Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

08 - JUI 04 - Interviews GA



Interview de Gonçalo Amaral 
04.07.2008 - Expresso


Traduit par Astro et Debk

L'ex-inspecteur dit avoir su, au moment où il a été écarté (début octobre 2007), que l'enquête serait classée et regretter qu'elle n'ait pas été menée à terme. Il souligne qu'il n'a pas été remplacé pour incompétence, mais en raison de l'inflexion donnée à l'enquête par l'équipe des enquêteurs qu'il coordonnait (les MC étaient témoins assisté, GA était sur le point de faire venir les témoins irlandais dont deux pensaient avoir identifié le porteur d'enfant comme étant Gerald MC, l'investigation portait sur la mort de MMC, etc.). GA croit que MMC est morte dans l'appartement, mais lorsque Expresso lui demande quelles sont les preuves à l'appui de cette thèse, il se réfugie derrière le secret de l'instruction (les preuves sont inexistantes, tout comme les preuves d'enlèvement, il existe toutefois quelques présomptions) et le professionnalisme de son équipe. GA laisse entendre que les Britanniques ont empêché la venue de Martin S. et quand Expresso s'étonne de cette main mise de la police britannique, manipulée par les MC, GA botte en touche en parlant de leur spin-doctor et du slogan sur MMC en vie et trouvable. Lorsque Expresso lui rappelle qu'il a lui-même évoqué la collaboration des policiers britanniques avec la PJ pour investiguer la mort de MMC, GA répond qu'il a été écarté et prudemment n'affirme pas que ceci explique cela.  À la question de Expresso sur l'auteur de la décision de faire des MC des témoins assistés, GA dit que c'est tout le monde, bien que seul le Parquet soit habilité à prendre une telle décision, à l'instigation de la PJ naturellement. Selon GA, le dossier contient des preuves de ce qui s'est passé. Cependant, si elles étaient suffisantes, une accusation n'aurait-elle pas été formulée. Quand Expresso lui demande s'il a fait des erreurs, il admet en avoir fait une, au cours de la première heure, puis s'abrite derrière le secret pour ne pas en dire plus. GA a une haute idée de lui-même, de là sans doute l'intensité de la blessure d'amour-propre qu'a été son renvoi. L'OPJ qui lui a succédé comme coordinateur de l'équipe d'enquêteurs, Paulo Rebelo, ne l'a jamais contacté pour discuter de l'affaire.
 
 
Expresso : Your name and your career will remain connected to the Maddie case forever?
GA : I'm not worried about that. I have always worked in a team, with the preoccupation and the goal of reaching the discovery of the truth. No policeman likes to leave a case halfway through.
E : Was that what happened with this investigation? Is it left halfway through?
GA : Not according to my will.

E : Have you agreed with the decision of the former director of the PJ, who removed you from the case?
GA : No. It's an unfair and dangerous decision. I was not removed from the investigation due to incompetence. I left because of the direction that the investigation was taking. But the strategy was not decided by me only. It was everyone. It involved the English police and other Portuguese policemen. And what was being investigated, was the little girl's death, even an accidental one.

E : After you left, was that course maintained?
GA : I don't know. I'm very naïve and I want to believe that my exit from Portimão had the purpose of advancing the investigation, because the person that took over is much more efficient. 
E : Do you believe that Madeleine McCann died in the apartment on the evening of the 3rd of May? 
GA : Yes. That is what I and other persons believe in. And this is not because we idealised it that way. 
E : Is there evidence to sustain that thesis? 
GA : I can't enter any details of the process. I will only say this: I am certain that I, and the persons who worked with me, did a good job and I doubt that anyone else could do better. Some day, people will see the process, they may agree or not, but there is nothing in there that questions my professionalism. (1) 

E : Was the investigation's direction, homicide, disturbing the political power? 
GA : This case was more political than a police case. 
E : Did any politician pressure you? 
GA : I was not pressured, I was removed. (2)

E : If there was a homicide, where is the body? 
GA : That was what we were going to establish next. On the day that I was removed, I was carrying out diligences for a fundamental witness to come to Portugal (Martin S). It was necessary for the PJ to pay for the trip, to arrange for lodging, and that was being taken care of. But then the important witness never came to Portugal and was never heard. 
E : But why? Why was an exception opened? The English police was used by the McCanns to send the PJ information that often was nothing but noise?  (3)
GA : Yes. And the fact that the couple had a press advisor, is a figure that is not even foreseen in the penal process code. In some way, we were all influenced by the campaign that was built, which said that the child is alive and must be found. I don't say that the English police was being ordered around by the McCanns, but it was influenced, like we all were. The PJ should have found a way to protect the investigators from everything else. (4)
E : That is strange: you say that it was established with the English police that the direction that should be followed was the little girl’s death, that there were enough indices, but there seems to have been an inflexion. 
GA : Yes. And I was removed. I don't know whether there is a direct connection. I know that colleagues from the investigation have requested the police's directory for a syndication, to see whether the work was badly done. Whether mistakes were made. 

E : Do you believe that you reached the truth? 
GA : I am convinced that we were on the right path and that we might end up knowing everything or not, but a great part. Now, that which we have collected and which we consider to be indices, may not be valued in the same manner. 
E : One of the criticisms is that the results from the months when you were leading the investigation are lots of convictions and zero evidence. Do you agree? 
GA : I was the coordinator of the investigation from 3 May to 2 October. Five months. After me, there came other people that have been there nine months. I am not comparing, but we were professional and I'm not ashamed of anything. And when the process is public you will see if it is true that there is nothing. There are indications and they are in the files. We did hundreds of interviews and searches. Thousands of diligences and from that there are no results? The little girl went up in smoke? (5) 

E : Did the theory of the death of the child continue to be followed after your exit? 
GA : I don't know. I can say that ever since that day I knew the process would be archived. 
E : That being so, is there still a death to be resolved? 
GA : There is. And diligences to be completed. 

E : Who made the decision to constitute the McCann’s arguidos? 
GA : Everyone. And the national director was informed of all the decisions. 
E : Alípio Ribeiro agreed with the decision? 
GA : Exactly. 
E : But then he ended up saying that the decision was hasty. 
GA : Hasty? Four months later? When there were concrete diligences that reinforced some of the indications? While we waited for results of various tests? And beyond that, in our law there exists the principal of no self-incrimination. A person can't continue speaking forever as a witness and providing evidence ("indications"). There is certainly a stigma in the arguido status, but I don't know what is worse. They were made arguidos, this was public, for simulating a crime and hiding a cadaver. 

E : Do you think that you made any mistakes? 
GA : I made one. The error of the first hour. There are things about which I still cannot speak. But we know that there are things which could have been done in another way. No one should be shocked if we begin, immediately, to wonder if the parents were involved. 
E : After leaving the investigation, did you ever speak with your successor, Paulo Rebelo? 
GA : No. It is an interesting question to consider. If they removed me for the barbarity of speaking to the press, and not for incompetence, it would be normal to be consulted. But this never happened.

 
E : If, as all seems to indicate, the case is archived, the public is going to hold the Portuguese police responsible. How will you react? 
GA : Archival is not a declaration of innocence. A process can be archived and reopened. The archival of this case could be the declaration of some incapacity of the police, or it could have a different meaning. 
E : What would you say to Madeleine's parents? 
GA : I have nothing to say. My overriding preoccupation is with the little girl, not the parents.

(1) GA ne pouvait savoir, à cette date, que le Parquet déciderait un mois plus tard de remettre aux médias sur DVD le dossier de police et que ce dernier serait traduit et publié sur la Toile en un temps record. Les insuffisances de l'enquête, quoi qu'il dise ici, sauteraient rapidement aux yeux. 
(2) GA n'est pas de bonne foi ici, il ne cesse dans son livre dvoquer toutes sortes de pressions, on ne peut qu'en déduire qu'elles étaient pour une bonne part imaginaires.
(3) Expresso a raison de protester. Ce sont les Gardai qui ont contacté le LC qui a contacté la PJ. Et puis Martin S était déjà venu au Portugal à la demande de la PJ, fin mai 2007. À cette époque GA courait derrière Robert M, et ne s'est pas intéressé à Martin S, dès lors que celui-ci, qui connaissait Robert M de vue, a assuré qu'il n'était pas le porteur d'enfant que lui et sa famille avait croisé le soir du 3 mai.
(4) Il n'est pas douteux que la sérénité nécessaire au bon déroulement de l'enquête faisait totalement défaut, il n'est pas douteux non plus que la direction de la PJ a mal fait son travail qui consistait à assurer cette sérénité aux enquêteurs.
(5) Un élément capital a été négligé, la ligne de temps. Il suffit de lire le rapport de police pour s'en convaincre. Le Parquet en était conscient, puisqu'il a essayé de corriger en demandant, mais trop tardivement, une reconstitution.


 


Gonçalo Amaral and Madeleine's case: "There was more politics than police"  04.07.2008
Gazeta Digital (Paulo Reis)


The former Polícia Judiciária investigator criticised the PJ director and the Justice minister, in an interview, tonight, with TVI, a Portuguese TV channel. Asked if he believed that Madeleine was dead, Gonçalo Amaral said that he was "convinced" she was dead "based on the evidence collected". When the journalist asked: "Was she killed, there (in the apartment)?", the former PJ inspector said: "She died there". About Madeleine's parents being named as formal suspects, Amaral spoke about "strong evidence" as the base for the decision and referred that "there was a common understanding", between Portuguese and British police officers involved in the investigation, about the fact that Madeleine was dead.

"There was evidence, about two different crimes – which were referred by the defence lawyer, Pinto de Abreu, in a public statement – and it was hiding a body and a criminal simulation. That was the situation, when I left the investigation," Mr. Amaral said. The former PJ inspector, who has a Law Degree from Lisbon University, mentioned the fact that "these kind of cases of disappearance, frequently bring with it other crimes, sometimes fake statements or physical abuse".

Questioned about the fact that the McCann were not accused of negligence or child abandonment, Amaral said that "it was clear they (the McCann children) were not safe", when Madeleine disappeared, but reminded that it's easier, with UK laws, to charge parents in those kind of situations, once the Portuguese Law is more complex, it requires the existence of intention to leave the children in a dangerous situation. Gonçalo Amaral refused to comment any decision from the Public Prosecutor's Office of from the Courts and refused to admit that he was "frustrated" with those decisions. Asked about his removal from the investigation, the former PJ inspector told the journalist that he had no contact with PJ director, on that day, and he only knew the reasons when he had a "private conversation" with Alípio Ribeiro – refusing to give details about it.

Gonçalo Amaral revealed that the "statement" he gave to Diarios de Noticias – and was the reason for his removal, according to the PJ director – was not correctly reproduced and it was not a statement to a newspaper, but just an informal talk with a journalist from Faro, "very close to the family, a friend of my wife", who called him to ask about the email sent to the web site of Prince Charles, denouncing a former employee of Ocean Club as the kidnapper. "What I said, talking not to a journalist, but with a friend, a personal talk, was that Police should concentrate in what was the common conclusion of British and Portuguese Police: the child was dead and it was necessary to consolidate the existing evidence and move forward, to find where she could be and what happened." At that moment, the kidnapping line of inquiry was "already closed", and "another door was opened", Mr. Amaral said. When asked about the existence of political interference in the investigation, is answer was short and clear: "I think there was more politics than police."

"We did our job, the best we knew and we were the target of a lot critics and insults, from the British newspapers", the former PJ inspector said. When the case of Joana Cipriano was first raised by the British Media, Mr. Amaral contacted the PJ director and called the attention for the risks, because those news about his alleged involvement in the "torture" of the mother of Joana Ciprianio would be, soon, a large campaign against him, and talked about the convenience of taking him out of investigation. "What they told me, later, was that I had all the support and should continue the work."

"Surprised" with his removal from the investigation, Gonçalo Amaral used a popular Portuguese phrase to explain what he felt, when he knew about his removal: "I felt as if I was kicked up in the ass, on October 2." About the influence and importance of the McCann, Mr. Amaral said that "there is a all story to be told, about this case, and I think that the journalists that followed this case, have a great opportunity and responsibility, in helping to understand what happened. This is really, a case that is different from all other cases." Gonçalo Amaral criticized the Justice minister, who said, after his removal, that "it was, now, time to work": "Mr. Justice Minister Alberto Costa, we worked hard."