he can be properly quizzed. If this does not happen, then we know this investigation is a farce. Then David Cameron will need to be questioned - why is he allowing misuse of public funds in this way - at a time of claimed 'austerity'?


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