PJ investigates the past of a suspect who died four years ago
· Former employee of the Ocean Club, from where Maddie disappeared, died in an accident
· Family is outraged by suspicions
by Marisa Rodrigues/with Nuno Miguel Maia
The Judiciary Police (PJ) is investigating the past of a man who died four years ago. It is the first investigative step known since the process, regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was reopened last week.
The widow was already heard by the PJ. Outraged, she refuses to speak with with journalists and threatens to take legal actions in order to reinstate her husband's good name. The man who is now the focus of attention died in 2009, when he was 40 years old, in a work accident with a tractor. He worked in one of the restaurants of the Ocean Club and was dismissed when he was caught stealing five euros from the till a year before the child's disappearance. JN learned through several former employees of the tourist resort that the man left peacefully, without conflicts with the management or with his colleagues.
A Cape-Verdean immigrant, E. Monteiro was in jail for petty thefts linked to drug abuse. 17 years ago a pardon of the then president of the Portuguese Republic, Jorge Sampaio, prevented him from being expelled of the country for a theft that took place in Portimão.
In his criminal record there is nothing connecting him to serious and violent crimes such as paedophilia or kidnappings. He would be the carrier of a cell phone that was connected in the vicinity of the tourist resort on the night of May, 3 2007. The PJ had the number but was unaware to whom it belonged.
JN knows the man wasn't referenced during the investigation lead by the coordinators Gonçalo Amaral and Paulo Rebelo, which was archived in 2008. He came up during the reanalysis that was done for over two years by the PJ team from Porto and could fit in the “new evidentiary elements” referenced by the Attorney General's Office [PGR], which motivated the reopening.
The Portuguese investigation - there is another one ongoing in England - only has one orientation: that Madeleine was abducted from apartment 5 A where she was left alone along with her siblings, the twins, while the parents dined with friends.
At this stage E. Monteiro is not being considered as the main and only suspect of the crime - this was assured by several PJ sources contacted by JN. It's just a “loose end, a lead that needs to be followed so no one can blame the PJ for not following all leads”. In fact, the Cape-Verdean is not referenced for crimes of paedophilia or for kidnappings.
PJ team from Porto was given "carte blanche" to investigate
Helena Monteiro, an inspector coordinator of criminal investigation, leads the 4 man team of PJ inspectors from Porto, that have for over two years, analysed the process in minute detail and have requested its reopening. The JN knows they were given a carte blanche from the National Directorship of the PJ to define the investigative steps and to choose the inspectors who will carry them out. The investigators from Porto were involved in a missing person case in 2010, the disappearance of Carina Ferreira, a student from Lamego who died in a car accident, whose body was found five weeks later by the PJ from Porto.
3 men of gipsy ethnicity, the occupiers of a white van, alongside the Cape-Verdean immigrant are the most recent leads of the two investigations that are taking place in Portugal and in England. Six years after the disappearance none of the two investigations was able to reach a conclusion about what happened in the night of May 3, 2007.
The 3 men were referenced as suspects by the English investigation following informations given by Ocean Club employees [in fact this is information taken from a former Ocean Club employee statement contained in the the PJ investigation case files] in an attempt to fit them in the thesis that Madeleine was abducted in the sequence of a robbery to the McCann's apartment. The men would have been seen roaming the tourist resort [according to the statement, four months before the McCanns arrived at Aldeia da Luz] where the McCanns would later be lodged, and were singled out as possibly being responsible for a series of thefts in the area.
The reference to the white van also comes up as a lead in the English investigation, where a witness [again from the PJ case files and the sighting was dismissed, they were Ukrainians and the blond girl was their daughter] guarantees to have seen a child similar to Madeleine, a day after the crime.
in Jornal de Notícias, November 2, 2013, page 10, paper edition