John Buck, British ambassador in Lisbon, at the time of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, went to Portimao to demand that the PJ immediately announce to the media - above all the British - that Madeleine's disappearance was an abduction and that her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were two innocent victims.
"Immediately after Madeleine's disappearance, while we didn't yet know if it was an abduction or another type of crime, the PJ were obliged to issue a press release, on May 5th 2007, publicly announcing the theory of abduction." Inspector Gonçalo Amaral accused yesterday, stressing that the announcement was made in spite of his opposition and that of other inspectors involved in the investigation.
According to sources close to the British ambassador in Lisbon, before his intervention with the PJ in Faro and Portimao, John Buck had already discussed the case with the Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
"In a situation like the one we were presented with, in the interests of the child, no possibility should have been ruled out, even that concerning the parents, the relatives and friends. Above all if there was not the slightest evidence of abduction," Gonçalo Amaral concluded, stressing that, "the continuing investigation proved it."
"They took advantage of the space we left for them. That was an error on our part."
New instructions from the regional and the national directorate of the PJ, given after the intervention of the two British diplomats - the ambassador John Buck and the consul Bill Henderson - diverted the attention of the investigators from the McCanns.
"At the time, we had no way of knowing exactly what clothes Gerry was wearing on the night of the disappearance or what clothes were given to be washed on May 5th," Gonçalo Amaral acknowledges.
"That would never have happened without the intervention of Mark Warner and especially the ambassador. They took advantage of the space we left for them, which was an error on our part," Gonçalo Amaral admits.
If the laundry supervisor only admits to remembering about a pink skirt belonging to Madeleine, she is formally saying that there were indeed other of the little British girl's clothes, which a few work colleagues have elsewhere confirmed to the police.
To follow: "The dogs were prevented from following up their work in the United Kingdom."