Samstag, 24. Januar 2015

Interview with the Ex-Coordinator

translated by Astro from

Gonçalo Amaral’s interview on Agora Nós, RTP1, 23.01.2015

Anchor – Today, our guest is Gonçalo Amaral who was on the news again yesterday because of the lawsuit that the McCann couple filed against him. Good morning, Gonçalo.

Gonçalo Amaral – Good morning.

Anchor – I read in your book that you wrote this book to defend your honour. The first question that I have for you is: Were you in any way attacked by the McCanns before the publication of the book, or even during the investigation? Were you with them, did you question them?

Gonçalo Amaral – That is a very good question. There was indeed a series of attacks, not just directed at me but at the investigation. Those attacks came not only from the parents’ side, but also from their support staff and from journalists, English and even Portuguese. That honour was not only personal but also professional. The investigation was at stake, an investigation that was never defended here in Portugal, namely by someone at the top of the Polícia Judiciária – and it’s me who defends those initial months of the investigation, and that is what the book was published for. That is one of the issues that are raised by the Lisbon Appeals Court, at the time of the injunction, which supports me, and establishes that it was licit for me to write the book.

Anchor – If you don’t mind, let’s return to the start of this story, the McCann case was the most media exposed ever, as far as the alleged abduction of a child, Madeleine McCann, is concerned. This book, “Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira”, that was written by you, why was it so controversial? What does it contain?

Gonçalo Amaral – What it contains is the conclusions of the process, of a report that exists, in September of 2007, which says that at that moment of the investigation, suspicion falls upon the [McCann] couple in terms of an accidental death inside the apartment, neglect in watching over their children that had been abandoned, and the concealment of a corpse. That is in the process and with this decision, which is not a final decision, it is merely a reply to the facts that were at stake during the trial, it agrees that this was in the process.

Anchor – The process is not concluded yet, it is still ongoing –

Gonçalo Amaral – It is still in the lower court, now there will be legal arguments, then there will be a verdict –

Anchor – We are at the stage of replies to the proved facts, is that it?

Gonçalo Amaral – Proved and not proved.

Anchor – Did you question them? Did you meet them?

Gonçalo Amaral – I met them but the questioning was performed by others, by inspectors. A coordinator does not question directly, that was done by the inspectors. But I met them.

Anchor – You accompanied this process from the beginning…

Gonçalo Amaral – I accompanied the process, the investigation from the 3rd of May of 2007 until I left the investigation on the 2nd of October of 2007. I accompanied it, participating in the investigation.

Anchor – And what happened yesterday? What was the accusation –

Gonçalo Amaral – There was no accusation yesterday. Not yesterday, the day before yesterday. What was done is – there is a decision from the magistrate, the judge, saying what is proved and what is not proved. That decision says that it is not proved that I caused the couple any damages, social or psychological or moral damages. So what was being questioned, it’s not the book that causes such damages; they were already destroyed before the book. That is important. It’s important because in this kind of process, what is at stake, contrary to what the couple said, that what was at stake was the investigation, whether they are guilty or not, none of that was being discussed there. What was at stake there was whether or not that book and that documentary could be made, if they were licit or not, if they caused the couple any damages, and whether or not it was possible to establish a causal nexus between the book and the damages. And the indications that are given lead me, and my lawyer, and people who have already read the document, to believe that there may be – there may be – a favourable verdict.

Anchor – There is a contradiction between the news that came out –

Gonçalo Amaral – There is no contradiction. There is complete manipulation of the media.

Anchor – Can you clarify that?

Gonçalo Amaral - Lusa agency, since all of this began, has been taking sides – I wouldn’t say as much as they have taken the side of the couple, but they have taken the side of the couple’s lawyer. So there have been completely false news about me. I remember an article that was published in 2009 or 2010, which mentioned I was going to be tried over torture in a certain case, that I had been accused of torture. I was in Spain at that time and I called, it was already 7 or 8 p.m. and I said “Excuse me, but this is not true. I am being accused of omitting a denunciation and making a false statement, not of torture”. And the reply that I got from the Lusa journalist was that it’s them that make the news, that it was not for me to meddle with their work and that is how it’s been –

Anchor – Even though they were talking about your life.

Gonçalo Amaral – That’s another thing that happened throughout all of these years, not only the five years of this process, but since 2007 they have been rummaging… I don’t know what else there may be.

Anchor – The fact is that concerning the McCann couple, the McCann couple was never formally tried. They were never accused. So in your book we have a contradiction with the law.

Gonçalo Amaral – What is the contradiction? I don’t accuse them. I am nobody, I’m not a magistrate, I’m not the case magistrate to write up an accusation –

Anchor – But you had knowledge, you were part of the investigation –

Gonçalo Amaral – I was a technician, I’m a technician, and like anyone else, I have the right to an opinion. And as a technician, based not only on my professionalism, but also on my knowledge as a technician, I have the right to have a technical opinion. And that book contains a technical opinion, based on facts that are in the process and that the judge says are in the process. Essentially, as is said, they are in the process. Therefore, saying that they were not accused… The process was – when I left there was already a movement to have the case archived. From the moment that they are made arguidos, everything moves to shelve the case. Interest was lost; the interest was to archive the case. And they succeeded in shelving the case. It was in the couple’s interest to have the case archived, and two things happen: The couple does nothing, and they could have done something when there was a shelving, to continue into the instruction [phase] to keep the process going, for the truth to be found. You see, the conclusions that we reached were the conclusions of an investigation. And an investigation, like someone said, is always a zigzagging of the moment. And we might even have reached the end of the investigation –

Anchor – In this case, this investigation was very traumatising, very disorganised…

Gonçalo Amaral – Disorganised, in what way?

Anchor - Because nothing was concluded, so many years later the child’s whereabouts haven’t been found.

Gonçalo Amaral – Because of interferences that took place, without interferences we would have gone further. Have no doubts about that. That is why the process was archived. When the shelving took place, the couple and another person were arguidos. Any one of them could have requested the opening of the instruction and continued the process. None of them did it, the couple because they didn’t want to, they didn’t want to do it, and the other person because he received compensation from the British courts, so he didn’t do it, he was very satisfied, and now it seems that he is an arguido again. This is what happens –

Anchor - We have to ask one last question. The truth is that the McCann couple – and this is a question and not a statement – demanded compensation worth 1.2 million euro from you because of the publication of the book “A Verdade da Mentira”. This book was very controversial because it was also a success. Many people read it –

Anchor – Many copies were sold.

Anchor – Exactly. Many people read it and created their own opinion. Do you think that in some way that opinion drew people away from the possibility of believing in that child’s parents?

Gonçalo Amaral – No, it didn’t, quite the opposite. The book, which was successful in a way that nobody expected – the contract with the editor was even made based on sales targets, 10 thousand books sold would mean a certain percentage and so on – therefore a very normal contract, nobody was thinking about bestsellers or anything like that. What the book brought was more publicity for the case. And people were not drawn away. There are many people who still defend the couple’s thesis. There are other people – those diverging opinions already existed before the book. They already existed practically before the book. What motivates the couple to file the lawsuit of 1.2 million euro may be the money. They have a firm, a firm where they are members of the board, called Madeleine Fund, which is to look for their daughter, but they are members of the board, it’s a firm, it’s not a social association, or social solidarity, it’s a firm, it’s registered in England as a firm. And what they always wanted was to destabilise me. When they went to Oprah’s programme in the United States, they said it, they wrote on their website that they hope that now nobody believes in that person anymore, for this and that –

Anchor – But Gonçalo, they had to defend themselves with the weapons at hand, if they think they are innocent…

Gonçalo Amaral – Indeed they do. I will give you one example. We speak about the book and we speak about the documentary. We forget another detail. In 2009, in January of 2009, I lived in the Algarve and was indicated to run for mayor of Olhão on behalf of the Social Democratic Party [PSD]. And that alerted that family, that situation of destabilising me, and Mr Gerald McCann came to Lisbon, there’s news from that time, he met with a top political official from PSD who has a French surname, with Dr Rogério Alves and with Dr Isabel Duarte – this is what is said, it’s what was published – and what happened then was that PSD gave me up as a candidate. This puts rights at stake, the rights of a citizen, the rights of a Portuguese citizen, and someone comes from the outside to do it. It’s the right to be elected. And this is when they start thinking about the lawsuit. It’s not about what is in the book, what is in the documentary, because what the book and the documentary contain is what is in the process. They contain technical opinions. And it’s the fear of that issue – when they come over here and put the right to be elected at stake, with the acquiescence of people inside PSD, that this happened.

Anchor – Thank you very much, Gonçalo. Our time is short but this is a subject that we would like to discuss in more depth. We will continue to follow this because the process is still in its early stages.

Gonçalo Amaral – There is no motive to get too excited, but it’s a good indication of what may be the decision.

Anchor – Thank you for joining us today.

video: - interview starts at 22:43

Donnerstag, 22. Januar 2015

Open to interpretation

Thanks to Astro we can judge for ourselves the possible outcome of the McCann vs. Amaral Damages Trial and don't have to resort to media spin instigated by the parents' team of media manipulators. BTW not ONE journalist was present...

1. Gonçalo Amaral made the statements that are attributed to him under item Z)*?

*(item Z is the Correio da Manhã interview)


2. The cover price of the book “Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira” in Portugal is € 13.80, including VAT?

It is proved that the editor set the selling price at 13,33 euro, including VAT.

3. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of the book “Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira” an amount that is not less than € 621.000,00?

4. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of editions in foreign languages of the book an amount that is not less than € 498.750,00?

(Items 3&4) It is proved that Gonçalo Amaral earned 342.111,86 euro from the sales of the book in the years 2008 and 2009. This information is based on data from the Portuguese Revenue Agency.

5. The book was sold in Brazil by defendant “Guerra e Paz, Editores, S.A.”?

Not proved.

6. The DVD has a cover price of € 6,00?

Proved that it was sold for 6,95 euro with newspaper Correio daManhã.

7. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has earned from the sale of the DVD an amount that is not less than € 112.500,00?

Proved that he earned 40.000 euro from DVD sales in 2008. Based on info from the Revenue Service.

8. The DVD that is mentioned under AN) has been edited and the edited copies have been sold by defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.”?


9. Defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.”? has already made the DVD, in an English version, available for immediate delivery via internet order?

Not proved.

10. At least two million and two hundred thousand people have watched the programme that was broadcast on 13.4.2009?


11. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, the Polícia Judiciária stopped collecting information and investigating the disappearance of Madeleine MacCann?

Not proved.

12. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, authors Kate MacCann and Gerald MacCann are completely destroyed, from a moral, social, ethical, sentimental, family point of view, much beyond the pain that their daughter’s absence causes them?

Not proved.

13. Because of the statements made by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, authors Kate MacCann and Gerald MacCann suffer permanent anguish, insomnia, lack of appetite, anxiety and irritability, preoccupation and indefinable fear?


The judge adds that this psychological state is pre-existent to the book, the documentary and the interview and was not caused by the book. Nonetheless, it cannot be reasonable to believe that the book, the documentary and the interview had no effect on the couple, i.e. It had an effect but that is perfectly normal.

14. Authors Kate MacCann and Gerald MacCann feel a deep shame and an indescribable ill-being because they are considered, by most people who know the theories of defendant Gonçalo Amaral, as having responsibility in the death of their daughter, being so cowardly that they have hidden her cadaver, simulating abduction, all of this to avoid criminal accusations?

Proved that the couple felt badly about being considered responsible over the hiding of their daughter's body and simulating her abduction by those who believe in Mr Amaral's thesis.

The judge states that it is not possible to determine what most people who have read or seen Mr Amaral's thesis actually think.
She adds that the plaintiffs failed to prove shame, even with Kate stating it was not shame that she felt.
The judge once more believes it is expectable that the plaintiffs would feel badly about being considered to be responsible for hiding the body and staging an abduction - not, the judge stresses, about being responsible for their daughter's death, as is commonly, and mistakenly, believed.

15. Authors Kate MacCann and Gerald MacCann live under enormous daily pressure due to the need to keep their younger children away from the knowledge of defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s opinions about their moral integrity?

Proved that the couple feels the need to keep their younger children from finding out about said thesis.

This fact also derives from common experience and was corroborated by David Trickey's testimony.

16. Namely because of defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s statements in the book, in the documentary and in the interview to Correio da Manhã, author Kate MacCann is immerged in a deep and serious depression, which has already made her state publicly “I wish I was in a coma, to relieve the pain”?

Not proved.

17. Sean and Amelie MacCann will soon become aware of the conclusions that are mentioned in J), because they will go to school?

It is proved that Sean and Amelie started school in August of 2010 and have not learned about Mr Amaral's thesis yet.

18. 63.369 copies of the DVD were not sold, having been destroyed afterwards?


19. Defendant Gonçalo Amaral has gone into retirement from the Polícia Judiciária on 1.6.2008?

Proved that he retired on July 1st, 2008.

20. On 22.6.2008, the Attorney General’s Office published a note for the media, announcing the archiving of the inquiry, awaiting better evidence?

It is proved that such a note was issued on the 21st of July of 2008, the note also informed that the case could be reopened if new evidence appeared and prompted relevant diligences.

21. The criminal inquiry was reopened due to the appearance of new evidence?

Not proved.

22. The attention of the media and of people in general diminished when defendant Gonçalo Amaral’s book was published?

Not proved.

23. The sale of the books was made on consignment, being subject to devolution for various reasons, like handling, manufacturing defects or their non-transaction?

Proved that the book was partly sold on consignment, and partly firmly sold with a right to return for various motives.

24. The so-called “Maddie Case” has been profoundly treated within the Portuguese and foreign society, whether by the media, or through books, like those authored by Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, Manuel Catarino and Hernâni Carvalho?


25. The so-called “Maddie Case” was commented upon by Dr. Francisco Moita Flores, former inspector, writer, criminalist and commentator, in various media?


26. Have authors Kate MacCann and Gerald MacCann hired communication firms and spokespeople through the Madeleine Fund?

(for unknown reasons, the judge does not mention this item at all)

27. Are the facts that are reported by defendant Gonçalo Amaral in the book and in the aforementioned interviews, like he himself writes and said, facts that were established during the inquiry?

28. Does the documentary only contain facts that are also in the inquiry files?

(Both articles) It is proved that the facts in the book and in the documentary, concerning the investigation, are mostly facts that took place in the investigation and are documented as such.

The judge does note that some of the facts in the book are not complete, and some facts that are in the book are not in the case files, including Jane Tanner's "informal" recognition of Robert Murat.

29. The social capital of defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” is held, in 60%, by the firm “Estúdios Valentim de Carvalho, Gravações e Audiovisuais, S.A.” and, in 40%, by the Fundo de Investimento para o Cinema e o Audiovisual?


30. Has defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” ceded the rights to sell, distribute, exhibit and broadcast all of the cinematographic and audiovisual work that it creates, develops and produces to the firm “Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, S.A.”?

Proved that VC Filmes agreed to give VC Multimedia the rights to sell and distribute several works that were to be produced within 5 years.

31. Until today, has the documentary been reproduced only once to be edited, published and sold in Portugal under video format, in this case a DVD?


32. The reproduction and edition of the documentary in video format have been authorised by “Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, S.A.” to firm “Presslivre, Imprensa Livre, S.A.”, the owner of the Correio da Manhã newspaper, according to a contract between both?


33. Under which [contract], the DVD, its covers and packages would be, as they were, manufactured on behalf of, under order of and under the responsibility of Presslivre, in order to be distributed and sold together with newspaper Correio da Manhã?


34. And the entire process of registering and classifying the video edition (DVD) of the documentary with ICAG would be, as it was, developed by Valentim de Carvalho Multimédia, a process whose cost would be carried by Presslivre, as it did?


35. The distribution for sale took place in conjunction with the distribution for sale of the newspaper Correio da Manhã’s edition of April 24, 2009?

It is proved only that the documentary was distributed for sale with the newspaper.

36. The documentary was reproduced, and even subtitled in the English language, by third parties that published it on the internet, without permission and against the will of the defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.”?


37. That illicit diffusion damages not only the rights that are held by defendant “V.C. – Valentim de Carvalho – Filmes, Audiovisuais, S.A.” over the documentary, but also its commercial exploration, because any citizen can watch the documentary, also only one “click” away?


Sonntag, 11. Januar 2015

They called him Brunty

The term of endearment implied him having a heart, a conscience and a sense of justice.

Today, on the streets of Paris, pretending to be there as a marcher for the cause instead of fulfilling his duty, he apparently got swept away by the atmosphere of for once belonging to a grand nation and dared to falsely quote Voltaire:
Now the full quote by Voltaire's biographer would have been: ""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I guess he did not particularly want to mention death in any shape or form.

What is it that renders a quite successful journalist so utterly incapable of self-reflection? Why does he happily jump on the bandwagon to proclaim his defense for freedom of speech in the media while at the same time he has been part of the most outrageous campaign to shut down discussion on another subject on twitter?

While his rather shoddy reporting e.g. on the "full DNA match" in the McCann case has been one of the cornerstones of the scepticism that evolved over the years towards the tale of abduction, he nevertheless allowed himself to be used in the campaign to "hunt the trolls", to shut down dissent on social media by singling out and making an example of a 63 year old mother which ultimately led to her death.

Brenda Leyland was voicing an opinion, no matter if one liked the content or the language in which she did so. It was her right to do so since what she wrote was neither racist nor threatening. She simply refused to believe in the concept of "abduction" much the same as some we are mourning today might not have believed in the concept of "God". After all there is no evidence for either.

But while BRUNTY is shedding crocodile tears in Paris and resorting to the philosophers, the family of Brenda Leyland are still waiting for an apology for his doorstepping and hounding of their mother that led to her death.

So I can only draw the conclusion that he is not ultimately sincere in his demand for free speech but secretly adds: ...for proper media only... That media that is usually the origin of enciting hatred and dividing nations, or the wilful executors.

Nobody seems to call him Brunty these days...

Sonntag, 4. Januar 2015

The timeline again

While the investigation is preparing for the final stages and the letters of rogatory are being sent, approved and scheduled for the next step aka the FORENSICS, let me come back to one of my favourite subjects, the timeline.

Going by the dictum that first accounts are the most important ones, I checked the timelines from the sticker book again. Given the state of the handwriting and the crossing out of some words we can assume that this is the sequence in which they were written:

Timeline 1

8:45. pm
Matt returns 9.00-9.05 - listened at all 3
                               - all shutters down
Jerry 9.10-9.15 in the (tv) room + all well
                      ? did he check
9.20/5 - Ella Jane checked 5D sees stranger + child
9.30 - Russ + Ella Matt check all 3
9.35 - Matt check xyz see twins
        - I
9.50 - Russ returns
9.55 - Kate realised Madeleine s
10pm - Alarm raised
First thing I noticed was the part in brackets that could be read as "tv" rather than "the". We did have some statements from the group where it was hinted that Gerry could have gone to watch some football that was on that night on television. For me it points towards an earlier plan where Gerry was away from the table for a longer period, let's say half an hour, and this was going to be the explanation for his absence. The question "? did he check" seems to confirm this. A physical check would not necessarily have been contemplated in an original plan that saw the abduction happening after 9:30. The jemmied shutters had always been the timestamp of the abduction.

Ella suggests that Russell was looking for a reason Jane was added to the original list of "checkers" of the children again indicating an original plan that had to be changed.

But the most important point is the entry "Matt check all 3". If Russell meant, when he wrote this first script, that Matt  had been inside the apartment to physically check on the three children, he would have worded it differently since Madeleine had been gone at that time. No, in my opinion he again cited the original plan where Matt would have listened at all 3 windows again. He did not mean "children", he meant "windows" as in the first entry. It was a left-over of the original plan.

Russell now realised that checking the windows at that stage - as originally agreed upon - would not work since the abduction had already taken place - moved forward due to the Smith sighting -  and got so confused and insecure that he left the crucial check by Matt out of the next, revised version.

Timeline 2

8.45pm. all assembled at poolside for food
9.00pm. Matt Oldfield listens at all 3 windows 5A, B, D
              ALL shutters down
9:15pm Gerry McCann looks at room. A ? Door open to bedroom
9:20pm Jane Tanner checks 5D - [sees stranger walking carrying a child]
9.30 Russell O'Brien in 5D. Poorly daughter
10:00pm. Alarm raised after Kate


Here the emphasis in on the Tanner sighting and the dots that cover Matt's visit in 5A are left out because he realised that a listening check would have been impossible. The now open window prevented it and he was not sure how to get it right.

If there had been an accident that had been discovered during dinner with an ensuing panic reaction to dispose of her body we would have been presented with one timeline that would have been pretty straightforward because it would have been concocted without any previous concepts in mind which alterations had to be communicated to all members involved.

All this supports my theory that there had been an original plan and timeline present which would have looked something like this:

Timeline 08:45 all assembled at Tapas

9:00 Matt checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down

9:15 Gerry checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down ... enters the apartment to watch some fooball results

9:30 Russell checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down

. Gerry returns

9:45 Kate checks at all 3 windows. Shutters jemmied.