Author Topic: McCanns v Goncalo Amaral - Supreme Court Judgement 31 Jan 2017 - colour coded.  (Read 829 times)

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Having been in charge of that investigation as a member of the Judicial Police, the defendant Gonçalo Amaral, although retired on July 1 2008, did not enjoy, on the following July 24, in respect of the outcome of the criminal investigation released on the 21st of the same month and year, a large and full freedom of expression.

This freedom was conditioned by the functions he had, functions that imposed him special duties that traverse the status of retirement, including the duty of reserve.

In this concrete situation, despite the personal reasons that the defendant invokes in the introductory note of the book, the freedom of expression should cede through the imperative of that reserve.

It was not what happened and the truth is that, on July 24 2008, scant three days after the release of the dispatch shelving the investigation for lack of proof, the book was launched, sold with the newspaper’s edition, and the interview was published.

The time-line displays well the intention to call for the contradictory, in the public domain, the shelving of the investigation, comparing it with the thesis of the previous line of investigation, told as the true one by a person who had been responsible for the same investigation.

In this form of resolving the conflict between the rights is revealed the illegality of the conduct of the defendant Gonçalo Amaral in respect of the effects of article 484° of the CC.

In disagreement with this judgement, the defendants 1°, 2° and 3° (10) lodged an appeal against it.

The Lisbon Appeal Court granted those requests and revoked the appealed decision, judging the lawsuit unfounded concerning the appellants and acquitting them of all the requests. Their allegations were expressed in the following way :

In terms of personality rights, article 26°-1 of the CRP states that the rights to a person’s good name and reputation are recognised, as well as protection of the intimacy of private and family life..

The same fundamental law protects with equal dignity freedom of expression, stating in article 37°-1 that everyone has the right to freely express and disclose their thought...
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...through speech, via image or by any other means, as well as the right to inform, to look for information and to be informed without hindrance or discrimination.

Freedom of the press is established under article 38°-2, concerning freedom of expression and creativity for journalists and collaborators.

Article 18°-2 establishes, in the event of a conflict between fundamental rights, that legal restrictions on these rights are limited to the need of preserving other constitutionally protected rights or interests.

For its part, the ordinary law enshrines in article 70° of the CC, as a principle, that the law protects individuals against unlawful offence or threat of offence to their physical or moral integrity, while according to article 80° of the CC everyone must maintain discretion about someone else’s intimacy of private life.

In case of conflict of equal rights or of the same species, the holders of these rights must, in terms of article 335°-1, assign to the extent necessary for all rights to take effect without major damage for any of them. Article 335°-2 states that, all rights being uneven or of different species, prevails the one that has to be considered higher.

Thus, as the dominant jurisprudence understands :

"One of the limitations to freedom of information, which therefore is not an absolute right, is the preservation of the right to a good name. Journalists, media, are bound by ethical, professional duties, rigour and objectivity.

– It is up to the media's right, social function, to broadcast news and express opinions, critical or not, the importance being that they do so with respect for the truth and the intangible rights of others, as personality rights.

– The right to honour, in a broader sense, and the right to freedom of press and opinion are traditional occasions of conflict.

– Criticism is limited by the rights of the targeted person, but does not stop being legitimate when being trenchant and sharp but not offensive, because that is often the style of writers.

– Criticising implies banning ; censorship conveyed by the media only stops being legitimate as a manifestation of individual freedom when it expresses objective anti-juridicity, violating the most personal rights and affecting, more or less lastingly...
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... according to people's memory, values which must be preserved as the rights here at stake to honour, good name and social reputation. (ruling of the STJ dated 20/01/2010, www.dgsi.pt)

In the case before us, besides the reporting of the facts that are part of the investigation into the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann, the analysis of the book and other published matter shows that the now first appellant sustains the thesis that there was no kidnapping, but accidental death of the child, followed by a cover-up - concealment of the body and kidnapping simulation – by the applicants Gerald and Kate McCann, now the respondent party .

It results from the above-mentioned publication that evidence elements and clues it reports to are essentially those referred and documented in the respective criminal investigation.

Not withstanding, the exposed thesis, according to which the minor died accidentally and the parents hid the fact, spreading the kidnapping hypothesis in order to deceive, is not new, since it is also in the report referred to at n° 9 of the proven facts, having determined the constitution of the respondent party as arguidos and having been made public by the media after the digitalisation of the investigation files was provided ( n°s 65 and 66 of the proven facts).

As determined by the appeal ruling heard in this section regarding the appended injunction, the first appellant intended through (his book) to outline his vision of the facts, once the institution to which he belonged (the PJ) did not allow him, as a professional police officer in a criminal investigation, to respond to attacks against its expertise and honour. We must therefore consider the publication of the book as reflecting the legitimate exercise of the right to opinion.

And it results from what has been proven that, besides the facts at stake were abundantly engraved in the investigation and even made public at the instigation of the Republic Attorney General, the respondents are the ones who, taking advantage of an easy access, multiplied interviews and interventions in the national and international media, so that the conclusion is they themselves voluntarily limited their rights to discretion and intimacy of private life.

By this kind of proceeding, they opened the way for anyone to equally express their view on the case, contradicting their theory – without doing anything but practicing...
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… a lawful and constitutionally sanctioned right to opinion and freedom of expression of their thoughts.

Moreover, we do not see how the right of the respondents to enjoy, after their constitution as “arguidos", the guarantees of a criminal trial – including the right to a fair investigation and the right to liberty and security - could be affected by the content of a book that essentially describes and interprets facts that are part of an investigation the contents of which have been made public.

Although they were not considered sufficient to elicit criminal charges, nothing prevents such facts of being subject to various assessments, especially in a literary kind of work.

Therefore, and as rights are enshrined namely in articles 37° and 38° of the CRP, the publication in question has to be considered legitimate.

The appealed decision, however, reckons that the first (here) appellant, Gonçalo Amaral, because he coordinated the criminal investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann until 2/10/2007, remained, even after his retirement on 1/07/2008, subject to the duties of silence and reserve, regularly imposed on officers of the Judicial Police in activity.

Under such terms, and despite the personal reasons given in the prologue of the book, the appellant, in case of collision with the rights to good name and reputation of the respondents, would not enjoy the full and complete freedom of expression concerning the investigation's conclusions, his conduct being deemed unlawful under Article 484° of the CC.

From what has been said above on this subject, it is clear that the expounded arguments are not worth considering.

Indeed, irrespective of the reasons given by the appellant for publication, it is hardly understandable that a civil servant, even more a retired one, should carry on his silence and reserve duties, thus limiting the exercise of his right to opinion as to the interpretation of facts already made public by the judicial authority and widely discussed (actually largely at the instigation of the protagonists themselves) in national and international media.

In the absence of the appealed decision's first presupposition, it must be concluded, against it, to the lack of eligibility of any of the respondent party's demands - remaining without effect the re-assessment of the material facts, secondarily requested
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Both claimants (here appellants) lodged an appeal for reviewing that acórdão (note : to avoid confusion, this word always designates the decision of the Appeal Court).

Provided allegations and gathered the legal visas, it's up to deciding.

2 – Fundamental principles

1.2. In the appealed acórdão the following facts are considered proven :

1. The applicants Gerald McCann and Kate (sic) are married to each other.

2. The applicant Madeleine McCann was born on 12.5.2003 , daughter of Kate McCann and Gerald McCann.

3. The applicant Sean McCann was born on 1/2/2005, son of  Kate McCann and Gerald McCann.

4. The applicant Amelie McCann was born on 1/2/2005 , daughter of Kate McCann and Gerald McCann. (11)

5. The applicant Madeleine McCann has been missing since 3/5/2007 , resulting in the criminal investigation n° 201/07.0 GALGS, opened by the prosecutor of Portimão.

6. The dogs Eddie and Keela, from the British police, have detected human blood and cadaver scent in the apartment 5A of the Ocean Club.

7. The dogs Eddie and Keela, from the British police, have detected human blood and cadaver scent in the vehicle rented by the applicants Kate McCann and Gerald McCann after Madeleine's disappearance.

8. The applicants Kate McCann and Gerald McCann were constituted (by lawyer) assisted witnesses (arguidos) in the criminal investigation.

9.  On 10/9/2007 (pp. 2587-2602 of the criminal investigation), Chief-Inspector Tavares de Almeida wrote a report and particularly the following :

"Given what we could establish, the facts point towards the death of Madeleine McCann during the evening of May 3 2007, in the apartment 5A of Praia da Luz Ocean Club resort, occupied by the McCann couple and their three children (p. 2599) (... )

Taking into account all that was presented in the autos, it results that :

A) The minor Madeleine McCann died in apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz in the evening of May 3, 2007 ;

B) A simulation of abduction took place ;
 (...)
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C) In order to make possible the death of the minor before 22h, a story about checking on the McCann children, as they slept, was invented ;

D) Kate and Gerald McCann are involved in the concealment of the body of their daughter MMC;

E) On this date it seems there is no solid evidence that the death of the minor was not due to a tragic accident;

F) Given what has been confirmed so far, everything indicates that the couple McCann, as self-defence, does not want to deliver immediately and voluntarily the body, existing a high probability that the same was removed from the place where it was originally disposed of. This situation is likely to raise questions about the circumstances in which occurred the death of the minor.

Thus we suggest that minutes be delivered to the prosecutor of Lagos aiming :

G) A possible new interrogation of assisted witnesses Kate McCann and Gerald McCann ;

H) Evaluating the adequate measure of constraint to be applied in the case (folio 2601 of the minutes)" (al.AT).

10. On 10/9/2007 (p. 2680 of the criminal investigation),  the prosecutor in charge of the investigation issued an order which in particular says this:

"During the investigation which goes on regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the proceedings being therefore open either to confirm or to deny that the occurrence of the disappearance is related to the crimes of kidnapping, homicide, exposure or abandonment and concealment of corpse, and in accordance with the established plan, the need was felt to gather information on the actual time of the disappearance, verify the location of each stakeholder – from the McCann couple to the group of friends with whom they were on holiday in tourist apartments in the Praia da Luz Ocean Club, i.e Michelle Jane Tanner, Russell James O'Brien, David Matthew Oldfield, Rachael Jean Mampilly David Anthony Payne, Fiona Elaine Payne and Diana Webster – when the events occurred and in the moments that followed, and determine the movements of the assisted witnesses, Gerald McCann and Kate Healy, during their stay in Portugal, while also establishing connections between all stakeholders and third parties.

In this sense, and because the following requested inquiries are essential for the discovery of the truth, especially the analysis of the  information contained in the telephone exchanges' ...
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...between the McCann couple and their friends, and other phone numbers, which have shown to be related to events of May 3 2007 evening, the minutes are delivered to the Judge of Criminal Investigation (JCI)”. (12)

11. In page 3170 of the criminal investigation, on 3/12/2007, the JCI of Portimão issued a decree in which he stated particularly this:

"Since the investigation, in these autos, concerns the practice of kidnapping, homicide, exposure or abandonment and concealment of corpse, the first three crimes being punished with a sentence of more than 3 years imprisonment, and since it seems convenient to identify the person who exhibited suspicious behaviour in the vicinity of the place where the child disappeared from, as mentioned in statements of folios 3150, 3154 and sq, the data requested by the public prosecutor being thus very important to discover the truth, I order (...) the soliciting telecommunications operator Portugal Telecom.".

12. The defendant Gonçalo Amaral was, until 2/10/2007, the PJ inspector in charge of coordinating the investigation into the disappearance of the applicant Madeleine McCann.

13. The defendant GA is retired from the PJ since 1/7/2008 (n° 19).

14. On 21/7/2008, the Republic General Prosecutor informed through a "note for the social communication" that the investigation mentioned in 5. would be shelved and could be reopened at the instigation of the Public Ministry or at the request of any interested party, if new evidence brought forth serious, relevant and consistent inquiries (n° 20).

15. The archiving dispatch concerning the criminal investigation, issued the 21/7/2008 by the prosecutor, says in particular this :

"Taking into account that certain points in the formal suspects' ('arguidos') and witnesses' statements revealed contradiction, at least apparently, or lacked physical confirmation, it was decided to carry out the "reconstitution of the fact", an operation that is consecrated in article 150 of the Penal Process Code (CPP) (13) in the sense of duly clarifying, on the very location of the facts, the very important following details, among others :1) The physical, real and effective proximity between Jane Tanner, Gerald McCann and Jeremy Wilkins, at the moment when the first person walked by them, and which coincided with the sighting of the supposed suspect, carrying a child. From our perspective it is strange that neither Gerald McCann nor Jeremy Wilkins...
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... saw her, or the alleged abductor, despite the exiguity of the space and the tranquillity of the area.

2) The situation concerning the window to the bedroom where Madeleine slept, together with the twins, which was open, according to Kate. It has seemed necessary to clarify if there was a draught, since movement of the curtains and pressure under the bedroom door are mentioned, which, eventually, could be verified through the reconstitution.

3) The establishment of a timeline and of a line of effective checking on the minors that were left alone in the apartments, given that, if it is believed that such checking was as tight as the witnesses and the assisted witnesses describe it, it would be, at least, very difficult to reunite conditions for the introduction of an abductor in the residence and the posterior exit of said abductor with a child, particularly through a reduced width window. It is added that the supposed abductor could only pass, through that window, holding the minor in a different position (vertical) from the one that witness Jane Tanner saw (horizontal).

4) What happened during the time lapse between approximately 6.45/7 p.m. - the time at which Madeleine was seen for the last time in the apartment by a different person (David Payne) from her parents or siblings - and the time at which the disappearance is reported by Kate Healy - at around 10 p.m.

5) The immediate appreciation of evidence, or in other words, the fulfilment of the principle of contiguity of evidence offers obvious and well known advantages to form a conviction, as firm as possible, about what was seen by Jane Tanner and the other interposers, and, eventually, to dismiss once and for all any doubts that may subsist concerning the innocence of the missing child's parents.

To achieve this according to the standards and conventions in force, legal procedures were instituted and the presence of the witnesses was requested, inviting them to participate, also appealing to solidarity with the McCann couple, as it is certain that since the beginning they adhered to that process diligence.

Nevertheless, despite national authorities assuming all measures to render their trip to Portugal viable, for unknown reasons, after the many doubts that they raised about...
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...the necessity and opportunity of their trip were clarified several times, witnesses chose not to attend, which made the reconstitution impractical.

We believe that the main damage was caused to the McCann, who lost the possibility to prove what they have protested since they were constituted arguidos (14) : their innocence in relation to the fateful event. The investigation was also disturbed, because said facts remained without clarification (...).

This (15) shows that the parents were not persistently worried about their children [and] that they didn't check on them like they afterwards declared they did, rather neglecting their duty to protect those same children, although not in a temerarious, or gross, manner (...)

While the fact that Madeleine disappeared from apartment 5A of the resort Ocean Club is inescapable, the manner and circumstances under which this happened are unknown - despite the numerous diligences made on that purpose -, therefore the range of crimes that were conjectured and referred to during the investigation remains untouched (...)

Concerning the other surmised crimes (16), they are no more than that and in spite of our perception that, due to its high degree of probability, the occurrence of a homicide cannot be discarded, such cannot be more than a mere supposition, due to the lack of supporting elements in the files.

It appears that the non involvement of the parents, assisted witnesses, in any penally relevant action stems from the objective circumstances of them not being inside the apartment when Madeleine disappeared, from the normal behaviour that they displayed until said disappearance and afterwards, as can be amply concluded from witness statements, from the telephone communications analysis and also from the forensics' conclusions, namely the reports from the (Birmingham) Forensic Science Service (FSS) and from the National Institute for Legal Medicine.

To this should be added that in fact none of the clues that led to their constitution as “arguidos" was later confirmed or consolidated. Let's judge it: the information concerning a previous alert of the media before the police was not confirmed, the residues that were marked by the dogs were not corroborated in laboratory, and the initial indications from the above transcribed email (17) better examined afterwards, that ended up appearing to be inconclusive.

Even if hypothesising that Gerald and Kate McCann might be responsible over the child's death, it would still have to be explained how, where, when, with what means, with whose help and where to they freed themselves of her body within the restricted...
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... time frame that would have been available for them to do so. Their daily routine, until the 3rd of May, had been circumscribed to the narrow borders of the Ocean Club resort and to the beach next to it, unknowing the surrounding and, apart from the English friends that were with them on holiday, they had no known friends or contacts in Portugal (…)

Tests and analyses were performed in two of the most prestigious and credentialed institutions - the National Institute for Legal Medicine and the British Forensic Science Service -, their final results having neither positively evaluated the collected residues nor corroborated the dogs' alerts.

In spite of all this, it was not possible to obtain any evidence that would allow for a average man, enlightened by criteria of logics, of norms and of the general rules of experience, to formulate any lucid, sensate, serious and honest conclusion about the circumstances under which the child was removed from the apartment (whether dead or alive, whether killed in a neglectful homicide or an intended homicide, whether the victim of a targeted or opportunistic abduction), nor even to produce a consistent prognosis about her destiny and inclusively – and that's the most dramatic - to establish whether she is still alive or, as it seems the more likely, she is dead.

Therefore, everything having been examined, analysed and duly pondered, considering what is left exposed, we determined the archiving of the autos concerning the (by lawyer) assisted witnesses Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, due to the lack of clues of their practising any crime”.

16. The defendant Guerra & Paz, Editores SA  is a commercial company whose objective is namely editing, publishing and trading books, import and export included.

17. On 10/03/2008, defendants Guerra & Paz, Editores SA and Gonçalo Amaral celebrated a written agreement (attached at pp. 277-281), referred to as "copyright transfer contract", in terms of which the defendant GA yields to defendant G&P for a period of ten years, the exclusivity of copyrights of the book Maddie - a Verdade da Mentira in printed or electronic form, in any language ​​and in the whole world.

18. The 4a -1 clause of the agreement is worded as follows :

"The remuneration to be paid by the first contractor to the second contractor, for copyrights associated with editions of his book commercialised in Portugal, will be : a) 12 % of the selling price for each copy sold (VAT excluded) up to 30.000 copies b) 14 % of the selling price for each copy sold (VAT excluded)...
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… from 30.001 to 50.000 copies c) 16% of the selling price for each copy sold (VAT excluded) from 50.001 on".

19. 5a-2 clause of the agreement is worded as follows :

"If the first contractor sells the copy rights of the book in other languages ​​in any country, the liquid income of this sale, net of costs directly related to the sale transaction, will be shared between the first and second contractors in equal parts, i.e 50% for each".

20. The defendant Gonçalo Amaral is the author of the book Maddie - A Verdade da Mentira, published by the defendant Guerra & Paz, Editores SA.

21. On the cover of the book stands, in red, the word "confidential" and on the 4th cover it reads "Reserved reading" and "contains unique revelations".

22. The data sheet of the book (p. 4) says namely this : "Review: Fernanda Abreu. Cover and pagination : Ilidio J.B. Vasco. Photography author : Sandra Sousa Santos © Guerra & Paz, Editores SA. 2008. All rights reserved. © Cofina media for photographs and info engraving, developed by Nuno Costa."

23. Is part of "Maddie – A Verdade da Mentira" particularly the following prologue:

This book is rooted in the need I felt to restore my reputation, which has been undermined in the public arena, without the institution to which I have belonged for 26 years, the Portuguese Judicial Police, allowing me to defend myself or to do it institutionally. I asked permission to speak in this sense, that request remained unanswered. I strictly followed the rules of the PJ and I kept silent. This, however, lacerated my dignity.

Later I was removed from the investigation. I realised then that the time had come to defend myself publicly.

To achieve this, I immediately asked an early retirement, in order to regain the fullness of my freedom of expression.

This book has yet another major objective. That of contributing to the discovery of material truth so that justice is done in an investigation known as "The Maddie Case". These are the fundamental values to which I subscribed by imperative of conscience,..
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...conviction and discipline regarding the institution to which I was proud to belong. My retirement will not extinguish these values, they'll go on being present in my life.

This book does not question the work of my colleagues in the police or compromise the ongoing investigation. It is my profound understanding that revealing all the facts, in this type of work, could jeopardise future operations, critical for the discovery of the truth. However, readers will discover data that they ignore, interpretations of facts - always in the light of law - and, of course, relevant questions.

A criminal investigation compromises only with the search for material truth.

It should not be concerned about political correctness. (pp. 11-12) (…)

Many things were told so far - truths and lies - and there was, apart from the duty to provide information, disinformation campaigns aimed at discrediting the criminal investigation in development and those who were responsible for it. For me the investigation ceased to exist on October 2, 2007, when it appeared to have outweighed a new English ultimatum on the day of the summit on the Lisbon Treaty, so nothing surprised me more. The previous day I had attended an nth media spectacle, the ultimate forcing to the thesis of the kidnapping with the disclosure by the McCann family of a sketch of a suspected abductor. Nothing surprises me anymore.

- Do not pay attention. It's carnival.

We continued our convenient conversation, but I felt that my world had like collapsed for good.

After hanging up, I spotted again the almond trees, planted in the hard Algarvian ground, a soil that could have influenced the corpse concealment strategy and, I thought, wouldn't God have dashed in making them bloom in winter ? (p.16) (...)

An investigation destined for shelving.

I have a feeling that with this statement, the national director intends to prepare the public opinion for the inevitable, i.e for the end of the investigation and the shelving of the case. That seemed to be the strategy adopted on October 2 2007, which was consolidated with the execution of tasks to fulfil the calendar, a bit "for the English see". I feared immediately for the present investigation to be questioned...
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...so as to facilitate a possible shelving. This investigation had come to undermine the image of the PJ, its inspectors and Portugal, and that's why perhaps it had to be discontinued.

The constitution of Kate Healy and Gerald McCann, Madeleine's parents, as “arguidos" should have marked a turnaround in the relationship among the police forces and the couple. If, on the Portuguese police side, the break occurred, it seems that the same cannot be said of the English police. There was an agreement between the two police forces to move forward in an investigation that was seriously considering the possibility that the child died in the apartment, but suddenly the English police veered without consistent technical explanation - as we shall see further. We have always found it odd the way the couple were treated, even after they got their arguido status, and their eventual access to police information.

I see the mentally investigation, the memories gush cascaded.

I think mainly of this child about to be 4 years old, who all of a sudden was denied the right to existence, to become a woman, to a life of happiness and potential success in the company of her family and her friends, that was abruptly lost. Nothing makes sense. It seems that smothering the facts by decreasing the strength of any clue is being in preparation, forgetting the rights of this child and of others too. But who wants such an outcome ? Who demanded my removal from the operational coordination of the investigation ? Who wants to end the status of the McCanns and Murat as assisted witnesses ? Those who insist on the thesis of the kidnapping ? Those who claimed, and later I will say who they are, that people were arrested for much less in England ? Or those who persist in lying, forgetting the search for the material truth ? The possible shelving of the investigation and the end of the searches certainly favour someone.

After leaving Portimão, October 2, 2007, I decided to forget this case. It was perhaps better, given the powers that seemed to be involved.

If the authorities of the native country of the child are unwilling to know what happened to her, feeding the thesis of the kidnapping, why should I be concerned ? This is not the inopportune (or induced by the journalist) remark of a police director (24) that will erase the existing evidence (it was not the intent as well), our work is set in the stone of the autos. Would those be destroyed in order to erase what has been done, even then, we still have our memories and the memories of those who have carried out with us at arm's length the arduous task of trying to find the material truth ( pp.19-20) (…)
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Yes, a child has died. And I do not say it by value judgment, but by deduction based on the collection of information, hints and proven facts contained in the autos. (p.21) (...)

The caution of a decision

In Portimao I meet Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, who was part of the team which I coordinated.

We have known each other since we entered the PJ. The words of the national director worry him, he speaks of an investigation request, already filed with the national director of the PJ. He says the investigation of our work will restore the truth.

During the five months investigation, we heard a little of everything , but we have done our job.

We remember what we have done, the efforts and, honestly, we are not sure that others could have done better. This is not self-sufficiency, it is confidence in the rigour of the work of all police officers involved.

– Look ! These people, do they know how to sum things up ? How can one speak of precipitation when the McCann became assisted witnesses four months after the facts ? Do not they know the principle of non-self-incrimination ?

He was referring to the legal prohibition to take the testimony of a person as a witness to the point where that person might let know facts that would eventually incriminate them. In other words, when someone is about to make statements on a specific case and when, at some point, it appears that this person might be involved or responsible for the practice of an unlawful act, this person has to be made "arguido(a)". So are preserved the rights and duties of citizens. Curiously, and contrary to what we see very often in the press, especially in the English media, the arguido status protects the (by lawyer) assisted witnesses, since they can keep silent and thus avoid making false statements - as in the case of a simple witness.

– I agree with you. If errors were made in this investigation, the delay in changing the status of the McCanns is one of them. There was too much politics and not enough police.

– Well, I wouldn't go that far. The error was to treat the couple "with tweezers". Remember how very soon we saw that many things did not fit and that the McCanns were entitled to privileges. That is not normal ! (p.23)
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– Maybe the national director thinks that the McCanns left the Algarve because of the arguido status.

– They stayed in the Algarve as long as the abduction thesis was talked about... When this thesis was questioned , they immediately started talking about returning to England.

– Hence we can conclude that the arguido status was only a pretext to abandon the country.

– You know, there are British journalists who believed that Portugal was a country of the third world ... I did not agree and I have not changed my mind, however only in countries of the third world the head of a ongoing criminal investigation is removed whereas he was not implicated by the investigation that he led.

– There is much talk of governmentalization of justice ... we forget how influence can affect any criminal investigation can be influenced...

- It's easy ... Trustful police officers are made responsible for the investigation... Then, if things go wrong, the responsible ones are replaced ...

– I don't think it was the fundamental reason, but ...

– There are always valid and legal elements ... Finally. The only obstacle to the management of the investigation, almost political ... are the senior leaders of the police forces.

They must confront bad situations and contrary to the interests of the investigation. They may not agree with everything on the sole purpose of staying on to power ...

– My friend ... People do not direct the police forces for personal interest ... They lead in the pursuit of the public interest. This is the only way to understand the role of the police in a democratic State of law.

-- But think for a while ! We can get to the point where only officers agreed by the arguidos will be in charge of some investigations ... It could be a question of 'modernity ' .

Fraud or breach of trust ?

During a relaxation moment in one of these meetings (27), I would have committed a gaffe or, who knows, been inconvenient and undiplomatic. Concerned with the possibility that the McCann couple might be, in one way or another, involved in the disappearance of their daughter, and as I reckoned the types of crimes that could be imputed to them, a fact came to my mind. Were the responsibility of McCann actually confirmed, then the crime of fraud or breach of trust concerning the fund created to search for Madeleine,...
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