Maddie's disappearance - English follow different leads from PJ
Debate with Gonçalo Amaral, journalist Tânia Laranjo moderated by João Ferreira
João Ferreira, CMTV News Anchor - Tânia Laranjo, CMTV journalist, who has followed this case since the beginning and Gonçalo Amaral, who headed the initial investigation are our guests, in the first half of tonight's CMTV's special broadcast. Good evening to both, thank you for being here.
Tânia Laranjo, CMTV/CM journalist - Good evening, thank you.
João Ferreira, CMTV News Anchor - Gonçalo Amaral, I’ll start with you. These investigations by the British police are just a show-off? [idiomatic expression,“for the English to see”]
Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the PJ of Portimão - No, these investigations of the British police have much to do with what is taking place. Notice that Monday [the following day, 16th of July] the trial will proceed where the McCanns ask for damages and none of this happens coincidentally. So, now I am the target of a lawsuit in which it is essential - as Moita Flores explained a few days ago in the newspaper Correio da Manhã - not to attribute blame but to find excuses, and this is what the British police are doing. The British police, with the support of the Portuguese police, is at the moment worried with my trial. Don’t even doubt it. They are troubled and are attempting in some way to exert pressure on the trial...
João Ferreira - So you, Gonçalo Amaral, don’t have any doubts about that?
Gonçalo Amaral - No, I don’t have any doubts about that, because coincidences only exist when we want them to happen. In fact it has always been this way. If we look at the history, if we create a flowchart of the years since the trial began and see when the investigation peaks, all these peaks of when the investigation goes on to the field and media, don’t you doubt it will correspond with the eve of a hearing session of the trial, and this next session is important...
João Ferreira - Why?
Gonçalo Amaral - This hearing on Monday is important, it would be the closing arguments. It would begin with the statements of the parties, of all the parties involved in the lawsuit, of the couple who appealed against the judge's decision to not hear them. I also hope I'm allowed to speak, let us see if I'll have that right, if they give me the right to be heard seeing those who accuse me will also be heard. Deep down it has all to do with this. It does not have as much to do with the possible declaration of death in legal terms in England but with the trial that is taking place. And it has to do with something that is very important. It’s not known what happened to Maddie, it's not known what happened...
João Ferreira - Gonçalo Amaral, my apologies for interrupting but...yes?
Gonçalo Amaral -...But more importantly in the middle of all this is to understand what the mystery is that lies behind all this and is protecting this couple.
João Ferreira - Don’t you find it excessive that the British police, in an investigation that already has expenses of about 5 million euros, is doing all this - if I may say so, inferring from your own words - in association with Maddie’s parents solely to undermine you?
Gonçalo Amaral - It doesn’t have only to do with solely undermining me, it has to do with the everything. Note that it’s not only Maddie's parents, the parents of this child, who are at stake, it's also all those friends who are all doctors. It’s the mystery that lies behind all this. Why this protection? Why isn't David Payne investigated, nor the denunciation that was done related to David Payne for paedophilia by a couple, also doctors...
João Ferreira - [interrupts and talks simultaneously] One of the friends of the inner circle of Maddie's parents who were with them in the Algarve, is that right?
Gonçalo Amaral - There is a mystery which brings a perspective here that we need to understand. The parents of this little girl, who brought the legal action against me, have been saying that the trial outcome will help to exonerate them, and everything has been done to exonerate them. Take notice of the reopening of the case, of the de-archiving the case, for instance. The Portuguese Attorney General, the Prosecutor of the Republic always said the process would only be reopened if and when there are new and credible evidence. Well, I ask you, why was the case reopened? What are the new facts and which ones are credible? Zilch. And what happened at that moment [of the reopening]? A meeting takes place in Lisbon, with the British police and, has was alleged, where the couple was also present. They come out from that meeting and state they had been cleared, based on a reconstruction made by actors. All done with the purpose of them being exonerated, the case is reopened and they are exonerated and there’s nothing which connects them to anything. I'm not talking here about the responsibility for the death or anything of the sort. I'm just speaking about the responsibility for the disappearance. And note that...
João Ferreira - [interrupts again and talks simultaneously] Is there any concrete information in the investigation that points to the responsibility of the parents in the disappearance?
Gonçalo Amaral - I don't have any doubts about it. Look, those children were under whose protection? Of the parents, were they not? They were alone for 5, 6 or 7 nights, and by whose fault? Of the parents. That child would she have cried because of a burglary that didn't took place at all - she cried two days earlier, was there a burglary on that day also? By whose fault? Of the parents who were away more than 2 or 3 hours. So, if that child disappeared she and her siblings were negligently placed in that situation, thus the responsibility is of the parents...
João Ferreira - [interrupts again] The statement that we heard in the initial news segment of a Luz resident that lives about 100 meters from the Ocean Club resort, who saw - as he said to CMTV - about three hours later, after Maddie's disappearance her father, Gerry McCann, supposedly drunk, wandering around....
Gonçalo Amaral - Well, that statement is not in the case files, I don't know that statement, now I can tell you that...
João Ferreira - [interrupts once again] Isn't it strange that this comes out only now? That the police didn't have access to this statement before?
Gonçalo Amaral - Maybe because that person didn't speak at the time when he should have said something and is just speaking out now.
João Ferreira - Was that a failure of the investigation?
Gonçalo Amaral - Well, it could have been a failure of that person itself, who didn't speak. He only said something years later.
João Ferreira - Or a failure of the investigation?
Gonçalo Amaral - There are several people who have spoken out years later. There was even a man who carried a child on his arms, speaking on his cell phone and so on - these are statements that can't be taken at face value seven years later. I'm talking about what had happened at the time. A little while ago, while the news segment [with the fisherman story] was on, I asked you where did that man saw Gerald McCann...
João Ferreira - In the surrounding area of the Ocean Club Resort.
Gonçalo Amaral - ...Because there is an information, an information that reached the police at the time, to which little credibility was given due to the fact that we were moving in the opposite direction. And when it was necessary to retrieve that data, it had vanished. It was a tip-off given by the English police, of a British tourist who stated she saw Gerry McCann, on that night, at about 10-11pm, in the beach, in the beach area. The same area towards which a man was seen walking, carrying a child on his arms by the Smith family. We only learned about the Smith's statements much later on, so when this information was passed on, it wasn't given the importance it deserved. However all this should have been on file, and when we tried to retrieve that data that were in the domain of the English police, it had simply vanished. To this day we still don't know who that British witness is and no one knows where that document [statement] is.
João Ferreira - Do you think the English police destroyed that evidence?
Gonçalo Amaral - I don't know if they destroyed it or not, it simply disappeared. This is a well known fact.
João Ferreira - Of course.
Gonçalo Amaral - There were colleagues working on the investigation at the time and they know for a fact that this happened.
João Ferreira - Tânia Laranjo, you've been following this case from the start, for Correio da Manhã firstly and now for CMTV. These statements that we revealed to the viewers in tonight's special reportage [about the Portuguese fisherman and the female British tourist alleged sightings of Gerry McCann] that we showed earlier on, can they be considered of particular importance for the solution of this puzzle?
Tânia Laranjo - Like Gonçalo said, there were a series of statements that weren't known at the time, for example, the Smith family statements wasn't known at the time, that's the family that sees a man carrying a child in his arms, alleged to have been Gerry McCann, and who now, at this stage of the investigation, they [English police] say is a young man suspect of drug trafficking [e-fit released by Met in October 2013]. This is a new statement [fisherman sighting], what this man says is contrary to the statement that Gonçalo was speaking about [of the female British tourist], that is, it places the person that was sighted in an opposite direction, it places Gerry in the other side of Luz...
João Ferreira - A statement which essentially speaks of seeing Gerry McCann about three hours later...
Tânia Laranjo -... and drunk.
João Ferreira -.... and drunk, and who didn't want to call the police.
Tânia Laranjo - In any case...
João Ferreira -... who didn't want to call the police.
Tânia Laranjo - Yes, three hours later, but over time... - we're talking about a statement done seven years later, this witness statement should have been taken at the time, this process also...
João Ferreira - [interrupts again, talks simultaneously] He said he saw him about 1am.
Tânia Laranjo - But at 1am, I believe, and Gonçalo should know it better than me, the police was already there, several police forces.
Gonçalo Amaral - The GNR, the Judiciary Police.
João Ferreira - [simultaneously] There might a discrepancy between the hours.
Gonçalo Amaral - Seven years have passed.
Tânia Laranjo - Seven years have gone by since then, right? Seven years change completely the perception of time. At 1am the police was already there, so... Actually, soon after Kate screamed the police appeared. What is not known is if the disappearance of the little girl took place a long time before that alarm was raised or not, since there is a time difference between the last time the child was seen [in the afternoon] and the time when Kate starts screaming alerting to her disappearance [at about 22pm].
ongoing/so far only audio available waiting for CMTV to upload video
Broadcast by CMTV, July 15, 2014