Gonçalo Amaral: “There was no break-in that house”
Gonçalo Amaral - There are English journalists who speak of a farce, of something that is being staged for the media, and perhaps there's nothing more than that. What is risky and very serious it's this attempt to produce a new thesis - the thesis that was divulged recently - of someone who commits a theft, gets scared by a 3-year-old child, murders the child for that reason and then whisks the body away, that to me sounds rather preposterous.
CMTV - Complete interview with Gonçalo Amaral
Rui Pando Gomes [pre-recorded in Praia da Luz/Voice Over] - The mega search operation took a while to be authorized, but as soon as the English police received the go-ahead from the Public Prosecutor's Office of Portimão, they landed en masse in Praia da Luz. The first site of the police operation was in a vast field near the seaside.
Sniffer dogs were deployed, georadars, archaeologists and forensic geologists went into action. Up to thirty English officers, fifteen Judiciary Police officers including several Forest sappers, GNR military officers, worked on a 24-hour-a-day basis. The only thing that wasn't used was the backhoe loader. Excavations were made with pickaxes and shovels in various spots of the site's grounds but a week later the results were not as expected.
[Walking in a street in Luz] This was one of the areas excavated by the English police. Everyone had visual access to the dig site and could watch the ongoing excavations. The geo-radar detected a possible grave but in the end only a stone was found.
[Voice Over] In Praia da Luz very few people believe in the success of this mega operation and even less so in the English police's thesis that
suspects the child was taken from the apartment by three burglars.
Local Portuguese Woman [with excavation site as backdrop] - That has no logic. What thief breaks into a house, takes the child away, murders her, carries the child on his arms in everyone's sight on the street and then comes here to bury her in an place that is only ground rock? Only a fool would do that! That's all I have to say about that. [laughs at the idea]
RPG [Voice Over] - These searches are seen by both residents and tourists as a big "whodunit" cop movie.
Local Ex pat Woman [in same excavation area] - It's a movie, a movie that we're watching. I don't know if this is, as you say, just "for the English to see".
RPG - Right.
Local Ex pat Woman - I'm a bit sceptical, I think this will end in nothing.
Local Portuguese Woman - I believe that they won't find anything here, maybe animal bones, otherwise I don't see it. [shakes head negatively]
RPG - [VO] Amidst this setting, there are those who risk a possible scenario with different actors.
Local Expat Woman - The Smith couple saw him there in that street [points to street], he turned the street corner, he could have hidden the body in that garden, of that abandoned house there, and then at 6pm... [halts and looks at journalist for confirmation with a girlish, shy smile] Can I say this? The couple [McCanns, as per Smith sighting] went back, when everyone had already been gone, they went to pick up the body to hide it here. It's a possibility.
RPG - [VO] Even though the Portuguese authorities guarantee that all running costs are covered by the English there are some who voice their doubts about who is actually going to pay for the Portuguese authorities that have stopped doing their tasks so they could be in Praia da Luz.
Local Portuguese Woman - I would like to put that question to those in power, to know who's going to pay for the GNR officers who are working here in 4-hour shifts.
RPG - And the Forest sappers...
Local Portuguese Woman - Exactly, who's going to pay for all of the people working here? They say the English will pay but I don't see that happening.
RPG [VO]- After a week of searches, the materials collected are being kept in boxes: a man's sock, animal bones, two cannabis plants, soil samples and a great deal of stones. Indicia that may be used to sustain the thesis of the English investigators, who say that Maddie is dead and was carried through this area. Or, maybe they'll be used to deepen the mystery surrounding the disappearance of this English child.
Many resources have been used in this mega operation. The GNR had 40 military officers tasked with the safety of this operation. 40 English officers and officers from the Judiciary Police were also involved.
Geo-radars, sniffer dogs, Forest sappers were on the field, many people working towards the success of this operation. In spite of that, the clues are scant, indicia is scarce, the end results inconclusive. Image by Nuno Alfarrobinha, Rui Pando Gomes, CMTV.
[Back to CMTV TV studio]
Marcos Pinto, CMTV News Anchor - For those very reasons it's obligatory a conversation with Gonçalo Amaral, former Judiciary Police inspector, who headed the initial investigation. Good evening, thank you for being here.
Gonçalo Amaral - Good evening, thank you.
Marcos Pinto, CMTV News Anchor - How do you view the 'movie' of the searches this week?
Gonçalo Amaral - That's exactly what it is, it is a movie. There are English journalists who speak of a farce, of something that is being staged for the media, and perhaps there's nothing more than that. What is risky and very serious it's this attempt to produce a new thesis - the thesis that was divulged recently - of someone who commits a theft, gets scared by a 3-year-old child, murders the child for that reason and then whisks the body away, that to me sounds rather preposterous. But it's nothing new. If you'll recall the investigation at the time - if you remember I was working in that investigation for the first 6 months, not seven, or three or four years like the Scotland Yard - there was a similar thesis. It was actually put forward by a colleague, from the British police, namely from the Scotland Yard. He was the only Scotland Yard officer present in that task group, which included officers from the Judiciary Police and English police, and him, from the Scotland Yard. He put forward that hypothesis, which was discussed and completely set aside because it didn't add up. Now they even tried to sex up that thesis, by spicing it up with drug dealers who besides trafficking drugs had the idea, one day, of burglarizing a house... No one has proven that house [McCann's apartment] was broken into, that there was a burglary, there were no traces of a break-in...
Marcos Pinto, CMTV News Anchor - But there are traces of bank statements...
Gonçalo Amaral - What bank statements? The ones that were found on a pathway, in the garbage? That's just junk and it does not relate to the case in anyway, they don't belong to the McCanns. It didn't come from their apartment, nothing was taken from there. The only thing that was taken and is missing - and it is not a "thing", it's a person - is Madeleine McCann.
ongoing, perfectionist at work
CMTV broadcast, June 7, 2014 | First published on 6/8/14 5:20 AM
Note for other translators, the full video report is available here