Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Barbarians before the court.: the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi

Paris Match: 29th April 2009

Three years after the events, Youssouf Fofana and his 26 alleged accomplices, who called themselves the "gang of Barbarians," are going to be tried by the Paris Court of Assizes for Minors. The "facts." Words cannot describe the atrocities they committed in February 2006, against the young Ilan Halimi, ensnared, captured, and held hostage for 24 days before being burned alive then abandoned in a wood.
Three weeks of horror, during which the young 23 year-old Jew suffered totally. Starting with humiliation and torture - of which he still bore the red marks on his body - but also the cold - he was naked in an unheated cellar in the middle of winter -, and hunger.

Ilan Halimi had been lured, on 20th January 2006, by a young girl who had approached him three days earlier in the phone shop on the Boulevard Voltaire in Paris, where he was doing temporary work.

The following day, the young man's family received a ransom demand: 450,000 Euros. According to statements from members of the "gang," Ilan had been chosen, "because they (Jews) are loaded with dough." So, they reckoned they could make a pile, assuming that their target would be supported by his community. But the police, who took control of the situation, according to the victim's mother, advised against payment of the ransom.

"Allah will conquer."

Ilan was finally found near death on February 13th near a Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois station, in Essonne. He would die in the ambulance taking him to hospital. His torturers, two of whom were minors at the time, are being tried for "kidnapping, illegal confinement by an organised gang with acts of torture and barbarism, murder." Others for "non-assistance to a person in danger." The aggravating circumstance of the offences, "by reason of the victim's belonging to an ethnicity, a race or a particular religion," which was not initially upheld by the prosecutor, finally was. The minors are going to request a hearing in camera, which must be allowed to them because of their age at the time of the events.

Ilan's mother, who has written a book entitled, "24 Hours," now shouts out her anger. First of all against the investigators in charge of the case when her son was being held - his death could have been avoided according to her -, but also now against the probable hearing in camera. "It's the law of silence that killed her son. It would be intolerable if it is once again imposed at the assizes," stated Maitre Francis Szpiner, her lawyer.

At the opening of the trial, at around 10.40am, Youssouf Fofana, his head shaved and his beard clipped, dressed in a white jacket, took on a huge grin. Pointing his finger towards the sky, he shouted: "Allah will conquer."

Ynet News 29/05/09

Youssouf Fofana tells Paris court 'you know very well it was me' during presentation of forensic evidence; says he set young Jew alight.

Youssouf Fofana, the presumed leader of the "gang of barbarians", confessed on Friday to killing French Jew Ilan Halimi in 2006 after detaining and torturing him for three weeks, said a source familiar with the case.
The trial is being held behind closed doors at a juvenile court in Paris because two of the remaining 26 defendants were minors at the time of the murder.

According to the source, who was present at the hearing, Fofana said "Yes, I did it; you know very well that it was me" during the presentation of the findings of two forensic experts who had examined Halimi's body.

AFP further quoted the source as saying that Fofana admitted to pouring a flammable liquid on Halimi and then setting him alight.

The prosecution described 28-year-old Fofana, whose parents came to France from Ivory Coast, as a "perverted megalomaniac" who instructed accomplices to target Jews for ransom kidnappings "because they are loaded with dough (money)".

French authorities found 23-year-old Halimi naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on Feb. 13, 2006.

He died on the way to the hospital and was later buried in Israel.

After the murder, Fofana fled to Ivory Coast, where he made death threats by telephone to Halimi’s father and girlfriend. He was extradited to France on March 4, 2006 and was charged with premeditated murder, demanding ransom, and acts of torture and barbarism. He faces a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The murder horrified France and came to symbolize a rise in anti-Semitic violence in its poor, multi-ethnic suburbs.

Reuters, AP contributed to the report

Friday, 29 May 2009

Madeleine McCann - Gonçalo Amaral wiretapped.


The Maddie case is untouchable for the PGR and the PJ.

By Duarte Levy

Gonçalo Amaral documentario.jpgSOS Madeleine McCann

Português - Español

"Many people linked to the Maddie case and the investigation carried out in Portugal, were or still are, the target of wiretapping," a Home Office source told 24 Horas in response to statements from the former coordinator of the Portimao Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC)

Gonçalo Amaral has said that he is, "under surveillance," and he knows that, "his telephone is tapped." The former head of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, "doesn't know by whom he is under surveillance," but he states that his email has been the target of constant intrusion and that some of that information has reached the McCanns.

"At the moment, there is information that should be looked into about the locality of and what could have happened to the little girl's body," Amaral said, accusing the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) and the PJ's director of making the Maddie case untouchable, where, "nobody is doing anything," allowing, "people outside of the law and the Portuguese police to investigate crimes which are the responsibility of the PJ."

Gonçalo Amaral who has, so far, not received any notification about the legal action for defamation announced by the McCann couple, confirms that he is going to take action against Kate and Gerry McCann and prove that there, "was an agreement between the couple and the English police during the investigation, which affected the final outcome of the investigation.

Maddie's parents want to prevent the English publication of the book, "Maddie L'enquête interdite," in which the former coordinator of the PJ reveals many details of the investigation which he led in Praia da Luz, where he maintains that Madeleine died. The couple's decision was allegedly taken as a consequence of the broadcasting of the documentary based on this book, that TVI (Portuguese TV Channel) screened and which is available on the internet, subtitled in English.

Amaral accuses the MP of having "trapped," him in the Leonor Cipriano case.

"I have no doubt that there was a trap on the part of the Public Minister which then led him to say, during the trial, that I made a false statement, because I should have been made an arguido
from the start, the very beginning, like my colleagues," Gonçalo Amaral said on TVI (Video here) about the fact of being sentenced during the Leonor Cipriano trial, confirming that he will appeal the sentence.

The ex-coordinator, speaking about his most recent experience of justice in Portugal, gave the example of two complaints presented about the same report prepared by an organisation in the Joana Cipriano case: the complaint presented by Amaral a year ago is on hold, while the second, presented by the other side, already has arguidos.

(Also in 24 Horas)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Madeleine McCann: Detectives "clown around," in Germany.

The two former English policemen that were hired by the McCann couple, returned to England yesterday without having questioned the alleged “suspect” in the disappearance of Madeleine, after the German authorities classified their presence in Aachen as “a clown act”, accusing them of “trying to pressure the local judicial authorities”, using contacts among the British diplomatic representatives in Germany.

The private investigators – who have no police authority whatsoever in England or abroad – wanted to question Raymond Hewlett, a British citizen aged 64 who lived in Tavira when Maddie disappeared in Praia da Luz, and who has served prison sentences in three paedophilia cases that involved teenagers.

The prosecutor in Aachen, in statements to 24horas, confirmed that the English authorities manifested interest in questioning Hewlett about two old cases but that “the official request doesn’t even mention the Maddie case and does not request the individual’s detention”.

For the German authorities, everything that has been published in the English tabloids, “has been nothing but pure speculation” about a sad disappearance case.

“We can’t prevent the British citizen from leaving the hospital, as soon as that is possible in clinical terms, and especially if he wishes to do so”, said Robert Deller, in an interview to German television before he spoke to 24horas.
“We are willing to cooperate with the Portuguese and English authorities but these gentlemen (the detectives) have no authority whatsoever and we’ll be glad when they leave the hospital door. Them, and the journalists that they brought along”, a spokesman for the police in Aachen confessed to 24horas.

Hewlett, who had been admitted to the University Clinic in Aachen for cancer treatment, refused to answer to the McCanns’ investigators but told 24horas that on the day that Maddie disappeared, he was camped in Fuzeta, the place where he took part in the monthly market and antiques sale. The English citizen, who was never involved in paedophilia cases in our country, was denounced to the McCanns’ investigators by an equally British couple, Alan and Cindy Thompson – who are known to authorities for equally having pretended that they knew where Bin Laden’s hideout was located.

24horas tried to contact Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, the two former policemen that form “Alpha Investigations Group”, but they refused to comment on why they consider the English man a suspect, after stating that Maddie “was not abducted by a paedophile” or transported on board of any boat.

In Portugal, a source at the PJ in Portimão confirmed that the information that has been published about the case is being “followed attentively” but that neither the McCann couple nor their investigators “delivered or communicated any new data” to the PJ.

Duarte Levy also in 24horas

I find it very odd that the McCanns are focusing on Madeleine's having been abducted by a paedophile and yet, at the same time, asserting that they believe she has not come to serious harm. What do they think paedophiles do with small children? Treat little girls like princesses?

If Madeleine had been abducted by a paedophile, then under the Children and Young Persons Act of 1933, the McCanns should be prosecuted. This act does not lay down any minimum age at which children may be left alone, but it does say that if children come to serious harm, the parents/carers can be prosecuted. Three children, under the age of four, were left alone for significant periods of time, while their parents were at some distance,dining. The very fact that Madeleine is no longer where she should be, in her own home, going to school, playing with friends, means that she has come to serious harm. So, why are her parents still out there, hiring Toytown pretendy cops and issuing an ultimatum to a "person of interest," which they have no legal right to do?

Clarence Mitchell has stated, quite pompously in my opinion, that Raymond Hewlett should speak to the McCanns' detectives in order to clear his name. Well, maybe if Kate McCann sets an example, I would be more in favour of the Hewlett interview. Maybe Clarence could persuade Kate McCann that it is incumbent upon her to answer those 48 questions the PJ put to her way back in September 2007, to which she responded with, "No comment."

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Ten European Union countries Join Forces For International Day For Missing Children.


116 000.jpg

Tomorrow, 10 out of 27 countries will have activated 116000.

From tomorrow, Monday, with support from France, the number of European countries which have already adopted and put the European line for missing children into service, becomes 10, with 116000 the free, dedicated phone number planned for receiving urgent calls in cases of disappearance. Portugal was the second country after Hungary, to apply a European Union directive that dates from 2002, but which is still not respected by the 17 remaining member countries, amongst them the United Kingdom, the country with the greatest number of disappearances.

Simultaneously, in the ten counties - Portugal, Belgium, Greece, The Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and France, a campaign of publicity and awareness starts tomorrow to raise awareness of the possibilities of the service: through 116000 the parents of a missing child can file a report, the public can more easily offer information and the missing child himself can ask for help.

The new campaign of awareness, which in Portugal is the responsibility of the Instituto de Apoio à Criança (Help For Children Institute) coincides with the International Day For Missing Children and is officially launched tomorrow at the Gulbenkian* in the presence of the Minister for Internal Administration and the Head of the National Representation for the European Union.

Operational 24 hours a day, the number is free and the calls are received by trained professionals, belonging to governmental organisations - in Portugal the service is represented by the Intituto de Apoio à Criança (Help For Children Institute) - which works at a national and international level with police and judicial bodies.

The most recent case of missing children in Europe - including the media case of Madeleine McCann - have led the European Institutions to insist that the 17 remaining members adopt the service as a matter of urgency. Based on the European strategy for the Rights of The Child, the European Commission introduced the 116000 number in February 2007 as the European phone number for missing children, a decision finalised by a directive, indicating to member States the line to follow for the emergency service to be adopted throughout the European Union.

Duarte Levy

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência: The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) was founded and is supported by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (FCG) to carry on biomedical research and education. The IGC operates as a "host institution", offering excellent facilities and services to foreign and Portuguese research groups or individual scientists, in particular to young post-doctoral fellows who are expected to develop their projects and form their groups in complete autonomy.)

Madeleine McCann - the new suspect wasn't in Praia da Luz and he has an alibi.


Raymond Hewlett, a British man aged 64, named yesterday as being the new suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance, "wasn't in Praia da Luz," on May 3rd 2007 and, "has an alibi," which witnesses have confirmed with the police.
Raymond Hewlett.jpg
Information confirmed today by a PJ officer, adding that the English team of investigators who were sent to Portugal immediately following Maddie's disappearance, "ruled the individual out as a suspect for various reason, his profile amongst other things," this same officer told 24 Horas, indicating that "all known cases involving the supposed suspect concern young people and not children of Madeleine's age.

Yesterday, Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, admitted that the couple were aware of suspicions regarding the individual, but he stressed that the British man, whose identity has been revealed by the media, is only, "a person of interest in the investigation," which two ex-police officers are in the process of carrying out in this case.

The British man - who lived in Portugal, but mostly in Tavira, for a few years - is currently in hospital in Germany, but he told an English newspaper that on the day of Maddie's disappearance he was at a fair* in Fuzeta. Contacted by 24 Horas, the Fuzeta town council confirmed that there are two fairs a month whose dates tally with the suspect's statements: the monthly fair that is held on the first Thursday of each month and which, in May was held on Thursday May 3rd, the day of the disappearance, and the second-hand fair that is on the first Sunday of each month.

In 2007, the vendors were not obliged to identify themselves to the fair organisers, an omission rectified this year by the town council. The employee who handles contact with the vendors is still the same, but the PJ have not questioned him. 24 Horas tried to contact him, but he is on leave.

The disclosure of this new suspect - who does not match any of the descriptions given up to the present time, by witnesses to the supposed abduction - was done following the accusation by an English couple, Alan and Cindy Thompson, who personally knew Raymond and his history, but had never contacted the police. The two ex-police officers, who replaced the Metodo 3 Spaniards - described by relatives of the McCanns as incompetent and very expensive - continue to insist that the little girl was not kidnapped by any paedophile ring or taken away by boat.

Duarte Levy (Also in 24 Horas)

* In Portugal, in general, the fair takes place once a month and is only clothing, in contrast to the food market which is every day.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Madeleine McCann: the couple who found the latest suspect, Raymond Hewlett, also found Bin Laden!

Well, it's the big news today! It's all over the newspapers and all over the net. Raymond Hewlett, a convicted British paedophile is the latest suspect in the Madeleine McCann case. Mr Hewlett, at the time Madeleine disappeared, was reportedly: an hour's drive from Praia da Luz; 70 miles away; 30 miles away; on a campsite near the Spanish border. It's a bit like 120 yards, 50 yards, 15 yards, in our own back garden!

Daily Mirror 22/05/09

"Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, said yesterday:" We are aware of Raymond Hewlett and the claims that have been made."

"The investigators searching for Madeleine are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Hewlett and these claims. Hewlett is an individual of interest to the investigation."

Sky News 22/05/09

"The alarm was raised about Hewlett by a couple who met him while on holiday in Portugal, the Daily Mirror said.

When Alan and Cindy Thompson met the convict, he was living with his wife and six children in a converted Dodge truck travelling from campsite to campsite.

Mr Thompson told the Mirror: "Hewlett befriended us but kept quiet about his terrible past.

"We were mortified and disgusted to discover the truth."

"They also described a conversation in which Hewlett said he was approached by some "Gipsy tourists" offering to buy his daughter just before Madeleine went missing.

Mrs Thompson said: "We didn't think too much of this at the time."

This same couple were traveling in Pakistan in 1999, when they discovered the hideout of Osama Bin Laden. And they didn't think too much of that at the time, either, until they got back home.

Prison Planet

"In the spring of 1999, A British couple called Alan and Cindy Thompson were driving through Pakistan, in the very area that they're now talking about as being bin Laden's location. After driving for 11 hours on dirt roads they came to a checkpoint and were detained by armed Pakistani guards.

The next day the Dawn newspaper, one of the biggest newspapers in Pakistan, reported that
this couple had found the secret lair of Osama bin Laden.

More interesting is that they reported that this location had been visited by US consulate officers, British, Australian, and Swiss ambassadors, and that it was guarded by a team of US commandoes.

After the couple were picked up by the British embassy they were invited to a garden party where all the British ambassadors and aid workers were bragging that they were stationed in the same area as bin Laden's secret hideout.

After the couple got back home to England they saw a newspaper article calling for the capture of bin Laden. This was a few months before Clinton signed an executive order mandating bin Laden to be killed on sight.

The couple immediately contacted Scotland Yard in London; they contacted the FBI and the Pentagon and in every case got nothing. No response, no request for an interview. Nothing."

When the Portuguese police archived the Madeleine McCann case, the McCann family were given access to the case files. Those case files contain annexes, some of which have details of paedophiles who were residing in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine's disappearance, either permanently or on a temporary basis. Those details were not made public.

Martin Brunt: Sky News blog

"Hewlett fits the profile of potential suspects: he is a paedophile and he was living in Portugal at the time.

Quite a few like him were traced and eliminated at the time, but there appears to be some confusion over what the Portuguese authorities did about him. They were aware of him at some stage."

Joana Morais 22/05/09

"Hewlett was not on a list of known paedophiles in the Algarve compiled by British and Portuguese police at the time Madeleine vanished from an apartment in Praia da Luz.

His presence in Portugal came to light when a couple who befriended him became suspicious of his past. Alan and Cindy Thompson met Hewlett around December 2006.

He was living in a travellers' camp in Tavira, about 70 miles from Praia da Luz, with his wife Monica and their six children."

Source: This is London 22/05/09

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Madeleine McCann - Those Pyjamas absolutely fascinate me! Updated.

The McCanns, above, holding up a pair of pyjamas, which they said were identical to the ones Maddie was wearing when she disappeared. Note the shape of the legs and also the general colour of them, which looks to me like white, with a floral pattern. Pink? Not as far as I can make out.

This is a sketch of the abductor carrying a child that was based on one of Jane Tanner's descriptions and which she agreed was accurate.


Those pyjamas have changed somewhat! For a start, do you think, looking at the shape of the garments the McCanns are showing, that the legs would not only come down to the ankles, but be so tight? I don't think so! Those pyjamas are the style that would come just over the knees or to mid-calf and the loose, baggy shape would mean that with a child being carried in the manner shown, the bottoms would ride up the legs. Also, the flowers have gone quite pink!

Here is part of Jane Tanner's comments on the Panorama programme of November 19th 2007.

JANE: Well I could see.. I could tell it was a child, and I could see the feet and... feet and the bottom of the pyjamas, and I just thought that child's not got any shoes on because you could see the feet, and it was quite a cold night in Portugal in May it's not actually that warm, and I'd got a big jumper on, and I can remember thinking oh that parent is not a particularly good parent, they've not wrapped them up.

BILTON: And could you tell if it was a boy or a girl?

JANE: Only because the pyjamas had a pinky aspect to them so you presume a girl. It was actually quite cold."

So, Jane Tanner could see the feet and the bottom of the pyjamas? How? They would have been at least half-way up the legs, if not right up over the knees according to how the child was allegedly being carried. And pink? No, those pyjama bottoms were white with a floral pattern that doesn't look at all pink.

In Jane Tanner's original statement, she said she had seen, "..a man carrying a bundle that could have been a child." So, if she had seen feet and pyjama bottoms so clearly, how could she not be sure at that time that the bundle was a child? She actually repeats this on the Pamorama programme, in which she also describes the child's feet and pyjamas. Some kind of contradiction there?

"Describing what she witnessed on the fateful evening of May 3, Miss Tanner said: "Never in a million years did I think it could have been Madeleine. But I didn't know then.

"I just saw a person walk along the top of the road with what could have been a child in his arms."

What could have been child in his arms, but with bare feet and wearing pyjamas with a pinky aspect, so you knew it was a girl? Right! Easy to mistake a bundle of laundry or whatever for a child! Since when, though, did a bundle with bare feet poking out of pyjamas, that was obviously a girl, look like anything other than a human being?

Just one of the many puzzling contradictions about this case, but for me, it stands out as one of the most basic questions. How did the "bundleman," become the man carrying a child wearing Maddie's pyjamas? How could Jane Tanner perceive a "pinky," aspect under street lights? How come neither Jez Wilkins nor Gerry McCann saw this man? How come neither of the men saw Jane Tanner, who says she walked right past them on the pavement?

Yes, those pyjamas fascinate me! There is also, of course, the changing description of the abductor himself and what he was wearing!

Update Wednesday May 20th.

Thanks to a comment from Anonymous, I have an article in which John McCann, Gerry's brother, talks about Maddie's pyjamas.

Sydney Morning Herald May 15th 2007

"That was terrible for them," says John McCann, Mr McCann's elder brother, who has also travelled to Portugal to help search for his niece.

"Kate dressed Amelie in her sister's pyjamas and the baby said: 'Maddy's jammies. Where is Maddy?' But she is too young to understand. And how do you explain? All we know is that Madeleine needs her family. She loves us, we love her. It is time for her to come home."

Now, if your precious child had just disappeared, would you dress another child in her pyjamas? Very strange behaviour. And which pyjamas is he talking about? The Eeyore jammies? A different set of jammies? The McCanns are holding up a set of pyjamas, which are supposed to be "like," the ones Maddie was wearing when she disappeared. I think it was assumed that those belonged to Amélie. If you look at the size of the pyjamas the McCanns are holding up and observe how small Amélie was in May 2007, would those pyjamas have fitted her?

I don't think those pyjamas would have fitted Amélie: too big. So, did Maddie have more than one pair of Eeyore pyjamas? If M&S had sent another pair to the McCanns, that's not them, because you can see by the stretched neck that those have been washed quite a few times. OK, so if they have been washed quite a few times, they must be quite old and therefore would have tripped little Amélie up at the time they were bought.

So, those must be Maddie's pyjamas and if Maddie was wearing pyjamas just like those when she disappeared, then she must have had more than one pair of the exact same pyjamas on holiday. Or what?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Breaking News From Portuguese TVI - Gonçalo Amaral to sue the McCanns.

Gonçalo Amaral to sue the McCanns.

Thanks to Joana Morais for the information and the image, which I reproduce here.

Update: From AFP Lisbon

LISBON (AFP) — The police officer who formerly led the Portuguese investigation into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann said he would counter sue the missing girl's parents Sunday.

"My lawyers are working on the case and we will take the McCann couple to court and perhaps other people for defamation, slanderous denunciations and false statements," said Goncalo Amaral on Portuguese TVI television.

"We will see who has spoken the truth in this case" into the disappearance of Madeleine in the south of Portugal in May 2007, he added.

On Saturday, Kate and Gerry McCann announced they were to take action for defamation over comments made in the media by Amaral, who is now retired.

In a statement, the couple said: "We, together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie, are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims -- made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond -- that Madeleine is not only dead, but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body."

Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry McCann as "arguidos", or formal suspects, in their daughter's disappearance, in September 2007, but prosecutors announced in July 2008 that they were no longer suspects.

Amaral was removed from the case in October 2007.

Portuguese police have said they are no longer actively investigating the case.

Madeleine, who would now be six years old, went missing from a holiday flat where her family were staying in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Maddie: The Truth of the Lie English Narration of Portuguese documentary by Gonçalo Amaral

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Eighty-year-old priest arrested, peacefully protesting the visit of Barack Obama to Notre Dame College.

This has got to be one of the most shameful acts I have ever seen. Father Norman Weslin was leading a short procession of people. He was carrying a cross and doing nothing other than peacefully protesting the visit of Barack Hussein Obama, who supports partial birth abortion, to a Catholic college. Father Weslin was dragged away. What has happened to the right of free speech in the USA if an eighty-year-old priest can be arrested for carrying a cross at a Catholic college?

"We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are
created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive
rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life,
and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Madeleine McCann: Maddie's parents did a show to cover up their lying.

(Gonçalo Amaral; Maddie's image in publicity photo when she disappeared; Maddie age-advanced to six years old.)

Illustré Switzerland


The police officer responsible for the investigation into the disappearance of the little girl is adamant: Maddie is dead and, in spite of their apparently being at a loss, her parents are involved. In an explosive book, "L’enquête interdite," he relates how, because of political pressure, he was prevented from proving it.

By Christian Rappaz

The investigation of his life. It occupied Gonçalo Amaral day and night, between May 3rd 2007 at 10pm and October 2nd 2008, the date of his leaving for his early retirement: the Madeleine Maddie Beth McCann case. A little three year-old English girl, who disappeared from the holiday apartment in Vila da Luz, in the Algarve, while her parents were having dinner in a tourist complex restaurant, a few dozen metres away.

Amaral is now 50 years old. A workman's son, fifth in a line of six children, himself father of two little girls aged 4 and 9 years. He had to leave the role of inspector, he says, because, "in Portugal or elsewhere, the politicising of the police hampers their work and prevents justice being done. As in the Maddie case, more and more investigations are stifled or archived before completion." He is now a television legal consultant, columnist for a major Portuguese daily and teacher of criminology.

Gerry and Kate McCann, Maddie's parents, both doctors, transformed the disappearance of their daughter two years ago into a global drama. From David Beckham to Cristiano Ronaldo by way of Pope Benedict XVI, they orchestrated a huge operation and created a support fund which reached 6 million francs in three days.

Gonçalo Amaral was thrown off the investigation, that the Lusitanian police officially archived on July 21st 2008. But Amaral found freedom: to relate his version, his conviction. His cop's story.

What details led you to accuse Maddie's parents, with so much conviction, of lying to the whole world?

There were lots. First of all, like those of their friends, their witness statements and their testimonies reveal a great many inaccuracies, inconsistencies and contradictions. Then there was the cadaver odour confirmed by the sniffer dogs and the existence of traces of blood behind the sofa in the apartment confirmed by the preliminary analyses. It could be suggested that the little girl fell behind that piece of furniture, perhaps because of sedatives her parents gave her regularly, as they have elsewhere acknowledged. Also note the odours and traces of blood in the car hired by the McCanns three weeks after Madeleine's disappearance. The only one of the eleven cars checked that drew the attention of the dogs. There is also the witness statement of an Irish couple who state that they saw Gerry McCann with a child in his arms on the evening of the events.
Finally there is Kate McCann's fingerprint on Madeleine's bedroom window which indicates clearly that she opened that window, without doubt to make the theory of abduction believable, although she has stated that the window was already open when she arrived on the premises at 10pm, the time at which she observed Madeleine's disappearance and raised the alarm.

That's your truth, that's not supported by any evidence...

It's not my truth. It's the conclusions of a four month investigation led by over a hundred police officers and specialists. Concerning the facts, the results indicate that the samples analysed are a 75% match to Madeleine's DNA.

Why does all this evidence not constitute sufficient proof?

Because the results required further confirmation and we had to get on with other investigations on the basis of these details. Definitely the latest. It could be perfectly imagined, for example, that Maddie had been concealed in a freezer between May 3rdamid May 27th . All of that had to be meticulously checked. Unfortunately, it was at that moment that the wish to archive the case appeared and I was thrown out. That the case was really hindered.

By whom and why?

Good question. To be put to the Portuguese Public Minister. There were discussions between the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates. What was said, what did they decided? Mystery...

In your book, you go as far as suggesting that English support for the Treaty of Lisbon was subject to the archiving of the case?

I didn't say that. I simply said that rumours to that effect were going round.

"I'm still waiting for the McCanns to take legal action."

Those are serious accusations and you will carry a huge responsibility if, by chance, the parents theory checks out....

It won't check out. Maddie is dead, her parents know it. Their behaviour shows it. After having set up the kidnapping, right away they gave out the abduction theory to the media without accepting any other hypothesis. On that point, do you know many parents who, while their child has allegedly been abducted, engage a PR chief before a lawyer? I also recall a statement Kate McCann gave to the press, a few days after the drama: "Two years later, we are still looking for Maddie." How could she appear to be so adamant? Finally, why did they leave Portugal so soon after having been placed under investigation while the searches they financed with the fund were ongoing?

Why did they lie and so cynically make up evidence?

Because they made a mistake in leaving their children alone and they were completely swept along by the enthusiasm of the media which they themselves provoked. Having said that, the simulation of abduction is something usual in this kind of case. Statistics prove it. Since 1960 up to the present, in England - but it's similar in most western countries - , 1528 child murders were recorded. Eighty-four percent of those were done by parents and 96% if you widen it to relatives. In the vast majority of cases, the parents invent a kidnapping story.

The McCanns spokesman, has he brought up the idea of legal action against you?

I have been waiting impatiently for it since my book came out in Portugal, a year ago. It would allow the reopening of the investigation and me and them to explain ourselves clearly before a court. But Maddie's parents obviously have no wish for the truth to come out.

They accuse you of wanting to make money off the back of their daughter...

The argument is easy and shows that they don't have many others. It's not serious. I wrote the book so that public opinion would be able to learn about the behind the scenes details of this case and their conclusions. I was forced to give up, but I wanted to defend the truth and the values I held throughout my twenty-seven years with the police. Now, the Maddie case is archived and her parents have no wish for it to be reopened. Personally, I acted as my conscience required of me. My mission is complete.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Congratulations Robert Murat and Michaela Walczuch

What brilliant news! Robert Murat, who was made a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case and was subsequently awarded a substantial sum in damages against several UK newspapers, has married Michaela Walczuch. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Murat. True happiness be yours.

Sunday Express May 10th 2009

"ROBERT Murat has married the woman who stood by him when he wrongly became a suspect in the Madeleine case, writes James Murray.

His bride, German-born Jehovah’s Witness Michaela Walczuch, 34, never doubted Mr Murat for a second and remained loyal throughout the time he was under suspicion.

The civil ceremony, held on April 17 on a beach just a few miles from Praia da Luz, was witnessed by 50 close relatives and friends of the couple.

Among them was 35-year-old Mr Murat’s daughter Sofia from his first marriage. Mr Murat’s brother Richard was best man.

Also there was Mr Murat’s mother Jenny, 72, who still lives just 100 yards from the apartment where Madeleine vanished."

Some views of my garden on this sunny May day.

Jacques Pradel on Europe 1 with Gonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas

Georges Moréas is a former chief police officer of the French Judiciary police.

This is the transcript from Europe 1 of Jacques Pradel with Georges Moréas and
Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the Portuguese PJ, Lisbon.

The original French is on the SOS Madeleine McCann blog.

Café crime - Jacques Pradel show on Europe 1

Gonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas (GM)

Book "Maddie
l'enquête interdite," published by Bourin.

00.28 Jacques Pradel: Hello everyone. Welcome. The "Café crime," switchboard is now open on 01 42 32 15 15 for questions and reactions on what is coming up in this broadcast. If you are on the interent, we are also receiving emails on

And two years after little Maddie's disappearance in Portugal, there are still many gray areas surrounding the circumstances of this news story, which within a few months acquired global magnitude. The case is still not resolved. The investigation is officially closed.

01.04 Maddie's parents, under suspicion at one time, went home to England, exonerated. They continue to focus on the theory of abduction and to mark this anniversary, the coordinator of the Portuguese PJ's investigation cell, who facilitated that cell for some months, Mr Mr Gonçalo Amaral, has decided to break his silence on the behind the scenes details of the case. He resigned to put in writing, in a book that comes out in France today, the reasons for his not believing that Maddie was abducted.

01.38 In this book, titled "Maddie, l'enquête interdite," published by Bourin, Gonçalo Amaral puts forward his reasons for thinking, in all conscience and freely, that Maddie died in the apartment where her family spent their holiday in south Portugal. For him, Maddie's parents are involved. They invented the theory of their little girl's abduction, with the certain complicity of other British couples who were there, to evade their responsibilities.

02.12 Mr Gonçalo Amaral is the guest of "Café crimes," together with Georges Moréas, former chief superintendent of the PJ, who himself is passionate about his case. And then we will also have live on this broadcast, from London, Europe 1's British correspondent, Amandine Alexandre. She is going to tell us what Maddie's parents Gerald and Kate McCann are doing now. She will also tell us about the contents of a television show which will be shown this evening in England on Channel 4.

02.47 But first of all, we go back to the precise circumstances of a mysterious disappearance.

02.59 On Saturday April 28th 2007, four British couples accompanied by their children, and one of the couples by the maternal grandmother, arrive at the airport in Faro, capital of the extreme southern region of Portugal. Nearly all of them are doctors. They've regularly spent short holidays together for several years. On that day, they boarded a minibus, available for the tourists to travel the 70 kilometres to their final destination, a tourist complex, the Ocean Club, in the town of Luz, not far from Lagos.

03.36 On their arrival they were allocated several neighbouring apartments, on the ground and first floor of a block, the rear of which faces onto a swimming pool, a tennis court and a restaurant, the "Tapas." The front entrance faces onto the car park in front of the building, which is surrounded by a one metre high wall, open in the middle. There is no video surveillance or private security. Access to the recreational areas is not monitored either. Luz is a tourist village, built in the 60s - 70s and most of the tourists are British.

04.16 On the evening of May 3rd, the McCanns dine with their friends at the "Tapas," restaurant. At around 10pm, Kate gets up from the table to go and see if the children, who are sleeping in their apartment on the ground floor of the nearby block, are ok. Her two year-old twins are sound asleep in their cots. The door to her nearly four year-old daughter Madeleine's bedroom, is not closed, which alarms her. She goes in. The window is open, the shutters raised, the breeze ruffles the half-open curtains. Maddie has disappeared. Immediately, panic-stricken Kate runs back to the restaurant to alert her husband and they return together to the apartment, accompanied by their friends who cannot take it in. The four couples then set to search the surrounding area, and, finding no trace of the little girl, they call the police.

05.13 That same evening, the director of Lisbon's PJ gets a call on his mobile phone from the British Ambassador. His caller asks if he is aware of the disappearance of a little British girl. He dropped everything and made lots of phone calls to find out. During this time the Portuguese police arrive at the Ocean Club. They determine that there is no disorder in the bedroom where Maddie was sleeping. The bed is not disturbed, there is no evidence of tampering, either on the window, on the blinds that open from the inside, or on the door. Investigation of the surrounding area leads the police to find witnesses, Irish holiday-makers who state that just before 10 o'clock, they noticed a man carrying a small female child whose description matches that of the little girl. Everything now supports the idea of an abduction. The general alert is put out to all Portuguese police.

06.17 In the days and weeks following, the Portuguese PJ gather hundreds of witness statements, more or less fanciful, but all are checked, without success. Very quickly the police note certain contradictions between the accounts of the evening given by the four couples and the mother of Fiona Payne, wife of the doctor who organised the trip. She is called Dianne Webster. She is 65 years old.

06.43 One of the women states, for example, that she walked past the McCanns' apartment earlier in the evening. She noticed that Maddie's bedroom shutters were closed. Later, Kate stated that the window was open and the shutter lifted. A shutter, let's repeat, that can only be opened from the inside and which was not forced. The child's bed, according to her, was not disturbed, as if the child had not slept there. Intrigued, the Portuguese police officers noted that the calls log on the McCann couple's mobile phones had been deleted. That could only have been the result of a deliberate action. So, why, why did they delete the memory on the two telephones when a child had just been abducted?

07.31 Meanwhile, pressure on the Portuguese police was quickly becoming unbearable. They had a hard time working calmly in the middle of the pack of journalists from around the world, while the British ambassador was on the spot, accompanied by the big wigs of the police and Portuguese legal authorities. British police would soon arrive too to lend a strong hand on the ground, while for the Portuguese, the contact, let's say, isn't good, the Portuguese police feel humiliated, are they incapable of leading their investigation by themselves?!

08.03 The McCann couple, on their part, make statements after statement before the television cameras, and the director of the Portuguese PJ himself states officially, while the investigation is a long way from being complete, that it's an abduction. The investigators on the ground, themselves, are thinking of another possibility - the involvement of the McCann parents.

08.30 In fact, a certain number of worrying details have been noted on the quiet by the investigators.

08.35 Two dogs were brought from England, trained in the detection of corpses and traces of blood, and these dogs mark several places inside the apartment - in the couple's bedroom and in th dining room - as well as outside the building. More worrying still, these dogs alert on the child's soft toy and on clothes belonging to Maddie's mother. Placed near a car hired by the McCanns after Maddie's disappearance, there too they sniff suspicious odours. On the other hand, they didn't react in the car of a British suspect who lives a hundred metres from the leisure complex.

09.16 The noose tightens around Maddie's parents while the police recover, from the places marked by the dogs, minute organic traces which are compared with the McCann family's DNA. the analysis is conclusive. It indicates 15 markers identical to the little girl's DNA. In France, let's say, while we're at it, only 13 are needed to expose a suspect.

09.39 The McCanns are placed under investigation from the start of September, but their movements are not restricted.

09.46 Meanwhile the case takes on this international magnitude. The British press let loose against the incompetence of the Portuguese police. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is himself contacted by Maddie's parents. You said pressure? They present themselves as victims of slow-witted police who are blaming the family rather than searching for the missing child. There are sightings meanwhile from around the world, and in particular in Morocco, which will turn out, later to be a real red herring.

10.16 A support fund is set up. Donations flow in from all over. Money that will be used above all, to defend the suspects.

10.29 And then comes the sudden turn in events. At the end of September - beginning of October, new DNA analyses carried out by the British forensic laboratory in Birmingham, take the opposite stance to the first analysis. Once again, the Portuguese police are accused of having mixed up Maddie's DNA with that of her parents during the lifting of the samples. The Commissioner, Gonçalo Amaral, immediately requests a second opinion. "Impossible," the English reply. There will not be a second opinion, the samples have been destroyed or lost, we don't know.

11.02 Amaral has had enough, he says in his book, all this media hooha, the pressure from the political authorities, the pressure from his bosses prevent him from working calmly. he is set on by the press, by his English counterparts who cause trouble for him at the slightest provocation. Exasperated, he lets go one day during the umpteenth interview with the press. Immediate disciplinary action. His bosses leap at the opportunity and take command of the investigation from him. Without beating about the bush: he is fired!

11.30 Gonçalo Amaral, after several months of bitter reflection, convinced that he had come close to the truth with his fellow investigators, but also convinced of having been prevented from going further, took the only decision that reconciled it with his honour and that of his PJ colleagues: he resigned and he explains in his book the reasons why he is still convinced that Maddie's parents have made, perhaps, a simple domestic accident, look like a mysterious abduction. You might think, that's his position, he will tell us all about it presently, about a fall by little Maddie in her bedroom, or death due to an overdose of sleeping medication given to the child to leave the parents in peace with their friends in the nearby restaurant. One question presents itself now in this case: where is little Maddie's body?

12.36 Jacques Pradel: Hello Mr Gonçalo Amaral

12.38 Gonçalo Amaral: Hello

12.39 Jacques Pradel: OK, I'd like to say that there is another person who is participating in this show, it is Mrs Paula Martins. Hello. And she is the translator.

12.47 Paula Martins: Hello

12.48 Jacques Pradel: Hello. OK you are going to translate for us, my words and those of Georges Moréas, hello.

12.54 Georges Moréas: Hello.

12.55 Jacques Pradel: Georges Moréas, then, former commissioner of the French Judiciary Police and who feels passionately, and who will tell us why in a moment, about this case. And for me, it is very important today to have a police officer with all that represents in obvious experience and I would hazard a guess - if I dare say - to go a lot further in this case, in this impossible case, in this forbidden case as suggested by the title of this book that comes out today in France, from the publishers Bourin. One, one first very brief question, Mr Amaral . This book came out, I believe, a year ago in Portugal. For you, you were humiliated, you were angry, what state of mind were you in when you decided to write this book?

13.45 Gonçalo Amaral: I was in a normal state of mind, aware of my actions and I never felt myself to be humiliated, or frustrated. Police officers do their work to achieve a goal. We work in a way that's impartial, objective and the final objective is effectively that justice is done and that we find the truth. But, it's something that couldn't be done and the investigation was closed before we could get there, and my book is just a way of trying to bring the truth to light and to show the work that was done by the police. Because we are accused, amongst other things, of being incompetent, we had spent many hours in the restaurant, nothing was done and here it is, the result of this work is in this book.

14.37 Jacques Pradel: Yeah, I....

14.38 Gonçalo Amaral: So, I present it here in this book. Had we been truly incompetent?

14.43 Jacques Pradel: OK, but I agree with you, but it must be said that at that time certain of your British counterparts and all of the British press unanimously presented Portugal as a third world country, incapable of carrying out a police investigation.

14.57 Gonçalo Amaral: A job that was beautifully done by a government spokesperson who was with the couple, with a very specific focus, that is to say that, it isn't the police who are accusing us of being incompetent because the investigation, the investigation was Portuguese and British. So, at that time, we were all of us incompetent.

15.23 Jacques Pradel: Hmm mm. OK, we will obviously come back to the details of this case and with you, Georges Moréas, then, in a short while. We are going to take the first break and we will come back to the impossible investigation and the forbidden investigation.

(After the break)

15.45 Presenter: It is now two years since little Maddie went missing. On this occasion, "Café crime," welcomes a special guest: The inspector of the Portuguese PJ who led the investigation for several months, Mr Mr Gonçalo Amaral. Jacques Pradel.

15.56 Jacques Pradel: Yes and facing him a colleague, Georges Moréas. They have just met in this Europe 1 studio. OK, let's recap, eh, you were commissioner for the judiciary police. So, why have you been passionate from the start, I know, about this case, you talk about it in your, in your blog on the internet.

16.13 Georges Moréas: Yes, absolutely. In fact I was asked at the start by....My attention was drawn. It was the organisations that wrote about the abduction on the internet and I tried to find out, I gathered information, I found this case absolutely gripping and so sad. And, and so on my blog I talked about it as it went along, and I have lots of questions come up on this blog. And there is one which I could put directly to Mr Amaral, because it comes up a lot, it is, in fact: why the Portuguese police...there is the impression, elsewhere, and in reading your book, that you set out solely on one track, the track of abduction, ruling out, a priori, the possibility of an accident, of murder, or whatever.

16.55 Gonçalo Amaral: That's a good question. It's perhaps the most important error of the investigation. But it is a decision that was a strategic decision by the police, of the leadership. There was fear of a reaction from the parents if they learned that they were suspects. And so that track of abduction was tried. The idea then was to carry out this investigation on the basis of, of abduction and then, if we arrive at a standstill, to retrace our steps to find out what happens, what happened in the apartment. Good, you know that abduction is the kidnapping of a person and those who did the inspection, they did that inspection as if it was about the theft of an object. The entry and exit of a ???? were looked for. They weren't very bothered about DNA, or about fingerprints, or about those who were residing, or about how the people were dressed. It was a failing of the PJ, a failure of protocol in cases of this type and there is actually a protocol conforming to international standards. The case can no longer be approached as simply an abduction.

18.26 Jacques Pradel : Yes, but at the same time, Georges Moréas, how did you get on? You have read the book this year? (laughs) While it comes out today. Eh, it was noticed however, Mr Amaral that, parallel to the research on abduction, however, you lift fingerprints in the apartment, notably very significant, in this story of closed shutters and of that window open or closed, and then the arrival of the dogs, who tell you that there was a body in the apartment.

18.53 Gonçalo Amaral: Absolutely. The dogs said it. There was a body and we had also seen that neither before or after May 3rd, someone died. So, it is a recent body. There is no doubt that the blood that was found there was the blood from the body of MadeleineMcCann.

19.14 Jacques Pradel : OK, then, Georges Moréas, I think you have made a lot of enquiries, obviously, in your career. Who represents that external pressure when you heard me just then recall the pressure, then, eh: political authorities; superior authority; the English ambassador; the press....How does it feel when you are leading an investigation in those conditions?

19.38 Georges Moréas: It's terrible for the investigators to have such pressure. And on a case, whether it's an abduction case or another case. But in a case of abduction it is more unusual because we know that there, when it happens, there is a small child, the life of a small child who could be at risk. What I don't know, but perhaps Mr Amaral could answer, is: what is the independence of the judiciary police in relation to political power in particular, or the administration in general?

20.09 Gonçalo Amaral: Nowadays, there is none. That is one of the big questions, and it is what drove me to leave the police. It is felt that there is a heavy political weight in the police, notably in investigations. This is something that must change. The directors, now, they are political commissioners. Each time the government changes the director of the police changes. So, it is really a political dependency that goes from the top to the bottom of the hierarchy.

20.37 Jacques Pradel : Yes. But were very rapid results required of you?

20.43 Gonçalo Amaral: Actually the opposite. I remember that in September we already had the results of the laboratory tests. And as we work, we set about finding the cause of death - because that is what interests us: the circumstances of death, and if there is involvement of third parties or not, or if we are only looking at an accident or something else - I was contacted by a director of police who told me not to preoccupy myself with it because this wasn't the only case looking for a solution, not to take this case so much to heart, there would no problem if the case did not proceed. And so I understood that, at that moment that, the case was going to be archived.

21.26 Jacques Pradel: Yes, and you particularly understood, eh....can we talk about protection of the McCann couple? And by whom? You say in your book, for example, that they obtained details about the investigation that should never have known given that they could be liable to be themselves suspects.

21.46 Gonçalo Amaral : Exactly. And meanwhile they should have been suspects. The protection came directly from England with Gordon Brown's intervention. Truly disastrous intervention because he believed from the start, in this couple and in political terms, subsequently, he cannot go back on it. Kate McCann's notes record this elsewhere, "the political pressure must be increased." That is what she wrote about it in her diary. And everything turns on this question in fact. They had the information. From a certain moment they had access to British liaison officers. The first were sent away because, from the first day, they asked Kate McCann where her daughter was, because they understood that she must know. So, there was immediately from that moment pressure from the chief officers of these police. There was disciplinary procedure and their careers are at risk.

22.54 There's another fact. That couple had meetings practically every week with the directors of police where they were given information about all progress in the case. It's not possible!

23.06 Jacques Pradel : That's when you hold your head up high, Georges Moréas, isn't it?

23.08 Georges Moréas: It's ???????? In France, however, we haven't got there.

23.13 Gonçalo Amaral : In no case.

23.15 Jacques Pradel : OK, moving on, we're going to return to other aspects of this investigation in a short while. Coming up, after the break, rejoining Amandine Alexandre in London to update us on what is happening on this "anniversary," day, two years after Maddie's disappearance. A little bird tells me, as Amandine Alexandre is going to tell us more about it in a moment, that in the course of a television show to be shown on Channel 4 this evening, a new sketch is going to be shown of a new suspect that the McCann family says wasn't checked out by the Portuguese police.

(After the break)

23.59 Jacques Pradel : With the former coordinator of the Portuguese investigation squad, Mr Gonçalo Amaral, who has just published this book in France, "Maddie, l'enquête interdite" published by Bourin. With Georges Moréas, former commissioner of the judiciary police. With Amandine Alexandre in London whom we will go back to shortly. But first an archive, a Europe 1 archive, dating from the month of September 2007. September 9th to be precise. Remember that Maddie's disappearance took place on the night of May 3rd 2007, and then McCanns went back to Britain very quickly and you are going to hear the spokesperson, the couple's spokesperson, who is called Justine McGuinness, explain this return to their country.

24.45 Justine McGuinness : Kate and Gerry McCann return to Britain today with their twins, Sean and Amélie, as planned. They want to get them back as soon as possible to a normal life in their own country. The family's return is done with the agreement of the Portuguese police authorities. The family requests, with all their heart, that the search to find Madeleine goes on and that everyone remains vigilant. The Portuguese law forbids Kate and Gerry to make any further comment on the investigation. Although they have many things to say they can say nothing, except this: they are absolutely not responsible for the disappearance of their beloved daughter.

25.38 Jacques Pradel : OK, we'll go back in a minute to the McCann couple's current situation since they were both told the case is closed. But Georges Moréas, you were telling me while we were listening to that, it isn't possible. They are still the accused, in the position of being accused, the couple.

25.57 Georges Moréas : There you are, it seems that the Portuguese procedure is very different from the French procedure.

26.00 Jacques Pradel : Of course.

26.01 Georges Moréas : And well, it's not really an accusation, nor being placed under investigation.

26.04 Jacques Pradel : Yeah.

26.05 Georges Moréas : It's a position of, you might say, assisting witness.

26.06 Jacques Pradel : Assisting witness. That's the closest to us.

26.07 Georges Moréas : Yes, the closest, that tallies.

26.09 Jacques Pradel : Right, so that means that if there were a trial tomorrow they could appear as assisting witness.

26.12 Georges Moréas : That's it.

26.13 Jacques Pradel : OK, we're going back immediately to Amandine Alexandre in London. Hello Amandine.

26.16 Amandine Alexandre : Hello

26.17 Jacques Pradel : So, on this "anniversary, day, is it an anniversary in London too? What's happening around the Maddie case?

26.24 Amandine Alexandre : Lots has been said about the Maddie case. At last, it's being talked about again, in fact, from this weekend. First of all because Kate and GerryMcCann have been invited, guests of Oprah Winfrey, that...

26.35 Jacques Pradel : Yes, in the United States, yes.

26.36 Amandine Alexandre : Right, in the United States. And in fact, it is on the platform of Oprah Winfrey that they revealed, they showed a photo of Maddie, Maddie at 6 years.

26.45 Jacques Pradel : Yes.

26.46 Amandine Alexandre : So, it's a photo that's been produced by computer from photos of Kate and Gerry McCann at age 6 years.

26.52 Jacques Pradel : Yes.

26.53 Amandine Alexandre : And it's true that it's going to be talked about again for a few days now - I would hope to say - the Maddie case. And now even more than ever.

27.01 Jacques Pradel : Yes.

27.02 Amandine Alexandre : Because this morning the press published the portrait of this suspect. The computer sketch of a man who was allegedly seen by three different people.

27.10 Jacques Pradel : Mmm

27.11 Amandine Alexandre : And this evening, then, British television is going to show a documentary.

27.14 Jacques Pradel : Yes, I saw it because you sent me the internet link to see that photo of the new suspect. Eh, "scarface," named by the English press because his face is marked like what is called "pock marked," hmmm?

27.29 Amandine Alexandre : Yes, that's it. In fact this computer portrait, from what I understand, from the information that came through this morning....

27.35 Jacques Pradel : Yes.

27.36 Amandine Alexandre : ...has been produced, above all, from a witness statement. That, that of a British tourist who says she saw this man on two occasions in front of theMcCanns' apartment and that this man looked like, hmm, that he wouldn't pass unnoticed because he effectively had a pockmarked face. She described him as, "a very ugly man."

Jacques Pradel : Yes, he looked the part, hmmm? He was a kind of.....

27.57 Amandine Alexandre : Yes.

27.58 Jacques Pradel : ......nitwit rocker, emaciated face, eyes deep-set in their sockets, a big hook nose....In short, he had an ugly mug.

28.07 Amandine Alexandre : Yes, and so she said that when she saw this man, in fact, she was almost afraid. She was walking with her little girl and she was even stopped in her tracks. Finally, she gripped her little girl's hand, because that man frightened her

28.18 Jacques Pradel : Yes.

28.19 Amandine Alexandre : And, eh, there are two other people, two other witnesses, who say, they too, and well, they saw a man standing at the front of the McCanns' apartment and who was staring at the balcony of the apartment.

28.31 Jacques Pradel : Yes, OK, this evening, eh, there's going to be the showing on Channel 4 of this documentary which you haven't seen, obviously. But we know a little more, we know what's in it, or...?

28.42 Amandine Alexandre : Well, yes, we know, in fact, that this documentary shows Gerry McCann, Maddie's father, going back to Praia da Luz. It was filmed last month. He went back with two friends who were also on the spot, who were part of the group of his friends with whom he went on holiday and in fact with the help of a team of actors, as well as the television team, reconstructed Maddie's disappearance, and Maddie's abduction, since Maddie's parents are convinced that their daughter was abducted.

29.10 Jacques Pradel : Yes. Reconstruction of the famous evening of, the night of May 3rd to 4th. I'll be back shortly, Amandine. I would just like to get Mr Amaral's reaction to what he's just heard. This computer portrait, notably, this man described by the witnesses, the English journalists are saying that, once again, the Portuguese police did not follow up that lead but that these witnesses had approached you at the time. Is this true?

29.36 Gonçalo Amaral : OK. I could laugh about it if the question was not serious because it's sad to see this evidence, quote, of abduction. Because investigation of the surrounding area that we carried out led us to several suspects in that area. We interviewed everyone, but it's truly sad to see that there was someone in the garden that we didn't identify. We've got an idea of someone who matches that, and I'm not talking about that person who is in the garden. There is gentleman who matches the physical description of that colleague David Payne, who was seen in that place. It's strange, that this kind of thing is put out and that people are looking for computer portraits. This has always got to be somebody who looks Mediterranean, ugly, not at all British, somebody who causes fear. And it's somehow how the English do things. It's another thing in the same vein as what's been done. And it's sad.

30.50 Jacques Pradel : That's it. Well. OK, and well, it's very clear from everything you are saying. We're having another break and then we'll be back to the Maddie case shortly with MrGonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas.


31.10 And before handing over the stage to my guests in the studio, we're going back to London to Amandine Alexandre. Eh, you were telling us that the English press is finally talking about this case again, mainly because of the show the McCann couple did in the United States with Oprah Winfrey. It's also being taken up again because there is the publishing of that famous computer portrait in the television show this evening, and that reconstruction, of the evening of May 3rd. But as well as that, the idea that the McCann parents could be implicated in this case, Amandine. What do the British say about it?

31.45 Amandine Alexandre: OK, listen to the British press since last July, since the Portuguese investigation was closed....

31.53 Jacques Pradel : …was closed. Yes.

31.53 Amandine Alexandre : OK, eh, for the British press, Maddie's parents are innocent. There's more. There is no longer any question of the parents' guilt, and, the documentary takes up the McCanns' life now without their daughter. Eh, the fact that Kate McCann has stopped working to devote herself solely to the search for Maddie and that in the couple's house, Maddie's bedroom is still there, and in the documentary Kate McCann apparently relates that several times a day she goes into her bedroom to talk to Maddie, to say to her, "this is what we're going to do today," and that the couple's two children, the twins, who are now 4 years old, also talk to their sister. So, the suspicions that weighed on the McCanns are totally gone, no doubt about it in the British media.

32.46 Jacques Pradel : OK, thank you very much for that spot, Amandine. I remind you that Amandine Alexandre is Europe 1's correspondent in London. I think you'll be watching telly this evening?

32.55 Amandine Alexandre : Yes. That's the plan.

32.56 Jacques Pradel : Thank you very much, Amandine.

32.57 Amandine Alexandre : Bye.

32.58 Jacques Pradel : Good afternoon. Eh, Georges Moréas you you had questions, questions that bring us back to the McCann couple.

33.05 Georges Moréas : Yes, because if I understand properly this evening there is going to be a reconstruction with comedians. So, I would like to ask Mr Amaral if after the events, after Maddie's disappearance, was there a reconstruction in Portugal or not?

33.22 Gonçalo Amaral : It was amongst the first things we tried to carry out, but it was decided higher up that conditions were not right on the ground to do this reconstruction. There were too many journalists present. Too many people were there on holiday and we would be interrupting the holiday of these people.
We would have to have closed the airspace and then it was said that the reconstruction would be done later. But later, after the couple were made suspects, placed under investigation, the couple refused. And those who replaced us, the Public Ministry acted in a way that we consider a bit strange because the reconstruction, there were witnesses and suspects under investigation and it wasn't obligatory to carry out the reconstruction with everyone present. But the couple would have to do it, would have to come back to Portugal, but the Public Minister decided that there was no interest in doing that reconstruction with just the couple. And it's a shame because now we wouldn't have all the confusion.

34.39 Jacques Pradel : Of course. But I think that even if you are no longer in the investigation, since you have retired, remember this, for writing your book, your Portuguese colleagues will be watching with a great deal, a great deal of attention, the reconstruction that has been done. As everyone is saying, under the direction of the McCann family and their friends.

35.00 Gonçalo Amaral : We're all going to watch it together, because it shouldn't be forgotten that this reconstruction is based on three people. Mr Gerald McCann , Mr Matt Oldfield and us, and everyone allegedly lies. So, we are going to see who is lying and we hope that the investigation will be reopened. They hope not. But this will be an important document, even for the investigation. The document that will be seen today, founded on lies, is important. Then, what must be seen is what lies behind.

35.36 Jacques Pradel : Yes. And have I understood properly that Portuguese law retains the possibility of relaunching the case even if the investigation is now officially closed?

35.49 Gonçalo Amaral : The investigation is not in fact closed. it's archived awaiting better evidence and that's why they are still suspects, under investigation. Because if the case is closed...

36.03 Jacques Pradel : I just interrupted you.

36.06 Gonçalo Amaral : Yes.

36.06 Jacques Pradel : Yes. Excuse me.

36.06 Gonçalo Amaral : We must be able to reopen the case.

36.07 Jacques Pradel : Yes, exactly. But it's there that I would like to add a question. It's what we call in France - Georges Moréas, stop me if I'm wrong - a new detail that could relaunch a case which is within the prescribed period.

36.21 Georges Moréas : That's the difference. With us, the investigation is not archived, let's say.

36.23 Jacques Pradel : Archived. Yes, that's it. So, a new detail can relaunch the Portuguese investigation.

36.28 Gonçalo Amaral : Yes, absolutely. But it's the Public Minister who has to analyse it.

36.34 Jacques Pradel : OK.

36.35 Gonçalo Amaral : Only the Public Minister can make the decision by analysing these new details, if he considers it of interest. But perhaps the Attorney General of the Republic will have to be changed for that.

36.47 Jacques Pradel : OK, yes, that follows on from what you were saying before. Yes, Georges...

36.51 Georges Moréas : Yes, if the parents requested the relaunch of the investigation?

36.55 Gonçalo Amaral : That would be interesting. But you know that the parents don't want investigation in Portugal and don't want it either in England because we have heard, just now, that the British press is on the side of the parents, so consider them responsible for nothing, but the English public, on the other hand, it's not altogether the same thing. There are people who are trying to find out what happened to that little girl. It's not about accusing the parents , but they want an investigation to be opened in England because the child is British and as you know, the British authorities have the skills to do it. But the parents don't want the investigation. A police investigation, they don't want it.

37.33 Jacques Pradel : Ok, we're going to have a last break and go to the last part of the show. The time is going really quickly. I remind you, if you pick up the invest...the investigation, listen now, we are talking about the investigation about Maddie. "Maddie,l'enquête interdite" it's the title of the book by Mr Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator, of the search for Maddie. This book comes out today published by Bourin. There's not bad revelations inside, some of which we haven't talked about yet. We will get there in a minute.

(After the break)

38.12 Jaques Pradel : Ok, if you doubted that we are live, you know now. OK, a direct question immediately for Mr Gonçalo Amaral and here I refer directly to the book that has just come out. You talk about, you say that all these couples have been getting together for years for short holidays, like that, a little unusual and notably so in Minorca, I believe, in Majorca, pardon, in 2005, and me, when I read your book, I understand that David Cayne, David Payne, pardon, looks very much like a paedophile. You don't write the word "paedophile," but you hint that he has inappropriate gestures related to children.

38.57 Gonçalo Amaral : No, I don't use that word. I talk about his obscene gestures in relation to Madeleine McCann. It's an accusation that had been made on May 16th 2007, in England, 14 days after the disappearance, and which only got to the PJ on October 26th, after I had left. And nothing was done about it.

39.23 Jacques Pradel : OK.

39.24 Gonçalo Amaral : So, other than that gesture, if you look carefully at what is written, he was bathing the children in a certain inappropriate manner. It was he who was bathing the children and I wonder if he didn't do that with her, with the little girl that day of May 3rd.

39.43 Jacques Pradel : OK

39.44 Gonçalo Amaral : It's an accusation but there is no investigation in England. Meanwhile, they say they no longer have the paperwork for this accusation.

39.50 Jacques Pradel : So, if we care to continue with the reasoning, which is that of your book, where you say, quite clearly for me, that little girl died in that apartment, the dogs proved it for us, the traces of blood proved it for us, and what happened was made to look like an abduction, but that you found it to be total fantasy. So, that means that all the couples who went on holiday with the McCanns are complicit. And they are listened to.

40.19 Gonçalo Amaral : Let's say that, for me, they are complicit in negligence or perpetrators of negligence on their own children because they abandoned their children during these nights out. Children of 2-3 years who stayed in the apartments alone until very late.

40.36 Jacques Pradel : Very late. yes.

40.37 Gonçalo Amaral : It's something that in England leads to the children being taken into care. So, if that happened to Madeleine, if the investigation carried on, it could have been understood why they lied, why Matt Oldfield lied, and why several people lied? Because at 10pm someone on the other side of the village sees Gerald McCann with the child, carrying the child and someone else says that the child was seen carried by Gerald McCann but that he was going in the opposite direction. So, that has to be understood.

41.15 Jacques Pradel : You have, Georges Moréas, a personal conviction, like that, about this case?

41.19 Georges Moréas : Maybe, I must confess that I am, I am rather in agreement with my Portuguese colleague Amaral because it doesn't fool anybody, and I understand very well that he is a bit - excuse my expression - that he is pissed off.

41.34 Jacques Pradel : Yes, because, well, you've read this book in depth too, eh? So, eh, there is perhaps a last point that Mr Amaral needs to clear up. It's that the domestic accident that you envisage - I ask you to answer very quickly - it's the child falling, a story about, about, about seating, eh, I'm looking for the... a sofa - but you have explained that in the book - the fact that she was given a soporific* (see note) and apparently you have proof that the parents gave soporifics to their children?

42.06 Gonçalo Amaral : There is a witness, a witness statement. There is no other evidence. The question of the accident is very simple. It's a pyramid that could only result in death by the intervention of third parties. That was the postulate from the start. The initial hypothesis, to justify the blood and cadaver odour behind the sofa , it was an accident. Taking note of the position of the sofa and the window. But that's a postulate. A starting point for understanding what happened, given the circumstances, the cause of death and if there was intervention or not by a third party. As the couple did not allow us to do something, get on with the investigation sooner, we were not able to develop this.

42.54 Jacques Pradel : Right. So, point of debate but at the same time a well argued case. Thank you very much Mr Amaral. Thank you Georges Moréas. Look, he has handed over his place to Faustine Bolleart. But no, Faustine, not yet.....I simply give you once again the title of this book which has just come out today. So, "Maddie, l'enquête interdite", revelations from the Portuguese commissioner in charge of the investigation. It's published by Bourin.

(* The original French is "somnifère," which translates as "soporific," a sleep inducing agent, which can be by pills or some other route of administration.