Sunday, 7 March 2010
GOING, GOING, "GONC"!
If only a mere part of what I have read in the papers this week is true, then dear little Madeleine McCann and her distraught parents, never stood a chance against this man Goncalo Amaral aka "Gonc". For anyone reading this blog who doesn't know, Goncalo Amaral is the disgraced former Portuguese policia judiciaria coordinator, who was sacked from the Madeleine investigation after five months, for serious professional misconduct, he also lost his position as Portimao police chief and was designated a desk job. Amaral has since taken "voluntary" early retirement and now receives a hefty police pension.
If only the hour long coffee breaks and three hour long lunches taken by Amaral while he was supposed to be looking for a missing child, that we all thought were so scandalous where the only thing we had to worry about with this man, Goncalo Amaral!
Amaral currently has several criminal charges being brought against him for a variety of reasons, which range from the alleged torture of Leandro Silva, to deliberately breaking his country's strict secrecy laws. Amaral is also due to answer the charge of libel and defamation and deliberately hindering and impeding the search for missing Madeleine McCann, through a book that he has written. A book which has been banned from worldwide sale under an injunction, which Amaral has twice tried unsuccessfully to have lifted. In this book Amaral claims that Kate and Gerry McCann somehow were responsible for their daughter's death and that they for some bizarre reason, decided to hide the body, retrieve it some 25 days later, drive it around in a hire car under the gaze of the entire world's press, before magically finding yet another impenetrable hiding place, in a country the couple had only come to stay in for one week while taking a family vacation. Amaral and his now deceased friend Guilhermino Encarnacao, were the source of the leaking, the smearing and the character assassination of Kate and Gerry McCann in the Portuguese press. Goncalo Amaral also had the McCanns made arguidos (suspects) in their daughter's disappearance on DNA evidence that KNEW did NOT exist! This suggests that Amaral went to the Portuguese prosecutor and they both decided to lie and make the McCanns suspects, or that he lied to the prosecutor about the DNA evidence that never was, either is a very serious charge.
Goncalo Amaral was warned by John Lowe the head of the Birmingham FSS, that there was no conclusive evidence that Madeleine's body had ever been in the hire car BEFORE he made the McCanns arguidos, using this non evidence to do so. Add to this, that it took Amaral 5 months to come to do this and suddenly he went from keeping these parents hanging about, not informing them about the search for their daughter, having them met with a barrage of unfounded and unsubstantiated claims, a different one for every hour it seemed, updated virtually every hour, of every day in the Portuguese press and world's media and on newspaper websites accusing them of all kinds of heinous things, to having them told by Ricardo Paiva that they were due to be formally questioned by the PJ and having them wait for weeks knowing this. The McCanns not only distraught and traumatised over the abduction of their missing daughter, and not knowing where she was, or what was happening to her, and realising that the Portuguese police who were supposed to be searching for their daughter, had NOT been since day 3 of the investigation, so coming to terms with the fact that no one was searching for Madeleine, also had to endure this psychological torture, on a drip, drip effect each minute of each and every day for five months, at the hands of Goncalo Amaral and Guilhermino Encarnacao, through unsubstantiated leaks to the Portuguese press. Any lesser people would have got the hell out of Portugal, but no, the McCanns stayed and they stayed because they wanted to help the search for their daughter and they were willing to "take anything thrown at them" and to go through anything in order to help get their daughter back, so for weeks lived with this terrible psychological battering and waited to be questioned and then suddenly the questioning came, almost in indecent haste it came and four months down the line, they still had NOT met with Goncalo Amaral, the person charged with finding their daughter and to this day have never once met or spoken with him.
Gerry McCann was told they had evidence that his wife had harmed Madeleine and that he should confess, when Mr McCann asked to see the evidence he was refused, when Mr McCann asked what the evidence was he was not told, instead the officers waved a piece of paper in his face and screamed that they had the evidence here in their hands. Mr McCann said they could not have the evidence because he knew they were both innocent. The "evidence" being waved about on a piece of paper so threateningly in front of Mr McCann's face, turned out to be the NON evidence of the dogs, which had already been ruled as inconclusive and the DNA sample taken from the hire car hired 25 days AFTER Madeleine disappeared and the sample gathered from the car, some THREE months AFTER her disappearance when tested was found inconclusive and could have belonged to anyone of the McCann family, and in fact could have belonged to any one of a percentage of the population, including the person who carried out the tests on the sample in Birmingham, England.
Kate McCann was questioned by a detective that had previously been the family's liaison officer, one Ricardo Paiva. Paiva had previously assured Kate McCann that the PJ believed Madeleine was abducted and that the couple had nothing to do with her disappearance. It was Ricardo Paiva that broke the news prior to the formal questioning of the McCanns, that they were more than likely going to be made arguidos, it was Ricardo Paiva that witnessed the complete emotional breakdown of Kate McCann as this terrible news and what it meant to the search for their daughter began to sink in. It was Ricardo Paiva that at that time reassured Kate that he believed them and it was Ricardo Paiva that could not look Kate in the eye, when they attended for formal questioning, prior to being made arguidos. It was Ricardo Paiva that tried to plea bargain with Kate McCann, telling her that if she confessed, that she would serve two years in prison and that her husband would even be allowed to keep his job. It was Ricardo Paiva that put it about that Kate had refused to answer 48 questions. It was Ricardo Paiva and Goncalo Amaral that compiled those questions, questions that were specifically designed, if answered by Kate McCann to entrap her with the guilt for the disappearance of her daughter, this was why her Portuguese lawyer advised her not to answer those questions. If you read over those questions, some of them Kate McCann could not possibly have known the answer to. No 18 for instance: How were the authorities contacted and which police force was alerted? Apart from asking how the police were first contacted, how on earth was Kate McCann expected to know which police force was alerted? How would she know that the Portuguese police had at least 3 structures to their police, the PJ, the GNR and the PSP? The woman had never been to Portugal before and had only been on holiday in the country for a few days, what a completely stupid question, one designed so that she could NOT answer it. Number 22. Did you call Sky News? By this time the PJ knew very well that the McCanns did NOT call Sky News, Sky News had told them directly that they had NOT done this, so why ask this question? 26. Is it true that during the searches you remained seated on Maddie’s bed without moving? If Goncalo Amaral had bothered to attend the scene of this major crime unfolding on HIS patch, INSTEAD of electing to stay drinking with his friends and eating shrimp, he would have known the answer to this question. In fact this was completely untrue and so to was the lie stated in Amaral's book about the McCanns praying on the floor of Madeleine's room. But I would suggest that even if they did remain seated and unmoving on Madeleine's bed, why would this be deemed as wrong? To me it would suggest that they were deeply traumatised and needed help and pretty quickly!
So after this the McCanns were made arguidos as explained on NO evidence at all, had Goncalo Amaral waited a further 8 days, instead of wasting weeks and months and then in the end rushing to make them arguidos, had he waited, he would have been UNABLE to make the McCanns arguidos, because the law changed in Portugal and he would have had to supply evidence to make them suspects, evidence Amaral did NOT have! Having done this, Amaral then sought to blacken the McCanns characters still further, by accusing them of running back to the UK after being made arguidos. 1) Amaral NEGLECTING to say that they had delayed returning home because they knew they were to be formally questioned by the PJ and had been kept waiting for the questioning for several weeks. 2) Under the terms of their arguido, they were told they would be legally required to report back to Portugal if and when required to do so. If they failed to comply with this then they could be arrested by the UK police. 3) Kate was threatened during her questioning that if they stayed in Portugal, the Portuguese authorities may take the twins away from them and may place them in the Portuguese care system. (A care system that has the sex scandal of Casa Pia childrens home to its name, which is now lumbering its way through the Portuguese courts, maning government officials, local government officials, celebrities, doctors, the judicary and the judicial police too! Knowing this, why wouldn't the McCanns want to get their children out of that country and home to safety? They had already had lost one child to abduction and were being accused of murdering her, while the real criminals, the abductors were being allowed by Amaral to get away scot free!)
Now during one of Amaral's many court cases/trial his appeal to have the ban on his libellous book lifted, he presented as a witness for himself, no other than the currently serving PJ inspector, Ricardo Paiva! The same Ricardo Paiva that had stabbed Kate McCann in the back and blatantly lied to her! The same ricardo Paiva that was instrumental in Kate being made a suspect in her own daughter's disappearance and the same Ricardo Paiva that had promised Kate and Gerry McCann that the PJ were doing everything they could to find Madeleine, when in fact they were doing absolutely nothing but trying to find ways to pin the child's disappearance on them, the search that in all but name had ceased on DAY 3 after poor Madeleine disappeared.
Chief Inspector and coordinator Paulo Rebelo who had taken over when Amaral was sacked from the investgation had presented evidence to Portugal's atorney general and two prosecutors who had deemed that the case was to be shelved and that there was no evidence to say that the parents had harmed their child in any way, shape or form and had cleared the McCanns and removed their arguido status. It was also said that there was NO evidence to suggest that Madeleine had died, or was alive. Rebelo then handed the shelved investigation over to "Ricardo Paiva" who was suposed to oversee any information coming into the investigation and ask for the case to be re-opened if any new information became available.
Ricardo Paiva believes that Madeleine is dead. Ricardo Paiva is a very close friend of Goncalo Amaral, so close that he attends private functions at Amaral's home and he also attended Amaral's lavish 50th birthday party, complete with non stop flowing champagne and expensive fireworks and the finest food and cigars and wine, a birthday party where Amaral's wife lavished a several carat £10.000 studded diamond earring for her 50 year old husband's newly pierced ear! A birthday party where Ricardo Paiva was alleged to be among the "thugs" alleged to have been sent by Amaral, to harrass and threaten his former lover and her husband as they stood smoking a cigarette in the street watching the fireworks. Ricardo Paiva alleged to be among those that stood and watched while the couples lawyer was attacked and pulled through the open window of his car and where the husband of the Amaral's former lover was slapped and punched and physically abused. Where this couple have been threatened in their own home by Amaral, recorded on tape and can be listened to and the transcript available to read on this blog.
This is on and the same Ricardo Paiva that is supposed to be able to put all personal feelings to one side and be able to judge candidly whether any new information has come into the "sheleved" investigation, enough to take to Portuguese attorney general and request that the investigation be re-opened. Yet this man Chief Inspector Ricardo Paiva a close friend of sacked and now widely discredited Goncalo Amaral, appeared in court as a witness FOR Goncalo Amaral during his appeal hearing and while under cross examination from the McCanns libel lawyer, Dra Isabel Duarte he calmly proclaims under oath;
1) That he believe that Madeleine McCann was dead.
2) That when he was working on the Madeleine McCann case under his then boss Goncalo Amaral, that they had NO time to investigate any other theories, other than the parents were responsible for their daughter's disappearance, which of course meant that any information and sightings and clues to the girls whereabouts were NOT investigated.
3) That of course his former boss was not responsible for hindering the search for Madeleine as there was planety of information still coming into the investigation.
Lawyer Isabel Duarte then asks Ricardo Paiva who is still under oath, how can he possibly look for a live child, that he believes to be dead?
Paiva was then asked if all of this information was still coming into the investigation then what has happened to all of this information?
Paiva under oath was forced to answer, that he had been placing all the information that came into this investigation in a file.
On learning this, Isabel Duarte went to the PJ facility where this file was held and under the freedom of information act asked to view this "file". Imagine her shock and horror and later the McCanns shock and horror and disbelief to find that this "file" was several thousand pages big and it contained information deemed highly credible sent in by the McCanns private investigators and Leicestershire police, but was just shoved into this file and NOT actioned upon! Not only this, there are pages and pages of sightings containing children who bore more than a passing resemblance to Madeleine UNACTIONED. Then there are the 1000's pages of information that has come from people who have contacted the investgation believing they may hold vital information as to Madeleine's location. Most of the thousands of pages of information in this dossier, have NOT been investigated, people being spoken to who all sya they gave their information and expected to be contacted by the investgation team but had heard nothing further, it is shocking and it must be absolutely soul destroying for Madeleine and her parents, so imagine how they felt when they discovered that Ricardo Paiva had taken all of this information, placed it in his "file" most of it remaining uninvestigated and then marking the filr "NOT RELEVANT TO THE INVESTIGATION"! How would Ricardo Paiva know this if he had not looked at it, let alone investigated it? How would he know what was relevant and what wasn't if he had not looked at it?
How could Ricardo Paiva come to an unbiased decision if he believed that Madeleine was dead and that his friend Goncalo Amaral was right when on no evidence he had accused the child's father? How could Ricardo Paiva a currently serving police inspector, be deemed as unbiased when he has been in court backing up his best friend disgraced and sacked former PJ coordinator Goncalo Amaral's right to write libellous comments in his book? How can Ricardo Paiva be unbiased when he backs up his fried Goncalo Amaral's right to make an obscene amount of money off of the back of an innocent missing child that he had failed, by accusing her parents of killing her and hiding her body?
Paiva could not answer how he could use his judgement and come to the decision that the case should remain closed, if the information was not being investgated, if he Ricardo Paiva had not even been looking at the information coming in, let alone investigating it?
Image borrowed from Hounding of the McCanns, thank you Tony.
The revelations that have emerged this week have been nothing short of astonishing that individuals within a police force have apparently been given carte blanche to behave in any way they saw fit and seemingly not to care what happened to a small child who was abducted from Prai da Luz, Portugal May 3, 2007.
Officers have been allowed to get away with behaviour that could be easily be termed as a gross deriliction of duty and negligence in the extreme.
Former officers have been allowed to swan about Portugal, getting paid for writing books and selling the rights of the book to TV companies to make documentaries heavily slanted and biased which are based on the book written by Amaral, which accused the McCanns of killing thier daughter and hiding her body. Amaral has been allowed to spread his malevolent lies around the TV and radio studios of Portugal and Europe and in various newspapers, all the while cashing in on Madeleine's name. Amaral even tried to sell an interview with himself to Sky News for £80.000, fortunately Sky told Amaral they were not interested! But Portugal had been allowing this man to do this and get away with it, until Amaral started harming the search for little Madeleine so much and excrably harming the reputation of her parents so much so, that in the end the McCanns had no option but to use the courts to have him stopped. Remember these are people that have never been charged of any wrongdoing about anything in their entire lives, yet were being forced to suffer inexplicably like this at the hands of Goncalo Amaral, the man who blundered his way through the investigation. In fact amaral made every single mistake there was to make, so much so, that people have questioned that these mistakes were not accidental, but deliberate, in order to deliberately frustrate and impede the inquiry into Madeleine McCann's abduction!
Make you own mind up about this astonishing sequence of events, but also remember this below, it concerns the alleged torture of yet another person claiming that Goncalo Amaral is a violent thug and remember that Goncalo Amaral is already a proven liar and perjurer, what else could he be?
Leandro Silva alleges that Goncalo Amaral beat him so badly that he received injuries serious enough to warrant his admission to hospital for four days and then forced him to take one month off of his work to recover.
In May 2009, Goncalo Amaral was found guilty for his part in the proven torture of Mr Silva's partner, Leonor Cipriano. Perjury, lying and concealing evidence of a torture were among Amaral's convictions and his suspended prison sentence is currently under appeal. Mrs Cipriano was found guilty of the murder of her daughter Joana, who remains missing to this day. The case made legal history in Portugal, being the only murder trial to be held in the absence of a body. This was why a confession from the mother was vital, without her confession there could not have been a trial. It was later proven that Leonor Cipriano was indeed tortured into confessing to the murder, a confession made in the absence of her lawyer and a confession she has since retracted and has never repeated. There lies the first anomaly, under Portuguese law, her confession should have confirmed by her in court at her trial and it never was.
Many in Portugal, including top lawyers, judges and prosecutors maintain that her guilt was never proved beyond reasonable doubt and that the evidence used to convict Leonor Cipriano was at best vaguely circumstantial and at worse completely unsafe, in fact, one of the judges that presided over her trial insisted on going down on record as believing that Leonor is innocent and that she has been wrongly convicted. Since her conviction her sentence was reduced from 20 years to 16 years under appeal and her alleged torture under Goncalo Amaral and his men has been proven, this is nay other modern European country would be enough to see Leonor walk free from prison, her conviction ruled unsafe, or at the very least a retrial ordered, but her appeal against her conviction and subsequent sentence has been astonishingly been turned down, under the guise that no new evidence has come to light to warrant this. Apparently, in Portugal, the discovery of the fact that Leonor Cipriano was taken from her prison cell during the night, to the PJ facility, where a plastic bag was placed over her head and then she was forced to kneel on ashtrays and then beaten with a cardboard tube, punched and kicked and tortured for over 24 hours, while being forced to soil herself because she was not allowed to go to the bathroom, or have a drink of water and then while in a completely disorientated state of mind delerious with pain and dehydration with a build up of toxins in her blood, terrified and in terrible pain, was forced into confessing to murdering her own child, cutting the body up and feeding it to the pigs, (without a trace of evidence being found anywhere) is NOT deemed as new evidence, or reason to rule a mistrial or unsafe conviction! I would like to know what was behind this judge's decision and if this judge was indeed, one of the "many judge friends" that Goncalo Amaral announced to the world that he had, just a short time ago!
Ask yourselves if you have ever seen so much concerning one man and his "friends" in any other case/cases, in any other country in the world? Have you ever seen such events anywhere, where a man like this has been left free to go about his business? Ask yourself also and in all honesty, would you trust Goncalo Amaral. while you are asking yourselves, think of these photographs of the bruised and battered face and body of tortured and wrongly convicted Leonor Cipriano, yet another Goncalo Amaral "controversy"!
Why aren't the Portuguese police investigating Amaral who has even given false accounts in order to claim legal aid, where he omitted to state he owned a large house, in large grounds with a swimming pool amongst his assets?
Why are they not investigating Goncalo Amaral a former policeman and head of the drug squad where he was involved in yet another controversy? The case of Hugo, where the man was falsely accused and despite being able to provide many witnesses that testified he was in his wife's home town at a family function, Amaral made him go to court where the man was sent for trial in neighbouring Spain, and Hugo became so scared and so distraught that he attempted suicide while in jail, fortunately the Spanish judge dismissed all charges against him and gave him an unconditional discharge the victim of mistaken identity, his victim even said that he did not know of, or recognise Hugo. Yet Amaral forced this man to stand trial in Portugal and astonishingly he was sent to Spain for the Spanish to sort out. It later emerged that it suited amaral to have Hugo charged, because this helped to PROTECT drug traffickers, yet again Amaral was allowed to get away with what appears to be illegal activities.
To this day Goncalo Amaral is still free and still be allowed to swan about his country accusing innocent people of heinous crimes.
When are the Portuguese going to do something about him? It is extraordinary that this man has gone unchallenged up to now!
Amaral has even got a person by the name of Joana Morais acting as fund raiser for him, she surfs the net asking for donations into what she calls Amaral's defence fund. Meanwhile while she is taking money from pensioners who can least afford it, her hero Goncalo Amaral, is running around Portimao in a £60.000 luxry Jaguar motor car, paid for out of the money earned for hum by innocent missing Madeleine McCann! Paypal has recently suspended all donations into this account pending investigations into its alleged legality. In any case, amaral has plenty if money for his own defence without taking the money from pensioners, he could sell his Jaguar luxury limo for a start!
Now the British home secretary Alan Johnson is said to be trying to persuade Portugal to reopen the Madeleine McCann investigation and is also said to be trying to carry out a review of the case here in Britain.
If nothing is done about Amaral and this madness he has created, a major diplomatic incident is going to occur and yet despite this late time, the Portuguese government could still salavge some fo their reputation by taking some very simple steps and actions.
1) Arrest Amaral 2) make him a witness (under Portuguese law he will be forced to answer questions) 3) Ensure that Amaral is charged and held to account for his other misdemeanors. 3) Conduct a full review of the Madeleine McCann investigation 4) Re-open the Madeleine investigation 5) Hold a full open and independant inquiry into the whole business 6) On NO account let inspector Ricardo Paiva anywhere near the Madeleine investigation 7) Suspend Paiva from duty pending a full investigation into his conduct.
Having done this, the rest of the world would then see Portugal behaving like any other modern country and the damage done by Goncalo Amaral and lowlives who abducted Madeleine McCann, would then start to be repaired.
It is the only way, there is simply no other way open to Portugal at this late stage. Inaction and dithering, secrecy and denial has led Portugal to this point, to lead her out of it will take humility, respect for the law, transparency and accountability and Portugal can do this, in my opinion she simply has no other choice!
In any case whatever happens, Goncalo Amaral is "Going, Going, Gonc"!