Saturday, 23 February 2008

Goncalo Amaral and 4 Other PJ Officers Face Trial

Portuguese detective who led the hunt for Madeleine faces trial over his conduct in another missing child case
By LUCY BALLINGER - More by this author » Last updated at 23:31pm on 22nd February 2008

Hooray Gonc's going to court.

The detective who originally led the hunt for Madeleine McCann will sensationally face trial over his conduct in another missing child case.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral - who was in charge of the Madeleine case when her parents were made the prime suspects - will appear in court accused of covering up the torture of a suspect during questioning in the other case.
Amaral, 48, will stand trial along with four other officers - three of whom are alleged to have attacked Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter Joana vanished in 2004.
The little girl disappeared from her home in Figueira, 11 kilometres from Praia da Luz where Madeleine was abducted last May.

Cipriano, 36, confessed to her murder and was jailed, along with her brother Joao, even though Joana's body was never found.
She claims to have admitted it after almost 48 hours interrogation. She later retracted her statement and claimed the confession had been beaten out of her.
A photograph of Cipriano's face covered in bruises following her police interview emerged last year.

Police claimed she had been injured after throwing herself down the stairs at the police station.
An inquiry was launched into the allegations and yesterday a judge ruled the five officers allegedly involved will face charges in court.
Amaral was in charge of the hunt for Madeleine when Kate and Gerry McCann were declared official suspects in their daughter's disappearance last September. He was sacked from the investigation just weeks later following an outburst in which he attacked the British authorities.

Missing Madeleine McCann: Amaral was in charge of the case of the missing girl when her parents were made suspects
The father-of-three had attracted criticism from the early days of the inquiry as it was claimed he frequently went for three-hour boozy lunches and had ignored most of the 252 possible sightings and tip-offs in the case.
Yesterday McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell refused to talk about Amaral's impending trial.

He said: "It is a matter for him and the judicial authorities in Portugal."
The officers who will face charges of torture are Chief Inspector Leonel Marques, who has since retired, Inspector Pereira Cristovao, who has taken early retirement and Inspector Paulo Bom. They are all accused of torture.
Inspector Antonio Cardosa is accused of falsifying a document and Amaral is accused of false testimony.
Amaral's lawyer Dr António Cabrita said: "I can confirm that the Prosecuting Counsel has decided that all five officers will go to trial.

"I don't know if my client will be charged for either or both of the crimes already indicated or whether for some other crime. All I know at the moment is that he will be tried.
"Clearly the prosecuting counsel was and is of the opinion that there is enough indication to charge my client. Indication is enough to take him to trial but once he is in court that is not enough for a conviction. In court one has to have evidence without any reasonable doubt.
"If all the higher ranking officials were responsible for what their officers working under them do, although I don't know what they did or did not do, then the whole country would be up in court."

The development comes in the week a Dutch student reported seeing Madeleine at a service station in Montpellier in the South of France.
Melissa Fiering, 18, said she called out to the girl, who bore a "striking resemblance" to the missing British youngster - and had a distinctive fleck in her right eye.
But French police sources said the girl definitely was not Madeleine, and that they had tracked down the little girl at the restaurant who is said to have been travelling with a relative.


Rosiepops said...

This means that the Madeleine Mccann investigation will come under intense pressure from the McCann's legal team to lift the arguido status unfairly placed on them by Goncalo Amaral, just days before Portugal's law changed! Portugal's Attorney General has admitted that it would be very unlikely that the McCann's would have ever been made arguido if Amaral had waited a few days because there was insufficient evidence to make the suspects!

Also I have read that the PJ fear they will lose this case in court. So if Goncalo Amaral and the other 4 are convicted, Th's means that Leona Cipriano will be able to get a new appeal in Portugal!

I have a nasty feeling that Leona Cipriano and her brother are innocent and a terrible miscarriage of justice has been carried out in Portugal!

maureen7 said...

Surely this could well have been a serious Professional Conflict of Interest, he should have been better placed on other types of crimes at the very least!

I cannot see this being allowed in the U.K. or the U.S.A. or any other Country really, what do you think, anyone!

Mum21 said...

And about time too. He should also be suspended from duty

Tinkerbell43 said...

yippeee, what a wonderful start to my day!. They're coming to take him away, boom, boom.

What a shame we cant express our joy on the DX HYS.

Now watch this snowball, we have been right all along, they have no where left to run!.

ps, a note to Almeida, keep looking over your shoulder, your next!

SeaWitch said...

If I could ask the PJ anything, my questions would be:-

1. Why on earth was Goncal Amaral put on the case in the first place?

He is a compromised individual who has already tainted one missing child case with the stench of corruption. Whether or not Leonor Cipriano is guilty of what happened to Joana, her confession was obtained in dubious circumstances. She says she was tortured; the PJ say she threw herself down the stairs in an apparent suicide attempt.

Isn’t that the same excuse that abusive husbands of battered wives adopt to explain away their injuries? Along with “she bumped into a wardrobe when she was drunk”. This casts doubt on her mental stability for good measure.

And so it is with Leonor Cipriano. I find a beating a more plausible explanation for TWO horrendously swollen black eyes than falling down the stairs. In any case, what was Cipriano doing at the top of a flight of stairs in a police station in the middle of her questioning anyway? And in a position where she was free to throw herself down them?

Amaral stands accused of concealing evidence that three of his colleagues tortured Cipriano, in which case, he must have some suspicion that they are guilty. Isn’t that perverting the course of justice? If so, then how can he be trusted to conduct a fair and honest enquiry? With that hanging over his head, why was he chosen to lead the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?

Police should be open and transparent in their dealings with suspects for the very reason that any confession cannot then be said to have been obtained under duress and thereby rendered inadmissible.

Goncalo Amaral should never have been let anywhere near another investigation of this magnitude. In fact, why has he not been suspended from duty? This failure alone is enough to shake confidence in the PJ.

2. What the hell was the leaking meant to achieve?

The constant drip-feeding of information from “Police Sources” was an absolute disgrace. The Portuguese posters on the Daily Express were quick to claim that this couldn’t have come from the investigating team, and was more likely to have come from office staff or others not directly involved. Well, I was initially swayed by this argument, but, quite frankly, it’s baloney.

Civilians and cleaners wouldn’t know enough about such things as DNA and the like to comment. Any other Police Officer who wasn’t close to the team would know better than to make up stories. If not, they’re still Police officers, aren’t they? Still representative of their Police Force.

No, those leaks came directly from the investigating team, and most likely from well placed sources at the top, otherwise the journalists wouldn’t have so readily trusted the information.

Of course, it’s easy to stand back now and blame those journalists, saying “It wasn’t us, we never said that”. Yes, PJ, you did.

So I would ask the PJ, why did you think it was a good idea to play this game of leak and misinformation? Did you think you were employing fancy psychology to panic the McCanns and their friends into pointing the finger at one another? You’ve only succeeded in making yourselves look like untrustworthy liars who either can’t control your team’s big mouths, or who aren’t as clever as you thought you were.

Just stay quiet and get on with the job and your credibility may return.

Rosiepops said...

Just a quick post before I have a read and catch up on what you have been discussing.

I have heard from Calcite and Lazarus (Pedro) and they will be joining us at some point hoorah another two sensible posters!

Rosiepops said...

I know I should not have, but please allow me a little pleasure after many months of being the target of their personal abuse. but I have posted on Viles site abut Goncalo and each time I do, she removes it. Don't know why, I was NOT rude or abusive, just asking them if they knew he was going to stand trial, they do not seem to want to acknowledge this, let alone talk to me about it - wonder why? Any suggestions?

I have been going on and on about this man for months now, I just hope that of a miscarriage of justice has occurred with little Joana's mother and uncle, that this is the start of them being vindicated. As some will know I have done much reading into this case and the more I read the more I feel afraid that a miscarriage has happened here.
What i do try and do is to bear in mind of course the reports I am reading come from newspapers and all that this involves, but even so, something is not right there.

I feel that this disappearance is linked to Madeleine's and that of Yeremi (Jeremy Vargas).

What a difference in the way the British police have approached searching for missing Shannon Matthews, as to the way the PJ approached Madeleine's disappearance. I know and bear in mind the difference etc.
Please God that little Shannon will be found safe and well soon.

Tinkerbell43 said...

I personally feel although the McCs were not subjected to any physical violence, I agree with an article that said they were subjected to torment of a different psychological kind.

The article concluded, its normal to want a confession when they dont have much else. Intense interrogations (Almeida) of the McCs has so far failed and by using the media it was another way of applying the 3rd degree.

Its like if Man U lose a big game, next week the pressure is to win big.

The PJ are beginning to worry that now they might lose the Cipriano case if that happens they have to win with the McCs.

I believe the smear campaign was orchestrated by Amarel with one eye on his own impending trial.

If he hadnt been in charge from day one how different would the outcome of Madeleine's fate have been. It saddens me to think we will now never know and I lay the responsibiity and blame of this firmly at the PJ's door!.

Rosiepops said...

Tinks, I trhink Almeida (although I am not 100%) is going to stand trial with Gonc! And it is him and four others, but can't find mention of the others.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Rosie, I believe the names of the others are in the DM. They are not names I am familiar with.

I have mixed emotions this morning, I am so glad he is having to face trial, but on the other hand I am so furious that his decisions have possibly lead to Madeleines fate never being known.

He should never have been allowed to head this case!

Rosiepops said...


As ever a truly superb post and needless to say that I agree with you. These are the very issues and points that I have been trying to debate on the DX forum over the past months.

I would like to know if at this late date "has Goncalo Amaral" now been suspended from duty? If not why not?

Please bear in mind that this man was responsible for Katee and Gerry McCann being made arguidos. He rushed to to make them suspects before Portugal's law changed, if he had waited for a few days Portugal's Attorney General says it is doubtful they would have been made arguidos because of the lack of evidence.

If the PJ are going to regain any of their lost credibility, they need to start by releasing the McCann's from this inhumane suspect status and start behaving like detectives and help the McCann's find or discover what happened to their daughter.

I do feel that it would help if Scotland Yard were to be able to send a team of detectives in. I do not mean to laud it over the PJ, but to work with them, I do not see anything wrong with this, I think it is joined up policing in a rapidly reducing world, where we all integrate more.

I think it is a required force and egos should not be allowed to get on the way, as they have done int he case of the investigation of Madeleine McCann.

Rosiepops said...

Tinkerbell43 said...
"I personally feel although the McCs were not subjected to any physical violence, I agree with an article that said they were subjected to torment of a different psychological kind."

I think this is absolutely right on the money Tinks.

I think that this is exactly what Goncalo Amaral may have set out to do. Obviously Kate and Gerry were not up for throwing themselves down the stairs, so the pressure had to come from another source.

Like SeaWitch has said in her post, it came via leaks from the PJ to the Portuguese press, this I feel was done specifically to put the McCann's under enormous pressure, enough to make them confess. What never occurred to Goncalo Amaral, was the McCann's were innocent so would not confess and they are much more wordily wise and stronger than Leona Cipriano, so there was no way they were going to confess to something they did not do.

he now must sure know he made a grave error of judgement, but then so must Paulo Rebelo, question is what are they going to do about it?

I believe this was of course behind why Alipio Ribeiro made the statement he did and was then backed publicly by his boss Alberta Costa and then came the remarks that the PJ had better things to do than to search for Madeleine made by Carlos Anjos, the head of the PJ union.

I believe all this is inexplicably linked with the case and furore now surrounding that of Goncalo Amaral.

All roads lead to Amaral it seems.

jane guthrie-tate said...

Is this why they had Kate in on her own first of all?

He should never ever have been allowed near any case never mind a similar one. This must be tip of iceberg. He must have been involved in more. Hope it will all pour out now. I too think there are links to others here.

Rosiepops said...

Jane hi, glad you are feeling better.

I agree he should have never been allowed anywhere near this case, in fact he should have been suspended from his duties until this was cleared up, it beggars belief that he was allowed near another case which bears striking similarities?

How Is That? What is their game?

Something wrong in PDL, something really big, huge massive (IMO)

calcite51 said...

Mum21 - did you read my post about your website - I went to visit it and it was absolutely well done.

calcite51 said...

I have never heard of a Detective being under suspicions of misconduct and still being able to continue with the mindset "business as usual."

Normally, they are suspended until they are cleared or found guilty. It does not make sense to me he would be allowed to continue with any police investigatons.

I hope it is a fair trial and that he gets whatever he deserves.

calcite51 said...

In case you're wondering what I said on Alsabella's page - this was my first letter to her. So no, I didn't change my stripes...

Alsabella, just in case you were starting to think you had a fan club,- here I am to give you a reality check. Too bad Rosie is not here. Hope she finds her way to the blog.

"Open Letter to Mrs. Healy" - I doubt Mrs. Healy would bother to read this open letter. She is probably very aware that you are not a McCann fan (all she had to do was read the Daily Express.)

Isn't it odd that the investigation which was oh, so highly confidential have been leaked enough to cause so much trouble for this couple?

The 40 unanswered questions - not odd, that's why you hire a LAWYER and he advises you not to answer the question. There are 3 people the police are rumoured to want to interview and it is my understanding that Kate is not one of them. So the 40 questions are not as important to the PJ as they are to you.

I believe another person on this blog also wondered why the children's faces were covered over. It makes sense in a world where there are sick people (and yes while I include pedophiles, I also include people who felt the twins should be removed from them). Many supports wrote to their Find Madeleine website and suggested it may be a good idea to censor the twins' faces for their protection.

Alsabella, not to change subjects or anything, but can you confirm that the former Chief of police is going to be going to trial for the 'other case'? I know you feel he had nothing to do with the abuse but he WAS in charge of that investigation and he should take responsibility for what happened on his watch.

May I be so bold to suggest Alsabella you should take a look at AMW (America's Most Wanted) on the web - read Mr. John Walsh's comments about Mr. and Mrs. McCann.

A note of caution to all of you - beware that if you get too carried away with the same nonsense that went on at Daily Express, you probably have a good chance of getting shut down like Viv's blog. No I'm not threatening - I have never gone to visit Viv's blog but I did hear she was shut down.

It would be a shame not to be able to comment on this case because of a few extremists.

Hugs to all of you - glad to see you're still around.

23 February 2008 02:33

Minute For Madeleine McCann

Locate IP Address on Map