Friday, 25 July 2008

SOS Madeleine McCann: Gonçalo Amaral - I am not afraid.


Paulo Reis & Duarte Levy

Gonçalo Amaral: I am not afraid.


Gonçalo Amaral is convinced that the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance will be re-opened and denied having any feelings of vengeance towards the McCanns. During the press conference which preceded the official launch of his book, "The Truth of the Lie," the former PJ inspector, original head of the investigation, stated that, "the book is not a personal attack on anyone at all. It is a description of the events, of the witness statements. It is not my personal view. It is about all the work of a team of Portuguese police officers, English police officers and duly monitored by the Public Ministry."

Questioned by an English journalist about the money the inspector will now earn from the tragedy of a child's disappearance, Gonçalo Amaral indicated having received a proposal from an English daily newspaper, for pre-publication of extracts from the book, in exchange, "for a significant sum of money," a proposition which he turned down because, "there are more important things than money - dignity, for example."

On the subject of the decision by the Public Ministry to archive the procedure, the PJ ex-inspector stressed that the press release from the Attorney General of the Republic, "does not talk about evidence," but about, "proof," and Gonçalo Amaral admits that, "in another court, with another Public Minister," perhaps the evidence, "could have another evaluation." On the contents of the book, Amaral says that he has not told everything, given that, besides the fact which he admits of the re-opening of the investigation, he says that there is, "work which could still be carried out," and that to approach those subjects, "would be to call into question the research which supports archiving or taking it further."

On the subject of threats of legal action for defamation - an idea put forward yesterday by Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesperson - Gonçalo Amaral was very clear: "I am not afraid, because I live in a country where the 25th of April* allowed us to take back our rights and our freedom of expression."

Clarence Mitchell, former director of the English government's Media Monitoring Unit, stated that the lawyers for the couple and their friends were busy analysing, "every word of the book, as well as every word published by Portuguese journals," and that, in cases where there is reason for it, they, "will not hesitate to drag Gonçalo Amaral, the journalists and the publishing companies into court." The McCanns' spokesperson promised that this action would be swift, but at the time of Kate and Gerry's choosing.

The ex-coordinator of the Portimao Department of Criminal Investigation tells himself he knows that, "good work," was done and on the constitution of the McCanns as arguidos, dismissed the idea that there was haste, assuring that if he had the opportunity to go back into the past, he would have done some things in connection with the couple and their friends, "sooner."

* 25 April 1974, the Carnation Revolution and the end of decades of dictatorship.