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Gonçalo Amaral: "There was far too much diplomacy"

The former inspector affirms the Judiciary Police worked hand in hand with the Scotland Yard and that there was servility from the Prosecutor's Office and Portuguese Government towards the British

"There was far too much diplomacy"

by Fernanda Cachão & Mónica Palma

Outside the judicial process, Gonçalo Amaral says the McCanns took away the chances of him having a professional life.

Is there a political assessment to be made?

There is, yes, and a very significant one. Notice that I have never returned to the Judiciary Police but the couple has already been there. The PJ direction and even the prosecutor are doing what is considered politically correct. In the United Kingdom and here the direction of the police worked hand in hand with the Scotland Yard, they would not investigate anything that could compromise the parents or the friends. That is a mistake. Besides, there may have been parallel channels of investigation, even because it's not normal for an ambassador of a foreign country to come over to the site of an investigation and pressure for a quick solution. Following that meeting, the PJ director read a statement saying that we were looking for an abductor, something that neither I nor others agreed. If the ambassador, or the consul for that matter, hadn't show up the investigation would have been directed to its standard procedure, which is to suspect those who are responsible for the safekeeping of the child. There was far too much diplomacy.

As the coordinator couldn't you have said something?

Other colleagues and I said what we had to say. We were told that was the path we had to follow and that we would later return to the other.

By whom?

By who was my superior at the time.

But how is it possible for an ambassador's visit to intimidate or direct the investigation in that way?

By the servility we have before the English. The Judiciary, Prosecutor's Office and government felt intimidated by the UK. The misstep was the statement talking about an abduction.

Did Madeleine's parents have a special treatment?

In what I call my naivety, I'll stick by the fact that they belong to a British upper middle class and that they don't like their doctors to make a mess abroad and be condemned for it.

Gonçalo Amaral in Praia da Luz in early April
Photo: Bruno Colaço/Correio da Manhã

Ten years later what is the self-criticism that you do?

I should not have retired from the PJ. I should have stayed instead - since the police directorate did not defend me nor my colleagues from the assaults targeting us - and written the book as a PJ employee. I should not have allowed us to be the target of so many pressures. When the couple went away, the British police that were here cooperating with us also left. We were left with the feeling that they had been here only to protect the couple. We were overly sincere and then we got our pay back. For example, we sent the forensic evidence to be tested in the English laboratory, when that analysis could have been done in a Portuguese one, so we wouldn't be accused that we had manipulated the final results. We were naive and too diplomatic.

Is this case of particular anguish for you?

Not the case itself. Not even the legal action brought against me. The anguish was what they did to me outside the case. The intrusion on my personal life, the destabilization of the person, the attacks, the insults and taking away all the chances of having a professional activity as I wished to have. This was forbidden for me. This didn't happen only within the legal action, there were plenty schemes being played outside that.

Is your back turned to the previous direction of PJ?

No, I'm making a criticism and I have that right. You do not get rid of a senior police officer to defend a couple suspected at the very least of child neglect, which led to the disappearance. It was almost a lack of respect to make the decision that it was an abduction and make it public. That was not looking at the investigation objectively. If this investigation ever comes to an end and if it proves that the parents have nothing to do with the case, that's fine.

in Sábado magazine, n.678 edition, extract of a six-pages spread article titled "The return of the inspector to the scene of the crime", published on April 27, 2017

Related - McCann Case: Freedom of Information Act on John Buck former Ambassador


  1. something on sky news about the Maccanns and the fall out with the Portuguese and UK police from the home office

    1. That likely comes from Jim Gamble's report, commissioned by the former Home Secretary Alan Johnson in 2009. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/01/british-police-competition-harmed-madeleine-mccann-investigation-home-office-report

    2. It is indeed Joana! Interesting to quote this passage which entirely corroborates what Dr. Goncalo Amaral above says:

      "Too many UK law enforcement agencies had rushed to help and caused chaos, and that frequent criticism of the Portuguese investigation led to accusations the UK was acting like "a colonial power" (sic).

    3. That's the usual colonialist posture, even some British tourists are like that. It's expected, sort of.

      Only just now I had time to take my eyes away from this blog, cannot believe that M. Brunt is still promoting that horrid Gamble man and not fairly presenting the very ugly and real side of the McCann supporters, those online vigilantes that collated the death dossier. He does have some valid points about the lunatics and opportunists that allege to be on the side of "Maddie" or "anti-McCann", they're just as bad as the vigilante supporters. Most distressing is that he doesn't seem to recognize his own role in feeding this polarization, or indeed his own personal role in Brenda's demise.

      Some fair points from Sutton, but it's too little too late. This should have been exposed as soon as the jollies in Portugal started.



    What Amaral needs to do now is to go after the McCanns' money - very much as they did with him! It's payback time!

    These two have ran a vendetta against Amaral with the intent to destroy him - probably hoping he would commit suicide.

    The way I see it, this is a kind of premeditated murder. Kate herself said so in her book "He deserves to be miserable and feel fear." Meaning "dead"...

    For a start the PJGA needs to let us know if more money is necessary so that someone starts a Crowdfund account with this objective in mind ...

    The other question is:

    Would it still be possible - 10 years on - to bring the McCanns' to trial for abandoning their children to their fate and obstructing the course of Justice?

    Quite aside from the dogs' barks, you know... Again Amaral saw through the deception from the very beginning!

    The forensic samples should never have been given to a British lab (FSS) run by the British government! How naive could Portugal be? It beggars belief!

  3. PS What I am talking about above is what the Americans call a "private prosecution" - that is a group of Portuguese citizens bringing the McCanns to trial in Portugal "for abandoning their children to their fate and obstructing the course of Justice (lies)" and perhaps, at the same time, bringing Portugal to the ECt for failing to do so in the first place and, in the process, bringing the name of Portugal into disrepute - after 10 years of a vicious PR campaign run by the McCanns (Clarence Mitchell) - known as a "serial liar" ever since that infamous "Iraq Has Weapons of Mass Destruction" campaign. Mitchell was the Head of Media Monitoring for Tony Blair ...

  4. Payback time I hope so, is this it please please someone anyone say yes.
    Put me out of my misery.!

    Programme on sky tonight 10 pm/Anyone know how Mr Amaral is ( my hero)
    Mary Liverpool UK


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