Sunday, 10 May 2009
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
With: 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 Europe1.fr.
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.