Friday, 28 November 2008

Cipriano case: Duarte Levy interviews Paulo Sargento, psychologist and university professor.


Duarte Levy: What credibility do Léonor Cipriano's statements have, concerning the assaults which she claims to have been a victim of?

Paulo Sargento: Well, Léonor Cipriano's history, as well as that of her brother, is a complicated one, because, clearly what we know, even in terms of tests, tests which were carried out at different times on the brother and Léonor, is that their credibility is reduced. Reduced in the sense that both were diagnosed as having antisocial disorders with a significant degree of psychopathy.

Generally, this type of person has, in reality, a compulsion to lie, in circumstances where the lie serves their purpose, serves the individual.

That is to say, this is not an impulse to reduce anxiety, but to achieve an objective. And in these circumstances, credibility is always greatly reduced.

When we speak of a person, who has a significant degree of psychopathy, and confirming this idea....Actually her, I’m talking about her since this has been publicly confirmed in reports from the Institute of Social Reintegration in different circumstances and also, in a report from the Minors Protection Commission where this diagnosis is put forward. So, this type of person with this type of personality disorder, in reality they have little credibility in the sense that they lie to a great extent to achieve their goals.

At a mundane level, this signifies that from the point of view of responsibility for their moral judgments, these people don't see a way to achieve their ends. And when what's in mind is their....putting it in parenthesis "to save their skins" they can lie with conviction.

In these circumstance, their witness statements must be correctly evaluated by specialists, so that we are able to have the full range of veracity, not the truth, but the credibility of their statements.

Duarte Levy: Concerning Léonor and her brother, which of the two is the dominant person? If, in fact, this arises.

Paulo Sargento: We have no data....Of what we have from the point of view of the public, there isn't enough data to know, but there is one very strange factor, which is where the brother says in an insistent way that "if my sister talks, I will talk too." It's a public admission of a kind of subjugation. And in its entirety, the protagonism of the case relative to Léonor Cipriano also gives us a sense of matriarchy - that is to say of the main character in the entire course of events of the crime, or not.

But the first question to stress, and it's an easy one to highlight in each of the interviews given, is that when the circle closes in, when they are arrested, he says this once or twice: "If my sister speaks I will speak - I will only speak after she has spoken." - which makes her the main character and answering the question, she is probably slightly more of a leader that he is.

Exclusive interview by Duarte Levy. Images on the SOS Madeleine McCann web site associated with this article are by Joana Morais. Video available on the web site:


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