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The Portuguese Public Minister accuses three PJ inspectors of having tortured Joana Cipriano's mother during her interrogation. One is accused of falsifying documents and the fifth, Gonçalo Amaral is accused of non-cooperation and failure to disclose.
Marcos Aragão, who replaces João Grade, is the lawyer who had taken legal action against the Portuguese postal services, accusing them of not having delivered to the McCanns in person, a recorded letter, in which, according to him, he indicated leads which might have helped the investigation. Marcos Aragão, in contact with the Metodo 3 agency, then began searches in the Arade Dam, a few kilometres from the place where Madeleine McCann dispappeared, finding only rubbish and a few animal bones.
Initially, the lawyer claimed to hold information about the location of Madeleine's body, but finally admitted that the searches at the Arade Dam - the lead he was seeking to pass on to the McCanns - were carried out based on a vision, which he allegedly had about the disappearance of the little British girl.
The lawyer was already known in this case, as the author of a report from the Association Against Exclusion by Development, released in April this year, which supported the existence of a crime of torture perpetrated by the PJ. This same report, contradicting statements from Leonor Cipriano's - who has continually changed her version since the start of the trial - accuses Gonçalo Amaral of being present at the time of the alleged assaults. The former coordinator of the PJ's DIC at Portimao, has meanwhile decided to pursue legal action against the lawyer.
Gonçalo Amaral, former coordinator of the PJ's Portimao Department of Criminal Investigation (DIC), is accused by thr Public Minister of non-cooperation and of not disclosing the alleged assaults on Leonor Cipriano by the PJ inspectors.
After Joana Cipriano's disappearance on September 12th 2004, her mother Leonor, and her uncle João, were sentenced to 16 years in prison for murder and concealment of a corpse. (Read the details here.)
According to the inspectors' witness statement, after her interrogation, Joana's mother had managed to evade the attention of the inspectors and, stating that she wanted to commit suicide, threw herself down the stairs. Injured, she was then driven by the inspectors to see a doctor and then taken to prison.
A letter from another prisoner, sent to the authorities about the accusations made against the inspectors, reinforces that version: according to that witness, Joana's mother had admitted to fellow prisoners that she had fallen down the stairs, but that, after a meeting with the prison's director, she had changed her version, stating that she had been tortured and that she expected to receive compensation.
Confronted by Gonçalo Amaral, Leonor Cipriano stated that the former coordinator of the PJ's DIC at Portimao had never assaulted her. In spite of several confrontations with the other inspectors, Joana's mother never managed to identify them as being her attackers, which has not stopped the prosecutor from going ahead with the trial, admitting that he too could not guarantee that it was the right inspectors or if the assault had actually taken place.